Posted on 16 July 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Heartcatch Precure




So, because of Heartcatch Precure I’m doomed to watch every All Stars Precure from now on until eternity, just to see more of Tsubomi, Erika, Itsuki and Yuri, even though they’re all pretty bad movies. Imagine this: a movie with 21 main characters. To give an indication of how incredibly crowded this is: it took this movie three minutes and twenty seconds to get through the transformation scenes of everyone. There was like… no end in sight to them!

What’s more is that the Precure Franchise has always been very clingy to its own formula. What this means for this movie is that it’s pretty much the same as the previous All Stars movie. The general plot outline in any case is like an exact copy. Heartcatch Precure solved this with really good characters, animation and storytelling. This movie however… yeah.

With 21 main characters plus a truckload of mascot characters that gets a bit hard if you refuse to stay with the same formulaic premise. Usually stories just pick four or five characters and give those some depth, but even that doesn’t happen here: the main characters from Suite Precure just get a few more lines, that’s all. Apart from that, everyone is equal. And equally bland if you haven’t seen the series they belong to.

I will say this, though: this third movie IS better than the first. The animation is more creative for one, but it actually does attempt some serious drama other than “bad guys evil. Kill them again”. It doesn’t pick out any characters to focus on, but instead it goes with a theme that everyone can relate to: partnerships. These themes are explored without any subtleties at all (even going as far as to make Heartcatch’s Erika act out of character just for the sake of getting its message through), and its messages are really obviously shallow, but at least it gives the movie more of a structure than what happened with the second movie. Oh, and the ending is a Deus ex Machina ending. That doesn’t help either.

Aside from that, this is a very bright, flashy and colourful movie. Flashes, beams and sparkles are incredibly abound, and this all happens with a huge amount of fluidity. The interesting thing however is that this movie really leaves things to be desired in terms of hand to hand combat: it looks gorgeous during the long-distance fights, but when characters actually need to touch each other the animation resorts to shortcuts, still frames and awkward cuts. This leads me to think that Toei put a ton of money and talented animators on this thing, but left things to be desired on the animation direction and production.

Now, I do wonder about the point of these movies. Of course it’s fun to watch your favourite characters all together in a movie. I get that. But the first precure series is already seven years old by now. That’s older than actually some of its fans and the franchise’s target audience. I mean, there’s a reason why Disney re-releases its movies every seven years: there are going to be so many kids who wonder who the heck the older characters are. And this movie is purely fanservice. It’s not like it’s doing a good job introducing the characters to people unfamiliar to them or anything. This movie was entertaining. I give it that. But not much more, unfortunately.

Storytelling: 7/10 – At least it’s mildly fun and the action is good to watch, but it depends way too much on its own formula.
Characters: 6/10 – You’re going to have to put in effort to make a story with 21 main characters work. The characters who ended up stand out the most to me are actually the exposition mascots!
Production-Values: 8/10 – Really, really flashy, sparkly and beamy with often fluid animation, but leaves things to be desired on the hand-to-hand combat.
Setting: 5/10 – Forgets some of the things it introduces, brings characters out of characters, completely contrived set-up.

Suggestions:
Heartcatch Precure Movie – Hana no Miyako de Fashion Show… desu ka?
Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva
Digimon Movie 2 – Bokura no War Game

Posted on 13 March 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Heartcatch Precure




After the Precure Allstars Movie and Suite Precure, I was a bit wary of the Heartcatch Precure Movie, especially how it was made by different people than the TV-series. The way in which Toei just keeps coming with these cash-in movies definitely had me worried. That’s why I’m so glad that this movie did manage to capture the charms of the TV-series!

The first thing you have to know for this movie is that it has a bit of a misleading title. Yes, the cast travels to Paris in order to participate in a fashion show, but they end up doing something completely different. The real plot of this movie is very much like the TV-series: it follows your standard movie plotline, conforming to a lot of cliches, but it does this so well that it doesn’t really matter, subverting quite a few other cliches in the process.

