Posted on 4 August 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Eden of the East



It’s hard to judge Eden of the East: it started out as a series that promised to be amongst the best of the year… and failed to live up to that. It tried to do way too much in too little time. The movies tried to make up for a lot by deliberately keeping the pacing slow, but in the end, even that wasn’t enough to turn this into the masterpiece that it could have been.

In the end it joins the list of flawed series that actually do have quite a few points to make up for it. Paradise Lost is really no exception. It wraps up a lot of plot points, it reveals quite a number of interesting twists that tie the plot together and it still manages to keep the pacing restrained, with a lot of focus on the dialogue between the characters.

On the downside, there are quite a number of glaring holes left open. Some other revelations lack their build-up so that they fail to make any impact for a mystery series of this scale. Other revelations just come out of nowhere and really would have benefited from more foreshadowing and others just don’t make any sense. I want to be as ambiguous for this as possible due to spoilers, but let’s just say that the final resolution felt weak to me. The fate of the NEETs also is something I didn’t buy.

Now that everything is over, I also have to say that the series just didn’t have the time to flesh out its characters. Because of that, there really is just one character who actually develops when you ignore the memory loss devices of this series. I think that out of all the flaws of this series a lot of them can be forgiven, though this is one of those key flaws that caused me to enjoy this series a lot less than I would have liked. Most of the characters are just walking plot devices that just didn’t feel interesting to watch beyond the plot they were trying to tell. And its a shame, because that plot really was pretty good and imaginative.

Despite its short length, this did turn into one of those series that actually evolves: Paradise Lost really is completely different from the first episodes of the TV-series, and through its run this is one series that has been constantly changing. Because of that, every part of this series is different and fresh, not ripping off itself and it wonderfully manages to avoid the formula that it promised in the first few episodes.

On retrospect, I don’t think that even 26 episodes and two movies would have been enough here. To really be able to flesh out everyone, and give the story really its time to be complete, the creators would have needed at least 39 episodes. But really, I do want to say that despite my bitching, I really like what this series was trying to do: here we have the brain child of a very talented director. A series that’s not based on anything and a completely original story that really benefits from its format by including some of the latest technologies, feeling like this is one of those few series that really takes place in 2009, rather than something that also could have played in the year 2000. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped to.

Storytelling: 8/10 – A good number of twists and yet a slow and restrained pacing. The story is great, but it uses too many plot devices to get there.
Characters: 7/10 – In the end, the big weakness of this series. I tried, but I failed to care about most of the characters here.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Again, Paradise Lost’s graphics weren’t exactly better than the TV-series. It’s still very consistent and detailed though. The use of music was also very excellent.
Setting: 9/10 – I like the guts of this series. It’s not afraid to think beyond the box, try out new stuff and overall I really like the different ideas put into this movie.

Suggestions:
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
Tokyo Godfathers
Key the Metal Idol

Posted on 27 March 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Eden of the East



After watching this movie, I’m sure of it: Higashi no Eden should never have been a Noitamina-series. The time-slot is perfect for those short stories that have a small but dedicated focus a la Tokyo Magnitude, slice of life stories like Hataraki Man and Antique Bakery or episodic series in the way of Kuchuu Buranko or Hakaba Kitarou. Series that want to tell a huge story are far better off with a regular time-slot of 26 or more. This is the mistake that shows as Library Wars and Jyu Oh Sei also made. The series of Higashi no Eden just jumped around too much to really allow the story to develop properly.

The movie’s pacing is completely different. It’s here where Kenji Kawayama has more than enough time to spend on telling his story. And that’s exactly what made it work for me. It’s a shame that the build-up of the first season left things to be desired, because otherwise it really would have been an excellent movie.

And seriously, I was expecting the two Eden of the East Movies to jump around just like the TV-series did. Instead, they focus on believability and realism. The background sounds are kept to a minimal. And instead we get to see long, long scenes of character-building that don’t attempt to cut any corners whatsoever. It really takes its time to let everything flow naturally, which makes for a very slow-paced movie, but the characterization is worth it. This really is just like Seirei no Moribito: not afraid to get boring in order to be realistic, which often has its uneventful times. It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to watch such an anime, and it’s without a doubt refreshing and I’ve got to admire the restraint of this movie, avoiding the use of overly cheesy monologues or over the top plot twists, while occasionally packing a punch where needed.

