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
SuperMario
and this week's Sakura Quest is damn great as well... This backstory of Chitose and Kadota rocks
SuperMario
Just watching the 2nd episode of Gamers, It was actually pretty good. I can't believe they fleshing out that annoying hot guy into such a relatable guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I recall the extent of my interest in Linkin park in my early teens was strictly the breaking the habit video and that was it.
SuperMario
The frontman of Linkin Park commited suicide by hanging himself... sad news. Never been his fan but I feel sad nonetheless
AidanAK47
Actually forgot with all the impressions and whatnot but I do believe we said we would review the Castlevania Netflix series. Now that everything has calmed down I will see if I can do a write up next week.
AidanAK47
I was busy trying to discern whether the story had any point besides "Life is shit"
Kaiser-Eoghan
Again, while I enjoyed punpun, the excessive internal narration, when marathoned, I had to take a break.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come to think of it, I don't even have a phone that does that, haven't bought a new one since 2004.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, you see I could never force myself to browse/type/use the internet on a phone, too used to using a desktop exclusively for that.
AidanAK47
Oh bloody hell. Stupid phone autocorrect. Yeah I meant Punpun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Read Freesia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
umi no onnanoko is probably the exact thing ninjarealist would be interested in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*oyasumi punpun
I found it alot more accessible than nijigahara holograph. deded-demon-destruction while enjoyable, is beneath him. Solanin is probably his easiest work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I assume you man oyasui punpun. Its been about five years since I read in, the final couple of volumes stay in my mind the most, all the stuff with him, the girl and his uncle also, I love Asano Inios art and the surreal elements but I got lost/bored somewhere in the middle and most of the other side characters and the cult thing I didn't really care about.
AidanAK47
Finished reading Goodnight Pumping. Really not sure on what to think of it. The story kept me reading but it just felt really empty.
Anonymous1276500
There are 2 Nyaa's now. This one is considered the 'real' one: https://nyaa.si
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looks like anirena is down for me. Although it looks like nyaa went back up as this: https://nyaa.pantsu.cat/
SuperMario
Aidan: Fate/Apocrypha, Made in Abyss, Kakegurui
Mario: Princess Principal, 18if, Youkoso
Lenlo: Touken Ranbu, The Reflection
Wooper: Ballroom, Shoukoku no Altair
Helghast: Re:Creators
SuperMario
Note: I'm deciding to take Classroom of the Elite as my third show to cover. So, for this season we are covering 11 shows.
Vonter
Just to end, it kind of shows than even if a story is predictable on where it is going. Characters can make up for that, if they're funny, interesting, and perhaps not agreeing all the time and having different agendas and points of view despite all sharing the same boat.
Vonter
Yet as a game Tales hasn't felt deep since Symphonia, (at least from the ones I've played). I'm wondering if it'll leave me wanting check the anime of Zestiria, since apparently Berseria is a prequel to that game. And many say the anime is better than the game. (I can see why).
Vonter
I also like the reused Tales beats from Phantasia and Berseria. It those have moments like when Lloyd was exiled and Cless had his village attacked. It has clear antagonists unlike Vesperia, and trying harder than the cartoony villains of Graces.
Vonter
I've been playing Tales of Berseria, and it seems to be the anti Tales of Graces. In which I'm caring about the story and characters, but the gameplay is a drag. This is the first time I've been autoplaying an JRPG. But unlike Gravity Rush 2, I'm not dropping it because I'm liking the interactions of these characters even if it gets, campy, overdramatic, or edgy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean I watch anime and films subtitled but sometimes my reading speed can be slow if theres a lot of dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I do that sometimes, mostly to check for message updates or on occasion to read reviews of what I am watching or to download more/check downloads.
SuperMario
For instance, I watched Okja yesterday and I had to take 15', 20' minute break in between for snack, surfing webs and playing mobile games...
