Posted on 26 July 2011 with categories: Shiki



Throughout the Shiki series, there were these select times where this blue haired woman turned up. The last time was in a bathtub with a corpse, but we really didn’t know anything about her. This episode tells her story.

Having said that though, that particular story felt a bit too one-sided to me, and was the least interesting bit of this episode to me. I didn’t really “get” the insanity of this woman. Instead though, I loved just about everything that happened around her. This episode actually recapped the entire series from the eyes of some of the side-characters, tying things together in the process. It explains how the fire started, it shows a bit more about the family at the drive-by restaurant of the first episode (when that first episode aired I really thought that they would be important characters), we know who the asleep Shiki was in the house that Akira broke into. Oh, and the nurse also got stabbed through the heart. They didn’t show the process, but the aftermath was there.

What’s more is that Ozaki appears every now and then in this episode, and that surprisingly showed really well how his character developed through the series, and I also liked those tiny details like him trying to relax a bit after murdering his wife.

And so, Shiki is finally finished. There were a few plot threads that I would have liked to have seen a bit more of, for example what happened to Akira, or where that crazy occult woman went who once took over an episode, but overall it has been a wonderful series. Furthermore, I really wonder what exactly got this show 22 episodes of airtime in Noitamina of all things. What convinced the producers to go with what pretty much is a perfect formula if kept up with: Noitamina is big enough for this now.

I think it has a lot to do with the irony of Noitamina in Spring and Summer of 2010: it pretty much was the best half year that Noitamina ever had, delivering three utter classics with Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei, Sarai-Ya Goyou and Shiki, although unfortunately they pretty much flopped. My guess is that the producers are playing things safe for 2011 by not straying from the format they built up (which is something I can understand, after what happened to the Noise-timeslot), but I really do hope that 2012 will show more 22-episode series in the timeslot. That’s really something that can make a great timeslot even better.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 14 June 2011 with categories: Shiki



This episode wrapped up the stories of some of the side characters of this series. None of the main characters made any appearance, and I can understand why it was cut for the sake of the TV-series’ main characters. Yet, it’s great to see this part animated and that the creators somehow managed to find a way to squeeze this in, because this episode once again was just amazing.

One of the strengths of Shiki was that it didn’t just make its main characters come alive: it did this with the whole village. It’s because of that that this episode worked so well; they even introduced a new central character whose context in the series only makes it even richer. With the Awesome Beard Guy out of the way, the squadron that hunts down the remaining Shiki all have their own way in which they go on their rampage.

On top of that, the blue haired Shiki also received an amazing end. It’s especially her development that works well here, especially considering how she used to be one of the major side villains in the first half of the series. She completely changed now that none of her family members ended up rising back up.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 30 December 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Shiki




Shiki is a very hard series to talk about without spoilers. It’s a show that you really need to see for yourself. Still, I consider this to be the best show to have debuted during the past half year, so I’ll at least try to vaguely explain why I consider it such an awesome and unique series.

Shiki is another one of those series set in a tiny Japanese village that’s set in the middle of nowhere. One thing that immediately stands out is how well it manages to colour that village: even the simplest of residents are given an identity. The entire town has about 1200 residents, and this show manages to make them so life-like that you actually feel like part of the village as the series goes on. It creates a truly excellent backdrop for the series to take place in.

First and foremost, Shiki is a horror series. It’s got a really thick atmosphere and most of the time it’s just building up and dragging the viewer within this atmosphere. It’s got plenty of disturbing scenes though, and that’s really where it’s at its best at. Now, there are times at which this show feels like this series is moving a tad slow and that it’s building up a bit too much. But trust me: it all pays off in the end with a fantastic conclusion. That’s all I’ll say about it.

The character designs in this series are… unique. I admit that they take their time to get used to, but that’s not really a problem considering the charms of the different characters. It’s perhaps not the series with the best characterizations, but they are written really well: when they’re developed, it’s done very boldly. The characters are also incredibly diverse, ranging from teenagers to adults well in their thirties, forties and fifties and that overall makes it into a great and huge cast to watch.

