Posted on 4 April 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Ghost Hound


If you’re looking for a standard anime with a standard storyline, then you should stay well away from Ghost Hound. This is one series that tries to be different, and it’s at the same time after Shion no Ou my favourite series to have aired during the past Autumn Season. It does feature a bunch of fourteen/fifteen year old boys, but this series manages to use them to their full extend.

One of the major themes of Ghost Hound is psychology. You can see that the creators are very knowledgeable about the subject, because this series really delves into the details of this subject. All main characters have run into their own kinds of traumas due to various things that happened in their childhood, and everyone has reacted to this differently. Ghost Hound shows how these people can be cured, and how just a small push in the wrong direction can lead to disaster.

There’s another thing that really sets this series apart from most others: it’s been directed by the director of Serial Experiments Lain, and it shows. Apart from that series, there is no other anime I can think of that puts more focus on its sound effects than Ghost Hound. The result is an continuously tight atmosphere as the events slowly develop.

And yes, this is a slow series, but don’t make the mistake that nothing happens. In fact, every episode builds up for the next one, and it keeps you on your toes, because you’ll never know when a sudden plot-twist might arrive. In this series, it’s not the destination that matters, but the road at which you get there. Because of this, the ending ended up being a tad rushed, but thankfully entertaining enough to keep interesting.

I didn’t have much series to look forward to at the previous Autumn Season, but this one really stood out, and it’s along with Shion no Ou my top-recommendation amongst the shows that aired back then. Don’t worry that it’ll start off slow, it’ll pick up its pace quickly enough and deliver a great storyline, an interesting cast of characters that develops very natural-like and a feast for the senses.

Posted on with categories: Ghost Hound


It’s strange. This episode was far from perfect. Like expected after the previous episode, a lot of things indeed had to be crammed in one episode. We still don’t know where Masayuki’s mother went (either that, or it was mentioned somewhere in a previous episode and I didn’t pick it up), and just happily reappeared again at the end of this episode. Makoto’s mother also didn’t show up at all, and this episode yet introduced all kinds of new concepts. Compared to the extremely solid series, this episode wasn’t careful in its building up at all. So why did I like this episode so much?

I think that there are a couple of different endings a series can choose. Endings often used in comedies and light-hearted series are the “life goes on”-ending, the “there is no ending”. There’s also the “aftermath ending”, where nothing exciting happens and instead the series closes off with a quiet episode. Then there are the series who want to end with a bang, and they can usually be divided into three categories.

In the least exciting of the three, the final episode just takes the end of the semi-final episode and wraps up all the threads that were still left hanging from it. Most of the series from the past fall and winter-season belong in this category, and while it’s nice and all, I don’t really see such an ending as anything special. Shion no Ou is one of the few series who actually made such an ending really work, but that series was awesome to begin with.

In the second category, the creators basically solve all of the problems in the semi-final episode, apart from one major thing. Think of it as, the evil emperor’s plans have all been destroyed, and now all that’s left is to defeat the evil emperor himself. These endings are usually very solid ones, take Clannad’s ending, or one of my favourites: Bokura no. These endings, however, also have a tendency to get quite boring if you’re not into the series.

And then the third, which is my personal favourite but also an incredibly double-edged sword: introduce new things in the final episode. And this is exactly where Ghost Hound’s ending belongs. There were only four series for the past season who did this, I think: Mokke, Ghost Hound, Hakaba Kitarou and Wellber no Monogatari. While Wellber’s ending was a string of bad ideas, the other three contained some of my favourite endings of the past season, simply because you really won’t know what to expect. A lot of my favourite endings are also of this type (Ooedo Rocket, The Third, Night Head Genesis, Noein), and now I finally see the resemblances.

But yeah, endings like these can also go horribly wrong, simply because there’s so much that happens in just one episode. Ghost Hound barely avoided this, and thankfully it more than made up for this by resolving more than I thought it would. Hirata gets a very nice closure, and in the end, it didn’t leave a bad taste behind.

Strangely enough, my favourite character in this episode ended up Michio. He was really fun to watch as he tried to use the ghosts of the deceased bioids to get rid of the strange typhoon. The old guy in the woods got a very interesting role as observer, along with a bunch of psychics who were alarmed by Noriko’s actions. And of course Tarou looked awesome in his priestess-outfit.

And really, what was up with that sudden landslide that destroyed the Oogami house? I guess that the spirits must have been pretty angry at Noriko. ^_^;;

The thing about this episode was also that it lets the viewer figure out what happened, and gets away with it pretty well. Either that or I didn’t pay attention during the previous episode in which everything about that typhoon got explained. Makoto suddenly summoned his ghost hound in front of a bunch of goons, at first sight this may have come from nowhere, but I guess that with the typhoon, certain spirits that would have been invisible otherwise appeared for everyone to see.

The same goes for that green-haired guy. I’m still surprised that he featured such little screen time. He was just there, never said anything, stole the completed bioid and threw it in the lake. After that, he’s gone! With no traces left behind. Did that guy work for Noriko as well, or did he have his own plans in the end?

