Posted on 19 October 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, Orange

What would you do if you receive letters from your future-self saying that you can change your future? That’s exactly what Naho experienced as she obtains ones from herself 10 years later that urge her to look after her new friend and prevent him from committing suicide. The premise, I agree, is hardly anything groundbreaking, but it functions well as a romantic drama anime. And orange is exactly that: a romantic drama anime. We have tons of romance developing between the leads Naho and Kakeru, and even more time focusing on the depression of Kakeru and the group’s attempt to save him.

The very central theme of orange is the sense of regret. Kakeru always feels regrets over his mother suicides, blaming himself for what happened and the thought of continue to live on proved to be too much for him. Moreover, it’s the adult counterpart that hold that same sense of regrets and griefs towards what they could do in the past for Kakeru. If they were more attentive, they could’ve realized his inner struggles. If they helped him out when he needed the most, chances were, he could’ve survived. Should’ve known better. It’s that regret sense that carry the weight in Naho’s, and eventually Suwa’s and the rest of the group’s actions and make their efforts feel grounded and genuine.

But that’s not to say that their efforts were executed flawlessly. The show’s at its best when the group confronts Kakeru to say out loud his issues, to really share his troubles to his dear friends. Kakeru always puts up a mask in order to cover his troubles, mostly because he believes he could drag the group down, and partly because he fears that he’d be rejected. By making him to be honest to himself, he knows that he can rely on his friends and that’s what save him in this new timeline. But orange feels forced whenever the group tries to recreate a perfect happy time for Kakeru; be it their fireworks night, his birthday, their relay match. Although those moments come from good intention, I can’t help but feel uneasy the way the group manipulates the outcomes so that little Kakeru always feel happy. Is it fair for the guy to receive too much without give anything away? Is that selfless love that you protect your loved ones from being hurt really the best possible outcomes? Hell, NO.

Although Kakeru and Naho share some good romantic moments together, it is Suwa who become the show’s best character. He’s in a complex situation since he decides to support the leads all the way, despite his own feeling for Naho. Sound cliché I know, but what make his character works is that Suwa is an observant, sensitive and highly emotional intelligent than the rest of the group. On the other end of the spectrum, Ueda is really a bad-written character. Orange clearly doesn’t think too highly of her, so the show frames her in a biased and negative light, it’s sad because whenever she appears on screen, she becomes a sore thumb to an otherwise solid cast. The rest of the cast share a natural, lively and effortless chemistry, but they are not the deepest bunch of characters you will ever witness. In fact, in the second half, the amount of time spent on the group trying to help Kakeru overwhelms their own character’s development.

In terms of production values, orange remains a very strange shoujo adaptation. The show has an above-standard quality in terms of direction. The director Hiroshi Hamasaki (who most famous for his Steins;Gate) elevates the show by his sensitive directing, which many scenes convey smartly the emotions the show want to make. The show, on the other hand, was done on a shoestring budget, as a result in a middle part the production values took a huge downfall, the characters are often off-model and those insignificant parts are treated equally messy and off-putting to the point that it brings the whole production down. This is a shame because this is a kind of budget that orange doesn’t deserve to have.

Despite a huge leap in quality, orange at least ends in high note, as the conclusion successfully ties up loose end and gives up a satisfying emotional ride. With the main theme about trying your best in order to have none regrets, it’s more about the ride, how to get there rather than the results, yet I have a feeling that orange focuses too much on the outcomes. To say all that, the ending was executed fairly well that I’ll complain no more. Overall, despite the huge decline in terms of production values in the middle part, and some thematic issues, orange is what it is- a solid entry of shoujo romance drama anime. Anyone who expect more from it will end up being disappointed.

Posted on 28 September 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Orange

We come to an end of orange’s ride. After teasing us for a whole season whether or not history repeats itself, they decide to go with a happy ending route. While I’m not entirely happy with orange as a whole, this double-length final episode succeeds on closing the story in high note. At the very least I’m glad these kids turn out to be alright.

But first let me lay out some issues I have with orange. First, orange decides to jump from the new year eve events to the valentine day, and it doesn’t ring well for me. Orange has always been about progression, be it how far Naho and the group would go to save Kakeru, or about Kakeru’s fight for his inner struggles. Making that time jump kind of defeat that purpose. You could argue that it will end up being the same: Naho struggles, Kakeru ignores the rest, the group tries best to help; but I want to see those conflicts. Another problem I see is the double-length, and for that I blame the series composition staff. The story stretches out too thin in the middle part (we spend an entire episode on Naho’s hangover after Kakeru dated Ueda for example; or the sport events that eat up nearly 2 episodes), and now they have to rush things over for the final episode. I feel no time was wasted on this week’s episode, but the first half could easily be in last week, so we’d have more time for the final climax.

Ueda reappears for the last time, but the show still frames her in a very bias, negative light. It’s hard to care for a character when the creators clearly don’t give a damn about her. That is for me orange at its worst. Ueda is a throwaway role, she will always be a pretty stuck-up bitch that everyone in orange hates, and thus the creators persuade us to hate her too. For a show that relies heavily on characters and their interactions, she ultimately becomes a sore thumb in an otherwise endearing cast.

On Valentine day, Naho desperately wants to give him her chocolate, but finds herself to be consistently pushed away by Kakeru. At long last, she finally confronts him and he tells her what he truly feels. It’s good to see Naho finally cracks the wall Kakeru created all by her sincere efforts. But there’s one thing that I don’t take it very well. She thought that it was her own fault for being insensitive in New Year Eve that things become awkward between the two. When she blames herself for something she clearly isn’t responsible for, it makes me really think if this relationship is healthy. Imagine when they really being together; she’d constantly blame herself or struggles to make Kakeru happy. I’m not sure if Kakeru could make her happy, but I know for a fact that if he keeps his attitude like that he’d never make her happy. Setting up romance when he’s clearly not ready for it is not a good move by a long shot.

Which lead us to the final climax, when the group literally try to save Kakeru the day after the Valentine. This time I pretty much appreciate the sequence through Kakeru’s point of view last week, because we already know how his mom’s unsent message could potentially affect him, thus we understand what are at stake here. The main different in action between Kakeru in his previous timeline and Kakeru now is how important those friends are with him now (well, that and the broken bike). That thought “What would they feel if I die” pretty much sums up the change in Kakeru’s character arc. At least now he has something to live for.

Moreover, he receives the letters from their friends’ older self and I personally think this is the most effective payoff orange pull off narratively. This story is all about regrets, and the only people who still having regrets are their adult counterpart. In their world Kakeru had long gone and there is nothing they could do to change that. That is why their letters to the living Kakeru bring out the most emotional honest orange could ever have achieved. All those heartwarming moments of course is conveyed through a sensitive direction and on-par production values. I agree with most of this episode artistic choice (from using random passerby to highlight the distance between Kakeru and Naho in the beginning, or the only windy sounds during the ‘car crash’) and the production actually gives orange the quality it deserves to have. Everything looks just gorgeous here. If only they could deliver every episode like that.

Now to those who don’t know, there was an announcement that orange will have a theatrical film that will come out at the end of this year. It is a retelling of sort from a perspective of Suwa. While I’m not really that excited to check out the film, I think the sequel could potentially be better than the series. Both because Suwa’s role in this whole affair is more complex than others, but also he’s the most mature and the most observant out of the group. Naho and Kakeru always stuck in their own thoughts that they rarely look around and notice those around them. Suwa aware of all that, and that quality makes him a rather interesting protagonist. Well, I will save my thoughts on orange’s overall quality in the final review, but at least we have this last episode: one of the most effective ending we could ever hope for in orange.

