Posted on 27 September 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin




The past summer really had its quantity problem, but there still were three series that really stood out to me as a breath of fresh air that may have significant flaws, but also have a delightful execution. These series are Shiki, Kuroshitsuji II and Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin. While Shiki had an incredibly solid execution and Kuroshitsuji got better and better as it went on, Occult Gakuin instead was just all over the place, which had both its advantages and disadvantages.

This series promised to be a fast-paced adventure series through the occult with its excellent and very witty first episode, but instead it turns out that it’s built around several two-episode arcs instead, focusing more on its characters while developing its plot only in the background. In Occult Academy, no episode really is like the other, with the result that you might be expecting a fast-paced action episode, only to get a bunch of episodes that focus more on the quiet type of storytelling.

On the bright side though, you’ll never know what this series will focus on next, and the episodes in which this series really goes all out were without a doubt the best episodes I watched during the entire summer season. The producers got some of the most amazing staff to write for some of the episodes, ranging from the director of Michiko e Hatchin, the director of Mouryou no Hako and Aoi Bungaku’s Hashire Melos to the writer of Noein and Birdy the Mighty Decode. There are thre episodes in this series that are so well written, portrayed and animated, that simply their presence makes this entire series worth watching.

Now, as for the rest of the series, it does have some balancing issues, and some other episodes fail to entice any excitement, and could have been cut from the series easily. The series itself spends a bit too much of its focus on developing Maya as a character, that it forgets about the other parts of the series. Because of this, some parts are rushed while others just take too long, on top of their lack of creativity compared to the better moments of the series.

Despite the balance issues, the plot does come together quite nicely in the end, though. All of the major questions get answers quite nicely and used to bring in some very interesting twists near the end. And really, amidst the countless of series that don’t seem to have any ambition, Occult Academy really tried to create something interesting, creative and diverse. It’s set up pretty much guarantees that you’ll be disappointed in one way or the other due to the lesser episodes, but for me it had enough to make up for it. I have quite a few issues with this series, but really: if those issues were fixed then this would have been a serious contender for the best series of the year and it will be awesome if more series would try to follow in this series’ footsteps.

Storytelling: 9/10 – The writing ranges from average at worst to absolutely fantastic at best. When it wants to, this series can be truly excellent at building up, but there are times in which it doesn’t have enough creativity in its script.
Characters: 8/10 – A very solid cast, but considering the premise of this series, the creators could have eliminated some overused cliches, and they could have done more with Maya’s character considering the amount of time that was put in her development.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Gorgeous and creative animation that really brings the characters to life.
Setting: 8/10 – Explores the occult from all over the world. Very interesting as a kaleidoscope throughout the supernatural, though never really goes in-depth.

Suggestions:
Baccano
Michiko e Hatchin
Kaiba

Posted on with categories: Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin



Okay, so this turned out to be an ending that I both loved and hated. Let’s just get the bad part over with first:

– Okay you discovered that the real Nostradamus Key was a dimensional time-rift created by Bunmei meeting his former self. The most logical step is now to get Bunmei out of that time-line as fast as possible in order to make the chance of him running into his child version as small as possible, NOT to just wait a day, invite younger Bunmei INTO THE SCHOOL, and just hope that everything goes well.
– Everything seems lost, the aliens have arrived, the world is about to go to hell, and here Bunmei comes, grabs younger Bunmei’s spoon, suddenly gets his powers back and blasts the aliens back to their own time-line. Where the hell did that come from?

Those are the only complaints I have about this final episodes, but dammit they’re pretty big ones. The entire story was rounded off so well before especially the second point comes, and here this series decides to end with a Deus ex Machina… I’m really wondering why the creators went with that plot, out of all possible things.

Nevertheless though, I also loved this episode as a final episode of this series. I love the entire irony behind Bunmei’s part in the series, and how he actually didn’t get to have a happy ending. You’d expect something over the top, after we just learned that that witch of the previous episode was not the Key of Nostradamus, and yet this episode was incredibly quiet with an actual climax of just one minute long (with some pretty neat animation, by the way). Throughout the entire airtime, there was this slight atmosphere of panic about what was about to happen and what was about to end. This series has already proven that it’s excellent at building up, and this episode proved that once again when it built up to the point in which Bunmei would meet his younger self.

I also liked how at the end, we saw the focus shift back to Maya’s father, which was really a charming way to close off this series. Despite the weird choices made, I do consider this episode to e in my top three final episodes that we got to see this season, alongside Kuroshitsuji II and Giant Killing: all of them tried to do something very interesting in order to close themselves off, and came with interesting twists and unorthodox pacing.

