Posted on 22 April 2018 with categories: After the Rain, Anime Reviews

I suppose that most of us, even the perministic ones, enter After the Rain (Ameagari) with some reservations. After all, the premise about a crush from an 18-year-old girl to the store manager who is nearly 30 years senior raises a lot of red flags here. Yet the show handles this tricky premise with deep insight and offers us two of the more well written characters out there. Originally billed as a romantic drama, the last third of Ameagari steers away from any romantic tension to deliver something more profound. It explores the complexity of human emotion by examining the unlikely relationship between two individuals with broken dreams and how they influence each other to reach back their goals. While I’d love for the conclusion to be more impactful (the ending suggests their relationship is like… ahem… after the rain: fleeting, soft, momentary – I’d prefer for more storming here), this show remains one of the most intimate, sensitive – and ultimately – complex portrayal of bonding, and human relationship. This solid material is further elevated by the understated and strong visual storytelling, aesthetically pleasing visual presentation and color palette and one of the best soundtrack in recent years. Ameagari is pretty much excellent as a whole package.

Any decent romance story has to start with well-grounded and relatable main leads, and Ameagari offers us two characters that worth caring for. Both Tachibana and Kondou are complex characters, especially Kondou who first appears as a goofy likable old man, but through the course of its run, their personality, and their own dreams are revealed slowly. Behind their composure, there lies a huge disappointment of their current lives, and as we know them better, we learn that they have left behind the path they used to treasure the most – Tachibana with her injury that prevents her from running track again and Kondou with his passion for Japanese literature – and gradually lose the essence of who they really are, becomes a shell that has no more dream or desire (in one of the show’s most clever symbolism: he touches the shell of a cicada while speaking that lines).

Meanwhile, Ameagari follows mostly through the point of view of Tachibana. While the show’s never shy from exploring Kondou’s inner thoughts (and what poetic thoughts this guy has), we follow Tachibana mostly through visual cues: her gestures, her “sparkling moments”, the looks from her eyes. Why this difference in treatment? By giving Kondou an inner voice, we become certain that his feeling for Tachibana isn’t romantic or sexual interest, but more about how her reminds him of his own youth and his current lifeless life. For Tachibana, it’s more about fleeting first crush and the show more than nails it underlining those feelings with sensitivity of how first crush is like. As you can guess from the title, rain is the show’s motifs here, and it chronicles the progression of this romance, from gentle, quiet rains in the beginning, then “she comes like a rain” in the middle and bright in the end like a love after the rain.

The main selling point of Ameagari is undoubtedly the amazing chemistry between Tachibana and Kondou. Their back-and-forth exchanges always spark with so much dynamic that every time those two together, they’re bounce to have special moments together – a praise that you won’t hear me say often, especially in anime medium. We have The Confession, The Hug, the Kiss, The Final Confrontation… These moments are the highlights of not only this season, but for my money for the entire 2018 year. They’re impactful. They’re powerful. They’re just perfect. But even in those slower moments, whenever Tachibana and Kondou are seen together, they deliver a natural and positive influence on each other.

The supporting cast help expanding the lives of our two characters, although in retrospect, they still leave a lot to be desire. Chief among them is the inclusion of Kase in one particular episode that leaves a sour taste in the mouth for most of us, but what bad is the way he reverts back to background character and we never learn much about him again. Tachibana best friend, Haruka, receives more attention in the second half and she provides a welcomed conflict to Tachibana’s current crisis, but it feels unfocused when we have a section about her and the ex-captain of the football club (it’s as important as the second copy of the second will). Kondou’s long-lost friend Chihiro, on the other hand, provides an excellent supporting role by the way he counters Kondou about his writing’s passion or reflects further to the path of life that Kondou left behind.

The visual presentation of Ameagari furthers elevate this sensitive love story and makes it a total feast to the eyes. I admit that I didn’t have a high opinion to Wit Studio, mostly because the production approach in Attack of Titan was my least favorite, but I have totally changed my mind with this subtle yet gorgeous visual styles of Ameagari. The reason I bring up Wit studio in particular is because they have their own “make-up animation” team, which is a team who apply special effects to certain important scenes and they sure did the job marvelously here with downright impressive visual palette and strong direction. The soundtracks are simply mesmerizing. They not only bring out the best emotionally from these moments, listen to them alone can transfer you right back to these certain scenes. I could totally picture Tachibana in the rain, or moment when Kondou sees himself in his teen self or the moment they hug each other. I also enjoy the way the show leaves their characters a space to breathe. There are many wordless sections just to record simple daily activities of Tachibana, like when she misses a bus, walks to the train station or when she offers a stranger to walk them with her umbrella.

In conclusion, I know the word “done right” can justify anything but Ameagari is a glaring example of a show that done right in every aspect, from its concerning romance premise, to its visual approach and the way it handles the developments of these characters. What makes it raise above everything else this last season is that, all these excellent components are all in the service of its theme. As a result Ameagari feels like a complete product with no real weakness, as the same time delivers special relationship that reminds us once again about the complexity of our own emotions.

Posted on 31 March 2018 with categories: After the Rain, Currently Watching:

So what happens after the rain? The sun will shine again, and the sun after the rain is the most beautiful. _quoted by me.

But it’s exactly a sentiment this show manages to pull off. For fans of romance or for those who wish the two of them will be together, well, you’re about to be disappointed. I don’t know if it was Amaegari’s intention all along (because I don’t think it is), but in the end it’s clear that romance between them is always an illusion. Apart from the Hug and Tachibana’s confessions, there isn’t much of a romance at all, but instead about the bond they share together. Ameagari has shifted its focus squarely to their own ambitions for the last couple weeks now, so it’s natural to see that the show ends on this note. But still, they manage to pull off beautifully. At first, I was a bit afraid that the first half was too slow that Ameagari might not have time to make any meaningful impact. But boy, they did it with style. At this moment, Tachibana and Kondou has established such a strong, solid chemistry that every moment between them feel like a treasure, and that precise moment when Tachibana turns back and sprints into him is amongst its finest. I’m already tearing up as I write this, damn it. That’s the moment where everything comes together perfectly, a moment where all the motifs the show has been set up so far come rushing in together in the best possible way. Tachibana running. Kondou embracing and accepting her love, all the while acknowledges his love. After the rain. Tachibana in her work uniform. That soothing score. That gorgeous visual. Everything was flawless.

The rest of this episode isn’t that flawless, however. Here, in the final episode, Ameagari wraps up an unnecessary side story and produces many – for me at least- over-sentimental and obvious moment. Chief among them is the romance between spikey and blonde, the former doesn’t have much of a voice in an entire story. Its heart is in the right place, mind you, but when Nishida the blonde tears up after his not-confessions, it just becomes a little too much. The same can be said for the two freshman girls who reminds Haruka of her pass (isn’t it way too obvious? Look, they even sharing scarf like they used to) or the little flashback of Tachibana on the ground during the track competition, but still manages to finish the line. I had been watching real track competition before so I can certainly say to you that this is totally soap opera (This is how real life works). It’s nice to say the rest of restaurant’s members gathered together in this last episode, but it does raise me 2 concerns. First, we don’t get to see other faces beside this cast, makes me wonder how this restaurant can survive with the staffs this thin. And second, Kase’s role in the show is pretty under-used. I mean, Ameagari uses him up that one time for mainly negative impact, and then put him back to the background characters that doesn’t amount much. These are, for me, Amaegari’s most notable shortcomings.

