Posted on 2 September 2019 with categories: Carole & Tuesday, Currently Watching:

Cydonia Festival is approaching and our girls want to go out with a bang. That’s like, the mentality of every rookie band in their first big gig. The intention fails miserably though, because 1) they’re not the type of flashy band to begin with and 2) before them, Etergun and Angela’s over the top performance completely blows the stadium away. Also happening this week, we have the conclusion of the Angela stalker subplot, Jerry’s attempt to bring Tao to his political side, and Tao acting cool for a change. Overall, this is another typical Carole & Tuesday episode: girls on their episodic quest with a strong performance (in fact, this is my favorite song of theirs), the conflict is raised and resolved a bit too quickly (the stalker’s subplot), and at the end of the day, as I’ve said since the beginning of its run, Carole & Tuesday the series doesn’t necessarily aim for complex narrative or to break any new ground, but it goes for accessibility and can work as an inspiration for those indies who want to break out to the bigger stage.

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Posted on 26 August 2019 with categories: Carole & Tuesday, Currently Watching:

In episode 17, Etergun receives the spotlight when he basically got the rug pulled off his feet and gains some back at the end of the episode. While the event played out is too quick for me to register his loss, it feels hilarious nonetheless that such a guy with high-esteem like Etergun can feel low and depressed at times. After all, he has to fight between Good Etergun vs Bad Etergun in his head, and the way he was scammed by his Pinocchio AI is a hood tweak on the beloved character. One thing that I feel amiss though, is that there is little to no interaction between him and Carole & Tuesday. Well, he did crash into their house but there’s hardly actual conversation between them, and guess who he wanted to sing for his new song? ANGELA. Well, isn’t that a betrayal of sorts? Kidding aside, the way he and Tao have a totally different approach towards AI music, but are pretty much acknowledge other’s style is another high note for me.

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Posted on with categories: Carole & Tuesday, Currently Watching:

The last two episodes of Carole & Tuesday give the focus on 2 one-off characters, and frankly it doesn’t surprise me that these characters leave a much bigger impact than our central characters. Both Desmond and Flora have so much screen presence and the way the approach music, as well as how music affects their lives, leave something substantial to talk about. The show also provides a rare occasion where I greatly enjoy the whole music playing in these episodes. The music feel grandeur, and they pack with emotions unlike those songs from Angela. Not only do they serve as interesting characters on their own, they help broadening Carole & Tuesday’s own approach into music. As a whole, Carole & Tuesday the series sadly trades any thematic complexity for accessibility. If you were looking for a show with depth, you might come off disappointed.

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Posted on 22 July 2019 with categories: Carole & Tuesday, Currently Watching:

We finally get to the end of the Mars Brightest contest and the beginning of the new arc (with shining new OP and ED to boost), but narratively it’s not much of a big gap between these three episodes. While we can see how it wraps up from miles away, episode 12 wraps up the best way it can with the conclusion of the final showdown between Carole & Tuesday versus Angela. Turns out, there isn’t really a “showdown” to begin with, as our titular characters are disqualified for the final. Here, the show brings a fair share of pluses and minuses in its package. On one hand, I approve its focus on Carole & Tuesday relationship rather than the Mars Brightest contest. It’s nice to see them reflect on how important they are for each other and how they wanted to team up in the first place. With that, despite the fact that they didn’t win the contest, they still gain something more valuable: their partnership. On the other hand, the plot is simply too thin that it stretches out too much that you can see a lot of holes and inconsistencies. Take Tuesday’s Mom Valerie for example. We see her “abducting” her daughter because she’s in the middle of the campaign, but later on after Tuesday escapes we hear next to nothing about her in regards to Tuesday. So… she just gives up on Tuesday? Is she too busy to even consider Tuesday a threat for her campaign? Likewise, we have a random old passerby who appears just in time to give Carole & Tuesday a lift to the contest, then seemingly vanish without a trace. That’s what I called a clumsy plot device.

