Posted on 13 September 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, Natsuyuki Rendezvous



The Noitamina timeslot started back in 2005, as an attempt to air series aimed at an older audience than usual. It was a wide success and spawned many awesome series. Then, in 2011 something happened: Fractale aired. It was alongside Hourou Musuko of course, but Fractale is the best symbol for the timeslot as it headed into a completely different direction, making shows about teenagers like what every other anime was doing. There were exceptions like Usagi Drop and Un-Go, but the general new shift in style was definitely noticeable. Until the Summer of 2012, that is. The past three months, we got to see Noitamina return back to its roots. And it was awesome.

Setting aside Moyashimon, Natsuyuki Rendezvous pretty much delivered one of the two best shows of the year, leaving every other series miles behind. It’s just so well made. The production company may be Dogakobo, these guys manage to deliver the best animation they’ve ever done. The characters are drawn incredibly expressive and they come wonderfully to life. And that can be added to the fact that this series is directed by Kou Matsuo, whose series often have this interesting habit of recording the voices before the animation is made. The result is fantastic acting with voice actors who instead of focusing on matching the flaps, can focus on interacting with each other. This show has brilliant characterizations overall.

And realyl, the story knows what it is. It’s deceptively simple from the outside, with very little unneccessary twists. It knows exactly what kind of story it wants to tell and has paced this out perfectly with hardly any moment wasted or rushed turing its 11-episode run. Instead of random twists, it thrives on letting the characters just interact with each other and create their own tension. It has nailed their background and gradual development, and it really succeeded in creating an awesome romance based on the three main characters who feel real and down to earth.

The thing also is, that I can’t think of any real criticism for it. Perhaps there are times at which one of the characters, Hazuki, becomes a bit too forceful, but really: we’re givern plenty of explanation for him to act that way and his acting is really consistent thoughout the series. Heck, if there is anything such as perfection, then this series comes closest to it this year. It’s a must-watch if you’re into realistic drama. It’s not for everyone obviously: if you want action, then don’t bother. However, I do believe that this is the kind of series that can attract people who normally aren’t into romance, but are interested into the genre.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Goldilocks pacing: neither too fast nor too slow. Really manages to let its characters tell its story.
Characters: 10/10 – Fantastic voice acting, amazing chemistry, wonderful drama.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Very expressive and detailed animation throughout the entire series.
Setting: 8.5/10 – Down to earth and very believable, with a great idea to base its romance on that it uses really well.

Suggestions:
Aoi Hana
Sakamichi no Apollon
Hourou Musuko

Posted on with categories: Natsuyuki Rendezvous

And here we have the ending of one of the top shows of 2012. I mean, back during the Spring season I already was very impressed with Sakamichi no Apollon, but that series had its flaws: it at times tried a little too hard, and as a result the characters forced themselves a bit too much into romance and drama. This series however was just perfect. It made brilliant use of its length and its story was simple, yet so effective. My favorite shows usually are complex series with huge storylines, but this was done so well that it completely won me over.

The ending here was no different. Screw trying too hard, this was just perfect: Atsushi got his time to say goodbye to Rokka properly, pissed off Hazuki one final time with his threat to kill her, and afterwards Rokka and Hazuki officially become a couple. Atsushi really shook up both of them in his attempt to leave a lasting impression, and I love how well the animators captured their emotions at just that moment. Hazuki’s utter surprise and Rokka’s hopelessly sad face were incredibly genuine.

And after that, this series picked a very interesting epilogue. Usually we skip forward to a few years later. This time however, we turn to the point where Hazuki dies, living his life happily. We got to see his daugthter with Rokka all grown up, which really is not something you see often. In fact, I can’t remember any other epilogue that did that. Beyond that, we never see Hazuki or Rokka in the epilogue other than in pictures. Again, a wonderful idea.

At this point I can’t say whether Natsuyuki Rendezvous will be my top pick for 2012. I can however say with quite a bit of certainty that it’s in the top 2 of the year. Its exact placement depentds on how Space Brothers fares in its third quarter, and whether it keeps up the pace it created. Space Brothers has slightly better characters, but on the other hand its pacing and animation just aren’t as good as this series. Nevertheless, these two shows stand miles above anything else this year.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 6 September 2012 with categories: Natsuyuki Rendezvous

Natsuyuki Rendezvous! That was amazing! This is what a penultimate episode should be. It’s finally time to see where all that build-up went.

