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
SuperMario
@Animosh: don't mention it. I'm glad you enjoy it. I don't take credits in this case since I myself haven't watched it yet. I love it how this community is willing to try other medium and not exclusively anime
Animosh
Really surprised this isn't more well known. Not that there's been much competition, but it's easily the best (western) cartoon I've seen this year.
Animosh
@SuperMario: thanks again for recommending Lastman! I just finished it, and it was a lot of fun. It doesn't have much depth, but it was incredibly entertaining: it just keeps throwing these bizarrely over the top action set-pieces at you without pausing, it oozes style, and its soundtrack is killer (it reminded me a bit of Hotline Miami). And it can be pretty damn funny too. It even ends strongly.
SuperMario
"I swear if I see some nonsense like her not being able to stay “Professional” due to having a boyfriend then I will have to strangle something" --> is that why you had screenshot of kitties up there?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: little sister has a strong chance to be a protag in the last arc. I'm genuinely surprised that Futaba is the main girl in this arc thou
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see the little sister looking scared in bunnygirl agrain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yay! Sing and eiji are doing something and Ash's freakout while melodramtic and ridiculous was still bleak, learn a bit more about Blanca which is good. Didn't like the goofy bit with yut-lung.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Not intellectually non-intellectual enough for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bunny-girl has redeemed itself. Also my favourite part of this weeks episode was 7 or 8 minutes before the end .
SuperMario
I mean, just reading that title alone I might check out what this movie is about. lol
SuperMario
Well, I come across an unusual film title today. A Japanese film called "When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to be Dead"
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Lafalle arc (as thematically I probably engaged the most here)and the final arc both elevated this series for me, even though I did enjoy the bit with Vann early on.
I’ve heard people don’t like the ending it hit with me.
Really solid.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dramatically this even kind of clicked for me and the antagonist surprised me as did twintails girl and bestghosts eventual roles, comedy isn’t exactly funny but I did laugh at points.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Apparently I got third time lucky with Mizukami, because I found this a very fresh take on the re-incarnation genre while actually DOING something worthwhile with it, his pacing/story telling style definitely feels a better fit to me in a short manga like this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After a degree of indifference to planet with and only liking Biscuit hammers last arc, I ended up approaching Spirit circle expecting to not really have any opinion on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just my kind of weird.
Anonymous3093267
sword eyes
SuperMario
Here's another experimental animated short for you, Kaiser, Tango (1981) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo8O8lYDzIU
SuperMario
@Animosh: yeah the second part was released in VOD earlier this year and I watched it. Prefer the 1st one much better
Vonter
I don't know why, but I thought you were talking about Tomorrowland. That Disney movie that bombed and everyone seemed very lukewarm about. I suppose because I don't know exactly what was the problem with it, didn't see much discussion about it.
Animosh
@SuperMario: I think I've seen World of Tomorrow, but not 100% sure. There's apparently a second part out though, and I definitely haven't seen that!
Animosh
And Umfeld (https://vimeo.com/umfeld) is also worth mentioning. It kind of consists of shorts, it's technically animated (at least in part: it mixes real footage and CGI I think?), and it's definitely weird. It's a very polarizing work though. I love it, but it wouldn't surprise me if most people here hate it.
Animosh
Some other things that came to mind: Tim Burton's "Vincent" (it's stop-motion, but whatever), Loom (https://vimeo.com/24069938) and E-Baby (https://vimeo.com/25435555). And the stop-motion shorts by Lee Hardcastle are pretty fun, if you're in the mood for some needlessly disgusting horror.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I enjoyed embrace of the serpent which has the same director as Birds of passage so I'll keep an eye out for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm going to see Roma and Birds of Passage this weekend. Really excited for both
Kaiser-Eoghan
As for the she-ra thing well, as I've gotten older I probably have avoided kids stuff more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to see tokenism being seen as acceptance when it isn't, it feels that people are putting forth the idea that something is only being/can be accepted because its being portrayed in a tokenistic way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its fine, obviously to have strong female characters, Ripley in Alien, Sarah Conner in Terminator, awesome....Rey in star wars....no.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think too often shows and films, American ones today, are tokenistic or clicheed with inserting issues, merely just throwing them in or tacking them on for the sake of ticking boxes rather than any earnesty or doing anything.
Anonymous3086853
@SuperMario - I do. Yet at the same time it was a bit outside of my comfort zone, watching something like this considering that (let's be honest) msot shows are men oriented. Even the ones with great female characters. This one despite having tomboyish girls is mainly about these girls with male characters having supporting roles. I suppose that's were the uneasiness lies in my case.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just got done watching both earlier, his dark humour jives well with me and I liked the concept.
SuperMario
@Kaiser @Animosh: if you haven't seen World of Tomorrow plsssss check it out. I can't recommend it highly enough
SuperMario
@Vonter: Maybe it's a good things that shows for general audiences like this have queer context. Don't you think?
Anonymous3086853
