Posted on 22 November 2011 with categories: Tamayura



Well, this was the episode that still needed to come: the episode about Shihomi and Hoboro. If this show really wanted to have an all-round cast, an episodes that focuses on them was inevitable. The creators handled it well in the way that they took Potte to a friend of theirs from high school. It’s a bit more subtle to get to know them than usual for this series.

What I liked about this episode the most is that they used someone else to flesh out these two characters. That worked quite well, and it’s not as formulaic as you’d expect. Still, the formula remains there. Ideally you’d want to weave all things like this right through each other. This episode did do that with that other Kou fangirl whose name I forgot. Before the real material of this episode started we saw her also picking up photography, and even though this wasn’t her episode, she has been getting more and more bearable with every episode.

Eight episodes in, and closing off the second third of this series, the animation still is quite good here. The best animated series was probably episode 2, but even then there is a ton of movement in this series with hardly any still frames outside of pictures. What’s more though: the characters here have a lot of freedom in their movements. On one hand the animation is smooth, so it looks like the characters are really moving, and on the other hand they do move enough to really come alive.

This show has no action scenes, nor any climaxes that it needs to save its money shots for (in fact, the money shots of this show are very often still backgrounds), so it can just spend an equal amount to all of its scenes. But I think that this is an interesting comparison to series with action, who often don’t spend a lot of attention on their quiet scenes. Even though scenes like that can also bring the characters in question to life if they’re well animated. This series is a really good example of how to do that.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 14 November 2011 with categories: Tamayura



Now this was pretty much my favorite episode of Tamayura so far. It was just one huge chunk of atmosphere, and it had an absolutely wonderful balance between doing nothing, and heart-warming moments. That’s really my favorite type of slice of life series: the ones who can achieve as much as possible, while remaining as down to earth as possible.

Most festival episodes, whether they are town festival, school festival or sports festival episodes, have this nasty tendency of appearing everywhere. Most of them unfortunately have devolved into randomly picking a bunch of events from a list of things you normally do at those events, and lumping them together as if it’s some sort of obligation. This episode created a festival with character. At its core it’s nothing new: remembering the dead is something as old as mankind itself. But this festival felt part of Takehara. It’s something that everyone really wanted to share with Potte, and the impending rain was used really well, while at the same time this episode showed some good restraint in not making the drama around it too heavy.

This episode just did a wonderful job of bringing the cast together. We even saw some characters of the OVA again, but even beyond that, this festival’s purpose beyond remembering the dead is bonding people together.

This just shows that this series is made by a team that’s really well versed in how a slice of life series works. Comparing it to Aria, I’d at the moment rate it around Aria the Natural’s level: it feels much tighter put together unlike The Animation, but the character-development is nowhere near The Origination. Compared to The Natural meanwhile, it’s a bit less impressive in terms of originality of both its overall setting and scenarios, but makes up for it by being much easier to sit through (oh lord, trying to watch that entire series took some effort…).
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 8 November 2011 with categories: Tamayura



Now this was just adorable.

Okay, it was an entire episode dedicated to the whistling, but it also showed a lot about who Maon was in the past, and how she got to know the rest of the main cast. At first I thought that we’d first get some more episodes dedicated to the rest of the characters, but things didn’t turn out to be that formulaic.

This really was a past episode: the present made no appearance in it whatsoever, contrary to episode 01. It first shows a moment in which all of the members of the cast just happened to bump into each other, and then jumps to the part when she makes friends with… Norie of all people. It’s a very good way to flesh out not just Maon, but the entire cast. And as annoying as the whistling may be at times: it’s no longer a random gimmick with this.

Now, there are seven DVDs scheduled for this series, which are pointing towards 13 episodes in the end. That means that next week will pass the halfway point of this series. I’ve been hammering on this, but right now this series is very charming. The second half needs to use this to grow even more. It’s the perfect set-up for this kind of series. I realize that I’m gambling here, but with the nature of this series it can in theory do great things.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 1 November 2011 with categories: Tamayura



It’s not like Tamayura is the perfect slice of life series. there are the characters who sometimes are a bit annoying, and I also really dislike how it draws its cats. I think that this is a trend that started with Azumanga Daioh, but I really wish that anime would draw cats like… actual cats, rather than just blobs. The other extreme of this is of course Kimi to Boku, which does have normal looking cats, only they serve no purpose whatsoever in the series.

