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
Kalandra
@SuperMario
Thanks for the answer. I got burnt out of watching 3 - 4 years ago, I guess its good timing I am coming back to anime the same time as him.
Kalandra
@Kaiser Sorry I don't remember you. But thanks for the answer.
@
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh well, there you go, Mario was quicker on the uptake and his post got through before mine.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Kalandra: He maintains a background presence on the site, paying for it, lately he has gotten his groove back, he every so often comes back to make a comment here and there or post a monthly summary.
I vaguely remember you.
SuperMario
@Kalandra: He was burned out of anime for about 2 years, but now he's back for monthly summary where he reported what he was watching that month. In fact, you can come back tomorrow for his April summary.
Kalandra
Hi, old reader just checking up on this blog. I notice that the reviewer isn't psgels anymore. Is he still doing reviews?
SuperMario
@anon1058019: yep, and we'll get an original film no less. Welp, I don't mind for more Yuri but everything sounds vague for now. Let wait for more details coming
SuperMario
@Tatami: I'm only watch anime but I'm not a fan at all with the show so I can't really help you on that. In fact this season I couldn't get pass episode 2
Tatami
For guys who only watched AoT anime and not the manga, Im curious what do you think of the current season?
Tatami
The recent 2 epsiodes of AoT pretty much confirmed my guesses of who are the Armored and Colossus titans
Anonymous1058019
Yuri on ICE!!! movie has been announced. Prepare for incoming fangirls. :.D
Spike
Zestiria finale was pretty mediocre at best... Ufotable writers really fizzled at the end. :(
Anonymous1057532
Konstantinos here: I have to disagree. I liked the episode and felt they did a good job giving exposition. I like Meteora. That said when Alicertia meets Selesia. Oh boy, that will be a rumble.

On other notes: Attack of the Titan. If they do not pull a bait and switch, we are not in Kansas anymore.