SuperMario
I watched Fanny and Alexander... don't really remember which version I watched thou. I think it's a TV version since it divides into 4 separate parts
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it just that... my attention span has shortened greatly and I just can't stay focus on movies over an hour mark. In cinema, it's alright since you can't move anywhere but now it's abig task to finish a 2 hour and a half movie for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
And is good enough to keep up the quality for that long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll say this, for every medium, to me the length of something isn't so much the issue, if you have a writer good enough to keep something going for ages then the length shouldn't be an issue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If something goes over three hours I treat it as a miniseries and watch one hour or two a day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol if you thought thats long, have you seen the extended versions of scenes from a marriage and fanny & alexander by Bergman? I can't wait to get my hands on the tv versions I hear they're completely different.
SuperMario
Okja is pretty entertaining with pointed social commentary. I don't really feel Tilda Swinton's double roles add up much but everything else is great. Bong has never disappointed me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: good luck with Satantango then. I guess now if I watch an 8-hour long film it would take me a whole week to finish it :/
Kaiser-Eoghan
Made in abyss and vatican keep staring at me. Although I'm not chancing them yet or anything else until I hear a bit more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My once massive film backlog is nearly cleared. I can try watching stuff this season hopefully.
K-Off
Same boat here. For the first time in a long time I spent almost half the day catching up on all of my manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll have two weeks leave, I will finally watch Satantango, all eight hours of that film.
AidanAK47
I did a double take when I saw this. One of these things is not like the other.... http://gematsu.com/2017/07/blazblue-cross-tag-battle-announced
SuperMario
Well, finally have a bit of precious free time to watch something else and I have too much things to watch. Castlevania, the final Kizumonogatari movie, live-action Okja and some books planned to read... I guess I'll go with Okja today
Ninja
Looking forward to that Dies review
Lenlo
Yaaay! Time to enjoy your blogging time
AidanAK47
And now we are up to date. Just need to finally get that Dies Irae Review posted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I'll watch almost every horror film I can, don't even mind the awful acting most have.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pet cemetary was a guilty pleasure of mine when I was a teenager.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know how I'd feel if I rewatched salems lot, although a positive is that it did have James Mason in it and it was done in that 70s style of slow burn horror that I love.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The IT film has aged horribly and thats one case where I would advocate a remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stand by me was a perftly watchable coming of age film and it surprised me, seeing a non-horror King story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay theres one way to settle this =P Lovecraft > all of them ;) I have actually enjoyed some King adaptations even though I know the Shining took liberties , I also enjoyed Carrie and Apt Pupil.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, please. Early King > Richard Matheson > Modern King. Kings early works were good.
Lenlo
@Aidan, its true that Monty was the mind behind the fights. Sad, but I think the other directors are starting to come into their own instead of trying to copy Monty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But we all know Richard Matheson > King.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He did some collabs with Stephen King I believe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Like the dead films he's trying to be thematic, although this one is clumsily put together, I kind of like how it hybridizes the 50s with 70s style exploitation, it has its moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
hmmm the only non Dead trilogy film I've seen by Romero is the Crazies, feels like he's still finding his voice with it.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Part of the reason is that they started using better animation software. But despite that there was a downgrade in fight chorgraphy when Monty died. Though the story I find is getting better.
AidanAK47
@Kinseryu, I think it's ridiculous to everyone but there are those that choose to ignore it.
@Anon, That's a bit harsh. It is true that his later works never truly panned out but he did pretty much popularise the zombie apoc. Even if Day of the Triffids did it before him.
Lenlo
Every season RWBY gets just a little bit prettier. Rooster Teeth really does have some of the better 3D animation skills out there.
Anonymous1272531
goerge romero was a hack trying desperate to stay relevant.
Kinseryu
Tenshi3P... I thought it was just me that this show was just ridiculous by putting three ten years old girl that knows how to play electrical instruments. They are insulting the people who plays these. But good thing I found this site with your first impression. I laughed and I feel better. Lol.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he passed away? damn. He was the Father of Zombie genre. So like him or hate him, he was influential to say the least. RIP.
