Posted on 28 June 2017 with categories: Anime Reviews, Little Witch Academia

The Little Witch Academia series has been something that’s a long time coming. Ever since Studio Trigger made the original Anime OVA back in 2013 I have been hotly anticipating the time when it would be fleshed out into it’s own anime series. I love both the original OVA and the enchanted Parade so this series was one I was really looking forward to. So the question remains. Is Little Witch Academia a good series? Absolutely, out of the 25 episodes of it’s runtime I only didn’t enjoy one episode. This series was very fun and a worthwhile watch. However, is Little Witch Academia a great series? And therein lies the greatest problem with this series as a whole. For you see my friends, Little Witch Academia holds the potential for greatness and very closely skirts the line to becoming a truly great series. There are standout episodes which show a small glimmer of what this series could have really been. However instead the series plays it safe and sticks to a rather cartoonish format of episodic stories. It’s excellent character cast is unfortunately underutilised aside from some single episode stories and the main plot it develops within it’s second half more or less fizzles out into something more tame.

So to those watching it can be frustrating to see how this series opens up roads to great storytelling possibilities only to take the road of least resistance. Thus my greatest advice to any viewer is to not let yourself be fooled into thinking that this show will have a dynamic shift into a greater story arc. Throughout it’s run this is a simple story with simple objectives. Thus if you can come to accept that then you can enjoy what Little Witch Academia has to offer. Again, this really is a good show and has the kind of fun sensibility that very few anime can pull off. It’s a show that wouldn’t look out of place if put in a Saturday morning cartoon block and for those that woke up on mornings to tune into these kinds of shows as kids it will certainly hit that sentimental spot. If you aren’t part of that demographic then this may be a harder sell as I could see others get tired of the inconsequential episodic stories and a general lack of character development. Some characters get small changes but for the most part have simple characterisation. Akko in particular tends to have sporadic development as she tends to waver between growing as a person and then falling into her old ways.

Animation can have hiccups but is pretty stellar and charming throughout the board. You can really tell that a lot of heart went into this series production, even if it likely drove the animators to exhaustion. This show has it’s fair share of Sakuga sequences that show there is some real talent at Trigger. There are also references galore throughout the series from callouts to old cartoons(Hanna Barbara, Disney, Dexters lab) to previous trigger works and to even oddballs like 1984, Pawn Stars, Hellboy and Dinotopia. Keep a keen eye and you can spot dozens of callouts within the framework. OST is suitable but has some great versions of the main theme and a very good opening theme. Overall I do recommend this series. It isn’t what it could have been but what it is is hardly anything to scoff at. It’s one of the surprisingly few anime you can show to a young child without worry and maybe even blossom another fan of this medium. If you feel burned out by current anime and need something that’s a bit of a change of pace then LIttle Witch Academia is a fine recommendation indeed.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

I am glad that Trigger managed to pull through and bring a bombastic finale to this series. Admittedly there are some signs of cutting corners with some still frames that lingered for a little too long but otherwise this was a great episode to go out on. That said i do have my problems with the final villain being some random program of Croix’s going out of control and attempting to start a world war. Introducing a rogue element when the entire second half of the season has been building up Croix as the main villain is somewhat cheap. Now that it’s all over it really makes Croix to be a major idiot who had no idea what she was doing and why didn’t Chariot stop her before it escalated to this point again? Well I do like Akko insinuating that they are all the brand new nine witches as it does suggest that the original nine witches were also a ragtag group elevated to legendary status. Having the entire crew play a part in the final episode was also something I really appreciated as it’s nice to have them do something after being brutally ignored by the show for so long.

So our ending does at least leave some room for a sequel though it’s not a bad way to finish the series right here. Personally I would be on board for a sequel despite my discontent with how the series turned out. I still believe that this series has great potential and a second season could really begin to bank on that potential now that this Croix and Chariot business is out of the way. In particular I would really love more scenes like the end of this episode, with all the character interacting with each other. Quite honestly, that’s what this series needed more of. Still I did truly love seeing trigger crank up the insanity to 180 and make the finale explosively fun. Highlights being the combined Akko and Diana Shiny Arc, the return of the shooting star and frankly the entire end sequence. Magic turned out to be in the hearts of the masses after all which really makes me think that Croix is pretty poor Scientist to not try to look for safer magic alternatives. The reveal of a believing heart being magic is rather cliche and a deus ex machina but I am more than willing to give it a pass just on how they managed to run with it.

As a final note I would like to take my hat off to Asenshi subs for succeeding where Netflix’s failed. As anyone who has kept up with this series likely knows, Netflix has licensed the series and in a truly boneheaded move has not simulcast it as it airs. The only legal means of keeping up with the series is to wait till the 30th of June where you will only get 13 out of the 25 not aired episodes at once. Considering the delay on release I would better see these things dubbed. If Netflix is to be a major player in anime simulcasting then they really need to sort out a model that benefits online internet discussion. I do not deny the benefits of binge watching shows but there are those of us that like following the discussions that aside from weekly watching. Having the series at once really kills any mid series theorising and makes it that you can only talk about the show as a whole rather than individual episodes. I believe it really killed the momentum that this series could have had. So I wholeheartedly give my thanks to Asenshi subs to allow me to experience this show as it airs and not to mention their top notch sub work. Truly they went the extra mile to give this show the quality it deserves. So much so that I think official subs will end up inferior to their fantastic work. Honestly guys, you did the anime community one hell of a favor. Thanks for that.

