Posted on 30 September 2015 with categories: Anime Reviews, Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

Gakkou is one with a good facade as promotional material would have you believe it was some dime a dozen moe slice of life. I was one who wasn’t fooled by the cute cuddly exterior but I was truly surprised with just how good this anime ended up being. Gakkou is one of those rare examples of an adaption which improves its source material by making use of the animated medium. With visual subtext and better presentation this adaptation took something that could have ended up a mere gimmick of a show and made it so much more. The direction is simply marvellous with little details hidden throughout to reward those who pay close attention. Be it in the slight changes in the opening from episode to episode or the minor details hidden in the background.

The characters are likable though not particularly deep and I fear that shallowness might be a turnoff for some. In a twelve episode series building deep characterization is a challenge that even the often praised Madoka didn’t manage. But Madoka managed to keep the plot in center focus and didn’t wander between it’s two moods. Some of the plot developments are foreshadowed too heavily leaving little surprise when they are finally revealed, though the reveal is often great to see for execution alone. Music can provide the necessary mood though for the large part it’s fairly unnoticeable. Art and animation are adequate with the real effect of scenes being mostly on the presentation of certain scenes.

There are flaws with this odd combination of genres of course and Gakkou still makes use of a lot of the fluff present in moe slice of life, even if it has a purpose now. There are a two or three episodes dedicated to random hijinks that act more to delay the plot. But when the plot takes a dark turn it’s often very effective with some excellent scenes that make use of music and camera shots to the best effect. Ultimately I wish there was more darkness in this show and the manga does have scenes which could have remedied that problem. But alas they were not made use of and I blame the largely unnecessary pool episode for that. The ending is another issue as it does make use of far fetched plot contrivances to provide an ending which could leave viewers cheated or disappointed.

Gakkou remained a consistently good watch throughout it’s run and it is a series which would benefit greatly from a second season. Fans of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica who are looking for a similar show might scratch that itch with this series, for others however the mix of Moe and horror elements might be too off putting or schizophrenic to enjoy. But to me the juxtaposition of the two sides of the show are what make it the most effective. If either element was played alone this show wouldn’t be quite as interesting but with the two placed together it makes you appreciate both all the more. Or to put it in other terms, Despair is at it’s peak beside the greatest hope

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

The ending to Gakkou leaves me with a feeling similar to that I felt after watching Madoka’s final two episodes. The ending isn’t inherently bad but I can’t help but feel like I have been cheated. When you tease darkness and provide instead light its hard to appreciate. Contract to popular belief, not everyone loves a happy ending. There lies my problem with this ending, its far too happy. The grim situation is defused far too fast with Yuki making use of the zombies lingering memory to get them to abandon the school. It’s a bit far fetched of a solution but still feasible so I will leave it be. But the speech was rather cringeworthy. I understand the need for finality and the parallel to the first episodes words is a neat link but the cheese was far too much.

At least the show knew there had to be some grim turn in this last episode and here we have it. Just when I was about to roll my eyes at not just Kurumi, but Taromaru coming out of this alright as well, Taromaru dies in Miki’s arms. Well when you trip that many death flags its unlikely you would come out unscathed. It was a really well done scene and pretty effective. Being a man whose heart has been tempered into apathetic cold steel, I was surprised to feel tears almost well in my eyes over Taromaru’s last look at Miki being him saying thank you. Curse you for making me feel feelings again, you manipulative puppy plot device.

Other than that we have graduation which is less death and more the girls moving away from the school now that the self sustaining machines are broken. The Graduation tried to tug at my heartstrings but it felt rather hollow and overly dramatic. So with episodes end I decided to check out the manga to see how things went there and its very different from its anime counterpart. For one it wasn’t Zombies that took down the school in the manga, but a crashed Helicopter which started a fire and destroyed it. Kurumi’s infection and Megumi’s death by shovel where solved before this pretty fast. Overall the anime handled the story better but there were small things in the manga that I wish made the transition. Like Miki arriving with the medicine only to find Yuuri poised, ready to kill Kurumi with the knife or how Yuki’s snap to reality was handled in the manga. Overall the ending does leave it open for a potential second season which I would be most interested to watch.

