Posted on 26 September 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Giant Killing




Giant Killing, my favourite airing show of the past three months and likely to be my favourite sports anime (if board games aren’t sports). It’s a breath of fresh air in its execution, and a delight to watch from start to finish with a well developed cast that just sparkles with personality.

From the outside it may seem like a bit of an unimpressive football series, but it turns out to provide a unique look into the world of professional soccer, and it doesn’t ignore anything: aside from the players, it also gives ample attention to all kinds of supporters, the press, photographers, coaches, management, everyone involved is portrayed as a character and important to the series. The cast here is incredibly diverse, allowing everyone to stand out, rather than blend in. Credit also goes to the character-designers, who gave every single character in the series his own look.

I also feel that this is the series that shows one of the bewst portrayals of “there is no I in team”. It’s indeed true that Tatsumi is a brilliant coach, and there are a few brilliant players, but the series is entirely different from all of the teams in fiction that are just built around one player. Instead, everyone has the points at which he’s good and the points at which he’s terrible, and throughout 26 episodes, this series really tries to put as many people under the loop as possible. It really tries to do as much as possible in every episode in terms of characterization, and this really makes the huge cast come alive. It’s not like there’s one character that stands out, and instead it’s the characters together that form a very addictive whole.

Because it continues to explore its characters, evenin the quietest parts, there hardly is any part about this serise that’s not interesting, but the soccer matches, and especially the long ones, are where this series truly shines. It’s not that they’re the most unpredictable out there, you can pretty much predict the outcomes. Everything apart from that however is a huge roller-coaster ride, especially the final match that forms the climax of this series. It’s a match that’s constantly cyhanging and evolving, utilizing as many characters (including the opponents!) as possible.

This is really how a series without a big animatio budget should be done. Giant Killing can drink many of its big budgetted counterparts under the table with its incredibly detailed and addictive storytelling. It also is the series that is the single best at handling foreign languages, out of any anime I’ve ever seen: French, English, Dutch, Portugese, this is a really international anime that portrays foreigners as they are, rather than as the xemophobic stereotypes you usualyl see in anime. It’s not like this series has one particular character that is really well developed. What it does have, though, is dozens of characters with their own charms, quirks and flaws who subtly change over the course of the story.

Storytelling: 10/10 – Utilizes every minute to put as much detail into its cast and football matches. Addictive beyond belief.
Characters: 9/10 – Lots of characters, who are all diverse and sparkle with personality, and are explored really well throughout the series.
Production-Values: 8/10 – The animation isn’t stellar and it uses a lot of shortcuts, the series has a unique look nevertheless. The music is also simple but mesmerizing.
Setting: 9/10 – An excellent portrayal of professional football and everything around it.

Suggestions:
Shion no Ou
One Outs (It’s similar, although much less awesome)
Baccano!

Posted on with categories: Giant Killing



First of all I want to say that this episode ended with a completely new ED, and it really could not have fitted better. What a great and original way to close off this series.

In any case, the previous episode featured the climax of this series, so this episode had all its time for an epilogue, and it really turned out to be quite a unique closure for this series. Most series take things easy and slow down the pacing, but damn, so many things happened in this episode: we saw three matches, and the entire second half was dedicated to a bit of a curry party. At first this episode seemed very random, but it came together wonderfully in the end.

As an epilogue, you could really see that there was a lot that this episode tried to do, and it really succeeded. First of all it showed that the match against Osaka was nowhere near the end: they’re going to keep playing and growing, shown by how Akasaki was selected for Japan’s Olympic team. At the same time, this episode meant to summarize the themes of the entire series, and it did so through that curry party. For one it was hilarious to see Tatsumi order everyone to take part in it, but it really highlighted the themes of Giant Killing: teamwork and having fun.

I consider this to be an excellent example of a series that still is somewhere in the middle of its on-going manga, but found itself a perfect place o stop. Of course I’d really like a second season, but if this ends up to be the end of the series then I’m not feeling down about it at all, and the past episodes were an excellent ending.

