Posted on 22 September 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, Hyouka



Kyoani annoy me at times. I mean, they employ some fantastic animators and they’re superb at keeping up a crisp and consistent animation quality, but they just keep making shows I don’t care about. I just don’t like pure slice of life series in which nothing happens or that just keep repeating themselves. Thankfully with Hyouka, they went for a series that had a dash of mystery, so for the first time in years I finally could really enjoy their work again.

And Hyouka still has a ton of slice of life. It aims to be very down to earth, and create believable characters. The difference here with K-On, Lucky Star and Nichijou is that there is something going on other than random slice of life. Each of its episodes is dedicated to the characters trying to solve some sort of mystery. And the mystery aren’t the regular ones that you’ve gotten used to in anime. The characters here are o crime solves, but instead the mysteries are all very mundane and simple, especially the episodic stories. Think of a kimono that is missing, or some other detail that just doesn’t fit right. It’s all about speculating and coming up with theories, while the characters live their daily lives.

The series is laid out with basically three major arcs, and all kinds of random episodic stories inbetween them. The episodic stories are nice and creative, but this series really sets itself apart in its multi episode arcs. The stories around them are simple, yet have very complicated stories behind them. They are full of people speculating different theories, and often getting things wrong. The storytelling takes a while to get going due to all of the slice of life put into it, but that allows it to put a ton of detail in these stories, examine everything on multiple layers, and the pay-off really manages to make use of its build-up.

And if it’s an attention to detail you want, then Hyouka really delivers on that. Whether it’s in the relationships between the characters, or the different environments. Kyoani’s animation really brings those to life. The characters themselves are all teenagers who at first sight seem like the usual stereotypes, yet develop into completely different directions. There is one character who will probably get on people’s nerves a lot though: Chitanda. She’s well fleshed out in some areas, but also rather forceful. Or make that very forceful.

Hyouka is just a very well made shows that loves to use its own simplicity as a smokescreen for a detailed cast of characters and setting. It’s subtle in a lot of different ways, so if you like these kinds of series, then definitely give it a show, because it has a lot to deliver in that area.

Storytelling: 8.5/10 – Slow-paced, but very detailed and subtle.
Characters: 8.5/10 – Relatively little character development, but it’s made up for it by likable acting and excellent characterization.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Kyoani managed to really bring the characters alive with their animation here.
Setting: 8.5/10 – Loves the mundane type mysteries. Doesn’t really make for an epic series, but it’s most definitely very interesting to watch.

Suggestions:
Hourou Musuko
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Hana-Saku Iroha

Posted on with categories: Hyouka

So Hyouka’s finale isn’t a big arc, but instead a collection of small stories. There’s a lot of character development in them, but nothing is definitively resolved. Pretty much a life goes on ending due to there still being a novel left unanimated, which I suspect will be saved for a movie if the sales go well enough. Kyoani has the tendency to announce those much later after finishing the series, so who knows when that will come, if it’ll come at all, so right now, I’ll just conisder this as the ending of Hyouka.

And while it wasn’t the best episode, both in terms of content of how far it pushed the relationship between Oreki and Chitanda, I still quite liked it. The parade was a very nice way for the animators to show some of their skills, and it was very well directed there, and it does serve as an interesting closure. The mystery itself was probably one of the simplest yet, and I feel like the creators could have done more during the cherry blossom scene at the end. I like how the creators toyed with the cherry blossom tropes by using Oreki’s imagination there… but it’s not quite there yet.

The one thing I also liked a lot about this episode is the detail it put in local customs, and the things it takes to organize them, the people who are all involved with them and the effort it takes to make everything go without a hitch. I didn’t care much about the mystery of who was behind the bridge, but the stress that this created was very well portrayed.

So yeah, Kyoani really need to so a non- moe slice of life series, however Hyouka was a very good compromise. Next season they’ll have Chuuninbyou, which unfortunately looks much more generic in terms of formula. But it has a great director, so who knows what’ll happen?
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 10 September 2012 with categories: Hyouka

This was an interesting episode. I mean, movie or no movie: the series is ending next week, so Kyoani can pour even more budget than usual into it. The result is a really well animated episodic story with weird build-up.

