Posted on 28 September 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Nijuu Mensou no Musume


A major theme of the past half year was fooling the viewer, and the uncrowned king (or queen in this case) of this theme definitely is Nijuu Mensou no Musume. In this series, Studio Bones tells about a twelve-year old girl, who gets adopted by a glamorous and world-famous thief, in the period of right after the second world war. That leads you to expect that this is going to be some sort of thief-series, where Chiko and Nijuu Mensou (the girl and the thief) spend most of its time to steal a number of precious artefacts. Well, no.

I refuse to spoil what’s exactly going to happen, but expect a lot of points where the storyline in this series will just take 180 degree turns as the series progresses. This is really one series that keeps you guessing, and wondering where the characters will go next. And that’s the charm of this series for me.

To accompany the storyline, the series also has a number of very solid characters. Chiko works really well as a female lead: she’s smart and composed, although in the first few episodes, she does lean awfully close to a Mary-Sue. Thankfully, as the series progresses, she develops away from that trope. The side-characters are also excellent, though there are a few oddballs among them. Characters as Ken and Haruka never really can seem to find their place in this series.

Unfortunately, as this series enters its final third, its quality decreases dramatically. Up till that point, the series had been wonderfully unpredictable, and then it decides to close off with a drawn-out rip off of one of its earlier arcs, and a final antagonist who just lacks development for the big role he’s supposed to have, turning him into another one of those villains that are evil because they’re evil. The development in this arc pretty much stagnates, a few deus ex machina pop up here and there, it takes several episodes to do something that could just have been done in one, the final climax is a string of clichés, and overall it just took the potential this series had and threw it away.

Because of that, I just can’t label this as a great series, since it could have been so much better if a bit more time was spent to tweak that final arc. What could have been a masterpiece went rather downhill during its finale. Because of that, Nijuu Mensou no Musume still is a good series, but nowhere near the best of the season.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10
Posted on with categories: Nijuu Mensou no Musume



Short Synopsis: The aftermath of Nijuu Mensou no Musume, where Chiko has moved to London, and the detective girls finally have the chance to solve one mission.
Highlights: Chiko’s growth.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
Ah, thank goodness. The climax was disappointing to say the least, but at least the aftermath was excellent, as it showed what everyone’s been doing, two years after said climax. It’s interesting how Chiko chose her own way, and stopped getting herself involved with dangerous stuff, and instead just concentrated her time on studying. It’s also good to see that Ken got some proper development. He’s always been the odd character in this show, ever since the train incident, but at least he’s now able to move on, and not get held back by Chiko.

that masked murderer and ken really came from nowhere, but at least we got to see a nice fight to close off the series in this way. The lost boy also formed a nice way to conclude the series, pointing back to Chiko and Akechi’s lost nephew. Haruka also has grown up very nicely (and actually didn’t get married at her sixteenth ^^;), although her character-design felt a bit off. She had a bit of a “Kimikiss”-face, as in a face where the eyes are a bit too far apart from each other for their own good.

Overall, because I was able to blog more series than usual this series, I ended up blogging Nijuu Mensou no Musume on a whim, in an attempt to become a Bones-fanboy. Okay, so that attempt failed when both their contributions to the past spring-season ended up disappointing a bit. I still consider them a good production-company, which managed to nail a few very good series, but I still just can’t label it among my favourites. I had a lot of fun when this series was good and unpredictable, but the final parts were just too uninteresting for what it built up for.

Posted on 21 September 2008 with categories: Nijuu Mensou no Musume



Short Synopsis: This episode features the climax of Nijuu Mensou no Musume.
Highlights: Blegh. Just blegh.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 6.5/10
Wait? That’s it? We’ve had all this build-up, and the creators just end with such an ending? Talk about disappointing. There was this whole world open for this series, and yet it goes with the most predictable route. There were so many things that this series could have done, and yet it ends with such a dull finale. Such a bloody shame.

You know, I think it would have actually been better for this series to go with the “detective girls”-route. It would have fitted this series perfectly; it would have been unpredictable and allowed for many chances for the cast to develop further. Now that I really think about it, I believe I actually looked forward to that point when this series had just started.

The big problem with this series is that after the doll arc, the creators somehow found it a good idea to just get rid of the fast and unpredictable pacing of this show, and end the series with a solid continuous story. Unfortunately, the entire scientist-arc has just been one big rip-off of the doll-arc. There’s hardly anything original. And what’s worse: there was hardly any character-development at all. We’ve already established that Chiko can think for herself. All this arc did was confirm it.