Posted on 23 September 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here. Things are looking grimmer and grimmer for our four heroines as Yuuri can’t bring herself to kill Kurumi, Miki is trapped on the lower floors and zombies have subsequently knocked out the power and overrun the school. Leaving a surprisingly stable Yuki to save everyone’s hides. The zombies knocking out the power by destroying the generators through pure coincidence is a rather far fetched development but current developments call for more bad luck and this shows the school is beyond saving.  I mainly expected Yuki’s snap back to reality to be a morbid change as she learned just what was waiting for her but it’s turned out to be a fairly positive change. Admittedly the second half of the episode does deal a bit too much on Yuki accepting Megumi’s death when time is short and while Yuki’s staring at flashbacks of her past, her friends are getting closer to their deaths. The emotional draw didn’t quite work for me considering that every second Yuki stares blankly at a visual memory is a second Kurumi inches near the point of no return. We already got plenty of emotional weight behind this so I don’t see the point of adding more when the situation calls for drastic action.

Miki’s encounter with Taromaro was brief and could possibly be a encounter they are saving for the finale. Miki killing Megumi for good was a great scene as well as her running around with the shovel trying to imitate Kurumi to weak effect. It shows that Kurumi isn’t so easily replaceable and without her the group is going to be missing some vital offensive force. But Miki managed to do what Kurumi couldn’t and kill Megumi. At first however it looked like she was making a beginners mistake in zombie films and was attempting to speak with it while the zombie gets within striking distance. Miki left things pretty close her as Megumi was right on top of her before she swung the shovel down. I get paying respects to the dead but perhaps you should do it with a room’s worth of distance just in case. It’s not as if Megumi would take offense…or would she?

One thing that Gakkou zombies have that most others don’t is residual memory. That last time I saw this explored was in George Romero’s Day of the dead or the “A Ride in the Park” sequence of VHS 2. The zombies of Gakkou have a higher level of memory than other kinds, Megumi being a prime example. She continues to write in a journal despite her writing being nothing more than random scribbles and hangs around the basement where the medicine is. The medicine case itself has bloody landmarks on it, suggesting that Megumi tried to reach it while she was still human or has been trying to open it while undead. It asks the question, just how aware are these zombies? It’s a scary thought that under that facade could be a person internally screaming for help.The big question now is whether Gakkou can tie things up satisfactorily for the final episode as no word of a second season has come. A life goes on ending would be the likely choice and not a bad option as it does leave the possibility of a sequel. But the enticing idea of a full tragic original ending is a delight far too rare. That said the chances of that seem slim as this episode shows that the direction is aiming for a more hopeful outcome.

Posted on 13 September 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

Murphy’s law has come into full effect and I must say that you will either watch this episode with a sadistic smile or with a worried interest. The episode started slow with what could be a fourth wall breaking moment of Miki discussing the book she finished. Her words about having read the translated version of the book and that it’s only natural that the original version would end the same seem directed at the manga readers. Basically a wink to let us know that what’s coming isn’t going to change from the source. But I must admit there is some masterful misdirection here. As we all no doubt guessed, Taromarou is now dead or undead in this case as he was bitten. Hardly a surprise as the dog’s death was heavily foreshadowed for the past few episodes. The opening even has gone through even more changes as now zombie Megumi is shown and Taromarou is missing completely. Not to mention Yuki’s hat at the end of the opening is now covered in blood. So we all knew this dog was going to die, yet under this obvious twist was a far more surprising one. I am fairly certain that nobody(who is watching anime only) saw Kurumi’s death coming.

