Posted on 16 March 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Casshern Sins


One of the most unique series to start airing in the past Fall Season was Casshern Sins: a remake of a super robot series that aired in the seventies, but one that went into a completely different direction with just about everything. The result is a highly stylish series with lots and lots of things to like about it.

If there ever was an award for “Best Character-Designs”, then this series would be one of the top contenders. The art style in this series is really unique, and in fact it’s one of the most outstanding ones I’ve seen in the past few years. Just about everything in this series is a visual feast, ranging from the wonderfully drawn characters to the astonishingly beautiful background art. The animation quality itself isn’t anything special for most of the time, but it doesn’t need to be: this series is beautiful enough, even without a huge budget.

This series also stands out in its style of storytelling. The dialogue flows very naturally, and yet it’s deep, meaningful and very inspired without trying to sound pretentious. The pacing is deliberately kept slow in order to squeeze all of the potential out of the characters. It really was my favourite part of this series, because the dialogue flows in this series unlike any other series I’ve seen.

Casshern sins is a series about destruction and immortality, and a quite thought-provoking one as well. while mystery isn’t its main focus, it asks lots of interesting questions throughout its airtime that keep the viewer busy. As the lot unravels more and more, it really is the type of plot that requires the user to think in order to understand it all, because not everything is spoon-fed on a silver platter.

However, do note that this isn’t a series that only gets better and better. It’s divided into two halves: the first half is basically a travelling series, where the main character meets lots of different people. The quality is pretty inconsistent: some of the best and worst episodes of the series can be found here. In the second half, the main story kicks in, and the series becomes much more consistent: it pretty much continues at a steady pace, it never hits any lows, but also any heights are absent. This can become disappointing if you were hyped by some of the truly outstanding episodes in the first half. It’s the sign that the charcter-development never really came together in the end, although it definitely tried.

The only other flaw of this series is a rushed ending, though. The creators just didn’t take enough time for that final episodes, and the twists just come too fast to make the impact they could have had. But still we have ourselves an excellent series here. It’s fresh, original and imaginative despite based on a 1970s series. It doesn’t quite have the material to become an outstanding series, but it nevertheless has been a delightful watch for me for the past six months.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 10/10
Setting: 9/10
Posted on with categories: Casshern Sins



Short Synopsis: The finale of Casshern Sins.
Episode Rating: 7,5/10 (Good)
Yeah, like expected: the creators tried to stuff too much into this episode and therefore it lacked the impact it could have had, but let me tell you this: if the right time was reserved to make everything in this episode give enough time to naturally unfold, this ending would have rocked beyond belief, and it would have been a great candidate for the best ending of the year. There were so many nice ideas in this episode, so it’s a bloody shame that the creators couldn’t have gotten their hands on one extra episode.

the big problem here that Casshern Sins has always been at its best in slow pacings: letting the dialogue slowly and fluently carry what’s happening. In this episode Lyuze and Ouji die within five minutes. That’s way too little. I could fully imagine that the material in this episode would have been more than enough to make four episodes of awesomeness: one about Lyuze and Ouji’s death, one about Casshern vs. Braiking Boss, one about Casshern vs. Luna and one aftermath in which we see Ringo grow up. The creators would have been easily able to fill that time within the episode.

But still I loved this episode, even though it could have been so much better. The thing I loved most about this episode was the final scene, in which we see Ringo grow up alone along with Friender. We never get confirmed whether she really is Leda’s child, but things are pretty certain here. Normally robots don’t grow, but she did, and she’s a teen-aged girl at the end of the episode. The only reason she could have grown into that was because she’s like Casshern, Dio and Leda. I appreciate it though, that the creators didn’t hang a sign over her with “look at me, I’m Leda’s daughter!!!”.

But yeah, what ever happened to that coloured rock?

