Posted on 18 September 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0



One thing I love about watching anime is that sometimes, there are these series that come from absolutely nowhere and blow you away. Tokyo Magnitude is one of those series. It’s based on a “what-if” scenario: what if modern-day Tokyo were to be hit by a massive earthquake? This actually is a very likely scenario: it turns out that there is a 70% chance that Tokyo will be hit by an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 in the next 30 years.

Tokyo Magnitude shows that even in the city that is probably the most well-prepared city for an earthquake, it would still be plunged into chaos if an major earthquake actually were to take place. Tons of people would end up either dead or injured, even more people would lose their homes. The creators end up portraying this sense of chaos and despair incredibly well.

The series follows three people in particular: two siblings Mirai and Yuki and an adult called Mari, however that doesn’t stop the creators from showing how everyone else is doing. They make really well use of their budget to create an identity for every single passer-by: they take care in emphasizing that every single person in the background was also just a regular person who also was hit by the earthquake, who also may or may not have lost someone, or might be separated from his or her loved ones. This series really managed to create a setting that feels real, in which just about everything is filled with details that make the setting come alive. Figuratively, of course.

The first half of the series is mainly this, while the second half, in which the chaos tones down a bit, changes the direction of the setting in a character-study of the lead characters. I’m not going to spoil exactly what happens, but both halves are equally bittersweet. You do need to know that the second half does this at the sacrifice of a bit of realism, though. The second half is much quieter in comparison to the chaotic first half, but that really allows the plot to be very subtly developed, and the emotions to sink in.

The biggest flaw of this series is a little disclaimer at the start of each episode, which claims that this series is as realistic as possible. While this series is indeed very realistic (more realistic than like, 98% of all other anime out there), there are points that could not have happened in real life. Besides, it’s a rather pretentious disclaimer anyway: instead of telling us it’s realistic, we’d rather like to be able to judge ourselves.

Nevertheless, at this point Tokyo Magnitude has the potential to remain a classic in anime. It’s believable, depressing, but also uplifting, fresh and inspired. There’s been a lot of discussion going on whether or not this series took the right turns along the way, but personally for me, it has been an amazing series. Most people who know this blog will know that I’m already a big fan of the Noitamina timeslot. Aside from Honey and Clover, I’ve seen every single show that came out of it, and Tokyo Magnitude has become my favourite series out of all of them.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 10/10
Posted on with categories: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0



Haha! Another show with a very satisfying ending. This episode was bittersweet, and I think that everyone who managed to keep his/her suspense of disbelief is going to find it an excellent conclusion. In this episode, Mirai comes to terms with what happened to Yuki, she meets her parents, and attempts to continue her life. While most conclusions in anime are a bit lackluster, this episode was in no way inferior to the rest of this amazing series.

But damn, I don’t think that I’ve ever had such a heated discussion going on as for the past few episodes. Personally though, I wasn’t bothered by Mirai’s hallucinations. Instead, I just see this series as fiction, with a very high degree of believability. For me, there were only three points that seemed forced: Mari who just happened to run into her co-worker as she collapsed, the point where Mirai was trying to save the trapped robot and nearly died herself, and the point at which Tokyo Tower nearly collapsed on Mirai but Yuki managed to save her. Nevertheless, in any other show this would just be anal nitpicking.

Thinking back though, the whole Yuki vs. Mirai relationship seems to be much deeper than I originally thought. I mean, we all thought that this would be a series in which the initially bratty Mirai would grow up and take care of her brother. However, this happened already in the second episode. After that, these whole themes reversed, and it was actually Yuki who took care of Mirai; it could be seen as his way to repay Mirai for saving him, he kept her out of danger, he saved her from the Tokyo Tower and the accident with the falling robot. He was the one who tried to cheer her up when she was feeling down.

And even when he died, his hallucination continued this trend: he safely guided her back home, and slowly tried to make her understand that he died. The question remains of course, what the real intention from the creators was. Was the Yuki meant to be taken as symbolism, something like a guardian angel, or did Mirai subconsciously create something that would guide her back home safely until she would be out of danger? Are those options realistic? Nah, not really. Are they believable? For me, they are.

It’s always a bit of a gamble for a series to go into a different direction. The first half of this series was clearly different from the second, as this series changed from a detailed look at how a major city reacts after being hit by a major earthquake, to a character-study of Mirai. In my opinion, these changes can work as long as the new direction has enough to offer, which was definitely the case with this series for me. It was a nice gamble in any case: if the creators would just have continued with the same direction as the first half, we definitely would have gotten a more realistic end, but at the same time, I don’t think that it would have been as memorable of an ending as right now.

