Posted on 5 August 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews, Good Witch of the West - Astraea Testament



This series also came out, along with the huge wave of new series at the beginning of the spring-2006-season. It’s a fantasy-series, embedded with lots of politics, drama and romance. With its 13 episodes, it’s a short series. Maybe a bit too short.

This series has two point at which it excels with some incredible quality: the story and the graphics. The graphics really are some of the best to be ever seen in anime. The character art really moves away from the standard-designs, in order to create something really unique. Each of the characters looks really beautiful. The hair has some very interesting shapes, and the CG is very nicely integrated with the regular drawings. It also becomes clear that the creators liked to play with lighting effects, which gives a really good atmosphere to the whole package.

The story also is incredibly well thought out. We’ve got a lot of different characters, all playing their own, distinct roles. The story’s got a lot of facets and elements. Characters have good reasons, and the setting is very creative. The story basically is a battle between three people for the position of the queen. As the story progresses, more elements keep getting added to the story, in order to turn it into a masterpiece.

Unfortunately, this anime also has bad points: the pacing and the storytelling. The story may be great, these two factor mess it up a bit. The fact remains that thirteen episodes is too little for this series. It would so have benefitted from six more episodes. Because it had to squish such a story in only 13 episodes, some elements did get lost. The fact also remains that quite a few time is spent on developing a love-triangle, which, in my opinion, only worked annoying. The last few episodes of the anime, however, these problems disappear and the anime is able to conclude in a very nicely paced ending.

Another thing this anime is very good at is creating tension. The music really helps in this. The anime features a very good soundtrack, which really works at times like these. The action scene also remain in the category of the better ones.

Overall, if you’re looking for a fantasy anime with a very good story, I’m certainly recommending this anime. Though this is not an anime you can afford to miss or forget even one second. If you do, the story will immediately make no more sense. Things just aren’t explained that well, and it would also be better to marathon this series, instead of watching one episode at a time. The anime remains great, though prepare for its flaws.

Posted on with categories: Good Witch of the West - Astraea Testament



I love fast-paced endings. They’re so much better than the anime which leave only one question to be solved in the final episode. I guess we can now see the fruits of the enormously fast pacing of Good Witch of the West. Okay, it did leave some questions behind, and the ending itself was rather anticlimactic, though overall, I’m satisfied.

First of all, I made a mistake during the previous episode. When Firiel got transported by the wall, she met up with the Bard. Then, when she came back, Cain appeared. What he was doing there forever remains a mystery. In any case, Cain decided to travel with them, and then, at the end of the previous episode, Bard appeared again.

And yes, there was indeed another person besides Lot to play as a traitor: the king himself. I was very surprised that the creators decided to add a couple of funny scenes during the fight of Firiel, Roux and Leandra. Who would’ve thought that a plastic frog would be the solution? It’s something I really appreciated. Leandra also really showed that she received a healthy dose of character development during the series.

The Dragon-problem and Brigeonte’s invasion get a very nice conclusion. Adale gets to be the one to come with the solution: send all of the dragons to Brigeonte’s camp. I liked such a tactic. In the end, Eusis has to defeat every single dragon one by one. Some very nice scenes indeed.

At the second half of the episode, things get more serious, and less creative, unfortunately. It seems that the queen decided to take full responsibility for the things that have happened. It doesn’t exactly make her like a good queen, and both Leandra as Adale as Firiel scold her for this, though it’s Firiel who manages to get through to her. Then, Bard prays to the sage, and the sage makes the Miharu-Star move away. just who is this sage anyway?

Overall, especially the first half of the episode was incredibly fun to watch. So many things get solved at once, and not even at the last possible moment. The fact that the graphics became a bit messier at certain scenes only made this even better. The second half of the episode was satisfying, if you ignore that we never get any information about the sage.

Memorable Moments: Quite a few, Leandra’s actions against the King, Firiel and Roux suddenly appearing from out of nowhere, Roux realizing that the teleportation went wrong, the king revealing his plans, Adale coming up with her plan, Adale’s new haircut, Rouxbow trying to dig himself in Roux’ bag, Leandra’s reaction to this and the king’s reaction to the frog. ^^

Posted on with categories: Good Witch of the West - Astraea Testament



Haha! This is where the fun really begins! One of the advantages of the enormous pacing of this show is the fact that it now has time to develop an amazing ending. And so far, things have been moving in an awesome direction. Firiel and Roux have made up, so their whining also has stopped, things are actually explained in the right way, and so many worthwhile events happen. This episode really showed why the previous episodes had to sacrifice their pacing.