In any case, it’s definitely been interesting to blog this series. In the end, it’s never really been my favourite series, but it sure as hell came close. My top 3 of the shows that started airing in the past fall season at the moment is the following:
#3: Clannad
#1/2: Mouryou no Hako, Michiko e Hatchin
I’m still not sure about the exact order between number 1 and 2, but I don’t think that I can include Casshern in it. It just… missed that extra something that would make it truly outstanding, and that I did experience in Clannad, Michiko e Hatchin and Mouryou no Hako. Nevertheless, it’s been an excellent series, with some of the most beautiful visuals out there.

Posted on 11 March 2009 with categories: Casshern Sins



Short Synopsis: Casshern vs. Luna
Episode Rating: 8/10 (Excellent)
Before I start with the episode, I’m going to have to say some negative things about this series. It’s one of my favourites of the currently airing series, so I’m not happy with it either, but I do want to say a few things about it. If the series had the luck to air half a year earlier, I probably wouldn’t have noticed this, but the past weeks some of the other currently airing shows have reminded me of the difference between an excellent series and a truly outstanding series. Ever since it aired, this series has been on this list of favourites. That creates some expectations, and in the past weeks I realized that in the end the series didn’t live up to it.

In the second half of this series, the show has become much more consistent and predictable when compared to the first half. It merely founds its pace, and consistently went along with it. It never hit any lows, nor did it hit any heights, and that’s the problem I’m getting to. In the end, my favourite episode of this series remains episode seven. In comparison, some of the other shows airing this season have truly surpassed themselves in the past month. For me, Michiko e Hatchin, Shikabane Hime, Clannad After Story, Jigoku Shoujo, Birdy The Mighty Decode, Druaga no Tou and Ride Back have been consistently getting better and better for their own standards, while Casshern’s level of quality has pretty much stayed the same, with the result that quite a few series have already caught up with it. At the end of February, I was fairly certain that my Top 3 of series that started airing in the past Fall Season would contain Casshern Sins, but at this point I’m not so sure anymore. For any regular series, it’s a real achievement to be able to produce an episode that is as good as your average Casshern episode, but this series already showed that it was excellent in its first quarter. For me, it did sort-of fail in meeting the stellar expectations it set in its beginning. I remember Himitsu faced the same problem, but at least that series turned significantly better in its final quarter, and it’s a shame that Casshern couldn’t follow.

But yeah, that doesn’t mean that this series isn’t getting any worse. This episode was yet again really good for a semi-final episode. What I especially liked was how Luna doesn’t have any combat abilities at all. That really prevents the ending from turning into a boring overblown fight between the main character and villain until one of them goes down. I also liked how many story threads were solved in this episode: Luna and Casshern both quit trying to make the other understand and went their own ways, Dio finally considered Leda, which is something which Leda really appreciated and saved her from her own darkness.

And finally we learn the cause of the ruin: when Casshern impaled her, her blood flowed throughout all the oceans of the earth. This transformed Luna from a goddess of destruction into a goddess of life. And indeed it sort-of makes sense that her new blood can be used to heal the effects of her old blood. Casshern then became the first one to experience the effects of her new blood, but as a side-effect he lost his memory.

The next episode is going to be a very interesting one, as it seems to be more centred around Braiking Boss and Luna than Casshern. The potential for an original ending is very good, so let’s hope that it’s not going to screw up. I remember how someone noted that there could be a second season, but I wouldn’t count on it: this is Madhouse, after all. They only very rarely make sequels (the perfect way to prevent you from milking out your own franchises). However, there is no way that that ending is going to wrap every single open thread in the storyline:
– What the heck was the point of the coloured rock anyway?
– What was the point of making Dio, Leda AND Casshern robots who could potentially reproduce? It feels a bit and unimportant to just include it for a small piece of Leda’s background. Apart from that it’s never really been used.

what I want at least in the next episode is the background of Braiking Boss. It would be a darn shame if he’d just impale Luna to make her blood flow across the rivers of the earth again and disappear. In this episode it became clear that he isn’t a bad guy after all, but he had just been searching for Luna as well, and making the right preparations to save the world. The question is however: what caused this change of heart? Wasn’t he the one who ordered to kill Luna? Of course he may have realized the mistakes of his actions, but I’d really like to see that confirmed.

