Posted on 10 September 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Aoi Hana



At the start of this year I wasn’t exactly the biggest fan of romance, but damn. 2009 has surely proved to be an excellent year for this genre. The year already started out with gems as Clannad’s After Story and Genji Monogatari, then it continued with the truly excellent Ristorante Paradiso and Cross Game, and if that wasn’t enough the Summer season only continued this trend of awesomeness with Spice and Wolf II and, of course, Aoi Hana.

At first sight, Aoi Hana may seem like your average lesbian series with lots of girls who cheesily fall in love with each other, but this series quickly proves those suspicions wrong when it subverts just about every cliché in the romance genre imaginable. FOR ONCE, romantic relationships are portrayed realistically, rather than those overly romanticized relationship you see in most average romances. For once, you see childhood friends who really behave like childhood friends, rather than the creators using the childhood friendship as a cheap plot device to get the lead couple in love with each other. For once, the two lead characters don’t end up falling in love with each other, and instead the main romance plays out between one of the lead character, and a side-character. And really: for once in a gay show we see actual straight romances. In fact, there’s only one lesbian in the entire series (Fumi, one of the lead characters). The rest is either straight or bi.

On top of that, this series is incredibly well told. there’s a huge amount of subtlety within the relationship of the most important characters in this series: the way they behave, feel and interact with each other is really done with a superb attention to detail. The series is only eleven episodes long, and yet the personality of each character can’t just be explained in one sentence. There’s absolutely nothing that’s shallow in this series.

The animation for this series also really stands out among the best in the romance genre. It’s very subtle, and portrays very accurately how all of the different characters move. But it’s especially the scenes in which people are touching each other, whether holding hands or messing with each other’s hair, in which the animation really makes those movements feel so incredibly real.

I feel hard-pressed to pick up any flaws for this series. Obviously, you don’t want to watch this series if you dislike a slow-paced series, but it really is a must-watch for any fan of the shoujo-ai genre in the way that it so realistically portrays lesbian relationships. There are a few scenes here and there that could have used a bit more build-up (like Kyouko’s fiancee, or the ending), but those moments are few and far in between. Aoi Hana really is one of my top picks of the past Summer Season.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10
Posted on with categories: Aoi Hana



Ah, this really was a cute ending for such a consistently excellent series. While not the best single episode of the series, it provided closure in a “life goes on”-kind of ending. The series feels complete, even though the manga goes on after this point.

As for my big fear for the ending: thankfully the creators didn’t end up making Fumi and Akira a couple, although this episode did play around with the romantic feelings between them. I began to fear a bit when Fumi saw Akira hanging out with Kou together and got jealous, but in the end the creators had a very nice explanation for that: Fumi had forgotten that her first crush was the one she had on Akira, when they were little. It’s this realization that made for the charming ending, and yet at the same time you could see that Fumi and Akira weren’t cheesily falling in love once they realized this. They could become a couple in the future, they could not. Who knows? Thankfully it feels much more natural than just about every other childhood crush out there.

Overall, I’m really glad that I managed to stick with this series. It definitely stands among my Top 3 of the series that premiered at the Summer Season, along with Tokyo Magnitude and GA. At the beginning of the season, I claimed that this could be one of the best summer seasons ever. That unfortunately didn’t hold up, since a number of series did end up a bit disappointing after their initial episodes (most notably, Canaan, Bakemonogatari and Sora no Manimani), but I do have to agree that there are surprisingly few series that are below average. And Aoi Hana really ignored everything and just went on to deliver one consistently solid episode after the other.

At this point, it seems pretty likely that I’m going to be forced to blog Kimi ni Todoke next season. I have no idea what it’s going to be about, other than that it’s also going to be a shoujo romance, but I do have to say that it’s going to have to try really hard to be able to beat this series.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 3 September 2009 with categories: Aoi Hana



Oh, what a powerful episode this was. It was entirely quiet: no overblown or forced drama, nor an overemphasis on angst whatsoever. I believe that this episode was the most subtle of the entire series, and with Aoi Hana, that has to say something.

The first half showed the wedding between Yasuko’s sister and teacher: this sealed the deal, and her teacher has now officially become impossible to reach. It really was a time in which Yasuko was finally able to close off a big part of her teenaged life. After that, we see her telling a bit about how she originally came to love her teacher. We also see how she cut her long hair short, as a means of symbolism. At the same time we see her befriend Kyouko, who also cut her hair short in response. With this, I’m beginning to see the relationship between Yasuko and Kyouko: Yasuko really does like Kyouko as a friend, but has gotten annoyed with Kyouko’s obsession over her.