Kaiser_Eoghan
...holy shit George A Romero died? Now I have to watch the rest of his films.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Rei Hiroe is really dicking around with black lagoon lately, he's still releasing wasted chapters, just like re:creators, the most recent chapter of black lagoon was a slog.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Maybe the conversation and lives of others could sort of count as espionage stories to an extent.
Kaiser_Eoghan
If you're interested in spy fiction, Spy who came in from the cold, most wanted man, Smiley's people, deadly affair and tinker tailor soldier spy are your best bet.
SuperMario
@Travlos (regarding yoir earlier comment): yeah, it hit me as well that most of regular readers have been here even longer than myself. So thanks for sticking around mates
SuperMario
@Travlos: playing catch up with both Re:Creators and Virgin Soul yesterday. Agreed that last week's Re:Creators was weak because it focused on the Creators (they're not good) but last episode was on par again. Virgin Soul, I loved that episode that the girls go bacl to Nina's hometown
SuperMario
@anon1272074: I still haven't had the time to watch Pripri yet (probably in few more hours), but you bet I'm looking forward to it
Anonymous1272074
Then again, James Bond does count as a spy. I meant not a realistic one.
Anonymous1272074
Princess Principal 2 was pretty good. Still more James Bond via little girls than spies, but this episode was more about intrigue and stuff than action.
Lenlo
Started catching up with Kakegurui. The OP is the sort of mind games I remember from Mob Psycho. Dunno what that means for the show, but I like it.
KTravlos
Quite happy with this week's RE:Creators. Blitz is cool, Aliceteria looked so scary. It washed out the taste of last week's episode.

Bahamut is going interesting places.
BTW. Speaking of spies from Princess Principal. I watch TURN. That is a good spy show.
KTravlos
I mean you see the use of those heavy revolvers as clubs in westerns. Mythbusters did a experiment, and being hit by one could kill you just fine. But in anime, I do not remember seeing it often
AidanAK47
Homura used Gun-kata in the fight against Mami in Rebellion. Can't think of anyone who exclusively uses it though. After all Gun-Kata is more or less a flashy art that has no real benefit.
Anonymous1270604
amazing!
Vonter
Is Gun Kata the fighting style of Noel Vermillion from BlazBlue? I suppose I'm mainly thinking about how guns are handled in fighting games. Where the shots are mainly concussive. I suppose those are mainly energy blasts.
Lenlo
Ranbu took a step in the right direction I feel. Used the morals of whether or not to change history and it focused in on one of its characters.
Lenlo
Final Fantasy has had some gun swords. Cant think of any with guns in melee though. There are some with gun-kata like cowboy bebop though
Vonter
Just for curiosity, have anyone watched an anime, movie or game that uses a gun as a melee weapon. Or one in which the gun is mainly concussive but still has impact?
Spike
18if ep2 was a bit wacky... main character seems to be off his rocker.
AidanAK47
Alright. Time to finally play catch up with those series I need to blog.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time acknowledging love for creativity is more important in the end than making a profit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I was using death of artist/deceased artist as a term to suggest peoples careers in the area are too often killed before they get a chance.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Moreso also to save the guy the embarrassment of misinterpreting it so awkwardly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Nothing too extreme , moreso that the piece itself feels inappropriate/tainted to have up/leave around/submit. Ended up taking it down out of taste.
Puran
Did that change how you feel about your writing? I had a somewhat similar experience, where something I was writing was similar to a real situation some I knew was going through. After I found out I stopped writing it. Not sure why.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wasn't all that close to either of them much but yeah, weird coincidence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He thought I already knew the guy was dead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*earlier
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all okay now...but fuck that was was awkward.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....Oh jesus christ...oh christ this is a creepy creepy coincidence...I showed an acquaintance a bit of writing I did early, it mentions death of an artist, thing is I was writing something based on a conversation with my editor friend, turns out said acquaintance's artist friend died (who he knows that I've spoken to in the past) and he thought the piece I showed him was about the dead guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe I began visiting this site in 2008.
As for humanity has declined, I found it bizzare and darkly funny for a while but felt it ran dry in its second half and I kind of fell out of following it.
