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.

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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

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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
Vonter
Or are the 50s the new late 30s or early 40s?
Vonter
Are japanese people vampires? https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/Toru_Furuya
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: If you look at the voice list, that Japanese voice actor for Mario in that anime movie is the same voice actor for Amuro Ray from the original Gundam.
Vonter
Also considering Baby Bowser was raised by Kamek. I suppose those beings could be made by magic.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - My head canon is that Bowser made them himself. Kinda Lord Zedd or Rita from Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still subscribe to the headcanon that Peach is the mother of Bowsers children.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember growing up with the relatively poor American cartoons, none of them featured Wario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have committed videogame genocide apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Everytime I broke or hit a brick in the Mario games I was probably murdering a toad.
Vonter
The ending it's "interesting" considering the relationship Mario and Peach have isn't something as close, as Link and Zelda.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's weird but at the same time it does use elements from the game. Like the music, and story bits from the manual from the original Super Mario Bros. (Where it mentioned Bowser uses magic to turn Toads into the bricks, clouds and other objects of the game).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never did end up watching the Mario anime movie that came out in the 80s.
Vonter
Also someone is putting the effort of making a Bowsette adventure doujin. This is the type of stuff that could be it's own original thing since it strays far from what's Mario. Despite the occasional mild nudity it's quite fun so far, despite also how weird it is.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - At the very least it'll be interesting to see where it goes. It happens also every time something comes back. Times change and so the way we make stories. Also the original run had a curtain call chapter, so this is more a new story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is often what happens with episodic stuff for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I essentially read Fraken Fran until I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I feel that Franken Fran pretty much ran it's course though. Not sure what a new series could bring.
Vonter
Latest news: Franken Fran will get a new manga series. After it was cut short, it seems this little horror manga will get another chance: https://imgur.com/a/ypjtI4c
Vonter
I also read a bit ahead on Shield Hero. And I like it is character driven, but the cast isn't as big as other Isekai, like in Overlord where there are too many characters to easily keep track of what's happening (ever since it started Overlord feels like the most attached to its light novel origins).
Vonter
The monster town growing and expanding into it's own country reminded me of Digimon World. A game which you allied with Digimon to expand your town, add shops and other services. I've heard Xenoblade X was also like that.
Vonter
I watched during the weekend, the Slime Isekai. It's fine, though it lacked more conflict, the MC feels like its too powerful. Maybe this would have been great as a videogame since the concept of how this Slime evolves reminds me of the SNES game: E.V.O. The Search of Eden. It was about your character evolving through the ages and the player choosing how it adapts to it's environment.
Animosh
Also nice to see some love for LOGH in your personal lists (especially Aidan's). I guess it's too much of a niche series (a political epic in space) to score highly in the overall list, but I loved it. It retained much of what made the OVA so great while providing a much-needed update to its visuals and arguably better pacing.
Animosh
I also hadn't heard of the Kase-san OVA. Not sure whether enough can really happen in a one-hour OVA to make it worthwhile (it gives the impression of being promotional material more than a full-fledged adaptation), but I've been looking for another good yuri series after Bloom into You, so it can't hurt to give it a try.
Animosh
Nice to see Kaze ga made it on the list, even with just one cour out. I've seen most of the stuff that's won positive awards, but I've always avoided Pop Team Epic because of how silly it seemed to me. But given all the positive reviews (here and elsewhere) maybe I should give it a chance after all.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yu-no can go fuck itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also Yuasa's new thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe the thriller shows will be worthwhile but I'm not really as interested.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah spring looks packed for me, there's also that throwback ova to riding Bean and some creature horror ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I notice that Index gets an annoying amount of episodes/adaptations, one of those shows that keeps going away for a while then keeps coming back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We might get dororohedero and Vinliand saga at years end. I would like for pluto to air this year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Definately looking forward to the josei and shoujo stuff in Spring 2019, nothing of interest for me thats on the summer 2019 list yet.
Vonter