Before the past Spring season started, I expected nothing from this series, but its first episode really blew me away. During the Spring Season, it was a tad overshadowed by Noitamina, but throughout the past three months it has been consistently my favourite airing series and I had a lot of fun blogging it.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 19 September 2010 with categories: Giant Killing



So this is it: the climax of Giant Killing (next episode will be some sort of epilogue, I guess), and THANK GOD it was every bit as awesome as I hoped. It was just one rush of adrenaline from start to finish, Dulfer’s team played to its full potential (it even switched out its attackers to focus on defence), the use of music was perfect (the creators even used a track that they hadn’t used before at), and I loved every minute of this episode.

I mean, I’m not going to deny that the outcome of these matches are predictable. We know that goals will be made. What makes this show so addictive though are the questions of “who?” and “how?”. This is especially why this final match kicks ass beyond belief: in every single episode, the creators pick out different members of the team to get their place in the spotlight, either because of their actions or by delving into their heads. This is a match that was constantly evolving with so much dynamics that I haven’t seen in any other sports series so far.

This time, it’s finally time for Gino to shine by, along with Sugi in order to make the second goal. Natsuki in the meantime only proves that he picked his role back up: he doesn’t end up in the spotlights. Instead, most of the credits for the final goal go to Murakoshi, for opening up the way to the enemy half, and Sera, for finally getting the chance and pulling off the stupid stunt that got in that third goal. And even beyond that, the creators never neglected the support of the rest of the team to get them there, with the possible exception of the Keeper since Osaka got no shots at the goal in this episode.

I really hope that this isn’t the last we get to see of sports series that focus on professionals, rather than high schoolers. They can lead to completely different series, and series that are based on adults have a ton of stuff that high school sport series don’t have, and vice versa. In this age in which the Japanese economy is doing poorly and there are more and more moe and bishie series, I’m really glad to see that there are still series like this one that try to be different in presentation, art, storytelling and execution. This final arc was really the perfect way to close off this series, and the results were really magnificent, and I can only hope for more series like this.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 12 September 2010 with categories: Giant Killing



I hate the cliff-hangers of this series with passion. I mean, keeping a hook until next week is one thing, but the tension is killing me here. The creators here have this tendency to cut off at the most tense episode of the series. This is just unbelievable: this entire episode was building up for something that happens two seconds after the end of the episode.

Aside from the usual tension, this episode really made the characters shine in so many different ways. I loved all those moments that were focused on character antics, ranging from Akasaki celebrating his goal to Hauer punching Kuroda because he had gotten so annoying (especially the way in which Tatsumi noted that Kuroda had a talent for annoying people). Most of the time, my favourite series of each season are dark, with quite a bit of angst, death and destruction. Giant Killing however is completely different. It’s an incredibly bright and fun series that hits just about all the right buttons.

I can only imagine how awesome the next episode is going to be: it’s there where everything in this series is going to have to come together: with twelve episodes left, and Tsubaki’s chance to score 2-2 ruined because of that defender who is really really tired, the match is at a point at which anything can happen now. I also love how this match is evolving with every single episode: first everything was focused on stopping the onslaught of attackers, most notably Kubota, then the focus moved to Natsuki as an attacker, and now this episode, instead of focusing on Tsubaki, it focused on Dulfer’s strategy collapsing and the main dilemma he has to face: what is more important, your ideals or winning every match you’re in? The long term versus the short term.

NB. This is also something I noticed as I started making screenshots, but the camera angles in this episode were really good here: they were varied, creative, and really helped to bring up the best in the characters. The animation in this series is generally nothing to write home about, but there are these rare scenes that are actually animated quite well and smooth.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 5 September 2010 with categories: Giant Killing



Aargh! Stupid cliff-hangers!

I mean… wow. The way this show builds up tension is just amazing. I mean, I can’t stress enough how nerve-wrecking this episode was, and it was just meant as a build-up! It was pretty much all about Natsuki, a character who had just been introduced, less than ten episodes ago. I really did not expect him to steal the show this way.

