Posted on 24 June 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, The Money of Soul and Possibility Control




I’ll start off this review with a ranking of Kenji Nakamura’s series so far:
4. Kuchuu Buranko
3. C
2. Mononoke
1. Bake Neko

This guy is an excellent director who comes out every two years or so with new and interesting concepts, that are especially well directed, with bright and colourful graphics and interesting messages that other anime wouldn’t bother with. He has gotten to direct more different series than any other director so far. Even when he’s flawed, his series are just plain interesting. With C, we have his first series that follows a full storyline, rather than just a collection of short stories.

Now, C is an interesting thriller. Like Eden of the East, it focuses on social commentary, but this time it takes a look at the financial crisis. The best way to characterize this show is as “interesting”: the world it created is very original, the people that the main character meets throughout the series all have their own stories to tell to flesh out this setting, the battles and action scenes are really well directed: all of this is really interesting to watch, despite some major flaws.

Because yes, unfortunately this show is of the kind that tries to stuff way too much in way too little. This show is rushed as hell, which leads to problems that it can’t fully explain its setting, or that it can’t take the time to quietly flesh out its cast. A lot of plot twist happen completely out of nowhere because this series didn’t have time to build them up, because it was focusing on more important parts. But for a rushed series though: it held itself up really well.

This of course all depends on how easily your suspense of disbelief can be broken, but the pacing and scenario of this series continue to prevent this show from getting boring at all. Whenever this show is glossing over a detail, it’s doing so because it’s focusing on something else. The music in this series is really, really good, and the action scenes consistently belonged to the most creative and vivid of the entire season. Beyond that, it knows what parts it’s building up to and because of that it’s able to close off with a excellent finale that gives a satisfying conclusion by bringing the bits and pieces that it did manage to build up through its run together.

Now, C does not have the best acting here. It’s because of this that the characters take a bit of a time to get used to. The animation is unfortunately not the most detailed, and the entire series is full of distorted faces. The characters range from nothing special to actually quite interesting, but a big problem is that the main character belongs in the former category for a large part of the series. There are enough good characters to make up for that, though.

C has ambition and knows how to use it well. That’s the kind of series that I really like. This is the kind of series that would have been even better if it had more episodes to work with, but it prevented itself wonderfully from just driving into a wall. Instead this is a runaway truck who somehow manages to emerge still running at full speed despite having hit various things alongside its rampage.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Excellent scenario, and while the pacing might make you think that it’s going to turn into a trainwreck, it never does and only gets more dynamic and exciting.
Characters: 8/10 – Varied, from interesting to a bit of a boring main character.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Gorgeous art, though too many distorted faces and out of place CG.
Setting: 9/10 – Very creative backstory, interesting developments and while this obviously isn’t meant as an analysis of the financial crisis, it’s still very interesting in what it does with its setting. It leaves many things unanswered, but not enough to break suspense of disbelief.

Suggestions:
Eden of the East
Kuchuu Buranko

Posted on with categories: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control



And with this, Kenji Nakamura shows that he can direct a climax. heck, I’ll go out on a limb here and claim that this was his best episode since Bake Neko. This episode…. I have seen too many unbalanced series up till now, so I really didn’t think that this show would be able to do it. This show was ambitious; there’s no doubt that it would have been even better had it had 24 episodes. Many shows preceded it: Fractale, Kuragehime, Eden of the East, Toshokan Sensou, Moyashimon, and Jyu Oh Sei: all didn’t seem to understand that they only had 11 or 12 episodes. And yet this show knows its limitations and tries to make a rushed, yet exciting and interesting compromise.

This ending left stuff unexplained, but it did give the key questions a satisfying answer. I especially like how this was resolved: in the end the financial district collapsed because the yen it was based on collapsed. It wasn’t even Kimimaro who ended up solving everything: it was the golden teeth guy who brought it down. Apparently that would also cause the world to reset itself. Mikuni probably didn’t chose this option because he was afraid to lose both his sister and his money. He kept clinging to the present, which is why he was able to so easily sell off his future.

Oh, and that fight. That fight between Kimimaro and Mikuni was absolutely wonderful. The animation and direction made it into an epic ending, the type that I stopped hoping for because there are just too many shows who promise this, and end up too mundane. This was bold, daring and excellent to watch. This is really what I’m looking for in action scenes.

Thinking back, Kenji Nakamura has always had a knack for endings, but it still came as a surprise as to how good this episode was. It was obviously rushed, but it didn’t break my suspense of disbelief. Of course series that are completely logical and explained are wonderful too, (and again, C would have been even better if it got the chance to explain all these things), but the kinds of shows that test the boundaries of suspense of disbelief, yet never actually cross them are awesome too. Although with those shows you really delve into “your mileage may vary’-territory, since everyone has a different suspense of disbelief.

