Posted on 9 July 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Hisone to Masotan

Coming off as one of my most anticipated anime out of this last Spring Season, based solely on staffs involved alone – after all, an original anime written by Mari Okada and produced by Bones (which I regarded as one of the best anime studio working right now) – I can’t help but feel let down towards how HisoMaso progresses and wraps up. It’s a show with many highlights, mind you, as I consider the production as one of the best of the year so far: simple yet expressive character designs, stunning backgrounds and crisp animation. All you could ask for really. It has some interesting ideas, but that precisely pains me even more that the world-building just doesn’t support the ideas HisoMaso has.

To begin with, let’s address my main issues regarding this production. Unlike other anime shows which bring themselves down by treading the same tired path, HisoMaso is a show with many fresh concepts. I would applaud anyone who can think of the idea of them inside the dragons and piloting (note: not riding) as a military fighter jet. It’s a wonderful and whimsical mix concept that fit into the easy-going tone and the simple character designs. In fact, the first few episodes still carry this concept forward due to the fact that it never takes itself seriously. That’s when the issue arises when we need something more substantial when the appeal wears out, and it becomes increasingly frustrated to see the plot progresses without any backup. As an example, the show introduces the whole “ritual” concerning the whole giant dragon which “wakes up” every 82 years. It opens a whole new can of worms regarding the whole village who dedicated themselves solely for this event and even the process of it all. Equally under-developed and underwhelmed is the anastomosis bit, which for me is the prime example of creating conflicts solely for the sake if conflicts. As it stands, HisoMaso often feels like a first draft on a novel, many wonderful ideas but all of them are half-baked because the creators just don’t spend enough time to think this through.

The half-baked approach spread into the characters themselves. These girls have many quirks that distinct them to the rest of the cast, but at the end of the day there simply isn’t much development for them, or the development feel calculated and forced. Take Kinutsugai and Hitomi, the D-pilots who appear at the poster and the ED, HisoMaso just doesn’t know what to do with them. Same thing regarding the dragons, which feel more like mascots. The main lead Hisone embraces what could be the worst tendency of HisoMaso’s attempt of developing characters. Like the show, she tends to tell us out loud what her issues are, and like the show she tends to make rather weird decisions. Many of her conflicts are raised and solved within an episode, as a result the development doesn’t feel earned.

Speaking about making weird decisions, I can’t still put my fingers on the central message of HisoMaso. In some ways, Mari Osada underlines the struggles of working women in Japanese society, as they have to choose between career and family. Having Hisone and Hoshino fall in love that could potentially cause negative impact on piloting the dragons is part of that strategy. But how do they deal with it? By having the entire army unit work on “make them fall in love then crush their love apart”. That’s mean-spirited to the point of stupidity. On that note, they didn’t resolve the love’s conflict thoroughly either. Second, HisoMaso marks the relationship between the dragons and their pilots, as we see in how Hoshino struggling as she considers herself “a pilot” – not dragon caretaker; and we see the theme reflected by the titular characters. But the problem with its is the way Hisone regards her dragon. She considers Masotan as someone who see the specialness in her, and piloting dragon is something that make her worthwhile, as a result in episode 3 we have something as obscure as her demanding Masotan to “take responsibility” because he picked her. That level of dependence repeats later on, when Hisone argues with another girl solely about a boy. This questionable treatment to women is unacceptable, especially with a show about adult women written by an adult woman. As a result, HisoMaso become the first show from 2018 that receive a minus (-) mark from me.

But what HisoMaso makes up for the under-cooked story is the sheer power of visual presentation. Everything looks great, the characters are on the simple design, but that’s exactly why the studio can go wild on their facial expressions and characters movement. What it’s lack from the character depth is replaced by their mannerism, in which each character moves differently and has different tones. The background designs are simply gorgeous with bright color palette, and the animation are crisp and a feast to an eye. If you don’t mind the lack of deeper layer, HisoMaso’s aesthetic alone would serve as a visual treat. Indeed, at top of my mind only the recent FLCL’s production is on the same level with this show for the first half of this 2018 calendar year.

So yeah, HisoMaso is a show with many highs and lows. Its visual strength is amongst the best of the industry right now, and it’s an easy watch all around with some emotional resonance. The lack of a well thought-out world, however, hurts the show since it’s crumble as it moves along. It’s still a show worth checking out, but don’t delve too deeply into it.

Posted on 4 July 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hisone to Masotan

And we come to a close of this Dragon Pilot show and I’m still indifferent on how this anime wraps up. It’s not a bad ending per se, it has a good emotional payoff and it does somewhat wrap up the story. The more it gets into the conclusion, however,  the more I see inconsistencies in its world building that just throw me off even more. Hisone, as we suspected last week, after learning about the sacrifice, decides to defy the ritual and save the girl instead. She then, in her Hisone mood, sacrifices herself to put the dragon to sleep. But Masotan saves her at the end. It’s all fine and mighty, although I would be much more appreciate if HisoMaso explains me about the “stabbing” beforehand. It just feels as if they create that step to raise the conflict. Indeed a lot of “conflicts” in HisoMaso is designed that way. I know I’m mainly disappointed by the inconsistencies of its world building but it’s the first and foremost factor to sell me on the story as a whole. Failing that and it pampers my personal investment to the show and it makes me question the credibility of every plot’s progression.

At the end though, it saddens me to say that I don’t learn that much from the cast. Except for Hoshino and Sada who have a bit of development, all the side characters are under-written in general. The dragons are cute but again they are just that, cute. I do like the way they’re all confident that Hisone and Masotan will come back somehow in the end. The visual is still a wonder, which pains me even more that it can’t save the show from going downhill because of the weak writing.

