Posted on 12 August 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Fate/Extra Last Encore

To many the Fate series is daunting with its numerous incarnations and spinoffs and here in the year of many a Fate adaption we get another one by Studio Shaft which was first thought to adapt the story of the PSP game Fate/Extra. Fate/Extra could basically be considered Fate with a sci-fi twist as this entire series takes place in a virtual reality where a massive Holy Grail War is taking place. The protagonist Hakuno and his Saber Servant must advance up seven Floors while defeating the servant and master that guards each floor to reach the Holy Grail at the top. The scenario itself certainly feels like that of a video game but this anime is not actually an adaption of the PSP game but instead an alternate retelling/sequel to that game. Despite claims from the writer that this anime could be experienced blind, the story itself does require context from the game to understand the story as a whole.

I will say that the story of this anime does sound good on paper and I am sure if you read summaries on each episode you would find yourself interested as the events of this anime do sound exciting, at least on paper. However the execution is botched heavily as the story was essentially a novel written by the author and handed over to be adapted into a anime screenplay. It’s source trappings remain in the show as Fate/Extra is an anime that prefers to tell you it’s story rather than show you it. There is an unforgivable amount of exposition and characters are not developed enough to make such copious amount of exposition interesting. The main character is essentially characterised as having no personality besides a vague anger which makes him a poor foil to the heroine of the series who mainly acts as fanservice. The massive amount of dialogue and Shaft being the animation studio has had people referring to this anime as Fatemonogatari which certainly seems like an apt comparison. The show is mainly dialogue and the battles between servants and masters on each floor all feel uninvolving and anticlimactic. Not helped when each fight either boils down to the protagonists trying harder or pulling out some previously unmentioned dues ex machina. I will say that Shaft make the show quite visually striking and there is some legitimately beautiful aspects like the illustration of the servant master duos in the episode endings. However the animation isn’t as strong as some other Fate entries and this series can take a bit too many of Shafts quirks as an anime studio.

The show follows a fairly formulaic pattern which makes the show feel vacuous as it continues to progress but the characters on screen remain machines for exposition or meaningless dialogue. What is likely intended to be the driving force of the series is the mystery behind what is actually happening as the story itself is very stingy on the details of what is actually happening causing many a viewer to just think “What?” which is the intention of the author but sadly backfired. Anytime you feel you are beginning to understand just what is happening in this show, it throws another curve ball and leaves you trying to figure it out all over again. Once pieced together the story becomes more straightforward but instead of being a rewarding experience to puzzle out it just becomes a reason why the viewer becomes so disconnected to the events on screen as we can’t engage if we are too busy trying to get to grips with what the plot even is. Upon its conclusion it just feels empty and meaningless, providing nothing of worth nor entertainment. Music didn’t leave much of an impression either. Overall there does feel to be a story under all this which could have made for a pretty good anime but the execution of it’s ideas where botched to the point that it just feels soulless and vacant , lacking anything which makes it recommendable besides finding out where that girl who looks exactly like Saber but in a red dress came from. Even then playing the Fate/Extra game would be a better experience even if that too isn’t perfect. So I pray…for Fate/Extra CCC to be localised for that certainly seems like it would beat out both the previous game and the anime. So get on it Marvelous or Xseed.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

It’s been a while but the final episodes of Fate/Extra are out and I thought that I couldn’t really add anything to what I previously said about this series. The last three episodes did nothing to change my opinion on the series as a whole, if anything it solidified my previous opinion and pretty much confirmed that the series as a whole was a rather pointless addition to the Nasuverse. But I happened upon this quote from a blog post that Nasu wrote before the first episode aired. And I quote:

“And this is how I got my engine running, but since I have no experience with writing anime scenarios, I wrote the source novel-ish book for “Last Encore”, and had Sakurai-san help me adapt and adjust that into anime scenario format.”

Thus like a thunderbolt it hit me and suddenly everything wrong with Fate/Extra Last Encore makes sense. Even in my previous posts about this series I remarked that it was far too much tell and no show but of course it is, for the source is a book. Also Sakurai was involved and I swear this woman is involved with some of the worst the Nasuverse has to offer, she has proven time and time again to be a terrible writer. Of course I am not pinning the blame entirely on her, her fault is in poorly adjusting Nasu’s novel to an anime format. Nasu is at fault for writing a novel when he’s supposed to write a screenplay, clearly he wrote too much to be conveyed and didn’t make use of the visual medium of anime to tell the story through other methods besides excessive exposition. The director is at fault for not making the fights stand out animation wise and ending anticlimactically. But these flaws all originated from this supposed to be anime original adaption turning out to be a adaption of a novel. Thus i must ask…if you had time to write a novel for Fate/Extra then why the hell is the Tsukihime remake a decade late at this point?!

The final episodes focus on Hakuno and Nero taking on the final floor master and the mastermind behind everything. The fights themselves lack any real gravitas as while the two lost to Gaiwen at first, they effectively beat him the second time by…trying harder? Oh and Gaiwens master decided that he wasn’t going to fight Hakuno and just stand there unlike the first time where he took an active place in the battle. Not much f worth happens, it plays out much like any other floor master with two episodes, heavy amount of exposition to explain everything and a anticlimactic fight. The final battle against twice Pieceman, or to be exact Twice Piecemans deadface, was made fair less exciting when he revealed that his Servant who was shown at the beginning of the series pretty much left offscreen and just handed over his Noble Phantasm to Twice. The final boss of the anime essentially abandoned the story and I don’t understand how that could be see as anything but disappointing. So the climax hits and I still don’t give a damn about Nero or Hakuno so their noble sacrifices mean nothing to me.

The final twist was pretty much expected with the earth being beyond help and practically ended but Hakuno decided to use the Moon Cell to create a virtual paradise which the remaining people on earth struggling to survive can escape to. I am reminded of the end of Apocrypha which also had the main character sacrifice himself in order to save the world and much like that series I find that the the character being sacrificed doesn’t have enough character to make me care. The end result of this series is that despite Nasu saying it would be a good entry point into the Extra spinoff of Fate, he was blatantly lying as without playing the Fate/Extra game this anime is missing valuable context. The semi sequel/Alternative path nature of the series makes it not an adaption of Fate/Extra nor providing anything of worth to the lore as a whole besides some Deadface ability which seemed to be invented for the sole purpose of trying to make Hakuno interesting. A straight adaption of Fate/Extra, which is briefly shown with flashbacks to Hakunon, actually looked to make for a far more interesting story than the one we got here. Not to mention a complete missed opportunity to have a Fate anime with a female protagonist. It’s sad really and this anime marks a pretty low note for the year of Fate Adaptations to end on. Well…at least Heaven’s Feel is pretty damn great.

Posted on 7 April 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

It hard to have an opinion on the last three episodes of Fate/Extra when the content has been quite similar to the previous episodes of the cour. For now the series has ended with the remaining episodes coming as a special later. Still unknown if that was the actual special broadcast that was originally considered a second cour. These three episodes mainly dealt with our protagonist getting through the fifth and sixth floors and yes, the fourth floor was rather shamelessly skipped over and only spoken about at the beginning of episode 8 as being “No big deal”. They essentially pulled a Katanagatari on it and to a degree I understand as the fourth master really was someone not really worth caring about. In fact depending on what route you took in the game the fourth master could be one of two different people, neither of which are particularly interesting. Only real thing of note was that one of the servants was actually Arcueid from Tsukihime which was rather neat.