As the final twist, I really liked that in terms of the big picture… nothing really ended up being solved. In the new world, there just was another Financial district lending out Midas Money. Kimimaru&co didn’t really change anything, they just prevented one guy from destroying countless futures.

Overall, if this wasn’t Noitamina and gotten its length doubled, it could have been better than even the likes of Madoka Magica. Unlike most rushed series though: this series rocked. It had its problems, it didn’t have the best acting, but it had more than enough to make up for it.

As for the next Noitamina: Summer will have two adaptations, while Autumn will have two original series. With that, the writers are really going to have to pay attention to make everything fit, and end at the right moment. For examples of how to do this right: Sarai-ya Goyou, Genji Monogatari and Hourou Musuko. As for Usagi Drop, the guy behind the series composition will be a complete mystery, so we can’t say anything about that, yet. As for No6’s Seishi Minakami: he’s more of a really, really good writer than a good pacer: some of the shows he wrote and adapted are perfectly paced and fit really well in their time, while other are either too long or too short, with the biggest offender being Shigurui, who just ended. If the story itself is any good though, he is the guy who can make it even better and that’s why I’m looking forward to it. But yeah, I am not going to expect the endings for the upcoming Noitamina series to be as good as the two we got to see with C and Anohana.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 17 June 2011 with categories: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control



Yup, the ending is going to be really important for this one: how will this get solved? That’s the big question. That will be the biggest factor in whether this show will leave a bad taste or not. The thing is that Mikuni is not one of those stereotypical villains who are evil for the sake of being evil: he made the decision to drastically alter the country and tighten the grip of the Midas Money on Japan, because the alternative would be even worse. What can Kimimaro and the information broker offer to prevent bankruptcy?

If it hits the right marks however, then this will end up as a really good series. The interesting thing with C is that we were all obviously expecting the same directional style as with Mononoke and Kuchuu Buranko, and yet it was very different. And yet, the direction in this episode was once again really good. The use of music got even better than it already was, it kept changing and keeping things dynamic while at the same time keeping things together and developing its plot in one direction. This climax so far has been rushed, but not random, and yet it was packed with neat ideas worthy of a climax, rather than just let everything devolve into just “more power!” like anime often pull this.

I am still surprised that this show hasn’t self-destructed yet, though. Lately, I’ve gotten very sceptical of series that try to stuff too much in too little. Especially adaptations suffer from this (Togainu no Chi, Yumekui Merry, Kuragehime, Sengoku Basara, Durarara), but also original stories like Fractale and Sora no Oto tripped up pretty badly in their final stretch. Interestingly, the cause of this seems to generally be half-assed pacing: the shows misuse their time, plowing on slowly and forgetting to build up vital plot points, or suddenly force a huge increase of pacing when they suddenly realize that they need to end on something epic, ending up with too little time to actually pull that off. C doesn’t have that, or so far at least.

It will depend on the next episode to see whether the creators really knew what they were doing, but so far I can see the layout of this series: first it took its time to flesh out the world with its random cases, showing a different part of is concept with every episode, while it actually started in time gaining momentum for its finale.

I mean, this show has still flaws: there’s a lot of stuff that came out of bloody nowhere, and that lack of ability to explain this stuff is unfortunate due to the short length. That black card in particular came out of nowhere and while it’s understandable that that clown would have some sort of trick like that, it would have been nice to have seen that announced beforehand. This episode also again has Kimimaro winning against all odds and I’m still not sure how he exactly did it. This was a flaw that had it coming from the beginning, and unfortunately wasn’t avoid. But those action scenes looked damn cool though.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 10 June 2011 with categories: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control



Yeah, this was rushed, but then again, it already was clear that C was too ambitious for Noitamina. At the very least though, it hasn’t followed the same path as Eden of the East: this series has not slowed down, and instead of skipping things, it’s trying to do as much as possible in the time it has remaining.

But heck, this show is rushed, but at the very least it’s still able to get its messages across. That for me puts it ahead of shows like Eden of the East which too was ambitious but just got its entire pacing wrong when trying to fit its story in its limited time, and Kuragehime which just gave up at the final episode.

But I have to praise everything around Mikuni in this episode: this episode showed him sacrificing the country’s future (read: children) in order to catch the shock-wave that was caused from the south east Asia market. It was both wonderfully directed and it continues to flesh out the whole setting here. And heck, loaning out your future sounds very abstract, but what most people are doing here is actually loaning out their children for money. There still are many questions here, for example it keeps getting hinted that Mashu is Kimimaro’s daughter, but then it makes no sense that his father walked around with one as well.

