Posted on 22 April 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica




Ah, the deconstruction: taking a genre or trope, and examine it, put it in a real life situatio, or take a look at it from a completely different angle. I personally love these kinds of series (heck, some of my favourite series are deconstructions). Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica finally shows us another deconstruction of the Mahou shoujo genre, and it is glorious.

This series takes the well known formula: a cute animal comes to a girl, gives her superpowers, and they fight evil. It then examins what it means to be a magical girl. It actually uses its setting quite cleverly in order to really give the life of a magical girl a set of huge advantages and disadvantages. Really, the graphics may be simple, but underneath is a very, very dark storyline.

Teh thing that’s especially amazing about this series is how well everything fits together. It’s twelve episodes long, but it makes excellent use of its time, the characters all fit the story perfectly and everyone serves his own purpose to the points that this series is trying to make. The show really makes sure that it doesn’t waste its time and just about every episode adds something to the overall story and characters. This creates quite a bit of nice development for such a short series.

The graphics are also gorgeous in this series. Unlike a lot of other Shaft series, the animation knows exactly when to be normal, and when to be experimental. The action scenes in this series look really great thanks to all kind of strange and artistic images that are inserted in the surreal battle scenes. Yuki Kajiura is also behind the music, and while this may not be amongst her best work, she still delivers an excellent soundtrack.

It’s definitely a well written and thought-provoking series that continues to evolve. It deserves to be watched, and I see no way for this series to not show up in the top 10 of best eries of 2011. I don’t think that I’ll end up ranking this amongst my favourites, but that entirely because I just consider a lot of other series to be better, not for this show to have major flaws or anything. If I had to nitpick and mention a flaw of this series, then I’d point at the characterization: if the characters here were put in any random slice of life or a more conventional action series, they wouldn’t be interesting to watch at all. It’s entirely the story and the setting that makes something memorable out of them. Again though: this is just nitpicking.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Really well balanced and evolves really well for a 12 episode series. Maks excellent use of the ingredients handed to it.
Characters: 8/10 – Nice development, interesting backstories.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Successfully experiments with its graphics, resulting in some gorgeous action scenes that form a stark contrast with the quiet scenes.
Setting: 9/10 – A terrific deconstruction of a genre that really needed some nudge again.

Suggestions:
Fancy Lala (Very, very different and slow-paced, but shows a completely different yet just as brilliant take on how to deconstruct the Mahou Shoujo Genre)
Mahou Shoujotai
Figure 17 – Tsubasa & Hikaru

Posted on with categories: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica



A Jesus Ending? It’s been a while since we had one of those.

Yeah, the loophole that the creators used was simply the fact that they never explicitly stated that there was any limit to the wish you could make. Madoka just wishes for a world without witches and Kyuubei… grants it. He doesn’t even seem to have the power to reject such a wish. And so, Madoka dies for our sins and completely changes the world. It neither was the best nor the worst ending of this season, but it didn’t hurt this series either: Madoka Magica remains a wonderful show to watch.

Now obviously the first question that came to my mind when Madoka made her wish was “why the heck didn’t people do this before?” I mean, we all asked this question before: instead of just wishing for simple wishes like resurrecting someone, why couldn’t you wish for an unlimited amount of wishes? Because this series refused to explain that, we all just assumed that Kyuubei would obviously refuse any wishes disadvantageous to him. And here, this episode showed that those wishes could have been possible.

My guess is that nobody made such a wish yet, because Kyuubei keeps targeting emotionally distraught teenaged girls who have just been hit by a major trauma. Yes, in a regular situation in which you’re just sitting in your comfy chair you can indeed try to bend these rules all you’d like, but I can imagine that Kyuubei always presents himself to girls who are desperate for one single wish, offering exactly what they need the most. I could be wrong here, but when you’re about to die in a car accident, you wouldn’t really try to be cheeky and think of a loop-holing wish from out of nowhere.

Madoka was the exception, because at the start of this series, she had no reason to be in despair: she didn’t know anything about Homura, and Kyuubei instead got greedy for her powers, and tried to convince her by tempting her.

And yet, I do fault Madoka for not thinking of this obvious solution any sooner. It’s probably the biggest flaw of this series: she pretty much spends 10,5 episodes angsting, only to snap out of things, go Jesus and wish all the witches away. In the end, the only way in which she really set herself apart is the way in which she refused to change into a mahou shoujo, even though this is a mahou shoujo series. At least the other characters in this series had really interesting backstories.

Oh, but that aftermath was really good. It showed that even though witches are gone, there are still other things that demand a mahou shoujo, and Kyuubei also isn’t gone, albeit completely different. It’s definitely interesting to see the different characters here in a world without Madoka or witches. Especially the latter lead to some interesting character development, but also the lack of Madoka in her family was really interesting.

Overall, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica definitely belongs in the top 3 series that premiered in the past Autumn and Winter Season, along with Hourou Musuko and Level E. Whether or not it was the best out of all of them though is very hard to say because they’re amazing at completely different things. Hourou Musuko also had an amazing second half, Level E had an absolutely fantastic beginning. Either way though, this was the best series that Shaft has made since Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei 1, and I really hope that future Shaft series will follow this series in its tracks: not just blindly copy Shinbo’s style, but also letting the writers really do what they want to do.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica



Dear Shaft: thank you for actually finishing this episode in time and not pulling another Bakemonogatari. Having to wait a month for the final two episodes still is pretty doable. Episode 11 was a rock-solid build-up that was quite worth the wait.