Overall, even though things could have gone better for this series, it did solidify me as a fan of A-1 pictures. This series looked consistently beautiful, and a few of the episodes were really masterfully written and laid out. Like all of the previous Anime no Chikara series, it had its flaws: Sora no Oto couldn’t decide what it wanted to be, Senkou no Night Raid’s lead characters needed acting lessons and Occult Academy had its balance issues. Nevertheless, really appreciate all three of them and what they tried to do, and Occult Academy is my favourite so far. I’m not looking forward to the next installment due to Shinbo and all, but I really hope that this timeslot isn’t going to end there because there definitely is potential.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 20 September 2010 with categories: Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin



Not as good as the previous episode, but still a worthy climax for this series. With one exception, everything from the past episode came together very nicely, all of the major questions were answered well and sufficiently, and this episode was overall a great and action-packed closure to this series. So what the heck is up with that final episode?!

I’m surprised how many people disliked the inclusion of black and white mages. I mean, this show is called Occult Academy: right from the start it was clear that it explores occult from all over the world. Don’t black and white mages belong amongst that? Either way though, this episode really explained a lot: all of the previous monsters that tried to kill Maya were sent by that black mage. It makes full sense for her to be the key of Nostradamus, it makes full sense that Maya didn’t go around to carry her notebook everywhere around with her and to prepare some sort of backup plan. And it’s very interesting to see that Maya’s father was still alive: that’s why her death was faked in the previous episode: to prepare for that plot twist. And as if to make up for the fact that nobody seemingly dies in this episode, the creators actually did kill off a few characters.

Now, that ending intrigues me. I mean, while it’s nothing new to have some kind of “bad guy behind bad guy”, it came completely out of left field in this series. I mean, the entire series was supposed to be about getting rid of that Nostradamus Key. Maya even got up a good future when she photographed it. So why is there still an episode left, and why didn’t the future change? I’m really curious whatever plot twist the final episode has in store here.

Now, the only problem I have with this episode was how Bunmei was suddenly unkillable at the most critical moment. I mean, the creators seemed to realize that it didn’t make any sense, but they made no attempt to answer that, and it’s a very strange question to leave unanswered at this point.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 13 September 2010 with categories: Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin




Wow…. these are the kinds of episodes that blow you away. It did to me at least.

I already mentioned at the shoutbox that we had a beyond awesome staff working on this episode: Sayo Yamamoto, the director of Michiko e Hatchin doing the storyboard and the script written by Hiroshi Ounogi, who also wrote Noein and Birdy the Mighty. It’s like Superman having tea with Batman here. And seriously, even knowing that, this episode kicked ass beyond belief.

I don’t even know where to start with how magnificent this episode played out. So much happened at once (I guess that that was the point of the previous two episodes: becoming so quiet and dull in order to just strengthen the ridiculously huge impact this episode would have). Mikaze’s sex appeal went beyond the roof here (and it was actually used extremely well in the first half of this episode), the inner paranoia of her spells on Bunmei were wonderfully portrayed and the entire episode itself was just amazingly animated.

This episode was just disturbing. I mean, we could expect Mikaze to be up to something, but I absolutely loved how the creators just threw everyone’s hidden identity at your face here. Mikaze knowing the exact recipe of Bunmei’s cooking was just creepy. That kissing scene… I can’t believe how far and graphic that actually went. You could really see the influences of Michiko e Hatchin here. Another favourite was that scene in which Maya kicked the heck out of Bunmei here. Talk about brutal!

I mean, I’m just baffled by this series. The thing is that it had its share of mediocre episodes, and it is mostly awesome when it has the right episode staff (I really have to applaud the producers here in getting the best people they could get here). I mean, episodes 1, 6 and 11: I consider all three to be the three single best episodes out of any show that started in the past summer season. I found it really strange that right before the ending, this series would waste so much time on random stories. But I really didn’t expect the creators to bombard us with so much at once here.

Occult Gakuin, I applaud you.
Rating: **** (Fantastic)

Posted on 6 September 2010 with categories: Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin



Well, that settles it: the end of this episode really hinted that in the next episode, the finale is finally beginning. With that, we should get away from the random storylines and back to the main storyline, which is bound to be a lot more action-packed.

The big question is obviously going to be: did this series take up too much time, trying to develop Maya? The thing with the past two episodes was that the direction was nowhere as interesting as the rest of the series, which can really hurt with a 13-episode series. I mean, the first half of this series was full of wit. The absence of this wit throughout most o this episode was rather unnerving. There were some parts I liked, especially the part in which Fumiaki tries to talk to Maya (seriously, more anime characters should do that), plus the development of Maya was also quite nice, but right now this series is in the danger of spending so much time on development that it sacrifices too much of its entertainment, story, Anime no Chikara tension and atmosphere.

