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
Bokusen
@SuperMario Thanks! I'll give Houseki no Kuni a try then. A lot of the series I thought would be good are disappointing me, so I might be following a low number of series this season & it'd be cool if Houseki turns out to be something I like enough to watch this season.^-^
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right. The sole reason I described it as "cinematic" was just to lure you into watching it, so mission accomplished! Mind you, Girls' Last Tour is still a moe show at heart (look at their round faces and those big eyes. They're killing me)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, I had had it initially written off as a crap moe show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You're ministry of anime propaganda tactics mentioning how cinematic it is got me to pick it up =P And you know how much of an aesthetics guy I am =P
SuperMario
I'm glad that many of you enjoying Girls' Last Tour. It's a nice little gem that I think works best when you going to it without any expectation
SuperMario
I swear this season has a lot of good anime to offer. I'm jaded
Amagi
I always considered backgrounds as pretty important. Most anime only use them as backdrops because they have to be there somehow and it's really a different thing than Girls' Last Journey for example. Also I will like everything that has exploration and world building.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And achieves taking the viewer into its world, thankfully without relying on tons of expositional dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girls last tour, somewhat succeeds in pulling me in by using its landscape that dwarfs the characters, to create its atmosphere, I wouldn't call it all that unfunny either. Though premise could risk going stale.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, HA! Yeah I would like to believe but I am thinking that's not the case. Besides next season is looking pretty barren so far.
Amagi
Eden would be great. But speaking of it, a lot of good manga get adapted recently. Maybe they finally understood that generic isekai, harem and school stuff isn't as popular as they thought it would be.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe one day I can hope for a Freesia or Eden Endless world adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jesus christ....I never thought it would happen, Banana fish is being adapted, I didn't think they could adapt a shoujo like that in todays market.
KTravlos
I also watched Inuyashiki and Girl's Last Tour. Inuyashiki looks great. Man do I hate that young guy. Reading what he did and seeing it was a totally different experience. Cannot wait for the next episode.

Girls Last Tour is really something special. In a good way.
KTravlos
Altair's episode showed all the issues and all the good things of the show. The pace is too quick, and yet they managed to build Urado and its denizens up quick fast in it. But again, this is a show that needs the LGOH treatment.
Amagi
The manga also always uses "he/him" but I am not sure if the original had this too (like "kare" or similar words) since you can talk for a long time in Japanese without ever using pronouns.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, yes I noticed Phos uses Boku in this episode which is the male way of saying I.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Man, Zvyagintsev really, really knows how to deliver truly emotional gut punching moments and endings that are like cutting at open wounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Houseki has fallen into place for me with those scenes with Dia and the snail thing and I've fully embraced the show, happy to see it just continue to do its thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: While Marios are girls best friend DIAmonds ahhhhre for evvvvvvahhh *Shirley Basey voice*
Masky
*bride
Masky
I can say though that if people fear the "Bastard Boyfiend" angle, its not that really. Its more of really weird apprenticeship relationship. Ainsworth is inhuman character in many ways
Masky
Oh hey, Mahoutsukai no Yome is on covered list. Nice, it is weird manga to read through since I'm kind of creeped out by the bribe thing, but its barely mentioned at all.
Anonymous1497942
After finishing Made in Abyss it stuck out, some animation shortcuts in this week's Mahoutsukai. Holding on frames a bit too long, mainly having the music giving the emotion. To be fair, it was also a slow part in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I recall correctly, the words "wandering Jew" were used at one point in the manga in relation to the villain.
Lenlo
Mahoutsukai was very pretty this week, but there were some troubling things popping up in there.
SuperMario
@Aidan: They are trying to bring Phos back from a snail. Man, Houseki sure is... quirky
AidanAK47
@Mario, I would take a guess and say they are fighting evil by moonlight.
SuperMario
Okay, heading to Houseki now... let's see our gems doing this week
SuperMario
@Bokusen: (not because I'm blogging it but) watch it. it's a polarized one but it at least offers something original. I still haven't watched the third one though.
Anonymous1497873
The new Mahoutsukai no Yome episode was so beautiful. TwT
Bokusen
BTW, is Houseki no Kuni worth watching? I was turned off by the animation, but I've read some good reviews on it.
Bokusen
Darn, last message didn't show up for me but now it does. Sorry about that.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil and Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, but Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil & Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, though Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Amagi
Doesn't mean that there weren't other good series but I distinguish between good and somethin special I will instantly remember even months or years later.
Amagi
How can you not like at least one of the current series, this season is pretty good. MiA was probably my only real great thing in the last season though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Aren't you forgetting Acca, Rakugo, Little Witch Academia and Tanya the Evil?
Anonymous1497006
Made in Abyss seems like it's the only gem this year for me tbh
AidanAK47
Whoa, I never even knew we had a PM feature.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I've received it. Thanks Kaiser. I've never noticed the PM feature either
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I sent you a private message.