Posted on 20 June 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

Hmmm….mixed feelings. There are parts I like about this episode but then there is this underwhelming feeling over how things have turned out. In general I like that the epicly named world reconstruction magic turned out to be just a stick that performs party tricks. Thinking about it it’s likely the decline of magic is due to people just not having much faith in it anymore. So the real means of bringing magic back to the world is just what Chariot was doing, showing the world just how great it is. I like that sentiment, there are no quick fixes in the world. Instead worldwide problems are solved with effort and perseverance. Plus seeing Croix utterly devastated about how she pretty much started a war to get a hold of a stick that blows bubbles is delicious karmic retribution. But what was with that battle at the start of the this episode. I was honestly confused to see Chariot pull out a lightsaber of all things and start doing shadow clone jutsu. I was under the impression that magic in this universe required some kind of activation word.

However we have spent half a season building up Croix and the grand triskelion for this moment. Thus with one episode the main concerns of the plot that sacrificed the rest of the casts screentime has more or less been resolved in about five minutes. Akko forgives chariot, gains the last word, Croix is defeated and all is sunny in LWA land. Well besides the demonic nuke going somewhere but we will get to that. The conclusion to this whole affair is just to neat and clean. In particular I find Croix’s change of heart to be too little too late for the story has already gone to lengths to convince us that she’s a irredeemable bitch. She had a moment or two of showing compassion for Chariot but it really isn’t enough to cancel out her evil power trip at the beginning of the episode. I mean she’s surprised that the giant evil as all hell robot started going berserk? You even called the thing the Noir rod so it’s just really stupid that you didn’t realise that you might be on the wrong track. Perhaps she was working with the ends justify the means logic and hoping the grand reconstruction magic would erase all her own wrongdoings. But she’s not the only one at fault here, after all Chariot could have tried to stop this at any time. Yet never did. Are we sure she’s not somewhat evil here?

I can’t be the only annoyed that the entire cast of characters made it to the grand Triskelion and did absolutely nothing. I mean they did so much more when getting the scorers stone from Fafner and speaking of which, what happened to that Dragon? I thought he was going to play a big role but he ended up a one episode deal. Come on Trigger, we could have had the gang fend off the dark dragon while Akko charges up an attack! Sure they don’t have magic at the moment but they could just as easily explain that away by having Croix turn on their routers or magic being in the air or something. We got one episode left so I hope they don’t spend it being a peanut gallery. I did like the conversation between Chariot and Akko as it was a good way to get the last word. Felt a little rushed but I am willing to give a pass on that. So we got one more episode to go and a missile to stop which make this the last time Trigger can really go all out with this show. Some are debating that one of the things mentioned in the book Lotte reads(About Belle tossing aside a nuke) is going to turn out prophetic. I would love to see Trigger go over the top but based on previous experience with this show it’s likely not going to get that insane. But I am more than willing to bet that Shooting Star is going to be in the final episode. That Chekhov’s gun has been ready since episode 3.

Posted on 14 June 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

As we near the end of this show I have come to realise that this story has the habit of building up my expectations only to let me down. There have been several points where it felt like this show was going to great heights, only for it to crash back down. Last episode I praised the twist of the true nature of Chariots shows and how this changed Ursula’s character as a whole. This episode meanwhile goes to great lengths to remove any moral complexity that the previous revelation hinted at. Did Chariot resort to abusing the dreams of her fans in desperation to open the grand triskelion? Is there more to Croix than than being a evil villain? Is Croix merely repeating Chariots previous mistake? The answer is no, nope and nah. What really happened was that Chariot had no idea about the consequences of dream magic and Croix is just a irredeemable bitch. That’s a relief, we almost had some character depth there. Really this just feels like the most dull answer and I really am tired of these heroes who are made out to have commited some great crime only for it to turn out to be something completely out of their control.

But out of the revelations in this episode, the one that really killed it was the explanation behind why Chariot lost her powers and the mark on the moon. Now when you have something like a scar on the moon you often assume that it was created in some epic battle to the death. It’s the moon after all and with how throughout this series Chariot has been presented as some major badass in the know about ancient secrets and I thought that the moon scar would be part of one of her great exploits. I even heard tell of people making theories that Chariot was gathering dream power to fight off Anti-spirals in space. Now as ludicrous(And frankly, amazing) that sounds, it at least is a far more interesting explanation than we got here. As it turns out, Chariot wasn’t a badass but instead a entertainer. The moon scar was the result of her desperately trying to entertain a crowd with impressive magic. So the scar on the moon and the cause of her loss of powers was in fact, a misfired magic trick. Sure that’s unexpected but in the way that you would buy a new game console and find out it’s just a hollow case with nothing inside kind of unexpected. There are dozens of explanations that could have been better than this and by all account this is a really mundane development to come from trigger of all people.

Well it’s not all bad. I rather like how Akko was cheered up though I really think Diana should have had a bit more of a reaction to Ursula explaining that she was the cause of her losing her magic briefly. I also thought that her revealing herself as a Chariot fan would have more impact as well. Actually thinking about it the whole jealousy over Akko being closer to Chariot really didn’t turn out to be much, did it? Still at least they are not going to milk Akko’s depression for a couple of episodes and having her friends come to collect her was quite heartwarming. I thought that was going to be a pretty big deal in the first episodes of the series. I like that the gang is getting all together for the finale and I at least hope that’s going to be an explosive finish.

Posted on 8 June 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

Might I add that the animation of these two episodes was quite spectacular. The second episode in particular had a level of fluid motion when Akko fought against Croix that it makes me wish technology could move to a point that such movement could be achieved in anime without putting animators on deathwatch. One thing I found in these episodes is that Lotte and Sucy look to be close to fading into the background much like the enchanted Parade crew as they don’t play much of role in Akko’s quest to gather the words. Indeed Akko, Ursula and Croix seem to be in the main spotlight with perhaps Diana playing a small part. Really I believe that Little Witch Academia isn’t making full use of the cast of characters it has built up and there are episodes which could have greatly benefited from other characters taking a more active role.