Like you wrote, seems like it's the start for new ways to stream anime. With Crunchyroll making simulcasts and Netflix putting some anime in the spotlight considering the audience it has (and it also helps it has better dubs, at least in spanish). Finally I felt last year the criticism of fanservice got more loud, also summed with how tumblr and facebook politics are putting restrain on sex conten
SuperWooper
@Anon, Netflix is getting Watanabe's new series, Carole & Tuesday, next season. It might not have the mass appeal of Crybaby (violence and sex) or Aggretsuko (cute animals), but it ought to do well for them if they slap "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF COWBOY BEBOP" all over the Internet.
Vonter
Last year I also didn't watched a lot of drama or slice of life, which is a shame since a lot of what's listed reads like it fits those genres.
Vonter
Kind of a lukewarm year 2018 was in terms of anime series. Although I admit I watched a lot of trash as well. Most of the good stuff I watched last year was on Netflix. In terms of bad I already an issue on the list because disappointing, bad and trash are different degrees of badness.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for being so long and overdramatic, I'd normally stay quiet but I had to get my feelings out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to say anymore about this show anymore, I know those who did watch it generally emotionally connected with it or thought it was some kind of epic, if anything I felt it was an epic ruined by being chopped down. I hated it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nothing seems settled on long enough and nothing registers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As Hateable as Jomy is in the beginning, I would at least liked to have seen proper flow of plot structure allowing for some natural progression of character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an idea and I think if explored with more episodes/more it could be something, this also includes Keith.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The timeskip and general pacing annihilate anything that could be anything approaching reaching close to working with this series, resulting in an un-compelling cast I feel nothing for that ruins and undersells any drama which is far too overdone when it occurs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't complete this, don't care if I've watched the first half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't like the couple of episodes of Terra e I watched a some years ago, unfortunately this second attempt, over halfway through the show only illustrates further just how much I utterly despise this show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've said before, I do think re-watches are important, especially years later after watching a show you disliked, if only to see if you'll enjoy it on the second run, lately thats been mostly successful for me, however....
Anonymous3325300
Meanwhile, I do expect that this year will be much stronger in terms of quality. Of course, I had the same assumptions last year based on the winter shows, but I do feel like this could be a stronger year full of great shows, instead of a lot of merely "good" ones.
Anonymous3325300
I predict that Netflix this year probably won't have a Devilman/Aggretsuko-level hit in terms of new anime. Evangelion is probably all they need, even though it's an old series.
Lenlo
If anyone thought that wasn't getting on this list, they either didnt watch it or have really low standards
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Its so catharctic that you listed steins;gate 0 I remember how we essentially lived and watched it together.
Lenlo
I think thats what the most pleasant surprise category is supposed to be. Didnt wanna double up on to many cats
Kaiser-Eoghan
No biggest surprise category?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand including bunny-senpai as a runner up, I'd have trouble picking between it and sorayori.
Lenlo
Episode 7 is so damn good, I don't care that its American.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: How do you think I feel, I'm not far off 35.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glad you actually made room for a movie category aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Based Lenlo, cheating with American anime cartoon.
Lenlo
Im just happy I got Castlevania on this list at all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dropped planet with, hinamatsuri and violent evergarden though, didn't see Hisone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I probably would have replaced planet with with happy sugar life or banana fish though or yagate ga kimi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In any case, I am glad my wife Kanna Hanazawa won an award on your list and that Devilman got featured more than once.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I though you would be splitting the voice actor category into voice actor and voice actress, though I suppose that's probably cheating a bit.
SuperWooper
You're not alone - of the four of us, I was the only one who watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must have missed ASAGAO TO KASE-SAN. Hadn't heard of it until now, I should have paid more attention.
Anonymous3324478
Oh and the music was pretty good too I guess. Another episode is airing in March.
Anonymous3324478
Masa also recovered from his car accident from a few episodes ago. It was totally unneeded in my opinion.
Anonymous3324478
The last episode of Tsurune was a decent ending to an otherwise formulaic sports show with some great animation on par for the course with KyoAni. Minato overcame his target panic and won it for the team. Twins got owned big time.
Animosh
There's a new episode out of the Gridman voice drama: https://barnnn.blogspot.com/2019/01/ssssgridman-voice-drama-episode-6n.html. It's a pretty good one too.
Animosh
My only worry is if the series will be able to get to its logical stopping point (the end of the Claw arc) in 12 episodes. But I suppose I should trust Bones over my vague memories of how much content there is left to cover.
