Posted on 25 June 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Crystal Blaze


Some great anime have a very detailed art-style with absolutely gorgeous animation. Others have a smashing soundtrack, performed by a famous composer. Others hired a cast of well-known voice-actors to perform on their characters. Again others put a lot of attention to their dialogue to make this as deep and thought provoking as possible. And more others don’t have any of this and just want to tell a good story. And that’s where Crystal Blaze belongs: an excellent anime on a low budget and the dark horse of the past spring-season.

The production-values are nothing to write home about. The animation is simple, the CG is obvious and not integrated and it doesn’t have a big animation-company working behind it (after all, Studio Fantasia’s reputation is rather questionable). And still, it makes up for everything through its amazing storytelling. The story itself is not very complex, but the way it’s told makes it something special. Throughout 12 episodes, not even one scene was wasted. Every episode continues to develop both the characters and the plot, ending in a very satisfying climax. There are no plot-holes whatsoever, everything gets closed off nicely, there are no stereotypes. For a fan of storytelling such as myself, this series was pure gold.

You should be aware of one thing if you want to watch this series, though. This series became the dark horse of this season for a reason. There’s one particular character which will turn off a lot of viewers: Manami. This is supposed to be a tale about adults, but she’s one of the very few teenagers in it, and she very easily gets on your nerves. She’s not a bad character by any means, and her weaknesses are used well, but the fact remains that the combination of an annoying voice and her continuous whining make her a very hard to like character. Thankfully, she gets less annoying as the series goes on.

Speaking of voice-acting, this is the second series along with Kurenai that did something interesting with its voice-actors. I can’t exactly pinpoint to what it was that the creators did, but conversations end up sounding much more like ordinary conversations instead of coming from a recording-studio.

All in all, Crystal Blaze turned out to be among my favourites this season, due to its great cast and awesome storytelling. This is exactly what a twelve-episode series needs to be, and I hope to see more non-fanservice series from Studio Fantasia in the future!

Posted on with categories: Crystal Blaze


Oh god, the creators actually did it! They actually pulled off a great ending as well. This episode was really good, and amongst the best of the entire series. One thing I’ve noticed with endings that they often feel rather lukewarm. I think that my opinion of this seems to change with every season, but right now, I believe that a good ending comes from an episode that uses the building-up of the rest of the series. Too often I’ve seen endings that never use anything that’s been built up for apart from that bad guy that’s dead now, or something similar.

[SPOILERS sort-of follow for the endings of Ghost Hound, Kurenai, Bokura no and Seirei no Moribito] As much as I hate to admit it, thinking back, Ghost Hound’s ending wasn’t that good. It looked like a series that kept building up, but it never really built up for the stuff that actually happened in the climax. In the same way, Kurenai’s ending where Murasaki proposed to stay also came from nowhere, which is probably why that ending felt rather weird. An example of a good ending is Seirei no Moribito: it was very straightforward, but it kept the same pacing and mood as in the rest of the series. The ending for Bokura no is such an example as well: it remained within the flow of the original series, while also providing a lot of new things that fitted within the series.

Crystal Blaze in the same way stays within the same mood in its final episode, and doesn’t become anything completely different. There’s still its great sense of storytelling present, and it still had a lot going on. There were a few clichés here and there (the self-destruct-button that needed to be stopped, the finish with a big explosion), but the execution was done well enough to make these twists acceptable.

I have to especially give this series credit for the way this episode started. I mean, how many times have we already seen an important character, about to be shot, followed by a fade-out and a cliff-hanger? I nearly forgot that people can actually get shot in these kinds of things. Seeing Sara getting shot in the back was a real way to catch my attention, as ironically, I never saw that one coming, even though she’s got the powers to regenerate and all.

This was also really an episode where the characters really come together. Everyone apart from perhaps Manami (who only played a really small part anyway) was really awesome to watch. The humour was better than ever, and you’ve got to love the return of JJ. As it turns out, the poor guy was never caught, and instead he had been hiding inside the building’s air shafts for all this time.

Now that everything is over, I’m still of the opinion that Crystal Blaze is among the best series this season, and it really knew how to use its limited time of 12 episodes. Especially since the production-values are nothing to write home about, this really surprised me. For those who quit this series due to Manami: don’t worry. Once this series hits its second half, she becomes a regular side-character and the focus shifts to the other ones.

To close off, this series has one of the funniest aftermaths. Even when compared to pure comedies (who never seem to be that good with their aftermaths anyway, for some strange reason). Doc, dressed up as Kitoh was awesome. Although I didn’t wish to have seen that “particular” shot of Porilyn…

Posted on 19 June 2008 with categories: Crystal Blaze


Talk about an excellent first half of a finale! 12-episode series shouldn’t have “calm before the storm”-episodes. It wastes a precious episode that could have been used so much better, and all these episodes to fill time until the next episode, when the big climax is going to happen. Granted, this way you end up with a great climax, but at the same time there’s a dull build-up that breaks flow a bit.

This is why I really like Crystal Blaze’s style of storytelling: first it spends five minutes as an aftermath of the previous episode, sets a few pieces of the puzzle right and prepares a bit, and very soon it heads into a new direction with an action-packed climax. This keeps the series exciting and the flow of storytelling remains roughly consistent. Perhaps I’ve become bored by series who abuse “calm before the storms” and aftermaths too much, who know.

So basically what happens in this episode: Kitoh has to leave his base (obviously because it’s been discovered), so he kills off his entire staff apart from his research subjects, Kirie and Doc. Doc indeed was just faking to have switched sides in order to get a close look at Kitoh’s research, and because of his obsession to finally find a scientist who is interested in his work, Kitoh never doubts this. BW-alpha also turns out to be able to transform into a huge monster, but as expected she’s still imperfect and rather weak to the blood of a humanoid weapon. The episode ends as Sara is about to turn into crystal and Shu is about to shoot her, which will make her blood come into contact with BW-alpha and kill it off.