With just about every other character out of the picture now, this episode indeed focused on Madoka, Homura and Kyuubei, but also surprisingly Madoka’s mother also played a large role here. It was really building up to the inevitable: Madoka becoming a mahou shoujo. Or at least, that was very heavily implied at the end of this episode. Overall, while it would have been nice for Madoka to actually refuse Kyuubei throughout the entire series, I can see why she did it: as long as that Walpurgis night can only be defeated by Madoka in her Mahou Shoujo-form, this time-loop will continue on endlessly.

Just, what was the point of that one monologue of Kyuubei? The one where he started talking about the past of the mahou shoujo, where he started talking how many famous girls in history were actually mahou shoujo who were plunged into despair, and how without them we’d still live in caves? That just makes no sense and is completely out of context here.

Now, as for the ending: right now things are heading in exactly the way that has been built up by the previous episodes. At the moment, we’ve reached the inescapable situation where Madoka will destroy the world once she defeats the Walpurgis Night (after all: superpowered Madoka will make for a very exciting final battle). It really seems to be heading towards a loophole ending: the creators try to bend around their own rules in order to find a loophole out of its chaos. It probably will be with casualties, but at least the world will be saved. These kinds of endings really depend on a) how good that loophole is, and b) how exciting the final battle is. Madoka definitely deserves a good closure.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 11 March 2011 with categories: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica



Holy crap, what an episode. We’ve finally gotten to Homura’s past and BY GOD is is awesome.

This may be because I really like the kinds of series that deal with alternative dimensions, but the reason I love the stories like this is because they really allow creators to show different ways for characters to develop when done right (do note that it can be done poorly just as easily, though. Yes, I’m looking at you Yosuga no Amagami). The creators really put a ton of meaning in this episode

With this, I also understand why the creators said, prior to this series, that it would be the type of show that you need to watch two times in order to fully get it. I remember that first episode and how at first it seemed very much like Nanoha. The biggest reason for that was that scene in which Madoka saves Kyuubei from being attacked. Yeah, that suddenly gets put into a completely different perspective, doesn’t it?

One thing that was amusing during the past few weeks was seeing all of the crazy theories from everyone, ranging from speculating that Homura was Madoka to Homura being Madoka’s cat. In the end though, she just turned out to be a normal girl who just matured much more mentally due to the way that she always kept travelling back in time. Plot twists like “character x is secretly related to character Y in some bizarre way” are good, but they shouldn’t be used for the sake of just using them, otherwise they’ll just become forced.

This episode only left one major question: why wasn’t Madoka this awesome mahou shoujo when Homura first met her? This episode strongly hinted at Madoka getting more talent as Homura kept travelling back in time.

Oh, and the release dates for the final episodes are finally out: Madoka will only have 12 episodes. We’re actually ending this thing in two weeks!
Rating: *** (Awesome)

EDIT: holy crap, I knew by now that I needed to avoid that shoutbox before watching this week’s episode, but this is getting a bit out of hand here. Unfortunately due to my schedule I’m unfortunately not able to watch this series as fast as usual (combined with the fact that four of the shows I’m blogging air on thursday evening).

Next week, I’ll create a topic for discussions before the episode airs.

Posted on 4 March 2011 with categories: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica



A very, very macabre build-up here. On one side, the deaths in this series don’t have as much of a shock value compared to what happened to Mami. On the other hand though, the creators just did decimate the cast here. At this point there are only five named characters alive, and two of those have stopped being relevant to the plot.

In about a week the definitive lengths of the series of the current season should get announced, but it looks like there are three episodes left at this point. These should be enough for this series to change its direction, now that it lost some very important side-characters, and use these changes for its ending. The pieces are now all correctly set: Walpurgis Night is coming, and Madoka pretty much is going to have to choose between either becoming a mahou shoujo or having this Walpurgis thingy feasting on the city they’re in.

A lot of the finale is going to depend on Madoka’s development. I mean, she’s probably the most typical character of the entire cast, and spends a lot of time angsting, but a character was really needed for this show to be able to do what it wanted to do. As a deconstruction, this series would not have worked as well if Madoka was more mature. A part of the charm of this series is seeing Madoka nearly giving into Incubator again and again, continually building the tension between them. Because Madoka is indecisive it allows this series to flesh out all possible options for her to a great detail. Sure, weak characters like her can get very annoying when used poorly, but this show shows how to do them right, by having the entire plot revolve around this weakness of hers.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 24 February 2011 with categories: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica



And here this show comes with an episode that to be honest… I only expected to arrive around the penultimate episode or something. Now, that means that if this show knows what it’s doing, it can get an amazing climax out of that, when awesome episodes like this are used as build-up episodes.

