Posted on 27 October 2008 with categories: Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino, OVAs and Movies:



Short Synopsis: First Rico and Jan travel to Venezia, then Jan, Jose, Henrietta and Rico visit Jan and Jose’s hometown.
Highlights: Haunting as ever.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
Am I glad to see more of this or what? The OVA cleverly chose to focus on character-development, rather than action, and it was SO WORTH the fifty minutes of airtime. It would be such a shame if this series was the end of this franchise, because those final volumes of the manga really deserve to be animated. This OVA really reminded me why I labelled this series as the best one to start airing in the past Winter-Season after with Porfy no Nagai Tabi

The first half was basically about Rico, and how she’s probably the most haunting member of this cast. It’s still awkward to see such a killing-machine like her transform to such an innocent girl so easily, and especially that nightmare she had made a lot of impact: to suddenly wake up without having any limbs. During that moment, the creators and especially her voice-actress did a wonderful job at conveying her emotions at that time.

Il Teatrino concludes with the background story of the subplot that had been looming over the entire series: the death of Jan and Jose’s sister, and it’s interesting how both of them decided to live with it in a same way. Jan tried forget her, while Jose tried to not forget her. As a result, Jan has a strange illusion of her when he visits his old house back (and after seeing Henrietta wear some of his sister’s old clothes). At the same time, he also seems to be mourning over the death of a certain “Sophia”, though I didn’t pick up exactly who she was.

I’m also becoming an increasingly bigger fan of Kou Otani as a musical composer. So far, I’m loving the soundtracks he’s produced so far. They’ve all got a folky feel, but all of them are distinctive and different.

One thing that would be an interesting idea for of the third season ever gets highlighted, is for the series to switch production-companies again. In this way, we’ve got a series with three different, yet consistent parts that form a bit story as a while.

Posted on 31 March 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino


Before I start with the usual review, I’d like to point out that this is the 250th review I’ve written for my blog. Yay!

In any case, if you’ve watched the original Gunslinger Girl and plan to watch Il Teatrino, there’s one thing that you need to take into account: a lot of changes have been made. The soundtrack has changed, but most importantly the character-designs have been redrawn completely in a totally different style and the animation-budget has suffered a great loss. The bad news: the fight scenes will look fake, and there will be speed-lines. The good news: this is about the only thing that’s wrong with this series.

The change in art style is something you’ll either love or hate with passion. Not considering this though, they do look gorgeous, and even though the animations in the fights looks fake, the animators have tried to make up for it with some awesome fight-choreography. With this, fights are much more than just brainless gunfights, and are much more based on tactics.

In addition, the storyline has developed into something amazing. The most notable thing is that there is NO main character whatsoever. Even though the girls are the centre of this series, do not make the mistake into thinking that they’re the one with the most screen-time. The creators have made sure not to give any character special attention, and because of this, this is one of the very few series where the “good guys” are just as developed and fleshed out as the “bad guys”. And yes, I put the quotations there on purpose, because sometimes it really feels that the girls are the bad guys. Especially Rico can be really scary at times.

Gunslinger Girl is also one of these series that delivers with every single episode. Introductions, climaxes and aftermaths follow each other in a rapid succession, and there’s so much going on in each episode. The cast of characters may be amazing, but it’s the storyline that pushes them forwards. This is one series that knows how to wrap up all of its storylines at the end, and provides a very satisfying climax.

It may be that I just don’t care about the changes that were made, but Gunslinger Girl has turned into one of the best series to air during the past winter-season, along with Porfy’s Long Journey and Hakaba Kitarou. At first sight, the characters may look “moe-ified”, but this series cleverly shows that the girls are much more than just a bunch of cute angels. Really, the adults end up stealing the show in this series much more than they do.

Posted on with categories: Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino


Haha! I couldn’t have expected a better finale than this one! Seriously, it’s so great to see that this has been a series where everything went right, apart from the smaller budget, perhaps. This is really why it was such a good thing that the original mangaka had been assigned to do the Screenplay and Series Composition. Sure, some changes may be forced, but in this way you can be sure that the vision of the original writer will be translated perfectly. Seriously, more series should do this.

And here I thought that this episode would primarily be about the fight between Pinocchio and Triela. Sure, it takes up a large part, but yet again Franca came and stole the show’s best moments. She and Franco originally came to rescue Pinocchio, and yet they only managed to rescue Christiano, while leaving Pinocchio behind. Very impressively, they manage to pass two of the girls, though Franca has been hurt too much, and drives off a cliff, taking Christiano and Franco with her.

