Posted on 5 April 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Level E




My favourite comedies are the ones that don’t just make me laugh a lot. They also truly excel in another area, whether this is its cast of characters (Kodocha), storytelling (Law of Ueki, Gintama) or subject material (Excel Saga). It’s been a long while, but with Level E I can finally add another series to my top 10 of favourite comedies. This show is an absolute delight to watch.

Adapted from a manga from the same writer as Hunter X Hunter and Yu Yu Hakusho, written in 1997, Level E is a brilliant comedy. For one, it is hilarious to watch. It’s got a fantastic comedic timing that plays together brilliantly with the chemistry between the different characters. This show really has a knack for getting under the skin of its different characters, with hilarious results.

Beyond that, though… this series is also just a fantastic storyteller. It basically consists out of a number of unrelated arcs, ranging between one and three episodes, all of which focus on alien life on earth in their own way. Some arcs share similar characters, but apart from that they just all have their own focus and story. This creates a ton of variety: every episode is different. And on top of that, they’re all really well told. They make excellent use of their momentum in order to both be hilarious, and actually tell some serious and interesting stories here, with a ton of well built up plot twists. It all comes together wonderfully in the end. While the stories have nothing to do with each other, they do all build up to the same atmosphere and universe, leaving an excellently fleshed out series behind, especially considering how there are only 13 episodes.

Beyond that, this show also has an amazing sense of characterization. Every character here is likable and original, miles away from the usual stereotypes. Both the males and females set themselves apart, with especially Yukitaka, Kraft and Miho. Due to the nature of this series they have relatively little airtime aside from perhaps the blonde prince, but they still stand out as amazing and down to earth characters who refuse to act like idiots just for plot convenience. the second biggest flaw of this show is really that we don’t get to see more of its awesome characterization.

The biggest flaw meanwhile is that it’s one big tease. The thing is, that it has an absolutely fantastic first arc. If the rest of the arcs would have followed in its example we would have had one of the best comedies ever made here. Instead, the rest of the arcs of this show do take a step back, but even then there is more than enough to like here. The amount of cliches in this series is really the bare minimum of what you can get and due to its rock-solid characters and storytelling it’s even enjoyable when it’s not funny, something quite rare for comedies.

Storytelling: 10/10 – Extremely witty and an amazing comedic timing. It’s a show that is constantly changing, even within its own arcs and that makes for a really diverse 13 episode series that leaves no moment wasted.
Characters: 9/10 – Amazing characterization for a 13 episoded series that focuses on different characters in each arc. It’s not that these characters are well developed. Instead, they’re the type of characters that are full of life, yet are down to earth and compelling to watch throughout the entire series. They’re the perfect example of how you can also get an amazing cast without a ton of drama.
Production-Values: 8/10 – The animation is average, but even this is made excellent in a few episodes with some excellent camera angles and visual ideas. The CG can be a bit obtrusive, though the soundtrack is excellent.
Setting: 9/10 – An excellent look at the concept of aliens on earth. The stories all feel fresh and a lot of imagination has gotten into creating a simple, yet over the top, yet consistent setting here.

Suggestions:
Ooedo Rocket
Sexy Commando Gaiden
The Law of Ueki

Posted on with categories: Level E



That was an awesome end to an awesome series. The twist had it coming, but it was perfect to close off this show.

This episode did a great job of making the princess more than just about any other romantic interest. I mean, the basis premise for this episode may have been an arranged marriage, but that’s about the only stock plot device that appeared in this past arc. It’s a great idea to have the princess be as cunning as the prince himself, and still make her innocent at the same time. Somewhat.

I also love how in the end, the prince was fooled by bland acting from the two thieves who pretended to be the very helpless-looking brother and princess. That’s the point where he really got caught off-guard.

Overall, If I wasn’t one already, I’m now a really big fan of David Production. Only Dogs was bad, but apart from that, Ristorante Paradiso, Armed Librarians and Level E were all wonderfully creative and enjoyable series. I really like the ambition that these people have to time and time again come with something interesting. Combined with Studio Pierrot they really made for one heck of an interesting comedy.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 29 March 2011 with categories: Level E



Awesome to see the entire main cast together again for the finale of this series. I mean, these are the kinds of characters who are awesome to watch, no matter what they do. Having an entire arc focus on them was exactly what this show needed to close off well.

Also, I finally spotted an overused cliche in this series: the seemingly helpless girl who manages to hit a home-run against all expectations. But then again, as an alien it makes perfect sense, and this episode even poked fun at the “walking into the shower”-scene that baffles me of why it was the first one to do that.

Overall, it’s true that the first arc of Level E was without a doubt its best: it had the element of surprise and used it utterly brilliantly. What happened after that is very interesting, though. Instead of joining the bandwagon of trying to make more episodes in the same vein, the rest of the episodes continued to experiment with all kinds of different stories and characters surrounding aliens on earth. Standalone it’s indeed easy to just compare the to the first three episodes and label this as a show that goes downhill, but nevertheless I find the way in which this series paints together a complete picture, making use of its momentum and constantly changing its focus and characters, to be quite brilliant and the single most enjoyable show of this season.