What surprises me is that in this series, no attempts have been made to make the viewer care about BW-alpha. Even though she’s a little girl, she’s portrayed at nothing but a monster. Usually in anime that don’t focus on children, young girls like that have the “she’s little! care for her!”-mentality (see the Kohane-arc in xxxHolic). Quite refreshing that this is indeed a story about “adults”.

I’m really interested to see where this series will end. There’s one episode left, and we know that Sara is going to die, though considering the rest of this series, it seems unlikely that the creators don’t have a few juicy twists left in store. I must say that Crystal Blaze has been the big surprise this season, along with Kaiba. I admit that I was really looking forward to it when I saw the promo-image, though when I looked at the character-designs, this enthusiasm faded a bit. “Everything looks generic, so it’s probably going to be generic”. Hah, the creators sure managed to deliver an awesome series with these generic ingredients.

Posted on 11 June 2008 with categories: Crystal Blaze


Now that’s an aftermath! I’ve lately noticed that a lot of aftermaths in anime after a big climax are relatively boring, where characters do nothing but angst and try to let the events of said climax sink in. It may be because I’ve seen things like these for too many times, but they’re often disappointing and break a bit of flow.

Crystal Blaze does things right, though. It may be an aftermath, but it wastes no time to not only let the characters catch a breath, but it also wraps up the involved parties and sets up the interesting stage for the next episodes. It was really fun to see all the different parties do their own thing throughout the episode, but that’s just a personal preference of mine.

And of course it was obvious that Manami and Ayaka would screw up and get captured. She still has her attitude of wanting to do something important, and in her worries for the wounded Akira, she forgot to pay attention to hide herself. There was nobody there to stop them, so it’s in any case much better than Shinkurou returning home in Kurenai. What surprised me was how sensei swapped sides so easily. Could this be a trick to fool the enemy, or is he genuinely interested in Kitoh’s research?

I’m curious, though. There are two episodes left, and with a plot this fast, there’s got to be more than “Ayaka and Manami are saved, Kitoh is dead”, especially with the pacing of this series. It would be a shame for the pacing to die down at this point.

Posted on 4 June 2008 with categories: Crystal Blaze


Awesome episode! Only now I realize how similar this series is to Kurenai: we have Shinkurou taking care of Murasaki versus Shu, taking care of Sara. Manami and Ayaka are comparable to Shinkurou’s two neighbours, while Poririn and the tech-guy whose name I forgot are similar to Benika. In Kurenai, the bad guy is a family, obsessed over their own bloodline, while Crystal Blaze has a crazy scientist who’s obsessed over his own research. Both evil parties also have well-trained goons and spend the first 8 episodes, trying to track down the good party.

The big difference is that Crystal Blaze puts a lot of emphasis on storytelling, while the big focus of Kurenai is the dialogue. As a result, Crystal Blaze has a plot that continues to develop with lots of interesting twists and turns, and Kurenai is at its best when characters are just talking to each other. If I had to be honest, then I’d say that I like Crystal Blaze better, but that’s mostly because of how well it handled the beginning of its finale, when compared to Kurenai. I didn’t pay much attention to it when I watched the latest episode of Kurenai, but the fact remains that Kurenai’s wish to go back to his home one more time, even though they were discovered was stupid, while in the case of Crystal Blaze it was only a matter of time before they were found, plus Shu and the others couldn’t move anywhere because Sophia was turning into glass.

And I must say, that Sophia’s death was really built up well, and it turned out really touching. The second episode then wasted no time to give us a small gunfight, and I must say that it was quite an interesting idea to fool the enemy’s night-vision by turning up the heat to body-temperature. I’m not sure whether this actually works in real life as well, but it’s an interesting idea. On top of that, Akira’s gotten shot in his shoulder. With only three episodes left, I’m really curious to see where this one is planning to end.

Posted on 28 May 2008 with categories: Crystal Blaze


The past week, I’ve gotten a few interesting comments, along the lines of “this post says nothing about the actual episode, what an informative anime blog” (with the last part being obvious sarcasm), and they got me thinking. It’s not the first part that got me (heck, I’m all for constructive criticism), but rather the assumption that every anime blog should have a summary for each single post. I’ve personally never seen Star Crossed as an episode summary blog. It’s more that I write about whatever catches my interest after watching an episode. Depending on my mood, I randomly summarize a bit and add a few thoughts on the episode in question. But are there more people who feel that I should put more focus on summaries?

Having said that though, I do realize how my past posts on Crystal Blaze have been mostly thoughts and hardly any sentence on what happened. I’ve been carried away by the many surprising good points of this series. So, for variety’s sake, here is a summary of the episode. And boy, was it a great one. :)

The episode starts where the previous episode left off: the swat team, who was assigned to put a stop on Kitou’s research, is inside the closed space where Kitou and Kirie unleash a glass woman upon them. This woman quickly slaughters the entire squadron, as bullets seem to not work on her. Kitou explains that with the help of a special ring, the glass woman knows who she should attack and who she should leave alone.

When everyone in the chamber has died, the woman goes after the rest of the swat team, who she defeats easily. Very soon, more glass women come and help her. Meanwhile in the same underground facility, JJ and Sophia witness this bloodbath, as Sophia tapes it, and they’re astounded at the capabilities of the glass women. Because the security is busy with the swat-team, they can move around quite freely and they end up in what looks like the main database. There they find out that Kitou has been using live women for his research, and he’s turned them into experimental subjects.

