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

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

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
Total users: 32

Star Crossed Anime Blog

6 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Kemurikusa – 03

DISCLAIMER: this is an original review of an original show from one of our own reviewers. His ignorance of future characters and plot points may limit his perspective on the series as it unfolds. Proceed with caution! At there episodes mark, Kemurikusa’s strengths weaknesses are more in clear view now. In a positive side, the […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 14 [You’re Not Alone]

Welcome all to another episode of Kaze Fui, Best Boy Simulator 2019. This week we have some more qualified times, lots of wholesome bonding and a hint mystery. Lets dive in! Starting of light and happy, I loved Kaze Fui’s attention to detail this week. All of our boys, aside from Yuki and Prince, tanning […]

Dororo – 3 [The Story of Jukai]

Airing at the same time as Mob Psycho, completely independently, Dororo also managed a somber, character driven episode. This week we learn more about Junkai the prosthetic doctor, Hyakkimaru’s past, and the world at large. Let’s dive in! Dororo started off in a very dark place this episode, which contrasted oddly with the beautiful sunset […]

Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 – 3 [One Danger After Another ~Degeneration~]

Another week, another episode of Mob Psycho, though this week is a little different. Last time was all action and comedy. This time, Mob Psycho takes a more somber, character driven tone, and I love it. So that said, let’s dive in! Like I said, this week Mob Psycho was much more subdued than previous […]

Winter 2019 Summary – Week 2

Welcome to the new weekly section where I will cover current season’s shows that I’m still following that haven’t been blogged by us, the leftovers so to speak. That way readers who watch these shows below can keep tabs on how we feel about them. At the moments aside from the top tiers shows we […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – 02 [The Wandering Six]

Many of you might wonder why I decided to blog this show, despite the first episode spent two third of its time in one single aerial combat, which can be fascinating to watch but bring extremely little to talk about. While I agree that Kotobuki has its fair share of underwhelming aspects (which I will […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) – 04 [VS The Imaginator 1]

It starts with a girl jumping off the building. I’m always a sucker for this sort of opener (clue in to Lain and Satoshi Kon even though Kon never technically did that for opener), and it feels like a decent start for the next arc to come. It basically repeats the same formula as the […]

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – 02

WARNING: This review of Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai has been authored by a non-manga reader. His ignorance of future characters and plot points may limit his perspective on the series as it unfolds. Proceed with caution! Boy, is this show a treat. I know we’re only two weeks into the winter season, but Kaguya-sama is my […]

Yakusoku no Neverland – 02[131045]

Thus the story of the Promised Neverland starts in earnest now that the first episode has revealed it’s book and the nature of the orphanage is revealed. As someone aptly put it, this is like Chicken Run, the anime. It’s quite interesting seeing things from a new perspective now that the curtain has risen as […]

Latest Reviews

Planetes Anime Review – 89/100

If there is one thing I have lost watching seasonal anime, it is patience. Every week I expect something to happen, some kind of payoff, to make watching that week worth it. Luckily, Planetes as brought that back to me. Its depth of writing, characters, and general structure belay an anime of a different age. […]

Goblin Slayer Anime Review – 60/100

The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]

Zombieland Saga Anime Review – 60/100

Zombieland Saga was a show that came out of the gate guns blazing, no one expected it nor did anyone predict it but it left a strong impression when it first aired it’s starting episodes. Originally considered to be another zombie apocalypse anime, it overthrew expectations by turning out to be a zombie idol anime. […]

SSSS.GRIDMAN (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 87/100

Let it be known that I’ve never been a fan of Trigger. For me, they’re one of the most style-with-no-substance studio on Earth with a tendency for god-awful fanservice, and total nonsense in terms of story and characters. Yet GRIDMAN completely caught me off guard in the first two episodes, and from there, there was […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 86/100

If anyone has been familiar with the first season of Thunderbolt Fantasy, you’d find yourself a lot to enjoy in this second installment. Served as a sequel, but not a direct continuation to the first, viewers don’t need the knowledge of the original in order to enjoy this ride. Thunderbolt 2 carries many trademarks that […]

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara (2018 Fall) Anime Review – 73/100

In the last few years, it’s great to see P.A Works has slowly created their own studio identity, putting more original works with consistent production values. Just in 2018, they produced 4 shows (quite a good number if you ask me), 3 of them were original: Maquia, Sirius the Jaeger and Irozuku. As I said, […]

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai Anime Review – 82/100

In the wake of many a school based light novel show this may be the small bits of fresh air was can savor out of this overdone setting. Rascal does not dream of Bunny Girl(Or by its japanese title above) is a series not about rascals or bunny girls but instead about contextualising common high […]

Banana Fish Anime Review – 72/100

Some days, I wonder what it is with America and anime about organized crime. Baccano!, 91 Days, Blood Blockade Battlefront, all set in America, all involving criminal underworlds. Today, I get to add another to that list in the form of Banana Fish. Much more grounded than the others, it’s story dates all the way […]

Castlevania Season 2 Review – 73/100

According to much of the Western Anime community, this series wouldn’t be relevant for a site like this. Being made in the West by Americans, and English being its first language, many would disqualify it from the start. However I name them all fools for Castlevania, Directed by Sam Deats and Ryoichi Uchikoshi is clearly […]