Posted on 24 March 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, Last Exile - Ginyoku no Fam




It’s a bit hard to recommend Last Exile – Ginyoku no Fam, because it had to live up to the expectations of the original Last Exile… and it didn’t. Still, I still consider it a series worth watching, and it is the proof that Gonzo isn’t dead yet.

But yeah, go into this expecting a war story that just happens to take place in the same universe as Last Exile. The mood and tone of this series have some signfiicant differences, and mots of all this series lacks the refinement that its predecessor has. The character animation often is sloppy, there is much less time spent at believable acting and realism, and the charactes too are a lot closer to caricatures.

The big difference is in the plot, though. It’s here where Ginyoku no Fam lacks creativity. It’s all just too average and straight-forward, and it tries too much to center aruond cute girls… in the middle of a war. Too many episodes are just dedicated to “war is bad”, without much refinement to it. To me, the creators seemed very conflicted on what they wanted to do with their main character, Fam. First they establish her character as a delivery girl, and there are times where she really does well to keep true to that role, in particular the ending. At other times though, they want her to be more involved in the actual war, and that’s where this show leaves the most to be desired, as we’re treated to a very whiny teenager who keeps preaching peace over and over again, and who gets shoehorned into politics that she doesn’t belong in.

So yes, be warned. Those who give it a chance however, will be rewarded by some absolutely gorgeous aerial battles, an excellent sense of world building and a pretty engaging atmosphere here. It’s especially the setting int his series that stands out, because the creators created a ton of interesting locations, with some of the most gorgeous background art and architectures. They dabble a bit in different cultures, and the creators really managed to bring the overall world to life, especially in the first half of this series.

The characters are a bit of a mixed bag, but there also is enough good stuff among them. Fam has her moments where she gets really annoying, but she also has a vew moments where she redeems herself, and the cast of side-characters has a number of interesting people walking around who do manage to spice up the story. It remains an unbalanced production though, but I do think that it gets too much flak. It’s no masterpiece, but it’s got enough reasons to make it worth watching.

Storytelling: 7/10 – Could have used a bit more ambition and gets distracted often, though its atmosphere is good.
Characters: 7/10 – The creators were conflicted in how to use their main character, and thefore she tends to get in the way of everything. It’s got some good moments of characterization, though.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Amazing background art, the action scenes in this show look gorgeous. The 2D animation… not so much.
Setting: 9/10 – Excellent and intriguing setting. This series has a lot of fun with its world building.

Suggestions:
Shantri-La
Guin Saga
Simoun

Posted on with categories: Last Exile - Ginyoku no Fam

You know what? I liked this.

Really, as an ending, you could do much worse. My big fear of Fam magically pushing the “solve” button here was averted. Instead, she ended up playing out her role in this series: that of a delivery girl. She also failed to really pull through with her ideals, and she also failed to prevent many people from dying. I really did not expect the creators to make her stay true to this, and that’s what really saved the final third of this series for me. I mean, I do’t really need all my protagonists to be hero or leader material. It makes them all too similar. It also pays off to show the glory of someone who isn’t the central focus, while this series also made sure to show off the actual scale of the war by using Milia. In fact, the parts of this series thta were the most grating were when Fam stepped beyond her role, and tried to involve herself with politics and large-scale decisions. She just isn’t fit for that.

I also like the way the Grand Race was used. My big fear was that with all that build-up they’d find a way to use it in a Deus ex Machina or something. Intead, they realyl turned out to be just the hopes of a young girl, which eventually didn’t really mean anything in the context of a war. As soon as the peace arrived though, Fam got her wish. I can live with that.

Instead, the doomsday weapon destroyed itself by being just so damn inpractical and unfinished. It’s hinted that Luscinia knew that this would happen all along, but something tells me that he also just realized that his plan wasn’t going to work when he saw the actual thing in motion. I liked how he actually took his loss like a man. Yes, I liked this ending better than Shangri-La’s ending. Also, Claus and Lavie return in the epilogue! Awesome aftermath here!