Looking back, I must say that this series made best out of its limited budget. On one hand you can say that it does look cheap at times (this episode again featured some speed-lines), but if there’s no budged there’s not much you can do. From that viewpoint, I’d much rather see a series that at least tries to showcase some great fights with some great coordination, than a series that just chooses the easy way around with lots of still frames and no animation at all. Shion no Ou really has been the series to show this: the show clearly received a small budget, and yet the animation-department went all out.

That line of Pinocchio was also right on the spot: “who’s the monster now?” Especially since afterwards, we saw Rico mercilessly banging the head of a guy against the window of a car. She and Jan were most definitely the closest things resembling monsters in this series, and that’s the beauty of it, because at the same time Rico is also the most cheerful member of the cast.

Thankfully, there are still two DVD-only episodes left. I wonder what they’ll be about, though I’d guess that they’ll develop the girls some more. I’ll be blogging them when they show up, though for now I consider this series finished. Let’s hope for a third season to get announced soon, because this is one manga that deserves to be fully animated!

Posted on 24 March 2008 with categories: Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino


Even though it hasn’t officially ended yet, I’m pretty sure about my top-3 series for the winter-season: Wellber no Monogatari, Porfy no Nagai Tabi and Gunslinger Girl, though I’m not sure about the order yet. Everything is very close in terms of quality for this season, and Shigofumi, True Tears and Hakaba Kitarou have also been quite amazing as well. Who said that the winter-season sucked anyway?

In any case, this episode rocked in so many ways. There are two major fights, one of which gets continued in the final episode (oh, and there will be 2 DVD-only episodes after that). The camera still got shaken a bit, but the speed-lines were completely gone. In any case, the great thing about that fight was that I ACTUALLY SAW HENRIETTA AS A VILLAIN. I know that Pinocchio is with the bad side and all, and yet I couldn’t care less about Henrietta, and just hoped for Pinocchio, Franco and Franca to survive.
And this is exactly why there are so few good antagonists in anime. Very few series give these guys equal time in terms of not only development, but also fleshing out and screen-time. Pinocchio has received just as much, if not more development than all of the girls, which is a very rare occurrence. After that fight, the development only continues when Christiano is about to get captured and Pinocchio refuses to let him be. The talk that Christiano has afterwards, in which he tells his assistant how Pinocchio has told him that he loved him was such a simple but extremely effective scene.

Also, Pinocchio also failed to kill Henrietta, and that suddenly brought up the same feelings in him that Triela is currently experiencing. I never thought that the two would be so similar. Also note that Triela is still carrying Pinocchio’s necklace. I don’t think that “hate” really is the word to describe the feelings that she has for the guy, at the end of the episode when they finally stand against each other again. She more sees him as a strange kind of rival.

In any case, I’ve long since stopped caring about the bad animation. The choreography of the fights in this episode was more than enough to make up for it.

Posted on 18 March 2008 with categories: Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino


Before I start with the episode review, I’d like to share something that Solaris wrote up, about Gunslinger Girl’s connections to the real situations in Italy.

——————————–

You all like Gunslinger girl story don’t you? Let’s take a closer look on the social picture the show feature to us.
The story is setted up in Italy some years in the future and it depict a country on the verge of a civil war. National government is weak and corruption spreads in public affairs. Army are divided and corrupted as well.
There are independist movements in the country, expecially plaved in the Northern Regions. The south is quite lost an the real government there is Mafia now. The national government has quite no power at all there. Sicily is now an independent state itself.
But in the surface everything is ok, and the government doesn’t show any effort in taking any remedy to the situation.
So being the central governmente unable, people is tired and sides up mostly with those who are ruining the country that is independists movement most of all.
The only way to keep back some order and fight back crime is to act over legal and in the dark. And so The Social Wellfare Agency was created and our story begins.
Well, you can never imagine how close to the reality this situation is. Of course there is no civil war in Italy, but all the problems Italy really has, are depicted and emphatized in the fiction.
Italy is nowadays divided in three macro regions that are economically very different. Northern Territories are the richest ones. There are industries that produce services and goods. North is the economical engine of the country.
The center regions are under the influence of Rome, where the governemnt is. So much of the job there is managing the public affairs. Central regions are wealthly and there is turism, industry as well.
Southern countries are a little problem. They’re back economically, and are more rural countries. People usually leaves ang go northside for working.
But the tax income isn’t decided on a regional base. Ecomomical politics is one for all regions. There’s a constant flow of money from the northern countries to the south to develop a part of the italy that wouldn’t grow for some reason. Northern people looks at the south like a burden thus denying that many people from the south are actually working in the north and contributed that way to Italian richness.
Why does South didn’t reach Northern regions developement degree? There are many reason, but mostly two are important. The first is that back a long time ago, after the war it was chosen to spend money for industries in the north mainly, and the other is mafia in the south.