Full review will come later but here’s some dot points of what get on my nerve in this finale:

-Grandma pilot Sada with her back story: if she feels that devastated how the hell she didn’t cause anastomosis to Masotan then?

-How comes all the back-and-forth exchanges between a girl who wants to save another girl is all about some other guy? It’s a under-representation of women role. Even with Bechdel test it fails fails fails miserably.

-Okonogi doesn’t fare any better. His childhood friend is on a verge of death and all he thinks of is Hisone

-At the end, even Natsume is more fleshed out than Kinutsugai and Hitomi, and I hardly regard her character as flesh out.

This show just disappoints me to no end.

Posted on 25 June 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hisone to Masotan

What’s there to say about HisoMaso? I’ll be blunt but I see this whole final arc a missed opportunity. It builds from neat ideas, but the way the show creates and resolves its conflicts are hammy at best. Take the two main struggles this episode: Hisone decided to quit the job altogether and the grandma possible yuri relationship with the old miko. All of these are established and quickly resolved in about 15 minutes, and I can’t say I feel anything about their conflicts. For Hisone, I can ‘barely’ get the reasons for her quitting. She doesn’t want to hurt the people she love. But for me it’s just an easy way out, she’s running away because she can’t deal with it. Now, I realize that this is HisoMaso’s point all along, but consider this: why the show introduces this drama too late of a game? Is it creating conflicts for the sake of conflicts? This new development effectively kills little interest I have left for Hisone character.

And then we have a brand new conflict in the name of Sada and that opens up another can of worms. Sada formed a special “relationship” with the old miko, just so that she witnessed the death of that shrine maiden and still hanging on it. It’s a nice little drama in concept, as it questions the necessity of sacrifice someone. But in practice, we have HER piloting Masotan instead of Nao, which for me makes completely no sense. Isn’t it another case of creating conflicts for the sake of conflicts? And then all this plot is building up for HISONE JUMPING INSIDE MASOTAN. Have you ever heard of the expression “Jumping the shark”? Well, it’s the same here (Jumping the dragon!). And it comes up with some more issues. First, how the hell it’s okay now that there’s two pilots inside the dragon and second, it feels that all these developments feel utterly calculated, and I must say, cheap.

Regarding how this story gonna closes up, I’m guessing that Hisone will find a way to save Natsume and all them come back safely. Remember they are inside the great dragon, right? Couldn’t they pilot or do something the same like what they do with Masotan and other dragons? One more thing that struck me is that the old lady might not die yet. We see her shredded clothes but surprisingly not her body, and regrading it’s HisoMaso we’re talking about, it could go in any direction. I still feel a bit betrayed how Hisone gets off and comes back a bit too quickly and easy, and worse the worldbuilding just isn’t strong enough for me to completely suspend my disbelief. For me it’s just another case of creators don’t think about this world hard enough.

Posted on 19 June 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hisone to Masotan

Pretty visual aside, I wonder how much fuel left for this aircraft before it runs out of ideas. HisoMaso has never been a show with detailed world building, or even thick plot to begin with, and as the usual case for me, nothing much happened in this episode. The biggest plot point of this week is that Hisone and Hoshino now have to choose between love and career because somehow fallen in love is like a toxic for your dragons. I guess Okada’s point is that she raises one of the most common issues normal working woman will have to face: family or career, but even putting this story in that light, I can’t help but think HisoMaso is sexist. Guys are free to flirt around, guys at the top twitch the noses of our girls, and our girls take all the fall. Not only Hisone and Hoshino, but now Natsume is officially a Binden – literally a sacrifice (even that poor girl can’t have the man she loves, damnit). So by having Hisone decides to quit the job at the end, it also mean she strays away from the restriction, the repression. Hopefully I read that right because to be frank, part of me still thinks that Okada’s just trolling us around.

We get to know more about this Natsume – Okonagi’s romance and I’m not in a bit surprised here. It goes to the most common trope of unconditional love from Natsume, while Okonagi part-oblivious, part-see her as his sister- bullshit. I don’t really appreciate the way he dodges the kiss, but the blowing air to the nose part itself is quite a lovely bit (guess that mean that Masotan will have a chance to blow her nose in the Ritual). Another detail is about the village dedicated to this Ritual, where they raise young boys and girls to be shrine maidens and… what? Priests? How many priests they need in the ceremony anyways? (the answer is one). And how long in between each ceremony (the answer is 74 years). You get that? The whole generations of shrine maidens and priests were wasted because the dragon won’t wake up. This tells me that they haven’t thought the world-building out well, because the more you think about how it works the more it falls apart.

But we still have some nice moments in this episode. Nao has a chance to shine. Being somewhat written out towards the latter half of this series (the reason is simple: she doesn’t have a dragon), it’s nice to see her piloting Masotan again, an evidence that she has finally came to terms with being who she is, and piloting Masotan also means she helps out Hisone and her dragon as well. She has some nice chemistry with the designer (but wait, doesn’t she have a crush on this guy? Why can she piloting then? Guess the saying remains true: each girl tastes differently, right Masotan? In short, this is a so-so episode in an underwhelming last arc so far.

