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)

Customize
AidanAK47
Yeah I really can't see that.
AidanAK47
Naruto, for insight into major philosphical question and demi god reincarnation.
Also featuring moon ninjas.
Anonymous222624
*insight* *major philosophical questions* *??????*
Anonymous222458
I can understand that. Before the conclusion the main cast was pretty linear and repetetive character developement wise - the main focus was shounen action for the majority of the series. The conclusion showed us that these characters are reincarnates of sons of a demi god. They build up that past world with such an insight to major philosphical questions but easily understandable & relatable.
SuperMario
People might disagree with this but I like how 91 Days plays out. Low-key but satisfied ending.
AidanAK47
@Badesh, Forgive me if I am rather skeptical on that statement.
reaLjustified
Well when the series is two decades old how is it an accomplishment? There are one shots that make me feel more emotionally attached to the story.
Badesh
Hell, Naruto final arc turned out to be one of the most holistic storytelling i've encountered in a while. The character developement ties in so nicely with the whole universe. It's a great accomplishement growing a pop anime into a mature mystic saga. i highly reccomend it even for newcomers. just watch past great ninja war.
Kaiser Eoghan
*last two
Kaiser Eoghan
I'll leave it to someone else to pick the last one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Might add trouble every day by Claire Denis and Livid by Julien Maury.
Kaiser Eoghan
Thanks for that. So now its under the shadow, return of the evil dead 1, dagon, from beyond, re-animator, haute tension, nekromantik, the tunnel.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah I had forgotten, I'd meant to see Haute tension.
Kaiser Eoghan
Of those I haven't seen nekromantik or dead things.
SuperMario
That's all I can think for now. I'm sure K-off and others will have more inspiring suggestions down the line
SuperMario
For pychological edge: Haute Tension, Lake Mungo, Three... Extremes (actually the 3 shorts are all interesting), The Tunnel 2011 (underaprreciate Aussie found-footage)
SuperMario
For sick minds, Man Bites Dog, a Serbian film, Der Tolesking, Human Centipede (1&2)
SuperMario
Alright, for pure horror pleasures: Necromantik (1987), Green Inferno, Dead/Alive (my childhood's nightmare), Children Shouldn't Play woth Dead Things (more like a guity pleasure)
SuperMario
Haha scary indeed
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The scariest thing about the haunting was that a remake of it exists that betrays the original.
SuperMario
Now, let me check my own horror list for more reccomendation
Kaiser Eoghan
Hahaha! Possession predates urotsukidouji =P in terms of the tentacle monster thing.
SuperMario
And I heard that the Haunting (1963) is good as well. Some david lynch movies (Lost Highway for example) could be claasified as horror too
SuperMario
Shame he passed away early this year. But he did say that the violent relationship in that movie was based on his own divorce.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I think Polish directed films are apparently rooted in theater. Though I believe he is a Dadaist.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Apparently Possession and diabal, all of his works are full of hidden political messages.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: That director is genuinely off-the wall insane, silver globe and l'amour braque actually make that look sane.
SuperMario
Possession the movie that Isabelle Adjani stared in? God, that movie exhausted me
Kaiser Eoghan
Innocents was so much better than its remake the others, the atmosphere was a lot lot stronger too, black and white really adds to the mood too.
Kaiser Eoghan
ha! I loved those.
This year I'm looking for silly horror movies predominently.
SuperMario
Let scare Jessica to death; the innocents 1961, Kill List, goodnight Mommy
Kaiser Eoghan
My alltime favourite horror film is Possession.
Kaiser Eoghan
No fuck it, no sequels. Currently it stands at under the shadow, return of the evil dead 1, dagon, from beyond, re-animator.
SuperMario
Too lazy to check out which horror movies that you've watched, but sure I can reccomend you some, from shitty to pure camp.
Kaiser Eoghan
Actually wait, under the shadow is out next week so that means I only need 5 more.
Kaiser Eoghan
Or maybe a 12 days is more feasible, easier. So that brings it down to six more. Guilty pleasures accepted.
K-Off
Any room for shitty horror in that list?
Kaiser Eoghan
I have to do a 30 days of halloween list soon. Want to limit it to horror films I haven't seen. So far I have the return of the living dead trilogy , dagon, from beyond and the re-animator.
Kaiser Eoghan
I also recently watched stranger things. I felt it did right by its 80s throw back, straight down to the references, score, costumes. Pretty cool monster too and the younger actors I thought were mostly good. Kind of slightly reminded me of the goonies to a small extent. I think it succeeded in being fairly heartfelt. Although I did find it a bit padded.