We start at the forest at the end of the world. The Mahiru-star is getting closer and closer, and suddenly a portal from the other side of the world opens, releasing a bunch of angry-looking meat-eating dragons. Meanwhile, Eusis asks Igraine what might’ve happened to Lot Christbard, and then it seems that nobody’s able to find him. This means that another person has to take Lot’s place in the dragon-battling. Igraine then volunteers.

The next day, Leandra, still hasn’t figured out that the invasion of Torubato is a trap, so she leads Gulair’s army towards their doom. Back to the dragons, Igraine proves that she’s quite the dragon-slayer as she mainly is responsible of killing off the group of four dragons. Then, however, five others come to replace them. Then, Adale, Vincent and a couple of soldiers come them to the aid, along with Cain, Firiel and Roux and the dragons are scared away. It was a very successful scene, which I really enjoyed. Of course, Eusis would’ve been able to defeat another five dragons, especially with Igraine, but it was a good moment for the creators to make every party meet again. I just loved how everything just happened all at once.

Eusis then asks Cain his name. He then answers, and he also tells that he’s one who’s looking for Hermes. Roux then manages to prevent Eusis from declaring Cain as an enemy, even if the guy is a heathen. Rouxbow, meanwhile, gets introduced to Adale and Vincent. Vincent also wonders how Igraine managed to become a knight, and Firiel indeed notices that her unicorn used to belong to Lot Christbard. Igraine then reveals that Lot has been gone since the previous night.

Roux, meanwhile, explains what he knows about the Mahiru-star’s behaviour. It seems that three passages to the other side of the world have opened. Of course, this is letting in a huge number of meat-eating dragons into the dimension, and it will become a major problem if the dragons just keep coming, and start terrorizing some villages. The Ephemeris won’t be able to close these gates, though if you have it, you will be able to figure out what to do next. Why this is, still remains a mystery.

Cain then proposes to go back to Sellafield. Then Adale enters. She then tells Eusis, Roux, Firiel and the others the things he came to realize during the previous episode: Lot has been paying a lot of visits to the mansion in Shiliz Sandlru. Or the place Roux was tortured. Eusis doesn’t like this. This was the reason for Adale to come to Eusis, because she was worried about him.

What follows is Firiel, Roux and Cain leaving for Shiliz Sandlru, while Adale, Vincent and the others stay behind. Eusis then scolds Adale, as sending a messenger to him would have been faster. Though that wasn’t a really smart move of him. ^^ Adale seems to have borrowed some unicorns from Duke Gilbia’s wife, because of her queen’s touchstone. She also claims that she came here to help him.

That evening, Firiel wonders what Hermes exactly is. After all, Cain is with them, though Duke Riez is also a member. And then FINALLY, we receive some explanation about them. It was indeed time, at the second-last episode. I’ve been waiting for this, and suddenly, the story makes much more sense. Hermes symbolizes the Shadow Kingdom of Gulair. They consider the Snake Rod to be their symbol. Consider the queen as light, and them as the dark.

And suddenly, a picture is shown that explains so MANY things. We see a picture of the queen (if I recall this correctly, this is the first shot we get to see of her. She looks pretty old), with in the background a picture of Hyragurion. This gives us some very high suspicions that Hyragurion actually is the main capital of Gulair. That’s why there are so many parties. That’s why Firiel had to go there. Everything suddenly makes much more sense.

In any case, back to Hermes. Shadows are necessary to maintain harmony. If one of the two becomes too big, disaster is bound to happen. Hermes Trimestigus is the leader of the Hermes. It’s been explained before, but now I finally understand what it really means. The Hermes is currently divided into different factions. Each of these factions has a different leader. Cain and Rou belong to the research faction. I wouldn’t be surprised if Firiel’s father is the leader of that faction. Hermes Trimestigus is probably the leader of the evil faction. Or however it’s called.

I think the major mistakes were the following:
– This explanation should have arrived sooner. The Hermes are a major part of the storyline. You would introduce them at the beginning of the anime, not at the end.
– When Firiel went to Hyragurion, the fact that it’s Gulair’s capital should have been mentioned.

The next morning, they run into Leandra and her army. Firiel uses this opportunity to tell Leandra about the fact that Brigeonte’s trying to deceive her. Leandra decides to believe her. It’s interesting that Firiel mentions that there’s a traitor among the dukes and nobles who’s spreading the lies about Brigeonte’s plans. Why doesn’t she just mention Lot’s name? Because of this, she sends Ravenna to lead the army to Torubato, while she heads to Hyragurion, in order to unmask this guy. Or could it mean that we’ve got another traitorous noble somewhere?