Posted on 5 March 2009 with categories: Casshern Sins



Short Synopsis: Casshern is still alive but heavily damaged and Leda attempts to receive eternal beauty from Luna.
Episode Rating: 8/10 (Excellent)
Whoa… the voice actors were really having the time of their lives in this episode. Seriously, there was a lot of screaming and moaning in this episode, but those scenes hit me really hard. In any case, it seems that my worries in the previous episode were just completely out of place: although I would love to run into a series some day in which the main protagonist dies before the final episode of the series, Casshern indeed still needs to do some things in this series. The huge beating up he received in the previous episode was meant for his character-development: he’s no longer a senseless killer, and also for some reason, his body’s regenerative abilities have declined a lot, although they’re still there.

And I’m really glad to see how Leda and Dio turned out. I remember noting about eight episodes ago how the two of them were my least favourite characters of this series, but now that they too have received their development, they too have really become part of the amazing cast of this series. This episode really was about the two of them, and worked really well. As Casshern demonstrated: Luna’s blood isn’t perfect. It’s not like you drink it and become immortal with the push of a button. In this episode, Leda only drinks a bit of her blood, though that doesn’t turn out to be enough for 100% regenerative abilities. Remember how Casshern needed to impale her chest in order to drink enough blood and the past two episodes showed that that still wasn’t enough to be purely immortal. I also think that the “immortal”-part of Casshern was just a rumour: Luna’s blood regenerates, but it doesn’t toy with life.

And it also turns out that not every robot is able to take the huge amounts of blood from Luna either. This episode shows that Leda just couldn’t take even a fraction of the blood that Casshern must have drunk from Luna. She doesn’t look dead, but that does explain why Casshern lost his memory: he too received the repercussions of drinking too much of her blood. It’s a bit hard to imagine how this would chain-react into the ruins, though. And I also think that Luna never gave her blood to Dune because he probably already had drunk too much of it, and giving him even more would only ruin him. Luna indeed isn’t a villain, but just someone who is incredibly tormented by her own powers.

But what does that mean for all of the robots who have been saved by Luna before? Did they simply drink a little bit of her blood, that would allow them to heal their wounds, but didn’t do much else? In that case, then it must mean that the robots who were hurting themselves like crazy were just ecstatic: they were too happy that their wounds recovered that they didn’t notice that new ones popped up.

Unfortunately, it really does turn out that this show has only 24 episodes, that means two episodes left. I’m really curious to see whether this series can pull off a great finale. It really has the potential for that, but series as Ghost Hound have shown that lots of build-up doesn’t necessarily mean a perfectly planned ending. At the very least, I want to see a satisfying explanation of where the ruin came from, and why it appeared when Casshern killed Luna. That coloured rock has probably something to do with it. Speaking of which, where the heck has Ouji hidden it?

Posted on 26 February 2009 with categories: Casshern Sins



Short Synopsis: Ouji returns.
Episode Rating: 8/10 (Excellent)
I’m not getting my hopes up. I’m NOT going to get my hopes up this time. There is no way that this cliff-hanger is going to be real. This series is going to be one of the best things since sliced bread if Casshern DOES end up dead, but I’ve seen too many cliffhangers like this one in which the main character supposedly gets killed off before the final episode. The next episode is probably going to feature some kind of plot twist that is going to keep Casshern alive. It’s going to be an awesome one, that’s for sure, but as much as I’d like to hope for a series to kill off its main character before its final episode, it ain’t gonna happen.

But that’s enough ranting, because this still remains such an excellent series. In this episode, it becomes clear that Luna indeed is very different from your guardian angel. In the time before her supposed death, it was so bad that anyone who met her met with death. When Braiking Boss ordered to kill her, he basically ended up killing his own subordinates, it seems. Still, since Luna was seen as the sun, nobody seemed to either bother or notice. Still, Casshern for some reason wasn’t affected by her death-rays, he stabbed her, and got in touch with her blood, and that’s why he became immortal. Nothing to do with love, like I originally suspected. This however, still leaves a truckload of questions yet to be answered:
– Why didn’t Casshern get himself killed?
– Why did Luna’s powers change all of a sudden?
– Where did the ruin come from?
– How come Casshern got pulverized at the end of this episode, without regenerating?
– Did Dune get his nickname really from his own actions, or were all the rumours of the people the original Luna killed delegated to him?