KTravlos
You know it hit me. I think I have been following this blog for a decade now, perhaps more. Cool that it is still around.
Lenlo
I do agree it had alot more western influence than eastern though
Lenlo
Eh nothing wrong with that I think. Astro boy was very much the same after all
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I personally saw it as more of a Saturday morning cartoon than an anime.
Lenlo
@Masky, Heroman was a decent giant robot show. It looked and sounded good, though the acting was off in places. Alot of people panned it thinking it was the West invading the east when really it was trying to bridge that gap
SuperWooper
@Kaiser: Hey, Humanity Has Declined was great.
KTravlos
need not be

not

need to be
KTravlos
Masky it was not an issue of writing about politics. It is an issue of writing just about your preferred politics. A good political work need to be politicized if you understand what I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...what the hell tsuki ga kirei was directed by Seiji Kishi? He was actually capable of making a good anime?
Masky
Anyhoo, lol. Haven't mentioned Jitsu wa watashi wa in long time, but I really find it hilarious that its only actually evil character's competence is just "they aren't a idiot" xD As in, they don't even seem that diabolically intelligent, they just don't get wrapped into hijinxs.
Masky
@KTravlos: Well, depends on your views. Some people think artists should have their work speak about politics and world instead of just good stories. I'm kinda neutral about that since while stories about nature of world can be great, most of them don't really teach anyone anything new or change anyone
Masky
Huh, another anime work with Stan Lee being involved? I wonder how well Heroman did
KTravlos
Yup. A mangaka that could had been another Urasaw imho is Kawaguchi Kaiji. I really like his art, and it evokes some of the elements that I love in Urasawa. He also has interesting stories. But I fear he has let his political and ideological prejudices get the better of him. Which is a pity. Definitely a missed chance.
Masky
Did Urasawa do that billy bat manga?
SuperMario
As for Urasawa, I mentioned here before but I read 20th Century Boys few months ago and the manga was a straight out masterpiece. Fillers, yes but they are still in service for the main plot. Although out of his work my favorite's still Monster
AidanAK47
Alright. Only one more. Though the two superhero shows won't air for another week. Seeing as one is reflectiona nd the other is that marvel kids show maybe we shouldn't bother covering them in the impressions.
SuperMario
@Amagi: agree with you on the Friday's anime (well, for me it's technically Saturday) but Kakegurui, Fate and Princess Principal are worth following as well
SuperMario
@Kaiser: if you're still deciding if you should check out the manga or novel then I say novel since it's the novel that was influential, not the manga
Kaiser-Eoghan
So based on that fantasy itch I had thought about Altair, but hesitated because it was labeled as a shounen action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was a time where I was hugely into the shoujo fantasy/historical thing. I've actually been thinking of out of curiousity looking into some old obscure ovas such as Books of Y and Crystania.
Amagi
Man as much as I love the Friday's anime this time, and whenever Altair airs, but the rest of the working-week is weak as hell. At least now I will finally have more time for games, VNs and creative stuff I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It was kind of nice to hear an announcer coming in before Genocidal organ started, mentioning that for a few months their cinema will be playing anime and Japanese films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Surprised to see an anime reference Kafka and Katyn.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have not yet checked out empire of corpses.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now, I'll have to consider the manga or the novel as I heard some of the philosophical stuff got chopped. This was however a more successful and accessible film for me than Harmony.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Manglobe was always a bit mediocre when it came to animation and voice actor direction, but this wasn’t a bad film for them to go out on.
It lives up to its name, it gets quite visceral with the action that’s there, if you don’t like seeing child soldiers getting slaughtered there’s your warning, but I appreciated getting this kind of violence I want to see more of again in anime/manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just got back from my local arthouse cinema, from watching a special screening of that anime film, Genocidal organ, this is the sort of thing where you do wish that it had more time to explore its thematics but they at least offer a good enough flavouring to a solid man on a mission scifi thriller.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just to state I don't hate Urasawa's work, rather I find it sort of difficult , I could say the same about Asano Inio regarding oyasumi punpun.
