Posted on 2 July 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Sarai-ya Goyou




One of the things that made the past spring season awesome was the fact that it didn’t have just one, but two Noitamina series. And boy, it sure came with a couple of amazing series to start off this new feature!

Sarai-ya Goyou is a character-study, set in the Japan of a number of centuries ago, and it unites Manglobe with Tomomi Mochizuki, of Toka Gettan, Porfy no Nagai Tabi, Kimagure Orange Road and a ton of other series. He’s a true veteran in the anime business, and he did an incredible job of bringing these characters to life.

The animation in nearly every scene in this series is full of detail, with a ton of subtle movements. This really allows the creators to put as much meaning into these scenes as possible, giving them a surprising amount of depth and development in only twelve episodes. Even most of the side characters get some development throughout the series that already is short on time and despite this limited length, it never tries to rush through things in order to fit as much as possible into its airtime. There comes a price to this, of course: it’s unfortunately an incomplete series, and stops after animating about half of the manga. The main plot threads are skillfully wrapped up at that point, but it’s clear that the storyline isn’t over at that point.

Airing next to Yojou-han this season, this series faced some incredibly tough competition, but it really shined out there despite this, and is a great recommendation for those who are looking for a short character-focused series. There is one arc that isn’t as good as the others (the Matsu arc), which breaks the flow of this series a bit, but apart from that the stories that it tells about its characters are all incredibly thoughtful and engaging.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Very detailed. Tries to put as much meaning into every scene as possible, and succeeds. Never loses itself in its pacing, though the story itself has plot threads that aren’t wrapped up.
Characters: 9/10 – Deep, well developed and thoughtful.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Manglobe does it again with excellent animation that focus on bringing its characters to life instead of over the top action scenes. Haunting soundtrack.
Setting: 9/10 – Excellent portrayal of Japan at the time, with a great analysis of the types of problems that people faced around these ages.

Suggestions:
Mushishi
Porfy no Nagai Tabi
Seirei no Moribito

Posted on with categories: Sarai-ya Goyou



Okay, so we all know the circumstances of this series: it’s Noitamina, it only got 12 episodes, and so it only had the room to animate the first half of the Sarai-ya Goyou manga. Next week, we’re going to get treated to Shiki and a live action Moyashimon for some reason, so the creators had no choice of wrapping this up right now, with little chance at a sequel, knowing the sales.

With this in mind, I believe that the creators couldn’t have done a better job here. The final episode ranked for me among the most emotionally intensive episodes of the series so far, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. What made it such a wonderful episode was the way it put so much meaning into just one simple revelation: the fact that he was lied to that the first Yaichi was the one who contracted the kidnappers. It brought forth so many emotions in Yaichi, and that’s exactly why I originally fell in love with this series. I also realize that it’s exactly that that felt missing in the Matsu arc. That was the reason why this series fell into a bit of a dip.

Yaichi only had one point at which he really let his emotions go. After that, he was back to his old self immediately, without any sort of attempt to drag that scene on. It was really well portrayed, and typical of Tomomi Mochizuki, the director: Porfy no Nagai Tabi also had quite a few of these moments.

So, how to rate this? Well, let me put it this way: out of all of the series in Noitamina that didn’t get the full time they deserved (Jyu Oh Sei, Moyashimon, Library Wars, Genji Monogatari, Eden of the East), it’s my favourite. It’s consistently well executed, and instead of trying to cram the entire manga into one series, the creators opted to just give the scenes that they wanted to show their full attention, and just end at a given point. The animation by Manglobe was just wonderfully detailed, and Tomomi Mochizuki did a really great job in bringing it alive. Whether it’s better than Porfy no Nagai Tabi, however… I can’t say that. Its fifty-two episodes really allowed it to develop its characters in a way that Sarai-ya Goyou would only be able to beat if it was fully animated.

Either way though, I’m definitely a fan of Natsume Ono now. Her mangas turned out to be very successful as anime, and I really hope that more of it is going to become animated in the future.

This was easily the best final episode I have seen this season so far. Manglobe, you really gained my faith back after Seiken no Blacksmith.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 26 June 2010 with categories: Sarai-ya Goyou



A very promising start to the climax of this series. Like expected, it’s all about Yaichi and his past, and the creators did a really good job at building up to it so that they can now start dropping hints as to what exactly caused him to shut off his past. By now, it’s clear that certain things have happened that he has yet to digest, and at this point, there are a ton of people from the past, coming back to bite him. And then there’s also Masa, who is getting closer and closer to him as well.