And here’s one thing I’ve been wondering:: every single recurring character has his or her own purpose in the series, except for Friender. Seriously, what was the last thing that it ever did? Try to dig out Casshern from a bunch of rocks. Apart from that, it’s just… there. Is Friender going to be more than just a simple cameo fro the original Casshan series, or will it have an important role in the end?

Posted on 17 February 2009 with categories: Casshern Sins



Short Synopsis: Casshern finally meets Luna
Episode Rating: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
Casshern Sins has just been a string of awesomeness for the past few episodes. Especially this episode was one of those where everything comes together. Casshern finally gets the chance to meet Luna, and because the entire series has been building up to this moment, the results were nothing short of awesome.

So as it turns out, Luna doesn’t turn out to be such a sweetheart after all. In this episode, she shows that she hates things that are about to die, so because of that she simply kills them off. Dune’s reasoning seems to be that if they’d die, they’d make Luna sad, so it’s just better to kill them off so that this doesn’t happen. In the end, Luna’s just someone who’s been obsessed with her own status: she never dies, and if she were to, everyone would go with her. She continuously needs to heal others, and eventually she changed from a nice healer to some sort of obsessive guru-type person.

This episode also seems to explain why there are so many of those angry robots fighting. Before the ruin, they basically lived in a world where they couldn’t die: if they got hurt, they’d simply visit Luna in order to get healed. Because of that, they grew up in a society in which there was no fear of death, and the morals must have been pretty low on each other’s mind: nobody had to struggle for survival, because Luna was there anyway! Now that the ruin started, and everyone’s going to die anyway, they still can’t remember what it means to have your life lost, or to take the lives of others, since it’s so new to them.

She really is symbolic of the sun, in a much less overglorified fashion as usual: she’s there. Without her, everyone will die, but she never grants wishes, cares for anyone or helps those in need.

But damn, this series has now accumulated quite an army of villains: we already had Dio, Leda and Braiking Boss, and now Luna also joined their ranks. All four of them have their own agendas, and with only four episodes left in this series it’s going to be very interesting to see how all of their story-lines are going to be concluded.

Posted on 9 February 2009 with categories: Casshern Sins





Short Synopsis: Casshern and Lyuze get attacked by a mysterious robot-duo.
Episode Rating: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
ZOMG, two full episodes, dedicated on nothing but Lyuze! Oh, how well this series makes use of it. This episode was simply awesome. There was surprisingly little dialogue between Casshen and Lyuze, but that’s also what made this episode so beautiful: the two of them didn’t need a lot of dialogue in order to develop the bond between them.

Speaking of beautiful, I think that the screenshots already gave some indication, but I absolutely LOVED the visuals in this episode. It felt like every single shot oozed with style, and there wasn’t even a single frame that didn’t impress me. Madhouse truly did a terrific job on animating this episode.

Anyway, about Lyuze: it turns out that my theory of love bringing immortality is wrong: Lyuze still rusts in this episode, though what’s interesting is that even though Casshen bleeds again in this episode, we never see him regenerate himself like he did a number of episodes ago, so the source of his immortality is still pretty much unknown. However, Casshern and Lyuze officially became a couple in this episode. It turns out that the entire previous episode was building up to that moment.

Then there are the two guest-characters who appeared in this episode: the female robot and her friend. It’s strange: I loved the two of them, even though we learn hardly anything about them. Their development really is minimal: they come from out of nowhere, attack, and disappear again. They only appear for what… three minutes? And yet they’re fully fleshed out for them to work. We know that they’re strong, care about each other and are obsessed with not dying.