Posted on 20 September 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Orange

For the first time orange manages to do something different narratively. The first half of this week’s episode tells the original timeline in Kakeru’s point of view, and with that we can understand more clearly about his emotional progress, at the same time gives us much more details about his Mom. In the original timeline, Kakeru hides those negative feelings from his friends, because he both doesn’t want them to be bothered so much about his own personal affairs, and moreover he doesn’t want to get hurt again. After all, what happen if after he tells them about his suicide thoughts, they just laugh it off? Or they just avoid being friend with him like a plague? So he decides to keep everything for himself and unbeknown to him creating a wall between him and his friends. When his emotions become unstable, others (Naho especially) just can’t break down that wall because frankly they have no clue to help him. That wall becomes too thick to break that he’s getting many conflicted ideas going on simultaneously: on the one hand he just wants to embrace Naho, talks to her and tells her that he needs her; but on the other hand; he acts obliviously, cutting off Naho and basically behaves like he has nothing to do with her. It’s getting painful (in both good and bad ways) to watch from time to time.

Prior to this episode, no matter how you think about it, it’s just plain cruel the way his Mom commits suicide to make Kakeru feel bad for ditching her. No one in her right mind would do that; well except Mother Gothel that is. This week brings her whole actions into light and it was much more poignant, consider how things would end up badly in the end. Although whatever she did (getting divorce, moving house, ditching his soccer bag and cleat) seems selfish at first, she actually did all that to protect Kakeru from getting hurt again. Her final message to Kakeru before she commits suicide indicates that she believed herself had become a burden to Kakeru, thus she ends her life so that she doesn’t get in his way ever again. Her thoughts of committing suicide are of course very flawed, but there’s no denying that those thoughts come from a relatable sentiment.

But as far as this Kakeru’s perspective has to offer, one thing that keeps bugging me is the lack of Ueda’s appearance. I know she’s never an important character but I get the feeling that orange itself doesn’t have high opinion of her. I was always curious to see how the relationship between Kakeru and Ueda would end up in the original timeline, but they just conveniently shrug that relationship off like nothing ever happened. At least now we know that Kakeru doesn’t technically commit suicide (he just ride a bike while his gaze was up the sky), but still his very thought that “living another day is a struggle” pretty much qualified that action as suicide attempt anyway.

While I really like the adult’s segment of orange, this time though when they discuss about the technicality of time travel again they completely lost me. I never really care about how these letters go back through time because it was right there in the premise. My logic had already been suspended upon reading that premise, so why bring it up again? To make it worse, the adult actually “figure out” how they going to send those letters back: by sending them to the sea (with the 16-year old address and hope that these letters will find their respective receivers at their precise time in their precise house, dry and clean. How did you guys even find the black holes anyway? This is just laughable underwritten, which makes me wonder why they bother to include it at all.

Our poor Naho after being dished by Kakeru last new year eve event, continues to take a role a normal guy would do; which mean to apologize even though she did nothing wrong, tries to talk to him again but the guy just basically plays hard to get at this time. She even expresses herself to walk home with him and he just walks away? Be a man, Kakeru. Behaving like a man. Now you really get on my nerve Kakeru. Now, she even confesses to him to wait until Valentine, so the long-awaited Valentine might happen after all. Now with only one episode left, how will Kakeru, Naho and the group end up after the Valentine Day? Can they really save Kakeru this time? I really hope orange can manage to pull a satisfied ending here.

Posted on 14 September 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Orange

Well, this episode is one the most emotionally wrenching orange has put up so far and for me at least this dramatic turn of event is what this show does best. Kakeru’s issue is a fundamental one. So far, the group succeeds in helping him to open up more and enjoying himself bit by bit, but they don’t actually change his very perceive that he’s responsible for his mother’s death. That and the thought that he might lose another person closed to him depresses the hell out of him and he comes full circle after the whole series of trying to get better. When he eventually gets into that self-loathing mood, everything just snap. That of course is frustrated. It doesn’t help either that Naho is incapable of sharing the feeling with him. She has known that they eventually got into arguments that day, but when it happened, his problem proves to be too big for her to handle and she just froze at that crucial moments. After that, she chose the worst possible way when dealing with someone’s outburst: chasing right after them. It’s much wiser to just give them some time alone to calm themselves (at least Kakeru would save his phone that way). But really, what would you expect from a 16-year-old girl to do? I can completely understand his outburst, but still that is not how you treat a girl, Kakeru. Ever. This guy needs a professional help and clearly he isn’t ready to have a healthy relationship with anyone anyway. Which come to a shortcoming from the group’s effort to save Kakeru: Does the group putting Kakeru and Naho together really is the best way to save Kakeru?

I know I said it before but I don’t really like the way the show’s main focus on the second half squarely on “saving Kakeru”. That aspect just overwhelms others relationship between the cast, since most of the time the topic they talk to each other is how to make Kakeru happy. This week proves to be a nice change as we see more perspective from the rest of the group towards Suwa’s feeling for Naho. Moreover, when the rest of the group calls Suwa, they all actually raise some valid points to the table. Yes, saving Kakeru doesn’t mean that Kakeru and Naho need to be together. Well, at least they like each other, but still it doesn’t mean that Suwa would just sacrifice himself for the sake of those two. At least give yourself a chance. Hagita in turns points out (accurately, but at the same time somehow inappropriately) that changing Kakeru’s future will eventually indirectly changing the future of those around him, and it might not be a good idea to change things so much in this timeline. Azusa argument is the most direct response; she wants him to express his feeling to Naho because she knows that he could make her happy; something I’m starting to doubt that Kakeru could offer Naho. Well, knowing all that, in addition that he knows how his old-self in original timeline would end up (he’s the only one out of the group who seen the pictures of his kid and the old group, talking about “overpowered”), he still decides to support Naho and Kakeru till the end. He might eventually become the awesome dude that no one deserves to have.

Last episode I predicted that the story might end on a Valentine Day, but given that this episode still wanders around Christmas and New Year (one of the saddest New Year Eve in anime I would say), we might have a Valentine that will never come. Instead, I think the story could pretty much end in another event that was hinted many times before: the day the group writes their notes to their 10-year-older self. Judging from that, things might not end as melodramatic as one would think. At least, this episode restores my hope that orange might actually pull off a satisfy ending.

Posted on 7 September 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Orange

Orange has a much better episode this week compare to the shipwreck last week, mainly because it has a much more solid material to dance around with this time, and the animation is actually good enough to carry the emotion abroad. I have mentioned last week that I’m no fond of the way the group forced Kakeru to feel happy. Even if those actions come from good intention, it doesn’t mean that he himself feels happy, because he doesn’t actually do any damn thing to earn it. Indeed, in this first half Kakeru is rather melancholy, because his mother just passed away and he thinks that he’s here having fun is an irresponsible act to his mother. In a sense, this is a valid thought. Kakeru is an insecure kid, he has always feel responsible for his mother’s death, blames himself for what happened and is unable to talk about his problems to his friends. Kakeru can only get better if he can be able to talk about it with his friends and let his regrets all out…

Well, if you have followed my orange’s weekly posts, you’d realize the last sentence was originally from my previous episode 7 post, which brings me to my main point: While that scene itself is satisfying, they basically repeat the same notes over again. We have already seen the group pushing Kakeru to lay bare about his inner feeling before with a greater emotional impact, in a sequence when Suwan and Naho directly confronted him about his suicide thoughts. In addition, it doesn’t help either that the metaphor they try to convey becomes as obvious as it gets. Here in the middle of the festival run, Kakeru and Naho have to do an errand by carrying the mattress. As they themselves realize that it’s a hard task for just two people, the group appear to help them carrying the burden, both literally and figuratively. This is as in your face as you can get, thus making the final result much less impactful.

