Posted on 16 September 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Ultraviolet: Code 044


Every season has its most underrated series for me. For the past summer season, this was without a doubt Ultraviolet: Code 044. It only got one episode subbed, and that episode received masses of bad reviews. Because of all this bad publicity, this series received no chance at all to show its goods, which is a pity, since it’s actually a pretty good series. If you know what you want to watch it for.

Let me get a few things straight before I continue. This series is part of a whole Ultraviolet franchise, which started out as a series of comic books. Previously, it had already been adapted into a movie, which sucked beyond belief. That’s yet another one of the reasons for this series’ lack of popularity. Let me assure you, though: Code 04 is nothing like its movie counterpart. The movie was a horrible mishmash of random action scenes, while the anime manages to avoid these pitfalls.

So, yes. Code 044 is an action-series, but it knows that you can’t make a good series with action, and so it has a very solid and simple plot to keep it going. Whenever the characters are not fighting, they’re being fleshed out or developed. Not a single scene is wasted. To those who might have feared that this series would fall into a bunch of random fillers: it doesn’t. This series has a very clear goal and purpose, and manages to balance the action, plot and characters very nicely.

Part of the reasons why everything worked out so nicely is that the series has a stellar director: Osamu Dezaki. Very few people have the same amount of experience as he does, and he not only manages to use this experience to avoid common pitfalls like characters that aren’t fleshed out enough, rushed endings or cheesy dialogue, but he also manages to turn the screen into a visual feast, even though the graphical budget is often limited. The action-scenes themselves are mostly consisting out of still frames, but the effects that Osamu throws at you give it a great sense of style. He really likes to overuse CG, those sketch-like frames and split screens, and it really works. If you’re into experimental visuals, of course.

In terms of flaws, this series doesn’t have any major ones, but it’s just not a series for everyone. There are some strange instances of fanservice in the first episode, but after that the fanservice disappears nearly entirely. The plotline is very simple and for most of the time straightforward. It never tries to be anything deep or thought-provoking. It’s just one of those examples of “anime as entertainment”, as in: don’t try to find anything special behind it, because there is none. It just wants to tell a story and entertain the viewer. And for me it pretty much accomplished that feat

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10

(*a small note: like I mentioned somewhere earlier, a high number at production-values doesn’t necessarily mean smooth or detailed animation, but rather whether the series “looks” good. Which was for me the case, although do note that the character-designs are very unconventional for anime)

Posted on with categories: Ultraviolet: Code 044



Short Synopsis: Luka tries to rescue King, and more things happen which I’m not going to spoil here.
Highlights: So different from what I expected!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8.5/10
Whoa! That was actually a really good ending! This episode was among the best episodes of the entire series, and it exactly knew how to use the things it built up for, and carried them further. Here I just expected 044 to go after Luka in a sudden flash of guilt. Here I just expected Daxus II to easily finish off Luka, only for 044 to finish him. Oh, how wrong I was! I expected the final episode to focus on action. Instead, I got a final episode that focused on character-development.

As it turns out, 044 infiltrates indeed Daxus’ headquarters, but not because she wants to help Luka. Instead, Garcia managed to find out from who 044 was cloned (more on that below), and she wanted to meet that person, who just happened to be sealed inside Daxus’ headquarters. Instead, it’s none other than King who kills Daxus II. A very fitting combination, considering the things that Daxus had done to him.

I’ve seen quite a few solid series, where you’d expect a great ending from, disappoint in their finale. For example, Ghost Hound and Dennou Coil: both were very well written, and yet their endings were rushed, and in Ghost Hound’s case it was all over the place. Ultraviolet, though, manages to use exactly what it’s been building up for to provide some nice extra twists, like how Daxus II is actually a clone of his father, but refuses to admit it. Fear o fhis own identity fits his character exactly.

And of course, there was the twist that 044 is Ultraviolet’s clone. Now everything makes sense: she was the one who unconsciously spoke to 044, and this is also the explanation why 044 was such a badass fighter. This also laid an appreciated parallel to the movie, however bad it may have been.

Then there’s the aftermath: Daxus’ headquarters blows itself up. I didn’t quite catch why, but nevertheless it was a very fitting end to such an action series. I also loved how absolutely zero budget was spent on that explosion. It’s just about the opposite a normal action series would have done. I really appreciate the subtlety of it all.

And the three that survived in the end were Garcia, Matilda and Luka. I especially liked the way that Luka managed to survive: you never actually see the guy escape, he just lives. It’s up to the viewer’s imagination of how he managed to get out of that exploding building in time. I must say that it was a very nifty way of the creators to save some time, rather than to increase the pacing elsewhere and make the ending rushed. We don’t really need to know how Luka escapes. It’s irrelevant to the story. All we need to know is whether he survives or not.

And finally, Garcia. I really like how this series never put him into a love triangle with 044: he knew that she had feelings for Luka, and decided to help her as a friend, preventing this series from delving into a pointless love triangle. I think we can thank Matilda for that as well.

Posted on 10 September 2008 with categories: Ultraviolet: Code 044



Short Synopsis: 044 finally gets the chance to talk with Luka
Highlights: They were a bit sudden, but the love-scenes worked really well.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
Okay, one episode left! This show has the potential to make for a solid ending. This episode introduced enough subplots for this series to work with to fill one episode. I predict that the first half of the next episode will be Luka vs. Daxus, and the second half settles the score between 044 and Daxus, with both of them probably dying. In between, the cult leader and Garcia also probably have their minute in the spotlight, and this fits about perfectly in 20 minutes.

This episode was of course mostly about settling the score between 044 and Luka. Where he seemed like a raging gorilla in the previous episode, he came back to his senses in this episode, and seeing 044 trying to heal him worked really well. Although this episode was a bit rushed, it did get across the main point: Luka is a terrorist, nobody would care about him, and he lived his life probably without being loved, which is why he probably was able to just throw his life away for the cult. And then his big enemy comes and tells him that she genuinely cares about him. I can see love coming from that, especially since he already was in such a confused state.