Agh, what a bloody shame. My sole salvation is that there’s one episode left before this thing ends. Let’s hope that the creators manage to find something interesting to fill it with. Bones, you really disappoint me with this. I really hope that their next work is going to be more like Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi, and less like… this. This is why it’s so important to have a solid conclusion. The series may have had an awesome middle-part, but in the end I am going to be left with a sour aftertaste. I noticed the same with Wellber no Monogatari: solid series + baaaad ending = memorable in a bad way.

Posted on 17 September 2008 with categories: Nijuu Mensou no Musume



Short Synopsis: The scientist has a back-up plan, and tries to activate it in this episode.
Highlights: Interesting twist that fits with the series’ themes.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
Aah, there are two episodes left and I still have no idea what the name of the major villain is! It gets annoying to keep calling him “the scientist”, but oh well. This episode was enjoyable, but I’m still waiting for that “Oomph” that was present at the doll-arc. This episode was mostly about the scientist’s secret, and I do admit that it was a pretty interesting one: he turned himself into an android. And not just any android, but one shaped like Nijuu Mensou.

It fits perfectly with the paranoia that the people had after the war. With the human-shaped robots, made out of solid steel, that could imitate others perfectly and resist bullets like a bunch of flies. Now, he in a strange sense of irony, took on the form of Nijuu Mensou. Probably after hearing about his popularity.

The question now really remains: are the creators able to close this series off properly? The doll-arc was much shorter than the scientist-arc, but it did have a much bigger impact. These final two episodes really need to be amazing in order to be able to make up for it. One thing that I really hope is that the creators are going to switch to that experimental animation-style again. It worked really well when that doll tried to drown Chiko, but ever since Chiko’s little show on her broom, it disappeared entirely.

Posted on 7 September 2008 with categories: Nijuu Mensou no Musume



Short Synopsis: That scientist isn’t willing to give up that easily, and prepares for a second attempt to zap Tokyo, while keeping Chiko and the others out of his way.
Highlights: Excellent aftermath, apart from that climax perhaps.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
Really, this series has a strange idea of the concept of hiatus: it stops, right after the climax, only to show an aftermath instead of starting a new and fresh arc. I must say that a lot of spring-series share these themes of fooling the viewer: Kaiba first advertised itself as a tragic love-story, Real Drive first seemed a Ghost in the Shell-clone, while it was actually a strange combination with slice of life and science fiction, Himitsu ~ The Revelation at first seemed to be a series about its stories, while the characters turned out to be its main focus instead. But the king of these games obviously is Nijuu Mensou no Musume, where you can absolutely not predict what path it’ll be heading into for the next arc. And of course its very misleading ED also counts.

In any case, I’m glad to see that the previous arc merely served as build-up for the final arc of this series. In a way, this episode was more intriguing than all the four episodes of the previous arc combined. The creators seemed to have gone for the thriller-approach to end this series, and there’s a lot of potential. What I especially liked about this episode was how every member of the cast seems to have his or her own agenda and troubles. A lot was going on in this episode and it was a lot of fun to see how everyone reacted to that beam of light in the previous episode. The angry mob also was perhaps a bit clichéd, but it did portray the anxiety of the general public, right after the war, and their fears for more casualties perfectly.

But please. Did the creators really have to end the episode with that flying airship? It’s not the fact that it’s an airship that bugs me, but out of all the possible ways that the creators could have introduced it, they went with a Deus ex Machina, and a pretty blatant one at that: you know the scenario, the hero is cornered and at the last possible moment a saviour comes from out of nowhere. I mean, the creators could have at least shown Ken as he arrived at the airship, and as he took off, he suddenly saw Chiko jumping around on the roofs.

Posted on 24 August 2008 with categories: Nijuu Mensou no Musume



Short Synopsis: The old scientist shows what he’s been doing for the past decades.
Highlights: Lots of depth for Nijuu Mensou.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10
So in the end, the energy from water-arc wasn’t as good as the doll-arc, but this episode was still pretty awesome. While it first looked like this arc was just a copy of the previous one, this episode showed that the purpose of this arc was very different from the Doll arc. This episode was really meant to show some different sides of Nijuu Mensou. Even though the minions from that scientist individually weren’t as strong as the doll-woman, they proved to be much more trouble, since Nijuu Mensou and Chiko were in the minority: they were too busy to fight these one-on-one, giving the scientist the time he needed to fire his energy-beam. I do wonder, though: why did he need Chiko in order to fire it? I failed to pick that one up.