Also because I'm a bit immature, this show is kinda gay. There's a lot of ship baiting moments, one same sex couple in the last episode and rainbows, pastel colors, emasculated male characters and some female crossdressing.
Anonymous3086853
The weakest aspect is that several secondary characters get lost in the shuffle. Kinda like Big Hero 6 in which the team had personalities but just didn't had the time to develop in any meaningful way. Still both the main cast and villains were good and like I say the protagonist and antagonist had strong arcs for a first season.
Anonymous3086853
So I now finished watching She Ra, and it got even better as it was building towards the season's end. Thes strongest aspect is the rivalry between Adora and Catra, the chemistry is very strong, kinda like Optimus and Megatron or Xavier and Magneto. In which both parts seem equally capable and to have mind games with the other.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh hey cool, rain town is done by the Penguin hhighway anime movie guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It looks like I haven't seen Don Hertzfedlts World of tomorrow films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also Prince Achmed and How Wang-Fo Was Saved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah. yes, thanks animosh, I had a look at Rain town there, I like the style it was done in, it achieves the emotions its trying to convey well without needing dialogue, piano score actually helps rather than hinders.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glassy ocean, that was another short I watched lately.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh inka isha is country doctor.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know Mario has seen this style on animation, but anyone else see any oil on glass animation?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually prefer robot carnival to genius party but liked both.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Zepo, The Pride of Strathmoor were recent animated shorts I watched.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Recently I watched two shorts, death and the mother and pleasures of war.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd say any eastern european short films would be worth anyones time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not familiar with rain town or Inaka Isha .
Amagi
Kaiser: Have you seen Inaka Isha from Kafka?
Animosh
In the meanwhile, though, I'd also be very interested in recommendations! The shorts I mentioned are among my favorite animated works, so if you know anything similar, please let me know. :)
Animosh
For western animation I really like the Don Hertzfeldt shorts. And there was this short called "Rain Town" that was really impressively animated. I'm sure there were others, but my long-term memory is pretty lousy. If something else comes to mind I'll let you know.
Animosh
I'm pretty sure you're already going to be familiar with all of my favorites, but here you go: Morimoto's shorts are all fantastic (Dimension Bomb, Beyond, Noiseman Sound Insect, etc), and two others that come to mind are Cat Soup and Kigeki (or Comedy) by Nakazawa. There are also some great collections out there (like the Genius Party ones), but again, you've probably seen those already.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If anyone has any suggestions for weird short animations, I'm looking for excuses to watch some more and I'm in the mood for them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Mario's youtube link had cgi models of rem and ram in the video.
Masky
I'm confused when was Rem even mentioned
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only ever watched he-man and stuff related to it in passing when I was younger, Conan was more my thing back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For so long I'd always referred to she-ra as she-man.
AidanAK47
@Mario, What is this heresy!
....
....Rems always cute.
Anonymous3084910
Hilda is fine, though is very laidback kinda like a young reader's novel. It has its moments but its fantasy with slice-of-life coming of age.
Anonymous3084910
@SuperMario Yeah I know, She Ra is the twin sister of He Man. But strangely it seems Dreamworks may not have the right to those characters. It was a marketing idea trying to bring more girls to that universe but like most girls show from the time it had a very flat depiction of what little girls want to see.
SuperMario
Sorry Aidan, I know it's blasphemy but I have to post here. Enjoy the OP song with the twins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9MUjISNm0U&index=4&list=PLU56jBSlcHw8-ol9Hi4lJ0GR0tU6EOf2a
SuperMario
I'll probably check out Hilda. Heard a lot of hypes about that show
SuperMario
@Vonter: I've heard of She-Ra, she's the female counterpart (well, sister) of He-Man (the most powerful man in the universe and the secret identity of Prince Adam). Sounds silly but I'm not even kidding
Vonter
All in all, despite not being a big thing, I think is an enjoyable recommendation. My only nitpick is that it maybe too light hearted for some kinda like above My Little Pony but below something Voltron. Also despite being less childish than the original is still kinda of girly with lots of pastel colors although it balances it a bit having girls being more tomboyish in different degrees.
Vonter
Like with Voltron it amuses me seeing anime tropes being played through western lens. Since I'm a bit hesitant to say that could this count as a harem series despite not being male gaze moments? Also having the most sensible hotspring episode I've seen.
Vonter
In this one this She Ra has pathos. A bit like Korra there's doubt in her role and also a complicated relationship with her rival. I do like the role reversal in the knight's tale this clearly is, in that most roles that would be played by men are played by women in this story. Matriarchy, displacement of both femminine beauty but also empowerment.
Vonter
So I've watched some of the new She Ra from Netflix. So far I'm in, it's not deep but it's quite charismatic. I do like there's more pathos in regards to these characters which pretty much were confined to their archetype to an extreme like the original Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It manages to make watching something like running engaging, when I'd otherwise probably not watch the sport. Also, last week the show ended up popping into my head when I was sitting around doing pretty much nothing and made me think "Ok fuck it, not sitting around doing nothing, going to go out for a run around the block"