In the end, the biggest mistakes of this series were made when the plot was outlined. In the end, the creators could have tried better, the show needed more variety and less inconsistencies. A touch of realism would also have helped this show a lot here, and the creators also should have spent time to ask the question of how to make Fam more likable. I like how she was used in the finale, but in the end she did whine way too much throughout the series. She has strong ideals. Her portrayal should have made us sympathize with these ideals. Fam I think repeated them too often, and that made her whiny. Overall I like this show, but the original Last Exile it ain’t.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 17 March 2012 with categories: Last Exile - Ginyoku no Fam

That was actually much better than what I expected it to be. As the penultimate episode (not counting that epilogue that seems to be scheduled for this series in two weeks), this episode was meant to take down the giant doomsday machine. This machine is this giant flying monster with impossible fire-power, being controlled by just two people who are hiding in the center of it. The episode finally ends up boiling down to trying to get inside, reach those two and stopping them. And yeah, that’s something that Fam is really good at. I really feared that when they pulled the princess card a few episodes ago, they would do something similar here, but really: it’s been established that she is a very good vanship pilot. It makes sense for her to be the first to reach Luscinia when you take this build-up into account.

Also, Koichi Chigira really did it: he really made the battle against this giant flying monster work. The Grand Exile really feels HUGE. Even when Fam gets inside, it takes ages for them to get from one side to the other, while in a flying plane, of all things. The build-up to this also was great. They made the Grand Exile a really formidable foe, while also giving it its weaknesses that come with being so big.

When looking at the big picture though, Ginyoku no Fam in the end did not live up to the original Last Exile. I still like it, but nowhere near as much as with its predecessors. Let’s take Luscinia, the main villain. In the end, he is pretty poor, and I can only hope that the final episode at least redeems him. There’s very little to set him apart, and as for being a threat… he seems more like this angsty guy who can’t get over one death and therefore upholds a plan that just can’t be sustained in the long run, and he just pales in comparison to the villains of Shangri-La and the first Last Exile, who had much more confident and smug personalities that actually made them feel a threat.

Also, I do think that the first half of Ginyoku no Fam is better than the second half. It’s because there, it was doing something that it was actually really good at: world building. The second half put much more focus on the war and politics, and to be honest it doesn’t really stand out. It’s solid, don’t get me wrong, but beyond the gorgeous graphics I’m missing something to set itself apart. The Gracies idea was nice and probably the part that stands out the most, but the grand scheme of things still seems a bit… simple.

I mean, it’s essential for a show to change over the course of its time, but the change itself needs to be good. The second half of a series, especially of the 2-cour format, is something where the creators can really go all out, but Ginoku no Fam missed the mark a bit in trying to be too epic, while ignoring the parts that they also should have paid attention to: the characters and setting. things were added to them, but I feel that this was not enough.
Rating: *+ (Great)

Yeah, this is a new rating, between 8 (Good) and ** (Excellent). I found myself more and more in the need of one. While running this blog I got to spend a lot on various kinds of ratings. Tkae my reviews for example: I started out with using numbers as 82/100, 74/100, etc. At one point I simplified those ratings to 80/100, 82,5/100, 85/100, etc because I found myself unable to explain the difference between a show that I’d rank 85/100 and 86/100. Afterwards I started to use the same kind of philosophy for rating episodes.

I’ve often been criticized for not having an evenly distributed rating scale, but honestly, I don’t care about that at all. I just want something that I’m comfortable with, and the current rating scale mostly evolved from rating countless of series and episodes. However, now that I’ve used this system for a few years, I’ve noticed that I run into more and more episodes or series that belong inbetween two ratings (like this episode for example: it was better than the episodes that I usually label as “Good”, but at the same time I didn’t consider it to be “Excellent”). I’m going to try and refine these ratings at the points where they need to now.

Posted on 10 March 2012 with categories: Last Exile - Ginyoku no Fam

Here’s an interesting twist: Fam actually admitted that she was wrong when all she did was trying to figure out a way to bring the grand race back. I’d almost praise, her if it wasn’t for the fact that we’ve still got a climax left. I mean, it’s not certain, but there are an awful lot of arrows pointing into the direction that she’s going to be shoe-horned into saving the day and getting rid of that giant Exile that was activated in this episode. If the creators pull that twist, then all of this build-up would have been for nothing. It’s because of that that I’m not going to judge this series yet, because that ending will be really, really important for this series.