The thing is that I rarely give very high ratings to comedies, even though it’s a huge genre in anime. Level E has opened my eyes on how good the genre can be when it has some actually interesting stories to tell. This way, it can also be good whenever it’s not funny. Call it the X-Factor of comedies. With most comedies I’m just disappointed when they’re not funny, because besides being funny they fall apart without their humour. For Level E though, I think that it also would have worked as a series if it didn’t have its humour. It’d obviously be less awesome, but I can imagine that it would still keep my attention.

What’s more: a lot of comedies seem to be trying to solve this by going all serious in the final two episodes. I’ve only seen very few of them that actually pulled off such a good climax, though (Hyakko being one of those rare examples). This series however showed that you can just as easily tell serious stories that fit in 1 to 3 episodes that can work just as well as long arcs if they all succeed in coming together and form a whole and creating its own universe.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 21 March 2011 with categories: Level E




So, after the slight disappointment of last week, this episode hits back in full force with just a completely bizarre premise. And even there, the episode plays out completely unlike I expected. This episode was just… surreal.

This episode toyed with mystery like no other. It was both an excellent mystery story, but it also brilliantly poked fun at the genre with the way in which it suddenly put the local baseball team into the middle of Koushien. The balance between the silly and serious parts was excellent and I loved the original twists it gave to the whole premise. The characters all just calmly analyzed what was going on, with a few goofballs being entertaining (most notably, the Prince and the Captain of the team).

It related back to an event in the past that was surprisingly intense, and created a really great mystery atmosphere. Because of that I also loved the way this episode played out, because in the end we never really were told who exactly caused things, and things were just solved by having fun and playing baseball. It fitted perfectly and yet subverted a ton of mystery cliches.

And really, this is what I have been missing so dearly in Gosick: none of the characters were idiots. They all shared their own take on things, but aside from the obviously moronic captain (who really had his own charms and purpose), they all looked around and used common sense. That’s how you write good mystery. Not by relying on artificial stupidity.

Overall I think that 13 episodes (yes this series will be 13 episodes long) is the perfect length for this series. It’s short, but really sweet in this way, making no scene wasted whatsoever. Even the previous episode served its purpose of breaking up the pacing, and I love how the creators managed to do that in just one episodes. Compare that to so many other 13-episode series that put in intermezzo after intermezzo after intermezzo. So far, every episode has stood out. This is really what these short series should strive for.

There is just one reason why it’s a shame that this isn’t a long series: the characters. With that, I don’t mean that they should be more developed; they already have a ton of charms. Instead though, it’s a shame to see so much potential go away. The characterization in this series is absolutely amazing: none of the characters feels like a stereotype, aside from perhaps Ouji. The people that this series shows feel so fresh and interesting: even though we only see most of them for a few episodes, they feel and act like real people. Their acting is just wonderfully down to earth. If anything, I just hope that future series will take them as their inspiration because characters this fresh really don’t appear often. The best example of this is of course the couple from the first arc.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 15 March 2011 with categories: Level E



So, this episode was something else. It had no Ouji whatsoever. In fact, none of the recurring characters aside from the color rangers even made an appearance. There also was hardly any comedy and it actually was really focused at telling a serious story here. It’s an excellent change of pace for just one episode, especially considering how next episode the hilarity is surely promising to return with the reappearance of Baseball Guy.

Now, something obviously was missing in this episode, but even so the story it told was quite good. It was a bit simple, but it fitted quite nicely within just twenty minutes, and it made good use of the Color Rangers in a setting completely different from an RPG parody (plus it actually fitted in some development for the spiked hair guy). It had very typical bad guys, but even they were just more than evil for the sake of being evil, and were quite successful at creating some tension.

Also, I’m surprised to see some actual karate used in the action scenes. You could actually see that that the two kids practice the basics a lot, and they really got the basics down. At the same time though, you could see that they didn’t have much experience in actual fighting against a partner: their movements were a tad too neat and slow; in a real fight while using karate, you’ll always see people sacrificing clean techniques in favour of being able to move fast enough to actually be able to hit your opponent. This time the kids were lucky that they were helped by their powered suits.

In any case, this episode was the weakest of Level E so far, and yet I still really liked it. This show has always had the problem that it was nearly impossible to live up to the absolutely fantastic first arc, but even considering how the subsequent arcs were a step back it still had plenty of stuff to like.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 7 March 2011 with categories: Level E



I love how despite there being multi-episode arcs in this series, every episode still feels different, and this arc in particular was an excellent example of this. The romance gets dropped, and instead this turns into a bit of a thriller, and as for the lead characters… Ouji returns and the episode is chock full of the addictive chemistry between Kraft and Ouji, making this episode even better than it already was.