Animosh
Yeah, I agree a split cour could be good. It would allow the series to maintain its high levels of animation, and given how stacked next season looks to be (anime aside, there's also American Gods and the Game of Thrones madness to keep up with), and with another ONE show airing, a break wouldn't be so bad.
SuperMario
Split cour of Mob Psycho would be awesome. I don't want to watch 2 ONE's adaptation in one season
Lenlo
Not for bloggin
Lenlo
While I love Mob, I am a bit happy its only 1 cour. I couldnt do 3 2 cour series
Animosh
Assuming we do get 12 episodes, a split cour would still make sense ... but I guess we'll just have to wait for the official confirmations
Animosh
As far as I can tell the only source is some guy in Twitter, so not sure how reliable it is
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Devilman Lady is what comes to mind on how to do this type of show better. That one had also a special agency for supernatural incidents, has a simple but compelling main character, uses it's time to build atmosphere and mood and even the action while a bit stilted had better monster design and the violence it's graphic but entertaining like Robocop.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok I will check. I'm also curious where it goes in terms of tone. Because it's all over the place.
Vonter
Ok. Last time I tried the login in feature didn't respond. This time it worked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Keep me posted of magical girl spec ops in case it does turn into the kind of guilty pleasure shlock it should.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is this vonter? If you register an account you can keep the name.
Anonymous3321080
But I think what gets me the most its how it beats the dead horse of the 80s action hero arc. Van Damme, Arnold and Stallone had more or less these type of lines. Its kind of funny this anime pretends these aren't tropes we don't use anymore because of how corny they come off. It'll definitely work better as an abridged series since it can be very boring when it tries to add the school life moment
Anonymous3321080
Also Mahou Spec Ops... Is interestingly bad. It tries to be exploitative and shocking but feels very sloppy, kinda like that meme of *slow heavy metal music plays* It also wants to play it like a dark shoujo anime, but the cute monsters are just distracting.
Anonymous3321080
Reading your conversations about idols, despite being mediocre Gokudolls and Ore Mahou Shoujo made jabs at that culture. At least painting some aspects that may be true of how exploitative it is. I suppose because those are subpar, over the top and cheap is what they can do that. Can't remember one aside from Perfect Blue which criticizes that industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But only if there was more anime noirs.
Amagi
Reminds me of that stalin vs hitler comic. Think it was russian. They're attacking each other with magical super powers there. And yeah, I love noir now that you mention it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That'd make for a great noir story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Imagine Stalin and Hitler trolling each other on twitter.
Amagi
It's easy to construct superiority when you never have to show your private face and never participate in mundane chat talks or so.
Amagi
I bet a lot of people who had some aura of authority back then due to only ever appearing in books or for very rare (scripted) speeches would probably laughing stocks now if we'd see them commenting on daily stuff and news on twitter or reddit.
Amagi
I personally have given up upon having heroes. I still find a lot of historical people interesting but let's be real the few of them that weren't blatanly bad in some way were different then we imagine them to be (even if they're good). Just look how different people feel now that you see them tweeting on twitter VS policians etc decades ago.
Amagi
I like the idea of a main character longing for a dead friend and role model he had and still idolizes. Then at some point he starts reconstructing his friend's past to cherish his memories about him even more but finds out that the friends wasn't the hero he believed him to be and maybe even the own memories of him were idealized a lot over the years after his death without him even noticing.
Amagi
Yeah we are always searching for some sort of über-ich or perfect being that symbolizes the goal of some personality growth we're trying to achieve.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or the reason why some people need to have so many things or idols they probably don't need.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think there is a genetic/mental inadequacy in humanity that makes us susceptible to following "higher people who we forget are actually human" because of our own desire for an avatar or general inadequacy as human beings.
Amagi
Yeah this. It's probably also why they defend them so eagerly. Because it's actually true that "their" version of that person would never do that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that probably creates a much stronger blow to them when the actor is found guilty of a crime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Very good response.
Amagi
It's kinda weird how almost everything we know about others is actually just interpretation to some degree.
Amagi
The weird thing is that I think that many fans of acrots/celebrities rather create their own versions of them they fall in love with rather than loving the actual person, whom they barely even know. It's fun because the concept of a waifu sounds extremely weird to normal people, but many normal people kinda do this too but with real persons (but imaginary personality).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats where it starts getting obsessive or where it gets too close to the next level, such as what the anon mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also can't bring myself to get too attached to a celebrity or to a character. I do look at hentai doujins yes but, I've probably had thoughts about certain actors or what not, but I never actually want to sleep with them, again I think that's taking fantasy too far.
