Posted on 24 March 2013 with categories: Anime Reviews, Psycho Pass



Psycho Pass belongs in the category of series that base themselves on a futuristic world that center around a basic premise. Take for example Kaiba, in which people’s minds can be extracted from their bodies, Real Drive, with its evolution of the Internet or Himitsu, where people can download the memories of dead people. In Psycho Pass, it’s all about creating the perfect society without crime. Everyone is monitored and has their own “Psycho Pass”, and as soon as your mind starts to think criminal thoughts, you’re arrested. With that as a building block, it makes its story.

The story is set to explore this setting. I won’t spoil exactly how, but I will say that over its course, it shows many different opinions about this setting. And it doesn’t just try to answer whether the setting is wrong or right, but it goes more in-depth. Every character has some good or bad points to make, and every one of those points is open to interpretations. It’s a show that aims to make you think, and even the things it just spells out for you have a lot of depth behind them. This goes on for 22 episodes and I have to say that after Guilty Crown, this has really shown how a 2-cours Noitamina series should be done.

Especially at the end of the series everything comes together, and the build-up for the story really pays off. At the beginning of the series though, this series loses some points for focusing on the same things for a bit too long. The big problem is that it focuses too much on one particular aspect of the setting, so that it has to rush to get everything else in in its second half. It manages to do this somehow, but the transition could have gone smoother.

On the technical terms, Production IG delivered some really good choreography and camera angles that really make their impact when they need to. The soundtrack for this series also is really good, and it doesn’t just have one style. It just makes use of whatever track it thinks fits the best to the scene, whether this is classical music or techno. Oh, and that’s another thing that this series loves to do: quote some famous literary works. Call it pretentious. I call it interesting if it contributes to the story. Which to me, it did.

The characters in this series are perhaps not its most memorable parts, but even they have something to write home about. It’s got an excellent villain in the form of Makishima Shougo, who for once actually has some good and interesting motivation to back himself up. Akane also might seem out of place when you first see her, but she really shines in her character-development. The rest of the side-characters also manage to have their impact, even though this series does not have the “Let’s devote all our time to the backstory of this side-character”-episodes. Instead their depth is subtly woven into the story. If you like serious series and believe that anime is too cute nowadays, then this is one series that you shouldn’t pass up.

Note: I’m going to experiment a bit more with this review format, simply because of making the Storytelling, characters, production-values, setting”-list got a bit too annoying to write down every time.
One-sentence Review: Psycho Pass explores its unique sci-fi setting really well with thought-provoking dialogue, characters and a great plot, and mostly keeps true to its promise that there would be no moe included.
Suggestions:
Kaiba
Himitsu The Revelation
RD Sennou Chousashitsu

Posted on with categories: Psycho Pass

Now that actually was an incredibly solid ending. I think that I could not have hoped better from this series, because it formed a terrific closure here. My memory is not good enough to remember whether or not it answered every question or not, but it did succeed in wrapping itself up in many different ways.

It really dawned here to me this episode: this series doesn’t really claim to be right with any of its characters. All it does is present a lot of different viewpoints on its setting, every one of whoch has some good points about it. This episode was meant as a chance for everyone to give his or her conclusion to what they have been preaching throughout the series. I really liked that idea to base your ending on this, and everyone actually the opportunity to make their final point in the debate without simply reiterating themselves.

The personal conflict between Shinya, Makishima and Akane also got a great conclusion, also helped by some great cinematics. The soundtrack was as sharp as it has ever been, and fields of grain made for quite an atmospheric setting for Makishima to die. Shinya managed to kill him in the end. Or at least, I hope he did. The only thing I did not like about this episode was that sequel hook at the end. That was a bit of a cop-out.

But the actual end of the episode. I thought that that was pretty brilliant: ending with the same way that the series has started. a

Overall, Psycho Pass was a really big success. Sharp from start to finish, and consistently interesting to watch. And I have to say: the past year for Noitamina has been its best since 2010. Apollon, Natsuyuki Rendezvous and Psycho Pass were all delights to watch, Tsuritama was really fun, and even the lesser shows of Moyashimon and Robotics Notes had enough to write home about. Let’s hope that it will be back in full force after its hiatus!
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 20 March 2013 with categories: Psycho Pass

So, it’s time for the penultimate episodes again. Starting with Psycho Pass, which pretty much showed an example of such an episode done right. This definitely was a story headed towards its climax with the country at stake, but at the same time it never stopped developing its characters. In fact, it’s this episode where a lot of the characters come together, and get pushed further.