You can see that the creators of this movie carefully discussed with the creators of the TV-series what this movie should be, unlike what was the case with the Precure Allstars movie. Imagine the TV-series animation, with a movie budget. The fight scenes here are animated even better with the same addictive combination of close-combat martial arts and long-range beams, rather than just trying to zap everything.

Now, this movie could be seen as a glorified episode, but it’s a bit more than just that. The story in this movie would have never worked as an episode because it really makes use of its allocated time of 70 minutes. It’s a whimsical adventure in a wonderfully portrayed Paris, but at the same time it paints a great picture of the two new characters that are introduced in this movie. Yeah, they both start out as stereotypical, but the movie really spends its time to make their characters more than just cliches. The villain in this movie rocks because of his dynamic personality and he’s got quite an adequate backstory, making him actually more than just someone who is evil for the sake of being evil. That’s not something I expect from a main bad guy in a Precure series.

And to top things off, the movie also contains just the right amount of slice of life, in which the creators get the chance to show off both the excellent cast of characters and the tourist areas of Paris. It’s the kind that isn’t just random fluff to sit through just to get to the good parts, and instead they’re all really enjoyable to watch, wisely making use of the TV-series that already did a ton of build-up on their characters.

It’s not like this movie came with some brilliant idea like with the first and third movie of Digimon; this movie isn’t going to break any bounds, but on the other hand, it just did everything it was supposed to. It’s a must-watch for fans of Heartcatch Precure. For people who have never seen it I wouldn’t recommend it, though. The best place to start this show is really the first episode.

The reason why I’m rating this lower than what I did for the TV-series simply has to do with its length. Heartcatch Precure was a consistently entertaining ride for fifty episodes that just kept amazing me and completely redefined what it meant to be a good Mahou Shoujo. This movie lacks that value and instead just does everything it does right. Blame me watching the Third Digimon movie for that.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Whimsical, exciting, charming and adorable. Conforms to cliches but does them really well.
Characters: 9/10 – Both the recurring and the new characters are wonderful to watch.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Perhaps not the best animation for movie standards, but compared to the TV-series the extra inbetween animation really had an excellent effect.
Setting: 8/10 – Actually expands on the Sabaaku history a bit, plus an excellent portrayal of Paris without being either Xenophobic or overly obsessive. Just don’t expect much from the fashion show…

Suggestions:
Digimon Movie 3 – The Golden Digimentals
Arete Hime
Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea

Posted on 30 January 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Heartcatch Precure




In the first year after I started this blog, I personally was a big fan of the mahou shoujo genre (heck, my favourite series is one). Over the years though, this fandom became less and less. This mostly had to do with the genre stagnating: the mahou shoujo that got released lacked creativity, were all just poorly executed and never really took advantage of their formula to show some great characters. Heartcatch Precure broke this trend, and how! From the outside, it looks like just another Sailor Moon Clone, but within its premise, it does just about everything right here.

To start off with the production values: this show has better fights that most shounen series out there. The battles in this series are consistently dynamic and despite a huge amount of transformation scenes they never get boring or repetitive. This show excels both in hand to hand and long-range combat, and it looks ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS in the process. The animation in this series is consistently of a high quality, and always interesting to look at. Combine this with an awesome soundtrack, and you’ve got a feast for the senses.

This show also sets itself apart with characters that just are good, right from the start. Tsubomi and Erika are immediately very likable characters, and the entire series just focuses on portraying them as down to earth girls whenever they’re not busy fighting monsters. The characters that join and meet them are also wonderfully written and subtly developed throughout the series. Just about every recurring character has his or her chance to shine in this series.

You should note that this series does follow the classic mahou shoujo format. There will be a lot of episodes that are just dedicated to the characters running into people who have a problem, or are worrying about someone. Even here this series delivers though, because it consistently manages to portray these characters well and makes their problems easily relatable. Hardly ever does this show go for cheap ways to solve these issues, and here too things are kept wonderfully down to earth.

