Posted on 30 March 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Kimi ni Todoke




Each year, before the start of each Autumn Season, I hold a little poll in which you can all force me to blog a series I wouldn’t normally even consider to cover. The only time at which I could not complete such a series was in 2009, with Kimi ni Todoke’s first season. It had very solid production values; Production IG made sure of that. However, as a romance it just had no idea what it wanted to do. Any scene that focused on Sawako’s (the lead character) growth as a character was overshadowed by its romantic drivel that refused to go anywhere.

It really was the classic syndrome of romance shows, where the creators just refuse to let relationships play out normally, in favour of forced and artificial cheese and drama. It’s because of this that I wasn’t looking forward to its second season. But lo and behold: it actually redeemed itself a bit. The biggest surprises of this season definitely lie in its sequels.

This second season really shows that the creators took a good look at what happened to the first season, with the intention to fix its major flaws. They put aside the romantic nonsense and simply constructed a series with the sole purpose of resolving the romantic relationship between the two lead characters. It’s an in-depth look at how the relationship between the two lead characters grows. It’s no longer another simple “will they won’t they”-story, but instead the series changes into a “when, how and why will they hook up”. A much more interesting premise, and to make matters even better: the creators also figured out how to use slow pacing. Instead of using it for stalling, they use it to slowly build up everything they need, deliver one hell of a climax, and afterwards carefully wrap up everything that needed to be wrapped up. It’s a massive improvement over the first season.

At the same time though, I wouldn’t say that this is the second coming of White Album. The fact remains that the first season just left a lot to be desired, and it didn’t even seem to build up for this second season. The second season does make use of some of the things that happened throughout the first season, but it mostly feels like the creators went “oh crap, we actually need to develop these people”. Kimi ni Todoke still is an overly pure portrayal of teenaged romance: great to swoon away, but at the same time it’s not like the story behind it is really deep and thoughtful. The characters remain one-sighted teenagers who only seem to think about romance and the drama still is based entirely around the fact that they refuse to talk to each other. They’re just much better written and portrayed than in the first season.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Has exactly what the first season lacked: focus. Carefully builds up its simple but effective romance.
Characters: 8/10 – They refused to develop in the first season. In the second season however, they do, and IT’S ABOUT BLOODY TIME.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Production IG is solid as expected, though there are too many distorted faces.
Setting: 8/10 – Nothing special nor nothing bad here aside from an overly idyllic portrayal of teenaged life. But then again, something tells me that was very much intentional.

Suggestions:
Bokura ga Ita
Aoi Hana
True Tears

Posted on 4 January 2011 with categories: Kimi ni Todoke, Showa Monogatari, Some Quick First Impressions

Showa Monogatari

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a regular kid who grew up before WWII.
Whoa, where did this come from? Wasn’t this supposed to not air for three months or something? Anyway, this was a pleasant surprise: it’s basically a slice of life series of a young boy in what I presume to be the part of the Showa Era somewhere before WWII. I’m especially impressed with how much the creators did in just one episode: they showed about him, his friends, his family and even a friend of his sister. It gave all of them a bit of attention and personality, and it even included some good drama that centred around the typical problems that a guy of his age had. By far the worst of this episode was voice acting of the different children that appeared. I have to applaud the creators for making them sound like kids, and the rest of the voice cast is also pretty decent. But the voice actors for the kids just can’t act. This especially hurts when they’re just unable to raise their voice when they’re angry. In any case though, this thing has potential. Whether the second episode airs next week or next year, it’s something to watch our for if you like historic slice of life series.
OP: Minimalistic, but effective.
ED: Neat idea to use a radio tune from those days.
Potential: 80%

Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season

Short Synopsis: Our lead character hardly ever appear in the start of this new season.
Okay. So it’s been more than nine months since Kimi ni Todoke first ended. The staff has had plenty of time to prepare for the second season, so naturally they start off with a recap. Yeah, this episode pretty much retells Kurumi’s side of the story. But then again, like with a lot of other series that take FOREVER to get from A to B, it wasn’t really bad for a recap: it neatly compacted Kurumi’s story into a digestible 20 minutes, rather than the seemingly endless 17 episodes that it took up in the first season. And also, this episode wasn’t bad at all in the technical terms. My problems with this series really lie when you look at the big picture: it’s pretty much angst, angst and more angst; Sawako is too pure, Kazehaya is too perfect and the angst itself is decent, but it lacks fleshing out and therefore it has no chance of remaining fresh for a whopping 25 episodes. Let alone this second season!
OP: Granted, by far the best theme song this series has shown. Neat visuals.
ED: Bland song, neat visuals.
Potential: 50%