Tachibana is again put into test how much running means to her, by ways of teaching Yuuto how to run properly. Witness her swinging her arms to show Yuuto how to run correctly is heartwarming and satisfying. Moreover, Yuuto has a chance to tell her about his promise with his Dad, the promise not to give up halfway and give everything his own. In other spectrum, Kondou put his best efforts to write. His matter now isn’t to write a good novel, but to dedicate his life to writing novels. Make it his poison (and cigarette ashes, it seems). Both Tachibana and Kondou have realized their fire and each of them has sparked that fire to the other. As they embrace, they promise to let each other know once they fulfil their own promises. A mature, lovely if a bit indecisive way to make a proper stop to this story, but then again life and relationship are indeed messy and indecisive that way. At least for Kondou and Tachibana, now they know what they want to do and try their best to achieve it. That’s a beauty.

Posted on 25 March 2018 with categories: After the Rain, Currently Watching:

What does it mean to be special to someone else?

That question just bugs me when I watched the recent development of Ameagari. Maybe it has more to do with what I experience in my real life, but Tachibana and Kondou’s relationship has gotten to that “special” category so I might as well delve into it. The question, to be more precise, is about the extent of letting some stranger become a great part of your life, be it best friends, lover or somewhere in between. Most of these developments come natural, you don’t question it, it just happens. It takes a situation where it doesn’t work, or in this particular case, where the two seem to be in two different world, for us to really question the very nature of what ‘relationship’ entails. I am certain that this episode pretty much confirms that Ameagari won’t make them a couple, in fact last couple of episodes the show moves away from the romance into “friend” territory. But how have their relationship been shaping so far? It’s clear that Tachibana sees Kondou as someone special to her. I’m most impressed with Tachibana’s recent actions, she moves from aggressive, clearly invading Kondou’s comfortable space in the first few episodes to pushing him towards his most comfortable but long forgotten space – writing the novels. She has changed from a slightly negative to become a positive force for Kondou.

But what’s about Kondou? Is Tachibana someone special to him? I can’t tell since he’s always the one who goes with the flow, who is content with whatever direction he finds himself heading. The two impressions that he does feel about her though, that she reminds him a great deal to his own youth, and that she’s willing to read his novel. I reckson it makes sense that the last development Ameagari want to explore, is him telling her how special she is to him, and gets her literally back on the track. At this point, they produce such a strong and unique bond to each other that everytime they’re together is a feast to watch.

That is to say that the real magic of Ameagari is when the two of them together, so naturally this week, when the show digs into each character’s story, doesn’t impact me much like when they’re together, but it’s still a well-developed one nonetheless. On Tachibana’s side, after seeing another girl breaks her own personal record who had the same injury as Tachibana, Haruka visits Tachibana while she’s working, and lays everything down to the table. She wants her back. And when she’s back, they can be close friend like they used to. I don’t agree with Haruka’s method at all, but it does affect Tachibana, since she still isn’t quite sure what she likes better. Running or her love affair. Or even more pointedly, she’s afraid of going back and experiencing that loss again, the feeling of young hope crushed down by injury and disappointment. This for me is a grounded, albeit a bit late to the game, issues that Tachibana has to face.

Kondou’s side is a whole lot brighter, Chihiro visits his home uninvited and from there, they share a great times together reviving their old passions. Kondo always looks at his old pal as a more successful version of his, but in truth, Chihiro is far from happy. The install success of his book (that makes its way into film adaptation) makes him feel vary, both because he himself doesn’t regard it as his best, but also the on-going pressure from his publication and his fans. Visiting Kondou is a way for him to revisit his own passion, why he wanted to write in the first play. Once again, another people encourages him to write. The reason he has put writing off is not because he doesn’t have anything to write, but because he’s afraid that his writing will let his young, passionate-self down. But like his friend Chihiro said, the only solution to this is just write.

From what I gathered, there are still 40 plus chapters yet to adapt and we only have 1 episode left. There is a high chance that the anime (plans) and goes for original route, with honestly I think for the better. Whichever way the two end up going, I’m sure I will remember them fondly.

Posted on 19 March 2018 with categories: After the Rain, Currently Watching:

At this point I can safely say that I will enjoy whatever direction Ameagari will wrap up. It has transformed from a merely love story between two adorable individuals with a huge age gap into something much deeper, more refine and more poetic. This episode is another stellar showcase in a way it feels entirely real, the compliment I can’t say in most of anime out there. Many moments from the show reminds me of real life through the way people interacting with each other and in many subtle glances and gestures. Maybe I’m at the same wavelengths with these characters, or maybe I’m just the same sad sack who let the things I love slowly slipped away, but I can relate all to well with both Tachibana and Kondou’s current situation. Kondou mentioned in the past that he regarded himself as “a 45-year-old boy with no hope or dream”, but in truth it’s not that he doesn’t have any dream, it’s that he had a long-lost dream. He devoted himself to literature and write novels until he got marriage, and the pressure of both pursuing his dream and maintaining his role in the family ended up at him losing both, and like the cicada shell he saw in the park, Kondou loses the nature that makes him “Kondou”.

The same can be said for Tachibana and her track career. The doctors mention that with a proper rehab, she could get back on track, but she decides not to. We know that running used to be her passion, we know that she still cares about running through her frustration when seeing other teammates practice, or through her buying a “Running” photobook. In an essence both Kondou and Tachibana try to look away from the passions, one keeps hanging on with life, the other pursues another (unhealthy) path. As the story progresses, the love story has evolved from “girl gets boy” into them support each other finding what they really love, and in turns, who they really are.

And I still haven’t mentioned some wonderful moments between them. First with the book fair where Kondou meets his old bookseller, wanders around mindlessly by himself and exchanges the shortest texts ever with Tachibana. I do find them repeating the same symbols kind of obvious, but well, the message is still rewarding. You can also see the more Kondou loses himself to his own thoughts, the more impressed Tachibana has for Kondou. She comes to the point of knowing him AND still love everything about him. Their exchanges towards the book she read, the swallow and then her speech in the end play out near flawlessly. Let’s delve a bit into Kondou’s own thought on the last swallow who has trouble flying. The manager comments that even if the bird can’t fly, he’d find happiness in the place he stays, but still looks up to the sky sometimes. It’s no doubt that there is a parallel between the bird and Kondou’s own feeling about his life. He accepts the life he’s living now, although he knows he’s leading a boring life with lost dream and no future, and maybe it’s Tachibana who can crack this and makes him write again.

This episode also addresses the on-going fallout of Tachibana and Haruka, as the two of them clearly still care for each other, as they check out each other’s posts but feel awkward to even make a move. Last episode, I took it as they need some time off (10 years!) like Kondou and Chihiro before they can feel comfortable to talk to each other again, but the way I see it now, they will get back sooner; and I hope Ameagari gives us a satisfying ending for both this plot thread, Tachibana’s running, Kondou’s writing and most of all, Kondou and Tachibana’s relationship. They might not be together in romantic sense at the end of the day, but they come to understand each other more and giving each other a necessary push to embrace life again. And for me that relationship is hundred time more precious than they’re romantically interested in each other.