Also, on a side-note: I love how the creators actually spent time in creating distinct character-designs for Mirai and her family throughout the years, rather than simply being lazy and just creating a bunch of mini-versions of their characters, like a lot of anime seem to do. Very nice.

Overall, Tokyo Magnitude, as amazing as it was, didn’t end up being my favourite series of 2009. Birdy the Mighty Decode in the end was better for me. It however has a good chance of showing up in my top 5 for this year, unless a lot of really good shows shows happen to air in the upcoming Autumn Season. But for now, let’s just assume that that won’t happen.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 12 September 2009 with categories: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0



Oh my god. This episode was just… incredible. It’s because of episodes like this that I still remain a fan of anime, even after watching hundreds of series. It’s series as this one that just keep me coming back, and make it all worth it.

The way this episode played out… it just allowed for the best way to show Mirai coming to understand that her brother is actually dead. We knew this for a few episodes by now, so it wasn’t the revelation or shock of his death that made this episode so powerful, but instead it was just Mirai’s character who carried this entire episode. Yuki’s illusion started to waver when Mirai met Yuki’s best friend. I think that at first, she was unconsciously confusing the two boys with each other, and therefore didn’t see the two of them at the same time at first, but eventually she did start talking to Yuki once she got used to his friend being there.

The sad thing wasn’t just Mirai realizing the death of her brother, but rather the subtle differences between the dead Yuki and the remains of the real Yuki: the things he wrote and did when he was still alive. It was really heart-wrenching to see how Mirai unconsciously tried to fit in her image of Yuki with the things he did, still refusing to admit that he was dead.

Whether or not this is realistic, I don’t know. I’m not a psychiatrist, I can only relate to what sounds plausible to me. Still, at the same time that doesn’t mean that there’s no gray area. Anime for me has always been a combination between fiction and realism, with the more realistic, or I guess that “believable” is the better word, usually being the most enjoyable for me.

A slightly spoilerific example, but excellent to illustrate the decision of the creators to insert a not-so-realistic plot twist in this series is Porfy no Nagai Tabi. It’s in many areas similar to Tokyo Magnitude: both feature two siblings, caught up in an earthquake, both feature a lot of realism, both involve travelling to get back to a family member you’ve been torn apart from, and both have females who were left with mental illnesses after the quake (in Porfy’s case, Mina loses all of her personality and memory).

Anyway, Porfy no Nagai Tabi was also incredibly realistic. Perhaps even more than Tokyo Magnitude because its length is nearly five times larger. However, when the final arc starts, a plot twist happens that’s in no single way realistic. There’s no way for something that convenient to happen. Does it ruin the anime, however? No. Instead, it really allowed the characters to get the best out of their development. With Tokyo Magnitude it’s the same: sure, we may not often see perfectly realistic illusions of our dead ones around us. But does that make this series any less incredible? For me, it absolutely doesn’t!
Rating: **** (Fantastic)

Posted on 4 September 2009 with categories: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0



Oh my god. I’m just… at a loss for words after this episode. This episode was just beyond sad. I’ve been a huge fan of Noitamina for years now, and I have watched every single of its shows aside from Honey and Clover. But damn, this series has a good chance to be the best thing that Noitamina ever brought forth…

Now that we’ve finally arrived at the last part of the story, it’s time for all of the build-up to pay off. IE: it’s time for this series to get back to the amazing quality of the first five episodes. Mari gets home this time, and starts looking for her mother and daughter. At first sight, they appear dead, but eventually they turn out to have survived in one of the most heart-wrenching reunions. Usually when anime try to play around with “is he dead or not”, this feels rather cheap, but within the context of this series it becomes downright scary. With so many people dead, and at the same time so many survivors left not knowing what happened. There’s no way of telling who might have survived or not. Heck, are we even sure that Mirai’s parents survived?

Speaking of which: OMG at the cliff-hanger at the end. Mirai and Yuuki have actually decided to travel to their homes ALONE!? Taken into account what happened to Yuuki in the previous episode… how the heck are the creators going to end this?! Probably the most evil thing of this episode was that even though Yuuki is most likely SPOILER just about everything kept Red Herringing around him.

I now see why I was so disappointed with episode 6 and 7: with such an amazing start, I expected the rest of the series to be also this consistent in quality, while in fact they were meant as a calm before the storm: they were meant to build up, and take it easy a bit for the finale. I’ve indeed been incredibly stupid thinking that this series was going to jump the shark in its second half. This episode was utterly amazing, and the final two episodes… wow… just wow.
Rating: **** (Fantastic)

Posted on 28 August 2009 with categories: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0



The past two episodes of this series made me think a lot about the nature of criticism. Especially after the previous episode, which I slammed down for having Yuki supposedly collapse for cheap drama, even though it’s not that weird for people to get sick in these situations. I also remember people who weren’t happy with that episode because it included robots. But yeah, then you have things as this: is it still unrealistic and unbelievable when it’s being used in real life?