I love the twist in this episode. For a long time we just saw Hazuki interacting with various versions of Rokka acting as various fairy tale figures. Only for it to turn out that that indeed was the subconsciousness of Atsushi, resulting in Hazuki really trading places with him and becoming a helpless ghost himself.

The moment in which he found out what all happened was wonderful. His reaction was priceless. I really admire how the creators pretty much pulled him away from all action for so long. Right now a ton of stuff has happened outside of his knowledge (including that new look of his, but also the change in feelings from Rokka), and it’s awesome to think how he’s going to react and adapt to all that.

And as for that final episode, Rokka’s final like is just the perfect lead up to that. This is where she addresses her worries for Hazuki, and very likely it will become clear that Atsushi has done something with him. It’s going to be a perfect climax for all three of them together. All at a place in which nobody can bother them and which has a huge value for both Rokka and Atsushi. The ending I’m looking forward to the most this season definitely belongs to Natsuyuki Rendezvous.
Rating: 6.5/8 (Amazing)

Posted on 31 August 2012 with categories: Natsuyuki Rendezvous

Natsuyuki Rendezvous, I applaud you! That was magnificent!

Now this is really how you do a dramatic climax. There was so much emotion in it, yet it was wonderfully restrained. The acting here was just brilliant. Everything in this episode was just leading up to that one moment in which Rokka would realize that for some reason Atsushi is back in Hazuki’s body, and they did so brilliantly.

The way they built it up also was amazing. Whilst Rokka was catching up to Atsushi (which is believable considering his mind has no affinity with being fast in any way), this episode kept showing flashbacks of the most memorable moments that the two of them shared together, which this series very nicely saved specifically for just this moment (now that I mention it: we never saw the flashback of the actual moment in which Atsushi died, right? That’s a wonderful touch right there for this series).

Beyond that I also really want to applaud the dialogue for this episode: that was some really well written stuff, miles away from the usual cliches. It felt fresh and captured the characters perfectly in how it described them. It also flowed so well with the actual animation. This episode didn’t feel like “okay, and now we have a bit of exposition”, but all the scenes flowed into each other, and did so incredibly smoothly. Dogakobo, where have you been hiding this talent for all this time?
Rating: 7/8 (Fantastic)

Posted on 23 August 2012 with categories: Natsuyuki Rendezvous

When it was revealed that Atsushi could move objects, I did find myself thinking “now what?” Well, the creators answered that question brilliantly, and at this point it has become clear that the main plot of this show is all about that body takeover, and the conclusion of this series will very likely also be the point where this will get resolved, and no sooner. This episode was meant to build up for that, and what brilliant build-up it was!

Clearly something happened between Atsushi and Rokka that involves mountains. The first half focused on this from Rokka’s perspective as she tried to puzzle what on earth was going on, and what I really loved was how well her acting was when she called up Hazuki. Talk about restraint! It said so much with so little dialogue!

The second half of the episode then moved over to Hazuki as he realized that there was a slight danger that he didn’t anticipate to the body swapping: not being able to return, with as the highlight that part that had the best track of the soundtrack of this series (the one with the bass-like guitar and piano: a simple yet wonderful combination).
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 16 August 2012 with categories: Natsuyuki Rendezvous

After compiling the preview for the next season, at this point I’m about 90% sure of this: my favorite series of 2012 will be either Uchuu Kyoudai or Natsuyuki Rendezvous. Both series stand far above the other series this year in terms of characterization and acting. This episode of Natsuyuki Rendezvous only reaffirmed this.

It went on even longer with the body takeover: this episode still didn’t resolve it, but instead it was entirely dedicated to Atsuhi coming ot terms with his own death, and Rokka moving on. This episode didn’t pull the soap opera card by hammering on that Rokka was falling in love with him again, but rather it was about how he realized that she had fallen in love with someone else. Something that both of them couldn’t imagine for years.

Even at the end of the episode when Rokka realized the hints of Atsushi, this again wasn’t with a soap opera in mind, but again with the themes of goodbye. I love how the creators used that small potted plant thingy as the way for him to leave Rokka, in order to “correct his own mistakes”. I have no clue what that means, the way in which it symbolizes his character-development was really well done.