And yeah, this episode was fairly straightforward build-up. It was a bit strange when Luscinia just walked out with an unconscious Augusta and nobody found it strange, but then again he also holds a very high position. It’s the same here: if the ending is good, then this episode is also good. If the ending is bad though, then this episode was just delaying the inevitable.

Still, I liked that the creators succeeded in portraying that that doomsday weapon really is a doomsday weapon. These are themes very heavily lifted from Gundam, of all things and it makes me wonder why Luscinia spent so much effort in getting this war going if he could have just fired off that thing a few ties, but ah well: he has been proven to be a deranged ruler who believes that he can bring peace as long as he is the ruler of everything, so I probably shouldn’t look too deep into the meaning behind his actions.
Rating: * (Good?)

Posted on 3 March 2012 with categories: Last Exile - Ginyoku no Fam

Hah! Now this is more like it. This episode had really little action, and yet it’s my favorite Ginyoku no Fam episode in quite a while now. It had this genuine warmth that I have been missing for a while now, it was different from the previous episodes and offered some variety, there was a lot of focus on the different politics of this series and again Fam knew her role and wasn’t shoved at the center stage.

With this episode I realized that the previous episodes of this series have been a tad monotone, and really needed a bit more variety than what they have shown so far. Probably the big culprit of that was how this show had to focus on cute girls and all. This episode also finally developed the themes of war further. Thins really got resolved now, yet at the same time the ending of this episode showed how fragile peace can be. It was a particularly good twist to have the Gracien girl try to assassinate the big bad guy, and Lilliane’s death definitely made an impact, especially considering how she consciously sacrificed herself. Also, Fam is a princess.

The next episodes have a tough question to answer: why was that necessary? I mean, with Shangri-La it always was obvious that Kuniko was special in the way that the villain was intereseted in her. Here though, I’m not sure what the purpose of all of this is other than making Fam feel special. This is episode 20, there are only three or four episodes left. It feels tacked on at this point.

What also worries me a bit is that we still haven’t gotten any new information about new Gonzo projects. The sales of the second volume of the DVD were about as much as the first volume (around 3000 copies), which thankfully isn’t the disaster that was Shangri-La’s record, but still means that Gonzo probably made some losses, having also financed a lot of this project themselves. However, what are their plans for the rest of the year? They’re awfully quiet, considering taht they should be nearly done with Last Exile here.

The impression I get from watching Last Exile is that most of Gonzo’s talented animators went over to David Production, along with a bunch of producers (you can really see Gonzo’s boldness in a lot of David Production’s projects), while Gonzo’s 3D department, the part at which they were the most innovative, remained at their side, along with most of their bad animators (the badly animated parts of this series are animated in the exact same way tht other badly animated Gonzo shows were). It’d be a shame for them to go bankrupt anyway.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 25 February 2012 with categories: Last Exile - Ginyoku no Fam

There are many challenges about series that place children at the center of adult struggles. One of the big ones is making their roles in the grand scheme of things believable. Ginyoku no Fam is struggling with this, clearly. And yet here it barely managed to make things work.

A lot of stuff in this episode challenged my suspense of disbelief, but on the other hand it was exactly what the previous episodes had been building Fam’s character up to. The big problem with that evil empire is that it’s got this very young empress who has been hi-jacked by a revenge-crazed psycho. All it would take is someone who would make her a bit more proactive, and that’s where Fam comes in. This episode had her play the role as a delivery girl, and to be honest, it’s there where she really belongs.

Having said that, though…

Something went wrong with the world building here. It’s been bugging me for quite a while now, but this episode convinced me: the world of Ginyoku no Fam feels empty. This is a very serious issue for a show whose biggest asset is exactly the world it created. My point is: how on earth was Fam the first to suggest to that princess to make them stop fighting? What happened to the to her subordinates here? Aside from the main characters, in the end the world here feels lifeless.

