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
Kaiser-Eoghan
*kind of
Kaiser-Eoghan
While its very much in the shadow of the first and the protaganist started out kind annoying, I kind of got caught up in the spectacle and sentimentality of gunbuster 2.
KTravlos
Urasawa is preparing a new manga
KTravlos
yes the episode where Julian watched the documentary was fun. The Caligula like character comes from one of the lesser episodes of the series, when Kircheis beats up some rebelling third rate noble in the Empire.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Goddammit, fail, it just changed the colour of the login name...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I declare in the red truth that the next anime I shall watch is Diebuster.
Kaiser-Eoghan
From what little I saw, I remember a Caligula like character in one episode.
Anonymous1409409
I remember there's an episode where Julian just goes on Space Netflix and just watches a documentary. I actually liked that lol
KTravlos
yup, a LOGH that run like the Altair anime would be bad. It needs to show the sweep of history
AidanAK47
@Anon, I actually liked that aspect. It made the history of the world feel real.
Anonymous1409027
It's compressible, as there are many episodes of buildup, but that's where so many of the interesting details and depth of planning become evident. Some of those episodes read like a history textbook though, so we'll see how the new adaptation handles them,
Anonymous1409027
*pleasantly
KTravlos
Tytania was ok.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the Amakusa Shiro reference in the fate review, I've seen a film about him from the 50s , theres also an old josei manga where the protagonist ends up becoming essentially regarded as him.
KTravlos
Hi Kaiser. Supposedly this is a re-imagining of the original story. Thus independent of the OVAs (old serieis). What exactly re-imagining means is something I and you do not know. We shall see. But it does mean that you do not need to watch the old series to enjoy this one. The OVA was definetly more expansive than the novels. So my guess is they will stick to the novels.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's another anime, called Tytania based on his novels but I haven't seen that series.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As in condensable in the way nothing much is lost? I assume there are fillers in the original?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm indifferent to the aesthetics of the new version. What I'm hoping for is that it will be accessible to newcomers and that I'll be able to jump on to the old series where the new one leaves off. I've seen very little of the original and it was a long time ago, is there any way the story is condensable?
KTravlos
The fact that they stayed away from the disgusting new manga is great. I am not too keen on the CGI ships, but they also did not rankle. It looks like it will honor the spirit of the old series, and I cannot ask for more. I am a massive LOGH fan. And the new video out gives me hope of revisiting one of the greatest sci-fi/historical settings out there. I am happy.
AidanAK47
I hope they are using the old anime as a base and not the new Manga adaption. As that Manga adaption is seriously lacking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I like that they blinged up the space battles which is good because those things could get tiresome. But I really hate the design of Yang Wenli. They made him look so much younger and bishi. I don't think i could take this guy seriously if he started one of Wenli's signature hypothesis.
Anonymous1408919
Thoughts on that new LOGH PV? My expectations were low, so I'm presently surprised. Obviously they made everybody pretty boys, and Mamoro Miyano is voicing Reinhard I believe. But art and animation actually looks pretty decent overall. It's a PV, and LOGH's best quality is it's story and characters, so we'll have to see if they remain faithful or not. But it's nice to see it get a visual overhaul.
AidanAK47
By the way this site has the first chapters but check the other versions to find them.
http://mangapark.me/manga/tsurezure-children-wakabayashi-toshiya
AidanAK47
@Mario, Indeed. It's also a pity that over half the couples in the manga were not featured. We only got a small taste of Patricia.
SuperMario
Or maybe I'll try to read the manga. The last time I checked it online, the site doesn't have its first few chapters
SuperMario
@Aidan: man, Tsurezure Children sure is sweet. Really sad to see it ends
AidanAK47
So that's the end of Tsurezure Children.
....I'm gonna need a second season. Now.
....NOW GODDAMNIT! NOW!
KTravlos
As I said I understand the criticisms to RE:Creator, but ultimately I enjoyed most of the show. It could had been better, and it is a missed chance. But I have seen worse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I gave up halfway through, there weren't even enough action scenes and those that were didn't justify waiting around for.
