Posted on 24 December 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Kurozuka


From the director of Death Note, Kurozuka is Madhouse’s latest action series. This time, it’s packed with lots and lots of Japanese-styled horror, and comes in a package that just oozes style. With an OP that’s even more extreme than the second one from Death Note, this is the perfect watch if you need to lose some frustration, pump some adrenaline or find some other excuse to watch a bit of tense action.

Because really, this series hardly gives the viewer any time to take a breath. There are lots of quiet moments throughout the series, but even they remain clouded the show’s very thick atmosphere, as it prepares for the next climax. This series set out to create an combination between action and horror, and it pretty much succeeded in this.

But yeah, Kurozuka is all about action and atmosphere, so don’t even try to expect something special from the plot or characters. The plot is actually pretty decent. It’s simple, yet it’s got a number of surprising plot twist, and even though the ending isn’t going to answer every question that’s left behind, it succeeds in keeping an air of mystery around the show.

The problem with this show is the cast of characters. They’re just… there. They hardly get the time to be fleshed out, but none of them make a particularly strong impression, safe for a few minibosses, who manage to provide the best action-scenes of the series. The main character Kuro has his own background, but we never see any sides of him, other than the silent stoic side that doesn’t talk a lot and wants to fight.

But then again, if you want deep characters, you can always watch a different series. Kurozuka knows exactly what it is: an action flick that never really goes anywhere deep, and that’s where it succeeds at. The graphics for this series are downright awesome, and they turn every single episode into a visual feast. There’s always something nice to look at and a continuous atmosphere. My only real complaints are that the ending doesn’t fit the tone of the rest of the series, but nevertheless I personally enjoyed watching this series a lot.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10
Posted on with categories: Kurozuka



Short Synopsis: The plot of this episode is obviously going to be one big spoiler, but even then it can’t be summarized in just one sentence…
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10 (Good)
Aha! So the creators decided to go for a big WTF-ending. And WTF it is! Since I kept associating this series with Ultraviolet because of their similarities, i expected a similar ending, one where all the threads that were left hanging were wrapped up inside a nice conclusion. Well, even though Ultraviolet’s conclusion was pretty straightforward, this one MOST CERTAINLY ISN’T.

I’m still not exactly sure what the heck went on there. Kuro first slaughters the kabuki players (of which I have no idea what they were even doing there), suddenly blood comes raining down from out of nowhere with buckets at a time and then he finally arrives at the room where Kuromitsu is. The one who’s talking to her: Benkei. That bugger seemed to have received immortality was well (or at least a body that ages very slowly, as becomes apparent later in the episode).

As it turns out, he was no traitor, but instead he couldn’t bear to see his friend that’s fallen in love with such a person as Kuromitsu, which is why he betrayed him. I’m not sure whether he was actually in love with Kuromitsu, or didn’t see her fit as someone who Kuro should love… it’s there were he obtained a body that wouldn’t die, though over the years, his body did age a bit, as he’s turned into an old man. As it turns out: Kuro has become immortal, but Benkei chopped off his head. Apparently, he spent ages without any body whatsoever, and that’s why Kuromitsu created Kuon to serve as a body for Kuro. That plan failed, however, and in the end she had to settle with a random soldier from the bad guys.

Okay, so far so good, but why did Kuromitsu still go after the guy’s head once he got a new body? I’m still not sure at this point, and the rest of the episode didn’t make things any clearer: Kuro and Benkei fight, Kuro wins. Kuromitsu then finally manages to chop off Kuro’s head. Time then reverts, we see a bunch of flashbacks and we suddenly see Kuro and Benkei again as if they were in the first episode, only with the rest of their surroundings destroyed. Eh, what?!

To be honest, I’m not sure whether this was the bets ending the creators could have gone for. Sure, the confusion is fun and all, but it’s leaving a strange taste in my mouth. The threads, such as where did the bad guys come from, why did they last 1000 years, and why did they work together with Kuromitsu in the end are unsolved. What was the purpose of the kabuki players, why are they so keen on killing every single being? What’s up with their blood obsession? What was Benkei doing at Kuromitsu’s, after 1000 years? I really need to watch this episode with subs, but even with that there are just too many threads left hanging for this series.

Overall, it was a fun series, and it’s got an excellent sense of horror, but when I have to compare this to Ultraviolet which aired this summer, then I’d prefer the latter. That mostly is due to the rather lacking characterization, that’s plagued through this series, safe for two or three episodes. Ultraviolet on the other hand did have a strong cast that was fun to watch.