There also was one point in this episode that couldn’t be excused with the budget troubles that Gonzo has been having. It’s the point where the Sylvius appears, and immediately starts shooting down every single warship in its vicinity. And that after all of the previous episodes were building up how hard it is to actually control such a thing: the sylvius spins a bit and suddenly everything is gone and we cut to a new scene. That was just plain laziness.

And with this, the major conflict is over. And the only thing that remains is that bad guy. I mean, he wasn’t involved in this episode for a reason: there’s that doomsday weapon of an exile that’s going to threaten the entire planet, yadda yadda yadda, we know the story by now. I really wonder whether the creators will be able to make that kind of an ending interesting.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 18 February 2012 with categories: Last Exile - Ginyoku no Fam

This was pretty much a build-up battle. Nearly the entire episode was dedicated to it, but it was just there to build up to the next episode, and the visuals also weren’t as good as with the major battle scenes in this series.

Probably the most interesting was actually Fam. Yes, I’m surprised to say this too, but for once she could act according to her role: a teenager who is caught up in the middle of a war, and who happens to be a really good pilot. With this, it’s natural to assume that she would try her best to help her side win the war, but this conflicts very much against her previous ideals of not wanting to kill others. Finally the creators actually made her torn a bit between this dilemma, and finally it seems like she is starting to understand the situation she’s in. In the second half she goes back again to trying to disable warships, but that’s completely in-line with her character, and for once she actually fails at doing this.

I might also have to correct something I said earlier. About a month ago, I found out that this series is supposed to have 21 episodes. I thought that that was with the recaps included, but the official website of this series seems to suggest otherwise. If I understood things correctly, then there will be 21 regular episodes, 2 recaps, and one special episode (presumably at the end). This episoe at least makes more sense that way: with three episodes left, this wasn’t the kind of finale buid-up that I’d expect, with the main villains doing… absolutely nothing. With two extra episodes focusing on the side villains like here though, it makes sense.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 11 February 2012 with categories: Last Exile - Ginyoku no Fam

It has been a while. Since I watched an episode that left me with such conflicted feelings.

This episode. There was no Fam in it whatsoever. Seriously, she had no scenes at all. But, Gonzo. Are you serious with this? Did you seriously just air a recap episode of the first season?

I mean just… what the hell. This episode even had the OP of the first season. Alvis basically narrated what happened to her in that season. Most of the episode was taken up by this. It was annoying, and I skipped through most of it. And then the new material came and suddenly explained what happened at the end of the First Last Exile, and it FINALLY showed the grown up versions of Claus and Lavie. My inner Last Exile fanboy rejoiced here and started jumping up and down with excitement, much more than I thought it would at the eventual revelation of this. On top of that, it all just looked so completely gorgeous and imaginative. As strange as it was, this episode definitely highlighted all of the character development that went on.

Okay, Gonzo. I’m game. I won’t judge this episode badly until the entire series is over. Last week I said that the final third of this series will be its worst. This episode instead did something I completely did not expect. If you’ve got a plan to just go completely against conventions, then I’d love to see it. If this recap was necessary for that, then I won’t mind. Right now though, it’s too early to tell.
Rating: #!&% (???)

Posted on 4 February 2012 with categories: Last Exile - Ginyoku no Fam

So, imagine that you’re a general of an army. There is one particularly nasty country who keeps attacking others and killing your own people. At this point you’ve finally managed to find the opportunity to form an alliance with other parties who were in the same situation as you. You’re in a meeting between all kinds of leaders in order to complete this alliance, and suddenly some random girl starts yelling things about love and peace and how you should not attack each other.

This episode showed that the final third of this show will very likely be its worst part. This is simply because the story of this show is pretty much its weakest aspect. Last Exile is about world building. Show us more of that! The big problem with this episode was that Fam wanted to bring peace to the world by bringing the grand race back. That’s nice and all, but that’s not exactly the right way to stop an evil psycho with a misguided cause of trying to get revenge for some leader who was killed. Fam just fails to see the core problem of what’s going on here.

The core problem here is that we have some guy exploiting the fact that there is a country that’s being run by a six-year-old. And the annoying part is that a lot of other characters DID figure this out. Focus on them! The part where they have to guide this young of an empress into getting control of her subordinates: that’s an interesting storyline. This show was actually well on its way to do that, until Fam stepped in and started to distract her with that Grand Race.

