Posted on 25 June 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Ristorante Paradiso



I’ve turned into quite a fan of the modern horeca-series, brought back and popularized by Bartender. It’s a genre with an atmosphere unlike any other genre, and one of those very few types of series targeted solely at adults. The latest installment is Ristorante Paradiso: yet again a short but charming and relaxing series about a restaurant somewhere in Rome.

From the outside, the premise of this series indeed looks quite shaky. It’s easy to think that this is just a harem, but this time the lead character being a female in her twenties and the male characters all being stereotypical bishounen in their forties or above. Thankfully, the series proves that it’s fully able to avoid this cliché. There is one lead couple, and the rest of the characters all have their own romances.

One of the things that makes this series so enjoyable is how well it manages to handle its limited airtime of only eleven episodes, and yet it manages to develop a relatively large cast of characters. Every episode is basically dedicated to one or two characters, but they’re all inspired and miles away from stereotypes. The characters here have realistic problems and issues, rather than those overdramatic ones you tend to often see in anime. Every episode keeps you guessing on what’s going to happen next; despite the next-episode previews, you’ll hardly ever find yourself able to predict what’s going to happen next, or what the next character’s back-story is going to be about.

And still the series forms a coherent whole in the end. A major theme is the past, and how it affects characters today. Surprisingly, most people in this series have relatively dark pasts, but unlike most other anime they hardly ever bear grudges or feel depressed. A major theme of this series is not getting worked up about what happened in the past, but instead using these experiences to enjoy today. It’s a theme that’s explored wonderfully throughout the series, and makes it feel complete.

Of course, you need to know that this isn’t the series for those who want action or lots of drama. Instead, it’s meant to be relaxing, while most of the drama is done very subtly without ever dragging on. Apart from that though, I couldn’t find any major flaws in this series, or reasons why one would not want to watch this. It’s not anything epic, but what it does it does really well: the creators really put thoughts into how they could make this show work best, and not let a minute go to waste. It’s a recommendation for those who are looking for a short relaxing series.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10
Posted on with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



Haha! This series pulled it off! Mitsuko Kase really proves that she knows how to make a good series. She’s probably one of the very few female anime directors out there, most of her series are very under-appreciated, but you can really call me a fan of her. Especially when it comes to the endings, nine out of ten anime series simply fail to put an actually good and satisfying conclusion to their story, but she time and time again uses that ending to wrap up all of the hanging plot-lines, develop the main characters, AND pull in a few surprises here and there to boot while still staying true to the atmosphere of the rest of the series. There really aren’t many directors who also have consistently proven to do this.

So yeah, I don’t think I could have hoped for a better ending than this episode. I had to laugh at when they played the scene that showed up in last episode’s next episode preview: when watched in context with the actual events, it was much more humorous (Nicoletta basically out of nowhere slapped a plate of spaghetti over Claudio). Last episode’s preview made it look so dramatic, but in the actual episode it happened so fast that there was hardly any time to build up any tension, and instead the focus fell on Nicoletta, trying to get Isabella to understand to stop making Claudio suffer.

I really liked how the creators resolved Claudio’s issues with his former wife, which was very un-typical of anime. Usually, you’d build up and up, until the climax where characters confess their feelings and suddenly forget about all their problems, but here it was done very gradually. There wasn’t one point at which Claudio immediately forgot about his past. Instead, they just gradually became a couple over the episode: slowly, bit by bit Claudio was able to let go of his past, until eventually he returned his wedding ring. I wish more anime did this.

As a surprise, we also see more development for Olga. Her story was handled with a bit less subtlety, but I still liked it a lot. It really showed how much Nicoletta has grown over the past series: at the start of this series, you’d think that this show would be about a bitch-fight between an angry mother and daughter, but in this episode Nicoletta proved to be much more mature than her mother, and managed to convince her that she doesn’t mind the past anymore.

Overall, I’m glad to have followed this series. It was probably the most un-typical anime of the season, the drama was nearly always subtle and yet packed a punch. The ending wasn’t my favourite, but I would definitely label it among the top 5 of best endings I’ve seen in 2009 so far. The series also had the best character-designs for the past spring-season (in contrast to most people, I’m not yet a fan of Range Murata or Satoko Morikawa). It obviously wasn’t an epic series that had me on the edge of my seat, but it didn’t need to be: it used its time well and delivered a very enjoyable and relaxing series. I’m looking forward to what Noise has in store for us the upcoming season.
Rating: ** (Excellent)
Among my top 5 endings I’ve seen this year so far. (For those wondering, the others are Birdy the Mighty Decode, Michiko e Hatchin, Ride Back and Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae).