Overall, the past season has been a really interesting one. For most of the seasons, I have too much series I want to blog for the amount of shows I pick up. For the past summer-season, this was the complete opposite: I had too little series that I really wanted to blog, so I could experiment with a few series. In cases like Mission-E this rather failed; looking back, I don’t really see what was so special about blogging it. However, I’m glad I decided to stick with this series. It’s been a really interesting short series. It’s never going to make any top-10 lists, but the intensity and direction-style has made this series worth watching.

One thing that I did notice in this episode: the lip-synching was really off… let’s hope the final episode will do this better.

Posted on 7 September 2008 with categories: Ultraviolet: Code 044



Short Synopsis: Luka (or what’s left of him) makes his re-entrance in this series.
Highlights: Mostly build-up, but an episode well-spent with lots of eye-candy.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
Well.. so this week I decided to not watch the low quality raws from horribleraws (since these also mess with the video-resolution, which just doesn’t do justice to this series’ sense of visuals). This wasn’t the best timing for that decision, because it seems like the raw providers went on strike this week, explaining why this entry is so horribly late. Ah well, at least it’s not like Porfy no Nagai Tabi: it’s been TWO bloody WEEKS and still no episode 34.

In any case, like predicted, this episode started the final arc of this series. It’s of course mostly building-up, but it was an episode well-used, with especially Luka gaining some more depth. The woman he ran into was cute: she lost her boyfriend, and therefore picked him up for emotional support. There were some things I didn’t like, though. In the end, Luka found 044 due to a coincidence (this woman turns out to be a maid at the hotel 044 is staying at), and he may have been a bit too similar to a gorilla in this episode. Especially the red glowy eyes were a bit too much.

This was probably the lightest episode of the entire series (I was really surprised to see these characters in broad daylight ^^;), but at the same time, this finally allowed 044 to relax a bit, resulting into a touching scene where she was finally able to cry her eyes out and let the stress of all that happened to her go.

Okay, there are two episodes left. I think that the creators just need to focus on creating a solid final episode, centred on the action and style of the previous episodes. There’s no need for any fancy plot twists, and I can see this series actually finishing off with a satisfying climax, if the creators just do what they’re good at, there shouldn’t be any problems.

Posted on 27 August 2008 with categories: Ultraviolet: Code 044



Short Synopsis: Zakusa and Daxus’ armies face off against each other.
Highlights: An action-packed episode that works.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10
Excellent episode. The building-up of the past few episodes really paid off with a very exciting episode. I’m glad that despite the negative reactions, I kept watching this series, because even though it’s nothing deep, complex or special, I’ve been enjoying every minute of it. Osamu Dezaki rocks!

There’s of course nothing much to say about such an action-episode, apart of course from Zakusa’s death, and how he still helped 044 and Garcia escape when his army finally got defeated. In the end, it turns out that he was also in the debt of Luka’s boss, the cult leader. These guys obviously have enough tricks up their sleeve for escape, since they’ve managed to stay hidden for that long. This also answers the question of “how the heck is Luka going to track down 04?”

This episode also showed that Daxus II is a very proud and cocky person, and he likes to gloat over his victims when he knows that they’re not a threat. That’s of course going to be the thing that’ll kill him in the end: my prediction is that he and 044 somehow face off together, after which her superior skills end up killing him. The question is of course how they get to that point, what Luka and Garcia can bring in and how the creators are planning to fill up those final three episodes.

Posted on 20 August 2008 with categories: Ultraviolet: Code 044



Short Synopsis: The scale is upped as 724 reveals an army’s worth of allies.
Highlights: Mostly building up… and still no Luka?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
Ooh, it really looks like this series is planning to go all out for its finale. This is the second building-up episode in a row, with just four episodes remaining. In this episode, 724 reveals that much more clones and numbers have followed him to that distant planet, and that he’s regarded as their hero. This episode also gave some more background to Daxus II, and if I say so myself, it was an episode well spent.

724 is really a person who attracts others. He not only did that with his clone comrades, but also the people who work in his mine greatly look up to him, to the point where they were actually willing to fight to the death. It was interesting how didn’t even give them the chance to bury their comrades. 044 didn’t do much in this episode (this episode was really meant to flesh out the side-characters), but that one fight scene of hers was pretty impressive; she actually wants to be stopped.

Also, I really wonder when Luka’s going to pop up. It’s surprising that there hasn’t been any sign of him for the past two episodes. He’s probably frantically looking for Ultraviolet, but as long as there’s no news about her, he obviously can’t do much. It would perhaps have been better to show a bit of footage of him, looking for 044, but on the other hand, this does add to the mystery of it all.

Posted on 12 August 2008 with categories: Ultraviolet: Code 044



Short Synopsis: Mainly a building-up episode where Daxus II searches 044’s location and 426’s past gets revealed.
Highlights: Garcia.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
Ultraviolet is really one of those “anime as entertainment” series that does a wonderful job fulfilling its purpose. A lot of this is also thanks to Osamu Dezaki’s specific style of directing, and all the interesting camera-shots and angles and animation styles he throws at the viewer. This is exactly why I like anime that aren’t afraid to do something more with their graphics than just the necessary animation that matches their budget. I guess that that’s also one of my problems with 90% of all visual novel adaptations. It’s not just their premises that sound boring and formulaic, but nearly all of them (and their art/animation styles) just look the same, and hardly take any risks when it comes to animation, and instead they just go for the safest and laziest way (there are a number of notable exceptions, of course). I know that experimenting is much more financially risky than the tried and true formula (like this series showed), but a lot of my favourite series have experimental elements in them (the biggest of course being Mahou Shoujotai).

Okay, enough ranting for now, about the episode: 724’s little action of the previous episode indeed caught Daxus’s attention, and Garcia managed to accidentally get caught on camera when the incident was reported. Garcia, not knowing any of this and thinking that he’s safe, meanwhile goes to investigate on 724. I liked him in this episode, and how he seems to have himself devoted entirely to protect 044.