Children being stuffed into an adult setting. It’s not like that can’t work. However, they need to know their place and what they can do. The big problem is that Fam can’t do anything aside from piloting a vanship really well, and skill has been completely pointless for the past months. Heck, my favorite series, Mahou Shoujotai, is about something very similar: a girl of Fam’s age with very big pacifist ideals. The thing is, that Arusu actually tried her hardest to stop the conflicts, and she actually did stuff that mattered, not to mention that she was in a position and a world where she actually could.

The more I think about it… what has Fam actually done in this series? Um… she stole a bunch of ships, I guess. She saved this princess. In terms of politics however, she has been completely useless, and yet the creators keep shoving her in that role. And I think that that’s the thing with the production of this series: Koichi Chigira is a very good director, and you can really see how he breathes life to this setting and scenario despite the limitations. Kiyoko Yoshimura however just isn’t cut out to write original stories. You can really see that she just isn’t a good writer. The producers at Gonzo were most likely responsible for putting Fam into the position of the main character. It was her job of fitting a good conflict for her and making her a likable character. Instead, this feels like a story where she was just pasted into, without really considering whether or not she really fit. And it just feels like a very sloppy job at that.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 28 January 2012 with categories: Last Exile - Ginyoku no Fam

Oh, this episode. It really had me torn about Fam. I’m not certain of this yet, but this episode pushed me much more into believing that this series has the “bad main character”-syndrome.

There was one particular line of hers that really stood out. It was at the beginning of the episode, in which she was crying about the fate of her hometown. I think the line was something like “why? We just want to fly.”

Um, why? Because you’ve been stealing the federation’s ships, obviously. This line really told me that Fam… doesn’t really understand the situation she’s in. She also immediately got cheery after that, acting like everything will be alright, even though a lot of people died here. The rest of the episode thankfully did show that she’s bothered with a lot of things, but she never could accurately describe them, nor find a good solution for this until the salvation came at the end of this episode. That’s the kind of mentality that is good for a side-character, but not a main one who is supposed to drive the storyline forward.She;s still an enjoyable character, but she so doesn’t fit this series. Compare that to Kuniko of Shangri-la: she knew that she was a leader, and she actually kept trying to take responsibility for it.

And the thing with this episode: the rest of the characters were really good here. Milia developed, we know why her sister betrayed her (neat idea to change the federation from the inside) and the dialogue between the different side characters continued to build upon the setting and story here. That all was really well done.

So in the end the problem is a bit with the marketing of this series. Shangri-La unfortunately bombed, so the producers didn’t want to go with an as colourful and strong main cast this time, and instead went for the safe option of having a bunch of cute girls at the center in order to boost the sales. And really: Giselda and Milia are just fine. It’s just Fam whose character just feels out of place here.
Rating: * (Good)