It is not often that I am blindsided by a twist in a story. That may sound like bragging but in all my years of watching media I have come to get a general idea of how things play out. Of course I cannot predict with 100% accuracy what can come to pass in a show but I have gotten to a point of not being very surprised by it. Even if I don’t pick up on foreshadowing, with my regular trips to check out opinions on reddit often point out things that I miss. So having the real reason behind Chariots magic shows be something of a much sinister nature really was something I never considered. In truth I was hoping that Chariots reveal to Akko would be more…for lack of a better word…epic but this reveal does make the whole story make a lot more sense. Suddenly Urusala’s reluctance to reveal herself, her care for Akko and her drive to awaken the words are given a deeper context within the narrative. One thing that really is effected by this is Chariots show in the very first episode where the intervention of the Croix like creature may have been Croix herself attempting to prevent Chariot from stealing the magic of the audience. I honestly never saw this coming and the only thing I managed to guess was that Chariot really was responsible for the mark on the moon.

We at least know the full details of Croix’s plan now, that being to rile people up into a frenzy in order to gather their emotions to open her own grand triskelion. Essentially in part repeating the mistake that Chariot made in drawing magic out of people. Though in this case to a more negative degree. It’s clear that Croix doesn’t quite know what she’s messing with and i say any magic that glows blood red and is taken from negative emotions is not going to be some world saving solution. She’s clearly fueled by envy over not being chosen as well as her own pride so I am certain her little experiment is going to backfire on her, hard. But there are small signs that despite how antagonist she is being to Chariot that she still does care about her. When she managed to knock Ursula off her broom she actually panicked and tried to save her from falling. Her anger seems directed at Claimh Solas and Woodward rather that Chariot. So I think she might not even up this series final boss after all. Andrew also gets a moment or two here with him encouraging Akko for once and perhaps he might be the one to knock her out of her current funk. Or Diana might be a better option in that regard.

Posted on 24 May 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

This episode has really nailed home for me just how defanging Diana has been a bad choice. In the OVA episodes Diana was bratty and stuck up but at least then she had character. In the TV series she’s more or less a mary sue through and through which is sadly a much more boring characteristic. When comparing how the two clash in both continuities it felt more animated in the OVA’s whereas Diana’s talks here are more exasperated. When you have a high energy character like Akko then I think the best foil is someone who is equally as outspoken. Compare the bickering at the end of this episode to that of the bickering at the end of the first OVA and I think you might see what I am getting at. It is good that we have awakened another word and only have two left for Akko to unlock the seal. The key to this one seems to be Akko relating Diana’s efforts to keep the history of the cavendish family from dying out to the pursuit of her own dream.

As predicted the evil Aunt tries to interfere with Diana taking the ritual and in all honestly I don’t know why this comes as a surprise to anyone. Both Akko and Edward are shocked to hear this as is the maid but when you get down to it then if her Aunt didn’t do something then that would be surprising. Did they really think she was just going to sit back and let Diana take the head position from her? With Diana being as perfect as she is I just don’t get how she couldn’t see this coming. Animation was up to the usual trigger standard with the broom sequence being quite excellent.

In the end the status quo wins. Diana gets to back to school and Daryl looks to have had a change of heart. Besides unlocking a word this little adventure hasn’t changed the norm. Maybe Diana and Akko will be closer after this? Chances are that’s not going to be the case. We did get to learn a little more about Diana with this episode. Things like her temporarily losing her magic when she was a child. This is likely the point she became a fan of Shiny Chariot. There is also her history lesson on the Cavendish family acting as war medics during wars which is rather fascinating. I wonder if witches took part in the fighting as well? Based on what they are capable of they would be formable weapons in a war.

It is rather odd to have this kind of seriousness when most of the violence in the series is treated with cartoon logic. Well we have five episodes of little Witch Academia left and it’s only now that Netflix announces that they plan to release the first cour on their service on June 30. Likely dubbed as they have with other anime releases. I must say that if Netflix will continue with licensing anime then they need to rethink how they release it. The binge format has its good points but when it comes to online discussion then it kills any talk about individual episodes. People accuse this of killing the momentum of Relife and Little Witch Academia which I would be inclined to agree. I think Netflix should consider a simudub strategy much like Funimation. It is great to see more companies jump into licensing anime but with the methods Amazon strike and Netflix are making use of it’s proving to make things more difficult for those who don’t wish to obtain anime on the high seas. Regardless I am looking forward to giving this show a rewatch dubbed when it does come out next month.

Posted on 17 May 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

It’s time for the Diana episode and it’s a two parter no less. This episode was mainly a setup to the next one but we did learn a couple of things here. One is that Diana is indeed a former Chariot fan as she possesses the one card that Akko doesn’t have. I honestly think that card is going to end up getting shown to Akko at some point though I don’t think it has a word of Arcturus on it. If anything the tapestry that was shown in the beginning and was one of the items her aunt tried to pawn off appears to have the word that Akko is looking for. Other thing revealed is that Diana is not as well off as she first appeared to be with her family assets getting sold off by her Aunt. Makes me think that Akko is deeply regretting that Aristocrat remark she made during the fairy strike. Speaking of Diana’s aunt, I like to think that she is a character who absorbed the original bitch tendencies of Diana’s OVA self. Still I admit she’s a pretty weak villain character to introduce at this stage. I don’t disagree with her assessment on charity not being the best way to keep yourself afloat but her solution is full of holes. It’s an odd thing to outright dismiss the legacy of her family when her very well being depends on her selling off the heirlooms that the legacy gathered.