I knew about it but only because I accidentally spoiled myself on that matter and am currently kicking myself for it. I mean out of anyone in the group, I thought Kurumi had the greatest plot armour. She’s a fan favourite and is the group’s main attacker and scout. Killing off Kurumi puts the rest of the group in a much more dangerous situation and her character was one who could get them out of dangerous spots. Well to be honest she isn’t confirmed dead yet as there still some mention of medicine in the lower floors but if that turned out to save her it would be a fairly cheap plot device. Part of me wants there to be something to save her as I do like her character yet I feel her dying lends much more to the story to come. In looking at the situation it looks very likely that she will die and doing so puts Yuuri in a awkward position of killing her turned friend. She did take out a familiar cloth wrapped knife from the ending and she did make a promise to end her life if she ever got bit.

What might surprise people is that Taromarou didn’t originally have this big a role in the manga. In the manga he was briefly shown in a flashback and was already bitten by the time he joined the gang. He had no connection to Miki and was originally found by Yuki and died before Miki joined them. The connection between Taromarou and Miki leads itself greatly to the story now as with Kurumi on her deathbed Miki has to go down and look for medicine. She isn’t quite aware that there’s still a zombie Taromarou in the lower floors. Though to make matters worse the zombies have broken down their barricade and are making their ways to the upper floors. The cherry on top of the tragedy is that Yuki by episodes end looks to have snapped out of her delusional fantasy and now sees things as they really are. Next weeks episode really cannot come fast enough. One concern however deals with the number of remaining episodes as it seems that there isn’t enough to cover the remainder of this arc from the manga. It’s possible they will attempt to make a original ending or they might cut the story off in the middle of the arc. Neither outcome is quite desirable as I am interested in seeing how this all plays out and would like another season.

Posted on 6 September 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

In a world with no way to get to the beach, Gakkou does the impossible and manages to have a beach episode. Using the biology fish pool on the roof the gang get up to water antics and fun in the sun. I found this episode to be a bit unnecessary as we already know what’s coming and this looks to just be delaying that outcome. Though we did get heavy foreshadowing about Taromaro as that puppy got more death flags than a man one day away from retirement. From the dog walking alone in the ending, meeting Megumi in the last minutes and making up with Miki in the episode. That dog is ready and primed for Max suffering.

I decided to read the manga up to the point the anime has reached and in trying managed to spoil myself on two things. One was fairly obvious but the other was something that would have been a complete shock. Of course I won’t say it here but let me warn you that if you are planning to see the differences between manga and anime then it’s best done after the show is finished as it’s very easy to spoil. Adaption wise the anime does well to cover the manga though in execution the two are very different beasts. Overall the anime is the stronger of the two as it handles the reveals and twists a lot better than the manga which tends to show them rapidly without dramatic flair. The manga has some scenes I wish were in the anime such as Kurumi visiting her house during the “field trip” and Miki trying earnestly to snap Yuki out of her delusion before joining the club but the anime handles the story so much better than the manga does. The anime does tend to add extra Moe into the bundle such as our mainly anime original pool episode here but in terms of presentation and execution, it trumps the manga.

There isn’t much to say about this episode besides it being fanservice galore which I find somewhat amusing considering how the episode ends. If the blu-rays of the show are going to be brightened up then this episode after showing girls run around in minimal clothing has Megumi at the end looking quite…unappealing shall we say. If you took out the moments with Taromaro and the mentioning about the passage under the school this could be labeled a filler episode. Even though I have spoiled myself using the manga I am curious about what will happen with that passage. For the anime looks to be changing what happens down there. With the last boss Megumi guarding the passage, anything could happen next episode and it’s gonna be good.

Posted on 1 September 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

Well this episode starts off with a dark revelation and we see that Megumi is not buried on the roof but instead is roaming the school as an undead corpse. Her location seems to be the door where Yuki talks to her. From the looks of things, after taking a picture with the group she was bitten in a sudden zombie attack and turned. The girls then left her locked up in a room in the school. One particular detail is when the girls were camping indoors a Megumi came to check on them. So was that Megumi the figment of Yuki’s imagination or the zombie Megumi walking past the door? There was some cheap fanservice this episode with the girls bathing Taromarou but frankly I am willing to give it a free pass. After all they got to get them Blu-ray sales somehow. This episode had Yuuki and Miki searching for the Lock the key they found last episode opens and I was surprised to see Yuuri prodding Yuki out of her comfort zone by bringing up a traumatic event of the past. If anyone I thought Miki would be prodding, not her. Still we have hijinks ensue as Yuki plays around while trying to find the lock and happens to really find it in a secret compartment in the staff room. While Yuki was playing around and got a picture taken of her I thought the picture might set her off as it shows the cabinets broken behind her but even in photos its seems Yuki sees what she wants to.