Meanwhile, the weather continues to get worse. Lots of people are praying, in the hope for things to turn out right. Then, Firiel, Roux and Cain arrive in Shiliz Sandlru, where Marie and Madam (sorry, forgot her name) have been waiting for them. Apparently, it was their task to keep an eye on things. It seems the castle is heavily guarded. Firiel then suggests to go inside. To make it even better, she plans to enter it directly.

In order to achieve this, Cain makes use of one of his powerful bombs, in order to scare away the guards. Then, Lot appears. I so like the way that his personality remained the same as it was when he still was acting. Mostly, when you see a bad guy, trying to deceive others as a good guy, you see him or her act very cheerful in front of the good guys, while in fact, he or she’s incredibly serious. Too serious, perhaps. Though Lot appears to have a real laid-back personality.

Lot then bring them to the real Hermes Trismestigus, aka Duke Riez. He’s had to hide his identity, in order to get close to his target. Because of that, he faked his own death. The dead body which was found indeed was just a dead body made to look like him. Duke Riez then tries to toy with Roux again, by making him remember the Snake Rod. It works quite well. Then, Riez reveals that he has paid a visit to Sellafield, in order to destroy Elilin’s grave and pick up the Ephemeris. So it’s now in his possession. Apparently, Lot told him about the location. Riez, however, seems to think that having the Ephimeris, automatically means that he has the Mahiru-Star, while Roux revealed that it can only show you the steps to take next, earlier in the episode.

And then, finally, Firiel totally breaks out of her role as damsel in distress, when she grabs the nearest pointy object she can find, and charges towards Riez, using the things she learned from Igraine. She’s doing quite a good job, though Riez has more experience than she has, resulting in him overpowering her. Riez then tries to enlist Firiel, Roux and Cain for his own purposes.

The saviour of the day gets to be Rouxbow. He charges in from the window, making good use of the Deus ex Machina, and makes Lot drop his sword. In the confusion, Firiel grabs it, and overpowers Riez. Cain, meanwhile, has made sure that Lot won’t move anywhere. Then, Roux reveals the contents of the Ephemeris. It’s an ordinary book, which just reveals the exact movements of the Mahiru Star, and the influence it has. It won’t be able to control the Mahiru-Star just like that.

Duke Riez, then places all his hope on the only plan of his which still stands: Brigeonte’s invasion. Only then, a very surprising guest arrives. A mysterious person who looks just like Cain. This explains his appearances in the previous episodes. The guy speaks in complete mysteries, though he does recognize that the Mahiru Star has reached its limit. The Mahiru-Star, meanwhile has turned entirely red, and then it explodes, creating a huge tidal wave. Then the episode ends.

The next episode, Leandra will probably stop Brigeonte’s invasion, Adale will stop the invasion of the dragons, and Firiel will stop the Mahiru-star. That means that either Leandra or Adale will become queen, unless the Firebird’s Feather has a hidden meaning to it. If that’s the case, Firiel will become queen.

Overall, I loved this episode. The music was awesome, the pacing was perfect this time, and finally things become clear again. I can’t wait for the last episode. Let’s hope it won’t mess up like so many other endings do.

Posted on 26 July 2006 with categories: Good Witch of the West - Astraea Testament



Okay, screw the flaws of Good Witch of the West. The only one worth mentioning is the strange sound Firiel’s footsteps make in the middle of the desert. It’s just like she was in a ballroom. ^^

Well now, the plot during this episode was excellent once more, and it set a very nice base for the last two episodes. I’m very glad that Firiel and Roux coming together didn’t wait for the final episode, which means that right now, the last two episodes can focus on the really important things:

First of all, the attack of Brigeonte on Torubato was all fake. Torubato plans to attack Gulair head on. This indeed can work, now that Gulair has all of its forces aimed at the south, thanks to a certain potential heir of the throne. Second of all, Duke Riez is up to something. He’s been inviting all sorts of people in his castle, including one of the dukes who went along with Eusis on his little dragon hunt. Third of all, the Mahiru Star seems upset for some strange reason, it comes closer and suddenly changes color from blue to red. It also reveals to posess suction powers. Eusis, meanwhile, continues to hunt the four remaining dragons. I guess he’ll be quite busy the next couple of episodes.

Rouxbow actually was quite funny while he was away from Firiel. The Bard, who actually got a proper introduction during this episode is quite an interesting character. My only complaint about him is that he showed himself a bit too late. He really brings a bright spark into the story. He seems to be some sort of wizard, working for the queen.