Posted on 18 June 2009 with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



Ah, of course: for the conclusion, the creators didn’t just try to focus on the relationship between Claudio and Nicoletta, but also they’re going to try and give a conclusion to Luciano and his dead wife. This episode was much more about the latter, while the final episode next week will probably focus at the former, especially considering that next-episode preview: we now already know how it’s going to end, but I’m curious to see the context in which it’s going to happen.

I loved how in this episode, both Nicoletta and Luciano tried to encourage each other to pursue a bit of romance, but neither of them really got anywhere. Luciano just stubbornly ignored the advances that the woman in this episode tried to make on him, while Nicoletta, who was supposed to invite Claudio to a concert that they were all going to attend, ended up chickening out and invited Vito’s wife instead. I also liked how a bit of extra attention was given to the rest of Luciano’s family. It really makes his back-story more complete to not just focus on him, but also his offspring.

At the same time, this episode also built up the fact that Claudio really doesn’t want to forget about his old marriage, and he still hasn’t properly gotten over the divorce. As a conclusion, it definitely makes sense for this series to wrap up that part of the show, but like with every series: pulling off a good conclusion is hard, and probably one of the things that’s the easiest to screw up in, or to become lackluster at. Let’s see whether this show can pull it off, though I’m confident for now: the director has pulled off great conclusions before with Saikano and Crystal Blaze, which both closed off their respective series pretty nicely. Let’s hope that he can do the same here.

And overall, I don’t think that David Production could have hoped for a better debut in the anime scene. It smartly chose not to go the way that’s been travelled a thousand times already, but instead they went with their own style, and it pretty much worked, and they put down a pretty good series without any major flaws. The artwork also looked really good, with hardly any screw-ups. Now all that they need more is the ambition to continue to produce new series, instead of to simply give up.

Rating: * (Good)
Pretty quiet but solid build-up for the finale, and it’s good to see that even with the finale this close, this show doesn’t forget what it’s good at.

Posted on 11 June 2009 with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



Yup, today it’s time for the Theo-episode. And like always, there’s another surprise in this episode: the reappearance of that mysterious main chef that the restaurant started out with. She indeed was the one who guided Theo through his rookie-years when he first came to work at the restaurant, though they didn’t get along all the time.

And yet it’s very interesting how the creators only show the moments at which they had the biggest fights with each other: we’re simply left to guess what happened in between, and how the two got along with each other on a daily basis. And how they gradually grew to like each other. ^^;

After just completing Bartender, I’ve come to see this series in quite a bit of a different light. Since the horeca-genre is really new when compared to all of the other genres, there still is lots of opportunity to be different within the genre, and so far it’s good to see that all of them decided to focus on something different. When compared to Bartender, you can really see that the creators of Ristorante Paradiso lack the knowledge about food: they did a bit of reading on correct Italian dishes, but it’s clear that they don’t have a deep understanding of how Italian food works. In the meantime, it has other points at which it can be praised: a really calm and relaxing atmosphere, very nice visuals and an excellent characterization.

This episode also indeed showed what last week’s next episode preview had been showing: it’s time for the chefs to create the new menu, and Nicoletta gets to help. Obviously, her dishes are all good, but not good enough to be on the menu, and especially Theo is harsh. But as always, that again was a bit of a misleading part, because it’s not like Theo hates her food at all. Instead, he just had a bit of trouble giving her some good comments, since he himself had to endure the same abuse when he began. Something’s also telling me that he found Nicoletta’s work better than what he managed to produce when he just started out.

Speaking of which, that next-episode-preview of this episode weirded me out a bit. I mean, Luciano getting hit on by some middle-aged lady? It’s obviously not as it looks (I know how sneaky this series can be with that), but still, what do the creators have in mind as a finale for this series?

Rating: * (Good)
Theo’s back-story was very nice as usual.

Posted on 4 June 2009 with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



Okay, so now that this show is nearly at its end (three episodes left), we’re finally able to see whether it used its time well or not, and whether the series composition knew what it was doing. And if I have to say so, Ristorante Paradiso passes with flying colours. It really made excellent use of its limited eleven episodes, and it turned into one of those series that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

It’s been a very slow and quiet series, but that really is part of its charms, and really managed to capture the essence of slice of life. Even though the past few episodes have been themed to a certain character, it really NEVER FEELS FORMULAIC. Every episode is different, and yet they all have the same atmosphere, feel together as a whole and they really don’t take any stereotype for granted. If the creators can pull off a great finale, this series is really going to be complete, but that often is much harder than it looks. I’ve got faith in the director, though. She has pulled off some creative endings before, and that’s exactly what this series need.