044 herself didn’t do much in this episode (Luka was also gone entirely; he doesn’t have a clue where 044 is, after all), but what was interesting is that she showed a more female side of her when her sickness that signals the end of her life popped up. I’m quite curious as to how the creators plan to end this series. There are five episodes left, and both Luka and Daxus II still need to do their thing, while at the same time 044 doesn’t have much time left anyway.

Posted on 5 August 2008 with categories: Ultraviolet: Code 044



Short Synopsis: 044 and Garcia manage to flee to a mining planet as Luka returns to consciousness.
Highlights: Fillers? This series? Hah!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10
Ah, screw popular opinion, this series rocks. I’m not sure what exactly it is, but it’s simple, yet effective. When looking at the plot in the big picture, it’s nothing special, nor anything pretentious, and yet the storyline keeps flowing smoothly throughout the episodes, with hardly any time to take a break. It’s the type of series you can just sit and watch, and at the same time it’s full of passion and manliness. The soundtrack is among the best of the season, I love Osamu Dezaki’s style of directing and the art style is a treat for any Osamu Tezuka fan, to see his style in a more serious and cyberpunk setting. In other words, I’m pretty much sold on this series.

This episode introduces a new character, another clone who seems to have returned to a mining planet that harvests a new sort of energy. The guy is quite an eccentric, but he seems to have chosen the side of 044, and I think that he’s had his problems with Daxus II as well, or else he probably wouldn’t have left him. He’s a bit stupid (beating up those goons will only make Daxus send stronger goons).

My favourite part of this episode was Luka’s bit, though. The guy has been unconscious for episodes, has no idea what went on and when he gets back to his comrades he gets accused of high treason because his biggest enemy turns out to have saved his life. I’m eager to see the moment where he sees 044 again: 044 should still be in love with him, and I have no doubts that the guy is curious as to why the heck he was saved.

Posted on 4 August 2008 with categories: Ultraviolet: Code 044



Short Synopsis: 044 tries to get rid of 724 and his henchmen.
Highlights: Solid action that knows when to stop.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
Here’s one thing I don’t get: why the heck is this series getting so much hate?! I mean, I can understand how people can dislike this series: the art style, dark mood and Osamu Dezaki’s direction style aren’t for everyone. But when I look at sites as AniDB and MyAnimeList, with their abysmally low rating for this series and read some of the comments about this series, I just can’t seem to understand where all this hate is coming from.

This isn’t the first time I’ve blogged (and enjoyed) a series that was hated by a large amount of people, but at least there I could understand why people were hating it: the lead characters of Night Head Genesis did whine an awful lot. It’s obvious that they’re going to get on the nerves of many people. El Cazador was all about its characters, so if you don’t like them, then there’s nothing much left of it. Blade of the Immortal has been based on a rumoured excellent manga, so of course people will be disappointed if a studio like Bee-Train gets the rights to animate it. For Ultraviolet, I just can’t imagine any reason why someone would really label this as the worst show of the season.

Granted, the only really bad thing of the first episode of this series was the huge amounts of fanservice, but that doesn’t really explain the low ratings. First of all, series with fanservice are often popular in the online crowd (as demonstrated by series as To Love-Ru, Kanokon, Sekirei and Code Geass), so why should this be any different? Second of all, the fanservice was nowhere near as bad or blatant as in series as the ones mentioned above. And third of all, the fanservice disappears nearly entirely after the second episode anyway.

So someone, enlighten me. Why the heck is this series so bad? Why has this series the most amount of “suckage” when compared to all other series that aired this Spring and Summer?

In any case, this episode was more action-packed, as 044 gets rid of 724, who turns out to have been jealous of her all along, as number two in the organization. At the same time, Mathilda and Garcia (who probably are also in trouble, seeing as how they helped their friend 044 kill off many of Daxus II’s subordinates) seem to be joining her, and reveal a bit more about her past.

There were a lot of fight-scenes in this episode, they were obviously not the best animated (probably due to lack of budget), but they were interesting to watch nonetheless. I’m interested to see where this series is going now: 044 is free now, and Daxus II can’t track her down anymore. 044 will probably go after Luka, but what’s going to happen after that?

Posted on 23 July 2008 with categories: Ultraviolet: Code 044



Short Synopsis: An intermezzo, without much action, but much character-development and introductions.
Highlights: The new characters should prove interesting for the rest of this series.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
Okay, so even though this was a quiet episode, it still delivered, as it made perfect use of the extra time for the characters to reflect upon themselves, and it also made 044 see how stupid she was acting considering her love. There’s no guarantee that when Luka wakes up, he’ll be in love with 044 too, and he’ll probably just return to his comrades.

In the meantime, she also removes the chip that Daxus II used in order to track her down. He’s just like 044 in a way: he too is obsessed over another human being, to the extent where she’s more important than his job, and he’ll use all of his influence to get her back. In the same way, 044 will use al of her powers in order to protect Luka, even though she hardly knows anything about the guy.

The new people introduced included some sort of cross between a gang-boss and a fashion-victim, who was after the reward put on 044’s head. This episode also introduces Luka’s comrades, who come and retrieve him at the end of the episode. It’s interesting how they seem to be connected to Mathilda somehow. Then there are some acquaintances of Garcia, who haven’t done much yet.

I must say that Madhouse is pretty much turning into my favourite production-company this year. They may have had certain flops with Allison and Lillia and Kamen no Maid Guy, but the majority of their series that aired this year all had interesting premises, looked fresh and had deep storytelling. The problems I’ve once had with the studio was when they kept disappointing me over and over with Kaiji, the second season of Black Lagoon, the finale of Akazukin, Claymore and Shigurui and the large amount of hiatuses and recaps from Dennou Coil and Saiunkoku Monogatari, but ever since the spring-season, these guys have been better than ever.