And in the end, Tarou has managed to figure out what happened to his sister’s spirit. Miyako wasn’t the reincarnation of her at all, it indeed seems that the two just looked alike. Instead, she has been inside Tarou all this time. This episode also ended on an interesting note, with a picture being taken, just like what happened with Makoto’s parents.

Posted on 28 March 2008 with categories: Ghost Hound


This episode was a rather strange one for a Ghost Hound-episode. It’s probably one of the quietest ones of the entire series, which is very strange with just one episode to go, and it ended with plans to dress Tarou as a girl. I’m seriously wondering what the creators have in store for us for the final episode, especially now that Tarou is going to cross-dress on such a short-notice. As much as I’d love to see Tarou in a dress, will that episode be more than just “beat Noriko save Miyako”? Well, that’ll all depend on what the side-characters will be doing.

I wonder whether this series will answer all the questions it left behind, though. Two particular ones that I’m still waiting for are why Makoto’s father committed suicide, and how Hirata’s visions of Tarou’s dreams have affected him. I’d love to see a lot of this guy in the aftermath, because his development still feels rather incomplete.

There were also a lot of hormones in this episode. So in the end, while Tarou is into younger girls, Masayuki fancies grown-up women. Ah well, at least it’s different from the usual high-school girls. I don’t know who found it a good idea to not include any girl between the ages of 13 and 17 in this series, but this guy should be praised.

Here’s also a surprising discovery: Makoto can’t have out-of-body experiences anymore. Now that he mentioned himself, he’s indeed right. The last thing we saw of Makoto’s Ghost Hound-form is somewhere around ten episodes ago. You’d think he’d go more and more out of control, but for the past two episodes, he’s been calmer and laid-back than ever. After what happened to his mother, and meeting Tarou really saved this guy, and for the past few episodes, I think that he just needed some time for himself.

We also learn that Makoto’s father used to play guitar, just like Makoto did. As it turns out, he left his guitar in the possession of Tarou’s father, which makes for quite a nice scene.

About half of the shows this season have ended now, and I’m quite surprised at how some series significantly improved in quality for their final episodes (Mokke, Clannad, Spice and Wolf all had excellent final episodes. Ironically, all three of them are slow ones), others just closed off their series nicely without any bad feelings (Shion no Ou, Shigofumi, Hakaba Kitarou), others went out with a fizz (Kimikiss, Kekkaishi, Dragonaut, Wellber), and there is of course Suteki Tantei Labyrinth, where the final episode was at the same time one of the cheesiest ones.

Still, I haven’t really been able to find what I’m really looking for in an ending: originality, and series that try to be different. I’ve seen a lot of great final episodes this season, but no real outstanding endings. If there’s one series left this season that still can deliver such an ending, it’s this series. I’m not putting up my hopes too high, but in the next episode, it’s really time for the creators to make all the building-up of the previous 21 episodes come together.

Posted on 21 March 2008 with categories: Ghost Hound


There are two episodes left, and we finally know the intentions of the “bad guys” of this series. Heh, it’s about time. There are basically two “villains”, each completely unrelated from the other. The first one is Noriko. In this episode, she basically talks Miyako’s mother into taking care of her while her father remains in the hospital, which gives me a lot of reasons to believe that she was the one who stabbed him in the first place.

Noriko’s intentions were indeed to take over the cult that Makoto’s grandmother started. This episode shows that she too has some connections to the spirit-world, and she apparently knew that Miyako was possessed by some kind of spirit. If she indeed stabbed Miyako’s father, then she would have hit two flies with one blow: first Miyako would be too weak to suppress the spirit that possessed her, and second of all, it would eliminate her father, who obviously would never allow Miyako to be used for some kind of weird cult.

The second villain is the green-haired guy whom we still don’t know a lot about. He shows his true colours in this episode, though. Reika and Masayuki were apparently working on some kind of homunculus. An artificially created living being, which was, if I understood things correctly, was made possible through the strange spirits that Masayuki saw in the lab a few episodes ago. In any case, villain #2 steals this homunculus and dumps it in the dam, so that it can be food for the spirits.

The question: where does Hirata fit in all this? I didn’t quite understand what he told Reika in this episode, and what it signified. It seems that he found out something, but what?

Makoto, meanwhile, is doing fine with his mother. She’s been released from the hospital, but her memory is still a bit jumbled up. It’s interesting how the previous episode made such an impression on him that he’s now fully taking care of her, and protecting her.

Tarou, meanwhile, has it tough. Notice how he’s unable to even utter the word “Miyako”? In the meantime, his mother’s having visions of her dead daughter. Whether she saw the spirit of her dead daughter, or if it was just in her mind, the fact remains that she’s hasn’t been cheerier. And this is the first time I’ve seen her genuinely smile in the entire series.

Oh, and to those who believed that the person in Masayuki’s house who kept gaming was his mother: you were right, and I was wrong. It indeed seems that Masayuki’s mother has disappeared off to somewhere, and her husband doesn’t even seem to care (which is of course rather logical, after he’s been walking after Reika like a young puppy).