JJ tries to call the chief of police, though there’s no connection. While he’s rambling on ethical issues, Sophia tries to copy the data she’s found for evidence. Meanwhile back at the glass women: they suddenly freeze and shatter. Kitou’s research has improved, though the HW-series is still imperfect. Kirie then suggests using the BW-series from now on (I’m wondering: what does the “B” stand for? Bio-weapon, or something?). Kitou, however, is still interested in the experiment, mainly because of what a success HW9 turned out to be, which is why he wants to retrieve her: in order to figure out why she’s special. (does he know that she’s about to die anyway?)

Kirie and the rest of security then go on and clean up the rest of the swat-team that wasn’t killed by the glass maidens, while JJ and Sophia are discovered by a random guard that passed by. They manage to make it towards the stairs that lead to the exit, and at that point I guess that JJ wants to hold off the guards so that Sophia escapes. Sophia runs up the stairs and a number of gunshots sound, but we have no freaking idea what happened back then.

Meanwhile, outisde the base, the three members of the swat-team that left behind fail to make any contact to their comrades. Akira meanwhile is still spying on them, and listening to their communications. It’s then that the few survivors manage to make it back outside and report. Akira then tells this to Shu, as the chief of police enters his room. Shu then tells him about what his little nephew and Sofia have been doing, and is surprised how the chief of police didn’t know that.

As Sophia reaches the door to the exit, she realizes that it’s shut and that she can’t get out. She then calls Shu for help. She tells him where she is, but before they can finish the call, one of the guards discovers her and destroys her phone. The chief of police then wants to come along with Shu because of JJ, but Shu tells him, as well as Manami and Ayaka to remain where they are. Meanwhile, Kitou and Kirie inject Sophia with the strange liquid that turns you into glass.

Ayaka meanwhile finds it strange that all sites about the glass women have gone down. Sara meanwhile continues to be troubled by her left arm changing to glass. When Shu arrives at the hidden base Akira waits for him and both of them rush to the entrance, where they find a naked Sophia with one glass arm, and they take her to Doc as quickly as possible. It’s a bit strange that Kitou would just “let” Sophia escape, and indeed: she also received a bracelet when she was injected, and in this bracelet there’s a transmitter.

The strange thing is that Shu is just fine touching Sophia, and doesn’t get burned. The others arrive and are shocked at the glass arm, especially Sara, and the episode ends.

Kitou’s getting pretty decent for a pure villain. Often, the villains that get fleshed out are somehow misunderstood. While this is nice to watch, it’s also good to see someone who really doesn’t have any ethical values and is more than just a stereotype that’s used to keep the story going. He himself is a mad scientist, obsessed by his creations. The guy is much better than most other villains, who only sit in a chair and do nothing but look evil.

Posted on 22 May 2008 with categories: Crystal Blaze


Ah, the standard episode in which a character is angsting and his or her friends spend the episode trying to talk him or her out of it. I now realize how often such an episode can go wrong: it’s obviously predictable, and often it comes across rather lazy. I now realize that series as Suteki Tantei Labyrinth and Code Geass did a rather pathetic job on it: Mayuki and Lelouch did nothing but angst over what happened, then his friends come and say a few words, and they act like nothing ever happened.

Episodes like this one need lots of inspired dialogue. They need introspection, both from the character him/herself and from the ones around him. They mustn’t try to be standalone episodes, assuming that the next episode will continue on like nothing ever happened. And I must say that Crystal Blaze did a pretty good job at it. Manami was definitely depressed, but I like how the creators used a bit of comedy in order to lighten up the mood from all her angst. In this series, the characters actually try to understand both each other and themselves, and that’s what makes this so appealing.

Seriously, Crystal Blaze is one of these series where every major character has become likable, and especially the good guys are a joy to watch. I already sung praises to Shu and Manami, but Ayaka’s caring nature and Akira’s down-to-earth nature are also wonderful. And of course Poririn rocks as well. Th relatively large emphasis so far on the bad guys also really helps. These guys are definitely not your typical misunderstood villains, and they they’re turning out really nicely.

I’m really not sure what exactly it was that the creators did, but this is everything a 12-episode series should be. The reason why I prefer 26 or 39-episode series above series of such a short length is that they can easily go wrong if they’re not focused, and it takes something special to get some quality development out of the characters, something which is much easier for series with 26 episodes, because it usually takes me around 10 episodes to really connect with the cast of characters.

Posted on 14 May 2008 with categories: Crystal Blaze


Hah, I don’t care about the general opinion: this show rocks! It may be the most neglected series of the season, but for me it definitely belongs in the top-10 of the series that aired this season.

In this age of big budgets, it’s good to see that a relatively unknown company as Studio Fantasia is also trying its best to put down a classic. One of the things I don’t like about this season is that nearly every good series is done by the big animation studios, as Madhouse, Gonzo, Deen, etc. The studios that are relatively unpopular don’t seem to be even trying (for example A.C.G.T with its questionable Monochrome Factor).

I’m really glad to see that Studio Fantasia is trying to improve itself. Just take a look at their previous work. Before 2006, they only worked on silly shows which only seemed to focus on fanservice, though they pretty much surprised me with their solid work on Souko no Strain, and now they again managed to create a very enjoyable series that goes right where many other series have gone wrong. So yeah, there are a few low-budget parts in this series, mostly the art, but the rest really shines. This should send out a good message to the other lesser-known studios: you can create a good anime, even on a small budget.

Really, this is what a 12-episode series should be: no scene is wasted, quick development and good characterization. A 26-episode can afford to slowly build up for 10 episodes, but series like this one need to deliver quickly. Seeing a series that builds up for eleven episodes, with a climax of only two episodes is nice and all, but it remains mostly boring.