I also loved that for once, an arc with a gimmicky premise like this doesn’t end with a cop-out. I mean, usually when the creators put the stake of the entire earth on something silly like this, they end up writing themselves into a corner and end up with a very cheesy and rushed ending. Here however, Ouji actually comes up with a plan to save the entire earth using clones and a whole lot of breaches of intergalactic treaties.

This episode also contained a few nice jabs at alien abductions, in quite a few different ways, from abductions while asleep, those classic light beams and suddenly feeling like 30 minutes disappeared. I also keep getting amazed at Ouji. His trick is that he’s either completely honest, or not honest at all, and his lies sound so sincere. When he said that he used to be a woman… oh lord.

The reason why I consider Level E to be one of the best comedies I’ve seen though, is really because of the big picture. I mean, standalone comedies that are funny are nice, but this series adds in so much more. The standalone stories that it tells are actually very good ones that could have worked well even without the humour, it has consistently created down to earth characters that are believable and relatable, and its backdrop of 90s alien fiction continues to create interesting backstories and fits really well in terms of the big picture. It’s just everything that this series does that still makes me consider this to be an amazing comedy, even though I do admit that the funniest arc was the first one.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 28 February 2011 with categories: Level E



Aah, finally! Finally we have an actually good parody of the romantic comedy. Even without the awesome twist at the end, I just loved what this episode did and how it poked fun at the genre and how it made everything look ridiculous with its ever-sharp wit. There also was a lot of building up in this episode, but in the end, it was totally worth it. This is really what an awesome comedy should be: don’t just show a bunch of random jokes, but have everything build up for each other and create a whole picture that’s larger than the sum of its parts.

The interesting thing is how this was written more than a decade ago, and the things it parodies still are incredibly overused, and it just showed how timeless this episode was. I also love how there finally is a series that acknowledges that love at first sight is pretty implausible, and how it takes this to the absurd by putting the fate of the world hanging on it. The inclusion of Kraft only made this better: his energy and sarcasm were awesome to watch during the building-up parts.

Not to mention the awesome excuse that the creators found in order to leave Ouji uninvolved in this episode. The different combinations of characters for each arc are really dynamic here and instead of overexposing the same characters, the creators really try to give all kinds of characters their own time to shine, going both for the main characters as the new ones that it introduces. And again, the characters in this arc are fairly simple, and make writing good characters look so easy.

The revelation that the lead guy was basically a lesbian was the highlight of this episode. It gave a completely different meaning to the episode, plus it also left a very interesting cliff-hanger for the next episode, which just has to be different from the previous. But then again, this series has shown before that it loves to toy with expectations.

Also, this all took place at a Ski Resort. Take that, hot spring beach school festival pool episodes!
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 21 February 2011 with categories: Level E



Perhaps not the funniest episode of the series, but this episode still is excellent in the way that it completely went against my expectations. Just about everything about it was unpredictable, and it turned the rules of your average RPG completely upside down, multiple times.

The best part was without a doubt the way the creators trolled us with the expectations that were built up in the previous episode. I was really looking forward to seeing the crushes of these five characters pop up in the RPG world…. and instead we got a cross-dressing prince. The teacher meanwhile kept saying that she should do something about the prince, and yet never showed up.

The ending was also brilliant. Virtually every RPG has an end with some ultimate villain who is ridiculously powerful and wants to destroy the world for whatever reasons. This one is completely different and instead just asks the five characters to not turn off the game. At first I also thought that Ouji was being a bit stupid by getting himself caught and all, but the punchline at the end of the episode explained it all: he really isn’t going to let go of these kids until he gets bored.

On a side-note: how far are we exactly into the manga at this point? I know that the manga only has sixteen chapters. Are we about halfway through them right now, or are the creators going to run out of time at this pace?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 14 February 2011 with categories: Level E



Oh, this show is brilliant! This episode was again an awesome that continued the Color rangers story and turned into a full blown parody here. The characters though were the ones who made it awesome.

Two episodes in, and these characters are not only already developing, but this series is also really making use of it. The point in which they found themselves caught up in the traps that Ouji had set for them was just awesome, but also how Ouji forced them to say the names of the girls they liked was absolutely hilarious. I especially loved how thorough that password system was set for the blond-haired kid. and of course, the grin on Ouji’s face when he found those out was just priceless.

The irony is that Level E is a collection of short stories with no main plot, and yet it still blows every other show this season out of the water. This series however has made every second count, which is very rare for an anime. it’s consistently creative and tries out great and interesting ideas and the delivery also couldn’t be better. Especially the chemistry between just about all of the characters is just fantastic here.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 7 February 2011 with categories: Level E



After the end of the previous episode, I already had a suspicion that this episode would focus on Ouji’s plans to create the earth rangers. That indeed turned out to be true, but I didn’t expect him to kidnap a group of innocent children to do it. Seriously, this episode was just nothing but a grown man grabbing a bunch of random kids and playing a ridiculously unfair game with them. And it was hilarious.