Despite the different episode number the problems of the series remain the same. The fifth floor attempted to give some characterization to the protagonist and even featured female Hakuno for a brief time but ultimately Hakuno just remains a bland faceless void that you can’t really care about. Again the Scenario is interesting but the execution is lacking and it really does bug me about how that became a running theme. Really, looking at the story of Fate/Extra purely on paper it’s hard to imagine that it would be as lifeless as it is. Let us recap, the first floor had a city set up to harber masters that gave up on the war which culminated in the entire city getting flooded and Nero fighting a pirate ship on top of the ruined city. The second floor featured a forest with a sniper whose been killing people for a thousand years with a servant who can turn invisible. The third featured a cyber ghost girl in a weird wonderland who has been twisted into a monstrous abomination while waiting for the return of a friend. The fifth featured a master who was also a dead face, causing the protagonist to question his very existence and find new meaning to his mission all while finished with a battle on top of skyscrapers between master and master with servant vs servant. The ice landscape sixth floor had two masters who fought each other to a tie and ended up becoming the floor itself spawning hundreds of soldiers to fight each other for a thousand years only to finally gain enough sanity to guide Hakuno to the sixth floor just so he can end the long standing tie. Looking at all this , it all sounds very interesting and even great so why is it that I only remember feeling apathetic while watching previous episodes? By all accounts this should be engaging, it should have me anticipating the next episode with excited glee. Yet, much like the personality of Hakuno, I just feel it’s been a lifeless void.

I believe i have more or less covered why but seeing as this is the last episode for a while I might as well do a roundup. I can point three things that are messing up this story. One is that this story is almost 90% told through exposition. The exposition dumps are egregiously bad so as to have the setting, characters and current events all told through whatever is deemed to be the mouthpiece of the author. Too much effort has been put into explaining the story over telling it and despite all this it still remains a confusing mess at times because it fails to establish a foundation. Just when you think you know what is what, the story flings another conundrum for you to place and gives little motivation to do so. The second thing is characters with a big offender being Hakuno the blank nobody character. Nero admittedly is pretty tiresome as well considering her main roles is to do the fighting and be waifu fanservice. I am actually having trouble placing who is a worse protagonist, Sieg from Apocrypha or Hakuno from Extra but in truth they are remarkably similar in how they are both non characters with some existential dilemma of their manufactured existence that ultimately leads them to become stereotypical hero archetypes. Though while the main reason for hating Sieg is that he took screentime from much more interesting characters, the characters of Fate/Extra outside of Hakuno and Nero are really just exposition devices in human clothing. These creatures spout exposition about the nature of their character, the world and magic without much emotion. Indeed even in face of their own death they speak there last words like reciting a shopping list. That’s not how humans talk, we don’t just have prepared speeches and lectures ready to be fired off with perfect clarity and precision when first questioned. Our emotion comes out in how we speak, even how we respond to certain topics is within our character. Nobody stands like a mannequin reciting hamlet from memory. Of course some may argue that in this series everyone has lived a thousand years and their dehumanization is the result of dealing with a unwinnable situation for so very long. To which I say fair enough but it means that nobody here cares about what is going on and if they don’t care, why should I?

Then comes the third problem, the animation. Now it actually has be wanted by fans for quite a long time for Shaft to do an adaption of Fate/Extra, a sentiment that I never truly understood. Maybe it was because Shaft animated the openings for the Fate/Extra games but I honestly felt they were a mismatch. Shaft are about artistic animation saving techniques, you can have an opinion on the expression that Shafts style brings but the ultimate goal is mainly to present a show in a matter that’s least troublesome to animate. Considering that the Fate series has a pendant for ridiculously impressive animation it seems like a odd choice to go for a studio that uses style to cover for animation workload. Maybe it was because Fate/Extra was considered more avantgarde? Like hell it is. While exposition scenes are made a bit more interesting with their visual experimentation, ultimately it makes all the fight scenes of this anime feel ridiculously anticlimactic. I once thought Fate/Zero was too anticlimactic, oh what a sweet summer child I was for Fate/Extra truly embodies the word. Not a single fight in this series is remotely satisfying. So the fighting stinks, the story told primarily through exposition and the characters are too apathetic and soulless. So on a last note I will say I did at least like the presentation of Nero’s backstory, female Hakuno showing up briefly and that one small moment where Rin describes her hellish situation with a pained smile. Emotion, makes all the difference.

Posted on 15 March 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

Thus ends the Nursery Rhyme two episode arc and that certainly was more confusing than it needed to be. The fight was once again, anticlimactic and rather lacking strategy wish as well. I mean our protagonists kept talking like they had a plan but it pretty much amounted to just climbing the tower and fighting the monster again. Then on off chance the protagonist managed to pick up a book which convinced the monster to let them win instead of turning back the clock yet again. So it’s back to the game of figuring out just what the hell is even happening again. From what I can gather it appears that the story has been jumping between two different Hakuno’s. The Hakuno of the past who met Alice, sympathised with her and got her to give up so he could ascend to the next level, promising that he would come back. Then god knows how much time has passed and a new Dead Face Hakuno is climbing the floors. But in the time he was gone, Alice has been consuming materials and masters in order to stop herself from fading away, resulting in her turning into a monstrous amalgamation that no longer remembers what she was waiting for.

So our Dead Face Hakuno learned of his previous versions interactions with Alice and climbs the tower in order to put her out of her misery alongside Rin and Nero. WIth RIn providing truckloads of exposition and Nero admitting that she has been through this all before while suggesting that Hakuno was her master back then too. While it has been apparent for quite a while, Fate/Extra Last Encore does have a problem with characters dialogue almost consisting of pure exposition and little else. After all, we meet Nursery Rhyme in this episode and all she does is spout more exposition and when it comes to character motivations that too is told by the individuals themselves. This may be a result of the Nasu being the author as it is important to note that he is a Visual Novel writer, not a anime writer. Nasu doesn’t seem to be taking advantage of the medium to show rather than tell, instead treating it like a visual novel where stretches of exposition can be more forgiven due to limited visuals and the binge nature of the medium. Even Gen Urobuchi has this same kind of exposition heavy storytelling but in his case he writes exposition so well that it hardly becomes an issue. Nasu on the other hand isn’t quite as good at writing engaging exposition and I honestly feel his strengths lie more in his character writing and action setpieces. With this anime it feels like Nasu is focusing far too hard on the mystery of the story rather than the characters going through it with may be the primary reason for it becoming rather dull despite the actual story being told having interesting aspects.

You can write the most interesting story in the world but if you don’t care about the characters in that story then nothing that happens within it is going to engage the viewer. Spice and Wolf proved that with enough character chemistry you can make even the most boring of subjects engaging just by the interactions between them. Nero, Rin and Hakuno just lack that as Rin exposits, Hakuno may as well be a walking plank and Nero seems to be there to fight, make small musings and say umu while being the fanservice. So for this show to get interesting, we need these characters to lighten up, the action to get better and more show with less tell. Cause I got to tell you, as for the mystery of this series, I don’t give a damn anymore. As a last note, Nasu you give Rin the ability to install Cu but not put Cu into the story? Cu could have been the perfect ice breaker for all these serious scenes. I would have loved to see him throwing Rin off balance and teasing her. Also we can install in the extraverse now? How does that even work?

Posted on 7 March 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

In case you didn’t know this series was made by Shaft, this episode has left no doubt. As our heroes walk through a forgotten Madoka set piece to find the latest master. I admit that this may be a change of formula that I was hoping for last episode, though the two episode Master of the week setup remains. Visually it’s a busy episode with Shaft flexing all it’s muscles in providing odd locales but storywise it’s rather barren. It honestly seems that when I approaching a point where I can make sense of what is happening the story just suddenly veers back into what the hell territory. Something which has become quite annoying now as we are halfway through the series and I am so disjointed from the plot to bring myself to care about it much. The majority of this episode consisted of Nero,Rin and Hakuno just walking through the area while Rin throws down some exposition only to lead to Hakuno meeting Alice who proceeds to lay down more exposition. Today’s topic is cyber ghosts which is basically means that people can died in SE.RA.PH and still survive in digital space with just their mind and soul.