The weak point of this episode was the drama around Kimimaru, or at least that’s what I thought when watching this episode. Thinking back, it’s just poorly acted. The reason the kiss felt weird was because the animation was very wonky and the dialogue clunky. In terms of character development they did exactly what they needed to and strengthened the plot by showing what Mikuni did to the people of Japan. The acting is still bad, but I’m really surprised that this show hasn’t fallen apart under the weight of its own plot yet. And that’s the thing it needs to remember: yeah it’s flawed, but as long as it doesn’t run into a wall it can still end up as a really worthwhile series. The big pitfall for this one right now is leaving a bad aftertaste: the final episode will be crucial for this one.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 3 June 2011 with categories: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control



Okay, so with this episode it’s certain: C does not belong in the Noitamina slot. Its themes of course fit it nicely and all, but 11 episodes is just too little for this series. The proof came in this episode when suddenly from out of nowhere the entire world went to hell. I guess that the financial crisis of 2008 also came out of nowhere to most people and all, but a bit of a smoother build-up would have been nice here.

And yet, this episode rocked. The change with the previous episodes was… abrupt to say the least, but heck: I’ll buy it. After all, this is the kind of tension that this series needs in order to really turn its setting around. It’s in this episode where the differences between real money and Midas Money really become apparent: at first the whole concept of using your future as stocks made sortof sense, but there is one major difference here: no matter how much real money you lose: you can always recover. When Midas Money goes wrong, entire freaking countries disappear.

Kimimaro is going to be the key in whether or not the finale will succeed. I mean, he is the destined rookie of this series: he’s going to somehow end up playing a role in saving the world from bankruptcy. With the amount of time this series spent on fleshing out its setting, a cop-out ending will probably ruin most of the build-up, or at least leave a nasty aftertaste behind. Having said that though: this episode was a great start.

It’s interesting to see the “first half episodic stories, second half plot’-format in Noiramina, and it’s really paying off at this point: this episode did a great job of tying the previous episodes together, and I especially liked the teacher part, but also the way in which this episode gave both depth to the information broker and took a lot at the concept of money itself using trust was really interesting. I applaud you, series. Now keep this up, because you’re heading into a direction with a lot of potential pitfalls!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 27 May 2011 with categories: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control



Ah, this episode was exactly what this series needed. This was an episode to look back. It took a break from the different battles, and instead gave two characters the chance to play as the narrator, in order to tell a bit more about themselves. In case of Mikuni, it’s about his past, and in case of Mashu it’s about her feelings. It’s a good chance to take a bit of a step back and focus on these characters in order to solidify the finale of this series, and this episode did that wonderfully. Oh, and it was also a really nice touch to suddenly revisit a past character who seemed like nothing but cannon fodder t the time.

I only have a few minor complaints about this episode. The animation for example wasn’t really up to par, even for this series’ standards. I really wonder what this series would have looked like if the earthquake hadn’t happened, and because of that I do have to admit that despite the creative images, Mononoke, Trapeze and Bake Neko have this one trumped in terms of visuals.

As for the individual stories, the thing with C is that none of its episodes so far have been as bad as the worst episodes of Trapeze, nor have they been as good as the best episodes of Trapeze. In terms of the overall story and characters though, C has definitely been better. Of course, Trapeze did tie itself up really nicely in its final episode, but at this pacing, this series can be able to do the same, only with a much better storyline and characters. At the same time though, the direction will never be as good as it was in Mononoke or Bake Neko. It just lacks the energy, force and timing to really draw you in with its pacing.
Bake Neko was pretty much the perfect short story, and ever since I never saw something of Kenji Nakamura that was good as that one. But his shows have always been very interesting to watch.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 20 May 2011 with categories: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control




This was by far the best episode of C yet, and that’s a great sign, especially considering how this was the point at which Eden of the East started to dull in. It’s here where this series really shows off its messages as a social commentary and I have to say that I really like how thought-provoking this is getting.

With this episode I have finally found something that makes up for the status of the main character as the “destined rookie”: this episode actually made great use of this by having three people with completely different views contact him and try to influence him to join, and they all have their valid points here. Seriously, in terms of background and motives this series is definitely among the best of the season. Based on the first episodes, this is not something that I saw coming.

The guy of this episode had some pretty harsh criticisms to Minuki, and this really seems to be a harsh criticism to modern day Japan’s economy as well. And yet at the same time this show doesn’t pretend that that view is 100% right or wrong, but instead it offers a lot of different view. Mikuni also has a very interesting defence for his actions. The same goes for that woman that contacted him.