Mafia isn’t just something that reminds you of gangster stories. It’s something ancient, an old relic of what it was South Italy long before Italian Unification (XIX century). When there still was the King of Naples, there were noble families that took care of local government. They were the hands that administrated and protected the people before the king. Here, “mafia” means something like pride, honour, or even social responsibility: an attitude, not an organization. Where the government changed and the state cared less or nothing for the population, there Mafia flourished.
But Mafia in the 20th century dwelled with mostly illegal activities and crimes. They are no longer the protectors of people but became oppressors themselves. Still he old fashoned idea of strong and righteous didn’t vanish even before the crimes. Nowadays Mafia has gain so much power that has no longer need of illecit activities like prostitution or drugs to go on. These low level crimes are now matter of new criminal groups like Albanians. They use illecit activities to force and hold power over the normal socioechonomical substrate of entire cities and regions. They now take money from extorsions and public contracts and invest it. Mafia controls the money nowadays and controls peple with the means of money. Entire cities and quarters are under their rule and also it’s infiltrating in that government, at a local level that once it used to fight with.
So South Italy remained frozen undeveloped, in the hands of these people that rather strangled it. And all the money the central government gave for the South did never reach the population. It disappeared before in nothing. Think that there’s still people living in barracks aftrer the Irpinian Earthquake wich happened 30 yars ago. Read here how much money was given to aid http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italy_Earthquake_of_1980.
Of course Central Government is the first blame from the population for the lack of social wellfare. No work, no money. Many are forced to immigrate to north to gain a job, or are better employed in mafia itself. So still Mafia, taking care of the people is well accepted. That is quite ironical.
Som emore info’s about Mafia are here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mafia

On the other side Northern Region’s population have the burden to train the whole country and are disenchanted. They see their money wasted in the southern black hole and in the burocratic and unefficient public administration. So they grew some resentment for the whole country.
Moreover they grew a lot of conceit. The think they’re the only working in Italy and that the government is oppressing them. Nothing more false than this, but it’s 1/3 of the population in the north believes it to some extent. These people is ironically the same who end to skip on taxes, and be proud of dishonesty. they think something like, the government steals me, i steal everybody else. They are also racist against everybody is not from the North taly.
So from the early 80’s several new movement ware born. All of them exploited resentment against the central governmet and made their flag of discrimination against southern Italians. Open racism against illegal immigrants were also exploited. All these movements were joined in The Lega Nord party. Expecially with the large scandals for the corruption in 1992, the Tangentopoli affair, people had the direct confirm that what Lega said was true. The Lega literly gained the larger success from that moment on.
Lega Nord is openly secessionist and claims for Padania independency. Padania isn’t a real region of Italy, it’s something around the big plains of the Po river, at the centre of the northern Italy. Of course to make alies in the parliament Lega had to make a step back o their claims. Now they only clain for a federal reform of Italy, expecially economically speaking. Nowadays the Lega Nord is the mayor ally of Forza Italia, Berlusconi’s party. I won’t speak of him now, as it seems he and his party isn’t mentioned in Gunslinger Girl.
Of course you notice how much the Movement of the five Republics resembles Lega Nord itself.
Here you can find more info about Lega Nord: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lega_Nord

——————————————–

After reading this, I’m even more surprised at what an interesting setting was chosen for this series. This is exactly what I mean when series need to look beyond Japanese high-schools for their settings at times.

In any case, this episode sets up for the finale of the Pinocchio arc. At least, I think it does, because Triela doesn’t get sent to the place where Pinocchio is about to do his mission, along with Franco and Franca. Instead, he’s up against Henrietta and Beatrice, while Triela, Angelica and Rico are sent to Milano for another mission.

Oh, and Pinocchio also gets some more background, and I’m surprised at how involved Christiano is with his missions. It turns out that even though he doesn’t do the dirty jobs himself, he does help cleaning things up for the people who work under him. Stereotypical bad guys really need to follow this guy’s example, instead of sitting on their chairs, trying to look evil. In any case, during one of these cleanups, Christiano discovered the young Pinocchio, and took him in. There, one of his subordinates (who is now dead), trained Pinocchio to be the assassin he is now.

One rather technical bit that I’d like to note is that this series is the first I’ve seen that avoids what I’d like to call the “piano-syndrome”. Usually in anime, when someone starts playing a musical instrument, the creators just cue a regular background tune. At the really bad cases, I have no idea whether a character is actually playing, or the background music is actually playing, but this series handled this quite nicely by running a small filter though the sound, that makes it sound much more real and in the background, rather than from a recording-studio. Kudos!

All that’s left now is to hope that some kind of third season will close off this series. It took quite some time for the second season to arrive, but I think that that was mostly because Madhouse had no intention to make a second season (if they had, they would have done so much earlier), so if I had to guess, then things will go easier for the third season, especially with the original mangaka behind things.