At this point, I’ve seen quite a few sports series already, and it really is an excellent genre: I hardly ever watched one that didn’t work. I used to be very biased against the series, but when I actually got to try out one of them, I quickly realized how completely stupid my biases were as I discovered a number of amazing sports series. And yet, despite such a high standard (and with “Shion no Ou” not counted as “sport”), at this point I’m willing to label Giant Killing as the best sports series I have ever seen. It rocks at everything: the characters, the tension, the chemistry, the depth, the entertainment. The animation is the only part at which it isn’t amongst my favourites this season, but in exchange it does have excellent character-designs with a unique graphics style, so even there it could be forgiven.

I also loved how this episode took something so obvious as “the ball belongs to the team, and not to you”, and went much further in this. Alone it would indeed have been a bit of a cheesy saying, but it becomes actually pretty interesting when related to Natsuki: I really put my money on how he was once one of those guys who took these crazy egotistical risks while understanding that at the same time the ball belonged to the team, but right now this 8-month leave changed him significantly. He’s no longer able to take the crazy risks due to his fear of getting injured again and having to spend 8 months out yet again (something I actually can relate to a bit).

It’s a bloody shame that the DVD sales are terrible, though, but this had it coming, unfortunately. In Japan, football just isn’t as popular as baseball, and it has very little to do with traditional Japanese culture. Still, I really believe that this show has a market internationally, especially in the countries in which football is really big. It’s a series that will be near-impossible to dub, but I feel that this is one of those series made with an international audience in mind, rather than just a Japanese one.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 30 August 2010 with categories: Giant Killing



Most of this episode was half-time, but it still was an awesome one. The creators really know how to create tension here, with 35 minutes of the match left and still nobody managed to score. The characters in the meantime are as fun as ever. It also helps that Tatsumi continues to hype his own game with his seemingly endless confidence.

Still, you can see that after the despair of the previous episode, the defence is starting to get together. With 31 minutes however, the problem is indeed Natsuki. He indeed was a bit different from usual in this game, though I never really thought of why this was. The end of this episode however revealed that Tatsumi made quite a devastating comment about his determination. With that I completely understood why he had been running around like a chicken during the past episodes. I guess that Tatsumi wanted to motivate Natsuki, but here’s one thing that seemed to backfire. And interestingly, despite all of the build up of the previous episodes, we still didn’t get to see anything from Sera.

In any case, I’m still surprised at how well the chemistry turned out here. All of the attention that the series has put into the different characters is really paying off right now, and something tells me that the next few episodes will give the rest of the cast beyond the defenders their time to shine. It’s a shame though, I really don’t see huge DVD-sales for this series, so I really doubt that there’s going to be a second season.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 22 August 2010 with categories: Giant Killing



Oh, I’m loving this series more and more. Even though this was meant to be just a building up episode (its goal was to create as much despair as possible without making the match nearly impossible to win again), it still rocked and I enjoyed every minute of it. That’s really what I’m looking for in an awesome series.

At this point, the entire cast is just so fun to watch, and not to mention that the creators really have put them against an awesome opposing team that sparkles with personality as well. This episode also really took its time to flesh out the team, and explain the biggest reason in why they’re so dominant: Kubota. Quite an interesting character. And the interesting thing is this: yes, Osaka was completely dominant in this episode. And yet this episode gave away a few hints at how the second half of the match will not be as one-sided. I’m talking about the point at which Dulfer says that the guy didn’t have the stamina to really stand out as a defender. And yet here he was running all over the field. My guess is that this guy is going to get tired, and I think that that’s what Tsubaki is waiting for.

The forwards were also interesting here: a few attacks were made, but it looks like Natsuki isn’t really sharp, while Gino has trouble placing his shots well enough for Tsubaki to take advantage of them. Is this on purpose? I suspect the latter to be the case. The final minutes of the episode were also nerve-wrecking. The characters finally had this chance… and yet the whistle blew. It wasn’t as cheesy that they would have definitely scored if it wasn’t for that whistle, but still, it could have turned the tides.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 16 August 2010 with categories: Giant Killing



I’m really glad to see that everything just worked perfectly in this episode. The banter between the different characters was absolutely hilarious, the match itself was very exciting despite its predictability, the characters shined more than ever here, the Osaka team itself is just awesome to watch in their relentless onslaught. If anything, Giant Killing has the climax that I’m looking forward to the most this season.

