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
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lol I love B-movie type stuff, because the rules are off.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was the only person who watched Mazinkaiser skl and shin mazinger and skullman.
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser Takeshi Koike really wanted to really sell it as a grindhouse feature and I ate that shit up; I really dug the tone he was going for.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It was strange seeing that Goemon short, much as I enjoyed it, thats the goriest I seen lupin get.
Anonymous2026379
Megalo box is pure retro while lupin is a mix of old and new...and you're right; people just think they can't jump right into it. But that's why more people should be talking about it; to let the masses know that you don't need a starting point to get into the Lupin franchise
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a massive fan of the devilman manga and I thought devilman crybaby was better than it.
Anonymous2026379
90's-esque throwback feeling shows like lupin and megalo box have been giving me
Anonymous2026379
Luoin part 5 is definitely mixing the best of new and old. Honestly, I've been having a blast with it as well as this generally 90
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the problem is, people see lupin as this long thing they can't get into, when really its so episodic/standalone mostly you can pick up and watch.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course getting the best bits out of old and new.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*visual style
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a fan of this hybrid old and new style, megalobox does it too, mine fujiko aswell and casshern sins.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised by how well the Fujiko mine show came together in the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll be interested in picking up more facts about thrm.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come think of it, Akira Kurosawa did some old western (eastern?) in Russian, that had an Ainu in it.
Anonymous2026379
Asirpa is sooooo adorable.....almost feels patronizing to say that about her due to how badass she is
Anonymous2026379
What makes Fujiko work so well as this sexy icon is that she isn't just sexy: she's smart as shit and uses that sexiness to dominate and control her opponents (similar to bayonetta) rather than be chained by the objectification of her opponents (and the viewers for that matter)
Anonymous2026379
I wonder what other obscure cameos we may get this season. And yea you're right about some of Lupin's potentially sexist traits being assuaged by his level of cool and the genuine respect he shows a good deal of the women he has encountered throughout the series
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yet still a fun film at the same time.
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser Yea, mamo was a pretty dark element introduced to the lupin franchise; and considering the tone of the gravestone of Jigen, it makes sense he would cameo there
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Help I want to kidnap Asirpa =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I'm probably as surprised as you, at finding someone to talk to about Lupin on here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: And through comparing/contrasting the jigen grave stone and Fujiko mine, with some of the sillier older ones, it shows the Lupin characters are flexible enough to work both in a darker AND sillier context.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fujiko is precisely how a fanservicey character should work and how built in/essential it is to her haracter, without becoming an irritant.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: By all means Lupin himself shouldn't be a character we like, much like Bond, but like Bond theres a coolness to the character that allows us to love him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Another great thing about Lupin is how it uses its 60s cool to get away with what would normally probably be considered fairly sexist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I had a big smile on my face when Mamo made a cameo appearance at the end of one of the recent ones and thats because I remember the Lupin Mamo movie was one of those first anime that I watched about 20 years aago.
Anonymous2026379
not to mention that its one of the few anime this season that actually knows how to utilize dialogue to explore flesh out its characters rather than exposition or contrivance: looking at you darling in the franxx
Anonymous2026379
@Kaiser-Eoghan Nice fun facts; but yea Lupin III is a series that has always had an amazing sense of pacing and adventure, traits that are definitely on display this season
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Its a huge franchise too so I'm often never sure where to go next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You may or may not know this, but the voice actor for solid snake voiced Lupin in one of the dubs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I watched a few episodes of the Italy set lupin show too .
Its a fun franchise due to its cast but its something I have to follow irregularly, lest it get repetitive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fun fact, guy who directed the gold of babylon film was a famous B-movie noir director in the 60s.
Lenlo
Dont trust anything written by the original SAO author. Everything is his fault. Kirito is not in this series.
Lenlo
Even the original SAO author has little to do with it, which is why its actually good
Lenlo
So SAO Alt is basically completely removed from the rest of SAO
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Lupin is one of those things I dip in and out of, whatever part of the franchise it is. I've seen birdcage kingdom, Mamo, cagliostro, nostradamus, Jigens grave stone, mine fujiko and the recent Goemon centred special.
Anonymous2026379
it's a damn shame not a lot of ppl are talkig about/watching lupin the third this season
Kaiser-Eoghan
But for all I know with that team behind it, its an improvement, but theres probably not much point in me watching as I dropped the first season after less than 10 episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See how he attempts to seduce me into watching something related to sword art.
Lenlo
Huh... I didnt know the writer for SAO Alt was written by the Kino's Journey creator and produced by the Flip Flappers people. Explains a lot
Lenlo
I wish I knew what you meant by shaman girls, and I cant wait
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Oh I know Leskinen. May he find his Japanese Shaman girls one day. But seeing as I know the story I wanna experience it differently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its even set in hokkaido, Korean/Japanese director, Japanese cast, Ken Watanabe is in it: https://letterboxd.com/film/unforgiven-2013/
Lenlo
Also, I love the ED. Really, 2 episodes in, I love S;G all over again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: really? They remade Unforgiven in Japanese?
Lenlo
its*
Lenlo
Like... is good.
Lenlo
But your missing out on the cult of Leskinen. The engrish is actually one of my favorite parts
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Meanwhile I am happily waiting for the dub.
Lenlo
Dangit... I have to wait another week for Steins;Gate 0 now. I cant do this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Japanese remake of unforgiven had ainu people in it.
Anonymous2025797
Also I wonder if budget is distributed according to the director, some animes will spend more in the first episode. Some will spend more in the last ones. It's subjective, but if it's like all business it is looking for the better result at the minimum expense. Hence why I believe Berserk was made the way it did.