AidanAK47
Could have at least delivered on the action but that was rendered pointless due to the majority of the cast turning good and Altair being a complete cheat character.
AidanAK47
It would have been really fun to see characters discuss their stories with their creators or indulge in what our world has to offer but they really glossed over that part.
AidanAK47
It really should have gone deeper into the whole meta aspect introducing anime characters to the real world. Like they did with Mamika's powers being ridiculously destructive when outside a kid friendly setting.
AidanAK47
@Puran, I at least like the message of the final episode. But as for the show itself it was just missed potential on a lot of levels. I wanted Anime Genre battle royale and instead got a secondhand Shirobako with a crap shounen anime attached.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have been forgiving of Anno as I've gotten older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also just re-watched gunbuster, I'd previously dismissed the ova after a few episodes when I was a teenager, I'd found it too slow, didn't have that issue with the 90 minute version I just finished. I've never see the sequels.
Lenlo
Ill have to finish Creators... at some point
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've been dipping back into the Lupin franchise, Gold of babylon was particularly screwball, kind of ridiculous comedy caper/adventure thing you just have to run with....turns out it was directed by a live action filmaker I especially like who made bizzare noir films in the 60s.
Puran
So that explains why Meteora had so much air time in Re:Creators. It's her story....

I hated the ending and I disliked the anime overall.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It was a genuine surprise to see that Assayas decided to make a film framed around hentai =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I loved how incoherent demonlover was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The criticisms I'll give wind river, is a slight inconsistent performance from Renner and that very awkwardly inserted flashback scene.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: on Wind River, I agree it's a well-executed case of the week drama, although there are some plot pregressions that I don't get (how did they find out about the man's corspe again?). About Demonlover, man, the film gives me a chill down my spine. Heartless. And a bit misogynist.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: as much as I loved Wong (yeah I too prefer him over Malick), sometimes I do think Western cinema give him too much praise that sadly overshadow other Asian directors.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Wong is important to me as a hong-kong filmaker, he offers something entirely different from the whole Woo/Lam Hong komg movies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: On a more positive note Maggie Cheung did mention that she felt her early work with Wong was when she first truly became a proper actress.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: ....I had no idea he had such a sad background.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*investigation drama
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that film also marked/ signified a rather sad period of Hongkong showbiz. Leslie Cheung badically lived the live of the protagonist and commited suicide in 1997. His girlfriend on screen, during the filming, was kidnaped, raped and taken topless picture. The damnest thing is that everyone knowed the culprit but did nothing, and in the press it was just deemed as "kipnapped and assaulted"
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Wind river was a big surprise for me, just goes to show that with the right execution an ordinary police drama movie can be elevated higher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thats the interesting thing, tracking a directors career.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just binge watched the new dominion tank police ovas , admittedly these are kind of reptitive and extremely silly but its hard to hate on something so shamelessly fun that made me feel like a child again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: you said it there. DoBW is rather raw and unpolished but that's one of the reason why I am drawn to it more compare to his other works.
AidanAK47
In all honesty, it would be nice to finally see a continuation after fusion as all games after that have just been adding chapters in-between.
Vonter
Finally I wonder, if Metroid Prime 4 will definitely branch out of the main Metroid's continuity. It's curious how an interquel subseries is still going to add things in between the first and the second entries in the main franchise.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - I think is nice we can see both takes. Especially since neither one despite a few qualms are still very solid entries for this franchise. I just hope Metroid moves forward, as IMO this is the only game that really needed a facelift do to the heavy limitations of the gameboy. And I hope the secret gallery at the end is teasing how the producer plans to move the plot forward.
AidanAK47
I thought it might be like that but it's good to know they are at least on a close level. I didn't really want Samus Returns to replace AM2R as the "Definitive" version of Metroid 2. Mostly because a lot of love was put into AM2R andit came at a point when it felt Nintendo didn't give a crap about Metroid.