Yaichi in his teens was… scary. He really had this air around him that didn’t care about anyone or anything. While he killed without remorse in this episode, it’s probably something else caused him to break up with his gang. It’s now interesting to see whether the creators will also be able to give this series a good closure. I mean, I know that the creators are able to do this, but the manga it’s based on complicates things by being way longer than something you can just put in 12 episodes. But still, Ristorante Paradiso did it a year ago, so why shouldn’t this series be able to do it?

Still…. I am missing something here, though. I can’t put my finger to exactly what, but the past number of episodes have lacked a certain something, that prevents it from becoming a masterpiece. I wish I knew what that was, though.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 18 June 2010 with categories: Sarai-ya Goyou



Ah, like expected: the series is going to close off with Yagi’s arc. This episode was meant to set everything up, while the final two episodes can really explore this guy.

We also now know why Yagi was so important to this story, as he turns out to have known Yaichi as a child (yeah, the child in the flashback really was him). It all points towards a trauma: the guy witnessed the death of the only adult he looked up to, which is probably what made him turn to become a member of a gang. The beauty is that he already developed a lot in the meantime. Yagi has some weird ideas, and he keeps sticking to his criminal roots with the use of Goyou, but he’s also bright and witty.

It’s interesting how there have been no kidnappings for the past few episodes. It’s probably because of Yagi that he’s not trying to do anything funny; he must have recognized him back there, though it was probably a bit harder for Yagi to lay the link because of how Yaichi grew up and completely changed his appearance. The white hair also could be some sort of hint here: why did he suddenly lose all of the pigmentation there?

In any case, with two episodes left I’m very curious to see whether they can surpass the middle episodes. I think my highlight of this series lies at episode six and seven. The final two episodes have already received a ton of build-up at this point, now it’s up to this series to make optimal use of this.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 11 June 2010 with categories: Sarai-ya Goyou



That was an excellent conclusion to the Matsu-kidnapped-arc. Masa did exactly what he needed to do in order to get the guy out, and there wasn’t some kind of last-minute thing that went wrong in order to cheaply increase tension here.

Instead, the final part of this series seems to centre around Yagi, who indeed turns out to be a government official. It’s not sure whether he uses Masa to get to Yaichi, but nevertheless he’s in between two parties who he cares a lot about. This episode very much showed that he has accepted five leaves as friends.

This episode also introduced the dreaded sister with a brother complex. Still, it’s a cliche here that’s handled well: she’s not outright in love with Masa here unlike MANY of her counterparts, and instead the creators portrayed her as a worrying sibling who hasn’t heard anything about her brother for a while. Finally there’s a show that understands that.

Three episodes left, the problem does remain that there still remains a large part of the manga unanimated. I really hope that the creators can create a satisfying ending with what they have. That’s the one disadvantage of this otherwise excellent series.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 4 June 2010 with categories: Sarai-ya Goyou



This episode seemed to me like the start of the arc before the finale. You know, the arc that isn’t exactly at the centre of the plot, but rather is meant to develop some of the most prominent side-stories. With this series, that is about Matsu: in this arc we finally get to know him for real, and it’ll probably get resolved in the next episode, before the series can close off with a finale dedicated to Masa and Yaichi. At least, if the creators know what they’re doing and don’t just cut off this show without any conclusion or second season in sight. That’s the ONE disadvantage of this series: it’s an adaptation.

In any case, this episode was as wonderfully paced as usual. The plot is a bit more straightforward, now that Matsu has been captured and all, but the creators really made sure for it to make sense within the story. Matsu is portrayed as the noble thief. He may steal, but he’s doing it all to repay the debts that were paid to him to save his son. by a store owner. Before, we’ve already seen that when he operates alone, he becomes very reckless. He’s only the careful Matsu when guided by Yaichi, and I think that Yaichi knows this very well.

What made this episode for me however were again the tiny things, like the interplay between Masa and Yaich, and how at first sight Masa might be another one of those wimps, though his lines are all surprisingly calculated and sharp. This episode also stressed how important the friendship is in keeping Goyou together. I mean, if Yaichi wasn’t there, there would be no reason to keep doing it. Instead, everyone is acting not just out of loyalty and admiration of Yaichi (which only seems to be the case for Matsu), but also out of loyalty for each other. Masa is indeed very interested about Yaichi, but he has also gotten attached to Ume and Otake. Ume on the other hand actually nearly left, however due to what happened to Matsu he just couldn’t leave.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 28 May 2010 with categories: Sarai-ya Goyou



Oh my god… Tomomi Mochizuki might actually be surpassing himself with this series. Within seven episodes, he managed to put as much meaning into its characters as what Porfy no Nagai Tabi took 26. He’s got such a great sense of realism and character-development, and it also really helps that aside from directing he also did the series composition so that he could really put forth his vision of the manga. And on top of that it’s just awesome to see what a great manga he got to adopt. After having seen two of her stories now I really have to say that she’s a genius at characterization.