What’s more: the villains actually have some background to them. This episode actually gave the two of them some depth, beyond their stereotypes. It seems that the guy is obsessed with his own work, and is fascinated when he sees how HW-09 has managed to not turn into glass. The woman meanwhile reveals that she knew HW-09 before she became a glass maiden, and as it turns out: she loathed her.

Also, is it me or do the more low-budget series have a bigger tendency to feature good fights than high-budget series? Seriously, I can confidently say that the fight in this episode was better than what I’ve seen from Soul Eater and Macross Frontier so far, even though these series overflow with budget. It’s the same with Gunslinger Girl – Il Teatrino: the animation was bad, and yet the fights were amazingly directed. Somehow, it feels to me that the creators try to make up for the lack of budget by detailed direction, and it really works!

Posted on 7 May 2008 with categories: Crystal Blaze


Why I’m not bothered by Manami’s brattiness:
– She’s not THE main character of this story.
– She’s an interesting combination with the rest of the cast.
– She’s fleshed out pretty nicely. She’s an idiot, she’s naive, and yet she’s easily afraid.

The thing I have against most annoying and stupid teenagers isn’t the fact that they’re annoying, but that they’re badly written. Take Lala from To Love-Ru for example. Sure, she’s an extreme case, but the reason why she’s annoying is because the creators spent no effort whatsoever in making her believable. She instantly falls in love with the male lead with no subtlety whatsoever and I couldn’t spot anything that made her really seem like a living being, an being an alien is no excuse.

I think the biggest reason for this is the creator’s desires to make teenagers important at places where they shouldn’t belong. A teenager who occupies a high rank in a military organization doesn’t usually make sense, so writers make these characters a bit too perfect for their own good, in order to help them survive and remain at their position.

The thing is with Manami, that even though she’s an idiot, the creators never portray her as some kind of hero. The only thing that she’s good at is providing emotional support for others, but this episode showed yet again that she often gets way too ahead of herself and tries to get involved in places she shouldn’t belong.

I still wonder why this series has become so neglected, though. Is Manami such a turn-off? Or does this have to do with Poririn? I admit that he was rather disturbing in this episode, wearing the gala-dress and all, and trying to pee while wearing it… Still the reason why I like this series so much is the chemistry between the different characters. The cast of Crystal Blaze is varied and interesting, and one character’s weaknesses are complemented by another.

Posted on 30 April 2008 with categories: Crystal Blaze


Heh, this episode finally featured an actually funny fanservice joke. When the horny doctor first appeared, I feared the worst, but his nurse’s BSDM have turned out to be quite hilarious. Especially the dog’s outfit was brilliant. Really, if series as Kanokon realized this, they would have been quite fun, though instead they just can’t think beyond the tried-and-true formula of groping, blood-noses and panty-shots.

Fanservice aside, I’m still surprised at how much I’m enjoying this show, seeing as it’s turned into one of the dark horses of this season in the rest of the anime-community. The budget is indeed quite low. Studio Fantasia is no Satelight or Madhouse, so the drawings and animation are quite simple. And yet this has never had a weak episode so far, in my opinion at least. This episode again was a great one, and it finally pushes the plot forward again.

We learn that the one who changed all the women to glass was indeed that little girl. This time, she kills Yuumi, who indeed went on her solo-debut, dropping Seiji without him even knowing it. The glass women like her and Sara were meant as humanoid weapons. Hence why the bad guys are so interested in retrieving her. They’re currently in the process of testing out their work, which has finally shown its fruits.

One thing I also like is how this series has managed to make characters likable who would have been really cliché otherwise. Especially Shu and Manami would have been incredibly annoying if they didn’t receive any development. Manami, however, turned into a really sympathetic character, who’s just finding out how naive she’s been in the past episodes. She’s a girl with real fears, instead of contractor-like behaviour (a la Darker than Black) of knowing what to do in any dangerous situation. Shu meanwhile turned into quite a refreshing main character, who neither is a stereotypical ambitious guy nor a carefree “cool dude”. This guy doesn’t care about being the best; he just cares about the people around him. For some strange reason, both of them have really turned into my favourite characters in this series.

CHANGE USERNAME
AidanAK47
I have played all the big roguelikes and found they have the same problem. I argee on procedural generation. Even if the map is different every time you are essentailly going through the same rooms and doing the same things.
Masky
Though to be honest, I don't like procedural(or designed room and then game connects them randomly) games much. I much enjoy hand designed dungeons since I rarely play games through more than once anyway so roguelike's appeal of "Every time you play it through its different!" doesn't appeal to me much and hand designed dungeons are much more memorable
Masky
Can't really comment further on that since I don't know which roguelikes you have played, and neither I have played gungeon so I don't know if its badly designed to the point you can't do anything if rng says so. Though I guess there is nothing wrong about liking luck based games, if roguelike in question is truly unbeatable if rng says so, well, its really badly designed one if you ask me.
AidanAK47
Take my last run. Made it up to the fourth floor. Got plenty of guns but none were really useful. Even then ran out of ammo for all of them and the game was cheap about giving out ammo. Plenty of money but shops with nothing worth buying. Over 5 heart containers but no goddamn health. Died on the boss because I rolled out of a bullet into another bullet. Pretty much unavoidable.
AidanAK47
@Masky, that's the theory but in pretty much every roguelike I played its not the case. If the RNG decides you are going to have a bad time then you are going to have a bad time. Skill can only bring you so far. I have played this game for 7 hours and I know I could have finished it in 2. Only thing stopping me is a dice roll.
Masky
Like, the thing with roguelikes is that they can get easier/harder depending on luck, but well done one should be completable even without any upgrades at all if you are skilled enough.
Masky
Thats not the really case with roguelikes though, unless game design is bad and includes insta kill traps and such that are unavoidable if you are unlucky
AidanAK47
I hate roguelikes. Been playing enter the Gungeon and I just lost all patience with it. Getting real tired of my victory being decided by a RNG. It never feels satisfying to finish a roguelike because I know my victory was determined by pure luck.
AidanAK47
So we got to rely on fansubs for it when it's airing.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Nope. I think because netflix only puts up full seasons they are only planning to put it up when it's finished airing. Or when it's dubbed.
SuperMario
But how does the Netflix thing work? So of I have a Netflix account I can watch the show weekly?
SuperMario
@Aidan: that's a dumb way to do things really because unless you watch the show weekly, everyone gonna forget that it even exist. Just look at Re-Life last year
Lenlo
thought*. Words are hard.