PS: just the other night I listened to Ameagari’s scores on Youtube (what little of them anyways), and the soundtrack is mesmerizing. I could totally picture Tachibana in the rain, or moment when Kondou sees himself in his teen self. It’s not often a piece of music can carry you to such a specific place and time and mood so I treasure every second of it. Certainly one of the finest soundtrack in recent years. And to think that it’s just one part that makes Ameagari so excellent: the story, the direction and the visual (for those of you who aren’t aware, Wit Studio has their own “make-up animation” team, which is a team who apply special effects to certain scenes, as you can see in one of the screenshot) are all special in its own ways. This show is truly exceptional.

Posted on 10 March 2018 with categories: After the Rain, Currently Watching:

We take a side road from our main romance between Tachibana and Kondou in this last two episodes, instead focus on each own friendship, short story Rashomon and pimple. Not that I consider Ameagari anything less than stellar, the show moves with confident pace with so much lovely subtle details. After the unforgettable event where Tachibana “somehow” caught a flu from her manager (or should I put it, an unforgettable night where the two umbrellas fall on top of each other), Kondou tries his best to keep their relationship in the safe “just friends!” zone, and throughout the course of these two episodes we come to learn what true friendship really entails. As much as I consider Ameagari a lean product, as there isn’t much fat in the storytelling and everything onscreen is there for a reason, I do find focusing on Haruka and the ex-captain football ace Yamamoto a bit off-focus. Haruka is a tertiary character so I don’t necessary care much about her inner emotions beside her chemistry with Tachibana. Granted she comes to learn about Tachibana’s mindset through Yamamoto, but consider the drama unfolds afterward, I have a feeling that both her, and Tachibana’s understanding of each other have taken a step aback.

And then we have Tachibana doing her literature homework. With Kondou’s fondness for writing, it’s a good opportunity for more quality time between those two. And indeed, we have. There are cute awkward reactions from both Tachibana and Kondou during that time, but moreover, the way the Rashomon short story weaves together to the main plot, ala their romance is rather impressive. The story is a moral tale about the young servant, while witnessing an old woman stealing hair from dead body, decides to steal rather than stay righteousness in order to survive. The lenses of focus here is the young servant’s attitude, and both Kondou and Tachibana say their own thoughts on how they feel about the servant’s action. Kondou asserts that if he were the servant, he’d stay out of the rain, out of all the trouble – signifies that when he has to deal with sensitive issues (like certain age-gap relationship), he would not do anything risky.  Tachibana, on the other hand, just contents with whatever decision the servant is about to make – signifies that she’s okay with whatever Kondou chooses for their relationship, that she puts his well-being over her own wish. The pimple, in addition, represents the youthfulness. The youthfulness that Kondou thinks he had lost a long the way, the gap between him and Tachibana; as a result; I bet everyone found it whimsical to see the manager got a pimple himself. He can always feel young again, it seems.

Coming to the festival, Haruka and Tachibana seems to be perfectly fine with each other until Tachibana spots Kondou, and things get out of control pretty quickly. Haruka feels hurt not because that all Tachibana’s attention is squarely to the old guy, she feels hurt because Tachibana won’t talk about her issues to Haruka like they used to, a clear sign of a broken friendship. I can see where Haruka comes from, when their friendship used to be that intimate, it’s tough for her to know there is something going on with her best friend, but that friend refuses to open up. Tachibana puts more salt to that open wound with “we can’t go back to how we used to be” speech. Insensitive maybe, but it’s the truth nonetheless.

Still back on the topic of friendship, Kondou meets his old friend, turns out to be the author Chihiro we learned for the past few weeks. And things were nice. The night was warm, the food was oishii and they picked up where they left off after 10 plus years like nothing ever happened. Kondou has a chance to open up about writing books, in which he still manages to not entirely giving up, and a further reminder of his long-lost passions. They get along well, and Chihiro’s declaration that got to me the most. “We’re not adults, but classmates”. Like the fight between Tachibana and Haruka, we learn later that there was a rift between them: Kondou ditched his friend on the trip to India in order to marriage his now ex-wife. The decision that singlehanded separates them into two different lives, and make them unable to talk to each other. But like how Kondou said later to Tachibana in a glorious super-Moon fashion, the friendship may grow apart, but what happened before still exist. Those precious moments they did share to each other never going to disappear, and friendship might come back around when they grow apart, and sometimes relationship needs time and space to grow apart to make it stronger. Maybe that could apply to this rather special relationship, as well.

Posted on 24 February 2018 with categories: After the Rain, Currently Watching:

Dang it, this episode. Before you know it, a typhoon comes right in sweeping everything away. At first few minutes no one would never have guessed Ameagari evolve in such a complex way, even though we still know next to nothing about that Chihiro person. How should I take on the action of Kondou hugging his underaged employer while they’re alone in his house? I don’t know and none of the main duo seems to know either. But first, let’s tackle the episode’s earlier conflict. When Kondou is increasingly bothered by the book by that Chihiro person, Tachibana keeps blurting out about how wonderful a person Kondou is. Kondou knows he is everything but, so he straight up cuts their conversation short with “you don’t know anything about me”. He doesn’t mean any ill, but there’s a lot of truth behind that statement. The truth remains that they live in a different lifestyle that it feels like they live in two different worlds: Tachibana with her high-school life and lives in the centre of Yokohama, and Kondou lives alone in the crappy apartment trying to make ends meet and raise a kid. Even such a simple topic like a chatroom apps for staffs would remind her how difference a gap between her and the middle-aged Koudou is.

Moreover, Tachibana for the first time feels some resistance from her manager, and it pains her that she might become a nuisance to her crush. That thought totally wrecks the poor Tachibana (and I always think Tachibana isn’t the kind who let her personal feel affects her work) to the point she comes into his apartment, in the freaking typhoon, to… what exactly does she come into his house for? The depressed girl announces that she wants to know more about him, echoing her lines in last few episodes. But Kondou has his own reasons for feeling irritated with all the praises Tachibana says about him. For him, Tachibana holds the idealized version of him that he knows he never going to be. The version that everything about him, although flawed, is kira kira in her eyes. But maybe it’s her who sees through him, it’s her who see many great characteristics from the wear-down, failed and awkward middle-aged man. He doesn’t feel that Tachibana is a nuisance. Quite the opposite that it’s her youthfulness reminds him of many feeling he thought he had forgotten, in which he’s grateful.

Seeing the crying Tachibana, in the moment of brief black out (which unassumingly creates a perfect mood), he hugs her – the first physical contact between them, all the while thinking to himself that he “will close my umbrella and get wet in your rain” – whatever that means. Is it then, the fleeting feeling of love from Kondou? It’s hard to pinpoint, and I’d argue that it’s best not to delve into it too much. The hug, even as a friend or more than that, is still just a hug (we just know one thing for sure that’s is how Kondou transferred his cold to poor Tachibana). Everything in that moment is perfect, from the music, to the lighting and the atmosphere. Definitely one of Ameagari’s best moments to date. We also have quite a treat to see Tachibana again fantasying about that moment hugging Kondou… naked. Gosh, those developments could easily become distasteful and too much in other series, so why on earth Ameagari delivers them so heartfelt and graceful here? As our commenters point out last week, the manga will end soon so there is a high chance Ameagari will finish as the manga approaches its last few chapters. Completed story is always a plus for me and judging how Ameagari performs so far (in other words, flawlessly), I have my high hope that we will have a satisfying ending waiting ahead.