Rio – Rainbow Gate

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a really famous dealer at a casino city.
My biggest concern about Rio Rainbow Gate was whether or not it had its mind in the gutter. As it turns out, it did: the camera just refuses to focus on anything other than Rio’s ass or boobs and the entire premise of the show is meant to get her into as many sexy outfits as possible. Beyond that, the direction for the most part is also pretty bland and the acting also leaves a lot to be desired. As for the entertainment value this show has some potential, though: the climax of this episode was ridiculously stupid, but surprisingly enjoyable in a “so bad it’s good”-way, including a pretty creative depiction of Poker. At this point, the only way that this show can make it is as a guilty pleasure, but for that it needs to pack variety: think of many crazy anime variants of casino games and vastly different premises other than “let’s stuff Rio in the umpth sexy outfit here”. At the very least, this show really knows that it’s a silly fanservice show and there are no signs whatsoever of teenaged romance or an annoying male lead or shallow drama.
ED: Another one of those boring fanservice EDs.
Potential: 25%

Posted on 31 March 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Kimi ni Todoke



Romances often are annoying, which can often be attributed to characters acting completely irrational, illogical and against their own feelings. I’ve watched quite a few series that created a well developed cast this way, like with Bokura ga Ita and White Album. Kimi ni Todoke however… just… didn’t work for me.

The first half of this series really was a pain for me to try and sit through. The premise is simple: a very shy and socially inept girl (Sawako) and a popular, good-looking guy (Kazehaya) fall in love with each other. Fair enough, but the execution left a lot to be desired, especially when the creators started focusing on the love triangles. Hordes of girls turn out to be in love with Kazehaya as well, and the drama that results out of it is horribly dragged out for way longer than it should have, and the creators treat it like some kind of blasphemy if any of the two lead characters even dares to talk to someone of the other gender.

For a series that’s about the high school years of a bunch of people, Sawako and Kazehaya don’t really feel like interesting characters at all. Sawako is way too pure: whenever someone tries to take advantage of her feelings (by making her jealous for example), her incredible naivety just feels incredibly unnatural and it quickly turns into a bit of a lame gimmick. Kazehaya on the other hand is just so bland as a male romantic interest. He’s just… there, with hardly any personality about him other than some guy who just keeps smiling.

What also did not help was this series’ facial expressions, especially the chibi-distortions that you see in most of those other shoujo series as well. Usually they’re used with stylistic purposes; you know, colour each character with these seemingly over the top reactions. Here however, they felt more like “Okay, you can laugh now”-signs. They’re often badly animated in contrast to the rest of this series’ beautiful looks, are forced and hardly ever are actually used in funny situations. This show just continuously tried to be subtle, while it ultimately just wasn’t.

The only subtle part that I actually found about this series was its character-development. THANKFULLY, this show gets better in its second half as soon as the main love rival is put on a bus away from the main plot. From there on the characters change ever so slightly: Sawako learns how to appreciate life more and Kazehaya becomes less bland, but it’s not that the creators try to shove this development down your throat like they did with the love triangles. it really helps for a series if its final arc is the best one, and that pretty much was the case here.

Still, I don’t think that this show is the same as White Album, in which an excellent second half made up for an incredibly annoying first half. In the end I still see Kimi ni Todoke as a bit of a half-baked series with characters that never really stand out at anything. It’s overall something that will keep you busy on a rainy day with not much else to do, but there are a lot of better series out there.

Storytelling: 7/10 – Lacks subtlety, drags on for way too long.
Characters: 8/10 – Decent enough in its focus at being in love, with slight development that at least makes the final parts of the series interesting enough.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Great visuals, as expected from Production IG, but the chibi-drawings annoy.
Setting: 7/10 – Pretty much your standard high school setting Nothing that really stands out.

Suggestions:
Bokura ga Ita
True Tears
Kimikiss – Pure Rouge

Posted on 23 December 2009 with categories: Kimi ni Todoke



This episode was… tedious to sit through. It was basically just Kurumi trying to get a love triangle started, which is probably going to be worthless in the next episode when everyone realizes that it was just a misunderstanding. Agh, it’s like Itazura na Kiss all over, but without the funny parts.

Let me list a bunch of shoujo-series that actually did get the love triangle right (Minor spoilers included):
Bokura ga Ita: mainly worked because the love rival got fed up with the indecisiveness of the lead male, which was a huge theme of the series.
Kodomo no Omocha: worked because we actually see both the lead male and female go through other relationships with other people, while it’s actually the distance between them, created by the lead female’s job as an idol that prevents them from hooking up, rather than the ditzy love rivals being the sole reason.
Ashita no Nadja: we actually see the lead female hanging out with other guys without it suddenly creating a huge drama.

On top of that, we also have shoujo-series as Glass Mask, DNAngel and Full Moon wo Sagashite in which the romances work because of their realism and the way they let their relationships progress naturally. Not in the forced way that Kimi ni Todoke has been doing for the past twelve episodes…

I’m interested to see the other sides of the story, though. I’ve heard quite a few arguments why this show is popular, but those all seemed to come from the ones who didn’t like it. When I look at various blogs, all I see is squealing over various characters, but for the past months I’ve hardly seen any people who liked this show and came with valid reasons.