Posted on 14 March 2008 with categories: Ghost Hound


What an awesome episode!! Seriously, now that the finale is nearing, this series is more and more coming together. If you thought that the first half of this series was already impressive, you haven’t seen anything yet. This episode was all about the characters and their development, and especially about Makoto.

So basically, this series has taken four children with a trauma or similar mental disorder, but all of them from very different causes and cases. Masayuki has managed to recover. Tarou has been struggling with his feelings, but basically turned out fine. Miyako, however, ends up possessed and Makoto nearly killed off the rest of his entire family indirectly. A big key is the people around them. I think the reason why Masayuki managed to recover was because of the trust he placed in both Makoto and Tarou, and how he ended up saving Michio from his bullies. That’s why he was the only one who didn’t turn into a Ghost Hound. Tarou got better because he could talk to someone who resembled his sister.

Unfortunately, he took this too far, and called Miyako the reincarnation of his sister. This caused the spirits that have been possessing Miyako to grab their chance and posses her for real. Makoto, in the meantime, only had Tarou and Masayuki, and Tarou basically abandoned him when he ran away from his mother. After that, he didn’t have anybody to trust, which is why his mental state turned out so horrible. It’s an interesting message, which basically a mental illness can be cured through careful nurture, but it can very easily escalate into something much worse.

So in this episode, this all comes together. In the end, even though her partner seems to have died, Makoto’s mother doesn’t die. Instead, she loses part of her memory, and returns to her 17-year old version. To make things even better, she now seems to mistake Makoto for his father when he was seventeen!!! Imagine the shock this must be to Makoto, to see the woman he loathed so much talk to him, energetically like nothing ever happened!!

And that’s just the first part of this episode. In the second half, Tarou finds out that Miyako has a very strange smirk on her face after visiting her father, Makoto finds out that Mei used to have a crush on Makoto’s mother’s partner (explaining why she ended up so worried during the last episode), Tarou ends up trailing Miyako, Masayuki finds Makoto and then leaves, Makoto returns to the hospital, only to find Makoto and finally gets put at ease a bit. When he wakes up in his mother’s hospital-room the next day, he finds out that she regained her memory. I ask you, can a Ghost Hound-episode get any more awesome? Well, it’s up to the final three episodes!

Posted on 7 March 2008 with categories: Ghost Hound


Oh my god… the building-up is finally starting to pay off now, and yet this series still continues to build up with just four episodes left. I also must say that this is going to be one very interesting climax. I can’t imagine ANY cliché or stereotype that would fit as an ending for this series. There’s no clichéd antagonist, there’s no real goal where this series centres around. Instead, there are just characters, all with their own issues. The final episodes will probably focus the most around Tarou and Miyako, but how it’ll end… I still have no idea.

Still, I do wonder: who was it that knocked Miyako’s father off the stairs? The only possible candidate would be his former friend, the guy running for mayor. Something happened in the past between him and Makoto’s father, so perhaps this involved Miyako’s father as well.

And dear god… I never imagined that Makoto’s mother would be so depressed to actually set her own house on fire! Did she survive the thing, or was it a suicide? According to Makoto’s reaction, I’m edging to think that that indeed is the case, even though this goes against one of the big laws of anime (a character is only dead if he or she is confirmed dead).

It’s also interesting how Masayuki and Tarou finally realize that something’s wrong with Makoto, but what was that thing that Masayuki mentioned, that it might be related to Tarou’s kidnappers? In any case, it’s also interesting how the first car they ran into was the one of the female scientist. I think that she knows fully well that it was Masayuki who spied on her last episode, so now the two or them too get a chance to settle their differences.

Also, I wonder… why haven’t we seen Masayuki’s sister for the past few episodes?

Posted on 29 February 2008 with categories: Ghost Hound


Another terrific episode. I’m still surprised at how each episode starts pretty quietly, with usually a bunch of flashbacks, only for a few intense-plot-twists to happen in the second half. There’s nothing wrong with series that alternate between building-up and climax-episodes, but after Kaze no Shoujo Emily, Shion no Ou and Ghost Hound, I have found that I like series that can combine both building-up and climaxes in the same episode, making every single episode worthwhile much more than that, as it really takes skills to make everything come together. You also have every week something to look forward to, as you just know that a series will deliver in this way.

In any case, the major vent in this episode was how Tarou finally got the courage to tell Miyako how he believes that she’s the reincarnation of his sister. Miyako, who had met with her mother, whom she obviously didn’t like, having abandoned her and her father after all, was already in a rather bad mood, so Tarou’s rather blunt statement must have upset her even more. And really, Tarou looked so realistic when he tried to speak his mind to Miyako. I could really feel ho much trouble he had to get his words all together, and how speaking into complete sentences must have been the most difficult task in the world back then.

Surprisingly, there’s hardly anything about Hirata, apart from the fact that his dreams and Tarou’s dreams are starting to merge with each other… Because of this, Tarou now has nightmares where his sister talks her final worlds to the councillor, instead of him, and suddenly she turns into Miyako. I’m finally beginning to see one of the major themes of this series: the influence that your psychological state has on others. Tarou, Masayuki and Makoto are of course extreme examples, but the way they can interact with their environment within their own minds has some great symbolic values.

