Posted on 21 March 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Hakaba Kitarou


The original Hakaba Kitarou (later renamed to Gegege no Kitarou) was one of the original pioneers in anime and manga, even before the legacy of Osamu Tezuka. Ever since it was serialized in 1959, it’s spawned five lengthy television-series, eight movies and one live-action movie. The problem is that all of these reduced the Kitarou-franchise to a kiddie-series. Enter Hakaba Kitarou, in its Noitamina time-slot as it attempts to remove all of the “kiddie”-roots from the franchise. And believe it or not, but it succeeds pretty well.

The result is a very rare combination between horror and comedy. But this series mostly stands out because it’s so refreshingly different from usual anime. The art really tries to go its own way, with character-designs in an original style, and a continuous filter, reminiscent of Mononoke. There are lots of interesting camera-angles and monster-designs, which make sure that this series turns into a visual feast that doesn’t rely on moe whatsoever.

This is also one series that completely shatters the boundaries between good and evil. It may seem like that Kitarou is the main character, and therefore the good guy, and yet he likes to play cat-and-mouse games with his victims, and he doesn’t even seem to care whether these victims end up dead or not. Nezumi Otoko, on the other hand, may be the series’ villain (he acts mostly out of greed and for money), and yet he stands so far away from the stereotypical anime villain. This guy is often rational and he doesn’t try to look as cool or evil as possible. He’s also often friendly, although he’s ready to betray any friend in favour of his well-being.

The same goes for all other side-characters that appear in one the different stories that have been put into the eleven episodes that this series consists of. Everyone is somewhere in the grey spectrum between good and evil. And all of the major side-characters have multiple sides and hardly have any chance to get boring. I’d also like to mention the ease at which this series seems to be able to kill off its characters. Seriously, some deaths really come from nowhere.

And that brings me to another good point of this series. Not every episode may have one, but the plot-twists will leave you guessing, and some will come as a huge shock, exactly what a horror-series should be. You can see that the writers have a lot of fun while writing this series, and building it up. Hakaba Kitarou has a delightful air of unpredictability that you hardly ever see in anime.

Overall, if you’re looking for something different, then Hakaba Kitarou is the way to go. Don’t get fooled into thinking that this is a series for kids. Simplistic character-designs don’t automatically make a series a kiddie-one. At eleven episodes, there’s hardly any chance to get bored. This is one reason why I like winter-seasons. Because not many popular series air, it’s the perfect chance for the less popular and under-looked anime that try to be different to get a chance. 2007 had Master of Epic, and 2008 continues this tradition with Hakaba Kitarou.

Posted on with categories: Hakaba Kitarou


Like expected, this episode feels nothing like a standard final episode. There’s no aftermath, or anything that hints at a closure of the series (heck, Caroline and her father are completely gone now), and instead this episode brings us back to the essence of this series: Kitarou and Nezumi Otoko trying to make money, other people dying because of it, and Kitarou’s father cleaning up the mess a bit.

It wasn’t the best episode of the series, but most definitely not the worst. Nezumi Otoko makes some kind of youth-serum out of his whiskers, while Kitarou sells the manga-artist of last week and others some kind of special holidays to the underworld (of course, with one-way tickets). I’m still surprised at the ease at which this series is able to kill off its characters, with as little melodrama as possible. In the first case, an old mafia-boss gets rescued by the medicine, and grows younger again (with whiskers added). He then gets greedy and starts searching after Nezumi Otoko. When he tries to capture him (in a locked safe, of all things), Nezumi Otoko releases his usual gasses and takes back his whiskers, killing off the guy.

In the case of the manga-artist, he gets brought to the underworld, where he sees the remaining scenes that were in the OP. As he tries to get back, he realizes that another guy has taken his place, and he’s turned into a ghost. What I really liked about this episode is that things aren’t as they seemed. The guy or ghost who took over the mangaka’s place suddenly finds out what kind of a busy life his counterpart was leading, and he wasn’t used to the pressure at all. His wife then drags him and orders him to work until his death. Nice wife, isn’t it? Meanwhile, in the underworld, the real mangaka is quietly enjoying the local wonders, along with all a bunch of other people who were tricked by Kitarou. In the meantime, Kitarou as usua notes how hard it is to work and gain money in the human world.

So it’s finally over. This series really has served its purpose in making me appreciate Noitamina even more. That timeslot is really perfect for showcasing all kinds of short series with original ideas and premises. And the fact that it’s been the most popular late-night timeslot for years only makes this better. There’s going to be a good chance that I’ll be blogging the upcoming Library wars, that’ll be taking over this timeslot, but I’ll leave that final decision to when the series actually airs.

Posted on 14 March 2008 with categories: Hakaba Kitarou


Quite an interesting set-up for the finale. Mostly because I have no idea what’s going to happen. This episode was basically another story on its own, yet it did leave various threads open (for example what happened to Kitarou his father, a newly introduced girl named Caroline and her father?). On one hand these threads will most likely be resolved in the next episode, but on the other hand that these threads alone are by far not enough to fill one episode, so the creators still must have some trump cards left.