Posted on 18 February 2018 with categories: After the Rain, Currently Watching:

This week is another light week in terms of central romance development between our leads, as the first half spends its time to Haruka, Tachibana’s childhood friend. Thank God, even with this segment that feels more like a side story, Ameagari still continues to hold up very well. Haruka always feels that she is left behind Tachibana, both in the field and in their relationship. It’s not just a figure of speech, as in one flashback we can clearly see Tachibana running ahead while poor Haruka following behind. Their relationship has been stalled since Tachibana left the track team duo to her injury. For Tachibana, she temporary shuts everything that reminds of track team, of the life she once felt belong to. Haruka feels the distance growing between them, and while there is argument on whether or not Haruka has a “romantic feeling” to Tachibana, it’s clear that she’s hurt that Tachibana seems to only regards her as “running friend”, and nothing more. From those flashbacks from Haruka (which are lovely, by the way, given we are treated to see Tachibana the middle-scholler and Tachibana the primary schooler), she has been admiring Tachibana from a long time, and their relationship had been tested once, briefly after she had to move to another school. And now she feels like it’s being tested again.

In defence for Tachibana though, I think she doesn’t think that much. She’s just too occupied to win the heart of Kondou. She again moves on to the new direction, leaves Haruka behind, and she’s afraid of Tachibana’s slipping out of her hands again. I guess both of them now are dealing with their own pains, Tachibana from not be able to run again and see everyone enjoys the things she once loved. In order to keep their friendship together, they just need to be honest together and the letter in the end (with the lucky but ugly charm Mukihiko to boost) is the right step into the right direction of being honest to each other. On other notes, I greatly appreciate the visual-storytelling of Ameagari, showing us the normal day of Tachibana missing her bus and walking all the way to the station, and later her sharing an umbrella with a stranger in a silent, quiet manner. The show is confident enough to just let the visual do the talking, assisted greatly by the wonderful violin score that I swear I could listen to all day. Even in the slow episode like this, there’s so much to love in this beautiful and tasteful show. Rain in Yokohama has never been this attractive.

In the latter half, we’re back to our duo Tachibana and the manager as she spots him in her local library. Her attempt to know more about Kondou’s taste proves to be in vain as he refuses to recommend books to Tachibana, prompt her to pick Botchan (arguably one of the most popular novels in Japan), and photobook about running (love it!). But his attitude changes when he sees the book written by Chihiro Kujo, which my guess for now is his ex-wife, or the person who had the same writing dream some twenty years ago. The latter especially could prove to be interesting, as this episode once again forces our main leads to look back on their past relationships, about their own shattered ambitions, in order to make sense of who they are now and what they really want to do. I am pretty much on board with that.

Posted on 10 February 2018 with categories: After the Rain, Currently Watching:

It’s a bit of a slow episode this week, with the appearance of the show best character (Tsubu!), Tachibana becomes a pepping Tom, Kondou’s unexpected popularity amongst his staff and Tachibana plays a motherly role to Kondou’s son. Well, I said “slow” in regard to the romantic development between our two leads compare to last few episodes, but the central romance still progresses gracefully. This episode splits into two parts, one we have Tachibana visits the manager’s house and the other one involving our cute little hamster. At first, Tachibana finds a chance to voluntarily take his son to his house, without any ulterior motive I’m sure. She even gets into the house while he was away, and comes hiding in the closet when he gets back home in the Blue Velvet fashion (“She wears blue velvet”). While in there, we see her fascination to know more about Koundou’s private place: the messy bed, the empty fridge, the bookshelf that has all the books about being a successful manager or “How to do an install trick” (great details here as you can see how Kondou thinks about his position within his choice of book), and the work room where there are papers lying around.

While hiding in the closet, Tachibana both overhears and overheats the conversation between him and Tachibana. It’s the time like this when his personality can be shown the clearest: he doesn’t have to pretend to please someone else, he doesn’t need to make any formal gesture, but the guy behaves earnestly, just like the way we see him in early episodes. Yuuto tries to get him into take care of a little hamster, on a ground that he can visit him more often. The manager reluctantly accepts it, and reveals that he loves reading books. I noticed in the closet where Tachibana was hiding, there’s a box that said “1990”, makes me wonder if they’re his manuscript from way back. I like the smart visual motifs when Ameagari cuts to the manager waving his hand in rejection, match-cut to Tachibana waving her hand out of the heat, to Yuuta waving his spoon while eating. I also like the way Ameagari underlines many Tachibana’s actions this week as sensual (like how the tea spilled over her shirt revealing her bra, or how she is physically blush when wearing her crush’s oversized shirt; and other of her activities with the father and son as part of a family (she was cooking for his son, they were walking together in the rain), both of these affect Kondou, obviously, further challenging him on what her role is gonna be in his life.

But both the lovebirds could never have guessed is how suddenly Kondou regains his popularity through the staffs’ mutual love for our little hamster. Tachibana is jealous with this newfound recognition where she finds it difficult to reach him anymore, and jealousy has never been this adorable. In fact, look more closely and you might realise that Tachibana is walking a thin line between showing her affection to the man she likes, and manipulating his life with her sheer determination. For now, I’d rather say she never cross the other line, but it’s a close call. She snaps the high-spirited mob to back to their work, while announces to the manager that she’s the first source regarding any hamster-related issue; an act of monopolize him I would figure. Ameagari almost reaches halfway point, but the execution to this sensitive romance drama still remains thoughtful, quiet and graceful as ever.

Posted on 2 February 2018 with categories: After the Rain, Currently Watching:

NO. I don’t like this third wheel development at all. Obviously, this romance is going to meet heaps of obstacles along the way, but it’s better not this. Suddenly, a side character having a creepy treatment, force the plot moving forward right before the two having a date together? One thing that upset me is how Ameagari makes it pretty clear about the conduct of this character Kase. He’s anything but nice. Plain and simple. He’s manipulated and dirty and annoying. No, Ameagari. You don’t brute-force the plot to squeeze out some drama like this, and you don’t make a guy evil so that we have to root for the main duo, ever. But for what it takes, Ameagari succeeds on making me worried for Tachibana and her forced date. Although received a clear signal from Tachibana, this dude keeps on pestering her to extend the date, including forcefully grabs her hand and later kisses her. Dirty little bastard! He even goes so far to say that the romance between her and Kondou will never work. And by his behaviour I’m sure that this creep will do his best to make his claim true, whatever it takes. I’ll be honest that I don’t like this Kase dude as a character and as a role in this story. Such a pity but I consider this as Ameagari’s first major misstep so far.

That date also serves as a parallel to Kondou and Tachibana’s date, as it happens in the goddamn same place, with the same sequences: horror zombie movie first (anyone noticed the same man in suit in front of their row?), then a sip of coffee and later a walk on a bridge. Such repetitiveness is meant to highlight the differences in Tachibara’s mood and the contrast between two dates. When she’s with Kondou, a “downfall of mankind” type of film suddenly becomes entrancing, coffee feels sweeter (well, literally) and the outside background is bathed with such pink and dreamy color palette. The time feels longer (like it’s stopped) and the linger for those moments feel much stronger. Kondou, on the other hand, thinks that the date would bore her so fast (wrong!) and there is a beautiful moment when he is again taken back to his youth self with his first black coffee experience before realizing that he was the only middle-aged man with a young girl in the shop. It sure is the taste of bittersweet youth. Last week, his excuses had always been about the reception of other people and Tachibana’s own well-being, but this time it’s all about his own feeling: that he would feel uneasy seeing her youthfulness because he can’t stand the fact that he isn’t young anymore. Pretty neat development here.