I think that a lot of people (including myself; I’ve caught myself doing this plenty of times), whenever they are turned off they start looking for reasons why. These seeming logic flaws are then very easy targets for these criticisms. Ignoring the obvious cases in which a plot twist becomes so stupid or unbelievable that it destroys the entire suspension of disbelief, these things often aren’t the real reasons for these declines in quality, and in the case of very realistic shows as Tokyo Magnitude, you can see people who start blaming things that turn out to be perfectly normal.

In the end, the only thing that I can really criticize this series for is that I don’t like the OP. I’m one of those people who is too lazy to skip through OPs (aside from perhaps marathons), but at the same time I’ve never been a big fan of neither j-pop or j-rock, and Abington Boy’s School is no exception to this rule, and the song they used for this series’ OP is getting more and more on my nerves.

I think the thing with this series is that episodes 2-5 were utterly amazing, and the past episodes, instead of building up to a great climax at the end, instead went to go for a much quieter aftermath. It’s not exactly the same as Eden of the East, where it became clear along the way that the creators just took too much on their plate and badly paced the series after its initial episodes. With Tokyo Magnitude, I think it’s obvious that the past few episodes lacked the same emotional impact of the first five episodes. The question however is: does it need to be?

I’m getting more and more convinced that this show indeed doesn’t really need to be. I’ve become so used to anime, which nearly all have the general pattern of a build-up that gets increasingly full of tension, but here we have an entire subversion of this trope. During an earthquake, the biggest emotional shock comes right after it happens, and after that the tension, while it’s still there, fades as more and more people regain their sensibilities. The more I think about it, the more realistic it becomes.

Anyway, about this episode, aside from the total chaos in the hospital it was a very quiet one. Yuki turns out to be fine for now, while Mirai has visibly grown up while Mari becomes more and more worried as to what happened to her children. It’s a role reversal here: the reason Mirai managed to grow wasn’t just because she had to look after Yuki, but also because Mari, who started out as a mother figure, started to show more and more of her weaknesses. And that was the strength of episode six: its purpose wasn’t to insert some random illness, but instead show that Mari instead was just a human being, and at that point Mirai realized that her whining wasn’t going to help at all to solve the situation, especially since you can really see that she wants Mari to be reunited with her daughter.

As for the reason why Mari refused to take the scooter in episode: she might actually be running away. Take a look at this episode: instead of walking fast, like what I would do when I was worried about someone, she often walks way behind Mirai and Yuki. It’s as if she’s scared to find out that her daughter died.
Rating: ** (Excellent)
Edit: I rewatched this episode, based on your comments, and you’re right: they’ve given this episode a completely different meaning, and what I believed was a rather quiet episode has now become incredibly sad instead. I really have to give thumbs up for the creators for having the guts to go this far.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 22 August 2009 with categories: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0



Aah, I hate this effect. Do not get me wrong with this entry: this episode still was a really good one, but at the same time I do believe that the creators have jumped the shark a bit and moved away from what made the first five episodes so incredibly good. This effect started at the last episode, but back then I was focusing too much on details that didn’t really matter.

But let me first start with the good parts: it really was a good lesson for Yuki and Mirai this time that they shouldn’t be wandering off at every occasion. Now that they’ve gotten a good night sleep and the initial shocks are gone, they’re starting to get a bit more of their energy back, and so they start to act more child-like. The rain was also nicely preluded with the dark clouds coming up.

As for the robots, they’re an interesting idea, but they could have been made more practical in my opinion. If they were made to scout around for survivors, they should have been made faster and smaller. Otherwise they could have just been replaced by a rescue worker on a bike. Still, it does seem logical to use robots like these if they’ve been sufficiently tested and fail-proof: this way the rescue workers can act more efficiently and don’t have to waste unnecessary energy to search around for survivors, and instead can concentrate on rescuing.

Anyway, my “problem” with this episode was that the creators are trying a bit too hard, which takes away a bit from this series’ realism. And really, Yuki’s sunstroke would have been a great ordeal for the characters to overcome, but it just feels cheap right after Mari succumbed to anemia. It’s nearly like the characters are taking turns in getting sick here. The creators instead should have just focused at the three of them trying to get home.