Posted on 12 June 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hisone to Masotan

After a pretty excellent episode last week, HisoMaso goes into the direction I’m afraid the most: exploring the romance aspect that by all means we don’t really need in the first place. And they frame it in a manner I cannot get behind. Lets see, due to these girls develop a certain feeling, they intoxicate their dragons and now the mission can potentially be halted? So now loving someone is a national crime now? Why do you need to put love in the middle of everything, certain writer? To put more salt to that wound, those romances aren’t that good  to begin with. On one side, we have a love triangle in which that love rival just basically stalks the girl. And then… Look, you don’t suddenly realize you have a feeling for someone like a lightning bolt like this (with all the screaming and stuff). On the other side, we have a crush between the two people who don’t even have normal conversation, and then that old cliche “falling down the stair and accidently kiss”? This trope is so old and tired that it might be older than myself. Seriously, it kills the little interest I have left for HisoMaso.

We also learn one crucial detail for this upcoming ritual, which is there’s going to be sacrifice, as they put it “the chosen one “ (and somehow the episode title sums up perfectly my feeling, eeeek!!), and if it isn’t quite clear right now that person would be Natsume, who has a crush on Okonogi. Consider how long we know this girl (ehhh, 20 minutes?), it’s hard to feel anything even if she ends up as a sacrifice, which I doubt. The question at hand, however, is how they treat the dragons out of their stomachache (okay, the technical term is anastomosis)  and how they discipline poor Hisone and Hoshino (aaaahhhh). I’m never fond with those love webs but now as they are in it, let’s just see how HisoMaso rolls. To be honest, I think the show would turn out better if they focus on the miko instead of these dragon pilots who experiencing their aching first love.

Posted on 4 June 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hisone to Masotan

Readers who read my previous coverages on HisoMaso would know that I wasn’t very happy with the direction this show took. There’s a mean-spirited tone, and just downright nonsensical with the plot to make our girls fallen in love and then crush their hearts to pieces. But with this episode, I’m happy to say that HisoMaso finds a much stronger shape and it justifies most of the events happened before. So, the main plot going forward gonna focus about the ritual, which actually to move the giant big legendary sleeping dragon to its new bed, and that process can take up to 3 whole days without stop. The real challenge with this is the girls have to fight not to sleep for the whole 72 hours, otherwise that gigantic dragon would go off track. That actually sounds refreshing, for once the overarching plot isn’t going to be “saving the world and destroy bad guys” like I afraid, and there’s still some actual stake in there. Moreover, this ritual speaks well to this strange yet whimsical world.

We also know the true identity of the yogurt old lady (it’s about goddamn time). Turns out she was a OTF pilot back in the last time they carried the mission, and she proves to be a good addition to this cast. Her wise advice regarding how they fight with the lack of sleep, for example, is to sleep, on the ground that they have to be in sync with the dragons in order to ride them normally even when they’re asleep. After a brief argument with Hisone (in which I find her reason a bunch of rubbish. Man, her reasons never make sense to me), the old wise woman proceeds to do just that: let them relax and just listen to the sound of their dragons. This goes well in the end and for me, the episode brings me back to the show after a somewhat disappointing middle part.

So we’ll have a celebration (in which HisoMaso phrases it as “Ritual” huh? Will there be any sacrifice here?), we have the torii gate, the dragons and their pilots as the main players, and naturally we need to have shire maidens too. Which comes to the aspect I’m not confident about HisoMaso: the romances. While I personally enjoy the growing chemistry of Hisone and Okonogi, I can’t say the same with Hosino and the captain whatever-his-name-is. It feels hamfisted at best that they need to show us that these girls have some romantic feeling beside piloting dragon. Furthermore, the reveal in the end, the Okonogi is an important figure of “Divinity department” and his apparent love-interest put Okonomi-Hisone relationship into another light and I’m not sure if I’m on boat with this twist. Now that relationship becomes a three-way love which… is how anime plot tends to do, which is too say it’s repetitive and tiresome. I’m growing fond with Okonogi, however, and I especially like the part where Hisone tells him about the “original shitty horror movie which just released in Bluray” part, so yeah at least for now it’s not a deal-breaker. This episode does a pretty admiring job of pulling this show back from their weak and misfired last couple of episodes, at least for now I’m looking forward to see how HisoMaso going to wrap itself up.

Posted on 28 May 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hisone to Masotan

Hmmm, I do feel like I’m watching some propaganda in HisoMaso this week, in which it tries to sell us the ideas that women’s low self-esteem and insecurity are the best way to “soulmate” their dragons, and worse, learning the whole conspiracy method of crushing these poor girls’ hearts to make sure they’ll ever love again, so they can devote all their hearts to pilot the dragons? WHAT? Okay, propaganda is a bit exaggerating, but I can’t help but feel the mean-spiritedness in this approach, especially virtually no one in the higher-ups question about it or that Ilboshi guy’s decision morally, instead they just roll with it. Haizz, they play those up for laugh, and I guess they set all this up so that the girls can overcome those, but still I feel a bit uneasy watching all these play out. Especially seeing the young mug Okonogi tries his damnest to slide between following his orders and just have fun with Hisone. I figure my uneasiness lies in the fact that these girls, our D-Pilots are the victims and clueless about all this. Ways to depreciate our women and their intelligence here, Mari Osada.

SO the plan is to figure out all the girls’ potential romantic interests, push it a bit and then squeeze that love like breaking an egg. Haizz. This plot gets thicken fast as Okonogi is granted a chance to go to a date with Hisone, watching some lame horror movie (wait, is it the same film with the one in After the Rain?). Meanwhile, Kinutsugai becomes an informant (because of Kingdom!) by that guy Ilboshi again. He now becomes a sore thumb here as beside babblings all those bullshits about white lovers, purity and what’s not, he acts equally stupid and manipulative too. To make things worse, this week our dragons get left out, in place for these stupid romantic threads (that include Hoshino and “the guy who ticks all the boxes” and Hitomi’s multiple interests).