Eventually found the actual first ep though and enjoyed it.
Lenlo
Was funny. I tried to find the first Ep for Little Witch, found original short made afew years ago, watched it and though "This is very similar to the original... Whats new".
AidanAK47
Little witch is one of the best shows this season and yet I can't get subtitles because Netflix doesn't release shows weekly. Motherf*cker.
Lenlo
Ore Monogatari I enjoyed. It was a nice romance that actually explored what happens after the confession. Also the 2 leads are just precious.
Lenlo
Alright but unmemorable seems like a good summation.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: one good thing about Seiren is if you don't like this romance, the whole thing gonna reset after episode 4 so there's a chance that you might end up like it. Agreed that the comedy wasn't very good. Alright but unmemorable
SuperMario
@Topgavin: I watched like first 3 episodes and stopped because I didn't have much time there, but I enjoyed what I saw. A well-written and endearing show in my book
Topgavin
Has anyone here watched Ore Monogatari before? Because in the 4 years I've watched anime, I've never heard of it (I guess it did come out 2 years ago) and yet it's turning out to be one of my favorite shows. Always great going into a show expecting nothing and getting pleasantly surprised.
AidanAK47
Only one more impression to go. Should have it up tomorrow.
Lenlo
Im really not feeling Seiren. Its "comedy" isnt for me and I just dont find it very enjoyable to watch so far. Im curious if it gets any better but 2 episodes in it just isnt that good.
HelghastKillzone
That ending scene is an entire side-story compressed into that. Don't expect anymore of it from here on out as the it sticks to ruthless military/fantasy pretty well.
LookingForKeys
@Topgavin I think it was good, making it the second episode. That way the first set up the world the story will be in, and showed how much of a monster the "little girl" really is right at the end, and then made ep.2 the explanation. Nothing against Tanya trying to rip "God" a new one.
That after-credits scene, though...
SuperMario
Hmm, as much as I like Seiren's omnibus format, it doesn't turn out really hot this second episode. Demi-chan, on the other hand, still maintains its endearing tone. Might blogging Demi-chan instead
Topgavin
Yeah, that second episode was much better than the first. Dunno why they didn't start with that to be honest, waste of an opportunity for a good hook episode. The voice for the main girl still sounds weird to me though; I get it's supposed to sound weird because it symbolizes 'her' being out of place and her personality and body being a mismatch, but it'll certainly take some getting used to.
AidanAK47
Youjo Senki, now we are talking. Like Helghast said, Did the god scene way better than the LN and manga. Made it less comedic and more intimidating.
Lenlo
Oh man that Rakugo intro. Not sure what to think, but first time seeing it I liked it
Kaiser Eoghan
I sort of like good will hunting because I kind of saw a bit of myself in Damon's character when I watched it ages ago.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Remaking psycho and ruining the shower scene, for shame van sant, for shame.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its easy to ripoff some obscure thing though and get away with it. The dogtooth director essentially stole an old Mexican film to make that.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, that following some guys from behind like they were on a RPG games, which I think actually fit with the tones of Elephant. I have such mixed feeling with Gus van Sant too. Don't really think he's a great director.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Although Istvan Szabo is probably a little more well known for that Mephisto film that updates the Faust story. Zoltan Fabri's the fifth seal is a very thought provoking war movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I remember seeing a film documentary that featured Gus van sant in one section, they showed clips of tarrs films, Sant ripped of the cinematography and stole the style from some British short film to make Elephant.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree on the other Hungarian filmmakers, I don't know much about them either.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Scorsese's Silence was a big comeback. I really really emotionally connect with spiritual crisis stories.
SuperMario
@kaiser: yep, definitely check wreckmeister down. Althought I admit that watching his 2-hour plus films will feel like 5-hour anyways
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm more tolerant of darker teenage/coming of age films/stories. Les Demons was a big surprise.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Though its kind of frustrating, I do think Tarr probably takes attention away from other hungarian filmakers because no-body knows who the hell the others are.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Man, wreckmeister was so visually arresting I started getting dreams from it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I would consider Tarr to be kind of a poor mans Janco, Angelopolus and Tarkvosky rolled into one. I don't entirely "get" wreckmeister and man from London but they are great atmospheric mood piece experiences.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I had been wanting to watch Belar Tarr's Turin Horse and Werckmeister Harmonies for so long now. Well, Fat Girl is shocking haha, but I'm normally drawn into those kind of films anyway.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Margaret took like 5,6 years to release because he couldn't cut it down in the way he wanted. The final cut if I remembered correctly was edited by Martin Scorsese
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Only a HDcam for moonlight now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I looks like my lineup is witch academia, rakugo and youjo senki, well the most latter one until I get bored.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I sense a directors cut for manchester, it feels like it need another 30 minutes.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right up my valley. Watch Kenneth Lonergan's previous works Magaret and You Can Count on Me. Magaret is very messy but have a raw dialogue and interactions as well
SuperMario
Now the first episodes are over, I will keep on covering 3-gatsu, as for the other twos atm I have 3 options: 1) full romance/anti-romance high school Seiren/Scum's Wish. 2) slice-of-life moe monster girls Demi-chan/Maid Dragon and 3) Mature,dark Onihen/Acca (which although I like them I don't have much to talk about).If you guys have any preference on which shows you like covered then let me know
Kaiser Eoghan