However, when I think that only half a year, I tried to give shows like A-Channel and Yuruyuri a chance, I really have to praise this show for avoiding their pitfalls and instead of immediately losing all inspiration and turning into a slew of unfunny repeated lesbian and boob jokes, this one stays true to itself and continues to develop its characters. The same goes for Kimi to Boku, by the way.

This episode it was the turn for Fu’s mother and childhood friend. It is a very nice touch for her mother to be a former biker, and I’m glad that the creators took their time to show a bit of her as well. In any case, this probably means that we’ll have two or three more character-focused episodes (Kou, Kaoru, and possibly Sayomi). After that, it’s the point where this show can really set itself apart… hopefully.

In any case, The atmosphere still works: it’s this light-hearted kind of mood that doesn’t get broken even with Norie ranting at her fullest. That is what I believe holds this series above Kimi to Boku. Both shows are very solid slice of life, but Kimi to Boku just tends to break its mood whenever the yellow-haired guy opens his mouth. Kimi to Boku on the other hand has a more creative flow with its drama. It’s ironic, but the more these shows go on, the more similarities I find…
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 28 October 2011 with categories: Tamayura



Ah, screw it. Guilty Crown is hereby dropped from blogging. I’m still going to watch it, but I don’t want to blog about it anymore. Here’s the thing with it: it’s perhaps not as bad as say Majikoi or Maken-Ki, but it’s Noitamina. Not only that, but it has been given the rare privilege of 22 episodes. It should be more ambitious with that. My standards for this timeslot are very high, and I unfortunately have to say: these past three episodes were the most generic opening episodes of any Noitamina series I have seen.

As for a replacement: I’m not going to do Bakuman because of how it’s shounen jump, and I have some rather bad experiences with Jump adaptations after Gintama, Sket Dance, Toriko and Nurarihyon no Mago… and in any case there is the rare slice of life series that’s not based on any kind of manga or original material, and has Sato Junichi behind it. It’s also a good opportunity for me to find out why I have such a bipolar taste when it comes to the “group of girls living their daily lives”-genre. Seriously, I like shows as Tamayura, Aria and Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru a lot, but shows as A-Channel, Nichijou and Working never caught my attention.

In any case, what really helps is how much time this show focuses on fleshing out its characters. It doesn’t just have its cast do random stuff, but always tries to put meaning to what they do, fleshing them out in the process. The animation on top of that is really good, bringing the characters surprisingly to life. This episode was the same, and it was dedicated to Mao. She got a lot of depth here, which is great to see.

What I really hope to see in the second half of this series is that this series will make use of its format of being anime original, to really play with some of the conventions of its genre. It has the staff to do it; Sato Junichi will be able to pull it off, so I really hope that the creators will try this. It’s already doing a great job here to bring its characters alive.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 3 October 2011 with categories: Phi Brain, Some Quick First Impressions, Tamayura

Kimi to Boku

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is an average high school boy.
Agh! Why does this air on the exact. same. date as Tamayura?! I mean, it has its qualities on its own, but when it airs right after what in the end is a superior slice of life series it is in real danger of just being overshadowed. Still, despite that Kimi to Boku has this strange kind of catchiness. It suffered from trying to be too ironic, its characters still stick a bit too much to their stereotypes (which especially sticks out with such a small cast of only four characters), but the dialogue between them in the end was quite enjoyable. These guys are down to earth, and in any case it’s good to see another slice of life series that is in no danger of being overrun by boob jokes. There’s a scene of their past together, which is also a good sign and this episode was also good at portraying things going on in the background. This will probably be a very uneventful series that fleshes its characters out through its dialogue, and based on that, this episode did well and has the potential to last through 26 episodes.
OP: Another boring ballad. The use of photographs again does not help after seeing Tamayura do this so much better…
ED: A bunch of (admittedly good) drawings, with another dull song.
Potential: 75%

