Posted on 25 September 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Pandora Hearts



The past spring season was a good one for fantasy-series. Among the best ones of this genre was Pandora Hearts. It takes the air of modern-day fairy-tales, and gives them a dark and twisted… twist, resulting into quite a unique series that focuses on themes as the past and forgiveness.

What sets this show apart is its distinct and dark style of storytelling. It has a heavy emphasis on twisted dialogues that are well delivered by the voice actors, and once it gets going, it just keeps getting more and more intriguing. This series has the very interesting characteristic that whenever you think that the creators couldn’t possibly pull any more plot twists, they do. This series is delightfully unpredictable, and just about every plot twist makes the setting more intriguing.

And what an intriguing setting it is! While at first it might seem like nothing special, but soon this series evolves into a multi-layered mystery-series that only gets more and more complex as the revelations come. Combine that with a deep and varied cast of characters and you’ve got a recipe for success.

As for this series’ flaws, it’s that the lead character Oz isn’t always able to carry the series. Whenever Oz starts angsting he tends to drag the entire series along with him, and his times of inner retrospective are deep, but also tend to drag along a bit too much. And overall, the cast could have been more fleshed out. At the end of the series, I only started to feel like I was beginning to get to know the characters. Add the fact that it’s not yet sure whether a second season will come to animate the remaining manga chapters, and you’ve got an incomplete series that desperately needs more screentime.

Nevertheless, Pandora Hearts really is a gem of a series, and when it delivers it really does over and over. Xebec created a really unique graphical style that combines the art style from the 90s and the past decade, and a lot of shots really are visual feasts in terms of aesthetics. The music by Yuki Kajiura may not be her best work, but still shines in every single way. Now if only that second season would get announced.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 9/10
Posted on with categories: Pandora Hearts



I have a question for the manga-readers: was this episode really anime-original? I mean, it was a standalone episode and all, but at the same time it gave out a lot of new information about a certain character, it actually showed the current Sabrie and it also developed Oz a bit and it was well paced with a very nice insert-song at the end.

But yeah, Oz’s father was a very nice way to close off this series. It very nicely ties in with the beginning of the series, and it really is a major bit of development for Oz, getting over the trauma that was caused by the neglect of his father. He did angst a bit this episode, but he had enough reasons to do so, after finding out that his father made a contract with a Chain, became a member of the Baskervilles and forced Oz into the Abyss! I’m not sure about the coincidence that allowed him to meet up

The question still remains whether that second season is going to come or not. This episode gave no hints whatsoever about the creators’ intentions. Or rather, the sponsors’ intentions to finance another sequel. Let’s really hope that that’s going to be the case, because there is a lot of potential left in the second half. It’s going to be a bloody shame for the story to be just cut in half like this.

Overall, Pandora Hearts ended up as a really enjoyable series, despite a few bumps along the way. It always knew a creative way to develop its story and every time I thought that it couldn’t pull any more plot twists, it did. the characters all have a strange charm to them, though I wouldn’t count them among my favourites of the past season.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 18 September 2009 with categories: Pandora Hearts



Well what do you know? Even though this episode was anime-original, it was actually really good. I’m very impressed by the creators here: they showed that they don’t just know how to adapt a good manga, but they also showed that they can write on their own, keep in the same style of storytelling, don’t ruin the Kanon and yet they don’t entirely waste time by making everything irrelevant in the end. Really Xebec, that was a job well done.

Of course, I’m not exactly sure whether this episode ruined the canon of the series, but it seems pretty unlikely. the creators here create an epic scenario that makes sense within the context of the series. The Will of the Abyss feeling lonely, that seems like a perfectly acceptable scenario at this point and it provides a nice epic conclusion for this first season. It’s a bit of a shame that the creators couldn’t afford a whole new set of character-designs for huge amounts of chains running around, but nevertheless that Bunny Dragon looked really impressive.

