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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AidanAK47
But there are times when it goes way too far and you can barely make out what is even supposed to be happening. Or characters go so off model that they are unrecognizable. It can be immersion breaking. Much like uncanny CGI.
AidanAK47
@Niel, I do agree that it's annoying to see people complain about animation when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Like those inbetween frame screenshot people. But I will say I appreciate on model characters more so than chaotic movement. When the off model stuff suits the tone of the scene like that blade runner part, then it's fine.
niel
I also don't want to see someone imply visual=animation for the hundredth time. Are people really that ignorant of the technical/artistic aspect of the media they consumed?
niel
It just depends on what works best in given scene and the aesthetic they want to go for. People can complain all they want about off-model stuff, but if they really only want that the they won't be getting nearly as much of those impactful scenes as there are now. So many of the ways people complain about it is really irking to me.
niel
normal/low action scenes is different from being on-model during the action sequences and just the ones that need some extra impact in general. https://youtu.be/rrZk9sSgRyQ?t=6m45s
niel
But that depends on the situation though. And I'd argue that being consistent and on-model during
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter/Niello/Mario: Ideally I want it both ways, fluid animation AND consistent model visuals, all the while never sacrificing choreography.
SuperMario
But really, who am I to say. I'm the dude who prefer beautiful shot composition myself
SuperMario
The same can be said with Shinkai's movies since he always prefers static, beautiful shot that people tend to overlook that his animation is quite poorly handled
Vonter
You're right, but art direction does alleviate limited animation, I mean the old Berserk anime, kinda has a lot of slideshow moments. MahoYome has nice backgrounds, and despite the samey faces, at the very least doesn't come from the same mold as other series. Still cutting corners with chibi segments is was a mistake.
SuperWooper
Is it any wonder that people prefer things to be static/on-model? They want to see characters who look consistent and familiar so they can relate to them.
Nie
MahoYome being the biggest offender of people getting triggered to any kind of statement about the show's animation not being good. And it's absurd because the show's animation really isn't great at all. It's good with distracting people with pretty pictures, but animation-wise it's still mediocre.
Nie
@SuperMario: Not much. Just stuff like "Art is part of the animation weather it's beautiful backgrounds or just amazing looking characters. It's not all about how they move. If it was, CG would be considered great animation" multiple times. I've just been finding myself being replied with these kinds of comment non-stop since the start of the season.
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Niello
@Kaiser, That's unexpected.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed how outright surreal Arakawa was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: It bothers me that they're stuffing multiple tales into single episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, excel saga, I wonder what I would think of it now, its been years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I actually respect Aidan's coverage of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Yes that edgy villain kid in COTWs was annoying though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I don't care much for the male character that leads some of the episodes in this new adaptation.
@Niello: Its a non-mainstream shoujo that isn't set in a school, moves at a quick enough pace and has some nice background art/chara design, I grew up on shoujo fantasy manga also so theres that.
Amagi
I mean there are parts I like. I enjoyed the first episode, and the part about the country of liars. But many other things annoy me and the last episode was the worst. I also feel like the edgy bomb loli and slapstick Kino don't fit to the rest of the show somehow. Maybe I forgot everything, but the "old" Kino felt like a better character to me somehow, this one is more faithful to the LNs though
Amagi
@Kaiser: I honestly gave up on Kino and I think it's only partly the fault of the new series. I am just so tired of how stupid most of the episodic-characters are unless their are friends of Kino, how everyone gets bent being irredeemable evil for plot's sake and how everything Kino and her friends do gets justified. Maybe I am just too old or boring for this fairy tail like moral bending.
SuperMario
Still have Night is Short review to write... i will get there. I will get there
Anonymous1612237
It's like having potty mouth characters. If you have one, it can be funny and a good comedic relief. If everyone does it, it can come out as mean spirited or trashy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I haven't watched A Bad Idea Gone Wrog, as for now my top priority is to catch up with 2017 anime for the Yearly summary. But I will get on to it when I have some free time
Anonymous1612237
Amagi - Chibi stuff I've seen it mainly work in anime comedies with low budgets like Those Who Hunt Elves, Ranma, Excel Saga, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Nanbaka, etc. I think if you really have to use it in a more serious anime, I think it might work if it was part of one character's gag.