A convenient topic as the master this week is a dead girl who happened to become a floor master. Alice gave some background on herself this episode but allow me to elaborate because somebody’s got to set thing straight here and this show certainly isn’t going to do it. Alice was a English girl who was gravely injured in a WWII air raid and left in a vegetative state, however it was discovered that he body had magic circuits and she was kept alive for research purposes. She spend a few years in continual pain and suffering before he body finally gave out and died. Seems her mind was connected to the net when she died(Trying to make sense of the net existing around WWII) and she was left a cyber ghost wandering around till she found the Moon Cell(Big old supercomputer that runs Virtual world SE.RA.PH) SO she strolled in and made a contract with the Servant Nursery Rhyme which took on her appearance and became her only friend.

I told you the servants in this one get weird and Nursery Rhyme is a weird one indeed being a heroic spirit that represents childrens rhymes. Her real form is a book and she only takes the human form of her current master and it seems she can even have a different class or stats based on who contracts with her. In this case it seems they have made some weird floor reality marble with is like an Alice in Wonderland like paradox where up is down, left is right and time is all over the place. A neat idea and made all the more troublesome in that the world can essentially reset itself if the servant doesn’t like where it is going. What’s more it seems this place causes masters to have flashbacks to previous memories though here we mainly get cryptic nonsense from a girl called Amamia. Once again we get evidence that this has all happened before as Hakuno recalls memories where he oddly has a different command spell and of people he has yet to meet.

It would be quite interesting if Hakuno didn’t respond to that like a lethargic doll and I think that really is a problem with this series, the character simply not reacting much or responding to clearly bizarre events. Point is that if Hakuno, the one whose in the middle of all this, can’t bring himself to care about his own situation, then why should I? Once again the setup here is excellent as we have a world that writes its own rules, with a master whom you lose all memory of if you leave her and can have past and present merge together. Maybe if the cast was more interesting this could be an exciting prospect but so far our current enemy master has proven herself to be more interesting than the main cast. I do at least wonder how they will win when the rules are so turned against them and I hope the solution doesn’t come from Rins convenient access to the script.(How did Rin know that the Floor masters servant was Nursery Rhyme? There is no way in hell anyone could conveniently guess that)

Posted on 28 February 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

So we have basically established that the events of Fate/Extra’s game story did in fact happen as Maximilian has a flashback to the point where he lost in Fate/Extra’s game. So it is rather odd that I still can’t make much sense of the plot here. What I can gather is that he was somehow revived as this floors master and effectively decided to throw away his chivalrous attitude and focus on killing a master to advance up the floors. However because he is a previously deceased master he can no longer advance up the floors but Robin and him still kill masters because…then they don’t lose? What is this motivation here? Are you telling me these two killed people for a thousand years only because they were sore losers? Yep, I think it’s time to admit it. The honeymoon period is over and I have started to lose a lot of interest here. So far the main drawing point of this series has been the mysterious nature of it’s plot but there’s a point where it’s too hard to care about something when you end up with more questions than answers. Not to mention the mystery is primarily presented through massive amounts of exposition and the characters just remain uninteresting. The only other drawing factor is the action which once again has a servant be taken out anticlimactically by Nero. The way these servants just go down so fast has started me making a pet theory that they all have pretty much given up over the thousand years and just let nero win, which would be delightfully cathartic if that was the case. Nero has previously staged fights in her life where the fight was rigged so she would win and the idea of her victories in this war being nothing more than servants just letting her win would be so suitable. Ultimately meaning she’s not really that strong a servant and is just getting full of herself.

The annoying factor is that the fights so far have a great setting for a showdown with the Sniper battle with the master and Robin hunting in the woods are great setpieces for an epic battle. These floors make for explosive battlegrounds for these servants to wreak havoc and yet the battles often just feel like they are cut off too soon with no real satisfaction. Topped off with the fact that Nero is the only one in danger here as we have more or less established that Hakuno cannot be killed. His dead face powers are far too vague at the moment as it’s not even clear if he can activate them at will or why he’s keeping them secret from Nero. What these powers can even do is a mystery as he somehow materialized a gun to shoot max and I don’t know if that’s part of his powers or not. It doesn’t matter if Hakuno gets shot by Max, he won’t die so there no real tension. Sure Rani can die but quite honestly who cares about Rani? She was introduced last episode, has the emotional range of a teaspoon and has done nothing but spout exposition. Am I supposed to be sad when she gets shot and dies? But this could be another trend with this shows formula as I recall Rin being on the bottom floor as Shinji flooded the city, meaning she could be dead. But then who is the Rin at the end of this episode you ask? Well I have gotten fully on board with the Rin is Tamamo in disguise theory. Though I think that only applies to the Rin that traveled up the elevator with them and then mysteriously disappeared during the events of this little skirmish.

Regardless despite this info I just find myself rather…apathetic. Tamamo fans might rejoice if she shows up but I don’t particularly care if she shows up or not. Fanservice can only go so far and I need something to get me interested here. The characters are not doing it for me cause our main heroine has nobody to work off besides the soulless husk that is Hakuno and everyone else just feels like exposition devices. The action scenes are lacking so no eye candy to keep me interested either. My point is, I want to care. I want to like this show, I want it to not be as disappointing as the other non Ufotable Fates have been. I remember referring to UBW with disappointment during it’s airing but over time I think it did a better job than Apocrypha and Extra here. As far as I see it, this show needs something to grab my interest again, perhaps a new character to join our duo to make their interactions more fun to watch? Maybe give Hakuno a bloody personality? Perhaps an upgrade to the fight scenes? Or maybe we can stop being all mysterious here and start telling the audience just what in the holy hell is going on, or at least a framework that allows for us to start making theories. What I don’t want is another Nero bath scene, another encounter of the new master and servant antagonists only to be interrupted by some new random serventless master who takes in the two, followed by another barrage of barrels of exposition, with another anticlimactic final confrontation while leads to the elevator and wash, rinse, repeat. As a wise man once said, Variety is the spice of life.

Posted on 20 February 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

Well is it just going to be a thing from now on to have Nero take a bath in between floors? The large amount of Nero fanservice seems a bit of the excessive side and I feel like shaft is to blame for that. As a matter of fact now might be a good time to bring up cons with this series seeing as we have made it past the three episode guideline. So far I still remain somewhat invested in the story but I admit that we may be moving to a formula with how to approach the remaining masters. Seems that Hakuno and Nero will move to the floor, have an encounter with the master and his servent, meet some serventless master on the floor who clues them in with exposition before moving to take down the floor master. Then wash, rinse and repeat. Likely there is some changes to this coming but if this is to be the formula going forward this could get rather stale.

It wouldn’t be such a problem if the action was good but I find that Shinbo’s style doesn’t quite work well with the normally kinetic nature of Fate’s servant battles. It works when the characters are standing round having a chat so when it comes to exposition that this series is shoveling out heavily, Shinbo’s style works. But with it comes to action scenes, the quick cuts and odd determination to not show attacks actually hitting proves to be rather frustrating to watch. It might be rather unreasonable to expect Shaft to bring the level of fights Ufotable has trained fans to expect but even the likes of Prisma Illya and Apocrypha attempted to meet that expectation. For this however the style is clearly getting in the way of making the action work which is a same as the opening does show that Shaft can make some rather excellent fight choreography.

On that note I am disappointed to see that Drake wasn’t added to the opening and instead it remains being just Nero fighting off shadows. The song is growing on me but it does feel like a song that lacks an explosive chorus. Instead building throughout the song to just cut off suddenly. The endings are updated at least to show the master/servant duo of the week and the illustrations are quite excellent. For another previously mentioned con, the Nero fanservice is getting on the excessive side though I am surprised that they didn’t take the opportunity to show off Rin in the bath if that was the agenda. Look, Nero is such a narcissist that she thinks nothing about showing her naked body to people but having her walk out of the bath wearing nothing but a ribbon is just going far too far. In the first place, did I miss the bonding session where Nero became so comfortable with Hakuno in the first place?