Oh, and I had to laugh when Ootori caught Masayuki in the act. She’s smarter than she looks, and can form an interesting villain (which I assume she’s going to be, after the previous episode and all).

Posted on 22 February 2008 with categories: Ghost Hound


God, that was intense. I really love how this series has progressed so far, and this is another major episode. Makoto and Tarou finally meet Makoto’s mother, after her new husband introduces them to her. Makoto really was planning to stab her, though it seems that he didn’t realize what kind of mental efforts it would cost to pull off such a stunt, so he runs away. After that, Tarou spends the night at Makoto’s mother’s house, while Makoto himself still didn’t return.

I like how this episode turned Makoto’s mother and her new husband into real characters, and we finally get to know them a bit. Makoto’s mother seems really nice at first sight, and she seems to feel genuinely sorry for abandoning her son right after her original husband committed suicide, but later that night, Tarou sees a whole different side of her, and she seems to be suffering from huge mental problems. Something tells me that they too need to pay the councillor a visit.

Meanwhile, things get just as interesting with Michio and Masayuki. It seems that their attempts to find out the password of Masayuki’s father’s computer failed, and while Michio attempts a few more things, Masayuki falls asleep, and finds out that he too has left the monkey-stage in his out-of-body experiences. He’s also ended up at the research laboratory where his father and the female scientist work.

The next part was a tad hard to understand, but it seems like the female scientist has manipulated Makoto’s father so that he’ll do whatever she wants. He seemed like a little lap dog at times. For some reason, there also seem to be ghosts floating around certain areas of the research centre, ad they start to attack Masayuki at one point, showing him strange signs I didn’t understand. In the end, none other than Michio saves him. I still don’t quite understand what triggered Michio to have out-of-body experiences as well, though if I had to guess then hanging out with Masayuki was probably the reason.

Posted on 15 February 2008 with categories: Ghost Hound


There was even more talking than usual this episode, which put me in a rather disadvantage. I’d guess that apart from Saiunkoku Monogatari, Ghost Hound is the hardest to understand of the anime I currently watch raw, though so far this hasn’t caused that much problems. This also was a clear build-up episode, after the major events of the last one, though this is the first time where I felt that I missed some important information about what happened to Makoto and his mother, after his grandmother died and all.

He basically runs into Tarou in the bus, and the two of them spend the episode together as first Tarou heads to Kei to apologize for what he did to her experiment, a few episodes ago (it seems that this experiment failed because of his meddling), and afterwards they meet up with the new partner of Makoto’s mother, and for some reason Makoto decided to bring along a knife for this. Things will probably get clearer the next episode, when we see what he actually planned to do with it.

In the meantime, Michio and Masayuki are on their own investigation, to figure out what Masayuki’s father is up to. It turns out that Michio’s skills are quite useful, and at the end of the episode he probably found out the password to Masayuki’s father’s laptop. They also contact the mysterious journalist. I thought that I remember someone in the comments who noted that he might be Tarou’s father, but the two of them are different people. He’s been investigating Makoto’s family, especially how Noriko has been inviting random people to come over.

The real treat of this episode was Hirata, though. It was a really interesting way to reveal the things that Tarou’s sister said to him, right before she died. Instead of Tarou, gradually finding out by recalling his memories, it was Hirata-sensei’s semi-out-of-body experiences that brought him in a part of Tarou’s memory, and he could understand her perfectly fine. What she basically said back then was meant to comfort him. She told him not to cry and survive, as she probably thought that she’d end up dying. In any case, it was pretty interesting to see Hirata freak out like that.

Posted on 8 February 2008 with categories: Ghost Hound


Apologies for the lateness on this entry. I’ve both been busy, and some wise-guy on Share thought that it was a good idea to disguise a random music-file as the latest Ghost Hound episode. In any case, if you were waiting for the major plot-twists, then this episode is not to be missed, because the plot-twists at the end of this episode were more exciting than ever. The building-up is really starting to pay off, and I don’t know about others, but the creators have managed to fully draw me into the atmosphere of this season.

I think I’ve said it before, but what I really like about Ghost Hound is how it manages to put building-up and major climaxes in the same episodes, compared to most other series, which basically have to make use of entire arcs to just build up enough for one climax that takes a few episodes. Because of that, I just know that a Ghost Hound episode will end up satisfying, because it took so much time in the beginning of its run to carefully place all of the pieces.

In any case, to give a short summary of things that happened: Miyako finally has some therapy from Hirata-sensei. Hirata-sensei seems to be quite a famous academic in Tokyo, which seems to point out how important he believes that Tarou’s case is. Meanwhile, Masayuki finds out that the woman who has been dating his father is the female scientist. Michio (who has really warmed up now that the bullies are gone, by the way), reveals in a library book something about the “Kotosaka no Kami”, they seem to be some kind of gods or spirits.