Sure, that might just been me, looking at the wrong places, but still: fans of Kimi ni Todoke, enlighten me! What makes this show so great that it deserves such a high score on various anime sites? What was so good about this series that everyone vote for it here? Or is this really just another Twillight which has tons of squealing fangirls who like it just because of the hot guys and sparkles?

Whether I’m going to drop this show at the start of the Winter-Season, I don’t know yet. Because Aoi Bungaku, Darker than Black, Erin, Konnichiwa Anne, Kuchuu Buranko, Umineko and White Album are going to be ending all within a week, this means that I need to find seven new bloggable shows among the line-up of the upcoming Winter-season. Which is a lot during such a small season. However, if number eight does pop up, then expect to see this show in the dropped-list.

Right now, this show is just… too convenient. Sawako doesn’t really have to work hard for her newfound popularity. She gets protected everywhere, and her exaggeratedly weird personality makes sure that all the bad guys’ plans go wrong. At first I praised this series because it showed outcasts as they try to live back into society, but that’s not even what this series is about. We’ve just got another Mary Sue here where the entire plot revolves around. Sure, Sawako has flaws, but all those flaws seem to be more and more used in favour of her, rather than creating her as a character.
Rating: — (Lacking)

Posted on 16 December 2009 with categories: Kimi ni Todoke



The final scene of this episode really showed that the creators of this series are biased for the main couple. As soon as Kurumi even mentioned the possibility of talking to another boy, the dramatic music set in and they tried to make it look like a cliff-hanger. Like it’s blasphemy if the two were to even look at each other. Even though Kurumi was doing what she’s been doing ever since the previous episode, and it wasn’t really worse than any of her other plans. This really could hurt this show in the long run.

But yeah, it’s the small things like this that prevent me from fully enjoying this series. When you look at the big picture, there really isn’t much wrong with this series: it’s got a nice concept of an outcast who manages to find herself. The dialogue is well detailed and the characters have good concepts. But then there are times at which the creators are just trying too hard, like for example dragging the evil bitch-arc on for too long (I’m sure that I wouldn’t have complained as much about that arc if it was done in just one episode). This episode also carried Sawako’s naiveness a bit too far, and I feel that Mamiko Nouto doesn’t really fit her as a voice actress.

So yeah, I’m not often one to agree with the “the manga is so much better”-arguments, but I think that it really holds up here. This is not about cutting certain parts off, this is rather about blindly adapting a pretty good manga without thinking about the transition from still frames to animation. I personally couldn’t care less whether creators of an anime delete stuff or add extra stuff in, as long as it works. This goes with series that take a lot of these artistic liberties like Umineko and Full Metal Alchemist, but also with series that do try to put everything in from the original source-material like this series and Bakemonogatari.

Incidentally, I noticed something interesting when I looked at the staff page at ANN. While there is very little to say about the main director, the script has been written so far by two people: Tomoko Konparu, who wrote the majority of the episodes, and Mamiko Ikeda, who wrote episodes 2, 7 and 10. Incidentally, now that I look back, I can say that these three episodes belonged to the best ones of the series so far. My guess is that Tomoko Konparu, who also is doing the series composition, really isn’t having her right year: the series composition she did on Chi’s New Address also left a lot to be desired and while she has worked and contributed to a lot of great and awesome series in the past, this time she just seems to have an off season.

I think another reason why I’m extra critical of this series, even though it seems to be loved by many, is because half of the times, the jokes fall flat. Do other people have this as well? I mean, there are tons of awkward moments in this series for me when the creators are trying to make a joke, which just isn’t funny to me. There really is this thing called suspense of disbelief, and if this series had built up any at this point I definitely wouldn’t be whining as much as I am now, but it’s a shame that this show continues to break this for me. It’s especially annoying now that even Kobato, which once was even duller than this series for me, is getting better and better.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 9 December 2009 with categories: Kimi ni Todoke



Yeah, It’s as I thought: Kurumi indeed has a crush on Kazehaya, apparently just like any other girl aside from Yano and Yoshida, it seems. While this episode was fine, I see so many potential pitfalls for this show if it keeps going into this direction.

I mean, the Kurumi-issue is probably going to resolve itself in a few episodes for now, or at least that’s my prediction. This just doesn’t seem like a series like Bokura ga Ita, in which these things take their time to resolve themselves naturally. So what’s going to happen after that?Are the creators going to throw in yet another love rival? I mean, Kazehaya is really being set up as the perfect boyfriend for everyone: there are still tons of other girls who might potentially hate Sawako for going out with Kazehaya.

it’s a big cliché of romance shows that I’ve gotten tired off by now. My second fear of a cliché in this show is the lead romance getting stuck at this rate. While the relationship between Kazehaya and Sawako has progressed so far, it’s still pretty one-sided: Sawako likes Kazehaya, Kazehaya likes Sawako, and that’s pretty much it. One thing I hope is that this isn’t going to turn into a will-they-won’t-they show, because I feel that it won’t be able to get everything it wants out of the characters.

