Posted on 27 March 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, Another



So, Another: the season’s horror series. Let me put a fair warning out first, because for the past months I have seen a few people unpleasantly surprised by its true nature: this show is brutal. If you don’t want to watch gore, then stay as far away from this show as possible, because it contains a number of very graphic death scenes. This is particularly nasty, because it takes a while for it to reveal this nature.

A lot of the airtime in this series is spent on building up. It’s nowhere as extreme as with Blood-C, but still this show really puts emphasis on creating an atmosphere to draw the viewer in, only to toy with this in a gruesome manner. This is also what makes this show great: the contrast between surprisingly relatable characters, and the really dark and intense scenes.

With a lot of the bad horror flicks, the creators spend little time on the characters themselves, however this series avoids this very well. This goes in particular through a very solid lead couple: the two of them have creative backgrounds, they’re well fleshed out, and this series also allows the two of them to play off each other really well whenever they are together. There really is a lot of detail in their acting and dialogue.

The show also rocks in terms of mystery. The show evolves quite nicely as we learn more and more about what’s going on and the characters. The series loves to drop random hints and red herrings everywhere, which really spice up its scenario. This isn’t the series that answers everything, but the closure it gives at the end does wrap things up.

However, this series also is far from perfect. By far the biggest flaw is that it’s trying too hard at times. This series really wants to be atmospheric and haunting, but the twists it pulls at times are just to forced or obvious to take serious. Think of being in an art class, with one of the students suddenly painting “The Scream” of all things. I like symbolism, but there is a line for everything. What also seems to plague this series, especially in its second half, is that it tends to pull very convenient plot twists, just for the sake of wrapping everything up.

It’s understandable that this series wanted to get everything done in just 12 episodes, but that comes with a sacrifice. The cast of this series is huge, and unfortunately it just doesn’t have the time to flesh every single character out, even though this really could have improved this series considering the nature of the story. The same goes with the plot: with more episodes it could have wrapped things up more naturally, but that would have been at the expense of a few boring episodes. And really: the way Another is now, it’s a quick bite-sized horror show that despite its quiet moment never has a part that drags.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Excellent mystery, build-up and turns into very intense horror. Tries too hard at other times, though.
Characters: 8,5/10 – Very well acted main couple, but some of the side-characters could have been better fleshed out.
Production-Values: 8/10 – This isn’t as good as the standard that we’re used to from PA works, but this series still has its moment of very life-like animation.
Setting: 9/10 – I must say that the story behind everything is very creative, and this series knows it.

Yes, I’m also trying to experiment a bit with refining the ratings of these reviews a bit, because Another was a perfect example of a series that I liked better than most series I’d rate 82,5/100, but not as much as the series that I’d rate 85/100). Doing so would lead to a rating of 83,75/100, which is getting a bit ridiculously specific, so rounded a bit more sensibly this lead to the rating of 84/100. For me, this rating means a series with a lot of reasons to be worth watching and something I really enjoyed, which has something that holds it back from being really excellent, which describes Another perfectly for me.
Suggestions:
Ghost Hound
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
Hitsuji no Uta

Posted on 26 March 2012 with categories: Another

You know what? This is a season of very solid endings (save for Guilty Crown perhaps, but screw that show). I realized that when Another’s ending was the first ending that didn’t live up to my expectations. Oh, it was still good and i liked the closure it gave, but my expectations of this episode were high, and this episode pulled a few things that tugged on my suspense of disbelief.

The closure that was given was very solid though. To be honest, I did not consider Reiko being the ghost being a possibility. Technically she isn’t a student, But I can accept the logic of the ghost being a bit creative. This episode also didn’t really solve the calamity, it only delayed the killings for another year. I don’t mind that either. This is no story about exorcists, it’s about a bunch of teenagers trying to survive. I also liked the direction of this episode. The faces were a bit silly t times, but it nevertheless was good suspense, the action scenes were well directed and shot, and the scene with the revelation of the ghost was also quite creative.

Still, my knowledge about fire kept poking my suspense of disbelief whenever the characters were in the house: what happened to the smoke? I mean, a lot of victims of house fires don’t die because of fire, but because they inhale too much smoke. I can buy scenes with characters running through fire as fast as they can, but the characters in this episode casually walked around a burning building while feeling perfectly fine. In fact, acknowledging the fire could have lead to an interesting extra threat to this episode.

My big issue with this ending is its lack of meaning, though. I’m still not exactly sure what happened here, with the ghost breaking his own rules and suddenly deciding to try and eliminate every single member of the class with random lightning bolts, falling pillars, chandeliers and even trying to kill the dead student… for some strange reason. The people who went crazy were also nice and all, but they would have been even nicer if they actually had been fleshed out a bit. Because of that they also lacked the impact they could have had. And who on earth was that murdering maid?