It’s perhaps not as good as the previous episodes, but even then I absolutely loved this episode. It again takes a group of random guys, this time in middle school, and this time it’s non fiction. Again, their designs were nicely unconventional for anime, and really feel like Ouji picked the nearest five kids that he could find. The way in which they tried to deal with the fact that they had been turned into power rangers (without any actual powers besides a bunch of illegal ones) in a great little parody of the super sentai genre.

This episode subverted a ton of these tropes, like how most kids who get these powers really aren’t going to play along, and how for some the powers may just rise to their heaDS. Or the way in which they couldn’t use most of their weapons because they were grossly illegal.

I also liked that twist with the teacher, and how she as an alien immediately noticed that something was up, and also how she laughed when she found out that Ouji was behind everything. I’m not sure whether this was a one shot episode or whether it’s going to continue next week. That would be interesting, if only to see a bunch of kids beat up Kraft.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
*kind of
Kaiser-Eoghan
While its very much in the shadow of the first and the protaganist started out kind annoying, I kind of got caught up in the spectacle and sentimentality of gunbuster 2.
KTravlos
Urasawa is preparing a new manga
KTravlos
yes the episode where Julian watched the documentary was fun. The Caligula like character comes from one of the lesser episodes of the series, when Kircheis beats up some rebelling third rate noble in the Empire.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Goddammit, fail, it just changed the colour of the login name...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I declare in the red truth that the next anime I shall watch is Diebuster.
Kaiser-Eoghan
From what little I saw, I remember a Caligula like character in one episode.
Anonymous1409409
I remember there's an episode where Julian just goes on Space Netflix and just watches a documentary. I actually liked that lol
KTravlos
yup, a LOGH that run like the Altair anime would be bad. It needs to show the sweep of history
AidanAK47
@Anon, I actually liked that aspect. It made the history of the world feel real.
Anonymous1409027
It's compressible, as there are many episodes of buildup, but that's where so many of the interesting details and depth of planning become evident. Some of those episodes read like a history textbook though, so we'll see how the new adaptation handles them,
Anonymous1409027
*pleasantly
KTravlos
Tytania was ok.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the Amakusa Shiro reference in the fate review, I've seen a film about him from the 50s , theres also an old josei manga where the protagonist ends up becoming essentially regarded as him.
KTravlos
Hi Kaiser. Supposedly this is a re-imagining of the original story. Thus independent of the OVAs (old serieis). What exactly re-imagining means is something I and you do not know. We shall see. But it does mean that you do not need to watch the old series to enjoy this one. The OVA was definetly more expansive than the novels. So my guess is they will stick to the novels.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's another anime, called Tytania based on his novels but I haven't seen that series.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As in condensable in the way nothing much is lost? I assume there are fillers in the original?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm indifferent to the aesthetics of the new version. What I'm hoping for is that it will be accessible to newcomers and that I'll be able to jump on to the old series where the new one leaves off. I've seen very little of the original and it was a long time ago, is there any way the story is condensable?
KTravlos
The fact that they stayed away from the disgusting new manga is great. I am not too keen on the CGI ships, but they also did not rankle. It looks like it will honor the spirit of the old series, and I cannot ask for more. I am a massive LOGH fan. And the new video out gives me hope of revisiting one of the greatest sci-fi/historical settings out there. I am happy.
AidanAK47
I hope they are using the old anime as a base and not the new Manga adaption. As that Manga adaption is seriously lacking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I like that they blinged up the space battles which is good because those things could get tiresome. But I really hate the design of Yang Wenli. They made him look so much younger and bishi. I don't think i could take this guy seriously if he started one of Wenli's signature hypothesis.
Anonymous1408919
Thoughts on that new LOGH PV? My expectations were low, so I'm presently surprised. Obviously they made everybody pretty boys, and Mamoro Miyano is voicing Reinhard I believe. But art and animation actually looks pretty decent overall. It's a PV, and LOGH's best quality is it's story and characters, so we'll have to see if they remain faithful or not. But it's nice to see it get a visual overhaul.
AidanAK47
By the way this site has the first chapters but check the other versions to find them.
http://mangapark.me/manga/tsurezure-children-wakabayashi-toshiya
AidanAK47
@Mario, Indeed. It's also a pity that over half the couples in the manga were not featured. We only got a small taste of Patricia.
SuperMario
Or maybe I'll try to read the manga. The last time I checked it online, the site doesn't have its first few chapters
SuperMario
@Aidan: man, Tsurezure Children sure is sweet. Really sad to see it ends
AidanAK47
So that's the end of Tsurezure Children.
....I'm gonna need a second season. Now.
....NOW GODDAMNIT! NOW!
KTravlos
As I said I understand the criticisms to RE:Creator, but ultimately I enjoyed most of the show. It could had been better, and it is a missed chance. But I have seen worse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I gave up halfway through, there weren't even enough action scenes and those that were didn't justify waiting around for.
AidanAK47
Could have at least delivered on the action but that was rendered pointless due to the majority of the cast turning good and Altair being a complete cheat character.
AidanAK47
It would have been really fun to see characters discuss their stories with their creators or indulge in what our world has to offer but they really glossed over that part.
AidanAK47
It really should have gone deeper into the whole meta aspect introducing anime characters to the real world. Like they did with Mamika's powers being ridiculously destructive when outside a kid friendly setting.
AidanAK47
@Puran, I at least like the message of the final episode. But as for the show itself it was just missed potential on a lot of levels. I wanted Anime Genre battle royale and instead got a secondhand Shirobako with a crap shounen anime attached.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have been forgiving of Anno as I've gotten older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also just re-watched gunbuster, I'd previously dismissed the ova after a few episodes when I was a teenager, I'd found it too slow, didn't have that issue with the 90 minute version I just finished. I've never see the sequels.
Lenlo
Ill have to finish Creators... at some point
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've been dipping back into the Lupin franchise, Gold of babylon was particularly screwball, kind of ridiculous comedy caper/adventure thing you just have to run with....turns out it was directed by a live action filmaker I especially like who made bizzare noir films in the 60s.
Puran
So that explains why Meteora had so much air time in Re:Creators. It's her story....