Having seen Sora no Oto, this is something that worries me, though thank god it’s not as extreme here. At this point, Sora no Oto had novels full of questions that it had yet to answer, and that really showed in its final episode in which it tried to do way too much at once. Senkou no Night Raid in contrast did have a great build-up with its finale, and that’s because it abandoned its build-up phase very early after episode seven. Occult Academy looks to be somewhere in the middle. Three episodes will be plenty of time to resolve all of the questions it has left hanging, but can it deliver? With its excellent script and direction it has built up expectations for its ending> I really want to see something more than a simple ending that just attempts to answer those questions. I want to see something that rocks.

Ultimately, the ghost girl felt shallow to me. This series really has the opportunity to toy with new ideas, and here it comes with the ghost of a dead girl who was neglected and can go to pass on after hugging her father. I can understand that the creators wanted Maya to relate to her, but it’s all “been there, done that”, with no need to spend two whole episodes on it. A skilled writer could have put the past two episodes into just one episode and make them work just as well.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 30 August 2010 with categories: Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin




It’s episode nine. We’re about to hit the climax with five episodes left. And so this episode comes with a seemingly unrelated arc that ends with a cliff-hanger that will continue into the next episode. I’m really interested in the creators’ intentions here.

Don’t get me wrong here, this episode was excellent as usual. I still consider this to be the best executed series of the season. But I’m fearing that this series will go down the road of Sora no Oto and wait too long with its ending, resulting in a bit of a cop-out. If this episode wasn’t what it looked like and actually was already slightly hinting at that climax then it’s fine, but I don’t want the same thing that happened with Sora no Oto’s ending to happen here.

Anyway, about the episode, when you ignore the time-limit of this show, it was a very good one in its build up. The creators are continuing to develop Maya, using her relationship with her father, and the next episode especially seems designed to push her character in a new direction. Meanwhile this episode was excellent with its facial expressions, especially Maya’s, but JK also shined here.

It’s interesting how the case was seemingly solved before the end of the episode: the spirit’s father accidentally killed her due to neglect, now all that’s seemingly left is to bring this ghost to that father, have a bit of dialogue and things should get finished. That shouldn’t be enough to fill an entire episode. Still, with all that build-up it had better be building up to something awesome. It’s quite like Sengoku Basara Two this season: they’re both spending quite a bit of build up hyping up their own climax, so at this point I still can’t say anything about how good they are going to end up becoming in terms of the big picture, unlike, say, High School of the Dead where you know exactly what to expect.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 23 August 2010 with categories: Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin



With so many episodes devoted to nothing but the characters, I demand an awesome ending. If not, then this was a wasted episode.

The previous two episodes were very well written and directed so I didn’t mind, but this episode didn’t belong in a 13-episode series. Series like these have a very limited amount of airtime, and really need all of the time they can get. Episode six and seven did this well with great pay-off to their build-up, but the Chupacabra fight that allowed Maya and Ami to make up again… I feel like the creators could have done more with this episode.

The acting in this episode was great, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that the script disappointed me a bit. Especially the following thing: Chupacabra are seen as blood-sucking monsters, right? This episode saw them killing off a ton of cows and chewing who knows what kind of animals right down to the bone. So why did they keep Ami alive? Why did they not harm her? Why was Ami fine after being bitten by such a huge monster? You’re ruining the suspense of disbelief that was built up by the previous episodes!

At this point, I’m beginning to think that Nostradamus’ key is something very obvious. I can easily see it being Kozue who tries a little too hard with her experiments on the occult. Please let it be not that simple!

Either way though, I can very easily see this series divided into three parts: there’s the first action-packed part, spanning the first four episode. This one was full of tension, ranging from Maya’s hatred of Bunmei to all of the weird occult monsters they ran into. Episodes 5 to 8 slowed down the pacing for a character-development arc, which seems to be finished at this point. At the final arc, this show needs to start delivering, though. Arc 1 provided the entertainment and the background, arc 2 provided the depth. Now, arc 3: USE THAT.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 16 August 2010 with categories: Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin




The execution in this episode was completely different from the previous one, but the basic premise was the same: a lot of build-up that comes together wonderfully at the final few minutes of the episode. This episode wasn’t as good as the previous one, but it still was a great one.