Posted on 11 March 2008 with categories: Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino


Ah, of course. Triela and Hirsher were the only ones who still weren’t fleshed out enough, and this episode takes care of that. Now all that’s left is for the three final episodes to conclude the story, now that the cast is fully developed. It’s interesting how Triela gets to be the final character that gets her background, even though the entire Pinocchio-arc is centred on her. Usually anime would give characters like her some extra development, when compared to the others, but the creators for Gunslinger Girl made sure that each of the characters received an equal amount of development and background. I’m not sure about others, but I always like it when a series does this. It just shows that the show doesn’t just revolve around its main characters. Call it a personal preference.

In any case, it turns out that Hirsher is a false name. His real name is Heartman, and he apparently worked at a detective agency, and this episode among others tells the story of how he met Triela, and ended up along with her as a Fratello. It turns out that Triela was a victim of human trade, and who knows what kinds of experiments were performed on her. Hirsher and a female colleague of his tried to rescue her, and they just barely were able to save her life.

At the same time, the episode shows how Triela meets the daughter of one of the people that Triela saved one day. it seems that he needs Triela and Hirsher’s help once more. In any case, this daughter (Mimi) and Triela form an interesting couple. They both like to collect teddy-bears, and yet Mimi is a normal girl, who has a boyfriend and likes to play soccer. She really succeeds into lifting Triela’s mood a bit, because she’s still feeling down from Pinocchio.

I also like how the captain of the regular soldiers was able to teach Triela a bit about what went wrong in her fight against Pinocchio, and how she isn’t as invincible as she believed she was.

In any case, the creators have done a wonderful job so far. Let’s hope they won’t screw up for the ending.

Posted on 5 March 2008 with categories: Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino


I’m not sure what it is – the animation-quality wasn’t really better than usual – but this was the most visually pleasing episode of Il Teatrino yet. Not only that, but it’s also quite possibly the best episode of the entire series so far. It really captured the essence of Gunslinger Girl, more than Madhouse could ever have done with the first season, just because they kept focusing on just the girls, whereas Artland so far has focused just as much on the adults around the girls.

This episode truly showed the difference between the girls’ innocence, and their ruthless brutality. One moment, they’re walking around happily in their new dresses and the other they’re blasting a rain of bullets on a car that’s driven by a bunch of terrorists. What really hit me was that one of these terrorists was an old acquaintance of Jose. In fact, they still kept contact, not knowing about each other’s professions.

I’m also really surprised at how balanced this episode was. So many characters got a bit of development. We have Jose and Jean, who turn out to have a sister. This sister was especially close to Jose, and ended up as a professional harp-player. The reason why she was so close with Jose was because Jean is far more impersonal than I could have imagined. I think that that’s why Jose chose to treat Henrietta so differently, because he had to be nice to his sister who didn’t get any attention from Jean. Jean really scared me when he didn’t even flinch when Rico brutally beat some terrorists.

Speaking of Rico: I can really understand now why her character was forced to change back to her cheery self, when compared to her stoic personality in the Madhouse version. Seeing the usual cheery Rico just mercilessly beat down one of these terrorists makes much more impact from when she was more serious. I’m also glad that Artland chose for a bigger role for Beatrice. According to totoum, she only got one line in the manga, and I’m glad to see that her role for the anime-version has become so much bigger. It shows that the creators aren’t just willing to adapt the anime, but also to improve it. And if the creators can do that, without making it seem like random filler, then that’s the sign of a good adaptation.

Apart from that, there were also a few scenes about Triela, Claes, Marco and Angelica. It also turns out that Marco used to know someone who liked opera (Patricia?).

Seriously, I’m so glad that I gave this series a chance, and looked beyond the bad fight-animation. The plot is just terrific, and this is definitely (apart from Porfy no Nagai Tabi, of course, but there is no series that can beat that behemoth in terms or realism) the best-written series of the shows that premiered in the winter-season.

Posted on 26 February 2008 with categories: Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino


This is one episode that should have belonged in the first season, as it’s entirely devoted to Claes without any signs of the plot whatsoever. I’m not sure why it took her so long to get her own episode. Was this the actual sequence in the manga, or did Madhouse just omit her back-story when they made the first season? In any case, it’s definitely a good thing to finally see some attention to one of least-developed members of the cast, because first of all she really needed it and second of all: Claes is such a great character.

I assume that her partner is on some kind of mission, and left her behind? I couldn’t pick up that part precisely, but we never see him outside of a flashback, and it does explain why she never participates in any mission. What also surprised me in this episode was that there were more Gunslinger Girls than just Henrietta, Claes, Angelica, Triela and Rico.