For the counselling, Miyako gets put under hypnosis. Then, Tarou sees his sister’s image in the unconscious Miyako. It could be very well possible that right now, the spirit of Tarou’s sister has possessed Miyako. In any case, the spirit takes over her again, even worse than last time. Luckily, Komori makes sure that she forgets everything that happened. On the way back, Noriko yet again turns up, and starts going after Miyako this time. It also turns out: Makoto’s grandmother died.

These were some really interesting developments. I wonder what’s going to happen to Makoto now. Is he going to start living with his mother? Or will Noriko still take care of him? Speaking of the devil, what the heck is she up to? She was seen making several phone-calls as well, when Makoto’s grandmother called out for her help.

I’m also not yet sure whether Tarou’s sister is really the spirit that took hold of Miyako, but if this was the case, then it would explain a lot. Of course, the reason why Tarou is so interested in her could just as well be because she resembles his sister so much. :P

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was a troll review or at least I hope its a troll review (because I don't want to believe it could be true) review on imdb from some Christian nutter who disliked it for religious reasons.
Lenlo
@Masky, yeah the portrayal of the church was very one dimensional in this. Probably a victim of the short run time, but possibly not.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am as a thirty year old man shamelessly shamelessly looking forward to Nanoha reflections when it comes out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the film's from the guy who directed GitS SAC so yeah I will give it a watch if I have a chance
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Do we care about this? : https://myanimelist.net/anime/33204/Hirune_Hime__Shiranai_Watashi_no_Monogatari its being screened over here next week I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I will read Crecy and plenatary then.
Masky
Anyhoo, I did like netflix Castlevania too, but I can't help but feel that Warren Ellis seems like sort of atheist who let's their opinion on christianity out in tract-y ways :D I mean, not that medieval catholic church wasn't corrupt, but that element isn't really from the games so it gotta come from him and it feels weakest aspect of the show.
Masky
@AidanAK47: Castlevania's story would make for good children's action show or cheesy action movie though :D Like, yeah, games are rather story thin(when they aren't melodramatic) but concept of Castlevania's story isn't that bad for a series.
AidanAK47
@Anon, with luck that new KonoSuba anime project is a third season. I didn't realize the Season 2 OVA just came out.
Anonymous1290766
Kono Suba ftw
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, there are some good moments even after the Shark jump but yeah, all downhill from here.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: it was a captivating jump, wasn't it?
Lenlo
I think I hit the shark jump in Kado.
reaLjustified
Koi to Uso....kind of as vanilla a romance story can get, and that premise doesn’t do anything for me after Sakura Sakura. Honestly the star-crossed love worked better with Nisekoi.
Lenlo
Well they were a good series of episodes, so guess it was a success
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Already has got one. Second season with 8 episodes is coming. Honestly makes me think that it's really the rest of season one and these four episodes were gauging the audience.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe it has been re-newed.
Lenlo
@Aidan, yeah. Its way better than I thought. The VA for some characters is just great, I actually liked Belmont alot. I really hope it gets a 2nd season, because Dracula was also great
AidanAK47
@Mario, Well you do write for STAR CROSSED anime blog. Maybe that's a factor.
SuperMario
@Aidan: "What is a man" huh? It's fun to listen to actually :)
SuperMario
I can't believe it myself... but I get sucked into the story of Koi to Uso. Yesterday was reading the manga until 2am (and I hd to wake up at 6.30 for work). SINCE WHEN FORCED CONTRIVED STAR-CROSSED ROMANCE BECOME MY THING? I blame those big eyes.
AidanAK47
I mean the best game in the series has dialogue like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMTizJemHO8
AidanAK47
@Masky, Castlevaina games are never played for their story. If anything the story is usually the weakest element. When I heard of this series before I thought it was ridiculous because the story of the games was too weak to make into a good story.
Masky
Better than any right to be? Like I know that video game adaptions usually suck, but surely that doesn't mean that being video game adaption itself is qualification for being bad? :p
AidanAK47
I will see if I can do a write up on Castlevaina tommarrow but yeah for a video game adaption it's better than it has any right to be. I think the reason for that is Warren Ellis.
Lenlo
Castlevania actually has good action scenes too. Very pretty.
Lenlo
The Netflix Castlevania series, one episode in so far, is actually pretty good. It does justice to the old series, more than any other videogame adaptation ive seen.
SuperMario
And I know this is way off the mark but whenever I hear Baltimore I'm thinking of Beach House band
SuperMario
@Lenlo: I feel you that the action scenes feel no weight.
Lenlo
Three degrees of Nazi. We always get there somehow
Lenlo
The story seems setting up to repeat to me as well, with the mutant/normie racial problems. Hopefully the Reflection event/mystery over takes that though.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Vatican's mysteries have gotten to a ridiculous level. This week throws up sexual abuse, drug use, corruption and somehow Nazis are involved as well. It's just too much for me
Lenlo
They could have kept the comic book feel though by doing what Ping Pong did, with the panel layouts. I feel the low framerate did nothing but hurt it. Had the action scenes been done differently it could have worked, but it was a traditional fight scene so it didnt work.
SuperMario
Speaking of 18if, I still consider that show an experiment wreck, but a fascinating wreck it will
SuperMario
I don't really mind the low frame rate in the Reflection. I think the choice is deliberated to resemble the comic motion. I'm more worried about the story as they have some random fights that I feel even more dreamy than 18if