Finally, the moment we had been waiting for the last few episodes arrives: the relay, which not-so-coincidently the final, decisive game in the festival. I originally worried about the relay, considering how the animation quality dropped drastically for the last few episodes. But I’m happy to say that the sequence is very solid. Kudos again to the director’s decision of focusing on the emotional impact of the group rather than the race itself. The relay is a perfect set-up for the group to explore their chemistry because they have to reach to each other, again both literally and figuratively. The metaphor again is too on-the-nose, as each member of the group tries to send their heartbeat message to Kakeru: “Don’t lose. Promise me. We’ll always be together. Even ten years from now. We’ll be waiting”. This is a whole other level of subtlety! Again, I don’t hate the relay sequence and I think it does its job, but I will put it simply: the more obvious the feeling they try to convey, the lesser the impact.

The sports event seems to be the end of this middle arc and we head off to the final chapter with its 3 remaining episodes. It is clear from those 10 episodes we have seen that the story has stretched a bit too thin for a full cour season. We spend nearly 2 episodes for the sports festival for example and I could easily cut 2-episode material to make the story tighter. Yet 3 episodes remain and we still have the Valentine day, and the day after that when Kakeru in the original timeline has committed suicide to cover. As for the theme I can see that Kakeru has gotten much better than himself of the original timeline, so I don’t know how he’s going to end up in this timeline. At the same time, I feel that the current development is too good and light-hearted to be true. Well, at least that is something I’m still looking forward to see in next couple of weeks. Surprise me orange!

Posted on 31 August 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Orange

Unfortunately for us, this is not a good orange episode. Hell, I could say this is one of its worst episode. orange has always relied on the regrets of the main cast, and the foreshadowing suicide of Kakeru as their main emotional impacts. When they steer away from those, this episode just loose its punch. While the character’s interactions are still there and those moments are one of the only high points of this week’s viewing, there is an issue with it as well. You see, there is no damn fun when everything goes entirely according to plan, when all the moments are just too perfect. I have no problem if this was about making Kakeru talk honestly about his suicide thoughts couple of weeks ago, but creating every moment with Kakeru too flawlessly (like the umbrella incidents this week, the “good morning” exchanges) make the whole situation feels rather forced, and to make it worse I feel Kakeru was manipulated by the group here, even if the intention comes from a good place.

But my biggest problems with this episode lie in its pacing. Last week we dedicated half of its episode for joining up team for the upcoming relay events, and this week the episode strangely drops any of the preparation phase, instead focuses on the revelation that all the cast has their own letters, worries about Azusa’s birthday, cares so much about the weather, and concerns about whether or not Naho and Kakeru should hold hands. Then they jump STRAIGHT to the events. The inconsistency of plotline occurred before in one of the episode when Naho pushed Kakeru to talk about his mother for the first time. After that Kakeru and Naho had a rather uneasy tension until it was revealed that Suwa had received the letters himself, then suddenly Naho and Kakeru again talked to each other normally like nothing happened. Well, I understand that they have to jam in many plot details to both heighten the relationship and carry the emotional weight, but I am not quite fond of letting the story just moving on its own like that.

As I mentioned in my last episode, orange is a weird shoujo production, and I will say in more details this time. For a shoujo romance-drama anime such as orange, they have an unusually high quality director and an equally unusual below-the-standard budget. So what we have here is a show that stands out in its artistic merits, as many of the director’s choices shine through this week. For example, the sequence from Asuza’s point of view is nicely displayed, as the characters are more colorful, childlike and whimsical than Naho’s point of view. In another case, the director displays Kakeru’s feeling of detachment from the rest of the events by showing him standing awkwardly among a disappearing crowd, with the wash-out color background and a slightly disorientated sound designs. Those are great moments because we really know more about these characters just by experiencing the same thing they do. The art designs of other background characters though, are just too rough and inconsistent. As a result, what we have in the end is the episode that glorious at certain important scenes, but meh and below quality in general. The sport events haven’t concluded yet, as we still have that relay to look for. Here’s hoping for a rewarding relay (and episode) ahead.

Posted on 23 August 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Orange

This week, Naho and Suwa face a dilemma of whether or not they should follow what written in the letters. The relay is coming and Kakeru is appointed to be an anchor. They have been followed the letters very closely, but the original reality becomes too different from this reality that the content is not really relevant anymore. Should they follow the letters because clearly the older-selves have all the answers, or should they rely on themselves to act according to Kakeru’s happiness? Naho and Suwa at first decided to ask him not to join the relay team, since the relay could affect badly to Kakeru. But Kakeru, being himself, feels insecure that he might let the team down so he’s agree to pull out, but he’s clearly not too happy about either decision. Kakeru has been afraid to make a choice. He doesn’t want to repeat the same problems and have more regrets, even to the point where he confesses his feeling towards Naho, but too afraid to date her. Naho and Suwa realize they have been way over-protective to Kakeru, because really without taking a step forward, how could Kakeru move on to his next stage? The rest of the group pick up on that as well, and they together make an awesome decision: let the group run for the relay, so that Kakeru can run and moreover they can run together. Now I understand the running part in the Opening Credit. Yes, it has its purpose and this is not some cliché opening credit where everyone runs for no reason from all over directions, right? RIGHT?

But as I mentioned in previous posts, some of the incidents can’t change and those lead directly to the sad outcomes. Because the group invited Kakeru on the first day, his mother commit suicide. Because Naho couldn’t bring herself to talk directly to Kakeru, he dated Ueda. This time they ignore the letters, but could it be the reason the letters don’t want Kakeru to join the relay is because of his health? Earlier in the episode he passes out and with the stress he’s currently building up, his physical gotten weaker and weaker. I’m not imply he’s in some kind of terminal disease and I really hope the show won’t go that way, but it’s possible that they might not be able to ‘save’ Kakeru the way they want to.

This is now confirmed that the rest of the cast also receive the letters from their 26-year-old selves. All they want is to support Naho and Suwa to save Kakeru, and all Naho and Suwa have to do is to share it with them. Now this lead to a fundamental issue of the show: all the developments emphasis on the same united purpose: saving Kakeru. For that I say they’re trying a bit too hard for the sake of Kakeru (really? 5 adult people sent letters to their younger selves so that they can do their best effort to save him?), and other aspects of friendship will be ignored. Now, every time Suwa and Naho talking to each other, it’ll be about Kakeru. They grow through their interaction with Kakeru, not wuth themselves. I kind of miss the interaction between the group in the first episode where I can see more angle about their friendships, see how they bound off each other in a natural way.

But really, the more I see orange the more I think this is a kind of weird production. The director Hiroshi Hamasaki is not well-verse in shoujo drama, the budget is tight and that hurts. The rough quality and still-frames are more prominent now than ever. It’s a shame because orange works best if the production values can express those emotions, but the level shown in orange simply couldn’t match it.