Also, the animation of this series has always been choppy. I’ve heard that the creators were hit hard by the earthquake, so I guess that there’s no avoiding it. But holy crap, the fight scene at the ended was animated wonderfully. Kimimaro was bound to win such an outclassed match and all, but the direction and animation there totally made up for that. It was a wonderful climax to an awesome episode.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 12 May 2011 with categories: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control



Beyond the financial commentary, this show is also a fighting series. It’s here where most of the cliches in this series are and after watching this episode another one hit me: the main characters’ powers… are kindof bland, aren’t they? I mean, we have all these characters with cool and very creative ways of killing their opponents, from mirrors to keyholes and flying golems and bug spiky things. So what does the main character use? A small fireball. Couldn’t the creators have gotten a bit more creative with him? Right now it’s the battles between the other characters who are the most interesting.

Instead, the main characters’ purpose here is to explain what this world is about. I can definitely see the intentions of the creators: he is a novice who is being taught by one of the biggest innovators of the financial district. This way it can both go in-depth as keep this series easy to go into, even though in terms of storytelling it could have been more solidly explained.

Creating characters isn’t on the list of biggest priorities of this series, but instead it focuses on its setting. This episode went in even more detail of how the financial district influences the real world and the effects it has, ranging from big companies to random individuals. The previous episode had that too, but this episode gave these topics the depth they needed to be actually quite interesting rather than shallow. In that way, it actually made good use of its characters by using the lead characters’ worries.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 6 May 2011 with categories: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control



It’s here where this series really shows that it’s more than just another pokemon clone. At least, until Pokemon starts turning into a series about economics. I mean, first of all taking away a guy’s kids when he goes bankrupt: that’s some pretty hardcore stuff, but this episode also really looked into why people go into the financial district, plus the difficulties in raising children.

The second half of this episode meanwhile was about reliability, something you also don’t see a lot on these fighting series. The best players are often just one-sidedly strong, while here it’s a bit more nuanced: the best players are the ones who are able to minimize their losses. It’s definitely a series that’s full of interesting ideas.

I have two complaints, though. First of all this episode introduced a lot of new characters who I doubt will able to get their depth within 11 episodes. Also, I’m still not sure why Kimimaro is the main character. He lacks… motivation. I’m still not sure why I should root for him, especially when he keeps winning through either dumb luck or other people helping him.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 28 April 2011 with categories: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control



After seeing so many 1-cour series screw up with their pacing, I’m glad to say that C actually knows that it should not slack off. For three episodes in a row, it has been straight to the point, with no intention to waste time. That’s definitely a good sign.

At the same time, this episode also leaves the battles for what they are, and instead focuses on the characters. Also, very important for such a short series. The introduction for that female with a lollipop was actually very good in the way that the creators turned her into a temporary narrator. These inner monologues of her were well written and took a good look at both who she is and what this setting is like.

This episode also showed the main character’s parents, what happened to them and also Souichiro’s reasons for participating in the financial district were a welcome addition to this series. If you want a mundane episode to bring some variation in the pacing, this is the way to do it.

At the same time though, I’m still a bit surprised that this show does have its share of cliches here and there. The disappearing father and especially being really angry at him for it have been done quite often now, so it’s going to matter even more for this show to make good use of them. The crying scene perhaps wasn’t the best way to do that, though. The acting in this series isn’t the worst of this season, but it also doesn’t stand out either, so that also will have to be compensated by something else.
Rating: * (Good)

