Posted on 28 June 2015 with categories: Anime Reviews, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided on what to think of it, some will claim it’s overhyped garbage, others will think it’s the greatest thing on the face of the planet and few such as myself will see it as good but short of what it could have been. Let me give two pointers on things which could help your enjoyment. One, do not walk into this expecting Fate/Zero 2, many did and naturally they were disappointed. Basically what you should expect here is not a mature thriller but rather a shounen action. This isn’t Fate/Zero and it isn’t trying to be. Second, marathon it. The pacing of this series is dead slow and it’s better experienced in binge sessions rather than sporadically. For those who have no idea on wherther to start from here or watch Fate/Zero first you can start from either and there is no real proper order to watch these shows.

The characters and their interactions are enjoyable though some characters basically disappear in it’s second half. Shirou and Rin make a enjoyable partnership thats a joy to watch and the charisma of Lancer and Archer makes it just impossible to dislike them. The plot has interesting themes though at times they can feel forced down your throat but overall the presentation of a selfless hero’s flaws is interesting. Your enjoyment of the series may depend on your knowledge of the source material as the anime does a poor job of conveying some things which can make certain parts of the story seem like deus ex machina or cheap developments. That aside there are also weaknesses in the original text that carry over to the anime such as excessive monologuing and exposition which becomes tedious in the second half of the series when the fights become much shorter due to either a waning budget or poor decision making.

Regardless of whether people love it or hate it, this anime has set a new standard in animation and art for anime to strive for. The fight scenes only are the kind of thing that action anime dream of. I mean just look at the screenshots for these reviews, this anime is beautifully drawn and beautifully animated. This kind of quality is unimaginable for anime years before and if studios each strive for it we could be seeing an upsurge of truly visually stunning anime. Perhaps then the best animated fights in action anime will not be in the opening of the series. Music for the series is excellent but sadly not quite as noticeable, while scenes are enhanced by it there are a bit too many points of silence in episodes. The pacing of the series is it’s biggest flaw, ranging from hot and cold periods before entering into a snail’s pace for it’s second half. The second half of the series is were the main problems come in as the amount of material left in the game was not enough for a full one cour season. Things begin to get dragged out as dialogues stretch on and less and less happens each episode but if you can get through it you will receive an excellent climax with a resolute satisfying ending.

Despite it having many flaws I do believe this is an anime that anime fans should make a must watch even if only for the visuals. The first half of the series truly is excellent and for all the problems of the second half there are still standout moments such as internal visualization of Shirou coming to terms with his answer to the battle of berserker and Gilgamesh. There is definitely things to love in this adaption and hopefully for new fans it can birth an interest in the series as a whole. Now there’s only the hope that maybe the blu-rays will add more action scenes to the second half and that the upcoming Heaven’s feel movie can be as great as it can be.

Posted on with categories: Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

And so it ends. Surprisingly the majority of this episode is anime original content as the true end of the visual novel is shown in a flashback. Overall I like it more than the original ending as I did wonder just what happened when Shirou went to the Clock tower with Rin. Fans will noticed the appearances of Luvia and Waver who show up briefly. I really love that Waver showed up to talk with Shirou about him turning down the offer but it would have been good if he mentioned his experience with the fourth holy grail war. One thing that annoys me is that part of the episode was dedicated to a fight between Luvia and Rin because now I know that part of the budget was put aside for this fight when it could have been better put to the Assassin fight or other fights that really needed it. While it is disappointing that we didn’t get to see Shirou and Rin kiss, it is great to see their love which looks to me that Rins wearing the pants in the relationship. The visit to Sabers potential grave was a nice touch as well, giving Shirou time to say goodbye. This episode was a very good conclusion, tied up the loose ends and gave us a peek into what lies ahead. Whether Shirou does become Archer or not is up to the viewer to decide though canon wise, officially he doesn’t. It was stated that Shirou’s chances of becoming Archer in any of the three routes is rather small. The route where Shirou does become Archer has been assumed to be in the Illya route which sadly never came to be. Take note that you can take that with a grain of salt as it seems this adaption is supposed to be it’s own thing so if you believe that Shirou does become Archer in the future then by all accounts you aren’t wrong.

I cannot say enough how glad I am that they didn’t decide to animate the good ending of the route. For you see this route has two endings, the true ending and the good ending. The true ending is pretty much what you saw in the flashback, Rin inviting Shirou to come to the clock tower with her after graduation and does what an ending should, tie up everything. The good ending on the other hand basically has Saber still remain in the world, Shirou still rather oblivious to Rins affections and Rin telling him that to keep Saber in the world there is going to have to be a lot of….shall we say…mana refueling? It’s stupid and only exists for the Saber fans to enjoy. I knew that the chances of it getting animated was unlikely but well there’s always a small doubt.

As the credits roll on the episode I took the time to lay back and question when was the last time I saw a genuine satisfying ending such as this to an anime series. It’s strange that with so many anime being made that a great conclusion is actually a rare thing. Too many series end with a life goes on or a to be continued for another season which may never come to be. In that regard this episode is something special, because it caps off the series. While it is certainly not the last time we will see Fate/Stay night again(After all, Heaven’s feel is coming.) at least for this incarnation of the heroes this is the end. It’s good that this series has a ending it deserves to wash away some of my discontent with some of the last episodes. But sadly let’s talk about that. Many people seem to be pointing the finger at Miura for the flaws of this second season and it is true that he shouldn’t have been given the director’s seat for this project. He was far too inexperienced with directing a series and his only real credit was what is universally agreed to be the worst Kara no Kyoukai movie. Honestly considering that this may be his first major project it’s a commendable effort but the fact of the matter is that in someone else’s hands this good series, could have been great. Other faults at hand was a lack of material for the second season causing the pacing to slow to crawl, new anime only material being mostly inconsequential, an underutilized great soundtrack, a significant reduction of action sequences and too much focus on redundant dialogue. Still with all my problems with the series aside, this is likely the best, and only, adaption of this route that we are going to get. All things considered this is very far from a failure and I feel as when time comes to rewatch the series with my expectations more grounded, I think I will regard it more highly.

Posted on 23 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

Now this is more like it. Well as they say, better late than never and this was at least the best moment to bring back the quality. All I ask is where this was three episodes ago which it could have made all the difference in the world. Admittedly this episode has made me a lot less bitter about this second season as at least now it has a great finale. At first my expectations were set to low as once again dialogue was giving more presence with Gilgamesh rehashing what Archer was saying to Shirou having a good but unnecessary monologue. But what followed has been everything I have been waiting for in this adaption. It’s true that Shirou was showing a level of power that was beyond a human and that by realistic standards he should have been shredded to bits. (There are some explanations for this like UBW being able to copy the abilities of the owners welder but it’s only feasible at best.) But I honestly don’t care as it was exhilarating, beautiful and exciting being the fight I was long promised but not delivered till now. I am sad that other fights up till now were not given this treatment and I hold a vain hope that maybe Ufotable will add more to them for the blu-ray discs. For a fan it’s a real treat as we have, not one, not two, not three but four new remixes of songs from the visual novel. (There may be others that I missed) Those being Last Strength, Sword of promised victory, New Dawn and Disillusions piano version with Emiya played again at the climax for absolute perfection. Disillusions piano version is as emotionally sombre as ever and I feel that Sword of promised victory was done better here than Yuki’s Fate/Zero version where the choirs drained some of the impact of the song. Nostalgia may be making a fool out of me in how I am getting so excited about these songs but more than anything this show was made for the fans and this is fanservice I can get behind.