But the really good part of this episode happened in the second half, in which Fumi (who was absent at the wedding) invites Akira over, and Akira’s brother and Yasuko end up tagging along. What follows is a very awkward scene, in which Fumi tries to distance herself as far away from Yasuko as possible by using Akira, and Akira’s brother keeping Yasuko a bit busy by telling her about how Akira used to be in the past. I especially loved the last part in which Yasuko tries to apologize to Fumi, and then getting rejected. You can see that she really broke up with Fumi in a tantrum. She ruined things between the two of them herself, because she should have known that Fumi is a really emotional person who takes what people say to her very seriously, especially since she was heart-broken once before.

In a way, Fumi has grown out of this as a stronger person, but at the same time it’s also sad to see that she’s completely shielding herself away right now, afraid to be hurt for a third time.

So, with one episode left, I really wonder how the creators are planning to end this series. I really hope for a “life goes on”-ending: an ending that’s just going to show a final part of the characters, and what’s going to happen to them after that is just going to be left to the viewer’s imagination. Especially since it’s very unlikely to see a second season of this, it would be the perfect ending for such a small little series.

Just one thing: PLEASE don’t end the series with Fumi and Akira falling in love with each other. This series has done SO WELL in avoiding just about every romance cliché in the book, it would be such an incredible shame to ruin it at the last possible minute!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 27 August 2009 with categories: Aoi Hana



A peculiar episode for this series, especially with only two episodes left after this. You’d think that this close to the end, the creators would pump up the drama, but instead we get what is likely the quietest episode of this series yet. There was a lot of simple slice of life.

So in this episode, Kyouko basically takes Akira, Fumi and some of her classmates to a holiday house owned by her fiance. A lot of the episode was just focused to the bunch of them having fun. There was a bit of drama, but this was much lighter than previous in this series. Basically, Kyouko’s fiance turns out to really like Kyouko, even when he knows that she has a crush on a girl. Yet again a subversion of the “childhood friends becoming lovers”-trope. This also is an important episode for Akira at the end, where she finally seems to realize that she’s the only one of her friends who still hasn’t fallen in love.

With two episodes left, I’m very curious to see how the creators are planning to end this series. Of course, I’d be happy with a second season, but there are other shows that are currently airing that deserve a sequel much more than this series. With the Noise time-slot apparently having bombed, I don’t think that the producers are very keen on keeping this series going, and I’m really not bothered if that turns out to be the case: we’ve got ourselves a nice, short and consistently excellent romance here that was really good while it lasted.

I personally hope that the creators are going for a Hitohira end here: don’t try to save the biggest climax for last, and instead try to wrap up the plot nicely, and let life just go on afterwards. That’s going to be perfect for this series, instead of inserting some shallow conclusion in which Akira suddenly comes to realize that she’s in love with Fumi. That’s going to be rather lame.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 20 August 2009 with categories: Aoi Hana



This entry starts with a spoiler so you may want to look away if you’re skimming through this paragraph. Holy crap, they actually broke up, and this doesn’t look like they’re going to get back together at this rate. It’s a bit of a shame though. It’s a bit predictable that Fumi is going to end up with Akira after all, since I really liked how originally this series didn’t seem to go down the clichéd road of childhood friends becoming lovers. Nevertheless, this was yet another truly excellent episode for Aoi Hana.

Anyway, I have no idea what’s going to happen with this series. Everyone says that this series is only going to last for 11 episodes, but I really doubt this. The reason why Michiko e Hatchin and Ristorante Paradiso had so few episodes was because they had a really strange broadcasting policy: Ristopara had a bunch of hiatuses in the beginning, while Michiko e Hatchin had one of the weirdest broadcasting policies I’ve ever run into when it kept getting to hiatuses one week and air double episodes the next. With Aoi Hana however, every episode aired like it was supposed to, and I find it really hard to believe that it’s already going to be over in three weeks. Speaking of which, is it already known which series is going to be the next one to fill in the Noise time-slot, or is that even unknown? Because in the case of the latter, we might have ourselves a 26-episode series here….

Anyway, what struck me the most in this episode was the incredibly cold way in which Yasuko talked to Kyouko, who found out that Fumi was dumped through Akira. That was absolutely nothing like what I expected from her. She must have been really upset with her sister marrying the teacher that she was in love with, and so she vented all of her frustrations on Fumi and Kyouko. In that way, she’s even worse than Fumi in her sulking about her past crush. And it took me a while to realize how similar the two of them are. It’s really a huge shame that they broke up, but unfortunately it really seems that Fumi has lost her feelings for Yasuko.

