Posted on 17 September 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Kuroshitsuji II




Okay, you can say a lot about Kuroshitsuji II as a sequel to Kuroshitsuji. But at least it has BALLS.

In today’s anime, in which it’s very difficult to come up with really interesting plots and storylines, and people rather try to stay at the tried and true, Kuroshitsuji came, made optimal use of its creative freedom, discarded the manga it’s based on completely, trolled just about everyone who watched it and came up with quite an interesting concept for its sequel. This lead to many good things, but also many bad things.

But still, out of all of the series that premiered during the past summer season, I really can’t deny that Kuroshitsuji II had the best plot out of all of them: it made the best use of its episodes, it was the least afraid to include some caring yet thought out plot twists, it was very good at building up its own storyline and actually using this and overall I have to say that I enjoyed most of it.

But the biggest selling point of this series is without a doubt the new cast of villains, especially Alois and Claude. The two of them are like a trainwreck: completely derailed but yet so interesting to watch. Especially the antics of Alois are consistently captivating, and you can see that the creators had a lot of fun portraying him as this insane teenaged noble. The creators realized this very well, and so they prepared a number of plot twists that really attempt to bring the best out of these two characters.

On the flip-side, this is a series that likes trolling its viewers. This is especially noticeable in the way that it follows a very awesome first episode with a completely disappointing and badly executed second episode. And in fact, the first third of this series has just about everything that made the fillers of the first season so tedious to get through. Episodes 2 to four are a bit of a test of patience, they’re necessary for the plot and all, but this series makes no attempt at hiding its vast array of annoying characters.

After that though, this series really gets better than ever. Its humour gets snappier, the way the series uses its unique selling point of god-mode butlers gets used better than ever, both for the serious purposes and the over the top silly ones (which work more and more as the series goes on).

This series also has the weirdest allocation of animation budget I’ve seen in a long while. The animation in this series ranges between average to very smooth,like what most series do. However, the creators have this very interesting tendency to spend the most frames on the most random scenes, especially on hands or lip-syncing, while the action-scenes usually have average animation. And don’t get me wrong here: it actually works pretty well. Those detailed scenes add an interesting amount of life to the characters, and the action scenes are kept interesting by the plot twists anyway, so they don’t really need any stellar animation.

I have ranted about Kuroshitsuji, I have ranted about the fillers, and I have ranted about the ending of this sequel (which, the more I think about it, was actually pretty good), but really: we need more series like this. Series in which the creators disregard any conventions and just go with a bunch of interesting ideas that actually lead to some unique stories.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Well paced, fun, tense and exciting and manages to get the best out of the plot and characters. At times it might not seem like it knows what it’s doing but in 50% of the cases it’s just trolling.
Characters: 9/10 – Alois and Claude may not be the deepest characters, but they’re delightful to watch. This sequel also gives an interesting new dimension to Ciel and Sebastian.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Strange uses of budget that somehow work. Oh, and Yuki Kajiura has an insert song somewhere.
Setting: 8/10 – Makes optimal use of its creative liberties with a seemingly endless supply of interesting ideas for the plot to work with.

Suggestions:
Touka Gettan
Futakoi Alternative
Ga-Rei Zero

Posted on 16 September 2010 with categories: Kuroshitsuji II



Look… just look at this picture. Got it?

In memory of

Ciel Phantomhive

Who died at Aug. 26th, 1889

That would have been the perfect ending here. That was how this episode SHOULD have ended. I mean, the creators wouldn’t be crazy enough to actually try and revive Ciel, right? They’re not going to do something as stupid as negating the entire ending of the first season. They couldn’t, right?

So yeah, we got trolled here; big time. Dear god, reviving is one thing, but get this: in his last moments, Alois forged a contract with Johanna that turns Ciel into a demon. Because he is a demon now, he can’t die, yet his contract with Sebastian is still running, even though there is no way for Sebastian to absorb Ciel’s soul. So yeah, Ciel and Sebastian will actually be able to live together FOR ALL ETERNITY. Bloody Nora, they actually went there. This series actually was entirely meant to realize the wish of the squealing yaoi fangirls to have those two together until doomsday.