Previously I stated that even though Archer used UBW twice that it doesn’t really explain his strange mana levels. This episode shows exactly why that is the case as Archer shows up for one last attack on both Gilgamesh and the grail. Whether it is  in the visual novel or the anime this moment has always been a pretty poor deus ex machina because the only explanation for Archer still being alive is independent action. He faked his death? Can’t be done, servants can sense other servants, except for Assassin who has presence concealment, so even if he tried to fake his death both Gilgamesh and Saber should have noticed he was still around. Independent action? This only allows the servant to stay in the world two days and that estimate is based on avoiding fighting and using the absolute minimum of mana, which Archer was clearly not doing. The best excuse for this that I have gotten was that while he was Castors servant, he stockpiled on mana but this has issues as well. There is also an argument that Archer was brought back as a counter guardian seeing as the world was in peril and while I like this explaination I am afraid it doesn’t work out either as if Archer was summoned as a counter guardian then he wouldn’t remember the events of this holy grail war.  All and all Archer coming back for the final fight should be impossible but while it is cheap, at least it gives Rin a moment to say a last goodbye to him and wrap up his arc. Whether Archer used UBW once or twice doesn’t matter as this moment is still not justified and this is one of the things that shows that the source material wasn’t perfect. Archers final smile at least showed that Shirou wasn’t the only one who gained something from all this, at least now he has regained some of the optimism that put him on this path in the first place despite what awaits him.

This final fight does make me recall the fact that I only started liking Gilgamesh once I read Fate/zero as it is true that he and Kirei are fairly one dimensional in this route and the Fate route. But this fight does show the genius of Gilgameshs character. Put frankly, Gilgamesh is unbeatable. He is such a powerful opponent that if he went all out he could win the Holy Grail war within a day or even less. In terms of ability he trumps everyone so it is just so perfectly suitable that his only weakness lies in his personality. Gilgamesh is so egotistical that to go all out against someone who he seems not worty is an insult of the highest caliber. Throughout this fight he was constantly handicapping himself what from the fact that he didn’t wear armour, his limited usage of Gate of Babylon and his reluctance to use Ea. One moment I adore is the point where Shirou is about to land the killing blow and Gilgamesh is preparing to draw Ea but before he grips the handle, he hesitates. It was that moment of hesitation that sealed his doom and what truly made this a win for Shirou. Archer may have stuck the killing blow but Shirou made him take him seriously as a fighter and as the king said so himself, the moment he does that would be the the moment he truly lost. The story is essentially complete now and all that remains is the epilogue but I wonder just what will they put in to fill a episode. At worse it will just be them going to school and time wasting and at best it could elaborate on just what awaits Rin and Shirou in the future. Well let’s just wrap it up and start the long excruciating wait for Heavens Feel.

Posted on 16 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

Sometimes it’s hard being a veteran anime fan and a huge Fate Franchise fan. I sit down to watch the latest episode of this series and I want to shut up the cynical critic in the back of my brain pointing out everything that is wrong with this episode. But as events I adored from the visual novel come up and feel lesser than what I recall, a question surfaces in my mind. I like this second half of Fate/stay night, but why don’t I love it? This is an adaption of my favourite route, from one of my very first and  favourite visual novels. I should love this. I should be gushing from the heavens about how amazing this is and that none shall reach the heights of its glorious magnificence. But I don’t love it, no matter how many times I try to shut out that critical voice, I can’t help but feel that this isn’t as good as it should be. I know that to others this anime is perfectly fine, great even. I could say that my memories of the visual novel are seen from rose tinted glasses but honestly my issue with this anime isn’t that it’s not a one to one recreation of the visual novel. I don’t want monologues or excess exposition, if I did then I would just read the visual novel again. I didn’t walk into this anime adaption thinking that I couldn’t wait till I saw Archer monologue about counter guardians. I walked into this because I wanted to see those exciting fights I read about in true Ufotable animated glory. For what is the point of a full animated recreation of all spoken exposition scenes in the visual novel? Something like that is no better than a audio book.

A number of times in this episode I noticed a character make a declaration of “The real fight starts here!” only to cut away to another fight where both combatants stop fighting and start talking. What is this, a Shounen battle anime? The real victim of this cut down of action scenes is Assassin. His fight in this route is his main glory to the series, his time in the limelight and the poor guy was taken down in less than two minutes. There was supposed to be a decent fight scene between the two where Saber bends Assassins sword with her blows which in turn creates a gap in Assassin’s Tsubame Gaeshi technique. Saber then exploits that gap to strike the finishing blow, but here Saber just dodges Tsubame Gashi and cuts him down, an anticlimactic end to what should have been a exciting fight. Assassins last words were done well at least, with him sitting down on the steps in his last moments. It’s unbelievable that I say this, but Studio Deen’s 2006 Fate/stay night did this scene better. I shouldn’t be saying that, but I pin the blame on Ufotable placing more emphasis on the dialogue than the conflicts themselves.

For the positives of this episode, what little fighting there was, was good. Gilgamesh pulling out Ea to hit the grail was more or less original content but it makes a good deal more sense than him using Ea on Shirou for no reason and Shirou surviving by means unspecified. The grail growing an arm was a bit weird but at least it shows its desire to use Gilgamesh as a substitute core. Still on the fence about why Gilgamesh would use Ea to destroy the very thing he intends to use to destroy the world but well it’s Gilgamesh. Chances are that he just got annoyed by it. Speaking of his intentions, I was rather surprised when Rin asked Gilgamesh what he intents for the grail when he made it abundantly clear when he encountered them in Illya’s castle. Gilgamesh essentially repeats himself and I wonder as to why we couldn’t cut out his speech from two episodes previous and add that runtime to Archer and Shirou fight. So ladies and gents, this is it. The next episode is the conclusion to the last fight of the series and will ultimately determine my feelings for the series as a whole. So I ask, nay I plea. Ufotable, I know you can give this fight justice, you have shown me before that you have the capability. All I ask is that you display the excellence shown at the berserker fight of the first season once more to give this show the finale it deserves. This is the last adaption this route is going to get and likely the best we can hope for, I just don’t want to walk away from it disappointed.

Posted on 7 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

A fairly uneventful episode this week.In some ways for me that’s good as it allows me to go into detail about the nature of the ever so popular CGI dolpins. But first let’s speak about what happened. Our three heroes had a strategy meeting discussing how to deal with Gilgamesh and the grail while all coming to the agreement that the grail should now be destroyed. Upon figuring out that Shirou is likely the best opponent for Gilgamesh, Rin then creates a link between her and Shirou so that he can make use of her reserves of mana. Saber comes to terms with the answer she gained from Shirou’s battle. And Shinji has turned into a berserker Eva unit. The strategy meeting was pretty much as expected. What I feel was the best part of the episode, though in truth it is a little tacked on to give Saber some closure to her arc, was Sabers conversation. It really was a conversation for the viewers than Shirou as even Saber knows he wouldn’t understand exactly what she is talking about. But seeing her walk around and talking with Shirou with a serene smile really showed that she had come to terms with her past. It was a pretty powerful scene when you think of just what she has been though and should benefit the events to come. The holy grails form has a small change from its visual novel counterpart. Now the mass of flesh has a large human like effigy on top of it that houses shinji who’s not looking his best. Overall I like the change though the Shinji shot was a little unnecessary. But I rather wish it kept the metal design it had before the mass of flesh emerged. I rather liked the look.