But yeah, Kurumi was very nicely done. I liked the subtlety in which the creators revealed her intentions. She’s a major step up from those evil bitches that preceded her, and the tensions between her and Sawako were very nicely done. Now all the next episode has to do is turn her into a character, rather than just another love rival whose sole purpose is to “test” the relationship between the two lead characters. Clichés aren’t bad, as long as they’re handled well. Now, Kimi ni Todoke: prove this!
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 2 December 2009 with categories: Kimi ni Todoke



Seriously, it’s like nearly the entire episode had its head in the clouds this time. The amount of slow-motion shots, close-ups with lots of sparkles, glitters and brightly coloured flowery backgrounds is really hard to believe. I don’t want to know how much sugar the creators took before writing this episode…

In any case, this episode also reminded me how different Japanese cultural standard can be at times. A lot of attention in this episode was spent to Sawako and Kazehaya who kept calling each other by their last names. I’ve been watching anime for quite a while yet, but the difficulty these people have with even pronouncing first names surprises me at what a polite country Japan can be.

The rest of the episode, aside from this and the countless other scenes that feature Sawako and Kazehaya getting uncomfortable toward each other, focused on the upcoming sports event. It’s a staple of any high school series to feature some sort of traditional school event, so I guess that Kimi ni Todoke has gone for the sports festival. In my opinion, anime in general puts too much emphasis on these things. Seeing these seemingly obligatory events in just about every high school series also doesn’t really help. And it’s a shame, really: shows like GA show that there are plenty of other things that you can do on a high school.

Oh, and a surprise was seeing that Kurumi suddenly claiming Sawako as a friend of hers. I’m not exactly sure what to think of this at the moment. It would have been pretty weird for her to do such a thing without an ulterior motive, so let’s see what the next episodes can do in explaining why she chose Sawako of all people to become friends with.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 25 November 2009 with categories: Kimi ni Todoke



Nice. Two good episodes in a row for this series. At this point this series is starting to look a lot more positive than what it did in the beginning. At this point, the obligatory school sports festival is about to arrive, and the creators did a pretty nice job to show the preparations for everything, including Sawako’s antics because she doesn’t exercise.

The episode also did nice in fleshing out the romance and the different characters. It was pretty enjoyable to watch, and you can really see that Sadako is gradually getting used of not being ignored anymore.

I guess that the biggest danger for this show is the love triangles. When you see love triangles in a series in which it’s pretty obvious that the creators have no intentions to break up the main couple, they’re just boring! This episode established that the blond girl is yet another one of those girls who has a crush on Kazehaya, so I really don’t hope that this is going to continue on throughout the series. It reminds me of Itazura na Kiss: the creators just kept throwing in love triangles to supposedly “test” the strength of the relationship between the lead couple. Unfortunately, all that did was make the entire series incredibly shallow.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 18 November 2009 with categories: Kimi ni Todoke



Now this is more like it. This episode was a major step in the right direction for me: simple slice of life with a bit of subtle drama here and there, instead of the forced and dragged-out cheese around a simple misunderstanding. It just showed the characters hanging out, while fleshing them out at the same time.

it’s a surprisingly well written episode in which Sawako gets more and more used to her new friends, and even ends up calling Kazehaya to join her, Yano and Yoshida at Ryuu’s house, which also is a ramen bar. We got to know the middle school versions of some of the characters (Kazehaya apparently played baseball), and the creators had enough inspiration to keep the rest of the episode going without getting boring.

My big worry right now is that call that Yano made to her mysterious “boyfriend”. While I like this subtle of an introduction, I still don’t quite trust this show for drama. This show is good at slice of life and dialogue, but the drama hasn’t caught me yet. Still, at this point Kimi ni Todoke is interesting enough to keep blogging, despite its flaws. Thankfully it’s not such a chore to watch and blog like other series I’ve dropped, like Valkyria Chronicles, Allison to Lillia and Soul Eater.
Rating: * (Good)

In a few weeks, I’m planning to write the first of my 2-part “Decade Summary”. Unfortunately it’s going to be filled with major spoilers, so I’m experimenting right now with a simple spoiler-tag. Let me know if you can read this text without highlighting it.

Posted on 11 November 2009 with categories: Kimi ni Todoke



Ah, the cheese.

I know full well that romances are supposed to be annoying and irrational. Heck, I really liked Bokura ga Ita, and I’m currently even enjoying White Album which has more drama than Kimi ni Todoke could ever hope to achieve, but still this episode just felt off. Instead of going for the subtle route, the characters in this episode cried more than Lag Seeing in your average Letter Bee episode.