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
If anyone has any suggestions for weird short animations, I'm looking for excuses to watch some more and I'm in the mood for them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Mario's youtube link had cgi models of rem and ram in the video.
Masky
I'm confused when was Rem even mentioned
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only ever watched he-man and stuff related to it in passing when I was younger, Conan was more my thing back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For so long I'd always referred to she-ra as she-man.
AidanAK47
@Mario, What is this heresy!
....
....Rems always cute.
Anonymous3084910
Hilda is fine, though is very laidback kinda like a young reader's novel. It has its moments but its fantasy with slice-of-life coming of age.
Anonymous3084910
@SuperMario Yeah I know, She Ra is the twin sister of He Man. But strangely it seems Dreamworks may not have the right to those characters. It was a marketing idea trying to bring more girls to that universe but like most girls show from the time it had a very flat depiction of what little girls want to see.
SuperMario
Sorry Aidan, I know it's blasphemy but I have to post here. Enjoy the OP song with the twins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9MUjISNm0U&index=4&list=PLU56jBSlcHw8-ol9Hi4lJ0GR0tU6EOf2a
SuperMario
I'll probably check out Hilda. Heard a lot of hypes about that show
SuperMario
@Vonter: I've heard of She-Ra, she's the female counterpart (well, sister) of He-Man (the most powerful man in the universe and the secret identity of Prince Adam). Sounds silly but I'm not even kidding
Vonter
All in all, despite not being a big thing, I think is an enjoyable recommendation. My only nitpick is that it maybe too light hearted for some kinda like above My Little Pony but below something Voltron. Also despite being less childish than the original is still kinda of girly with lots of pastel colors although it balances it a bit having girls being more tomboyish in different degrees.
Vonter
Like with Voltron it amuses me seeing anime tropes being played through western lens. Since I'm a bit hesitant to say that could this count as a harem series despite not being male gaze moments? Also having the most sensible hotspring episode I've seen.
Vonter
In this one this She Ra has pathos. A bit like Korra there's doubt in her role and also a complicated relationship with her rival. I do like the role reversal in the knight's tale this clearly is, in that most roles that would be played by men are played by women in this story. Matriarchy, displacement of both femminine beauty but also empowerment.
Vonter
So I've watched some of the new She Ra from Netflix. So far I'm in, it's not deep but it's quite charismatic. I do like there's more pathos in regards to these characters which pretty much were confined to their archetype to an extreme like the original Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It manages to make watching something like running engaging, when I'd otherwise probably not watch the sport. Also, last week the show ended up popping into my head when I was sitting around doing pretty much nothing and made me think "Ok fuck it, not sitting around doing nothing, going to go out for a run around the block"
Lenlo
I also agree, characters losing in sports is important. They can't start at the top, it makes the series lose meaning
Lenlo
I quite enjoyed Kaze Fui this week. I think your correct that the one who got the reality check was Kurahara, who thought he was the only one able to actually make it. I also thing that he has a competitive streak a mile wide, and might be a little afraid of failure. Doesnt think the team can make it, so why bother
Kaiser-Eoghan
Think I wasn't i the mood for honda-san this week even though I laughed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I like it when sports series actually show the characters you know...actually lose.
Anonymous3083989
Huh, interesting in this episode of Kaze ga that it's Kakeru who got a reality check during the track meet since he was beaten by two other runners. I think we're due for an episode soon where he has to confront his past demons instead of fleeing from them.
Anonymous3083626
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aging in fiction, I think has more to do with the story than the characters. I mean the jokes about Ash Ketchum, Detective Conan, Archie. The Flinstones tried to make different stories by aging Pebbles and Bam Bam. Or Batman having two Robins graduating into their own heroes. But in the end dynamics change, hence why most cartoons don't age the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is why when aging does occur in anime/manga, such as in vinland saga or nanoha for example, its appreciated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course, animated characters often don't age much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember enjoying the simpsons movie back when I watched it, but thinking about it it really was just an extended episode. Really the show peaked with the who shot Mr Burns episode. Catching bits of recent episodes and seeing them use modern stuff while they never age seems weird too.
Amagi
I do think series are allowed to move forward though, I am kinda interested in the Pkmn movie for example. But certain shows should just end, Simpsons for example was a parody of the 90s, it just can't work in a more modern setting IMO.
Amagi
I stopped with the Simpsons when Maude was killed/died, it was just a step in the wrong direction they should have never done and it killed the series for me. I disliked it before already though, I think I noticed the series getting worse since season..9? Or 10, not sure anymore.
Amagi
Anime for Dorohedoro announced.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Therefore ruining the fanservice fun for everybody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite beach episodes are ones where it rains and they end up not being able to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After that it was just the film for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually, regarding the simpsons, the episode I stopped on was sometime in the early 2000s, Homer was stuck on some island resort or something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose it was just as much a case of falling out of watching/playing too and then there being so many episodes/games catchup was impossible. I probably should read the manga someday.