This episode is light on rain, but fear not since there are a whole leg fetishes going on here. Ameagari is excellent of underlining small body movements to convey the mood of the characters and in this episode, the focus on legs not only tell you the temporary state of mind a character is in, but also the distance (or lack thereof) between Tachibana and certain characters, signifies their intimacy. Ameagari still has its chops for sensitive visual storytelling, especially the sequence on the bridge takes my breath away for its beauty and moody atmosphere, but at the same time I consider this episode my least favorite episode so far, given that it opens to another conflict that I’m not fond of. Remember Ameagari, the drama works best when it comes from the struggles within the characters themselves, not from some outside creepy force that tries to blackmail AND then spill out their romance to everyone.

Posted on 28 January 2018 with categories: After the Rain, Currently Watching:

Gosh, the romance tension sure escalated quickly, which for my money is for the better. This week we have Tachibana in both her lowest and highest (AKA entirely in her unstable mood), the 45-year-old clueless victim who tries his best to brake the relationship from going too far, and a coming date of the two at the end. The last part stands to me as the only sour (last) note to this extraordinary episode. You see, that “date” is obviously a plot device so that the two of them can spend more time together, and it breaks the established mood although by that point I was already invested in the two of them and their romance to let it pass. The factor that I appreciate the most out of this episode is of course, Kondou’s reactions to Tachibana’s confessions. Ameagari skates the thin ice in this sensitive issue but the show manages to pull it off with even more sensitive approach. The guy not only act like a normal 45-year-old guy would do, but he convinces her with many sounding, sensible reasons and appropriate actions. Responding straight to Tachibana about her confession, for one thing. Giving her two main reasons to reconsider her options, one of them because of the huge age-gap (which she couldn’t care less), and the other because of his own empty self (an empty middle-aged boy with no dream or hope – so much honesty here). The second reason is important here, he feels himself unfit for someone like Tachibana, whose life is just at the beginning of her stage, and she’s attractive on top of that.

But it’s the emptiness that seemingly bring the two together. That brings me back to the first half of this episode, Tachibana meeting the track club members. After seeing them enjoy running and making progress, she’s deeply frustrated and left. A brief montage of the events led to her injury further demonstrate the fact that 1) now that her track career is gone, Tachibana feels empty, thinking that she has hit the thick wall ahead. And 2) she meets Kondou in the exact time when she was at her lowest point, the moment really gets into her that she finds the spark in the man. Many could say that it’s unrealistic, but I totally believe that’s how young people fall in love, especially the love at first sight. That frustration from seeing her being left behind by the wheel of present and the track field which once made her special lead her to pursuits the love to Kondou AGAIN, in the rain (it sure rains like hell in Ameagari). And when the message is out there’s no holding back there, for both of them.

This third episode makes it the first time we entirely see the events play out from Kondou’s point of view. After he tries his best to avoid the love message from Tachinaba in every possible way he can think of: first seeing it as a formal compliment from the girl, then taking it as a dream, then as a prank (there are nice little sequences play out in his head there); he deals with her the best way anyone could. What really sells me is the way Ameagari displays his perspective in an insightful and subtle manner: we could see his nervousness through his drinking the can that had cigarette ash in (he experiences the true bitterness of that love, as some might say), or through him searching for cigarettes but couldn’t find it. His thoughts as well, are so personal but well-placed and honest. Despite all the “you should reconsider this” stuffs, I can see how her confessions affect him in a good way. He feels flattered by the thought of someone attracted to him, he feels young again (with the smart visual of him in his teen self), he feels love and being loved again. And honestly, what is wrong with two people falling in love?

My bottom line: this is the best episode not only for Ameagari, but I consider it the best of episode I’ve seen so far this Winter season. I’ve heard someone compare this to Wong Kar Wai’s romance films. While at first I thought this’s too early a game to make any concrete statement, with this episode I do feel a resemblance here, especially the way they develop well-grounded characters we care for and their mature love relationship.

CHANGE USERNAME
Anonymous2148050
Tomorrow’s jow
Niello
@KTravlos My experience with Terror too.
KTravlos
The Terror ended weak for me. A great show up to episode 7 and parts of 8, 9 and 10 just went down the path of gore fest. It will work for many, but it soured for me the excellent first 8 ones.
Niello
And that's it for Franxx, an entire episode dedicated to lame world building. Expecting it to be mediocre was correct.
Lenlo
Well, Mikio's gear was upgrading to V5 we saw, so it may not be as easy as we think. That said, I just want Gear to be relevant. It really feels like just a gimmick to me so far and Mikio could maybe change that, since his is so important
AidanAK47
Oh and I got two card drops, both of which were Shanas.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still need to grind up the damage points. I am close and planning to get it before Rider day ends. But Banana Oni is the hardest challege this game has ever given. And fighting her is always a gamble.
Amagi
Yeah it was a good move. Really want to see how Mikio will fight without the advantage he had till now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
This weeks episode of megalobox gave an added importance to him being gearless .
Amagi
Now that I got the 300mio damage in FGO I finally get card drops that I don't need anymore
AidanAK47
@Masky, I believe I told you to watch Fate/Zero and apologize.
Masky
@AidanAK47 three days ago: Harsh words :D
Kaiser-Eoghan
I do echo the frustration though with shows you like not getting enough episodes. And then there are of course shows where I wonder, did they really need so many episodes/seasons.
Anonymous2142344
You an always watch the old 160 episode ova of Legend of Galactic Heroes. Differences to date are minor
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Follow up films coming though.
Anonymous2142275
Galactic Heroes, is starting to grow on me, is a shame, that's only 12 episodes so much potential being wasted. What happened to those times when long animes, could have at least 50 episodes ( Gundam Seed, Code Geass) and still be viable. feeling hopeless
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: A female director you could also look into is Moufida Tlatli , especially silences of the palace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: On golden kamuy, from reading on in the manga, there will be a big reveal regarding Asirpa soon. Also I feel the prisoner guys are becoming monster of the week.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'm glad to be reviewing stuff again on letterboxd.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: ....I...actually momentarily forgot about the PM system.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Watch Bombshell, secrets of a hollywood star or calling hedy lamarr, Bombshell is a recent documentary about Lamarr.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Von Triers new film looks darkly funny though to a degree and I love the self-indulgent first per3son narration.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I have no idea how Stellan Skarsgard (who works alot with Von trier) produced Alexander Skarsgard, the latter is far too attractive to come from that. I feel the same about Asia Argento, I refuse to believe Dario could have produced such a fine creature.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'm rarely about morals or understanding as an importance when it comes to film, I care most about how it hits me on a visceral/emotional level, how daring it is in its imagination, visuals, madness , creativity.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: thanks, received it. God, Von Triers new film is entirely something else. Full-on provocation. And I already think his Nymphomaniac was too much
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Also I'm dying to see Von Trier and Chang-dongs new films, especially the priors.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I sent you a private message.
Lenlo
That said, the key drama scenes were still great. Okabe's VA continues to make me happy. Im just not sure how much of this is nostalgia.
Lenlo
Steins;Gate is at its best in moments of character drama and character interaction. All of its value lies in its characters. Any action, with this muted style, is going to come off stiff and dull. A con of the art-style decision.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I'm glad you said that, because I felt visually it looked stiff this week and that brief scene in the beginning wasn't much to look at. But Okabes meeting with Baldyguy-san and the cliffhanger and after credits bit were good scenes.
Lenlo
So yeah, this was probably the weakest week of Steins;Gate so far. Its pretty clear its not an action series and that its style doesnt suit itself well to combat scenes
SuperMario
... watching and reading many shounen titles (Dragon Ball, Dragon Quest, Bleach and the likes), shounen isn't my cup of tea at all
SuperMario
While I grow up
Lenlo
@Anon, I love Shounen. BnHA is one of my favorites every season its on. Doesnt mean I like Black Clover though
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thank you for that anon, when I watched the episode earlier I wasn't aware there was a post credits scene.
Anonymous2141254
oh well, we still are early on in S;G 0 too. Plus, there seems to be a huge development at the end of the episode
Anonymous2141254
idk, i can't help but feel that besides the amadeus plotline, everything else feels "fillery"
Anonymous2141254
I must say though that I'm still waiting for it to get good, idk maybe my expectations are too high because the original was great after the first few episodes
Anonymous2141254
Don't forget to watch end credits fo Steins Gate 0
KTravlos
I like some shonen. I just think that they are popular enough as not to be worth reviewing ihmo.
Vonter
@Anon2140150 - I do. Though Shounen do have the issue of being derivative in certain aspects like power scales and several doing the FMA Brotherhood climax (of what I've watched). Also they're made to be endless. It can be intimidating jumping to one that has several seasons.
Anonymous2140150
Does everyone here don't like shonen anime?
Amagi
Really, if there is one piece of information (aside from otome maybe) that makes me ignore a series forever it's a LN about a LN author or illustrator. The selfinert wish fulfillment couldn't be more obvious.
Amagi
Another LN greenlit for an anime production and the synopsis starts with "* is a light novel illustrator and..".
Amagi
@KTravlos: I don't know why modern anime hate curly- and/or wild hair so much. The old hair style gave Reinhard a more royal look, whereas he looks like a normal highschool boy now. Not that I am complaining about the anime as a whole. Also, I like some of the new designs.
KTravlos
and a part of me things it is indeed the hair. It comes to low, giving Reinhard a slovenly, lazy feel. When Yang feels more energetic you know there was a mistake.
KTravlos
and yes, this Reinhard fares poorly in comparison to the OVA one. He is dull. I need more Yang :p
KTravlos
ai vay vay. The Castrop Rebellion remains waste of time. And this time it was worse. The older depiction was tacky but at least it showed Kircheis ability in a logical manner. This time I had no idea what the hell happened. It felt cheap.