What’s more: this series really was made for Noitamina. 11 episodes is the perfect length for this story, and that makes it also very easy to pick up and just watch for those with little time. And really: this series wastes no minute of its airtime: every scene feels like it contributes subtly to the cast.
Rating: 6,5/8 (Amazing)

Posted on 9 August 2012 with categories: Natsuyuki Rendezvous

So, this is the direction the story went with. Taking over the body really turned out to be a huge plot point for this series, rather than a random gimmick. This entire episode was building up to the big twist at the end, after which there still was no sign of Hazuki getting his body back. Instead, Rokka ended up confesing her feelings while his body still was occupied. Now that’s going to be awkward.

This really was a slow episode, especially after the bath scene. I really like that it focused on Rokka sorting out her feelings, and how this episode took its time for that to let everything just play out. It’s likely that she had feelings for Hazuki before the whole body switching went on, but Atsushi definitely contributed to them afterwards. What I’d like to know is: would she also have confessed this way if the switch didn’t happen? How would things have progressed if Hazuki never got into that drunk mood?

What’s also interesting for Atsushi here is the use of the story of Thumbelina, in terms of symbolism I mean. For those who don’t know about the general story (I couldn’t remember either until I read up on it), it’s the story of a tiny girl who escapes all sorts of shady marriages and friendships (symbolized by various animals). She then meets a swallow and heads off to a far away land to meet her tiny flower fairy prince, after which she transforms and receives a pair of wings and a new name. Atsushi actually put Hazuki, right at the moment where she meets that swallow. Despite what he might say or do, he actually supports Rokka moving on. And yet this episode came and complicated things again by using that confession, getting his feelings all jumbled up again. The wait is for what the creators intend to be the “far away land” of the story of thumbelina. That will be the key here.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 3 August 2012 with categories: Natsuyuki Rendezvous

Last week we left off with Hazuki finally giving off his body to that ghost in a drunk mood. This episode carries that further, and it’s definitely different from usual anime, in which such a possession only lasts a few minutes: at the end of this episode there still was no sign of him being content with leaving Hazuki’s body. In fact, things only seem to have just started yet.

In the meantime we have a wonderfully subtle portrayal of Atsushi in Hazuki’s body. It was emotional, but not melodramatic. It was sad, but not consistently sad: it actually balanced his feelings for finally being able to talk to Rokka again with his attempts of getting used to Hazuki’s new body, getting a better understanding of the guy in the process. I like how he tried to cut his own hair as a way of dealing with his frustrations, but he didn’t exactly end up ruining the guy’s image in front of Rokka. Of course she thinks he’s a horrible drunk right now, but he did nothing that would make her outright hate him, interestingly.

Hazuki meanwhile… didn’t really do anything. His part in this episode was mostly building up as he ran around in this dream world along with ythe younger Rokka, although she did provide a few hints about Atsushi when he was younger. The actual meat of that subplot will probably be revealed next week, although it is surprising to see this series beat around the bush a bit. But that’s something that I also find that this show does really well: it’s really well balanced, on top of its excellent voice-acting, script, music, characters, timing, etc.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 26 July 2012 with categories: Natsuyuki Rendezvous

This episode really shined in how well it balanced showing what went on in the minds of the characters. For Hazuki it has two ways to show his thoughts: his long inner monologues, and his fast inner quibs in the middle of conversations. Rokka has them too, but the difference is less extreme. In contrast, we didn’t get so see into the mind of Atsushi for most of the episode, though at the end it was perfectly clear what he had been thinking throughout most of the episode.

Most of this episode was about the date in the amusement park. And it felt very awkward, but that was entirely the intention of the creators: Hazuki really wanted to use this opportunity to make his move on Rokka, forcing his way through everything. It’s interesting how the only impression he has of the past amusement park is one photo that in no way showed what was going on in the rest of the trip. At the end, this was suppored to be the catalyst to the big moment at the end of the episode: him giving up his own body in a drunk mood. This depended a lot on the right emotional portrayal of the characters, and really: the creators nailed it.

After this, it’s all going to depend on where the creators take this next. There are a ton of ways they can to after the next episode. It all depends on the meaning that they’ll give of Atsushi’s short meeting with his wife.