Another thing of note is a prediction that Diana made earlier in the series. She previously predicted using magic that Akko would leave the school however with her dropping out from school to take on the duties of the family head it appears that prediction was actually meant for her. Her position when compared to Akko is interesting as her mother also tasked her with bringing magic back to the world. I feel that that was a missed opportunity in this series up to this point to display how she came to accept Akko  as the one to gather the words. Diana has been a bit too mary sue for my liking so to actually see some internal conflict would have been nice rather than just have her jump straight to the resolution. After all Akko is the one to fulfill her mother’s dying wish, Akko is the one chosen by the Shiny Rod, Akko is the one being tutored by her childhood hero…Akko has essentially inherited the position that Diana originally aimed for and quite frankly she is inferior in all aspects to Diana herself. Shouldn’t there be some frustration? Envy? She has shown to be dissatisfied with how Akko is doing things and the occasional wayward look but I think her arc should have been something much more than this. Back on episode two I originally thought that would be so.

Based on the opening and the parallels between Akko and Diana to Ursula and Croix then i would say she’s bound to play a big role in the finale of this series. So perhaps these episodes are to build the relationship between the two so that they can clash/work together for whatever Croix is planning. It was nice to see Diana not put up with her Aunt mocking Akko and Andrew certainly seems to be willing to help Akko out whenever he can. Or maybe he just felt like annoying Diana. Either way the problem her is Diana’s aunt and she’s clearly doing to do something to stop Diana from inheriting the position of family head. Perhaps she’s not quite as evil as she appears and they may somehow give her a change of heart. But seeing as her familiar is a snake and her first introduction involved her having glowing red eyes and slipping into the darkness then I think her defeat is not going to be through words. The question is whether Diana will return to Luna Nova through some condition where she can continue her education while being family head? Or will she no longer be a part of the school from this point forward as she previously intended?

Posted on 11 May 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

Did you know that the animation team that worked on this previously worked on Gurren Lagann? Of course you did but I say anyone clueless would have caught onto it just by this episode alone. So Constanze finally gets her time to shine and she’s just as lovable as I remember. Akko was a little annoying at the beginning of this episode with her constant screwups but that went away when she actually started helping Constanze instead of just pulling a Dexter and Dede routine. Seeing Constanze warm up to her was nice and the Gainax mecha anime references at the end of the episode really made it. We got Evangelion, Gunbuster, Gurren Lagann and even Akko doing the classic Gainax pose. The wild hunt itself seems to be a callout to eSports but I don’t think we got an explanation on why it takes place besides entertainment. There were a number of noticeable still frames this week so I wonder if that was to account for the mecha action scene or are things getting a bit tight at Studio trigger? Just how they can bring the bring guns for the rest of the season. All and all, I got my Constanze episode so I am pretty happy with that.

Still questioning just why Ursula continues to do absolutely nothing about Croix but at least this episode she went to call her out on her wrong doing. From what can be gathered from their talk, it seems her goal in these random experiments is to collect emotion. In this case she stirred up trouble to collect emotion from the crowd. Her endgame isn’t clear but from the sound of it this isn’t going to be good. I admit some of my old frustration with this series has come back as once again the plot looks to be at a standstill. I am having fun, no doubt. But I notice that not much has actually been accomplished these past two episodes besides giving Amanda and Constanze some spotlight. The two certainly deserve their moment to shine however when I notice that this episode could essentially be removed from the series and nothing would be affected, I can’t help but feel a little miffed. Not to mention that it’s more than a little late to start developing these characters, not to mention pointless if they aren’t going to be more than background decoration. This has always been the aspect of saturday morning cartoons that I never quite liked. An adventure happens but the characters in question end up in the same place they were when the episode began, all experiences and lessons learnt sent to the void. Little Witch Academia isn’t quite guilty of that as I think from now one Constanze will be considerably warmer towards Akko though all things considered this is likely the most screentime she’s going to get. Perhaps that machine broom she built for Akko might come into play later though I still think the shooting star that’s soaring around the world is going to come back in some fashion. Likely during the finale.

A thought has occurred to me while watching this season. I originally thought that this will be the one and only season of Little Witch Academia. Triggers Original works after all aren’t known for leaving room for sequels. However Little Witch Academia was their first work and it is possible they may wish to make more than a single season for this series, though that is admittedly unlikely. The one thing about this is that I thought this series would end with a conclusive, decisive ending but if they do plan to continue Akko’s adventures that won’t be the case. Sure the trouble with Croix will be resolved but there may be quite a few loose ends left behind. The thought of this leaves me with mixed feelings as another season would certainly be welcome but I do also prefer a realised end over a “To be continued.” Next week looks to be a Diana episode so we will finally see just what that comment in the last episode was about. Considering that the latest word of Arturus has to do with tradition I think helping Diana will lead to unlocking the word.

Posted on 5 May 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

It took seventeen episodes but we are finally doing something with the enchanted parade crew. Plot-wise I don’t think we got anywhere seeing as there turned out to be no word in the academy and this seems more about Croix performing some kind of experiment. As to what she hoped to accomplish is anyone’s guess. Regardless it is nice to see Amanda get her own episode seeing as she hasn’t played an active part since the dragon episode. So Amanda and Akko infiltrate a boys school in order to find the holy grail and i have to admit to being a little disappointed that there was no Fate/Stay night reference. Well at least the episode title looks to be a reference to Monty Python so I will settle for that.

I do like that the villain of this particular story turned out to not be completely scum. I have often seen anime with antagonists like him who never show any sense of shame or regret. But after being saved by Amanda he owned up to the whole thing being his fault and I like that. Even the greatest pricks have some sense to know when they have taken things too far and rather than go the route of having him remain a complete one dimensional asshole, they actually gave him a little bit of redemption. However I do still think it doesn’t excuse his earlier acts as even if it was played up for laughs, he was trying to torture and kill Amanda beforehand.