This episode again: from the outside the scenario was just about a few mundane tasks: Masa running away from a fight, him starting to train under that other older samurai, etc. From just those sentences it looks like a cheap shounen series, but just about every scene in this show was focused on putting as much meaning as possible in these events. A simple plot of Ume gets a ton of extra side-effects: it was his way of getting Yaichi to pay a visit to Masa. Yaichi knew very much that Ume was lying about Masa’s condition, but went anyway. He knew that he would be recognized, but at the same time he knew that it wouldn’t be that big of a problem since the old man wouldn’t tell much. And yet hints about his past were bound to be dropped here. It’s like he’s getting Masa to learn a bit more about him… but only a bit, nothing too much.

The characters here are nowhere near stupid. They’re very observant about each other. Masa himself knew very well that Yaichi had to have some sort of criminal past, and not just as some rogue bandit. You can really see him trying to get through to Yaichi, whether this is out of admiration, fear or something else still remains a bit of a question. Yaichi on the other hand can really notice Masa’s mood change as he gets to know more about him, and thus more afraid.

At the same time this episode was also very much about Masa’s self-loathing, or perhaps that’s a bit too big of a word. Either way, he’s being held back of an interesting career because of his personality, and knows it. The fight in this episode at which he ran away also really showed that he’s a guy who really keeps clinging to the past. As this is in his case a rather bad past (he had to cope being a samurai with that personality of his), he has a ton of anxieties, especially when alone and there being no reason for him to actually be tough.

This episode also gave a very interesting dimension to the older samurai and the graves he visited. The anecdotes he told about the people he lost were interesting yet down to earth, not to mention that that cliff-hanger was an interesting one. It’s obvious that there can be more dogs called Scruffy, but it is one gnawing cliff-hanger nevertheless.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 20 May 2010 with categories: Sarai-ya Goyou




This series just continues to amaze me. At first the plot of this series seemed a bit mundane, about the every day lives of a band of criminals, but the situations here just sparkle with creativity here: everything just fits, and it takes full advantage of the fact that the characters here are criminals. They don’t present them as some kind of chivalrous thieves (even though they started out that way), and stress that the creators are fully aware of their actions. This especially shines through Masa, who still isn’t sure about whether or not to turn them down, especially since they treated him so genuinely nice.

I also loved how this episode comes to bite back at Ume, when the creditor of the guy of the previous episode started wondering where the hell he could get all that money from. I really love how the antagonists here aren’t stupid: they can think for themselves, and if it wasn’t for Masa he would have caused a great deal of trouble. By the way, I loved that shot in which Masa pointed his katana to his neck. That was so incredibly well animated.

Then Yaichi. He was a bit absent during the past two episodes, but the end of the episode came with a very interesting revelation: he and the old man knew each other. I suspected that something was fishy when it turned out that Yaichi never even once visited him, but to think that they were so much of an acquaintance. This does explain why he became involved with five leaves, though. Another very sneaky way.

I really like how this episode also forced Ume to think about his commitments to Five Leaves, especially since this indirectly caused so much trouble in this episode. At the same time you can also guess that Yaichi also put a lot of time into thinking whether or not to visit Masa. In this way, nearly every character here is forced to make certain choices.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 13 May 2010 with categories: Sarai-ya Goyou




That was… amazing. Seriously, talk about a powerful episode, this series is just getting better and better with every episode.

The pacing was slow… but this really allowed the characters to show their best sides. After only five episodes it’s astounding to see how much the creators have already fleshed out the characters. The conversations here felt natural: it felt like Ume and Matsu talked about their pasts and problems, rather than it just being exposition for the story. It really was a chance for the characters to get to know each other better. It’s really one of the things I love about this series: screw exposition, every sentence is meant to give these people a richer character.

I also love how the creators handled Masa’s sickness. For once it isn’t the dreaded “anime cold” that’s over within a day, and instead of trying to create cheap drama with it, the creators focus on Ume and Matsu and the rest of the cast instead. Yaichi hardly played a role either. Matsu’s part in particular hit me, with how genuine it felt from the otherwise so distant guy that the previous episodes showed him as. Even when he got saved by Yaichi.