Lenlo
@Kaiser, I quite liked the Reflections art but the animation, or lack thereof, held it back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Once again my anime taste falls in with Marios =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you can only imagine if shinbo or Yuasa were to work on 18...if.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although I do think 18..if is exactly what I need right now, I am not certain it will top flipflappers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The premise for ballroom is of no interest to me.
I’m hearing Vatican is quite silly in a campy horror way
which appeals to me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While visually the show seemed to improve with episode 3, I wasn’t all that emotionally invested with that story.
I would take this protagonist over IdiotMCx100 any day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
18..if is the most interesting thing I’ve looked into so far, largely due to it being the most un-conventional/abnormal, the concept interests me and poor as the animation is , the worlds it shows/creates, the imagination of the show gets close to forgiving that, as it was the most macabre, episode 2 has been my favourite so far.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I’ve begun (at last)checking out some of the series airing this season.
The reflections style is complete push away/turn off for me. I feel made in abyss could grow into something and I’d like it to actually properly get going/start, the buildup is slightly dull.
K-Off
@Vonter Graces is nothing compared to the pandering mess that Symphonia 2 was. Just embarrassing.
SuperMario
"There's a white house waiting for us in Casablanca" haha, can't help but laugh at its wordplay
Lenlo
Im planning on mentioning it, but yeah. Alot of the combat didnt really have an 'impact' to them. There are other shows, like Ping Pong, that I think do this sort of style better, if alittle differently.
Anonymous1283104
I think the main issue was the animation being kind of simple, the scenes didnt have 'motion'
Lenlo
@Anon, yeah The Reflection moved at the pace of a glacier. The art style was unique and should have lead to good looking fights, but instead it moved at the pace of a glacier. Ill have a write up on it later today
KTravlos
very nice episode of Virgin Soul. Really liked seeing Favoro look like Favoro again.
Vonter
Tales of Graces sadly might have the most childish, and pandering story of the series.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - Tales of Graces worked around having to both attack and defend to continue attacking. If just attacked you made less and weaker attacks. It was a way of cooldown that was more reliant on the player thinking about the attacks it used. Later games followed a more typical cooldown and combined special attacks with the regular ones.
Anonymous1282493
Reflection was kinda painful to watch, I didn't expect anything in the first place and was disappointed nonetheless.
Lenlo
I cant snowboard or ski at all so its ok.
SuperMario
I did hit my head on the ground (for the first time) but I was lucky that I was wearing helmet. I curse S turn
SuperMario
@lenlo: it's fun but it's a lot of pain as well.
Lenlo
Sounds like fun
SuperMario
I'm literally covered in snow right now with my butt numbed. Will get back home in few hours to catch up on 18if
Lenlo
Havnt had the chance to watch it yet, but Reflection apparently looks like a comic book but has weird fight scenes? Ill get that write up tomorrow once I watch it tonight.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*hear
Jesus Christ what happened to my spelling
AidanAK47
That's one of the things that mainly turned me off. The battle system is essentially button mashing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The regular complaint I here from Tales of naysayers is a dislike of the battle mechanics/system.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I avoided the anime adaptations of the tales games mostly because I assumed they presumed previous knowledge of the games. I actually only saw Phantasia due to having been familiar with the games story when I was younger.
HelghastKillzone
No Re:Creators this week. I get a week off which is good since I'm stuck on an army base.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, A lot of people say Vesperia is their favorite as well. I only have played Abyss so far and was really not impressed with it.
K-Off
@Kaiser Damn, Detective Conan has a long way to go then.
K-Off
Phantasia was my first Tales game (and its anime is the best amongst anything after) but Symphonia really did take it to another level. In general I think most fans will agree with Symphonia, Abyss, and Xillia in their favorites.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe Kochikame is the longest running manga of all time 1,960 chapters, 200 volumes, actually does have a record.
K-Off
@Aidan I remember you saying how it's funny that no two fans of Tales will have the same favorite title. But that's definitely because Tales has changed very little over the years, and they've always been solid games, and so for most fans they'll remember the first title they played.
K-Off
@Vonter With you there. The art direction in Tales hasn't been really that exciting since Xillia, and as a long time fan of the series I finally got sick of the gameplay after Vesperia.
K-Off
Jeez, detective Conan is reaching its 1000th chapter. Pretty sure it's a milestone for some Guinness record.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Embarassing
**Here
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also agree about complaints made about the mumbled dialogue when it does occur.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thin red line is a good thing to bring up hear as throughout much of Dunkirk I was thinking about how much more Mallick's film did for me, how I should have been re-watching that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet at the same time I couldn't connect with it, it became repetitive, disjointed and the shots/Zimmer score towards the end were embaeassing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There were definitely aspects to praise, to be fair there is no shortage of action, it eschews exposition and tries to visually immerse the viewer to make them feel as if they are present.
Lenlo
Im ready. Reflection comes on tomorrow, so heres hopin its worth it
Anonymous1279803