This episode showed that Nijuu Mensou never really was happy about the research he conducted, and it finally showed his past from his own perspective. It seems that it’s especially his research on the energy from water that caused his change of heart. It just wouldn’t work, even though he captured the basics. That got him thinking about the ethical issues (especially since he nearly destroyed his laboratory in a failed experiment). It’s there when he decided to stop his research and burn his evidence, though (as we already know by now) that left many people unhappy.

With a bit of luck, Haruka will mature a bit after this episode. She wasn’t hurt in this episode, but hopefully she realizes that Chiko’s life is nothing like the life she imagined, and that there a lot of nasty sides under Nijuu Mensou’s appearance. Nijuu Mensou has also been hurt at the end of the episode, so he finally can’t run away from Chiko anymore. The next episode should prove to be fun.

It also turns out that the woman we saw with Ken is the woman back from episode eight, with a bit of a changed appearance. Again, it would prove to be interesting when she meets with Chiko, now that Nijuu Mensou can’t run away anymore. There are four episodes left, so there’s probably one major climax coming up. Something tells me that that woman is going to play a big role in it. And what about that washed-up cleaner that we saw, nine episodes ago?

Posted on 18 August 2008 with categories: Nijuu Mensou no Musume



Short Synopsis: The old guy reveals his connections with Nijuu Mensou
Highlights: Deja vu?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
This episode started out excellent: Chiko is being accompanied by Nijuu Mensou’s former research professor, and Ken gets attacked by one of his minions when he tries to follow her. One thing I love about this series is how brutal the fight scenes are. There are supernatural elements, but it knows full well that superpowers alone don’t make a good fight. The animation is subtle, but it knows where to be detailed. I’d much rather watch a fight scene of Nijuu Mensou than one of Soul Eater, for example. These are fights between people that can get wounded very easily, and don’t have some sort of plot-device that automatically heals their wounds/makes them able to block a sword with their bare hands.

But as the episode went on and the focus got back to Chiko, I got a strange feeling… didn’t this already happen before? Someone from Nijuu Mensou’s past? Check. Grudge against Nijuu Mensou’s betrayal? Check. Hostage? Check. Nijuu Mensou appears from out of nowhere? Check. Everything just sounds awfully familiar to the doll-arc, apart from how the scientist doesn’t have any powers and so has to use two cyborgs. What exactly is this arc planning to add?

The other big difference here is that there was a huge emphasis on Chiko, thinking for herself. The doll clearly wanted revenge against both Chiko and Nijuu Mensou, but the professor (what was his name again?) wanted Chiko to side with him for his goals. Still, what could the creators be planning for that next episode. This series’ strength was how its plot often took 180-degree twists, but this turn it looks more like 360 degrees

Posted on 10 August 2008 with categories: Nijuu Mensou no Musume



Short Synopsis: The “detective girls” go after a rumour about two teachers that seem to fancy each other.
Highlights: The French was nice and all… but NOT with a Japanese accent!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
This episode convinced me that the “detective girls” only exist in Haruka’s head. The creators have no intention to just end the series with a bunch of random detective story arcs, because this episode set up the story and characters for the rest of the series. We get introduced to a bunch of new characters, and Nijuu Mensou’s past is revealed a bit more.

In the meantime, Chiko’s classmates have already started the fanfiction…

In any case, this episode introduces a former university professor who knew Nijuu Mensou when he was young (I wonder, do we ever get to hear what his real name is?). I didn’t quite catch what he told Chiko exactly, but it seems to come down to that he was once a brilliant scientist when the war started, and so he ended up developing all those supernatural weapons for killing. Since his motto was “look and think for yourself”, at one point he abandoned his research, and now that everything comes to try and bite back at him, he’s had no choice than to use Chiko as a decoy.

The next villain is someone who’ll be a big problem for Chiko to escape, as he’s basically just as small and light as Chiko, and the guy’s even stronger and faster. Ever since the train incident, Chiko has only had to fight people who were much bigger than her, so the guy might be one of her toughest enemies yet.