Now to the meat of the episode. For a long time now one of the greatest criticisms of Studio Deens Fate/stay night was the decision to replace a scene that was originally a sex scene with this magic circuit transplant that happened to show it using one of the worst examples of CGI in anime, a CGI dragon. The tradition was kept with the movie of this route, where they used terrible CGI dolphins to show Rin linking her mana with Shirou’s. These scenes are mocked to high heaven and when I see someone bashing them I can’t help but find it most amusing. It is to me a perfect example of just how blind a fanboy can be to the flaws of the work. So lets just get this straight, in this scene of the visual novel, Rin and Shirou have sex as it is the condition to set up this magic link. This is something that a lot of visual novels have in common, forced in sex scenes. For some odd reason there is some unwritten rule that visual novels must have sex scenes, even if it’s not suitable. Because of this visual novels tend to have contrived situations to push the characters towards sex near the end of a route. Here’s the important thing. Fate/stay Nights sex scenes are not known to be good. As a matter of fact, sex scenes in any Type Moon visual novel have an infamous reputation for being hilariously awful. There is some explanation saying that Nasu left the sex scenes to a different writer but regardless they have lines that would rival Fifty Shades of Grey in terrible writing. Type Moon even had a competition where they got fans to write the most purposefully terrible and funny sex scenes and featured some of the highlights in the fan-disc of Tsukihime. So I just find it amusing that there are people mocking Dolphins and Dragons of Deen when the Visual novel sports such standout sex dialogue as “It makes me feel so good that I want to vomit.” and “My grotesque meat stabs into her” Of course even taking out that it isn’t really logical for there to be a easy way to share mana and have Mages not be making use of it. Shouldn’t there be mage wives who are made to be mana batteries in this case? It makes more sense that this link would require such a huge sacrifice or else there is the question of why other mages don’t make use of the method.

Ufotables treatment of the scene is at least decent. I liked the inclusion of the scene with Shirou trying to do a high jump in the school yard. It is the scene that sparked both Sakura’s and Rin’s interest in Shirou. Makes sense that she wouldn’t want him to know about it. But Rin really did go into tsundere overdrive when for the majority of the series she was keeping it pretty under control. Admitly the heavily sex implied talk they had before the act was rather entertaining and fairly humorous. I do pity the English dub voice actor whose going to have to lip sync and pronounce all that mangled German. That will be a hard task to pull off. However, though they were only on screen of about a few seconds, those CGI fish/tadpoles/whatever looked terrible. Would have been best just to keep it to the CGI mana circuits lighting up and left it at that Ufotable. Next week is a decisive moment and where the series enters its climax. My final opinion on this will depend heavily on how these last episodes pan out but I am hoping they live up to expectation. They can’t rush it, that’s for sure as this is where the budget should really be going. I noticed in images for the next episode that looks like a part from near the end of the fight and it worries me. This is the big moment, do not mess this up.

Posted on 2 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

I am not happy. To say I was disappointed in this episode would be an understatement. I am, to be frank, angry. So much so that I have to admit something that I really don’t want to admit. For you see from what has been shown of the second cour so far I would deem it weak. Not bad per say but not what I have come to expect after the quality of the first cour. The story has been padded and the events that should have large impact have been lesser than they should. More importantly there is a lack of action in the second cour when the first cour at least let loose every now and then. I have begun to fear that the fan titled “Unlimited Budget works” may in fact be running low on the budget. I notice more that they are avoiding showing action and in this episode there is points where art is sacrificed for movement in the action sequences causing It to look off. I hope this is just them saving for the finale because if the budget really is running short then this is the worst possible time for it. We are reaching the finale of UBW which is pretty action packed. This really is the time to bring out all the stops and make this mind blowing, otherwise it will be a disappointing finale. Though admittedly on a rewatch my mind has changed. I am still disappointed that there’s more exposition than action, that the song Emiya only played for 30 seconds(There better be a full version) and that the end of the fight didn’t bring me the joy it would but it isn’t bad. I think this is a matter were my expectations prevented me from enjoying what I got. But here’s the odd thing, I believe that Studio Deen did this scene better in the Unlimited Bladeworks movie.

Yes, in that movie the meaning behind what they were saying was lost but the exhilaration of the fight from the visual novel was there. More importantly, they were fighting while talking which is likely how this would go down. In terms of presentation, Ufotables version is a debate whereas Studio Deens was a brawl. Ufotables version may get across the meaning behind the scene(Though fans say otherwise. But honestly I don’t think everything needs to be spelled out to get the point across. Actually considering what has been shown, I think anyone would get the point seeing as it’s been hammered down to into them to the level where it cannot be ignored) but arguable Deen got the impact which I would deem more important. I couldn’t care less if the fight was less accurate to the visual novel or not, it was fun to watch and damn satisfying. More so than the anti-climatic Ufotable version.

The second half of the episode was all about Gilgamesh cluing in Saber and the rest about the contents of the grail and what he plans for it. It was long, rather tedious and pretty much the worst way to present this information. Infodumping on characters should be a last resort for shows and can only really work if you can work it like the exposition master, Gen. This really shows that Gilgamesh for all his character in Fate/Zero will not get much in Fate/Stay Night. The Fate route is likely the best end for him but here he’s just the last endboss. Kirei is treated in a similar manner but at least gets his much needed development from Heavens Feel. UBW is mostly Gilgamesh’s most active role in Fate/Stay Night as his role in Heavens Feel is minor so sadly this is really all he gets. Many claim that despite him saying he was not affected by the grail that it still managed to corrupt him a little as the Gilgamesh in Fate/Stay Night seems like a different man from how he was in Fate/Zero. His goal of destroying mankind is rather by the numbers and him putting up with Shinji trying to pathetically lord over him without destroying him is a mystery in itself. Speaking of which, congratulations Shinji! You are finally useful for once in your life. Now that Gilgamesh has shoved the grail core inside of you and it’s turned you into something more fitting of your nature. His Akira-like transformation was both disgusting and strangely pleasing. A Shinji in agony is a Shinji that can be loved. We have three episodes left I think(I could be wrong on that, but I hope not. There isn’t enough materiel for more than that.) and the stage for the finale is set. The next looks to be the cooldown period and the return of the CG dolphins that are joked about at every chance. Well it’s not as if the real version from the visual novel is any less stupid. Lets see next time as, in the words of the next episode preview, Rin gives up her most precious thing.(Wink wink, nudge nudge)

Posted on 24 May 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

This episode wasn’t quite what I expected. It is true that I didn’t get the big fight I was looking for, though there were clashes going on. However this still was a very good episode. So on the matters of Kirei, Rin, Lancer and Shinji it was all done perfectly. Well there was this weird moment of Kirei slowly moving his hand down Rin’s chest but considering that it’s Kirei we are talking about he was likely just positioning his hand to rip her heart out. But thank god for Ufotable treating that unsavory scene with some dignity. You see in the visual novel Shinji attempted to rape Rin after Lancer put Kirei down. It’s a pretty bad part of the visual novel and I honestly was dreading it being adapted. However Ufotable instead changed it to Shinji choking Rin. I approve this change on so many levels. It makes more sense, it’s easier to watch and it at least doesn’t make Shinji even more of a unsalvageable mess than he already is. Though it does give this series a strange trend of woman getting strangled. Both in Zero and somewhat here as well. Actually…a Tosaka being strangled by a Mato desperate for her affection? Now I wonder if that’s intentional nod. Afterwards it’s greatly satisfying to see someone put Shinji down a peg. Lancer just was brilliant in this moment. The show really doesn’t give him enough credit. After taking a fatal wound he kills Kirei, chases off Shinji, cuts Rin’s bonds and sets the place on fire. All while dying, that battle continuation skill isn’t there for nothing. It’s also amusing to see him remark that he wished he could have had a master like Rin. In the game Fate/extra he is actually Rin’s servant but sadly they don’t make the most of it there. But Lancer what are you talking about saying you had no luck finding good woman? Fate/Grand order just put out the design for your master, Scáthach and that’s most definitely a fine woman. Amazed you could keep your mind on training. This is the last we will see of Lancer here but at least he went out with a bang.

