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.

Customize
Kaiser Eoghan
*last two
Kaiser Eoghan
I'll leave it to someone else to pick the last one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Might add trouble every day by Claire Denis and Livid by Julien Maury.
Kaiser Eoghan
Thanks for that. So now its under the shadow, return of the evil dead 1, dagon, from beyond, re-animator, haute tension, nekromantik, the tunnel.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah I had forgotten, I'd meant to see Haute tension.
Kaiser Eoghan
Of those I haven't seen nekromantik or dead things.
SuperMario
That's all I can think for now. I'm sure K-off and others will have more inspiring suggestions down the line
SuperMario
For pychological edge: Haute Tension, Lake Mungo, Three... Extremes (actually the 3 shorts are all interesting), The Tunnel 2011 (underaprreciate Aussie found-footage)
SuperMario
For sick minds, Man Bites Dog, a Serbian film, Der Tolesking, Human Centipede (1&2)
SuperMario
Alright, for pure horror pleasures: Necromantik (1987), Green Inferno, Dead/Alive (my childhood's nightmare), Children Shouldn't Play woth Dead Things (more like a guity pleasure)
SuperMario
Haha scary indeed
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The scariest thing about the haunting was that a remake of it exists that betrays the original.
SuperMario
Now, let me check my own horror list for more reccomendation
Kaiser Eoghan
Hahaha! Possession predates urotsukidouji =P in terms of the tentacle monster thing.
SuperMario
And I heard that the Haunting (1963) is good as well. Some david lynch movies (Lost Highway for example) could be claasified as horror too
SuperMario
Shame he passed away early this year. But he did say that the violent relationship in that movie was based on his own divorce.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I think Polish directed films are apparently rooted in theater. Though I believe he is a Dadaist.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Apparently Possession and diabal, all of his works are full of hidden political messages.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: That director is genuinely off-the wall insane, silver globe and l'amour braque actually make that look sane.
SuperMario
Possession the movie that Isabelle Adjani stared in? God, that movie exhausted me
Kaiser Eoghan
Innocents was so much better than its remake the others, the atmosphere was a lot lot stronger too, black and white really adds to the mood too.
Kaiser Eoghan
ha! I loved those.
This year I'm looking for silly horror movies predominently.
SuperMario
Let scare Jessica to death; the innocents 1961, Kill List, goodnight Mommy
Kaiser Eoghan
My alltime favourite horror film is Possession.
Kaiser Eoghan
No fuck it, no sequels. Currently it stands at under the shadow, return of the evil dead 1, dagon, from beyond, re-animator.
SuperMario
Too lazy to check out which horror movies that you've watched, but sure I can reccomend you some, from shitty to pure camp.
Kaiser Eoghan
Actually wait, under the shadow is out next week so that means I only need 5 more.
Kaiser Eoghan
Or maybe a 12 days is more feasible, easier. So that brings it down to six more. Guilty pleasures accepted.
K-Off
Any room for shitty horror in that list?
Kaiser Eoghan
I have to do a 30 days of halloween list soon. Want to limit it to horror films I haven't seen. So far I have the return of the living dead trilogy , dagon, from beyond and the re-animator.
Kaiser Eoghan
I also recently watched stranger things. I felt it did right by its 80s throw back, straight down to the references, score, costumes. Pretty cool monster too and the younger actors I thought were mostly good. Kind of slightly reminded me of the goonies to a small extent. I think it succeeded in being fairly heartfelt. Although I did find it a bit padded.
SuperMario
About the new season, I'm more interested in how these dark horse titles will turn out: Flip-flappers, ClassicalLoid, Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku, Yuri on Ice
SuperMario
@Aidan: I had Stranger Things on my queue list for a while now, but don't plan to watch it anytime soon. Glad you enjoy it.
K-Off
ReZero is the only show I finished in about 2 seasons. Hopefully the Working spinoff is up to par.
AidanAK47
Hoping things change when the first episodes start airing of the new anime season.
AidanAK47
Things have gotten quiet here. I plan on getting my Mob psycho review up today. I have to say that the next season doesn't interest me very much. There's some great stuff coming next year but the fall is looking pretty...meh.
AidanAK47
Finally got around to watching Stranger Things. Good show, I like the nostalgic way they tell the story though at times its too Spielberg/King. I admit that I can't say I was blown away by it. It's good and I will be watching the second season. But it's a tad.. predictable. Those child actors did a great job though.
K-Off
@Bam I'm not certain the email I have is one you actually use, so here it is: (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QWnGcuVQuXfOJuh80SDgtiZH4X6Zya_XEG2ZOM6u-5k/edit?usp=sharing)
It's pathetic right now, I'm sorting out my arrangements for Seoul first.