For most of the episode, I actually didn’t think this was the case. I mean, I could see what it was trying to do: showing different sides of the characters and flesh them out. That’s great for a series with 26 episodes. For 13 of them… not so much. I mean, there is a plot that you’re meant to tell. If you’re going to keep wasting episodes like this the ending won’t have any build-up.

But really, after the climax everything made sense. This episode did more than just flesh out the characters, it really developed them a bit, and added extra depth to them. The climax was completely different from the climax of the previous episode, which was strong, full of energy and visually powerful. This time however, the episode ended with this awkward silence when two people in a group are fighting. I loved how Maya clashed with everyone else in this episode, who without knowing pulled a completely inappropriate prank on her.

This episode was a bit shaky at times, especially Kozue was reduced to a walking stereotype, but when it mattered this episode really delivered. Ami’s father really stepped too far when he tried to turn Maya back to the way she used to be. When Maya was slapped, it didn’t suddenly make her nice again like you’d expect in some cliche. It was rather Ami’s words that calmed her down. I loved how realistically this was portrayed.

The storyboard of this episode also was… interesting. Especially in the first half, it just kept switching back and forth to close-ups, regular shots, far-away shots and close-ups at random objects or limbs. I wouldn’t call it low-budget because it was as detailed as ever (save from a few notable far-away shots here and there).
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 9 August 2010 with categories: Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin




It’s just as I hoped! This episode really was awesome, and it had a really excellent direction behind it. With the comedy elements this really was different from the likes of Mouryou no Hako and Hashire Melos, but you could still see the traces of Ryousuke Nakamura and Mieko Hosoi. God… these people need to direct another full fledged series.

There were a ton of really well animated shots in this episode, with quite some fluid animation and imaginative camera angles. There were a few scenes that really brought these characters alive, and especially the diving scene at the end was just utterly beautiful. It’s also very interesting how two completely different types of artists worked on this episode and the previous one: the previous episode was very obviously drawn by Mamoru Hosoda fans, while Mieko Hosoi has a completely different inspiration (I’d love to know what that was, by the way).

As for the direction, I absolutely love how this episode played out. Throughout most of the episode we see this careful build-up that shows Maya investigating exactly what happened, combined with a number of quick but really good jokes. There were a few outbursts of drama, like the sudden point in which Kozue started crying, but that too was just used to build up to that final part, which worked really well with Bunmei’s life flashing before his own eyes. It lasted like what? 2 minutes. But they really were worth it.

Beyond that, they also made it plausible for Bunmei and Maya to make up. Thankfully they stayed away from any sort of romance, but rather Maya forced herself to see past her biases after having seen the future.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 2 August 2010 with categories: Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin



The focus is away from Bunmei, and so this episode was much more enjoyable than the past one. It was all about the occult, and really chock full of references to all kinds of ideas and superstitions around the world thanks to a character that I once thought was pretty useless (the girl who is obsessed over occult stuff).

It actually made this episode pretty interesting. I’m a big fan of the series that put a lot of research into their subject matter here. While the previous episodes were all about “what if folklore was true”, this episode broke that part and instead talked about superstitions that are just products of the imagination of humans, ranging from spoons that can’t rust to monks who bury themselves alive and even the five second rule passed (called the three second rule here).

At first I really thought that that girl would be annoying with her optimism, but the comedy around her was again really excellent. This series definitely has the best sense of humour of the entire season, and its jokes are well built up and varied and the repeated jokes are handled with restraint.

Also, the previous episodes were certainly annoying, but they did what they were supposed to do: Maya really loathes this guy right now, and the previous two episodes really turned that into a deep-seated loathing, compared to the “this guy is weird”-kind of hatred of the first two episodes. Now, if she suddenly starts to develop feelings for Bunmei this would of course ruin everything (“you guys are fighting a lot so you must be in love with each other”… blegh), but I have faith in this series. And heck, the next episode will be staffed by Ryousuke Nakamura of all people. While I’d rather see him get another full series over which he has total freedom, an episode directed of the best and most imaginative series of the current summer season certainly isn’t bad either. I’m really interested what he’s going to do with it.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