I remember, when this series first started, that I compared it to Antique Bakery, but now I see that those are two completely different series. Antique Bakery stood out because of its originality: it dared to go where no other anime had gone before and was very creative in its storytelling. Rispara however, is much more about its characters: subtly fleshing them out, and letting the viewer slowly get to know more about them.

This episode yet again toyed with our expectations. We were promised a Furio-episode, and yet Claudio got just as much development as he did, when it turns out that when they were younger they used to work at the same restaurant: Furio as one of the top chefs, while Claudio was very much a rookie waiter without much talent. He was even less secure than he is now (you can now really see that his older version is more confident in his actions, while still recognizing that insecure version that he was 20 years ago. Now THAT’s subtle development!), but it was Furio’s fiancee who gave him enough inspiration not to quit being a waiter.

Rating: ** (Excellent)
Lots of depth for Claudio and Furio is always welcome. Very meaningful dialogue.

Posted on 28 May 2009 with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



Misleading previews are very misleading. Really, the first episodes showed the big climaxes of their next episode, and so with the way the next-episode previews are so forcefully inserted after the end of the episode, it really makes you create expectations for that next episode. So, let me ask why the heck the previews for the past few episodes were so incredibly misleading. I was believing that this episode would turn into a date between Nicoletta and Claudio, only for the majority of this episode to focus on Luciano and the date turned out to be an incredibly small thing meant for building up.

So yeah, this was a really good episode about the birthday party for Luciano’s grandson. And really, you can’t get more slice-of-life than this, and it was such a great way to look into Luciano’s character. It’s SO devoid of any sort of clichés, and it really was such a charming episode, seeing everyone prepare and celebrate Francesco’s birthday.

At this point, you can really consider me a fan of Mitsuko Kase, the director. After this series, I’m convinced that she(he?) has her own style: she doesn’t care being mainstream, and what she excels in is subtly fleshing out her characters, with that kind of subtlety that’s really hard to put into words, and yet I’ve noticed the same with both Saikano, Crystal Blaze and Ristorante Paradiso. Her biggest fault is that she tends to be a bit too emo at times (for which Rispara is of course a great way to get rid of that nasty habit). I have really enjoyed the characterization of her works so far (yeah, I don’t care whether I’m the only one who believes so, but Crystal Blaze rocked).

With this, there are only four episodes left. Two will be spent on the remaining members of the cast (Teo and Furio), while the final two will probably wrap up the story between Claudio and Nicoletta, and I wonder what kind of path the creators will go into. This series has already shown that it isn’t of the type “and they killed the dragon and lived happily ever after”. In fact, it doesn’t seem to follow any formula at all, and I really wish that the creators can keep this up, while doing something with the romantic tension between Nicoletta and Claudio at the same time.

Rating: ** (Excellent)
A Luciano episode, still as calm and fresh as ever.

Posted on 21 May 2009 with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



I really love how mature this series’ outlook on relationships is. Because the characters are nearly all so relatively old in this series, it can really show a different side of romance, other than the “falling in love” part that has been explored to death by now by all of the teenagers. Someone finding his love may be interesting if well executed, but maintaining this relationship also definitely has its charms.

While at first sight this episode promised to be an episode about Vito, the main focus instead was on a newly introduced married couple, between which a few problems lied: the husband kept fooling around with younger women and this got on the wife’s nerves. Vito merely served as an example, of how for every relationship different negotiations have to be made.

While Vito’s wife didn’t mind at all to see Vito surrounded by younger women, because she knew that his heard lied with her. The woman in this episode was different though, and didn’t like it at all. The two of them developed really nicely throughout this episode, until the end, in which they finally sat down to talk about their differences. Overall, this entire series has been really refreshing in terms of relationships: some of them really are doomed to fail, but in this time the couple talked in time with each other before they ended up growing apart.

I also loved how subtly the creators managed to show a bit of what Olga does for her job, and with this, I can understand a bit why she ended up falling in love with her job, up to the point where she left home and overworked herself. In Olga’s case, it was her job that she found more important than her husband at the time. And somehow this changed when she met Lorenzo.

Now that this series has passed its halfway mark, I do have to say that Noitamina finally has gotten competition in terms of awesome time-slots with the Noise time-slot. It’s really good to see more time-slots like this that value originality and freshness over the same old formula done over again, and series that consider a different target audience than most other series.