Otherwise Trigger is really being standout with the fight animation so I thank the studio for what is likely sleepless nights of tiresome overwork. They still seem to be pushing a romantic angle between Akko and Andrew as they contrast her drive to go for her dreams over his resignation to taking the job his family is grooming him for. Ursula mentioned that the next word has to due with tradition and it was briefly mentioned that Diana’s family has run into some sort of trouble. I have a feeling that these two things are inadvertently linked. Though I think that won’t be getting screentime yet. Instead if my information is correct, another member of the enchanted parade group is getting her time to shine.

Posted on 26 April 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Little Witch Academia

One of the weaker episodes of the show but still enjoyable. This week sees us visiting Lottes parents and Akko unlocking another of the words of Arcturus after sloving a disease outbreak. Thus getting closer to the grand triskelion and now learned the meaning of pathence. Except she didn’t learn the meaning of pathence. This episode was strange in that it clearly was geared towards teaching Akko the meaning of pathence. Much of the episode showed off Akko’s lack of pathence causing trouble and I was waiting for the “Ah Ha!” moment of realisation where she would demonstrate her new understanding of the word. However that didn’t actually happen as when Akko had her “Ah Ha!” moment when stiring the potion and then proceeded to stir it slower till Shiny rod finished the job for her. It feels like Akko only learned the meaning of the word when the Shiny rod just said “Close enough” and gave her a freebie. Which makes me wonder if the activation of these words just means you have to guess the meaning of them and not nessarily grow or learn from them.

This makes me question Akko’s character growth thoughout the series as there have been times that it felt like she made massive leaps in her character arc only to regress back in the next episode. It’s hard to really cheer on a chearacter when they don’t learn from thier mistakes and Akko was certainly testing me this episode. The whole ordeal with the Yeti was humorous enough until you realise that Akko’s friends were quite literally dying the whole time she was critising the Yeti. Speaking of which, despite the stakes being high the atmosfere of the episode was really too light hearted to get accross the actual agency of the problem. The ridiclous conditions for the desease, the comedic gathering of ingredients and a general lack of concern from both Akko and Sucy made the entire situation just feel like another day at the office. I did like the moment with her begining to doubt herself when walking through the snow but it was a small moment that was quickly brushed aside.

As for Criox, who knows what she’s up to. She’s discovered that the emotion of anger can draw out the most energy from magic but to me that’s just asking for trouble. Much like in Doom 2016 they thought that the prefect solution to an energy crisis would be to draw energy from Hell. It’s just a matter of when everything goes to hell if the source of your power is based around dark matter. My big question is why is Ursula just letting Criox do as she pleases and not warned Akko about her? She clearly sees the threat she poses and yet isn’t really trying to do anything to get in her way. Theres also the matter of the governer who has yet to do anything despite foreshadowing shutting down the witch academy. Seems he was shoved off stage rather fast and the same can be said of Amanda and friends. Despite having a spot on the opening I am rather surpised how under utilised they are. I was under the impression that after the second OVA that the three would be a regular part of Akko’s entourage but that appears to not have happened. Shame as their presense could have really brightened up the interactions in this episode. Sucy and Lotte are good but both are too quiet to really bounce off Akko. Even having just Amanda there would have been good for drilling in the point that Akko needs patence as she could have been another example of lacking it. I have lots of complaints but that is out of a geniune love for this series and a wish for it to excel. I wonder if anyone on the trigger team happens to notice these kinds of complaints as the Yeti getting trolled online certainly seemed like a metaphore for just such a thing.