I hated the ending and I disliked the anime overall.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It was a genuine surprise to see that Assayas decided to make a film framed around hentai =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I loved how incoherent demonlover was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The criticisms I'll give wind river, is a slight inconsistent performance from Renner and that very awkwardly inserted flashback scene.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: on Wind River, I agree it's a well-executed case of the week drama, although there are some plot pregressions that I don't get (how did they find out about the man's corspe again?). About Demonlover, man, the film gives me a chill down my spine. Heartless. And a bit misogynist.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: as much as I loved Wong (yeah I too prefer him over Malick), sometimes I do think Western cinema give him too much praise that sadly overshadow other Asian directors.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Wong is important to me as a hong-kong filmaker, he offers something entirely different from the whole Woo/Lam Hong komg movies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: On a more positive note Maggie Cheung did mention that she felt her early work with Wong was when she first truly became a proper actress.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: ....I had no idea he had such a sad background.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*investigation drama
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that film also marked/ signified a rather sad period of Hongkong showbiz. Leslie Cheung badically lived the live of the protagonist and commited suicide in 1997. His girlfriend on screen, during the filming, was kidnaped, raped and taken topless picture. The damnest thing is that everyone knowed the culprit but did nothing, and in the press it was just deemed as "kipnapped and assaulted"
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Wind river was a big surprise for me, just goes to show that with the right execution an ordinary police drama movie can be elevated higher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thats the interesting thing, tracking a directors career.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just binge watched the new dominion tank police ovas , admittedly these are kind of reptitive and extremely silly but its hard to hate on something so shamelessly fun that made me feel like a child again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: you said it there. DoBW is rather raw and unpolished but that's one of the reason why I am drawn to it more compare to his other works.
AidanAK47
In all honesty, it would be nice to finally see a continuation after fusion as all games after that have just been adding chapters in-between.
Vonter
Finally I wonder, if Metroid Prime 4 will definitely branch out of the main Metroid's continuity. It's curious how an interquel subseries is still going to add things in between the first and the second entries in the main franchise.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - I think is nice we can see both takes. Especially since neither one despite a few qualms are still very solid entries for this franchise. I just hope Metroid moves forward, as IMO this is the only game that really needed a facelift do to the heavy limitations of the gameboy. And I hope the secret gallery at the end is teasing how the producer plans to move the plot forward.
AidanAK47
I thought it might be like that but it's good to know they are at least on a close level. I didn't really want Samus Returns to replace AM2R as the "Definitive" version of Metroid 2. Mostly because a lot of love was put into AM2R andit came at a point when it felt Nintendo didn't give a crap about Metroid.
Vonter
Like Zero Mission there's something added to Samus Returns but I'll just leave it at that.
Vonter
I think both have strong points. Samus Returns have better boss battles, gameplay mechanics and more intense action pieces. AM2R IMO has more atmosphere, takes advantage of elements Nintendo don't even try like the Federation subplot, and the ending portion narratively has more heart in AM2R, while in Samus Returns it feels mostly like "the final level".
Vonter
I also did got lost a couple of times in Samus Returns and aside from the big water section in AM2R, the latter is more linear game.
Vonter
I think the controls in Samus Returns bring more to the table though. The 360 aiming makes for better ways to shoot enemies and some of the bosses take advantage of that. If it weren't for the 3DS giving hand cramps because you're holding L and R at several points it'll be completely the most ideal way to play.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - AM2R is very good, I think it has the advantage that because it uses sprites IMO backgrounds and enemies are more vibrant and easier to appreciate. The Federation soldiers are better executed in AM2R and that secret section with the ship is very eery.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, How does it stack up to AM2R? I bought it and am still waiting on it to be delivered but I have the feeling that AM2R would be the better game when comparing.
Vonter
I took me 12 hours to 100% and I've heard the best ending is beating it in less than 4 hours. I think unlike Zero Mission item percentage don't matter, it's mainly to unlock an art gallery.
Vonter
My main criticism is this being a 3DS game. Small enemies can be hard to see or appreciate. And I think the 3DS wasn't made for heavy action packed games like this or Smash Bros. I got the rubber from the circle pad come off in two occasions. Also unless there was something big in the background, several areas felt lacking in detail. Still Samus and the bosses look good.