Rating: ** (Excellent)
A Vito episode, with a mature outlook on relationships. Nice.

Posted on 14 May 2009 with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



This really was an excellent episode for this series. It’s really clear that this is a character-study, and this time it’s Gigi’s turn to be placed under the loop, and I must say that he has quite an interesting backstory, and I think that this was one of the first convincing stories of adultery I’ve seen in anime.

So as it turns out, Gigi is Lorenzo’s half-brother. Lorenzo was born because Gigi’s father committed adultery with his own brother’s wife. The interesting thing though, is that none of them really hold a grudge against each other, and the two of them actually grew to be really close. It was Lorenzo’s father’s winery that fueled Gigi’s passion for liquor, and what’s also ironic is that Gigi’s father himself, even though he was outraged by his brother, did commit adultery himself with another woman, which gave Gigi another half-sibling.

I’m also starting to get the central theme of this series: the past. Sure, every character here has his or her own past, and collection of bad memories, but this series asks the question: why would one still hold a grudge for these events? Nicoletta came to Rome in the first place to smack her mother for the things she did to her, but then she came to understand how her mother found happiness that way, and she just stopped with trying to make her mother’s life miserable. Claudio and his wife must have shared a few sad memories when they broke up, and yet the two of them still are on good terms with each other. And this episode shows the same with Lorenzo and Gigi: sure, their parents did some stupid things, but is that really enough to hate them and get emo over it? The only one who got worked up over it was Gigi’s father.

This really is a-typical of most anime, who most often put lots of angst in these sad past events, but this series shows that they can also be very well used in order to flesh out characters without any angst whatsoever. Vito’s up in the next episode, so I’m interested to see what he can offer to this.

Rating: ** (Excellent)
Excellent art direction, combined with Gigi’s fascinating backstory.

Posted on 7 May 2009 with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



Well, like its predecessor Michiko e Hatchin, Ristorante Paradiso sure has been put into a very strange time-slot: it’s gotten two hiatuses already and its first episode aired as a set of two. I really wonder what’s going on at the time-slot when this show isn’t broadcast, and where people get the time to broadcast two episodes at once?

But really, this series continues to be good stuff. Shows in which the lead characters run a restaurant always have their own kind of unique charms. Antique Bakery also had this unique chemistry between its characters, and there is an understanding that is much, much different when compared to your average high school show, even with shows as Natsu no Arashi, which actually has teenagers involved.

This episode was a bit confusing as it suddenly introduced flashbacks from out of nowhere, but it was a great chance to see how the restaurant first was formed, how Luciano and the others were recruited, and it’s interesting to see how there once were three staff-members who have since quit. The youngest one I guess felt out of place, but for the others I don’t think their reasons were mentioned in this episode.

When this show started, I also believed that Nicoletta’s mother forcefully made everyone wear glasses, but in the end it was actually something that just evolved on its own. When Olga first got to see the restaurant, she simply became so happy that she could cry, and that kept the tradition of keeping on glasses going. At first, we’re really lead to believe how she’s the selfish mother from hell, but she’s gradually turning into someone who may have made a mistake in her life, but yet has plenty of good and genuine sides.

I also liked that bit with the little girl who had to wait endlessly for the owner to show up. That’s really typical for them, having to wait for hours really is going to bore any child.

Rating: * (Good)
Nice flashback to when everything began, although it was at times hard to point out what happened when

Posted on 23 April 2009 with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



Short Synopsis: Nicoletta tells Claudio about her mother.
Episode Rating: 8/10 (Good)
I’m really not sure what’s up with this show’s tendency to spoil the biggest plot twists of every next episode but for some strange reason it works pretty well. Since this is a series that’s much more about the characters, rather than these fancy plot twists, which are only there in order to get the best out of the characters. In this episode for example, the most important thing wasn’t for Nicoletta to tell Claudio how the girlfriend of the owner is her own mother, but rather how the two of them start to gradually understand each other, and realize that they’re actually quite similar.

But really, this episode was good stuff, and I’m glad to say that the first three episodes of Ristorante have some of the most solid characters of the season. The advantage it has is that since it’s only 11 episodes, it can’t really waste any time building up like most of the other shows this season: while most of the other shows still have three months to go before they can get to the real meat of the story, RisPara is already there, and like Genji Monogatari in the previous season, it’s a very consistent romance show, although in comparison, the focus of RisPara lies more at the characters, when compared to the storytelling that was central in Genji Monogatari.