I also wonder how the creators are going to use the story of that washed-up cleaner, and when that super-powered woman of a number of episodes back is going to return. This episode showed that she’s indeed the product of Nijuu Mensou’s research, but is she going to play a bigger role than just a bit of background for the guy?

Posted on 3 August 2008 with categories: Nijuu Mensou no Musume



Short Synopsis: Chiko now lives away from her aunt, in a mansion along with Tome. Haruka visits her and forms the “Detective Girls”.
Highlights: A rather silly episode…
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
I’ll withhold judgment for the detective girls-arc of this series for now. Seriously, I have no idea what to think of it or what to expect, knowing the rest of this series. I really need to see the next episode to form a valid opinion for this series. The fact remains that this series has had plenty of light moments, which make you fool that this series is just goofing off, while they’re in fact just building up.

In this episode, Haruka and Chiko don’t really go and look for cases, but instead they get visited by a number of burglars. The process of catching these burglars was rather silly, especially since Haruka had act and claim her moment of glory (which involved her and Tome, crashing down some stone stair on a bike), but the few moments where this episode was serious were really good. Akine’s back-story gets completed, and it turns out that he lost his sister back in the war, and Chiko resembles his sister a lot. He also finally leaves Chiko’s aunt (which may have been a bad thing, as she’s probably going to hire someone tougher), and we still don’t know what these burglars were doing inside Chiko’s house. They were not normal burglars, because they still tried to attack Chiko, even after they were found.

Most of the humour in this episode was rather corny, but I do admit that I laughed at Haruka’s fantasies of the glamorous future missions of the Detective Girls (with Chiko as the invincible warrior, Tome as a seductress and herself as the fearless leader). The messy animation during the fight scenes also looked really good, and it surprised me. Bones isn’t really a studio that often experiments with its animation (in fact, I can’t remember having seen any experimental animation from them apart from this series).

Posted on 21 July 2008 with categories: Nijuu Mensou no Musume



Short Synopsis: This episode follows Chiko and Ken, as they try to get the doomed zeppelin down safely.
Highlights: An excellent aftermath to an amazing arc.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10
The previous episode was an absolute chaos, so it was only natural that the aftermath would be more straight-forward, and yet this was a very solid and entertaining episode, which really served to get the cast closer together, especially Ken and Chiko managed to settle their differences as they tried to get out of that bomb-filled zeppelin. An interesting twist was that all of the guests turned out to be alive, and the wine was just rigged with some strange stuff that quickly made them unconscious. The blood that they seemed to cough… just turned out to be wine.

One thing that my limited Japanese didn’t fully understand is what went on between Chiko’s aunt and Tome. The end result was Tome, blackmailing the aunt, but I’m not exactly sure how she did it. Did she feed her the same poison that was fed to Chiko, so that if she were to go to the doctor, her plans to poison Chiko would be revealed?

Overall, I’m really impressed by this arc, but the question remains: what is going to happen in the final eight episodes. Hashihime mentions something about the final parts of the series diverging from the manga, and turning into “detective girls”, and the ED seems to confirm this.

The detective-girls do have potential, and it’ll be interesting to see what kinds of mysteries the creators can come up with, but I’ve got one major issue with it: Haruka. The OP and ED continue to portray her as a major character, while her actual role in this series has been incredibly small. The only time that she did stand in the spotlights turned into a disaster, when she knocked a big strong man unconscious with a bunch of toys. If this series really is going to turn into a detective girls-thingy, then I fear that Haruka’s brattiness has the potential to ruin everything. She’s about the only member of the cast that feels stupid, and I really hope that the creators will manage to develop her sufficiently.