@Helghast: At this point I'm watching youjo senki as an entertaining guilty pleasure.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Too many reboots upcoming, will wait for the dvds instead. I want to explore more of manchester by the sea's director's work. I also want to finally get more into Bela Tarr's stuff.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I was rather shocked by A Ma souer/fat girls final act. Scenes with the Italian in the bedroom were initially creepy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's a nice review Kaiser, a bit jealous with you that you've seen those 3 films which are touted as the best films of 2016. Also Fat Girl, haha, I love that movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
Poor yotaro =< you have so much stuff going down on you =<
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki episode was so good today. That revamped scene with God just fitted so right.
AidanAK47
A official release of that game in the west is apparently coming but it's been a few years and not much news about it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Ah yes that was the one.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Had to think for a moment on that one but I think I was talking about this. https://vndb.org/v3144
Kaiser Eoghan
Now I'd hardly consider myself a studio trigger fan, but I watched the first witch academia episode there, it was actually kind of fun, got the same reaction from me as flipflappers did, that magical, special feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I also, of interest reviewed Kenneth Lonegrans new film: http://letterboxd.com/shao_liu_ringon/film/manchester-by-the-sea/
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Moonlight got some feels out of me though it could of been more, it ends abruptly and with 20 extra minutes they could have spent a bit more time on each section of his life.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I checked out lala land, ending was very well executed, one of three scenes in the film that were impressive visually. The whole thing looked pretty and Gosling and Stone had some decent chemistry. Although it didn't resonate emotionally as strongly as the musicals of Jacques Demi did.
Kaiser Eoghan
MOM I want aiyoku no eustia and I want it now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've never heard of himawari or tokyo babel. The hellsing comparison at least interests me in dies irae. What was the name of that visual novel again that was coming out soon, Aidan you described it as "And Kaiser would love it because its supposed to be really fucked up".
Kaiser Eoghan
I vaguely remember the anime for 11 eyes, it was very forgettable, even the voice acting was poor, hated the childhood friends and the pacing was poor, those black knight things were kind of interesting though.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: You'll have to add me onto the list of those unsatisfied with the ever 17 writer, I read one of those games and felt it was a bunch of interesting bait that never paid off.
AidanAK47
Anyway I plan on doing a review of 11eyes here when I finish it.
AidanAK47
Can't say I was a fan of Ever17. That was a really good twist but when it came to explaining it their was a lot of contrived development. Generally not a fan of the writer. Looseboy, Ryukishi, Gen and Nasu are more my kinda thing
AidanAK47
@Anon, it is nice that so many VNs are on steam but I wish they wouldn't be stupid with the whole no adult content thing. Not so much for myself but to prevent idiots from writing negitives reviews because the game doesn't have sex. VNs can grip you in a way anime simply can't and while they require pathence and time those can be some pretty powerful stories.
Anonymous678956
@Aidan, I am so happy steam's so VN-friendly now. I think it's a very good type of media. Like anime, it has nice visuals, music and some movement but also the inner monologue and text amount of books. It's the perfect combination. Plus, the routes, which are often puzzle pieces and PoVs you have to go through to understand the whole story. True routes like the one of Ever17 blew my mind.
AidanAK47
Hopefully the two VNs I bought of steam turn out better. Tokyo Babel is supposed to be alright and I heard really good things about Himawari.
AidanAK47
I am about a third of the way through the game and really not much of worth has happened. The concept is interesting but the execution is sorely lacking.
AidanAK47
I went in expecting it to be a mixed bag and it's pretty below my expectations. It's just not really well written and the protagonist is a moron. THere isn't really routes and instead you are pretty much stuck with his childhood friend as the main love interest. Problem with that is her character begins and ends with loving the main.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, damn. 11Eyes is on my reading list as well. Although I almost expected it to not be as good as I thought it'd be (back then). Guess I would have enjoyed it if I was able to read it while the (shitty) adaption aired, maybe I have seen/read too many series by now. Guess I'll still give it a try some day though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I haven't heard the OST or watched the intro video. I only know it be reputation and have decided to walk into it as blind as I can. Still slightly worried as I was somewhat looking forward to reading 11Eyes for a couple of years and now that I am reading it it's well...not good.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, same here. I was waiting years for this, since I saw the intro video for the first time. Also, that OST!
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki is already leagues better than Izetta. It's going to be top anime of forever and ever. (maybe not)
AidanAK47
And finally Dies Irae is funded. May actually be able to play and finish the game before the anime airs. If the hype is real behind this baby it could be a new personal favorite Visual Novel of mine. Already looking promising with it being like a cross between Hellsing and Fate/Stay Night. Two things I most certainly like.
Lenlo
@Masky, in regards to style over substance thats where im at with Gurrne Lagann.
Topgavin
Yeah, I'll probably watch the next episode to see whether it can redeem itself. Hopefully it can but considering 1st episodes usually get a lot of budget, there's some severe doubt in there.
AidanAK47
I actually argee with character designs and voices are bad in regards to female characters. Still the next episode might change your mind if we get more into the main characters head.
Anonymous671470
It's boring
Topgavin
Also, it seems I disagree with a lot of people in thinking Youjo Senki will be a massive trainwreck. The character designs are awful, the voice acting is mismatched but most of all the premise just seems so very dumb. If I wanted to watch a badass kill people I'd go watch Hellsing or Drifters, because at least those don't have some op, disproportionate loli as the mc.
AidanAK47
Gets even more complicated when you account for Satire and Parody. You could equally argue all examples listed as being as such.