In any case, this episode was definitely a Hakaba Kitarou-style build-up episode, simply because like the other two, it wasn’t as exciting as the other episodes. It basically tells the tale of a powerful Youkai who has settled into the house of a manga-artist so that he and his henchmen can take the first steps to conquer the world or something similar. He also has a daughter, whom Kitarou has fallen in love with. The entire thing eventually gets solved when Kitarou’s father gets eaten by this Youkai, and Kitarou’s father in his turn wrecks the brains of the guy like he did with many before. It was really too straightforward to be a regular Kitarou-episode.

The great thing about this episode was that I had no idea what it was building up to. One great point about this series is its unpredictability. You will have no idea what’s going to happen next, apart from Kitarou surviving and the “bad guys” losing. Everything in between, you’ll be completely in the dark. Because of this, I’m really glad that Noitamina has continued its tradition of staying away from the very overused high-school girls, and focused on creative series instead. Not to say that all series with high-school girls are bad (there are quite a few very good series that feature high-school girls), but I’d much rather see series experiment and try out new things than to stay with the “tried and true”-formula.

Posted on 7 March 2008 with categories: Hakaba Kitarou


This episode was about the smiling guy that we saw in the OP. He turned out to be a vampire who can hypnotize his victims by playing the guitar. He has put a local politician on his possible-victims-list, and he recruits Nezumi Otoko for this, while the politician hires Kitarou to get rid of said vampire. Yet again it’s an episode where Kitarou hardly does anything, as quite quickly the Vampire injects him with a strange drug that liquefies the guy’s flesh and separates it from his bones.

It was another very solid episode for this show, with lots of twists, as Kitarou’s father tried to get his son back together. It’s especially interesting when we say him hiding in Kitarou’s skull, being an eye on legs and all. For the first time, Nezumi Otoko also plays the role of good guy, as he too gets scared of the things that the vampire can do. The best thing about this episode, though, was the same refreshing scriptwriting of this series. It’s hard to explain what’s different, but I think it’s how the creators manage to keep a semi-serious tone throughout the entire episode.

It’s a shame that there are only two episodes left, and I’m quite curious as to how the creators were planning to end this series. Kitarou is still in liquid-form at the end of this episode, so his father will probably spend the next episode to try and get him back on his bones. According to the OP, we still miss the scenes with the three-eyed priest, the scene with the armed generals that shows up very briefly in the OP, the scene with the strange guy in the middle of a field of rocks, and the strange flashlight creature. It’s not really the things you’d expect for a big climax, but then again this series has never really listened to the general guidelines of anime. :P

Posted on 29 February 2008 with categories: Hakaba Kitarou


Now this is what I call a good horror-story! Twisted, full of plot twists, and most of all: creative. This definitely was one of the best episodes of this series along with episode one. You just have to think of Kitarou’s hand getting cut off and taking on a mind of its own. :P

Basically, two men set out to check out the rumours on a haunted building where an acquaintance of them is about to live. Obviously, any ghosts or people pretending to be ghosts have to be removed from this house, but unfortunately this “ghost” turned out to be Kitarou. What follows is a really interesting battle, where both parties try to get each other out of the house. You’ve got to love how Kitarou likes to play with his victims.

One thing I also liked about this episode is how the first half perfectly builds up the mood for the second half, by already hinting at how strange the house is that the two guys have settled in. Especially with the creature with four legs, no head and five arms who suddenly appeared from out of nowhere. Actually, Kitarou works best as a character when he doesn’t play the role of the main character, and only appears once in a while in his usual, mysterious form. But I can understand the need for episode four and six, as they’ve really served their purpose in fleshing out his character, and giving it a bit of development.

Posted on 22 February 2008 with categories: Hakaba Kitarou


I must say, this series is a master of surprises and twists. It really feels refreshing from the usual anime. If you’re looking for something different then Hakaba Kitarou is definitely recommended, because there are very few series that combine mystery and horror with comedy. :P

I originally believed that this entire episode would be devoted to getting rid of the water-spirit. Well, turns out it didn’t. The only thing that was really needed for the story of this episode is that Nezumi Otoko captured Kitarou’s father and put him in a jar. The water-spirit story gets wrapped up nicely after only five minutes, it first swallows up Kiterou’s clone, after which a newly introduced character drenches it in gasoline and ignites it.

I think this also means that two recurring characters have now been killed off for good, because we don’t see any signs of bad Kitarou and Mizuki returning. In fact, Kitarou doesn’t even seem to remember that the one who took care of him for years is gone now. All he seems to care about is his father, apparently.

In any case, this newly introduced character turns out to live two doors next to Nezumi Otoko. In between, there lives a “beautiful”(*ahem*) woman who both of them fall in love with. Ever since last episode Nezumi Otoko has been blackmailing Kitarou with his father. Because of this, he ends up delivering a love-letter for both Nezumi Otoko and this character (who turns out to be a werewolf, by the way). Then it turns out that the woman is going to be moving out, and Kitarou throws away the love-letters while Nezumi Otoko and the werewolf know nothing about this.

When they find out, they decide to take revenge for this by putting Kitarou in a coffin and dumping this coffin into sea. At least, that was their plan. Instead, Kitarou’s father escapes and enters Nezumi Otoko’s body to confuse him, while Kitarou escapes. The empty coffin then gets dumped into the sea, and then it’s time for Kitarou to play a prank on them. He uses his connection from the underworld to deliver the coffin back to Nezumi Otoko and the werewolf. When they decide to take a trip to the underworld, to check out what went wrong, they instead are taken into a hallucination into an old train that went out of service decades ago.