Posted on 16 August 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Orange

This episode is a winner. It hits all the right notes on what make orange so appealing. Upon knowing that Kakeru will attempt his first suicide after talking to his Tokyo friends over the weekend, Suwa and Naho confront him and tell him not to go. Kakeru is an insecure kid, he’s deeply troubled by the death of his mom, blames himself for what happened and is unable to talk about his problems to his friends. But as Suwa points out correctly, close friends are supposed to share pain together, and his mistake was not his fault. I once had a real friend who told me that she had thought about attempt suicide and it was nasty. The real ugliness of it is once you had it, the thought of suicide never leaves you away and there’s always an urge that push you to do it whenever you feel depressing. Kakeru can only get better if he can be able to talk about it and let his regrets all out. The last sequence is a very nice moment, and I tip my hat off to the direction of that sequence. When Suwa confronts Kakeru, there’s no music cue between those exchanges and it’s the silence that makes us feel the tension and weight behind each conversations. Talking about these things is never easy but at least all three can be able to speak out what they really want.

Suwa steps up to become a big bro for the group. I mentioned last week that I had my concern about feeling cheated if all Suwa did was just followed what were written in the letters. Well, he did follow the letters but thank god the show never sells him short. The thing is that Suwa is not a selfless kid who pull back his feeling to see Naho and Kakeru happy. He did it for the sake of them, yes, but he also did it for his sake as well. It’s a hard role for him but he can pull it off because he’s the most mature and most emotionally honest of the group. There’s still unclear if the rest of the cast also receives the letters like Suwa and Naho did, but they fulfill their supporting roles very well this week. Scenes when they asking Kakeru what he wants for his birthday, or when they stand up to protect Naho from Ueda (Ueda sadly remains the only sore thumb in this episode) are all genuine that showcase their great care towards the leads. And I love the way the two girls stand behind the door, overhearing the sincere conversations from the leads. That small moment speaks more than thousand words, and suddenly they become much more layered in that single moment than they were for the last 6 episodes. Yes, those friends might not be the ones who could change things significantly, but they will always be there whenever you need them.

You might have notice that in previous posts I didn’t discuss much about the romance between Naho and Kakeru, mostly because I found it the most ordinary aspect of orange. Although they share great chemistry together, there’s no denying that “boy gets girl” part is the most cliché part of them all. But even so, this week’s moments between them are goddamn effective. The reason why Naho and Kakeru in the original timeline couldn’t get together was because they were unable to express their feeling to each other. Kakeru always hides his feeling deep down, and Naho is too nervous to say what she really thinks. In this timeline, however, with the help of Suwa and all these friends, Kakeru has a chance to confess to her and she replies him back. Call me cheesy but I found the flowers scenes are heartfelt. They were used twice but each sequence conveys different feeling. When the adult Naho receives the flowers from Suwa, it feels deeply poignant, but when the young Naho accepts the flowers from Kakeru and his confession to her, it feels sweet and genuine. On other notes, there are many nice visual motifs in this episode: the flowers, butterfly (butterfly effect?) and the fluid-est scene transition that fit to the opening credit (go see it!). Based only from this episode, things are about to get better after Kakeru confesses his deepest regrets, but I’m not sold. The theme and the tone of orange always firmly head towards the melodrama territory, so things going to be sad. I’m for once keen to see how they pull this off but at least this episode is a solid example of what orange can do best.

Posted on 8 August 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Orange

What a development! It turns out that Sowa’s also receiving letters from the future as well, presumably his future self (there’s no way the future Naho would send him letters, right?). From the look of it I think the entire cast receives letters from their future self too, the way they act very supportive lately. Does this development work? I don’t know, it all depends on the direction it goes from now. Personally I would prefer that Naho asks for their help, and then tell them herself about the letters. That twist makes me questions every actions from the group back then, and if those actions are ‘genuine’ genuine (like Suwa’s selfless actions last week). If it turns out those kids behave the way they did just because of someone telling them already what would happen, then I feel a bit manipulated. But there must be some good reasons to make that twist, right? For now, I will reserve my comment to see how all this play out. I guess after all we just finished the first phase (Naho and Kokeru dating together) and proceed to the second phase now (the group try to help Kokeru out of his attempt suicide). Naho also points out in this episode that there are two things that she couldn’t follow the advice from the letters, and those lead to unchanged consequences. The first being the group asked Kokeru out on the ceremony day, which directly lead to the suicide of the mother. The second time she couldn’t talk to him how she felt face-to-face, and Kokeru decided to date Ueda. Although the letters become less and less relevant, it seems that the outcome of those important events doesn’t always change, which makes me wonder if they can really save Kokeru from committing suicide. But I have a feeling they gain too much information from the letters which give them somewhat unfair advantage, like how Naho already know the time and place of his dead. Whatever you do orange, just remember that relying too much on those letters to progress a story is a dead wrong decision. Those letters can’t solve everything; it needs to be from the characters themselves.

This episode further highlights the insecurity of Kokeru. Several times in this episode, he asks Sowa if it’s really okay for him to date Naho, not because he fears that would hurt Sowa (maybe a little), but because he fears that dating Naho would turn out to be a disaster and he will bounce for more regret. Moreover, he always feels guilty about his mother’s death. But really, he should understand that moving forward is way better than don’t do anything at all, and he shouldn’t blame himself on the death of his mother. It is really a good call from Naho to ask him about the mother, because this guy needs to share it to his friends. Keeping it to yourself and the pain will never go away. The two lead’s chemistry is engaging and intimate so far, kudos to the fireworks scene, which for me is a bit cheesy but overall effective.

This episode is also a return-to-form quality in terms of production values. As mention above, the firework sequence is animated very well, and I love the shot’s choices of many scenes. Many of the shots focus on the pair with their backs on us, either when them watching the fireworks, or later when they sitting in a park, it creates their very own atmosphere: just the two of them witnessing things together, but perhaps never really see things eye-to-eye. I also like the shot when Kokeru needs sometimes alone and sits in a different chair. The shot (included in the screenshot above) really establish the distance between them and moreover the isolation of Kokeru. To conclude, this episode marks the end of the first half and wheels forward to the latter stage in which the group attempt to save Kakeru from committing suicide. I’m overall happy with the first half and hope it continues to be a rewarding ride. But seriously Naho, get rid of that hairpin. It brings you no luck at all.

~SuperMario~

Posted on 3 August 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Orange

This episode sets the focus squarely on Suwa and his secret/ not-too-secret affection for Naho. Suwa is actually the one who always look after Naho, and he would do anything to make the girl safe and happy, even if it means he will eventually end up losing her. Normally I never buy that kind of love, simply because I believe if you truly love someone, you have to be a little selfish. You would want that special someone to yourself only. All that to say Suwa’s sadness is just so damn appealing that it’s hard to fault him for being too nice. Naho, on the other hand, takes his kindness for granted and she’s just too occupy about her feeling towards Kakeru to really notice everything around her. This episode gives her moment to really takes a step back and looks around, so that she could notice the efforts of everyone around her, Suwa especially, and moreover she has to acknowledge that. The two developments from Suwa and Naho come together nicely in the last scene, but I’m not entirely happy with its execution. There are 3 consecutive scenes where the show basically repeats the same message. In the first scene we have Kakeru asking Suwa if it’s alright for him to go watch fireworks alone with Naho, then the next scene the group teasing Suwa on the girl he likes, just so that the insensitive Hagita bluntly speaking out loud. The very next scene we have the girls confront Suwa again, asking him directly if he will help supporting Naho and Kakeru, in which he agrees. Those scenes are variation of the same things: Suwa has a felling for Naho and everyone but her notices that, but Suwa decides to steps down and being a supportive player. I get it but sometimes repeating the point too much and it lost its impacts. While I personally think the last scene is rewarding and effective, I also feel the story drags down too much in that middle part.