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser Eoghan
....well without spoiling towards the middle of that rakugo episode and all throughout during that middle part, my opinion on Yotaro's character went far up.
Kaiser Eoghan
Struggling to remember the name of that josei samurai manga from the 90s (or earlier 2000s), had a gender bending theme.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've already read kenshin and vagabond, I loved shigurui death frenzy and sword of the stranger but found samurai champloo uneven. Theres a kagemusha manga but I haven't read it and I've yet to see/read blade of the immortal.
Kaiser Eoghan
At a glance I'll go against the grain and say I think demi-chan is funnier than konosuba, going on one episode of each.
I've been watching a fare share of samurai films in the last two years and lately so I'm open to wathing more anime/reading manga dealing with samurai.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, how I love to watch it jumping off the cliff. This show contains lines like "I don't understand... even if I did understand... but I don't understand." It isn't a dialogue that we encounter too often I'm sure.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Sounds good to me. With me covering Little Witch Academia, Saga of Tanya the evil and Rakugo this season is well covered.
SuperMario
so I've decided to blog 3-gatsu, Scum's Wish and ACCA this season. A bit worry about the latter as I still don't have much to talk about that. Let's try it and see what happens; I say
SuperMario
Okay, I'm not hot on Onihei this week, as if the main theme about these two episodes were "people can be corrupted" then I'm not buying it. ACCA, on the other hand, was still very solid of building up the world and its big events to come.
AidanAK47
I have played all the big roguelikes and found they have the same problem. I argee on procedural generation. Even if the map is different every time you are essentailly going through the same rooms and doing the same things.
Masky
Though to be honest, I don't like procedural(or designed room and then game connects them randomly) games much. I much enjoy hand designed dungeons since I rarely play games through more than once anyway so roguelike's appeal of "Every time you play it through its different!" doesn't appeal to me much and hand designed dungeons are much more memorable
Masky
Can't really comment further on that since I don't know which roguelikes you have played, and neither I have played gungeon so I don't know if its badly designed to the point you can't do anything if rng says so. Though I guess there is nothing wrong about liking luck based games, if roguelike in question is truly unbeatable if rng says so, well, its really badly designed one if you ask me.
AidanAK47
Take my last run. Made it up to the fourth floor. Got plenty of guns but none were really useful. Even then ran out of ammo for all of them and the game was cheap about giving out ammo. Plenty of money but shops with nothing worth buying. Over 5 heart containers but no goddamn health. Died on the boss because I rolled out of a bullet into another bullet. Pretty much unavoidable.
AidanAK47
@Masky, that's the theory but in pretty much every roguelike I played its not the case. If the RNG decides you are going to have a bad time then you are going to have a bad time. Skill can only bring you so far. I have played this game for 7 hours and I know I could have finished it in 2. Only thing stopping me is a dice roll.
Masky
Like, the thing with roguelikes is that they can get easier/harder depending on luck, but well done one should be completable even without any upgrades at all if you are skilled enough.
Masky
Thats not the really case with roguelikes though, unless game design is bad and includes insta kill traps and such that are unavoidable if you are unlucky
AidanAK47
I hate roguelikes. Been playing enter the Gungeon and I just lost all patience with it. Getting real tired of my victory being decided by a RNG. It never feels satisfying to finish a roguelike because I know my victory was determined by pure luck.
AidanAK47
So we got to rely on fansubs for it when it's airing.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Nope. I think because netflix only puts up full seasons they are only planning to put it up when it's finished airing. Or when it's dubbed.
SuperMario
But how does the Netflix thing work? So of I have a Netflix account I can watch the show weekly?
SuperMario
@Aidan: that's a dumb way to do things really because unless you watch the show weekly, everyone gonna forget that it even exist. Just look at Re-Life last year
Lenlo
thought*. Words are hard.