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
That was an interesting comparison. Cool to see how far anime has come.
Lenlo
I cant wait to watch Kaze Fui tonight to answer those questions Kazier!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Someone has done a comparison video for Dororo for a scene in the new one, comparing it with the old one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j38anJY3BtA
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe some people found the flashback scenes too dramatic, but I didn't mind, they worked for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo:One thing that has come to mind, how would it go if he encountered the coach again, but in the present?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo:I also liked how the flashback was done in a grainy looking style.
If I found someone who was finding it hard to get into this show, I think that this episode would win them over and it’s the episode I found myself feeling the most.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Episode 13 of Kaze ga tsuyoku is the fitting and perfect culmination of what has come before it and all is now essentially out on the table dramatically and all the better for it because of how well this series has built itself up.
Animosh
In essence it is still a battle shounen though: even if the fights always have narrative weight (it's not just fighting for the sake of fighting), the characters are to a significant extent developed through fights. So if that's not your thing it might be a hard sell even with its amazing animation and sympathetic cast.
Animosh
@Lenlo/Kaiser: the problem with Mob though is that its first two episodes are by far the worst of the series. So if you give it a try you should watch at least until the third episode, and possibly even episode 4/5 (since it's the first really good arc of the series imo).
Animosh
Yeah, it must be tough to blog three shows in the span of two days, especially with how long your posts tend to be. I find it hard enough already just to keep up with everything!
Lenlo
Ugh. Didnt get to Kaze Fui tonight. A shame. This whole Dororo/MobPsycho then Kaze Fui air schedule is gonna be a pain. You can expect Kaze Fui's maybe... Thurs? Not sure yet. Busy night
Kaiser-Eoghan
*newer not old
Kaiser-Eoghan
Some additional things I always notice in certain things, sometimes in these old medieval films or shows, in the American ones the characters occassionally don't look earthy enough.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koyomi from clannad i mean
Kaiser-Eoghan
Somewhere in my head Koyomi is this weird anime take on an autist.
Amagi
All she did what stupid, but everyone was saying that she was a genius that would probably soon develope the theory of eversthing so it must be real even if she's only ever smart when the plots needs her to do some sudden computer hack or something.
Amagi
Smart characters can only be written by smart writers. So sometimes writers just tell that the characters are smart but you don't actually witness it. It's either shown by using such wise one liners or just because someone else is telling the audience they're smart. Reminds me of that one Kyoani genius girl.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Can't do the walk, don't do the talk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can buy it more for a tough old dude.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On more thought, alot of it has to do with who is saying them. Men who look like children with no charisma.
Amagi
I absolutely hate these one liners too. Especially when you can already hear them in the trailer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hate it when scripts coverup for awful characters by spamming quips at you.
Amagi
It's why I dislike so much stuff that gets released today. All these run-of-the-mills, copies, clones, alternative universes, sequels and so on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But, beyond cgi, its the modern take wise-ass stuff that drives me nuts.
Amagi
Even if you're just drawing a landscape you need creativity. Where are the shadows, the lighting, what atmosphere should it trigger and so on. Maybe even a hidden motif.
Kaiser-Eoghan
ANARCHY KINO-MACHE!
Amagi
Yeah creativity is, well, should be among the most important things out there. I mean movies, anime, etc are actual art, art is meaningless without creativity. At least the narrating type of art.
Amagi
Kinda miss these anime. They're rare to begin with but I can't imagine anyone creating such a thing nowadays. Like Blame/Ergo/Texhno, even Lain. They never sold though, so I can even kind of understand it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ergo worked for me up until the ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think clever is too often a miused word by people when they describe things. They reduce it to being "Just a smart storyline", when really it is more suited a word to something in tune with its creative side.
Amagi
Ergo Proxy even had a dense/heavy plot that was developing while you're busy figuring the setting out. And many things were shown indirectly. It was one of the rare anime I had to watch twice to get it. Texhnolyze is also such a thing but more bizarre in my opinion, less logical than Ergo, but still great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Its really really nice knowing that I can talk to someone like you about this on my level .
Amagi
It's why I love series with strong settings so much. See Blame for example. Even Made in Abyss. You never know what kind of landscape you will see next and in Blame everything is fucked to behin with.
Amagi
Yeah. Well we do watch movies to feel excitement, and you can't really feel that if you can guess what happens next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now obviously these types of things can end up a coin toss of it either works or it doesn't, but I appreciate the risk taken.
Amagi