The show’s writer is most infamously known for injecting unnecessary and drawn-out romances and it seems like she again hits the streak in this episode. It’s not enough to bring HisoMaso down, at least not yet, so I’ll reserve my final feeling when this all business about the ceremony is dealt with, but for now I’m not that keen on the direction it laid out. It should focus on the dragons – their pilots relationship, or even focus to develop our girls, not this. And HisoMaso still holds their cards too close regarding the real identity of the yogurt lady. Too much sniffing and licking without revealing won’t tease people anymore. I’m a bit concerned with HisoMaso now, it looks like it will head dive into the deep ocean full of sharks and I’m not sure if it ever going to recover from that.

Posted on 23 May 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hisone to Masotan

At one point during this episode I almost felt that Hoshino was just too overboard. Being stubborn is one thing, but when you’re too stubborn you outright hurt others’ feeling without backing down, it’s irritating to watch. The issue with Hoshino, as we come to learn during the flashback, is that piloting an F2 has been her lifelong dream. And she tries, amongst the male-dominated world, to reach that dream. Then this dragon picks her and she determines to push forward to make her dragon a F2 plane. The dragon understands that so he tries to stay in Foxtrot form all the time. It’s a classic abusive relationship if I’ve ever seen one. The main thing is, for Yoshino it’s her desire to fly, not piloting a F2, that hooked her in the first place and their flight together in the end further reminds her of that.

Meanwhile, the other three manage to survive for few days and initially forgets all about their training objective. No big deal, when the dragons are happy they can just take wings and fly off (And eventually they did). These girls encounter the shrine inside the cave with Masotan and other dragons’ symbol in there, so I reckon that this island is a spiritual place where the dragon pilots – white lovers, shrine maidens, whatever exchange some form of mutual relationship with the dragons. They all have the same dream that night of a lady riding a dragon, which I guess for now is either the yogurt old lady or Nao’s mom. Well, we have all the elements in place now: the maidens, the shrine, the dragons, the last thing left is the ceremony itself so let’s see how HisoMaso eventually get into that part.

While I feel the drama and the overall serious tone are just passable, it’s the comedy that fares much better this time. In particular, the comedy duo Hisone and Nao’s puppet head provides some nice gags, including one of the most tragic faux “death” in recent history (Hisone’s face is priceless). The voice acting also work wonderfully well, especially the licking gags of Hisone – just to show you how weird our main protagonist is. Nao and Iboshi’s current crave for kiwi doesn’t really work for me, but it ties its thread well with the final revelation. As of now, I feel HisoMaso just doesn’t have enough of a central plot to make a proper impact, and it relies instead on the gorgeous visuals and quirky character expressions. It’s a nice show to watch and enjoy, but when it’s all done you realize the story doesn’t progress much, and sometimes it feels like the plot just stands still and doesn’t go anywhere at all.

Posted on 16 May 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hisone to Masotan

There’s one thing you can count on original shows, you can never know for sure what the plot is going next. Sometimes, it surprises you with its sheer originality and sometimes, it could go to weird places. HisoMaso falls into the latter this week, literally where it’s taking us to an uninhabited island for the survival test. It’s this week that the show goes for more serious tone, and I’m not quite sure if this seriousness works for the show’s benefit. First, I don’t buy any talk from Administrative Vice-Minister Iiboshi at all. He seems to be the one who knows the most about the connection between OTFs and their pilots, but all his “white maiden” metaphors scream all pretentious with no real substance for me. I mean, the show’s pretty obvious with their visual motifs in support for this white-maiden tale: the traditional festive in the beginning, the torii gate and the rice cakes but now all seem vague and contrived to me.

Second, the way Iiboshi (and the show) frames that the main reason the dragons choose the pilots is because of the girls’ self-loathed. Now THAT I have issues with. Hisone puts it better than anyone: Without Masotan, she’ll be just a social awkward girl who talks to herself too much and is unfit for society. The girls themselves admit later on that they regard their dragons as a way to close themselves off to the people around them. Now thinking back, this has always been Hisone’s perspective towards Masotan since they first met. She said to her dragon the same thing before that she was flattered by the dragon’s choice because she feels special; and her speech to Masotan to “take his responsibility” for choosing her. It’s a flawed way of regarding your partner (and definitely not better than Eri who regards the dragon as the tool) but things might change for the better once the girls have more confident in themselves.

The gist of this episode is, however, to show us how dysfunctional those girls are. It feels to me that these girls are the protagonists of their own story, and then awkwardly assemble them altogether. As such they belong to their own story and have absolutely no chemistry put together. It’s a compliment actually since this episode works its way up to improve the girls’ dynamic together (and also, their relationship with the dragons). In terms of set-up, this is as classy as possible: throw the girls into a deserted island with their (somehow useless) dragons, and force them to interact for the same goals. Matters got worse when Hitomi’s dragon eats all the food supply. Everyone has their own way to deal with it, mostly sleeping and wander aimlessly, and working together remains their last option. Disappointed Hisone soon finds out that despite their team work is close to non-existent, each of the girl can still offers something useful, and together they can manage to survive… for few more days.

