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
Kaiser-Eoghan
Still enjoying the sangatsu manga and all the character interactions in this most recent volume.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Quintuplets might be under consideration, dororo is a definite. I don't want to watch revisions , girly airforce or plane thing because of the cgi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have the first 3 doro episodes downloaded to watch tomorrow, I'll comment on them, I'm giving it a shot because I love Tezuka.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The quintuplets thing is one of those things I would see myself chuckling at for a bit then feeling no obligation to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cat thing is probably cute but its too light for me to invest in in the long run.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding this season, I'll be direct, it isn't my thing, I got my fill of Kaguya's manga and all I can out of it, promised neverland, once the escape bit finished just turned into an action series (at least from what I read) lacking a compelling followup hook for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Acca had this odd way of delivering information that made it seem stuff went on between the lines or offscreen, often it worked, sometimes it didn't. Its a show that really picks up after the first couple of episodes and really gets elevated by its revelations, cool setting , art style and opening theme too.
Lenlo
I agree it does that. I think my issue may come with me maybe missing something or just not understanding the series as a whole, and so parts of it were lost on me. I enjoyed the series I would say though
SuperMario
Let me rephrase by saying ACCA ending neatly ties up plot threads for me
Lenlo
I didnt say I didnt like it, just that it wasn't what I expected. It was odd. I think I need time to process it.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you didn't like ACCA ending? I thought the ending is easily its best part. It's the first few episodes that feel slow for me
Lenlo
Also, just finished ACCA. Man... that was a weird ending. Not sure how I feel about the series, but damn, did it have style.

Also, thanks (?) Wooper.
Lenlo
Lets see... Dororo is good, but I am still lukewarm on it. Kaze Fui is a fantastic carry over from last season. Mob and Neverland of course. Shield Hero, if you want to be part of the latest big craze discussion. Kaguya if you like romance. Ill search some more, but those are off the top of my head.
Anonymous3338351
What are some must-watch anime this season; I'm watching MBP100 and Promised Neverland rn
Vonter
Shield hero looks like it fits with that journey of doing the right thing even though most are against you.
Vonter
You know what it reminds me of. It's kinda like that episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Where the family returns after a trip and find the neighborhood celebrates their absence, since everyone dislikes them. By the end when they make up, all the neighborhood gets bitter with one another because they no longer share a connection of hate with Malcolm's family.
Vonter
Also the undercurrent semblance of looking more like a bad guy or anti hero. Despite him having a good moral compass.
Vonter
SuperMario - I don't felt it was about being defeated or not. I got the feeling it was taking the hit for others. Because since he has high defence he does take the damage, but he does look weary about doing that. And the framework paints him so far more as an underdog than a prodigy.
SuperMario
But does the fact that he’s the greatest defender makes him the one who can’t be defeated? I haven’t watched the latest one though
Vonter
I did like the new episode of Shield Hero. It made me realize there can be stakes in Isekai battles. In both Overlord and Slime I usually space out in the battles because they seem unnecessary outside of animation. It's more interesting if there's a display of wits and using the environment. I also like the protagonist be on the defense and the sidekick as the attacker.
SuperWooper
Here's a "review of one of our own reviewers:"

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
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