KTravlos
Urasawa is supposed to be working on Master Keaton Remastered. But it seems to be on hiatus. A pity because I loved Master Keaton (I adore Monster)-in general I love this person's work.
Amagi
20thCB would be my favorite Urasawa I think but I can't imagine it as an adaption. Kinda want to know what Urasawa will do next. He already announced that he's working on a new series months ago.
Amagi
I am really looking forward to the Pluto anime. I wanted this one the most, there is a serious lack of good sci-fi anime out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...billy bat is....scattered and directionaless fro what I read but shows interesting historical scenarios.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pluto was reasonably short, so this wasn't much of a problem.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And while from the film adaptations I could tell that the original manga for 20th century boys likely had a very good storyline , I couldn't get through the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite watching monster a few times I feel I've missed or forgotten things about it, largely because although I understand its importance and did like it, its length and pace always made me watch it on and off with gaps in between.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised by how attached I got to Grimmer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Monster is a good example of slow burn tension done right and has one of the most memorable villains out there. Though it isn't without its fillers.
Lenlo
You want a mystery, I heartily recommend Monster.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I also sometimes write impressions/reviews in my spare time, its hard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although the first season probably did have just that bit better atmosphere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I may have been one of the few who enjoyed true detective season 2 as much as the first however.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not sure anymore if I'm entirely happy or not with having less time now , yes I can see the frustration, but at the same time it stops me from filling in dead moments with terrible shows/films when there ends up being literally nothing else to do.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I can only enjoy a select crime/mystery things .
Kaiser-Eoghan
It would take a very good writer to make case of the week episodes work, a mystery wrapped up in one or two episodes can just stop it from unfolding naturally or organically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've probably mentioned a few times, I pretty much go by what I'm told to watch and not watch , mostly to play it safe.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here. If the supernatural feeling is part of a series it's better if it's rather just hinted at to retain the aura of mystery but that the actual cases are just involving "normal" crimes that get resolved by detective work. Something like True Detective or Name of the Rose.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, that's good. I love a good mystery and hate it when it's ruined with magical wizard space ghosts.
Amagi
@Aidan: If people who know the original were telling the truth explanations will be rational and the series is rather an actual mystery instead of anything supernatural.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I haven't even watched the second episode of Apocrypha yet. Also behind on Re:Creators. Wonder if I will leave it. So far planning to get two more impressions out by end of day. Got one wrote up and just need to work on the other. Next up Tenshi no 3P...this is going to be painful.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, truly appreciate it. If Vatican can slow down it could really be something else. But I wonder how much of a supernatural element is going to be present in the series.
SuperMario
And now after I've watched all new shows save Gamers, I'll blog Princess Principal and 18if this season. I will watch second episode of Vatican and Centaur to decide the third choice, if I'm unconvinced by both I'll blog Tsurezure Children
SuperMario
@Amagi: Thanks, it's our pleasures. I like checking out new shows myself buy gosh it's time consuming. Have been behind on both Re:Creators, Virgin Soul because of this.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I also really hope that the pacing of the Vatican's series will slow down. Maybe they wanted to shove in as much as possible for episode 1 to attract more viewers. Love this dark and sacral atmosphere, it would be some wasted potential if they'd kill it by speeding through the story. Music is good as well.
Amagi
Don't blame yourself, your're doing this for free and there are a ton of new series. I also think that most people rather read impressions to know how others felt about the episodes and not in order to decide which series they should check out. You two are usually better at pointing out flaws than me, which is why I quite enjoy reading the reviews.
AidanAK47
Thing is that our impressions are usually late. Purely my fault of course as Mario does his write ups quickly. I am usually late with mine due to a lack of time to check shows out.
Amagi
I am usually fair and watch every first episode but sometimes I just stop after the fifth school series of the same anime season.
Amagi
I like how much Aidan's and Mario's first impressions match my own. This saves me quite some time since I don't even have to check the series that didn't look interesting to begin with.
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