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

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

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