The creators really didn’t try to drag out Sayaka’s descend into madness. It’s just been an episode and a half, and she already exhausted her soul gem. So yeah, she’s probably going to remain as a witch starting from the next episode. My guess would be that that’s the point where the creators are really going to go all out on Madoka and Homura. The part in which Madoka nearly gave in to QB (or should I say InQBtor) was really powerful. Now it’s up to the creators to build further upon that.

One point of criticism: here we have the childhood friends that you forgot about cliche again. Very weird place to show such a cliche, but it should be fine if it is indeed central to Homura’s character and her motivation.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 18 February 2011 with categories: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica



Ah, the wonderful character development! This episode added a ton of new things to the characters, especially Sayaka and Kyouko. This is really what these short 13 episoded series need to do: instead of wasting time like what Fractale is currently doing, they constantly need to focus and build up their characters and if character development fits in the story, then all the better.

Kyouko revealed her past and became a completely different character from who she was at her introduction. She’s still the experienced Mahou Shoujo, but the way she became a mahou shoujo is a really tragic one (which looked awesome, by the way). Sayaka meanwhile takes an entire episode to let the revelation of the previous episode sink in, to the point where she believes that she can’t even have a proper romance anymore. I wonder why, because even though she’s a bit of a zombie, she still can feel emotions like any other. Her fears here are entirely irrational, but this episode really hinted at her getting screwed over by those feelings at the end.

Overall, Shaft. I have to congratulate you. This has by far been my favourite Shaft series in years. For once, they did everything right again, and their decision to bring in Urobuchi Gen was an excellent one.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 11 February 2011 with categories: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica



That was a great subversion of one of the most overused mahou shoujo tropes: the magical object that somehow allows the girls to transform themselves. Now that this show mentions it, I’ve seen very few series that actually put in a deeper meaning to these items. The only other I can think of right now is Fancy Lala.

The idea that your soul gets separated from your body when you become a mahou shoujo is a great one. It offers a very interesting explanation to all the healing and invincibility powers that you often see in these series. What’s even more interesting is that most of the mahou shoujo don’t know about that, and maintaining your soul gem suddenly gets a whole new meaning here.

Aah, and Kyuubei. Seriously, that animal was being evil in this episode: it specifically called Madoka when Sayaka was about to be attacked and it just keeps referring to Madoka’s latent powers. In this episode we also learn that it eats grief seeds. That really can’t be a good thing.

That mysterious “Walpurgis Night” will probably the climax of this series. With this episode we pretty much learn what Homura’s goal is, though it’s still unclear what she was planning to do while fighting Sayaka in this episode. She obviously was trying to do something to her without killing her, but that as all I could gather.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 4 February 2011 with categories: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica



That new girl made her proper entrance in this episode. She at this point is a bit too stereotypically evil, and I would like to see her character in a bit more detail than someone who just wants to kill people. Other than that though, this again was an excellent episode.

She did have a good point in this episode, though: becoming a mahou shoujo, just to protect others is a very shallow reason: in order to remain strong enough to protect innocent people, you need to collect the grief seeds, which can only be collected after a witch had a meal on some innocent people. It’s a vicious cycle, and Sayaka doesn’t really seem to understand this. Sayaka really is a ticking time bomb at this point.

Also, the more this show goes on, the more trollish the OP appears. The tone is obviously misleading here, but also the transformation scene which felt completely out of place could be just a subtle jab to other mahou shoujo and some of the tropes that they just continue to overuse. Especially considering how at this point Madoka still hasn’t become one. I have seen Phantom, Gen’s other work. I know that this guy has pretended the death of characters, only to bring them back later. At the same time though, it’s not like he’s afraid to kill of characters either. My guess is that Mami will return eventually when Madoka chooses her wish. At the same time though, I’m expecting quite a number of actual deaths with the rest of the cast here.
Rating: ** (Excellent)a

Posted on 28 January 2011 with categories: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica



My impression of this season, now that we’re four weeks in: it’s small, full of teenagers and there are quite a few series that I really don’t want to waste my time on. But holy crap! I’m really amazed at how many really good series have appeared. Madoka Magica’s fourth episode was again a really good one. At this point, Madoka Magica is already my favourite Shaft series since ef – a Tale of Memories.

Where Heartcatch Precure was exactly what the shoujo-targeted mahou shoujo needed, Madoka Magica was exactly what the seinen-targeted mahou shoujo genre needed. This is looking out to be an excellent deconstruction at this pace. To just take an example here: just about every mahou shoujo accepts her fate in the first or second episode. After a few minutes of doubt, she’s willing to change her entire life in order to fight crime because she happens to be some chosen one. In Madoka Magica, Madoka still hasn’t become a mahou shoujo after four episodes. The past four episodes have shown that the downsides to becoming one have some real significance.

This episode also showed that just about everyone has her own agenda, which especially became clear when Sayaka suddenly decided on a whim to become a mahou shoujo, for the sake of her boyfriend at the point where Madoka herself had decided not to become one. This also shows what a bastard Kyubei can be: he says goodbye, but instantly appears whenever he feels that someone is ready to make a contract.

Regarding a bit of a small detail: I wonder what Homura meant when she said that it would take a long time for people to file her as missing? I mean, wouldn’t the people at her school find it strange that she’s gone? I mean, I of course do not know how schools in Japan are supposed to act when students start skipping classes, but in the Netherlands it’s a pretty serious offense for kids of Madoka’s age to be absent unannounced for more than a couple of days.