This episode was also very good at fleshing out the characters: it didn’t provide any new information, but it let the information we already know about them sink in: Oz with his development, Alice with that fragment of her past, and Break who recently dropped the wall between him and the others. But what really surprised me was that there was a point at which they even improved on the manga. One of my main problems with this series is that Oz’s moments of self-reflection tended to go on and on and on. They were often way too long and cheesy. This time however, he’s short and to the point, and it makes just as much impact.

the animation also was very good in this episode, and you can really see that Xebec invested time in it. I only have one problem with it, and that’s basically a problem with just about every series who lets hordes of monsters roam around. These monsters individually proved to be clear threats and very hard to take care of, and yet when they’re in a group their IQ suddenly gets divided by 10. Especially the way they react to guns seems… random. But then again, that can also be because of Oz’s lousy aim. ^^;
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 11 September 2009 with categories: Pandora Hearts



Do correct me if I’m wrong, but this is he part where the anime seems to be going into original episodes that weren’t based off the manga, right? If that’s the case, then the creators handled it pretty well this time. This episode didn’t try to rush through revelations, or go into a completely different direction, ruining the rest of the series.

Okay, it was a build-up episode, but a very pleasant one. My guess is that the creators have decided to end the series with the truth about the tragedy of Sabrie, and if they can pull it off it’s at least going to be a satisfying conclusion. This episode was all about building it up and what I liked a lot about it is that it did bother to show the development of the past few episodes: how much closer the five lead characters have gotten after Break gave in and told about his backstory. It’s as if that broke down some sort of invisible wall with that. It was also pleasant to see Ada again, and the jokes around Oz’s private security were also hilarious.

I’ve said this before, but anime-original material isn’t bad at all. It all depends on whether or not the creators are able to handle it correctly, and I’ve seen plenty of series who pulled off great things when they included stuff that wasn’t in the original source material. For Pandora Hears it unfortunately seems unlikely for a second season, so I’d rather have at least some conclusion, rather than that the show simply “ends” after episode 25 (this is one of those shows in which a “life goes on”-ending like in Aoi Hana simply doesn’t work), and so far they seem to be doing a good job. I’m not going to get too enthusiastic before I find out what the creators were actually building up for, but it does look like this show isn’t going to pull a Claymore at the end.

Right now, I want to have a good explanation for those strange puppets that appeared at the end of this episode. Did Vincent summon them in an attempt to get those who are close to the secrets of the Tragedy of Sabrie out of the picture, and can the creators pull it off without being cheesy? Well, let’s find out in the next two weeks!
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 4 September 2009 with categories: Pandora Hearts



Well, since the manga is going on way beyond the end of this series, which is going to come in three more episodes, I’m not expecting too much from this series’ finale. Sure, the final episode may end up to become awesome, but the story isn’t going to come together like with most endings, and it’s probably going to keep me hungry for more until that second season gets announced. If it ever gets.

Nevertheless though, this show just keeps surprising me. Some of the flashback parts in this episode were utterly demented, not to mention that just about the entire episode was dedicated to Break’s past. We also learn about how Alice and the Will of the Abyss used to be twins, somehow strangely connected through each other in the Abyss. When Alice got killed, I assume that the Will of the Abyss remained in the deepest parts of the abyss, while Alice herself was just cast into the regular Abyss, where Oz ran into her.

Thinking back though, this series did miss out on being a classic. Now that this series has nearly ended, I’m beginning to understand why: compared to the other series this season, the cast of Pandora Hearts didn’t grow on me as much. This series has always excelled at two points: the complex storyline and back-story behind everything, and the demented style of storytelling that just keeps the surprises going. But it also excelled at these points incredibly well.

In the end, Oz ended up as a bit of a flawed character: he works when the focus isn’t on him, but when this show focuses on him it starts focusing a bit too much on his cheesy self-retrospection. As for the rest of the characters: the thing that made them awesome was this series’ style of storytelling: the people from Xebec did a great thing of translating the style from the manga to the anime, and give it as much impact as possible. But in the end, the cast members on their own just aren’t as interesting as the cast of Guin Saga, Phantom, Shangri-la, Full Metal Alchemist, Cross Game, the New Mazinger and some other shows.