Anonymous2025797
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ideally a story should be as long as it needs. But reality seems that a number of episodes is decided before production. And so you either have to stretch or cut material. Kinda like that 300 page manga of Les Miserables, is simply unfeasible translating that book into that few pages.
KTravlos
Oberstein was a great character.
KTravlos
I actually feel Aidan can do a good job on it. Sometimes been too exposed to the material may lead to clouded eyes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I'm surprised by how I unexpectedly laughed at wotaku, I do wonder if later on it will include any slight drama elements to sustain interest.
Kaiser-Eoghan
OMO; OBERsteins; Gate =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
From watching episode 2 of golden kamuy, yeah, the source material definitely is lifting this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm going to have to wait and see on steins; gate 0, it is encouraging to here this might be darker , at the same time I remember having to sit through too much goofy humour in the first one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was actually surprised, that, while rare, there were some moments of humour, that lightened it for me.
AidanAK47
Throughout the entire series I expected Oberstein to pull some inevitable double cross. And was shocked when he never did.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree with Oberstein. I think antagonists are es important as the mains in fiction and I loved this guy, he's perfect for series like these.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Galactic heroes was an example of where when watching it, when big death scenes occured, I would make noooooo and shouting noises at the screen while clenching my fist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love characters like Oberstein, shrewd, clever, but done right to where I can believe it, not characters like, say Lelouch .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd be concerned if the new galactic heroes series skimps on the violence, that kind of thing needs to be in there, in most shows/films and shown to be explicit, consequences need to be shown.
Amagi
*about, not with
Amagi
Sadly, most original 2+ cours series I know feel dragged whereas many 1 cours originals could have needed ~3 more episodes. Talking with series that have an actual plot of course.
Amagi
I really like the 13 episodes thingy for originals but I wish there would be more 26 episodes series, especially for adaptions.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I agree. Nothing kills my interest faster than formularic episodes and repetition.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In general I think 50 episodes would be the most I'd watch for an anime, 39 seems ideal.
Amagi
Or worse and the romance drama is the main plot and it's Kiznaiver all over again, while the rest is just flavor to make the romances more forced since they're the MCs are only teens and such. Dunno but I can never bring myself to care about this kind of stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though better 110 episodes of galactic heroes than a long shounen that just repeats itself.
Amagi
Speaking of recent episodes, I unironically thing that FranXX's world (building) is pretty interesting (although I hope those klaxxosaurusses will be more than just random cannon fodder) but I doubt the series will ever get to the main plot again the next time.
Amagi
Same here. It was really the only time I did this. I am usually exhausted by just thinking about marathoning long series. It's the reason why I won't get into FMP for the new series either. LotGH was an exception since I found it easily to watch for some reason.
SuperMario
Man, just image burning through 110 episodes of it and my spirit fades away
Amagi
Watched that whole series ages ago.
Amagi
Just watched the first three Neue These episodes and I surprinsingly liked it. Thought I would hate it due to being an OVA fan, and I still prefer the old designs by far but overall it's pretty good. I think I might even prefer this version of the first battle, but I have to rewatch the old one I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also while I can't remember which episode, Yang picks up a book with the author of the series' name on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Arslan feels so lightweight by contrast/comparison.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think, given your knowledge KTtravlos, that a series review of the new galactic heroes season would probably benefit from you writing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I bring up the music in my earlier comment, because I can understand your reservations regarding the music choice in the remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And certainly one of those shows, that going back to the first episode after finishing, gives a strong perspective just on how evolving the series was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*despite me not
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite not being monarchist , because the characters were human moreso than cartoon characters I couldn't hate on Reinhard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: I suppose by the time it got to Julian's arc, I was surprised they were still bothering to fight but the fact that they were essentially the last bastion of their beliefs made it special.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Sometimes when I just finish a show, its a case where I HAVE to jump online immediately after and excitedly ramble out an essay on it.
niello
ugh democracy
KTravlos
@Kaiser ultimately LOGH for me was a decisive point in my political life, as I think it made the best defense of democracy in any form I have seen. And it worked partly because the opponent was presented in the best possible incarnation (Rienhard). Yang's continued adherence to democracy, despite recongising its flaws, helped me avoid a personal descent into authoritarian politics.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I am happy you had a good experience. I watched the prequels a while after the main show and I was happy because it was great getting back to those characters. The prequels were also great in fleshing the setting and the characters. So yes, take your time and a break. That way the prequels will be like visiting a place you liked again after a while.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@KTtravlos: I have some other stuff to get through before watching the galactic heroes prequel though =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
YES according to discord poster I'm not a millenial!
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for overposting. I have always always being an incredibly verbose person.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter; Not that I oppose captilistically made for a buck cinema, it can be entertaining yes, but I set a standard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: As open as I am to trash cinema, I consider the resident evil films, like the superhero ones, anti-art.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand why people don't like Villier, but he did I think work as a device to add extra tension.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel some release at finishing but at the same time sadness at saying goodbye to the show and its characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
, showing its age.
But for something of this length, it kept itself up far better than most long shows and I feel the length its somewhat justified.