Nero seems awfully attached for a servant that only knew her master for a day or two. Though yes this brings me on to my next con, Hakuno desperately needs some goddamn personality. All we got from him is that he has this vague hatred and a need to win the holy grail war. He still is the player character of the game and this is truly a missed opportunity to give him some characterization. At least we could have taken the route done with Persona 4’s protagonist which turned a normal mute player character into a deadpan snarker. Or even Gudako from Fate/Grand Order who has basically been characterised as a massive troll by supplementary content. (God I wish she was the protagonist of Grand Orders anime, could have gotten some amusement out of it then.)

Moving on to another con, we have Rin disappear and a new girl pop up called Rani. I am really quite surprised to see Nasu actually bring Rani into this as while she was a character in the Fate/Extra game, she wasn’t a fan favorite despite being a potential main heroine. Personality I always saw her being destined to join the backalley alliance in Carnival Phantasm featuring the unloved Sacchin, Sion and Riesbyfe.(Though maybe Sacchin wouldn’t be so unloved if she got her damn route in that Tsukihime remake that you should have been done writing about now Nasu!) Ultimately Rani’s purpose her is to shovel exposition which has gotten rather excessive with this series but we at least learn that this anime is set far into the future and that the digital humans within this virtual world may be the last remnants of mankind. Not sure what to make of that as I am still trying to piece together just what is going on too much to actually find the reveal all too shocking. I spent the majority to this post talking flaws but overall this episode was rather straightforward, new servant, new exposition dump and more questions.

A noteworthy aspect though is that this particular master and servant have done a completely 180 in how they were in the game. Before the old man was the one who wanted to fight fair and square which often worked against his servants style who is more accustomed to playing dirty. It’s a pity as i rather liked that dynamic in the games story but lets see just where this is going. As a last note it appears this series has two arcs, the first of which is this one named “Oblitus Copernican Theory” and a second arc named “Illustrious Ptolemaic Theory” which will be broadcast at a later unconfirmed date. It has not been clarified whether the second arc is a second cour of sorts though I am placing my bets on it being another 12 episodes. Some seem to believe that this is doing some sort of Danganronpa 3 Future/past arc broadcast with the future arc being broadcast first with the past arc answering questions. Though considering how unpredictable this series has been as of late, we really cannot guess as to what we are truly going to get.

Posted on 13 February 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

I actually wonder if a time will come when I have an actual idea of what exactly is going on in this series. But today marks Hakuno’s first true servant battle as he takes on Shinji and Francis Drake so that he can ascend to the next level. So to surmise what I can understand of the exposition in this episode, it seems that originally a pretty standard grail war tournament was going on with masters killing each other to reach the top floor. However something seems to have happened which has locked down each floor and put the Grail War on halt. Now it seems the only way to make one’s way up is to kill the Floor master, whom seems to have been selected by the bright circle in the sky. Shinji seems to have had the option to move up to the next floor but after killing yet another person to get further in the game ultimately decided that he wanted no more of this and built a town on the bottom floor. It’s not really certain whether anyone was in the town, or if the town was filled with the ghosts of the masters who died in the war, or if the town existed at all. But I will say that Shaft knows how to make a good servant match setup as the town is flooded to make the stage for Nero’s battle against Drake.

And yes, Francis Drake is a big breasted pirate in this universe and no, there is no real explanation as to why this is. Honestly I really like how this fight was set up though they really should have kept Drakes Golden hind in the water instead of having it weirdly floating. Also for all the grandstanding the fight itself is disappointingly anticlimactic with Drake essentially giving up the moment she runs out of bullets. Part of the reasoning suggested behind this is that Shinji was using Drakes treasure to sustain the illusion of the city and Drake is a servant whose power is dependent on how much treasure she possesses. Still this does feel like Drake was effectively given the short end of the stick as it doesn’t really show just how much of a powerhouse she can really be. She’s a five star servant for a reason so she shouldn’t be getting destroyed by a four star servant. She really should have put up more of a fight than this and it just seems so out of character for Drake to just lay down and die. Drakes a girl that fights with her fists when she runs out of bullets.

So my previous episode guesses turned out to be half right and half wrong. Right in that it appears there were no masters on the first floor but wrong in Shinji’s intention. Shinji seems to pity those that gave up on the fight and the town was really supposed to be just that, a refuge for the quitters. Or he believes that bringing a bunch of masters together will cause something to happen. Or he just wants to prove that humanity isn’t worthless. Honestly his motivation is rather confusing. This would be a good time to remind that this Shinji isn’t Fate/Stay Night Shinji. If this goes by the same lines of the games story, Shinji was a regional games campion who joined the Grail War because he thought it was just another game. He is also significantly younger than his teenager avatar would suggest. Same goes for Rin who may look Identical to her Fate/Stay Night counterpart but her real self actually is rather different.

For one, real Rin is blond. Still I find it really weird for Shinji of all people to accept dying with Rider. Shinji so far has been portrayed as being the usual Shinji we know though his final words certainly seem to suggest he went through a large change of heart in the time since coming to the first floor. Most curiously both Shinji and Rin don’t seem to recall meeting Hakuno in the school simulation and on top of which when Hakuno remarks about having been killed in the school, several shots of Hakuno’s dead body are shown with different causes of death. One I find most interesting is one where he is lying dead in front of a throne with a clear sword slash on his back suggesting that Nero killed him. There is most definitely some time looping shenanigans going on here. Last note, Rin states that her servant was taken but I hope that doesn’t mean he won’t be showing up. One thing I always thought was a massive shame with the Fate/Extra game was the lack of Rin and her servant interacting with each other.

Posted on 7 February 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

I would say if this series had a element that could become a major problem it’s going to be Shinbo’s directing style. It’s sort of a given when you walk into a Shaft series that you are going to have people tilting their heads in awkward angles alongside talkative characters where the camera shots jump around as to show as little movement as possible. Still so far it’s at a tolerable level and it may even be a positive for those who are fans of the monogatari series as I can see people labeling this Fatemonogatari. But dear readers it’s time for the million dollar question, namely just what the hell is going on? Casual viewers are confused, Fate fans are confused and even those that played the game this is adapting are confused. Of course it’s already been made clear that Nasu intents this to be an anime original take on the game but what he has planned is certainly got everyone tilting their heads in bafflement. So let me round this up. We have a number of exposition scenes with the first taking place in a bath as a buck nude Saber explains the bare necessities to Hakuno. Honestly questioning just why this had to take place in a bath but I guess we gotta get Nero naked somehow. Can’t say it’s out of character for her to bath with Hakuno without a shred of embarrassment and more importantly this does appear to be Fate/Extra Nero and not Fate/Extella Nero.

Roman public baths are a thing and Nero is cocky enough that being naked in front of people is no concern to her. It does seem like a blatant show of fanservice but at least it’s not at the levels of Fate/Extella where Nero seems like she made every line either about wanting to screw you senseless or toot her own horn. So we get the usual rundown, Holy grail, Masters and servants, Battle royale to the death. The big info here is the reveal that all this is taking place in cyberspace, virtual reality. All which a some supercomputer called the moon cell is doing to determine the master of the Holy Grail. Thus what was supposed to follow was that Hakuno and Nero would fight their way up seven levels to make it to the top and claim the grail. But instead are greeted with a bustling town on the first level which has all the masters that decided to just give up on the grail and hang out on the bottom floor. The mayor of this town being Shinji of all people whom is asking people to sell off their servants in exchange for just having fun on the bottom floor. Already it appears that a significant amount of time has passed between the massacre in the school simulation and Hakuno’s elevator trip up to the first floor. I don’t really have an explanation on why there is a time difference but I think I understand what is going on in this first floor at least.