I’m a bit bewildered by all of this, especially on how I’m going to write the review for this series. I mean, was this episode bad? It was perfectly told if you ignore the things it tried to tell: everything took its time to let all of the revelations play out, the second half of the episode was well produced in how the creators portrayed Ciel saying goodbye to everyone. I have no problems with that.

Now, whether or not the big twist is bad, here’s the thing: I have seen a ton of bad endings at this point, and this episode really looked like none of them. Usually, the endings that disappoint me are either the ones who lack ambition (as in, they resolve things fine but the way they do it does no justice to the build-up that it has gotten), ones that fail to resolve anything (it really depends on the rest of the series and how those delivered whether I dislike or accept those) or ones that are just too rushed.

This episode was neither. The creators knew exactly what they wanted to do (dammit!), they knew exactly which revelation they wanted to save for when, and they knew exactly how to plan everything out, not just in this episode, but throughout the entire series. I mean, how often did this series troll anyway? It feels like it trolled both the fans of Ciel and Sebastian as well as the fans of the new approach, twice or even more.

I’m really going to have to sort out my thoughts for a bit for the review of this series.
Rating: #^% (Akjsdfh)

Posted on 12 September 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Kuroshitsuji II




So, yes…. I caved in.

Here’s the thing: for the past summer season, there have been three series that stood out to me: Shiki, because it had the best atmosphere, Occult Academy, because it had the best execution, and Kuroshitsuji II, because it had the best plot (a possible fourth on this list would be Sengoku Basara Two because it had the best action, but that entirely depends on its final three episodes). Because Kuroshitsuji II did what many other series failed at, and became more interesting to watch than I could have hoped for, I guess that I just was obliged to check out that first season now – not all of it, mind you. This is one of those series that at times seems to be actively trying to be bad with its random stories and insert-episodes, so this is a review of just the episodes 5-8 and 17-24. If you want an impression of the entire series, just note that I couldn’t make it even past the second episode. Twice.

Without the random annoying side-story, Kuroshitsuji becomes quite a snappy and diverse series about the occult in England around 150 years ago. There are a few holes in the plot here and there, but they’re all simple enough that they can be just guessed, so I can recommend this method of watching for the people who are interested in Kuroshitsuji’s darker parts, but have no indention of sitting through hordes of uninspired light-hearted moments that only take ten seconds to become annoying.

Because I must say, those darker parts were quite worth it. This series sells itself with bishies doing the most impossible stunts, but behind it is an interesting and quite often disturbing world with quite a bit of intrigue. The lead character Ciel starts out as a bit of a questionable lead character, but he turns out to be quite an interesting anti-hero who has given up on life, just for the sake of his revenge. The darker parts of this series is where the unique selling point of Kuroshitsuji also really shines: Sebastian fits right in with this dark atmosphere, and even the few anticlimactic uses for his powers turn out to be hilarious, like they should be.

Having said that, though, I do want to say that I still like the second season of Kuroshitsuji better. Alois and Claude (and Johanna possibly too) are by far the most interesting characters in the entire franchise, and these two really made a huge spectacle of the second season. The first season tries, and it has some neat villains too by the way, but none of them really get close to how fun it was to just see those two flamboyant characters parade across the screen. Sebastian and Ciel are interesting, but in the end they aren’t really the most complex characters and there is no development between them either. Especially Ciel makes a number of rather strange and stupid decisions throughout the series.

Still, I liked the plot here, the creators put in some very interesting ideas for Ciel to tackle, and overall I had no problems getting though this series and I quite enjoyed it. Kuroshitsuji is a strange series though. I can easily have seen the first season as 13 episodes, and my guess would be that it would have been much more accessible and balanced than that it is now. And yet for some reason this show paraded all over with its bishies and shallow side-stories, even though beneath it is actually pretty good. This isn’t another case of Kobato, whose first half was simply inoffensive before it could get to its good part. Kuroshitsuji’s random stories are annoying beyond belief; they are completely different from that it really is about, and I really don’t want to watch anything more of that.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Good atmosphere, well told, a pretty good sense of build up.
Characters: 8/10 – Nothing special or well developed, but an interesting cast nonetheless with a nice chemistry to watch.
Production-Values: 8/10 – To me, the second season was also better in this aspect, but the art looks consistently solid and the soundtrack is also pretty adequate.
Setting: 8/10 – Okay, it’s England with a lot of liberties taken, but this series makes very good use of these liberties to show a very interesting setting here.