Also, I think that right now we’re at a historical junction: 20 years from now, people can somewhat differentiate some of the series from before 2012 and after. From today, the big landmark of Tokyo is the Sky Tree, and not the Tokyo Tower anymore. The next terror that will land upon the city will choose to smash up the Sky Tower, and from now on, the Tokyo Tower will just be seen as its small brother.
Rating: (Excellent)

Posted on 20 July 2012 with categories: Natsuyuki Rendezvous

If it was just the voice acting in this series that was as great as it was, this series would already be amazing. But it’s not just that: the music is brilliant, and in fact got even better in this episode with its combinations of piano and string pieces. And on top of that the expressions are wonderfully drawn in this series: its ability to convey emotions also is completely unrivaled in this season. And the bizarre thing is: this is Dogakobo. What really surprises me is how they suddenly got themselves some awesome producers who could bring together some people who really know what they’re doing. What triggered that? I mean, these are the guys who are behind the many seasons of Koihime Musou. They only did one series once that didn’t involve blatant moe: Ryoko’s Case File, but that was nowhere as well executed as this series is.

I mean, there is also the way in which they got Ryo-Chimo to direct the OP, but what also surprises me is how tightly everything is produced: Kou Matsuou is involved everywhere: he directs, he writes the script, he even directed the ED. On top of that, every episode director so far also personally wrote the storyboard. I know that originally these roles were pulled apart in order to allow for more consistency in the anime production process, so that even with an average staff you could produce a great episode because the workload is divided, but it’s still good to see that the people who have the time and skill to do both at once are still there, because this in my opinion allows for a more creative control over each episode.

What the creators did in this episode brilliantly was show how hopeless Atsushi’s situation is. He’s pretty much forced to watch some random guy start hitting on what he still considers to be his girlfriend, and being sick for his entire life he really became a sympathetic character here after his charades last episodes. And really: Hazuki is one of the most flawed main characters out there, but in a completely different way from usual. This guy is cold and brash, not polite at all. Yet at the same time, he’s very sharp-witted which despite him being an asshole at times, makes him really great to watch. My one nitpick about this episode was that we got to see very little inside the head of Rokka herself. That was what made her so interesting in the first two episodes.
Rating: (Awesome)