Hauer’s accent is hilarious. His voice actor isn’t as good as with Dulfer, but I can now somewhat understand what your regular anime voice actors may sound like to Japanese people. The thing is, most Dutch guys have a bit of a monotone voice. This guy, whoever he may be, speaks with so much passion in his voice though that it becomes hilarious. He also has this really weird but awesome sense of dramatically stopping for a split second in the middle of his sentences. Take for example the line “Je hebt me…. BELEDIGD HE!”, which can be translated to “You have…. INSULTED ME!”. Imagine saying that with the passion of an Italian soap opera actor.

But yeah, that could be the whole point. We’ve got a number of famous Dutch soccer players who are notorious for their strange personalities, so why not?I’m not sure whether the creators actually intended this, but I love this guy. In one way, he’s really trying to look cool, especially considering his huge posture. And yet the way he keeps his hair so cool and the huge accent end up only backfiring, making him look a bit adorable in a strange kind of way.

Either way though, I’m very surprised at what this episode decided to focus on. Of course it’s something we could have expected, but it didn’t occur to me until now: after all of the build-up the previous arc did towards the battle of the battle of the forwards, we actually didn’t get to see them at all in this episode. Instead, this episode was all about the defence, with Kuroda at the center.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 8 August 2010 with categories: Giant Killing



Ah, yes. The creators are really intending this to be a major match. Just look at the huge amount of time that went into this episode, just leading up to the kick-ff of the actual match. Considering that we’ve only got six episodes left, this might just be the start of the climax of this series. If that’s true, then we’re really in for an awesome climax. Six episodes will be plenty of time to really build up the tension, and progress the match. This series has already shown that its attention to detail is superb, it’ll really be able to show this off with a time in which you can actually fit ninety minutes.

This is also one of those details, but I love how the Dutch people don’t have typical Dutch last names, like “de Groot”, “de Wit”. That isn’t needed either: there are enough Dutch people walking around with strange last names (or German for that matter). This really establishes that this series is dealing with actual people, and doesn’t really care about stereotypes, while at the same time they do make sure to establish these people as foreigners. The Dutch people really are freakishly tall for Japanese standards. Tatsumi’s question about the bikes is bound to have been intended as a subtle jab at this (and yes, for the people who are wondering: we do indeed have more bikes than people. Everyone and his dog seems to have one).

In any case, this episode didn’t feel wasted at all: it really established how the Osaka team is one of the nation’s favourites, with four national players, they’re the tournament’s top scorer and have yet to be beaten. But that’s the beauty of these stories about professional soccer: it doesn’t make them unbeatable. If this were a high school series, one loss would mean that they would be out of the tournament. Because of this, the creators really were able to play with this losing streak of the ETU where despite two wins, they’ve mostly played in a draw or a loss.

I also feel that this is one of those very few series that can end anywhere. Obviously I’m hoping for a second season for this thing, but the lack of ultimate goal here pretty much enables the creators to wrap up the story after any arc, since there pretty much can’t be an actual ending that closes off all of the subplots: life will always go on, and times will always be hard for the ETU. The more we get to see of them of course, the better, but I doubt that this series will leave that empty feeling that other series do when they suddenly stop with their manga still ongoing.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 1 August 2010 with categories: Giant Killing



YES! YES! The Dutch coach has returned! Now this is really going to give this show the potential to become even better than it already was. The next match against Osaka should really prove to be awesome, and not just because that means that there’s going to be a ton of Dutch in the next number of episodes.

But yeah, I really have to say that this series has the best use of foreign language of any anime series I’ve seen. We had entire conversations in Dutch and french in this episode, and while I can’t speak for the accuracy of the French accent, the Dutch one was really nailed. Dulfer does speak with a lot more passion than your average Dutch guy, but I still wouldn’t be surprised if they got a voice actor who actually lived in the Netherlands for a while. The accent of his translator was abysmal, like you would expect of a native Japanese, and I think that most Dutch people probably would have to ask him twice in order to really understand what he means, though it’s easy to get used to when you spend a lot of time with him.

I’m also very excited to see how much detail has gone into the character designs of the Osaka team. There were a ton of players whose character-designs received as much attention as the lead characters, and even the ones in the background all had distinct ones. If anything, this promises that the creators have great plans, and this might be an even bigger match than the one against Sapporo.