Vonter
Like Zero Mission there's something added to Samus Returns but I'll just leave it at that.
Vonter
I think both have strong points. Samus Returns have better boss battles, gameplay mechanics and more intense action pieces. AM2R IMO has more atmosphere, takes advantage of elements Nintendo don't even try like the Federation subplot, and the ending portion narratively has more heart in AM2R, while in Samus Returns it feels mostly like "the final level".
Vonter
I also did got lost a couple of times in Samus Returns and aside from the big water section in AM2R, the latter is more linear game.
Vonter
I think the controls in Samus Returns bring more to the table though. The 360 aiming makes for better ways to shoot enemies and some of the bosses take advantage of that. If it weren't for the 3DS giving hand cramps because you're holding L and R at several points it'll be completely the most ideal way to play.
Vonter
AidanAK47 - AM2R is very good, I think it has the advantage that because it uses sprites IMO backgrounds and enemies are more vibrant and easier to appreciate. The Federation soldiers are better executed in AM2R and that secret section with the ship is very eery.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, How does it stack up to AM2R? I bought it and am still waiting on it to be delivered but I have the feeling that AM2R would be the better game when comparing.
Vonter
I took me 12 hours to 100% and I've heard the best ending is beating it in less than 4 hours. I think unlike Zero Mission item percentage don't matter, it's mainly to unlock an art gallery.
Vonter
My main criticism is this being a 3DS game. Small enemies can be hard to see or appreciate. And I think the 3DS wasn't made for heavy action packed games like this or Smash Bros. I got the rubber from the circle pad come off in two occasions. Also unless there was something big in the background, several areas felt lacking in detail. Still Samus and the bosses look good.
Vonter
In terms of difficulty, the game has the enemies packing more damage than in other 2D Metroids. Is difficult in the sense than you can't tank damage as in other iterations, you have to be aware of enemy behavior and bosses mainly get easier do to familiarizing with their patterns, since I did die a lot each time I faced a new boss. And got used to kill them faster as I went along.
Vonter
Ok, so I beat Samus Returns. It's quite good. Unlike Fusion that had dialogue at midst the gameplay. Samus Returns only has a prologue of exposition and any cutscenes mainly accentuate the reactions of Samus confronting a new enemy. The level design is dense, despite having isolated areas like in Fusion and the original Samus Returns, each area is very mazelike.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: =< Awww I kind of like demonlover actually despite all its flaws, it had great sound design and had this cold, clinical, un-nerving mood to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Days of being wild does feel a bit un-realized/un-polished/rough compared to his other work definitely but its probably the rawest I've seen from him and that has its appeal.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Haven't seen farewell my concubine come to think of it. Regarding the scifi element I felt I embraced it more further into the film when it started to intermingle more.
While I am more forgiving toward Malick's recent films than most, that decline in quality means I have to pick Wong.
KTravlos
by the way in RE:Creators we probably will be getting a future series focusing on the hunt for Magane :p Meteora probably playing the role of detective. I also bet her novel will be wordy and heavy in exposition :p
KTravlos
i.e his end game might had been a cross-species revolution against him anyway. We will see
KTravlos
In Bahamut Chris proves to not be totally evil, but he is totally crazy. That said I am seeing one of my hunches getting supported, the hunch was that his cruelty towards daemons was with the purpose of bringing them down enough that they would be willing to work with humans as euals (As they are in Jean's army) and thus via that create a more unified world. I
KTravlos
RE: Creators has come to its end. I know the problems everyone has with it, and while it failed to raise to the level of exceptional show, I loved it. As I said, it had been years since a show kept me so excited episode after episode. They blew it at some point, but ultimately for me this is an en-joyful show, and one I would happily binge watch in the future again.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: question for you though, between these two directors, which one do you prefer: Wong Kar-Wai or Terrance Malick?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: if you enjoyed both 2046 and In the Mood for Love, by all mean check out Days of Being Wild. The trio forms a loose trilogy and Days of Being Wild was the first film that Wong began his unique unconventional style. It's one of my personal favorite of Wong and it's a chance for you to watch the late Leslie Cheung acted (you might watch him already in Farewell My Concubine)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: 2046 is indeed a passionate film, and one of his best looking film. He tried something different in 2046 too, experimented with scifi (one of the best part in the film for me)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's stritcly Wong Kar Wai's romance we're talking about, since I don't find the rest of Chinese take on romance that interesting. Romance or melodrama is one of his main theme throughout his career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It was slightly overly long however.
