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.

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Badesh
Hell, Naruto final arc turned out to be one of the most holistic storytelling i've encountered in a while. The character developement ties in so nicely with the whole universe. It's a great accomplishement growing a pop anime into a mature mystic saga. i highly reccomend it even for newcomers. just watch past great ninja war.
Kaiser Eoghan
*last two
Kaiser Eoghan
I'll leave it to someone else to pick the last one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Might add trouble every day by Claire Denis and Livid by Julien Maury.
Kaiser Eoghan
Thanks for that. So now its under the shadow, return of the evil dead 1, dagon, from beyond, re-animator, haute tension, nekromantik, the tunnel.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah I had forgotten, I'd meant to see Haute tension.
Kaiser Eoghan
Of those I haven't seen nekromantik or dead things.
SuperMario
That's all I can think for now. I'm sure K-off and others will have more inspiring suggestions down the line
SuperMario
For pychological edge: Haute Tension, Lake Mungo, Three... Extremes (actually the 3 shorts are all interesting), The Tunnel 2011 (underaprreciate Aussie found-footage)
SuperMario
For sick minds, Man Bites Dog, a Serbian film, Der Tolesking, Human Centipede (1&2)
SuperMario
Alright, for pure horror pleasures: Necromantik (1987), Green Inferno, Dead/Alive (my childhood's nightmare), Children Shouldn't Play woth Dead Things (more like a guity pleasure)
SuperMario
Haha scary indeed
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The scariest thing about the haunting was that a remake of it exists that betrays the original.
SuperMario
Now, let me check my own horror list for more reccomendation
Kaiser Eoghan
Hahaha! Possession predates urotsukidouji =P in terms of the tentacle monster thing.
SuperMario
And I heard that the Haunting (1963) is good as well. Some david lynch movies (Lost Highway for example) could be claasified as horror too
SuperMario
Shame he passed away early this year. But he did say that the violent relationship in that movie was based on his own divorce.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I think Polish directed films are apparently rooted in theater. Though I believe he is a Dadaist.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Apparently Possession and diabal, all of his works are full of hidden political messages.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: That director is genuinely off-the wall insane, silver globe and l'amour braque actually make that look sane.
SuperMario
Possession the movie that Isabelle Adjani stared in? God, that movie exhausted me
Kaiser Eoghan
Innocents was so much better than its remake the others, the atmosphere was a lot lot stronger too, black and white really adds to the mood too.
Kaiser Eoghan
ha! I loved those.
This year I'm looking for silly horror movies predominently.
SuperMario
Let scare Jessica to death; the innocents 1961, Kill List, goodnight Mommy
Kaiser Eoghan
My alltime favourite horror film is Possession.
Kaiser Eoghan
No fuck it, no sequels. Currently it stands at under the shadow, return of the evil dead 1, dagon, from beyond, re-animator.
SuperMario
Too lazy to check out which horror movies that you've watched, but sure I can reccomend you some, from shitty to pure camp.
Kaiser Eoghan
Actually wait, under the shadow is out next week so that means I only need 5 more.
Kaiser Eoghan
Or maybe a 12 days is more feasible, easier. So that brings it down to six more. Guilty pleasures accepted.
K-Off
Any room for shitty horror in that list?
Kaiser Eoghan
I have to do a 30 days of halloween list soon. Want to limit it to horror films I haven't seen. So far I have the return of the living dead trilogy , dagon, from beyond and the re-animator.
Kaiser Eoghan
I also recently watched stranger things. I felt it did right by its 80s throw back, straight down to the references, score, costumes. Pretty cool monster too and the younger actors I thought were mostly good. Kind of slightly reminded me of the goonies to a small extent. I think it succeeded in being fairly heartfelt. Although I did find it a bit padded.
SuperMario
About the new season, I'm more interested in how these dark horse titles will turn out: Flip-flappers, ClassicalLoid, Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku, Yuri on Ice
SuperMario
@Aidan: I had Stranger Things on my queue list for a while now, but don't plan to watch it anytime soon. Glad you enjoy it.
K-Off
ReZero is the only show I finished in about 2 seasons. Hopefully the Working spinoff is up to par.
AidanAK47
Hoping things change when the first episodes start airing of the new anime season.
AidanAK47
Things have gotten quiet here. I plan on getting my Mob psycho review up today. I have to say that the next season doesn't interest me very much. There's some great stuff coming next year but the fall is looking pretty...meh.
AidanAK47
Finally got around to watching Stranger Things. Good show, I like the nostalgic way they tell the story though at times its too Spielberg/King. I admit that I can't say I was blown away by it. It's good and I will be watching the second season. But it's a tad.. predictable. Those child actors did a great job though.