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Badesh
Hell, Naruto final arc turned out to be one of the most holistic storytelling i've encountered in a while. The character developement ties in so nicely with the whole universe. It's a great accomplishement growing a pop anime into a mature mystic saga. i highly reccomend it even for newcomers. just watch past great ninja war.
Kaiser Eoghan
*last two
Kaiser Eoghan
I'll leave it to someone else to pick the last one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Might add trouble every day by Claire Denis and Livid by Julien Maury.
Kaiser Eoghan
Thanks for that. So now its under the shadow, return of the evil dead 1, dagon, from beyond, re-animator, haute tension, nekromantik, the tunnel.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah I had forgotten, I'd meant to see Haute tension.
Kaiser Eoghan
Of those I haven't seen nekromantik or dead things.
SuperMario
That's all I can think for now. I'm sure K-off and others will have more inspiring suggestions down the line
SuperMario
For pychological edge: Haute Tension, Lake Mungo, Three... Extremes (actually the 3 shorts are all interesting), The Tunnel 2011 (underaprreciate Aussie found-footage)
SuperMario
For sick minds, Man Bites Dog, a Serbian film, Der Tolesking, Human Centipede (1&2)
SuperMario
Alright, for pure horror pleasures: Necromantik (1987), Green Inferno, Dead/Alive (my childhood's nightmare), Children Shouldn't Play woth Dead Things (more like a guity pleasure)
SuperMario
Haha scary indeed
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The scariest thing about the haunting was that a remake of it exists that betrays the original.
SuperMario
Now, let me check my own horror list for more reccomendation
Kaiser Eoghan
Hahaha! Possession predates urotsukidouji =P in terms of the tentacle monster thing.
SuperMario
And I heard that the Haunting (1963) is good as well. Some david lynch movies (Lost Highway for example) could be claasified as horror too
SuperMario
Shame he passed away early this year. But he did say that the violent relationship in that movie was based on his own divorce.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I think Polish directed films are apparently rooted in theater. Though I believe he is a Dadaist.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Apparently Possession and diabal, all of his works are full of hidden political messages.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: That director is genuinely off-the wall insane, silver globe and l'amour braque actually make that look sane.
SuperMario
Possession the movie that Isabelle Adjani stared in? God, that movie exhausted me
Kaiser Eoghan
Innocents was so much better than its remake the others, the atmosphere was a lot lot stronger too, black and white really adds to the mood too.
Kaiser Eoghan
ha! I loved those.
This year I'm looking for silly horror movies predominently.
SuperMario
Let scare Jessica to death; the innocents 1961, Kill List, goodnight Mommy
Kaiser Eoghan
My alltime favourite horror film is Possession.
Kaiser Eoghan
No fuck it, no sequels. Currently it stands at under the shadow, return of the evil dead 1, dagon, from beyond, re-animator.
SuperMario
Too lazy to check out which horror movies that you've watched, but sure I can reccomend you some, from shitty to pure camp.
Kaiser Eoghan
Actually wait, under the shadow is out next week so that means I only need 5 more.
Kaiser Eoghan
Or maybe a 12 days is more feasible, easier. So that brings it down to six more. Guilty pleasures accepted.
K-Off
Any room for shitty horror in that list?
Kaiser Eoghan
I have to do a 30 days of halloween list soon. Want to limit it to horror films I haven't seen. So far I have the return of the living dead trilogy , dagon, from beyond and the re-animator.
Kaiser Eoghan
I also recently watched stranger things. I felt it did right by its 80s throw back, straight down to the references, score, costumes. Pretty cool monster too and the younger actors I thought were mostly good. Kind of slightly reminded me of the goonies to a small extent. I think it succeeded in being fairly heartfelt. Although I did find it a bit padded.
SuperMario
About the new season, I'm more interested in how these dark horse titles will turn out: Flip-flappers, ClassicalLoid, Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku, Yuri on Ice
SuperMario
@Aidan: I had Stranger Things on my queue list for a while now, but don't plan to watch it anytime soon. Glad you enjoy it.
K-Off
ReZero is the only show I finished in about 2 seasons. Hopefully the Working spinoff is up to par.
AidanAK47
Hoping things change when the first episodes start airing of the new anime season.
AidanAK47
Things have gotten quiet here. I plan on getting my Mob psycho review up today. I have to say that the next season doesn't interest me very much. There's some great stuff coming next year but the fall is looking pretty...meh.
AidanAK47
Finally got around to watching Stranger Things. Good show, I like the nostalgic way they tell the story though at times its too Spielberg/King. I admit that I can't say I was blown away by it. It's good and I will be watching the second season. But it's a tad.. predictable. Those child actors did a great job though.
K-Off
