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)

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
I mean, decent warrants about a 5-6. That, in theory, should be an "Average" show.
Anonymous1055365
It's a decent show. You're being overly critical.
SuperMario
In the Out of Competition slot (you think that I'm finished?), 2 films in particular that catch my interest are the Korean Lost in the Moonlight which looks like a fun and lightheart adventure, and the Norway-Poland co-production adult-oriented The Man who Knew 75 Languagues about the star-crossed love between the Queen of Romania and a titular man, I guess
SuperMario
Rounding up the Main Competition are Animal Crackers, a 3G American family film which I don't have good feeling about; Big Fish and Begonia - a Chinese indie film that divided the critics, but gathered skyhigh commercial success in its mainland China; and finally Zombillenium which sounds like an enjoyable European children film
SuperMario
From other countries, most notable films are the Loving Vincent - the first feature length hand painting; the Chinese black comedy Have a Nice Day that premiered in Berlin earlier this year; Ethel and Ernest which already gained a strong reviews from the UK; Tehran Taboo- a German production about the lives of 3 women in Iranian community, which sound exactly like my kinda of film.
SuperMario
Alright, I'm here to bring you news about the selection of this coming Annecy AKA one of the best animation festival out there. 3 of anime features: A Slient Voice, In the Corner of the World and Masaaki Yuasa's Lu over the Wall will compete for the main competition.
SuperMario
I'm a fan of thought-provoking anime (see Lain, Boogiepop Phantom) but I need to care about the story and characters first before I make an effort to dig deeper to the theme. Sagrada Reset failed on that fronts.
SuperMario
It's not really about being smart/dumb here. As a creator, they already have an advantage to know how the story and plot will play out. I don't mind this advantage because otherwise the plot will become a hot mess. But don't use that advantage as a way to widen the gap between them and the audience.
AidanAK47
Ugh...Ray Gigant was pretty much mediocre up until this point but now it;s utterly asinine. Whoever decided on this endgame needs to be fired. When you are ready to end a game, no player want a ten floor dungion with a boss on each floor coupled with a goddamn boss rush halfway. Just...fuck.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It must be worse than oremo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw some pages of the eromanga sensei manga and my reaction was that I was sad that it actually existed and stated "why would you even" after looking at it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an anime example, sekaisuru kado has lots of dialogue but it seems like it could actually be engaging.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So basically no I don't think we're dumb for not liking sagrada reset, given that myself and Mario are capable of watching genuinely smart wordy things and getting them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I can imagine watching Sagrada reset and thinking I'd rather be watching a Bergman film instead , something also with lots of dialogue and themes but actually engaging/clever and NOT pretentious or obnoxious about it.
Anonymous1054942
is it possible that you are all just dumb?
Anonymous1054269
@Mario: I like how you described it as giving a middle finger to the viewers. It's so true. Like, it tries to be intelligent and make the viewer feel stupid, but it just comes off as obnoxious/pretentious.
Lenlo
CGI remains the worst part of it, but we are getting more and more 2D art which I actually enjoy the style of
Lenlo
Its an improvement. The art is better, and maybe its because I prefer this arc, but the pacing is better as well. I gave last season a 3, but this one is more deserving of a 4 and if they can nail certain scenes coming up I may bump it to a 5.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: How's Berserk doing so far? Haven't picked up last week and this week's episodes.
Lenlo
Ground*. I hate it when I fat finger something.
Lenlo
Thats always the worst, when a story starts off promising and then someone runs it into the grouhnd
AidanAK47
@Mario, so it's still at it. To me it's like someone was given an interesting story and made it his mission to ruin it as much as possible.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it's still the same crap. I have a feeling that Sagrada Reset gives a middle finger to us viewers. The plot with development and characters that we have no way to figure out ourselves. The characters who change motive and even personality after each timeline. The main lead girl who act like a robot. I gave this show too many chance so I won't bother to spend more time watching it.
Anonymous1052767
Eromanga sensei
AidanAK47
@Mario, Oh ho, what was the dealbreaker? Just that it didn't change or did something really stupid happen?
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset (long sigh) (scratching my head) (eyes rolling). Dropped
AidanAK47
Hey you.
Konstantinos
Yeah, at this point, this season looks good.
SuperMario
Quite happy with ID-0 and Zero in particular. Zero charms me to no end that I'm still debating whether I should blog it. The trio Re:Creators, Kado, Atom still doing pretty well and the sequels MHA and Bahamut are enjoyable as expected. We have a wide range of anime offerings this season.
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset & SukaSuka I will give it another episode, at least until this current arcs over. They both have potential but Sagrada Reset tries so hard to sound smart, and SukaSuka still falls into its LN tropes which bugged the show down.
SuperMario
*no real urge
SuperMario
I've finally catch up with all other series I wanna follow this season. Alice & Zorouku will be off my list for now, Zorouko is a great character but everything else falls flat so far. I have real urge to continue Attack on Titan and Berserk so I'll wait until they're finished.
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
Anonymous1017501
and nobody's covering it lol
Anonymous1017501
Like dramatically
Anonymous1017501
It really is much better
Anonymous1017501
You know guys its not too late to start watching Berserk Season 2...
AidanAK47
I just get annoyed when interaction is like "HUMAN, YOUR EMOTION RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT. I THEORIZE THIS IS THE REASON YOUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT."
Their is a definite layer of pretentiousness in how it's written, seeing how nobody gets annoyed when every character tries to psychological profile them.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I have heard word that these two episodes were a prologue story and the real story is going to kick into gear next episode. But if the characters keep talking like this then it's not going to matter what happens. It will just be terrible.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Jojo part 5 died for this. That makes it all the sadder. Plus it's two cour so this show is gonna be on for half a year.
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