Posted on 5 February 2009 with categories: Casshern Sins



Short Synopsis: Lyuze finds a bit of time to reflect on herself.
Episode Rating: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
It’s episodes like this that really set Casshern Sins apart from all other anime out there. It just takes one single character, and easily manages to fill the 20 minutes of an episode with it while other series even have trouble to fill up five minutes. While CxL may have found this episode disappointing (which I don’t get, by the way; the entire episode was about Lyuze, what more could you want?!), I really loved this episode. This really is one of the reasons I originally fell in love with this series.

Throughout the episode, you really have trouble to figure out what’s real and what’s not. In fact, I even dare to assume that this entire episode simply happened within Lyuze’s head: otherwise we would have seen Ringo somewhere. The enemy robots, her crumbling sister who appeared over and over again, the strange guy who came from out of nowhere to hit on her, I think that all of them symbolized the doubts that are inside of her. We hardly saw anything of her personal troubles for the past few episodes, but I think that throughout the series, she more and more hid her own personal worries inside of her, instead of unleashing them on Casshern, like she did when she first met Casshern.

And I do have to say that Lyuze was nearly as cute as Ringo when she was young. In this episode, this younger version of her really helped her complete her character-development and accept Casshern, which has been built up for the past ten episodes or so. Before, she believed that she only lived for her revenge on Casshern (hey, the ruin was going to kill her anyway, so she might as well use her last life to take revenge), but she finally sees that the death of her sister did have one positive side-effect: it made her meet Casshern.

Now then, to relate this back to the previous episode: if it indeed is true that love is the recipe for immortality, then I think that Lyuze just attained it. It’s interesting how love in this series is some sort of contagious disease: Luna started it, then Casshen got “infected”, and now it’s his turn to introduce love to Lyuze.

Posted on 29 January 2009 with categories: Casshern Sins



Short Synopsis: Our cast arrives at the place where Luna supposedly was born.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
Nothing short of an awesome episode. Not only does Leda finally get her development, turning her from a dull character into a great one, it also pushes the plot also gets pushed into an entirely new direction.

So, let me get this straight: Leda once was pregnant!? So Ouji’s research did succeed, apparently. If I understood things correctly, she entrusted her child to Luna, who would grow it in some sort of artificial womb (probably to guarantee the survival of the infant), but along the way something went wrong and her child died. It turns out that she was after some sort of secret that Luna left behind. I’m not yet sure for what kind of motive, but in this episode when she’s this close to attaining it, she simply loses control of herself. I’m beginning to think that Casshern and Leda’s emotional stability are inversely proportionate to each other: Casshern has calmed down a lot since the first few episodes (as noted by Luna and Ouji in this episode), while the only emotional support Leda received was from a power-hungry Dio.

In the end, this “secret” was hidden inside three child robots, that Luna left behind at her birthplace. At this point, we’re not sure what its purpose is, but Ouji is going to find out. For that, however, he was forced to break up with Ringo, which made for a really emotional break-up scene between the two. I also wonder: those children referred to Luna as their mother, but also talked about a father, who has long since died. I can’t imagine anyone who fits that bill, other than that the children somehow misheard about either Dune’s or Braiking Boss’ death or something. Also, that one comparison they made with Leda and Luna is also very interesting, hinting that there’s much more to Leda still.

Also, this part is what I’m a bit unsure about, but if I’m not mistaken those children also revealed something about the concept of immortality in this series: if you want to be immortal, you’ve got to know the meaning of “love”. If this is true, then it does explain a few things: Leda herself can’t understand that concept, so despite her wishes to be immortal that became apparent in this episode, she’s never going to attain her goal. Dio himself is stuck with such a woman, so the concept of love also shouldn’t occur with him. And now that I think about it, all of the robots feelings we’ve seen so far in the random stories were despair, admiration, obsession and fascination, but no romantic feelings. Luna herself somehow did understand the concept, and when Casshern “killed” Luna, he somehow understood this as well, fell in love with her and lost his memories because of it, or something similar.

