Posted on 26 December 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Kemono no Souja Erin



I’ve said this plenty of times now, but my biggest problem with anime at the moment is its “we’ll animate the second season only when the sales are good”-tendency. That’s why it’s good to see that there are still series that take risks and plan a full 50-episode course and plan in the full story that they want to tell. Kemono no Souja Erin is a slow-paced series, but because of its length it can show things that would not have been possible within 26 episodes.

What makes this series unique is its huge focus on taking care of wild animals. Erin starts as a little girl, but as she grows up you can see how her fascination with these wild beasts grows and develops, until she actually ends up taking care of them for real. This is done with a real attention to detail, and it’s really focused on Erin thinking outside of the box to find out the best ways to take care of these animals (in her case, Beast Kings, a huge kind of fictional dog-bird). Erin, and the trouble she has raising these animals are really one of a kind, and really the reason why you want to watch this series.

Aside this, the series also spends quite a bit of time on politics, but these just aren’t as good by comparison. The country’s background is a bit one-sided and just not as interesting as Erin and the challenges she faces trying to raise Lilan, the main beast of this series. On top of that, as the politics take over the show near the end, they end the series with a really cheesy, cliched and sloppy ending.

The animation is also a bit of a mixed bag. The art itself is beautiful: the backgrounds are very original, and whenever a beast is about to attack someone, it gets all surreal, as to symbolize the chaos that’s going on in the mind of both the attacker and attacked. This would have been a great series to look at if it wasn’t for the constant use of flashbacks, recycled frames, and even entire recycled scenes. Normally I’m don’t often notice this, but this series really takes it a bit too far.

Nevertheless, this is one of those shows that puts nearly 50 episodes into the development of its lead character. Erin really stands out as a memorable character, and her growth from just a small child into adulthood is very detailed, making her into one of the best developed characters of the year. The side-cast also all have their own moments to shine. It’s a shame that there are a number of weaker episodes, but the good ones really make up for it.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Slow but very solid and imaginative. No cheese aside from the final episode.
Characters: 9/10 – Erin is an exceptionally well developed character.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Great art, both foreground and background. Solid animation but too many recycled frames.
Setting: 9/10 – Lots of depth on taking care of beasts and wild ainmals. Solid albeit one-sided view of the country the show is set in.
Posted on with categories: Kemono no Souja Erin



So far, the endings this season have been pretty generous for me. 11Eyes was pretty exciting, Darker than Black’s finale also had its good points, and White Album’s ending was really good. This however, was just bad. I wish that I could at least praise it some, but it did just about everything that you shouldn’t do in a final episode. Let’s make a checklist of what all went wrong here:

– A Disney-ending: the lead character is hit. He/she falls to the ground, seemingly dead. But wait! She turns out to be alive anyway. This is completely pointless in terms of storytelling: it accomplishes nothing, and is just used to generate some cheap sentiments for the lead character. Let it be the characters who create the drama!
– The lead character is cornered, about to be killed. But wait! Something unannounced suddenly pops up to save her. Again, pointless and cheap! If you want to do something, then at least show Lilan take off or something.
– It forgets to take its surroundings into account. What happened to the Touda riders? They completely vanish after Lilan screams. Where the heck are they?
– The villain, battered and defeated, finds a weapon and takes a final shot at killing important person X. Only to be obviously stopped. Cliched! Cheesy!
– “Save him! Save my precious loved one because he is about to be killed! The others on the battlefield? Who cares. I just want to be with the person I love.”
– And they lived happily ever after. seriously, all of the conflicts magically resolve themselves. Very sloppy.

I mean, this was exactly what I feared when I first found out about the staff of this series. The director has shown that he can adapt a story well, as long as he’s given enough time. But he’s utterly terrible when he needs to write stories for himself. There are so many things wrong with this episode. It’s not just a case where it’s simply rushed, and just could have used some extra episodes. Even with ten extra episodes, what happened here would not have made any sense.