And this is for nearly the entire cast here. It’s because of this that the death scene made impact. Everyone can kill off a character near the end of a series. Making such a death count is an entirely different matter, but that is exactly what Psycho Pass did with Nobuchika here, and his relationship with the other enforcers. It fitted perfectly onto the buildup that he has had for the past episodes. But also Akane really surprised me as a really strong character. Plus Makishima Shougo again demonstrates what it’s like to be an actually good villain here. Yay!

Now that the series is nearly over, I’d say that Psycho Pass for me ranks above Blassreiter, Fate/Zero and Madoka Magica as a Gen Urobuchi series, and below Phantom. Although out of all his stories, I do think that this is the strongest. Blassreiter mostly stood out through its CG. Fate/Zero had some pacing issues (which to me, Psycho Pass didn’t really have that much…), and it’s longer than Madoka Magica, allowing it to put more detail into its setting. Phantom had a weaker story, but its characters still made it as my favorite Urobuchi Gen series.

And yeah, it’s a shame. But in a week we’ll have no more Noitamina for the next three months. Bummer.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 11 March 2013 with categories: Psycho Pass

Aha, a great type of episode so right before the climax of this series: one that nearly entirely consists out of people talking to each other and exploring the ins and outs of the setting here. Discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the Sybil System. With this episode it’s clear that the creators knew full well what kind of flawed system they created with Psycho Pass.

I really liked the atmosphere of this episode, especially at the time where Akane was talking to those canned brains that make up the Sybil System. This episode also revealed that just about every pair of brains there comes from some kind of latent criminal, some of which did even worse things than Makishima Shougo did. That explains why they took an interest in him. It creates this interesting paradox here: when they contribute so much to society, does that make up for their actions when they still had a body?

And I wondered about this many times, but with this episode it’s really clear to me that the lack of security is intentional. Gen really intended this to be a criticism of modern society, and the way in which it’s heading. Having everything done and decided for us makes us lazy. We don’t take any insurances for the worst case scenarios, we don’t think for ourselves.

So this seires will get more epic and all, but there is one point that this episode stressed that I really like about it: destroying the Sybil System isn’t going to solve anything. It’ll just create chaos and nothing more. This is not a case in which we can just kill the evil big bad guy and have things automatically fixed. Also, since Makishima Shougo is far more interesting than your average villain, this is one finale I’d really want to see.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 5 March 2013 with categories: Psycho Pass

This episode earned a lot of points for me. It’s a build-up episode,but instead of being boring it actually makes very good use of its time. Most notably: the characters try to look inside the mind of the villain. Instead of heading towards the next climax they speculate what he will do next, and how his mind works. That’s not something you see often, especially with most series having villains with… rather simple motivations and plans.

Also, I’m really beginning to think that Psycho Pass is about a society that has evolved into the wrong direction. My biggest theory here was that there was a point at which the Sybil System was given too much influence, and that it transformed the society as monotone as possible, as free from outside influences as possible, and as safe as possible. What we saw in the first half were the exceptions that slipped by. I really became convinced of this when this episode revealed the crazy idea to have the entire food production of a country depend on one single type of crop. They’ve just completely eliminated variety. We’re not in a 1984 setting in which people have no privacy, but there are more and more similarities.

I think that that is one part that I would have done differently: the first half of this series was all about different psychopaths, but it did not show much about the setting: it didn’t colour the world as well as it should have, so now this series suddenly comes with details like this, this late in the series. If we had known this earlier, I think it would have made an even bigger impact.

The plot of this series really is fine, by the way. This episode again had a good balance of twists, and attention to the characters. Kagari suddenly receiving the attention of the Sybil system with her good behavior… I can buy that, and it will give her an even more interesting role in the story when she learns of what’s going on. Also: this episode stressed something. Kougami has some eerie similarities with Makishima Shougo, but Kagari does as well. Most notably with how her Psycho Pass stays the same.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 25 February 2013 with categories: Psycho Pass

So I already read that the animation of this episode would have… issues. So how did it turn out? Well, it was definitely noticeable For some shots, it felt like the cleanup-animation work was not done, and I suspect it was a case of an outsourcing company that did not make its deadline. Still, it wasn’t that bad and this episode did get across what it wanted to do, and it was a building-up episode anyway. I have seen much, much worse, many times before.

The strongest scene of this episode was where Akane shot Kougami. It was a bit of a strange move in which the Sybil System lacked a lot of subtleties in hiding their true intentions, but still: at htat point they probably believed that nobody could do anything against them and it was worth the risk. Akane has grown much more than what I expected her to do and I loved how dependable she has become.