This week orange mentions time travel for the first time and honestly I don’t really care much about that. After all, the time travel element in the show is just the setup to progress the story, there’s no point to delve much into that. When the teacher goes for the technicality of time travel; about how it could produce alternative timelines, my mind wanders right back to Steins;Gates; which is very fitting because the director Hiroshi Hamasaki was the director of Stein;Gates. The topic of time travel was then explored nicely by the discussion between Suwa and Kakeru: “Would you go to the past or future if you could time travel”. It’s interesting to note that Kakeru really wants to go back to the past to fix his regrets, which is exactly what the future-self Naho has been doing. The conversation also hints at the insecurity of Kakeru, which further evident by his message towards Naho asking who she sent her chocolate for on Valentine Days. He hides his feeling well from his friends, but he is the one who always looks back to the past, feeling regrets with what he could do and refuses to look ahead to the future.

This episode still has an awful lot of still frame and the animation itself is a huge step down compare to the first three episodes. Let’s take a look at one of this week’s screenshot and you can see the quality of the animation was dropped to the point their faces are slightly deranged. While I can accept it last week as an illustration for Naho’s feeling hangover, there is no excuse this week and I start to think that this is more of a budget thing. Sadly, if it’s true then I have to come to terms with the animation quality. Overall, I think this is my least favorite of orange so far, both because the story could have been neater and more impactful, and the animation quality has decreased significantly. It’s not a disaster yet but I really hope the show can pick up itself from here.