Suggestions:
Suteki Tantei Labyrinth
Trinity Blood

Posted on 9 September 2010 with categories: Kuroshitsuji II



You know, for most of the duration of this series (I’d say a bit less than two thirds of it), I thought of this as a bit of a silly series that had nice ideas. But I’m more and more forced to take this show seriously at this point. I mean, the creators here did something that I really want to see in a whole bunch of more and other anime: take full advantage of its creative liberties; instead of going through the tried and true formula, it really played around with its plot and characters.

And really: this just seems to get better and better at this rate. I really loved this episode, and the way it used this quiz maze in order to show Alois’ inner torment. Combine that with the fact that he forced Claude to reveal that he’s been used as a cheap tool to get to Ciel, the characters really perfectly used each other in this episode. I really love these types of episodes, and to think that the creators used it as the semi-final episode.

\With one episode left, it’s either going to be a complete success or a total disaster, and I really feel that it’s going to have a major impact on how I’ll end up rating it. And seriously: I’m seriously willing to rave on this series if it doesn’t end up chickening out at the last possible minute. At this point, this series has exceeded my expectations twice: the first was with its first episode, and now again with its final episodes it has become much more fun than I could have expected. Please don’t let that final episode ruin things, because I really liked how Johanna pretty much stabbed everyone in the back for her own goals. Talk about neat plot twists.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 3 September 2010 with categories: Kuroshitsuji II




It’s great to see that even now the creators are still developing the entire story and coming with new twists. Last week I mentioned like this series felt like it was one of those stories in which the creators make up the events as they go along. This episode surprisingly proved that statement wrong, suggesting more like the entire series had been planned carefully beforehand.

Seriously, the twist in which it was Alois’ little brother who made a pact with Claude in order to get rid of all of the villagers was a very nice one: so Claude simply created a random reason to form a pact with Alois, blaming Sebastian who had absolutely nothing to do with it. These demons have the weirdest habits in their attempts to make their souls as tasty as possible. I also loved the reason the creators found for keeping one of the villagers alive in order to explain what happened. Also, what the heck was Ciel’s eye doing inside that maid’s throat? o.O

But seriously, though: after the initial episodes, the plot for this series turned out to be surprisingly non-linear. I mean, the plot is chock-full of fanservice, but it has been surprisingly well plotted and planned out, in order to make the story as interesting as possible. It really makes me think about whether they also have a cool ending in mind, or are just working to a scenario in which Ciel and Sebastian can live happily together.

Either way, this episode again showed how much fun the creators themselves seem to be having with this series. This episode was chock-full of those tiny details like interesting camera angles, nice ideas and all kinds of strange antics from the butlers, from yelling out loud how tasty Ciel’s soul is to pulling a bunch of film out of Claude’s servants’ eyes. Oh, and Alois returned as well… somewhat.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 27 August 2010 with categories: Kuroshitsuji II



Now that Alois is gone, this series did lose a big part of its fun factor, but this episode seemed to realize that and really had fun playing around with the rest of the cast to make up for it.

I mean, a plot to brainwash Ciel and make him think he’s Alois? That’s quite intriguing. If anything because of how the end of this episode promised Sebastian to go completely insane in the next episode. That shinigami that attacked Sebastian with that lawn mower also was another one of those crazy ideas I loved.

Not to mention that, even though this episode had quite a bit of action, the scenes that the animators spent the most frames on yet again was Claude’s hands as he was crocheting. It looked very good and realistic, really. But why that scene, of all places?

Now, the only thing I’m a bit worried about is the conclusion here. I mean, at this point the creators can easily revert everything back with another Deus ex Machna again, because at this point, this really seems to be one of those plots that the creators make up as they go along. I really want to see this show end with something epic. I don’t really care about the depth, this show never was one of those where you can expect that.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 20 August 2010 with categories: Kuroshitsuji II



It’s like the creators made the first episodes crap on purpose.