Eventually found the actual first ep though and enjoyed it.
Lenlo
Was funny. I tried to find the first Ep for Little Witch, found original short made afew years ago, watched it and though "This is very similar to the original... Whats new".
AidanAK47
Little witch is one of the best shows this season and yet I can't get subtitles because Netflix doesn't release shows weekly. Motherf*cker.
Lenlo
Ore Monogatari I enjoyed. It was a nice romance that actually explored what happens after the confession. Also the 2 leads are just precious.
Lenlo
Alright but unmemorable seems like a good summation.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: one good thing about Seiren is if you don't like this romance, the whole thing gonna reset after episode 4 so there's a chance that you might end up like it. Agreed that the comedy wasn't very good. Alright but unmemorable
SuperMario
@Topgavin: I watched like first 3 episodes and stopped because I didn't have much time there, but I enjoyed what I saw. A well-written and endearing show in my book
Topgavin
Has anyone here watched Ore Monogatari before? Because in the 4 years I've watched anime, I've never heard of it (I guess it did come out 2 years ago) and yet it's turning out to be one of my favorite shows. Always great going into a show expecting nothing and getting pleasantly surprised.
AidanAK47
Only one more impression to go. Should have it up tomorrow.
Lenlo
Im really not feeling Seiren. Its "comedy" isnt for me and I just dont find it very enjoyable to watch so far. Im curious if it gets any better but 2 episodes in it just isnt that good.
HelghastKillzone
That ending scene is an entire side-story compressed into that. Don't expect anymore of it from here on out as the it sticks to ruthless military/fantasy pretty well.
LookingForKeys
@Topgavin I think it was good, making it the second episode. That way the first set up the world the story will be in, and showed how much of a monster the "little girl" really is right at the end, and then made ep.2 the explanation. Nothing against Tanya trying to rip "God" a new one.
That after-credits scene, though...
SuperMario
Hmm, as much as I like Seiren's omnibus format, it doesn't turn out really hot this second episode. Demi-chan, on the other hand, still maintains its endearing tone. Might blogging Demi-chan instead
Topgavin
Yeah, that second episode was much better than the first. Dunno why they didn't start with that to be honest, waste of an opportunity for a good hook episode. The voice for the main girl still sounds weird to me though; I get it's supposed to sound weird because it symbolizes 'her' being out of place and her personality and body being a mismatch, but it'll certainly take some getting used to.
AidanAK47
Youjo Senki, now we are talking. Like Helghast said, Did the god scene way better than the LN and manga. Made it less comedic and more intimidating.
Lenlo
Oh man that Rakugo intro. Not sure what to think, but first time seeing it I liked it
Kaiser Eoghan
I sort of like good will hunting because I kind of saw a bit of myself in Damon's character when I watched it ages ago.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Remaking psycho and ruining the shower scene, for shame van sant, for shame.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its easy to ripoff some obscure thing though and get away with it. The dogtooth director essentially stole an old Mexican film to make that.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, that following some guys from behind like they were on a RPG games, which I think actually fit with the tones of Elephant. I have such mixed feeling with Gus van Sant too. Don't really think he's a great director.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Although Istvan Szabo is probably a little more well known for that Mephisto film that updates the Faust story. Zoltan Fabri's the fifth seal is a very thought provoking war movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I remember seeing a film documentary that featured Gus van sant in one section, they showed clips of tarrs films, Sant ripped of the cinematography and stole the style from some British short film to make Elephant.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree on the other Hungarian filmmakers, I don't know much about them either.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Scorsese's Silence was a big comeback. I really really emotionally connect with spiritual crisis stories.
SuperMario
@kaiser: yep, definitely check wreckmeister down. Althought I admit that watching his 2-hour plus films will feel like 5-hour anyways
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm more tolerant of darker teenage/coming of age films/stories. Les Demons was a big surprise.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Though its kind of frustrating, I do think Tarr probably takes attention away from other hungarian filmakers because no-body knows who the hell the others are.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Man, wreckmeister was so visually arresting I started getting dreams from it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I would consider Tarr to be kind of a poor mans Janco, Angelopolus and Tarkvosky rolled into one. I don't entirely "get" wreckmeister and man from London but they are great atmospheric mood piece experiences.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I had been wanting to watch Belar Tarr's Turin Horse and Werckmeister Harmonies for so long now. Well, Fat Girl is shocking haha, but I'm normally drawn into those kind of films anyway.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Margaret took like 5,6 years to release because he couldn't cut it down in the way he wanted. The final cut if I remembered correctly was edited by Martin Scorsese
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Only a HDcam for moonlight now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I looks like my lineup is witch academia, rakugo and youjo senki, well the most latter one until I get bored.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I sense a directors cut for manchester, it feels like it need another 30 minutes.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right up my valley. Watch Kenneth Lonergan's previous works Magaret and You Can Count on Me. Magaret is very messy but have a raw dialogue and interactions as well
SuperMario
Now the first episodes are over, I will keep on covering 3-gatsu, as for the other twos atm I have 3 options: 1) full romance/anti-romance high school Seiren/Scum's Wish. 2) slice-of-life moe monster girls Demi-chan/Maid Dragon and 3) Mature,dark Onihen/Acca (which although I like them I don't have much to talk about).If you guys have any preference on which shows you like covered then let me know
Kaiser Eoghan
@Helghast: At this point I'm watching youjo senki as an entertaining guilty pleasure.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Too many reboots upcoming, will wait for the dvds instead. I want to explore more of manchester by the sea's director's work. I also want to finally get more into Bela Tarr's stuff.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I was rather shocked by A Ma souer/fat girls final act. Scenes with the Italian in the bedroom were initially creepy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's a nice review Kaiser, a bit jealous with you that you've seen those 3 films which are touted as the best films of 2016. Also Fat Girl, haha, I love that movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
Poor yotaro =< you have so much stuff going down on you =<
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki episode was so good today. That revamped scene with God just fitted so right.
AidanAK47
A official release of that game in the west is apparently coming but it's been a few years and not much news about it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Ah yes that was the one.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Had to think for a moment on that one but I think I was talking about this. https://vndb.org/v3144
Kaiser Eoghan
Now I'd hardly consider myself a studio trigger fan, but I watched the first witch academia episode there, it was actually kind of fun, got the same reaction from me as flipflappers did, that magical, special feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I also, of interest reviewed Kenneth Lonegrans new film: http://letterboxd.com/shao_liu_ringon/film/manchester-by-the-sea/