CHANGE USERNAME
HelghastKillzone
No Re:Creators this week. I get a week off which is good since I'm stuck on an army base.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, A lot of people say Vesperia is their favorite as well. I only have played Abyss so far and was really not impressed with it.
K-Off
@Kaiser Damn, Detective Conan has a long way to go then.
K-Off
Phantasia was my first Tales game (and its anime is the best amongst anything after) but Symphonia really did take it to another level. In general I think most fans will agree with Symphonia, Abyss, and Xillia in their favorites.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe Kochikame is the longest running manga of all time 1,960 chapters, 200 volumes, actually does have a record.
K-Off
@Aidan I remember you saying how it's funny that no two fans of Tales will have the same favorite title. But that's definitely because Tales has changed very little over the years, and they've always been solid games, and so for most fans they'll remember the first title they played.
K-Off
@Vonter With you there. The art direction in Tales hasn't been really that exciting since Xillia, and as a long time fan of the series I finally got sick of the gameplay after Vesperia.
K-Off
Jeez, detective Conan is reaching its 1000th chapter. Pretty sure it's a milestone for some Guinness record.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Embarassing
**Here
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also agree about complaints made about the mumbled dialogue when it does occur.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thin red line is a good thing to bring up hear as throughout much of Dunkirk I was thinking about how much more Mallick's film did for me, how I should have been re-watching that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet at the same time I couldn't connect with it, it became repetitive, disjointed and the shots/Zimmer score towards the end were embaeassing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There were definitely aspects to praise, to be fair there is no shortage of action, it eschews exposition and tries to visually immerse the viewer to make them feel as if they are present.
Lenlo
Im ready. Reflection comes on tomorrow, so heres hopin its worth it
Anonymous1279803
it was trash. just british propaganda
Vonter
I finished Tales of Berseria. And I'm conflicted. I really liked the story and the characters, essentially a Tales of were the story is told form the perspective of the villains. I also saw the episodes Ufotable made of the beginning of the game, and I want moar. It's was a waste as game, considering the archaic and dull game design. It mainly came up to buying time in regards to things to play.
KTravlos
I also watched it. I thought it was a great war film. Very intense and unrelenting, but still at points the images reminded me of Thin Red Line. My only quip was the end. The film did a great job in getting me to feel the hopelessness the soldiers felt. So great that the attempt at making a "happy" end was forced and fell flat. Beyond that I liked it.
Anonymous1279184
I already lost interest when I saw Inception which I didn't really like. My favorite Nolan movie will always be Memento.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, saw Dunkirk, I think at this point I'm done with giving Nolan any more chances, this like his other works, I can appreciate them to some extent but come away honestly not giving a damn.
SuperMario
and this week's Sakura Quest is damn great as well... This backstory of Chitose and Kadota rocks
SuperMario
Just watching the 2nd episode of Gamers, It was actually pretty good. I can't believe they fleshing out that annoying hot guy into such a relatable guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I recall the extent of my interest in Linkin park in my early teens was strictly the breaking the habit video and that was it.
SuperMario
The frontman of Linkin Park commited suicide by hanging himself... sad news. Never been his fan but I feel sad nonetheless
AidanAK47
Actually forgot with all the impressions and whatnot but I do believe we said we would review the Castlevania Netflix series. Now that everything has calmed down I will see if I can do a write up next week.
AidanAK47
I was busy trying to discern whether the story had any point besides "Life is shit"
Kaiser-Eoghan
Again, while I enjoyed punpun, the excessive internal narration, when marathoned, I had to take a break.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come to think of it, I don't even have a phone that does that, haven't bought a new one since 2004.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, you see I could never force myself to browse/type/use the internet on a phone, too used to using a desktop exclusively for that.
AidanAK47
Oh bloody hell. Stupid phone autocorrect. Yeah I meant Punpun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Read Freesia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
umi no onnanoko is probably the exact thing ninjarealist would be interested in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*oyasumi punpun
I found it alot more accessible than nijigahara holograph. deded-demon-destruction while enjoyable, is beneath him. Solanin is probably his easiest work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I assume you man oyasui punpun. Its been about five years since I read in, the final couple of volumes stay in my mind the most, all the stuff with him, the girl and his uncle also, I love Asano Inios art and the surreal elements but I got lost/bored somewhere in the middle and most of the other side characters and the cult thing I didn't really care about.
AidanAK47
Finished reading Goodnight Pumping. Really not sure on what to think of it. The story kept me reading but it just felt really empty.
Anonymous1276500
There are 2 Nyaa's now. This one is considered the 'real' one: https://nyaa.si
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looks like anirena is down for me. Although it looks like nyaa went back up as this: https://nyaa.pantsu.cat/
SuperMario
Aidan: Fate/Apocrypha, Made in Abyss, Kakegurui
Mario: Princess Principal, 18if, Youkoso
Lenlo: Touken Ranbu, The Reflection
Wooper: Ballroom, Shoukoku no Altair
Helghast: Re:Creators
SuperMario
Note: I'm deciding to take Classroom of the Elite as my third show to cover. So, for this season we are covering 11 shows.
Vonter
Just to end, it kind of shows than even if a story is predictable on where it is going. Characters can make up for that, if they're funny, interesting, and perhaps not agreeing all the time and having different agendas and points of view despite all sharing the same boat.
Vonter
Yet as a game Tales hasn't felt deep since Symphonia, (at least from the ones I've played). I'm wondering if it'll leave me wanting check the anime of Zestiria, since apparently Berseria is a prequel to that game. And many say the anime is better than the game. (I can see why).
Vonter
I also like the reused Tales beats from Phantasia and Berseria. It those have moments like when Lloyd was exiled and Cless had his village attacked. It has clear antagonists unlike Vesperia, and trying harder than the cartoony villains of Graces.
Vonter
I've been playing Tales of Berseria, and it seems to be the anti Tales of Graces. In which I'm caring about the story and characters, but the gameplay is a drag. This is the first time I've been autoplaying an JRPG. But unlike Gravity Rush 2, I'm not dropping it because I'm liking the interactions of these characters even if it gets, campy, overdramatic, or edgy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean I watch anime and films subtitled but sometimes my reading speed can be slow if theres a lot of dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I do that sometimes, mostly to check for message updates or on occasion to read reviews of what I am watching or to download more/check downloads.
SuperMario
For instance, I watched Okja yesterday and I had to take 15', 20' minute break in between for snack, surfing webs and playing mobile games...
SuperMario
I watched Fanny and Alexander... don't really remember which version I watched thou. I think it's a TV version since it divides into 4 separate parts
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it just that... my attention span has shortened greatly and I just can't stay focus on movies over an hour mark. In cinema, it's alright since you can't move anywhere but now it's abig task to finish a 2 hour and a half movie for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
And is good enough to keep up the quality for that long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll say this, for every medium, to me the length of something isn't so much the issue, if you have a writer good enough to keep something going for ages then the length shouldn't be an issue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If something goes over three hours I treat it as a miniseries and watch one hour or two a day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol if you thought thats long, have you seen the extended versions of scenes from a marriage and fanny & alexander by Bergman? I can't wait to get my hands on the tv versions I hear they're completely different.
SuperMario
Okja is pretty entertaining with pointed social commentary. I don't really feel Tilda Swinton's double roles add up much but everything else is great. Bong has never disappointed me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: good luck with Satantango then. I guess now if I watch an 8-hour long film it would take me a whole week to finish it :/
Kaiser-Eoghan
Made in abyss and vatican keep staring at me. Although I'm not chancing them yet or anything else until I hear a bit more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My once massive film backlog is nearly cleared. I can try watching stuff this season hopefully.
K-Off
Same boat here. For the first time in a long time I spent almost half the day catching up on all of my manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll have two weeks leave, I will finally watch Satantango, all eight hours of that film.
AidanAK47
I did a double take when I saw this. One of these things is not like the other.... http://gematsu.com/2017/07/blazblue-cross-tag-battle-announced
SuperMario
Well, finally have a bit of precious free time to watch something else and I have too much things to watch. Castlevania, the final Kizumonogatari movie, live-action Okja and some books planned to read... I guess I'll go with Okja today
Ninja
Looking forward to that Dies review
Lenlo
Yaaay! Time to enjoy your blogging time
AidanAK47
And now we are up to date. Just need to finally get that Dies Irae Review posted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I'll watch almost every horror film I can, don't even mind the awful acting most have.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pet cemetary was a guilty pleasure of mine when I was a teenager.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know how I'd feel if I rewatched salems lot, although a positive is that it did have James Mason in it and it was done in that 70s style of slow burn horror that I love.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The IT film has aged horribly and thats one case where I would advocate a remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stand by me was a perftly watchable coming of age film and it surprised me, seeing a non-horror King story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay theres one way to settle this =P Lovecraft > all of them ;) I have actually enjoyed some King adaptations even though I know the Shining took liberties , I also enjoyed Carrie and Apt Pupil.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, please. Early King > Richard Matheson > Modern King. Kings early works were good.
Lenlo
@Aidan, its true that Monty was the mind behind the fights. Sad, but I think the other directors are starting to come into their own instead of trying to copy Monty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But we all know Richard Matheson > King.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He did some collabs with Stephen King I believe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Like the dead films he's trying to be thematic, although this one is clumsily put together, I kind of like how it hybridizes the 50s with 70s style exploitation, it has its moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
hmmm the only non Dead trilogy film I've seen by Romero is the Crazies, feels like he's still finding his voice with it.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Part of the reason is that they started using better animation software. But despite that there was a downgrade in fight chorgraphy when Monty died. Though the story I find is getting better.
AidanAK47
@Kinseryu, I think it's ridiculous to everyone but there are those that choose to ignore it.
@Anon, That's a bit harsh. It is true that his later works never truly panned out but he did pretty much popularise the zombie apoc. Even if Day of the Triffids did it before him.
Lenlo
Every season RWBY gets just a little bit prettier. Rooster Teeth really does have some of the better 3D animation skills out there.
Anonymous1272531
goerge romero was a hack trying desperate to stay relevant.
Kinseryu
Tenshi3P... I thought it was just me that this show was just ridiculous by putting three ten years old girl that knows how to play electrical instruments. They are insulting the people who plays these. But good thing I found this site with your first impression. I laughed and I feel better. Lol.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he passed away? damn. He was the Father of Zombie genre. So like him or hate him, he was influential to say the least. RIP.
Kaiser_Eoghan
...holy shit George A Romero died? Now I have to watch the rest of his films.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Rei Hiroe is really dicking around with black lagoon lately, he's still releasing wasted chapters, just like re:creators, the most recent chapter of black lagoon was a slog.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Maybe the conversation and lives of others could sort of count as espionage stories to an extent.
Kaiser_Eoghan
If you're interested in spy fiction, Spy who came in from the cold, most wanted man, Smiley's people, deadly affair and tinker tailor soldier spy are your best bet.
SuperMario
@Travlos (regarding yoir earlier comment): yeah, it hit me as well that most of regular readers have been here even longer than myself. So thanks for sticking around mates
SuperMario
@Travlos: playing catch up with both Re:Creators and Virgin Soul yesterday. Agreed that last week's Re:Creators was weak because it focused on the Creators (they're not good) but last episode was on par again. Virgin Soul, I loved that episode that the girls go bacl to Nina's hometown
SuperMario
@anon1272074: I still haven't had the time to watch Pripri yet (probably in few more hours), but you bet I'm looking forward to it
Anonymous1272074
Then again, James Bond does count as a spy. I meant not a realistic one.
Anonymous1272074
Princess Principal 2 was pretty good. Still more James Bond via little girls than spies, but this episode was more about intrigue and stuff than action.
Lenlo
Started catching up with Kakegurui. The OP is the sort of mind games I remember from Mob Psycho. Dunno what that means for the show, but I like it.
KTravlos
Quite happy with this week's RE:Creators. Blitz is cool, Aliceteria looked so scary. It washed out the taste of last week's episode.