Anonymous3081957
@Kaiser-Eoghan -Kinda like Sponge Bob, Power Rangers or The Simpsons, I can't blame those who move forward, It's imposible for a show to go that long without losing steam. I did check the Sun and Moon first season and while I think the personality and energy is better it doesn't exactly push the concept forward. Still somehow Pokemon is still a phenomenon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Very strange hearing a Pikachu talk with Ryan Reynolds voice. But my days of pokemon are behind me.
KyokoHyuga
?????
KyokoHyuga
who likes pokemon here
SuperMario
@Amagi: I think the person who made the sub for Maquia did a pretty neat job. Not perfect but the translation flows well
Vonter
We've seen realistic Pokémon fanart, but how does a movie looks when it attempts it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8CKgQFo5U8
Amagi
How are the subs for Maquia? I only heard anons complain about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*dealing with
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you should really torrent it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is 1080p stream on kiss anime, if you hate deal with the ads on that site the 4up stream on anilinkz has the best quality of the available links
Lenlo
Where did you see Maquia online? I still need to watch it. PM it to me on discord maybe? Pretty please? <3
SuperMario
One fact that not many people know is that Penguin Highway is penned by Tomihiko Morimi. It indeed has many Morimi's signature inputs
SuperMario
This year, I'm doing well with catching up anime films (kudos for Australian's Madman who always license these titles very quickly). So far, I've watched Mirai, Maquia, Penguin Highway, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas and My Hero Academia the Movie
SuperMario
So I watched two anime movies this last week, Penguin Highway in theatre and Maquia online. Both of them are pretty solid in general, especially Penguin that has magical realism elements and some great chemistry. Whereas Mari Okada's writting still rubs me in the wrong way sometimes
Lenlo
D: He did, back in August actually apparently
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I heard Dino's voice actor died.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we all took Goblin slayers attitude to trolls, then we would more easily ignore the trolls =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Big twist in the golden kamuy manga.
Animosh
@SuperMario: remember that in the voice drama Rikka mentioned talking to Yuuta in their classroom during the ball game. Pretty sure it's about that.
SuperMario
@Animosh: i just watched the episode and noticed the lyrics as well. "The Promise" seems vague at the moment. Could be between Yuuta and whoever fits but I agree the "save someone from boredom" is about Akane
Animosh
You learn something every day. ;) Honestly though, I actually skipped the opening, so I hadn't even noticed that it had been translated until others pointed it out. And most of the time the lyrics are just cheesy one-liners, so I usually don't pay much attention to them either. But once in a while there's some nice hints hidden in there...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I never really ever paid attention to the lyrics in anime openings, I'd never thought to.
Animosh
The Gridman OP has been translated for the first time, and there's some pretty interesting reveals in there: it mentions a "promise" made in a classroom (so now we know how Yuuta and Rikka bonded in the past - glad it wasn't a simple confession), and talks of "rescuing" someone (presumably Akane) from boredom. So I guess she'll join the good guys eventually?
Lenlo
1200 words. I need to stop writing so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't seen last weeks episode of Irozuku or this weeks =< I'm waiting now for a bit to see if the series paysoff.
Animosh
Goddamn those magic segments in Irozuku were stunning! It's a shame its humdrum drama can't live up to its visual beauty, but I'll take it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think Ash's design is based a bit on River phoneix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry Eiji but your Ash is in another castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I was about to say that. Kidnapping gets used alot in shojo.
Anonymous3072040
Yeah Ash is basically Princess Peach
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I share your concerns, I don't know what studio is doing it. Some people want it to be mappa, some don't want it to be polygon pictures to adapt it. Its and long and violent manga, with some very funny at times dark humour, it could end up rushed and/or censored.
Anonymous3072021
As much as I love Dorohedoro I'm unsure if I should be happy or worried at it getting an adaptation, it isn't exactly the kind of story I imagine being easy to adapt well.
Lenlo
Yeah, I am touching on that in my writeup as we speak. The compressed story is causing Ash to be captured every other week.
Animosh
I agree Banana Fish was great this week though! My only gripe is that I'm getting sick and tired of seeing Ash get kidnapped again and again. He just escaped a couple of episodes ago! And he's just a lot more fun to watch when he's out there doing stuff.
Animosh
In a way the fights actually feel more realistic to me than those in Banana Fish. Sure, they're fantastical, bizarre even, but its battle system has a clear internal logic, and generally no power is infallible (each has its limitations). In Banana Fish the fights are rather poorly thought out by comparison. Their purpose is more to make Ash look cool than to give him realistic hurdles to overcome.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what sets Jojo apart from other battle shounen for me is how ridiculously creative its fights can get. Part 2 already shows some signs of this, but the introduction of the Stand system in Part 3 pushes it to another level, and in Part 4 the fights are consistently awesome. There are no simple beam struggles here: every fight is a battle of wits, between people with wildly different powers
Niel