I must say the reveal at the end of the episode caught me off guard. It’s true that I found the schools facilities to be oddly convenient, the solar panels in particular, but I just wrote those off as the mangaka compensating for the odd situation. I thought the whole purpose of these things was to justify why these girls were staying in a school as opposed to more ideal locations like a Mall. I would have never guessed that the schools convenient facilities would be a plot point. While I admit there is still some scepticism over the school being some kind of weapons testing facility but the story potential for this is just too good so I will roll with it. The second thing that surprised me is that this series is actually going to explain the the zombie outbreak. Most zombie media tend to leave the cause of the outbreak ambiguous and only lend vague theories such as it being a act of God or, like this episode did, a biological weapon. But few actually confirm the cause. The implications of revealing this could lead to some interesting theories such as the outbreak being intentional and the girls are unknowingly taking part in a isolated psychological experiment. But one thing is for certain here. Even if there are people outside the city and this incident is isolated to this one place, those people would have no desire to rescue these girls. That is because there is a risk that they are infected by the weapon as well and are therefore abandoned. It’s one thing to believe that that you may be one of the last remaining humans, but another entirely to know you have been left to die by the rest of the world. This does depend on whether the outbreak was done on purpose or accidentally and how far it made it out.

Posted on 25 August 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

This episode has been a weaker episode than those so far. The opening has gone through a number of changes now that we have reached over the halfway point. Megumi’s part of the opening has been replaced by a shot of her grave, the colourful transition after showing the title is now a series of zombie hands, Miki’s friend is now shown walking alone amidst zombies and pictures that were happy shots of each of the characters are now showing them depressed and worried. The fact that Taromarou is now a single bright happy shot among shots of people who are not dead or missing makes me think that dog is not going to have a bright future. There wasn’t much to the episode itself as it was mainly about the gang sending out letters by balloon and one pigeon by the name of Arnault Hatonishiki II. Thought there was Yuki noticing a discrepancy in her memory regarding Megumi which shows she’s getting even closer to snapping out of it. Megumi or her subconscious took the act of consoling her and pushing her back into the delusion. But even she seems to see that this trick is coming to its end.

So there’s a lot of hope here and a fairly lighthearted optimism which can mean only one thing. Everything is about to go to hell. The night is always darkest before the dawn but in tragedy the light is always brightest before it burns out. The new ending is proof of that as we have the girls disappearing and being replaced with Yuki’s hat, a broken CD player, shovel, shredded teddy bear and a knife all of which is bloodstained. Along with the text on the chalkboard saying “We’ve Graduated!” Which likely means what you think it means. Something is going to break this all down and my mind is preoccupied with what is going to be the trigger. Yuki is the obvious choice as she’s already in a delicate state that could collapse at any moment but my money’s on Miki. Miki is the one most uncomfortable with the situation and could set off Yuki easily with how she is unwilling to go along. She has friction with Yuuri as she is generally the one to argue against her when the topic of the situation comes up. But most importantly, Miki has something which could set her off and cause her to go berserk. The friend that left her in the Mall is without doubt, most certainly dead. But Miki still believes she’s out there. If her friends corpse happens to walk up to the school and Miki sees it, there’s no telling what she could do.