Also, the drawings and animation in this series are incredibly good when two people are touching each other in some way, whether messing with each other’s hair, hugging, or just holding each other’s hands. Those are the scenes that you can almost feel coming to life.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 13 August 2009 with categories: Aoi Hana



It’s episodes like this one that really make it unfair to wait for an entire week to see what happens next. Such a powerful episode even though it was nothing like your average dramatic anime episode. Aoi Hana really feels like one of the most realistic romances I’ve seen in a long time and it works incredibly well so far.

In this episode you could really see the distance between Fumi and Yasuko. It all starts with Fumi seeking refuge at Akira because of what happened in the previous episode, which is when she realized that Yasuko is still hung up over her past crush. In the meantime Akira finds out through Kyouko (who obviously has been researching on Yasuko) that Yasuko has four sisters, one of which previously taught at their high school.

The main meat of tihs episode however was about Yasuko, finally deciding to show Fumi her family and vice versa, and at that point we get to see a totally different version of Yasuko. At home, she’s really known as the spoiled princess. As the youngest, she often gets looked down upon by her sisters. You’d think that that would make her stronger, but because she’s seen as a role model outside of her family, she instead chooses to withdraw whenever her sisters or mother start to annoy her.

On top of that, Fumi makes a huge mistake of mentioning to her sisters how one of them taught at their high school, without ever mentioning that she had that knowledge to Yasuko herself. Fumi makes even more stupid moves, by actually taking the side of her family, rather than of Yasuko, and also mentioning how she previously was in love but got dumped.

That all leads to the end of this episode, in which Yasuko proposes to break up. That’s one very nasty cliff-hanger there. If the two of them manage to stay together like this and grow to accept their differences, they’ll probably get a lot closer to each other, however the chance of the two of them really breaking up is really big, and I’d really hate to see that happen. It’s exactly because the two of them are so different that they form a very nice couple.

I also wonder. Kyouko obviously got her crush on Yasuko because of her popular image, but I wonder whether she’d be still as enthusiastic about her when she learned that she also had a vulnerable side. In that way you can really see that Yasuko cares about Fumi: I don’t think that she’s ever willingly shown her weak side to anyone else, but Fumi at the same time is just so dense that it’s going to take a lot of effort for the two of them to fully trust each other.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 6 August 2009 with categories: Aoi Hana



There’s always this… something about plays that are performed in anime. I’m not sure what it is, but they always tend to bring out something fresh out of the characters. Aoi Hana as usual does this very subtly and full of emotions. In this episode, we see the play Wuthering Heights being performed by Yasuko and the others. I really have been watching too many cheesy soap operas lately, because this episode really surprised me at how well everything went, and yet there were so many emotions at the end.

Basically, nearly everything in the play goes smoothly, aside from a few pieces of clothing and books that aren’t at the place they should be, and when everything is over the teacher that Yasuko had her crush on congratulates her, which makes show a rather embarrassing side of her, which is something that Fumi happens to oversee. In your average anime, you’d usually expect Fumi to run away and refuse to talk to anyone, but interestingly enough the two of them were able to talk just fine after that: Fumi is clearly hurt when she found out that Yasuko still has feelings on her past crush, but both of them understand that it’s just something from the past.

There’s also this scene in which Yasuko claims that she dislikes the character of Catherine in Wuthering Heights. Well, I don’t know the full details of the Wuthering Heights novel, but Catherine seemed to be a passionate, wild and mischievous girl, who lead both her and Heathcliff to their doom. It’s interesting how in the same way, Kyouko actually looks up to her due to her strong will. They both have totally different ways in which they relate to her character, and it also signified the distance between the two of them, since Kyouko doesn’t know what happened in Yasuko’s past with her teacher.

And on a side-note, this series has something with hair. In every episode, you can see someone playing around with someone else’s hair. I like this though: it shows that hair is more than just brightly coloured stuff on top of people’s heads that waves elegantly in the wind to give off the air of good animation. I especially liked the animation of Catherine as she played the part. It’s much better to have a bit of a messy animation and movement, rather than clean art and a bunch of still frames.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 30 July 2009 with categories: Aoi Hana



Oh, I so love how this series managed to bring its characters to life. The non-verbal communication between the characters says much more than what the dialogue can even hope for and the creators manage to do this with a lot of subtlety. It really gives all of the characters complex stories, rather than “A is in love with B but B is in love with C so A hates C”, or the like. There definitely is a love triangle going on here, but these five episodes have added a lot of detail to them to make them far away from your average love triangle out there.