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
If anyone has any suggestions for weird short animations, I'm looking for excuses to watch some more and I'm in the mood for them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Mario's youtube link had cgi models of rem and ram in the video.
Masky
I'm confused when was Rem even mentioned
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only ever watched he-man and stuff related to it in passing when I was younger, Conan was more my thing back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For so long I'd always referred to she-ra as she-man.
AidanAK47
@Mario, What is this heresy!
....
....Rems always cute.
Anonymous3084910
Hilda is fine, though is very laidback kinda like a young reader's novel. It has its moments but its fantasy with slice-of-life coming of age.
Anonymous3084910
@SuperMario Yeah I know, She Ra is the twin sister of He Man. But strangely it seems Dreamworks may not have the right to those characters. It was a marketing idea trying to bring more girls to that universe but like most girls show from the time it had a very flat depiction of what little girls want to see.
SuperMario
Sorry Aidan, I know it's blasphemy but I have to post here. Enjoy the OP song with the twins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9MUjISNm0U&index=4&list=PLU56jBSlcHw8-ol9Hi4lJ0GR0tU6EOf2a
SuperMario
I'll probably check out Hilda. Heard a lot of hypes about that show
SuperMario
@Vonter: I've heard of She-Ra, she's the female counterpart (well, sister) of He-Man (the most powerful man in the universe and the secret identity of Prince Adam). Sounds silly but I'm not even kidding
Vonter
All in all, despite not being a big thing, I think is an enjoyable recommendation. My only nitpick is that it maybe too light hearted for some kinda like above My Little Pony but below something Voltron. Also despite being less childish than the original is still kinda of girly with lots of pastel colors although it balances it a bit having girls being more tomboyish in different degrees.
Vonter
Like with Voltron it amuses me seeing anime tropes being played through western lens. Since I'm a bit hesitant to say that could this count as a harem series despite not being male gaze moments? Also having the most sensible hotspring episode I've seen.
Vonter
In this one this She Ra has pathos. A bit like Korra there's doubt in her role and also a complicated relationship with her rival. I do like the role reversal in the knight's tale this clearly is, in that most roles that would be played by men are played by women in this story. Matriarchy, displacement of both femminine beauty but also empowerment.
Vonter
So I've watched some of the new She Ra from Netflix. So far I'm in, it's not deep but it's quite charismatic. I do like there's more pathos in regards to these characters which pretty much were confined to their archetype to an extreme like the original Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It manages to make watching something like running engaging, when I'd otherwise probably not watch the sport. Also, last week the show ended up popping into my head when I was sitting around doing pretty much nothing and made me think "Ok fuck it, not sitting around doing nothing, going to go out for a run around the block"
Lenlo
I also agree, characters losing in sports is important. They can't start at the top, it makes the series lose meaning
Lenlo
I quite enjoyed Kaze Fui this week. I think your correct that the one who got the reality check was Kurahara, who thought he was the only one able to actually make it. I also thing that he has a competitive streak a mile wide, and might be a little afraid of failure. Doesnt think the team can make it, so why bother
Kaiser-Eoghan
Think I wasn't i the mood for honda-san this week even though I laughed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I like it when sports series actually show the characters you know...actually lose.
Anonymous3083989
Huh, interesting in this episode of Kaze ga that it's Kakeru who got a reality check during the track meet since he was beaten by two other runners. I think we're due for an episode soon where he has to confront his past demons instead of fleeing from them.
Anonymous3083626
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aging in fiction, I think has more to do with the story than the characters. I mean the jokes about Ash Ketchum, Detective Conan, Archie. The Flinstones tried to make different stories by aging Pebbles and Bam Bam. Or Batman having two Robins graduating into their own heroes. But in the end dynamics change, hence why most cartoons don't age the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is why when aging does occur in anime/manga, such as in vinland saga or nanoha for example, its appreciated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course, animated characters often don't age much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember enjoying the simpsons movie back when I watched it, but thinking about it it really was just an extended episode. Really the show peaked with the who shot Mr Burns episode. Catching bits of recent episodes and seeing them use modern stuff while they never age seems weird too.
Amagi
I do think series are allowed to move forward though, I am kinda interested in the Pkmn movie for example. But certain shows should just end, Simpsons for example was a parody of the 90s, it just can't work in a more modern setting IMO.
Amagi
I stopped with the Simpsons when Maude was killed/died, it was just a step in the wrong direction they should have never done and it killed the series for me. I disliked it before already though, I think I noticed the series getting worse since season..9? Or 10, not sure anymore.
Amagi
Anime for Dorohedoro announced.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Therefore ruining the fanservice fun for everybody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite beach episodes are ones where it rains and they end up not being able to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After that it was just the film for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually, regarding the simpsons, the episode I stopped on was sometime in the early 2000s, Homer was stuck on some island resort or something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose it was just as much a case of falling out of watching/playing too and then there being so many episodes/games catchup was impossible. I probably should read the manga someday.