There are a bunch of weird things with this movie, though. While the TV-series did a surprisingly good job at handling the language barrier, the movie… um… didn’t. One scene shows Saki talk in English to an American with a really weird accent who uses really short sentences. A while later, we see Akira talk to the same guy, in JAPANESE. The American understands him and just talks back in English. Uh, why? How? There are also some of the side-characters that I still couldn’t buy. The comic relief of Saki’s friends… I’m still not much a fan of them.

Nevertheless, I have to admit: a lot of attention to detail was put in the atmosphere of a young company. I can very much relate to that (due to my current internship and all), and I must say that the creators caught it spot-on. And that’s really the great thing about this movie: the realism that you really don’t get to see in many other anime. Despite the hiccups, this movie was really refreshing compared to how the TV-series disappointed me. There are still a ton of questions that need to be answered in terms of the plot. But hey, with 90 minutes, Paradise Lost should be able to do it.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Much more focused than the TV-series. Really slow pacing allows for lots of realism.
Characters: 8/10 – Such a slow pacing gives a nice feel to the characters, but they still spend a bit too much time on exposition + badly portrayed Americans.
Production-Values: 9/10 – No significant increase in quality compared to the TV-series, but that one already looked awesome so there still is a ton of eye-candy.
Setting: 8/10 – I first want to see what Paradise Lost is going to do before celebrating this part: there is a ton of potential in this setting, provided that the next movie handles it well.
Posted on 19 June 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Eden of the East



Okay, I decided to rewrite this entire thing since the review I originally wrote was crap. Kenji Kawayama really is one of the better directors out there. His sense of realism, attention to detail and originality has really made his series one of a kind. After Seirei no Moribito I therefore was very eager to watch his next work: Eden of the East. As promised, it’s a very solidly produced series, but I do have to admit that it is a tad disappointing.

After thinking a bit about the series, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two reasons that prevent this series from being among the top of this season for me. First of all, the cast of characters leaves a bit to be desired. The lead character Saki is a great one: she grows very subtly through the series, and while she may seem weak at times, she really stands out as a strong character. The rest of the cast lacks a bit of a spark, though. Akira as the male lead is a bit too much of an idealist; his character without any seeming flaws is a bit hard to get into. The majority of the rest of the cast simply feels not fleshed out well enough: some characters show too little of themselves to really make an impact, while others are just plain annoying (most of Saki’s friends). Two notable exceptions are Kondo (whose story gets nicely explored through his limited airtime) and Micchon, who serves her purpose as a quiet side-character well.

My second issue with this series is its mystery. As a mystery-fanboy, I was of course elated after the first episode. It was so delightfully weird and unusual. There were so many different theories possible for what went on, and it really intrigued me like no other. But yeah, the thing with mystery-series is that the challenge comes with correctly revealing the mystery, and in that I feel that this series did a lukewarm job. It can’t keep its air of mystery consistent through the series, and as the series goes on and the answers come, there aren’t really any new questions asked: the answers are simply presented on a silver platter when the time seems ripe for it, without really using them for anything other than for the sake of filling up plotholes.

But yeah, despite these flaws, there still is lots of good stuff in this series. The animation really is amazing. Animation in anime is often a job of cutting corners, but here the animation is really well done to the finest details: the creators have made sure to bring their pictures to life. The CG may be a bit obtrusive at times, but the realistic movements and awesome background art really make up for it.

The setting is also very thought-provoking. Through the 11 episodes of airtime, this series takes a critical look at idealism and its positives and negatives. The whole concept behind the show remains very original and thought-provoking. You can see that a lot of imagination went into creating the setting for this series.

So overall this series served its purpose as a solid build-up for the upcoming movies, which of course I’m going to review as well as soon as they come out. I know that the rating is lower than what one might expect, but I just can’t say that this was the best of the season because of the reasons mentioned above. Small series like this one really need be focused, and in my opinion this series goofed off a bit too much at times and it feels to me that this series was trying to stuff too much into just these eleven episodes. Let’s hope that the movies will use the build-up that the series has provided, but standalone this series for me wasn’t as enjoyable as other short series as Natsu no Arashi or Ristorante Paradiso, which both did know how to make optimal use of their tie (so far, at least).