AidanAK47
Little Witch Academia is a decontruction of Harry Potter....I don't believe that but honestly if I tried I could put some reasoning behind that statement.
Topgavin
In the end, it always comes down to opinion (as with every discussion about anime, for some reason). You could spin any and every series as a "deconstruction", which is why people shy away from using the word. You could argue NGE, Madoka and Re:Zero are all deconstructions yet also argue Gundam, Precure and SAO are depending on what points you weigh more importantly.
Masky
Like, if deconstruction is supposed to be just "break the elements and then play story how it would realistically go down" well I haven't watched NGE, but as far as I know it does have stuff that isn't typical to mecha genre besides the "It would fuck up kids" thing plus "realistically how it would play out" is pretty subjective thing. I mean, its mainly about how cynical bastard the writer is :P
Masky
Like I said, I don't fully agree with it because I find video's speaker's attitude annoying, but I found it semi convincing. Main thing I don't find convincing about it is that I don't think its hard to turn video's own arguments agaisnt it and say that by its own logic NGE isn't deconstruction either, like Aidan just said earlier
Masky
And I don't really have energy for checking out the "correct" one. If there even is one. Anyway, the hipster video I was talking about was titled "What Actually Is A Deconstruction?" if you want to check it out.
Masky
Hmm, well, it does depend on definition you use. Like if you use "realistic" thing, well, Magical Girl shows don't usually have "You turn into monsters" thing going on and reason why NGE's pilots go crazy is from dangerous situations rather than evas making them do so. But honestly, I don't really have strong opinion on matter since word seems to be one of those with several different meaning
SuperMario
for me Madoka IS a deconstruction of Magical girl, and yeah like what Aidan said
SuperMario
I think part of Utena is a deconstruction of "prince riding horse and save the girl" because that notion is just a foundation for Utena to become a prince herself and save other girl. That's breaking it apart and resemble it again in its own way. Don't have to be dark/ don't have to be real either
AidanAK47
@Masky, That's just debating semantics. Besides that difinition would pretty much mean that Neon Genesis Evangelion isn't a decontruction either. Madoka isn't a decontruction because it's dark. It's more in its aspects of criticising why a girl should throw her ordinary life away for something as dangerous as being a magical girl. It does take plenty of the typical tropes and turn them on its head
SuperMario
@Masky: Genre deconstruction is such a tricky word that I normally try to avoid using because there's really no set characteristic about the term and different people have different opinions about what constitute "deconstruction". For me, I disagree that deconstruction have to be dark and real, hmm can't say it well but I will give you an example:
Masky
But yeah, I guess I could try to find the video if you guys are interested, though like I said, I got hipsterish feel from the video and felt rather annoyed through it even though I did get what the point was and found it sort of convincing besides my annoyance
Masky
(not that liking NGE is hipsterish, its just that I find NGE to be more style than substance sort of series <_< Anyway, guy didn't dislike madoka or anything, he just seemed to dislike people using word deconstruction wrong in his opinion)
Masky
(especially with how much they seemed to praise Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Masky
I mean, I think the guy was being somewhat hipsterish, but its true the being darker take on genre isn't same as deconstructing the genre
Masky
@AidanAK47: Some other guy on youtube did video that had actually pretty good point about how Madoka isn't really deconstruction, if you go by definition of "Break it down to parts and then play them straight to show how horrifying it would be in real life"
Anonymous670441
Gente - Ristorante no Hitobito
Kaiser Eoghan
If anything its the hate I have for certain characters that makes it more effective.
Kaiser Eoghan
The obsessional level of attachment is just uncomfortable to me, I don't want to get THAT attached to a non-real character.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its literally just a case of "Okay lets look at this picture of this character, she looks interesting, no feelings or expression from me, apply this fetish, fap, get release, go home. "
Kaiser Eoghan
Or drooling/dribbling/heavy breathing/grinning over the characters. I abhor alot of the anime girls I find attractive or am indifferent, even when looking at ecchi/hentai drawings I'm straight and clinical with it.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean to each their own. But I really hate the level of emotion/devotion to moe/finding the characters attractive. Such as celebrating their birthdays, going on about how cute/hot they are, how important it is that they're virgins. Or not being being self-aware of how irritating the characters are.
Lenlo
Anime hipster is pretty accurate. His general treatment of the current state of anime is annoying, as is his obsession with moe. Maybe its cause I cant stand moe most of the time, but it bugs me.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Lenlo: Essentially my brothers view on digibro.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I don't usually feel the need to correct errors in your reviews as the errors are generally un-important, but I think you meant to say apprentices rather than appearences in the Rakugo review, just bringing that up as it felt like kind of a throw off.
AidanAK47
Which is kinda like saying Madoka wasn't a magical girl deconstruction because Sailor Moon and Nanoha had dark elements too.
AidanAK47
Went and read the reddit comments on it and seems I was right on the money.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, He's basically a anime hipster. For example, I saw a thumbnail of his which had Saitama on it and below it "Is There Meaning In "Subverting" Shounen Tropes?" and I thought "Okay, he's going to go on about how OPM isn't subversive and then list a bunch of arbitrary examples in an attempt to redefine what is actually subversive"
Lenlo
I have lots of issues with Digibro. Dude has some good points, but other very horrible ones. Some issues he feels strongly about and gets kinda biased on imo.
Anonymous669202
acca looks visually interesting, and I personally really dig this kind of show, but it seems that it's definitely not for everyone
AidanAK47
Time to live up to my word. Four posts incoming.
AidanAK47
Man, Little witch Academia was so good. I disagree with the whole Digibro thing about being able to recognise a great show in it's first episode but watching this makes me think that this really is going to be something special.