I realize I’m complaining a lot, but I’m just rather unhappy that the past two episodes didn’t manage to uphold the amazing standards that were set by the first five episodes. It’s in a way like Now and Then, Here and There: the second half there was still really good, but it wasn’t as gut-wrenchingly sad as the first half. This episode also took the focus away from everyone else, in the favour of focusing more on Mirai and Yuki, and while it would have been an excellent episode for most other shows, I just know that the creators could have done better here. The boy with his fascination of robots was also nice and all, but it felt too much like he was reading a script rather than telling about his life.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 14 August 2009 with categories: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0



Well, this episode unfortunately wasn’t as impressive as the previous ones. It still was amazing for any regular series, but this is Tokyo Magnitude we’re talking about, which had been consistently awesome up to this point and it’s a shame that this episode broke its flow a bit. This episode was a bit too… “anime”, for a lack of a better description. It was the only episodic episode of this show so far, but especially the animation budget was considerably lower.

The creators thankfully kept trying to animate all of the on-lookers around, characters still are very much animated, but the faces in this episode were sometimes too distorted to take seriously. It works in some series that go with this all the way, like Birdy the Mighty, but here it doesn’t really work, unfortunately.

In this episode, Mari also catches a cold from sleeping without a blanket. She collapses a bunch of hours later, sleeps for some more hours, takes a few pills and after that is completely fine again.

That is not how colds work.

This really was my major beef with this episode. I’m not sure about others, but when I catch a cold I don’t immediately notice this. Of course it’s annoying and I feel terrible while having the cold, but is it really enough for people to pass out on? Where does the heavy breathing come from, and why do they disappear that often? I’ve seen this often in anime: people catch colds and nearly always pass out afterwards for dramatic effects. Or do the Japanese have different colds than the Western world or something? Especially in a show as realistic as this one, it stands out.

But apart from that, there was a lot to like in this episode and it really allowed us to show a different side of Mari. The aftershocks made as much of an impact as ever, especially when Mari, Mirai and Yuki, especially since they were inside a building (the building where Mari works, actually). We learn that a bunch of accidents have taken place at the place where Mari lives, and she suddenly becomes a completely different person as she tries to find out more about what happened back there. All we know from this episode is that there’s some sort of fire going on, but nothing on her daughter yet. We do get to see another bunch of pictures of her daughter and her husband though, along with a small flashback of how she and her husband fell for each other.

So a major part of this episode was spent on Mari, trying to decide whether or not to abandon Mirai and Yuki in order to check up on her daughter. Mirai and Yuki even go as far as borrowing a scooter from a person who managed to survive the earthquake without any major casualties (I loved that scene in which they tried to steer that scooter. So realistic). In the end, she just decides to take her time and go along with the two children.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 7 August 2009 with categories: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0



This series is seriously tearing me up as I watch it. I remember wondering at the end of Birdy the Mighty Decode 2 whether or not the rest of 2009 would premiere a series that would match its brilliance. I’ve finally managed to find a contender. It’s amazing considering how much this series has already done in only FIVE EPISODES so far. This episode lacked any action and didn’t have a rebellious Mirai, but it left me as an emotional wreck afterwards.

This episode first showed Mirai’s old elementary school (she seemed to have had to travel quite a distance to reach it), which leads to an anecdote in which Mirai tells about how her mother embarrassed her at her graduation ceremony. The rest of the episode shows the three lead characters as they spend the evening and the night in the shelter camp that has been set up at the school.

I loved how this episode didn’t just tell the story of Mirai, Yuki and Mari, but also that of the school, the people who lost their loved ones, the old couple who lost their grandsons, the girl who had a mental breakdown due to the aftershocks, the guy who seems to have suffered from a sunstroke, Megu, one of Mirai’s classmates and heck: even that couple sitting next to each other and staring at the wall that only appear in one frame. Seriously, you don’t see many series in which the creators just pull out a random classmate, give her less than a minute of airtime and yet manage to make you sympathize with her with a believable back-story.

But yeah, this was the episode in which the chaos settles down a bit and the emotions pop up even more. It’s in a way similar of getting an injury during sports or something else: in the beginning the adrenaline is still rushing through your body and you’re still too bewildered to really get what’s going on. Then a few minutes later, the seemingly endless pain really starts. In this episode, it really starts to sink in that people have died here.

Really, while watching this episode, I kept wondering whether this really was only the fifth episode of this series. It feels like much more episodes have passed for this series, and yet there seems to be no end to how amazing this series can be. It’s really going to rank among my favourites of 2009 if the creators can keep this pacing up throughout the final six episodes.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 31 July 2009 with categories: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0



Four episodes in, and this series still hasn’t show any signs of dulling in. This episode yet again was amazing and heart-wrenching. I was already suspecting that the creators were going to crash Tokyo Tower at one point. That happened here. Interestingly enough though, it was far from the highlight and main focus of this episode.

Media coverage on such disasters like Earthquakes and the like always tend to be rather one-sided: they always focus on the people who have been hit the worst. These disaster documentaries like the ones you see on National Geographic Channel always tend to pick out the ones with the most spectacular cases and all. That’s why it’s incredibly refreshing to see that this series picked out a bunch of random people who got caught up in the earthquake. This brings things surprisingly close to home: “it could happen to you”. And I think that that’s what makes this so engaging.