SuperMario
Children of the Whales, along with Juuni Taisen, keep falling out on me. Kino is pretty a hit-or-miss at the moment. I don't mind the last episode's multiple tales though
Niello
Problem about AMB chibi jokes are that they arwn't funny in the first place nor do they have a punch line.
Niello
@Eoghan, Really surprise you put Children of the Whales so high, I'm falling behind on some shows but it is still near the bottom of my list (the absolute bottom remains Kino).
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest Kino episode was a real slap in the face/insult, really really thought that one segement would carry on for the whole episode and be a redemptive one/getting the series back on form but then it followed it up with crap comic relief segement.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: For now yes.
Lenlo
Droppin Mahou Kaiser?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I no longer care what Dia's gender is, no longer I will lie to myself and deem them female.
Kaiser-Eoghan
5. would be juuni taisen
Kaiser-Eoghan
My rankings for the season based on what I am following: 1. Houseki no kuni 2. Children of the whales 3. inuyashiki 4. girls last tour dropping mahou and Kino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't remember Joseph being all that present from what little I read of the manga.
Amagi
Fear so too. I mean it has a bunch of good ideas and good quality and such, but it feels like it won't be much more than the magical being of the week (or two weeks) and some Elias highjinks inbetween
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still say, I've got the feeling mahou will be wasted potential that won't really go anywhere much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you watch that indie film you recommended yet? Bad idea gone wrong it was called. I just finished it there, budgetary limitations and outside of Matt Jones the acting isn't great, theres a few limp/dead bits too, nonetheless it has its amusing moments here and there to make for an okay comedy that isn't all that essential but amusing enough in moments if your bored.
Amagi
Yeah I think Mahou has some pacing issues. But I also think it would work way better if it was less episodic or semi-episodic.
SuperMario
I normally don't mind the chibi stuff that much but I agree in Mahoutsukai they break the tone and pacing. Serious at one time, fluffy at another...
Amagi
@Vonter: I honestly never like chibi stuff I think. Didn't care back then but nowadays I consider it annoying. One reason is that jokes only work when they aren't pointed out but just happen, sometimes even so casually that you almost miss them. Turning everyone into a chibi for a joke makes it as fun as repeating, explaining or shouting it again (which many series also do)
KTravlos
I have to give it to Altair. It got me reading the manga. The episode this week did skip over a whole manga story, but to be frank it is not too much of a loss. Pacing issues still exist. One thing I noticed was a degrading in animation. They are probably hoarding for the next two episodes which are the major battle.
Anonymous1611511
Just dropping my 2c here: Isn't it too late for the studio to correct such inherent design issue once eps start rolling out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Angel: The dub wasn't all that impressive in the first place however.
Angel
When Will fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub come out?
Vonter
The chibi stuff sadly, is like watching someone make the same mistake over and over again, without acknowledging that thing isn't coming across well. At this point it seems like an intentional choice rather than just cutting corners. Kinda like when an anime has a decent dub but has that one character with a really annoying voice.
Lenlo
Its continued this willful ignorance, this virtual refusal, to actually address the issue. Thing about the chibi is, the first scene with Silver worked. Then it just got overused.
KTravlos
Mahoutsukai continues denying itself. We finally had some tough questions asked, but the show just ignored them in the 2nd half (with generous doses of chibi). That said Elias true form is terrifying.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: If you enjoy The Scent of the Green Papaya and Cyclo, you can also check out his unofficial third film about Vietnam: The Vertical Ray of the Sun, which is about the modern day of Hanoi. It's my favorite film of his, although I know that artistically it can't compare to his earlier films
SuperMario
And I can say the mafia aspect of Cyclo is more like Hong Kong than Vietnam. But, whatever. I like this one well enough
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I particularly love the score in Cyclo. No wonder later on Tran Anh Hung asked Joony Greenwood from Raidoohead to score his films. His score has the same uncomfortable feeling with this one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would have watched an entire story based around that old man in the new Kinos journey episode.
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