I mean, I seriously wonder what happened to everyone on the battlefield. For some reason, everyone aside from Shunan completely disappears. As if those lives are completely unimportant. That completely shatters the previously built-up themes about the hardships of war: who cares if people get hurt? They’ll just disappear anyway. Let’s send those kinds of armies toward each other!

This really is a bad timing for this series. You know, if the series had simply ended at episode 49, it would have left a better impression than right now. Here I was, really happy with the slow build-up of the past few episodes and that the creators were actually trying to let everything play out naturally… and then they pull this. Oh come on. And added to that they even have the guts to pull a “nearly dead”-twist TWICE. I mean, what were they thinking? This is just me, but I personally hate it when a show has to resort to these kinds of plot twists. Especially near the end.

Overall, I like the series, but I think the parts I blogged weren’t the best. For me, this show was at its best from episode 30 to the episode in which Erin lost half her hand. After that, it was just build-up for this particular episode, and that was just all dumped down the drain in less than 20 minutes.

Ah crap. I was going to give this show a very positive review, and then it pulls this. I’ve noticed this plenty of times: great series with bad endings, as much as I hate it, do end up leaving a very bad aftertaste. There you go, show. Thanks for pissing me off.
Rating: —- (Bad)

Posted on 20 December 2009 with categories: Kemono no Souja Erin



So this is it: the moment where this series doesn’t just need to show off the build-up of the previous episodes paying off, but the creators also need to show that even when shifting the focus to the war between countries, instead of raising beasts, it can deliver. And you know what, it actually did.

The big question-mark here of course was Damya: would such a stereotypically evil person really be able to pull off a good villain during this show’s climax? Well, he didn’t really get much depth in this episode either, but his betrayal to the queen, his plans to use the Touda army to crush the duke’s army even after Seimiya’s surrender and his constant evil presence did great preparations to the real point of this episode: the decision that Erin had to make: resent war in every way possible and never use Lilan to fight, or take up the role that was given to her, and making use of the power that she controls, even though the potential for a complete disaster is oh so great.

And that’s really what made this episode work and tied this arc in with the rest of the series. I must say, that the build-up during the past episodes has been really great, and seeing it actually pay off makes it even better. I suppose that it would have been even better if the villain was fleshed out a bit more, but ah well. This is a series about Erin. Not the country. The politics in this series were interesting, but they were always inferior to Erin and her struggles into better understanding beasts like Lilan. For a series that’s purely about politics, there’s always Tytania anyway.

Now: that final episode. I can sort-of guess what’s going to happen, so it’s all going to come down to execution. I really hope that the creators are going to be able to use this episode to create a great ending.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 12 December 2009 with categories: Kemono no Souja Erin



This is really why long series rock: they can really take their time in building up and give their characters enough time to prepare themselves for the upcoming climaxes. The key in these sorts of things is making the build-up count, and that’s something that this series has become really good at: the past three episodes were in no way inferior to the more fast-paced and plot-twist heavy episodes so far and they formed a very good build-up for the upcoming climax while keeping its atmosphere.

The big question now of course is: will the creators be able to pull off a good ending? There have been many great shows like this one with a great pre-ending build-up, but with just a rushed or dull ending. It’s a shame, but Damya still is just a stereotypical evil villain. I was really hoping that the creators would delve more into his character, but all they did throughout the series was make him more and more evil, rather than dynamic. This could pose a very serious problem for these final two episodes.

What I want is an ending that doesn’t just resolve the major themes of the series, but also progresses them in some way. It’s one way to just have the final two episodes full of pointless battles that eventually end up killing Damya and bringing peace back to the country, but that’s just lazy storytelling. Since the novels progress after this point, this is going to require input from the creators of the anime themselves. They NEED to have put some serious thoughts into how to let this end in the best way possible. If they can do that, then congratulations. This episode really was excellent in its atmosphere. This series really has put forth some great themes, characters and settings. It DESERVES a good ending to accompany them!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 6 December 2009 with categories: Kemono no Souja Erin



Very interesting. While you would expect an action-packed finale, the creators instead decided to end this series through words and dialogue. The past two episodes were far less dramatic than some of the other moments in this series, and yet they used these moments very well in developing the plot solely through dialogue.