AidanAK47
Alright, gonna put in effort today and have 3 or 4 first impressions posts done. That should knock out near half the season.
Kaiser Eoghan
Had a flip through handshakers. Garish is the word I'd use to describe it visually, it takes you out of the show.
Topgavin
ASuperMario From the first minute I can already tell it's by the same people that made K. Those colour filters and the extremely jarring/obvious city CGI is unmistakable.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, literally makes my hands shaking. It's an abosolute mess. Highly recommended to check it out because it's so terrible it's great to watch
Vonter212
Yeah, and it's also a literal woman in refrigerator plot device, since that the thing that pushes the story forward.
Masky
I'd say that having to hide your sister's body in fridge would count as daaaaaaark and edgy, but when the body is wearing only underwear, and for some reason main character put metal things in fridge to keep body standing(I guess to not knock fridge open from inside?) I think it goes to "exploitation" you are talking about
Vonter212
@Masky - Did someone said doing dark things for drama? That's the bread and butter to get despair. Unless it's for the sake of perversion. Then it's just exploitation.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Masky: His other works dead tube and scumbag go further in the unhinged regard.
Masky
*relies on easy "let's do [x dark thing] for drama!" thing
Masky
Geez, Mayonaka no X Giten is fricking disturbing/disgusting ._. I'm pretty sure that writing relies on e, but I can't help but think mangaka is trying to make corpses sexy.
SuperMario
I found Onihei to be quite good, actually one of the most solid new episode I watched this new season. Guys, check them out
Vonter
I just hope it doesn't fall into the same misstep Kabaneri or Inuyasha or Bleach fall by making a villain so over the top that it crossed the line of not having a satisfying downfall.
Anonymous657941
@Vonter I think they just moved on. I lost interest rather quickly and I guess even the fans did that at some point, like with some other long-running series. There is much more new and more direct "fujo" stuff out there, many of them probably switched. Don't know what happens in the manga but maybe the story got worse or contained things some people didn't like.
Vonter
January will be loli dictator month (for me) :p. World Conquest Zvezda Plot, Youjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil (new), Seraph of the End. For some reason I stumble into three curious series with little power hungry girls. If I can ask, why did Owari Seraph's hype died, I remember back it was mentioned more often. It still has the fujoshi fanart but still, I don't see people bringing it up.
SuperMario
@CATski: well, if you didn't like its first 3 episodes I dont think the rest gonna change your mind. Have you finished Erased then? How did you like it?
SuperMario
But I understand it's difficult to speak in front of camera, get some time to get used to it
SuperMario
@kaiser: I won't commend on poem as I'm terrible at it myself but younneed to work more on presentation Kaiser. Small little things like looking directly at the camera or say "thanks for listening" in the end can connect you to the audience better
Anonymous657071
Ok. I'll give the thing another chance. *clicks torrent* XD. CATski.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Topgavin: You might like centaur no nanami if you like demi-chan.
Kaiser Eoghan
Damn...repeated myself =<
Kaiser Eoghan
There are these things called slam sessions done in bars where people get up and read out stuff in front of a crowd and read stuff out. Actually watching rakugo made me think about practicing for that kind of thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: the video I did was of me reading out a short piece of writing I did, a poem. lol I uploaded it to the wrong youtube account too I just realized =P
[link src="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypBZ2hBDBYs&t=11s
I"] was recording this from my mothers laptops inbuilt cam while reading off my desktop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I think it's a good idea for you to try out reviewing movies/stuffs in youtube channel. I'll be very interesting to listen to them
SuperMario
@Topgavin: Agree. Demi-chan was so charming. Definately one of my favorite so far this new season
Topgavin
Demi-chan's first episode was good. Like, really really good. That blonde-haired girl was hilarious, the teacher-student relationship between the MC and the girls is really interesting and the social/practical problems the demi's face make it look like my favorite show so far.
CATski
Ah... ok. Is it really that good or it's just one of those "artsy" animes that tend to get overrated by their ardent fans? I didnt find the rakugo bit interesting.... probably the weakest aspect of the show for me.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Why did I read that chapter. Why did I do that to myself.
Kaiser Eoghan
Admittedly yes the premise is not for everyone, but if you stick with it, the flashback arc had some good character work in there.
CATski
Rakugo has a season 2? I watched ep 1 - 3 of season 1 then promptly deleted it. The loud "yankee" dude was annoying. And the anime was boring.
Kaiser Eoghan
Oh man, I've been thinking lately of trying to start some kind of youtube channel. I did a few trial run videos. Its much much harder than it looks, didn't realize how nervy being in front of a video camera was.
Kaiser Eoghan
*a declining art and rakygo halls are closing down
Kaiser Eoghan
As the show continues to mention how "its declining art", that got me thinking of the modern day, how while things like tv and cinemas probably hurt attendances for rakugo performances, the internet has replaced theaters .
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, now I've watched it. It'll be interesting to see Yotaro's relation to sukeroku's daughter develop. By all intents he should be an irritating character and not as interesting a yakumo based on his personality, but I can't help but like him, example of a goofball character done right.
Anonymous654016
ElDlive is looking good
Kaiser Eoghan
I haven't gotten around to rakugo's second seasons first episode yet =<
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Saga of Tanya the Evil – 02[Prologue]

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Some Quick First Impressions: Spiritpact, Demi-chan wa Kataritai and Chain Chronicle – Haecceitas no Hikari

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Some Quick First Impressions: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu S2, Seiren and Urara Meirochou

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Some Quick First Impressions: Youjo Senki, Schoolgirl Strikers and Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu

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