I can see how this story worked in manga-format though. The manga-readers seem surprised at how the creators managed to stretch this arc over three episodes, and even I could pick it up that these past three episodes dragged horribly. I really don’t hope that the rest of the series is going to be like these past three episodes. The first three overall were fine, but the past arc just… felt off.

Also, there’s one thing I don’t get in this episode. Did I miss anything? Sawako finally confronts the “evil bitches” about the rumours. The episode closes, and suddenly the entire class is outside the bathroom talking about how a fight has ensued. Did something get cut or something? The “evil bitches” only pushed Sawako to the ground after the entire class was already gathered and talking about this fight.

Also: Kazehaya, please grow a personality in the next couple of episodes. I’m getting pretty tired of how he’s supposed to be this perfect guy in love with the lead character. His only flaw at the moment is his crush on Sawako, and I’m still not buying this guy, even though he had relatively little airtime during the past arc.
Rating: – (Disappointing)

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
That was an interesting comparison. Cool to see how far anime has come.
Lenlo
I cant wait to watch Kaze Fui tonight to answer those questions Kazier!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Someone has done a comparison video for Dororo for a scene in the new one, comparing it with the old one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j38anJY3BtA
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe some people found the flashback scenes too dramatic, but I didn't mind, they worked for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo:One thing that has come to mind, how would it go if he encountered the coach again, but in the present?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo:I also liked how the flashback was done in a grainy looking style.
If I found someone who was finding it hard to get into this show, I think that this episode would win them over and it’s the episode I found myself feeling the most.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Episode 13 of Kaze ga tsuyoku is the fitting and perfect culmination of what has come before it and all is now essentially out on the table dramatically and all the better for it because of how well this series has built itself up.
Animosh
In essence it is still a battle shounen though: even if the fights always have narrative weight (it's not just fighting for the sake of fighting), the characters are to a significant extent developed through fights. So if that's not your thing it might be a hard sell even with its amazing animation and sympathetic cast.
Animosh
@Lenlo/Kaiser: the problem with Mob though is that its first two episodes are by far the worst of the series. So if you give it a try you should watch at least until the third episode, and possibly even episode 4/5 (since it's the first really good arc of the series imo).
Animosh
Yeah, it must be tough to blog three shows in the span of two days, especially with how long your posts tend to be. I find it hard enough already just to keep up with everything!
Lenlo
Ugh. Didnt get to Kaze Fui tonight. A shame. This whole Dororo/MobPsycho then Kaze Fui air schedule is gonna be a pain. You can expect Kaze Fui's maybe... Thurs? Not sure yet. Busy night
Kaiser-Eoghan
*newer not old
Kaiser-Eoghan
Some additional things I always notice in certain things, sometimes in these old medieval films or shows, in the American ones the characters occassionally don't look earthy enough.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koyomi from clannad i mean
Kaiser-Eoghan
Somewhere in my head Koyomi is this weird anime take on an autist.
Amagi
All she did what stupid, but everyone was saying that she was a genius that would probably soon develope the theory of eversthing so it must be real even if she's only ever smart when the plots needs her to do some sudden computer hack or something.
Amagi
Smart characters can only be written by smart writers. So sometimes writers just tell that the characters are smart but you don't actually witness it. It's either shown by using such wise one liners or just because someone else is telling the audience they're smart. Reminds me of that one Kyoani genius girl.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Can't do the walk, don't do the talk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can buy it more for a tough old dude.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On more thought, alot of it has to do with who is saying them. Men who look like children with no charisma.
Amagi
I absolutely hate these one liners too. Especially when you can already hear them in the trailer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hate it when scripts coverup for awful characters by spamming quips at you.
Amagi
It's why I dislike so much stuff that gets released today. All these run-of-the-mills, copies, clones, alternative universes, sequels and so on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But, beyond cgi, its the modern take wise-ass stuff that drives me nuts.
Amagi
Even if you're just drawing a landscape you need creativity. Where are the shadows, the lighting, what atmosphere should it trigger and so on. Maybe even a hidden motif.
Kaiser-Eoghan
ANARCHY KINO-MACHE!
Amagi
Yeah creativity is, well, should be among the most important things out there. I mean movies, anime, etc are actual art, art is meaningless without creativity. At least the narrating type of art.
Amagi
Kinda miss these anime. They're rare to begin with but I can't imagine anyone creating such a thing nowadays. Like Blame/Ergo/Texhno, even Lain. They never sold though, so I can even kind of understand it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ergo worked for me up until the ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think clever is too often a miused word by people when they describe things. They reduce it to being "Just a smart storyline", when really it is more suited a word to something in tune with its creative side.
Amagi
Ergo Proxy even had a dense/heavy plot that was developing while you're busy figuring the setting out. And many things were shown indirectly. It was one of the rare anime I had to watch twice to get it. Texhnolyze is also such a thing but more bizarre in my opinion, less logical than Ergo, but still great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Its really really nice knowing that I can talk to someone like you about this on my level .