Bahamut is going interesting places.
BTW. Speaking of spies from Princess Principal. I watch TURN. That is a good spy show.
KTravlos
I mean you see the use of those heavy revolvers as clubs in westerns. Mythbusters did a experiment, and being hit by one could kill you just fine. But in anime, I do not remember seeing it often
AidanAK47
Homura used Gun-kata in the fight against Mami in Rebellion. Can't think of anyone who exclusively uses it though. After all Gun-Kata is more or less a flashy art that has no real benefit.
Anonymous1270604
amazing!
Vonter
Is Gun Kata the fighting style of Noel Vermillion from BlazBlue? I suppose I'm mainly thinking about how guns are handled in fighting games. Where the shots are mainly concussive. I suppose those are mainly energy blasts.
Lenlo
Ranbu took a step in the right direction I feel. Used the morals of whether or not to change history and it focused in on one of its characters.
Lenlo
Final Fantasy has had some gun swords. Cant think of any with guns in melee though. There are some with gun-kata like cowboy bebop though
Vonter
Just for curiosity, have anyone watched an anime, movie or game that uses a gun as a melee weapon. Or one in which the gun is mainly concussive but still has impact?
Spike
18if ep2 was a bit wacky... main character seems to be off his rocker.
AidanAK47
Alright. Time to finally play catch up with those series I need to blog.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time acknowledging love for creativity is more important in the end than making a profit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I was using death of artist/deceased artist as a term to suggest peoples careers in the area are too often killed before they get a chance.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Moreso also to save the guy the embarrassment of misinterpreting it so awkwardly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Nothing too extreme , moreso that the piece itself feels inappropriate/tainted to have up/leave around/submit. Ended up taking it down out of taste.
Puran
Did that change how you feel about your writing? I had a somewhat similar experience, where something I was writing was similar to a real situation some I knew was going through. After I found out I stopped writing it. Not sure why.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wasn't all that close to either of them much but yeah, weird coincidence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He thought I already knew the guy was dead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*earlier
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all okay now...but fuck that was was awkward.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....Oh jesus christ...oh christ this is a creepy creepy coincidence...I showed an acquaintance a bit of writing I did early, it mentions death of an artist, thing is I was writing something based on a conversation with my editor friend, turns out said acquaintance's artist friend died (who he knows that I've spoken to in the past) and he thought the piece I showed him was about the dead guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe I began visiting this site in 2008.
As for humanity has declined, I found it bizzare and darkly funny for a while but felt it ran dry in its second half and I kind of fell out of following it.
KTravlos
You know it hit me. I think I have been following this blog for a decade now, perhaps more. Cool that it is still around.
Lenlo
I do agree it had alot more western influence than eastern though
Lenlo
Eh nothing wrong with that I think. Astro boy was very much the same after all
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I personally saw it as more of a Saturday morning cartoon than an anime.
Lenlo
@Masky, Heroman was a decent giant robot show. It looked and sounded good, though the acting was off in places. Alot of people panned it thinking it was the West invading the east when really it was trying to bridge that gap
SuperWooper
@Kaiser: Hey, Humanity Has Declined was great.
KTravlos
need not be