On another note….as corny as the third ending theme is, I got the feels listening to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But while the first 50 odd episodes were an easy job for me aswell as all of the 4th season and some of the late 3rd season made it difficult for me to pull myself away from it, the dialogue even though often well observed did become difficult to follow at times and somewhere in the middle theres a stretch of episodes, bar some moments that feel a bit of an endurance test and the animation is at
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its attention to detail I felt was at its strongest in the documentary and the series dedication to filling the view in on its world building/fictional history.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I admired the scope, ambition of this series and the battles eventually grew on me and I was surprised by just how visceral the melee combat got which suited me perfectly. At the same time for all the strategy and action, I found myself more in it for the story, characters and intrigue/politicking. Those battles, due in part to their music choices, had an epic feel to them
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the end the characters stood out for me the best were Reinhard, Oberstein (for being essentially the amazing man with the plan), Reuntal, Kircheis and Rubinsky, I warmed up to Julian, Yang and Schenkop. When important deaths occurred, they felt highly dramatic, in four cases emotionally effecting for me .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, KTtravlos, thank you for pushing me toward watching the original legend of the galactic heroes, my opinion on the series is largely a mixed one, but by the end I felt I’d watched something rewarding and I’m happy its crossed off my list and I should have gotten round to it sooner.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm probably the oldest here, being 32. Which apparently makes me around Yang-wenli's age, which according to someone means I'm middle aged .
Kaiser-Eoghan
To the discord guy who brought it up, its difficult not for me to be political, my father was an activist and is a Marxist , I ended up becoming a contradiction a semi-agnostic, but spiritually inclined/tolerant socialist with internationalist ideology.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Ends in very cliffhanger/abrupt indy way though and the things weakness/how to kill thems too easy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I liked how it explains nothing also and the creature design and how it visual communicates to the audience.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: While I won't say anything, a character death is handled in what I considered a schmaltzy manner. There is a particularly headscratching decision the characters make that you'll either rationalize or hate, but it leads to one of the tenser set pieces later on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Quiet place has a good idea at its backbone, that they use sign language in the film to communicate and occassional whispers adds to it, it and the silence allows for a mood to be effectively communicated. It does have jump scares, I wasn't annoyed by them, but I never felt the film required them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I read the discord, if you ever need to ask a question relating to film, come to me about it, I will without fail be able to answer 9 times out of 10.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was adequately amused by the first episode of wotaku, but found the male lead funnier, which I'm attributing to him be more deadpan.
Lenlo
We found a convient weekend for everyone
Kaiser-Eoghan
*watching
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would also float the idea of recommendation podcasts every now and then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will listen to the podcast more in full later. But I was surprised after asking/suggesting it on the discord, that it came so soon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am thinking of re-watching gasaraki and ai yori aoshi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Perhaps after a while of watch the anime I will simply jump on to the manga.
Vonter
I watched Resident Evil: Vendetta yesterday. It's incredible dumb but kind of fun. I do wonder if in terms of entertainment are like the best videogame based movies. Since it plays like a videogame, it's based on a videogame and is more or less in line with the tone the series has had for a while.
niello
It's such a shame that Golden Kamuy art direction is such a train wreck.
KTravlos
and for the sake of Clausewitz there is clinical term for what Reinhard did. It is called "defeat in detail". Napoleon was a master of it. Proper way to defeat it , is to order the threatened force to retreat to a point where other allied forces are converging. The enemy will either have to retreat, or fight at a disadvantage. The 1813 and 1814 campaigns against Napoleon are examples of that.
KTravlos
Episode 2 of LOGGH: Der Neue Thesis was much better than the first. The music is still an issue, but Yang was well portrayed. I do think there is lack of the directors in showing the cruelty of war, like the first one did. We will see.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Still need to see his short films and black Peter.
Amagi
@Anon: I already know the manga and enjoy it, think the anime is a good adaption so far. Feels good to see a series about video games that are actually just games and romance without tsunderes, tons of blushing or unworldly naive harem girls.
Anonymous2016456
the anime
Anonymous2016456
how do you guys think of wotakoi?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Hereditary sounds pretty promising here
Kaiser-Eoghan
Forman's an interesting case, when you look at the huge disconnect from his early films from the 60s and then what he went on to make.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, unfortunately I am not a fan of country music so Nashville didn't appeal to me =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: And before Jack kept playing the same role over and over.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Aside from Courtney Love's presence, Larry Flynt is an excellent film. I love the custom camera tricks Kubrick used in Lyndon , dog day afternoon suceeded for me because it did so much more than being just a bank rob film. I wish Spielberg would return to his pre-90s films .
SuperMario
Cuckoo's Nest reminds me of the great 1975 Oscar Best Picture, which for me was Oscar's greatest line-up. The line-ups for that year were: Cuckoo Nest (winner), Nashville, Barry Landon, Dog Day Afternoon and Jaws
SuperMario
@Kaiser: RIP the man. I've seen 2 of his, Amadeus and Cuckoo Nest. Both great but they were more because of the strength of the source
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Milos forman has died =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
Indeed the character designs in steins; gate have seen changes....shockingly mayuri's chest is larger than Daru's ;)
KTravlos
I can live with that. Interested to see what made you reserved.
SuperMario
@KTravlos: you won't agree with my series review then. I have a lot of reservations on VE
KTravlos
Also I finished Violet Evergarden. This was an exceptional series in my book.
KTravlos
the two characters. Finally the battle soundtrack was simply wrong.