I tolerate it for games because whereas I still don't like it there, at least the game as an additional value which is the gameplay. So even with weak atmosphere I am still enjoying it for being a good game. But when I watch a movie I want get sucked in to some degree instead of being aware that I am just the audience (or the player).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like that feeling of I don't know whats going to happen next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like the idea of a madman getting to do a movie and running with his imagination.
Amagi
It's like dreaming and suddently hearing your real life cat meowing and realising that it's just a dream, you're in the bed and about to wake up. And yes this is exactly why I dislike CGI
Kaiser-Eoghan
But sometimes people cry pretentious wrongly, when there wasn't really any intended thing to get.
Amagi
It's why I am so easily angered over little errors or writing problems. Because they destroy the atmosphere more than anything else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean, I do like themes, characters etc, but my favourite experience is nightmare/dreamscapes.
Amagi
If the atmosphere is missing it doesn't matter what story you are telling, everything feels kinda hollow. Doesn't mean that show with weak atmo and great plot is bad, but it would be ten times better with the proper atmosphere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hate this modern idea of "It HAS to be coherent or mean something or follow some kind of linear or logical thing or some kind of rules"
Amagi
@Kaiser: Yeah it's why I often say that atmosphere is the most important part of a story, actually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
With cgi I am constantly reminded I am watching a film.
Amagi
Don't know all of the titles you mentioned, will probably look into a few of those I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
What I love about these old slavic art films, is no longer being aware of the world around me when I watch them. They use actual crafted cinematography so they can still feel like you're living it, despite being so unreal.
Amagi
Technobabylon and Gemini Rue are my favorites. These games capture this fucked up feeling of noir-punk and dark cyberpunk perfectly and have a bunch of great twists and character arcs.
Amagi
I like this type of darkness somehow, as well as trash punk and noir stuff. I do enjoy the Wadjet Eyes games for that reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Naturally I loved both
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hard to be God and On the silver globe are insane, there's this sense of what the utter hell am I watching? But you feel like you've been transported someone else entirely.
Amagi
"We" (Мы) is also a Russian dystopia novel, it shared a bunch of similarities with 1984 but was written long before Orwell had had even started with 1984.
Amagi
STALKER has also made me check out a bunch of Russian/Ukrainian novels. I love their ideas. Their dystopias and everything.
Amagi
Slavs are doing good games right now. Looking forward playing this Russia Fallout clone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't remember the name of the Soviet animation with the robot that keeps on working after everyone's dead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But crappy puns aside. Dead mans letters, letters never sent, Ivan's child hood, Andreii Rublev, Cranes are flying and I am Cuba have amazing cinematography.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wanna b a Potemkin master....
....like no-one ever was =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dead mans letters is up there with Threads as being one of the best apocalypse films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*evangelion
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or would that be Nyguen genesis Evagelion =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You'll always be my ho chi main man minh Mario =)
SuperMario
I love Soviet cinema. Yeah the Mirror has that monochrome part. And they aren’t that big as they used to be but Soviet animation has great history
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stalker is an excellent science fiction film and not neccesarily because of need to anaylze it, but because it works of a visual-psychic level.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Zerkalo/mirror is a great example of this, just a stream of the directors thoughts, all visual impressionism, there might be a scene where I couldn't tell you the why or the what, but it'd make me feel something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Basically where to understand, is simply to feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Its always fascinating that some filmakers have the ability to just let the film wash over you and move you with intricately crafted arthouse visuals. That they can do that, without character arcs/intellectual message/monologues.
Amagi
Speaking of soviet stuff I kinda want another movie or maybe even a cartoon like some of these old soviet movies that were partly monochrome and partly colored during important scenes. Didn't solaris have that too? - I know the monochrome parts were done to save money, but it was kinda impressive seeing colorless movies turning colorful ones during emotional scenes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Definately something that would appeal to me in terms of alternate style of animation. I'm actually quite a fan of different, out there animation styles.
Lenlo
Heres the ED
Lenlo
Yup, paint on glass. The entire ED for the first season was done in that style. Mob loves to use obscure or generally unusual art styles to sell the other worldlyness of its spirits.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That sounds pretty cool.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Excuse me....paint on glass effects in Mob? There was a Soviet animator that used that style.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*earlier