This part actually drew an interesting parallel to Mononoke, or the Bake Neko arc, to be exact. There we see the mayor jump out of the train and get devoured by the Mononoke. So when the werewolf jumped out of the train as well, I thought he was gone as well, especially when a loud bump followed. Instead, he just landed on a very unfortunate rock outside and got knocked unconscious.

I really must say that the dialogue for Hakaba Kitarou feels refreshing. The bad guys all have a personality and don’t feel stereotyped, and in the meantime the good guys can be considered the bad guys as well, depending on how you look at it. This is one of the reason why I like experimental anime so much. It just feels delightfully different from usual. One of the others is Mahou Shoujotai, of course. :P

Posted on 15 February 2008 with categories: Hakaba Kitarou


It seems that the final stories of Hakaba Kitarou will consist out of two episodes, as this episode yet again ended with a cliff-hanger. This episode was mostly unspectacular, and al it did was set the tables right for the second episode. I’ve got no worries, as episode five showed that this series can turn the entire tables with its second episode.

And there is a lot of potential in this story. Basically, in order to earn some money, Kitarou ends up collecting money from a water-spirit who hasn’t paid back its loan for fifteen years. Kitarou, as mischievous as he is, starts messing around with the spirit after paralyzing it with a special powder. The water-spirit in exchange escapes, and engulfs the entire world with water in order to take revenge on Kitarou. He then gets saved by Nezumi Otoko on a hot-air balloon, for the price of his father.

One thing that I did realize with this episode is that Kitarou’s character simply is boring if he isn’t sadistic. But I guess it does have a certain charm. Kitarou is a nice example of an anti-hero, and it’s a bit different from all those noble heroes who want to save the world and stuff. In any case, I’m curious for the next episode. We’re already past the halfway-point of this series, so it’d better have an excellent second half in store!

Posted on 8 February 2008 with categories: Hakaba Kitarou


How awesome. I now fully understand why the previous episode felt so bad and weird. The entire fifth episode was dedicated to explaining the things that happened there, and it provided a wonderful conclusion to a story that started off so horrible. After watching this episode, I completely forgive this series for the disappointments of the previous episode. I’ve said before that I’m a huge mystery-fan, and Hakaba Kitarou knows exactly how to handle it!

The best thing of the episode would of course be the fact that this episode shows a totally new side of the bad Kitarou. It seems that he too was used by Nezumi Otoko. If I understood this correctly, all Nezumi Otoko was after was the part of his head that Neko Musume bit off, but you can only get your hands on it if she’s in hell. However, because of this, bad Kitarou would need a way to return from hell, and that’s why he needed Kitarou’s jacket, which basically was his link to the spirit-world. He got it in the ruckus that he caused when he set off that mouse on Neko Musume during her performance.

In the process, something went wrong, though. I couldn’t pick up exactly what happened, but bad Kitarou ended up on one of the side-paths on his way to hell, and got separated from Neko Musume. Only because of the real Kitarou’s father, he managed to get out of there, into the real hell. Unfortunately, my Japanese isn’t good enough to pick up why Nezumi Otoko ended up on television this episode either, however it was clear that Nezumi Otoko manipulated bad Kitarou to everything, and he betrayed him at one point.

Thankfully, Neko Musume also remains in Hell, even though she did have the option to return. Kitarou may have also been a bit too emo in his lovesickness, but the climax of this episode worked out pretty well because of this, when Neko Musume refused to meet him. Also, it was pretty hilarious to see how Bad Kitarou shaved his head in the end when he turned good. It’s quite impressive that the creators made him go through so much development in just one episode, and actually got away with it. ^^;

Posted on 1 February 2008 with categories: Hakaba Kitarou


Well, that was disappointing. This most definitely was the worst episode of Hakaba Kitarou yet when it half-degrades into a dating-sim series between Kitarou and Neko. What the heck were the creators thinking, turning this series into a cheesy love-drama? When Kitarou fell in love, he totally ruined his own evil anti-hero that I liked so much in the first three episodes.

Thankfully, the cat’s dead now, so thankfully she won’t ruin the series much further, though the preview for the next episode shows Kitarou being angsty and love-sick. And now I realize how this series has one major problem: it doesn’t build up carefully. It does have the shock-value, though this episode showed that building-up is not its strongest point, and that’s really needed to make a love-relationship interesting. Right now, it feels like we’ve temporarily gone down a cheap romantic comedy.

I should have known to be careful with this series when the director only did Kamisama Kazoku before. That series to had some interesting twists, but the romance really felt horribly annoying at times. And the romance is one thing, but I also spotted numerous Deus ex Machinas and badly explained plot-holes during the climax. Writers: what happened?!

Please, Kitarou, go back to horror!

Posted on 25 January 2008 with categories: Hakaba Kitarou


The story for this week was rather bizarre… Remember the little plant that grew from Dracula’s dead body in the previous episode? Well, Nezumi Otoko uses his breath to knock a famous singer unconscious and plants this plant into his right arm. After a while, the plant starts to grow and it consumes its host. In the meantime, the famous singer met Mizuki. Yeah, who else would believe that there’s a demonic plant, growing on your arm?