Posted on 20 December 2008 with categories: Kurozuka



Short Synopsis: Kuro attempts to get rid of the final two villain-henchmen.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10 (Good)
This is going to be a short entry, since it was a minor episode anyway: it just meant to set the stage right for the finale of the show. Thankfully, most of the episode was spent on the fight with Kuon, and the “evil overlord” went down pretty quickly. His fight was fun and didn’t drag, thankfully. And yeah, like predicted: everyone dies apart from Kuro and Kuromitsu. What I also liked was that the kabuki-players at the beginning seem to have an actual role in the series. They’re like, the real evil overlords it seems, but what I especially loved was the way Kuon met his end. Such a befitting death for him. ^^;

My one disappointment was that this was THE time for the animation to get back up to those awesome levels of the first episode, but unfortunately it’s still of the same level. It’s a shame, I would have loved to see what the director can really do, without him having to resort to epic chips-bag-opening-scenes.

Posted on 10 December 2008 with categories: Kurozuka



Short Synopsis: This time on Kurozuka: exposition.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10
Well, I must say that, expecting nothing big out of the story for Kurozuka, this episode pleasantly surprised me. While not every mystery has yet been revealed, the complexity of the whole storyline seems to have tripled with this episode. The big bad guy works for Kuromitsu, Kuromitsu seems to be performing human experiments, with both Kuro and Kuon as her subjects. And who knows what she did with Sanniwa.

Kuon’s supposed twin brother also didn’t last long at all. He was there for like what? Five minutes? That’s probably one of the shortest amounts of airtime for a villain in like ever, but the guy did at least make an impact in providing back story for Kuon (who needed that one really badly).

Okay, so with this there are two episodes left. It would be great if this series were to finish with a great finale, but there are several things that are bound to get in the way. The next episode will focus on the fight with the big bad guy, but the guy is just a typical one-dimensional overlord. I really doubt that the creators can get an interesting fight out of him. Then next up is the big confrontation with Kuromitsu, but I fear that at that point, there will be too few characters alive to really make for an unpredictable ending. Ultraviolet for example had a final episode with lots of characters still alive, and therefore it finished with a pretty strong finale. Will Kurozuka be able to do the same?

Posted on 3 December 2008 with categories: Kurozuka



Short Synopsis: The attack on the headquarters of the bad guys.
Highlights: Turtle dude rocks
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
You know, I really consider this episode to have the best action-scenes of the entire series so far. Okay, so they still weren’t as well animated as episode one, but they were one thing: incredibly fun to watch. Really, so much went on, and more especially, the major characters involved showed their best sides. It’s strange, the fights definitely weren’t the most well animated, or intense, or had the best fight coordination out there, but they kept my interest throughout the entire episode.

This episode felt so out of place in this series, but yet it worked. The car-chase-scene, the motorbike, it all fitted, and just about everything in this episode was really creative. The characters aren’t deep at all, but they’re fleshed out just enough to make us care about them. And I think that that was why I enjoyed this episode so much.

The problem is of course where this series is going to go after this point. The fact remains that the two characters who made this episode so much fun to watch are dead now, and we know hardly anything about the big bad guy. Seriously, WHO IS HE?! This guy seriously lacks fleshing out. I really wonder where the creators can be able to take him as such a stereotypical evil overlord. But then again, I do have high hopes for the reunion with Kuromitsu, and the deaths of the final two partners of Kuro (I mean, there’s no way that those two are going to make it to the end of the series with this pace ;P).

Posted on 26 November 2008 with categories: Kurozuka



Short Synopsis: Kuro suddenly finds himself approached by a strange old man.
Highlights: Now this is psychological horror!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
Best episode of the show so far since the first episode. It’s taken a while for this series to arrive at its real meat, but now it’s finally about time to work towards the series’ finale and this episode really showed the building up come together.

What especially made this episode work well were the bad guys. They were no longer strange caped dudes who kill lots of people, but instead had real personalities. I felt like they were people, rather than a bunch of literal killing machines, and it’s good to see this series spend some effort in its weakest area: the characterization.

I especially like that lizard man, who uses illusions to get rid of his enemies. This episode starts out at a point that doesn’t make any sense at all, where Kuro suddenly finds himself in the middle of a huge city, while in fact it turns out to be one huge illusion by this guy. It really increases the subtle paranoid level of this series: as long as the lizardman is around, you won’t know what’s real or not.