Their objective for now is to let the dragons have fun until they get hungry, they’ll fly again. But isn’t it better to figure out why the dragons can’t fly there? That brings us to Eri. While the point of this mission might be improving the team work, it also works as a way to improve yourself and understand your dragons better and Eri needs that now. She’s determined to abandon the dragon to accomplish the mission, but as HisoMaso hints us she opened her heart to the dragon once, so now is the good time to revisit the very moment her dragon picks her in the first place. HisoMaso so far gets away with a lot of its stupid ideas because of its incredible ability to not take itself seriously, so I hope when they finally get serious they have to find a way to hold everything up together, because eye-candy visual alone can only go so far.

Side note: I’m not a fan at all of this overlong, LN-inspired title. Remind me in a bad way of the episode titles in Kiznaiv… wait, that anime was written by Mari Okada too? Never mind then.

Posted on 9 May 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hisone to Masotan

With this episode the main plot thread of HisoMaso starts to emerge. Not only we have a new character this week, but all three of the remaining cast joined in in spectacular fashion. And befitting with the oddball personalities of both Hisone and Nao, they are a bunch of eccentric characters whose characteristics are all over the place. We have Ririko (codename Jimmy) – a shy and introvert girl, Hitomi (TAC name Morris) – a kind-hearted soft spoken big (and lazy) girl and Eri (TAC name Penguin) – a self-serious and overachiever. Looking at this cast, one has to wonder how unfit those girls are in military context. I mean, army is supposed to be uniform, consistent and those girls are as faraway from those as possible. But maybe that’s the point, that driving (AKA massaging the inside of) dragon is a job that only oddballs can do (And to think that Nao now is the one being left out – 4 dragons and 5 girls, seriously?). I’m still not very convinced about the characters of Hitomi and Ririko so far, given most of the time HisoMaso play their weirdness mostly for laugh.

It’s Eri who takes the main stage in this episode and she’s responsible for HisoMaso’s first real thematic depth: whether to regard themselves as pilot or dragon caretaker, thus regard the dragon as their friend/pet or as the airplane. With a show that been dancing around its theme so lightly so far you’d know what their solution is. Eri’s point has her merits, she wants to be the first big female pilot in the military force and she’s determined to make the boys recognizing her talents, or in the broader sense to make military women more than just an object/ a weakness, but by doing so she’s objectifying her dragon as something no more than a tool. The fact the dragon is too tense that he remains in aircraft mode even after the flight is sad as hell. As a result, he goes over his limits and transforms into the dragon form when Eli pushes him harder.

Again, Hisone nearly ruins the mood of her new comrades by saying mean things as they are, but in some way there’s always a charm in her meanie thought-out-loud. There’s no chemistry between her and the rest of the cast whatsoever, but that’s precisely the joy to see this band of misfits doing missions together, arguing over the most meaningless things while inside the stomach of dragons. The girls’ facial expressions remain as expressive as ever and the visual is certainly top-notch and gorgeous. I’m not too sold with the new cast so far, mostly because it’s Eri-centric episode but I reckon I’ll warm up with the other two as time goes by.