It seems that both Adale and Firiel will play as hero. Adale will probably be solving the diplomatic issues and become queen, while Firiel solves the thing which goes on behind the scenes, with Duke Riez, the Mahiru Star and the Ehpimeris.

Overall, the episode was quite enjoyable indeed. I’m looking forward to a very entertaining finale.

Memorable Moment: Firiel in the pub.

Posted on 14 July 2006 with categories: Good Witch of the West - Astraea Testament



Eusis heads to defeat the dragon. In the world of Good Witch of the West, there are two types of dragons: carnivorous and herbivorous. Eusis first heads for the herbivorous ones, only to stand face to face with a ferocious herbivorous dragon. Firiel is watching him from a safe distance as Eusis grabs all his courage and slays the dragon with great honor. But wait, another carnivorous dragon approaches Firiel. She now has to run for her life in order to stay away from the angry teeth of this ferocious beast. But then, Rouxbow runs off on his own and Firiel rushes in to save the little guy. Then, the dragon closes her in. Firiel prepares for the inevitable. She’s only seconds away from death…

Only to be saved by Roux, who just happened to be in the neighbourhood. I didn’t like that scene. Talk about Deus ex Machinae

In any case, this episode illustrated once more the major flaw of Good Witch of the West: it doesn’t build up. At all. That’s the pity of only having thirteen episodes. This show would SO have profited from thirteen extra episodes. After all, the story is just amazing. If the first thirteen episodes could have been spent at building up and introducing the characters, countries and concepts while the last thirteen episodes would focus at the story, this anime could have been totally incredible. Right now, there were just too many moments at which I kept wondering about certain names which were used (Hermes? Vildo? Cheviat?) The Mahiru-star also has been left without any explanations so far. Does it also function as the major light source in that world, or is it just a pretty statue, which floats around in the air?

And I’m also having a bit of trouble concerning the “big bird’s feather”. According to r3dking, it’s actually called the “firebird’s feather”. Why did Ureshii choose for “big bird’s feather”? I would also have loved for this series to explain a bit more about each of the cities and strongholds visited. I still don’t know the real meaning of Hyragurion. And why did Marie become a maid at the castle?

Okay, that’s enough ranting for now, on to the good stuff. As there were quite some juicy things revealed this episode, which made the story take another turn for the best. :)

First of all, the big firebird’s feather mentioned two ways to become queen. Either hunt dragons or protect the country Torubato from the country Brigeonte. This was incredibly direct, so there’s got to be some kind of catch to it. I have a hunch that Firiel will be the one to figure it out, but that’s not the point. At the beginning of the episode, Leandra figures out why Torubato has to be protected. It seems that Brigeonte’s been rather hostile lately, and it aims to attack Gulair. As Torubato lies between the two countries, it would be troublesome if it were to fall.

Another interesting fact which gets revealed is that Duke Riez is actually alive. The only ones who know this are probably the ones who were present at the night in which he was supposedly killed, so that means Roux, the mysterious guy with the hat and Riez himself. It also means that Riez used some kind of doppleganger, who killed him off, which would explain the body that Eusis found the day after. Or it could be that the real Riez died that night, but the blue guy from the OP managed to survive.

Roux also reveals a major part of the storyline: The Wall. It seems that the Ephemeris-research was really close related to this. It seems that the entire world is surrounded by an invisible wall. What’s behind this wall, nobody knows. It just seems that a lot of dragons come from there. In any case, the Mahiru Star and this Wall seem to be competing with each other, or something like that. Whenever the star gets close to the wall, the wall opens. That’s what the doctor has found out. The Ephemeris will help Roux to prove that the star and the wall are interfering with each other. But what this has got to do with the darkness isn’t clear yet.

The final interesting thing happens when Firiel touches The Wall. Roux promised her to take her to the wall, in order to disappear forever afterwards. Roux’ plans change when a great light appears which swallows Firiel up, leaving no trace at all. This probably has a lot to do with the big firebird’s feather, though we need to wait till the next episode to find out. Nevertheless, it’s a very interesting development indeed.

Overall, despite its flaws, I’m still enjoying Good Witch of the West. It’s got an awesome story, after all.

Posted on 25 June 2006 with categories: Good Witch of the West - Astraea Testament



Okay, that was interesting… almost no angst, no heavy emotions. Just Firiel, Eusis and some others travelling to the dragon. Only the final minute of the episode showed the heavy drama of Good Witch of the West. I’m surprised that the creators managed to squeeze such a slow-moving episode in the fast pacing of the plot.