I also must say that I really like the new OP animation and the new ED-tune. They fit the new feeling of second season perfectly, in my opinion.

Il Teatrino is just like Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai. That too went into a completely new direction when compared to the first season, offering a totally new dimension to the story. You’ll either love this, or hate how the second season didn’t continue with the style you liked about the first one.

Posted on 19 February 2008 with categories: Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino


I’m getting more and more convinced that there is no such thing as a main character, or a main group of characters for this series. The girls are definitely not the ones who receive the most airtime. Heck, in this episode they yet again didn’t appear at all, and the focus shifted to Franca, as we get to see her background, why she met Franco in the first place, and how she got her code-name Franca in the first place.

It seems that she spent her college-years with none other than Patricia, Marco’s ex lover. Franca was actually the one who introduced Patricia to Marco. Oh, and her name was Catherina back then. It turns out that at one point, her father died and she wanted revenge. For that, she sought the help of a guy named Franco, son of a famous bomb expert and who helped his late father many times in the past. When she met him it seems that he had lost any motivation for the passion that his father once had.

I’m not sure what happened in between, but the two stuck together. When at one point, a bunch of old friends of Franco ask him what Franca’s name is, and instead of answering “Catherine”, he replies with “Franca”. This was all eight years ago, and both of them have matured greatly since then. It really feels like two lost souls have found each other, and grew, depending on each other. Even though Franco doesn’t show it, it does seem like his encounter with Franca gave him a reason to live again.

Sure, the story of the girls is nice and all, but the adults are really stealing the show for this series over and over again. I just love how this can quite possibly be one of the very few series that has important characters of all possible ages, except perhaps of high-school-age (the most annoying age anyway), depending on how old Pinocchio is. I really like how this series has tried to make every single character count, and it succeeded pretty well at this. I’m not sure why, but I always tend to like series with lots of important characters.

Pinocchio also developed a bit this episode. This probably was the first time he showed any emotion towards anyone other than his uncle. In the week he spent with Franco and Franca he barely said anything, and just kept to himself most of the time, but after saving Franca, he did show a few signs of friendliness. During said incident, Franca also got pretty beaten up, so Pinocchio’s uncle decided to give her a visit. When Pinocchio sees him again, it becomes clear that he really wants to mean something to his uncle, and he wants to be complimented.

Oh, and on a side-note: the animation for the OP changed to the traditional method. Again, it’s pretty well done, and it seems to consist out of a combination of recycled cells and original animation. Ah well, at least you can see that the creators are trying, despite the limited budget. Franco’s typing at the beginning of the episode was just bad…

Posted on 12 February 2008 with categories: Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino


Thanks to Windspirit, for pointing out that last week’s episode wasn’t a half-recap at all. It seems that I just had gotten a wrong file from Share, and it looks like there are no signs at all that the budget is running out. Of course, it was relatively small to begin with, but something tells me now that the creators knew exactly how to use it. After watching the first half, the second half also made much more sense, not to mention the bit of development for Triela.

This episode finally was about Henrietta again. I can’t really say that she’s my favourite member of the cast, but thankfully enough other things made this episode worthwhile enough. I especially liked the old acquaintance of Franca. He’s the member of a terrorist group, working at an antique repair shop. He originally joined the terrorist group in order to take revenge on his brother, who died a few years ago. But in this episode, he gets second doubts after meeting Henrietta, if I understood correctly. I like how he turned down Franca’s request in the end.

In this episode, Henrietta and Rico also have a small fight, after Rico accidentally breaks the Jose’s microscope. While it was enjoyable, I’d much rather see more of Angelica, Triela or Claes. Ah well, there are enough episodes left for them to shine. :)