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Anonymous1497942
After finishing Made in Abyss it stuck out, some animation shortcuts in this week's Mahoutsukai. Holding on frames a bit too long, mainly having the music giving the emotion. To be fair, it was also a slow part in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I recall correctly, the words "wandering Jew" were used at one point in the manga in relation to the villain.
Lenlo
Mahoutsukai was very pretty this week, but there were some troubling things popping up in there.
SuperMario
@Aidan: They are trying to bring Phos back from a snail. Man, Houseki sure is... quirky
AidanAK47
@Mario, I would take a guess and say they are fighting evil by moonlight.
SuperMario
Okay, heading to Houseki now... let's see our gems doing this week
SuperMario
@Bokusen: (not because I'm blogging it but) watch it. it's a polarized one but it at least offers something original. I still haven't watched the third one though.
Anonymous1497873
The new Mahoutsukai no Yome episode was so beautiful. TwT
Bokusen
BTW, is Houseki no Kuni worth watching? I was turned off by the animation, but I've read some good reviews on it.
Bokusen
Darn, last message didn't show up for me but now it does. Sorry about that.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil and Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, but Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil & Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, though Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Amagi
Doesn't mean that there weren't other good series but I distinguish between good and somethin special I will instantly remember even months or years later.
Amagi
How can you not like at least one of the current series, this season is pretty good. MiA was probably my only real great thing in the last season though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Aren't you forgetting Acca, Rakugo, Little Witch Academia and Tanya the Evil?
Anonymous1497006
Made in Abyss seems like it's the only gem this year for me tbh
AidanAK47
Whoa, I never even knew we had a PM feature.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I've received it. Thanks Kaiser. I've never noticed the PM feature either
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I sent you a private message.
SuperMario
oh boy. Just received Mind Game Bluray Region free today. I ordered/funded it through Kickstarter a year ago and eventually forgot about it. Was a nice surprise to see it in the mail today
silver
I enjoyed this week's Kino. Leave only footprints indeed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the other hand I noticed some slight censoring in juuni taisen episode 3 I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also surprised with the lack of censorship during Inuyashiki's second episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
First episode of inuyashiki covered the whole of volume 1.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*but almost never
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In general, Death of Stalin is an amusing film throughout, but never laugh out loud hilarious, Simon Beale is hilarious in it as Beria.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Gonzo did that mecha 7 samurai thing we must never speak of. However schmaltzly/sentimental Ikiru is, however it slumps slightly in the middle and final arc , it was still a genuinely moving film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than it is
Kaiser-Eoghan
To elaborate, I expected to dislike inuyashiki based on not enjoying Gantz, my reaction to the second episode was the same as Amagi's . The first episode was heavy handed a bit as Aidan mentioned, but its harder to watch that scene with the older guy get bullied/tormented that it is to watch highschool kids getting picked on by cliche anime thugs.
AidanAK47
Also why Hillary Clinton? I mean i know Trump is supposed to have a cameo in the manga but why her?
AidanAK47
@Vyse, Lets not jinx it. Plenty of series have shown great potential in their second episodes only to flop later. We can sing praises if it keeps this quality to the conclusion.
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki main villain should be Hillary Clinton
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki is suddenly like the best thing of the decade.
Amagi
I wish there were more old MC series out there. Liked that about Real Drive too. Maybe someone will have mercy and adapt Kurosawa one day. Not exactly old but at least a series about a guy with midlife crisis.
Amagi
I thought the happenings of the second Inuyashiki episode would have been too egdy but they actually gave the last few scenes a very good impact and the episode showed pretty well how sociopathes think (that whole gap between emotions for real people VS manga/fiction characters and events)
KTravlos
yup, I have no problem with Lenlo's review. Execution is what matters with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: You managed to sell me on a show that I didn't think I'd have bothered with.