Posted on 18 August 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

Well the story continues on from the flashback, showing Miki first joining the club. Right off the bat the episode pushes to answer the question of Megumi’s existence. It’s a answer that was pretty obvious by this point as the foreshadowing was pretty heavy on this particular detail but this episode makes it crystal clear. Megumi is dead and has been dead right from the beginning, with her grave on the rooftop being shown in the background in episode one. The Megumi Yuki has been talking to is just another of her delusions and the ending goes as far as to show scenes where Yuki and Megumi were together and slowly faded her out to show what the scene really was. As I said this revelation is hardly shocking for anyone who was paying attention. But the execution remains immensely solid. The scene where Miki asks Yuki who Megumi was when she was supposed to be in the room was just great. The music getting distorted and fading with Yuki staring at her with those black eyes, it was just an excellent reveal scene. So much so that I wish it hadn’t been made so obvious that it wasn’t shocked by it. The little things were great too like Yuki “handing” Megumi a bottle of water and if you listen you can hear it hit the ground.

Another thing that was confirmed is that the girls really do rely on Yuki’s mental state to keep their spirits up. In some ways this is good as in a zombie apocalypse it’s not the zombies which are the most dangerous thing. It’s the people who mess things up. Yuki acts as a good meditator to prevent the other girls from doing anything too rash or stupid. But it’s a perilous balance as when Yuki goes down, they all go down. Yuki’s mental state is already a pretty fragile thing as shown here she could break down just from someone asking a honest question. Yuki herself seems pretty comfortable in her safe zone and even when Miki questioned her it honestly felt like she was trying to get Miki to play along rather than deny her. It’s possible that Yuki is slowly slipping out of her delusions and doesn’t really want to let go of them, so she attempts to continue the farce even when she is becoming aware of it. Really that is the best option as despite how it could be broken at any second, this may be one of the most functional survivors of a zombie Apocalypse that I have seen. Everyone gets along, there’s no petty fights over supplies, people are honestly trying to enjoy themselves and no liabilities to make a huge mistake that ends up screwing everyone over. Well for now at least, one thing that I think will come to a head later is Miki’s reluctance to play along with Yuki’s delusions. Even in the first episodes she still only half heartedly plays along to keep her happy. It’s clear that while Miki understands the situation, she’s not keen on keeping Yuki contained in her happy place. I think that if a really bad situation comes Miki may just force the truth on her out of frustration. This would really put her at odds with Yuuri, who by the looks of it, is the one most determined to keep things as they are.

Posted on 10 August 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

As these episodes go on it really is something to wonder about the matter of Yuki being a hindrance or a help. I have said previously that she does push the group in the right direction but it is still a case where her mentality is dangerous. The group need to come up with excuses to keep her from nearly getting them killed but even then she is being rather loud in an area where zombies could rip them apart at any moment. But she also saved Miki and pushed them to take the risk to go to the mall to collect supplies. As the group tries to keep her in her delusions it also pushes them to take risks to ensure their survival. That said, there were moments that made me want her to get with the program and stop endangering the group. Despite the group’s efforts it does seem that Yuki’s dream world is slowly crumbling as in this episode she at least had some clarity to the situation. She clearly knew that Miki was in danger and seeing the zombies again did shake her so much to the point where she got a fever. It shows that eventually her dream is going to collapse and when it does it’s not going to be pretty. Would I be considered sadistic if I actually was looking forward to that moment that does happen? As a side note, I found an article noting a potential reason as to why Yuki’s uniform is a different colour from the others. If you invert the colours of Yuki’s uniform then it matches the same colour as the other heroines uniforms and likewise. It could be a really clever symbolism on Yuki’s flawed perception of reality.

Undoubtedly this is the moment the group was in the most danger, so they are lucky that these zombies happened to be be of the more classic slow moving variety rather than the running kind. Thus allowing our girls to shop for clothes and for Taromarou to form a bond with Yuki. These moments remain a double edged sword as they are light hearted fluff but undeniably strengthen the darker moments of the show. At points it’s even fairly enjoyable however still the mood is starting to clash a small bit. I think the girls trying out clothes with no worries is a little out of place considering that a zombie could be in ait  at any corner and the last thing you want is them catching you with your pants down. Or in this case, in a swimsuit. Good luck going to the beach in that girls, and was Yuuri’s boob bounce really necessary? Still the small things like Yuuri worried that Kurimi might not make it back from her solo food run or discovering a legion of zombies in a theater room. As well as the rather dark implication that the Theater room was barred from the outside to keep them in and maybe not all the people in the room were zombies at that point. Yuuri making use of the alarm to disorientate the zombies was a pretty clever play on her part as by all accounts Miki looked like she was doomed once pulled off the piano. I don’t know whether the next episode will continue to follow Miki first joining the group or go back to the point before the flashback but admittedly I would be interested in just how she reacts to it.