The main flaw of this series is that in the end, it does follow a pretty predictable formula, so expect to see the surprises in this show more in the fine details than in the overall plot. Having said that though, this show proves that you can do amazing things with that formula, and for every mahou shoujo trope that this series adheres to, it also subverts another one.

Another thing that might get on your nerves here is that this series really likes to use a lot of transformation scenes. Most episodes have around two to three minutes of them in total. The good thing though is that these are the best transformation scenes that I have seen since Utena. The animation in the series is already good, but in these scenes it’s five times better. Some of them are a true visual orgasm.

Still, what it boils down to is this: if you have yet to see the classic shoujo oriented mahou shoujo, but are interested in why people are raving about them, there are two series that I recommend: Cardcaptor Sakura and this one. Heartcatch Precure was exactly what the mahou shoujo genre needed and it shows the great things that simply an excellent execution and cast of characters can do to such a simple premise.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Dynamic, fun, childish but consistently enjoyable.
Characters: 9/10 – Both the recurring and the minor characters are all wonderfully fleshed out.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Gorgeous production values and soundtrack.
Setting: 8/10 – Simple, but well fleshed out.

Suggestions:
– Cardcaptor Sakura
Mahou Shoujotai
Otogi Juushi Akazukin (Note that I would rate this one a bit lower if I were to watch it now).

Posted on with categories: Heartcatch Precure




Ah, of course: this episode still had the final moment of our bad guy left: the point at which he increases in size and… holy crap is he huge!

In terms of physics it obviously made no sense whatsoever, but it really looked cool here. The finale mostly stands out in its eye candy, in terms of what actually happens, it pretty much ends like you think it would, including a bit of a deus ex machina that allows the four precures to grow huge enough themselves in order to be able to beat it. Not really a great ending, but it still was a very good one, simply due to the execution and the aftermath that followed afterwards, wrapping up the rest of the story quite nicely, plus we actually got to see Tsubomi’s new sister. I would have liked to see how Cobraja and Sarosina ended up as, but this episode gave enough hints that the two of them also ended up fine.

Now, Suite Precure. This episode indeed ended with a preview. One thing is for sure at this point: it is not going to be the visual orgasm that Heartcatch Precure was. To start, you should know the following:
– Heartcatch Precure’s characters were designed by the guy who also did the character designs of Casshern Sins.
– Suite Precure’s characters were designed by the guy who also did the character designs of Kaidan Restaurant. And this guy is also going to be the chief animation director!

Get what I mean? The result is…. ugh. The animation also doesn’t look as polished as Heartcatch Precure either, nor does the editing look any good.

The only thing we can hope for now is that the mysterious series composition guy actually knows what he’s doing, and that the director is up to the job. He did direct the One Piece Strong World Movie, but I have no clue whether he’d also work for a long series as Suite Precure. He was the episode director of three Heartcatch Precure episodes before, which were all pretty good and especially in the way that they focused on the characters. I really hope that he’s going to take that over to Suite Precure, because there still is some potential.

In any case, to get back to Heartcatch, it has definitely been fun following this series for the past year. It ahd a lot of mahou shoujo tropes, but had such a solid execution that those didn’t matter at all.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 23 January 2011 with categories: Heartcatch Precure




There are some series that leave their climax for the final episode. There are others that put the climax in the penultimate episode so that they can use the final one for an epilogue. Heartcatch Precure… to be honest I’m not sure into what category it falls. This episode ends at the exact point where Dune gets pummeled by the ultimate Precure attack. At this point it’s not yet certain whether the creators intend the final episode to be the aftermath of that battle, or whether he still manages to pull some sort of trick out of his sleeve.

Either way, whichever case it may be, this episode was just awesome. The first half was entirely dedicated to Yuri, her father and Dark Precure. And I mean, Christ: people actually died in a kids’ show! The creators didn’t chicken out from this controversial topic, in which most kids’ show refuse to show anything in that direction thanks to censors. It’s awesome to see how much screentime Yuri has actually gotten in this finale: I mean, she really was the main character of the final few episodes of this series. That is just awesome. I know that this series’ fault is that it adheres to a ton of mahou shoujo cliches and all, but for every cliche it follows, it also excellently subverts one.