In the meantime, it’s really hard to imagine what the upcoming arc is going to focus on, since so many stuff happened in this episode at the same time. The only thing I’m able to put money on is that the ETU will be victorious, but how and why… I have no bloody clue. This episode continues the battle of the forwards by healing Sera’s leg, and hinting at how the second half was much better played, though leaves it for us viewers to imagine whether or not there was any correlation between these events. On the same time, this episode grabbed some more characters who haven’t had their own arc yet: the forward mid-fielders aside from Gino. This episode just didn’t want to say whether they just had a standalone conflict because everyone was pissed off by the goal against, or whether the show is to continue developing their characters.

Then there also was this thing that this series loves to use: Tatsumi apparently announced a crazy strategy, based on the expressions of all of the players. Unfortunately, we don’t get to hear it as viewers, and instead we just have to wait for it to actually happen. Either way though, I’m really getting hungry for more.

Oh, and I also really loved that scene in which the team got into that fight, as it just showed how everyone had different reactions. Seriously, the cast of this show is huge, and I love how this series plays around with characters with a huge variety of different ages, with only three characters not being adults. That scene really showed how all of the players in the team are unique, and how even when they’re together in a group they still stand out.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Well, after the first season of 3-gatsu ended, I did skim ahead to this bullying arc so I already know this is going to be powerful, yet the anime still wow me over and over
Anonymous1637770
Also it can be tricky selecting a season sequel since some old series had like 50 to 100 episodes, what counted as a season then?
Anonymous1637770
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's more common in videogames (especially Capcom) than in other mediums. Megaman 2, RE 2, Street Fighter 2, Dino Crisis 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually in a rarity, a sequel season is better than the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which makes my enjoyment of sangatsu so strange.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I generally do not like game/sports orientated shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That you slightlySuper-erMario and superwooper!
Kaiser-Eoghan
And my reaction to the show is such, that I enjoyed it enough to make such a huge pot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also I want Akari to be my mom and Hina is adorable without being annoyingly so and Kana Hanazawa is doing a good job voicing her.