It’s obviously not a show for everyone, but you have to appreciate that finally we have a show in which the average age of the characters lies above thirty (perhaps even above forty). I can only think of two other anime who achieved the same: Real Drive (simply because two characters were in their eighties) and Millennium Actress.

It’s interesting how Nicoletta finally got a proper talk with her mother in this episode, and yet the two of them got along pretty easily, rather than Nicoletta trying to scratch her mother’s eyes out and it’s interesting how Olga even was worried about Nicoletta going after Claudio, and in the end she even encouraged her. Olga herself was immediately taken in by Lorenzo, and apparently that feeling came from both sides.

It’s also interesting how Claudio and Gabriella split up over a pretty trivial reason: her work became busier and in the end they got into a fight about a misunderstanding, and so they broke up, even though they seem to have settled their differences by now and are not in love anymore.

In any case, I’m glad to have stuck with this series. At one point I considered dropping this show from blogging instead of Natsu no Arashi, but looking back now, the latter is much more a show where you shut up and watch, and even though it’s probably the most underrated show of the season, I don’t think that there would have been much to say about it aside from that. The director of RisPara has a knack of getting the best out of short 13-episode series, and it’s a very interesting effect to see him dealing with a slow-paced romance show, instead of a suspenseful thriller or extremely sad wartime romance. He’s definitely able to show the best side of the original source material this way in only eleven episodes.

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
Still enjoying the sangatsu manga and all the character interactions in this most recent volume.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Quintuplets might be under consideration, dororo is a definite. I don't want to watch revisions , girly airforce or plane thing because of the cgi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have the first 3 doro episodes downloaded to watch tomorrow, I'll comment on them, I'm giving it a shot because I love Tezuka.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The quintuplets thing is one of those things I would see myself chuckling at for a bit then feeling no obligation to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cat thing is probably cute but its too light for me to invest in in the long run.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding this season, I'll be direct, it isn't my thing, I got my fill of Kaguya's manga and all I can out of it, promised neverland, once the escape bit finished just turned into an action series (at least from what I read) lacking a compelling followup hook for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Acca had this odd way of delivering information that made it seem stuff went on between the lines or offscreen, often it worked, sometimes it didn't. Its a show that really picks up after the first couple of episodes and really gets elevated by its revelations, cool setting , art style and opening theme too.
Lenlo
I agree it does that. I think my issue may come with me maybe missing something or just not understanding the series as a whole, and so parts of it were lost on me. I enjoyed the series I would say though
SuperMario
Let me rephrase by saying ACCA ending neatly ties up plot threads for me
Lenlo
I didnt say I didnt like it, just that it wasn't what I expected. It was odd. I think I need time to process it.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you didn't like ACCA ending? I thought the ending is easily its best part. It's the first few episodes that feel slow for me
Lenlo
Also, just finished ACCA. Man... that was a weird ending. Not sure how I feel about the series, but damn, did it have style.

Also, thanks (?) Wooper.
Lenlo
Lets see... Dororo is good, but I am still lukewarm on it. Kaze Fui is a fantastic carry over from last season. Mob and Neverland of course. Shield Hero, if you want to be part of the latest big craze discussion. Kaguya if you like romance. Ill search some more, but those are off the top of my head.
Anonymous3338351
What are some must-watch anime this season; I'm watching MBP100 and Promised Neverland rn
Vonter
Shield hero looks like it fits with that journey of doing the right thing even though most are against you.
Vonter
You know what it reminds me of. It's kinda like that episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Where the family returns after a trip and find the neighborhood celebrates their absence, since everyone dislikes them. By the end when they make up, all the neighborhood gets bitter with one another because they no longer share a connection of hate with Malcolm's family.
Vonter
Also the undercurrent semblance of looking more like a bad guy or anti hero. Despite him having a good moral compass.
Vonter
SuperMario - I don't felt it was about being defeated or not. I got the feeling it was taking the hit for others. Because since he has high defence he does take the damage, but he does look weary about doing that. And the framework paints him so far more as an underdog than a prodigy.
SuperMario
But does the fact that he’s the greatest defender makes him the one who can’t be defeated? I haven’t watched the latest one though
Vonter
I did like the new episode of Shield Hero. It made me realize there can be stakes in Isekai battles. In both Overlord and Slime I usually space out in the battles because they seem unnecessary outside of animation. It's more interesting if there's a display of wits and using the environment. I also like the protagonist be on the defense and the sidekick as the attacker.
SuperWooper
Here's a "review of one of our own reviewers:"

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
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