The rest of the episode was ok. Not completely sold on all the renditions of imp. admirals though I still love the uniforms.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*those
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hearing these , I find myself much more tolerant of anime voice acting even if the dub might only be okay.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its actually less of a sync issue, as I'm talking about 60s dubs , alot of people think the voices in old anime English dubs from the 90s are dated, but the old sixties kungfu and western dubs are shocking, far worse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't mind sometimes satirical dubbing like on tiger lily , dialectics break bricks and kung pow however.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And those can be difficult to acquire sometimes in Italian or Chinese.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Live action films, this is especially annoying sometimes because I love Spaghetti westerns and Chinese martial arts films and old Italian cop thrillers.
Anonymous2137430
@Kaiser-Eoghan Are you referring to foreign animated films of foreign live action films because dubbing live action is a different beast as I'm sure you're aware. The idiosyncratic nature of watching moves and facial expressions not properly match voices really pulls the viewer out of the experience
SuperWooper
LoGH is airing a special next week because of scheduling delays, so that's one less thing to do.
AidanAK47
Well to those whom it might concern, expect my posts to be later than usual this week. Work is hell at the moment.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to say, this is probably a bit hypocritical, but while I enjoy dubs of anime I really really can't stand dubs of foreign films.
Lenlo
Simo Hayha would make a pretty crazy Archer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine a fate strange fake adaptation will materialize eventually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But everyone seems to want that Finnish sniper as a Fate servant .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Still no Mao, still mad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....I have lost track of the historical characters in the fate lineup.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, to expand on that point the following historical figures are now female: Nero Claudius, Leonardo da Vinci, Frankenstein's Monster, Xuanzang, Jing Ke, Quetzalcoatl, Minamoto no Yoshitsune, Miyamoto Musashi, Okita Souji and many more to come.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I find it's an enjoyable watch though flawed. If you can get past some odd fanservice around the first ten episodes then I say it's worth watching.
Anonymous2133468
So i was thinking if i start watching, darling in the franxx, is worth it? or is just another 6/10 anime?
Lenlo
God damnit. Why Nasu. Just why.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, that ain't even Lewd.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In all seriousness its ridiculous, the Japanese will make a cute/moe girl out of anything.
AidanAK47
....Should I also mention that Francis Drake is a big boobed pirate queen?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Posting lewd images on a respectable chatbox.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, But none of these characters are in the anime adaptions. Well besides Jack and Saber.
Lenlo
Aidan, all this conversation did was prove that my decision to only ever watch the Ufotable adaptions was the correct decision.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, you can blame Extella for the Attlia the Hun thing. I wasn't too fond of it myself. Also should mention Attila is female as well.
https://pm1.narvii.com/6414/528599445b739909c02993cfdbfc9f277d088cf2_hq.jpg
AidanAK47
Also Masky I will be the first to admit to the ridiculous aspects of the Fate Franchise but do take note that you are commenting on something you know literally nothing about. Which is the very definition of ignorance and is quite annoying. Fate/Zero nails the themes it's going for. So go watch Fate/Zero, come back and apologize.
AidanAK47
@Masky, Give it time. Genghis is getting in there eventually with Grand Order. We just had Anastasia and Salieri introduced after all. And it's not as if this story introduces Servants willy nilly, they need actual story purpose. Genghis Khan wouldn't have fit the Narrative that Fate/Zero was going for.
Lenlo
Wait Attila is an Alien and Edison is a Lion? God damnit Fate. Why are you doing this to me. I was already annoyed at your treatment of Musashi
Masky
(aliens existing in the show is good example of that missing on themes part xP)
Masky
*most successful conqueror
Masky
Honestly was just amused most conqueror of all time not being featured in the show :D But wait, whats this about aliens?
AidanAK47
Anyway the important thing to take into account is that in the Fate universe, King Arthur is a woman, Attila the Hun is an Alien, Thomas Edison is a lion and Jack the Ripper is a little girl in a dominatrix outfit. Any questions?
AidanAK47
And while you don't need to watch something to be given divine right to comment on ideas or themes, it does leave you ignorant of how that show handles those ideas and themes.
AidanAK47
As for the Historical Alexander, he wasn't given the title of King of Couquerors. Fate/Zeros interpretation of him was. As generally accurate Fates interpretation of Servents history can be, they can make changes to suit the narrative.
AidanAK47
In that Regard Alexander was doing the conquest thing before Ghengus did. Ghengus likely has some other title. Hell he may only have the title because public consciousness was is more familiar with Alexander than Ghengus.
AidanAK47
Yeah, looking it up seems the King Title lost quite a lot of meaning in the Nasuverse. Though the King Title is rather flimsy. I mean Arthur is the King of Knights cause of the Knights of the round table. Gil is king of heroes because his tale was the first Heroic myth.
Lenlo
I think Alexander was just the first one they thought of, and they couldnt retroactively give it to someone else.