Nevertheless, where as the spring season of 2008 brought some truly inspiring science fiction premises and the autumn of 2008 brought lots of new things to the table for the horror-series, the spring of 2009 excelled at the fantasy-premises. The new Full Metal Alchemist, Guin Saga, Pandora Hearts and Shangri-La (which walks a bit in between fantasy and science fiction) and if you include the winter-season Kemono no Souja Erin all came with great and inventive premises that really contributed to the fantasy genre.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 28 August 2009 with categories: Pandora Hearts



Whoa. Even for Pandora Hearts, this was a surprisingly good episode. Since it already has been two weeks since the plot disappeared (with the previous week a hiatus and the week before that more aimed at comic relief), but damn, I didn’t suspect that the creators were already going to arrive at Break’s background this early.

So this episode basically starts out as Oz manages to get himself an appointment with the person who most likely is to remember something about the tragedy of Sabrie 100 years ago: Rufus Barma, the longest sitting of the four dukes, and a collector of information. Apparently, Oz had heard of him from before he was cast in the Abyss. Makes sense.

Anyway, it then turns out that Barma likes to play with his visitors, and creates a whole illusion to try and hide who he really is. With the threat of the Baskervilles and all, this indeed seems like a wise move. Anyway, it seems that the biggest reason why he accepted Oz’s invitation is because he wants to learn something from Break. On a side-note, the foursome of Break, Oz, Gilbert and Alice look awesome in formal attire. It’s nothing new, but this series sure is good at its costume designs.

Anyway, while this seems nice and all, the second half of this episode completely turns the chessboard upside-down, to come with an Umineko-reference, when it turns out that Break’s background is much darker than I imagined (or should I say, Kevin’s background). In his original time, his family was murdered and he willingly travelled into the abyss to get their murderer back. He already had a contract back then. He then met the White Alice, who turns out to be no-one else but the “Will of the Abyss”. She then pokes Kevin’s eye out, gives it to Cheshire Cat, and kills his chain. wtf. To make things even more inexplicable, a young Vincent (who seems to be an acquaintance of the Will of the Abyss), brings an unconscious Gilbert (who also happens to know her) in and acts like it’s the most normal thing in the world.

This explains quite a bit: it explains how Break knew of the Cheshire Cat, and what he wanted from him (his eye back), it also is probably going to explain why he has such a deep-seated grudge against Vincent. The next episode is probably going to show Vincent doing something really nasty to him. As a result, it’s probably because of this that Break has vowed to find out what happened in the Tragedy of Sabrie: it’s his wish to find Vincent’s weakness, and what Vincent absolutely doesn’t want is the truth about the tragedy to come out. The reason why he refused to sacrifice Sharon has probably to do with his little sister.

Also… about Alice being the Will of the Abyss, this is just a theory but was the Abyss actually created along with the Tragedy of Sabrie? I mean, the people who returned from the Abyss all were special cases: Gilbert and Vincent were there when it was created if this is true, and this would also explain why Vincent knew the Will of the Abyss so well. Break meanwhile was probably the only human who willingly entered the abyss, which seems to be confirmed with how the Will of the Abyss said that he was the only one who maintained his conscience. Oz was special because he found Alice’s locket, which somehow did something with one of the Alices to make some connection.

Also, was I the only one who noticed the weird Rozen Maiden cameos in the Will of the Abyss’s dolls?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 14 August 2009 with categories: Pandora Hearts



Okay.

That was awesome!

Whoever said that fillers are bad? Most of this episode was just random banter, but that’s exactly what made it so hilarious at this stage. Especially when Oscar brought out the liquor in the second half of the episode, the hilarity really started. And okay, I know I said filler, but it’s not like this episode was completely useless either. It did a great job of fleshing out the characters, developing them slightly and wrapping up the past arc.

But seriously, more anime should have drinking episodes. They almost often result in hilarity and yet you hardly ever see them. Obviously with shows about kids this is understandable, but with series where the characters are sixteen years or older, I don’t see much harm. This episode really showed some interesting new things about the characters, like how half of the members of the main cast are terrible at handling alcohol. Only Oz and Oscar seem to be fine with it, and Break only pretends to be drunk, but Sharon turns into an even bigger narcissist than she already was, and especially Gilbert and Alice experienced really heavy mood-swings.