By the way, I strongly advice people who want to see this at a later stage to just marathon the entire thing. Otherwise, you’ll forget important facts, which only make you more confused when they get used again. For example, I still have no idea whether the queen (Firiel’s mother) is alive or not. I also found out that she has a sister, and the sister was the mother of Leandra and Adele. That actually explains a lot. Firiel isn’t the sister of Leandra and Adale, she’s their cousin. With Leandra and Adale either being sisters, or half-sisters (you wonder why Adale got adopted in the first place). Another example is that I already forgot about the big bird’s feather because of all the events that happened. It was to slay the dragon in the name of the country of the Good Witch of the West, wasn’t it? Or some strange country?

Ah well, enough wondering. Fact remains that the episode did build up perfectly. It has two major purposes. The most obvious is, of course, following Eusis who gets to tame a unicorn in order to beat the dragon. The second goes much deeper: following Firiel who follows Eusis, in an desperate attempt because Roux left her, while trying to act naturally. This goes well, until the climax of the episode.

Still, despite the fact that this episode was nice and slow, even now, there were some rushed parts, namely the people who lost their homes because of the dragon. So many nice things could have been done with this, but the anime just spends a small moment on them. Strange. I’m not sure whether I like the new unicorn-mascot, by the way. It depends on how it’ll act in the following episodes.

The fact also remains that while Firiel and Eusis were on their little trip, nothing was shown of Leandra, Roux, Adale, Vincent or the mysterious guy from the previous episode. They probably used the entire episode to scheme their little plans in order to bring a great final, which will probably come once the dragon has been taken care of.

Overall, did this unusual episode make for a great episode? To be honest, this peaceful mood does not suit the anime. The power of Good Witch of the West is its incredible use of awesome dramatic scenes. This is one of the few anime which is just entirely drama. A slow and laid-back episode doesn’t really fit in. Still, I did enjoy watching it. The climax seemed to return the show to its usual, overdramatic self, so I’m curious about the last four episodes.

Posted on 17 June 2006 with categories: Good Witch of the West - Astraea Testament



Good Witch of the West remains brilliant, and the episodes yet to come suggest that it’ll become even better. Each of the main characters, Adale, Firiel, Roux and Eusis has his or her own conflict, and this just turns greater by the minute. There are still a couple of things that aren’t too well explained, though. Like, how is Adale related to the queen when it appears that Lady Margot is her mother? And how come, during this episode, Adale and Leandra were permitted hear to the Big Bird’s feather, though firiel wasn’t?

Speaking of the Big Bird’s feather, it was great to see Leandra and Adale trying to mock each other right before it happened. After all, Leandra has to battle against a pair of teens in terms of diplomacy. It’s very interesting to see that. Though I wonder why she hasn’t launched any dirty attacks on Firiel. She only appears to be interested in Roux, for some reason. This could suggest that she’s convinced herself that she can easily win from the two of them, and decided to play on safe for that matter. An interesting detail which I really appreciated was during the announcement of the Big Bird’s feather. Firiel is meanwhile waiting for Leandra and Adale outside, in deep thoughts. She gets awakened by Leandra, trying to mock Adale once more. For some reason, this scene felt very natural, and I loved it.

The highlight of the episode was by far Roux’ and Firiel’s conversation in the bedroom. It was just a greatly romantic scene, something that very few anime can accomplish. It really looks like the two of them are fated to be together, as they’ve been bickering with each other for as long as they can remember. This is great for the plot, as you just know that Firiel will be chasing after Roux after not too long. Speaking of which, where the heck did that guy go to? I also like the fact that the creators managed to introduce yet another character, who’s more mysterious than any other character yet. I’d love to find out what his role will be.

Adale will probably be the one to figure out what the Big Bird’s feather really means. In any case, she’ll probably be the one to be the next queen, as Firiel finally understood that she never belonged in the world of nobility at all. I’ve no idea how long she’ll remain with Adale. In any case, I did like the fact that she turned Eusis down. Thank god she’s not that naive. At times like these, she really can think for herself.

Posted on 13 June 2006 with categories: Good Witch of the West - Astraea Testament



Okay, screw the multiple proposals. Screw all the people who are to conquer Firiel and Roux. Screw Roux’ and Firiel’s crumbling relationship, only because Roux doesn’t want to get her involved. Heck, even Firiel crying was not needed to make this episode absolutely awesome. All I needed was Adale in bunny-ears. I’m never really into these things, but OMG, she really looked OMG Kawaiiiii in these things. I finally understand why people can have such huge fetishes about these little fluffy bunny-ears.