Amagi
It's why I love series with strong settings so much. See Blame for example. Even Made in Abyss. You never know what kind of landscape you will see next and in Blame everything is fucked to behin with.
Amagi
Yeah. Well we do watch movies to feel excitement, and you can't really feel that if you can guess what happens next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now obviously these types of things can end up a coin toss of it either works or it doesn't, but I appreciate the risk taken.
Amagi
I tolerate it for games because whereas I still don't like it there, at least the game as an additional value which is the gameplay. So even with weak atmosphere I am still enjoying it for being a good game. But when I watch a movie I want get sucked in to some degree instead of being aware that I am just the audience (or the player).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like that feeling of I don't know whats going to happen next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like the idea of a madman getting to do a movie and running with his imagination.
Amagi
It's like dreaming and suddently hearing your real life cat meowing and realising that it's just a dream, you're in the bed and about to wake up. And yes this is exactly why I dislike CGI
Kaiser-Eoghan
But sometimes people cry pretentious wrongly, when there wasn't really any intended thing to get.
Amagi
It's why I am so easily angered over little errors or writing problems. Because they destroy the atmosphere more than anything else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean, I do like themes, characters etc, but my favourite experience is nightmare/dreamscapes.
Amagi
If the atmosphere is missing it doesn't matter what story you are telling, everything feels kinda hollow. Doesn't mean that show with weak atmo and great plot is bad, but it would be ten times better with the proper atmosphere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hate this modern idea of "It HAS to be coherent or mean something or follow some kind of linear or logical thing or some kind of rules"
Amagi
@Kaiser: Yeah it's why I often say that atmosphere is the most important part of a story, actually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
With cgi I am constantly reminded I am watching a film.
Amagi
Don't know all of the titles you mentioned, will probably look into a few of those I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
What I love about these old slavic art films, is no longer being aware of the world around me when I watch them. They use actual crafted cinematography so they can still feel like you're living it, despite being so unreal.
Amagi
Technobabylon and Gemini Rue are my favorites. These games capture this fucked up feeling of noir-punk and dark cyberpunk perfectly and have a bunch of great twists and character arcs.
Amagi
I like this type of darkness somehow, as well as trash punk and noir stuff. I do enjoy the Wadjet Eyes games for that reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Naturally I loved both
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hard to be God and On the silver globe are insane, there's this sense of what the utter hell am I watching? But you feel like you've been transported someone else entirely.
Amagi
"We" (Мы) is also a Russian dystopia novel, it shared a bunch of similarities with 1984 but was written long before Orwell had had even started with 1984.
Amagi
STALKER has also made me check out a bunch of Russian/Ukrainian novels. I love their ideas. Their dystopias and everything.
Amagi
Slavs are doing good games right now. Looking forward playing this Russia Fallout clone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't remember the name of the Soviet animation with the robot that keeps on working after everyone's dead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But crappy puns aside. Dead mans letters, letters never sent, Ivan's child hood, Andreii Rublev, Cranes are flying and I am Cuba have amazing cinematography.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wanna b a Potemkin master....
....like no-one ever was =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dead mans letters is up there with Threads as being one of the best apocalypse films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*evangelion
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or would that be Nyguen genesis Evagelion =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You'll always be my ho chi main man minh Mario =)
SuperMario
I love Soviet cinema. Yeah the Mirror has that monochrome part. And they aren’t that big as they used to be but Soviet animation has great history
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stalker is an excellent science fiction film and not neccesarily because of need to anaylze it, but because it works of a visual-psychic level.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Zerkalo/mirror is a great example of this, just a stream of the directors thoughts, all visual impressionism, there might be a scene where I couldn't tell you the why or the what, but it'd make me feel something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Basically where to understand, is simply to feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Its always fascinating that some filmakers have the ability to just let the film wash over you and move you with intricately crafted arthouse visuals. That they can do that, without character arcs/intellectual message/monologues.
Amagi
Speaking of soviet stuff I kinda want another movie or maybe even a cartoon like some of these old soviet movies that were partly monochrome and partly colored during important scenes. Didn't solaris have that too? - I know the monochrome parts were done to save money, but it was kinda impressive seeing colorless movies turning colorful ones during emotional scenes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Definately something that would appeal to me in terms of alternate style of animation. I'm actually quite a fan of different, out there animation styles.
Lenlo
Heres the ED
Lenlo