Something also tells me that in this episode, the creators were having the time of their lives trying to come up with all of the different facial expressions throughout this episode. They were all very creative, and really funny.

As for the main plot, there was only about a minute dedicated to it, but the twist we learned was pretty big: Eliot is yet another guy who was warped into the future during the tragedy of Sabrie. In fact, he was the one who wrote Alice’s song, and something tells me that the creators had a very good reason to keep Alice out of the action during the past Ada arc.

There is some bad news, though: next week is going to be a hiatus. Damn.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 7 August 2009 with categories: Pandora Hearts



This episode was really there to add more depth to Oz: Eliot’s rather rash words have hit him hard in this episode, and even though it probably wasn’t that special for Eliot, it really gave Oz the opportunity to reflect on himself. But yeah, there are only six episodes left for him to show how much he learned. Second Season Where?!

Through Lotti, we also came to learn a lot more about Jack Bezarius and his past. It turns out that he wasn’t anyone special when he was still alive: he just happened to be best friends with Glen Baskerville, the instigator of the Tragedy of Sabrie. Glen turned out to be far from the evil overlord that I imagined him to be, and something must have really screwed him up to have ordered that tragedy. Not to mention that it’s still unknown what Vincent and Gilbert were doing there.

On a side-note: the first DVD for Pandora Hearts seems to be doing pretty well right now in the sales, being the only one aside from Higashi no Eden and K-On (which were bound to appear there anyway) to appear in the top 18 of DVD sales in the past week. Here is a surprise success for Xebec.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 31 July 2009 with categories: Pandora Hearts



I must say that this episode turned out completely different from what I expected. Now that the setting has become your average high school, I was expecting a more light-hearted chapter, and the way this arc started indeed seemed to suggest so. So I was wrong.

Because this was the last place I expected the Baskervilles to show up at. I’m not exactly sure how they knew that Oz was visiting his sister this day, but the Tragedy of Sabrie turns out to be a bigger mystery than expected, especially since the ones who instigated it don’t even know everything that happened. I suspect that they want to know the exact details of what Jack did back there in order to prevent it from gobbling up the entire country.

The most interesting thing in this episode was the piece of meta-fiction in terms of the Holy Knight series, which seems to be a series of popular books in the Pandora Hearts universe. I loved how both Oz and Eliot (the new guy, who seems to be part of the Nightray family, of all things) had completely different ways of interpreting a guy named “Edgar”. Oz, being cast in the abyss and all, has lost just about all of his self worth, but it turns out that he even thought little of himself before he was cast into the abyss, which again brings us back to the way he was raised by his parents. This episode shows that he still fails to see the many people that care about him (Ada, Gilbert and especially Alice). Those words from Eliot made a lot of impact.

And on a side-note: what kind of school has a barbecue club? Seriously?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 24 July 2009 with categories: Pandora Hearts



Okay, so this episode was basically an aftermath and introduction. In the first part of the episode, Sharon’s kidnapping is wrapped up, while the rest of the episode shows us a familiar character returning: Ada, Oz’s sister. Both were excellent opportunities to see different sides of some characters. What I liked most about this episode was how we come to see Break and Sharon in a totally different light.

We learn that Break too was alive 100 years ago, and involved in the time-warp that got hold of Gilbert and Vincent. He was then found by Sharon and her mother, and while he started off as a closed off brat, it was Sharon’s mother who turned him into the playful sadist he is today. As what happened to Sharon’s mother, we still don’t know. She could be dead, but this show has a tendency of keeping it a mystery of who survived and who died.