That said, Broskander deserves it <3
Masky
(And no, you don't need to watch something to be given divine right to comment on ideas or themes of it.)
Masky
(just to note in case I need to note, I do tend to do at least cursory research when I make comments on stuff I don't watch)
Masky
That first part is semantics as Fate gives title "King" to historical figures who weren't kings already :D Also, you can make that argument about historical Alexander the Great? Since that seriously sounds like kind of weak reason.
AidanAK47
Also sees Rider as deserving of title of "King of Conquerors" because that which he strives to conquer most is not lands or material wealth, but the hearts of people, the toughest conquest that can be undertaken by anyone.
AidanAK47
@Masky, Ghengis Khan wasn't a king. He was a Khan.
Lenlo
Ghengis is always a Rider in my mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, Ghengis would be an appropriate beserker servant.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: I know, it feels so wrong I'm still mad I can't summon Karl Marx or Stalin.
Masky
So wait, Fate series is about historical figures with super powers, but "King of Conquerors" title isn't given to Ghengis Khan? :D Seriously? Thats just so wrong
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't feel any point in finishing it, it feels like something that I'd just randomly drop , not because its a bad show, but because I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
I am actually going to drop blogging it.
AidanAK47
@Sash, indeed. I have been watching it but not blogging it for the last few episodes because it just hasn't givne me anything to say. I don't think it's a bad show but I have pointed out the flaws and strengths of it already so there is truly nothing more to say on it.
Sash
I think wotakoi is starting to feel repetitive..
Kaiser-Eoghan
You are now aware Shana and Batman Ninja Harelequinn are both voiced by Rie kugimiya.
Lenlo
I did. It was... It was a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Did you end up watching Batman ninja by the way?
Lenlo
Music is great, yeah. When the music is on point, everything goes up. Everytime the sync the fight/punches to the music I just get hyped. Like the rotating shot with Aragaki or the first fight in episode 1.
Lenlo
Ill do my best to be clearer in the future on that front. Yeah, I dont mind twists like this. Makes the inevitable Mikio fight, narratively, even better.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel the music does alot of the lifting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh, so that was it.
Lenlo
Sorry if I never made that clear.
Lenlo
I would rather have fewer, amazing, fights than a lot of low-quality fights. This is a one cour show, the more meaning/impact they can give each fight the better.

Like Aragaki, narratively, was great. Loved it. Its just in animation/choreography that it falls flat.
Lenlo
Im disappointed with the animation of the fights. Narratively, I think they are quite good.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*disappointed with the fights in past episodes
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Pretty much what I said I thought of the episode. Although I was surprised how took the episodes ending, I expected you to see it as a slap in the face after being disappointed with the fights.
Lenlo
Also, @Kaiser, I thought Megalo Box did something unique this episode. I wasn't expecting Joe to *not* fight. And the Mikio/Yukiko proxy war is an interesting character motivation. Im betting Yukiko will get Joe a full citizenship, effectively getting her on his side.
Lenlo
I wish I was physically capable of watching Megalo Box without thinking of Hajime no Ippo. I really do. But everytime I watch it, it makes me want to watch Ippo again to.
Anonymous2120908
I watched some more of the Chimera family chinese anime. (Wasn't aware it was monthly released). And geez, I like the concept, the background art is very pretty and contrasts with settings that have become tired in other anime. Yet sadly the animation and script are WEAK. I haven't grasped the quality of what's expected of these types of production but I want to believe, they're trying.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not much in the way of action in megalobox this week, but I did like the focus on Yukkiko getting a small character moment and then the big moment at episodes end .
AidanAK47
@Anon, That's some lazy ass trolling buddy. Should have stopped before the hashtags.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even sort of looking forward to supposedly less respectable stuff like Goblin slayer and happy sugar life.
Vonter
Also E3 is almost here. And I can't wait. I think Nintendo will have a good show considering they're revealing the new Smash with a tournament. There's rumors of the new game by Retro Studios (Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong) and maybe they'll reveal something about how Pokemon will be on the Switch.
Vonter
Also there's always the chance of something new being discovered. Not everything needs expectations behind. Sometimes great things come out of nowhere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So yes, there are some at least decent shows coming out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Muh Baki, Muh Bananna fish, muh made in abyss season 2, muh Vinland.
Anonymous2119906
The rest of this year looks like shit for anime and 2019 doesn't look great either #fuckmoe #makeanimegreatagain
Anonymous2119214
@Kaiser yeah it happened in half the amount of eps this time around for steins gate 0; which i expected considering there's a lot of ground to cover
Anonymous2119106
@Supermario Something like Fate or the LOTR films are a different case. I get where you're coming from about your preference, but I'm arguing that if a large story is going to be split into 3 films, it helps that the 3 films feel cleanly cut. Infinity war, even though we know there's a second part to the story, feels like it has that cohesive narrative structure with a beginning, middle, and end
Anonymous2119106
@Super Mario yea but the marvel movies are a different situation so i don't think the comparison is as appropriate. Marvel movies are "episodic" in nature rather than a continuous narrative. The films are largely isolated stories that are happening in a similar universe that only happen to "congeal" narratively because of a few overarching details shared between films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I remember when the original series suddenly shifted and got going and it was a really depressing episode.
Lenlo
Oh baby. The storm has finally come in Steins;Gate. Let the true suffering commence
SuperMario
@anon2118276: that's why I don't like LoTR trilogy. It's still a whole body chopped up in 3 parts, despite how clean the cut is. Whereas for me it works better if it was like a branch in a tree. The Marvel movies (despite my disinterest on those) are a good example of this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I did feel some of this weeks steins gate felt fillery, I do like see these characters interact and given the episodes conclusion, this episode acted as a calm before the storm.
Lenlo
Ill agree with you on King Kong. As for the Ralph Bakshi LotR, I have. I am still to this day impressed by the overlay of 2D art onto real/overexposed footage. It makes for shockingly fluid animation in places and has its own distinct style
Anonymous2118208
@Lenlo - Have you watched the old Ralph Bakshi adaptation of the first two books? It's uneven, but it's interesting comparing and contrasting certain decisions. As good as Peter Jackson is, I feel he makes very longwinded films, I like his version of King Kong a lot, but it is too long.
Anonymous2118276
@supermario i disagree; the point is that even though the LOTH films have cliffhanger endings, they still feel like fils. they have a defined first second and third act with well paced tension and release throughout them. They follow a storytelling macrostructure necessary for films to feel like cohesive narratives even if they are to end on a cliffhanger
Lenlo
I quite liked the individual LOTR movie just fyi
Vonter
Marvel surprisingly has kept their movies simple enough, that while you might miss details nowadays, you can tell what's happening.
Vonter
Another bad case is like with Assassin's Creed, which like Lost, just tried to tease a lot of things, then it grew tired of trying to piece them together and let the last games work more standalone, with little hints of a larger lore.
Vonter
Metroid does both, it has a standalone story and a hint to what a sequel might bring. Though that hint rarely matters by the time the new game is released.
Vonter
@SuperMario - Some videogames trilogies also do that. Gears of War and God of War had good standalone beginnings but by the second game they put cliffhanging endings. Kingdom Hearts does that and I expect 3 to also do it. Megaman Legends and Half Life had incomplete stories, which might be the worse case in regards to trying to make a continuous story.
SuperMario
It ruins the appetite
SuperMario
I actually think Lord of the Rings' trilogy is a bad example to follow. These films are meant to be viewed as a whole, so each film doesn't hold much as an individual story. I just can't digest films that have "to be continued" sign at the end. Imagine having a first course meal and then have to wait for few days for second course
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the current topic, I would be well for the production of a long running, ambitious ova series.
Anonymous2116425
then again, i don't take too much issue with these films feeling like movie-sized eps...the wait just sucks is all
Anonymous2116425
clearly the films need each other to tell the whole story, yet they can be taken for what they are in isolation as well
Anonymous2116425
I don't mind the trilogy trend at all; like Aidan said, when everything is said and done, all the films will be available to watch. I just think a stronger attempt should be made to make them feel like complete films. Something like the lord of the rings trilogy is a great example of how to do this
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am in full confidence that neither I nor Miura will survive to the end of berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course maybe they won't have a future , think about it that way, then they'd never see it, life has that weird way of being unpredictable like that =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
You can always rewatch them just before watching the one after.
AidanAK47
Of course not. But that's the thing. The wait is only a temporary problem. Anyone in the future will have all movies ready to view.
SuperMario
So it's best to wait for another 2 years to watch Heaven's Feel? Hell NOT
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Steins;Gate 0 – 7 [Eclipse of Vibronic Transition -Vibronic Transition-]