Tamayura ~ Hitotose

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is just a regular teenager.
Yes! Yes! Yes! The creators actually did it! Instead of just continuing with showing just a bunch of random sketches around the main cast, this entire episode was dedicated to the past of the main female character. Not only do we get to see her in the days when she was away from the rest of the main cast, but they also made clever use of that she’s a photographer. Throughout the episode we got to see a bunch of slide-shows, which did a wonderful job of painting a picture of her childhood. The writing in this episode also was great, combining slice of life and realistic dialogue with subtle morals and life lessons. Sato Junichi really is on fire this season, and it’s almost unfair competition to Kimi to Boku with how good this was. This really is what I want from a slice of life series: realistic characters, visible growth, and plenty of scenes to relate to. Knowing the creators we’re not going to get a slew of boob jokes or other bad comedy, nor was the drama in this episode forced or cheesy. Really, ideally every episode needs to be like this.
OP: Fits the series perfectly, is well sung, and again makes great use of photography.
ED: The singer is a bit weak, but the use of photographs once again is great.
Potential: 85%

Phi Brain

Short Synopsis: Our lead character solves puzzles.
Yeah. This was pretty much the best opening episode of the new season to me. I mean, this is a series with a strange premise: the main character is really tempted by just puzzles. But that’s the thing: it’s creative, and it showed in this episode. While the main characters solves sudoku puzzles like its nothing (yes, there is sudoku in this show), the larger puzzles are these huge imaginative contraptions that are well made and have interesting solutions. Waht really sold me on this series however, is how expressive it is. It’s got the best OP of the season, the best ED, the best character-designs (even including the series that still have to air), and most importantly: the animation and voice acting brought the characters to life. The female lead is actually a damsel in distress who is useful: on one hand she’s there to increase tension, but she’s also more athletic and more observant than the male lead, who in his turn also isn’t your average shounen hero. He thankfully is miles away from the usual whiny and hot blooded main character. The music is excellent, the pacing rocks. You can really see Sato Junichi at work here.
OP: Best of the season so far. Solid song and great visuals.
ED: Nice use of a puzzle-like slide show.
Potential: 90%

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:05 PM)
    @Bam: Actually let me rephrase
    I meant that you will like: http://letterboxd.com/film/the-company-of-wolves/
    Because it is fairyrale inspired
    Because you liked brotherhood of the wolf and tale of tales.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:02 PM)
    @Bam: I meant tale of tales =)
    @Mario: My usual ratings are ***/***1/2 rating and ****
    Generally that indicates a film is kind good/good or great.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 04:17 PM)
    The one liner Dialogue is getting on my nerves, the lack of a great villain characterisation(Zemo is a step in the right direction but still not enough) and most of all that each movie is setup to a another movie.
    Deadpool was a step in the right direction(Yep I knew it was fox and not disney) and was as good as it was because it shook things up. At the moment marvel movies are just too…safe.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 04:13 PM)
    @Bam, I am very much in agreement. I like what the marvel cinematic universe has done but things are getting out of hand. They have prefected the superhero formula too well and it’s causing the flims to be popcorn fodder. I am walking out of their movies admiting that I enjoyed them but I don’t really think I will remember them highly. Plus the thrends of the movies are really starting to bug me.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:27 PM)
    Deadpool belongs to Fox, not Disney, but there are rumors circling of the two studios opening up to negotiation. The success of Spiderman Homecoming will greatly precipitate another such lucrative cooperation.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:23 PM)
    I have yet to see Civil War, but by every new entry their colorful feel-good flicks are starting to become too derivative and cliche. It feels like as if they’re doing the same story arc over and over again. It’s almost lazy at this point, if you ask me, and they really need to Shae things up.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:18 PM)
    @Aidan: such high praise. So Marvel did in a cameo what Sony failed to do in 5 movies. I hate the massive bandwagon that Marvel is steering, but I’m not the kind of hipster contrarian that hates on things just for their mainstream appeal, so I give them credit for doing things right; despite the fact that they really go out their way to please the masses. Their love and respect for the material far outshines their prerogative of their by the book fan-pleasing.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 12:21 PM)
    Also like how they differed him from the other fast talkers of the universe. Deadpool is pure insane comedy, Ant man has this sarcastic awkward thing going on and Spiderman is like the nerdy fanboy. I would love to see a movie with all three together as it would be pure comic gold.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 12:18 PM)
    @bam, I was taken back by him at first. I wasn’t used to seeing Spiderman and especially aunt May look so young. I thought he was too bumbling in the beginning but as I watched on he just clicked. He has the nerdy nature of Tobies Peter Parker and the spitfire commentary of Garfield’s Spiderman. He’s spot on perfect.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 10:05 AM)
    I was staying clean for a drug test, and during this hiatus I completely fell out of anime. Surely enough, as soon as I resumed burning again I also started getting into some of this season’s shows. I wonder if there’s a direct correlation, or just a byproduct of having some free time again. I’m interested in comparing my experience to others, but (un)fortunately nobody here seems to share my vices.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 05