In any case, I’m beginning to to get more and more used to Firiel’s naivety. It really can give this story some awesome twists (which, by the way, this episode demonstrated clearly). I just loved all of the people trying to manipulate her. After all, she IS the weakest link in the battle of the throne. And I haven’t even mentioned Adale’s fangirling (Omega Kawaiiiiiiii!!!).

The creators really managed to turn Duke Riez into such a scary person. Especially how he tried to persuade Firiel, and made her cry this way. I’m not too fond of the Eusis who happened to walk in at just the right moment, but he made up for this blunder after making Firiel cry once more. I wonder what would’ve happened when the Deus ex Machina stayed away from this anime. In any case, the OP shows Riez transformed into some kind of monster, so we’re going to hear more and more from him. I also love the fact that he and Leandra aren’t working together. It adds such a nice twist to the story.

Apart from the Deus ex Machina with Eusis, there’s just one complaint I have about this series, but that mostly lies on my side. There were a number of things which I just couldn’t remember that happened. For example, I never knew that Riez was the one who took pity on Princess Elilin’s doleful spirit (I take that that means that he killed her). And at a number of times, the king and queen are mentioned, as if they were alive. Wasn’t the fact that they were both dead the reason that this whole tragedy started? Leandra also calls Roux Hermes Trismegistus. I originally thought that this was the leader of the bad guys, but apparently, this is wrong as well, and I have no idea what this term means.

Anyway, about Roux and Firiel: I’m loving their relationship more and more. Roux seriously loves Firiel, he shows a couple of moments of weakness, but he’s also determined to not let her get into any danger. So sad. I’m hoping that Firiel can beat some sense into him, later in the anime. Their relation is one of the few relationships between main characters that I actually like (which is very rare. I always keep hoping for the shy side-character to conquer the main character).

I also just loved the backgrounds. Okay, they may suffer from a bit too much lightning, but it does give the anime a very unique feeling. I like to see such a thing in a show. It’s so much better than just keeping to the standard anime-artwork. By bringing in some subtle differences, some beautiful things can be brought on screen.

Overall, I loved this episode. Also Adale. Even though she didn’t play any role plotwise, she just looked and acted way too cute in all of her different outfits. ^_^

Posted on 31 May 2006 with categories: Good Witch of the West - Astraea Testament



Good Witch of the West continues its tale of elegance. And yes, Firiel’s indeed kindof slow. She’s smarter than most characters in anime, though she does get thrown into more exreme situations, that really force her to think on her own, which is an element that most anime’d rather abandon. The overall tone of the episode was kindof light again, as it didn’t focus on Roux that much.

The episode begins with Roux asking Eusis whether he can teach him some swordfighting skills. Eusis laughs, and ends up being attacked by an angry Roux, wielding a chess-board. He then drops by on Firiel and Adele, who are drinking a bit of tea, while the latter makes a couple of comments on her brother. Eusis then explains that he wants Roux to be focusing on the things he’s good, instead of learning how to swordfight. This makes sense, after all. Roux remains a genius, it would be a waste for him to focus on fighting rather than knowledge.

Firiel, indeed, is quite angry at Roux about the chess-board he threw at Eusis. And indeed, what Firiel lacks in common sense, he lacks in social skills. The two of them indeed make a good couple. Roux also believed the whole time that Firiel wanted to go back to the astrological observatory as soon as possible, but then Firiel reminds him that she doesn’t. She’d cause Eusis, Adale and the others unneccessary trouble, so she tells him that returning to the observatory can wait. They first have to head for a place named Hyragurion, for some reason. She promises to go back with him to Sellafield once Hyragurion is visited, and attempts to seal this promise with a kiss. Roux is a bit bewildered, but he agrees, though right before we get to see some action, the two of them are spotted by one of the court ladies.

Firiel then gets scolded for attempting to kiss a male. A person named Lady Margot has something about this, so the court lady from before takes her to this woman, assuming that Lady Margot will be teaching her a bit of proper etiquette. Firiel then arrives in a beautiful rose garden, covered in blue roses. It’s great to see that different anime all have such different views of blue Roses. Utena treats them like they’re nothing special at all, something like “all roses are equal”. Good Witch also doesn’t find these unnatural, but rather elegant. Blood+, however associates the blue roses as something incredibly special, associated with Diva, while Paradise Kiss’s method of aquiring blue roses is simply by painting red roses with blue paint. Anyway, this Lady Margot seems to have something on her mind with Firiel, though we never get to see what that might be. In any case Lady Margot comes from Hyragurion, in which Firiel can’t be that easily forgiven for her naivety.