Yup, paint on glass. The entire ED for the first season was done in that style. Mob loves to use obscure or generally unusual art styles to sell the other worldlyness of its spirits.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That sounds pretty cool.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Excuse me....paint on glass effects in Mob? There was a Soviet animator that used that style.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*earlier
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Again you psychically read my mind =P I was just thinking that about Farnese arlier.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I think I've accepted there are some manga I need to wait until they're finished before go back to them either due to slow scans or because they've gone on so long or go on hiatus.
Amagi
I think the later half as well as the hiatus killed it for me. Can't deal with that two chapters per year policy.
Lenlo
I, however, am still a rabid Berserk fanboy. :D
Amagi
I am also never a fan of characters completely changing personalities once they're redeemed. Farnese was an interesting villain and while I agree that she needed to overcome her trauma the current Farnese is just some soulless helpful big sister type. She only exists to care for Cjaskar and at some point even Cjaskar's eternal problem was starting to get on my nerves.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Same opinion on Berserk again. The arc before that with the inquisition tower was one of the highpoints of the manga, everything went downhill once Schierke had joined which is kinda sad since it was one of my favorite series before that.
Lenlo
Mob is much more character focused than OPM. OPM riffs on Shounen, while Mob is a much more character driven drama kinda series, with shounen elements. I would give it a shot for an episode or two.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Berserk started losing me when he started travelling around with those kids.
@Amagi/Animosh: Do you believe that Mob has better choreography than onepunch?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi:I will give exceptions to magical elements if a show can produce an adventure narrative worthwhile or if it’s a magical girl show.
If magic is featured in an occult horror fashion or in an exploitative way, I will also lean toward allowing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: While I very much doubt Mob would be my thing, given how I generally felt indifferent to onepunch man and bias against shounen action, yes the art for Mob, when elevated by an anime adaptation lends itself to something unique looking and I can praise that.
Lenlo
I think ONE's style fits Mob better, and Murata's style fits OPM better. So yeah, Bones chose well on that front
Amagi
Not only are overdesigned characters really bad for movement which is actually needed to make a series and their characters feel alive but they also often look really bad in my opinion and there is a limit on how overdesigned a character can be until I stop taking them seriously at all.
Amagi
Yeah. I also honestly think that many anime are suffering from overdesigning.
Animosh
And I like Mob's artstyle a lot as well. It gives the series a unique look, and it gives the animators all the freedom they could wish for to play around with the characters (and basically everything else) as they see fit. Add Bones to the mix, and you have one of the best-looking series out there.
Animosh
I prefer the full ONE experience too. It's part of the reason why I slightly prefer Mob Psycho. OPM looks great and all, but there's way too much meaningless fighting going on in the manga lately. I prefer the tighter and more consistently subversive storytelling of the webcomic, although I still enjoy the manga a lot as well (and the story climaxes in particular tend to look freaking amazing).
Amagi
Different example since this is actual fantasy but I also prefered the early Berserk series over the later parts. When the supernatural horror stuff was more of a hidden thing appearing around Guts and otherwise just on special occasions, while most people didn't even believe such things exist. I prefer that over the high (dark) fantasy we have now although I get what Miura is aiming at.
Amagi
I guess I just have a thing for this secret-club mentality. I prefer it over worlds with blatan magical powers everyone uses and knows about.
Amagi
It's weird but I almost always hate anime with and about magic, the more fantasy it is the less I like it (usually, not always), but then again occult stuff is always totally my thing.
Amagi
I am quite happy they stick with the original Mob Psycho designs from ONE for this series. The OPM manga is probably one of the best looking things out there but ONE's artstyle has a lot of charme and makes characters more unique, especially if looks as polished as in the anime adaption.
Lenlo
Mmm cant wait to watch it. Kaze Fui, still great
Anonymous3309336
I really like how Kurahana admitted that he let his emotions get to him when he threw that punch at the coach back then. Now he feels remorseful about that day and how he made enemies from his former teammates.
Anonymous3309336
Meanwhile, looks like the next episode will focus on Prince again and his attempts to further improve his time.
Anonymous3309336
Meanwhile, his new teammates understand the pain he's been going through and want him to move on from that. Definitely as some of the best writing of this season.
Anonymous3309336
That punch he threw at the coach was certainly well-deserved, but I can see why the other teammates including Sakaki would come to despise him.
Anonymous3309336
This episode of Kaze ga... was great as always, as we see more of Kurahana's past and how his awful coach made Sakaki and the rest of his former team turn on him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't have minded reading several volumes of seeing Satou on the run.
Animosh
Thanks! That's good to know. An alternate ending could have been fun, but I suppose the ending of the anime was fitting, and if it ain't broke don't fix it.
Amagi
Looks like it's going to end. I guess it ends the same but we can't say for sure yet.
Animosh
For those of you still reading Happy Sugar Life: is the manga continuing past the anime? Or does it look like it's going to end in the same way? If it takes a different path it might be worth checking it out.
Anonymous3307077
children of the whales
Lenlo
Holy crap. Mob Psycho 100 is the best thing since sliced bread. BONES thank you.