Also, bad things are going to happen to Ringo, with this episode I’m sure, due to one particularly nasty case of foreshadowing where Ringo’s legs stopped working (does that mean that she really is a robot?). When this is going to happen again, Ouji won’t be there to cover up and fix it. At first sight, it’s a bit irresponsible of him to just leave her like that, but I think that the reason why he’s decided to say goodbye to her is to be able to find the solution to the destruction as soon as possible, because he knows that she’s about to suffer from it.

Posted on 21 January 2009 with categories: Casshern Sins



Short Synopsis: Dio and Leda run into some old acquaintances and Ouji reveals a few things about his past.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
It’s good to see that Dio and Leda get their fair share of attention. While they are my least favourite characters of this series, their extra development is quickly getting rid of these problems, and makes the two of them more enjoyable with every episode that focuses on them. In this episode, they meet Braiking Boss’ top soldiers before Dio and Leda arrived: Barkan and Mars. The two are still angry for the two of them taking their place.

The interesting thing here is that they too beat the crap out of Dio, though still all he can think about is how he can’t win of Casshern. Leda manages to save him and leads the two of them away, but something bugs me about her reaction when Dio returned (pumped up by Braiking Boss’ words of motivation): her joy at seeing Dio back was definitely acted. I’m still not exactly sure about what she’s planning, but she definitely has a hidden agenda. This series has shown by now that she simply isn’t as strong as Casshern or Dio, so instead she has to resort to trickery and deceit more.

Speaking of which, Braiking Boss also hasn’t been simply wandering around for no possible reason. Something’s telling me that he’s trying to set up Casshern and Dio against each other, but what especially bugs me is how in the ED, he’s lying right next to Luna. You’d think that that would be a place for Dune, so what’s he doing there?

But my favourite part of this episode was obviously Ouji’s background. He seems to be some sort of cyborg: mostly human, but with artificial limbs. It turns out that the reason he’s taking care of Ringo is because she saved him when he was at the bottom of despair, when she was only just an infant. That really begs the question to what she is, though. I can understand how Ouji is a cyborg: the guy was a scientist for Braiking Boss, so I guess that he also had enough time to experiment on his own body. But Ringo on one side is just a regular child who grows up, gets hurt, and apparently doesn’t need any food (at least, we’ve never seen the two of them eat so far), and at the same time she feels the effects of the destruction just like any other robot…