Most of the best episodes of Shiki are located at the end so it takes some perseverance to really get to great parts of the series, but the weak moments are very few and far in between. It’s got a haunting soundtrack and a stunning atmosphere. It’s not something you should watch when you can’t stand gore, but it’s a must-watch for anyone even remotely interested in horror.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Gripping atmosphere, excellent use of build-up, everything horror should be.
Characters: 9/10 – the cast is HUGE, diverse and surprisingly engaging.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Good animation, great soundtrack, excellent artwork.
Setting: 10/10 – The village this series takes place in really feels alive and constantly changing.

Suggestions:
Ghost Hound
Jigoku Shoujo
Shikabane Hime

Posted on with categories: Shiki



That really was just an amazing conclusion. It was just stunning, and without a doubt the best ending of the entire season and in my top 3 of best ending of the year. I mean, December has been a fantastic month for Shiki, it turned out to be significantly better than just about anything else that was airing at the moment. This ending was just its crowning moment.

Now, in terms of storytelling there was that point where Natsuno found Tatsumi perhaps a little easily, but in terms of storytelling it was just amazing to see everything just fall apart for both the Shiki and the humans as well. A fire (probably set by the Shiki in a desperate attempt, but more explanation on that will probably follow in the final two DVD Specials) also put an end to the hopes of Toshio to come out of this unscathed either: it’s impossible to explain to the police what happened and if this were set in the real world, it probably would have made the headlines throughout the entire world.

The interesting thing is that strangely enough, the creators refused to kill children under fourteen years old. The ventriloquist is killed off screen, Akira turns out to be alive, and Sunako survives thanks to Seishin’s injury that didn’t turn ot to be serious enough to actually kill him. At the same time though: Tomio Ookawa really was about to kill that girl, and Megumi also got a really gruesome death scene.

Now, I do wonder what the two DVD episodes are going to focus on, though: they’re titled episode 20,5 and 21,5, but this episode showed the preview for an actual epilogue. In any case, I see no way for these episodes to not be utterly amazing. Shiki has just shown how to perfectly make use of Noitamina’s timeslot, with finally another 22 episode series and an array of episodes on DVD only in order to complete the story.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 24 December 2010 with categories: Shiki



This was just amazing beyond words. This pretty much was the episode that decided which sides gets to win in the end, and in the process it did a fantastic job at portraying the regular villagers as blood thirsty murderers. The changes with the previous episode are stunning.

And I mean, there are only four Shiki left alive at this point: Megumi, Tatsumi, Natsuno and Sunako. Combined with Seishin, this is going to make for just a fantastic finale which again is going to be completely different from the past two episodes. I absolutely love how the past episodes have used the build-up that the entire series spent its time on.

What made this episode especially brutal was that the final area that the vampires kept hidden contained all of the vampires who refused to answer to their instincts., ie the most innocent of the Shiki. Tatsumi was also portrayed completely different from what we’ve usually seen him as: his loyalty to Sunako runs really surprisingly deep.

Overall, I really believe that 2010 has been the best year for Noitamina so far. Sure, it knew its share of gems before, but here it just delivered three absolutely fantastic series in the same year. We really have 2009 to thank for that. Up until then, Noitamina was mostly a timeslot of eccentric and Josei series, some of which worked better than the others. Eden of the East and Tokyo Magnitude however opened up the chance for really well produced series, which probably lead to the inclusion of a second spot at the timeslot. It’s really going to be difficult for 2011 to match the same level that the timeslot achieved.