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 9/10
Posted on with categories: Eden of the East



Ah, there are two movies going to be released. That means three, possible four more hours for this show to tell its story (unless they pull a Death and Rebirth), which really should be enough time for this show. Overall though, this series didn’t turn out as good as I hoped it would be. My biggest issue with the show is that my favourite episode still is the first one.

Still, this episode was a pretty decent ending until the movies. There were some things I didn’t understand, though. Why did Akira feel the need to wipe his own mind again? How and why did he get all of the NEET to access the Higashi no Eden site and take pictures of Akira, protecting them from the missile attack? Why did the creators find it necessary to bring Pantsu back to life? After spending all of his money on becoming king, and getting rid of his cell phone, isn’t he supposed to die?

In any case, as it turns out the reason why Akira wiped his own memory was because he kept getting accused of being the one behind the missile attacks (because he knew that they were going to happen), and so he at one point couldn’t take the accusations anymore and decided to travel to America and mind-wipe himself. That’s totally different from the crazy Japanese terrorist that I originally believed him to be.

Overall, it’s been fun, and although I can’t say that this has been my favourite show this season I definitely enjoyed watching this. It’s a bit of a wait until the movies are released, but in the meantime I’m looking forward to see what Noitamina has in store for us next.
Rating: * (Good)
Lotsa Johnnies and a pretty nice cliff-hanger for the upcoming movies.

Posted on 12 June 2009 with categories: Eden of the East



Okay, so I was wrong in last week’s impression: this episode of Eden of the East was definitely an excellent one and a step above the previous episodes about Pantsu. This episode explained a lot, and I have to admit that these revelations were well worth it. Mr Outside was nowhere near the evil overlord I thought him to be, Mononobe didn’t turn out to have the motives of simply destroying the world. It turns out that this show really likes to use red herrings.

So as it turns out, Mr Outside was a rich businessman called Ato Saizo (har har har), who himself had a part in reconstructing Japan after the second World War. He then however started to wonder whether the society he helped to create was the right one, and so whimsically created Juiz and enslaved 12 people apparently against their will in his quest to improve Japan. Mononobe and another Selecao we meet in this episode simply want to escape this plan, and the only way to do so seems to be to win the game. Apparently it involves sending a whole bunch of missiles to Japan. The only one I didn’t like was Number 10. He really was an emo kid who hates the world and therefore decides to blow it up. I’m glad that he’s going to die soon.

Juiz turns out to be an AI, probably modelled after Ato Saizo’s secretary. Ato may be dead right now, but the real Juiz seems to be working behind the scenes, and she probably is the one who maintains the AI Juiz. In the meantime, it also turns out that number 12 is either the supporter, or another Selecao who doesn’t agree with Mononobe, and something tells me that he’s going to be the main villain of this series once the movie starts.

There’s one part I didn’t quite get though: what was up with the boat-load of NEETs that suddenly returned on the ship? Wasn’t one of those NEET shown as he managed to become active in the society again? Why is the rest of them still naked and captured? Didn’t they get the chance to pick up their lives or something?

Rating: ** (Excellent)
Finally some answers, and satisfying answers they are.

Posted on 5 June 2009 with categories: Eden of the East



Okay, so now that this series is nearly at its end (2 episodes left), I unfortunately have to admit that Eden of the East was a disappointment. It’s obviously nowhere near bad, but with its awesome first episode, I really expected something better from this series. Unfortunately, after nine episodes my favourite episode still remains that first one: it never really managed to surpass the creativity and intrigue of Akira and Saki, meeting each other in America, and to be honest, it never even came close to that.

My guess would be that it’s the lack of focus that’s working against this series. The pacing has simply been too slow for such a series, and during the quiet moments I don’t think that the creators really made optimal use of it to flesh out the cast. I once praised this show for how it involved its side-characters with the main-storyline, but for the past two episodes I’m really beginning to wonder what their purpose is. What really is the point of Oosugi, showing the Akira-hate messages? What can that really add to the story, other than making the side characters hate Akira with passion?