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Again you psychically read my mind =P I was just thinking that about Farnese arlier.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I think I've accepted there are some manga I need to wait until they're finished before go back to them either due to slow scans or because they've gone on so long or go on hiatus.
Amagi
I think the later half as well as the hiatus killed it for me. Can't deal with that two chapters per year policy.
Lenlo
I, however, am still a rabid Berserk fanboy. :D
Amagi
I am also never a fan of characters completely changing personalities once they're redeemed. Farnese was an interesting villain and while I agree that she needed to overcome her trauma the current Farnese is just some soulless helpful big sister type. She only exists to care for Cjaskar and at some point even Cjaskar's eternal problem was starting to get on my nerves.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Same opinion on Berserk again. The arc before that with the inquisition tower was one of the highpoints of the manga, everything went downhill once Schierke had joined which is kinda sad since it was one of my favorite series before that.
Lenlo
Mob is much more character focused than OPM. OPM riffs on Shounen, while Mob is a much more character driven drama kinda series, with shounen elements. I would give it a shot for an episode or two.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Berserk started losing me when he started travelling around with those kids.
@Amagi/Animosh: Do you believe that Mob has better choreography than onepunch?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi:I will give exceptions to magical elements if a show can produce an adventure narrative worthwhile or if it’s a magical girl show.
If magic is featured in an occult horror fashion or in an exploitative way, I will also lean toward allowing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: While I very much doubt Mob would be my thing, given how I generally felt indifferent to onepunch man and bias against shounen action, yes the art for Mob, when elevated by an anime adaptation lends itself to something unique looking and I can praise that.
Lenlo
I think ONE's style fits Mob better, and Murata's style fits OPM better. So yeah, Bones chose well on that front
Amagi
Not only are overdesigned characters really bad for movement which is actually needed to make a series and their characters feel alive but they also often look really bad in my opinion and there is a limit on how overdesigned a character can be until I stop taking them seriously at all.
Amagi
Yeah. I also honestly think that many anime are suffering from overdesigning.
Animosh
And I like Mob's artstyle a lot as well. It gives the series a unique look, and it gives the animators all the freedom they could wish for to play around with the characters (and basically everything else) as they see fit. Add Bones to the mix, and you have one of the best-looking series out there.
Animosh
I prefer the full ONE experience too. It's part of the reason why I slightly prefer Mob Psycho. OPM looks great and all, but there's way too much meaningless fighting going on in the manga lately. I prefer the tighter and more consistently subversive storytelling of the webcomic, although I still enjoy the manga a lot as well (and the story climaxes in particular tend to look freaking amazing).
Amagi
Different example since this is actual fantasy but I also prefered the early Berserk series over the later parts. When the supernatural horror stuff was more of a hidden thing appearing around Guts and otherwise just on special occasions, while most people didn't even believe such things exist. I prefer that over the high (dark) fantasy we have now although I get what Miura is aiming at.
Amagi
I guess I just have a thing for this secret-club mentality. I prefer it over worlds with blatan magical powers everyone uses and knows about.
Amagi
It's weird but I almost always hate anime with and about magic, the more fantasy it is the less I like it (usually, not always), but then again occult stuff is always totally my thing.
Amagi
I am quite happy they stick with the original Mob Psycho designs from ONE for this series. The OPM manga is probably one of the best looking things out there but ONE's artstyle has a lot of charme and makes characters more unique, especially if looks as polished as in the anime adaption.
Lenlo
Mmm cant wait to watch it. Kaze Fui, still great
Anonymous3309336
I really like how Kurahana admitted that he let his emotions get to him when he threw that punch at the coach back then. Now he feels remorseful about that day and how he made enemies from his former teammates.
Anonymous3309336
Meanwhile, looks like the next episode will focus on Prince again and his attempts to further improve his time.
Anonymous3309336
Meanwhile, his new teammates understand the pain he's been going through and want him to move on from that. Definitely as some of the best writing of this season.
Anonymous3309336
That punch he threw at the coach was certainly well-deserved, but I can see why the other teammates including Sakaki would come to despise him.
Anonymous3309336
This episode of Kaze ga... was great as always, as we see more of Kurahana's past and how his awful coach made Sakaki and the rest of his former team turn on him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't have minded reading several volumes of seeing Satou on the run.
Animosh
Thanks! That's good to know. An alternate ending could have been fun, but I suppose the ending of the anime was fitting, and if it ain't broke don't fix it.
Amagi
Looks like it's going to end. I guess it ends the same but we can't say for sure yet.
Animosh
For those of you still reading Happy Sugar Life: is the manga continuing past the anime? Or does it look like it's going to end in the same way? If it takes a different path it might be worth checking it out.
Anonymous3307077
children of the whales
Lenlo
Holy crap. Mob Psycho 100 is the best thing since sliced bread. BONES thank you.