Anonymous3081957
@Kaiser-Eoghan -Kinda like Sponge Bob, Power Rangers or The Simpsons, I can't blame those who move forward, It's imposible for a show to go that long without losing steam. I did check the Sun and Moon first season and while I think the personality and energy is better it doesn't exactly push the concept forward. Still somehow Pokemon is still a phenomenon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Very strange hearing a Pikachu talk with Ryan Reynolds voice. But my days of pokemon are behind me.
KyokoHyuga
?????
KyokoHyuga
who likes pokemon here
SuperMario
@Amagi: I think the person who made the sub for Maquia did a pretty neat job. Not perfect but the translation flows well
Vonter
We've seen realistic Pokémon fanart, but how does a movie looks when it attempts it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8CKgQFo5U8
Amagi
How are the subs for Maquia? I only heard anons complain about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*dealing with
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you should really torrent it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is 1080p stream on kiss anime, if you hate deal with the ads on that site the 4up stream on anilinkz has the best quality of the available links
Lenlo
Where did you see Maquia online? I still need to watch it. PM it to me on discord maybe? Pretty please? <3
SuperMario
One fact that not many people know is that Penguin Highway is penned by Tomihiko Morimi. It indeed has many Morimi's signature inputs
SuperMario
This year, I'm doing well with catching up anime films (kudos for Australian's Madman who always license these titles very quickly). So far, I've watched Mirai, Maquia, Penguin Highway, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas and My Hero Academia the Movie
SuperMario
So I watched two anime movies this last week, Penguin Highway in theatre and Maquia online. Both of them are pretty solid in general, especially Penguin that has magical realism elements and some great chemistry. Whereas Mari Okada's writting still rubs me in the wrong way sometimes
Lenlo
D: He did, back in August actually apparently
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I heard Dino's voice actor died.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we all took Goblin slayers attitude to trolls, then we would more easily ignore the trolls =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Big twist in the golden kamuy manga.
Animosh
@SuperMario: remember that in the voice drama Rikka mentioned talking to Yuuta in their classroom during the ball game. Pretty sure it's about that.
SuperMario
@Animosh: i just watched the episode and noticed the lyrics as well. "The Promise" seems vague at the moment. Could be between Yuuta and whoever fits but I agree the "save someone from boredom" is about Akane
Animosh
You learn something every day. ;) Honestly though, I actually skipped the opening, so I hadn't even noticed that it had been translated until others pointed it out. And most of the time the lyrics are just cheesy one-liners, so I usually don't pay much attention to them either. But once in a while there's some nice hints hidden in there...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I never really ever paid attention to the lyrics in anime openings, I'd never thought to.
Animosh
The Gridman OP has been translated for the first time, and there's some pretty interesting reveals in there: it mentions a "promise" made in a classroom (so now we know how Yuuta and Rikka bonded in the past - glad it wasn't a simple confession), and talks of "rescuing" someone (presumably Akane) from boredom. So I guess she'll join the good guys eventually?
Lenlo
1200 words. I need to stop writing so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't seen last weeks episode of Irozuku or this weeks =< I'm waiting now for a bit to see if the series paysoff.
Animosh
Goddamn those magic segments in Irozuku were stunning! It's a shame its humdrum drama can't live up to its visual beauty, but I'll take it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think Ash's design is based a bit on River phoneix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry Eiji but your Ash is in another castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I was about to say that. Kidnapping gets used alot in shojo.
Anonymous3072040
Yeah Ash is basically Princess Peach
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I share your concerns, I don't know what studio is doing it. Some people want it to be mappa, some don't want it to be polygon pictures to adapt it. Its and long and violent manga, with some very funny at times dark humour, it could end up rushed and/or censored.
Anonymous3072021
As much as I love Dorohedoro I'm unsure if I should be happy or worried at it getting an adaptation, it isn't exactly the kind of story I imagine being easy to adapt well.
Lenlo
Yeah, I am touching on that in my writeup as we speak. The compressed story is causing Ash to be captured every other week.
Animosh
I agree Banana Fish was great this week though! My only gripe is that I'm getting sick and tired of seeing Ash get kidnapped again and again. He just escaped a couple of episodes ago! And he's just a lot more fun to watch when he's out there doing stuff.
Animosh
In a way the fights actually feel more realistic to me than those in Banana Fish. Sure, they're fantastical, bizarre even, but its battle system has a clear internal logic, and generally no power is infallible (each has its limitations). In Banana Fish the fights are rather poorly thought out by comparison. Their purpose is more to make Ash look cool than to give him realistic hurdles to overcome.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what sets Jojo apart from other battle shounen for me is how ridiculously creative its fights can get. Part 2 already shows some signs of this, but the introduction of the Stand system in Part 3 pushes it to another level, and in Part 4 the fights are consistently awesome. There are no simple beam struggles here: every fight is a battle of wits, between people with wildly different powers
Niel