Shingeki no Bahamut: What exceptional animation.
AidanAK47
It really does feel like this show is aiming to be something akin to Fate/Zero as that too did have a exposition heavy beginning. Difference here is that series had Urobuchi writting and while the man my be more famous for his murderous treatment of characters, he is a master of presenting exposition.
AidanAK47
I hope that's the majority of the exposition done for Re:creators. We established the stakes, rules and factions. So now would be good to focus on the creator and creation interactions plus badass battles.
Honestly I really regret Meteora coming into the story when she's being pretty much a massive exposition device.
Konstantinos Travlos
Hmm the "The Man who Knew 75 Languages" reminds me of the game "The Last Express". Great game. Definitely interested.
Anonymous1056824
moster keaton
Anonymous1056607
ditective conan
AidanAK47
@Anon, Pretty sure you are just trying to pick a fight more than defend the show but a decent show to me would be one that is deeply flawed but enjoyable to some degree. Sagrada reset is not this. It goes out of it's way to be unenjoyable. To me it's a 3/4 out of 10 show. Interesting concept but with a presentation so alien that the viewer can't empathise with anything on screen.
Lenlo
I mean, decent warrants about a 5-6. That, in theory, should be an "Average" show.
Anonymous1055365
It's a decent show. You're being overly critical.
SuperMario
In the Out of Competition slot (you think that I'm finished?), 2 films in particular that catch my interest are the Korean Lost in the Moonlight which looks like a fun and lightheart adventure, and the Norway-Poland co-production adult-oriented The Man who Knew 75 Languagues about the star-crossed love between the Queen of Romania and a titular man, I guess
SuperMario
Rounding up the Main Competition are Animal Crackers, a 3G American family film which I don't have good feeling about; Big Fish and Begonia - a Chinese indie film that divided the critics, but gathered skyhigh commercial success in its mainland China; and finally Zombillenium which sounds like an enjoyable European children film
SuperMario
From other countries, most notable films are the Loving Vincent - the first feature length hand painting; the Chinese black comedy Have a Nice Day that premiered in Berlin earlier this year; Ethel and Ernest which already gained a strong reviews from the UK; Tehran Taboo- a German production about the lives of 3 women in Iranian community, which sound exactly like my kinda of film.
SuperMario
Alright, I'm here to bring you news about the selection of this coming Annecy AKA one of the best animation festival out there. 3 of anime features: A Slient Voice, In the Corner of the World and Masaaki Yuasa's Lu over the Wall will compete for the main competition.
SuperMario
I'm a fan of thought-provoking anime (see Lain, Boogiepop Phantom) but I need to care about the story and characters first before I make an effort to dig deeper to the theme. Sagrada Reset failed on that fronts.
SuperMario
It's not really about being smart/dumb here. As a creator, they already have an advantage to know how the story and plot will play out. I don't mind this advantage because otherwise the plot will become a hot mess. But don't use that advantage as a way to widen the gap between them and the audience.
AidanAK47
Ugh...Ray Gigant was pretty much mediocre up until this point but now it;s utterly asinine. Whoever decided on this endgame needs to be fired. When you are ready to end a game, no player want a ten floor dungion with a boss on each floor coupled with a goddamn boss rush halfway. Just...fuck.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It must be worse than oremo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw some pages of the eromanga sensei manga and my reaction was that I was sad that it actually existed and stated "why would you even" after looking at it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an anime example, sekaisuru kado has lots of dialogue but it seems like it could actually be engaging.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So basically no I don't think we're dumb for not liking sagrada reset, given that myself and Mario are capable of watching genuinely smart wordy things and getting them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I can imagine watching Sagrada reset and thinking I'd rather be watching a Bergman film instead , something also with lots of dialogue and themes but actually engaging/clever and NOT pretentious or obnoxious about it.
Anonymous1054942
is it possible that you are all just dumb?
Anonymous1054269
@Mario: I like how you described it as giving a middle finger to the viewers. It's so true. Like, it tries to be intelligent and make the viewer feel stupid, but it just comes off as obnoxious/pretentious.
Lenlo
CGI remains the worst part of it, but we are getting more and more 2D art which I actually enjoy the style of
Lenlo
Its an improvement. The art is better, and maybe its because I prefer this arc, but the pacing is better as well. I gave last season a 3, but this one is more deserving of a 4 and if they can nail certain scenes coming up I may bump it to a 5.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: How's Berserk doing so far? Haven't picked up last week and this week's episodes.
Lenlo
Ground*. I hate it when I fat finger something.
Lenlo
Thats always the worst, when a story starts off promising and then someone runs it into the grouhnd
AidanAK47
@Mario, so it's still at it. To me it's like someone was given an interesting story and made it his mission to ruin it as much as possible.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it's still the same crap. I have a feeling that Sagrada Reset gives a middle finger to us viewers. The plot with development and characters that we have no way to figure out ourselves. The characters who change motive and even personality after each timeline. The main lead girl who act like a robot. I gave this show too many chance so I won't bother to spend more time watching it.
Anonymous1052767
Eromanga sensei
AidanAK47
@Mario, Oh ho, what was the dealbreaker? Just that it didn't change or did something really stupid happen?
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset (long sigh) (scratching my head) (eyes rolling). Dropped
AidanAK47
Hey you.
Konstantinos
Yeah, at this point, this season looks good.
SuperMario
Quite happy with ID-0 and Zero in particular. Zero charms me to no end that I'm still debating whether I should blog it. The trio Re:Creators, Kado, Atom still doing pretty well and the sequels MHA and Bahamut are enjoyable as expected. We have a wide range of anime offerings this season.
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset & SukaSuka I will give it another episode, at least until this current arcs over. They both have potential but Sagrada Reset tries so hard to sound smart, and SukaSuka still falls into its LN tropes which bugged the show down.
SuperMario
*no real urge
SuperMario
I've finally catch up with all other series I wanna follow this season. Alice & Zorouku will be off my list for now, Zorouko is a great character but everything else falls flat so far. I have real urge to continue Attack on Titan and Berserk so I'll wait until they're finished.
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Total users: 31

Featured Posts

Tsuki ga Kirei – 04 [Passing Shower]

I’m totally impressed with Tsuki ga Kirei thus far. This show has its own voice and after this episode I’m confident that we will have the constant quality in display for the rest of its run. Nothing can beat consistency, I assure you. This week, the kids go to another city for a school trip […]

Sakura Quest – 04 [The Lone Alchemist]

Hmm, I don’t really like the direction Sakura Quest is going for. To be more precise, this episode brings up some questionable variables that I don’t think blended well with the show. The actual story for this week though, is still enjoyable and grounded enough to overcome those concerns. At least for now. This week the […]

Little Witch Academia – 16[The Trial of Pohjola]

One of the weaker episodes of the show but still enjoyable. This week sees us visiting Lottes parents and Akko unlocking another of the words of Arcturus after sloving a disease outbreak. Thus getting closer to the grand triskelion and now learned the meaning of pathence. Except she didn’t learn the meaning of pathence. This […]

Re:Creators Episode 3 – “Don’t worry about what others said. Just be yourself.”