I've also seen chungking express, in the mood for love and fallen angels. I think this Chinese take on romance is really clicking with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also thought it was a very passionette film and I love how Kar-wong-wai uses the music in it. I also think its one of his best looking films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I had a look at that Chinese film 2046, very effectively melancholic take on fleeting relationships while also successfully being quite sensual while staying classy and without ever showing too much. Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung are two beautiful people =P
SuperMario
for those who still want to catch up with 18if, episode 11 has a huge recap, while wrapping up the show with a new overarching plot. Hopefully they don't pull another Matrix here
SuperWooper
It's shounen-y for sure. The competitions have been my least favorite parts of the show so far. If you're still watching, you might appreciate it more once the Tenpei Cup is over.
Anonymous1399692
Damn Ballroom looks so good. But I really can't enjoy it despite that I want to. It has too many of these typical shounen moments and plot points I can't stand.
Anonymous1399684
Omae wa mou shindeiru
Lenlo
Mononoke is actually what made me find Ayakashi. Also a good show.
SuperMario
Regarding Ayakashi, I only watched the Mononoke segment
SuperMario
"It was a long, long trip, and we're coming finally to the end of the journey. Thank you, Manoyama and Chupacabra. And thank you, 5 EURO" - Sandal-san.
Lenlo
Ayakashi was great for me Kaiser. I enjoyed my time with it
Vonter212
@AidanAK47 - The hard aspect has been commented in several reviews with bosses being able to easily kill you. (Although in my experience it might be just getting a pattern). In terms of length most 2D games can be beaten under 3 hours. This one seems to clock at at least 6 to 15 if you want to collect everything. Then again, we'll see in subsequent playthroughs.
AidanAK47
`@Vonter. It's out now but I don't remember seeing anyone claim it's the longest hardest entry 2D wise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Going to watch new dominion tank police next and read violence action and Oddman 11.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It took me years to get round to it, but I finally watched Ayakashi and as expected like most anthologies, again its mixed, the first is a solid ghost story that improves after a weak start, but that third one with the cat spirit was great, really liked how experimental that looked.
Vonter
Soo a new Metroid comes out this week. It is said, it's the longest, hardest entry in regards to the 2D iterations. Still not as great as Super, and depending on your fanaticism it might or not be as good as Zero Mission.
SuperMario
But they didn't pull that scene off too well. It's just... unmemorable. In fact the whole show is very unremarkable. Now only 1 episode left I might as well finish it but I won't give it a full review
SuperMario
Koi to Uso has been disappointing so far. Episode 10 featured the sequence that i was looking forward the most in the manga: the former classmate tells the one sided crush of the main girl from her POV. For a romance that contrived and manipulated like this one, hearing this from the third person's perspective prove to be more powerful
Vonter
@HelghastKillzone - Good luck with that. I almost had my car's engine damaged since it has been raining heavily where I live. Had to ask for help the next day to pull it out of mud. Still not as bad as the other three cars that did get stuck in the water.
HelghastKillzone
Dealing with work and the total loss of my car really sucks at the moment so I'm quite tied up for this week.
KTravlos
I do agree to a point, but to be frank all the episodes of Princess Principal to date have been so solid I have a hard time deciding. Episode 5 though was still the best from a holistic point (action, direction, music etc) was the one introducing Chise
SuperMario
Agree. Dorothy has the biggest heart out of all the spy girls. Also "help" that her episodes are all melodramatic.