What’s also interesting is that Ume has also become a lot kinder to Masa, compared to how cold he was in the first few episodes. And yet Masa himself hasn’t changed yet: perhaps hampered by that sickness of his, he’s still the guy who hardly says anything.

You know, this season I’ve really been hard-pressed to point out my favourite. There are three shows that equally excel for me: Yojou-han, Sarai-ya Goyou and Giant Killing. With this episode however, this series has set the standards really high for the other two. While it has the disadvantage that it’s only got 12 episodes, it’s really not wasting any time to bring life to its characters. And while these two series have their unique points that Goyou doesn’t have, I’m getting more and more confident to say that Sarai-ya Goyou has the best characters of the entire season.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 7 May 2010 with categories: Sarai-ya Goyou



This series just surpassed itself. This really was a wonderful episode that wasted no time to get to the bottom of its characters, this episode was all about subtle hints at the background of various characters. We learn about how Matsu met Yaichi, and also that Otake knew him for the longest.

But the best thing about this episode was again the interplay between Masa and Yaichi. The way in which Masa tries to find out more about the Masa who never talks about his past was really well portrayed. Especially when Masa hit the nail on the head: Yaichi doesn’t seem to be doing the kidnappings for the money. The way he throws around money… it’s just as if he’s asking for it to run out faster so that he can do another job.

Then consider what Matsu said: he has really changed. Could it be that this change started when he started the kidnappings? Like Ume said, they haven’t done even 10 of them, and Yaichi was already involved with three of them, so they probably started quite recently. Because of whatever caused him to change, he started getting interested in Masa, and doing stuff that wouldn’t really be important contrary to what he would have done when Matsu first met him. Either that, or Matsu always had the wrong image of him: you never hear the other characters talk about his change.

On another note, it’s a shame that even though Noitamina is currently so well written and produced, with Sarai-ya Goyou and Yojou-han, the tv ratings have reached a depth for the series. 1.7%… that’s even less than Kuchuu Buranko. I have a hard time grasping the cause for this, actually. Noitamina has always been a timeslot that was also popular amongst non-anime fans.

It seems that the best-rated shows of the time-slot play in modern settings. There are exceptions, like the early Honey and Clover and Paradise Kiss, which aired when the time-slot was still young, and Hakaba Kitarou (the best rated Noitamina show ever), which made use of its huge nostalgia factor, but Nodame Cantabile, Moyashimon and Hataraki Man all are about down to earth characters that anyone could relate with. The same with Eden of the East and Tokyo Magnitude: it’s very easy to relate to these characters. And I guess that that’s something that Yojou-han and Sarai-ya Goyou do not have: it’s hard for your average person to sympathize with a bunch of kidnappers, or a ridiculously fast talking loser. This trend is probably going to continue for the next summer. And don’t get me wrong, I’m really looking forward to Shiki, but again: it doesn’t look like the mainstream will have much to relate to there either.

It’s interesting how the people in charge of Noitamina don’t seem to be marketing geniuses. And that’s a shame, because Noitamina is such a great timeslot because it has proven that in order to go mainstream, you can also appeal to adults: instead of trying to win viewers with panty-shots and yelling teenagers, it has shown time and time again that anime is also very appealing for adults. While I love Sarai-ya Goyou and Yojou-han, I’m a bit sad that they’re doing so badly in the ratings, defeating the entire purpose of the timeslot. The thing I’m worried about isn’t exactly Noitamina changing, but rather that the ratings will end up in a downwards spiral, causing it to get cancelled. That’s what I’m most afraid of.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