Lenlo
I also agree, characters losing in sports is important. They can't start at the top, it makes the series lose meaning
Lenlo
I quite enjoyed Kaze Fui this week. I think your correct that the one who got the reality check was Kurahara, who thought he was the only one able to actually make it. I also thing that he has a competitive streak a mile wide, and might be a little afraid of failure. Doesnt think the team can make it, so why bother
Kaiser-Eoghan
Think I wasn't i the mood for honda-san this week even though I laughed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I like it when sports series actually show the characters you know...actually lose.
Anonymous3083989
Huh, interesting in this episode of Kaze ga that it's Kakeru who got a reality check during the track meet since he was beaten by two other runners. I think we're due for an episode soon where he has to confront his past demons instead of fleeing from them.
Anonymous3083626
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aging in fiction, I think has more to do with the story than the characters. I mean the jokes about Ash Ketchum, Detective Conan, Archie. The Flinstones tried to make different stories by aging Pebbles and Bam Bam. Or Batman having two Robins graduating into their own heroes. But in the end dynamics change, hence why most cartoons don't age the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is why when aging does occur in anime/manga, such as in vinland saga or nanoha for example, its appreciated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course, animated characters often don't age much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember enjoying the simpsons movie back when I watched it, but thinking about it it really was just an extended episode. Really the show peaked with the who shot Mr Burns episode. Catching bits of recent episodes and seeing them use modern stuff while they never age seems weird too.
Amagi
I do think series are allowed to move forward though, I am kinda interested in the Pkmn movie for example. But certain shows should just end, Simpsons for example was a parody of the 90s, it just can't work in a more modern setting IMO.
Amagi
I stopped with the Simpsons when Maude was killed/died, it was just a step in the wrong direction they should have never done and it killed the series for me. I disliked it before already though, I think I noticed the series getting worse since season..9? Or 10, not sure anymore.
Amagi
Anime for Dorohedoro announced.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Therefore ruining the fanservice fun for everybody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite beach episodes are ones where it rains and they end up not being able to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After that it was just the film for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually, regarding the simpsons, the episode I stopped on was sometime in the early 2000s, Homer was stuck on some island resort or something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose it was just as much a case of falling out of watching/playing too and then there being so many episodes/games catchup was impossible. I probably should read the manga someday.
Anonymous3081957
@Kaiser-Eoghan -Kinda like Sponge Bob, Power Rangers or The Simpsons, I can't blame those who move forward, It's imposible for a show to go that long without losing steam. I did check the Sun and Moon first season and while I think the personality and energy is better it doesn't exactly push the concept forward. Still somehow Pokemon is still a phenomenon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Very strange hearing a Pikachu talk with Ryan Reynolds voice. But my days of pokemon are behind me.
KyokoHyuga
?????
KyokoHyuga
who likes pokemon here
SuperMario
@Amagi: I think the person who made the sub for Maquia did a pretty neat job. Not perfect but the translation flows well
Vonter
We've seen realistic Pokémon fanart, but how does a movie looks when it attempts it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8CKgQFo5U8
Amagi
How are the subs for Maquia? I only heard anons complain about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*dealing with
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you should really torrent it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is 1080p stream on kiss anime, if you hate deal with the ads on that site the 4up stream on anilinkz has the best quality of the available links
Lenlo
Where did you see Maquia online? I still need to watch it. PM it to me on discord maybe? Pretty please? <3
SuperMario
One fact that not many people know is that Penguin Highway is penned by Tomihiko Morimi. It indeed has many Morimi's signature inputs
SuperMario
This year, I'm doing well with catching up anime films (kudos for Australian's Madman who always license these titles very quickly). So far, I've watched Mirai, Maquia, Penguin Highway, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas and My Hero Academia the Movie
SuperMario
So I watched two anime movies this last week, Penguin Highway in theatre and Maquia online. Both of them are pretty solid in general, especially Penguin that has magical realism elements and some great chemistry. Whereas Mari Okada's writting still rubs me in the wrong way sometimes
Lenlo
D: He did, back in August actually apparently
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I heard Dino's voice actor died.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we all took Goblin slayers attitude to trolls, then we would more easily ignore the trolls =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Big twist in the golden kamuy manga.
Animosh
@SuperMario: remember that in the voice drama Rikka mentioned talking to Yuuta in their classroom during the ball game. Pretty sure it's about that.
SuperMario
@Animosh: i just watched the episode and noticed the lyrics as well. "The Promise" seems vague at the moment. Could be between Yuuta and whoever fits but I agree the "save someone from boredom" is about Akane
Animosh
You learn something every day. ;) Honestly though, I actually skipped the opening, so I hadn't even noticed that it had been translated until others pointed it out. And most of the time the lyrics are just cheesy one-liners, so I usually don't pay much attention to them either. But once in a while there's some nice hints hidden in there...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I never really ever paid attention to the lyrics in anime openings, I'd never thought to.