Seriously, the creators had pure gold with Alois, and yet for some reason they dedicated for consecutive episodes on the silly adventures of Ciel&co. I mean, this episode was awesome. It’s hard to imagine that it came from the same creators as the ones who wrote that silly random flood in the second episode.

I mean, where to begin. This episode was all about Alois’ back-story, and it fully played with the insanity of this character, and how it came to grow. On top of that, the whole backstory behind everything also reached the point in which it actually gets interesting. Alois wants Ciel because Sebastian killed his younger brother in the past? It’s quite interesting to see that he has completely different goals from Claude. Not to mention Alois ACTUALLY DYING at the end of this episode. Bloody hell!? What purpose is that ring going to make in the rest of this series?

Not to mention… Yuki Kajiura!? It’s awesome to suddenly have an insert-song of her appearing again. It also looks like this is going to be the new ED, which makes it even more interesting.

2010 really has been a major year for A-1 pictures. It’s not exactly their best year (heck, they made Birdy the Mighty in 2009), but I really like how their series have been so experimental this year: they’ve been trying out a ton of different things, not just in Anime no Chikara, but also in Ookiku Furikabutte with its unique direction, and Kuroshitsuji as well. Alois may be insane, but he’s one heck of an interesting character to watch. At this point, I somehow understand why there isn’t going to be an Anime no Chikara in the upcoming fall season, though. My guess is that it has more to do with manpower than with popularity. I mean, how many series are they working on in 2010? 7? (including the long-running Fairy Tail). I’m amazed that they kept up such a good quality for most of them: despite a number of hiccups here and there they all had their own parts in which they’re memorable (Fairy Tail excluded perhaps because I’m not watching that one anymore and Togainu no Chi because it hasn’t aired yet).
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 14 August 2010 with categories: Kuroshitsuji II



Hey, I’m back from holidays.

Anyway, I’m understanding the appeal of Kuroshitsuji now This episode was just so ridiculously camp and over the top that it makes for great entertainment. It’s obviously nothing really deep, but I’m having a hell of a time enjoying the creativity that has been put in these battles between Alois and Claude and Ciel and Sebastian.

Also, THANK GOD Ciel finally turned into someone more than a damsel in distress this time. Overall, I’m not sure whether the cast was any deeper in the first season, but one of my complaints is that aside from Sebastian, Alois and Claude (and perhaps that one maid of Alois), the rest of the cast is pretty interchangeable. Every episode here seems to have a bunch of different side-characters, but they all just look like each other. You could just swap all of them for the same character and it would not have made any difference to the plot. In the same way, Ciel had a pretty interesting concept with his revenge and all, but most of the episodes I’ve seen him in simply make him into someone who either does nothing or gets kidnapped.

Either way though, the side character of this episode, while he pretty much sucked as a character, really fitted its over the top atmosphere. I think my favourite pats here were when Sebastian impaled the triplet servants with a single spear, along with the actual climax of the episode. I’m not sure why, but the creators seem to be having a lot of fun with Alois. The way he’s animated, along with his facial expressions are completely different from everything else on this show. There are really a ton of characters that are overacting and chewing the scenery in this series, but he is of a completely different class here.

As for the mystery: well, it really turns out that Alois was the bad guy behind the bad guy, giving Ciel an actual reason to get another revenge. Only two major questions remain right now: why is Ciel’s soul so damn tasty? And under what kind of condition did Alois make a pact with Claude? They’re both pretty standard questions, so I doubt that this series is going to be making any more points with its mystery right now, so at this point the final number of episodes need to rely on these over the top battles, along with the interesting dynamics between the four lead characters.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 5 August 2010 with categories: Kuroshitsuji II



“I will now use this ladder in order to try and defeat this almighty demon butler”. “I will now use this bowly thing that produces music in order to brainwash everyone around me”. Now that’s what I’m talking about. Screw those god-mode powers: anyone can give that to their characters. But when the creators put those hilariously ridiculously executed ways to achieve their goals: that’s really something of the Kuroshitsuji franchise.