And then Misaki suddenly revealed that she witnessed Meiko being killed. Of all the places she could have been. The creators could have done an epilogue that explained that: “we later found out that Meiko had been killed when.. blah blah et cetera”. Also, regarding the dolls of the first episode: what was their point again?

Overall, I think I liked Blood-C slightly more over Another (yes, I liked that show). It took much longer to get going, but in the end I liked how bold it was with its mystery, and how everything came together at the end. Another doesn’t necessarily have that ending where everything comes together, but instead it’s the journey that made it memorable, trying to figure out a way how to stop people dying the most bizarre deaths. It tried a bit too hard at times, but overall I’d rank this in the top five shows of the Winter 2012 season..

A review will be posted tomorrow, because it’s too late now (where I am anyway). Why on earth do four series decide to end all at the same bloody time?
Rating: *+ (Great)

Posted on 20 March 2012 with categories: Another

This episode… just went all out. Now that everyone knows that the dead student needs to die, this show just descends into one giant string of murders, with the ghost helping a little bit here and there. Holy crap, this was intense.

While the series has its problems, with this I do have to say that aside from perhaps Milky Holmes and Natsume Yuujinchou (both sequels), Another stands as my favorite Winter Season so far, because of how interesting it made its own plot. The progression so far was very creative, it knows how to use mystery really well, and now that things are spiraling out of control it’s really turning into very good horror here.

Problems in this episode were the abundance of overblown facial expressions, along with that fire in the kitchen. I’m no physics major, but I’m very sure that fire doesn’t work that way. Of course, it’s possible to build up an explosion and all, but that’s only assuming that the pressure can’t escape. While this is plausible in a new building, the hotel they were in seemed rather old. Plus, with a giant fire burning everywhere I’m not sure why there weren’t any holes burnt into the walls at some point. Or why nobody could hear an entire dinner room on freaking fire.

But yeah, the gore was good, but what really made this episode was the psychological horror of everyone just going crazy. This entire episode made use of that by using the entire class for that. One point of criticism would be that the series should have focused more on each of these people, because it’s pretty obvious who the ghost is right now by the logic of that 1) it has to be a named character and 2) it has to be someone who stays into the background, but for that you’d need a 24 episode series.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 12 March 2012 with categories: Another

This episode would have been totally AWESOME… if it weren’t for two specific things. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I had that feeling when the class photo of the dead Misaki was shown. I’ve been dying to see a picture of who he actually was, because all we know about him is that he’s some dead ghost who has been haunting the same class for more than 20 years. That was some awesome build-up there. The rest of this episode also had a really terrific atmosphere that really kept me on the edge of my seat.

But really, are you going to play the padding thing again in two consecutive episodes? This is the reason why I don’t rank Another among the best horror series. And don’t get me wrong: it is really good, but at these points it just tries too hard. The kinds of twists where right when something is about to be revealed something jumps up to break the tension completely misses the point of an anti-climax.

Also… Misaki knew who the ghost was? That sounds like pretty big information to conceal, isn’t it? I mean, I understand that she didn’t feel like telling her classmates after what they did to her, but she never mentioned this to Kouichi, someone who she has been very open with? I mean, she said that she preferred to conceal her eye in the class and all, but she sat in the back of the class: she should have had one point where she she found a good way to take a peak at the entire classroom (a test for example), so she knew who the bad guy was all along. The next few episodes had better offer a very good explanation for that.

And on the other hand, this episode did end with one heck of a cliff-hanger.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 6 March 2012 with categories: Another

This series really loves its red herrings. It doesn’t really work to make this show unpredictable (the two deaths of this episode had it coming from a mile away), but ti does make the episode ery nerve-wrecking. It cannot keep pulling this forever, though: all deaths in this series have happened right at the end of each episode. This cannot carry the series forever at this pace.

I like the use of the tape, but it’s too simple. Because of that the creators had to pull that weird twist of one of the characters screwing up before the most important parts were revealed. If you’re going to do that, then build in some extra challenge in trying to find the tape or something. Instead, this just screamed “oh no, we need to pad out this story a bit longer!”

In any case, Misaki was acting a bit weird in this episode by almost playfully nearly triggering accidents. I doubt that she is the real shost, though: that would be too obvious. My biggest candidate for this right now is Naoya, that blond kid who broke the tape. After all, that action does make perfect sense if he was the ghost, and either consciously or uncosciously wanted to prevent people from finding out about what stopped him. And with this episode, I also think I have an idea of what that might have been, after he called it a “sin”: he probably ended up killing the ghost student somehow. In the wy he told it it probably was a fortunate accident, but that would also explain why no student turned out to be the ghost that year.