One of the biggest complaints of this episode is Archer using Unlimited Bladeworks again. Admittedly yes, this is a huge waste of mana when he is already nearly out of it and yes, instead of making use of the reality marble he seems to just be using it to make a point. The big question that I really need to ask is….do I really care? The answer to that is no. No, I do not. Because A) even without this huge expense of mana, Archers mana problem don’t make any sense to begin with and B) this means that Archer actually uses UBW for more that just some weak one off attack on Saber. And finally C) Shirou and Archer get to fight in unlimited bladeworks, which is a perfect place for them to fight and is badass. Thankfully the CGI for unlimited bladeworks is much, much better. I wonder why it was they couldn’t do this for it’s previous appearance. So far it’s less of a fight and more Archer hammering in the points that anyone annoyed with his hero complex has wanted to say to him for a long time. I can’t really fault Archer for this. If I met myself from ten or fifteen years ago I would likely beat him bloody myself. But it is interesting to see Saber react to what he is saying as a lot of it applies to her as well. Archer isn’t speaking to her but you can tell his words are cutting her to the core. Even Shirou is getting dispirited.

Then there was the Shirou monologue and realization. Where in the battle Shirou is knocked down and the show basically shows a mental landscape and memories to represent what he is thinking. And damn, this was done magnificently. The imagery of Shirou pulling out the sword from the ground, mirroring Saber pulling the sword from the stone. Shirou walking into the hell he experienced ten years ago to show him taking the path that will lead him to his ruin. Pulling scenes from Fate/zero and showing Kiritsugu giving him Avalon. Just, perfect. Truly. I always worried how they would handle representing the monologues in this route but this made use of the visuals and dialogue to get the point across for more poignantly that the source even did. My one criticism is the song used. The song itself isn’t bad but when the chorus comes into it, it clashes a bit with the mood. It’s a little too cheesy. I see they tried to explain Avalon healing Shirou’s wounds here but this is another reason why it may be best to watch Fate/zero before this. As this really does seem like it comes out of nowhere if you don’t know about Avalon. That is something that has become strange with this series. The original way to experience it was Fate, Unlimited Bladeworks, Heavens feel and then Fate/zero. However due to the Deen version of Fate being subpar and Fate/zero being more accommodating to newcomers, the “proper” to view this story is a little skewed. Diehard fans still claim that UBW must be watched before Zero but in all honestly that may not be the best method to experience it. UBW is dependant of knowledge gathered from the Fate route. You are not supposed to dive into it first. Fate/zero gives the knowledge that is needed for UBW and as a whole may be a better introduction to the series than the Fate route is. Sure Fate/Zero spoils elements of Heavens Feel but Heavens Feel also spoils elements of Fate/zero, so really no matter what you start with, you are getting spoiled on something. Finally if we are to recommend that anime only watchers view UBW first then we might as well tell them to wait about five years or so for the Heavens Feel movie/movies before checking out Fate/Zero seeing as that is the intended order. But that’s just downright unreasonable. Hoping for more action next week but Ufotable, good job.

Posted on 17 May 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

Oh my god, I can’t believe that Archer is the future Shirou Emiya!….said no one who watched this episode. But yes the cat is out of the bag. Archer is Shirou turned cynical and jaded after playing executioner for a couple of decades. There was a small bit showing how he contracted with the world and there were some flaws with how it was presented. Namely that in the flashback Archer still had red hair when it should at least start turning white. Do I really care though? Nope, not in the slightest. It’s a minor detail and you can just wave it off as him gaining the hair later. Admittedly the reveal and explanation was the weakest part of the episode as it does show the flaws of Nasu’s writing. Namely the long winded and roundabout approach of explaining the simplest of matters. In a previous post on this series I basically summarized the topic of counter guardians that took well over five minutes to explain here. The visuals did there best to keep things interesting but I bet the animators had a tough time figuring out just how to make over ten minutes of roundabout dialogue engaging. This my friends is why I unlike many type moon fans say that including the inner monologues would not make things better. Quite honestly any time I see Archer lecture on about heroes I am reminded of a skit in Fate/Hollow Ataraxia called “Justice and the kitten”. In it Archer saves a kitten from a tree and three girls thank him for it and call him a hero of justice. Which in turn spurs Archer into a big speech about how heroes of justice are bad and that his action may have been a bad thing for the kitten. The skit makes it seem like Archer was just really embarrassed and his little speech was him just acting tsundere. So every time I see Archer monologue on I can’t help but smile and recall that skit.

I do think this is a better episode than the last few weak ones. You could get invested in the dialogue and the events happening with Rin were very engaging. First of all, props to Ufotable for not going too far with Shinji feeling up Rin. We are not out of the woods yet but at least this scene was made as painless as possible. This gives me hope that the distasteful scene to come is treated with restraint. Plus I really cannot stop watching Lancer punch Shinji to the floor. On first viewing I rewound and watched that shot at least three times. Truly satisfying. Kirei’s entrance made this all the better with Shinji dumbfounded at the side while Lancer, Rin and Kirei have a serious discussion. Like a kid standing at the side while the adults talk. Really Unlimited Bladeworks isn’t Kirei at his best as this is still the point where he was still a rather generic villain in the Visual novel. With knowledge of Fate/zero this scene has a lot more impact. Having Kirei admit to killing Rin’s father was excellent and even Rin saying that she suspected it. It’s actually rather interesting. Kirei’s father never seen his true nature, neither did his wife or Rin’s father for that matter. But Rin may be one of the few to see him for his true nature from even a young age.

Once again, Lancer gets the short end of the stick and to those who watched Fate/Zero this might be an ironic end for him. Having Rank E luck will do that to you. It’s a pity he wasn’t given more screen time as he only was really starting to shine here. Admittedly the scene isn’t over yet but the next events will be brief to say the least. The end of this episode is what really stood out to me though as it promises great things for the next and gave me the thing that Fate/Zero’s music composer Yuki Kajura did not. Fate/Zero did have a good soundtrack and while she delivered on the iconic song “Sword of promised victory”, she neglected the other most iconic song from the game soundtrack. Yet as the episode closes, Archer and Shirou walk towards one another to fight and my ears hear that beautiful melody. Undeniably it’s “Emiya”, the theme tune of both Archer and Shirou and when it plays that means things are about to get awesome. Ufotable, the next fight is a defining moment. It is a time to wash away any distaste I may have. Break open the budget, bring out all the guns and make this the anime fight to end all anime fights. Make it beautiful Ufotable. Make it beautiful.