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperMario
My favorites are Breaking the Waves (although I do need to rewatch it), and Melancholia (mostly because there's a hint of hope at the end). Dancer in the Dark is so stupid I freaking hate it. Dogville, AntiChrist are depressing and Shia Labeouf and the ending kill Nympho for me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: can't wait to see the House that Jack Built, although no release date here yet. Lars Von Trier is like depressing drugs. His stuffs are goddamn depressing
SuperMario
@Kaiser: she was like "omg MARIO, you're serious crying while watching a TV show?" well, she invaded my privacy and still had the guts to say that huh?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Matt Dillon is great in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Also, I saw the new Von Trier film, the horror one House that Jack built, its an acid black farce comedy that never takes away from the darker elements of it or the violence, even if it isn't as violent as people are saying. I loved it, even if it went off on tangents sometimes. My favourites by him are this, boss of it all, dancer in the dark and especially antichrist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*their
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: What was there reaction out of curiousity?
SuperMario
*Catch me right at the act
Kaiser-Eoghan
And visually it is immersive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Made in abyss does depend currently on what its second season will deliver and it does start out in a way that you kind of need to make it passed the first few episodes to really get into it. But it flows better than the manga and THAT scene in the middle and Nanachi's backstory elevate the series to a higher level.
Kaiser-Eoghan
BabyMario as in like super Mario world 2 =O
Kaiser-Eoghan
=O BabyMario
SuperMario
True (shameful) story: when I watched the finale of Made in Abyss, my housemate opened the door to ask me sth and she saw me sobbing like a baby
Lenlo
Made in Abyss was really damn good
Sash
I just recently watched Made in Abyss.... and i cried real hard. I was worried that this story was going down the loli route at first... but how this show frightened me... and how it pulled at my heartstrings at the end.
Amagi
Also being immortal would meant that I finally had enough time to finish all the games and series I am interested in.
Amagi
@Kaiser: the hate against immortality is overrated, I would totally be okay with observing history for centuries.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, it’s supposed to be the final one that closes the whole franchise
Kaiser-Eoghan
Theres going to be another euphonium movie next year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I say sit back and just let it wash over you if you get on board with its slow rhythm.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The soundtrack is pretty understated aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also quite naturalistic in how it uses/animates movements/body language.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I do wish that it went further than baiting the audience though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*is in
Kaiser-Eoghan
I watched liz and the bluebird, the storybook segements give the film a certain magical feel to it, even if they feel obvious and on the nose, what this film achieves if in its silent, quiet and visual exposition rather than spoken words, its also more sensitive and low key than Euphonium.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Gah, one of the gutting things about being into historical stuff or stuff about things that happened decades ago, is that I'll never be a direct witness to it as it happened. It'll never hit me as someone who lived through it. I having all the fun second hand.
SuperMario
Thanks, Amagi. They look pretty cool
Amagi
Why would I waste my time watching other people shopping or working. Not to mention that the scripted part turns everything worse than it usually is by shoving in terrible cringy moments everywhere to.. don't know. Entertain(?) the audience or something.
Amagi
I mean unless you want info dumps you watch fiction and you watch that because it makes you indirectly experience adventures you can't have in real life. Even when fiction is down to earth it's usually about special situations like the MC becoming a professional runner like in Kaze ga or something.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Me neither, especially because it seems to be the exact opposite of the reason why people consume media, and therefore fiction, in the first place.
Amagi
They probably used these in Irozuko because they look like're part of some J-RPG town.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I never really understood why reality television ever became a thing or how someone could give it any form of attention.
Amagi
Seems like they even have a wikipedia entry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trullo
Amagi
@SuperMario: It's some specific type of house that only exist in Apulia. https://cdn.getyourguide.com/img/tour_img-437617-146.jpg - the whole historic disctrict looks like that
Amagi
I shouldn't use so many brackets.
SuperMario
Trulli? What does that mean?
SuperMario
We have all kinds of international film festivals here. I watched Roma in the Latin Film Festival. Yeah that aspect I mus say that I feel lucky
Amagi
There are Trulli in one scene of this week's Irozuko (after they entered that painting), how funny. I just visited this city (Alberobello) last month.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You are lucky, Roma gets a one day limited release here for one time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Just imagine going to the west of Ireland and asking them about the internet.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yes there are people turning up to the one art cinema we actually have. But Ireland is not a good place to be in general if you are a film/anime/gaming fan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol this country is incapable of giving a proper wide/long cinema release to anything that might even be considered slight non-mainstream.
SuperMario
*week-long
SuperMario
Well, we have a week-log screening here and I already lament how undeserving these films have. Guess I should be more appreciate now I know that other countries have 1-day screening only
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if anyone started out in the light novel industry as a stepping stone before moving on to real book writing. I also wonder how easy it is to get published.
Anonymous3183156
Progressive is good from what I heard since he went back to his older material from a more mature outlook. Ordinal Scale is decent too coming from the same matured Kawahara.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes there are re-showings, some cinemas will play Akira for the billionth time for example.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine seeing scenes like that being recorded in the recording booth would look quite strange.
Anonymous3183156
Apparently, he even apologized to the voice actress for being subjected to voice a rape scene, so I guess even he has deep regrets about it. The LN doesn't have any more moments like this so I guess he matured a lot.
Amagi
@Anon: The problem is that he was still a teen when he wrote Alicization, he just edited it a bit later. But I also wish he would have cut this scene, it's always so forced and feels so stupid.
Amagi
Pancreas has no subs yet AFAIK
Anonymous3183156
Ugh, ep10 of Alicinization reminded me why I disliked SAO so much years ago. I assume Kawahara still had some nasty tendencies in him when writing Alicinization despite being past his edgy teenage phase.
Amagi
@Kaiser: It's the same here too. One day screenings and that's it. I also believe that anime are made for everyone it's just that the West (save for France and Italy maybe) doesn't give anime a chance. They are sure people would never care so they rather die or air the same awful scripted reality show for the 5th time rather than try showing anime that could appeal to adults like Monster.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The anon might want to watch that though, a torrent of it recently got uploaded.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also Let me eat your pancreas wasn't shown here. But it was shown in Australia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although there are some films that America gets that we don't, the Heavens feel, the Madoka movies and Nanoha reflection showed in America but not here.