Which brings me to the next question that may be thinking a bit too much into the setting here, but how many people know about the existence of these mahou shoujo? Do the police know about them, for example? I mean, what happens when one of these seeds explodes without either a mahou shoujo nearby, or one that pretty much kills everyone around it? That’s bound to raise some suspicion sooner or later, isn’t it?
Rating: *** (Awesome)

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: its back up now though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its front page has server issues from time to time sometimes for hours.
SuperMario
I just read some manga on kissmanga a week ago, is the site down already?
Niello
Well to be fair batoto is down because of the site owner personal reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So Mangahere, mangachapter, baoto, animea seem to be gone and kissmangas front page is down , mangafox is slow, whats next to go down....
Niello
I don't currently see an anime this season that really stands out from the others. Right now if I have to rank them
1) Miira no kaikata
2) Kokkoku
3) Sora yori mo tooi basho
4) Koi wa ameagari no you ni
5) Takagi-san.
Not counting Devilman Crybaby since it's already finished.
Niello
@Eoghan I love Urobuchi and still find the Godzilla film weak.
SuperMario
I just looked through the nominations for the Crunchyroll Anime Awards and to my surprise, it's a pretty solid lineups. Find myself agreeing with most of their choices there
AidanAK47
Actually forgot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know why you don't just read kara no shoujo 2 instead.
AidanAK47
And Himawari is actually boring me. It's proving difficult to push myself though just to see where the point that makes it highly regarded comes in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In the end I was pretty much curious about it.
AidanAK47
Yep, that's it. Gonna stop discord displaying what I play from now on. It's weird when people comment on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now my current rankings: 1. Devilman
2.Junji itou
3. sangatsu
4. Cardcaptor sakura
5. Pop team
6. Evergarden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Aidan
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm joking obviously, but I am surprised to see you playing Himawari Aiden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh Aidan you and your lolicon visual novel you =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Shin Godzilla had the evolving godzilla thing and that freaky ass final shot too, it also justified itself quite well i think by showing how relevent he is today, given the nuclear thing and that it drew on the Fukushima incident essentially.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Thats a far better and shorter way of putting it than I.
Alonaria
I wish I'd just waited for the other parts of the Godzilla movie trilogy to be released. As it is, I'm just going to remember it as "that incomplete movie." And the character designs kind of blurred together for me, which was really disorienting.
Anonymous1746949
Oh psgels is back
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I've seen other Godzilla things so I pretty much was supposed to see this anyway.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or you know you could always take what I said with a pinch of salt, because you know....I don't get on with Urobutcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea behind it is definately cool and a different spin for the franchise though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe I was held back a bit by the cgi or the mediorce voice acting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I'd need to see its followup before properly assessing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Godzilla often makes for silly films, but lke alot of silly older films the silliness and seriousness combine without clashing, this one is too Poe faced .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw that Godzilla anime film, I'd describe it as watchable in parts but far too caught up in setup mode and an unlikeable protaganist , it could go somewhere with what it raised at the start but this is an example of a first film in a trilogy that suffers from being unable to currently stand on its own.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I generally feel that Itou's stories have a winning track record but theres exceptions, Uzumaki and Gyo in manga form struggle toward the end and the first episode story the anime chose to adapt is, while fun one of the weaker offerings.
Alonaria
Honestly, the shorter stories have been more effective at getting a reaction out of me, though. I actually didn't really enjoy the first episode's first story, mostly because I found the MC too obnoxious. :.D Maybe because my younger brother chased me with a bug once and it was really unpleasant. XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It wasn't just it coming out of her mouth, but when they were stamping on them too.
Anonymous1743747
@Kaiser: Yah, I was horrified for like 5 seconds but the other characters made me crack up. :.D
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although it was mixed in with laughing my ass of eventually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of all the Itou stories to be un-nerved by, its the second half of this third episode oddly that does it for me and I never get uncomfortable during anything .
AidanAK47
@Anon, We are working on it.
Anonymous1742736
Are you planning on making a top anime of 2017 list?
Amagi
Yeah Mash is one of the few good ones it seems.
Amagi
Oh damn, good that you remind me, I didn't pick anything yet. But I guess I will go with Altera, considering that some of them don't look that good and I own her anyway. Would have wanted the Scat one but the drawing looks weird.
AidanAK47
Which Bond CE did you pick for the 2 mill? I went with the Mash one. Only only whose artwork I liked.
AidanAK47
Might settle for making Bryn my endgame lancer though.
AidanAK47
As I said in my Apocrypha post, I have no interest in any version of Jeanne. My top priorities for my endgame team is Isekander, Scathach and assassin Shiki. And Shiki is a welfare so only need to worry about the other two.
Amagi
Yeah, I was considering to keep rolling for the new 4* at first but I really want Jeanne Alter and she's coming soon.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I tried rolling for Karna and got nothing. Though I think Bryn is better. I plan on rolling one more time with the saint quartz we are getting to try for NP2. Though we do have the valintines event coming.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here, just got Brynhildr. Even though I already got Karna last month. But I wanted her, nice design, finally a single-targed 5* and she's even one of the few servants related to my country.
KTravlos
@SuperMario. The contemplation of the death of humanity, and the loneliness, both were very disturbing to me. Kinda like thinking of my grave.
AidanAK47
YANDERE GET. Bryn's mine baby.
AidanAK47
Gonna try rolling for Brynhildr tomorrow. Bit annoyed they chose to translate it as Brynhild. I mean it's not incorrect but her name is far more recognisable as Brynhildr
AidanAK47
@Amagi, The grind wasn't that bad for me. Mordred carried me for it. Though I managed to get Siegfried in the gacha despite not being on rate up. I admit that the event was rather lackluster. Story wasn't that fun and the whole saber restriction was a pain. Also gonna take me a while to readjust to regular damage.
Amagi
Man that FGO Saber Wars event was annoying. I am happy finally I have 2 mio. altrium now and am done with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminder that netflix Godzilla anime is later today.
Amagi
Damn I didn't noticed that ankle band of the little demon from the intro scene of FranXX 01, now I feel stupid.
Lenlo
Yuasa is great! Ping pong and Tatami Galaxy are still some of my favorites
SuperMario
Oh fuck, the lead singer of the Cranberries passed away. I literally just listened to their music yesterday. Damnn, sad news
SuperMario
@Kaiser; thanks for considering me but I believe Wooper is much more a Yuasa's fan than I am
SuperMario
Far out!!!
SuperWooper
Yuasa will be answering questions on Reddit's anime board on the 20th.
SuperMario
@Niello: what do you mean regarding Yuasa?
SuperMario
@Travlos: I agree that Girls Last Tour is a special little gem, but in what ways it's disturbing?
Niello
Holy cow, Masaaki Yuasa AMA!! What magic is this?
Niello
Meawhile, Japan took a different approach and we ends up with a bunch of .hack rehash and diving more and more into escapism. Until we eventually got isekai and then it just spiraled into a sea of mediocrity.
Niello
While that opened its own can of worms, at least it opens up element about making ends meet, managing irl relationships, earning extra income for a poor family, getting cheated etc.
Niello
in the characters real life just fine. Something more a long the line of Net-juu but more technologically advanced. And I would say that plenty of those have been superior to Japanese online game and isekai story shenanigans. That said, it doesn't mean that those don't have their own kind of traps they usually fall in. A bunch of those instead focus on the aspect of making money off of games.
Niello
...Getting stuck in a virtual reality game and being transport to another world that happens to be like a game are completely different though. I don't know what is it with Japan and getting stuck in game plots considering that there are loads of other game-base Asian novels that came before it that manage story lines where they manage to tell compelling stories in game while balancing what happen
KTravlos
I finally finished Girls Last Tour. What a profound, fluffy and disturbing masterpiece. Bravo.
Amagi
Yeah. I feel the world swap is pretty much pointless when real life isn't relevant anymore. It's just a stupid as hell excuse to combine fantasy wish fullfilment with self-inserts, which is why these main characters tend to be 29 by now, just like the big part of the otaku community.
Lenlo
Of those you listed, no, I dont think they get explained? I mean, SAO did, but I dont think that falls into your category.