The first half of this episode was about… Mirai trying to go to the toilet. Perhaps it’s not the most appealing of side-plots, but for a child her age to suddenly get bothered by a bad stomach… it indeed could happen and this episode showed that even that proves to be full of troubles in such a situation in which millions are stranded.

What struck me also here was that scene in which Mirai and the others tried to get some food. The way Mirai judged that person who walked away with two cups instead of one is exactly what’s going on in just about everyone’s mind in such a situation. We have no idea whether this guy took advantage of the situation or whether he really had a good reason to be carrying two cups, but that single scene said so much about the situation everyone’s in.

The second half of this episode showed Mari leaving the two kids alone as she tried to get information on where to go, at which point Mirai and Yuki get into a fight. At that point, Mirai really felt miserable because of everything that happened to her, not to mention that at that age, you really find your little brother’s whining annoying no matter how good he means it. In the end they both have a good cry and make up.

I’ve always been a fan of realism in anime, so I really love the touches of realism in this series. Yuki may be a bit too nice for a boy his age, but I definitely could see a character like his in real life. And besides, I don’t think that he’s ever seen his sister in so much distress as here, so I don’t think that he had any time to panic for himself. I think that that’s why his tantrum in this episode was so good for him, because it finally allowed him to blow off some steam.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 24 July 2009 with categories: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0



To those who found the second episode a bit too mild and unspectacular: watch A Spirit of the Sun. It’s a two-episode OVA about an earthquake that is so powerful that it splits the entire Japanese mainland in half. That’s destruction for you. I however, prefer series as Tokyo Magnitude much, much better. After all, what makes more impact? An atom bomb dropped onto some sort of major city that wipes out millions of people, or a section of a highway that crushes some people who were worrying about their loved ones and tried to get home, dying right before the protagonist’s eyes?

Anyway, this episode showed what I have been suspecting: the real disaster hasn’t even started yet. Mirai and Yuki are miles away from their house, a distance that’s very hard to walk for a bunch of kids, and the two of them are going to have to try and reach it inside a city in which millions of people are trying to do the same.

And then there are the aftershocks, which may not have been able to cause destruction on a large scale, but definitely on a small scale. Take buildings that have been well designed, but caught fire in the big earthquake. Through an extra push of an earthquake of size 5.0, they can still collapse, which is what happened to the bridge in this episode.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is an amazing series. This episode did so well in bringing across Yuki’s fears of being abandoned and separated from Mari, even though she often bitches at her. The blisters on her feet due to her sandals was also a very nice touch. Because the weather is so hot, I doubt that a lot of people there are wearing shoes fit for long walks.