The creators here really set up the perfect prototype for the mahou shoujo of the new decade and I really hope that it inspires many more mahou shoujo to really put effort in its visuals, characters and stories, because it was really a genre that was about to die out before Heartcatch Precure aired (and this is coming from someone who at one point used to be a big fan of the mahou shoujo genre, and this series definitely reminded me again why).

The second half of the episode was the battle against Dune. It’s not like it got a better budget than usual, but dear god, the animation really was gorgeous, and the action was worthy of this series climax. The action was over the top, and yet not too crazy, and the art too was gorgeous during the busy parts (I love it when the creators sacrifice their character models in favor of fluidity and dynamics).

I do have one point of criticism here though: Dune. The next episode may prove me wrong, but unfortunately he remains a flat final villain who is just evil for the sake of being evil. I really would have loved to see the creators gave the same kind of depth to him that they gave to the other characters, but alas. The final fight against him also made him much weaker than what he once used to be, but I’ve seen much worse in this area.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 16 January 2011 with categories: Heartcatch Precure



Okay. That was awesome.

I mean, Cure moonlight once again proves here that she’s my favourite character of this series. An entire episode devoted to her fight with Sabaaku and Dark Precure, only being helped by Cure Blossom. In just about any other mahou shoujo, characters like her often take up the role of a supporter in the background: creators would have put priority on the real main character, in this case Cure Blossom. Here instead we get an epic fight between her and Dark Precure, worthy of the climax of this series.

On top of that: Professor Sabaaku. Dear lord, he’s Yuri’s father. I always wondered what happened to Yuri’s father, but somehow it only occurred to me that he might be also part of Sabaku when his mask fell down. That really was an awesome plot twist, to think that he created Dark Precure, entirely because he wanted to beat his own daughter. That Dune is one bastard here. If he somehow found out what Cure Moonlight would become later (presumably because he got some sort of similar radar like the one that the mascots have), he really could have pulled it off by brainwashing her father.

And the best part is that things aren’t even over yet. This episode ended at the exact point where Cure Moonlight beat Dark Precure. Like, immediately after that. No aftermath. Heck, not even a “curing scene”. This really convinced me that the creators are trying to save the most heartwarming moments for last, which is also why we haven’t gotten to see Kumojacky and Cobraja’s real forms yet. I mean, pretty much the only bad guy left at this point is Dune. With two episodes left, the creators can really pull off an amazing finale at this point.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 9 January 2011 with categories: Heartcatch Precure




Ah, it’s just as I hoped: this episode was entirely devoted to the final fights with Cobraja and Kumojacky. They’ve consistently used Desatorians during the series when they fought with the Precures, so what is the final tactic that they choose to go all out with? One on one fights! Awesome!

The animation strangely had its ups and downs here, where some parts were really good, while others were surprisingly off model in a way that seems strangely sloppy for this series, but the fights themselves totally made up for it, and it was a worthy ending for the two of them. I’d just wish that we got to see what their human forms looked like, but perhaps the creators are saving that for the ending. Either way, I really like that both of them got their final bit of development here: this episode really made use of the fact that they’re just simple desatorians: Kumojacky is someone who loves fighting, while Cobraja was more about the dark side of beauty. They weren’t really fighting for a reason though, which fits this kind of shoujo series pretty nicely.

Also, next week: Dark Precure vs Cure Moonlight! This episode did a great job of hyping it up, especially in the way that it kept hinting towards Professor Sabaaku, and the way in which the episode closed off with Grandma begging Cure Blossom not to fight them. With three episodes left, the creators have enough time for a smashing finale that can give plenty of time to the remaining three villains, so I really hope that they make use of this opportunity.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 27 December 2010 with categories: Heartcatch Precure



The previous episodes were surprisingly light for a show that’s so close to its end, so I figures that it was using these quiet moments in order to build up to something. And dear God was it building up to something!