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Posted on 26 June 2019 with categories: Anime Reviews, Dororo, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama, Reviews by Lenlo

In the modern anime sphere, getting a complete story, start to finish, is a rare thing. As is getting an adaptation for an older work. Dororo however has, through the grace of Twin Engine, managed to get both of these. Based on the 1967 manga of the same name by legendary Mangaka Osamu Tezuka, Dororo takes the viewer back to a time before tropes were commonplace. Predating Berserk by almost 20 years, with many of the same themes. A story much darker than what fit’s is original art style and time period, it truly is a series out of time. But how does this story, canceled after only 4 volumes with largely anime original content, fare in the modern anime sphere? Well, let’s dive in and find out. As always, spoilers after this point.

Let’s go!

(Disclaimer: I am working to make 50 the new “average”. 70 is not an average score people. 70 is above average. Carry on.)

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Posted on 25 June 2019 with categories: Dororo

Welcome one and all to the Dororo finale! It’s a difficult one, as parts of it are fantastic, while others just leave me confused. But all in all, I think I enjoyed it, and I definitely don’t regret my time with the series. So, all that said, let’s dive in.

Starting off, I think Dororo visually ended on a high note. There were definitely issues of course, it wouldn’t be Dororo without some. For example, in a lot of the wide shots, the fire just looked pasted on in Aftereffects. It wasn’t even from the same show, it didn’t feel real. A lot more care was seemingly put into the closeup shots around Hyakkimaru and Tahomaru, as that looks much better. Or perhaps its just sheer volume that makes it seem less out of place. Regardless, what this means is that just like last week, the brothers were the visual high point of the episode. Dancing around the scene, fighting and conversing. There was a lot to like here, both in terms of symbolism and just straight up fight animation. As far as the actual ending though… I am conflicted, and let me tell you why.

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Posted on with categories: Carole & Tuesday, Currently Watching:

Even with Carole & Tuesday standard, this episode is a letdown with many forced developments to move this predictable story forward. These include 1) Tuesday injures her hand but still manage to perform and win the bracket 2) just right at the moment Tuesday said no one in the family care for her, she gets “kidnapped” by her Mother 3) all the subplots about finding the letter bomber, like come on, we all know from day 1 it was Cybelle. Add to the disappointment, I was expecting Ertergun commenting on Carole & Tuesday performance, which I initially thought will be a decisive factor for the duo’s win. Turns out we just have a brief glance at his comment, not about the performance itself, but about the professional attitude. Alrightttt. Is it just me who isn’t sold about Catherine’s argument when she decides the winner? The song’s lyrics seems to be about Tuesday’s own situation, but hey it doesn’t really connect to the “nervousness” theme that Catherine was talking about; and if she meant by the nervousness from their performance, then I’d argue that they would just accept all the performers with stage-fright as “perfectly captures the nervousness” themselves.

I might sound harsh on this, but it’s also true that Carole & Tuesday has failed to give a proper resolve to many conflicts it raised. The worst aspect is that this injury seems to be one-off, given Tuesday can be able to perform in the upcoming week. One factor I do enjoy in the episode, is that Angela immediately suspects Mama and her manager as the ones behind the scene. Well, the latter feels a bit half-baked but I was enjoying the bit when she confronts her Mama and it turns out that they were referring to different things. It serves as a vessel for Angela to rethink about the people supporting her, especially about the hapless young manager. At the same time, there’s some neat point of representing Cybelle thread as it’s a waking call for Tuesday that she needs to voice her opinions more, and that relationships in general can take a dark turn at any time. But the manner Carole & Tuesday depicts is somewhat underwhelming. It’s too quickly for one thing that doesn’t seem to leave a lasting impact, and it’s clumsy for the other as the show gives some obvious red-herrings before that.

Finally, we have some moments where Carole & Tuesday alone to reflect these things together. The show would benefit much better if they can cut down all these unnecessary subplots in order for the duo’s tender moments like this. Tuesday gives some sad reflection about the place she called home, but again all these quiet moments are sabotaged by the obvious kidnap that is meant to raise the stakes again. Carole & Tuesday writing has always been generic and too accessible, but with this episode it goes a step lower by forcing the plot instead of properly developing it. As a result, it often feels like the titular characters get swept away by random events and they have no real personality at all.