silver
You did fine. It's a risk associated with reading post-viewing episodic discussions. Pretty much everyone knows that if you don't want to be spoiled don't even get online.
Lenlo
I tried to leave explicit spoilers about what happened outside the (more...) tag, but its a risk of readin a review I suppose.
silver
Hah, sorry about spoiling it. That's the problem with major shocks like that; they're most effective if you're not expecting them. Still, the show has deft execution of its executions, and that makes the experience worse than I could imagine.
Lenlo
Well im glad it convinced you. Tried something different with writing this week
KTravlos
man I should not had read the review. Now I will go and watch Inuyashiki. I had missed it.
silver
@Lenlo: It caught me off guard, too. Definitely working to earn that 'psychological' genre tag.
Lenlo
Well... Inuyashiki surprised me today. It went far darker than I was expecting. Thanks Gants author
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Such an odd art style, have you ever seen these? These are the film covers the Polish get:
Kaiser-Eoghan
*that was the most interesting character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Z's ending was very very well played and it was Jean Tringnents was interesting, largely for that he was a right winger working with the left wingers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course the British version of house of cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if he's seen Yes Minister and The New Statesman, also political comedies and for those of us who lived in the 80s seeing Thatcherites getting slagged off was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think thick of it works better though as the humour serves a thirty minute episode more comfortably. Stalin's fairly short though so I don't think the joke will run out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the Death of stalin is the title I'm looking for as well. Will screen here in few weeks. I almost reccomend In the Loop and the Thick of It (haven't watched the latter though) for Travlos since they're a political satire, which I think he'll enjoy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hope you already booked that heavens feel screening, cause its sold out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that the anime's character development in Juuni taisen expands on the books, which only give them short lines for their backgrounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, so perhaps in Juuni taisen they'll spin that so the Rat guy uses the ox guy to his advantage in some different way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is a special atmosphere watching anime on a big screen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I might be seeing death of Stalin tomorrow or Saturday. The thick of it was hilarious and this has the same director as that.
SuperMario
Both Z and All the President's Men are coassic movie. Hold my attention from start to finish. Z, in particular, wowed me that I literally had my mouth wide open
SuperMario
Off tangent, watching Fireworks in the cinema the other day made me realize how I miss watching movies on the big screen. I might try to go to the cinema once a week again. Been missed out all the good movies lately.
SuperMario
In the Great Race story, Rat used a very underhanded tactic to win the race (it jumps into the Ox to pass the great river and then jump off to the finish line. This Rat guy's speciality is Killing All so there is a high chance that he survives till the end
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have no doubt that we will have more amazing character arcs for Juuni Taisen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that could prove to be too predictable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if the Rat guy is going to be the wild card in all this, after all in the old story, wasn't it the Rat who won that zodiac race thing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Juuni Taisen is killing off its most interesting characters.... =< I wanted the bird girl to stay around a bit longer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see more Lem or Stugastky style/brand of scifi, I need to rewatch stalker again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Going back to the cyberpunk thing, I don't want just any ol' thing getting made, I want to see something scifi related thats ACTUALLY clever and has long and DIFFICULT dialogue .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: While not a political series Chaos;head is a good example of being annoyed at the conspiracy thing, what drives me up the wall about that show and its sequel is how every every time I think about going back to it I realize that its only interesting on a surface level and is utter hokkum.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. Yup, perhaps because I work in political science, they tend to anger me. So I avoid them. Borgen is a good political series.