Posted on 7 August 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Gakkou Gurashi

In 2004’s zombie spoof film “Shaun of the Dead”, Simon Peggs master plan for surviving the zombie apocalypse was to ” Go to the Winchester, have a pint and waiting for all this to blow over.” The funny thing about this is that barring the Winchester pub part this is likely the best method of survival. A common misunderstanding of many zombie film protagonists is that they assume that zombies are there forever more but when you think about it logically they will all be dead again in very little time. Zombies are essentially rotting corpse’s so if you just hole up in a place with a few months of food and water then when you come out the zombies brains would have rotted and they would all be dead. Unless there’s some kind of supernatural rejuvenation that keeps them from rotting, once you find a place to wait it out then you have won. The reason I bring this up is that in this episode despite how wrong they made it appear, Miki had the right idea by staying where they were and waiting it out. Where as her friends idea was just idiocy but to be fair to her, it was likely an idea born out of boredom and desperation. If I was stuck in a room with my only source of entertainment being a CD player then I would likely try to get out anyway I could. But its one hundred percent certain that she’s now dead and wandering the mall to give Miki an unpleasant surprise next episode. One thing this episode showed was just why Taromaru hates Miki so much and how she joined the school survival group.

This episode clearly takes place before the previous episodes as only there girls are at the school and they look to be running out of food considering the food portions. I think it’s fairly safe to say that Megumi is dead, after all the amount of foreshadowing makes that pretty obvious, and from the looks of things her dead body is in the staff room. Considering that Yuki went to the staff room with a dark look and came back with her car keys. Megumi’s death is probably the main trigger for Yuki’s mental instability as she is the person closest to her in the main cast. Yuki’s mentality does present some rather interesting scenarios as a means of helping the group. In this case proposing a school trip as a guise of venturing out to search for food. However it does make me wonder whether she is somewhat conscious of the situation or whether this is her mind molding the situation to fit her delusion. It does seem like she’s going out of her way to keep herself from breaking out out her delusion. Though the group also goes out of their way to help her keep it. In many ways Yuki is a bright light for the group with her boundless optimism and silly antics. A mentally broken girl is the one thing keeping the group from falling into despair. When put that way, it’s quite messed up.

What’s messed up in a different way is that Mikis been lying around in her underwear which happens to be a garterbelt. Now I am not going to call myself a man highly educated in matters of teenager girl lingerie choice but I don’t think it’s common for young girls to choose such adult underwear for a normal day of school and hanging out with friends. So it leaves me the question of whether this is a part of her character to go for adult underwear or whether the animators figured they would put in some more sex appeal in the anime. Chances are it’s number two but if it wasn’t it does bring up some more questions. Does she wear it because it’s her personal taste or was it to appeal to her friend whom she was with? Saying Miki is a lesbian wouldn’t be farfetched as she does have a rather close relationship with her friend and she does seem to be rather nervous when around Yuki. The heavy blush when Yuki was hugging her could be a sign but baiting like this is common in any female relationship in anime. The show continues to avoid directly showing gore as in any time Miki encountered something horrifying they anime would just blackout and jump ahead. We never really see how the two managed to barricade themselves in a storeroom. It works as this does seem to be Miki recalling her memory of the event and naturally when it comes to the more traumatizing moments her memory black’s it out. Again with gore or any kind of horror, its what you don’t see that truly scares you. Well next time Miki looks to be joining up with the group and while we know she survives this, how well her mind survived it is still a concern.