As for the typical Bones endings, I can actually see little that can go wrong there: if the series is just going to be about Mirai and Yuki trying to get home, this will make for a very charming conclusion to the series if the creators end it at their reunion. The only problem I can see is that they might force in a conclusion to Mari’s storyline about her kid.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
Or are the 50s the new late 30s or early 40s?
Vonter
Are japanese people vampires? https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/Toru_Furuya
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: If you look at the voice list, that Japanese voice actor for Mario in that anime movie is the same voice actor for Amuro Ray from the original Gundam.
Vonter
Also considering Baby Bowser was raised by Kamek. I suppose those beings could be made by magic.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - My head canon is that Bowser made them himself. Kinda Lord Zedd or Rita from Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still subscribe to the headcanon that Peach is the mother of Bowsers children.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember growing up with the relatively poor American cartoons, none of them featured Wario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have committed videogame genocide apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Everytime I broke or hit a brick in the Mario games I was probably murdering a toad.
Vonter
The ending it's "interesting" considering the relationship Mario and Peach have isn't something as close, as Link and Zelda.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's weird but at the same time it does use elements from the game. Like the music, and story bits from the manual from the original Super Mario Bros. (Where it mentioned Bowser uses magic to turn Toads into the bricks, clouds and other objects of the game).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never did end up watching the Mario anime movie that came out in the 80s.
Vonter
Also someone is putting the effort of making a Bowsette adventure doujin. This is the type of stuff that could be it's own original thing since it strays far from what's Mario. Despite the occasional mild nudity it's quite fun so far, despite also how weird it is.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - At the very least it'll be interesting to see where it goes. It happens also every time something comes back. Times change and so the way we make stories. Also the original run had a curtain call chapter, so this is more a new story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is often what happens with episodic stuff for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I essentially read Fraken Fran until I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I feel that Franken Fran pretty much ran it's course though. Not sure what a new series could bring.
Vonter
Latest news: Franken Fran will get a new manga series. After it was cut short, it seems this little horror manga will get another chance: https://imgur.com/a/ypjtI4c
Vonter
I also read a bit ahead on Shield Hero. And I like it is character driven, but the cast isn't as big as other Isekai, like in Overlord where there are too many characters to easily keep track of what's happening (ever since it started Overlord feels like the most attached to its light novel origins).
Vonter
The monster town growing and expanding into it's own country reminded me of Digimon World. A game which you allied with Digimon to expand your town, add shops and other services. I've heard Xenoblade X was also like that.
Vonter
I watched during the weekend, the Slime Isekai. It's fine, though it lacked more conflict, the MC feels like its too powerful. Maybe this would have been great as a videogame since the concept of how this Slime evolves reminds me of the SNES game: E.V.O. The Search of Eden. It was about your character evolving through the ages and the player choosing how it adapts to it's environment.
Animosh
Also nice to see some love for LOGH in your personal lists (especially Aidan's). I guess it's too much of a niche series (a political epic in space) to score highly in the overall list, but I loved it. It retained much of what made the OVA so great while providing a much-needed update to its visuals and arguably better pacing.
Animosh
I also hadn't heard of the Kase-san OVA. Not sure whether enough can really happen in a one-hour OVA to make it worthwhile (it gives the impression of being promotional material more than a full-fledged adaptation), but I've been looking for another good yuri series after Bloom into You, so it can't hurt to give it a try.
Animosh
Nice to see Kaze ga made it on the list, even with just one cour out. I've seen most of the stuff that's won positive awards, but I've always avoided Pop Team Epic because of how silly it seemed to me. But given all the positive reviews (here and elsewhere) maybe I should give it a chance after all.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yu-no can go fuck itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also Yuasa's new thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe the thriller shows will be worthwhile but I'm not really as interested.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah spring looks packed for me, there's also that throwback ova to riding Bean and some creature horror ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I notice that Index gets an annoying amount of episodes/adaptations, one of those shows that keeps going away for a while then keeps coming back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We might get dororohedero and Vinliand saga at years end. I would like for pluto to air this year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Definately looking forward to the josei and shoujo stuff in Spring 2019, nothing of interest for me thats on the summer 2019 list yet.
Vonter
Like you wrote, seems like it's the start for new ways to stream anime. With Crunchyroll making simulcasts and Netflix putting some anime in the spotlight considering the audience it has (and it also helps it has better dubs, at least in spanish). Finally I felt last year the criticism of fanservice got more loud, also summed with how tumblr and facebook politics are putting restrain on sex conten
SuperWooper
@Anon, Netflix is getting Watanabe's new series, Carole & Tuesday, next season. It might not have the mass appeal of Crybaby (violence and sex) or Aggretsuko (cute animals), but it ought to do well for them if they slap "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF COWBOY BEBOP" all over the Internet.
Vonter
Last year I also didn't watched a lot of drama or slice of life, which is a shame since a lot of what's listed reads like it fits those genres.
Vonter