Thats why I liked .hack//sign over alot of more modern game Isekai. Also .hack//sign did explain what happened to Tsukasa.
Amagi
Considering how bad most of these are I wouldn't wonder if they wouldn't even bother with an explanation and just end it with the characters being happy in that game world and that's it. Or magic and the whole harem gets transported into reality at the end because power of love and such.
Amagi
I have no problem with a sci-fi fantasy mix, I liked .hack//sign for example, but it annoys me that such an incredibly bizarre situation gets never explained. Or maybe it will but it never happened so far because none of these LNs was ever finished and concluded yet. I just wish to know how they explain that.
Amagi
I mean all those shows in which the character just finds himself stuck in a real world that's (coincidentally?) the same as the game he recently played. Be it Overlord, Death March, Log Horizon or the 300 other series with that premise.
Amagi
Some thing that always bothered me about game isekai for which I never got an answer so far: did any of those series ever end and/or explain how the warp has happened and why the MC is in the game? - Not talking about .hack, SAO and such where the action of getting trapped is part of the premise
Niel
@Eoghan - Btw, Kokkoku isn't a time travel. it's stasis, apparently. Looks very promising so far. Though if I am to trust the manga score, it's shit.
Niel
But is Toradora really slice of life? As far as I can see it's straight up romance.
Lenlo
And Mario, ill rag on SOL all I want! :P