This was another very focused episode, in which Erin attempts to convince the new queen to stop listening to Damya. Erin had the luck that the new queen is still young and naive, so she easily believed her words, but nevertheless this was a pretty powerful episode. Even an idiot doesn’t believe any random Joe who claims that one of his closest relatives has been betraying him. Erin built up her story very well, up to the eventual revelations that the country was about to head into a disastrous path.

My prediction is that the final three episodes will be a lot more action-packed than this, although I do suspect that it’s going to be more than “Seimiya’s Troops versus Damya’s troops”. Still, Damya is pretty much guaranteed to die or something similar in the final episode. With that though, I’ll be content with how this series ends, despite that only half of the novels were adapted. Throughout the past fifty episodes, this show was able to show what it wanted to show, and for me this is now a well rounded series. There are plenty of other anime who deserve a sequel more than this one (Guin Saga!? Tytania!?).

Trans Arts… yeah. I’ve had a lot to complain about them. They’re another production company that is lead by one particular director, but this guy really is very inflexible. His original stories (Sisters of Wellber) are just too cheesy, his adaptations (Library Wars, Chocolate Underground) try to do way too much in way too little time. This series however was a great opportunity for him to really take his time and carefully adapt a well written story, and with this you can see that he really knows how to direct a series. I think that his main problem is that while he’s good at writing and directing single scenes and episodes, he doesn’t know how to look at the big picture. I hope that this series provided him with some valuable lessons as to what he’s good at and what he’s bad at. Because really: I like this guy’s creativity. In this day and age in which a majority of the anime try to rip off each other, he comes with interesting ideas and creative concepts, and finally with Kemono no Souja Erin, he actually managed to adapt one of these concepts right.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 28 November 2009 with categories: Kemono no Souja Erin



This is why 50-episode series rock. They can easily take an episode and solely dedicate it to really show the effects of character-development. This episode would have been impossible in a 13-episode series: it would have broken the flow completely in a series that already has so little time.

So yeah, even for a calm before the storm, this episode was quiet. It was solely dedicated to Erin and Ialu, with perhaps a minute of Damya and Kirik. You can really see that this episode was solely meant to develop Ialu. This actually reminds me of another show from the director: Sisters of Wellber. While its pacing was definitely faster, that one also had these kinds of episodes that were just totally devoted to character-development. In theory, they were very nice ideas, but in the end the scriptwriting was just too cheesy and soap-operaish.

In that view, I’m glad to see that he’s learned a lot since then. Sure, it may have been done well in the book, but correctly portraying this in an animation doesn’t happen automatically. The slow pace of this episode formed a good build-up to finally Erin’s attempts to talk Ialu out of fighting.

This is now half the job. Now use this development well!
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 22 November 2009 with categories: Kemono no Souja Erin



whoa. Just when I thought that this show couldn’t pull any more plot twists. This episode yet again pushes the story into a completely different direction. Obviously, if you haven’t seen this episode yet: beware for spoilers because this episode ties up a lot of the mysteries in this series.

Because holy crap, it was Damya all along. This guy really struck me as someone with ambitions, however also with loyalties to the Queen. Turns out, it was all an act: he was the one who ordered the collection of Touda eggs, the attack on the queen, and all of the other things that those masked guys did. On top of that: Kirik is one of them! He was the one who nearly escaped from Ialu a couple of times, and now he’s been sent to keep out an eye for Erin.

This episode also put in some major development for Kirik, and it really paid off. We finally get to fully see what that flashback of his meant: he and his sister were orphans, and were taken in by people who just wanted to kill the two, so he ended up poisoning them. The climax really worked, between him and Ialu.