Vinland Saga anime, and Now Dorohedoro just got announced. i'm really liking this trend.
Lenlo
Lots to writeup on Banana Fish this week.
Lenlo
Just finished it, I really like Blanca.
Lenlo
Because Jackie Chan and his stunt crew are some of the best in the world. There is a reason he has to insure his guys from his own pocket. No agency will take them
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have no idea how the hell Jackie Chan is still alive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Action works best for me when I really feel that theres danger involved. Thats why when some actors do their own stunts, you can fear for the actors life, and also the character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And thats why I'm a big fan of all that Chinese martial arts stuff from the 60s and 70s, that really expertly crafted chereography.
Lenlo
As for action, I like good choreography more than any super powers. Its why Cowboy Bebop, Seirei no Moribito, Sword of the Stranger and some Naruto fights are fantastic.
Lenlo
Im about to watch this weeks episode, so this chat makes me hopeful. I agree Ash and Eiji are the backbone of the series, and yeah me and Kaiser both agreed that the Gang war aspect was pretty weak, though I thought the finish with Arthur wasnt half bad
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think Banana fish has a great grit to it for this reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even more thankful to Banana fish too for that it keeps the action within the bounds of out of fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've always been kind of a guns and swords and kungfu gut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Black lagoons great example of anime action I can get behind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always found weapon combat and fist/kicking combat more raw and real,tangible than beamspam.
Anonymous3070972
But yeah if you're not a fan supernatural power fantasy action shounens, then maybe not your cup of tea, and that's totally cool
Anonymous3070972
Oh also if I'm recommending a fight from part 4, I'd say check out Highway Star
Anonymous3070972
Kira is a pretty cool villain though; he's always underpowered compared to the main heroes, but manages to somehow get out of the situation with luck or smarts; if nothing else, I'd recommend watching some Youtube clips
Anonymous3070972
*Turn off. lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its more than, even when I was younger supernatural power fantasy action shounen never appealed to me.
Anonymous3070972
Admittedly JoJo always has bad with exposition though, and always will be just due to the style, so that can definitely be a turn on for some people
Anonymous3070972
If you like slice of life with hijinks and a murder mystery combined with cool battles, you'll like part 4
Anonymous3070972
Yeah I can see why you might not like part 1 & 2, they were made in the 80s; I'd recommend part 4 and part 5 (ongoing rn) tbh, I feel like those are better for a modern viewing experience
Anonymous3070972
I used to think that BF's greatest strength was the plot; know I realize it's really about Ash & Eiji's connection first and foremost: as good as the plot can be, Ash & Eiji's relationship is absolutely the backbone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Also that scene where Ash is thinking to himself, looking over Eiji.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nah, I pretty much gave up on jojo midway through part 2.
Anonymous3070771
Also, anybody notice Blanca's VA is Kira (from Diamond is Unbreakable)? What a wonderful duwang!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: The producer guy Miyano is voicing, much like the show is irritating because the show has this "look at me look at me" feel to it, it just comes off as desperate to me and this is just going by the one episode I watched and hated.
Anonymous3070771
What's that damn piano song that plays when Ash and Eiji are talking about Japan. It's too good. For some reason, it's really magical
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I was the one who said that.
@Niello: You don't need to see steins; gate zero, myself and lenlo discussed it to death as it was airing, its all over the place. I like the original too but after a while of the first half being fun, I just wanted it to start.
Anonymous3070771
Phew, great episode of BF; whoever said the gang war stuff was the weakest point was right. this stuff is getting fantastic again.
Niello
Also I agree, Zombieland first episode was amazing, second episode is still rather great, and then the other episodes have just been meh.
Niello
In Zombieland it doesn't help that the character he's voicing with that tone is an asshole, which isn't a good combination because it's making him more annoying by the episode.
Niello
Steins;Gate is pretty good, but I don't think I like it nearly as much as most people do (I gave it a 7/10). I also haven't bothered with Steins;Gate 0. And although I didn't mind Myano in Steins;Gate, I didn't particularly like his voice there either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the sombreness of Blanca's character. Poor Ash, so broken in this episode.
AidanAK47
Yeah after episode 2 it's been a downgrade. Zombieland is still alright to watch but it really has become what it parodied.
Vonter
Zombieland sadly has winded down. I mean it was expected but still I was hoping some more creative attempts to use in the typical genre. It'll have been better if they had waken up more slowly in order to flesh the archetypes a bit more. It still has charismatic moments though.
Lenlo
Really Niello? See, I like it because it's the voice we never got in Steins;Gate 0. Its Okabe's Kyouma voice, and I have a nostalgic love for it
Masky
Wasn't gyary isekai another one that existed?
Niello
I hate Miyano voice in Zombieland Saga and find him annoying tbh.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am getting sick of self aware humour though. I see this show as something that was fun to make (such as Miyano seems to be feeling based on performances) but not fun for me to watch and that kind of extends to the manager who while I agree would be the best part of the show, I stopped finding funny after the joke was done.
Lenlo
For me, the main selling point of Zombieland Saga was always Miyano. I love this mans crazy voice.