I am going to watch it because it is LOGH. And frankly after watching the new one I felt the fact that the old one was dated technical wise (but not in music). But at least on comparison of first episodes, the old one did a better job at giving depth to Reinhard and Keircheis.
KTravlos
well I watched the first episode of the new LOGH and then watched the first episode of the older version. The update in the art is good..but. If the old one was too talky, this one is too boom boom. I also felt that they did not sue the time well to establish Reihard and Kircheis well. Especially the removal of some lines that were in the first episode of the original, really took away a lot from
SuperMario
@Amagi: I can see your point but what a premise for Golden Kamuy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although golden kamuy is labeled seinen, which gives me some more hope for it.
SuperMario
@Amagi: agree with you about remembering stuffs you've watched. For me, it's always until the second watch that I can remember the plot or characters clearly. Otherwise, all will get hazy like a dream
Anonymous2011116
@Anon Watch a few eps and then male an informed decision based on that; I find the storytelling to be a bit weak but you might not feel the same
AidanAK47
@Anon, If you can ignore the rather odd fanservice and sex symbolism it's actually a pretty enjoyable show with good animation whose story has been getting better.
Amagi
Think it's always the best to watch the first episode since other people might hate something you will love or vice versa.
Amagi
@Anon: For me it still feels like Kiznaiver but I think it really depends on how much you care about the characters and teen relationship deama.
Anonymous2010671
Hey is Darlin the Franxx actually good? It looked kind of just like an ecchi mecha series, but just kind of glancing at the reviews over here makes me think it's more than I'm giving it credit for
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Legend of the Galactic Heroes Die Neue These – 2/3[The Battle of Astarte/An Indomitable Prodigy]

If I was to judge this adaption based solely on the first three episodes I would declare it a resounding success. For while I do really like the old series, it does have a rather slow start. I say i only truly got invested in it around episode 3 or 4 when the more political […]

Golden Kamuy – 02 [Nopperabo]

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Darling in the Franxx – 13[The Beast and the Prince]

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Fate/Extra Last Encore – 08-10[No Second Strike ― Dead End ― /Golden Theater of the Deranged ― Aestus Domus Aurea ― /Unlimited――― ― Unlimited/ Raise・Dead ―]

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Darling in the Franxx – 10-12[The City of Eternity/Partner Shuffle/The Garden Where It All Began]

Three episode coverage this week as many things got in the way of my casual blogging, the much late preview being one of them. I must say that the last few episodes of Franxx have been quite strong as we have had a string of character development episodes which have really fleshed out the cast. […]

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