Ooh, and Kuromitsu showed herself, but she immediately leaves again after she saves Kuro. Her own agenda still remains a huge mystery at this point, but I think Kuro is somehow very much needed in it, so she wanted to make sure that he’d survive. How she knew where he was… the only explanation for that is that she’s been monitoring him from the beginning with the strange time stopping power of hers. It also turns out that she knows Sanniwa, suggesting that either Sanniwa was very old, or she and Kuro split ways more than just that time.

It’s also interesting that the story of the anime seems to diverge from the manga. I have no idea by how much this has happened since I’ve not read the manga, but it shouldn’t be too much of a problem as long as the creators know what they’re doing. This will of course only become clear in the final episodes, when everything in this series is supposed to come together. What the creators must make sure of is that they need to shed light on every mystery in that episode, and at the same time pull off a satisfying climax. Bringing back the godly animation of the first episode helps too.

Posted on 19 November 2008 with categories: Kurozuka



Short Synopsis: Kuro is brought to a cave where Kuromitsu is kept.
Highlights: Nice little bit of depth for Kuromitsu.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10 (Good)
If I had to pick one show out of the series that I’m blogging this season, where the decision to cover it on a weekly basis may not have been such a good idea, then it’d be this one. I’m happy that out of the shows I’m watching this season, none of them is mediocre or disappoints. The previous Spring- and Summer season really showed me that I’m not someone who enjoys blogging a bad or a dull show, and I think that if I didn’t decide on blogging stuff as Macross Frontier, Soul Eater, Allison to Lillia and Nijuu Mensou no Musume (God, I really picked the wrong series to blog back at the past spring-season), I’d think back to them with a lot less annoyance.

But anyway, I’m getting off-topic a bit with that. The thing with Kurozuka is that it exactly knows what it is and does: action, horror and eye-candy, and it does do that so well. The story isn’t anything special, but it knows exactly that it’s only second fodder in this series: it’s there to support the action, to prevent it from getting boring, to add a bit of intrigue and to provide enough settings where the animators can show off their talents. It’s nice and all, and I really like the end result, but really… there’s not much you can write about it on a weekly basis. ^^;

So yeah, this episode again was exactly what this series was about, and I like the little twist that it added, where Kuromitsu once cut off Kuro’s head. There’s this whole mystery around that woman that really keeps the story of this series flowing smoothly. Sanniwa (at least, that’s what I assume her name is) really is screwed by now, with nearly all of her subordinates killed off (at least, with so many dead bodies, I don’t think there are much more people left apart from Kuro&co). I liked that part that showed her, because it really adds to the characterization of this series, something that it had ignored a bit so far. ^^;

Posted on 12 November 2008 with categories: Kurozuka



Short Synopsis: Kuro and the others attempt to vend off the attack from the bad guys.
Highlights: Very nice mid-boss fight.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10 (Good)
Whoa, talk about the huge contrast with the relatively quiet previous episode. This episode just had one purpose: action, action and more action, and it did a really good job at that. So yeah, there isn’t much to say about this episode so this post is probably going to be rather short. I’m just a bit disappointed at the animation. Don’t get me wrong: it was of a very high quality in this episode, but I really hope that at least one episode in this series will return to the huge animation-quality of the first episode. Come on, Madhouse: you’ve made us hungry with that first episode, now provide something that at least comes close to it in terms of animation.

In any case, I must say that Kurozuka has become a pretty similar series to Ultraviolet: both are action-series with a plot that doesn’t try to be anything special, yet is fun to watch, both rely heavily on their style in their storytelling, both have similar character-designs in Kuromitsu and 044, and both make a lot of use of CG-overlays. I think the biggest difference between the two is that Kurozuka has a large animation-budget, while Ultraviolet had Osamu Dezaki.

Posted on 4 November 2008 with categories: Kurozuka



Short Synopsis: Kuro gets brought to the place where Kuromitsu is.
Highlights: Calm mood for a Kurozuka-episode, but still powerful.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
Ah, a build-up episode. The series takes a bit of time to catch a breath, and uses the time to give the viewer a few more glimpses of the major bad guys. The pacing in this episode was very slow, but like mentioned above, I really liked how it slowly progressed, while providing a bit more background on what happened between episode 2 and 3, and making the viewer anticipate when Kuromitsu might turn up again.