Animosh
The Gridman OP has been translated for the first time, and there's some pretty interesting reveals in there: it mentions a "promise" made in a classroom (so now we know how Yuuta and Rikka bonded in the past - glad it wasn't a simple confession), and talks of "rescuing" someone (presumably Akane) from boredom. So I guess she'll join the good guys eventually?
Lenlo
1200 words. I need to stop writing so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't seen last weeks episode of Irozuku or this weeks =< I'm waiting now for a bit to see if the series paysoff.
Animosh
Goddamn those magic segments in Irozuku were stunning! It's a shame its humdrum drama can't live up to its visual beauty, but I'll take it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think Ash's design is based a bit on River phoneix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry Eiji but your Ash is in another castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I was about to say that. Kidnapping gets used alot in shojo.
Anonymous3072040
Yeah Ash is basically Princess Peach
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I share your concerns, I don't know what studio is doing it. Some people want it to be mappa, some don't want it to be polygon pictures to adapt it. Its and long and violent manga, with some very funny at times dark humour, it could end up rushed and/or censored.
Anonymous3072021
As much as I love Dorohedoro I'm unsure if I should be happy or worried at it getting an adaptation, it isn't exactly the kind of story I imagine being easy to adapt well.
Lenlo
Yeah, I am touching on that in my writeup as we speak. The compressed story is causing Ash to be captured every other week.
Animosh
I agree Banana Fish was great this week though! My only gripe is that I'm getting sick and tired of seeing Ash get kidnapped again and again. He just escaped a couple of episodes ago! And he's just a lot more fun to watch when he's out there doing stuff.
Animosh
In a way the fights actually feel more realistic to me than those in Banana Fish. Sure, they're fantastical, bizarre even, but its battle system has a clear internal logic, and generally no power is infallible (each has its limitations). In Banana Fish the fights are rather poorly thought out by comparison. Their purpose is more to make Ash look cool than to give him realistic hurdles to overcome.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what sets Jojo apart from other battle shounen for me is how ridiculously creative its fights can get. Part 2 already shows some signs of this, but the introduction of the Stand system in Part 3 pushes it to another level, and in Part 4 the fights are consistently awesome. There are no simple beam struggles here: every fight is a battle of wits, between people with wildly different powers
Niel
Vinland Saga anime, and Now Dorohedoro just got announced. i'm really liking this trend.
Lenlo
Lots to writeup on Banana Fish this week.
Lenlo
Just finished it, I really like Blanca.
Lenlo
Because Jackie Chan and his stunt crew are some of the best in the world. There is a reason he has to insure his guys from his own pocket. No agency will take them
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have no idea how the hell Jackie Chan is still alive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Action works best for me when I really feel that theres danger involved. Thats why when some actors do their own stunts, you can fear for the actors life, and also the character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And thats why I'm a big fan of all that Chinese martial arts stuff from the 60s and 70s, that really expertly crafted chereography.
Lenlo
As for action, I like good choreography more than any super powers. Its why Cowboy Bebop, Seirei no Moribito, Sword of the Stranger and some Naruto fights are fantastic.
Lenlo
Im about to watch this weeks episode, so this chat makes me hopeful. I agree Ash and Eiji are the backbone of the series, and yeah me and Kaiser both agreed that the Gang war aspect was pretty weak, though I thought the finish with Arthur wasnt half bad
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think Banana fish has a great grit to it for this reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even more thankful to Banana fish too for that it keeps the action within the bounds of out of fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've always been kind of a guns and swords and kungfu gut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Black lagoons great example of anime action I can get behind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always found weapon combat and fist/kicking combat more raw and real,tangible than beamspam.
Anonymous3070972
But yeah if you're not a fan supernatural power fantasy action shounens, then maybe not your cup of tea, and that's totally cool
Anonymous3070972
Oh also if I'm recommending a fight from part 4, I'd say check out Highway Star
Anonymous3070972
Kira is a pretty cool villain though; he's always underpowered compared to the main heroes, but manages to somehow get out of the situation with luck or smarts; if nothing else, I'd recommend watching some Youtube clips
Anonymous3070972
*Turn off. lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its more than, even when I was younger supernatural power fantasy action shounen never appealed to me.
Anonymous3070972
Admittedly JoJo always has bad with exposition though, and always will be just due to the style, so that can definitely be a turn on for some people
Anonymous3070972
If you like slice of life with hijinks and a murder mystery combined with cool battles, you'll like part 4
Anonymous3070972
Yeah I can see why you might not like part 1 & 2, they were made in the 80s; I'd recommend part 4 and part 5 (ongoing rn) tbh, I feel like those are better for a modern viewing experience
Anonymous3070972
I used to think that BF's greatest strength was the plot; know I realize it's really about Ash & Eiji's connection first and foremost: as good as the plot can be, Ash & Eiji's relationship is absolutely the backbone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Also that scene where Ash is thinking to himself, looking over Eiji.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nah, I pretty much gave up on jojo midway through part 2.
Total users: 25