Amagi
This episode of PrinPrin showed again that Dorothy is the best character by far. Not just herself but her episodes as well are better written than the rest if you ask me.
KTravlos
It just hit me. The characters in Princess Principal may be very well working for IngSoc :p
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, in the seven chapters it's only really two of them that contain dark shocking content. Chapter three being the biggest one in that regard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I read a comment where someone said subahibi shocked them more than saya no uta. While I haven't played it yet, I have seen some of a letsplay...it lleft me thinking....how many hours until this actually gets good/truly unhinged .
AidanAK47
After Reading SubaHibi, Made in Abyss's dark turn didn't shock me too much. Maybe I just got desensitised. I will have a review of SubaHibi hopefully up in a week though to clarify my feelings on it after just finishing it, It was interesting but disappointing.
KTravlos
well, well. Both Made in the Abyss and Virgin Soul do not hold back. Grim! RE:Creators is warping up. Comparing with these other shows I can fully appreciate the problems people have with it. But still I am glad I am sticking to the end. Altair's voice actor by the way did great.
AidanAK47
@Helghast, And Kings Field was the Demon Souls before Demon Souls came out.
KTravlos
having binge watched several of this season's shows I would say Princess Principal is the most rounded. Made in Abyss is good. Kakegurui and The Reflection as SuperMario said will depend on your tastes. There is also Shouko no Altair. You will like it if you liked Tanya Saga of Evil, or Legend of Galactic Heroes, or Arslan Senki or manga like Vinland Saga, Gunka no Baltzar, and especially Historie
Anonymous1385641
Jesus...me watching this weeks Made in Abyss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ogzsWhZcmM
HelghastKillzone
So... Demon Souls was the Dark Souls before Dark Souls came out.
SuperMario
@anon1385426: the safest bets aside from Made in Abyss are Welcome to the Ballroom and Princess Principal. Kakegurui and the Refection are for more acqurired taste
Anonymous1385426
Aside from Made in Abyss, what's the best anime this season?
Lenlo
@KT, the pacing and the framerate early on are my two biggest issues. Later on the story starts to get abit more engaging, and they start doin things I didnt expect, but the pacing is still there. Some akward pauses.
Lenlo
Look, Berserk and Dark Souls are both amazing. But I only have 3 Dark Souls games, and 38 Berserk volumes. Im clearly biased
KTravlos
I sat down and watched the first 4 episodes of The Reflection. It is an interesting attempt, and I can see the people making it having fun doing so. But I did notice a pacing issue. For some reason the episodes felt like they dragged a bit too long.
AidanAK47
Dark Souls is the Berserk of Video Games.
Amagi
Dark Souls really went all Berserk if you ask me
AidanAK47
I am not one for putting down law but can we never ever compare anything to Dark Souls ever again? Cause it's actually become really tiresome how everything is the dark souls of something.
Lenlo
No other sentence has made me want to watch Made in Abyss more
HelghastKillzone
I guess we're finally at the point where Made in Abyss goes all Dark Souls/Bloodborne.
Amagi
Apo's Jack the Ripper had at least a nice idea behind it, it's just the clothes that are a bad choice. But there are just too many lolis for the sake of fanservice in that game. I accept it if there is at least a reason for this but it's usually just random.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here. I was never a fan of genderbendings and turning historical people into lolis. The first one I can accept with people like Arthuria because it added a lot to her character, but most of them are just plain and generic. I just see no reason why pirates, grown up men or Blavatsky would ever appear as little girls. Especially since popular beliefs should influence their appearance.
SuperMario
On Altair, one commenter did an excellent job of poiting out the appeal of that show; and frankly the show is wearing on me now.
SuperMario
@Travlos: I'm glad you enjoy Princess Principal. I'm quite surprised myself that in the latter half the show slowed its pace down which mean the focus is switched from action to more characters interactions; which I greatly enjoy
KTravlos
Well I binge watched Princess Principal. That is a very good show. I was surprised. Good animation, good music, the art is good, hell I even did not mind the protagonist art. But what I really like is the stories. All the episode were pretty solid and interesting.