Vonter
In terms of difficulty, the game has the enemies packing more damage than in other 2D Metroids. Is difficult in the sense than you can't tank damage as in other iterations, you have to be aware of enemy behavior and bosses mainly get easier do to familiarizing with their patterns, since I did die a lot each time I faced a new boss. And got used to kill them faster as I went along.
Vonter
Ok, so I beat Samus Returns. It's quite good. Unlike Fusion that had dialogue at midst the gameplay. Samus Returns only has a prologue of exposition and any cutscenes mainly accentuate the reactions of Samus confronting a new enemy. The level design is dense, despite having isolated areas like in Fusion and the original Samus Returns, each area is very mazelike.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: =< Awww I kind of like demonlover actually despite all its flaws, it had great sound design and had this cold, clinical, un-nerving mood to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Days of being wild does feel a bit un-realized/un-polished/rough compared to his other work definitely but its probably the rawest I've seen from him and that has its appeal.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Haven't seen farewell my concubine come to think of it. Regarding the scifi element I felt I embraced it more further into the film when it started to intermingle more.
While I am more forgiving toward Malick's recent films than most, that decline in quality means I have to pick Wong.
KTravlos
by the way in RE:Creators we probably will be getting a future series focusing on the hunt for Magane :p Meteora probably playing the role of detective. I also bet her novel will be wordy and heavy in exposition :p
KTravlos
i.e his end game might had been a cross-species revolution against him anyway. We will see
KTravlos
In Bahamut Chris proves to not be totally evil, but he is totally crazy. That said I am seeing one of my hunches getting supported, the hunch was that his cruelty towards daemons was with the purpose of bringing them down enough that they would be willing to work with humans as euals (As they are in Jean's army) and thus via that create a more unified world. I
KTravlos
RE: Creators has come to its end. I know the problems everyone has with it, and while it failed to raise to the level of exceptional show, I loved it. As I said, it had been years since a show kept me so excited episode after episode. They blew it at some point, but ultimately for me this is an en-joyful show, and one I would happily binge watch in the future again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: question for you though, between these two directors, which one do you prefer: Wong Kar-Wai or Terrance Malick?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: if you enjoyed both 2046 and In the Mood for Love, by all mean check out Days of Being Wild. The trio forms a loose trilogy and Days of Being Wild was the first film that Wong began his unique unconventional style. It's one of my personal favorite of Wong and it's a chance for you to watch the late Leslie Cheung acted (you might watch him already in Farewell My Concubine)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: 2046 is indeed a passionate film, and one of his best looking film. He tried something different in 2046 too, experimented with scifi (one of the best part in the film for me)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's stritcly Wong Kar Wai's romance we're talking about, since I don't find the rest of Chinese take on romance that interesting. Romance or melodrama is one of his main theme throughout his career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It was slightly overly long however.
I've also seen chungking express, in the mood for love and fallen angels. I think this Chinese take on romance is really clicking with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also thought it was a very passionette film and I love how Kar-wong-wai uses the music in it. I also think its one of his best looking films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I had a look at that Chinese film 2046, very effectively melancholic take on fleeting relationships while also successfully being quite sensual while staying classy and without ever showing too much. Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung are two beautiful people =P
SuperMario
for those who still want to catch up with 18if, episode 11 has a huge recap, while wrapping up the show with a new overarching plot. Hopefully they don't pull another Matrix here
SuperWooper
It's shounen-y for sure. The competitions have been my least favorite parts of the show so far. If you're still watching, you might appreciate it more once the Tenpei Cup is over.
Anonymous1399692
Damn Ballroom looks so good. But I really can't enjoy it despite that I want to. It has too many of these typical shounen moments and plot points I can't stand.
Anonymous1399684
Omae wa mou shindeiru
Lenlo
Mononoke is actually what made me find Ayakashi. Also a good show.
SuperMario
Regarding Ayakashi, I only watched the Mononoke segment
SuperMario
"It was a long, long trip, and we're coming finally to the end of the journey. Thank you, Manoyama and Chupacabra. And thank you, 5 EURO" - Sandal-san.
Lenlo
Ayakashi was great for me Kaiser. I enjoyed my time with it
Vonter212
@AidanAK47 - The hard aspect has been commented in several reviews with bosses being able to easily kill you. (Although in my experience it might be just getting a pattern). In terms of length most 2D games can be beaten under 3 hours. This one seems to clock at at least 6 to 15 if you want to collect everything. Then again, we'll see in subsequent playthroughs.
AidanAK47