2011 is promising yet another interesting year for Noitamina, as it looks like it’s going to be evolving again. I can’t really predict how these series will turn out, but the way in which three of the already announced series will focus on teenagers children and remains a very risky move, regardless of the quality of these series. Three teenaged Noitamina shows obviously aren’t a problem if they’re going to be good. However, the thing that the Noitamina producers should not do is stop with the adult oriented shows in favour of the teenagers. That’s the thing I’m most afraid of here, especially after the ratings that Sarai-Ya Goyou and Yojou-han received.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 16 December 2010 with categories: Shiki



Holy crap. The finale here turned out as good as I hoped here. It’s not the way in which this episode came with some amazing twists that made it so great; it pretty much continued with the counterattack as it portrayed two sides who are in the middle of a death match in the most literal sense of the expression. But damn, the way in which it did this was just utterly gripping.

Tomio Ookawa… just about everything about this guy is awesome. For most of the series we’ve seen him as this eccentric old man, but he gets absolutely brutal here, being the one who keeps the morale going of the people who are still alive. He’s got enough balls put his own son back into the grave, and is pretty much the co-leader of the counterattack along with Toshio. And at the same time, this episode also turned him into a murderer here, when he even kills the pople under simple hypnosis. I never really expected him to get such a prominent role in the end, but I love it. The tension between him and Toshio should make for a very nice climax that’s really going to make it a close finish. That’s also the beauty of this battle between the humans and the Shiki: neither side feels overwhelming, and both sides continue to successfully kill each other.

On the flip-side, this episode had surprisingly little of Natsuno. I really expected him to play this big role, but it seems that the creators are saving him for last or something. All this episode showed of him was this very weird cliff-hanger in the middle of the episode in which Seishiro was about to get killed. In the rest of the episode, people talk about how something happened, but we never get to see what that exactly was.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 10 December 2010 with categories: Shiki



Just… wow. The counterattack really was the final part that was missing from this series. After the huge amount of build-up, we finally see it used and this show is actually well on its way to surpass itself. Just about everything in this episode was just amazing. The past episodes entirely turned everything around for this series: everything changed. This is exactly what I’m hoping for when a series spends a huge amount of its time on building up.

The hunters have now immediately become the hunted. The interesting thing is that the regular Shiki don’t seem to have superpowers. The only reason why they were so successful during the majority of this series was because of that excellent stealth game that they played. The only ones who seem like they can make the difference are the werewolves, along with Seishirou and Seishin. Especially the latter intrigued me like no other in this episode: what kind of difference here can he make with Sunako next to him?

Three episodes also feels perfect for closing off this series and I really ope that the creators take this chance to give this series the closure it deserves. The DVD sales have unfortunately been pretty bad (the first volume only sold at 606 copies, putting it only slightly below the Armed Librarians and Senkou no Night Raid), so there is no way that this can get a second season, so it really needs to end well within these three final episodes.

It’s interesting how we finally see that red haired woman again that was in the first episode. I’ve been wondering for a while what happened to her, and I thought that Tatsumi got her, though instead the Shiki got her mother. Interesting twist. Meanwhile this episode built up for both Kaori and Ritsuko are building up to something really interesting as well, I’m really looking forward to this finale.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 2 December 2010 with categories: Shiki



Finally, after seventeen episodes of relentless waiting, it’s finally time: the counterattack. And holy crap, this episode twisted this series into a new dimension. Beyond the main attraction of this episode (Toshio), there also were a lot of these neat short scenes that took place during the first half of this episode.

Especially the way in which the episode started was just completely out of left field: usually this is a very dark and composed series, and yet it sometimes includes these really weird and over the top scenes, like what happened previously with the eccentric undertaker. For starters, Tatsumi’s suit was just completely pinpin’, but the way in which Natsuno’s father just popped up from nowhere also came completely by surprise. We still don’t know what happened between Natsuno and his father, but that scene definitely gave a lot of insight there.

Second of all, the Shiki are looking more and more human now that their numbers are increasing. Their conversations almost feel normal now, and this episode also shed a lot of light on the hierarchy between them, and how each of them has a different job. The thing is also that Tatsumi no longer is able to keep an eye on everyone in order to scare them. Because of that, Tohru ended up in front of Ritsuko when she first awakened, who looked more like an angel than a zombie in this episode. You can see that the Shiki are getting confident: it’s not like ten episodes ago, in which they still had to be careful in their actions.