Wooper, its true good shows transcend genre, as there are still some like Toradora I like, but those are exceptions that prove the rule so to speak.
Lenlo
@Niel, yeah I base my potential % on the odds something gets/stays good.
AidanAK47
I am of similar mindset about Franxx. I want it to get better but I don't really see it doing so. Unless the other characters get a majority personality boost or the MC stops being a plank.
Niel
XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
I confess....I only sat through just over half an episode of aldonoah.
Niel
Since it's Trigger, I will give the benefit of the doubt. I'm just very skeptical about this whole formula.
Niel
The way I can see this series improving is through world building. And if other aspects are going to improve too, it's going to revolve around that.
Niel
It leaves about as much impression on me as much as the first episode of Aldnoah did, and I dropped that one straight away. The character chemistry doesn't look like it will go places that's not cliche. The gimmick doesn't seem like it has much potential either.
Niel
So you're all betting it on "this is going to get better". I mean, I hope it gets better. Though right now this feels more Kiznaiver than Kill la Kill or LWA.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd nominate Mario to do the devilman review as he's the most immediate Yuasa fan to do it and Bam is too awol to write it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cute girl shows just bleed and blend in my mind now, same with the isekai shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Devilman, my show of the season, unless after the rain ends up having some emotional wallop.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So for me its looking like: Junji itou, Cardcaptor sakura, keeping up with sangatsu, wait and see on amegari . Not watching a time travel or trigger show and I remain unable to sit through Mahoutsukai .
Amagi
The story itself is generic so far but so are most Trigger series at the beginning so not sure. Maybe it will stay weak, but in general I prefer series that start with the weaker episodes and get better and better over time over the many series that use up all of their budget and trump cards in the first episode and drag on after that.
Amagi
I really love Trigger's esthetics and their characters. I am happy they're more often involved in non-trigger-only productions because I honestly think that most of the stuff I enjoyed about FranXX was heavily influenced by them.
SuperMario
@Nielo: Franxx's first ep was stellar for me. Storywise, it's lackluster (and I see the similar in tropes between this and Beatless) but production-wise it's excellent
SuperMario
I think I just keep watching it on a weekly basis. Still trippy as hell
SuperMario
Okay, I just watched second episode of Devilman Crybaby and it's still pretty good.
Nielo
By the way, what's up with Darling in the Franxx? I thought it's a very weak first episode.
Nielo
@Lenlo: Slice of life isn't my thing either, and I usually avoid series set in high school.
Nielo
@SuperMario: Takagi-san is cute, I'll admit that, but since I already read the manga it's not new to me. Sora Yori is good, but it's not particularly cute. I found Hakumei to Mikochi and Yuru Camp very boring. Haven't got the chance to watch Mitsuboshi Colors or Gakuen Babysisters but I don't think they could be more cute than Mii-kun.
SuperWooper
HOT TAKE: Genre is irrelevant. What matters is whether a show is good.
SuperMario
Don't knock off MY genre Lenlo. It's one of the reason I got into anime in the first place :)
Lenlo
Im not saying it doesn't do what it sets out to. I just don't think what it sets out to do is all that... great.
Lenlo
@Niello, Slice of Life was never my Genre in the first place :/ I typically avoid them. I have my own life to deal with and already graduated high school, why would I want to deal with a melodramatic anime highschool, is my line of thought.
SuperMario
@Niello: okay, let's see:Takagi-san (the titular character), Mitsuboshi Colors, Gakuen Babysisters (Toddlers!!), Hakumei to Milochi (tiny girls) and two more slightly more mature but equally cute: Sora Yori and Yuru Camp's casts
Nielllo
@SuperMario: I'm sure this is where our definition of "cute" parts way, but I'll ask anyway, what are those 5 shows?
SuperMario
@Niello: seems so because I can eaisily pick 5 more shows that are cuter, and better than Mummy this season ;)
Nielllo
...So I suppose I'm the only one who's kinda bored out by a lot of the slice of life shows that's trying to be cute this season and only perked up by the Mummy anime because it's actually do what it's meant to do and be legit cute.
Lenlo
I am interested in Koi, but still have concern about the relationship itself.