I mean weird build-up in the way that this episode on one hand develops Satoshi, it explains his actions of some of the previous arcs, and on the other hand it suddenly turns Mayaka and Satoshi into a couple. Now, I know that my memory isn’t the greatest with these kinds of things… but have we ever seen hints to that twist before? I mean, it’s not something that blossomed overnight: they’ve apparently been going on for more than a year now. And with the incredible attention to detail that this series has, I find it hard to believe that they’d never hint at this. So did I miss something?

But whatever faults Hyouka may have had there, it made up for it by giving a very different meaning to his part in the school festival arc. What he did there wasn’t jealousy, it was a battle of him trying to win from his obsession. He allowed himself to dabble a bit with trying to solve things, but he never went far into it like Oreki did. It makes much more sense: if he’s such a large sherlock-fan, then why doesn’t he try to formulate theories or brainstorm? Well, that’s why. And that’s also why Oreki’s plan last week went wrong.

Also weird was Chitanda. I mean, the usual progression for a character like her is to done down: as she grows up she becomes more mature in the process. She however is completely different and after the school festival arc, she suddenly got more extreme, acting more and more on her feelings than she already did before. The animators really liked to exemplify that with a particular few scenes.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 3 September 2012 with categories: Hyouka

You know what? There is one volume of the light novels left, right? And it’s one continuous story, right? With this episode something dawned to me: Kyoani could be toying with the idea of making a movie for this show, couldn’t they? I mean, I’m not sure how their policy with movies is after they made one for Haruhi, K-On and… Munto, but Hyouka would actually work perfectly in movie-format with its slow pacing. I mean, I’d love to see it, but they’re not going to do a climax of only two episodes.

As for this episode, the mystery in it was completely different from any other episode so far. Oreki didn’t have to solve something weird that was going on, but rather he had to find something to get the attention of a specific person. His final solution was quite creative. It was also a realistic look at symbolism: what kind of symbols would someone understand if one spotted this randomly, and which symbols would just be too obscure?

But this episode was really there to flesh out the cast some more. Oreki and Chitanda got to spend a lot of time together, and Satoshi finally was useful for something. The whole set-up of this episode was also great and down to earth, in the way that everyone had different agendas throughout the whole episode beyond just the main plot. Touches like this show once more that the rest of the cast also have lives and things to do.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 27 August 2012 with categories: Hyouka

Once again a really nice standalone episode for Hyouka, so close to the end. I have to say: I’m really enjoying these episodes more compared to the individual episodes of the first half of the series. It’s not just because we now know the characters and that this show is now able to use this in its storytelling (most notably the interplay between Oreki and Chitanda), but the mysteries themselves also have gotten more interesting. I relaly liked the idea of piecing a story together from a random strange announcement over the school intercom.

This was just two people sitting in a room, trying to piece together something that happened, and I like episodes like this, especially considering how much detail the writers managed to put into it and how everything just started with one simple sentence: Oreki picked apart every single detail of it in order to get to his conclusion. Satoshi and Ibara were completely absent, so this was just about Oreki and Chitanda.

Now, I wouldn’t actually mind if the show ended on random episodes like these, or even a short arc of three episodes. In fact, it’s great for the variety in this series to play with the set-up like this, especially after the long school festival arc. Having a series in which the arcs are all the same length does get a bit boring, but here they are able to switch things up, and especially this episode was significantly different from the others. That’s great! Yay for variety!
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 21 August 2012 with categories: Hyouka

We’re back to episodic stories again for a while, though this episode was slightly different from these kinds of episodes that we saw in the first half of this series. Instead of some small incident happening with Oreki having to solve it, it turned into a bit of a character-study for one of the teachers that the characters had when they were in middle school.

On top of that, this was a really interesting episode for Oreki and Chitanda. The two got to spend a lot of time together, and on top of that they both showed different sides of them in this episode: Oreki for finally being a bit mildly curious on his own accord, and Chitanda for sacrificing a lot of her time to just be with him in this. The end of the episode, in which Oreki explained why he went to the library to check things up really brought out something good out of both of them.

On a side-note: this has piqued my interest after that really long school festival arc: it looks like next episode will be a standalone story as well. That means that the conclusion arc for this series will just be three episodes long (Hyouka only has 22 episodes). So yeah, it’ll be short and sweet for this series’ standards, but I wonder: is it just going to be another arc like the previous ones, or one that actually feels like a really good conclusion?
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 13 August 2012 with categories: Hyouka

Well done, Hyouka. I applaud you. This episode brought things together perfectly and it gave everyone a conclusion after so much time of build-up.