In general. It still startles how much of a better character anime Tsutomu was comapred to manga Tsutomu in Bridy the Mighty. But I forgive the manga as I get more Gomez!
AidanAK47
@Amagi/Kaiser, thought as much. Strike it off the list then. And God Tsubasa was a cluster fuck by the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh simul-dub of Juuni taisen is out, I might aswell keep up with that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I had this weird relationship with dragonball in general. When I was younger I never actively seeked out the show, but on a rare occasion I would watch random episodes whenever I was channel hopping and nothing else was on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Clamp shared universe was a mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish that that tone breaking style of comedy stops being a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It doesn't happen often, but there ARE shows we all have that snap trigger us when they get mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel my disdain of re:zero is because I hate Akame ga kill and Higurashi so much and it prevents me because of bias from enjoying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In addition to what i posted about Pandora, you will hate the comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will rewatch it, the first one is one of those things that improved on repeat viewings.
@Travlos: Conspiracy theories are one of those things I find myself taking interest in, then almost immediately consider immensely stupid and a waste of time.
Amagi
Aidan: If you didn't like the first parts of Pandora you won't like the rest either. Most people that loved it did this because of the characters and setting, the story isn't really getting better and I kinda disliked what they did near the end. It was overcomplicated and everyone had like three different personalities, plot twists and so on. Not nearly as bad as Tsubasa Chronicle though
AidanAK47
@Bokusenou, believe me when I say you are not few. There are plenty who Dislike Re:Zero. I can understand it and I sort of get where your coming from regarding the characters. (Though Saber sucks) There is just something about the series that I just adore.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I have not watched most of them. But I have watched Z and All the President's Men. Both are great films. The issue with me is that while I like political thrillers I despite conspiracy theories. Far too many pol. thrillers dive into con.theory stuff. So I must be discriminating.
SuperMario
Okay, I'm off to watch Blade Runner 2049 now. Hopefully it can be as good as the original
Vonter
In contrast World's End Harem, surprisingly looks to be trying. It has one story trying to play straight, the scenario of being the last man in a world mainly habited by woman. And has had this framing of self worth, temptation and doubt I like. No work of art, but surprising for this type of manga.
Vonter
In regards to manga, I'll need to look for something good, being losing time with ecchi stuff. Which I can tell Okamoto should just make hentai, seeing as his latest work, doesn't even try to be anymore than pandering trash (at least older work, had a notion of a story).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Did all the presidents men and Parallax view by Pakula appeal to you?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Actually as your are a Greek....have you watched Z, missing, State of siege or the confession? None of them are actually in Greek but they were political thrillers directed by Costa Gravas.
Anonymous1490677
KT here: Well I am a sucker for political thrillers and "grand" politics, so the direction it took is quite fun for me. Even if it does indicate a Tomino ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me Titan peaked at volume 8 and I never bothered continuing on much further.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I remember a commenters on here a good while ago that mentioned the ending didn't satisfy or come together well and made the investment not worth it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Honestly it was only near the halfway point I vested any interest in pandora hearts, the first 4 volumes left me wondering if I'd drop it, then near the last few volumes I simply fell out of reading it.
Bokusenou
I feel like I'm one of the few people who don't understand why Re: Zero is so popular...the only characters I half liked were Puck & Crusch (the latter because she reminded me of Saber from the Fate series, minus the unnecessary perma-blush marks) My anime club screened the series and I really should have skipped those meetings...
Lenlo
Mmm Inuyashiki episode 2 tomorrow. Time to see where it goes
AidanAK47
@Anon, That reminds me. Anime limited better announce the date of the Re:Zero Blu-ray release at that panel of theirs at MCM London Comic Con. They are the only ones known to have licensed it and they have a partnership with Funimation. Even if we don't get a second season I have to get the first on Blu-ray.
Anonymous1490189
Emilia re:zero
AidanAK47
Finally Got that review up. Been sitting in my to do list for a while.
SuperMario
I remeber in Dragon ball, they state that Son Goku takes 6 years of training to become a Super Saiyan. His oldest son takes 3 years and then the youngest one... only takes 3 months of training with his mother. So yeah...
AidanAK47
While we are talking about manga, I was looking into getting some manga boxsets and I saw one for pandora hearts. However I started reading it and 15 chapters in I just can't get into it. I hear a lot of praise for it but is it really worth continuing?
AidanAK47
@Amagi, yep. Like Naruto with the nine tailed beasts and Sharingan. At first they were cool and then everyone and their mother had Sharingan or a tailed Beast.
Though If I had a problem with SNK its that I just find the thing to be poorly written overall. It has creative idea's, but the characters and dialogue is really weak in my eyes.
Amagi
You know that SuperSaiyan syndrome. At first it was special and mysterious, but once the second one gets to have the power they tend to pop up everywhere. Same with Claymore and basically almost every shounen ever.
Amagi
I overall like the SNK manga but I have to agree I really have a problem with this shounen trope of some speciality one character has that suddently turn out to be the speciality of many.
Lenlo
It turned from a horror/thriller to a sort of... shounen mystery thing for me. I wasnt a fan once EVERYONE became titans.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I dropped off at that point, picked it up again and read it up to date. Now I am falling out again. True be told I haven't really got into it since the beginning chapters and I am not a fan of the direction it took. If you don't like it now I say future chapters won't really change your mind.
Lenlo
Does Attack on Titan get better? I was reading it up until Season 2 came out and then just fell off the wagon.
KTravlos
oh what a cliffhanger in the Shingeki no Koyjin manga! I am happy where this is going!
Kaiser-Eoghan