Eusis, meanwhile, gets another visit from his good friend. It then becomes clear that Euris still loves Firiel, which is supposed to bring a bit of a challenge into Firiel and Roux’s relationship. Still, a lot of rumours have been floating around about the two of them from out of Toras Academy, which will really prove to be a threat to our dear Eusis. Lady Margot meanwhile asks Firiel about her reason to go to Hyragurion, Firiel answers with the fact that she needs power to protect Roux and the doctor, and why she must understand why the two of them are heathens. There’s still no clue why Hyragurion will be the place to find out about these things, though.

The next day, Firiel and the others travel to Hyragurion, and then it seems to be hosting a large-scale ball amongst the nobles. Firiel and Adale are of course guests of honor. Adale gives Firiel a few tips on how to be as beautiful as possible, attracting as many people as possible. When they enter the ballroom, this initially works, until Leandra shows up and calls for all attention. Still, there’s little focus on Leandra during this episode. Anyway, Adale splits up with Firiel, though she forgets one important thing: as this is Firiel’s first appearance in an event like this, she has no idea how to behave. Firiel then ends up standing in a corner, all alone, until Eusis saves her. The two of them dance a bit, catching a lot of attention. Then the guy who tortured Roux in the second episode appears on the screen in an instant, exchanging suspicious looks with a bishop-like dressed old man.

Then Firiel’s naivety gets proven once more as the two of them walk outside for a bit, and the Eusis ends up embracing Firiel. When she wakes up the next morning, however, rumours of how Euris proposed to her are floating around. (^^;) The episode ends. This episode again was very enjoyable. It was probably mostly meant as an intermezzo after the Secret Gardenarc, but still, a lot of things happened. I’m surprised that Good Witch of the West takes its time in telling its story, despite its length of just thirteen episodes. So far, it’s going into a great direction. This episode definately wasn’t the best that Good Witch of the West had to show us, though it was pretty darn solid, providing good material for future episodes.

Posted on 23 May 2006 with categories: Good Witch of the West - Astraea Testament



We now continue with the fifth of thirteen episodes of Good Witch of the West. I was surprised at first when I found this number, as I assumed that there would be something along the lines of 24 episodes. Still, it does explain why the pacing has been so huge, it has less time than other anime to tell its story, so there’ll be no room for fillers. I’ll be curious about how this will turn out to be. So far, Good Witch of the West is heading in a very good direction.

The Secret-Garden arc ends here, its main goal was to introduce a number of important characters, the main villain among them, and to teach Firiel the things she needs to know about swordfighting. I’m not too happy about the skimpy outfits worn by some of the evil characters, a wrong decision by the creators. The plot twist was amazing. You knew it was coming some time, but at the time it finally comes, it’s totally unexpectable. It’s also very good to see that there’s another third party, who aims to oppose both the good and the evil side. It adds such a nice twist.

Sister Lain invites Roux over to her place again, Roux heads off, and Firiel finds the invitation letter on his desk. Naturally, she gets angry. At the meeting place, Roux gets greeted by the student council, along with Sister Lain herself. She then tries to seduce Roux, while attempting to make him talk about the Ephemeris. She then reveals that she oversees the Snake Rod (the ones that gave Roux his scars), and that she actually only lets them live because they might be useful to her. There was a lot of vague dialogue in this scene, so I didn’t manage to pick up everything. What I do know is that Lain is actually Leandra, Adale’s rival for queenship. She snuk into the Secret Garden for some kind of strange reason we still don’t know. Firiel reveals this, as she barges into the room, worried for Roux. Her argument is her inutition, something which surprises Leandra.

The two parties make a deal. As Roux needs to keep his manhood a secret, and Leandra wouldn’t profit from being found out, the two parties agree to keep each other’s secret. Leandra then puts a little extra stakes on the battle versus Ravenna: when Firiel wins, Roux won’t be harmed, when she loses, he’ll be Leandra’s posession. Roux is still absent-minded about thse things, and Firiel scolds him. It really seems that both of them are careless, in their own unique ways, and both of them need to remind each other that they are.

Anyway, this keeps haunting Firiel, and she begins to linger a bit during her training (at which she begins to have more and more fans and admirers, which is really awesome). Igraine tries to talk her out of it, though she doesn’t manage to do this for a hundred percent. Vincent then brings the news that the duel is only one night away. Igraine and Firiel spend the evening for a bit of very extensive training, which was supposed to make her ready for the swordfight. They do this in a special place in the academy, a very romantic one: a terrace, at a high place on the castle. After this training, Firiel promises to fight to her full extend. Roux also takes her to this place during the night, with the excuse of some shooting stars which will be able to be visible. This turns into a very romantic opportunity for the both of them. Another thing Good Witch of the West is extremely good at: the love-scenes. These will be great for every fangirl and fanboy, I totally love them.