CHANGE USERNAME
Anonymous1637770
Also it can be tricky selecting a season sequel since some old series had like 50 to 100 episodes, what counted as a season then?
Anonymous1637770
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's more common in videogames (especially Capcom) than in other mediums. Megaman 2, RE 2, Street Fighter 2, Dino Crisis 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually in a rarity, a sequel season is better than the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which makes my enjoyment of sangatsu so strange.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I generally do not like game/sports orientated shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That you slightlySuper-erMario and superwooper!
Kaiser-Eoghan
And my reaction to the show is such, that I enjoyed it enough to make such a huge pot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also I want Akari to be my mom and Hina is adorable without being annoyingly so and Kana Hanazawa is doing a good job voicing her.

And whoever said it is right, the op/ed songs are worth listening to, for once I’m not skipping them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At this point it feels as if by the end of the series I’ll come off it thinking that I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.
I don’t think as of just yet it complete lives up to honey and clovers legacy though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never cared about Harunobu initially, but recent episodes have changed this.
Dull parts of the manga are easier to get through for me in the anime due to Shaft elevating the material with one of the better uses of their visual gimmicks.
Giving the series another chance, even though I won’t fully embrace the humour, it does now and then manage to make me laugh a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc centering on Hina and the shows treatment of it is better than most anime bullying stories and has provided the most emotionally rewarding aspect of the show.
Characters that are assholes like Kyouko’s boyfriend, Kyouko herself I’m finding somewhat more sympathetic and want to see more to their personal drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
However I do genuinely think that the series does a good job of allowing dramatic moments to creep up on the viewer, that early scene of Hina crying over her mother, Rei’s family flashbacks, Akari’s concerns about Hina/the stuff with her dad, all the scenes with Kyouko do carry an effective and solid dramatic weight to them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel it starts very strong, making a great first impression, then kind of has these dull moments that make it sort of a slog at times to get through, unfortunately I have no interest in chess/shougi and no knowledge the show tries to give me is going to stick or allow me to embrace that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Through jumping back and forth between the anime and manga, I can say I have no caught up to where I will now watch March comes like a lion on a weekly basis.
Anonymous1636224
The blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki
Anonymous1636224
Mmmmmm the suffering of all those innocent people feeding his God boner, this is why I love Inuyashiki
Lenlo
Oh yeah, thats not a knock against it. Just noting they dont *need* much animation
SuperMario
Well, the nature of Mahoutsukai is slow-burned, so it makes sense they focus more on static, quiet moments
Lenlo
Was that blade 2022 thing supposed to be an example? Because I wasnt a fan. It was stylish sure, but difficult to follow.
Lenlo
Maho is a good looking show, I wouldnt call it a great animated show.
Lenlo
The issue for me is, theres just not alot being animated most of the time. Usually its a pretty slow moving anime, so most of its time is talking and still shots. It doesnt need alot of animation, so it doesnt have it.
Lenlo
@Niel, I think Mahoutsukai can have good animation when it wants to. Like the water viel in episode 10 looked good (Though im not sure how much of that was after effects)
Anonymous1635607
uhhh creepy
Anonymous1635589
the blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki so much
Amagi
I think the security is the same as here, it's just that Japanese people are less likely to rip stuff (correct me if I am wrong). It seems like ripped anime, manga and so on are basically always uploaded by Americans, Chinese people or someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised heavens feel was camripped I thought security in japanese theatres was stronger.
Amagi
Yeah it's also screening in Germany, I will watch it in February, together with Heaven's Feel, Mutafukaz, Kimikoe and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*on Europa cinema
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nanoha new film to screen next February in the US, come in Europa license it for over here dammit....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did have some down moments though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I guess contrasting Luke with his old self goes some way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Saw the preview screening of the new star wars, still feel the new trilogy stands inbetween the originals and prequels, fufills its duty as a *** star blockbuster , some genuinely hilarious high camp moments, awful tokenism, Snoke is a shit villain, but two scenes with Luke actually have a pathos to them and I liked the chase/action scenes when they happened. Nobody cares about the acting/dialogue
AidanAK47