`@Vonter. It's out now but I don't remember seeing anyone claim it's the longest hardest entry 2D wise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Going to watch new dominion tank police next and read violence action and Oddman 11.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It took me years to get round to it, but I finally watched Ayakashi and as expected like most anthologies, again its mixed, the first is a solid ghost story that improves after a weak start, but that third one with the cat spirit was great, really liked how experimental that looked.
Vonter
Soo a new Metroid comes out this week. It is said, it's the longest, hardest entry in regards to the 2D iterations. Still not as great as Super, and depending on your fanaticism it might or not be as good as Zero Mission.
SuperMario
But they didn't pull that scene off too well. It's just... unmemorable. In fact the whole show is very unremarkable. Now only 1 episode left I might as well finish it but I won't give it a full review
SuperMario
Koi to Uso has been disappointing so far. Episode 10 featured the sequence that i was looking forward the most in the manga: the former classmate tells the one sided crush of the main girl from her POV. For a romance that contrived and manipulated like this one, hearing this from the third person's perspective prove to be more powerful
Vonter
@HelghastKillzone - Good luck with that. I almost had my car's engine damaged since it has been raining heavily where I live. Had to ask for help the next day to pull it out of mud. Still not as bad as the other three cars that did get stuck in the water.
HelghastKillzone
Dealing with work and the total loss of my car really sucks at the moment so I'm quite tied up for this week.
KTravlos
I do agree to a point, but to be frank all the episodes of Princess Principal to date have been so solid I have a hard time deciding. Episode 5 though was still the best from a holistic point (action, direction, music etc) was the one introducing Chise
SuperMario
Agree. Dorothy has the biggest heart out of all the spy girls. Also "help" that her episodes are all melodramatic.
Amagi
This episode of PrinPrin showed again that Dorothy is the best character by far. Not just herself but her episodes as well are better written than the rest if you ask me.
KTravlos
It just hit me. The characters in Princess Principal may be very well working for IngSoc :p
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, in the seven chapters it's only really two of them that contain dark shocking content. Chapter three being the biggest one in that regard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I read a comment where someone said subahibi shocked them more than saya no uta. While I haven't played it yet, I have seen some of a letsplay...it lleft me thinking....how many hours until this actually gets good/truly unhinged .
AidanAK47
After Reading SubaHibi, Made in Abyss's dark turn didn't shock me too much. Maybe I just got desensitised. I will have a review of SubaHibi hopefully up in a week though to clarify my feelings on it after just finishing it, It was interesting but disappointing.
KTravlos
well, well. Both Made in the Abyss and Virgin Soul do not hold back. Grim! RE:Creators is warping up. Comparing with these other shows I can fully appreciate the problems people have with it. But still I am glad I am sticking to the end. Altair's voice actor by the way did great.
AidanAK47
@Helghast, And Kings Field was the Demon Souls before Demon Souls came out.
KTravlos
having binge watched several of this season's shows I would say Princess Principal is the most rounded. Made in Abyss is good. Kakegurui and The Reflection as SuperMario said will depend on your tastes. There is also Shouko no Altair. You will like it if you liked Tanya Saga of Evil, or Legend of Galactic Heroes, or Arslan Senki or manga like Vinland Saga, Gunka no Baltzar, and especially Historie
Anonymous1385641
Jesus...me watching this weeks Made in Abyss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ogzsWhZcmM
HelghastKillzone
So... Demon Souls was the Dark Souls before Dark Souls came out.
SuperMario
@anon1385426: the safest bets aside from Made in Abyss are Welcome to the Ballroom and Princess Principal. Kakegurui and the Refection are for more acqurired taste
Anonymous1385426
Aside from Made in Abyss, what's the best anime this season?
Lenlo
@KT, the pacing and the framerate early on are my two biggest issues. Later on the story starts to get abit more engaging, and they start doin things I didnt expect, but the pacing is still there. Some akward pauses.
Lenlo
Look, Berserk and Dark Souls are both amazing. But I only have 3 Dark Souls games, and 38 Berserk volumes. Im clearly biased
KTravlos
I sat down and watched the first 4 episodes of The Reflection. It is an interesting attempt, and I can see the people making it having fun doing so. But I did notice a pacing issue. For some reason the episodes felt like they dragged a bit too long.
AidanAK47
Dark Souls is the Berserk of Video Games.
Amagi
Dark Souls really went all Berserk if you ask me
AidanAK47
I am not one for putting down law but can we never ever compare anything to Dark Souls ever again? Cause it's actually become really tiresome how everything is the dark souls of something.
Lenlo
No other sentence has made me want to watch Made in Abyss more
HelghastKillzone
I guess we're finally at the point where Made in Abyss goes all Dark Souls/Bloodborne.
Amagi