Kind of a lukewarm year 2018 was in terms of anime series. Although I admit I watched a lot of trash as well. Most of the good stuff I watched last year was on Netflix. In terms of bad I already an issue on the list because disappointing, bad and trash are different degrees of badness.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for being so long and overdramatic, I'd normally stay quiet but I had to get my feelings out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to say anymore about this show anymore, I know those who did watch it generally emotionally connected with it or thought it was some kind of epic, if anything I felt it was an epic ruined by being chopped down. I hated it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nothing seems settled on long enough and nothing registers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As Hateable as Jomy is in the beginning, I would at least liked to have seen proper flow of plot structure allowing for some natural progression of character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an idea and I think if explored with more episodes/more it could be something, this also includes Keith.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The timeskip and general pacing annihilate anything that could be anything approaching reaching close to working with this series, resulting in an un-compelling cast I feel nothing for that ruins and undersells any drama which is far too overdone when it occurs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't complete this, don't care if I've watched the first half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't like the couple of episodes of Terra e I watched a some years ago, unfortunately this second attempt, over halfway through the show only illustrates further just how much I utterly despise this show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've said before, I do think re-watches are important, especially years later after watching a show you disliked, if only to see if you'll enjoy it on the second run, lately thats been mostly successful for me, however....
Anonymous3325300
Meanwhile, I do expect that this year will be much stronger in terms of quality. Of course, I had the same assumptions last year based on the winter shows, but I do feel like this could be a stronger year full of great shows, instead of a lot of merely "good" ones.
Anonymous3325300
I predict that Netflix this year probably won't have a Devilman/Aggretsuko-level hit in terms of new anime. Evangelion is probably all they need, even though it's an old series.
Lenlo
If anyone thought that wasn't getting on this list, they either didnt watch it or have really low standards
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Its so catharctic that you listed steins;gate 0 I remember how we essentially lived and watched it together.
Lenlo
I think thats what the most pleasant surprise category is supposed to be. Didnt wanna double up on to many cats
Kaiser-Eoghan
No biggest surprise category?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand including bunny-senpai as a runner up, I'd have trouble picking between it and sorayori.
Lenlo
Episode 7 is so damn good, I don't care that its American.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: How do you think I feel, I'm not far off 35.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glad you actually made room for a movie category aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Based Lenlo, cheating with American anime cartoon.
Lenlo
Im just happy I got Castlevania on this list at all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dropped planet with, hinamatsuri and violent evergarden though, didn't see Hisone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I probably would have replaced planet with with happy sugar life or banana fish though or yagate ga kimi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In any case, I am glad my wife Kanna Hanazawa won an award on your list and that Devilman got featured more than once.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I though you would be splitting the voice actor category into voice actor and voice actress, though I suppose that's probably cheating a bit.
SuperWooper
You're not alone - of the four of us, I was the only one who watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must have missed ASAGAO TO KASE-SAN. Hadn't heard of it until now, I should have paid more attention.
Anonymous3324478
Oh and the music was pretty good too I guess. Another episode is airing in March.
Anonymous3324478
Masa also recovered from his car accident from a few episodes ago. It was totally unneeded in my opinion.
Anonymous3324478
The last episode of Tsurune was a decent ending to an otherwise formulaic sports show with some great animation on par for the course with KyoAni. Minato overcame his target panic and won it for the team. Twins got owned big time.
Animosh
There's a new episode out of the Gridman voice drama: https://barnnn.blogspot.com/2019/01/ssssgridman-voice-drama-episode-6n.html. It's a pretty good one too.
Animosh
My only worry is if the series will be able to get to its logical stopping point (the end of the Claw arc) in 12 episodes. But I suppose I should trust Bones over my vague memories of how much content there is left to cover.
Animosh
Yeah, I agree a split cour could be good. It would allow the series to maintain its high levels of animation, and given how stacked next season looks to be (anime aside, there's also American Gods and the Game of Thrones madness to keep up with), and with another ONE show airing, a break wouldn't be so bad.
SuperMario
Split cour of Mob Psycho would be awesome. I don't want to watch 2 ONE's adaptation in one season
Lenlo
Not for bloggin
Lenlo
While I love Mob, I am a bit happy its only 1 cour. I couldnt do 3 2 cour series
Animosh
Assuming we do get 12 episodes, a split cour would still make sense ... but I guess we'll just have to wait for the official confirmations
Animosh
As far as I can tell the only source is some guy in Twitter, so not sure how reliable it is
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Devilman Lady is what comes to mind on how to do this type of show better. That one had also a special agency for supernatural incidents, has a simple but compelling main character, uses it's time to build atmosphere and mood and even the action while a bit stilted had better monster design and the violence it's graphic but entertaining like Robocop.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok I will check. I'm also curious where it goes in terms of tone. Because it's all over the place.
Vonter
Ok. Last time I tried the login in feature didn't respond. This time it worked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Keep me posted of magical girl spec ops in case it does turn into the kind of guilty pleasure shlock it should.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is this vonter? If you register an account you can keep the name.
Anonymous3321080
But I think what gets me the most its how it beats the dead horse of the 80s action hero arc. Van Damme, Arnold and Stallone had more or less these type of lines. Its kind of funny this anime pretends these aren't tropes we don't use anymore because of how corny they come off. It'll definitely work better as an abridged series since it can be very boring when it tries to add the school life moment
Anonymous3321080
Also Mahou Spec Ops... Is interestingly bad. It tries to be exploitative and shocking but feels very sloppy, kinda like that meme of *slow heavy metal music plays* It also wants to play it like a dark shoujo anime, but the cute monsters are just distracting.
Anonymous3321080
Reading your conversations about idols, despite being mediocre Gokudolls and Ore Mahou Shoujo made jabs at that culture. At least painting some aspects that may be true of how exploitative it is. I suppose because those are subpar, over the top and cheap is what they can do that. Can't remember one aside from Perfect Blue which criticizes that industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But only if there was more anime noirs.
Amagi
Reminds me of that stalin vs hitler comic. Think it was russian. They're attacking each other with magical super powers there. And yeah, I love noir now that you mention it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That'd make for a great noir story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Imagine Stalin and Hitler trolling each other on twitter.