And of course, the visuals were better than ever in this episode. This also really was an episode in which the art director could go all out, and the number of beautiful and diverse sceneries he created is astounding. It’s interesting: while Porfy no Nagai Tabi still stands as the currently-airing series with the best outdoor background-art, Kurozuka definitely wins the fight in terms of indoor-background art. The use of CG really works, and it actually made a CG-car not look out of place somehow.

Anyway, about the plot, I think the first part of the episode showed the boss of the bad guys. I’m not exactly sure what he was doing, killing all these random people, and why he’s still doing that after centuries, but he seems to be after Kuromitsu, explaining the attack that started at the end of this episode. It looks like Kuro’s new allies allowed him to meet Kuromitsu again, and although I didn’t pick up the exact reason either, she seems to be vital for their survival as well. My guess is that it has something to do with how she turned Kuro into an immortal being.

For the next episode, I want to see the gorgeous animation from the first episode back. The animators have already shown that they don’t lack any sort of inspiration, but what really would make this series is the combination between the awesome art that this episode had, along with the detailed animation of the first episode. Now that would seriously rock.

Posted on 29 October 2008 with categories: Kurozuka



Short Synopsis: Kurou remembers what happened to Kuromitsu, and the story takes an interesting turn.
Highlights: Matrix, anyone?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10
I remember that during the winter-season, I was very annoyed with Madhouse for some strange reason. If I recall correctly, then apart from Mokke and Ooedo Rocket, every of their recent series at that time had some sort of annoyance that brought it down: Dennou Coil and especially Saiunkoku Monogatari had their endless amounts of hiatuses, Shigurui and especially Claymore had their disappointing endings, Death Note was unbalanced, Kaiji dragged on and Devil May Cry, Maple Story, Nougami Neuro, Kaibutsu Ojou were just badly written.

And here I am right now, seeing them continue to churn out hit after hit, for three consecutive seasons. Is this really the same Madhouse we’re talking about? I’m not sure what happened, perhaps some high-ranked official found it a good idea to put more emphasis on quality and originality, perhaps it’s just chance, and they’ve chosen a string of excellent series to animate (in a way, it’s like Gonzo’s string of excellent series from 2006 till Summer 2007). In any case, whatever it is, I really appreciate it, and I hope that this string of excellent series will last as long as possible.

This episode of Kurozuka again adds a whole new dimension to the series. We learn that when the screen turns funky, it’s not simply because of the visual effects, but at that time Kurou can also slow down time significantly. We also learn that Kuromitsu has been kidnapped by the strange enemies, but the end of the episode reveals that it was Karuta’s allies that took her away, making this not just a story of good vs evil anymore. It does make me wonder why they were walking around in enemy-suits, though. And why the heck the enemy’s after them, and why they needed Kuromitsu in the first place.

One problem that I have with the series is that it’s aired a bit too soon after Ultraviolet. I just can’t help but think that Kuromitsu and 044 are alike: their character-designs are so similar, and Paku Romi uses nearly the exact same voice for them. She’s going to have to be fleshed out a bit more if she really wants to stand apart from her Ultraviolet-counterpart, especially since their roles seem to be completely different. Ultraviolet was a strong-minded killer on the run, while Kuromitsu feels more like a damsel in distress (please don’t let her end up captured for the rest of the series).