Amagi
@SuperMario: That would be great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Anime films seem to appeal to normies aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw an older woman in my screening of Maquia and talked to her after it and she liked it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Again, I don't know about elsewhere, but what surprised me was the amount of people who are seeing these in the audience who don't actually come off as anime fans and probably aren't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I'm genuinely surprised that my country would actually even go that far to even show them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know about all the other countries that get showings for these anime films, but here its a one day only thing each time one comes out.
SuperMario
Reviewig anime movies/ making posts about them might be something I can do in the future
SuperMario
@amagi: anime movies are somethingn I wanna raise more awareness as well. Normally each year there are 4,5 solid anime films out there, but like you said they’re hardly discussed
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've never heard of UFO no natsu.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I felt bad for the little girl in grave of the fireflies, the boy was already caught up though in "muhfascistempire is goat tier" for me to care about him as much as her.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Air movie was more focused, better paced and visually directed with more panache than the show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I have gone to almost every anime screening since the early 2000s and continue to.
Amagi
And many have barely any sort of advertising so I only notice them coincidentally by seeing a thread on /a/ or because I see some screenshot somewhere.
Amagi
Speaking of it there are so many great anime movies every year but nobody ever talks about them because the fans are split between those who see the screenings (that happen randomly depending on the country) and those who watch it a year later on their PC.
Amagi
I also found Hotori sad but it's ages old and I never met anyone who cared about it besides myself. Also, Hanbun no Tsuki and UFO no natsu although these were 6 part ova. Colourful probably too and the Key movies. I actually like all these movies like Air or Clannad but I didn't like the series that much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think ultimately its the patience some of these sad films are made with that allows then to eventually land their effect.
SuperWooper
It takes a while to get to that point, though.
SuperWooper
"The Wind Rises" is pretty damn sad.
SuperMario
Well, Grave of Fireflies hands down. or Your Lie in April if you don't mind TV show
Amagi
Then basically everything from Shinkai for example.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You may need to let us now what type of drama you're into, are you okay with highly melodramatic stories?
Anonymous3180985
if so anybody have any good sad anime movies?
Anonymous3180985
anybody here?
Amagi
The more we approach xmas time the more it rains in my city. Like every year.
Amagi
Didn't know that guess I try this someday I love this setting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The most recent thing I've watched dealing with a created/artificial/virtual world was an old German mini series called World on a wire by Rainer Fassbinder.
Amagi
Wonder about the consequences these last scenes in Gridman will have.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally got around to Aki Kaurasamaki's films, watched I hired a contract killer, I like dry, sad bastard black humour like that and even when it wasn't being amusing I enjoyed the whole quirky tone throughout it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to watch season 2 of sound euphonium before getting to liz and the bluebird. I would like to see more of this. I guess I liked Asuka's arc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think bloom into you has stood out in how its dealt with Nanami's insecurities and backstory, found myself liking that one side character Sayaka more. There will be an arc where they do some kind of play which compliments/links in well with nanami's character.
Animosh
But yeah, I agree the series has great character writing. In hindsight, it's kind of a shame you picked Irozuku over Bloom into You. It had a great premiere and some stunning scenes, but the characters are so incredibly droll that there's just not much to write about. They're both slow burns, but Bloom into You gives you much more to think about.
Animosh
So I think the crossing the line thing is ambiguous between your interpretation and Yuu's subconscious fear that if she initiates things, displays her affection towards Nanami (and a passionate kiss that Yuu initiates certainly seems to qualify), then that will be the end of things. Actually, it's probably a bit of both.
Animosh
@SuperMario: I think Yuu is also aware that Nanami does not want Yuu to fall in love with her (I mean, it's hard not to after that death stare). And as a result she can never initiate things, because showing affection would undermine the whole reason Nanami fell in love with her. And Yuu obviously does not want this relationship to end.
Anonymous3177625
Did uh that really happen in BF? Probably not, but dang if that really was the case then stuff got real
SuperMario
@Animosh: the thing is Yuu takes the special attraction from Nanami for granted, and her mode is that she “doesn’t hate” it. She doesn’t hate it when she spends time alone with Nanami, she doesn’t hate it when they kiss. So for Yuu, when Nanami askes her to actively do it, it’a the first time Yuu feels like she’s crossing the line. Some really great character writing there
Anonymous3175137
It boils down to a female-targeted version of those moe shows that I don't care about all that much. Just replace the cute girls with hot boys.
Anonymous3175137
Compared to Katsugeki, where it tried to sell the series as something more than just a mobile adaptation and tried to court non-fans, here I got exactly what I expected; something safe and predictable, and catering exclusively to fans. So I got nothing out of it.
Anonymous3175137
Is there some sort of moe equivalent for male characters? Because this show probably counts as one. otoh, my feelings towards it are like most CGDCT anime: indifference.
Anonymous3175137
I think the oddest thing I did regarding anime this year was how I sat through both season of Touken Ranbu Hanamaru (including the one that aired earlier this winter), and didn't claw my eyes out when it's basically an unfortunate mix of a mobile game adaptation and a CBDCT show mixed in with some action segments to show that it's not just a pure estrogen-fest.
Animosh
I should also note that I don't relate to her in every way. I understand her difficulties with falling in love, but for me the problem is more that my view on love is too negative, and as a result I'm hesitant about taking the "leap of faith" that any relationship requires. Love is messy, and may well get you hurt, so it's easier to observe things from a distance, like Maki for example.
Animosh
Oh Yuu is definitely frustrating to watch. Her idealized conception of love prevents her from seeing what is obvious to everyone watching: that she's slowly developing feelings for Touko. And when those feelings evidently turn into love, instead of seeing them for what they are, she's in denial and insists that her feelings aren't special enough to be called "love". It's frustrating.
SuperMario
Then again, I can't really say why Bloom into You works for me now, but kept me in a distance in their first few episodes. It's slow-burn, and when you think back to it, not a lot has been happening. But I feel they haven't made any wrong step yet
SuperMario
Can't say I relate to Yuu thou. She's the kind of character that in real life I would find really frustrated, and I know many of my friends behave that way. That just to further demonstrates how real these characters can be. Even the side characters, Sayaka and the lesbian adult couple work well for me.
SuperMario
@Aminosh: it took awhile for me to fully embrace Bloom into You (I say about episode 5,6) but I agree it's getting very solid now. it reminds me of Scums Wish as well, mainly because how twisted romance can be