SuperMario
oh boy. Just received Mind Game Bluray Region free today. I ordered/funded it through Kickstarter a year ago and eventually forgot about it. Was a nice surprise to see it in the mail today
silver
I enjoyed this week's Kino. Leave only footprints indeed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the other hand I noticed some slight censoring in juuni taisen episode 3 I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also surprised with the lack of censorship during Inuyashiki's second episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
First episode of inuyashiki covered the whole of volume 1.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*but almost never
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In general, Death of Stalin is an amusing film throughout, but never laugh out loud hilarious, Simon Beale is hilarious in it as Beria.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Gonzo did that mecha 7 samurai thing we must never speak of. However schmaltzly/sentimental Ikiru is, however it slumps slightly in the middle and final arc , it was still a genuinely moving film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than it is
Kaiser-Eoghan
To elaborate, I expected to dislike inuyashiki based on not enjoying Gantz, my reaction to the second episode was the same as Amagi's . The first episode was heavy handed a bit as Aidan mentioned, but its harder to watch that scene with the older guy get bullied/tormented that it is to watch highschool kids getting picked on by cliche anime thugs.
AidanAK47
Also why Hillary Clinton? I mean i know Trump is supposed to have a cameo in the manga but why her?
AidanAK47
@Vyse, Lets not jinx it. Plenty of series have shown great potential in their second episodes only to flop later. We can sing praises if it keeps this quality to the conclusion.
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki main villain should be Hillary Clinton
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki is suddenly like the best thing of the decade.
Amagi
I wish there were more old MC series out there. Liked that about Real Drive too. Maybe someone will have mercy and adapt Kurosawa one day. Not exactly old but at least a series about a guy with midlife crisis.
Amagi
I thought the happenings of the second Inuyashiki episode would have been too egdy but they actually gave the last few scenes a very good impact and the episode showed pretty well how sociopathes think (that whole gap between emotions for real people VS manga/fiction characters and events)
KTravlos
yup, I have no problem with Lenlo's review. Execution is what matters with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: You managed to sell me on a show that I didn't think I'd have bothered with.
silver
You did fine. It's a risk associated with reading post-viewing episodic discussions. Pretty much everyone knows that if you don't want to be spoiled don't even get online.
Lenlo
I tried to leave explicit spoilers about what happened outside the (more...) tag, but its a risk of readin a review I suppose.
silver
Hah, sorry about spoiling it. That's the problem with major shocks like that; they're most effective if you're not expecting them. Still, the show has deft execution of its executions, and that makes the experience worse than I could imagine.
Lenlo
Well im glad it convinced you. Tried something different with writing this week
KTravlos
man I should not had read the review. Now I will go and watch Inuyashiki. I had missed it.
silver
@Lenlo: It caught me off guard, too. Definitely working to earn that 'psychological' genre tag.
Lenlo
Well... Inuyashiki surprised me today. It went far darker than I was expecting. Thanks Gants author
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Such an odd art style, have you ever seen these? These are the film covers the Polish get:
Kaiser-Eoghan
*that was the most interesting character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Z's ending was very very well played and it was Jean Tringnents was interesting, largely for that he was a right winger working with the left wingers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course the British version of house of cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if he's seen Yes Minister and The New Statesman, also political comedies and for those of us who lived in the 80s seeing Thatcherites getting slagged off was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think thick of it works better though as the humour serves a thirty minute episode more comfortably. Stalin's fairly short though so I don't think the joke will run out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the Death of stalin is the title I'm looking for as well. Will screen here in few weeks. I almost reccomend In the Loop and the Thick of It (haven't watched the latter though) for Travlos since they're a political satire, which I think he'll enjoy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hope you already booked that heavens feel screening, cause its sold out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that the anime's character development in Juuni taisen expands on the books, which only give them short lines for their backgrounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, so perhaps in Juuni taisen they'll spin that so the Rat guy uses the ox guy to his advantage in some different way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is a special atmosphere watching anime on a big screen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I might be seeing death of Stalin tomorrow or Saturday. The thick of it was hilarious and this has the same director as that.
SuperMario
Both Z and All the President's Men are coassic movie. Hold my attention from start to finish. Z, in particular, wowed me that I literally had my mouth wide open
SuperMario
Off tangent, watching Fireworks in the cinema the other day made me realize how I miss watching movies on the big screen. I might try to go to the cinema once a week again. Been missed out all the good movies lately.