I agree that the way the series addresses emotion has some interest to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The later chapters I read had some action in them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Had a read of the children of the wales manga, I am glad to see a shoujo that isn't based on an otome or school life series , additionally I like it on an aesthetic level, I can see it going somewhere but the fast-forward pace makes it hakes it harder to connect with.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Blame! was recently adapted and thats cyberpunk, even if it didn't follow the manga.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree. Cyber- and steampunk are two of the few settings I really dig. Especially because I think that there are a lot of potential plots and twists for cyberpunk/VR settings anime haven't used yet. AR is great too, the only series about that is Dennou Coil and it was made ~10 years ago. Maybe the SAO movie but it was just a movie.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here lol. I remember the toilet thingy but not the woman's backstory. That being said, I enjoyed the series as whole, though some parts were too K-ONish for my taste.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of would agorophobia maintain itself and they'd stay inside or would the fear of being raped/tortured/killed and bypass the agorophobia ?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Random tangent, but I would find it fascinating to see a hikkikomori subject to a home invasion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although honestly, I would prefer a cyberpunk wave of anime series to get popular again.
silver
I too am starting to really enjoy the 'adventure anime' genre. The medium of animation is uniquely suited to fantastical worldbuilding.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Was that the one where the girl is desperately trying not to piss herself? Also why can I remember that and not this blonde woman's backstory?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, agreed. It's at its best when it can use the settings to flesh out the characters. The episode after that one, one the other hand, was Sora no woto's dullest episode - where the main girl spends the whole episode waiting for a freaking phone call.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Blonde woman's backstory in the middle of sora no oto, that was the best episode of it.
SuperMario
@Amagi: for reccomendation, if you don't mind another cute girls in a post-apocalyptic world show, you can try Sora no Woto (Sound of the sky). I love that show to bits
SuperMario
But I'm not entirely sold on the show yet. I feel the relationships are a tad too heavy-handed. The light hearted tones don't work well for me but I really feel a From the New world's vibe from the show
SuperMario
@Amagi: I will talk about Children of the Whales here in the chatbox since we don't cover it. Damnit the cliffhanger. That series really focuses on the theme of repress their own feelings. From the children in the Mud Whales with their custom of not to cry in the funeral or their lacing their hands to express their gratitude. Episode 2 has that monster who basically eats others emotions
Kaiser-Eoghan
And by extension, I would hope that it would encourage adaptations of older fantasy manga aswell.
Amagi
I really hope this type of fantasy will become a new trend instead of the classical world of warcraft type of isekai
Amagi
There is just something really atmospherical about a few characters exploring an unknown world alone that is either almost or entirely devoid of humans or just weird like in Kino's Journey.
Amagi
Shuumatsu Shoujou, Houseki, Kino 2017 and Children of the Whales are shaping up to become my favorites this season. It's funny that they have so much in common, same with Made in Abyss, which also was my favorite of the last season.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, well there were fellows down in cork that decided to go Kite Surfing. They had to send out a boat to rescue the dumb bastards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I saw that there were some profoundly stupid people ignoring the warnings, some guy even decided to go out swimming despite it.
AidanAK47
I am in some ways both relieved and disappointed.
AidanAK47
Well I got the day off work and the only thing that happened was that it was a bit windy. Wasn't really a big deal to be honest.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whats the word on your end Aidan with regards to the Hurricane?
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course raging bull, a rare case where I watched a film twice.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I've always, apart from Creed, ignored the Rocky sequels despite enjoying the first one, not really into watching a billion followups to a film. Films about fighters seem to connect with me, I got alot out of warrior, southpaw and Rocky.
KTravlos
I was surprised by how well Ancient Magus Bride was able to sell to me the naturalness of Elia's skull head, and the falseness of his conjured human head. Well done.
Lenlo
I do love a good boxing anime. Both Ashita no Joe and Hajime no Ippo are great, though for different reasons.
Vonter
Simply put, unlike Hajime no Ippo. Ashita no Joe, also was mainly about Joe, living in a poor rural town, struggling to make a living, and boxing came out as something that gave him meaning. Instead of the typical shounen of "becoming the best".
Vonter
I think it's bold when someone announced they want to make something like "the next Rocky". Since that's apparently what I get from this announcement. https://manga.tokyo/news/original-anime-megalo-box-inspired-by-ashita-no-joe-announced-for-spring-2018/
CJayTiii
Just watched Heaven's Feel Part 1 at the movie theater last night. DEAR LORD the animation was flawless. I honestly thought they nailed the calmer scenes a lot better than UBW as well. The wait for part 2 is gonna be brutal...
Amagi
Isekai isn't even bad, it's just that it became the worst case of formularic wish fulfillment masturbation nowadays. I actually wish we would get more proper isekai anime again, especially if it's some scifi or time travel stuff for once
AidanAK47
You know thinking about it, Muv Luv Alternative could be considered a deconstruction of Isekai before Isekai was even a thing. After all it actually has the elements of of Isekai.
AidanAK47
Gonna do up a review of the trilogy. Though first I need to post that Subahibi review I have had sitting in my Google docs. Twas waiting till we got the impressions done with.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I remember checking out Muv Luv and not being too impressed about it. When i cheeked out Alternative years ago I was blown away by how good it was. Usually VNs have moments of downtime where it can get boring no matter how good they are. But Alternative just had you from start to finish.
Amagi
@Aidan: Muv Luv Alt is one of the best VNs I've read. I am happy I always avoided spoilers before. The only thing I knew was that it gets heavy around chapter 6 or 7.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thanks for letting me know before I bothered booking for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the plot doesn't make sense. As the story progresses, it gets weirder, the visual goes wilder and the ending doesn't wrap up much. I might need to watch the live-action version
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: See you rated fireworks 3 1/2, what did you think of it?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I suppose, same to you, hopefully you'll be alright.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It was designed by Marta Akermann : https://friendist.deviantart.com/
Anonymous1482176
Can I get where the banner is from?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know there were 18 deaths back in the mid eighties when a storm struck here back then.
Total users: 28

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