In any case, the singer turns into a rather strange kind of tree-stump, and soon even loses the ability to speak. Nezumi Otoko then kidnaps the stump and moves into a secluded house, somewhere far away, using the money he stole from Kitarou in the previous episode. ^^; The stump then grows into a tree, and one very large fruit appears. Nezumi Otoko hoped that this would be the reincarnation of his late master, but instead it hatched a small version of said singer. The episode ends with Nezumi Otoko fleeing, the tree burning, and Kitarou, the small singer and a third youkai who just showed up having tea…

Still, I would be lying if I said that I don’t enjoy these kinds of stories. This series manages to combine a quirky feeling with horror-stories, and the result works out pretty well, and this series is really fun to watch.

I think we also saw the beginning of Catgirl in this episode (or Neko Musume, as Gegege no Kitarou named her). She’s just a normal girl right now, but I doubt that remain the same. Especially since Kitarou has fallen in love with the girl because she can sing so well. I doubt that he’d leave her alone. He was really cute in this episode as well. :P What’s also interesting is how Mizuki returned back from hell, to keep an eye on Kitarou. Indeed it would be the best for someone to keep an eye on such a demonic child as Kitarou.

Another thing I like about this series is how all the victims so far have been grown-up men. Usually, an anime would portray some kind of really cute girl in peril at this point, but the fact that Kitarou uses businessmen gives a nice twist to things, especially since they’re portrayed so much away from stereotypes as in this series.

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: its back up now though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its front page has server issues from time to time sometimes for hours.
SuperMario
I just read some manga on kissmanga a week ago, is the site down already?
Niello
Well to be fair batoto is down because of the site owner personal reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So Mangahere, mangachapter, baoto, animea seem to be gone and kissmangas front page is down , mangafox is slow, whats next to go down....
Niello
I don't currently see an anime this season that really stands out from the others. Right now if I have to rank them
1) Miira no kaikata
2) Kokkoku
3) Sora yori mo tooi basho
4) Koi wa ameagari no you ni
5) Takagi-san.
Not counting Devilman Crybaby since it's already finished.
Niello
@Eoghan I love Urobuchi and still find the Godzilla film weak.
SuperMario
I just looked through the nominations for the Crunchyroll Anime Awards and to my surprise, it's a pretty solid lineups. Find myself agreeing with most of their choices there
AidanAK47
Actually forgot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know why you don't just read kara no shoujo 2 instead.
AidanAK47
And Himawari is actually boring me. It's proving difficult to push myself though just to see where the point that makes it highly regarded comes in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In the end I was pretty much curious about it.
AidanAK47
Yep, that's it. Gonna stop discord displaying what I play from now on. It's weird when people comment on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now my current rankings: 1. Devilman
2.Junji itou
3. sangatsu
4. Cardcaptor sakura
5. Pop team
6. Evergarden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Aidan
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm joking obviously, but I am surprised to see you playing Himawari Aiden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh Aidan you and your lolicon visual novel you =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Shin Godzilla had the evolving godzilla thing and that freaky ass final shot too, it also justified itself quite well i think by showing how relevent he is today, given the nuclear thing and that it drew on the Fukushima incident essentially.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Thats a far better and shorter way of putting it than I.
Alonaria
I wish I'd just waited for the other parts of the Godzilla movie trilogy to be released. As it is, I'm just going to remember it as "that incomplete movie." And the character designs kind of blurred together for me, which was really disorienting.
Anonymous1746949
Oh psgels is back
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I've seen other Godzilla things so I pretty much was supposed to see this anyway.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or you know you could always take what I said with a pinch of salt, because you know....I don't get on with Urobutcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea behind it is definately cool and a different spin for the franchise though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe I was held back a bit by the cgi or the mediorce voice acting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I'd need to see its followup before properly assessing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Godzilla often makes for silly films, but lke alot of silly older films the silliness and seriousness combine without clashing, this one is too Poe faced .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw that Godzilla anime film, I'd describe it as watchable in parts but far too caught up in setup mode and an unlikeable protaganist , it could go somewhere with what it raised at the start but this is an example of a first film in a trilogy that suffers from being unable to currently stand on its own.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I generally feel that Itou's stories have a winning track record but theres exceptions, Uzumaki and Gyo in manga form struggle toward the end and the first episode story the anime chose to adapt is, while fun one of the weaker offerings.
Alonaria
Honestly, the shorter stories have been more effective at getting a reaction out of me, though. I actually didn't really enjoy the first episode's first story, mostly because I found the MC too obnoxious. :.D Maybe because my younger brother chased me with a bug once and it was really unpleasant. XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It wasn't just it coming out of her mouth, but when they were stamping on them too.
Anonymous1743747
@Kaiser: Yah, I was horrified for like 5 seconds but the other characters made me crack up. :.D
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although it was mixed in with laughing my ass of eventually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of all the Itou stories to be un-nerved by, its the second half of this third episode oddly that does it for me and I never get uncomfortable during anything .
AidanAK47
@Anon, We are working on it.
Anonymous1742736
Are you planning on making a top anime of 2017 list?
Amagi
Yeah Mash is one of the few good ones it seems.
Amagi
Oh damn, good that you remind me, I didn't pick anything yet. But I guess I will go with Altera, considering that some of them don't look that good and I own her anyway. Would have wanted the Scat one but the drawing looks weird.
AidanAK47
Which Bond CE did you pick for the 2 mill? I went with the Mash one. Only only whose artwork I liked.
AidanAK47
Might settle for making Bryn my endgame lancer though.
AidanAK47
As I said in my Apocrypha post, I have no interest in any version of Jeanne. My top priorities for my endgame team is Isekander, Scathach and assassin Shiki. And Shiki is a welfare so only need to worry about the other two.
Amagi
Yeah, I was considering to keep rolling for the new 4* at first but I really want Jeanne Alter and she's coming soon.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I tried rolling for Karna and got nothing. Though I think Bryn is better. I plan on rolling one more time with the saint quartz we are getting to try for NP2. Though we do have the valintines event coming.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here, just got Brynhildr. Even though I already got Karna last month. But I wanted her, nice design, finally a single-targed 5* and she's even one of the few servants related to my country.
KTravlos
@SuperMario. The contemplation of the death of humanity, and the loneliness, both were very disturbing to me. Kinda like thinking of my grave.
AidanAK47
YANDERE GET. Bryn's mine baby.
AidanAK47
Gonna try rolling for Brynhildr tomorrow. Bit annoyed they chose to translate it as Brynhild. I mean it's not incorrect but her name is far more recognisable as Brynhildr
AidanAK47
@Amagi, The grind wasn't that bad for me. Mordred carried me for it. Though I managed to get Siegfried in the gacha despite not being on rate up. I admit that the event was rather lackluster. Story wasn't that fun and the whole saber restriction was a pain. Also gonna take me a while to readjust to regular damage.
Amagi
Man that FGO Saber Wars event was annoying. I am happy finally I have 2 mio. altrium now and am done with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminder that netflix Godzilla anime is later today.
Amagi
Damn I didn't noticed that ankle band of the little demon from the intro scene of FranXX 01, now I feel stupid.
Lenlo
Yuasa is great! Ping pong and Tatami Galaxy are still some of my favorites
SuperMario
Oh fuck, the lead singer of the Cranberries passed away. I literally just listened to their music yesterday. Damnn, sad news
SuperMario
@Kaiser; thanks for considering me but I believe Wooper is much more a Yuasa's fan than I am
SuperMario
Far out!!!
SuperWooper
Yuasa will be answering questions on Reddit's anime board on the 20th.
SuperMario
@Niello: what do you mean regarding Yuasa?
SuperMario
@Travlos: I agree that Girls Last Tour is a special little gem, but in what ways it's disturbing?
Niello
Holy cow, Masaaki Yuasa AMA!! What magic is this?
Niello
Meawhile, Japan took a different approach and we ends up with a bunch of .hack rehash and diving more and more into escapism. Until we eventually got isekai and then it just spiraled into a sea of mediocrity.
Niello
While that opened its own can of worms, at least it opens up element about making ends meet, managing irl relationships, earning extra income for a poor family, getting cheated etc.
Niello
in the characters real life just fine. Something more a long the line of Net-juu but more technologically advanced. And I would say that plenty of those have been superior to Japanese online game and isekai story shenanigans. That said, it doesn't mean that those don't have their own kind of traps they usually fall in. A bunch of those instead focus on the aspect of making money off of games.
Niello
...Getting stuck in a virtual reality game and being transport to another world that happens to be like a game are completely different though. I don't know what is it with Japan and getting stuck in game plots considering that there are loads of other game-base Asian novels that came before it that manage story lines where they manage to tell compelling stories in game while balancing what happen
KTravlos
I finally finished Girls Last Tour. What a profound, fluffy and disturbing masterpiece. Bravo.
Amagi
Yeah. I feel the world swap is pretty much pointless when real life isn't relevant anymore. It's just a stupid as hell excuse to combine fantasy wish fullfilment with self-inserts, which is why these main characters tend to be 29 by now, just like the big part of the otaku community.
Lenlo
Of those you listed, no, I dont think they get explained? I mean, SAO did, but I dont think that falls into your category.