There was also one particularly interesting twist that I realized just as I finished writing up this entry and taking screenshots. I’m not going to say it right now because I think it’s something everyone should figure out for himself, but I finally realized the link between a lot of the deaths.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 27 February 2012 with categories: Another

Thank god this wasn’t just another copy-paste beach episode. This episode felt unique, which just shows that beach episodes are usually terrible in how often they just boil down to the same thing. This episode didn’t bother with suggestive camera angles, and didn’t make a whole spectacle of “what will they be wearing?”, but rather showed the characters as they were. My only complaint here is that twintail girl suddenly turning abusive tsundere. Where did that come from?

Because of this I enjoyed this episode for its variety. With so much death around the corner it’s good to have episodes where the scenery is completely different. That’s something I miss in a lot of anime nowadays: they often feel rather monotone. Another obviously is too, but this episode definitely helped there.

I also loved the use of red herrings i this episode. There first was that truck, the cast catching a puffer fish and suggesting to actually cook it, and then there was that swimming scene. It got a bit surreal when that motor boat appeared right from out of nowhere. With this it’s clear that the ghost has some magic Deus ex Machina powers that can bend all common sense.

This is just a detail, but it does make me wonder: to their trip (which by the way actually had a purpose), the cast came in two cars. One of them was driven by Reiko, but the other one? We hardly see any shots of this random old man, as if the camera tries its best to ignore him. Also, when they arrive, Misaki Mei was already at the beach. Why didn’t she just come with them? It’s a bit weird to not have introduction scenes like that.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 21 February 2012 with categories: Another

Before, I criticized this show for not having very impressive animation for PA Works’ standards. And then that dream sequence came. Talk about fluid animation here. Overall, it’s clear that after Blood-C, Tsutomu Mizushima really saw the light. Here too the visuals just don’t shy away from the hard-to-animate gore at all, for the scenes where normally the camera would just pan away.

The mystery is also really on track here. On the background, you can really feel the evergrowing presence of that ghost student who keeps picking off dead people. The second half of this series is also going to be very different, now that Misaki is actually no longer ignored by her fellow student, with the plan having failed and all. It’s a good way for the show to evolve.

The challenge for this series was to keep its audience in its atmosphere, even during the building up scenes. For me, it succeeded. I’ve really been caught up in it and even though the start of the show tried a little too hard with the dolls and all, the quiet parts of this series didn’t feel boring at all. This time it’s due to both the interesting characters, and the very solid build-up of atmosphere.

With this, it’ll be up to this series to actually make use of the build-up, and make things come together, and it’s there where the tricky part will start. Bring in enough creative twists that will force the characters to develop themselves, and make the revelation of the real ghost have some real impact. A beach episode isn’t really the right way to do that!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 15 February 2012 with categories: Another

You know what? Everyone keeps praising Ano Natsu for its down to earth romance, but with this, I think that Another has beaten it. Especially after Ano Natsu came with that awful sixth episode.

A large part of this episode just showed Mei and Kouichi casually talk to each other and about themselves, and surprisingly it felt really natural. There were no cliches like shyness or random fanservice, and for once the creators actually allowed them to talk. And holy crap. I just realized how not often such a thing happens: long conversations between love interests. There were also these small scenes of them looking at each other that were neat touches. The only thing that stood out as weird was that dance scene, but even there: I am so glad that for once the creators went with an original fantasy. Most of the time they just stick to males sparkling, and females undressing.

The second half fleshed out the basic premise of this series more. It’s interesting how there is one guy who pretty much has been with the mystery from the start, and also doesn’t really have anything to hide. Instead, the creators used this artificial amnesia to create most of the mystery after this point: traces of the ghost that it’s trying to hide in order to stay unnoticed. It’s in any case established that the death of Kouichi’s mother was something special. In the meantime though, we have a teacher going crazy.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 6 February 2012 with categories: Another

I didn’t expect the answers for everything to come up this early in the series. This episode was where this show said “okay, that’s enough building up, time to explain why everyone is acting so weird”. And I must say, I like the story that’s behind this a lot here.

This puts the first episodes in an interesting perspective: we were lead, along with the main character, to believe that Mei was some sort of ghost. Instead, she was only treated as a ghost by the students of class 3. On top of that, the real ghost is one of the other students of the class, just nobody knows who.

That also has a very interesting effect that I applauded this series for: there are no copy-paste students in that class. Everyone here feels like a proper classmate, there just are a bunch of them who don’t talk to the main character. This doesn’t have the usual anime syndrome where some characters have obviously better character designs or something. The only exception of this being Mei, who just looks too moe compared to the rest of them (I was quite surprised when I saw how much she changed compared to her designs of the original source material).