CHANGE USERNAME
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Niello
@Kaiser, That's unexpected.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed how outright surreal Arakawa was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: It bothers me that they're stuffing multiple tales into single episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, excel saga, I wonder what I would think of it now, its been years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I actually respect Aidan's coverage of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Yes that edgy villain kid in COTWs was annoying though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I don't care much for the male character that leads some of the episodes in this new adaptation.
@Niello: Its a non-mainstream shoujo that isn't set in a school, moves at a quick enough pace and has some nice background art/chara design, I grew up on shoujo fantasy manga also so theres that.
Amagi
I mean there are parts I like. I enjoyed the first episode, and the part about the country of liars. But many other things annoy me and the last episode was the worst. I also feel like the edgy bomb loli and slapstick Kino don't fit to the rest of the show somehow. Maybe I forgot everything, but the "old" Kino felt like a better character to me somehow, this one is more faithful to the LNs though
Amagi
@Kaiser: I honestly gave up on Kino and I think it's only partly the fault of the new series. I am just so tired of how stupid most of the episodic-characters are unless their are friends of Kino, how everyone gets bent being irredeemable evil for plot's sake and how everything Kino and her friends do gets justified. Maybe I am just too old or boring for this fairy tail like moral bending.
SuperMario
Still have Night is Short review to write... i will get there. I will get there
Anonymous1612237
It's like having potty mouth characters. If you have one, it can be funny and a good comedic relief. If everyone does it, it can come out as mean spirited or trashy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I haven't watched A Bad Idea Gone Wrog, as for now my top priority is to catch up with 2017 anime for the Yearly summary. But I will get on to it when I have some free time
Anonymous1612237
Amagi - Chibi stuff I've seen it mainly work in anime comedies with low budgets like Those Who Hunt Elves, Ranma, Excel Saga, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Nanbaka, etc. I think if you really have to use it in a more serious anime, I think it might work if it was part of one character's gag.
SuperMario
Children of the Whales, along with Juuni Taisen, keep falling out on me. Kino is pretty a hit-or-miss at the moment. I don't mind the last episode's multiple tales though
Niello
Problem about AMB chibi jokes are that they arwn't funny in the first place nor do they have a punch line.
Niello
@Eoghan, Really surprise you put Children of the Whales so high, I'm falling behind on some shows but it is still near the bottom of my list (the absolute bottom remains Kino).
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest Kino episode was a real slap in the face/insult, really really thought that one segement would carry on for the whole episode and be a redemptive one/getting the series back on form but then it followed it up with crap comic relief segement.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: For now yes.
Lenlo
Droppin Mahou Kaiser?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I no longer care what Dia's gender is, no longer I will lie to myself and deem them female.
Kaiser-Eoghan
5. would be juuni taisen
Kaiser-Eoghan
My rankings for the season based on what I am following: 1. Houseki no kuni 2. Children of the whales 3. inuyashiki 4. girls last tour dropping mahou and Kino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't remember Joseph being all that present from what little I read of the manga.
Amagi
Fear so too. I mean it has a bunch of good ideas and good quality and such, but it feels like it won't be much more than the magical being of the week (or two weeks) and some Elias highjinks inbetween
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still say, I've got the feeling mahou will be wasted potential that won't really go anywhere much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you watch that indie film you recommended yet? Bad idea gone wrong it was called. I just finished it there, budgetary limitations and outside of Matt Jones the acting isn't great, theres a few limp/dead bits too, nonetheless it has its amusing moments here and there to make for an okay comedy that isn't all that essential but amusing enough in moments if your bored.
Amagi
Yeah I think Mahou has some pacing issues. But I also think it would work way better if it was less episodic or semi-episodic.
SuperMario
I normally don't mind the chibi stuff that much but I agree in Mahoutsukai they break the tone and pacing. Serious at one time, fluffy at another...
Amagi
@Vonter: I honestly never like chibi stuff I think. Didn't care back then but nowadays I consider it annoying. One reason is that jokes only work when they aren't pointed out but just happen, sometimes even so casually that you almost miss them. Turning everyone into a chibi for a joke makes it as fun as repeating, explaining or shouting it again (which many series also do)
KTravlos
I have to give it to Altair. It got me reading the manga. The episode this week did skip over a whole manga story, but to be frank it is not too much of a loss. Pacing issues still exist. One thing I noticed was a degrading in animation. They are probably hoarding for the next two episodes which are the major battle.
Anonymous1611511
Just dropping my 2c here: Isn't it too late for the studio to correct such inherent design issue once eps start rolling out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Angel: The dub wasn't all that impressive in the first place however.
Angel
When Will fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub come out?
Vonter
The chibi stuff sadly, is like watching someone make the same mistake over and over again, without acknowledging that thing isn't coming across well. At this point it seems like an intentional choice rather than just cutting corners. Kinda like when an anime has a decent dub but has that one character with a really annoying voice.
Lenlo
Its continued this willful ignorance, this virtual refusal, to actually address the issue. Thing about the chibi is, the first scene with Silver worked. Then it just got overused.
KTravlos