So Subaru has started his first repeat of this arc and at least this time he’s quick to come to terms with it. Though it is nice to see that he hasn’t shrugged off the progress he made getting wiped out without warning. But this time at least he’s at least making a plan and […]

Kiznaiver – 04

There are certain advantages to keeping your plot in the dark when storytelling. In the beginning stages when your audience is most attentive, if you manage to present questions they are interested in seeing answered then it provides a reason for the viewer to keep watching. However this tactic only continues to work as long […]

Flying witch – 04

Flying witch again delivers strong material this week and I actually think this is their best episode so far. Mostly because the 2 parts are well connected this week, and our new character Inuka is so natural and fit in like a glove, in addition they have an absurd and whimsical story to boost. I […]

Mayoiga – 05

We now back to the status quo on Mayoiga this week, as the group who left the village decided to come back, and the cliffhanger happened last week was never explained probably. I will say this upfront: this is not a good episode. We don’t learn much after it ends. We have even longer conversations […]

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – 03

                There are no brakes on the Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress train even when it goes for a pit stop to pick up some water and say a prayer for the dead. While my fellow writers firmly believe that Koutetsujou no Kabaneri will disintegrate into a trainwreck […]

Bungou Stray Dogs – 04

Bungou Stray Dogs sure never get tired to showcase more new characters every week, and judging from the OP I’m certain that there are more to come. This week there are 3 more new faces and each of them is over the top in their own ways, but that turns out to be for good […]

Joker Game – 04

I am starting to get a little worried about Joker Game. After a very strong start it’s gone down in quality once it revealed it’s episodic format. This episode marks the lowest point of the series so far though I still don’t think of it as bad. Rather than focus on a member of the […]

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 04

Despite nearly dying our protagonist wakes up out of the loop and now in the mansion of a strange clown like fellow with twin maids. The mansion looks to be Emilia’s home and we not look to be in a new time loop as evidenced by the last scene where it appears that Subaru was […]

Kiznaiver – 03

So this episode was an introduction to our new seventh Kiznaiver who looks to be a roguish shut in with a pendent for self harm. Adding a masochist to a group that shares pain is certainly a dilemma but I wonder just how they plan to make use of him in the plot. Considering that […]

Latest Reviews

Schwarzesmarken – 65/100

Schwarzesmarken is a strange title in that it has a setting with fantastic potential yet the story is dampened by a rushed pacing and Missing characterisation. Despite this there are signs of a greater story under the hood and at times that story can shine despite haphazard adaption. The Stasi make for a great villain […]

Boku dake ga Inai Machi – 85/100

In the large reservoir of anime it is surprising just how few titles focus on the concept of time travel. There are of course titles which feature time travel but few that make it the core focus. So here we have Boku Machi or ERASED, a tale about a mangaka time traveling to his childhood […]

Gangsta. – 58/100

Gangsta is an anime with a lot of things going for it. A mature cast, gritty themes, a interesting setting and a trio of main characters who can carry the show. However due to a number of factors it never quite reached its potential. The main trio of characters are unconventional and quite interesting with […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 80/100

Gakkou is one with a good facade as promotional material would have you believe it was some dime a dozen moe slice of life. I was one who wasn’t fooled by the cute cuddly exterior but I was truly surprised with just how good this anime ended up being. Gakkou is one of those rare […]

Little Witch Academia The Enchanted Parade – 81/100

I wonder when it was that a film being childish became a flaw. As a medium grows it takes steps to aim to mature itself and seek a more intellectual level of presenting entertainment. Animation did it as Anime aimed to explore terrontry that cartoons refuse to explore and video games only recently broke away […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks Review – 85/100

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided […]

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]