As for Oz’s sister, she overacted a bit in my opinion. I’m not too fond of how she turned into some sort of blond bimbo, but she definitely has potential if she gets fleshed out more. Oscar in the meantime was priceless in his worries over her. The school also seems to hold some mysteries that have to do with Alice, so I’m wondering what these kids can add to the story. I mean, if they’re at school, they were five years old when Oz was cast into the Abyss, so they can’t have something to do with the whole story, can they?
Rating: * (Good)

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
And that extends to action scenes, don't just slap old songs over your trailer thoughtlessly/carelessly or dump a generic pop song over your mecha battle or generic rock song over a fight scene.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Scenes would be better served by subtely or sinister sound design or less/no music in most cases.
Amagi
@Niello: Same here. It annoyed me to no end. I was curious so I watched the live stream. It was much better/less bad with subs, most of the first episode was nothing but shousa shousa and casually a "violetto chan..".
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I would disagree on music. The soundtrack is far too bombastic and overbearing for the nature of the series.
Niello
Watching the first episode raw was a mistake imo. I actually cringed when I heard chuusa for the 10th time in the hospital room scene. At least the subtitle would serve as a distraction.
Amagi
It's kinda sad because the execution of scenes, music and animation are awesome and I think that its depiction of characters and their behaviour is pretty good too, the problem is that the MC is a bad/illogical character to begin with and that they want to attract a larger fanbase through certain pandering. Still enjoy it overall, though.
SuperMario
We share the exact same thoughts about Violet's issues then. I think the story isn't that great and the characterisation so far is weak. But count on me to blog it to see if it can improve itself
Amagi
Yeah, the idea of some unworldy girl learning about emotions through ghost writing is great and I love the setting. But the war part makes no sense in that context, and I wish they'd tone down that "I'm mayor's dog" stuff. It's pretty common for these type of people being clingy to one specific person, but they should totally leave out the waifu pandering. Ep 2 was better in that regard though.
Niello
How come Violet went through war and back and still doesn't even recognise, in the slightest, the grim emotions humans sometimes feel such as pain, worry, distrust, anger, hate etc. Then the premise set up that she's going to learn love and all the other emotions, good and bad, though ghost writing and empathise with people. I call bull.
Niello
@Mario: The writing is disappointing and underwhelming, especially the characterisation. I would rant, but I'd rather not. It's just, if this show doesn't have the amazing visual or Kyoani name attached you can just imagine that its fate would be rather bleak.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: hhhmmm, I have good news, the French dvd of that film let the corpses tan is coming out in March, well before the vod release, so it'll probably get fansubbed or something before we have to wait for an official English web-dl/cast.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was never much of an on stage/presentation man really, I was always rubbish at it, to quiet an introverted person really to get up in front of a crowd and give a lecture/speech.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: And this would be the part where I say it would be great if I even had half your presentation ability or sounded that clever.
Your voice is as imagined it, though I'd pictured you younger looking in my head.
KTravlos
fianlly done with the academic meeting I was organizing. Should get back to some anime watching. Also if you want to see my presentation go here

https://youtu.be/GNjtuf-nJ-s?list=PL7qM1ZYRwV_DbcW31vF_Codobpq7u6ffS
SuperMario
@Niello: Aside from your #1 (which ưe'll agree to disagree here), it's a nice set of shows you're follwing this season. Did you watch Violet Evergarden first episode thou and how did you think about it?
SuperMario
Great. Now I can't even send message here through my laptop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: i think it's the same issue with kisscartoon. The original site was shut down sometimes ago, and now there are plenty of Kisscartoon's fake domains that are annoying as hell
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"
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Featured Posts

Darling in the Franxx – 02[What it means to connect]

As it stands now, this is essentially an animated version of a double entendre. Each line is laced with a double meaning so heavy that you can postface lines with the words “That’s what she said.” and it would fit perfectly. I find my stance on this to be rather mixed as while the fanservice […]

Junji Ito Collection – 03[The Crossroads Pretty boy – The lovesick dead, Slug Girl]

Our two stories today regard the handsome man at the crossroads and slug girl. The handsome man story was given the most screen time and it is a decent story, albeit unfinished. What was presented here was only the first part of the story and I believe it will be continued in later episodes. But […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 15 [There is no place like home]

Welcome to another week of Mahoutsukai no Yome. This week continues Chise’s bad relationship with water, Elias’s with Fae and gives Silky a history. Lets jump in! To start off, I want to talk about the best part of this episode, that being Silky’s history and alone time. For the longest time Silky was a […]

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 […]

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 […]