@Vonter, the mummy anime would be better as short vignettes together I feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koi amegari is surprisingly tasteful, subdued and pretty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*to where
Kaiser-Eoghan
Try as I might, my love of kyoani tv anime has largely evaporated did where I no longer want to bother at this stage, I'll just wait and see. I'll just stay quiet on the franxx anime, theres little value in me trying to get through a trigger work at this point.
SuperMario
I get the exact same feeling with Takagi-san. It's pretty good on what it does but 20 minutes of the same thing for a whole season doesn't sound that promising
Vonter
The chibi mummy anime
Vonter
It's a shame it isn't a shorter 10 or 5 minute series, I think that format would make it shine more, since it does what it's trying to do.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I liked the second episode of Kokkuko or whatever the name is even more than the first one.
Amagi
I really have a problem with all these shows that rely on one single thing, joke, shenanigan or whatever. Be it something cute, some certain kind of interactiong or whatever. It doesn't matter how good it is it will bore me with episode 2.
Lenlo
Like, yeah, the mummy was cute. But the cute became rote/bland really quick. There has to be more than "cute" to be worth watching for more than a single episode to me.
Lenlo
@Niello, I was harsh because its not aimed at me. I wanted to drop it 5 minutes in, kept up for the post, then was thankful it was over. There wasnt anything overtly bad about it. Its just there was nothing good either.
AidanAK47
To be fair it's not as if we are lacking cute in this season.
In fact it's in danger of inflation.
SuperMario
@Niello: yes, the mummy is cute, the show is cute but beside that it's pretty mediocre. That show in particular is the only show that I have the damnest time to give it a potential rating.
Niello
It's not even down because of legal reasons, since the site pull down contents that are lincensed. It's down cause it's too much for the site owner to manage. Much of it also have to do with too many bots, which comes back to how a lot of other sites are relying on batoto.
Niello
@Masky: Not enough manga titles are getting translated. Batoto is the site scanlation groups basically rely on, and where other aggregation sites pull their content from. No batoto no obscure titles, a big blow to small scantation groups and one big manga/scanlator community down.
Niello
Why are you guys so harsh on the mummy show? It's so darn cute. Give it some credit. If a comedy show can be good because it does comedy well I don't see why a show ike Mummy can't be good if it can make people go "aww".
Masky
I don't really know why that is the case, maybe marketing budget and UI friendliness when done right? :P
Masky
Eh, wouldn't say it will kill manga industry. I mean, more and more official methods of reading manga online is starting to pop up and legit channels to pay to get access to manga can surprisingly enough harm free channels to get manga.
Masky
Anyway, I do find it funny how how the isekai character dies can be so meaningless that is joke in most of them
Niello
Batoto is going down, how this affect the manga reading is going to be interesting. Hope it's not slowly dying.
Masky
(at least that one, besides forgetting to introduce what the heck is gimmick besides generickness, acknowledged how most of otaku mcs shouldn't erally want to get transferred to fantasy world since they never get to see how their favourite mangas end :P )
Masky
Anyhoo, it gets annoying since its not just isekai being cliche, sometimes is just them being kind of badly written(or at least adapted to manga). Like, I found one new isekai today, but I have no idea what its gimmick is(from what I understood, its that "cute companion" that character gets is hideously op because mc didn't spefy cute girl when he asked god manager dude for cute companion)
Masky
Slime one is one of better from the more generic ones weirdly enough :P I mean I still wouldn't call it good, but at least MC character isn't god tier, just top tier and it has sort of village building simulation feel to it. Plus at least naming things giving monsters more powers is something funny regarding jrpg mechanics
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or alternatively the car was on a boat with the character or parents in it and the boat and car were hit by a falling plane lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its always "car accident" that sends the characters to another world or in harem cases "Lost parents due to car crash", for christs sake doesn't anyone die in out of control plane or speedboat crashes anymore, at least make it a motorbike....
Nayrael
Ah sorry, should probably not have touched the colors...
Nayrael
Trust me, Isekai is better when it doesn't try to be imaginative. When it tries to be original then... Isekai with a Smartphone... Isekai where the MC turns into a Slime... and my favorite: Isekai where the MC became a Hot Spring popular with sexy girls.
Masky
Assuming "new" things can happen under the sun
Masky
Anyhoo, I do wonder what the heck will be next "popular genre trope that will become so overused cliche that everyone groans whenever show uses it even if its actually good show"
Masky
Like, seriously you could do really interesting story variant on isekai with that if done right. Suddenly becoming characters you have roleplayed would be trippy as hell espicially if one of characters went really into detail with backstory while one of them is just "Bob the fighter, he likes fighting" and has to deal with what happens when you assume life of such a person
Masky
But I wouldn't honestly be surprised because of my anger issues related to amount of unimaginative isekai :P Though I guess trpg based one would be more imaginative in comparison
Masky
I'd assume not since I assume tabletop rpgs are much more niche than jrpgs in japan
Masky
So has anyone yet done isekai where guys getting transferred were playing trpg? :P
KTravlos
quite happy with most recent Attack of Titan manga chapter.
SuperMario
Alright, one more impression post to go before we really get on to new season
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, I just fixed it. Thank you
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than just the reviewers names
Kaiser-Eoghan
A slight problem with the coding there in the newest impression, showing code gobbledeegook rather than the reviewers names above their impressions.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'm seeing it on 2nd of February.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Late screeners generally leak shortly after the uk release, so maybe early Febbruary it'll be online?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, Phantom Thread. Could be Daniel Day Lewis's final performance. Is it available online already?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you know that Paul Thomas Anderso8n has a new film coming out? Also I found out there is a Polish semi-knockoff of purple rose of cairo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Awesome, just got myself an invite to a secret private torrent site =)
K-Off
@Kaiser When I was in University, I was a waiter at a Korean-owned Japanese Sushi restaurant with a kitchen staff of entirely Mexicans with poor English. The owner, while he provided the rest of his staff with small meals during our lunch or dinner shifts, never game any to the kitchen staff. The guy even ranted to a customer about how "lazy" or "ignorant" they were.
K-Off
Buses are pretty common in America, even outside the major super-cities like LA, NYC, or Chicago. It's public rail you're thinking of that we don't have much of outside the cities.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I brought up the racisim/aunt story wondering if anyone had any horror stories about where they worked?
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Featured Posts

After the Rain – 02 [Rain Drops on Green Leaves]

It has been exactly a year since I last blogged you, noitaminA shows, and this time again it’s another romance drama. Unlike Scum’s Wish last year, however, Ameagari has one simple premise, but it executes the idea with such grace. This second episode is even stronger than the first, setting the stepping stone for Tachibana […]

Violet Evergarden – 02 [Never Coming Back]