Star Crossed Anime Blog

3 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai – 07[Adolescence Paradox]

So we are on to the next arc and the next girl with adolence syndrome and while I give this series credit for breaking LN cliches, I feel like we could have the cast not be predominantly female. Well at least they are not all in love with the main character so I can give […]

Planetes – 9 & 10 [Regrets/A Sky of Stardust] – Throwback Thursday

Ah Planetes, one of the few things I look forward to every week since starting this. This time we have a number of background characters coming back in, Space continues to kill and Yuri gets some character. Lets jump in! Planetes actually managed to surprise me this week, if I am being honest. I was […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 – 06-07 [A Poisoner’s Pride/ Bewitching Whispers]

My apologies that I missed a post last week, it’s not due to the lack of interest of Thunderbolt given the show is as exciting as ever, but more about my hectic life. These past two episodes have many game-changing events, and many Gui Niao’s wittiest lines and expressions to boost. The moment the Vapewiz […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 7 [Bear Your Fangs at the Summit]

Welcome one and all! This week in Kaze Fui we meet the final boss, Kurahara gets a reality check and our team runs their first track meet! Lets jump in! To start off, I have to say I loved the feel of Kaze Fui this week. Vague, I know, but hear me out. Kaze Fui […]

Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-San – 6 [The Man with a Secret Power/Our Fair-Day War]

Welcome fellow book lovers, to another dip into Honda-San! This week was a bit dull as we learn about the difficulties of stocking, but the second half manages to pick it back up. Lets jump in! So overall this week of Honda-San was pretty disappointing for me. Like usual it had some good gags in […]

SSSS.GRIDMAN – 06 [Contact]