This week wasn’t a particular exciting episode as it went further into how the mechanics between the Creator and Created might or might not work. As speculated last week, Yuuya Mirokuji is a pretty fun character that takes his teleportation into the modern world in stride. His own fictional universe of the Tokyo underground isn’t […]

Uchoten Kazoku 2 – 03 [The Scent of Europe]

Dear, how this show spoils me with its magnificent and whimsical magical realism Kyoto world. Last season, we were treated with many Eureka moments like Benten pulling a whale’s tail; tanuki drinking in a floating house to enjoy Gozan Fire Festival, or a fake train running around the shopping mall. Whatever the case, the way […]

Seikaisuru Kado – 03[Wam]

I admit this show moves at a pace that is rather slow but he concept it sets up is truly brilliant. Normally in alien invasion stories the threat is clear as the aliens blow up the white house and attack humanity. Other versions usually paint humans as the antagonist force attacking something they don’t understand. […]

Shingeki no Kyojin(Attack on Titan) – 29[Soldier]

Before I started this episode, I had it in mind to write in this post that the titan designs of this season were far less intimidating and more comical. After this episode however you can consider that though solely retracted. Personal favorite is the titan that appears when Reiner opened the stairway door. If I […]

Tsuki ga Kirei – 03 [Howling at the Moon]

Tsuki ga Kirei sure understands about the life of 14-year-old kids would be like. I’m sure we all have different experience about that pre-teen stage of our life, but the life portrayed here is so vivid and true to life that it brings out our fond memories as well. Personally, while not much really happen […]

Sakura Quest – 03 [The Cry of the Mandrake]

“The one who can change the town is the young fool outsider” Which kind of makes sense, since the outsider’s perspective will give a fresh take to improve the town. That makes our Queen Yoshino the perfect candidate, but as the interview goes on, she learns the truth: she hardly knows anything about the town, […]

Latest Reviews

Kobayashi-san chi no Maid Dragon (Winter 2017) Review – 74/100

I remember back in the first impression of last Winter season, I regarded Demi-chan as a better Monster Girls slice of life subgenre over this one. But as the season progressed, while Demi-chan run out of its steam quickly, this one picked up its pace after an underwhelming first episode to become a much more […]

Scum’s Wish (Winter 2017) Review – 80/100

I remember after watched a movie called “Requiem for a Dream” a few years back, I felt devastated for an entire week. The ending hit me so hard that after finished that movie I had to walk around my area for 2 hours in the middle of night to settle my feeling and I thought […]

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu Review – 90/100

When you have watched a large amount of anime you can come to assume that you have learned a lot about Japanese culture. Though I think it’s testament to how limited it is to view Japan through anime when you come to realize that despite watching so much, you have never heard of Rakugo. Rakugo […]

Youjo Senki Saga of Tanya the Evil Review – 80/100

Isekai stories have become somewhat of a tiresome genre as of late. There have been many stories of people being transported/reincarnated into other worlds where they shed their once pitiful exterior and become some legendary figure in another world. In most cases it’s trit, balant childish wish fulfilment and the stories often become tiresome when […]

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. (Winter 2017) Review – 83/100

Imagine my utmost amazement when a show that I wasn’t that confident on taking in the beginning turned out to be one of the most solid offering this season had to offer. ACCA is the most recent anime adaptation from mangaka Natsume Omo, which despite isn’t a household name, many of her works (6 titles […]

Demi-chan wa Kataritai (Winter 2017) Review – 62/100

Demi-chan is one of the newest addition to the monster girl subgenre, which usually feature a human helpless male lead get stuck in a harem of mythical creatures, in form of oversized boob girls of course (why usually those monsters are in female forms anyways? Aren’t they sexless?). In this case, we have monster girls […]

Seiren (Winter 2017) Review – 51/100

Let me say this out front, Seiren is NOT a good show, it’s a highly uneven one. Throughout its run, I can see some solid moments and fresh ideas that could potentially raise it above the bar, but ultimately, view it as a whole, Seiren is a show that isn’t worth recommending. At first, I’m […]

Flip Flappers (Fall 2016) Review – 93/100

What makes Flip Flappers stand out from the rest of the anime field? I found a lot of people asking that question along the way. Well, first off, Flip Flappers isn’t your ordinary anime offering, that’s for sure. Its visual styles are too much and too incoherent for one thing, the narrative never really reveal […]

Sound! Euphonium 2 (Fall 2016) Review – 86/100

I must admit that out of all the series I was blogging last year, Sound Eupho 2 was the one I’m saddest to see it ends; not because it was my absolute favorite anime last year, but because the sheer amount of their attention to details and their ridiculously quest for perfection are something that […]