Posted on 18 June 2019 with categories: Dororo

Welcome one and all to the penultimate episode of Dororo. We have brutality, we have drama, and we have a boatload of philosophy. Its everyone Game of Thrones Season 8 said it would be, but wasn’t. Is it too late to make that joke? Regardless, this was a good week for Dororo, so let’s jump in.

Starting off, I was iffy on the production this week at first. Some of the opening scenes were… off, like Hyakki’s horse just panning down the screen. But as the episode went on this became less and less of an issue. With Hyakkimaru and Tahomaru just dominating the screen. This is everything I wanted from their final showdown. Sure, the road was long and meandering to get here, but visually it was a treat spanning 4 different scenes. From the fields, to the riverbanks, up to the castle to the current finale. I loved it all. Sure, the other side scenes weren’t fantastic from a production standpoint, but they had a lot of story value. Acting as a sort of break between sections of the fight, so we don’t get tired of swords clashing over and over. Simply put, Dororo looked great this week, the story striking to as well.

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Posted on 16 June 2019 with categories: Carole & Tuesday, Currently Watching:

“Do the gravity bounce?”

Once again it’s GGK’s performance becomes my favorite of this week, and Angela’s style still is too mainstream for my taste. With the pacing of this episode I am more certain that this Brightest Mars competition is gonna take up the first half of the series. Things don’t look good for our duo, though, with a string of mishaps that go against their way period to their semi performance, some of them are good, some are cringe-worthy. On the positive side, Etergun becomes this round’s guest judge is an interesting move that I’m eager to see him facing up Carol & Tuesday again. Although I still find it strange that Ertegun still has no idea about the contestants at this point. On the opposite spectrum, Tuesday’s whatever-reason she’s still hang up on Cybelle is stupid, which makes it worse by the way the show intensifies that as the way the duo is “out of sync” (the bit where they’re just barely missed each other in the elevator is just dumb). Then we also have Carole failed give her birthday gift to Tuesday (why? You had all the time in the world since basically you’re living on the same roof now). Then as if the show doesn’t feel these are enough, they make sure to give Carole and Tuesday hell by having Tuesday injured by this bomb present box or whatever the hell it is. Sorry to be grumpy but all these developments are way too half-baked.

As for the performances themselves, Angela changes her song at last minutes (thanks to Tao’s godsend gut feeling) and shows the judge that she has range. I find the bickering between Gus and Angela’s Mama through Roddy is amusing. They sure get along well. At this moment I have no idea how the show handles Cybelle and Tuesday relationship. I hope I am in the wrong but it’s more likely that the one who sent the bomb gift was Cybelle, since she knows about Tuesday’s personal information. If that is the case, the show’s handling of Cybelle character is indeed very shaky. Well, not much else to say in this layer-thin episode beside that with Benito’s head over heels with Pyotr’s performance, I suppose Catherine will pick Carole & Tuesday and that would make Ertegun the one who holds the decisive gun regarding the duo’s fate. We all know the result but let’s see how the show handles all this.

Posted on 12 June 2019 with categories: Dororo

Another week, another episode of Dororo. This time we follow up with Nui, the mother, Hyakki falls off the deep-end and Tahomaru gets one up on his brother. Lets dive in!

Starting off, recently I have been skipping the production portion of these posts. 22 episodes in, you know what your getting at this point. However, recognition where its due, Dororo looked good this week. Outside the battles everything was a standard, acceptable quality. Nothing worth really getting hung up on. However I found Hyakkimaru’s scenes to be a treat. The fire and depiction of the flaming horse looked great. Everything was stylized and in general I found it a joy to look at. Someone clearly had a lot of fun with the almost liquid fire effects we saw, the wind, and the motion of Hyakki atop the horse. It makes it clear that, when MAPPA wants to, Dororo can standout and look good. It’s just not often that Dororo does so, nor is it particularly consistent. Now though, onto the story.

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