Animosh
I'm also worried it won't end in a satisfying way, since the manga is still ongoing. But otherwise I quite like it. It has its problems, but if you go into it with the right expectations (slow pacing, complex and flawed characters that make for an unusual love story, with more focus on the characters' psychological issues than their sexuality) there's a lot to enjoy.
Animosh
My only major complaint is that its characters can feel rather artificial sometimes. Touko in particular is a victim of this. She's such a weird bundle of complexes that she can be hard to relate to. Maybe it'll be better explained later on, but the whole idea of falling in love with another person because you think she'll be incapable of reciprocating it ... it's weird.
Animosh
I particularly like Yuu. I can empathize with her difficulties with falling in love, and I like her arc of slowly "blooming into" liking another person. It feels natural and earned. And like in SSSS.Gridman, the direction is surprisingly strong, and as a result it mostly nails its key moments (the river confrontation, the shed starting shot, etc).
Animosh
I finally caught up with Bloom into You, and it really surpassed my expectations. It kind of reminds me of Scum's Wish, with how flawed its characters are, and how selfish and unreasonable they can be. But like in Scum's Wish, instead of condemning the characters for their flaws, we're given the background to understand them, and they're not used for forced melodrama but sympathetically explored.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Are the Tezuka Buddha movies really that bad? I'll probably try the manga soon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, it'd be cool if we could get long ova adaptations again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd be happy to get more anime set outside of Japan. I also wouldn't mind seeing some anime based off western material.
Lenlo
Gotta say, I wasnt expecting that from Banana Fish this week. I hope its not a fake out, because if it isnt this ending could be great. I love sad endings
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bunny-girl made me watch a horrible idol segment. Then I forgave it because the end of the episode was well executed melodrama.
Sash
I just recently watched Made in Abyss.... and i cried real hard. I was worried that this story was going down the loli route at first... but how this show frightened me... and how it pulled at my heartstrings at the end.
Sash
I just recently watched Made in Abyss.... and i cried real hard. I was worried that this story was going down the loli route at first... but how this show frightened me... and how it pulled at my heartstrings at the end.
Animosh
But regardless of how things turn out, it was definitely a powerful moment, and I'm really happy things are finally heating up again. Looks like the demon/leopard/whatever will be unleashed next episode.
Animosh
Welp, I guess something really did happen this week in Banana Fish. I kind of expect it to be a fake-out though. Chii mentioned there will be an epilogue, and it'd be strange to do so without our main couple intact. We haven't really gotten a confirmation of how Ash and Eiji see their relationship either. So I don't think the ship (or rather, one of its passengers) has sunk just yet.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well, one of them is essentially the first two episodes of the show as one long episode. So i would say that makes sense.
Anonymous3169068
After all, I don't think they know anything about the series until I show them these. They already know that I bought the novels though.
Anonymous3169068
Meanwhile, I'm planning on showing my family, the two LoGH films, My Conquest is a Sea of Stars and Overture to a New War during our Christmas vacation. Is this a good jumping on point?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come on torrent, 90% done, then you decide to slow down. This is conspiracy I say.
Amagi
Same here
SuperMario
Thanks, will download it when I get home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Early sub for 720p version of liz and bluebird is on nyaatorrents, they say they are doing a 1080p version tomorrow.
SuperMario
It’s Christmas season soon so I hope I can watch some older gems during that period
SuperMario
I, on the other hand, decide to get off my movie marathon for now to spend time WATCHING MORE ANIME.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've had that issue on other blogs, getting the moderation awaiting message, I got it here in the past too.
SuperMario
Woah, I will read that story soon when I have free time. Thanks
SuperMario
Lemme fix this, Amagi
Amagi
I have given up on a bunch of anime now I rather enjoy the few I really like to the fullest and use the rest of my free time to play games and read VNs.
Amagi
"Your comment is awaiting moderation" guess I posted too many links, he. Well thinking about it I could have just posted this in the shoutbox, it's no spoiler or anything.
Lenlo
I quite liked it. I like that it wasnt a one off thing either, but it showed them working at it. I enjoy how when Kurahara chooses to do something, he commits 100% to it. Its fitting for his character
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lesser series would have drawn out the drama with Haiji. The scenes with kakeru reading manga with Prince also further support what the anon was saying about him warming up to Prince.
Lenlo
I cant wait to watch it.
Anonymous3164706
And yeah, the cliffhanger from last wasn't a big deal since Haiji fainted from overworking himself and needs to rest.
Anonymous3164706
That part where he chose to slow down in order to cheer on Prince and Ouji was a great scene in particular. He's starting to care about others now.
Anonymous3164706
Man, Prince has come a long way from his slow, awkward running at the start. And it looks like Kakeru is improving in terms of building his relationships with his teammates.
SuperMario
awesome! Under the Silver Lake is out as well in case you want to watch it, Kaiser
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yo AwesomeMario , the bluray for Liz and the bluebird (the sound euphonium spinoff thing) is out, will probably be subtitled someday soon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Compartively dogs DESPISE me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know...yeah, old kids stuff was kinda messed up and animal deaths were a big thing, Mufasa, bambi's mother aswell.
Amagi
Cats are weird
Amagi
We have two cats for two certain metro stations in my city. They belong to people living nearby but love the station so damn much you almost always see them sitting on the benches made for humans waiting for the subway/train. Two days ago I returned in the middle of the night and that one cat was still sitting there enjoying life. The other cat belongs to the station in front of my house.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Depressingly we also have that Lion king remake too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I think plague dogs film adaptation stopped just before the full ending of the book?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lol there are actually people out there who believe that only straight men have aspergers syndrome.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't actually leave a cat alone when I see it, actually snuck up on one to pick it up. Couldn't help myself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh, heh, hey didn't know it shared the same author, makes alot of sense though.
Amagi
Yeah Plague Dogs is by the same author that did Watership. It was great. It's interesting to see how quickly series can become edgy and therefore bad on the one hand and how many grim dark movies or series exist that are damn good on the other hand. A wrong turn and your serious drama or thriller can turn into trash.
Amagi
Funny because I was also always a rabbit owner and now have a shitty cat (and yes I am actually autistic though although I guess I write pretty normal nowadays)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh Jesus...there was another old one wasn't there, the one about the dogs? Plague dogs, another example of a famliy/kids animation that pulled no punches.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy alternate history/dystopia stuff, There was It happened here, a British film about a what if situation where Hitler won.
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