Thats why I liked .hack//sign over alot of more modern game Isekai. Also .hack//sign did explain what happened to Tsukasa.
Amagi
Considering how bad most of these are I wouldn't wonder if they wouldn't even bother with an explanation and just end it with the characters being happy in that game world and that's it. Or magic and the whole harem gets transported into reality at the end because power of love and such.
Amagi
I have no problem with a sci-fi fantasy mix, I liked .hack//sign for example, but it annoys me that such an incredibly bizarre situation gets never explained. Or maybe it will but it never happened so far because none of these LNs was ever finished and concluded yet. I just wish to know how they explain that.
Amagi
I mean all those shows in which the character just finds himself stuck in a real world that's (coincidentally?) the same as the game he recently played. Be it Overlord, Death March, Log Horizon or the 300 other series with that premise.
Amagi
Some thing that always bothered me about game isekai for which I never got an answer so far: did any of those series ever end and/or explain how the warp has happened and why the MC is in the game? - Not talking about .hack, SAO and such where the action of getting trapped is part of the premise
Niel
@Eoghan - Btw, Kokkoku isn't a time travel. it's stasis, apparently. Looks very promising so far. Though if I am to trust the manga score, it's shit.
Niel
But is Toradora really slice of life? As far as I can see it's straight up romance.
Lenlo
And Mario, ill rag on SOL all I want! :P