From my guess it appears Shinji is busy trying to con people into selling him their servants so he can use them to make it to the top floor. I don’t really think there are any masters on the first floor as the town does seem quite empty but I am not sure if that’s intentional or just Shaft making things look spacious and empty for style. It does make sense that Shinji’s first move would be to try and nab as many servants as possible as even at the beginning of Fate/Stay Night he tried to make alliances with Rin and Shirou. As for the final episode twist which brings back Hakuno’s odd durability it appears that they are hinting him to be some sort of combination of all the dead masters that failed to reach the grail. Interesting as Jack from Apocrypha was also that kind of entity as she was created from the grudges of dead and abandoned children in london. It’s a decent twist but Hakuno does remain a bit too much of a non character to really relate to. I would like him to gain more personality as I don’t really buy his sudden attachment to Nero and for Nero to really shine she needs a foil she can work off of. Just make him more suave and snarky and he will do just fine, already winning points for being fairly nonchalant with a nude Nero in front of him.

The opening for this series is a strange one as it appears to be just Nero fighting shadows in a colosseum with a decent song in the background. Her fight choreography is good but it just seems rather barebones at the moment. The could come to change as more servants are introduced as I have a feeling the opening with include them as they are introduced, turning the opening into one big free for all between Nero and the servants of Fate/Extra. I will keep my mouth shut on who the servants are for now but if you played Fate/Extra or Fate/Grand order then you likely spotted some familiar faces here. Also even if I do keep things secret there is not a chance in hell you will end up guessing these servants because Fate/Extra’s servants are….weird. You may be thinking “What, weirder than female frankenstein’s monster or stripper loli Jack the Ripper from Apocrypha?” and the answer is kinda. See Fate/Extra’s servants are either famous names whose design has been changed so drastically that they are unrecognisable or names so obscure and out there that no one could ever figure it out. Either way I am interested in where this is going. Fate/Extra Last Encore isn’t blowing me away yet but so far it’s been solid enough to keep me invested.

Posted on 30 January 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

To newcomers of the series this first episode of Fate/Extra must have you thinking “Just what in the hell is going on?” but have no fear for as this sites resident Fate expect I can safely tell you that…yeah, I have no idea either. While this is Fate/Extra, it has been confirmed that Nasu is writing a brand new story for this one so while some beats of Extra may be followed, the story may end up being very different. An important thing to note is that despite familiar faces showing up here, this is indeed an entirely different world and therefore that means that even though Rin is here, she is not the same Rin who went through the events of any of the other Fate Adaptations. The same goes for Kirei though it seems that no matter what world he is in, Shinji is always Shinji. We have less animation this time around but I do admit that Shaft makes up for it with style though this episode was unfortunately dampened thanks to the dimming of action scenes due to epilepsy concerns. For a first episode this is a strong effort as while the characters are not particularly interesting yet, there is air of mystery and intrigue that keeps you sucked in. This anime appears to be building on Extra’s story and adding another layer to it as the opening starts off with the female protagonist getting decimated before changing to the male protagonist. I hope there is a greater effort to characterise him as the protagonist of Extra was very much a blank slate for the player to insert himself into and after Apocrypha I really don’t want another one of those.

However the protagonist isn’t the only one I am worried about here as this success of this series does depend on him and also on Nero, otherwise known as Red Saber. I don’t really think I need to hide her identity considering that it’s widely known and otherwise impossible to guess. But yes, the success of this series depends partly on her or to be more exact, which Nero is here. What do I mean? Well my friends let me tell you a tale of Nero from Extra. Nero was a cocky little narcissist who loved tooting her own horn and that was actually quite charming. She came across as what would happen if you injected some of Gilgamesh’s ego into Blue Saber and ended up a loveable dolt who had the kind of confidence you just wish you had. I mean the woman wears a see through dress because she thought it would be a shame to deprive the world the beauty of her thighs. What made her particular fun was when she spoke pure bullshit on her achievements and if you called her out on it she would get meek and sullen.

I actually quite liked her then but it seems I didn’t nearly like her as much as the writer Hikaru Sakurai does. The writer of Fate/Extella and the Septem section of Fate Go, Sakurai has proven that she quite likes Nero. In fact, she absolutely adores her but sadly this results in Nero undergoing a massive character shift when one plays Extella or Septem. For Fate/Extra’s Nero was a cocky loveable brat who always touted herself as the best thing since sliced bread but Fate/Extella’s Nero is not only being claimed to be just as great as she makes herself out to be but actually even underselling her godly essence. Sakurai’s Nero is a mary sue of the highest caliber and the plot does nothing but to constantly wax on about how great and magnificent Nero is that it turned my opinion on her from like to hate. With Nasu writing this instead of Sakurai I am hoping for a return of the Nero that I liked provided that Nasu isn’t getting Sakurai to ghostwrite for him.

So what exactly happened here in this episode? Well it appears to be some sort of elimination round before the holy grail war. They got a hefty amount of masters here so they are whittling them down to a certain number of masters to fight in the war. The process appears to be sticking them in some sort of school simulation and having them eliminate each other through tests? Seems like for a while that people were getting killed off and brought to the infirmary before being thrown into the incinerator. This has been going on for a while until Kirei pulls sudden death with the last masters being chosen based on whoever kills someone else first. The good news is that the school setting appears to be gone though I do believe that the series is really pushing sense of disbelief with the main characters durability. Guy was stabbed several times, fell down a hole, pierced through with an arrow and even after all that the man is still kicking.

Part of this is sort of justified by the digital looking nature of the world but still, with that level of damage the MC should have been long dead. As a last note, I really like that the stone servent that brought the main character near death before summoning a servant was Archer from Fate/Stay Night. As in Fate/Stay Night it was Cu who wounded Shirou before he summoned a Saber which is whom Archer was fighting when Shirou saw them. So it makes for a nice parallel to have Archer instead be the one to chase down the MC before he summons a Saber. Even the stone nature of the servant referring to his position as a counter guardian and that he was also a servant you could choose in Fate/Extra. Sadly like Tamamo and the alternative Female MC, he appears to have been Shafted.(Pun not intended)

CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
@Niello - That's 'cause Miayano isn't Pepe Macias: https://youtu.be/nCL6e5TmVG8?t=34
Lenlo
Personally I like this Miyano voice, but only because it sounds like Old Okabe before 0 ruined him
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Wouldn't go that far. But as I've said this show did not click with me at all on most levels.
Niello
Am I the only one who think Miyano sounds annoying in Zombieland Saga? It was the same in Tadakoi too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Castlebros4life.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I forgot to mention, what I like about this guy is that he actually does have a plan rather than just milling it into the goblins.
Lenlo
Castlevania hype! I cant wait for season 2
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm more looking forward to reading The year one side story which is more about Goblin slayer himself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, I've caught up to the 28th chapter of Goblin slayers manga chapter, in spite of being rinse and repeat with not much depth, so far its remains fun. There will definitely be a "human shield" scene that won't appear in the anime. I'd hoped the side story manga would go into priestess girls past our something but it doesn't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Castlevania season 2 is out next week.
AidanAK47
Damn, Youtubes down
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mamoru Miyano is the same voice actor for the producer and Okabe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think they are doing other genres in zombieland too, I think one is vaporwave.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It would be very strange if the guy who is the past version of Hitomi's grandfather started falling for her.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That leads me to consider , should the search bar be moved?
AidanAK47
Pretty Sure he mistook the chat window for a search bar
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fell behind, part 3 too long aswell.
SuperMario
@anon: it's just too little too late...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Interested in seeing more of that horse guy who showed up in the recent beastars chapters. Also liked how they co-relate lion guy with louis' dad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that I'm knocking Honda-san, as that simple/minimalist style is another thing that makes these gag comedies work also.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Animation's a bit BARE BONES though wahaha!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I'm quite amused by the surrealism of it all, a skeleton working in a bookshop =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: A quick random fact, one of the manga the blonde girl in episode 1 is asking for is a legendary, old shounen-ai classic from the 70s. The short format suits these gag comedies because I feel that stretching them out to 20 something minute runtimes kills the joke.
Lenlo
Honda-San continues to be the funniest thing I have seen in awhile
AidanAK47
@Vonter, That should not go together as well as it does
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Goblin slayer did nothing wrong.
Animosh
It's dumb, but I can't deny it's uplifting. :)
Animosh
The slime anime really offers the perfect counter to Goblin Slayer. In Goblin Slayer murder is the answer to everything, peace is impossible and revenge will haunt you forever. In the slime series? A short speech about the benefits of kindness and cooperation and the pitfalls of revenge is enough to convince everyone to get along (and that includes two races who were on the verge of war).
Vonter
Also because I just had to: http://vmashup.com/yvDoiQhU
Vonter
Zombieland gives me Scooby Doo vibes. With a silly premise of reviving moe girls to make a band. How they're prey to their instincts and I do like the music aspect doesn't feel as artificial as other shows that may also promote the songs to be sold. Since the music seems more to play for the story than to be good songs. Not remarkable but enjoyable I'll say.
Vonter
So far I've more issue with what the maid says than what she does. Since the anime wants to paint her in a good light but some of the things she says are very creepy. On the other side, there seems an underlying sadness since she seems capable but dumbfounded on how to live her life.
Vonter
I checked UzaMaid! and Zombieland Saga, which were funny and silly and entertaining, nothing major, but I also don't found them bad. The first one treads the line so far of having creepy implications, but it has a bit of John Hughes slapstick thrown a bit. I'll like it more if the little girl were a bit more like Kevin from Home Alone or Junior from Problem Children.
Amagi
Seems like a part of the background has changed after the post-kaiju fight reset in Gridman. I wonder what's even real in this series.
SuperMario
Gosh, how I love the improv dialogues and the indie Kemono-Friends level of visual flourish in Himote House
Masky
Like Zero Escape series itself goes through pretty much everything related to psychology
Masky
In general I don't really get what is up with japanese fictional works running different scientific paradoxes or theories into everything unrelated ._.
Lenlo
Mmm Im so glad I started throwback thursday. 2 episodes in and I already love Planetes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think might know it off by heart now I hear it mentioned so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I hope I haven't doomed you, I voted for Goblin slayer .
Amagi
Hate that too and I actually got my hopes up in episode 1 since it seemed like they wouldn't explain it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I was hoping someone else would bring that up.
Niello
Bunny Girl is pretty good so far, but I do have to say that I rolled my eyes at another rundown of Schrodinger's cat. What's with the obsession?
Amagi
Drama never works for me with Key and even most of Kyoani's works in general.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I already mentioned about how surprisingly solid/serious bunny girl senpai takes itself for the better, but I'd like to add, the drama doesn't feel obnoxious either such as in a Key work.
Amagi
I love those first impression reviews of bad series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Yeah, it's why I never picked HxH up again as well. I also think there are still tons of issues with SAO although most of them come up later. AW will always be way better in my opinion.
Anonymous2948346
Glad the Imouto review was good for something, niello. The show itself certainly isn't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't deny that for some a series could improve as it went on, but with sword art, its now three seasond and a movie , thats alot to watch and quite the ask to get to the "good" part.
Amagi
@niello: I meant that key visual https://d38fgd7fmrcuct.cloudfront.net/1_3p7wgf1obds2mkioy1cmi.jpg - but as said it doesn't mean anything. I will only get hyped once I see the first animated scene and confirm that the boats aren't CG or at least a good kind of CG.
Lenlo
Oh baby. Spring 2019, One Punch Man S2 and Hero Aca S4. Can't wait
niello
@Amagi, Vinland Saga promo pic looks good? Aren't those just manga cover pictures that they showed in the promo...
niello
"Ore ga Sick of this Shit dakedo Shit Keeps Getting Made", I laughed so hard, thanks.
Lenlo
Will probably do a final review but not weekly episodes
Lenlo
But I watched it. Its alright, im gonna watch it to the end.
Lenlo
@animosh, I dont know about them.
Animosh
Oh, that sounds very promising! I've always found thematic explorations of virtual reality very interesting. You know: What is "real" and what isn't? Does it even matter? And what place should virtual reality have in society? In previous seasons those themes were a bit dumbed down, so I'd be up for seeing them explored in some more detail. And with four cours, there's plenty of time to do so.
Amagi
I am not yet sure how much SAO III will suffer from the lacking inner monologue though. The interesting part fo it was the world building and the taboos and how it was the first actual simulation and creation of humanity and the birth of a virtual culture, with mods and admins being literal gods in the VR, like some matrix thing. The anime skipped a lot and actions they do feel more casual there.
Amagi
@Animosh: Well the author did improve a lot, I actually consider most of Accel World as pretty good, especially the later arcs. Thanks for reminding me to buy the last two volumes by the way.
Animosh
I'm sure it won't be great (hell, given SAO's track record, it'll almost certainly end up punishing me for getting my hopes up), but there are at least signs that the author has recognized what went wrong in previous seasons and is trying to correct his mistakes. So with some luck, I might just end up enjoying this season! Maybe. Not getting my hopes up too much though.
Animosh
And where previous seasons barely made any attempts to build up the various virtual worlds, this season is taking it slow so far, which makes it feel more like a well-realized world than a generic fantasy blob. And last but not least, it seems Kirito will have to start over, so even if he'll inevitably end up OP again, he'll probably have to work for it, which is something the series really needed
Animosh
For example: the old cast has been stuck in the harem-mold for a long time, and that makes them incredibly dull. Most of them only exist to make Kirito look good, and barely have any agency of their own. But the new characters are different (so far at least). The most prominent new character (Eugeo) is male, and has clear goals of his own.
Animosh
By the way, did you guys skip Sword Art Online for your first impressions posts? I know you're not fond of the series (and rightly so, because it's way too popular for such a mediocre series), but I actually think it's been pretty decent so far. A fresh start with a largely new cast is exactly what the series needed, and there are some promising signs it's heading in a positive direction.
Animosh
@Amagi: I felt the same way after the episode. It's a very predictable move, but somehow I still didn't see it coming. I guess I should have known better than to trust a happy-go-lucky love interest (although I'm rooting for Rikka) after Darling in the Franxx.
Animosh
But in their own ways they still offered the kind of wild and wacky ride through adolescent insecurities that FLCL is known for, and the characters were likable enough (even if underdeveloped). The OST remains strong too. So although the series could definitely have been better, overall I think this has been a pretty enjoyable revival of the series.
Animosh
After its slow start I'm glad FLCL at least managed to end on a fairly strong note. I still think it's a shame none of the two series really managed to replicate the surreal craziness and visual inventiveness of the original (though Progressive did try), and the wider focus of both series compared to OG FLCL (with the same number of episodes) backfired a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Sometimes the offscreen content can allow our imaginations to work and disturb us more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Deception more like.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girl wasn't even pregnant, show telling lies, too lazy to draw pregnancy too probably .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Was your internet acting weird today? Don't know what provider you're using but mine only came back an hour ago or so, lots of people in Dublin were reporting connection issues and in other counties too.
SuperMario
@Amagi: still haven't watched the second one but the first episode did surprise me
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Still ain't watching it
Amagi
Okay I didn't really see the content of ep 2 of Gridman coming. I feel like I should have seen this coming, but I didn't.
Masky
I'm honestly confused about Conception since I'm under impression that Conception games are about "Do some sort of weird ritual to create "Star Child" which doesn't actually involve pregnancy". Like did game also go this far, did anime change this or is this setup for second episode to start with "lol just kidding" or what the frick
Amagi
I think deaths are often the best examples of failed attempts to keep the audience invested. Regardless how many tears there are and how tragic the death is, I won't care when the series itself is bad, the character not flashed out or the scene forced. I have seen series in which one died offscreen that hit me harder than a full episode of whining over some dead moe blobb.
Amagi
There are a lot anime like that since the presentation is important. There are many of those convoluted trainwrecks with 10 different plot twist where one or two of them are actually good on paper but do nothing when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding those crap light novel shows...it really is a sign isn't it, that its so bad sometimes, that even if it does something that appeals to you/would titillate you, you still don't care and won't watch it, because its so shit.