Apo's Jack the Ripper had at least a nice idea behind it, it's just the clothes that are a bad choice. But there are just too many lolis for the sake of fanservice in that game. I accept it if there is at least a reason for this but it's usually just random.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here. I was never a fan of genderbendings and turning historical people into lolis. The first one I can accept with people like Arthuria because it added a lot to her character, but most of them are just plain and generic. I just see no reason why pirates, grown up men or Blavatsky would ever appear as little girls. Especially since popular beliefs should influence their appearance.
SuperMario
On Altair, one commenter did an excellent job of poiting out the appeal of that show; and frankly the show is wearing on me now.
SuperMario
@Travlos: I'm glad you enjoy Princess Principal. I'm quite surprised myself that in the latter half the show slowed its pace down which mean the focus is switched from action to more characters interactions; which I greatly enjoy
KTravlos
Well I binge watched Princess Principal. That is a very good show. I was surprised. Good animation, good music, the art is good, hell I even did not mind the protagonist art. But what I really like is the stories. All the episode were pretty solid and interesting.
AidanAK47
Just won a fight by the skin of my teeth thanks to my Lancer, Cu Chulainn. You the man Cu!
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Been playing Grand Order myself. It's rather fun. There are some good original character in it but I notice with Quantity certain figures designs were pretty terrible. I thought Assassins of black was the worst but some Grand Order servents manage to top it in terrible. Why all the bikini's?
Amagi
Fate/GO has quite some interesting original characters there. Wish we'd see them in some actual manga or anime series with more backstory someday. - I also like that we finally have an overpowered, interesting and competent Hassan with King Hassan for once. His design is metal AF too.
KTravlos
Binge watched Altair. The pacing of the show is a problem, but in general the raw material is good. Altair is sympathetic, and the world is interesting. But I do feel this is the kind of show that would had gained by a Monster or LOGH type treatment. Also, man it is scary how accurate they got some of the traits of Greeks (Phoenicians in the show). I am a Greek, I should know! :p
KTravlos
forgot to mention. I saw the 91 Days special. Three side stories that give some depth to the events in the main anime, but nothing that goes beyond it's end. Still they were in general ok to good.
SuperWooper
It's got Jude Law playing "this kind of huge robot butler called Charles, who is also a rocket ship." What could possibly go wrong?
AidanAK47
Anime with Jaden Smith? Um..I don't know about this.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: one of the good thing about SoL shows like Centaur and even 18if is that their episodes are self-contained, so you can just jump right in to watch the good ones and ignore the rest
SuperMario
I just love Chise's presence so I might enjoy the last episode more than anyone else. But yeah I'm quite satisfied with Princess Principal right now
AidanAK47
Actually I am quite surprised Princess Principal hasn't gone off the rails yet. Might even turn out to be a fun show in the end. If the man can make it to the finish line without a misstep.
AidanAK47
Hey I am having fun with my Shows. Made in Abyss is still quite excellent and Fate/Apoc is picking up. Even started playing Fate/Grand Order.
Lenlo
Man, sounds like I was the only one to have a good week with their show. Reflection really stepped it up this week in pretty much every category. Not sure it will last, but hey. Ill take one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm so disappointed in 18...if. Perfect opportunity to capitalize on something with a dreamlike feel to it and be creative only it ends up getting held back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I see Vonter and Mario are seducing me into watching Centaur.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*can't
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can'y see myself giving re creators a second chance, and from skimming these conversations, why should the show only get going at the end? It just sounds like too little too late.
AidanAK47
Honestly that's what Re:Creators biggest issue is. It builds up these great interesting idea's and then refuses to capitalize on them.
AidanAK47
Then it would be a battle to win over the audience and he who entertains them the most would get the most power. Just think of how many interesting ways that would take the fight. Like Altair could lose power and have to win over the crowd with her backstory and theatrics. A hero could purposefully get beaten to hell just so they can get a powerup from saying a boastful speech about kicking ass.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Exactly. Now there is an interesting fighting element. Imagine if both Altair and the heroes had to fight with the limitation of keeping the audience entertained. Altair couldn't pull out overpowered nonsense because the audience wouldn't approve and her power would drop. Same goes for the heroes.
Anonymous1378112
On the other hand I am not a fan of this whole final arc. It's just not believable to me to gather such a big audience who will do nothing but watch and accept everything you show them. Not to mention that the show is technically live acting to them. Considering how much anime fanbases already hate the DN movie and stuff I doubt many would sit there and accept that
Anonymous1378112
@Aidan: This made me pretty angry. like, they wasted a ton of screentime with these boring info dumps and now they're just irrelevant and the enemy just fucks over it
AidanAK47
Actually the last development was actually a screw the rules moment as well. So the only way to beat Altair is to just chuck aside the rules established with the last 20 episodes.
Total users: 18

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