The thing with mystery-series is that creating intrigue is one thing, but making the revelations worth it is really the difficult part. Now that the revelations have finally come in, I unfortunately have to say that they… don’t really live up to my expectations. So yeah, the rockets were launched by one of the other Selecao who is out to destroy Japan and start anew. Should have seen that coming. Every Selecao is trying to destroy Japan, it seems, aside from Akira of course, who along with Number 5 was probably the only one who was doing the right thing. My big worry is also that Mr. Outside. I know that there are two hours of movie left for him, but my big fear with him is that the creators aren’t going to have any time to flesh this guy out, making him dangerously close to your typical evil overlord.

Compare this to shows as 07-Ghost: even though its plot is nowhere near as interesting as that of Eden, it did put lots of time into building up and fleshing out, and actually looks like it’s going to get away with it. Eden though… something just feels to have gone wrong during its build-up. I really hope that these hunches are wrong, because I really want this show to work.

Rating: (Enjoyable)
Predictable, Pantsu wasn’t really that interesting, but at least the plot moved forward a lot.

Posted on 29 May 2009 with categories: Eden of the East



Okay, this episode is probably the one that sets up the story for the final arc of this series. With three episodes left until the movie, I have to say that this show turned out to be quite a bit different than I imagined. With 12 Selecao, you’d expect each episode to focus on a different one of them to see how they decided to try and change the world, but the creators cleverly tried to stay out of that formula and instead are going to explore what lies below everything.

Having said that, this wasn’t the most exciting episode though. I really wonder how Akira knew that Shiratori had wings, and what is it with his dreams about “Johnnies”? The parts with Oosugi were also quite annoying, especially when he got jealous for Saki and all. I really don’t know what a pointless love triangle is going to add to this series, especially when there’s no doubt that Akira and Saki are going to end up together.

Still, I like Micchon a lot. Finally we see an actual believable programmer (seriously, most programmers you see in anime nowadays are nothing but l33t hax0rz instead of the software developers that you’d assume them to be, but that’s just me being the computer science student that I am) and that Pants-guy intrigues me, and it’s going to be interesting to see how they’re going to deal with the Selecao system.

Also, I’ve been wondering: what’s up with those squares on everyone’s faces? Are they meant to be subtle shadows or something?

Rating: * (Good)
Quiet building up episode.

Posted on 22 May 2009 with categories: Eden of the East



Whoa, WTF…

Here I thought I had this series figured out, and then it comes with this episode. Looking back, there were indeed a lot of signs foreshadowing that the Selecao system had something supernatural about it, but for someone to be sprouting wings and defy the laws of gravity… I didn’t see that coming. Especially so soon, even though the dog with wings was pretty much an obvious hint for this. This episode seriously added tons of intrigue to the series, and really: I am SO looking forward to that upcoming movie.

That Mr Outisde… I really don’t know what this guy was thinking. It’s of course one thing to pick out individuals that didn’t turn out to be fit for the task of saving the world, but making a mass murderer a Selecao? What the hell was he smoking?! As it turns out, she cuts off the Johnnies of the hopeless men in society because she has some deep-seeded grudge against males for some sort of reason.

And really, the Saki Running scene really has to be the best animated scene of the season so far. Her movement is really life-like, and for once no corners are cut in a running-scene at all. And I must say that the creators have really succeeded making Saki a part of the storyline, and making her important for Akira even though she has nothing to do with the Selecao. The kidnapped guy didn’t even turn out to be Oosugi, it was just one misunderstanding. Though that does beg the question how the guy got Oosugi’s bag and where the real Oosugi ended up. My guess is that his bag got stolen and he had no way to get back home.

It’s also interesting that Number 11 is really planning to defy the system. What seemed like an absolute truth at first may turn out to be rather vague; either that or she really believes Akira to be the supporter and that made her confident enough to just ditch her cell phone. But really: she knows Number one. If she does, then why didn’t she know that he was the supporter? I mean, if she calls him on a regular basis, she must have expected something, no?

I also wonder, the number 20000 just keeps returning, doesn’t it? With your given budget, you can kill 20000 people, Akira chose 20000 NEETs to send to Dubai, Number 11 has cut off 20000 Johnnies by now. I wonder if it’s another sort of foreshadowing, or whether it’s simply a nice coincidence that the creators wanted to insert.

Rating: *** (Awesome)
Some of the best animation this season, and really an episode where things start coming together.