Lenlo
A poll assumes people would actually vote in it. I guess I can try it out and see if people care enough for it, sure. Still, would need things to put on said poll, so feel free to suggest
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes with these shows you just have to let them wash over you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Perhaps I could say similar about irozuku as I do Yagate.
Amagi
I am kinda happy I managed to avoid all bad series this season with the exception of Release the Spyce which I only tried because I gave it the benefit of doubt due to having enjoyed Princess principal to some degree despite its many flaws.
SuperMario
I'm back after a week vacation and the first thing I watched again was Conception. I mean I was prepared but this show is one of the reason we all need break to stay sane
Kaiser-Eoghan
I need a refresher on the early bits of vinland and Viking Count Dooku (Askeladd) arc so watching the anime would be a great recap oppurtunity.
Amagi
I really hope Vinland Saga will have a good budget. The promo pic looks pretty damn good but I also liked the very first promo pic of the last Berserk series and we all know how that one turned out.
Amagi
And yes Legosi also always makes me think of Bela Lugosi. I guess I watched too many old movies.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I strangely also lost interest in some game series I liked as little kid, Megaman too for example. I guess there are just series that can work on NES and SNES but not that well as 3D series on modern consoles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I come away from irozuku feeling I watched an aethetically pleasing, somewhat cute show but not much else, but that may not be an entirely bad thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@lenlo: Alternatively you could put up a poll.
Lenlo
Thats a good idea Kaiser! I read all the comments, so if there are any you think would be good feel free to suggest them. I can compile a list and pick one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: To make things easier, perhaps each season, for variety, the throwback Thursday thing could pick a different genre for it each season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Every time I read his name in Beastars, I kept thinking the actors name "Bela Legosi" because the wolf's name was legosi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Weird tangent, looking up Irozuku on google image search reveals theres a porn actress with the same name as the lead female character =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes I think the fans had better ideas for the games.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that I hated any of his games though, but they did have diminishing returns and weren't always consistent in quality. It was disappointing when they started going for some kind of story, then kind of dropped it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was a big fan of megaman growing up, but like sonic, unlike Mario and Zelda, his games got increasingly diluted the more the franchise went on, megaman didn't work in 3D either. Also the second nes one has a really neat soundtrack =)
Vonter
Megaman 11 made me want to play the old games. So I bought the first Legacy Collection pack which has a rewind feature. The first game is hard and cheap at some spots. It also feels a bit stiff. Still it's funny spotting things that were changed in every other entry. Like the boss checkpoints having enemies and traps. Also I think this is the only game showing Dr. Light's house from the outside.
Lenlo
Ah, that anon was me! Was on my phone
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: My beastars post would have gone into spoilers. I decided to private message instead.
Anonymous2930785
I am very happy that Shorter isnt a one and done event.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In regards to humour. However in terms of anime humour, something like hoozuki no reitatsu would have me losing my shit laughing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I love stuff by Bunuel or Roy Anderson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I prefer sardonic, sad bastard, bleak, dry/depressing or particularly serious but surreal comedy, humour/comedy played straight .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, yes as expected with Zombieland saga, I gave it a second episode chance, but this is an easy drop for me, its just how comedy goes sometimes, but I didn't laugh once during this episode , just left me cold/blank to it.
Amagi
It's like that season that had SoraYori, I watched like 7 other shows but I only remember SoryYori by now.
Amagi
I think for the last season (counting finished series) this is only true for Planet With. I do remember Chiochan when I think a bit but spontaneosly I couldn't come up with anything else if I had a time limit of 20 seconds or so.
Amagi
I often only really become aware about which series I liked the most when I try remembering the respective season months later. I often enjoy a bunch of shows and watch even more, and yet, at the end of the day, there is always onely one or two that actually stick in my mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to say again, I'm glad that Shorter is still being remembered episodes after him leaving the show. Thought they could have held that scene with yut-lung longer, its obvious he despises Eiji. Sudden gag in this episodes middle threw me off. lol at that killing attempt in the second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also a horror manga about Robert Johnson, me and the devil blues.
Amagi
Speaking of great manga series, everyone should try Shiori Experience, the Jimmy Hendrix manga. There is barely any series that hypes me up as much as this one and I read a lot. This could be the anime of the year if it would get adapted by a competent team and get a good budget and appropriate OST.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think I will marathon the rest of Dorohedoro the next days. And then looking forward to her next series.
Amagi
Zombieland Saga is the only new anime that actually surprised me. I am not talking about good or bad here, there are a bunch of other pretty good series airing right now but Zombieland is the only one that caught me off-guard in a positive way.
AidanAK47
Okay, I think I love Zombieland Saga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've embraced bunny-girls approach to its dialogue/drama now with the second episode, also they go a bit into her past in this episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I'll be posting my thoughts later. Also, there's on one chapter of dorohedoro left.
Amagi
There are 7 new Beastars chapters out, I really liked the climax here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On a tangent, damn you mappa, adapt Freesia already .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I needed to watch red garden twice to really "get" it, as in for it to click for me, its a show that picks up near the middle.
Amagi
It had scenes you rarely see in anime that do happen all the time in real life, like friends talking across each other, people talking at the same time or interrupting others.
Amagi
@Niel: Have you seen Red Garden? A lot of people agreed that it had the most natural dialogues of the anime that aired that year so maybe you would enjoy that too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animmosh: josei yuri I would welcome being adapted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Hana wa saku, yuutsu no asa and Acid town adaptation WHEN.
Animosh
Yuri gets all the hype, but yaoi gets all the glory.
Animosh
So, yeah, if other folk here haven't seen it yet, give it a try! By the way, it's interesting how what probably were my two favorite shows of the past season (Banana Fish and this one) were both BL shows. Can't say I saw that coming.
Animosh
It's kind of reminiscent of classics like Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but with some anime tropes added to the mix (the bubbly main character and his tsundere love interest), and with less emphasis on politics and more on horror and fantasy. And for a Chinese series, the animation is really solid, in spite of the occasional CGI hiccup. The backgrounds in particular are very easy on the eyes.
Animosh
I don't remember who it was, but thanks for recommending Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation! It's surprisingly good for a show I had heard so little about. I love historical epics, and the main characters are built up very well and have a lot of chemistry. I do wish the antagonists were more interesting (they're very black-and-white), but the protagonists are all a lot of fun to watch.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*didn't work for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niel: Garo didn't work for outside of the fantasy setting.
Niel
The exceptions to this are usually shorts and films. You don't get to see them often in TV series. As for the story, I don't have nearly enough patience for monster-of-the-week formula as I did years ago, so if it's just going the generic tokusatsu route then you'll hear from me. but since Garo wasn't too bad I have hope that they will do something interesting with this.
Niel
The environments also feel so much more like places where people live and hang out. Take the school room for example. Anime rarely portray school rooms as this place where teenagers gather and play during break. It's usually only consist of people talking with no mischieve whatsoever. And when there are scenes of bedroom they often feels more like a showroom than a place where someone live in.
Niel
@Lenlo @Aidan Your impressions of Gridman are fair. I'm just really excited for Gridman because two of my main pet peeves with anime are the unnatural dialogue, and bland and sterilised background environments. Here when characters talk, it actually seem so much closer to the conversation flow you'd see more in everyday life, and I'm kind of starving for that in my anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although with drugs and anime in mind, I do wish that a sports anime that addresses cheating through performance enhancing drugs would be made.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Release the spyce and drug use? I find this odd, I think I heard that the Japanese had a thing about depicting that (drugs) in animation/on tv when it came to young charcters.
Masky
Like, sure, it has tactical goblin slaughter action, but its more about how broken mess of person Goblin Slayer is and how he learns to connect with people. Its surprisingly insightful at times, but the trashy parts really clash with the actual tone of series considering its only purpose is pretty much "Goblins are horrible" which is point you got with gore in first place
Masky
Anyhoo, yeah, made already comment about it on the blog, but I really feel like trashy parts of Goblin Slayer clash with what it is about
Masky
Oh yeah, that was surprisingly hilarious. Mostly because English was surprisingly good
Lenlo
I should not like Honda-San as much as I do. But I love it.
Masky
Like, lot of writers, game developers, comic artists, etc, they clearly base their works on stuff they were fan of. Lot of people get inspired by stuff they enjoyed during their childhood for example. There is no real difference between "Being inspired to do same type of thing you liked" and "You copied something popular" besides the level of half assedness
Masky
@SuperWooper: What I feel like is that there is nothing new under the sun. Whenever something feels like original, its mostly that you yourself just haven't seen it before or the execution feels fresh or the cliches and tropes haven't been used in a while
Amagi
I really don't like the highschool boy suddently getting super power and mega robot-kind of trope so they better add some more original stuff to make up for this.
Amagi
I might still enjoy this series though depending on the ideas the writers might have. As usual, much of my enjoyment depends on the antagonist. If this should really be nothing than a typical toku show with evil villain I will probably drop it too.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I only watch sub, I kinda feel like the first half was good dialoguewise but I know what Aidan and Lenlo mean, I generally didn't like the second half of the episode.
SuperWooper
Being a writer for an anime blog, I'm not really qualified to say.
AidanAK47
@Wooper, what is originality?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although personally I won't be watching gridman due to not being a fan of trigger.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In Goblin slayer I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just glad that the protaganist is a guy in his 20s for a change.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did you all watch gridman in English or Japanese? I ask because, perhaps the dialogue might have been an issue with the dub or something?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, it seems I wasn't really paying much attention to the animation in Goblin slayer, I was having too much fun with it.
Total users: 28