In this episode, Kyouko finds out why she was rejected by Yasuko, and how Yasuko is in love with Fumi. I didn’t see any hate for Fumi at her, but just about every other negative emotion was present on her. Because of this, Fumi stops accompanying Yasuko to her rehearsals because she fears having to deal with Kyouko’s sad face again. Throughout, Akira keeps acting as the straight man in this romance: she isn’t loved or in love with anyone, but instead provides support for both Fumi and Kyouko in this case.

And I have to say that Yasuko has a very interesting way to show her affections. While Fumi act like a shy puppy around her, Yasuko instead shows her feelings very subtly: she mostly puts on a straight face in order to be the strong shoulder for Fumi to lean on, but there are a few times here and there in which you can see that she really likes to be with Fumi.

Kenichi Kasai isn’t the most consistent director I’ve seen. What I saw of Major (the first season) shows that he’s terrible at shounen series, and Kimikiss, while it did have genuine characters, did drag on for way too long, but his best works really are something else. Nodame Cantabile was awesome, and Aoi Hana also looks to be standing out in its own way with its attention to detail. And yes, some day I’m going to watch Honey and Clover. ;)
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 23 July 2009 with categories: Aoi Hana



I love the subtitle of the Noise timeslot: “War Cry of Animation Monster. GAOOOOO!!” Let alone the awesome roar, it’s ironic how despite such an aggressive motto, the past two series of the timeslot have been very charming and very quiet slice of life series. At the moment, I’m not going to call Noitamina or Noise the better time slot, because Noise has only started. However, after the fourth season of Noise’s lifetime, its repertoire only consists out of truly excellent and well-thought out series, so it really got off to an amazing start. But then again, this was the same thing with Noitamina (I would have rated Paradise Kiss much higher if I had watched it today): its first screw-up came with its fifth season and Jyu Oh Sei. Let’s now see whether or not Noise can beat that.

Anyway, about this episode: it yet again was excellent and continues to subtly flesh out and develop the different characters, mostly Fumi and Yasuko. Fumi shows herself to be really uncertain about her relationship, and in her mind she sees herself in the middle of a love triangle: while she’s in love with Yasuko, she doesn’t want to lose Akira at the same time, and yet staying with Akira makes her believe that she’s betraying Yasuko.

Yasuko in the meantime thankfully made sure that this series avoids the biggest pitfall that shounen ai and yuri shows can have: the “everyone is gay”-syndrome. As it turns out, Yasuko used to be in love with one of her teachers, but got rejected. And now suddenly, she is in a relationship where she has to be the strong one, taking care of the ever-gloomy Fumi. I guess that she uses that to make her forget about the relationship with her teacher, but at the same time the way she rejected Kyouko two episodes ago suggests that she isn’t that desperate, and didn’t just start dating Fumi for the heck of it, and instead has real feelings for her.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 16 July 2009 with categories: Aoi Hana



At the moment, there is no doubt for me that Aoi Hana is the best series to debut this summer season, and this episode only reinforced this. From the very beginning, it’s been a consistently excellent yuri series with believable and charming characters. I’m also really glad to see that the great animation wasn’t just something of the first two episodes: this episode yet again looked great, with detailed animated shots and some great artwork, despite the down to earth character-designs.

This episode also surprised me with how the two lead characters didn’t become a couple. Instead, Fumi started dating the captain of the basketball club, while Akira had simply been going out with her friends and is still looking. But then again, this is anime. Has there ever been a romance story in which two childhood friends did not fall in love with each other at some point?

I’m curious as to how many episodes there are going to be. Unfortunately, the episode page of ANN is completely messed up in this case, so there is no way of telling whether there are actually going to be 11 episodes, or whether there are going to be more. Interestingly, the manga this is based on only has two volumes. That’s pretty short for a manga, and yet it feels perfect for a short story like this one.
Rating: ** (Excellent)
Very nice romantic developments, especially for Fumi.