Posted on 12 May 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

Well here it is. The name drop. The very thing the route is called after. And its….its…kinda bad. Of all the places to make the first visual blunder, why did it have to be here? Well Archers reality marble/noble phantasm Unlimited Blade Works was unleashed and Ufotable thought the best treatment would be to render it entirely in CGI. If it was just the sky and swords given the treatment it wouldn’t have been too bad but the ground was CGI as well and it shows, especially when the camera is panning. The texture on the ground is so flat that it resembles an early PlayStation one game and when you stick those colourful drawn characters in it the difference in looks becomes glaring. A lot of the core problems with this episode where in this scene. Fans criticized it because Shirou didn’t counter Archers sword rain the way he did in the visual novel but to me that’s minor problem. They also disliked how Archer materised the swords in the air instead of lifting the ones around him but again that’s minor to me. The main problem is that Archer pulls out Unlimited Blade works for nothing. He takes it out, tries one attack and then it disintegrates again. Even in the Visual Novel I remember after reading that scene thinking “Is that it?” Archer taking such a huge gamble and effectively doing nothing with it was always a head scratcher to me though Archers thoughts and actions during this route have been rather nonsensical.

This could have been the time to get the most out of UBW. All the fights of the second half have so far been short lived. This could have been the point where you could add material that would have benefited the story. Previous new material was nice to have but not needed but a fight here, even if it ends unconcluded, would have done wonders. True they could be saving the budget for the finale. Which makes sense as that’s the best time to go all out. But I am starting to get worried. This could be the beginning of a disappointment. I had full confidence in Ufotable last season but these last couple of episodes have shaken it. Now I fear that when I see the final confrontation I will be unmoved by it. Also as I have brought up many times before, there are 6 episodes left, yet at the rate they are burning through the material they will reach stories end by 3 or 4 episodes. I even heard word that the last episode will be forty minutes long. Just how do they plan to fill out that time? With more nice to have but not needed material? Fans say the story is rushing but honestly I believe the last thing Fate should do is slow down. What Fate needs to do is deliver. The build up has been built and the stage is set, it’s time for the fireworks.

A standout moment in this episode was Archer admiring that he should never have been a hero. There was a lot of emotion in that line and you could see Saber resonated with it. As her wish is similar. Rins explanation of Archers past was good though potentially confusing to those who don’t know what a counter guardian is in the Nasuverse. To those who don’t know, a counter guardian is basically a glorified hitman. Whenever mankind is threatened with potential extinction the earth summons up counter guardians to remove the cause. In other words, kill the person or people who are pushing humanity’s self destruction. They have no control or will of their own when summoned. Archer is a fellow who contracted with the earth to receive power in life and as a result was used as a killing machine after his death to bring stability. Hence resulting in him becoming cynical and jaded by the very ideal of heroism. Rins explanation on his past was fairly vague so I think anyone who doesn’t know the details will just be lost. But I say you get the basic idea. But the sure are driving the nail in about his identity at this point. I won’t say it until it’s stated outright but come on. The characters know and the audience know. If anyone is genuinely surprised when it comes out I will be shocked. The next episode has a scene I have been dreading and coincidentally is Shinji’s worse moment as a character.(In this route mind you. We still have Heaven’s feel and hoo boy…) Be cool Ufotable and handle this delicately.

Posted on 4 May 2015 with categories: Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

There was a time when I believed that in order for an adaption to work it must stick to the source material as close as possible. More often than not an adaption failed because the director wanted to put his mark on it and disregard the very reason people love the story. However there can be times when something is adapted perfectly true to the source and yet ends up weaker all the same. This is what faces me here. This episode had two of my favorite moments in the route, them being the Lancer vs archer fight and Rin fighting castor hand to hand. There are those who claim this episode was rushed and I can see how they came to that conclusion. But the strange truth is that when you strip the descriptive text and monologues from the scenes they really are this short. So herein lies the problem, that text gave impact and significance to these scenes but there is no real way of satisfactorily transferring this to visuals. I remember reading about Rin beating up Castor was an adrenaline fueled moment but here its cut short because of it’s brevity. In terms of adaptation this is perfect as it really did happen like this in the visual novel. But the visual novel gave you time to revel in the moment and make it special. So in a strange turn of events, staying true to the source actually hurt these scenes.

The the episode starts off with a small flashback to Souichirou’s past which wasn’t in the visual novel and isn’t the best place to dive into his backstory. Again, it’s likely only there to try and get the audience to care about him before his death. There were plenty of opportunities to go into this before without it being as out as place as this and really could have been handled better. Even more shoddy is that at the end of Souichirou’s speech we cut to a distasteful shot of Saber lying suggestively on the floor. I am not going to say than fanservice has no right to be in anime but gentlemen there is a time and place for it. This was most certainly not it. The highlight of the episode was obviously the Lancer vs Archer confrontation which was longer than the visual novel but still short lived. The clash of Gae Blog and Rio Aris was a beautiful sight, you could really tell it’s where the effort went to in this episode. One has to wonder just how Fuyuki is still oblivious to the holy grail war when there is the base equivalent of a nuclear explosion happening not far from the city. It is admittedly an issue in Fate/Zero as well as it’s never really explained as to why Fuyuki is so deserted at night and ignoring explosions and light shows. One thing that might confuse people here is that the three fights, Lancer vs Archer, Rin vs Castor and Shirou vs Souichirou take place at the exact same time. However the episode shows the fights one after the other, giving the impression that they follow each order in sequence. They added small things to the fights to try and show this like the tremors or the coughing up blood but it may not be clear.

Thus does Archer betray Castor and take her out of the running. The third servant to be removed anti-climatically. I would like to say that the visual novel gave these two more character building to make this moment more meaningful but that would be a lie. There death is exactly as it was in the visual novel and just as ineffective. Fate/hollow ataraxia was the game that gave these two some better characterisation and brought in their interesting relationship that felt like two socially awkward people trying their hardest to be a loving couple. But here the fate route didn’t show anything about them(Really Castor is unceremoniously killed off the moment she shows up.) and UBW is about as much attention as they get. Yet again the episode cuts off just when things were getting really interesting and the big reveal was about to be shown. I can’t say enough how much this story is not meant to be cut up into bite sized chucks. More and more I find myself leaving each episode unsatisfied. So much so that I am beginning to question if this story is really is as good as I thought it was. It’s a rather disheartening thought but after rereading the fate route of the visual novel I can really admit that it is truly bad. So I am beginning to fear that if I reread what is my favorite route of the series that it would come up short of how I remember it. But there are still plenty of episodes left and this is far from being a bad show. Still it is a question of how they plan to fill the remainder of the season when they are this far into the story.