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Moonlight got some feels out of me though it could of been more, it ends abruptly and with 20 extra minutes they could have spent a bit more time on each section of his life.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I checked out lala land, ending was very well executed, one of three scenes in the film that were impressive visually. The whole thing looked pretty and Gosling and Stone had some decent chemistry. Although it didn't resonate emotionally as strongly as the musicals of Jacques Demi did.
Kaiser Eoghan
MOM I want aiyoku no eustia and I want it now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've never heard of himawari or tokyo babel. The hellsing comparison at least interests me in dies irae. What was the name of that visual novel again that was coming out soon, Aidan you described it as "And Kaiser would love it because its supposed to be really fucked up".
Kaiser Eoghan
I vaguely remember the anime for 11 eyes, it was very forgettable, even the voice acting was poor, hated the childhood friends and the pacing was poor, those black knight things were kind of interesting though.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: You'll have to add me onto the list of those unsatisfied with the ever 17 writer, I read one of those games and felt it was a bunch of interesting bait that never paid off.
AidanAK47
Anyway I plan on doing a review of 11eyes here when I finish it.
AidanAK47
Can't say I was a fan of Ever17. That was a really good twist but when it came to explaining it their was a lot of contrived development. Generally not a fan of the writer. Looseboy, Ryukishi, Gen and Nasu are more my kinda thing
AidanAK47
@Anon, it is nice that so many VNs are on steam but I wish they wouldn't be stupid with the whole no adult content thing. Not so much for myself but to prevent idiots from writing negitives reviews because the game doesn't have sex. VNs can grip you in a way anime simply can't and while they require pathence and time those can be some pretty powerful stories.
Anonymous678956
@Aidan, I am so happy steam's so VN-friendly now. I think it's a very good type of media. Like anime, it has nice visuals, music and some movement but also the inner monologue and text amount of books. It's the perfect combination. Plus, the routes, which are often puzzle pieces and PoVs you have to go through to understand the whole story. True routes like the one of Ever17 blew my mind.
AidanAK47
Hopefully the two VNs I bought of steam turn out better. Tokyo Babel is supposed to be alright and I heard really good things about Himawari.
AidanAK47
I am about a third of the way through the game and really not much of worth has happened. The concept is interesting but the execution is sorely lacking.
AidanAK47
I went in expecting it to be a mixed bag and it's pretty below my expectations. It's just not really well written and the protagonist is a moron. THere isn't really routes and instead you are pretty much stuck with his childhood friend as the main love interest. Problem with that is her character begins and ends with loving the main.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, damn. 11Eyes is on my reading list as well. Although I almost expected it to not be as good as I thought it'd be (back then). Guess I would have enjoyed it if I was able to read it while the (shitty) adaption aired, maybe I have seen/read too many series by now. Guess I'll still give it a try some day though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I haven't heard the OST or watched the intro video. I only know it be reputation and have decided to walk into it as blind as I can. Still slightly worried as I was somewhat looking forward to reading 11Eyes for a couple of years and now that I am reading it it's well...not good.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, same here. I was waiting years for this, since I saw the intro video for the first time. Also, that OST!
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki is already leagues better than Izetta. It's going to be top anime of forever and ever. (maybe not)
AidanAK47
And finally Dies Irae is funded. May actually be able to play and finish the game before the anime airs. If the hype is real behind this baby it could be a new personal favorite Visual Novel of mine. Already looking promising with it being like a cross between Hellsing and Fate/Stay Night. Two things I most certainly like.
Lenlo
@Masky, in regards to style over substance thats where im at with Gurrne Lagann.
Topgavin
Yeah, I'll probably watch the next episode to see whether it can redeem itself. Hopefully it can but considering 1st episodes usually get a lot of budget, there's some severe doubt in there.
AidanAK47
I actually argee with character designs and voices are bad in regards to female characters. Still the next episode might change your mind if we get more into the main characters head.
Anonymous671470
It's boring
Topgavin
Also, it seems I disagree with a lot of people in thinking Youjo Senki will be a massive trainwreck. The character designs are awful, the voice acting is mismatched but most of all the premise just seems so very dumb. If I wanted to watch a badass kill people I'd go watch Hellsing or Drifters, because at least those don't have some op, disproportionate loli as the mc.
AidanAK47
Gets even more complicated when you account for Satire and Parody. You could equally argue all examples listed as being as such.
AidanAK47
Little Witch Academia is a decontruction of Harry Potter....I don't believe that but honestly if I tried I could put some reasoning behind that statement.
Topgavin
In the end, it always comes down to opinion (as with every discussion about anime, for some reason). You could spin any and every series as a "deconstruction", which is why people shy away from using the word. You could argue NGE, Madoka and Re:Zero are all deconstructions yet also argue Gundam, Precure and SAO are depending on what points you weigh more importantly.
Masky
Like, if deconstruction is supposed to be just "break the elements and then play story how it would realistically go down" well I haven't watched NGE, but as far as I know it does have stuff that isn't typical to mecha genre besides the "It would fuck up kids" thing plus "realistically how it would play out" is pretty subjective thing. I mean, its mainly about how cynical bastard the writer is :P
Masky
Like I said, I don't fully agree with it because I find video's speaker's attitude annoying, but I found it semi convincing. Main thing I don't find convincing about it is that I don't think its hard to turn video's own arguments agaisnt it and say that by its own logic NGE isn't deconstruction either, like Aidan just said earlier
Masky
And I don't really have energy for checking out the "correct" one. If there even is one. Anyway, the hipster video I was talking about was titled "What Actually Is A Deconstruction?" if you want to check it out.
Masky
Hmm, well, it does depend on definition you use. Like if you use "realistic" thing, well, Magical Girl shows don't usually have "You turn into monsters" thing going on and reason why NGE's pilots go crazy is from dangerous situations rather than evas making them do so. But honestly, I don't really have strong opinion on matter since word seems to be one of those with several different meaning
SuperMario
for me Madoka IS a deconstruction of Magical girl, and yeah like what Aidan said
SuperMario
I think part of Utena is a deconstruction of "prince riding horse and save the girl" because that notion is just a foundation for Utena to become a prince herself and save other girl. That's breaking it apart and resemble it again in its own way. Don't have to be dark/ don't have to be real either
AidanAK47
@Masky, That's just debating semantics. Besides that difinition would pretty much mean that Neon Genesis Evangelion isn't a decontruction either. Madoka isn't a decontruction because it's dark. It's more in its aspects of criticising why a girl should throw her ordinary life away for something as dangerous as being a magical girl. It does take plenty of the typical tropes and turn them on its head
SuperMario
@Masky: Genre deconstruction is such a tricky word that I normally try to avoid using because there's really no set characteristic about the term and different people have different opinions about what constitute "deconstruction". For me, I disagree that deconstruction have to be dark and real, hmm can't say it well but I will give you an example:
Masky
But yeah, I guess I could try to find the video if you guys are interested, though like I said, I got hipsterish feel from the video and felt rather annoyed through it even though I did get what the point was and found it sort of convincing besides my annoyance
Masky