Star Crossed Anime Blog

7 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Kaze Ga Tsukyoku Fuiteiru – 3 [A Single Flower]

Hello and welcome to week 3 of Kaze Fui! This time our boys start running, Kurahara meets someone from his past and poor Akane ups and dies. Lets jump in! So general stuff first, Kaze Fui continues to look just beautiful. The running animation really is nice, and its unique for each runner. From Kurahara’s […]

SSSS.GRIDMAN – 02 [Restoration]

Me blogging a Trigger show? Well, I’ll be damned myself but life does take some strange turn. Not that I’m a Trigger naysayer but if I’ll be honest, Trigger shows tend to rub me in a wrong way. The studio is seen as the successor of Gainax for one thing, and the overhyped reactions from […]

Goblin Slayer – 02[Goblin Slayer]

The opening to this series is surprisingly more melancholic than I would have expected. When the shows opening started I was waiting for it to break into heavy metal but it stayed low and actually does match the rather dark nature of the series itself. After all this is a series about a PTSD madman […]

Zombieland Saga – 02[I ♡ HIP HOP SAGA]

Zombieland Saga is madness. Pure insanity that could be complete genius or absolute idiocy. So for those who haven’t heard this anime is not the zombie apocalypse show that was initially thought, as a matter of fact the zombie apocalypse footage in the trailer was in fact a video the producer showed the girls to […]

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara – 02 [I Can’t Stand Magic]

It’s always neat to see a work that feels every inch a P.A Works production. When you think about the studio, you’d immediately associate them with their original shows, chief among them ‘Mature women in workplace’ unofficial trilogy, and The Eccentric Family (I consider the latter their pinnacle work). For the last 5,6 years the […]

Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san – 2 [Let Me Introduce My Crazy Colleagues in This Bookstore!]

Ladies, Gentlemen and everyone in between, I welcome you to the 2nd episode of Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-San, the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. Lets jump in! Considering Honda-San’s material, I am not even going to bother with spoilers. It’s a comedy short, deal with it. These posts will also be a […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 – 02 [The Stolen Sorcerous Blades]

Fun fact, I had just been to Taiwan and while in their local old bookstores and DVDs, I saw a section of puppetry animation dvds in the corner of the store (should’ve bought one now that I think about it). Apparently wuxia puppetry has a niche market in Taiwan, and so I’m glad that me, […]

Banana Fish – 14 [Tender is the Night]

Welcome to an all new episode of Banana Fish! This time with a new OP, ED and progressed plot points. Lets jump in! So before I get into spoilers, let’s talk about the new OP and ED. The OP is Freedom by Blue Encount, while the ED is Red by Survive Said The Prophet. Personally, […]

Planetes – 1 [Outside the Atmosphere] – Throwback Thursday

Hello and welcome to the start of a new series I am calling Throwback Thursday. Basically, each season or so I will be selecting an older anime. One that might have passed under people’s radar, and blogging it as I would any normal seasonal series. The hope is to give some older anime the recognition […]

Latest Reviews

Planet With Anime Review – 90/100

Planet With is an anime that likely leaves many unimpressed when they look at the cover and makes for a solid proof that you cannot judge a book by it’s cover or even by it’s first episode. Many have overlooked this show in it’s season but for those that did give it chance it went […]

My Hero Academia: Two Heroes (Dubbed) – 84/100

Ah, the movie tie in. A right of passage for all aspiring Shounen series. Some, like One Piece have weathered it and come out Golden, while others are better forgotten (Looking at you Bleach). My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, in my opinion, is closer to former. Animated by BONES , Directed by Kenji Nagasaki and […]

A quick and dirty review of Angolmois: Record of the Mongol Invasion

What it claims to be about: Angolmois (a reference to a Nostradamus prophesy which is rather irrelevant for the show, as he lived several centuries after the events) focuses on the first Mongol Invasion of Japan in 1274. Specifically it focuses on the early phase of the invasion when the Mongols attack Tsushima, which essentially […]

Steins;Gate 0 Anime Review – 60/100

Before I begin this review in earnest, I have to ask, who doesn’t know about Steins;Gate? The amazing, beloved original series that Steins;Gate 0 is an offshoot of. Well if you don’t, if you haven’t seen the original, then stop now. Steins;Gate 0 is not worth it. It is not for you. Without having seen […]

Mirai (2018) Movie Review – 81/100

Watching Mirai, there are two observations that spring right up to my mind: Mirai is Hosoda’s most grounded, personal film and it plays out completely different from what I expected based from the promotional materials. My feeling is confirmed when I later learned that Hosoda based the concept from watching his own children’s react, and […]

Fate/Extra Last Encore Anime Review – 40/100

To many the Fate series is daunting with its numerous incarnations and spinoffs and here in the year of many a Fate adaption we get another one by Studio Shaft which was first thought to adapt the story of the PSP game Fate/Extra. Fate/Extra could basically be considered Fate with a sci-fi twist as this […]

Darling in the Franxx Anime Review – 57/100

In following anime seasons it can be quite an experience to follow a show as it airs as the hype and rollercoaster of reactions can be entertainment in its own right. In that regard Darling in the Franxx was a hell of a ride as week by week peoples feelings for it ran hot and […]

Hisone to Masotan (2018 Spring) Review – 73/100

Coming off as one of my most anticipated anime out of this last Spring Season, based solely on staffs involved alone – after all, an original anime written by Mari Okada and produced by Bones (which I regarded as one of the best anime studio working right now) – I can’t help but feel let […]

Megalo Box – 86/100

Ah boxing, the quintessential manly man sport of beating each other unconscious. In anime, the sport was first forged in the fires of Ashita no Joe, and some would say later perfected by Hajime no Ippo. Both fantastic series in their own right. Both filled to the brim with epic clashes of wills, phenomenal characters and […]