Wooper, its true good shows transcend genre, as there are still some like Toradora I like, but those are exceptions that prove the rule so to speak.
Lenlo
@Niel, yeah I base my potential % on the odds something gets/stays good.
AidanAK47
I am of similar mindset about Franxx. I want it to get better but I don't really see it doing so. Unless the other characters get a majority personality boost or the MC stops being a plank.
Niel
XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
I confess....I only sat through just over half an episode of aldonoah.
Niel
Since it's Trigger, I will give the benefit of the doubt. I'm just very skeptical about this whole formula.
Niel
The way I can see this series improving is through world building. And if other aspects are going to improve too, it's going to revolve around that.
Niel
It leaves about as much impression on me as much as the first episode of Aldnoah did, and I dropped that one straight away. The character chemistry doesn't look like it will go places that's not cliche. The gimmick doesn't seem like it has much potential either.
Niel
So you're all betting it on "this is going to get better". I mean, I hope it gets better. Though right now this feels more Kiznaiver than Kill la Kill or LWA.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd nominate Mario to do the devilman review as he's the most immediate Yuasa fan to do it and Bam is too awol to write it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cute girl shows just bleed and blend in my mind now, same with the isekai shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Devilman, my show of the season, unless after the rain ends up having some emotional wallop.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So for me its looking like: Junji itou, Cardcaptor sakura, keeping up with sangatsu, wait and see on amegari . Not watching a time travel or trigger show and I remain unable to sit through Mahoutsukai .
Amagi
The story itself is generic so far but so are most Trigger series at the beginning so not sure. Maybe it will stay weak, but in general I prefer series that start with the weaker episodes and get better and better over time over the many series that use up all of their budget and trump cards in the first episode and drag on after that.
Amagi
I really love Trigger's esthetics and their characters. I am happy they're more often involved in non-trigger-only productions because I honestly think that most of the stuff I enjoyed about FranXX was heavily influenced by them.
SuperMario
@Nielo: Franxx's first ep was stellar for me. Storywise, it's lackluster (and I see the similar in tropes between this and Beatless) but production-wise it's excellent
SuperMario
I think I just keep watching it on a weekly basis. Still trippy as hell
SuperMario
Okay, I just watched second episode of Devilman Crybaby and it's still pretty good.
Nielo
By the way, what's up with Darling in the Franxx? I thought it's a very weak first episode.
Nielo
@Lenlo: Slice of life isn't my thing either, and I usually avoid series set in high school.
Nielo
@SuperMario: Takagi-san is cute, I'll admit that, but since I already read the manga it's not new to me. Sora Yori is good, but it's not particularly cute. I found Hakumei to Mikochi and Yuru Camp very boring. Haven't got the chance to watch Mitsuboshi Colors or Gakuen Babysisters but I don't think they could be more cute than Mii-kun.
SuperWooper
HOT TAKE: Genre is irrelevant. What matters is whether a show is good.
SuperMario
Don't knock off MY genre Lenlo. It's one of the reason I got into anime in the first place :)
Lenlo
Im not saying it doesn't do what it sets out to. I just don't think what it sets out to do is all that... great.
Lenlo
@Niello, Slice of Life was never my Genre in the first place :/ I typically avoid them. I have my own life to deal with and already graduated high school, why would I want to deal with a melodramatic anime highschool, is my line of thought.
SuperMario
@Niello: okay, let's see:Takagi-san (the titular character), Mitsuboshi Colors, Gakuen Babysisters (Toddlers!!), Hakumei to Milochi (tiny girls) and two more slightly more mature but equally cute: Sora Yori and Yuru Camp's casts
Nielllo
@SuperMario: I'm sure this is where our definition of "cute" parts way, but I'll ask anyway, what are those 5 shows?
SuperMario
@Niello: seems so because I can eaisily pick 5 more shows that are cuter, and better than Mummy this season ;)
Nielllo
...So I suppose I'm the only one who's kinda bored out by a lot of the slice of life shows that's trying to be cute this season and only perked up by the Mummy anime because it's actually do what it's meant to do and be legit cute.
Lenlo
I am interested in Koi, but still have concern about the relationship itself.