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Niello
@Kaiser, That's unexpected.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed how outright surreal Arakawa was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: It bothers me that they're stuffing multiple tales into single episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, excel saga, I wonder what I would think of it now, its been years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I actually respect Aidan's coverage of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Yes that edgy villain kid in COTWs was annoying though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I don't care much for the male character that leads some of the episodes in this new adaptation.
@Niello: Its a non-mainstream shoujo that isn't set in a school, moves at a quick enough pace and has some nice background art/chara design, I grew up on shoujo fantasy manga also so theres that.
Amagi
I mean there are parts I like. I enjoyed the first episode, and the part about the country of liars. But many other things annoy me and the last episode was the worst. I also feel like the edgy bomb loli and slapstick Kino don't fit to the rest of the show somehow. Maybe I forgot everything, but the "old" Kino felt like a better character to me somehow, this one is more faithful to the LNs though
Amagi
@Kaiser: I honestly gave up on Kino and I think it's only partly the fault of the new series. I am just so tired of how stupid most of the episodic-characters are unless their are friends of Kino, how everyone gets bent being irredeemable evil for plot's sake and how everything Kino and her friends do gets justified. Maybe I am just too old or boring for this fairy tail like moral bending.
SuperMario
Still have Night is Short review to write... i will get there. I will get there
Anonymous1612237
It's like having potty mouth characters. If you have one, it can be funny and a good comedic relief. If everyone does it, it can come out as mean spirited or trashy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I haven't watched A Bad Idea Gone Wrog, as for now my top priority is to catch up with 2017 anime for the Yearly summary. But I will get on to it when I have some free time
Anonymous1612237
Amagi - Chibi stuff I've seen it mainly work in anime comedies with low budgets like Those Who Hunt Elves, Ranma, Excel Saga, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Nanbaka, etc. I think if you really have to use it in a more serious anime, I think it might work if it was part of one character's gag.
SuperMario
Children of the Whales, along with Juuni Taisen, keep falling out on me. Kino is pretty a hit-or-miss at the moment. I don't mind the last episode's multiple tales though
Niello
Problem about AMB chibi jokes are that they arwn't funny in the first place nor do they have a punch line.
Niello
@Eoghan, Really surprise you put Children of the Whales so high, I'm falling behind on some shows but it is still near the bottom of my list (the absolute bottom remains Kino).
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest Kino episode was a real slap in the face/insult, really really thought that one segement would carry on for the whole episode and be a redemptive one/getting the series back on form but then it followed it up with crap comic relief segement.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: For now yes.
Lenlo
Droppin Mahou Kaiser?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I no longer care what Dia's gender is, no longer I will lie to myself and deem them female.
Kaiser-Eoghan
5. would be juuni taisen
Kaiser-Eoghan
My rankings for the season based on what I am following: 1. Houseki no kuni 2. Children of the whales 3. inuyashiki 4. girls last tour dropping mahou and Kino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't remember Joseph being all that present from what little I read of the manga.
Amagi
Fear so too. I mean it has a bunch of good ideas and good quality and such, but it feels like it won't be much more than the magical being of the week (or two weeks) and some Elias highjinks inbetween
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still say, I've got the feeling mahou will be wasted potential that won't really go anywhere much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you watch that indie film you recommended yet? Bad idea gone wrong it was called. I just finished it there, budgetary limitations and outside of Matt Jones the acting isn't great, theres a few limp/dead bits too, nonetheless it has its amusing moments here and there to make for an okay comedy that isn't all that essential but amusing enough in moments if your bored.
Amagi
Yeah I think Mahou has some pacing issues. But I also think it would work way better if it was less episodic or semi-episodic.
SuperMario
I normally don't mind the chibi stuff that much but I agree in Mahoutsukai they break the tone and pacing. Serious at one time, fluffy at another...
Amagi
@Vonter: I honestly never like chibi stuff I think. Didn't care back then but nowadays I consider it annoying. One reason is that jokes only work when they aren't pointed out but just happen, sometimes even so casually that you almost miss them. Turning everyone into a chibi for a joke makes it as fun as repeating, explaining or shouting it again (which many series also do)
KTravlos
I have to give it to Altair. It got me reading the manga. The episode this week did skip over a whole manga story, but to be frank it is not too much of a loss. Pacing issues still exist. One thing I noticed was a degrading in animation. They are probably hoarding for the next two episodes which are the major battle.
Anonymous1611511
Just dropping my 2c here: Isn't it too late for the studio to correct such inherent design issue once eps start rolling out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Angel: The dub wasn't all that impressive in the first place however.
Angel
When Will fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub come out?
Vonter
The chibi stuff sadly, is like watching someone make the same mistake over and over again, without acknowledging that thing isn't coming across well. At this point it seems like an intentional choice rather than just cutting corners. Kinda like when an anime has a decent dub but has that one character with a really annoying voice.
Lenlo
Its continued this willful ignorance, this virtual refusal, to actually address the issue. Thing about the chibi is, the first scene with Silver worked. Then it just got overused.
KTravlos