But yeah, the worst part is going to be Erin: we now know that she’s really been tricked, and that Damya has no good intentions for her whatsoever. Throughout the entire episode, we could only see her sitting in a corner, thinking of the possibility of having the Beast King force disbanded. With only five episodes left, the end is finally getting in sight.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 15 November 2009 with categories: Kemono no Souja Erin



This episode really shows the power of long and slow-paced series. While Erin indeed lacks the excitement of series with an erratic pacing like the Armed Librarians, at the same time it’s got a story that’s so well built up that it can really take an in-depth look at it. The power of the story of Erin lies in the fact that Erin sees things that everyone else sees, and just keeps taking daring conclusions and actions that nobody else in the setting sees. Thanks to the slow pacing, we’re really given an insight into how this happens.

This series is full of things that are bound to happen: in this episode, Damya finally threatens Erin with the safety of the students and teachers at the academy. It’s something that was bound to happen, the moment Erin started to take care of Lilan. And yet this episode showed her as she comes with a solution that I never even thought of: what if the Grand Duke became king? That would mean that the Beast Kings would lose their function as war machines. We’ve seen people claim before that the country would fall apart when its two half get unbalanced, but I realize that we’re also supposed to take that with a grain of salt: I mean, with Damya at the head, the country is bound for destruction anyways.

The only thing that I dislike about this series is the great amount of flashbacks in this series. This series just keeps recycling the same frames under these flashbacks, when a character is talking, and it’s about to get a bit overused. Ah well, at least it’s not the worst way to save budget. The drawings still look as solid as ever.

I think that at this point, I still consider Seirei no Moribito as superior to Kemono no Souja Erin. While Erin has better developed characters and a longer length, it still beats Erin for me in terms of the awesome production-values and its huge attention to detail in just about everything. Still, I do have to say that Erin is getting closer and closer to the height of SnM.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 8 November 2009 with categories: Kemono no Souja Erin



For everyone who has yet to watch this episode: close this window, don’t look at spoilers, wait for the subs to release and watch this episode. It’s one of those episodes you don’t want to get spoiled about. This line of text is there to prevent these spoilers from showing up at the various blog aggregators.

I’m utterly astonished at this episode. It was such a powerful proverbial kick in the groin that it gives the entire story an entire new direction. Show for kids? Charming story about a young woman and her trusty Beast King? Hah! Think again! This episode more than anything showed the mature and downright brutal nature of this series. I’m completely amazed at how far this episode went, and it’s also the episode of this series that has made the most impact on me.

After the death of the queen, you’d expect a slow-paced battle between Erin, as she tries to keep Lilan out of Damya’s clutches. That was Erin’s plan too, but here Lilan comes, attacks the royal guard, kills one of these people AND BITES OFF THREE OF ERIN’S FINGERS! Holy crap. It’s this series’ way of saying: don’t mess with beasts. They’re dangerous. It completely nullifies Erin’s wishes to be a beast player without the use of a mute whistle: this episode was a really hard lesson for her to never underestimate the power of these things.

Also, what’s going to happen next? I originally thought that the final episodes of this series would focus on the upcoming war, but this episode really changes everything. Erin doesn’t run away like a coward, but she has to bear the responsibility for killing one soldier, and injuring another. Lilan… I have no idea what’s going to happen to her. Common sense dictates that she’s simply going to have to be executed, but is everything really going to end that simple? After all, Erin was the one who proved the theory wrong that only the queen could control the beast kings, he might have some plans for her.

Is there really not going to be some sort of second season?
Rating: **** (Fantastic)

Posted on 1 November 2009 with categories: Kemono no Souja Erin



An entire episode dedicated to the new queen, who just ascended the throne in one of the worst possible times, just when the stability between the two halves of the country is beginning to waver. And what an intense episode it was.

