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)

CHANGE USERNAME
Anonymous1057532
Konstantinos here: I have to disagree. I liked the episode and felt they did a good job giving exposition. I like Meteora. That said when Alicertia meets Selesia. Oh boy, that will be a rumble.

On other notes: Attack of the Titan. If they do not pull a bait and switch, we are not in Kansas anymore.

Shingeki no Bahamut: What exceptional animation.
AidanAK47
It really does feel like this show is aiming to be something akin to Fate/Zero as that too did have a exposition heavy beginning. Difference here is that series had Urobuchi writting and while the man my be more famous for his murderous treatment of characters, he is a master of presenting exposition.
AidanAK47
I hope that's the majority of the exposition done for Re:creators. We established the stakes, rules and factions. So now would be good to focus on the creator and creation interactions plus badass battles.
Honestly I really regret Meteora coming into the story when she's being pretty much a massive exposition device.
Konstantinos Travlos
Hmm the "The Man who Knew 75 Languages" reminds me of the game "The Last Express". Great game. Definitely interested.
Anonymous1056824
moster keaton
Anonymous1056607
ditective conan
AidanAK47
@Anon, Pretty sure you are just trying to pick a fight more than defend the show but a decent show to me would be one that is deeply flawed but enjoyable to some degree. Sagrada reset is not this. It goes out of it's way to be unenjoyable. To me it's a 3/4 out of 10 show. Interesting concept but with a presentation so alien that the viewer can't empathise with anything on screen.
Lenlo
I mean, decent warrants about a 5-6. That, in theory, should be an "Average" show.
Anonymous1055365
It's a decent show. You're being overly critical.
SuperMario
In the Out of Competition slot (you think that I'm finished?), 2 films in particular that catch my interest are the Korean Lost in the Moonlight which looks like a fun and lightheart adventure, and the Norway-Poland co-production adult-oriented The Man who Knew 75 Languagues about the star-crossed love between the Queen of Romania and a titular man, I guess
SuperMario
Rounding up the Main Competition are Animal Crackers, a 3G American family film which I don't have good feeling about; Big Fish and Begonia - a Chinese indie film that divided the critics, but gathered skyhigh commercial success in its mainland China; and finally Zombillenium which sounds like an enjoyable European children film
SuperMario
From other countries, most notable films are the Loving Vincent - the first feature length hand painting; the Chinese black comedy Have a Nice Day that premiered in Berlin earlier this year; Ethel and Ernest which already gained a strong reviews from the UK; Tehran Taboo- a German production about the lives of 3 women in Iranian community, which sound exactly like my kinda of film.
SuperMario
Alright, I'm here to bring you news about the selection of this coming Annecy AKA one of the best animation festival out there. 3 of anime features: A Slient Voice, In the Corner of the World and Masaaki Yuasa's Lu over the Wall will compete for the main competition.
SuperMario
I'm a fan of thought-provoking anime (see Lain, Boogiepop Phantom) but I need to care about the story and characters first before I make an effort to dig deeper to the theme. Sagrada Reset failed on that fronts.
SuperMario
It's not really about being smart/dumb here. As a creator, they already have an advantage to know how the story and plot will play out. I don't mind this advantage because otherwise the plot will become a hot mess. But don't use that advantage as a way to widen the gap between them and the audience.
AidanAK47
Ugh...Ray Gigant was pretty much mediocre up until this point but now it;s utterly asinine. Whoever decided on this endgame needs to be fired. When you are ready to end a game, no player want a ten floor dungion with a boss on each floor coupled with a goddamn boss rush halfway. Just...fuck.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It must be worse than oremo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw some pages of the eromanga sensei manga and my reaction was that I was sad that it actually existed and stated "why would you even" after looking at it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an anime example, sekaisuru kado has lots of dialogue but it seems like it could actually be engaging.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So basically no I don't think we're dumb for not liking sagrada reset, given that myself and Mario are capable of watching genuinely smart wordy things and getting them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I can imagine watching Sagrada reset and thinking I'd rather be watching a Bergman film instead , something also with lots of dialogue and themes but actually engaging/clever and NOT pretentious or obnoxious about it.
Anonymous1054942
is it possible that you are all just dumb?
Anonymous1054269
@Mario: I like how you described it as giving a middle finger to the viewers. It's so true. Like, it tries to be intelligent and make the viewer feel stupid, but it just comes off as obnoxious/pretentious.
Lenlo
CGI remains the worst part of it, but we are getting more and more 2D art which I actually enjoy the style of
Lenlo
Its an improvement. The art is better, and maybe its because I prefer this arc, but the pacing is better as well. I gave last season a 3, but this one is more deserving of a 4 and if they can nail certain scenes coming up I may bump it to a 5.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: How's Berserk doing so far? Haven't picked up last week and this week's episodes.
Lenlo
Ground*. I hate it when I fat finger something.
Lenlo
Thats always the worst, when a story starts off promising and then someone runs it into the grouhnd
AidanAK47
@Mario, so it's still at it. To me it's like someone was given an interesting story and made it his mission to ruin it as much as possible.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it's still the same crap. I have a feeling that Sagrada Reset gives a middle finger to us viewers. The plot with development and characters that we have no way to figure out ourselves. The characters who change motive and even personality after each timeline. The main lead girl who act like a robot. I gave this show too many chance so I won't bother to spend more time watching it.
Anonymous1052767
Eromanga sensei
AidanAK47
@Mario, Oh ho, what was the dealbreaker? Just that it didn't change or did something really stupid happen?
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset (long sigh) (scratching my head) (eyes rolling). Dropped
AidanAK47
Hey you.
Konstantinos
Yeah, at this point, this season looks good.
SuperMario
Quite happy with ID-0 and Zero in particular. Zero charms me to no end that I'm still debating whether I should blog it. The trio Re:Creators, Kado, Atom still doing pretty well and the sequels MHA and Bahamut are enjoyable as expected. We have a wide range of anime offerings this season.
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset & SukaSuka I will give it another episode, at least until this current arcs over. They both have potential but Sagrada Reset tries so hard to sound smart, and SukaSuka still falls into its LN tropes which bugged the show down.
SuperMario
*no real urge
SuperMario
I've finally catch up with all other series I wanna follow this season. Alice & Zorouku will be off my list for now, Zorouko is a great character but everything else falls flat so far. I have real urge to continue Attack on Titan and Berserk so I'll wait until they're finished.
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
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