it was trash. just british propaganda
Vonter
I finished Tales of Berseria. And I'm conflicted. I really liked the story and the characters, essentially a Tales of were the story is told form the perspective of the villains. I also saw the episodes Ufotable made of the beginning of the game, and I want moar. It's was a waste as game, considering the archaic and dull game design. It mainly came up to buying time in regards to things to play.
KTravlos
I also watched it. I thought it was a great war film. Very intense and unrelenting, but still at points the images reminded me of Thin Red Line. My only quip was the end. The film did a great job in getting me to feel the hopelessness the soldiers felt. So great that the attempt at making a "happy" end was forced and fell flat. Beyond that I liked it.
Anonymous1279184
I already lost interest when I saw Inception which I didn't really like. My favorite Nolan movie will always be Memento.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, saw Dunkirk, I think at this point I'm done with giving Nolan any more chances, this like his other works, I can appreciate them to some extent but come away honestly not giving a damn.
SuperMario
and this week's Sakura Quest is damn great as well... This backstory of Chitose and Kadota rocks
SuperMario
Just watching the 2nd episode of Gamers, It was actually pretty good. I can't believe they fleshing out that annoying hot guy into such a relatable guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I recall the extent of my interest in Linkin park in my early teens was strictly the breaking the habit video and that was it.
SuperMario
The frontman of Linkin Park commited suicide by hanging himself... sad news. Never been his fan but I feel sad nonetheless
AidanAK47
Actually forgot with all the impressions and whatnot but I do believe we said we would review the Castlevania Netflix series. Now that everything has calmed down I will see if I can do a write up next week.
AidanAK47
I was busy trying to discern whether the story had any point besides "Life is shit"
Kaiser-Eoghan
Again, while I enjoyed punpun, the excessive internal narration, when marathoned, I had to take a break.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come to think of it, I don't even have a phone that does that, haven't bought a new one since 2004.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, you see I could never force myself to browse/type/use the internet on a phone, too used to using a desktop exclusively for that.
AidanAK47
Oh bloody hell. Stupid phone autocorrect. Yeah I meant Punpun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Read Freesia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
umi no onnanoko is probably the exact thing ninjarealist would be interested in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*oyasumi punpun
I found it alot more accessible than nijigahara holograph. deded-demon-destruction while enjoyable, is beneath him. Solanin is probably his easiest work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I assume you man oyasui punpun. Its been about five years since I read in, the final couple of volumes stay in my mind the most, all the stuff with him, the girl and his uncle also, I love Asano Inios art and the surreal elements but I got lost/bored somewhere in the middle and most of the other side characters and the cult thing I didn't really care about.
AidanAK47
Finished reading Goodnight Pumping. Really not sure on what to think of it. The story kept me reading but it just felt really empty.
Anonymous1276500
There are 2 Nyaa's now. This one is considered the 'real' one: https://nyaa.si
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looks like anirena is down for me. Although it looks like nyaa went back up as this: https://nyaa.pantsu.cat/
SuperMario
Aidan: Fate/Apocrypha, Made in Abyss, Kakegurui
Mario: Princess Principal, 18if, Youkoso
Lenlo: Touken Ranbu, The Reflection
Wooper: Ballroom, Shoukoku no Altair
Helghast: Re:Creators
SuperMario
Note: I'm deciding to take Classroom of the Elite as my third show to cover. So, for this season we are covering 11 shows.
Vonter
Just to end, it kind of shows than even if a story is predictable on where it is going. Characters can make up for that, if they're funny, interesting, and perhaps not agreeing all the time and having different agendas and points of view despite all sharing the same boat.
Vonter
Yet as a game Tales hasn't felt deep since Symphonia, (at least from the ones I've played). I'm wondering if it'll leave me wanting check the anime of Zestiria, since apparently Berseria is a prequel to that game. And many say the anime is better than the game. (I can see why).
Vonter
I also like the reused Tales beats from Phantasia and Berseria. It those have moments like when Lloyd was exiled and Cless had his village attacked. It has clear antagonists unlike Vesperia, and trying harder than the cartoony villains of Graces.
Vonter
I've been playing Tales of Berseria, and it seems to be the anti Tales of Graces. In which I'm caring about the story and characters, but the gameplay is a drag. This is the first time I've been autoplaying an JRPG. But unlike Gravity Rush 2, I'm not dropping it because I'm liking the interactions of these characters even if it gets, campy, overdramatic, or edgy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean I watch anime and films subtitled but sometimes my reading speed can be slow if theres a lot of dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I do that sometimes, mostly to check for message updates or on occasion to read reviews of what I am watching or to download more/check downloads.
SuperMario
For instance, I watched Okja yesterday and I had to take 15', 20' minute break in between for snack, surfing webs and playing mobile games...
SuperMario
I watched Fanny and Alexander... don't really remember which version I watched thou. I think it's a TV version since it divides into 4 separate parts
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it just that... my attention span has shortened greatly and I just can't stay focus on movies over an hour mark. In cinema, it's alright since you can't move anywhere but now it's abig task to finish a 2 hour and a half movie for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