Of course, the sons of the grand duke aren’t stupid enough to give in to the false accusations that Damya throws at them. Not only that, but they also end up making the first move when Shunan even proposes to Seimiya, in an attempt to bring the country back to stability. The thing is, that Seimiya just has too little experience. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but she doesn’t seem educated at all in politics. She lived the good life, protected by everyone else including her mother. Her ideal wedding was one with Shunan, but now that he’s marrying her for country purposes, rather than because of her became a huge shock for her. Even if there wasn’t Damya who would try to take advantage of her, she’d probably end up destroying the country herself.

Damya meanwhile remains an interesting variation to the stereotypical evil right hand man. You can see that he’s already manipulating Seimiya: portraying himself as the kind uncle to her, so that she feels trusted with him. However, you can also see that he genuinely cares for the loss of his mother, and he feels sorry for his niece. Unlike her, however, he knows what his ideals are, and he’s well aware that he has a very good opportunity to realize them.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

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Kaiser-Eoghan
Still enjoying the sangatsu manga and all the character interactions in this most recent volume.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Quintuplets might be under consideration, dororo is a definite. I don't want to watch revisions , girly airforce or plane thing because of the cgi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have the first 3 doro episodes downloaded to watch tomorrow, I'll comment on them, I'm giving it a shot because I love Tezuka.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The quintuplets thing is one of those things I would see myself chuckling at for a bit then feeling no obligation to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cat thing is probably cute but its too light for me to invest in in the long run.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding this season, I'll be direct, it isn't my thing, I got my fill of Kaguya's manga and all I can out of it, promised neverland, once the escape bit finished just turned into an action series (at least from what I read) lacking a compelling followup hook for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Acca had this odd way of delivering information that made it seem stuff went on between the lines or offscreen, often it worked, sometimes it didn't. Its a show that really picks up after the first couple of episodes and really gets elevated by its revelations, cool setting , art style and opening theme too.
Lenlo
I agree it does that. I think my issue may come with me maybe missing something or just not understanding the series as a whole, and so parts of it were lost on me. I enjoyed the series I would say though
SuperMario
Let me rephrase by saying ACCA ending neatly ties up plot threads for me
Lenlo
I didnt say I didnt like it, just that it wasn't what I expected. It was odd. I think I need time to process it.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you didn't like ACCA ending? I thought the ending is easily its best part. It's the first few episodes that feel slow for me
Lenlo
Also, just finished ACCA. Man... that was a weird ending. Not sure how I feel about the series, but damn, did it have style.

Also, thanks (?) Wooper.
Lenlo
Lets see... Dororo is good, but I am still lukewarm on it. Kaze Fui is a fantastic carry over from last season. Mob and Neverland of course. Shield Hero, if you want to be part of the latest big craze discussion. Kaguya if you like romance. Ill search some more, but those are off the top of my head.
Anonymous3338351
What are some must-watch anime this season; I'm watching MBP100 and Promised Neverland rn
Vonter
Shield hero looks like it fits with that journey of doing the right thing even though most are against you.
Vonter
You know what it reminds me of. It's kinda like that episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Where the family returns after a trip and find the neighborhood celebrates their absence, since everyone dislikes them. By the end when they make up, all the neighborhood gets bitter with one another because they no longer share a connection of hate with Malcolm's family.
Vonter
Also the undercurrent semblance of looking more like a bad guy or anti hero. Despite him having a good moral compass.
Vonter
SuperMario - I don't felt it was about being defeated or not. I got the feeling it was taking the hit for others. Because since he has high defence he does take the damage, but he does look weary about doing that. And the framework paints him so far more as an underdog than a prodigy.
SuperMario
But does the fact that he’s the greatest defender makes him the one who can’t be defeated? I haven’t watched the latest one though
Vonter
I did like the new episode of Shield Hero. It made me realize there can be stakes in Isekai battles. In both Overlord and Slime I usually space out in the battles because they seem unnecessary outside of animation. It's more interesting if there's a display of wits and using the environment. I also like the protagonist be on the defense and the sidekick as the attacker.
SuperWooper
Here's a "review of one of our own reviewers:"

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
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