I mean, talk about overkill: Dune easily beats just about every main character, he easily takes back his old powers, nearly destroys the Heart Tree and all of the hard work that Tsubomi and Erika put into it, turns the entire world into a desert and its entire population into crystals. All in about five minutes.

And I mean, at the end of the series there will probably be some sort of magical power that can restore everything back the way it was once Dune dies (though interestingly Tsubomi and Itsuki did destroy a building in this episode), and there were a number of survivors, but the only people who survived were the ones who were previously turned into a Desatorian: everyone’s parents are completely gone, despite being a HUGE theme of this series. Only Itsuki and Erika got lucky that their respective sister and brother managed avoid being turned into a crystal.

Also, this pretty much puts an end to the episodic nature of this series: there’s no way that Kumojacky and Cobraja are going to be able to turn anymore people into Desatorians. With four episodes left, there is plenty of time to give all of the villains a worthy conclusion, and I really hope that the creators use that opportunity.

On a side-note: Koppei was bad-ass.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 20 December 2010 with categories: Heartcatch Precure



Up until episode forty, nearly all of the random stories for this series were focused on kids of Tsubomi’s age. And then suddenly, this series started focusing on kids of kindergarten age. It definitely added an extra cuteness factor to this series, but at the same time it’s also become a lot more childish than it already was, since it focuses on the sentiments of little kids after all. I definitely think that the creators are using that as a build up for the finale of this series and while these stories indeed are far from the best that this series has shown, they still are really charming.

This episode was about this little girl who wants to see the Precures, but her biggest part was in order to support the main cast. First of all it was so Tsubomi could relate to how she was when she was a little kid (also not good at making friends). But just about everything in this episode was overshadowed by grandmother being awesome. It’s taken forty-four episodes, but finally we get to see what she looked like as Cure Flower. Even at a fraction of her powers, she still completely kicks ass.Not to mention that Dune finally makes his appearance.Everything is pointing towards things heating up next week.

As for the Desatorian, it was a nice idea to have the girls battle a giant snowman. I also like the little jab at otaku that the creators put in with the rather creepy guy who confuses Precures with girlfriends.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 12 December 2010 with categories: Heartcatch Precure



The start of this episode showed Tsubomi rushing into the hospital for her mother. My first thought was “ah damn, here we have the sick mother trope again, along with the tendency of series to put random characters in a hospital near the end of the series for some extra tension”. However, when it turned out that Tsubomi’s mother was pregnant, it completely made my day. What an awesome twist.

Of course the idea that Tsubomi is going to get a little sister is adorable beyond belief, but it also completely ties in with the major themes of this series: family. The entire series has been establishing the importance and warmth of a healthy family, and this really is a great time for the main family of this series, Tsubomi’s, to get expanded. And not to mention Tsubomi’s character development! You could really see that this episode changed her into an even more responsible girl. A lot of this episode was spent on Tsubomi filling in for her mother at the flower shop, exactly for that reason. And to make things even better, you always see Tsubomi blossom up when she gets to talk about her passion: flowers.

I could get worried that there is little time left for this series to spend on un-plot-related episodes, but with episodes like this I just can’t fault the creators. Nevertheless, I do want to poke this show and remind it that it does have a cast of villains that it needs to take care of. At the same time though, the way in which these past episodes have been so down to earth at this stage in the series could be a hint that the creators have planned something very interesting for the finale. Since Suite Precure starts at February 6th, and this series will probably have one more hiatus (the infamous new year hiatus that every show has), that means that we’ve got six episodes left. Enough for a smashing ending.

And on a side-note: it’s also great that we learned how Tsubomi got her name. Could that perhaps be a shout-out to how moronic some of the parents of the previous Precures must have been? “Yes, when I looked at your mother and realized how much I loved the English language, I decided to name you Love. Deal with it.”
Rating: *** (Awesome)

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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