K-Off
@Bam I'm not certain the email I have is one you actually use, so here it is: (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QWnGcuVQuXfOJuh80SDgtiZH4X6Zya_XEG2ZOM6u-5k/edit?usp=sharing)
It's pathetic right now, I'm sorting out my arrangements for Seoul first.
K-Off
@Bam I'll send you the itinerary in a few hours. Appreciate the offer for guides but I'll decline on that, otherwise it wouldn't hurt to have additional contacts in japan. The person I'm traveling with is half Japanese, so I trust that we won't run into tourist traps.
SuperMario
It logged me out again. Oh well! That was me Bam
Anonymous207007
@Bam: the first time I've ever heard of Chinchilla. Sorry to hear about your pet. Don't feel bad about the late post, it's perfectly fine. After all, we all volunteer to contribute here, so no pressure on the timing. Just write whenever you feel like it really.
Bam
Can anybody else see these?
Bam
@K-off: right on m8, I'm excited for you. Email me your itinerary and I can not only recommend some spots that aren't just basic tourist-traps, but can also hook you up with some friends to take you around and show you what the real Japan is all about.
Bam
I was planning to release the posts just as scheduled, but my Chinchilla suddenly got ill, and given the exotic nature of such pets I've been in and out of dozens of veterinary clinics. Over a week later and $600 spend, the poor thing finally gave out. I've been pretty out of since it happened, but again sorry for just disappearing.
Bam
I am actually still breathing. Sorry again for the unceremonious absence.
K-Off
@anon196168 I'm all ears for suggestions.
Anonymous196168
If youre going to japan maybe you could do something more unique than just taking pictures of locations? Plenty of those already on Google.
Kaiser Eoghan
Noticing a server error showing up on the shoutbox there.
AidanAK47
Good point, normal users generally just stay anono. ke69Vin?...69...really....that's just sad humor right there.
K-Off
That was most definitely little Kevin as well. 9vinke6 is obviously an anagram.
AidanAK47
@9Vinke6, I don't know what you are trying to share but it ain't an image. Deleting your comment as I don't want dodgy files on the site.
Anonymous181098
Are you kidding??!! Tokyo is amazing if you want excitement & you want to experience social life. But I agree go to Osaka. If tokyo is like Quebec then osaka is like toronto. More laid back
Anonymous180231
OPM was a shoe-in. It's showing very good success on Adult Swim on US TV and Viz is throwing big dollars to keep the gravy train rolling
AidanAK47
One Punch Man season 2 was announced. Expected but most certainly welcome.
...now I need Re:Zero season 2.
CJayTiiii
Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
K-Off
If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
CJayTiii
Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
CJayTiii
Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
K-Off
@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
CJayTiii
For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
afgm
Well, it's hard, since it doesn't really feel finished, so even if you know it will eventually end well if given a chance, you can't really put your full confidence behind those bets
AidanAK47
Got a bit long winded in that review and yet I feel like I really didn't get across what makes the series so good.
AidanAK47
Well that's the Re:Zero review written up. I will get to work on 91 days next and maybe Prisms Illya maybe after that. Lost all entuasim after they messed up that last episode in Illya. Overall it's been pretty disappointing.
AidanAK47
As for that twist. I think they could work it easily into a first episode. The impact would still be there for people marathoning the thing in the future and it would be a good "Oh Shit!" moment to start the second season. If they jump ahead a bit to a certain moment it would actually make for a great opener.
AidanAK47
I say the only chance of season two not coming would be if White Fox doesn't like money. Considering that the pace which the light novel adaption has sped up from every few months to a release every month I guess that they want to make that second season as badly as we want it. At this pace they could start a second season in maybe a years time. Maybe every half a year depending on cour length.
Syndrome
Also, if season 2 ever come (that would be a surprise if not, and truly annoying), I dont know how they will manage with the "twist", as something this impactful would come way too fast without any kind of setup. Wait and see, I guess.
Syndrome
After seeing the last Re:Zero I couldnt help but spoil myself, and I kind of understand why WhiteFox went with that kind of ending, skipping what would be a giant shtstorm on the internet. Even though, in a sad world where there would be no season 2, Im still a bit disappointed with the ending. Its nice to wrap it up this way but its a stale regarding the plot and there is no food for thought.
SuperMario
@aidan: you sure are fast when it comes to Re:Zero haha. Alrighty, we'll go with that then
AidanAK47
@mario,I am putting up a Re:Zero post. Tommarrow. I will unsticky it for a day and then we can sticky it again.
reaLjustified
@K-Off No worries, it's so messed up. Stay safe.
SuperMario
@Aidan: if you going to post Re:Zero review soon, you can unsticky the Versus Show post, otherwise I will take it down in 2 days
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