And whoever said it is right, the op/ed songs are worth listening to, for once I’m not skipping them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At this point it feels as if by the end of the series I’ll come off it thinking that I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.
I don’t think as of just yet it complete lives up to honey and clovers legacy though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never cared about Harunobu initially, but recent episodes have changed this.
Dull parts of the manga are easier to get through for me in the anime due to Shaft elevating the material with one of the better uses of their visual gimmicks.
Giving the series another chance, even though I won’t fully embrace the humour, it does now and then manage to make me laugh a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc centering on Hina and the shows treatment of it is better than most anime bullying stories and has provided the most emotionally rewarding aspect of the show.
Characters that are assholes like Kyouko’s boyfriend, Kyouko herself I’m finding somewhat more sympathetic and want to see more to their personal drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
However I do genuinely think that the series does a good job of allowing dramatic moments to creep up on the viewer, that early scene of Hina crying over her mother, Rei’s family flashbacks, Akari’s concerns about Hina/the stuff with her dad, all the scenes with Kyouko do carry an effective and solid dramatic weight to them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel it starts very strong, making a great first impression, then kind of has these dull moments that make it sort of a slog at times to get through, unfortunately I have no interest in chess/shougi and no knowledge the show tries to give me is going to stick or allow me to embrace that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Through jumping back and forth between the anime and manga, I can say I have no caught up to where I will now watch March comes like a lion on a weekly basis.
Anonymous1636224
The blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki
Anonymous1636224
Mmmmmm the suffering of all those innocent people feeding his God boner, this is why I love Inuyashiki
Lenlo
Oh yeah, thats not a knock against it. Just noting they dont *need* much animation
SuperMario
Well, the nature of Mahoutsukai is slow-burned, so it makes sense they focus more on static, quiet moments
Lenlo
Was that blade 2022 thing supposed to be an example? Because I wasnt a fan. It was stylish sure, but difficult to follow.
Lenlo
Maho is a good looking show, I wouldnt call it a great animated show.
Lenlo
The issue for me is, theres just not alot being animated most of the time. Usually its a pretty slow moving anime, so most of its time is talking and still shots. It doesnt need alot of animation, so it doesnt have it.
Lenlo
@Niel, I think Mahoutsukai can have good animation when it wants to. Like the water viel in episode 10 looked good (Though im not sure how much of that was after effects)
Anonymous1635607
uhhh creepy
Anonymous1635589
the blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki so much
Amagi
I think the security is the same as here, it's just that Japanese people are less likely to rip stuff (correct me if I am wrong). It seems like ripped anime, manga and so on are basically always uploaded by Americans, Chinese people or someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised heavens feel was camripped I thought security in japanese theatres was stronger.
Amagi
Yeah it's also screening in Germany, I will watch it in February, together with Heaven's Feel, Mutafukaz, Kimikoe and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*on Europa cinema
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nanoha new film to screen next February in the US, come in Europa license it for over here dammit....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did have some down moments though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I guess contrasting Luke with his old self goes some way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Saw the preview screening of the new star wars, still feel the new trilogy stands inbetween the originals and prequels, fufills its duty as a *** star blockbuster , some genuinely hilarious high camp moments, awful tokenism, Snoke is a shit villain, but two scenes with Luke actually have a pathos to them and I liked the chase/action scenes when they happened. Nobody cares about the acting/dialogue
AidanAK47
But there are times when it goes way too far and you can barely make out what is even supposed to be happening. Or characters go so off model that they are unrecognizable. It can be immersion breaking. Much like uncanny CGI.
AidanAK47
@Niel, I do agree that it's annoying to see people complain about animation when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Like those inbetween frame screenshot people. But I will say I appreciate on model characters more so than chaotic movement. When the off model stuff suits the tone of the scene like that blade runner part, then it's fine.
niel
I also don't want to see someone imply visual=animation for the hundredth time. Are people really that ignorant of the technical/artistic aspect of the media they consumed?
niel
It just depends on what works best in given scene and the aesthetic they want to go for. People can complain all they want about off-model stuff, but if they really only want that the they won't be getting nearly as much of those impactful scenes as there are now. So many of the ways people complain about it is really irking to me.
niel
normal/low action scenes is different from being on-model during the action sequences and just the ones that need some extra impact in general. https://youtu.be/rrZk9sSgRyQ?t=6m45s
niel
But that depends on the situation though. And I'd argue that being consistent and on-model during
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter/Niello/Mario: Ideally I want it both ways, fluid animation AND consistent model visuals, all the while never sacrificing choreography.
SuperMario
But really, who am I to say. I'm the dude who prefer beautiful shot composition myself
SuperMario
The same can be said with Shinkai's movies since he always prefers static, beautiful shot that people tend to overlook that his animation is quite poorly handled
Vonter
You're right, but art direction does alleviate limited animation, I mean the old Berserk anime, kinda has a lot of slideshow moments. MahoYome has nice backgrounds, and despite the samey faces, at the very least doesn't come from the same mold as other series. Still cutting corners with chibi segments is was a mistake.
SuperWooper
Is it any wonder that people prefer things to be static/on-model? They want to see characters who look consistent and familiar so they can relate to them.
Nie
MahoYome being the biggest offender of people getting triggered to any kind of statement about the show's animation not being good. And it's absurd because the show's animation really isn't great at all. It's good with distracting people with pretty pictures, but animation-wise it's still mediocre.
Nie
@SuperMario: Not much. Just stuff like "Art is part of the animation weather it's beautiful backgrounds or just amazing looking characters. It's not all about how they move. If it was, CG would be considered great animation" multiple times. I've just been finding myself being replied with these kinds of comment non-stop since the start of the season.
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Niello
@Kaiser, That's unexpected.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed how outright surreal Arakawa was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: It bothers me that they're stuffing multiple tales into single episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, excel saga, I wonder what I would think of it now, its been years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I actually respect Aidan's coverage of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Yes that edgy villain kid in COTWs was annoying though.
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Featured Posts

Juuni Taisen – 11 [To Treat a Man to Beef From His Own Cow]