K-Off
@Bam I'll send you the itinerary in a few hours. Appreciate the offer for guides but I'll decline on that, otherwise it wouldn't hurt to have additional contacts in japan. The person I'm traveling with is half Japanese, so I trust that we won't run into tourist traps.
SuperMario
It logged me out again. Oh well! That was me Bam
Anonymous207007
@Bam: the first time I've ever heard of Chinchilla. Sorry to hear about your pet. Don't feel bad about the late post, it's perfectly fine. After all, we all volunteer to contribute here, so no pressure on the timing. Just write whenever you feel like it really.
Bam
Can anybody else see these?
Bam
@K-off: right on m8, I'm excited for you. Email me your itinerary and I can not only recommend some spots that aren't just basic tourist-traps, but can also hook you up with some friends to take you around and show you what the real Japan is all about.
Bam
I was planning to release the posts just as scheduled, but my Chinchilla suddenly got ill, and given the exotic nature of such pets I've been in and out of dozens of veterinary clinics. Over a week later and $600 spend, the poor thing finally gave out. I've been pretty out of since it happened, but again sorry for just disappearing.
Bam
I am actually still breathing. Sorry again for the unceremonious absence.
K-Off
@anon196168 I'm all ears for suggestions.
Anonymous196168
If youre going to japan maybe you could do something more unique than just taking pictures of locations? Plenty of those already on Google.
Kaiser Eoghan
Noticing a server error showing up on the shoutbox there.
AidanAK47
Good point, normal users generally just stay anono. ke69Vin?...69...really....that's just sad humor right there.
K-Off
That was most definitely little Kevin as well. 9vinke6 is obviously an anagram.
AidanAK47
@9Vinke6, I don't know what you are trying to share but it ain't an image. Deleting your comment as I don't want dodgy files on the site.
Anonymous181098
Are you kidding??!! Tokyo is amazing if you want excitement & you want to experience social life. But I agree go to Osaka. If tokyo is like Quebec then osaka is like toronto. More laid back
Anonymous180231
OPM was a shoe-in. It's showing very good success on Adult Swim on US TV and Viz is throwing big dollars to keep the gravy train rolling
AidanAK47
One Punch Man season 2 was announced. Expected but most certainly welcome.
...now I need Re:Zero season 2.
CJayTiiii
Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
K-Off
If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
CJayTiii
Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
CJayTiii
Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
K-Off
@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
CJayTiii
For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
afgm
Well, it's hard, since it doesn't really feel finished, so even if you know it will eventually end well if given a chance, you can't really put your full confidence behind those bets
AidanAK47
Got a bit long winded in that review and yet I feel like I really didn't get across what makes the series so good.
AidanAK47
Well that's the Re:Zero review written up. I will get to work on 91 days next and maybe Prisms Illya maybe after that. Lost all entuasim after they messed up that last episode in Illya. Overall it's been pretty disappointing.
AidanAK47
As for that twist. I think they could work it easily into a first episode. The impact would still be there for people marathoning the thing in the future and it would be a good "Oh Shit!" moment to start the second season. If they jump ahead a bit to a certain moment it would actually make for a great opener.
AidanAK47
I say the only chance of season two not coming would be if White Fox doesn't like money. Considering that the pace which the light novel adaption has sped up from every few months to a release every month I guess that they want to make that second season as badly as we want it. At this pace they could start a second season in maybe a years time. Maybe every half a year depending on cour length.
Syndrome
Also, if season 2 ever come (that would be a surprise if not, and truly annoying), I dont know how they will manage with the "twist", as something this impactful would come way too fast without any kind of setup. Wait and see, I guess.
Syndrome
After seeing the last Re:Zero I couldnt help but spoil myself, and I kind of understand why WhiteFox went with that kind of ending, skipping what would be a giant shtstorm on the internet. Even though, in a sad world where there would be no season 2, Im still a bit disappointed with the ending. Its nice to wrap it up this way but its a stale regarding the plot and there is no food for thought.
SuperMario
@aidan: you sure are fast when it comes to Re:Zero haha. Alrighty, we'll go with that then
AidanAK47
@mario,I am putting up a Re:Zero post. Tommarrow. I will unsticky it for a day and then we can sticky it again.
reaLjustified
@K-Off No worries, it's so messed up. Stay safe.
SuperMario
@Aidan: if you going to post Re:Zero review soon, you can unsticky the Versus Show post, otherwise I will take it down in 2 days
SuperMario
@K-Off: I feel for ya. Glad that there were only minor injuries. I heard a blogger claimed that he did it because of the gay rights. Sound bullsh*t to me
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