And thanks Kaiser!
Amagi
well we have a döner kebab ship at least.
Amagi
I am from Frankfurt, another one of the biggest German cities but there isn't much to see here aside from skyscrapers and banks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*had **taught
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hah had some notion that the Japanese didn't really know English or it wasn't well thought over there?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo's taste continues to be impeccably based.
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol I thought coolass47 was covering Kaguya.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Germany, both Koln and Berlin, especially Koln felt like a home to me and felt the less alienating/foreign.
Kaiser-Eoghan
.....probably embarassing but, I think I'd be put off sleeping on the floor in a futon or using one of those weird Japanese toilets.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Truly I am the Kaiser Eoghan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Beyond that I've been to Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've never been outside of Europe. I didn't have problems getting around Germany though when I went because my then girlfriend was from there and I knew enough to cope on a Holiday.
Amagi
also no matter which country I visited till now people were always friendly
Amagi
Yeah, now thinking about it, I could even find everything in Iran so I guess Japan should work too. Most people knew enough random English or German words to somehow lead you to the place and you want to visit unless it's some really weird relief or a small town that's difficult to reach but tourists usually stick with the big stuff.
SuperMario
... years ago and Japan is pretty safe and the signs are easy to follow in general. Even the locals who don’t speak English they are pretty friendly and help you the best they can. You don’t need to be worry on that front
SuperMario
I did it alone few
Amagi
Not sure how he did it (he went completely alone too) but it seems to be possible somehow. Not sure if I would make it though.
Amagi
Someone I know managed it alone and he isn't even that good in English.
Lenlo
I think I can manage. Lots of English signage in places like the rail systems and such. That plus the small amount I am learning in preparation and how much english they teach them over there, I should be ok
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Do you feel you'd be able to get by in Japan? As far as I know you don't speak any Japanese.
Animosh
Mob was great again too. The adaptation is really knocking it out of the park. And looks like we'll be getting one of my favorite side stories next week.
Animosh
I love how upbeat Slime continues to be. If only all wars were resolved like this. And then he goes on to improve everyone's lives by building homes, infrastructure, and coalitions based on common interests? Rimuru for president!
Anonymous3303364
I retired from the force in middle school enjoying my retirement, I still see the faces of the comrades we lost when we defeated the big bad and saved the world, I haven't seen my cute marketable mascot in 3 years, but I like this new life I'm living, I thought I found peace but the battlefield always calls out to me, why? Because war never changes.
Anonymous3303364
I love this comment since it's more well put on what this dark magical girls show really is:
Vonter
Perhaps in ten years when the next trope comes. I wonder if some will look back to the tropes from now with different eyes. Like they say, you don't know what you have until you lose it.
Vonter
Yeah, maybe I could watch some of that schlock. In a way some of it has become more endearing over time. Since times have changed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Vampire wars was fantastic though, used shitfuck as a word from what I remember.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yes! Finally they're saying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Watching a compiliation of dub cursings for angel cop, not enough F-bombs yet.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always wish some of these old ovas got to go on for longer, especially AD police and bubblegum crisis. I'd have loved a full gunsmith cats or riding bean show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to watch Angel cop some day I really do.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think vonter, if magical girl ops can't achieve the exploi angle then it has failed all the further. We'll have to see.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I was disappointed when I saw the more modern anime! Because it didn't have the art I liked in the ovas.
Vonter
I do remember now. Did you watched the Birdy The Mighty OVA (not the series, the OVA). That one I remember liking because it was cheesy, visceral, had IMO better designs for the aliens than the ones in the TV series and I digged the dynamic of the two leads. However it was cut short. Perhaps it was too derivative for the time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes I can actually take ridiculousness much better when its a live action exploitation thing if it happens to fail in animated form. That Jeanne d'arc anime and maybe magical girl spec ops would have made hilarious 60s/70s Eurotrash films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
One of the only modern anime to do the exploitation angle right was Freezing.
Vonter
I want to believe there's something like that already out. But I'm blocked. I can only mention that I now want to rewatch some of Devilman Lady. It does have a female lead battling monsters with an 80s sci fi horror vibe, I don't know it reminds me for some reason to movies like Godzilla 1985 or King Kong Lives.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Or go mental.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Thats one I still need to get around to. If I have to have a darker magical thing, it either has to be camp and goofy enough while taking itself dead seriously or keep some of the fun .
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - If you haven't check a couple of episodes of Lady Devilman. Despite being formulaic, the monsters on that anime are really well made and feel creative, morbid and creepy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: lol Damn, now I want to see Go Nagai's take of Magical girl ops.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I love how some old ovas would sometimes take place in America, but in this IDEA of it, getting it wrong.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I love how they added in those stupid curse words every few minutes aswell, wonderfully incompotent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Mad bull 34 was lovingly perverse , like a Japanese equivalent to those wonderful Italian police things.
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