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperWooper
I'm with you, Bokusen. I don't even think it was particularly good-looking.
Bokusen
Maybe it gets better though, or it just wasn't my thing...
Bokusen
Garo was way too campy/trashy for me and I dropped it like a rock after ep 1. The whimpy female character annoyed me too.
KTravlos
yeah that is m plan. Altair is about to finish. I think at this point that I ca say that on balance it is a better political-military epic than Arslan despite the issues. You will read more about it in my review.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: I am waiting to marathon it, the first season worked better when marathoned.
Amagi
Maybe I will pick it up again now that I dropped something else.
Amagi
Damn I totally fogot about it. Watched the first two episodes and it was enjoyable + good animation. It was still missing an actual plot but I guess it starts later
KTravlos
also, it looks like Garo: The Vanishing line is a good show to watch. Is anybody following it?
KTravlos
That said the last two AMB episodes were quite fun.
Amagi
I would have prefered it if the magical beings were weird looking instead of all of them being beautiful sameface humans. Also the special role of Chise and how everyone gets alured by her give me strong otome vibes and I am really not a fan of this gerne
Amagi
@Lenlo/KT same here. It's just that AMB can't come even close to Inu, Shuumatsu or Houseki. I am no a fan of the pacing and the rest is basically just fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was worried there for a moment thinking sangatsu no lion was ending next week, turns out season 2 is 22 episodes afterall.
Lenlo
Yeah KT, watching the two together has not come out favorably for AMB for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe it works better in hellsing and drifters moreso to both being goofball action shows.
KTravlos
A point on the chibi in AMB. I was thinking about shows were the chibi did not bother me, and Hellsing Ultimate and Drifters (newest episodes coming out), both had deformed/chibi segments. For some reason they did not bother me. I think ABM directors have bad timing with them.
KTravlos
I have to say Ichirou Inuyashiki is very cool. Like he is really a cool character. Also I am saddened to say it but watching AMB together with Inuyashuki does not work well for AMB
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Silver: There are sad moments certainly but plenty of humour.
Anonymous1639132
Man, I sure hope Ichirou Inuyashiki and Hiro Shishigami make out, everything is just building up to that
silver
I actually have only watched one or two episodes of this season of 3-gatsu, but its rising scores and rave reviews are making me really excited! I've only put it off because it's somewhat emotionally tiring for me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Well, after the first season of 3-gatsu ended, I did skim ahead to this bullying arc so I already know this is going to be powerful, yet the anime still wow me over and over
Anonymous1637770
Also it can be tricky selecting a season sequel since some old series had like 50 to 100 episodes, what counted as a season then?
Anonymous1637770
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's more common in videogames (especially Capcom) than in other mediums. Megaman 2, RE 2, Street Fighter 2, Dino Crisis 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually in a rarity, a sequel season is better than the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which makes my enjoyment of sangatsu so strange.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I generally do not like game/sports orientated shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That you slightlySuper-erMario and superwooper!
Kaiser-Eoghan
And my reaction to the show is such, that I enjoyed it enough to make such a huge pot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also I want Akari to be my mom and Hina is adorable without being annoyingly so and Kana Hanazawa is doing a good job voicing her.