Oh boy, Steins;Gate 0 was definitely a thing this week, whatever that means. This time we have clashing styles, interesting plot twists and one hell of a cliffhanger. Lets jump in! To start off, lets get the obvious out of the way. Steins;Gate 0 is not an action series and it shows. The opening “combat” […]

Golden Kamuy – 07 [Complication]

This week ties up one plot thread that is Nihei and Tanigaki and their quest for hunting down the wise wolf and overall it does a decent job at that. Continuing from where the last episode left of, this final confrontation works for me because everyone has a moment to shine. Sugimoto proves that he […]

Hisone to Masotan – 06 [I’ll Shout Your Name]

At one point during this episode I almost felt that Hoshino was just too overboard. Being stubborn is one thing, but when you’re too stubborn you outright hurt others’ feeling without backing down, it’s irritating to watch. The issue with Hoshino, as we come to learn during the flashback, is that piloting an F2 has […]

Megalo Box – 7 [The Road to Death]

Hello everyone, and welcome to the most surprising episode of Megalo Box yet. This week we have family drama, Joe’s declining health and a shocker of an ending. Lets jump in! So starting from the top, lets talk about this ending. I never thought Megalo Box would pull something like this, with its limited number […]

Hinamatsuri – 07 [Anzu Is a Greeter Now]

At this halfway mark, I want point out that the comedy of Hinamatsuri isn’t as sharp as the first few episodes (except for the segment including Hitomi’s classmates). There’s still absurdist sense of humor, sure, but it doesn’t make me laugh out lout or even make me chuckle. That is to say I come to […]

Legend of the Galactic Heroes Die Neue These – 7[The Capture of Iserlohn (Part 2)]

The majority of this episode was detailing the plan and execution of Yangs takeover of Iserlohn which does seem rather simplistic when you think about it. This is a point where LOGH shows its age a bit and while they tried to bump it up by throwing in a body scanner, there is still the […]

Steins;Gate 0 – 6 [Eclipse of Orbital Ordering -The Orbital Eclipse-]

Ladies and Gentleman, Boys and Girls, Steins;Gate 0 has stomped the throttle and cut the breaks. Lets skip the intro and just get right to it. Early on I thought this episode was going to be slow, we were going to focus on our characters and relax a bit. I thought it would be drama […]

Golden Kamuy – 06 [Hunter’s Soul]

Well, (animal) shit. Golden Kamuy starts slow this week and ends with a bang. This episode presents many of Golden Kamuy’s ups and downs so it’s best to dissect them one by one. For the negative part, the pacing is still off. This episode spends too much time on Sugimoto and Asirpa hunting that poor […]

Hisone no Masotan – 05 [Do You Really Think That There’s Anybody Who Likes Being Disliked?]

There’s one thing you can count on original shows, you can never know for sure what the plot is going next. Sometimes, it surprises you with its sheer originality and sometimes, it could go to weird places. HisoMaso falls into the latter this week, literally where it’s taking us to an uninhabited island for the […]

Latest Reviews

Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel – I Prestige Flower Anime Review – 90/100

We have seen an influx of Fate adaptations over the last year and sadly each has proven to be disappointing except for a cooking slice of life short series which is weirdly better than it has any right to be. This movie was the last of the Fate adaptations that I needed to see but […]

Violet Evergarden (2018 Winter) Review – 76/100

Violet Evergarden’s existence has surely been a public one. Acclaimed before everyone lick a taste of it (it was awarded for grand prize in the fifth Kyoto Animation Award’s novel category in 2014 – read, KyoAni awards), it goes without saying that Violet Evergarden is one of the most anticipated show of the sparse Winter […]

A Place Further than the Universe (Winter 2018) Review – 77/100

Cute girls doing cute things is a genre that been done to death at this point. Even within this Winter 2018 we had been overloaded with big eyes fluffy face girls doing a lot of different things of interest. It takes a standout concept or a deeper narrative to make one stand out from this […]

After the Rain (2018 Winter) Review – 89/100

I suppose that most of us, even the perministic ones, enter After the Rain (Ameagari) with some reservations. After all, the premise about a crush from an 18-year-old girl to the store manager who is nearly 30 years senior raises a lot of red flags here. Yet the show handles this tricky premise with deep […]

Kokkoku – 42.5/100

There are lots of bad anime out there, for one reason or another. Whether it be stilted animation, terrible writing or bad direction, a good portion of each season is simply not worth it. Kokkoku is not a bad anime. It is something much worse. Kokkoku is a mediocre anime. Bad ones get talked about, […]

Junji Ito Collection Anime Review – 40/100

In the realm of manga there is a man whose name is inescapable when the genre of horror is brought up. That man is Junji Ito and his work is considered legendary for its artistic detail, mastery of manga paneling and it’s outlandish imaginative concepts. Up till now his work has yet to have an […]

Yuru Camp (Winter 2018) Review – 74/100

I admit that I underestimated Yuru Camp back in its first few episodes. I took it as a standard, run-on-the-mill slice of life show and I fully expected to give it 3 episodes at max before throwing it into the deep sea of forgotten anime. But as time pass, I can certainly see many good […]

Neo Yokio – 96/100

This may be half a year overdue but I simply can’t accept that none of the writing staff of Star Crossed Anime have cover the the biggest development in anime where Netflix took a hand in producing anime in the form of Neo Yokio. Taking place in the metropolis of Neo Yokio, a mashup between […]

Devilman Crybaby – 83/100

It’s an exciting time to be an anime fan where new business models and players are making big waves within the animation industry. After debuting with the original and excellently-produced Neo Yokio, the juggernaut streaming service of Netflix has decided to revive the classic series of Devilman and gives it the full adaption treatment. By […]