Amagi
I never know if these are serious celebrations or rather some fun memes they do to post, I always assumed the latter. Kinda.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the fans celebrating the idol's birthday thing is taking it to far too, especially if its an anime character.
Amagi
Yeah I was never an idol fan either, and I don't just mean the idol genre in anime but anything similar to idol stuff in general, like being a fanboy/girl of some celebrity or something. Was never able to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all too superficial.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't like the ideas it gives teenage girls either .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Certain topics just set me off =<
Amagi
The third episode of Wake Up girls was pretty good in that regard. I think it was the third one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, thats a pretty bad story what happened to the woman you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be a good idea to catch some documentaries on that topic .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that was just a sentence from some guy on a podcast though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now though I didn't see it, I do recall someone saying some of that Wake up girls idol anime slightly brought up seedier parts of the industry if not much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The hallow shallowness of the idol industry I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also dislike the shallowness of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love how Perfect blue takes influences from those gialli/giallo style films from the 60s/70s to an extent, while also spitting on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you know what sucks? A part of me, both in regards to those women (and probably some of the male idols) whether it be in reality or animation, I can't actually deny finding some of these men/women actually physically attractive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Music industry has its seediness just about everywhere and of course victim blaming going to appear everywhere, not just Japan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*commodification-consumerist
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I hate capitalism, I hate the idol communication-commercialist industry and the willing self-aware slaves and their masters who perpetuate it, the music is largely awful aswell. I don't watch most of the idol anime, I think the idea of 30 something men throwing cash it is awful.
Anonymous3319279
Wonder if there will be some modern equivalent of Perfect Blue? That was a scathing critique of the idol industry back in the late 90s. Although given how shows that are flat out glorifying the industry are the best-selling shows on BD every year, I doubt it.
Anonymous3319279
In short, she was assaulted by two men at her home who were then arrested. Then she was pressured by her managers into claiming that she was to blame for this, not the men and apologizing to an audience.
Anonymous3319279
Hearing about what happened to some idol named Mahohon seriously makes me wonder if idol culture in Japan seriously needs an overhaul and if media needs to stop glorifying the industry so much.
Anonymous3319260
Ok. No pressure, just asking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, we are working on it. It's nearing completion and should be posted soon.
Anonymous3318799
I don't know if I missed it. But have you put the overview of 2018? Of best show, best character, etc. Did 2018 had a good anime villain?
Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Kinda sad that the latter half of Flip Flappers was rather weak because it started with this different worlds idea.
Amagi
I think Matsumoto stuff might actually be the very first anime I have seen in my life, not regularly though and usually when I was in Italy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The noir world could be in black and white.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How about another world that has different sections that follow different genres?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Helped greatly by his use of artistic cinematography and use of dramatic stills.
Anonymous3316528
Old anime has very bitter stories. Despite the old drawings, several had harsh live lessons. Osamu Dezaki had such a talent to direct drama.
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Winter 2019 Summary – Week 2

Welcome to the new weekly section where I will cover current season’s shows that I’m still following that haven’t been blogged by us, the leftovers so to speak. That way readers who watch these shows below can keep tabs on how we feel about them. At the moments aside from the top tiers shows we […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – 02 [The Wandering Six]

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Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – 02

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Yakusoku no Neverland – 02[131045]

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Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 13 [And Then Start Running]

Kaze Fui returns, contending with and maybe even beating Mob Psycho for best episode of the week! We have introspection, backstory, and the team coming together to protect their emotionally stunted friend! Lets charge in! Everything about Kaze Fui this week was fantastic. From the narrative to the VA’s. But one I want to hit […]

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