Vinland Saga anime, and Now Dorohedoro just got announced. i'm really liking this trend.
Lenlo
Lots to writeup on Banana Fish this week.
Lenlo
Just finished it, I really like Blanca.
Lenlo
Because Jackie Chan and his stunt crew are some of the best in the world. There is a reason he has to insure his guys from his own pocket. No agency will take them
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have no idea how the hell Jackie Chan is still alive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Action works best for me when I really feel that theres danger involved. Thats why when some actors do their own stunts, you can fear for the actors life, and also the character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And thats why I'm a big fan of all that Chinese martial arts stuff from the 60s and 70s, that really expertly crafted chereography.
Lenlo
As for action, I like good choreography more than any super powers. Its why Cowboy Bebop, Seirei no Moribito, Sword of the Stranger and some Naruto fights are fantastic.
Lenlo
Im about to watch this weeks episode, so this chat makes me hopeful. I agree Ash and Eiji are the backbone of the series, and yeah me and Kaiser both agreed that the Gang war aspect was pretty weak, though I thought the finish with Arthur wasnt half bad
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think Banana fish has a great grit to it for this reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even more thankful to Banana fish too for that it keeps the action within the bounds of out of fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've always been kind of a guns and swords and kungfu gut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Black lagoons great example of anime action I can get behind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always found weapon combat and fist/kicking combat more raw and real,tangible than beamspam.
Anonymous3070972
But yeah if you're not a fan supernatural power fantasy action shounens, then maybe not your cup of tea, and that's totally cool
Anonymous3070972
Oh also if I'm recommending a fight from part 4, I'd say check out Highway Star
Anonymous3070972
Kira is a pretty cool villain though; he's always underpowered compared to the main heroes, but manages to somehow get out of the situation with luck or smarts; if nothing else, I'd recommend watching some Youtube clips
Anonymous3070972
*Turn off. lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its more than, even when I was younger supernatural power fantasy action shounen never appealed to me.
Anonymous3070972
Admittedly JoJo always has bad with exposition though, and always will be just due to the style, so that can definitely be a turn on for some people
Anonymous3070972
If you like slice of life with hijinks and a murder mystery combined with cool battles, you'll like part 4
Anonymous3070972
Yeah I can see why you might not like part 1 & 2, they were made in the 80s; I'd recommend part 4 and part 5 (ongoing rn) tbh, I feel like those are better for a modern viewing experience
Anonymous3070972
I used to think that BF's greatest strength was the plot; know I realize it's really about Ash & Eiji's connection first and foremost: as good as the plot can be, Ash & Eiji's relationship is absolutely the backbone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Also that scene where Ash is thinking to himself, looking over Eiji.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nah, I pretty much gave up on jojo midway through part 2.
Anonymous3070771
Also, anybody notice Blanca's VA is Kira (from Diamond is Unbreakable)? What a wonderful duwang!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: The producer guy Miyano is voicing, much like the show is irritating because the show has this "look at me look at me" feel to it, it just comes off as desperate to me and this is just going by the one episode I watched and hated.
Anonymous3070771
What's that damn piano song that plays when Ash and Eiji are talking about Japan. It's too good. For some reason, it's really magical
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I was the one who said that.
@Niello: You don't need to see steins; gate zero, myself and lenlo discussed it to death as it was airing, its all over the place. I like the original too but after a while of the first half being fun, I just wanted it to start.
Anonymous3070771
Phew, great episode of BF; whoever said the gang war stuff was the weakest point was right. this stuff is getting fantastic again.
Niello
Also I agree, Zombieland first episode was amazing, second episode is still rather great, and then the other episodes have just been meh.
Niello
In Zombieland it doesn't help that the character he's voicing with that tone is an asshole, which isn't a good combination because it's making him more annoying by the episode.
Niello
Steins;Gate is pretty good, but I don't think I like it nearly as much as most people do (I gave it a 7/10). I also haven't bothered with Steins;Gate 0. And although I didn't mind Myano in Steins;Gate, I didn't particularly like his voice there either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the sombreness of Blanca's character. Poor Ash, so broken in this episode.
AidanAK47
Yeah after episode 2 it's been a downgrade. Zombieland is still alright to watch but it really has become what it parodied.
Vonter
Zombieland sadly has winded down. I mean it was expected but still I was hoping some more creative attempts to use in the typical genre. It'll have been better if they had waken up more slowly in order to flesh the archetypes a bit more. It still has charismatic moments though.
Lenlo
Really Niello? See, I like it because it's the voice we never got in Steins;Gate 0. Its Okabe's Kyouma voice, and I have a nostalgic love for it
Masky
Wasn't gyary isekai another one that existed?
Niello
I hate Miyano voice in Zombieland Saga and find him annoying tbh.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am getting sick of self aware humour though. I see this show as something that was fun to make (such as Miyano seems to be feeling based on performances) but not fun for me to watch and that kind of extends to the manager who while I agree would be the best part of the show, I stopped finding funny after the joke was done.
Lenlo
For me, the main selling point of Zombieland Saga was always Miyano. I love this mans crazy voice.