Posted on 14 May 2009 with categories: Eden of the East



Yet another episode of building up, but really: that’s exactly what this series needs to be doing at one point. I watched this episode raw, so I probably missed quite a few things, but it’s always good to see an episode dedicated to fleshing out the side-cast. There’s plenty of time for the climaxes during the final episodes of the series and the movie, so I’m happy with how this show has turned out so far. It’s definitely the series with the most solid execution of the entire spring season, even though it’s not the most exciting one.

This pattern really reminds me of how brilliantly Mouryou no Hako turned out. Its middle part also had SO much building up, and yet it finished off with such an awesome climax, and Eden of the East is shaping up to become the same. This episode shows how Saki gets dropped off by Akira near her friends, so that she can introduce them to him. Among her friends are a female programmer and two NEETs, of which one has lots of resemblances to a hikkikomori. In a way, especially her male friends are exactly those targeted by Akira’s “saving the world” programme.

Also correct me if I’m wrong, but “Eden of the East” turns out to be Saki’s friends’ programming club. At the moment, I’m not sure whether Saki herself is also a computer geek, but she sure did befriend a lot of them. When the show started, I thought that it was some sarcastic reference to Japan, with all of the bombings and all. The theme of young people trying to find the place that they belong turns out to be surprisingly large for a series that first seemed like just a fascinating mystery-series. The “Eden” more means something like a heaven for NEETs.

Also, this episode sure gave an even more macabre image of the white-haired woman, as we learn that she kills her victims by cutting off their “Johnnies”. I really am not sure how a selfish bitch like her managed to escape the supporter for that long. My guess would be that she made some sort of deal with number one, who pretty much everyone suspects to be the supporter.

Rating: * (Good)
Building up and fleshing out the cast with still all-out excellent production-values.

Posted on 8 May 2009 with categories: Eden of the East



This episode was a typical building-up episode, but it definitely added some extra intrigue to this series. Most of the episode was about Saki’s first interview, but we also get to see two more of the Selecao: Number One and a strange woman whose number we don’t get to see and who seems to be a bit too full of herself. That Number one really baffles me, though. There are lots of hints pointing at how he’s the supporter, he seems to have a lot of connections to the Selecao, and yet he didn’t just kill off pre-mindwipe Akira like he did with the other two.

Speaking of which, if you take a look at the OP, at one point you see connections being made between certain numbers of the Selecao: One is linked to all of them, while Nine (Akira) is linked to Four (Kondou), One is linked to Two and Ten once more, and Three is linked to Twelve. There are three numbers that disappear: Four, Five (as shown in the previous episodes) and Ten, who I guess would be that woman of this episode. What’s also interesting is that apart from them, it is suggested that nobody dies… or that might be saved for the movie.

In any case, it also gets revealed that Akira didn’t kill off the NEETs at all: he just dropped them in the middle of Dubai and had Juiz made it look like he killed them so that others wouldn’t start searching for them, allowing the NEETs to finally have to do something for themselves. And that was his way of trying to make the world better.

Saki was also great in this episode, with her first job interview and all. Her depressed look after seeing the interview failed felt really genuine to me.

Rating: * (Good)
Just building up, but still a very nice episode.

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser Eoghan
Struggling to remember the name of that josei samurai manga from the 90s (or earlier 2000s), had a gender bending theme.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've already read kenshin and vagabond, I loved shigurui death frenzy and sword of the stranger but found samurai champloo uneven. Theres a kagemusha manga but I haven't read it and I've yet to see/read blade of the immortal.
Kaiser Eoghan
At a glance I'll go against the grain and say I think demi-chan is funnier than konosuba, going on one episode of each.
I've been watching a fare share of samurai films in the last two years and lately so I'm open to wathing more anime/reading manga dealing with samurai.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, how I love to watch it jumping off the cliff. This show contains lines like "I don't understand... even if I did understand... but I don't understand." It isn't a dialogue that we encounter too often I'm sure.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Sounds good to me. With me covering Little Witch Academia, Saga of Tanya the evil and Rakugo this season is well covered.
SuperMario
so I've decided to blog 3-gatsu, Scum's Wish and ACCA this season. A bit worry about the latter as I still don't have much to talk about that. Let's try it and see what happens; I say
SuperMario
Okay, I'm not hot on Onihei this week, as if the main theme about these two episodes were "people can be corrupted" then I'm not buying it. ACCA, on the other hand, was still very solid of building up the world and its big events to come.
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.
Total users: 40

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