@Bam I'm not certain the email I have is one you actually use, so here it is: (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QWnGcuVQuXfOJuh80SDgtiZH4X6Zya_XEG2ZOM6u-5k/edit?usp=sharing)
It's pathetic right now, I'm sorting out my arrangements for Seoul first.
K-Off
@Bam I'll send you the itinerary in a few hours. Appreciate the offer for guides but I'll decline on that, otherwise it wouldn't hurt to have additional contacts in japan. The person I'm traveling with is half Japanese, so I trust that we won't run into tourist traps.
SuperMario
It logged me out again. Oh well! That was me Bam
Anonymous207007
@Bam: the first time I've ever heard of Chinchilla. Sorry to hear about your pet. Don't feel bad about the late post, it's perfectly fine. After all, we all volunteer to contribute here, so no pressure on the timing. Just write whenever you feel like it really.
Bam
Can anybody else see these?
Bam
@K-off: right on m8, I'm excited for you. Email me your itinerary and I can not only recommend some spots that aren't just basic tourist-traps, but can also hook you up with some friends to take you around and show you what the real Japan is all about.
Bam
I was planning to release the posts just as scheduled, but my Chinchilla suddenly got ill, and given the exotic nature of such pets I've been in and out of dozens of veterinary clinics. Over a week later and $600 spend, the poor thing finally gave out. I've been pretty out of since it happened, but again sorry for just disappearing.
Bam
I am actually still breathing. Sorry again for the unceremonious absence.
K-Off
@anon196168 I'm all ears for suggestions.
Anonymous196168
If youre going to japan maybe you could do something more unique than just taking pictures of locations? Plenty of those already on Google.
Kaiser Eoghan
Noticing a server error showing up on the shoutbox there.
AidanAK47
Good point, normal users generally just stay anono. ke69Vin?...69...really....that's just sad humor right there.
K-Off
That was most definitely little Kevin as well. 9vinke6 is obviously an anagram.
AidanAK47
@9Vinke6, I don't know what you are trying to share but it ain't an image. Deleting your comment as I don't want dodgy files on the site.
Anonymous181098
Are you kidding??!! Tokyo is amazing if you want excitement & you want to experience social life. But I agree go to Osaka. If tokyo is like Quebec then osaka is like toronto. More laid back
Anonymous180231
OPM was a shoe-in. It's showing very good success on Adult Swim on US TV and Viz is throwing big dollars to keep the gravy train rolling
AidanAK47
One Punch Man season 2 was announced. Expected but most certainly welcome.
...now I need Re:Zero season 2.
CJayTiiii
Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
K-Off
If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
CJayTiii
Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
CJayTiii
Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
K-Off
@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
CJayTiii
For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
afgm
Well, it's hard, since it doesn't really feel finished, so even if you know it will eventually end well if given a chance, you can't really put your full confidence behind those bets
AidanAK47
Got a bit long winded in that review and yet I feel like I really didn't get across what makes the series so good.
AidanAK47
Well that's the Re:Zero review written up. I will get to work on 91 days next and maybe Prisms Illya maybe after that. Lost all entuasim after they messed up that last episode in Illya. Overall it's been pretty disappointing.
AidanAK47
As for that twist. I think they could work it easily into a first episode. The impact would still be there for people marathoning the thing in the future and it would be a good "Oh Shit!" moment to start the second season. If they jump ahead a bit to a certain moment it would actually make for a great opener.
AidanAK47
I say the only chance of season two not coming would be if White Fox doesn't like money. Considering that the pace which the light novel adaption has sped up from every few months to a release every month I guess that they want to make that second season as badly as we want it. At this pace they could start a second season in maybe a years time. Maybe every half a year depending on cour length.
Syndrome
Also, if season 2 ever come (that would be a surprise if not, and truly annoying), I dont know how they will manage with the "twist", as something this impactful would come way too fast without any kind of setup. Wait and see, I guess.
Syndrome
After seeing the last Re:Zero I couldnt help but spoil myself, and I kind of understand why WhiteFox went with that kind of ending, skipping what would be a giant shtstorm on the internet. Even though, in a sad world where there would be no season 2, Im still a bit disappointed with the ending. Its nice to wrap it up this way but its a stale regarding the plot and there is no food for thought.
SuperMario
@aidan: you sure are fast when it comes to Re:Zero haha. Alrighty, we'll go with that then
AidanAK47
@mario,I am putting up a Re:Zero post. Tommarrow. I will unsticky it for a day and then we can sticky it again.
reaLjustified
@K-Off No worries, it's so messed up. Stay safe.
SuperMario
@Aidan: if you going to post Re:Zero review soon, you can unsticky the Versus Show post, otherwise I will take it down in 2 days
Total users: 31

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