SuperMario
In the Great Race story, Rat used a very underhanded tactic to win the race (it jumps into the Ox to pass the great river and then jump off to the finish line. This Rat guy's speciality is Killing All so there is a high chance that he survives till the end
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have no doubt that we will have more amazing character arcs for Juuni Taisen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that could prove to be too predictable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if the Rat guy is going to be the wild card in all this, after all in the old story, wasn't it the Rat who won that zodiac race thing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Juuni Taisen is killing off its most interesting characters.... =< I wanted the bird girl to stay around a bit longer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see more Lem or Stugastky style/brand of scifi, I need to rewatch stalker again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Going back to the cyberpunk thing, I don't want just any ol' thing getting made, I want to see something scifi related thats ACTUALLY clever and has long and DIFFICULT dialogue .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: While not a political series Chaos;head is a good example of being annoyed at the conspiracy thing, what drives me up the wall about that show and its sequel is how every every time I think about going back to it I realize that its only interesting on a surface level and is utter hokkum.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. Yup, perhaps because I work in political science, they tend to anger me. So I avoid them. Borgen is a good political series.

In general. It still startles how much of a better character anime Tsutomu was comapred to manga Tsutomu in Bridy the Mighty. But I forgive the manga as I get more Gomez!
AidanAK47
@Amagi/Kaiser, thought as much. Strike it off the list then. And God Tsubasa was a cluster fuck by the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh simul-dub of Juuni taisen is out, I might aswell keep up with that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I had this weird relationship with dragonball in general. When I was younger I never actively seeked out the show, but on a rare occasion I would watch random episodes whenever I was channel hopping and nothing else was on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Clamp shared universe was a mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish that that tone breaking style of comedy stops being a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It doesn't happen often, but there ARE shows we all have that snap trigger us when they get mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel my disdain of re:zero is because I hate Akame ga kill and Higurashi so much and it prevents me because of bias from enjoying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In addition to what i posted about Pandora, you will hate the comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will rewatch it, the first one is one of those things that improved on repeat viewings.
@Travlos: Conspiracy theories are one of those things I find myself taking interest in, then almost immediately consider immensely stupid and a waste of time.
Amagi
Aidan: If you didn't like the first parts of Pandora you won't like the rest either. Most people that loved it did this because of the characters and setting, the story isn't really getting better and I kinda disliked what they did near the end. It was overcomplicated and everyone had like three different personalities, plot twists and so on. Not nearly as bad as Tsubasa Chronicle though
AidanAK47
@Bokusenou, believe me when I say you are not few. There are plenty who Dislike Re:Zero. I can understand it and I sort of get where your coming from regarding the characters. (Though Saber sucks) There is just something about the series that I just adore.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I have not watched most of them. But I have watched Z and All the President's Men. Both are great films. The issue with me is that while I like political thrillers I despite conspiracy theories. Far too many pol. thrillers dive into con.theory stuff. So I must be discriminating.
SuperMario
Okay, I'm off to watch Blade Runner 2049 now. Hopefully it can be as good as the original
Vonter
In contrast World's End Harem, surprisingly looks to be trying. It has one story trying to play straight, the scenario of being the last man in a world mainly habited by woman. And has had this framing of self worth, temptation and doubt I like. No work of art, but surprising for this type of manga.
Vonter
In regards to manga, I'll need to look for something good, being losing time with ecchi stuff. Which I can tell Okamoto should just make hentai, seeing as his latest work, doesn't even try to be anymore than pandering trash (at least older work, had a notion of a story).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Did all the presidents men and Parallax view by Pakula appeal to you?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Actually as your are a Greek....have you watched Z, missing, State of siege or the confession? None of them are actually in Greek but they were political thrillers directed by Costa Gravas.
Anonymous1490677
KT here: Well I am a sucker for political thrillers and "grand" politics, so the direction it took is quite fun for me. Even if it does indicate a Tomino ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me Titan peaked at volume 8 and I never bothered continuing on much further.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I remember a commenters on here a good while ago that mentioned the ending didn't satisfy or come together well and made the investment not worth it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Honestly it was only near the halfway point I vested any interest in pandora hearts, the first 4 volumes left me wondering if I'd drop it, then near the last few volumes I simply fell out of reading it.
Bokusenou
I feel like I'm one of the few people who don't understand why Re: Zero is so popular...the only characters I half liked were Puck & Crusch (the latter because she reminded me of Saber from the Fate series, minus the unnecessary perma-blush marks) My anime club screened the series and I really should have skipped those meetings...
Lenlo
Mmm Inuyashiki episode 2 tomorrow. Time to see where it goes
AidanAK47
@Anon, That reminds me. Anime limited better announce the date of the Re:Zero Blu-ray release at that panel of theirs at MCM London Comic Con. They are the only ones known to have licensed it and they have a partnership with Funimation. Even if we don't get a second season I have to get the first on Blu-ray.
Anonymous1490189
Emilia re:zero
AidanAK47
Finally Got that review up. Been sitting in my to do list for a while.