“They shouldn’t making episodes without kaiju in them “ It’s very cheeky of GRIDMAN to meta-comment on this episode, as indeed there isn’t any big fight between Gridman and kaiju monsters this week. We still get an introduction of new kaiju, however, and the fight in human forms. That’s the thing about GRIDMAN, it’s a […]

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara – 06 [Golden Fish]

Irozuku takes us to episode 6 for something significant happen, but even then it’s decidedly under-dramatic. This week, we have a whole lot more of magical moments that certainly are the feast to the eyes, and develop many underlying themes of its narrative. The central of the conflict this week is Hitomi and Aoi, as […]

Zombieland Saga – 04-06[Warming Dead SAGA/The Nice Bird SAGA in Your Heart/Because It’s Sentimental SAGA]

Forgive me for my lack of coverage on this series but you may have guessed that my enthusiasm for it has died down considerably. I always felt that Zombieland Saga was in danger of losing what made it great in its first two episodes and sadly that has come to pass. This show has ultimately […]

Banana Fish – 18 [Islands in the Stream]

Ah Banana Fish, back in form this week. Ash and Eiji act like a married couple, Blanca show’s everyone whose boss and Yut continues to have no idea what’s going on. Lets jump in! On a general note Banana Fish is really picking back up. The Gang War/Hospital were easily the weakest part of the […]

Latest Reviews

Castlevania Season 2 Review – 72/100

According to much of the Western Anime community, this series wouldn’t be relevant for a site like this. Being made in the West by Americans, and English being its first language, many would disqualify it from the start. However I name them all fools for Castlevania, Directed by Sam Deats and Ryoichi Uchikoshi is clearly […]

Asobi Asobase (Summer 2018) Review – 83/100

In a year where comedy shows gain an unexpected strong showing, somehow a show about 3 cute girls and their pass-timer club emerges as one of the best comedy around. Yep, forget Hinamatsuri, forget Grand Blue, forget Chio-chan, Asobi Asobase delivers some hilarious absurdist laugh-out-loud moments for the ages. It helps that we were in […]

Planet With Anime Review – 90/100

Planet With is an anime that likely leaves many unimpressed when they look at the cover and makes for a solid proof that you cannot judge a book by it’s cover or even by it’s first episode. Many have overlooked this show in it’s season but for those that did give it chance it went […]

My Hero Academia: Two Heroes (Dubbed) Review – 84/100

Ah, the movie tie in. A right of passage for all aspiring Shounen series. Some, like One Piece have weathered it and come out Golden, while others are better forgotten (Looking at you Bleach). My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, in my opinion, is closer to former. Animated by BONES , Directed by Kenji Nagasaki and […]

A quick and dirty review of Angolmois: Record of the Mongol Invasion

What it claims to be about: Angolmois (a reference to a Nostradamus prophesy which is rather irrelevant for the show, as he lived several centuries after the events) focuses on the first Mongol Invasion of Japan in 1274. Specifically it focuses on the early phase of the invasion when the Mongols attack Tsushima, which essentially […]

Steins;Gate 0 Anime Review – 60/100

Before I begin this review in earnest, I have to ask, who doesn’t know about Steins;Gate? The amazing, beloved original series that Steins;Gate 0 is an offshoot of. Well if you don’t, if you haven’t seen the original, then stop now. Steins;Gate 0 is not worth it. It is not for you. Without having seen […]

Mirai (2018) Movie Review – 81/100

Watching Mirai, there are two observations that spring right up to my mind: Mirai is Hosoda’s most grounded, personal film and it plays out completely different from what I expected based from the promotional materials. My feeling is confirmed when I later learned that Hosoda based the concept from watching his own children’s react, and […]

Fate/Extra Last Encore Anime Review – 40/100

To many the Fate series is daunting with its numerous incarnations and spinoffs and here in the year of many a Fate adaption we get another one by Studio Shaft which was first thought to adapt the story of the PSP game Fate/Extra. Fate/Extra could basically be considered Fate with a sci-fi twist as this […]

Darling in the Franxx Anime Review – 57/100

In following anime seasons it can be quite an experience to follow a show as it airs as the hype and rollercoaster of reactions can be entertainment in its own right. In that regard Darling in the Franxx was a hell of a ride as week by week peoples feelings for it ran hot and […]