To the surprise of no one, Rat wins the race by breaking in the right place at the right time with the right weapon. This is by no mean a coincidence, because later on we learn about Rat’s real power: “Hundred Paths of Nezumi-chan”, in which he can see 100 various outcomes and thus picking […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 10 [We Live and Learn]

Welcome to week 10 of Mahoutsukai! Finally, oh so finally, we have are given some backstory on Elias! Our mysterious male(?) lead gets some explanation. We also get the start of a Chise only arc and finally some more information on Lindel. Lets jump in! As the main focus of this weeks episode, naturally I […]

Dies Irae – 09[A Mother’s Sins]

DIes Irae isn’t making this easy for the anime only watcher, as we get confused montages of Lisa’s backstory and oddly of a character whose relevance doesn’t come till a much later date. I would say it’s rather spoiler-ish if the info wasn’t presented in such a haphazard way that no one could really decode […]

Girls’ Last Tour – 10 [Train – Wavelength – Capture]

Girls’ Last Tour examines the concept of time and space this week, as the girls riding on a lonely moving train. The train design fits right in with this world: a long metal box that functions all by itself and contains many now-dysfunctional robots – corpses of the machines. Since last week we learnt that […]

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Another remake of a story from the old series and while this one is adapted quite well, maybe even arguably better than the old version, it unfortunately lacks the same impact. The main problem comes back to the thing which ultimately holds back this season as a whole, story choice. For you see in the […]

Houseki no Kuni – 10 [Shiro]

This week proves to be the most action-packed episode Houseki has been offering so far and unconventionally, it’s Dia who takes the central stage at facing the most ridiculously overpowered Lunarian Titan to date. Well, I said “unconventionally”, but when the narration and the execution (the camera work, in particular) come together in such neat […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 22[Reunion and Farewell]

Breaking my usual routine today just to give an opinion on this episode but this episode made me feel compelled to get out my opinion. We have another action packed episode with three contestants out of the war and boy did they go out with a bang. Many will notice that the animation for this […]

Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

Welcome to another week of Inuyashiki! This week we have incredible sequences of terror, fearless Directors and death flags! Lets jump in. Obviously, the first thing we need to talk about this week is Hiro. A lot has happened in the few hours since Hiro attacked the Station. Interestingly, yet weirdly, Hiro has garnered a […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 21[Antares Snipe]

When Apocrypha slows down, it’s story shows it’s cracks. But when it’s an action showcase it actually becomes quite entertaining. The characters don’t have the time to be developed but they shine in combat when they clash, sometimes showing parts of themselves the series otherwise doesn’t allow for. Astolfo for one was actually useful for […]

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The Reflection Review – 45/100

The superhero genre has been undergoing a surge in popularity in recent years. From the Marvel movies in the West to anime series like My Hero Academia in the East, super heroes are everywhere.  As such, for good or ill, it was inevitable that we would get a merging of the two. The Reflection is […]

Made in Abyss Review – 91/100

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Classroom of the Elite (Summer 2017) Review – 54/100

Here’s a perfect example of a Light Novel adaptation schlock that has some interesting concept but terrible presentation. Youkoso usually starts the episode with a thought-provoking philosophical quote, and then (in one episode in particular) they followed up with a boob shot. It sums up exactly how I feel about this show. In service for […]

18if (Summer 2017) Review – 68/100

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Princess Principal has emerged as a true sleeper hit for this admittedly sloppy Summer Season. A joint project from indie studios that bring us my favorite anime of last year Flip Flappers (3Hz) and “better than it has any right to be” Girls und Panzer (Actas), Princess Principal records the missions of five cute spy […]

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Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Review – 63/100

Every Anime season we the viewers are shown a number of adaptations, often made after Light or Visual Novels. It’s an already written story with an established base, a smart business decision. In recent years studios have also begun pulling from the Video Game market for their shows. Pieces like the Idolmaster series, Kantai Collection […]

Kakegurui Review – 61/100

This show is one that makes conventional reviewing difficult as your enjoyment of your series will likely determine on highly subjective factors. For if I was to put this under scrutiny on matters of f-plot, setting and characters then it will end up lacking in all categories. The plot is just watching Yumeko face members […]

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