Chitanda had her part with the broadcasting club, followed by that interesting advice Irisu gave her. After so long trying to advertise the club, she indeed ended up doing things a bit ham-handedly, and got pointed out for it, and I like that she too realized that she’s not going to do that again and that it was just something necessary to sell all of those anthologies.

Ibara meanwhile had this really genuine conclusion with that one girl, and I like how it indeed was true that there was a reason for her acting like that. That on its own was perhaps nothing special, but it removed so much stress from Ibara that it was really charming to see her, after how well the previous episodes portrayed her state of mind.

The real stars of the episode were Hotarou and the actual culprit: the vice president of the student council. My guess turned out to be half-right, I guess. Hotarou just went with his hunch speculated a bit and successfully managed to unmask the guy. And I think that that is the difference between him and Satoshi: imagination. Hotarou is really able to think between the lines. And the story behind everything was awesome, in which the whole plot was used as a way to ask a really good writer to continue with what he was doing.

This is really how you create a slow-paced series right. Instead of dragging things out, you use the extra time to give mode detail to the setting, characters, storyline. It’s because of all that build-up that this episode was so good, and I really like how believable the cast turned out here. If the creators can take this even further for the final arc, then it’ll really become amazing.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 8 August 2012 with categories: Hyouka

This arc still is going on? I thought that by now, the characters would have solved things by now, but they really are teking their time solving everything.

So this episode did something very interesting in terms of mystery: it toyed with its conventions. What I mean by that is that in this episode it provided the clues needed for the audience to figure out the culprit of the Juumonji case, but they did not show him whatsoever. They basically fleshed a guy out really well without ever showing him. Now that takes a very good writer to pull off.

So yeah, my theory: the student council president is behind everything, with the goal to spice up the school festival and have a bit of fun. Oreki’s sister probably talked to him last year when she bought that manga and figured out that he had something planned. That’s all pretty clear now, it’s just that the guy himself is an enigma.

Beyond that there also was some really good characterization on the rest of the cast. Mayaka’s reaction when that girl spashed water over her was particularly well done. Chitanda was as fun as ever, but who really caught my surprise was Satoshi. Is it me, or did this episode show a different side of him: a side that’s jealous of Oreki for being able to solve everything he can’t.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 30 July 2012 with categories: Hyouka

This episode returned to the mystery, mostly to building up everything for what will probably be the climax next week. For the first time, we’re also looking at a thriller, rather than solving a mystery that has already happened, because the classics club will be the last one on the list of clubs to be robbed. I have to give it to Hyouka: every major arc is distinct and different: the first was about solving a mystery of more than 40 years ago, the second about writing a mystery plot and Oreki being wrong, and now this.

I’m especially curious how this series will end up using the really slow build-up of the past arc. I mean, this episode diligently continued that: it shed more light on that annoying club member for Sayaka, it subtly developed Chitanda’s attempts to reach out to other clubs, and Satoshi’s classmate returned, on top of him trying out a few things to catch the culprit.

At this point, I can only think of how someone just stole things for the heck of it. Either to make some sort of statement, to entertain a bunch of people by spicing up the school festival or something. Beyond that I can’t think of why someone would steal these random things, and leave notes about them in the process.
Rating: 4.5/8 (Nice)

Posted on 24 July 2012 with categories: Hyouka

I was surprised that out of all people who Chitanda managed to find to help her, it was that one upperclassman of the previous arc. It made for quite a strange scene with Chitanda being intimidated and all by the tips she gave. Beyond that, this again was a very enjoyable episode in which the characters did all sorts of events. I have to give it to this series: it brought something new to the overused school festival.

This had this degree of detail that is just missing in all of the other school festival arcs I’ve seen. The pacing may be a bit slow, but because of that it could show as much as possible, with the crown being the cooking competition, which showed new things about all four main characters and showed a lot of detail in all of the different dishes that were made and how they were made. This is something that only Kyoto Animation can do, so I’m glad that they at least made use of their talents, as much as I’d like them to do something different from a school series.

I also like how Sayaka pretty much made a big fuss last episode for nothing. As for Oreki, he actually raised his voice. On top of that, I liked how creatively the creators tied in his whole trading subplot with the cooking contest. The next episode will finally be about actual mystery, but heck: this arc already served its purpose to flesh out just about everything in this series. The question now will be to actually use this. It’s of course one thing to have a well fleshed out cast, but what would make that even better is actively using all of that.
Rating: (Excellent)

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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