Amagi
It's easy to construct superiority when you never have to show your private face and never participate in mundane chat talks or so.
Amagi
I bet a lot of people who had some aura of authority back then due to only ever appearing in books or for very rare (scripted) speeches would probably laughing stocks now if we'd see them commenting on daily stuff and news on twitter or reddit.
Amagi
I personally have given up upon having heroes. I still find a lot of historical people interesting but let's be real the few of them that weren't blatanly bad in some way were different then we imagine them to be (even if they're good). Just look how different people feel now that you see them tweeting on twitter VS policians etc decades ago.
Amagi
I like the idea of a main character longing for a dead friend and role model he had and still idolizes. Then at some point he starts reconstructing his friend's past to cherish his memories about him even more but finds out that the friends wasn't the hero he believed him to be and maybe even the own memories of him were idealized a lot over the years after his death without him even noticing.
Amagi
Yeah we are always searching for some sort of über-ich or perfect being that symbolizes the goal of some personality growth we're trying to achieve.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or the reason why some people need to have so many things or idols they probably don't need.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think there is a genetic/mental inadequacy in humanity that makes us susceptible to following "higher people who we forget are actually human" because of our own desire for an avatar or general inadequacy as human beings.
Amagi
Yeah this. It's probably also why they defend them so eagerly. Because it's actually true that "their" version of that person would never do that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that probably creates a much stronger blow to them when the actor is found guilty of a crime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Very good response.
Amagi
It's kinda weird how almost everything we know about others is actually just interpretation to some degree.
Amagi
The weird thing is that I think that many fans of acrots/celebrities rather create their own versions of them they fall in love with rather than loving the actual person, whom they barely even know. It's fun because the concept of a waifu sounds extremely weird to normal people, but many normal people kinda do this too but with real persons (but imaginary personality).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats where it starts getting obsessive or where it gets too close to the next level, such as what the anon mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also can't bring myself to get too attached to a celebrity or to a character. I do look at hentai doujins yes but, I've probably had thoughts about certain actors or what not, but I never actually want to sleep with them, again I think that's taking fantasy too far.
Amagi
I never know if these are serious celebrations or rather some fun memes they do to post, I always assumed the latter. Kinda.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the fans celebrating the idol's birthday thing is taking it to far too, especially if its an anime character.
Amagi
Yeah I was never an idol fan either, and I don't just mean the idol genre in anime but anything similar to idol stuff in general, like being a fanboy/girl of some celebrity or something. Was never able to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all too superficial.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't like the ideas it gives teenage girls either .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Certain topics just set me off =<
Amagi
The third episode of Wake Up girls was pretty good in that regard. I think it was the third one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, thats a pretty bad story what happened to the woman you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be a good idea to catch some documentaries on that topic .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that was just a sentence from some guy on a podcast though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now though I didn't see it, I do recall someone saying some of that Wake up girls idol anime slightly brought up seedier parts of the industry if not much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The hallow shallowness of the idol industry I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also dislike the shallowness of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love how Perfect blue takes influences from those gialli/giallo style films from the 60s/70s to an extent, while also spitting on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you know what sucks? A part of me, both in regards to those women (and probably some of the male idols) whether it be in reality or animation, I can't actually deny finding some of these men/women actually physically attractive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Music industry has its seediness just about everywhere and of course victim blaming going to appear everywhere, not just Japan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*commodification-consumerist
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I hate capitalism, I hate the idol communication-commercialist industry and the willing self-aware slaves and their masters who perpetuate it, the music is largely awful aswell. I don't watch most of the idol anime, I think the idea of 30 something men throwing cash it is awful.
Anonymous3319279
Wonder if there will be some modern equivalent of Perfect Blue? That was a scathing critique of the idol industry back in the late 90s. Although given how shows that are flat out glorifying the industry are the best-selling shows on BD every year, I doubt it.
Anonymous3319279
In short, she was assaulted by two men at her home who were then arrested. Then she was pressured by her managers into claiming that she was to blame for this, not the men and apologizing to an audience.
Anonymous3319279
Hearing about what happened to some idol named Mahohon seriously makes me wonder if idol culture in Japan seriously needs an overhaul and if media needs to stop glorifying the industry so much.
Anonymous3319260
Ok. No pressure, just asking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, we are working on it. It's nearing completion and should be posted soon.
Anonymous3318799
I don't know if I missed it. But have you put the overview of 2018? Of best show, best character, etc. Did 2018 had a good anime villain?
Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Kinda sad that the latter half of Flip Flappers was rather weak because it started with this different worlds idea.
Amagi
I think Matsumoto stuff might actually be the very first anime I have seen in my life, not regularly though and usually when I was in Italy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The noir world could be in black and white.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How about another world that has different sections that follow different genres?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Helped greatly by his use of artistic cinematography and use of dramatic stills.
Anonymous3316528
Old anime has very bitter stories. Despite the old drawings, several had harsh live lessons. Osamu Dezaki had such a talent to direct drama.
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Winter 2019 Summary – Week 2

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