@Vonter, the mummy anime would be better as short vignettes together I feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koi amegari is surprisingly tasteful, subdued and pretty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*to where
Kaiser-Eoghan
Try as I might, my love of kyoani tv anime has largely evaporated did where I no longer want to bother at this stage, I'll just wait and see. I'll just stay quiet on the franxx anime, theres little value in me trying to get through a trigger work at this point.
SuperMario
I get the exact same feeling with Takagi-san. It's pretty good on what it does but 20 minutes of the same thing for a whole season doesn't sound that promising
Vonter
The chibi mummy anime
Vonter
It's a shame it isn't a shorter 10 or 5 minute series, I think that format would make it shine more, since it does what it's trying to do.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I liked the second episode of Kokkuko or whatever the name is even more than the first one.
Amagi
I really have a problem with all these shows that rely on one single thing, joke, shenanigan or whatever. Be it something cute, some certain kind of interactiong or whatever. It doesn't matter how good it is it will bore me with episode 2.
Lenlo
Like, yeah, the mummy was cute. But the cute became rote/bland really quick. There has to be more than "cute" to be worth watching for more than a single episode to me.
Lenlo
@Niello, I was harsh because its not aimed at me. I wanted to drop it 5 minutes in, kept up for the post, then was thankful it was over. There wasnt anything overtly bad about it. Its just there was nothing good either.
AidanAK47
To be fair it's not as if we are lacking cute in this season.
In fact it's in danger of inflation.
SuperMario
@Niello: yes, the mummy is cute, the show is cute but beside that it's pretty mediocre. That show in particular is the only show that I have the damnest time to give it a potential rating.
Niello
It's not even down because of legal reasons, since the site pull down contents that are lincensed. It's down cause it's too much for the site owner to manage. Much of it also have to do with too many bots, which comes back to how a lot of other sites are relying on batoto.
Niello
@Masky: Not enough manga titles are getting translated. Batoto is the site scanlation groups basically rely on, and where other aggregation sites pull their content from. No batoto no obscure titles, a big blow to small scantation groups and one big manga/scanlator community down.
Niello
Why are you guys so harsh on the mummy show? It's so darn cute. Give it some credit. If a comedy show can be good because it does comedy well I don't see why a show ike Mummy can't be good if it can make people go "aww".
Masky
I don't really know why that is the case, maybe marketing budget and UI friendliness when done right? :P
Masky
Eh, wouldn't say it will kill manga industry. I mean, more and more official methods of reading manga online is starting to pop up and legit channels to pay to get access to manga can surprisingly enough harm free channels to get manga.
Masky
Anyway, I do find it funny how how the isekai character dies can be so meaningless that is joke in most of them
Niello
Batoto is going down, how this affect the manga reading is going to be interesting. Hope it's not slowly dying.
Masky
(at least that one, besides forgetting to introduce what the heck is gimmick besides generickness, acknowledged how most of otaku mcs shouldn't erally want to get transferred to fantasy world since they never get to see how their favourite mangas end :P )
Masky
Anyhoo, it gets annoying since its not just isekai being cliche, sometimes is just them being kind of badly written(or at least adapted to manga). Like, I found one new isekai today, but I have no idea what its gimmick is(from what I understood, its that "cute companion" that character gets is hideously op because mc didn't spefy cute girl when he asked god manager dude for cute companion)
Masky
Slime one is one of better from the more generic ones weirdly enough :P I mean I still wouldn't call it good, but at least MC character isn't god tier, just top tier and it has sort of village building simulation feel to it. Plus at least naming things giving monsters more powers is something funny regarding jrpg mechanics
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or alternatively the car was on a boat with the character or parents in it and the boat and car were hit by a falling plane lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its always "car accident" that sends the characters to another world or in harem cases "Lost parents due to car crash", for christs sake doesn't anyone die in out of control plane or speedboat crashes anymore, at least make it a motorbike....
Nayrael
Ah sorry, should probably not have touched the colors...
Nayrael
Trust me, Isekai is better when it doesn't try to be imaginative. When it tries to be original then... Isekai with a Smartphone... Isekai where the MC turns into a Slime... and my favorite: Isekai where the MC became a Hot Spring popular with sexy girls.
Masky
Assuming "new" things can happen under the sun
Masky
Anyhoo, I do wonder what the heck will be next "popular genre trope that will become so overused cliche that everyone groans whenever show uses it even if its actually good show"
Masky
Like, seriously you could do really interesting story variant on isekai with that if done right. Suddenly becoming characters you have roleplayed would be trippy as hell espicially if one of characters went really into detail with backstory while one of them is just "Bob the fighter, he likes fighting" and has to deal with what happens when you assume life of such a person
Masky
But I wouldn't honestly be surprised because of my anger issues related to amount of unimaginative isekai :P Though I guess trpg based one would be more imaginative in comparison
Masky
I'd assume not since I assume tabletop rpgs are much more niche than jrpgs in japan
Masky
So has anyone yet done isekai where guys getting transferred were playing trpg? :P
KTravlos
quite happy with most recent Attack of Titan manga chapter.
SuperMario
Alright, one more impression post to go before we really get on to new season
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, I just fixed it. Thank you
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than just the reviewers names
Kaiser-Eoghan
A slight problem with the coding there in the newest impression, showing code gobbledeegook rather than the reviewers names above their impressions.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'm seeing it on 2nd of February.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Late screeners generally leak shortly after the uk release, so maybe early Febbruary it'll be online?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, Phantom Thread. Could be Daniel Day Lewis's final performance. Is it available online already?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you know that Paul Thomas Anderso8n has a new film coming out? Also I found out there is a Polish semi-knockoff of purple rose of cairo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Awesome, just got myself an invite to a secret private torrent site =)
K-Off
@Kaiser When I was in University, I was a waiter at a Korean-owned Japanese Sushi restaurant with a kitchen staff of entirely Mexicans with poor English. The owner, while he provided the rest of his staff with small meals during our lunch or dinner shifts, never game any to the kitchen staff. The guy even ranted to a customer about how "lazy" or "ignorant" they were.
K-Off
Buses are pretty common in America, even outside the major super-cities like LA, NYC, or Chicago. It's public rail you're thinking of that we don't have much of outside the cities.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I brought up the racisim/aunt story wondering if anyone had any horror stories about where they worked?
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Featured Posts

After the Rain – 02 [Rain Drops on Green Leaves]

It has been exactly a year since I last blogged you, noitaminA shows, and this time again it’s another romance drama. Unlike Scum’s Wish last year, however, Ameagari has one simple premise, but it executes the idea with such grace. This second episode is even stronger than the first, setting the stepping stone for Tachibana […]