And that’s what Toshio took advantage of in this episode, and he did so wonderfully. I first thought that Toshio would take her to some dark place and stick a stake through her heart or something, but this was of course the perfect chance for him to lure out the Shiki and expose them to the villagers, and it’s really the way in which he did it that makes it awesome. If he were to scream and yell, people wouldn’t listen to him, so he really subtly showed the villagers that Chizuru was a vampire. The look on his face really was priceless. Atsushi’s arrival just made it perfect.

I really love the restraint of this series: it’s just been seventeen episodes of building up, and every time at which you thought that the characters would make some kind of come-back, the vampires only ended up making things worse. Instead, this series was really waiting for this single moment, five episodes before the end, in order to turn the tides. That’s really how you should use build-up. Lately we’ve seen a lot of series that did spend a ton of time on build-up, and yet failed to optimally use it, the biggest offender being Sengoku Basara 2, so it’s great to see another series that does know how to use it effectively without making the build-up boring or wasting all of that effort that was put in building up.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 26 November 2010 with categories: Shiki



I remember how during the first half, a couple of people noted how the first OP of this series showed the people who would end up dying in this series… Yeah. That suddenly got a whole new dimension here.

I mean, if that was the intention of the creators, then they could have just as easily shown the entire cast in that metaphor. I mean, this episode pretty much killed off all of the remaining lead characters: there are only two important characters left that are still alive and unbitten: one of the nurses, and Kaori: Seishin is drugged and will soon be enslaved, Toshio is bitten, the rest of the nurses also get caught in this episode. I mean, I expected some deaths when this series first started, but I never saw an entire genocide coming here…

So I really wonder: what’s next? I mean, the creators have now pretty much ran out of people to kill: we’ve pretty much reached the worst case scenario here. Even though this is a series in which the dead can come back to life, it’s not like the deaths here are reversible. I also keep calling this show for a turning point to start, and yet every episode finds some way to drag its cast closer to despair.

And yet, that can’t go on forever. This series has pretty much been building up for seventeen episodes now; the big difference with a lot of other shows is that it still packs a punch when it’s building up unlike for example Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin and Sengoku Basara, in which the build-up ended up getting a bit boring and random. The question is now really going to be: how does this show plan to use that build-up? What the heck is Toshio going to do once he becomes a vampire? What is Natsuno planning? All he did was run around in this episode a bit. Is Seishin finally going to do something in these final few episodes?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 18 November 2010 with categories: Shiki



This series… every time I think that the turning point is about to arrive, the Shiki prove me wrong by only nibbling away even more lives. I mean, how many characters at this point are still un-bitten by the vampires? I can only tihnk of Toshio, Toshio’s mother, the three remaining nurses, Seishin and his parents, the awesome beard guy and his wife and Kaori. That’s only eleven characters left, out of who knows how many this show started with.

This series makes excellent use of this hopelessness: this episode was mainly meant to give the Shiki some background, and yet at the same time it went back to the despair when Tatsumi trashed all hopes of Akira of being able to fight back. Just one shot of him was enough for that.

The background of course was very appreciated as well. It’s interesting that Sunako, and not the two vampires I thought to be her parents, turned out to be the mastermind behind everything. Up till now, the biggest potential pitfall for Shiki was shallow main villains, because of the relatively little time that has been spent on this threesome, so I’m glad that at least Sunako has gotten a bit more depth here.

This episode also provided a great view into what Shiki think like: they mostly retain their personality, but what changes them the most is their thirst for blood and attacking people. This leads them to attack their loved ones, in the hope of getting them to the other side. Now, the question remains: what makes special vampires? Why did Natsuno and Tatsumi rise up as vampires who have no problems with Sunlight? Is that random, or do certain conditions have to be met? And if that’s the latter, did the Shiki avoid meeting those conditions in order to have something to manipulate their subordinates with?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

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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