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
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset (long sigh) (scratching my head) (eyes rolling). Dropped
AidanAK47
Hey you.
Konstantinos
Yeah, at this point, this season looks good.
SuperMario
Quite happy with ID-0 and Zero in particular. Zero charms me to no end that I'm still debating whether I should blog it. The trio Re:Creators, Kado, Atom still doing pretty well and the sequels MHA and Bahamut are enjoyable as expected. We have a wide range of anime offerings this season.
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset & SukaSuka I will give it another episode, at least until this current arcs over. They both have potential but Sagrada Reset tries so hard to sound smart, and SukaSuka still falls into its LN tropes which bugged the show down.
SuperMario
*no real urge
SuperMario
I've finally catch up with all other series I wanna follow this season. Alice & Zorouku will be off my list for now, Zorouko is a great character but everything else falls flat so far. I have real urge to continue Attack on Titan and Berserk so I'll wait until they're finished.
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
Anonymous1017501
and nobody's covering it lol
Anonymous1017501
Like dramatically
Anonymous1017501
It really is much better
Anonymous1017501
You know guys its not too late to start watching Berserk Season 2...
AidanAK47
I just get annoyed when interaction is like "HUMAN, YOUR EMOTION RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT. I THEORIZE THIS IS THE REASON YOUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT."
Their is a definite layer of pretentiousness in how it's written, seeing how nobody gets annoyed when every character tries to psychological profile them.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I have heard word that these two episodes were a prologue story and the real story is going to kick into gear next episode. But if the characters keep talking like this then it's not going to matter what happens. It will just be terrible.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Jojo part 5 died for this. That makes it all the sadder. Plus it's two cour so this show is gonna be on for half a year.
SuperMario
Being said all that I will follow it for 1 more episode
SuperMario
And then that girl who passed away because of the reset. I feel my emotions drying up at that point. Tasteless. Heartless
SuperMario
Wanna say the same thing regarding Sagrada Reset as well. I have the feeling the show tries to sound smart that ultimately if I hear someone talks like this in real life, I would go punch his face. Manipulating the social worker by slitting your own wrist? WHAT? Asking a girl about her rules, then whenever she answers you give your own warped opinions on it to sound like you know it all? WHAT
Anonymous1016169
@Aidan: Lol, Sagrada reminds me of how I used to write. Pretentious, overly complex dialogue that nobody would use in real life unless they were trying too hard. It grits on my ears so much that I don't think I can keep watching it, especially because this is probably how it's going to be for the whole series.
Anonymous1016169
@Amagi: I feel your pain. I used to enjoy those types of shows, but I've found more and more since getting out of high school that they just make me want to take a nap. It doesn't help that they're everywhere. X.D
AidanAK47
God Sagrada Reset is frustrating. So many good ideas, all absolutely ruined by the dialogue and characters. If you just changed the dialogue a bit and made the characters emote more then this would be so very interesting. But they manage to drain the life out of the story.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, in most cases you can easily write off the ones not worth your time based on the summery. Occasional those kinds of show can turn out to be worth watching but it just doesn't happen often enough.
Amagi
Nothing against those types of anime in general, but it's just not aimed at me I guess. - I also should specify: school (semi)harem, not school alone. I enjoy Tsuki ga Kirei.
Amagi
I really love this season but I should stop testing the school- and shoujo stuff. It's almost never worth the time and it always bores me so much that I have to stop watching anime for a few hours.
Anonymous1016169
@Travlos: Why does a hobbyist artist care when someone critiques their art or a fanfic writer care about reader feedback? When you do something you enjoy, it's normal to want to improve and other people's opinions are important for that.
SuperMario
@Travlos: because 1) We still need to listen to what readers say to improve and 2) we're debating more about rating system, which I also feel the need of upgrading. btw, any shows that catch your interests so far this season?
Konstantinos Travlos
Why do you guys care about what someone thinks about your reviews? You are doing a good enough thing as is, and t is a hobby. Do your thing and do not lose time on this.
Anonymous1015915
I think I'm just gonna follow sukasuka and re:creators this season. Seem to of shown the most potential universally.
Anonymous1015442
Soy and almond milk are also available as alternatives for the lactose intolerant.
Anonymous1015442
From the manga it seems like it would translate well into an anime with the right production values so I think I'm going to try it. I was mostly concerned that they'd push the melodrama even more through the roof, haha. I did see some of the reviews on it here and they made me hopeful that it was fairly well-executed.And of course the milk can be chocolate. Just not vanilla, vanilla milk is yuck i
Lenlo
Its certainly making me happy I waited until the end of the season to binge it.
SuperMario
I'd have the milk as well... Need more milk to my life.
SuperMario
Hope Scum's Wish entertains you, Lenlo. ^^
Lenlo
I will say the sound design has been great for Scums Wish though I have not read the manga to see how it matches up
Lenlo
I dont think "enjoyed" is the right word for this kind of show, but I do know im going to finish it.

Also, can the milk be chocolate?
Anonymous1015350
@Lenlo: That's true, but I also feel like everyone here needs some milk. And I've been reading the Scum's Wish manga and can't decide if it'll be worth it to watch the anime.
Lenlo
Scums Wish, 4 episodes in, has been the perfect little dose of depression I crave from each anime season.
Lenlo
I have to say, its a pretty fun break from super srs anime discussion sometimes
Anonymous1014938
There's so much sass in this chatbox sometimes I can't even. :.D
AidanAK47
Also please note that if data gathering results do not support your hypothesis that there will be no refunds
Total users: 38

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