Violet Evergarden – 02 [Never Coming Back]

I’m thankful that this second episode plays out much quieter and more subtle than the first, because I’m not a fan at all with the grandeur approach of the first episode. This makes the second week of Violet slightly better than last week, but I still find myself not totally satisfied with the whole experience. […]

Kokkoku – 2 [The Second Moment]

Hello and welcome to the 2018 Winter season! This time, we have an interesting little time-based drama called Kokkoku. It has mystery, it has cults, it has dead-beat parents and apparent god-like beings. Lets jump in! To start, a quick blurb about our characters. Personally, I like them so far. They are all flawed and imperfect […]

A Place Further than the Universe – 03 [The Follow Backs Don’t Stop]

“I could just die right now” That line, spoken by our new member, Yuzuki, bookends this week’s Universe. It marks the shift in the new girl’s character growth. Last week, the Expedition girls mentioned they have a plan to raise fund, right? Turns out it’s not the mother, but the young girl herself, is used […]

Junji Ito Collection – 02[Fashion Model, Long Dreams]

After the first episode started off as a black comedy, I was worried that this series may suffer the same problem as Kino’s Journey in that the weaker stories in his work would be chosen for adaption. Lucky this does not appear to be the case but there is another problem which is not quite […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 13/14 [East, West, Homes Best]/[Looks breed love]

Hello and welcome to the new year! New Year, a new Cour for Mahoutsukai no Yome, this time with slightly more plot. These past two weeks have been a bumpy ride of Mahoutsukai, with plenty to talk about. So let’s jump in! To start off, the new OP is terrible. The music isn’t as good […]

A Place Further than the Universe – 02 [Kabukicho Fremantle]

I’m glad that this second episode addresses straight out all my worries from the first episode: the actual implementation to make that trip a reality, because boy, it’s no simple matter. Universe apparently does its research, telling us exactly places they need to go, the initial trip ahead and the amount of money they need […]

3-gatsu no Lion – 33/34 [Where the Sun Shines…Light]

It’s been three weeks since my last 3-gatsu post, a gap owed in part to the break the show took around New Years’. Perhaps it’s because of all that time away from the series, or maybe it’s due to the massive difference between these two episodes, but I had a tough time connecting with the […]

Dies Irae – 10/11[Einherjar/Self-Destruction Factor]

Quite late in covering this one though out of the three shows I covered for the fall season my level of interest in this series has more or less evaporated. Truth be told, while this is a episode review of ten and eleven, i honestly cannot even remember what happened in episode ten. I think […]

Latest Reviews

In This Corner of the World (2016) Movie Review – 90/100

In this Corner of the World (for the purpose of this review, I’ll refer it as “Corner”), is the truest slice of life drama if you ever encounter one, in that it’s a slice into an ordinary life of an ordinary girl during the War period. That speaks into the very first strength of Corner, […]

Houseki no Kuni (Fall 2017) Review – 92/100

Make no mistake, Houseki no Kuni is the most ambitious anime project of the year. Not only because it’s an entirely CG project (and make a damn good use of it, mind you), or because of its narrative scope that at once strange, grand and beauty, but also in its very conception in their production […]

Fate/Apocrypha Anime Review – 64/100

I was quite excited for Apocrypha and in the so called year of Fate adaptations, it looked to be the crown jewel. Sadly, partly due to lacking adaption and the source lacking in areas, this anime turned out to be not quite the jewel I thought it would be. It’s hard to call this a […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World Anime Review – 73/100

One of the surprises of the year was to see the return of Kino’s Journey, a very well regarded and more unique anime among those deemed classic. Many, myself included, were very much looking forward to the return of Kino and her talking Motorrad. Though due to some factors this series doesn’t quite live up […]

Girls’ Last Tour (Fall 2017) Review – 86/100

Girls’ Last Tour falls within my favorite new trend that emerging the anime medium over the last decade: a dark moe anime. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the human race has almost extinct, our two girls wandering around the world in their kettenkrad looking for food and shelter. If it sounds a bit bleak […]

Two tales of War: Reviewing The Heroic Legend of Arslan and Altair: A Record of Battles

It would not be an exaggeration to say that my favorite type of anime is the political-military epic. This comes partly out of my profession, I study war and politics, but also my hobby, as military and political history is something I enjoy. When it comes to anime there is a clear sub-category that can […]

The Night is Short, Walk On Girl (2017) Movie Review – 92.5/100

“How many decades have passed since our drinking contest?” “It hasn’t been that long. It was only a few hours ago, this very night!” That gap in time perceiving plays a significant role in Night is Short. For you see, it all depends on how our perception of the surroundings and time itself can affect […]

Ballroom e Youkoso Review – 65/100

In the weeks leading up to the summer 2017 season, Ballroom e Youkoso was one of the most buzzed-about new series. Produced by the Production I.G. team responsible for the smash hit Haikyuu!!, and set to air on Amazon’s brand new Anime Strike service, the series had no shortage of promotion or hype behind it. […]

Inuyashiki Review – 80/100

Do you know what the average age of an anime protagonist is? Neither do I, but I’d wager its in the upper teens. For obvious reasons, most anime focus on high school and have high school aged protagonists with similarly aged problems. Its not often that we get a good older main character, who has […]