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
Btfo Alexander of Russia OMO.
Kaiser-Eoghan
hahaha YES The peoples will has been mentioned in golden kamuy, excellent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: She's a coin toss with me .
AidanAK47
Made some changes. Try joining again.
SuperWooper
The Discord button works for me, Anon. I'll bring it up with Aidan to see if there's anything we can do on our end.
KTravlos
Ok LOGH episodes 10 and 11 were quite good, and it hit me harder than the original on how much talent the alliance lost at Armistar. That said episode 10 at the end showed a major problem with rendition which is long filling shots (in this case the imperial fleets taking flight).
Anonymous2254364
The Discord "Join Server" button leads me to an "Invite Invalid" page, and from there to: https://support.discordapp.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001556852
SuperMario
I'm thinking of catching Maquia in theater as well. I'm not too hot on Mari Okada but every anime releases in global cinema should be a cause for celebration
Kaiser-Eoghan
Part of me is considering seeing Maquia , anime films don't get shown over here often, I feel I should support the cinema releases.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That was essentially my concern, that the writers would muck up Yuri's decision and create some hole in the story. Though they definitely need to commit to killing him off now.
Lenlo
I had a suspicion it would happen Amagi. I figured it would be a question of Yuri's character which way he went, even if I suspected this would be his choice
Amagi
@Lenlo & Kaiser: I expected this to happen. I was only unsure because I didn't know how deeply integrated Yuri's gear was. It's the only good way to conclude his character arc and the series as a whole. Kinda hope that all those "die"-death-hints are actually just a metaphor for the death of gears and the commercialised power-augmentation in sports.
Amagi
@Aidan: yeah and they're overinterpreting stuff. When you really love a series and watch it 10+ times you'll notice things nobody else will ever see and things that are most likely not even there or at least not planned. Then they see a sequel or somethign for the first time and of course they won't see the same 100 hints and deepnesses they believe to see in the original
Lenlo
Alright. Personally, I am pumped for Megalo Box's finale. I am so glad I was right in what Yuri did. It was great at building it up. Heres hoping it doesnt throw it away next week
AidanAK47
Like that's what really annoys me about Evangelion fans. The way they talk about the show, they assume that Anno was completely aware of the impact the series would have from the start and planned every intricate detail to perfection regardless of importance. But that's not just untrue by opinion, but is objectively proven untrue.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, There are some legitimate complaints like the audio Muxing not being great. But I hear stuff like the original character in the first season being SO much deeper and think "What?". If it's one thing that really annoys me, it's when people start talking about a show like it's a planned masterpiece.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Risky move there by Yuri in megalobox ep12.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes the voice acting isn't good in both versions, Elfen lied and the original flcl didn't have great voice acting either in English or Japanese.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got into the habit some years ago of watching most anime with dual audio because I used to do short reviews once upon a time and switching back and forth between subs and dub while marathoning a show gave me best of both and I could talk about both the English and Japanese versions when reviewing.
Amagi
I usually don't even watch dubs but considering that there is no other option here (yet) I did it and think it's pretty good, especially Haruko.
Amagi
@Aidan: Was thinking the exact same thing about FLCL. I fail to see how the original is much different than the sequel. For me it's pretty much the same thing - they tried to keep the style but change the frame to avoid copying it 100%. I enjoy the new series and love the characters.
AidanAK47
Dubs pretty good. Watched it dubbed myself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Probably a good thing then that I haven't seen the original in a long time then, which I thought was alright but got better as it went along. How is the dub? Only the dub is out as far as I looked on Nyaatorrents.
AidanAK47
Alright, finished the 3 episodes out. I enjoyed it. It was a fun watch. But I gotta say that the reaction online is rather annoying. I see the original series getting placed on a higher and higher pedestal. Part of the reason I may be enjoying this series is because I didn't examine the previous series under a mircoscope and pretty much acknowledge that it was just a animators showcase.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Probably not as GREAT as Onizuka though.
AidanAK47
So I started watching the new FLCL and let me say that this new teacher is the greatest teacher I have ever seen.
AidanAK47
Don't think it's on Netflix. Though I think that Stardust crusaders is airing dubbed.
Amagi
Is this series on Netflix? It was always one of the few anime that were very popular in the West while still airing weekly and with subs (and despite the fact that we didn't even have the manga in the West)
Amagi
Man that's awesome. Also I have to admit that part 6 is probably my favorite so it's great to know that they'll most likely animate everything.
Amagi
What the hell
AidanAK47
JoJo's part 5 anime announced and it's about goddamn time.
Lenlo
Id agree to that. Im mostly interested in where it goes after what looked like a pretty final ending. Im guessing timeskip of some kind, or World Line switch
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't think any of the drama in this episode rung false.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pretty satisfied with steins;gate this week, kept things moving and the stilted style of the show didn't get in as much the way of the setpiece that was in this episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm quite surprised by how I've gotten over a 100 chapters in and Asirpa hasn't been fanserviced explicitly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
HH Holmes had a death hotel actually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I think one of the criminals was based on a real person.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The author really likes referencing real people to, Bonnie and Clyde , Ed Gein, some American agriculturist and the inventor of some refile .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its very true that golden kamuy does get goofier and thats true for the manga also, though theres a prisoner weirder than the one in episode 11 he does advance the plot further. One of the soldiers gets some backstory too. Sometimes the goofiness works but at others doesn't.
SuperMario
I'm watching the new FLCL and planning to review it once it's done. Maybe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In my quest and love of historical manga I wound up running into this, these guys are translating it over at their site: https://blog.manga.club/blog/mangaclub-blog-vol-10-jose-rizal-serialization/
Lenlo
Not yet, no. Plannin on it this weekend
Kaiser-Eoghan
There are three episodes of the new flcl out. I haven't seen it yet and its been ages since I saw the original, has anyone watched any of the new series?
Lenlo
I can understand that. Anything less than a 3 I often dont finish/deem worthy even being talked about. In anime or movies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its too hard to give 1/5s or 2/5s.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite my complaints I gave it a 3/5.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....feck sorry about that. I didn't think anyone else on here would have been interested =< Thanks for removing it.
AidanAK47
Come on Kaiser, even if I didn't get anything out of it doesn't mean that other people won't. Best not to put a big spoiler on the front page of the site.
AidanAK47
Just deleting a spoiler there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That production company tend to do quite poor trailers that misrepresent their films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would probably punch someone for laughing/talking during a horror film though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Babadook did the grief horror better. Though honestly my favourite horrors this year weren't American ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Upgrade might end up being more fun, which is an action horror comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: While terribly schmalzy and lacking a proper ending, quiet place had a better idea and atmosphere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In the end it just felt like comparisons to Rosemary's baby and the Exorcist hurt the film. I just thought it was an awkward mix of commercial and indie horror. Like a lesser version of the conjuring.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I didn't laugh but I also couldn't really feel it/connect with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I also disliked how it answered its questions and story rather than leaving stuff unexplained and the actual exposition in the last act was quite awkward.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I saw it on Thursday, it doesn't live up to the witch or even it comes at night. On one hand I appreciate limiting the jumpscares and gore, going more for atmosphere and character drama. Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne kind of hold it together for me. But the two kids, like in most horror films were awful.
AidanAK47
Just seen Hereditary. The so called scariest film since The Exorcist.
So scary that people in the cinema were laughing.
Vonter
I've been playing Hollow Knight on Switch. It's perhaps the longest metroidvania game I've ever played. The game has a nonlinear progression with a lot of optional areas, which add wonder to the somber and mysterious tone of the game.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like how much Nagai overstylizes, overdesigns his characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that its abandoned its comedic elements.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Sash: The twin tailed girl got impaled and its gone in a somewhat darker direction yes.
Sash
apparently cutie honey is getting devilman vibes.. haven't watched it though so take this with a grain of salt
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Somewhere in my head is an image of Baraka from mortal combat in the same picture as Himiko Toga.
Lenlo
Hero Aca, still my favorite Shounen.
AidanAK47
Just got the Re:zero Blu-ray a whole ten days before it's officially released. Gotta be the first to see the dub.
Lenlo
Yeah. Her whole scene was terrible. As much as I loved Maho in a pando costume, it should have stopped there. We didnt need the groping.
Kaiser-Eoghan
FERRIS NYAN-NYAN OmO kill it, kill it with muh-fire, kill it with muh-fire.
Lenlo
Also, Megalobox, hot damn. I love it. I love it all. Mmmm I cant wait.
Lenlo
Partly, yeah. Im mid writeup for it. Suffice to say the fan-service was... alittle awkward to me
Kaiser-Eoghan
Filler episode of Steins; gate this week.
Lenlo
I cant wait to see it, ive heard good things
Amagi
Damn I love Megalobox so much it's my favorite series this season.
AidanAK47
I can't wear a suit to work everyday
Kaiser-Eoghan
*wotaku's
Kaiser-Eoghan
You are now aware that you un-intentionally stealth cosplay as watoki's protagonist each time you go to work.
AidanAK47
Pretty sure Psgels is paying to keep the site up but it's not a sum that one would consider significant. Site is dirt cheap.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've thought about using MPC as an extra player, while mainly using vlc, but vlc can be buggy for me sometimes in that it lags and pixelates the video often , I've used MPC on videos that vlc bugs-out on and they work better.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Out of curiosity, what videoplayer (example media player, realplayer, winamp, vlc, mediaplayer classic)do all of you use for watching anime?
Lenlo
You silly old people
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol how do you think I feel, I've been at this for 20 years =P
SuperMario
All these "confessions" just underline how old we all are; and still keep on that stupid hobby after all those years :))
SuperMario
I first visited the site around 2009, 2010 but was pretty much a lurker until I started writing for the site.
SuperMario
As far as I know, psgels gave the admin privilege for K-Off and Aidan, and it's K-Off who pays for the site now (other admins pls confirm)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course I have no idea how much it costs to keep the blog up, he could always end up stopping paying for it if he needed to cut costs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm actually curious in estimating how much longer the blog has left. Obviously psgels must be still paying to keep the site up, but he is, of course only mortal.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The blog began in 2005, but I started reading it in 2009, began posting on the chatbox in 2010.
Amagi
I wonder which weekly review was the first one I've read on psgels. I remember .hack//roots but not sure if it was the first one. Could very well be the case, though.
Amagi
Nevermind, despite being an old as shit reader I never actually read the whole text of the about-part.
Amagi
How old is this blog anyway? I am a regular reader since 2006 or something although it was only recently that I started talking here.
Lenlo
Oh I know all about that Kaiser. It was amazing to read about
Raggers
Wow, this is still going? Good on you guys
Kaiser-Eoghan
*wiki article
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Read the cultural impact of the original ashita no Joe on the youtube article, Japanese actually mass mourned him
Kaiser-Eoghan
Some writers just know how to get an un-explainably effective rhythm going.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always struggle with commenting/reviewing mood pieces and slice of life mood pieces especially, even when I finish something in the genre sometimes I'll go "I don't understand why this worked so well for me, why wasn't it boring?"
Anonymous2194677
Microsot E3 Press Conference was nuts, they showed too many games.
Anonymous2189608
Hey guys, I made/edited my very first video about a show I greatly love, hope you'll give it a watch too:

https://youtu.be/PdjwePOIbQA
Anonymous2187735
Yeah, and an NES prequel to Bloodstained Ritual of the Night launched a couple of weeks ago. And while easier than NES castlevanias it's quite fun. Also very cheap only $10.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Alas, I've not kept up much with the videogame scene in a number of years. I know there's a spiritual successor to castlevania being made though.
Anonymous2187735
Sorry Nightmare Creatures its what it's called.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually come to think of it, the 64 games probably had more vampires than the others I played.
Anonymous2187735
Have you played the game that inspired this Castlevania? Deadly Creatures?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Never did get round to playing as Henry though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember the garden stage being especially frustrating as Schneider because of how slow he moved.
Anonymous2187735
Also that game demands you to play on normal or higher to play beyond that nitro stage.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember having to finish the game in a day because I was saddled with constantly rubbish memory cards for my N64.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry, I post fast and long so some of what I say probably might get missed/skimmed over.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I did mention it, called it the nitro stage.
Anonymous2187735
Still I think despite the flaws it's has become fun for me because I surprisingly get better each time I play it. and last time I make the game chug because of how fast I was progressing.
Anonymous2187735
Yeah. But I'm surprised you don't mention the worst part. The Nitro and Mandragora level. In which you have to go across several rooms without jumping.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I remember the game punishes you for using the item seller guy too much aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember the mansion level being creepy back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the werewolf thing was pretty rad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And then there was that crumbling labyrinth stage. I remember on hard mode you have to fight the chainsaw gardener too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The art tower stage is also annoying if you run out of day/night cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also it wouldn't let you finish it properly if you took too long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: The N64 castlevanias have so many flaws, weird controls , bad camera , the day and night feature is kind of cool but it also puts a timer on things and certain parts become a pain because of it. They had frustrating bits too like the ice castle part with the weird jump sections and the nitro carrying stage.
Anonymous2187417
Lords of Shadow was another IP the developer had to accomodate into a known IP kinda like Star Fox Adventures.
Anonymous2187417
The other Castlevanias I haven't played are Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness. LoS was ok but very long. and it's interquel Mirror of Fate put me off playing LoS2.
Anonymous2187417
I haven't played that one. Seems like a mixed bag. Like Zelda 2 or Metroid 2.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've seen playthroughs of simon's quest, but we all know why thats a notorious mess.
Anonymous2187417
Castlevania 64 and Legacy of Darkness are also my guilty pleasures. I think if Konami still made Castlevanias it would have tried aping the Souls type of gameplay.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember some very very silly voice acting and dialogue in symphony of the night.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I preferred when they were just platform games. Later ones incoperated level up elements if I recall.
Anonymous2187417
After SOTN I think the game coming closer to that greatness is Order of Ecclesia if anything it keeps the difficulty of the classic Castlevanias and puts it in the Metroidvania formula. It has a platforming challenge level that's very satisfying to play.
Anonymous2187417
I've played most of them. Castlevania 3 is a very tough game, but that also makes the journey feel long and rewarding. Rondo of Blood feels like the cornerstone of the series since it's the Castlevania that got most of it's sprite reused in later games.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminds me, the game, clocktower is vaguely inspired by an old Italian horror film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And symphony of the night.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually feel I should have played more castlevania back in the day, I've played bloodlines, castlevania 4, Dracula X, legacy of darkness, admittedly the last one isn't a good game and is more of a guilty pleasure.
Anonymous2186526
They could still meet Grant in the Clocktower.
Anonymous2186526
I wonder if the second season will be the journey to the castle like in the game. And the third season is entirely in the castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Already a season 3 announced.
Lenlo
Oh god yes. I cant wait
Kaiser-Eoghan
New netflix castlevania episodes out next month.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was going to mention that. Wish more shows would do o.
Lenlo
Yeah, a lot of plot threads are converging and I like it. My favorite part though was Iglesias and their commitment to non-japanese languages. They were good!
Kaiser-Eoghan
*his bit
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Glad that sachio gets hit bit of backstory and that its well connected to the rest of the overall plot.
Lenlo
Alright Megalo Box was pretty good this week. So much to say
KTravlos
Indeed the Alliance system is atypical of mass democracy. There seem to be no organised parties and lists. Instead administrations seem to be formed on a personalist basis(me and my chums). And the Assembly seems to have very weak powers of oversight. A very flawed institutionally system. But I digress . It is still anime and even from Tanaka I do not expect deep discussion of democratic politics
KTravlos
I mean if two of 9 ministers in an administration resigned in any current representative/competitive election system it would be a big news and embarrassment to the goverment. My guess is that they were blackmailed to stay on, or were too afraid of the war party.
KTravlos
busy weeks (finals and deadlines). Watched the latest LOGH:NT episode. It was ok. A bit dry, but so are many of the episodes of NT or the Original on their own. One think it led me to think is that neither the books , nor the OVA, nor NT explain why Rebelo/Lebello and Huang Rui (the two politicians opposed to the Invasion of the Empire) did not resign in opposition. (Turnhit also opposed but..)
Lenlo
I think its cause of Daru's voice. Hes so overt about it and his voice makes it so clear hes not really being serious about any of that, cause it completely changes when hes talking serious subjects
Amagi
@Kaiser: Yeah I am watching CCS but funny enough I fell behind too, so it might be someone else you're thinking of
Kaiser-Eoghan
Always felt that Daru strikes a hit when it comes to pervy/otaku characters. Most of them tend to be incredibly annoying.
Lenlo
This episode was nice and chill while still moving stuff forward. I enjoyed it. It does seem like we are hitting the main conflict though, with Amadeus and Maho
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I feel with this episode the plot is really moving along now.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, Thats the question aint it? How to savem both? We know he does, cause of the original, but alot happens along the way. Its a great ride
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Featured Posts