SuperMario
About the new season, I'm more interested in how these dark horse titles will turn out: Flip-flappers, ClassicalLoid, Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku, Yuri on Ice
SuperMario
@Aidan: I had Stranger Things on my queue list for a while now, but don't plan to watch it anytime soon. Glad you enjoy it.
K-Off
ReZero is the only show I finished in about 2 seasons. Hopefully the Working spinoff is up to par.
AidanAK47
Hoping things change when the first episodes start airing of the new anime season.
AidanAK47
Things have gotten quiet here. I plan on getting my Mob psycho review up today. I have to say that the next season doesn't interest me very much. There's some great stuff coming next year but the fall is looking pretty...meh.
AidanAK47
Finally got around to watching Stranger Things. Good show, I like the nostalgic way they tell the story though at times its too Spielberg/King. I admit that I can't say I was blown away by it. It's good and I will be watching the second season. But it's a tad.. predictable. Those child actors did a great job though.
K-Off
@Bam I'm not certain the email I have is one you actually use, so here it is: (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QWnGcuVQuXfOJuh80SDgtiZH4X6Zya_XEG2ZOM6u-5k/edit?usp=sharing)
It's pathetic right now, I'm sorting out my arrangements for Seoul first.
K-Off
@Bam I'll send you the itinerary in a few hours. Appreciate the offer for guides but I'll decline on that, otherwise it wouldn't hurt to have additional contacts in japan. The person I'm traveling with is half Japanese, so I trust that we won't run into tourist traps.
SuperMario
It logged me out again. Oh well! That was me Bam
Anonymous207007
@Bam: the first time I've ever heard of Chinchilla. Sorry to hear about your pet. Don't feel bad about the late post, it's perfectly fine. After all, we all volunteer to contribute here, so no pressure on the timing. Just write whenever you feel like it really.
Bam
Can anybody else see these?
Bam
@K-off: right on m8, I'm excited for you. Email me your itinerary and I can not only recommend some spots that aren't just basic tourist-traps, but can also hook you up with some friends to take you around and show you what the real Japan is all about.
Bam
I was planning to release the posts just as scheduled, but my Chinchilla suddenly got ill, and given the exotic nature of such pets I've been in and out of dozens of veterinary clinics. Over a week later and $600 spend, the poor thing finally gave out. I've been pretty out of since it happened, but again sorry for just disappearing.
Bam
I am actually still breathing. Sorry again for the unceremonious absence.
K-Off
@anon196168 I'm all ears for suggestions.
Anonymous196168
If youre going to japan maybe you could do something more unique than just taking pictures of locations? Plenty of those already on Google.
Kaiser Eoghan
Noticing a server error showing up on the shoutbox there.
AidanAK47
Good point, normal users generally just stay anono. ke69Vin?...69...really....that's just sad humor right there.
K-Off
That was most definitely little Kevin as well. 9vinke6 is obviously an anagram.
AidanAK47
@9Vinke6, I don't know what you are trying to share but it ain't an image. Deleting your comment as I don't want dodgy files on the site.
Anonymous181098
Are you kidding??!! Tokyo is amazing if you want excitement & you want to experience social life. But I agree go to Osaka. If tokyo is like Quebec then osaka is like toronto. More laid back
Anonymous180231
OPM was a shoe-in. It's showing very good success on Adult Swim on US TV and Viz is throwing big dollars to keep the gravy train rolling
AidanAK47
One Punch Man season 2 was announced. Expected but most certainly welcome.
...now I need Re:Zero season 2.
CJayTiiii
Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
K-Off
If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
CJayTiii
Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
CJayTiii
Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
K-Off
@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
CJayTiii
For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
afgm
Well, it's hard, since it doesn't really feel finished, so even if you know it will eventually end well if given a chance, you can't really put your full confidence behind those bets
AidanAK47
Got a bit long winded in that review and yet I feel like I really didn't get across what makes the series so good.
AidanAK47
Well that's the Re:Zero review written up. I will get to work on 91 days next and maybe Prisms Illya maybe after that. Lost all entuasim after they messed up that last episode in Illya. Overall it's been pretty disappointing.
AidanAK47
As for that twist. I think they could work it easily into a first episode. The impact would still be there for people marathoning the thing in the future and it would be a good "Oh Shit!" moment to start the second season. If they jump ahead a bit to a certain moment it would actually make for a great opener.
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