not

need to be
KTravlos
Masky it was not an issue of writing about politics. It is an issue of writing just about your preferred politics. A good political work need to be politicized if you understand what I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...what the hell tsuki ga kirei was directed by Seiji Kishi? He was actually capable of making a good anime?
Masky
Anyhoo, lol. Haven't mentioned Jitsu wa watashi wa in long time, but I really find it hilarious that its only actually evil character's competence is just "they aren't a idiot" xD As in, they don't even seem that diabolically intelligent, they just don't get wrapped into hijinxs.
Masky
@KTravlos: Well, depends on your views. Some people think artists should have their work speak about politics and world instead of just good stories. I'm kinda neutral about that since while stories about nature of world can be great, most of them don't really teach anyone anything new or change anyone
Masky
Huh, another anime work with Stan Lee being involved? I wonder how well Heroman did
KTravlos
Yup. A mangaka that could had been another Urasaw imho is Kawaguchi Kaiji. I really like his art, and it evokes some of the elements that I love in Urasawa. He also has interesting stories. But I fear he has let his political and ideological prejudices get the better of him. Which is a pity. Definitely a missed chance.
Masky
Did Urasawa do that billy bat manga?
SuperMario
As for Urasawa, I mentioned here before but I read 20th Century Boys few months ago and the manga was a straight out masterpiece. Fillers, yes but they are still in service for the main plot. Although out of his work my favorite's still Monster
AidanAK47
Alright. Only one more. Though the two superhero shows won't air for another week. Seeing as one is reflectiona nd the other is that marvel kids show maybe we shouldn't bother covering them in the impressions.
SuperMario
@Amagi: agree with you on the Friday's anime (well, for me it's technically Saturday) but Kakegurui, Fate and Princess Principal are worth following as well
SuperMario
@Kaiser: if you're still deciding if you should check out the manga or novel then I say novel since it's the novel that was influential, not the manga
Kaiser-Eoghan
So based on that fantasy itch I had thought about Altair, but hesitated because it was labeled as a shounen action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was a time where I was hugely into the shoujo fantasy/historical thing. I've actually been thinking of out of curiousity looking into some old obscure ovas such as Books of Y and Crystania.
Amagi
Man as much as I love the Friday's anime this time, and whenever Altair airs, but the rest of the working-week is weak as hell. At least now I will finally have more time for games, VNs and creative stuff I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It was kind of nice to hear an announcer coming in before Genocidal organ started, mentioning that for a few months their cinema will be playing anime and Japanese films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Surprised to see an anime reference Kafka and Katyn.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have not yet checked out empire of corpses.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now, I'll have to consider the manga or the novel as I heard some of the philosophical stuff got chopped. This was however a more successful and accessible film for me than Harmony.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Manglobe was always a bit mediocre when it came to animation and voice actor direction, but this wasn’t a bad film for them to go out on.
It lives up to its name, it gets quite visceral with the action that’s there, if you don’t like seeing child soldiers getting slaughtered there’s your warning, but I appreciated getting this kind of violence I want to see more of again in anime/manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just got back from my local arthouse cinema, from watching a special screening of that anime film, Genocidal organ, this is the sort of thing where you do wish that it had more time to explore its thematics but they at least offer a good enough flavouring to a solid man on a mission scifi thriller.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just to state I don't hate Urasawa's work, rather I find it sort of difficult , I could say the same about Asano Inio regarding oyasumi punpun.
KTravlos
Urasawa is supposed to be working on Master Keaton Remastered. But it seems to be on hiatus. A pity because I loved Master Keaton (I adore Monster)-in general I love this person's work.
Amagi
20thCB would be my favorite Urasawa I think but I can't imagine it as an adaption. Kinda want to know what Urasawa will do next. He already announced that he's working on a new series months ago.
Amagi
I am really looking forward to the Pluto anime. I wanted this one the most, there is a serious lack of good sci-fi anime out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...billy bat is....scattered and directionaless fro what I read but shows interesting historical scenarios.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pluto was reasonably short, so this wasn't much of a problem.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And while from the film adaptations I could tell that the original manga for 20th century boys likely had a very good storyline , I couldn't get through the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite watching monster a few times I feel I've missed or forgotten things about it, largely because although I understand its importance and did like it, its length and pace always made me watch it on and off with gaps in between.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised by how attached I got to Grimmer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Monster is a good example of slow burn tension done right and has one of the most memorable villains out there. Though it isn't without its fillers.
Lenlo
You want a mystery, I heartily recommend Monster.
Total users: 35

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