The inner politics of the police force were really interesting in this episode. And yet again, I have to wonder why the police force is so small and why it’s so difficult to get replacements? I mean I get that there is less crime and all, but society has to be pretty screwed if there can be hardly any capable policemen in the case something goes wrong (like in this episode, where an enforcer starts to think a little too hard). I mean that is the big fault with the Sybil System: it doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of insurance. Did Urobuchi Gen do this intentional?
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 19 February 2013 with categories: Psycho Pass

This was one of those delightful episodes that I think shows Urobuchi Gen’s writing at its best: it just kept coming with its eloquent dialogue that makes you think, on top of throwing in a bunch of big plot twists that completely turn around the plot, as hinted in the previous episode. It’s where the series changes completely.

Last episode I said that there were two possibilities: Shougo escapes, or he doesn’t. In the end the first turned out to be true, but he did it in a really good way: I really thought that that woman would end up being the main villain of this series, but instead the creators intended Makishima to be the one. His arrest was really meant to show the truth behind the world, along with how he really is a special person who can overthrow the society.

The soundtrack also really helped. The thing is that this series does not have a coherent soundtrack: it uses just whatever the hell track it pleases, and this does result in that you can’t expect what kind of thing it will pull next. That worked really well in this episode. The voice acting also really helped with the really long monologues throughout the airtime.

And yet, there is still that one question that makes me wonder: why does nobody in this world believe in security? Just… something to prevent things from going horribly wrong. I keep seeing more and more in this series that everybody seems to act under the beliefs that everything will go right.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 11 February 2013 with categories: Psycho Pass

This was one heck of an episode for Psycho Pass. Just like Robotics;Notes, actually. The point where everything gets turned around.

Unfortunately I had been spoiled that someone would die in this episode, and as the episode went on it was pretty clear who would be the poor victim. The way in which it happened though, I totally did not see that coming. I loved the end of the episode because of that. In fact, this episode pulled lots of surprise twists that were just awesome. Makishima Shougo being apprehended by his own pride by not taking into account that Kougami didn’t come alone gave Akane a great moment for herself. I also love how she didn’t give in, and just apprehended the guy, instead of giving into her emotions. Now that’s a strong female character there who knows her own limits.

It’s very interesting that the main villain has now been apprehended though. From this moment there will be two possibilities: he’ll escape, or the main protagonists will somehow aid him in bringing down the Sibil System. I mean, Kagari’s death will be a trigger for a lot of things for Kougami and Akane, however you pull it. The Psycho Pass will become useless in one way or the other, the question now is “how”, and “what will that lead to”.

Production IG also rocks lately with their animation. First there was this string of excellent fight scenes that I’ve missed for so long, and then there was Jousei Kasei’s image as her skin was removed. That was a really powerful image for her. I loved the framing and the impact it made, and it was just perfect for that scene. Why she’s an android at this point is anyone’s guess, but it made the setting here even more interesting.

For a while I wondered why there was so little security in the building, if something really important is hidden there that absolutely cannot be found by anyone. But heck, I believe that this is the result of people’s Psycho Pass: apparently nobody with a clear conscience could live with something like what went on in the Sibil System’s core, whatever the hell it may be, so the maintenance and security of that building just had to be replaced with robots out of necessity. I guess that that’s why the police operates with people with a high crime hue: because this leads to less free people in the police force, and a smaller chance that one of them will find out about the tower and act on their impulses: like this episode showed, they can be easily killed off by a dominator that way. Whether this was the most efficient tactic for this though…. I have no idea.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 6 February 2013 with categories: Psycho Pass

It’s getting more and more clear what the creators wanted to show with the setting of Psycho Pass. It’s not just that they wanted to show that a society based on the Sybil System would work. That was just a method to get to what it really wanted to show: a society that has not known crime for a for a long time. And what if those people were suddenly handed the means to get away with crimes?

This once again was a very good episode. The animation for example had some very interesting shots, in which you could actually see the depth of the character-designs. This is quite hard to do in HD, but this episode was full of those scenes here.

I also really like Makishima’s long dialogues as he explores the flaws of the Sybil system and talks with others about it. On top of recommending a few good books (quite good to see so many interesting references here to compare this setting with), I like his conviction to see what lies at the center of the Sybil system, and I can understand why people want to follow him. I don’t often have that with nameless goons from an evil organization (yeah, the main villain may be a psychopath for wanting to destroy the world, but who in their right mind is going to follow them?).