And whoever said it is right, the op/ed songs are worth listening to, for once I’m not skipping them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At this point it feels as if by the end of the series I’ll come off it thinking that I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.
I don’t think as of just yet it complete lives up to honey and clovers legacy though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never cared about Harunobu initially, but recent episodes have changed this.
Dull parts of the manga are easier to get through for me in the anime due to Shaft elevating the material with one of the better uses of their visual gimmicks.
Giving the series another chance, even though I won’t fully embrace the humour, it does now and then manage to make me laugh a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc centering on Hina and the shows treatment of it is better than most anime bullying stories and has provided the most emotionally rewarding aspect of the show.
Characters that are assholes like Kyouko’s boyfriend, Kyouko herself I’m finding somewhat more sympathetic and want to see more to their personal drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
However I do genuinely think that the series does a good job of allowing dramatic moments to creep up on the viewer, that early scene of Hina crying over her mother, Rei’s family flashbacks, Akari’s concerns about Hina/the stuff with her dad, all the scenes with Kyouko do carry an effective and solid dramatic weight to them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel it starts very strong, making a great first impression, then kind of has these dull moments that make it sort of a slog at times to get through, unfortunately I have no interest in chess/shougi and no knowledge the show tries to give me is going to stick or allow me to embrace that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Through jumping back and forth between the anime and manga, I can say I have no caught up to where I will now watch March comes like a lion on a weekly basis.
Anonymous1636224
The blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki
Anonymous1636224
Mmmmmm the suffering of all those innocent people feeding his God boner, this is why I love Inuyashiki
Lenlo
Oh yeah, thats not a knock against it. Just noting they dont *need* much animation
SuperMario
Well, the nature of Mahoutsukai is slow-burned, so it makes sense they focus more on static, quiet moments
Lenlo
Was that blade 2022 thing supposed to be an example? Because I wasnt a fan. It was stylish sure, but difficult to follow.
Lenlo
Maho is a good looking show, I wouldnt call it a great animated show.
Lenlo
The issue for me is, theres just not alot being animated most of the time. Usually its a pretty slow moving anime, so most of its time is talking and still shots. It doesnt need alot of animation, so it doesnt have it.
Lenlo
@Niel, I think Mahoutsukai can have good animation when it wants to. Like the water viel in episode 10 looked good (Though im not sure how much of that was after effects)
Anonymous1635607
uhhh creepy
Anonymous1635589
the blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki so much
Amagi
I think the security is the same as here, it's just that Japanese people are less likely to rip stuff (correct me if I am wrong). It seems like ripped anime, manga and so on are basically always uploaded by Americans, Chinese people or someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised heavens feel was camripped I thought security in japanese theatres was stronger.
Amagi
Yeah it's also screening in Germany, I will watch it in February, together with Heaven's Feel, Mutafukaz, Kimikoe and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*on Europa cinema
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nanoha new film to screen next February in the US, come in Europa license it for over here dammit....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did have some down moments though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I guess contrasting Luke with his old self goes some way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Saw the preview screening of the new star wars, still feel the new trilogy stands inbetween the originals and prequels, fufills its duty as a *** star blockbuster , some genuinely hilarious high camp moments, awful tokenism, Snoke is a shit villain, but two scenes with Luke actually have a pathos to them and I liked the chase/action scenes when they happened. Nobody cares about the acting/dialogue
AidanAK47
But there are times when it goes way too far and you can barely make out what is even supposed to be happening. Or characters go so off model that they are unrecognizable. It can be immersion breaking. Much like uncanny CGI.
AidanAK47
@Niel, I do agree that it's annoying to see people complain about animation when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Like those inbetween frame screenshot people. But I will say I appreciate on model characters more so than chaotic movement. When the off model stuff suits the tone of the scene like that blade runner part, then it's fine.
niel
I also don't want to see someone imply visual=animation for the hundredth time. Are people really that ignorant of the technical/artistic aspect of the media they consumed?
niel
It just depends on what works best in given scene and the aesthetic they want to go for. People can complain all they want about off-model stuff, but if they really only want that the they won't be getting nearly as much of those impactful scenes as there are now. So many of the ways people complain about it is really irking to me.
niel
normal/low action scenes is different from being on-model during the action sequences and just the ones that need some extra impact in general. https://youtu.be/rrZk9sSgRyQ?t=6m45s
niel
But that depends on the situation though. And I'd argue that being consistent and on-model during
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter/Niello/Mario: Ideally I want it both ways, fluid animation AND consistent model visuals, all the while never sacrificing choreography.
SuperMario
But really, who am I to say. I'm the dude who prefer beautiful shot composition myself
SuperMario
The same can be said with Shinkai's movies since he always prefers static, beautiful shot that people tend to overlook that his animation is quite poorly handled
Vonter
You're right, but art direction does alleviate limited animation, I mean the old Berserk anime, kinda has a lot of slideshow moments. MahoYome has nice backgrounds, and despite the samey faces, at the very least doesn't come from the same mold as other series. Still cutting corners with chibi segments is was a mistake.
SuperWooper
Is it any wonder that people prefer things to be static/on-model? They want to see characters who look consistent and familiar so they can relate to them.
Nie
MahoYome being the biggest offender of people getting triggered to any kind of statement about the show's animation not being good. And it's absurd because the show's animation really isn't great at all. It's good with distracting people with pretty pictures, but animation-wise it's still mediocre.
Nie
@SuperMario: Not much. Just stuff like "Art is part of the animation weather it's beautiful backgrounds or just amazing looking characters. It's not all about how they move. If it was, CG would be considered great animation" multiple times. I've just been finding myself being replied with these kinds of comment non-stop since the start of the season.
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
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Featured Posts

Fate/Apocrypha – 23[Going Beyond]

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Inuyashiki – 10 [People of Tokyo]

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Girls’ Last Tour – 10 [Train – Wavelength – Capture]

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Houseki no Kuni – 10 [Shiro]

This week proves to be the most action-packed episode Houseki has been offering so far and unconventionally, it’s Dia who takes the central stage at facing the most ridiculously overpowered Lunarian Titan to date. Well, I said “unconventionally”, but when the narration and the execution (the camera work, in particular) come together in such neat […]

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