~SuperMario~

CHANGE USERNAME
Anonymous870083
mm okay thanks!
AidanAK47
@Anon1, Think you might just have to go with a torrent. It's pretty hard to find direct download anime these days.
Anonymous870541
the latest episode of rakugo just made my heart sank. i didn't think it would get better than it already is. i thank god that i didn't read ahead
Anonymous870083
does anyone know where I can download the remastered version of the Utena series? without torrent?
SuperMario
the same very thought here Lenlo. What I considered the weakest part turned out to be so layered. Sorry for ever doubting you, Rakugo.
Lenlo
And that smirk at the end, beautiful
Lenlo
The weakest plot point of S1 has just become the best part ever.
Lenlo
OOH MAN. I was not ready. The entire first season was all a setup. I cant. What. HOW DOES IT GET BETTER
Lenlo
Cant wait to watch Rakugo tonight, just got home and im lookin forward to it,.
AidanAK47
I think before grabbing the protest signs it might be worth considering if the thing you are demanding be uncensored is even worth it. Oh yeah, now you can see genitalia in crap sex scenes that were crow bared into the plot. No more need to use your imagination.
AidanAK47
Some protest because they want there porn. That I suppose I can understand even if I think they would be better off buying some nukige. But then there are those who demand it just for the sake of standing against censorship. They don't give a crap about the game or the fact we are getting the exact same thing the japanese got. What? Censorship of sexual organs? DOWN WITH CENSORSHIP!
AidanAK47
There are people actively proclaiming they won't buy the game, because they can't see dicks. That is not hyperbole. This is literally exactly whats happening here. And they just act so goddamn self righteous about it. Porn is not the goddamn point of these games. Shouldn't even be in them in the first place.
AidanAK47
So another Sekai Kickstarter is up for a trilogy of Visual novels called A Clockwork Ley-Line. Chipped in my bit as I am going to be buying this regardless but like goddamn clockwork you get the idiots yelling for Mosaic removal. No matter how I try to rationalize it, this just sounds stupid.
Kaiser Eoghan
Just whenever I think Rakugo may be dragging its feet it comes out a gives me three big strong moments in this weeks episode, you will know them when you come to them.
K-Off
Dubbing in more subdued performances work fine. It just becomes unbearable when it involves shouty dialogue, which idescribes most of the Japanese games I play.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I think at the time it allowed Bagel (where did he go?) to find some exploit/gap in the sites security too.
SuperMario
I mean the spoiler code in the comment section. ^^. Like I don't mind if readers give (potential) spoilers but I don't want to ruin the fun of other readers as well
AidanAK47
After all it wasn't a intended feature of the old shoutbox. We were pretty much hacking the thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
I seem to remember all those old html codes stopped working on the old shoutbox too at one point.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was also originally an ability to animate text too of the shoutbox and have gifs appear in the message box but not as links.
AidanAK47
I remember some HTML code worked with the old shoutbox but nope. But I suppose you could change the colour of text to white...though that would effect everything you write.
SuperMario
Btw, do we have spoiler tag here Aidan?
SuperMario
@anon861679: Agreed. They have big ambitions, but they seems unsure on what to do next. I mean engaging your readers to give their thoughts is good, but if it is a mean for you to get inspiration to write essay about isn't that great. Well, give them say 6 months until they can settle down (they just launched this site for 3,4 months only)
Kaiser Eoghan
Despite being fine with anime in English, I've almost always felt that voice acting in videogames isn't as good.
Anonymous861679
Hey mario, that anime feminist blog was well, kind of awful. While they're well intentioned, it felt like they were pushing tumblr stuff onto chan stuff and that always ends up in a smoking mess.
SuperMario
Okay I'm going to erase my memories right now
SuperMario
I swear I'll stay off reddit for good. Have been spoiled by the development of ACCA by one of their "theory". As soon as I realized it's freaking spoiler I stopped but what done is done. Ahhhhhhhhhh
K-Off
Christ Fire Emblem Heroes is pretty addicting, micro transactions are not necessary at all. Though it irks me that I can't get Japanese voices. Dubs just make me cringe every time.
SuperMario
@ckspike: Hand Shakers, the very quality that makes you brain cells die while watching it. Well, I actually think the music is one of the best part of the show, now that you mention it like that...well...*slap my forehead*
ckspike
... my roommate just told me the background music when I'm watching Hand Shakers sounds like a bad porno... Now I can't unhear it. Fuck!
Lenlo
I havnt kept up with Academia, for some reason it just didnt catch me as well as the movie first did.
AidanAK47
You know what's funny? I thought little Witch Academia would be the hardest one to blog. Yet halfway into the current season and it's the one I write the most about.
Lenlo
I actually dont read many blogs. Mostly just this place and the occasional pop on reddit
Anonymous859067
I'd like to present to one of my favorite blogs, A work I just created: Greed Island! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tc2r.greedisland
AidanAK47
I go to Reddit anime myself but I don't really like the upvote system. Basically the majority rule opinions get put to the top which more often than not are jokes.
HelghastKillzone
I listen to podcasts on youtube and others places as well as going on Reddit Anime to hear a thousand people yammering away.
Kaiser Eoghan
I irregularly follow the episode reviews on ANN and sometimes read standing on my neck. I fell out of the habit of following random curiousity.
SuperMario
Anime Feminist (animefeminist.com), while sounds ambitious on paper, hasn't been too hot unfortunately. I know they aim to be "big" so they're still figuring out how to do it best. Well, good luck for them!
SuperMario
Oh, I know I've mentioned this site before but you guys should read it (blog.sakugabooru.com), this site is one of the only few blogs that I actively subscribed to read their post. They have some insights to the anime industry that is very informative and inspiring
SuperMario
I also think that this chatbox here plays a great role to keep a fair amount of readers for the site, as many sometimes just come here to give their two cents on certain anime.
SuperMario
I just checked out rabujoi blof for the first time, (https://rabujoi.wordpress.com) and I think they're in pretty good shape. Content-wise are solid (as far as I read), and they update their post pretty regularly (comparing their amount of posts last month (80) to ours (28), ouch)
SuperMario
Just really wonder, what are other anime sites that you guys follow beside this? Well, ANN and RandomC are a given, but I found myself haven't bothered to read ANN's episodic reviews lately (mostly due to time constraint)
AidanAK47
Don't tell me this is gonna be a regular thing.
Lenlo
There we go
Lenlo
Oh god JSON objects. I thought that nightmare was over
SuperMario
Mine is working probably as well. Thanks a bunch K-Off and glad to hear back from you.
K-Off
No problem.
K-Off
I really need to figure out how to get those damn tooltips working again on the sidebar thumbnails. It'd be useful to have the descriptions popup.
AidanAK47
Cleared my cache and it looks to be fixed. Thanks as always K-Off. I would be completely screwed without you around.
K-Off
Alright I think that did it. Let me know if it pops up again. If you still see it, clear your browser cache and let me know if its still there.
AidanAK47
Messages still get sent. You just might have to reload the page. We are working on getting it fixed.
Vonter
AidanAK47 I can't get into Fate since like with Nanoha there's a lot of stuff with those names in it. Zero was the most straightforward, yet the buildup was very dragout but the payoffs where very worthy.
HelghastKillzone
testing message.
AidanAK47
This is what I get for updating the bloody plugin.....
AidanAK47
He finished it and was telling me what he thought of Saber defeating Gilgamesh. Minute he said that I was like "OH GOD..." He watched the Deen 2006 adaption. Sadly it loos like he's not going to bother watching UBW TV despite me showing him part of the berserker fight. With Fate/Extra, Fate/Grand Order, Fate/Apocrypha, Fate/Oath under the snow and all the rest this problem will happen again.
AidanAK47
You know I wish the Fate series did a better job naming it's series. I was introducing a newbie so I gave him Fate/Zero first. He loved it so I specifically told him to watch the UBW TV Series and don't mistake it for the movie. He then went and watched the movie. I told him to watch the TV series regardless and brought up the MAL page to show him which one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, there's definately no harm in doing further reading on more arthouse stuff before reviewing it/watching/after watching, it extends our understanding and is pretty much required.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Go for it, you might sell me on reading it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Yeah, I generally only write reviews every now and then, and they tend to be kept simple and to 200-300 words. My writing ability only really works when I write in stream of consciousness.
Anonymous855550
Zestiria is such a feast for the eyes... The colors and backgrounds are so vivid and magnificent. Story has improved on the game's weaknesses too!
Lenlo
Given enough time, im sure I could write something, but as I writer I tend towards quick, decisive statements of what I think and why. Engineer, so technical documents are like the only thing I know how to write.
Topgavin
@Supermario ah, I'd say I'm the opposite in that I sometimes don't know why I like something so much, and when I read a review about it I can relate my own experiences and put it in my own words pretty well. Can thank Highschool eco for that
SuperMario
But to tell you guys the truth, I never think that I'm cut out as a reviewer (even now), because I'm a type of viewer who more perceive (I know why I like/ don't like stuffs) than express (just can't never explain stuffs well)
SuperMario
@Topgavin: it's depending on what grabbing you really; as I always find shows with heavy symbolisms like Penguindrum or Flip Flappers the easiest to dig deeper. But those are always my kind of show to begin with
Topgavin
I'd find it really hard to write something about a show without reading about it first; watching it one time by myself I usually only notice the big things. Stuff like Flip Flappers I had no clue what half the episode's hidden meanings were, can't imagine reviewing a show like NGE or penguindrum.
SuperMario
that's exactly how I write my reviews anyways
Lenlo
I cant imagine writing a review, id just repeat myself with different words but the same intended meaning over and over again
AidanAK47
Wonder if I should write a review of this. Might be hard without giving too much away.
AidanAK47
(Finishes Sweetest monster Visual novel)
.....well....fuck.
(Buys all authors visual novels on steam.)
Lenlo
Sadly, I doubt Nioh will get a PC port. Sony is pretty stingy on their exclusives, like Bloodborne. But I am so very happy with Nioh. I love technical combat like this
Kaiser Eoghan
I suppose this means I'm looking into this rpg maker game thing now isn't it? Might aswell.
Kaiser Eoghan
I remember the word animerican used to describe things like avatar last airbender. Filthy word =P
Anonymous853606
God no. Jiro Taniguchi died.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I have been hearing very good things about Nioh. Really hoping it gets a PC port.
@Topgavin, No real surprises there.
Topgavin
I'm sure most of you have heard, but looks like New Game is getting a season 2 out of all things. Apparently they had good sales, and I can certainly see why. CGDCT with yuri undertones and clean animation is hard to get wrong, let alone not sell.
Lenlo
Just started with Nioh, and oh my goodness do I love it.
Anonymous852887
anyone play resident evil 7? its so good.
AidanAK47
Thought that's because the term American Anime just feels wrong to me on all levels.
AidanAK47