(not that liking NGE is hipsterish, its just that I find NGE to be more style than substance sort of series <_< Anyway, guy didn't dislike madoka or anything, he just seemed to dislike people using word deconstruction wrong in his opinion)
Masky
(especially with how much they seemed to praise Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Masky
I mean, I think the guy was being somewhat hipsterish, but its true the being darker take on genre isn't same as deconstructing the genre
Masky
@AidanAK47: Some other guy on youtube did video that had actually pretty good point about how Madoka isn't really deconstruction, if you go by definition of "Break it down to parts and then play them straight to show how horrifying it would be in real life"
Anonymous670441
Gente - Ristorante no Hitobito
Kaiser Eoghan
If anything its the hate I have for certain characters that makes it more effective.
Kaiser Eoghan
The obsessional level of attachment is just uncomfortable to me, I don't want to get THAT attached to a non-real character.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its literally just a case of "Okay lets look at this picture of this character, she looks interesting, no feelings or expression from me, apply this fetish, fap, get release, go home. "
Kaiser Eoghan
Or drooling/dribbling/heavy breathing/grinning over the characters. I abhor alot of the anime girls I find attractive or am indifferent, even when looking at ecchi/hentai drawings I'm straight and clinical with it.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean to each their own. But I really hate the level of emotion/devotion to moe/finding the characters attractive. Such as celebrating their birthdays, going on about how cute/hot they are, how important it is that they're virgins. Or not being being self-aware of how irritating the characters are.
Lenlo
Anime hipster is pretty accurate. His general treatment of the current state of anime is annoying, as is his obsession with moe. Maybe its cause I cant stand moe most of the time, but it bugs me.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Lenlo: Essentially my brothers view on digibro.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I don't usually feel the need to correct errors in your reviews as the errors are generally un-important, but I think you meant to say apprentices rather than appearences in the Rakugo review, just bringing that up as it felt like kind of a throw off.
AidanAK47
Which is kinda like saying Madoka wasn't a magical girl deconstruction because Sailor Moon and Nanoha had dark elements too.
AidanAK47
Went and read the reddit comments on it and seems I was right on the money.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, He's basically a anime hipster. For example, I saw a thumbnail of his which had Saitama on it and below it "Is There Meaning In "Subverting" Shounen Tropes?" and I thought "Okay, he's going to go on about how OPM isn't subversive and then list a bunch of arbitrary examples in an attempt to redefine what is actually subversive"
Lenlo
I have lots of issues with Digibro. Dude has some good points, but other very horrible ones. Some issues he feels strongly about and gets kinda biased on imo.
Anonymous669202
acca looks visually interesting, and I personally really dig this kind of show, but it seems that it's definitely not for everyone
AidanAK47
Time to live up to my word. Four posts incoming.
AidanAK47
Man, Little witch Academia was so good. I disagree with the whole Digibro thing about being able to recognise a great show in it's first episode but watching this makes me think that this really is going to be something special.
AidanAK47
Alright, gonna put in effort today and have 3 or 4 first impressions posts done. That should knock out near half the season.
Kaiser Eoghan
Had a flip through handshakers. Garish is the word I'd use to describe it visually, it takes you out of the show.
Topgavin
ASuperMario From the first minute I can already tell it's by the same people that made K. Those colour filters and the extremely jarring/obvious city CGI is unmistakable.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, literally makes my hands shaking. It's an abosolute mess. Highly recommended to check it out because it's so terrible it's great to watch
Vonter212
Yeah, and it's also a literal woman in refrigerator plot device, since that the thing that pushes the story forward.
Masky
I'd say that having to hide your sister's body in fridge would count as daaaaaaark and edgy, but when the body is wearing only underwear, and for some reason main character put metal things in fridge to keep body standing(I guess to not knock fridge open from inside?) I think it goes to "exploitation" you are talking about
Vonter212
@Masky - Did someone said doing dark things for drama? That's the bread and butter to get despair. Unless it's for the sake of perversion. Then it's just exploitation.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Masky: His other works dead tube and scumbag go further in the unhinged regard.
Masky
*relies on easy "let's do [x dark thing] for drama!" thing
Masky
Geez, Mayonaka no X Giten is fricking disturbing/disgusting ._. I'm pretty sure that writing relies on e, but I can't help but think mangaka is trying to make corpses sexy.
SuperMario
I found Onihei to be quite good, actually one of the most solid new episode I watched this new season. Guys, check them out
Vonter
I just hope it doesn't fall into the same misstep Kabaneri or Inuyasha or Bleach fall by making a villain so over the top that it crossed the line of not having a satisfying downfall.
Anonymous657941
@Vonter I think they just moved on. I lost interest rather quickly and I guess even the fans did that at some point, like with some other long-running series. There is much more new and more direct "fujo" stuff out there, many of them probably switched. Don't know what happens in the manga but maybe the story got worse or contained things some people didn't like.
Vonter
January will be loli dictator month (for me) :p. World Conquest Zvezda Plot, Youjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil (new), Seraph of the End. For some reason I stumble into three curious series with little power hungry girls. If I can ask, why did Owari Seraph's hype died, I remember back it was mentioned more often. It still has the fujoshi fanart but still, I don't see people bringing it up.
SuperMario
@CATski: well, if you didn't like its first 3 episodes I dont think the rest gonna change your mind. Have you finished Erased then? How did you like it?
SuperMario
But I understand it's difficult to speak in front of camera, get some time to get used to it
SuperMario
@kaiser: I won't commend on poem as I'm terrible at it myself but younneed to work more on presentation Kaiser. Small little things like looking directly at the camera or say "thanks for listening" in the end can connect you to the audience better
Anonymous657071
Ok. I'll give the thing another chance. *clicks torrent* XD. CATski.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Topgavin: You might like centaur no nanami if you like demi-chan.
Kaiser Eoghan
Damn...repeated myself =<
Kaiser Eoghan
There are these things called slam sessions done in bars where people get up and read out stuff in front of a crowd and read stuff out. Actually watching rakugo made me think about practicing for that kind of thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: the video I did was of me reading out a short piece of writing I did, a poem. lol I uploaded it to the wrong youtube account too I just realized =P
[link src="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypBZ2hBDBYs&t=11s
I"] was recording this from my mothers laptops inbuilt cam while reading off my desktop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I think it's a good idea for you to try out reviewing movies/stuffs in youtube channel. I'll be very interesting to listen to them
SuperMario
@Topgavin: Agree. Demi-chan was so charming. Definately one of my favorite so far this new season
Topgavin
Demi-chan's first episode was good. Like, really really good. That blonde-haired girl was hilarious, the teacher-student relationship between the MC and the girls is really interesting and the social/practical problems the demi's face make it look like my favorite show so far.
CATski
Ah... ok. Is it really that good or it's just one of those "artsy" animes that tend to get overrated by their ardent fans? I didnt find the rakugo bit interesting.... probably the weakest aspect of the show for me.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Why did I read that chapter. Why did I do that to myself.
Total users: 29