And in regards to Isekai, discounting this most recent one, SAO actually is pretty good this season so far. Kirito is still bland, but its taking things a lot slower and actually building the world. Its taking its time with 52 episodes
Kaiser-Eoghan
By the sound of it, if some who liked the first episodes don't care for the ones beyond those two episode, then I'm glad I stopped watching.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did flick through episode 2 but the rap battle thing was particularly awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I couldn't stand the humour and have up on the show after the first half of episode 1.
Anonymous3065780
What Zombieland does have that Ore doesn't is better animation and Miyano hamming it up. But that's all it has going for it at the moment.
Anonymous3065780
You have a few "ha ha look at this" moments scattered here and there like how Ore episode 5 was basically one big middle finger to the nature of anime production, or Zombieland's Tae Yamada. But the parody value from the first two episodes is all but gone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Its in part my own fault , I jumped the gun in the first half of episode one then all goodwill I had for it died after the first couple of minutes.
Anonymous3065780
@Kaiser Same here. Very disappointed that Zombieland is going down the same route that Mahou Shoujo Ore went down: basically becoming what it purported to parody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Every isekai that pops up in recent seasons, I simply just ignore it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On another note, surely I'm not the only one who dropped zombieland saga? I'm not alone am I?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean, I've never seen an episode of konosuba or rezero and refuse to , no game no life is a series of two halves, I barely watched any of gate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the only one I can say I care about is Tanya.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I think I've done a fairly good job at avoiding the modern isekai thing, I've never actually cared enough to sit through one fully beyond the first season of log horizon, 4 seasons of zero no tsukaima. Other than that I've seen maybe 7 episodes of sword art . Never seen a single episode of overlord and won't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I'm also glad their mentioning stuff like the peoples will, the historical assassination of the Russian emperor. I enjoy the tidbits of historical reference for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: But I don't think the animation is as good as it should be in the anime adaptation and its not as violent as the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I am up to date on the manga, the post first scene chapters that have caught my attention most have been Edogai, the big scenes in the prison and that bonnie and clyde duo.
Anonymous3065196
@SuperMario Are you watching GK s2? Any thoughts on it since you aren't covering this weekly?
Anonymous3065196
I think I laughed more from this than most of the comedies airing right now thanks to these bizarre situations and characters they're introducing.
Anonymous3065196
The anime is now covering the parts in the manga where things get a lot more dramatic, and a lot more weird and oddly hilarious.
Anonymous3065196
Wonder if anyone is still watching Golden Kamuy? We're way past the embarrassing CG bear.
Kaiser-Eoghan
A polar bear isekai exists.
AidanAK47
@Anon, it will be after in another world but a polar bear but before the gyarus in another world Isekai.
MaskyAtPublicComputer
Nobody could care about world building not really making sense or being inconsistent if it didn't have the grimderp parts that cause internet flame wars
MaskyAtPublicComputer
So it goes back to what I said: GS at its core is about (at least seemingly) about cool gorey tactical action with some character study of what its like to be broken person like GS is, but rape stuff just kinda ruins it for most people and it doesn't handle subject well
MaskyAtPublicComputer
gear doesn't rust and break down
MaskyAtPublicComputer
Anyhoo, I might remember wrong, but didn't GS purposedly use lower quality gear that has danger of breaking down in middle of combat? Thats kinda what I meant with "apparently using average quality gear is too dangerous", especially since its kinda hard to believe goblins could repurpose armor used by humans for themselves. I'm completely okay with him not using magical gear since D&D wise magical
MaskyAtPublicComputer
Like, you can't be like "Aha, characters think they are in JRPG, but its actually tabletop rpg oh wait no, it still follows realistic logic instead of tabletop rpg rules"
MaskyAtPublicComputer
See, barbarians in D&D don't wear armor because they are stronger without it, sure they have lower AC, but they have lot of health so they can tank a hit. So showing barbarian adventure dying in one hit because they were stupid enough to not wear armor just comes across as "So wait, is this supposed to be realistic, tabletop rpg or JRPG or what?"
MaskyAtPublicComputer
@AidanAK47: That IS actually part of reason why I said GS' author isn't thinking it through with world building. See, I actually think world being gods' D&D campaign does actually explain lot of details about how things don't make sense and it does fit with GS being D&D inspired, but that is another example of how GS is inconsistent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Perhaps not the strongest episode of honda-san, but the golden kamuy and Brazilian guy bit made up for it.
Lenlo
I might give it a watch after Kaze Fui finishes and write that up, just for you then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The anime kind of feels a bit live actiony, which I know sounds confusing to hear, what I mean is the character designs.
Anonymous3060338
I'm very interested in doing a comparison between the anime adaptation and the live-action adaptation of Kaze ga once the series concludes next year just because these are two different mediums adapting the same novel. I would really like to know what they had to change or cut to get it down to 2 hours, compared to this two-cour series.
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Banana Fish – 18 [Islands in the Stream]

Ah Banana Fish, back in form this week. Ash and Eiji act like a married couple, Blanca show’s everyone whose boss and Yut continues to have no idea what’s going on. Lets jump in! On a general note Banana Fish is really picking back up. The Gang War/Hospital were easily the weakest part of the […]

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