And in regards to Isekai, discounting this most recent one, SAO actually is pretty good this season so far. Kirito is still bland, but its taking things a lot slower and actually building the world. Its taking its time with 52 episodes
Kaiser-Eoghan
By the sound of it, if some who liked the first episodes don't care for the ones beyond those two episode, then I'm glad I stopped watching.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did flick through episode 2 but the rap battle thing was particularly awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I couldn't stand the humour and have up on the show after the first half of episode 1.
Anonymous3065780
What Zombieland does have that Ore doesn't is better animation and Miyano hamming it up. But that's all it has going for it at the moment.
Anonymous3065780
You have a few "ha ha look at this" moments scattered here and there like how Ore episode 5 was basically one big middle finger to the nature of anime production, or Zombieland's Tae Yamada. But the parody value from the first two episodes is all but gone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Its in part my own fault , I jumped the gun in the first half of episode one then all goodwill I had for it died after the first couple of minutes.
Anonymous3065780
@Kaiser Same here. Very disappointed that Zombieland is going down the same route that Mahou Shoujo Ore went down: basically becoming what it purported to parody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Every isekai that pops up in recent seasons, I simply just ignore it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On another note, surely I'm not the only one who dropped zombieland saga? I'm not alone am I?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean, I've never seen an episode of konosuba or rezero and refuse to , no game no life is a series of two halves, I barely watched any of gate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the only one I can say I care about is Tanya.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I think I've done a fairly good job at avoiding the modern isekai thing, I've never actually cared enough to sit through one fully beyond the first season of log horizon, 4 seasons of zero no tsukaima. Other than that I've seen maybe 7 episodes of sword art . Never seen a single episode of overlord and won't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I'm also glad their mentioning stuff like the peoples will, the historical assassination of the Russian emperor. I enjoy the tidbits of historical reference for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: But I don't think the animation is as good as it should be in the anime adaptation and its not as violent as the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I am up to date on the manga, the post first scene chapters that have caught my attention most have been Edogai, the big scenes in the prison and that bonnie and clyde duo.
Anonymous3065196
@SuperMario Are you watching GK s2? Any thoughts on it since you aren't covering this weekly?
Anonymous3065196
I think I laughed more from this than most of the comedies airing right now thanks to these bizarre situations and characters they're introducing.
Anonymous3065196
The anime is now covering the parts in the manga where things get a lot more dramatic, and a lot more weird and oddly hilarious.
Anonymous3065196
Wonder if anyone is still watching Golden Kamuy? We're way past the embarrassing CG bear.
Kaiser-Eoghan
A polar bear isekai exists.
AidanAK47
@Anon, it will be after in another world but a polar bear but before the gyarus in another world Isekai.
MaskyAtPublicComputer
Nobody could care about world building not really making sense or being inconsistent if it didn't have the grimderp parts that cause internet flame wars
MaskyAtPublicComputer
So it goes back to what I said: GS at its core is about (at least seemingly) about cool gorey tactical action with some character study of what its like to be broken person like GS is, but rape stuff just kinda ruins it for most people and it doesn't handle subject well
MaskyAtPublicComputer
gear doesn't rust and break down
MaskyAtPublicComputer
Anyhoo, I might remember wrong, but didn't GS purposedly use lower quality gear that has danger of breaking down in middle of combat? Thats kinda what I meant with "apparently using average quality gear is too dangerous", especially since its kinda hard to believe goblins could repurpose armor used by humans for themselves. I'm completely okay with him not using magical gear since D&D wise magical
MaskyAtPublicComputer
Like, you can't be like "Aha, characters think they are in JRPG, but its actually tabletop rpg oh wait no, it still follows realistic logic instead of tabletop rpg rules"
MaskyAtPublicComputer
See, barbarians in D&D don't wear armor because they are stronger without it, sure they have lower AC, but they have lot of health so they can tank a hit. So showing barbarian adventure dying in one hit because they were stupid enough to not wear armor just comes across as "So wait, is this supposed to be realistic, tabletop rpg or JRPG or what?"
MaskyAtPublicComputer
@AidanAK47: That IS actually part of reason why I said GS' author isn't thinking it through with world building. See, I actually think world being gods' D&D campaign does actually explain lot of details about how things don't make sense and it does fit with GS being D&D inspired, but that is another example of how GS is inconsistent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Perhaps not the strongest episode of honda-san, but the golden kamuy and Brazilian guy bit made up for it.
Lenlo
I might give it a watch after Kaze Fui finishes and write that up, just for you then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The anime kind of feels a bit live actiony, which I know sounds confusing to hear, what I mean is the character designs.
Anonymous3060338
I'm very interested in doing a comparison between the anime adaptation and the live-action adaptation of Kaze ga once the series concludes next year just because these are two different mediums adapting the same novel. I would really like to know what they had to change or cut to get it down to 2 hours, compared to this two-cour series.
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Banana Fish – 18 [Islands in the Stream]

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

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