@Anon, they do not. They are cartoons.
Anonymous852775
DO people call D.C. Comics animated movies American anime?
AidanAK47
@Anon, I am certainly interested in seeing the next episode. Those minisodes were pretty good too. One thing I thought the writting faltered on though was the comedy. It really was a little too slapstick considering how serious the drama was.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: ah remind me the time I went to Texas (Corpus Christy) before X-mas time and I was wearing short pants and thongs (nice!!!), then went all the way up to Niagara Falls and I was almost freezing there.
Lenlo
See, I love winter, but its almost non-existent in Texas
Anonymous852268
@Aidan: I agree. I loved To the Moon. It's so good seeing emotional drama that isn't centered around high-school kids. Seeing the ups and downs of a whole long life of a person gives everything that happens way more impact.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: An Australian friend put it as "A sunbaked rock in summer, a giant zoo, that actively tries to kill its population"
SuperMario
Not that I'm enjoying the winter either. Why autumn always go so fast?
SuperMario
Believe me but summer here is way too much. When it's too hot and dry it starts bushfiring really badly. And it's too hot that even a big fan straight in front of you don't do you any good
Kaiser Eoghan
What is this mysterious creature known as summer you refer to? =P My country is grey as a black and white film =P
SuperMario
I'm wondering how freezing you guys have to endure right now, but the place I came today in Aussie just reached 50 degree celsius this noon. So hot I felt myself burning
Lenlo
I think the part I liked the most, was just how satisfying those mud splatter sounds were. I dont know why, but its in my head
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki 6 subs came out at 11pm PST.
Lenlo
Atleast Rakugo didnt get held up. Still amazing as ever
AidanAK47
Well I spent my time waiting for it to come out by playing and finishing To the Moon. Got to say, it takes some real skill to make a game in RPGmaker that can make you really feel something. But maybe I am just a sucker for this kind of story.
SuperMario
Hey, I would be very frustrating if Hand shakers got delayed. But I agree this delay is caused by Being X. And Scum's Wish, haizzz, this is the show we love to get pissed at. Haha
Anonymous850298
I blame Being X.
AidanAK47
Sigh, Youjo Senki 6 is delayed. Why is it always the best shows that get delayed? If an episode of hand Shakers was delayed no one would give a crap but nope. Gotta be the show you want to watch right away.
AidanAK47
@Anon, in both anime and manga I never liked that character much.
Anonymous849783
Meh, dropped Masamune-kun. Seriously why do they always have to shove in these one dimensional characters with a crush out of f* nowhere. It never made any of these shows more interesting, it's always the opposite.
Vonter
@Kaiser Eoghan - I find it weird having the teacher being so unashamedly evil. In a way I like that, but at the same time I can't relate to the notion of people like that existing IRL.
Kaiser Eoghan
As I continue to watch scums wish, it becomes an anger inducing as much as it is engrossing experience.
AidanAK47
Or the UBW movie over the TV series. You just don't do that.
AidanAK47
That's like recommending someone to watch NGE death and rebirth instead of the TV series.
Kaiser Eoghan
Meh, I just got fed up with the padding in the tv version.
AidanAK47
Jojo has the kind of entertainment that clicks with you or doesn't so I understand if you didn't get into it. Though to give it a fair chance I would recommend trying the first episodes of Battle Tendency. It starts at episode 10 of the first season, you can jump to it. If that doesn't catch you then Jojos really isn't for you.
AidanAK47
Don't listen to Kaiser. The OVA is bad.
Kaiser Eoghan
....found out where a friend had been off to lately, making a movie and he ended up actually making and finishing and I got first dibs. Had a hard time commenting on it as I know the guy personally.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Totally with you on the academy thing.
@Lenlo: If you ever try jojo again and get onto part three go for the ova instead as it trims down an overly bloated arc.
Lenlo
For JoJos, I couldnt get through the first season. It just didnt hook me
Lenlo
What I dont understand is how anything other than Mob Psycho won best animation, cause my god.
Lenlo
I think Erased lost not because of the libido, but because Yuri was "gay" and "progressive" and most important of all, recent. Yuri had just finished airing so it was stuck in everyones heads. Of course it was going to win everything
AidanAK47
Erased truly deserved to win that category and it only lost because people voted with their libido instead of their head.
AidanAK47
If there's one thing that really makes me angry about these awards it's Yuri on Ice winning most heartwarming moment for "The Kiss". Because A) It wasn't a fucking kiss and B) Even if it was that isn't heartwarming. Oh I am sure something is getting warm but it sure as hell isn't your heart.
AidanAK47
Likely the main reason Kira didn't win main villain because Jojo has grown to a episode count which makes people hesitant to pick it up. Not to mention many would lose interest by Stardust crusaders midpoint.
AidanAK47
When it comes to judging quality you have to leave it to the people who have experienced enough of the medium to truly be able to critical judge it. Pretty darn sure most who voted didn't even bother watching everything worthwhile each season and just gravitated towards whatever they were exposed to.
AidanAK47
Lets not forget someone voting multiple times and bot voting. Because yes, people really do that. As you two pointed out, a public vote was never truly going to be a accurate gauge of quality. For you are not only opening the vote to anime lovers but also newbies and those who simply haven't refined their tastes yet.
SuperMario
so they either abstained their votes (which actually was reasonable); voted for something popular or even voted based on what their kids liked the most (which was flat out unforgivable).
SuperMario
This from my own frustration mostly when it comes to awards like this. But I've been following the Academy Awards for way too long now and every now and then you heard something that really disheartened about their voting process. Like for example many of the Academy members admitted that they don't care to watch anything animated because... it's kiddy stuff
SuperMario
TL;DR: my point is I have mixed feeling about the whole Crunchyroll awards. One more thing that I noticed about the nomination is that the pool was dominated by shows from the first half of last year.
Lenlo
I dont think public voting is the way to go is the thing. Popularity contests are horrible. With popularity contests moe is going to be near the top every time, while shows like Rakugo never really have a chance. And I think there is little doubt that Rakugo was one of the best shows last season
SuperMario
@Lenlo: there is an issue with the first thou, because reviewers like us don't actually represent the whole public opinions. So it's all come down to the very reason they create an award in a 1st place (your second point). But with voting we can't really reason why the winners win the trophy, right?
Lenlo
The problem with awards like that is for them to mean anything they need 2 things. 1) A board of voters who are actual reviewers who have watched a large portion of what was on shelf that season. 2) Reasons for why each thing won its award. An award without reasons means nothing
SuperMario
Other issue about voting for these awards is that the nominating body and the voting body aren't always the same. Usually the voting body is broader and more generic in taste, so I'm not at all surprised when shows like Rakugo couldn't win. Too art-house for their liking. Well, at least it got nominated which for me is good enough.
SuperMario
That's the thing. When it comes to awards, they are more 'popularity' contest than actual quality, since people tend to vote for the safer choice (the one that are both popular and mildly critical success), YOI fits the bill here.
Lenlo
Those awards were not the best and little more then a popularity contest imo.
SuperMario
Actually with that line-up I had no problems with YOI taking the top spot
SuperMario
I actually forgot about the Crunchyroll Anime Awards so I came to check the winner. Guess which show won AOTY huh? Alright, at least it wasn't Kabaneri or Jokers Game
Kaiser Eoghan
But the best one was Mask of Phantasm.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: And return of the joker also.
Kaiser Eoghan
It has aged admittedly very poorly, but I always got a great kick out of that old 1994 spiderman cartoon.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I think its fair to use the term K-anime or C-anime for the Korean and Chinese influenced stuff, or maybe just anime would be just as appropriate. If some Argentinian guy can write/draw a manga for a Japanese manga magazine (big comic superior thats the magazines name) and have it actually be called a manga, it should be the same for China/Korea.
Lenlo
Mhmm. Marvel had the movies, but DC had the animated series
AidanAK47
Man, I loved the villains of Batman Beyond. Inque and Shriek had such interesting powers. The DC animated shows tended to be the one that didn't treat you like a kid while watching.
Lenlo
Well, they released a trailer for Samurai Jack S5, so its coming. Batman Beyond I also enjoyed
AidanAK47
Ah Samurai Jack. Wonder how that Adult swim revival is going? Batman the Animated Series as well didn't need Batman to crack off jokes every minute to be great.
Lenlo
Agreed. Samurai Jack was one of my favorite cartoons for that very reason. It ran the gamut of genres, each episode being something different.
Also I used Nichijou cause it was the first to come to my mind as a "Kids Show", though Love-Ru works as well
AidanAK47
One thing I think Cartoons could do to move away from the stigma of being for kids is having more genres than Comedy and Action adventure. Or at least stop putting comedy in everything.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Every fanbase has it's fanatics. There are idiots everywhere.
@Lenlo, I thought this might come up though I was expecting more of "placing Berserk and To Love-Ru in the same category" thing. Honestly I don't have a rebuttal for that. What is an isn't anime is really a matter of what anime is to you.
Lenlo
Now Aidan, you say putting Berserk and Scoopy doo in the same category is wrong, but what about Berserk and say.. Nichijou? A similar problem comes up and I think thats more to do with Berserk being a pretty major outlier (And I love it for being so. Have all the original Dark Horse volumes on my shelf)
Lenlo
Really though, reading Reddit arguments about it is so much fun.
Lenlo
I do think that recently, a number of shows have been trying to move cartoon, and animation in general in the west, away from meaning "For Kids".
Lenlo
Im not sure sure about that Anon, look at the Steven Universe and MLP fanbases.
Anonymous840067
Aidan, that isn't true... Anime has a 'special' name because it's fan base is a lot more fanatical than the cartoon fan base.
AidanAK47
Though I think the whole "Its not for kids" is the main push. Looking at my anime collection the majority is rated 15 with a few 12s. It's like the way you have Young Adult and mature, Comic books and graphic novels, or Visual novels and Eroge. They are essentially the same thing but appeal to different audiences.
AidanAK47
Though I think what really pushes this argument is that the term anime at least has a badge of honor. You don't see people demanding a show to be called a cartoon.
AidanAK47
Honestly the term anime is just a distinction to separate it from the more kiddy stuff. The term cartoon in the western world is too ingrained with the likes of Hanna Barbera or loony toons. No matter how you put it, putting Scooby Doo and Berserk in the same category is just wrong.
SuperMario
Then would you consider Korean, Chinese anime-influenced shows as anime? (I would) and those anime that aimed for Western audience (like Animatrix) as anime? (I would too)
SuperMario
But then we have something like Thunderbolt Fantasy lasy year which if I go for this defination (style) then it isn't anime at all, yet I would categorize it as anime
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Featured Posts