Mahoutsukai continues denying itself. We finally had some tough questions asked, but the show just ignored them in the 2nd half (with generous doses of chibi). That said Elias true form is terrifying.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: If you enjoy The Scent of the Green Papaya and Cyclo, you can also check out his unofficial third film about Vietnam: The Vertical Ray of the Sun, which is about the modern day of Hanoi. It's my favorite film of his, although I know that artistically it can't compare to his earlier films
SuperMario
And I can say the mafia aspect of Cyclo is more like Hong Kong than Vietnam. But, whatever. I like this one well enough
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I particularly love the score in Cyclo. No wonder later on Tran Anh Hung asked Joony Greenwood from Raidoohead to score his films. His score has the same uncomfortable feeling with this one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would have watched an entire story based around that old man in the new Kinos journey episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Though while I never found it boring, it did feel it could have had a better narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Cyclo I felt has some reasonable sketched characters and the aesthetic sells the viewer on the environment the characters are living in, Tony Leung was my favourite in it, I also like how some Asian films are able to mix quietness with moments of violence, makes it much more visceral.
SuperWooper
I'd lean towards weirdest thing you've ever seen. It's certainly up there for me.
Masky
...I can't figure out whether Sengoku Jidai with batman is weirdest thing I have ever seen or makes completely perfectly sense and was inevitable it would happen
K-Off
The map design should've been vastly more different, I'd love to hear why they thought it was worth it to keep the same maps as Gaiden. So. Much. Open. Fields.
K-Off
Finally got to playing Fire Emblem Shadow, and 15 hours in I'm already not a fan of the gameplay. The story is vastly superior to Gaiden, but it looks like it missed the point on how to make a good remake. The maps are just as god awful as in Gaiden and for it, (in hard mode) it feels like a game of numbers rather than strategy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I feel drama need not always go for emotions in the audiences but can be effective in a solely cold observational sense and approach.
SuperMario
haha you don't need to spy you know. Like I said Discord chat has been active lately. I find myself more comfortable chatting in there for some reasons.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I spy on the discord chat sometimes
Kaiser-Eoghan
Worried about this Junji itou adaptation thats coming up, hope it isn't one of those zero animation web-short series.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he still has Flashmob in which he intended to make. Yeah, he started his career quite late but he has had a very successful career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Potentially could be his last film, he is quite old.
SuperMario
Agree that Happy End has many quirkier moments compared to his other works. Still a solid work but I won't rank it amongst his best
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Watching Happy End, you can immediately realize many of Haneke's favorite themes: the voyeur/camera in Benny's Video, Cache; the latent racism like you mentioned, the idea that killing someone you love is better than watching them suffering, the underlying violence in a normal middle class life in most of his works
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Like with code unknown, its approach to latent rascism is far better handled than for example a terrible hollywood oscar bait drama would handle it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I felt though had the film been a bit longer, Huppert and Jones could have gotten more scenes, same with Franz Rogowski's character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I did however think that the disjointed nature of the earlier parts were both to the advantage and disadvantage of the film. But it delivers a killer of a last act that I loved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally got around to seeing happy end, I liked the Cache and amour references and how Haneke cheekily managed to insert quirkier moments and even wry ones so seemlessly into the narrative. Fontaine ,Kassovitz and Tringnent had the best scenes, particularly the ones between Fontaine and Tringnent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Physical, non-verbal communication is a far more valuable way of conveying information I believe and more effective in fiction.
SuperMario
Report on Just Because so far: they took on the three-way romance direction, which I initally ain't fond of. But last episode actually was great with the focus on body gestures and natural dialogues, delivering one of the brst exchange the show has this season. A good watch overall
Lenlo
Sadly, the only anime youll probably get like that will be made outside japan, like Castlevania was, and wouldnt be considered "anime" by most of the community. A shame, cause Castlevania was great.
Lenlo
A classic western would be cool. Like Red Dead the anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I am just coming up with fantasizing now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Even a Raymond Chandler style of story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd also love to see a non-scifi western anime get made now or even an east meets west thing with cowboys AND samurai in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats a good example Vonter I guess but I probably should have been more clear/clarified that what I meant is that I wanted to see more noir anime being made NOW , I want netflix to back one . I mean the kind of thing where everyone is wearing fedoras and trench coats and its 1930/40/50, shadows everywhere or it looks impressionistic.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Monster is a very grounded detective like story. The villain is good and intimidating, some moral dilemmas are poignant and despite being animated I remember it having good direction of photography since the story takes place Germany, Prague, and some other places.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've only seen bits of wolf rain many years ago, never bothered with it further after hearing the pacing is terrible and it makes an unsatisfactory ending even less worth waiting for.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, but I mean without science fiction elements.
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