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
I mean, decent warrants about a 5-6. That, in theory, should be an "Average" show.
Anonymous1055365
It's a decent show. You're being overly critical.
SuperMario
In the Out of Competition slot (you think that I'm finished?), 2 films in particular that catch my interest are the Korean Lost in the Moonlight which looks like a fun and lightheart adventure, and the Norway-Poland co-production adult-oriented The Man who Knew 75 Languagues about the star-crossed love between the Queen of Romania and a titular man, I guess
SuperMario
Rounding up the Main Competition are Animal Crackers, a 3G American family film which I don't have good feeling about; Big Fish and Begonia - a Chinese indie film that divided the critics, but gathered skyhigh commercial success in its mainland China; and finally Zombillenium which sounds like an enjoyable European children film
SuperMario
From other countries, most notable films are the Loving Vincent - the first feature length hand painting; the Chinese black comedy Have a Nice Day that premiered in Berlin earlier this year; Ethel and Ernest which already gained a strong reviews from the UK; Tehran Taboo- a German production about the lives of 3 women in Iranian community, which sound exactly like my kinda of film.
SuperMario
Alright, I'm here to bring you news about the selection of this coming Annecy AKA one of the best animation festival out there. 3 of anime features: A Slient Voice, In the Corner of the World and Masaaki Yuasa's Lu over the Wall will compete for the main competition.
SuperMario
I'm a fan of thought-provoking anime (see Lain, Boogiepop Phantom) but I need to care about the story and characters first before I make an effort to dig deeper to the theme. Sagrada Reset failed on that fronts.
SuperMario
It's not really about being smart/dumb here. As a creator, they already have an advantage to know how the story and plot will play out. I don't mind this advantage because otherwise the plot will become a hot mess. But don't use that advantage as a way to widen the gap between them and the audience.
AidanAK47
Ugh...Ray Gigant was pretty much mediocre up until this point but now it;s utterly asinine. Whoever decided on this endgame needs to be fired. When you are ready to end a game, no player want a ten floor dungion with a boss on each floor coupled with a goddamn boss rush halfway. Just...fuck.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It must be worse than oremo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw some pages of the eromanga sensei manga and my reaction was that I was sad that it actually existed and stated "why would you even" after looking at it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an anime example, sekaisuru kado has lots of dialogue but it seems like it could actually be engaging.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So basically no I don't think we're dumb for not liking sagrada reset, given that myself and Mario are capable of watching genuinely smart wordy things and getting them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I can imagine watching Sagrada reset and thinking I'd rather be watching a Bergman film instead , something also with lots of dialogue and themes but actually engaging/clever and NOT pretentious or obnoxious about it.
Anonymous1054942
is it possible that you are all just dumb?
Anonymous1054269
@Mario: I like how you described it as giving a middle finger to the viewers. It's so true. Like, it tries to be intelligent and make the viewer feel stupid, but it just comes off as obnoxious/pretentious.
Lenlo
CGI remains the worst part of it, but we are getting more and more 2D art which I actually enjoy the style of
Lenlo
Its an improvement. The art is better, and maybe its because I prefer this arc, but the pacing is better as well. I gave last season a 3, but this one is more deserving of a 4 and if they can nail certain scenes coming up I may bump it to a 5.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: How's Berserk doing so far? Haven't picked up last week and this week's episodes.
Lenlo
Ground*. I hate it when I fat finger something.
Lenlo
Thats always the worst, when a story starts off promising and then someone runs it into the grouhnd
AidanAK47
@Mario, so it's still at it. To me it's like someone was given an interesting story and made it his mission to ruin it as much as possible.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it's still the same crap. I have a feeling that Sagrada Reset gives a middle finger to us viewers. The plot with development and characters that we have no way to figure out ourselves. The characters who change motive and even personality after each timeline. The main lead girl who act like a robot. I gave this show too many chance so I won't bother to spend more time watching it.
Anonymous1052767
Eromanga sensei
AidanAK47
@Mario, Oh ho, what was the dealbreaker? Just that it didn't change or did something really stupid happen?
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset (long sigh) (scratching my head) (eyes rolling). Dropped
AidanAK47
Hey you.
Konstantinos
Yeah, at this point, this season looks good.
SuperMario
Quite happy with ID-0 and Zero in particular. Zero charms me to no end that I'm still debating whether I should blog it. The trio Re:Creators, Kado, Atom still doing pretty well and the sequels MHA and Bahamut are enjoyable as expected. We have a wide range of anime offerings this season.
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset & SukaSuka I will give it another episode, at least until this current arcs over. They both have potential but Sagrada Reset tries so hard to sound smart, and SukaSuka still falls into its LN tropes which bugged the show down.
SuperMario
*no real urge
SuperMario
I've finally catch up with all other series I wanna follow this season. Alice & Zorouku will be off my list for now, Zorouko is a great character but everything else falls flat so far. I have real urge to continue Attack on Titan and Berserk so I'll wait until they're finished.
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
Anonymous1017501
and nobody's covering it lol
Anonymous1017501
Like dramatically
Anonymous1017501
It really is much better
Anonymous1017501
You know guys its not too late to start watching Berserk Season 2...
AidanAK47
I just get annoyed when interaction is like "HUMAN, YOUR EMOTION RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT. I THEORIZE THIS IS THE REASON YOUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT."
Their is a definite layer of pretentiousness in how it's written, seeing how nobody gets annoyed when every character tries to psychological profile them.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I have heard word that these two episodes were a prologue story and the real story is going to kick into gear next episode. But if the characters keep talking like this then it's not going to matter what happens. It will just be terrible.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Jojo part 5 died for this. That makes it all the sadder. Plus it's two cour so this show is gonna be on for half a year.
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