Scum’s Wish – 06 [Welcome to the X-Dimension]

If there is one thing that I really respect about Scum’s Wish, it’s that they commit themselves all the way to that tangled web of broken desires and love, instead of chicken out half-way. As a result this show gets much harder to swallow, but leaves you a big emotional impact. This week in particular […]

Zaregoto Series OVA – 03 [Day 4 (1) Beheading 1]

After nearly two months of patiently waiting (and actually forgetting that this series even existed at all), the third episode is finally out reminding us that Il-chan and Tomoe are still there and it was investigation-heavy that hardly had anytime for characters development. Anyone who is familiar with nisiOisin writing will know that his styles […]

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. – 06 [Where Pride and Train Tracks Lead]

Now we’re clear why Lotte looked so worried last week upon hearing Jean was riding a train, turn out that their parents passed away due to train accident when they were young, 13 years ago. The meeting of Jean and Grossular is rather an unexpected exchange, as instead of questioning Grossular if he’s involved to […]

Little Witch Academia – 06[The Fountain of Polaris]

I should start having more faith in Trigger. Just at the point when Akko’s mentality was starting to become a problem, she gets an episode dedicated to fixing that. After gaining shiny rod Akko was under the impression she was something special but now after failing in magic again she is finally acknowledging her shortcomings. […]

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – 19

The Rakugo breakthroughs in this show always come from unexpected places. Yakumo had his breakthrough while crossdressing as a woman for a play. A second breakthrough with his shinigami story after the death of his dear friends. Meanwhile Yotaro has his breakthrough due to his Master collapsing and having to perform under pressure. Strangely this […]

Saga of Tanya the Evil – 06[Beginning of Madness]

This week’s episode is more focused on action so I have less to talk about. In terms of plot, we get the main gist that World War One is revving into gear. Dakia looks to be knocked out of the war, thanks to Tanya’s efforts and as predicted, her success has caused the top brass […]

3-gatsu no Lion – 17 [Silver Thread – Water’s Surface – Base of the Blue Night]

Wow, this episode! This is one of the strongest 3-gatsu episode that we’ve encountered so far, both rich in effective little moments, strong characters interactions and smart visual executions. Speeding up to three chapters per episode might be this episode’s most successful trick, because 1) these 3 chapters are interconnected by the same narrative themes […]

Scum’s Wish – 05 [Destruction Baby]

Boy, they actually did it; they actually went that far. And here I thought after introducing the cast and their dark love, they’d tone down on the “physical” aspect and focus more on the “emotional” part. Guess I’m already underestimated Scum’s Wish because they go all the way to this explicit sexual desires without hitting […]

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. – 05 [Overlapping Footprints in the Distance]

Okay, this episode… just ends. Look, I normally don’t mind slow-burned story hinting multiple threads and this episode is clearly a set-up episode for upcoming major events, but at least the episode itself has to be completed. Leaving viewers hanging for incompleteness is just as cruel as terrible cliffhanger. Nevermind though, as long as set-up […]

Latest Reviews

Flip Flappers (Fall 2016) Review – 93/100

What makes Flip Flappers stand out from the rest of the anime field? I found a lot of people asking that question along the way. Well, first off, Flip Flappers isn’t your ordinary anime offering, that’s for sure. Its visual styles are too much and too incoherent for one thing, the narrative never really reveal […]

Sound! Euphonium 2 (Fall 2016) Review – 86/100

I must admit that out of all the series I was blogging last year, Sound Eupho 2 was the one I’m saddest to see it ends; not because it was my absolute favorite anime last year, but because the sheer amount of their attention to details and their ridiculously quest for perfection are something that […]

Fune wo Amu (Fall 2016) Review – 81/100

This series is, in retrospect, a really appropriate title that speaks to the very spirit of noitaminA block: an adult drama slice of life about the making of dictionary that surely don’t try to target the young audiences. Sound as dry as it is, Fune wo Amu’s actually one of the strongest noitaminA show come […]

Your name. (2016) Movie Review – 82/100

As of this writing, Kimi no Na wa, or Your name. has enjoyed a phenomenal commercial and critical success. It becomes the highest grossing film of the year in Japan, and broke many records elsewhere in Thailand, China, America… you name it. Even in the local theatre where I went to, we got a full […]

Occultic;Nine Review – 0/100

I am certain this may seem like an extreme rating for some but the number scale always has been something I only carried over as part of psgels format. But this rating exemplifies my feelings about this show in its entirety. This show is awful, terrible, rage inducing, illogical, nonsensical garbage. Watching this show was […]

Magical Girl Raising Project Review – 65/100

In the success of Madoka there have been plenty who have tried to capitalize on turning the Magical girl genre dark. Few have actually succeeded and while Magical Girl Raising Project doesn’t quite succeed, it is still a much more competent attempt than many others. The story is about a phone app which promises to […]

Yuri!!! on Ice (Fall 2016) Review – 83/100

“Can you hear my heartbeat? Tired of feeling never enough. I close my eyes and tell myself that my dreams will come true” That’s exactly what Yuri on Ice offers, a heart-pumping ride to the sport of figure skating. Yuri on Ice’s current success and mainstream breakout is something that no one could have guessed before it aired; but here […]

Strange Frame – Love & Sax (2012) Movie Review – 76/100

Hooray, I’m finally back to this section after a while. I originally plan to review a more in-focus groups of animated films, like Korean movies, anthology movies, female-directed films, etc but now I have a different plan. The days that I cover all these will come, I promise. Instead, this time I want to highlight […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy Review – 84/100

Sometimes you dread for the current state of anime: high school settings, cute girls, fan-service jokes, idol madness… that you wish for once to see something different, and out of nowhere an oddball like this just pop up: a wuxia puppetry show influenced by Taiwanese glove puppetry written by Gen Urobuchi. The sheer fact that […]