Another interesting issue is that Ravenna actually gets a personality in this episode. She’s no more just an evil 1-dimensional character. This became clear first after the scene with her, Roux and Leandra. She just stood a bit helpless next to the two of them, unable to do something worthwile. The duel just increased this fact.

Anyway, the next day, it seems that someone has been sending Firiel some threat letters. She immediately suspects Leandra for doing that, though it appears that there’s another third party involved. Someone who’s against both Firiel and the student council.

Then the duel begins, and it’s awesome. First of all, it appears that Ravenna also got threat letters. Second of all: finally, we have fight again. Do you honestly think, that your first serious fight would be a piece of cake? Do you think that you’ll be able to give everything you have in order to win? No. Of course not. Everyone sucks at his or her first fight. I experienced this myself. I practice martial arts myself, and I entered a tournament once. In my opinion, pretty decent, but during that tournament my actions were totally horrible. Firiel is the same. Nerves take over, and she’s not able to do her best at all. She eventually manages to win because somebody in the audience uses a mirror in order to blind her, giving Firiel the chance she needs.

This brings up another interesting issue. When bad guys do this, it’s a dirty trick. The bad guys have to be punished, and nobody likes them. When a good guy cheats, everything seems to be allowed, just because the good guys are so awesome. You see that a lot in anime. Good Witch of the West gives a nice twist to this, but I’ll get to that later.

First, there comes the plot twist I talked about earlier. From the point that Firiel beat Ravenna, everything happened so fast, I really had trouble following everything. For starters: apparently, Firiel gets to be blessed by some kind of “princess”. First time I heard that. Anyway, the princess comes, and when she’s about to give her blessings, the princes grabs her own sword and throws Firiel to the ground. Remember Cisaria from episode three? Guess who this certain princess is. Cisaria then admits to have been the one to send all of the threatening letters, and the one who killed Roselitte. She then holds a monologue about her motives, ending in an attempt of suicide. Roux manages to stop her. These were a couple of amazing scenes. Especially the background, and use of scenery turned this into a feast for the senses, not to mention the twisted ideas of Cisaria, and the fact that Ravenna also is on her bad side.

Roux then reveals that he only came to this school because he wanted to stop the one after Firiel’s life. His mission is finished, so he prepares to leave. But not until Ravenna unleashes her anger upon him, by suspecting him to be the one with the mirror. To be honest, I also believed this in the first place. However, we never see who actually did it. It could’ve been someone totally different. But who? And why was this person so determined to go through such lengths in order to make Firiel win? Anyway, Roux gets unmasked as a boy, and he eventually manages to get saved by Adale, who appears to have been waiting for this duel in order to unassign the Student Council. This ends the Secret Garden-arc, Roux leaves in a way which will certainly please all of the fangirls out there, and we later see Firiel, Adale and Marie in a carriage, suggesting that Firiel’s abut to leave the academy as well. Leandra, meanwhile, isn’t too happy with Adale’s actions, and gets even more motivation to carry out her evil plans.

I’m pretty sure that this anime’ll reawaken my inner-fanboy. After all, this anime really seems to focus on fangirls/fanboys, rather than otaku’s (with the exception of Leandra, unfortunately). I currently totally love the art, it’s among the best ever. The dialogue may be a bit too vague, but it does work. Especially if you combine it with the incredible music which accompanies Good Witch of the West. The story hasn’t been amazing so far, though I’m pretty confident.

CHANGE USERNAME
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.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
Anonymous1017501
and nobody's covering it lol
Anonymous1017501
Like dramatically
Anonymous1017501
It really is much better
Anonymous1017501
You know guys its not too late to start watching Berserk Season 2...
AidanAK47
I just get annoyed when interaction is like "HUMAN, YOUR EMOTION RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT. I THEORIZE THIS IS THE REASON YOUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT."
Their is a definite layer of pretentiousness in how it's written, seeing how nobody gets annoyed when every character tries to psychological profile them.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I have heard word that these two episodes were a prologue story and the real story is going to kick into gear next episode. But if the characters keep talking like this then it's not going to matter what happens. It will just be terrible.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Jojo part 5 died for this. That makes it all the sadder. Plus it's two cour so this show is gonna be on for half a year.
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