And thanks Kaiser!
Amagi
well we have a döner kebab ship at least.
Amagi
I am from Frankfurt, another one of the biggest German cities but there isn't much to see here aside from skyscrapers and banks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*had **taught
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hah had some notion that the Japanese didn't really know English or it wasn't well thought over there?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo's taste continues to be impeccably based.
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol I thought coolass47 was covering Kaguya.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Germany, both Koln and Berlin, especially Koln felt like a home to me and felt the less alienating/foreign.
Kaiser-Eoghan
.....probably embarassing but, I think I'd be put off sleeping on the floor in a futon or using one of those weird Japanese toilets.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Truly I am the Kaiser Eoghan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Beyond that I've been to Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've never been outside of Europe. I didn't have problems getting around Germany though when I went because my then girlfriend was from there and I knew enough to cope on a Holiday.
Amagi
also no matter which country I visited till now people were always friendly
Amagi
Yeah, now thinking about it, I could even find everything in Iran so I guess Japan should work too. Most people knew enough random English or German words to somehow lead you to the place and you want to visit unless it's some really weird relief or a small town that's difficult to reach but tourists usually stick with the big stuff.
SuperMario
... years ago and Japan is pretty safe and the signs are easy to follow in general. Even the locals who don’t speak English they are pretty friendly and help you the best they can. You don’t need to be worry on that front
SuperMario
I did it alone few
Amagi
Not sure how he did it (he went completely alone too) but it seems to be possible somehow. Not sure if I would make it though.
Amagi
Someone I know managed it alone and he isn't even that good in English.
Lenlo
I think I can manage. Lots of English signage in places like the rail systems and such. That plus the small amount I am learning in preparation and how much english they teach them over there, I should be ok
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Do you feel you'd be able to get by in Japan? As far as I know you don't speak any Japanese.
Animosh
Mob was great again too. The adaptation is really knocking it out of the park. And looks like we'll be getting one of my favorite side stories next week.
Animosh
I love how upbeat Slime continues to be. If only all wars were resolved like this. And then he goes on to improve everyone's lives by building homes, infrastructure, and coalitions based on common interests? Rimuru for president!
Anonymous3303364
I retired from the force in middle school enjoying my retirement, I still see the faces of the comrades we lost when we defeated the big bad and saved the world, I haven't seen my cute marketable mascot in 3 years, but I like this new life I'm living, I thought I found peace but the battlefield always calls out to me, why? Because war never changes.
Anonymous3303364
I love this comment since it's more well put on what this dark magical girls show really is:
Vonter
Perhaps in ten years when the next trope comes. I wonder if some will look back to the tropes from now with different eyes. Like they say, you don't know what you have until you lose it.
Vonter
Yeah, maybe I could watch some of that schlock. In a way some of it has become more endearing over time. Since times have changed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Vampire wars was fantastic though, used shitfuck as a word from what I remember.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yes! Finally they're saying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Watching a compiliation of dub cursings for angel cop, not enough F-bombs yet.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always wish some of these old ovas got to go on for longer, especially AD police and bubblegum crisis. I'd have loved a full gunsmith cats or riding bean show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to watch Angel cop some day I really do.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think vonter, if magical girl ops can't achieve the exploi angle then it has failed all the further. We'll have to see.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I was disappointed when I saw the more modern anime! Because it didn't have the art I liked in the ovas.
Vonter
I do remember now. Did you watched the Birdy The Mighty OVA (not the series, the OVA). That one I remember liking because it was cheesy, visceral, had IMO better designs for the aliens than the ones in the TV series and I digged the dynamic of the two leads. However it was cut short. Perhaps it was too derivative for the time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes I can actually take ridiculousness much better when its a live action exploitation thing if it happens to fail in animated form. That Jeanne d'arc anime and maybe magical girl spec ops would have made hilarious 60s/70s Eurotrash films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
One of the only modern anime to do the exploitation angle right was Freezing.
Vonter
I want to believe there's something like that already out. But I'm blocked. I can only mention that I now want to rewatch some of Devilman Lady. It does have a female lead battling monsters with an 80s sci fi horror vibe, I don't know it reminds me for some reason to movies like Godzilla 1985 or King Kong Lives.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Or go mental.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Thats one I still need to get around to. If I have to have a darker magical thing, it either has to be camp and goofy enough while taking itself dead seriously or keep some of the fun .
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - If you haven't check a couple of episodes of Lady Devilman. Despite being formulaic, the monsters on that anime are really well made and feel creative, morbid and creepy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: lol Damn, now I want to see Go Nagai's take of Magical girl ops.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I love how some old ovas would sometimes take place in America, but in this IDEA of it, getting it wrong.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I love how they added in those stupid curse words every few minutes aswell, wonderfully incompotent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Mad bull 34 was lovingly perverse , like a Japanese equivalent to those wonderful Italian police things.
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