SuperMario
I remeber in Dragon ball, they state that Son Goku takes 6 years of training to become a Super Saiyan. His oldest son takes 3 years and then the youngest one... only takes 3 months of training with his mother. So yeah...
AidanAK47
While we are talking about manga, I was looking into getting some manga boxsets and I saw one for pandora hearts. However I started reading it and 15 chapters in I just can't get into it. I hear a lot of praise for it but is it really worth continuing?
AidanAK47
@Amagi, yep. Like Naruto with the nine tailed beasts and Sharingan. At first they were cool and then everyone and their mother had Sharingan or a tailed Beast.
Though If I had a problem with SNK its that I just find the thing to be poorly written overall. It has creative idea's, but the characters and dialogue is really weak in my eyes.
Amagi
You know that SuperSaiyan syndrome. At first it was special and mysterious, but once the second one gets to have the power they tend to pop up everywhere. Same with Claymore and basically almost every shounen ever.
Amagi
I overall like the SNK manga but I have to agree I really have a problem with this shounen trope of some speciality one character has that suddently turn out to be the speciality of many.
Lenlo
It turned from a horror/thriller to a sort of... shounen mystery thing for me. I wasnt a fan once EVERYONE became titans.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I dropped off at that point, picked it up again and read it up to date. Now I am falling out again. True be told I haven't really got into it since the beginning chapters and I am not a fan of the direction it took. If you don't like it now I say future chapters won't really change your mind.
Lenlo
Does Attack on Titan get better? I was reading it up until Season 2 came out and then just fell off the wagon.
KTravlos
oh what a cliffhanger in the Shingeki no Koyjin manga! I am happy where this is going!
Kaiser-Eoghan
I agree that the way the series addresses emotion has some interest to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The later chapters I read had some action in them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Had a read of the children of the wales manga, I am glad to see a shoujo that isn't based on an otome or school life series , additionally I like it on an aesthetic level, I can see it going somewhere but the fast-forward pace makes it hakes it harder to connect with.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Blame! was recently adapted and thats cyberpunk, even if it didn't follow the manga.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree. Cyber- and steampunk are two of the few settings I really dig. Especially because I think that there are a lot of potential plots and twists for cyberpunk/VR settings anime haven't used yet. AR is great too, the only series about that is Dennou Coil and it was made ~10 years ago. Maybe the SAO movie but it was just a movie.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here lol. I remember the toilet thingy but not the woman's backstory. That being said, I enjoyed the series as whole, though some parts were too K-ONish for my taste.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of would agorophobia maintain itself and they'd stay inside or would the fear of being raped/tortured/killed and bypass the agorophobia ?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Random tangent, but I would find it fascinating to see a hikkikomori subject to a home invasion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although honestly, I would prefer a cyberpunk wave of anime series to get popular again.
silver
I too am starting to really enjoy the 'adventure anime' genre. The medium of animation is uniquely suited to fantastical worldbuilding.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Was that the one where the girl is desperately trying not to piss herself? Also why can I remember that and not this blonde woman's backstory?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, agreed. It's at its best when it can use the settings to flesh out the characters. The episode after that one, one the other hand, was Sora no woto's dullest episode - where the main girl spends the whole episode waiting for a freaking phone call.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Blonde woman's backstory in the middle of sora no oto, that was the best episode of it.
SuperMario
@Amagi: for reccomendation, if you don't mind another cute girls in a post-apocalyptic world show, you can try Sora no Woto (Sound of the sky). I love that show to bits
SuperMario
But I'm not entirely sold on the show yet. I feel the relationships are a tad too heavy-handed. The light hearted tones don't work well for me but I really feel a From the New world's vibe from the show
SuperMario
@Amagi: I will talk about Children of the Whales here in the chatbox since we don't cover it. Damnit the cliffhanger. That series really focuses on the theme of repress their own feelings. From the children in the Mud Whales with their custom of not to cry in the funeral or their lacing their hands to express their gratitude. Episode 2 has that monster who basically eats others emotions
Kaiser-Eoghan
And by extension, I would hope that it would encourage adaptations of older fantasy manga aswell.
Amagi
I really hope this type of fantasy will become a new trend instead of the classical world of warcraft type of isekai
Amagi
There is just something really atmospherical about a few characters exploring an unknown world alone that is either almost or entirely devoid of humans or just weird like in Kino's Journey.
Amagi
Shuumatsu Shoujou, Houseki, Kino 2017 and Children of the Whales are shaping up to become my favorites this season. It's funny that they have so much in common, same with Made in Abyss, which also was my favorite of the last season.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, well there were fellows down in cork that decided to go Kite Surfing. They had to send out a boat to rescue the dumb bastards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I saw that there were some profoundly stupid people ignoring the warnings, some guy even decided to go out swimming despite it.
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