And is good enough to keep up the quality for that long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll say this, for every medium, to me the length of something isn't so much the issue, if you have a writer good enough to keep something going for ages then the length shouldn't be an issue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If something goes over three hours I treat it as a miniseries and watch one hour or two a day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol if you thought thats long, have you seen the extended versions of scenes from a marriage and fanny & alexander by Bergman? I can't wait to get my hands on the tv versions I hear they're completely different.
SuperMario
Okja is pretty entertaining with pointed social commentary. I don't really feel Tilda Swinton's double roles add up much but everything else is great. Bong has never disappointed me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: good luck with Satantango then. I guess now if I watch an 8-hour long film it would take me a whole week to finish it :/
Kaiser-Eoghan
Made in abyss and vatican keep staring at me. Although I'm not chancing them yet or anything else until I hear a bit more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My once massive film backlog is nearly cleared. I can try watching stuff this season hopefully.
K-Off
Same boat here. For the first time in a long time I spent almost half the day catching up on all of my manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll have two weeks leave, I will finally watch Satantango, all eight hours of that film.
AidanAK47
I did a double take when I saw this. One of these things is not like the other.... http://gematsu.com/2017/07/blazblue-cross-tag-battle-announced
SuperMario
Well, finally have a bit of precious free time to watch something else and I have too much things to watch. Castlevania, the final Kizumonogatari movie, live-action Okja and some books planned to read... I guess I'll go with Okja today
Ninja
Looking forward to that Dies review
Lenlo
Yaaay! Time to enjoy your blogging time
AidanAK47
And now we are up to date. Just need to finally get that Dies Irae Review posted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I'll watch almost every horror film I can, don't even mind the awful acting most have.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pet cemetary was a guilty pleasure of mine when I was a teenager.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know how I'd feel if I rewatched salems lot, although a positive is that it did have James Mason in it and it was done in that 70s style of slow burn horror that I love.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The IT film has aged horribly and thats one case where I would advocate a remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stand by me was a perftly watchable coming of age film and it surprised me, seeing a non-horror King story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay theres one way to settle this =P Lovecraft > all of them ;) I have actually enjoyed some King adaptations even though I know the Shining took liberties , I also enjoyed Carrie and Apt Pupil.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, please. Early King > Richard Matheson > Modern King. Kings early works were good.
Lenlo
@Aidan, its true that Monty was the mind behind the fights. Sad, but I think the other directors are starting to come into their own instead of trying to copy Monty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But we all know Richard Matheson > King.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He did some collabs with Stephen King I believe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Like the dead films he's trying to be thematic, although this one is clumsily put together, I kind of like how it hybridizes the 50s with 70s style exploitation, it has its moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
hmmm the only non Dead trilogy film I've seen by Romero is the Crazies, feels like he's still finding his voice with it.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Part of the reason is that they started using better animation software. But despite that there was a downgrade in fight chorgraphy when Monty died. Though the story I find is getting better.
AidanAK47
@Kinseryu, I think it's ridiculous to everyone but there are those that choose to ignore it.
@Anon, That's a bit harsh. It is true that his later works never truly panned out but he did pretty much popularise the zombie apoc. Even if Day of the Triffids did it before him.
Lenlo
Every season RWBY gets just a little bit prettier. Rooster Teeth really does have some of the better 3D animation skills out there.
Anonymous1272531
goerge romero was a hack trying desperate to stay relevant.
Kinseryu
Tenshi3P... I thought it was just me that this show was just ridiculous by putting three ten years old girl that knows how to play electrical instruments. They are insulting the people who plays these. But good thing I found this site with your first impression. I laughed and I feel better. Lol.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he passed away? damn. He was the Father of Zombie genre. So like him or hate him, he was influential to say the least. RIP.
Kaiser_Eoghan
...holy shit George A Romero died? Now I have to watch the rest of his films.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Rei Hiroe is really dicking around with black lagoon lately, he's still releasing wasted chapters, just like re:creators, the most recent chapter of black lagoon was a slog.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Maybe the conversation and lives of others could sort of count as espionage stories to an extent.
Kaiser_Eoghan
If you're interested in spy fiction, Spy who came in from the cold, most wanted man, Smiley's people, deadly affair and tinker tailor soldier spy are your best bet.
SuperMario
@Travlos (regarding yoir earlier comment): yeah, it hit me as well that most of regular readers have been here even longer than myself. So thanks for sticking around mates
SuperMario
@Travlos: playing catch up with both Re:Creators and Virgin Soul yesterday. Agreed that last week's Re:Creators was weak because it focused on the Creators (they're not good) but last episode was on par again. Virgin Soul, I loved that episode that the girls go bacl to Nina's hometown
SuperMario
@anon1272074: I still haven't had the time to watch Pripri yet (probably in few more hours), but you bet I'm looking forward to it
Anonymous1272074
Then again, James Bond does count as a spy. I meant not a realistic one.
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