Featured Posts

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. – 02 [The Partner in Crime’s Name is Nino]

I admit that although I think ACCA is one the most solid show this season and I in particular like how they set up the settings and the events to come, the first two episodes didn’t grab me that much personally. As a result, in prepare for this post, I went ahead and watching them […]

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – 15

It was inevitable that Yotaro’s past with the Yakuza would come back to haunt him but boy did it really bite him in the ass. I was wondering as to how the show would work with Yotaro and give him conflict but then this episode comes along and gives him plenty to worry about. He’s […]

Little Witch Academia – 02[Pappiliodya]

I may regret choosing to cover this series as what makes it great is a quality that cannot really be held up to professional scrutiny. Much like Triggers other works, it’s not what’s being presented that matter but rather how it’s presented. You can make the argument that Trigger doesn’t necessarily innovative but rather take […]

3-gatsu no Lion – 13 [Black River (part 2) – Beyond the Door]

This week we have 2 disjoined chapters, which are different in tones and more importantly in their point of view. We go through the first section from Smith-san perspective detailing his own thoughts towards the match against Gotou, and the latter part Rei took the stage, being on his way to challenge Gotou in next […]

Saga of Tanya the Evil – 02[Prologue]

As I initially thought, this series becomes a whole lot better when you can see the disparity between the main protagonists thoughts and how those around her view them. The first episode jumped ahead in the story to where Tanya had established herself somewhat and I believe the intent was to mislead the audience with […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2, Chaos;Child, Marginal#4 KISS Kara Tsukuru Big Bang and Scums Wish

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 Short Synopsis: Kazama stands trial after accidentally blowing up a lord’s manor while saving the town. This show certainly hasn’t lost it’s charm. I had the biggest smile on my face while watching and it even managed to get me laughing out loud at points. I will admit […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Onihei, Gabriel DropOut and ACCA – 13-ku Kansatsu-ka

Onihei Short Synopsis: A captured thief joins the police to hunt down his old leader. For a studio’s first work this is quite a solid offering. The beginning reminded me of samurai champloo though this seems more a traditional samurai story. Animation isn’t anything too impressive but it does the job and there is some […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Hand Shakers, Kemono Friends and Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

Hand Shakers Short Synopsis: A boy holds the hand of a girl he finds in a hospital room and ends up in a supernatural battle to the death. GoHands, you know what would be great? If you know, instead of slapping on lens flares and colour filters all over the place, you just don’t do […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Little Witch Academia, Idol Jihen and elDLIVE

Little Witch Academia Short Synopsis: A normal girl goes to attend a academy for witches You know if the remaining 24 episodes are as great as this one this anime may end up on of my all time favorites list. Animation is great and full of personality, story is simple but fun and I had […]

Latest Reviews

Flip Flappers (Fall 2016) Review – 93/100

What makes Flip Flappers stand out from the rest of the anime field? I found a lot of people asking that question along the way. Well, first off, Flip Flappers isn’t your ordinary anime offering, that’s for sure. Its visual styles are too much and too incoherent for one thing, the narrative never really reveal […]

Sound! Euphonium 2 (Fall 2016) Review – 86/100

I must admit that out of all the series I was blogging last year, Sound Eupho 2 was the one I’m saddest to see it ends; not because it was my absolute favorite anime last year, but because the sheer amount of their attention to details and their ridiculously quest for perfection are something that […]

Fune wo Amu (Fall 2016) Review – 81/100

This series is, in retrospect, a really appropriate title that speaks to the very spirit of noitaminA block: an adult drama slice of life about the making of dictionary that surely don’t try to target the young audiences. Sound as dry as it is, Fune wo Amu’s actually one of the strongest noitaminA show come […]

Your name. (2016) Movie Review – 82/100

As of this writing, Kimi no Na wa, or Your name. has enjoyed a phenomenal commercial and critical success. It becomes the highest grossing film of the year in Japan, and broke many records elsewhere in Thailand, China, America… you name it. Even in the local theatre where I went to, we got a full […]

Occultic;Nine Review – 0/100

I am certain this may seem like an extreme rating for some but the number scale always has been something I only carried over as part of psgels format. But this rating exemplifies my feelings about this show in its entirety. This show is awful, terrible, rage inducing, illogical, nonsensical garbage. Watching this show was […]

Magical Girl Raising Project Review – 65/100

In the success of Madoka there have been plenty who have tried to capitalize on turning the Magical girl genre dark. Few have actually succeeded and while Magical Girl Raising Project doesn’t quite succeed, it is still a much more competent attempt than many others. The story is about a phone app which promises to […]

Yuri!!! on Ice (Fall 2016) Review – 83/100

“Can you hear my heartbeat? Tired of feeling never enough. I close my eyes and tell myself that my dreams will come true” That’s exactly what Yuri on Ice offers, a heart-pumping ride to the sport of figure skating. Yuri on Ice’s current success and mainstream breakout is something that no one could have guessed before it aired; but here […]

Strange Frame – Love & Sax (2012) Movie Review – 76/100

Hooray, I’m finally back to this section after a while. I originally plan to review a more in-focus groups of animated films, like Korean movies, anthology movies, female-directed films, etc but now I have a different plan. The days that I cover all these will come, I promise. Instead, this time I want to highlight […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy Review – 84/100

Sometimes you dread for the current state of anime: high school settings, cute girls, fan-service jokes, idol madness… that you wish for once to see something different, and out of nowhere an oddball like this just pop up: a wuxia puppetry show influenced by Taiwanese glove puppetry written by Gen Urobuchi. The sheer fact that […]