What’s also surprising is that my criticism of the first two episodes (it’s trying too hard!) are much less noticeable right now. I mean, during art class, episode 2 had people draw things like the scream, and the random doll shots that appeared for no reason whatsoever. In this episode, everyone was acting very naturally. It’s like the creators were afraid that these first two episodes weren’t interesting enough to hold people’s attention, so they threw those random things in there or something. Personally, I use completely different criteria to determine if something is worth my time. In particular I look at the execution and acting, which were perfectly fine and would have been even better with those obnoxious distractions.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 30 January 2012 with categories: Another

You know, this series reminds me a lot of Ookamikakushi, but well executed. This series pretty much is what I hoped that series to be. And within four episodes, it also has pretty much surpassed Ookamikakushi in every aspect. In particular the cast of characters is a lot better here.

The lead character… he actually doesn’t just passively do nothing, or act stupid like a wimp. He’s actually trying to find out what is going on, while at the same time he’s not the other side of the spectrum of being way too damn impulsive. What mostly sets this one apart is the dialogue, though. You can definitely see that this is coming from something other than a manga adaptation. It actually feels pretty natural here.

Also, I wonder how it must be marathoning this series in one go. It’s probably a completely different experience. The cliff-hangers in this series don’t give me the feeling of “must… know… what… happens next…”, but the shock factor nevertheless works really well. It will be pretty hard to eventually explain (aside from that the ghost wants to make the lead character’s life completely miserable), but I like the direction so far nonetheless.
Rating: * (Good)

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
Still enjoying the sangatsu manga and all the character interactions in this most recent volume.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Quintuplets might be under consideration, dororo is a definite. I don't want to watch revisions , girly airforce or plane thing because of the cgi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have the first 3 doro episodes downloaded to watch tomorrow, I'll comment on them, I'm giving it a shot because I love Tezuka.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The quintuplets thing is one of those things I would see myself chuckling at for a bit then feeling no obligation to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cat thing is probably cute but its too light for me to invest in in the long run.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding this season, I'll be direct, it isn't my thing, I got my fill of Kaguya's manga and all I can out of it, promised neverland, once the escape bit finished just turned into an action series (at least from what I read) lacking a compelling followup hook for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Acca had this odd way of delivering information that made it seem stuff went on between the lines or offscreen, often it worked, sometimes it didn't. Its a show that really picks up after the first couple of episodes and really gets elevated by its revelations, cool setting , art style and opening theme too.
Lenlo
I agree it does that. I think my issue may come with me maybe missing something or just not understanding the series as a whole, and so parts of it were lost on me. I enjoyed the series I would say though
SuperMario
Let me rephrase by saying ACCA ending neatly ties up plot threads for me
Lenlo
I didnt say I didnt like it, just that it wasn't what I expected. It was odd. I think I need time to process it.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you didn't like ACCA ending? I thought the ending is easily its best part. It's the first few episodes that feel slow for me
Lenlo
Also, just finished ACCA. Man... that was a weird ending. Not sure how I feel about the series, but damn, did it have style.

Also, thanks (?) Wooper.
Lenlo
Lets see... Dororo is good, but I am still lukewarm on it. Kaze Fui is a fantastic carry over from last season. Mob and Neverland of course. Shield Hero, if you want to be part of the latest big craze discussion. Kaguya if you like romance. Ill search some more, but those are off the top of my head.
Anonymous3338351
What are some must-watch anime this season; I'm watching MBP100 and Promised Neverland rn
Vonter
Shield hero looks like it fits with that journey of doing the right thing even though most are against you.
Vonter
You know what it reminds me of. It's kinda like that episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Where the family returns after a trip and find the neighborhood celebrates their absence, since everyone dislikes them. By the end when they make up, all the neighborhood gets bitter with one another because they no longer share a connection of hate with Malcolm's family.
Vonter
Also the undercurrent semblance of looking more like a bad guy or anti hero. Despite him having a good moral compass.
Vonter
SuperMario - I don't felt it was about being defeated or not. I got the feeling it was taking the hit for others. Because since he has high defence he does take the damage, but he does look weary about doing that. And the framework paints him so far more as an underdog than a prodigy.
SuperMario
But does the fact that he’s the greatest defender makes him the one who can’t be defeated? I haven’t watched the latest one though
Vonter
I did like the new episode of Shield Hero. It made me realize there can be stakes in Isekai battles. In both Overlord and Slime I usually space out in the battles because they seem unnecessary outside of animation. It's more interesting if there's a display of wits and using the environment. I also like the protagonist be on the defense and the sidekick as the attacker.
SuperWooper
Here's a "review of one of our own reviewers:"

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
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