CHANGE USERNAME
Konstantinos Travlos
Hmm the "The Man who Knew 75 Languages" reminds me of the game "The Last Express". Great game. Definitely interested.
Anonymous1056824
moster keaton
Anonymous1056607
ditective conan
AidanAK47
@Anon, Pretty sure you are just trying to pick a fight more than defend the show but a decent show to me would be one that is deeply flawed but enjoyable to some degree. Sagrada reset is not this. It goes out of it's way to be unenjoyable. To me it's a 3/4 out of 10 show. Interesting concept but with a presentation so alien that the viewer can't empathise with anything on screen.
Lenlo
I mean, decent warrants about a 5-6. That, in theory, should be an "Average" show.
Anonymous1055365
It's a decent show. You're being overly critical.
SuperMario
In the Out of Competition slot (you think that I'm finished?), 2 films in particular that catch my interest are the Korean Lost in the Moonlight which looks like a fun and lightheart adventure, and the Norway-Poland co-production adult-oriented The Man who Knew 75 Languagues about the star-crossed love between the Queen of Romania and a titular man, I guess
SuperMario
Rounding up the Main Competition are Animal Crackers, a 3G American family film which I don't have good feeling about; Big Fish and Begonia - a Chinese indie film that divided the critics, but gathered skyhigh commercial success in its mainland China; and finally Zombillenium which sounds like an enjoyable European children film
SuperMario
From other countries, most notable films are the Loving Vincent - the first feature length hand painting; the Chinese black comedy Have a Nice Day that premiered in Berlin earlier this year; Ethel and Ernest which already gained a strong reviews from the UK; Tehran Taboo- a German production about the lives of 3 women in Iranian community, which sound exactly like my kinda of film.
SuperMario
Alright, I'm here to bring you news about the selection of this coming Annecy AKA one of the best animation festival out there. 3 of anime features: A Slient Voice, In the Corner of the World and Masaaki Yuasa's Lu over the Wall will compete for the main competition.
SuperMario
I'm a fan of thought-provoking anime (see Lain, Boogiepop Phantom) but I need to care about the story and characters first before I make an effort to dig deeper to the theme. Sagrada Reset failed on that fronts.
SuperMario
It's not really about being smart/dumb here. As a creator, they already have an advantage to know how the story and plot will play out. I don't mind this advantage because otherwise the plot will become a hot mess. But don't use that advantage as a way to widen the gap between them and the audience.
AidanAK47
Ugh...Ray Gigant was pretty much mediocre up until this point but now it;s utterly asinine. Whoever decided on this endgame needs to be fired. When you are ready to end a game, no player want a ten floor dungion with a boss on each floor coupled with a goddamn boss rush halfway. Just...fuck.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It must be worse than oremo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw some pages of the eromanga sensei manga and my reaction was that I was sad that it actually existed and stated "why would you even" after looking at it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an anime example, sekaisuru kado has lots of dialogue but it seems like it could actually be engaging.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So basically no I don't think we're dumb for not liking sagrada reset, given that myself and Mario are capable of watching genuinely smart wordy things and getting them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I can imagine watching Sagrada reset and thinking I'd rather be watching a Bergman film instead , something also with lots of dialogue and themes but actually engaging/clever and NOT pretentious or obnoxious about it.
Anonymous1054942
is it possible that you are all just dumb?
Anonymous1054269
@Mario: I like how you described it as giving a middle finger to the viewers. It's so true. Like, it tries to be intelligent and make the viewer feel stupid, but it just comes off as obnoxious/pretentious.
Lenlo
CGI remains the worst part of it, but we are getting more and more 2D art which I actually enjoy the style of
Lenlo
Its an improvement. The art is better, and maybe its because I prefer this arc, but the pacing is better as well. I gave last season a 3, but this one is more deserving of a 4 and if they can nail certain scenes coming up I may bump it to a 5.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: How's Berserk doing so far? Haven't picked up last week and this week's episodes.
Lenlo
Ground*. I hate it when I fat finger something.
Lenlo
Thats always the worst, when a story starts off promising and then someone runs it into the grouhnd
AidanAK47
@Mario, so it's still at it. To me it's like someone was given an interesting story and made it his mission to ruin it as much as possible.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it's still the same crap. I have a feeling that Sagrada Reset gives a middle finger to us viewers. The plot with development and characters that we have no way to figure out ourselves. The characters who change motive and even personality after each timeline. The main lead girl who act like a robot. I gave this show too many chance so I won't bother to spend more time watching it.
Anonymous1052767
Eromanga sensei
AidanAK47
@Mario, Oh ho, what was the dealbreaker? Just that it didn't change or did something really stupid happen?
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset (long sigh) (scratching my head) (eyes rolling). Dropped
AidanAK47
Hey you.
Konstantinos
Yeah, at this point, this season looks good.
SuperMario
Quite happy with ID-0 and Zero in particular. Zero charms me to no end that I'm still debating whether I should blog it. The trio Re:Creators, Kado, Atom still doing pretty well and the sequels MHA and Bahamut are enjoyable as expected. We have a wide range of anime offerings this season.
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset & SukaSuka I will give it another episode, at least until this current arcs over. They both have potential but Sagrada Reset tries so hard to sound smart, and SukaSuka still falls into its LN tropes which bugged the show down.
SuperMario
*no real urge
SuperMario
I've finally catch up with all other series I wanna follow this season. Alice & Zorouku will be off my list for now, Zorouko is a great character but everything else falls flat so far. I have real urge to continue Attack on Titan and Berserk so I'll wait until they're finished.
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
Anonymous1017501
and nobody's covering it lol
Anonymous1017501
Like dramatically
Anonymous1017501
It really is much better
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