I’m thankful that this second episode plays out much quieter and more subtle than the first, because I’m not a fan at all with the grandeur approach of the first episode. This makes the second week of Violet slightly better than last week, but I still find myself not totally satisfied with the whole experience. […]

Kokkoku – 2 [The Second Moment]

Hello and welcome to the 2018 Winter season! This time, we have an interesting little time-based drama called Kokkoku. It has mystery, it has cults, it has dead-beat parents and apparent god-like beings. Lets jump in! To start, a quick blurb about our characters. Personally, I like them so far. They are all flawed and imperfect […]

A Place Further than the Universe – 03 [The Follow Backs Don’t Stop]

“I could just die right now” That line, spoken by our new member, Yuzuki, bookends this week’s Universe. It marks the shift in the new girl’s character growth. Last week, the Expedition girls mentioned they have a plan to raise fund, right? Turns out it’s not the mother, but the young girl herself, is used […]

Junji Ito Collection – 02[Fashion Model, Long Dreams]

After the first episode started off as a black comedy, I was worried that this series may suffer the same problem as Kino’s Journey in that the weaker stories in his work would be chosen for adaption. Lucky this does not appear to be the case but there is another problem which is not quite […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 13/14 [East, West, Homes Best]/[Looks breed love]

Hello and welcome to the new year! New Year, a new Cour for Mahoutsukai no Yome, this time with slightly more plot. These past two weeks have been a bumpy ride of Mahoutsukai, with plenty to talk about. So let’s jump in! To start off, the new OP is terrible. The music isn’t as good […]

A Place Further than the Universe – 02 [Kabukicho Fremantle]

I’m glad that this second episode addresses straight out all my worries from the first episode: the actual implementation to make that trip a reality, because boy, it’s no simple matter. Universe apparently does its research, telling us exactly places they need to go, the initial trip ahead and the amount of money they need […]

3-gatsu no Lion – 33/34 [Where the Sun Shines…Light]

It’s been three weeks since my last 3-gatsu post, a gap owed in part to the break the show took around New Years’. Perhaps it’s because of all that time away from the series, or maybe it’s due to the massive difference between these two episodes, but I had a tough time connecting with the […]

Dies Irae – 10/11[Einherjar/Self-Destruction Factor]

Quite late in covering this one though out of the three shows I covered for the fall season my level of interest in this series has more or less evaporated. Truth be told, while this is a episode review of ten and eleven, i honestly cannot even remember what happened in episode ten. I think […]

Latest Reviews

In This Corner of the World (2016) Movie Review – 90/100

In this Corner of the World (for the purpose of this review, I’ll refer it as “Corner”), is the truest slice of life drama if you ever encounter one, in that it’s a slice into an ordinary life of an ordinary girl during the War period. That speaks into the very first strength of Corner, […]

Houseki no Kuni (Fall 2017) Review – 92/100

Make no mistake, Houseki no Kuni is the most ambitious anime project of the year. Not only because it’s an entirely CG project (and make a damn good use of it, mind you), or because of its narrative scope that at once strange, grand and beauty, but also in its very conception in their production […]

Fate/Apocrypha Anime Review – 64/100

I was quite excited for Apocrypha and in the so called year of Fate adaptations, it looked to be the crown jewel. Sadly, partly due to lacking adaption and the source lacking in areas, this anime turned out to be not quite the jewel I thought it would be. It’s hard to call this a […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World Anime Review – 73/100

One of the surprises of the year was to see the return of Kino’s Journey, a very well regarded and more unique anime among those deemed classic. Many, myself included, were very much looking forward to the return of Kino and her talking Motorrad. Though due to some factors this series doesn’t quite live up […]

Girls’ Last Tour (Fall 2017) Review – 86/100

Girls’ Last Tour falls within my favorite new trend that emerging the anime medium over the last decade: a dark moe anime. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the human race has almost extinct, our two girls wandering around the world in their kettenkrad looking for food and shelter. If it sounds a bit bleak […]

Two tales of War: Reviewing The Heroic Legend of Arslan and Altair: A Record of Battles

It would not be an exaggeration to say that my favorite type of anime is the political-military epic. This comes partly out of my profession, I study war and politics, but also my hobby, as military and political history is something I enjoy. When it comes to anime there is a clear sub-category that can […]

The Night is Short, Walk On Girl (2017) Movie Review – 92.5/100

“How many decades have passed since our drinking contest?” “It hasn’t been that long. It was only a few hours ago, this very night!” That gap in time perceiving plays a significant role in Night is Short. For you see, it all depends on how our perception of the surroundings and time itself can affect […]

Ballroom e Youkoso Review – 65/100

In the weeks leading up to the summer 2017 season, Ballroom e Youkoso was one of the most buzzed-about new series. Produced by the Production I.G. team responsible for the smash hit Haikyuu!!, and set to air on Amazon’s brand new Anime Strike service, the series had no shortage of promotion or hype behind it. […]

Inuyashiki Review – 80/100

Do you know what the average age of an anime protagonist is? Neither do I, but I’d wager its in the upper teens. For obvious reasons, most anime focus on high school and have high school aged protagonists with similarly aged problems. Its not often that we get a good older main character, who has […]