AidanAK47
Just won a fight by the skin of my teeth thanks to my Lancer, Cu Chulainn. You the man Cu!
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Been playing Grand Order myself. It's rather fun. There are some good original character in it but I notice with Quantity certain figures designs were pretty terrible. I thought Assassins of black was the worst but some Grand Order servents manage to top it in terrible. Why all the bikini's?
Amagi
Fate/GO has quite some interesting original characters there. Wish we'd see them in some actual manga or anime series with more backstory someday. - I also like that we finally have an overpowered, interesting and competent Hassan with King Hassan for once. His design is metal AF too.
KTravlos
Binge watched Altair. The pacing of the show is a problem, but in general the raw material is good. Altair is sympathetic, and the world is interesting. But I do feel this is the kind of show that would had gained by a Monster or LOGH type treatment. Also, man it is scary how accurate they got some of the traits of Greeks (Phoenicians in the show). I am a Greek, I should know! :p
KTravlos
forgot to mention. I saw the 91 Days special. Three side stories that give some depth to the events in the main anime, but nothing that goes beyond it's end. Still they were in general ok to good.
SuperWooper
It's got Jude Law playing "this kind of huge robot butler called Charles, who is also a rocket ship." What could possibly go wrong?
AidanAK47
Anime with Jaden Smith? Um..I don't know about this.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: one of the good thing about SoL shows like Centaur and even 18if is that their episodes are self-contained, so you can just jump right in to watch the good ones and ignore the rest
SuperMario
I just love Chise's presence so I might enjoy the last episode more than anyone else. But yeah I'm quite satisfied with Princess Principal right now
AidanAK47
Actually I am quite surprised Princess Principal hasn't gone off the rails yet. Might even turn out to be a fun show in the end. If the man can make it to the finish line without a misstep.
AidanAK47
Hey I am having fun with my Shows. Made in Abyss is still quite excellent and Fate/Apoc is picking up. Even started playing Fate/Grand Order.
Lenlo
Man, sounds like I was the only one to have a good week with their show. Reflection really stepped it up this week in pretty much every category. Not sure it will last, but hey. Ill take one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm so disappointed in 18...if. Perfect opportunity to capitalize on something with a dreamlike feel to it and be creative only it ends up getting held back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I see Vonter and Mario are seducing me into watching Centaur.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*can't
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can'y see myself giving re creators a second chance, and from skimming these conversations, why should the show only get going at the end? It just sounds like too little too late.
AidanAK47
Honestly that's what Re:Creators biggest issue is. It builds up these great interesting idea's and then refuses to capitalize on them.
AidanAK47
Then it would be a battle to win over the audience and he who entertains them the most would get the most power. Just think of how many interesting ways that would take the fight. Like Altair could lose power and have to win over the crowd with her backstory and theatrics. A hero could purposefully get beaten to hell just so they can get a powerup from saying a boastful speech about kicking ass.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Exactly. Now there is an interesting fighting element. Imagine if both Altair and the heroes had to fight with the limitation of keeping the audience entertained. Altair couldn't pull out overpowered nonsense because the audience wouldn't approve and her power would drop. Same goes for the heroes.
Anonymous1378112
On the other hand I am not a fan of this whole final arc. It's just not believable to me to gather such a big audience who will do nothing but watch and accept everything you show them. Not to mention that the show is technically live acting to them. Considering how much anime fanbases already hate the DN movie and stuff I doubt many would sit there and accept that
Anonymous1378112
@Aidan: This made me pretty angry. like, they wasted a ton of screentime with these boring info dumps and now they're just irrelevant and the enemy just fucks over it
AidanAK47
Actually the last development was actually a screw the rules moment as well. So the only way to beat Altair is to just chuck aside the rules established with the last 20 episodes.
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