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
SuperMario
@anon1058019: yep, and we'll get an original film no less. Welp, I don't mind for more Yuri but everything sounds vague for now. Let wait for more details coming
SuperMario
@Tatami: I'm only watch anime but I'm not a fan at all with the show so I can't really help you on that. In fact this season I couldn't get pass episode 2
Tatami
For guys who only watched AoT anime and not the manga, Im curious what do you think of the current season?
Tatami
The recent 2 epsiodes of AoT pretty much confirmed my guesses of who are the Armored and Colossus titans
Anonymous1058019
Yuri on ICE!!! movie has been announced. Prepare for incoming fangirls. :.D
Spike
Zestiria finale was pretty mediocre at best... Ufotable writers really fizzled at the end. :(
Anonymous1057532
Konstantinos here: I have to disagree. I liked the episode and felt they did a good job giving exposition. I like Meteora. That said when Alicertia meets Selesia. Oh boy, that will be a rumble.

On other notes: Attack of the Titan. If they do not pull a bait and switch, we are not in Kansas anymore.

Shingeki no Bahamut: What exceptional animation.
AidanAK47
It really does feel like this show is aiming to be something akin to Fate/Zero as that too did have a exposition heavy beginning. Difference here is that series had Urobuchi writting and while the man my be more famous for his murderous treatment of characters, he is a master of presenting exposition.
AidanAK47
I hope that's the majority of the exposition done for Re:creators. We established the stakes, rules and factions. So now would be good to focus on the creator and creation interactions plus badass battles.
Honestly I really regret Meteora coming into the story when she's being pretty much a massive exposition device.
Konstantinos Travlos
Hmm the "The Man who Knew 75 Languages" reminds me of the game "The Last Express". Great game. Definitely interested.
Anonymous1056824
moster keaton
Anonymous1056607
ditective conan
AidanAK47
@Anon, Pretty sure you are just trying to pick a fight more than defend the show but a decent show to me would be one that is deeply flawed but enjoyable to some degree. Sagrada reset is not this. It goes out of it's way to be unenjoyable. To me it's a 3/4 out of 10 show. Interesting concept but with a presentation so alien that the viewer can't empathise with anything on screen.
Lenlo
I mean, decent warrants about a 5-6. That, in theory, should be an "Average" show.
Anonymous1055365
It's a decent show. You're being overly critical.
SuperMario
In the Out of Competition slot (you think that I'm finished?), 2 films in particular that catch my interest are the Korean Lost in the Moonlight which looks like a fun and lightheart adventure, and the Norway-Poland co-production adult-oriented The Man who Knew 75 Languagues about the star-crossed love between the Queen of Romania and a titular man, I guess
SuperMario
Rounding up the Main Competition are Animal Crackers, a 3G American family film which I don't have good feeling about; Big Fish and Begonia - a Chinese indie film that divided the critics, but gathered skyhigh commercial success in its mainland China; and finally Zombillenium which sounds like an enjoyable European children film
SuperMario
From other countries, most notable films are the Loving Vincent - the first feature length hand painting; the Chinese black comedy Have a Nice Day that premiered in Berlin earlier this year; Ethel and Ernest which already gained a strong reviews from the UK; Tehran Taboo- a German production about the lives of 3 women in Iranian community, which sound exactly like my kinda of film.
SuperMario
Alright, I'm here to bring you news about the selection of this coming Annecy AKA one of the best animation festival out there. 3 of anime features: A Slient Voice, In the Corner of the World and Masaaki Yuasa's Lu over the Wall will compete for the main competition.
SuperMario
I'm a fan of thought-provoking anime (see Lain, Boogiepop Phantom) but I need to care about the story and characters first before I make an effort to dig deeper to the theme. Sagrada Reset failed on that fronts.
SuperMario
It's not really about being smart/dumb here. As a creator, they already have an advantage to know how the story and plot will play out. I don't mind this advantage because otherwise the plot will become a hot mess. But don't use that advantage as a way to widen the gap between them and the audience.
AidanAK47
Ugh...Ray Gigant was pretty much mediocre up until this point but now it;s utterly asinine. Whoever decided on this endgame needs to be fired. When you are ready to end a game, no player want a ten floor dungion with a boss on each floor coupled with a goddamn boss rush halfway. Just...fuck.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It must be worse than oremo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw some pages of the eromanga sensei manga and my reaction was that I was sad that it actually existed and stated "why would you even" after looking at it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an anime example, sekaisuru kado has lots of dialogue but it seems like it could actually be engaging.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So basically no I don't think we're dumb for not liking sagrada reset, given that myself and Mario are capable of watching genuinely smart wordy things and getting them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I can imagine watching Sagrada reset and thinking I'd rather be watching a Bergman film instead , something also with lots of dialogue and themes but actually engaging/clever and NOT pretentious or obnoxious about it.
Anonymous1054942
is it possible that you are all just dumb?
Anonymous1054269
@Mario: I like how you described it as giving a middle finger to the viewers. It's so true. Like, it tries to be intelligent and make the viewer feel stupid, but it just comes off as obnoxious/pretentious.
Lenlo
CGI remains the worst part of it, but we are getting more and more 2D art which I actually enjoy the style of
Lenlo
Its an improvement. The art is better, and maybe its because I prefer this arc, but the pacing is better as well. I gave last season a 3, but this one is more deserving of a 4 and if they can nail certain scenes coming up I may bump it to a 5.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: How's Berserk doing so far? Haven't picked up last week and this week's episodes.
Lenlo
Ground*. I hate it when I fat finger something.
Lenlo
Thats always the worst, when a story starts off promising and then someone runs it into the grouhnd
AidanAK47
@Mario, so it's still at it. To me it's like someone was given an interesting story and made it his mission to ruin it as much as possible.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it's still the same crap. I have a feeling that Sagrada Reset gives a middle finger to us viewers. The plot with development and characters that we have no way to figure out ourselves. The characters who change motive and even personality after each timeline. The main lead girl who act like a robot. I gave this show too many chance so I won't bother to spend more time watching it.
Anonymous1052767
Eromanga sensei
AidanAK47
@Mario, Oh ho, what was the dealbreaker? Just that it didn't change or did something really stupid happen?
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset (long sigh) (scratching my head) (eyes rolling). Dropped
AidanAK47
Hey you.
Konstantinos
Yeah, at this point, this season looks good.
SuperMario
Quite happy with ID-0 and Zero in particular. Zero charms me to no end that I'm still debating whether I should blog it. The trio Re:Creators, Kado, Atom still doing pretty well and the sequels MHA and Bahamut are enjoyable as expected. We have a wide range of anime offerings this season.
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset & SukaSuka I will give it another episode, at least until this current arcs over. They both have potential but Sagrada Reset tries so hard to sound smart, and SukaSuka still falls into its LN tropes which bugged the show down.
SuperMario
*no real urge
SuperMario
I've finally catch up with all other series I wanna follow this season. Alice & Zorouku will be off my list for now, Zorouko is a great character but everything else falls flat so far. I have real urge to continue Attack on Titan and Berserk so I'll wait until they're finished.
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Total users: 27

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