But there are times when it goes way too far and you can barely make out what is even supposed to be happening. Or characters go so off model that they are unrecognizable. It can be immersion breaking. Much like uncanny CGI.
AidanAK47
@Niel, I do agree that it's annoying to see people complain about animation when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Like those inbetween frame screenshot people. But I will say I appreciate on model characters more so than chaotic movement. When the off model stuff suits the tone of the scene like that blade runner part, then it's fine.
niel
I also don't want to see someone imply visual=animation for the hundredth time. Are people really that ignorant of the technical/artistic aspect of the media they consumed?
niel
It just depends on what works best in given scene and the aesthetic they want to go for. People can complain all they want about off-model stuff, but if they really only want that the they won't be getting nearly as much of those impactful scenes as there are now. So many of the ways people complain about it is really irking to me.
niel
normal/low action scenes is different from being on-model during the action sequences and just the ones that need some extra impact in general. https://youtu.be/rrZk9sSgRyQ?t=6m45s
niel
But that depends on the situation though. And I'd argue that being consistent and on-model during
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter/Niello/Mario: Ideally I want it both ways, fluid animation AND consistent model visuals, all the while never sacrificing choreography.
SuperMario
But really, who am I to say. I'm the dude who prefer beautiful shot composition myself
SuperMario
The same can be said with Shinkai's movies since he always prefers static, beautiful shot that people tend to overlook that his animation is quite poorly handled
Vonter
You're right, but art direction does alleviate limited animation, I mean the old Berserk anime, kinda has a lot of slideshow moments. MahoYome has nice backgrounds, and despite the samey faces, at the very least doesn't come from the same mold as other series. Still cutting corners with chibi segments is was a mistake.
SuperWooper
Is it any wonder that people prefer things to be static/on-model? They want to see characters who look consistent and familiar so they can relate to them.
Nie
MahoYome being the biggest offender of people getting triggered to any kind of statement about the show's animation not being good. And it's absurd because the show's animation really isn't great at all. It's good with distracting people with pretty pictures, but animation-wise it's still mediocre.
Nie
@SuperMario: Not much. Just stuff like "Art is part of the animation weather it's beautiful backgrounds or just amazing looking characters. It's not all about how they move. If it was, CG would be considered great animation" multiple times. I've just been finding myself being replied with these kinds of comment non-stop since the start of the season.
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Niello
@Kaiser, That's unexpected.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed how outright surreal Arakawa was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: It bothers me that they're stuffing multiple tales into single episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, excel saga, I wonder what I would think of it now, its been years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I actually respect Aidan's coverage of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Yes that edgy villain kid in COTWs was annoying though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I don't care much for the male character that leads some of the episodes in this new adaptation.
@Niello: Its a non-mainstream shoujo that isn't set in a school, moves at a quick enough pace and has some nice background art/chara design, I grew up on shoujo fantasy manga also so theres that.
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Featured Posts

Juuni Taisen – 11 [To Treat a Man to Beef From His Own Cow]

To the surprise of no one, Rat wins the race by breaking in the right place at the right time with the right weapon. This is by no mean a coincidence, because later on we learn about Rat’s real power: “Hundred Paths of Nezumi-chan”, in which he can see 100 various outcomes and thus picking […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 10 [We Live and Learn]

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Dies Irae – 09[A Mother’s Sins]

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This week proves to be the most action-packed episode Houseki has been offering so far and unconventionally, it’s Dia who takes the central stage at facing the most ridiculously overpowered Lunarian Titan to date. Well, I said “unconventionally”, but when the narration and the execution (the camera work, in particular) come together in such neat […]

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Breaking my usual routine today just to give an opinion on this episode but this episode made me feel compelled to get out my opinion. We have another action packed episode with three contestants out of the war and boy did they go out with a bang. Many will notice that the animation for this […]

Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

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Fate/Apocrypha – 21[Antares Snipe]

When Apocrypha slows down, it’s story shows it’s cracks. But when it’s an action showcase it actually becomes quite entertaining. The characters don’t have the time to be developed but they shine in combat when they clash, sometimes showing parts of themselves the series otherwise doesn’t allow for. Astolfo for one was actually useful for […]

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