Hisone to Masotan – 11 [The Sky of Montparnasse and the Trash Girl]

What’s there to say about HisoMaso? I’ll be blunt but I see this whole final arc a missed opportunity. It builds from neat ideas, but the way the show creates and resolves its conflicts are hammy at best. Take the two main struggles this episode: Hisone decided to quit the job altogether and the grandma […]

Hinamatsuri – 12 [Snow Festival]

And so it ends, but it feels much more like a beginning chapter for the next arc. feel studio opens up for the possibility of next season here, by bookending Mao’s 3-year-later arc. Although I love little Mao with her kungfu storyline, I still feel it’s devoid from the content of Hinamatsuri has established so […]

Megalo Box – 12 [Leap Over the Edge of Death]

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the hypest episode of the season, as Megalo Box lays everything on the table for next week’s finale. Lets just jump right into it. Megalo Box has a lot going on this week. We saw the return of multiple characters and got updates on their lives. We were shown backstories […]

Steins;Gate 0 – 11 [Pandora of Forgotten Existence -Sealed Reliquary-]

Welcome to Steins;Gate 0, this week with the most “final” middle of a series episode ever. We have drama, we have guns, we even have probable time skips! Lets jump in. This was an overall solid episode. It tried to wrap up, or tie together, a lot of plot threads and resolve character arcs before […]

Golden Kamuy – 11 [Everybody, Get Together! It’s a Murder Hotel!]

Welcome to Bates hotel!! Alright, make no mistake, this is the funniest episode of Golden Kamuy we will ever have. Still dark, have very little to do with the main plot, but it’s spooky fun. Even trashy fun with all the dick jokes. This is Golden Kamuy at its loosest shape. Which is not a […]

Hisone to Masotan – 10 [Melting in Love]

Pretty visual aside, I wonder how much fuel left for this aircraft before it runs out of ideas. HisoMaso has never been a show with detailed world building, or even thick plot to begin with, and as the usual case for me, nothing much happened in this episode. The biggest plot point of this week […]

Hinamatsuri – 11 [A Man Thirsty for Blood, Violence and Money]

The theme of this week is the kind hearts of our cast, and we have 2 parts that take the idea and go into different directions. Remember when I mentioned before how Hinamatsuri would be if Anzu takes Hina’s place? That’s exactly the idea behind the second half. I’m glad that Nitta has some major […]

Darling in the Franxx – 21[For You, My Love]

Huh…wasn’t expecting that to be resolved so quickly. So as predicted Zero Two makes it to Darling and as predicted they power up and drive off the aliens. Also as predicted Zero is is now dead…or dying…or in a coma…or in some state that leaves her dead eyes by episodes end. I admit to be […]

Megalo Box – 11 [A Deadmarch]

Incredible Megalo Box… Simply incredible. This week was perfect in every way but one, and at this point that one is easily overlooked. Let’s skip this preamble and jump right in! Megalo Box had a lot going on this week as we see the culmination of a lot of characters big arcs. Starting off, lets […]

Latest Reviews

Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel – I Prestige Flower Anime Review – 90/100

We have seen an influx of Fate adaptations over the last year and sadly each has proven to be disappointing except for a cooking slice of life short series which is weirdly better than it has any right to be. This movie was the last of the Fate adaptations that I needed to see but […]

Violet Evergarden (2018 Winter) Review – 76/100

Violet Evergarden’s existence has surely been a public one. Acclaimed before everyone lick a taste of it (it was awarded for grand prize in the fifth Kyoto Animation Award’s novel category in 2014 – read, KyoAni awards), it goes without saying that Violet Evergarden is one of the most anticipated show of the sparse Winter […]

A Place Further than the Universe (Winter 2018) Review – 77/100

Cute girls doing cute things is a genre that been done to death at this point. Even within this Winter 2018 we had been overloaded with big eyes fluffy face girls doing a lot of different things of interest. It takes a standout concept or a deeper narrative to make one stand out from this […]

After the Rain (2018 Winter) Review – 89/100

I suppose that most of us, even the perministic ones, enter After the Rain (Ameagari) with some reservations. After all, the premise about a crush from an 18-year-old girl to the store manager who is nearly 30 years senior raises a lot of red flags here. Yet the show handles this tricky premise with deep […]

Kokkoku – 42.5/100

There are lots of bad anime out there, for one reason or another. Whether it be stilted animation, terrible writing or bad direction, a good portion of each season is simply not worth it. Kokkoku is not a bad anime. It is something much worse. Kokkoku is a mediocre anime. Bad ones get talked about, […]

Junji Ito Collection Anime Review – 40/100

In the realm of manga there is a man whose name is inescapable when the genre of horror is brought up. That man is Junji Ito and his work is considered legendary for its artistic detail, mastery of manga paneling and it’s outlandish imaginative concepts. Up till now his work has yet to have an […]

Yuru Camp (Winter 2018) Review – 74/100

I admit that I underestimated Yuru Camp back in its first few episodes. I took it as a standard, run-on-the-mill slice of life show and I fully expected to give it 3 episodes at max before throwing it into the deep sea of forgotten anime. But as time pass, I can certainly see many good […]

Neo Yokio – 96/100

This may be half a year overdue but I simply can’t accept that none of the writing staff of Star Crossed Anime have cover the the biggest development in anime where Netflix took a hand in producing anime in the form of Neo Yokio. Taking place in the metropolis of Neo Yokio, a mashup between […]

Devilman Crybaby – 83/100

It’s an exciting time to be an anime fan where new business models and players are making big waves within the animation industry. After debuting with the original and excellently-produced Neo Yokio, the juggernaut streaming service of Netflix has decided to revive the classic series of Devilman and gives it the full adaption treatment. By […]