What surprises me: how little police there is in this city. I mean, the engineers behind the Sybil System made a number of really big mistakes. Security through obscurity is another one: it is the belief that as long as you don’t tell anyone what your system looks like. That works fine, until someone actually finds this out. The police has been decimated, to the point where the people in charge believed that they weren’t necessary except for the extreme cases.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 28 January 2013 with categories: Psycho Pass

And the system just continues to break down. Previously we were introduced to the rare case in which someone kills whilbe being perfectly mentally healthy. This time the dominators are limited even more by devies that mimic the Psycho Passes of others. I can only see this escalate and get better.

Also kudos to the directors in this episode. First of all, the gore in this series really hits the mark, especially the part where that woman was being beaten to death and how everyone just looked on. It most of all showed how desensitized to problems and violence this society is, and I was really at the edge of my seat. Later, when Makishima started kicking ass I noticed that we’re really talking about Production IG here: it’s been a while since they’ve done a fight scene like that, but I really like the style of trying to be as realistic as possible. That only makes it hurt more.

The one criticism I do have is that everyone is lumped together in this series. I would have liked to see in the minds of those bystanders for example, and why they found it interesting to film that incident. That really was the first time where we really got a good view of what was wrong with the Psycho Pass society, but it’s not in much detail. I’d like some attention on tha in the next few episodes, because it also serves as a good backup for Makishima’s motivations.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

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Kaiser-Eoghan
Still enjoying the sangatsu manga and all the character interactions in this most recent volume.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Quintuplets might be under consideration, dororo is a definite. I don't want to watch revisions , girly airforce or plane thing because of the cgi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have the first 3 doro episodes downloaded to watch tomorrow, I'll comment on them, I'm giving it a shot because I love Tezuka.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The quintuplets thing is one of those things I would see myself chuckling at for a bit then feeling no obligation to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cat thing is probably cute but its too light for me to invest in in the long run.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding this season, I'll be direct, it isn't my thing, I got my fill of Kaguya's manga and all I can out of it, promised neverland, once the escape bit finished just turned into an action series (at least from what I read) lacking a compelling followup hook for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Acca had this odd way of delivering information that made it seem stuff went on between the lines or offscreen, often it worked, sometimes it didn't. Its a show that really picks up after the first couple of episodes and really gets elevated by its revelations, cool setting , art style and opening theme too.
Lenlo
I agree it does that. I think my issue may come with me maybe missing something or just not understanding the series as a whole, and so parts of it were lost on me. I enjoyed the series I would say though
SuperMario
Let me rephrase by saying ACCA ending neatly ties up plot threads for me
Lenlo
I didnt say I didnt like it, just that it wasn't what I expected. It was odd. I think I need time to process it.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you didn't like ACCA ending? I thought the ending is easily its best part. It's the first few episodes that feel slow for me
Lenlo
Also, just finished ACCA. Man... that was a weird ending. Not sure how I feel about the series, but damn, did it have style.

Also, thanks (?) Wooper.
Lenlo
Lets see... Dororo is good, but I am still lukewarm on it. Kaze Fui is a fantastic carry over from last season. Mob and Neverland of course. Shield Hero, if you want to be part of the latest big craze discussion. Kaguya if you like romance. Ill search some more, but those are off the top of my head.
Anonymous3338351
What are some must-watch anime this season; I'm watching MBP100 and Promised Neverland rn
Vonter
Shield hero looks like it fits with that journey of doing the right thing even though most are against you.
Vonter
You know what it reminds me of. It's kinda like that episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Where the family returns after a trip and find the neighborhood celebrates their absence, since everyone dislikes them. By the end when they make up, all the neighborhood gets bitter with one another because they no longer share a connection of hate with Malcolm's family.
Vonter
Also the undercurrent semblance of looking more like a bad guy or anti hero. Despite him having a good moral compass.
Vonter
SuperMario - I don't felt it was about being defeated or not. I got the feeling it was taking the hit for others. Because since he has high defence he does take the damage, but he does look weary about doing that. And the framework paints him so far more as an underdog than a prodigy.
SuperMario
But does the fact that he’s the greatest defender makes him the one who can’t be defeated? I haven’t watched the latest one though
Vonter
I did like the new episode of Shield Hero. It made me realize there can be stakes in Isekai battles. In both Overlord and Slime I usually space out in the battles because they seem unnecessary outside of animation. It's more interesting if there's a display of wits and using the environment. I also like the protagonist be on the defense and the sidekick as the attacker.
SuperWooper
Here's a "review of one of our own reviewers:"

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
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