Mahoutsukai continues denying itself. We finally had some tough questions asked, but the show just ignored them in the 2nd half (with generous doses of chibi). That said Elias true form is terrifying.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: If you enjoy The Scent of the Green Papaya and Cyclo, you can also check out his unofficial third film about Vietnam: The Vertical Ray of the Sun, which is about the modern day of Hanoi. It's my favorite film of his, although I know that artistically it can't compare to his earlier films
SuperMario
And I can say the mafia aspect of Cyclo is more like Hong Kong than Vietnam. But, whatever. I like this one well enough
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I particularly love the score in Cyclo. No wonder later on Tran Anh Hung asked Joony Greenwood from Raidoohead to score his films. His score has the same uncomfortable feeling with this one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would have watched an entire story based around that old man in the new Kinos journey episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Though while I never found it boring, it did feel it could have had a better narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Cyclo I felt has some reasonable sketched characters and the aesthetic sells the viewer on the environment the characters are living in, Tony Leung was my favourite in it, I also like how some Asian films are able to mix quietness with moments of violence, makes it much more visceral.
SuperWooper
I'd lean towards weirdest thing you've ever seen. It's certainly up there for me.
Masky
...I can't figure out whether Sengoku Jidai with batman is weirdest thing I have ever seen or makes completely perfectly sense and was inevitable it would happen
K-Off
The map design should've been vastly more different, I'd love to hear why they thought it was worth it to keep the same maps as Gaiden. So. Much. Open. Fields.
K-Off
Finally got to playing Fire Emblem Shadow, and 15 hours in I'm already not a fan of the gameplay. The story is vastly superior to Gaiden, but it looks like it missed the point on how to make a good remake. The maps are just as god awful as in Gaiden and for it, (in hard mode) it feels like a game of numbers rather than strategy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I feel drama need not always go for emotions in the audiences but can be effective in a solely cold observational sense and approach.
SuperMario
haha you don't need to spy you know. Like I said Discord chat has been active lately. I find myself more comfortable chatting in there for some reasons.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I spy on the discord chat sometimes
Kaiser-Eoghan
Worried about this Junji itou adaptation thats coming up, hope it isn't one of those zero animation web-short series.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he still has Flashmob in which he intended to make. Yeah, he started his career quite late but he has had a very successful career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Potentially could be his last film, he is quite old.
SuperMario
Agree that Happy End has many quirkier moments compared to his other works. Still a solid work but I won't rank it amongst his best
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Watching Happy End, you can immediately realize many of Haneke's favorite themes: the voyeur/camera in Benny's Video, Cache; the latent racism like you mentioned, the idea that killing someone you love is better than watching them suffering, the underlying violence in a normal middle class life in most of his works
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Like with code unknown, its approach to latent rascism is far better handled than for example a terrible hollywood oscar bait drama would handle it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I felt though had the film been a bit longer, Huppert and Jones could have gotten more scenes, same with Franz Rogowski's character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I did however think that the disjointed nature of the earlier parts were both to the advantage and disadvantage of the film. But it delivers a killer of a last act that I loved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally got around to seeing happy end, I liked the Cache and amour references and how Haneke cheekily managed to insert quirkier moments and even wry ones so seemlessly into the narrative. Fontaine ,Kassovitz and Tringnent had the best scenes, particularly the ones between Fontaine and Tringnent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Physical, non-verbal communication is a far more valuable way of conveying information I believe and more effective in fiction.
SuperMario
Report on Just Because so far: they took on the three-way romance direction, which I initally ain't fond of. But last episode actually was great with the focus on body gestures and natural dialogues, delivering one of the brst exchange the show has this season. A good watch overall
Lenlo
Sadly, the only anime youll probably get like that will be made outside japan, like Castlevania was, and wouldnt be considered "anime" by most of the community. A shame, cause Castlevania was great.
Lenlo
A classic western would be cool. Like Red Dead the anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I am just coming up with fantasizing now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Even a Raymond Chandler style of story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd also love to see a non-scifi western anime get made now or even an east meets west thing with cowboys AND samurai in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats a good example Vonter I guess but I probably should have been more clear/clarified that what I meant is that I wanted to see more noir anime being made NOW , I want netflix to back one . I mean the kind of thing where everyone is wearing fedoras and trench coats and its 1930/40/50, shadows everywhere or it looks impressionistic.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Monster is a very grounded detective like story. The villain is good and intimidating, some moral dilemmas are poignant and despite being animated I remember it having good direction of photography since the story takes place Germany, Prague, and some other places.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've only seen bits of wolf rain many years ago, never bothered with it further after hearing the pacing is terrible and it makes an unsatisfactory ending even less worth waiting for.
Total users: 16

Star Crossed Anime Blog

2 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Fate/Apocrypha – 22[Reunion and Farewell]

Breaking my usual routine today just to give an opinion on this episode but this episode made me feel compelled to get out my opinion. We have another action packed episode with three contestants out of the war and boy did they go out with a bang. Many will notice that the animation for this […]

Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

Welcome to another week of Inuyashiki! This week we have incredible sequences of terror, fearless Directors and death flags! Lets jump in. Obviously, the first thing we need to talk about this week is Hiro. A lot has happened in the few hours since Hiro attacked the Station. Interestingly, yet weirdly, Hiro has garnered a […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 21[Antares Snipe]

When Apocrypha slows down, it’s story shows it’s cracks. But when it’s an action showcase it actually becomes quite entertaining. The characters don’t have the time to be developed but they shine in combat when they clash, sometimes showing parts of themselves the series otherwise doesn’t allow for. Astolfo for one was actually useful for […]

Dies Irae – 08[Promise]

Netflix has funded thirty anime which will air in 2018 and this has brought concerns over whether Anime as a whole could be westernised in order to cater to an overseas demographic. I find the chances of this unlikely and the more likely result is a more diverse lineup of anime for both Japanese and […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 9 [None so deaf as those who will not hear]

Hello and welcome to another week of Mahoutsukai! Lets hop right into it. First and foremost, let’s talk about Chise. As the main heroine of the show, naturally it’s going to focus on her a lot. This week zooms in on her relationship with Elias and what it actually is. Characters and situations comment on […]

Juuni Taisen – 10 [A Tiger May Die, But It Leaves Its Skin]

Juuni Taisen again expands a huge flashback in the middle of the current story, but this one hits all the right notes because naturally its heart is in the right place. It’s episode like this that I am glad I’m still sticking with Juuni Taisen and regain my faith to the overall quality of this […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World- – 09[Various Countries]

I will likely be spending most of this post talking about one segment of this episode as just as the title suggests, these are a series of stories involving different countries. But before I get into that I must truly question why these particular stories were chosen. I have stated before that I love Kino […]

Houseki no Kuni – 09 [Spring]

Houseki approaches summertime this episode and this week feels like a breather after the intensity from the last few weeks, by that I mean Phos didn’t get into any real trouble by the end of this week. Not to say this episode is anything less amazing compared to last several weeks. One of the factor […]

Inuyashiki – 8 [Mari Inuyashiki]

Hello and welcome to another week of Inuyashiki. We are approaching the end, with only 3 episodes left. The end-game has been revealed, Hiro returns to his roots and Inuyashiki gets found out by someone close to him. Lets jump in! To start off, Inuyashiki tipped its hand this week as to the ultimate ending. […]

Latest Reviews

The Reflection Review – 45/100

The superhero genre has been undergoing a surge in popularity in recent years. From the Marvel movies in the West to anime series like My Hero Academia in the East, super heroes are everywhere.  As such, for good or ill, it was inevitable that we would get a merging of the two. The Reflection is […]

Made in Abyss Review – 91/100

There are few series which can capture the mystery and wonder of a fantasy world as well as Made in Abyss. Their world is dangerous, brutal and unforgiving but beautiful, wondrous and exciting in it’s presentation. The story is of a ordinary girl called Riko and a mysterious cyborg boy called Regu traveling down the […]

Classroom of the Elite (Summer 2017) Review – 54/100

Here’s a perfect example of a Light Novel adaptation schlock that has some interesting concept but terrible presentation. Youkoso usually starts the episode with a thought-provoking philosophical quote, and then (in one episode in particular) they followed up with a boob shot. It sums up exactly how I feel about this show. In service for […]

18if (Summer 2017) Review – 68/100

Allow me to skip over the last episode coverage for this full review of 18if, since I was too underwhelmed by the finale to have anything concrete except pointing out how messy the ending was. The first thing you need to know about 18if is that it’s a multimedia project (along with a mobile game […]

Princess Principal (Summer 2017) Review – 82/100

Princess Principal has emerged as a true sleeper hit for this admittedly sloppy Summer Season. A joint project from indie studios that bring us my favorite anime of last year Flip Flappers (3Hz) and “better than it has any right to be” Girls und Panzer (Actas), Princess Principal records the missions of five cute spy […]

Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul Review 80/100

“Dance!” I have been a  reader of this blog for a long time. Indeed it would not be wrong to say that psgels and the current crop of writers have helped maintain my interest in anime for the last decade. So now here is my chance to give something back to this excellent blog. Shingeki […]

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Review – 63/100

Every Anime season we the viewers are shown a number of adaptations, often made after Light or Visual Novels. It’s an already written story with an established base, a smart business decision. In recent years studios have also begun pulling from the Video Game market for their shows. Pieces like the Idolmaster series, Kantai Collection […]

Kakegurui Review – 61/100

This show is one that makes conventional reviewing difficult as your enjoyment of your series will likely determine on highly subjective factors. For if I was to put this under scrutiny on matters of f-plot, setting and characters then it will end up lacking in all categories. The plot is just watching Yumeko face members […]

Re:Creators – 22 [Re:CREATORS] – 75/100

There was never going to be a epic fight with every creation squaring off against the overpowered and invincible Altair. That possibility died when the creators threw the copycat of Blank at her only to have that plan backfire horribly. Besides, it wouldn’t have been a satisfying conclusion to Altair’s story to have her be […]