Especially the way in which Sebastian ended up countering that brainwash device: creating his own concert of water-filled wine glasses, even though he… could have just smashed the entire thing.

Anyway, the plot. Finally we get some stuff explained. So… why did Sebastian revive Ciel? Well… it turns out that he wanted to give Ciel a second chance at revenge. Okay. So apparently, this all has to do with the fact that somehow, Ciel is special. Special enough for Sebastian to want to steal his soul twice, and Alois to collect him like a stuffed doll. The problem here is Ciel’s memory loss, which somehow complicates things. I admit, it’s quite a decent explanation. Here’s the thing though: Ciel’s hidden powers, or whatever it is that makes him special, are still a complete McGuffin. They’re just there to give this second season a plot, nothing more.

Either way, I enjoyed this episode a lot. The way in which it it made such stupid stuff so epic. The soundtrack was especially good at this. I also love how the entire episode was pretty low-budget, with the sole exception of some of Claude’s hand movement. I mean, out of all the things to spend the most animation frames on, this is quite an interesting idea. Or do fangirls nowadays have hand fetishes?
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 29 July 2010 with categories: Kuroshitsuji II



Now this is more like it. I was really beginning to get tired of these half-assed build-up episodes, and this episode was a huge improvement as it returned back to the main story of this sequel. Finally, we get to see Alois return. The thing with Alois is that he may not be developed yet, but he’s such an enigmatic character. He’s so unashamedly full of himself here, and his presence is for me just enough to keep watching this series.

On top of that, though, the mystery is finally getting interesting. The previous three episodes were deliberately kept so seemingly out of continuity, and this episode finally gave a bunch of hints about what happened. Sebastian explained it as “amnesia”, and apparently he asked some of Ciel’s friends to keep this a secret, and pretend nothing happened.

So, for some really strange reason here… Sebastian actually revived Ciel, along with those three servants (who also died at the end of the first season, right? At this point, I really fail to see the point of a demon who makes a contract with some human, just to be able to eat his soul… only to revive him again. I hope that the eventual reason behind this is going to be more than just a McGuffin. With these kinds of things, you can just define a bunch of magic rules that explain everything. The question is going to be how well these fit, but we’ll see.

I’m mostly curious to see where Alois fits in all of this: what was Sebastian doing in his mansion, and why that somehow ended up bringing Ciel back. Claude especially seems like more than just another butler who is harvesting souls. I also hope that this episode marks the end of the stupid adventures of the previous three episodes. I can see why they’re necessary to build up and all, but that’s no excuse for their poor execution.

Oh, the servants however… they were as annoying as ever. This episode also introduced a bunch of Indians (who have their own theme music, apparently), and they too are obnoxious. I really don’t want to know how often they appeared in the first season…
Rating: * (Good)

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AidanAK47
Hoping things change when the first episodes start airing of the new anime season.
AidanAK47
Things have gotten quiet here. I plan on getting my Mob psycho review up today. I have to say that the next season doesn't interest me very much. There's some great stuff coming next year but the fall is looking pretty...meh.
AidanAK47
Finally got around to watching Stranger Things. Good show, I like the nostalgic way they tell the story though at times its too Spielberg/King. I admit that I can't say I was blown away by it. It's good and I will be watching the second season. But it's a tad.. predictable. Those child actors did a great job though.
K-Off
@Bam I'm not certain the email I have is one you actually use, so here it is: (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QWnGcuVQuXfOJuh80SDgtiZH4X6Zya_XEG2ZOM6u-5k/edit?usp=sharing)
It's pathetic right now, I'm sorting out my arrangements for Seoul first.
K-Off
@Bam I'll send you the itinerary in a few hours. Appreciate the offer for guides but I'll decline on that, otherwise it wouldn't hurt to have additional contacts in japan. The person I'm traveling with is half Japanese, so I trust that we won't run into tourist traps.
SuperMario
It logged me out again. Oh well! That was me Bam
Anonymous207007
@Bam: the first time I've ever heard of Chinchilla. Sorry to hear about your pet. Don't feel bad about the late post, it's perfectly fine. After all, we all volunteer to contribute here, so no pressure on the timing. Just write whenever you feel like it really.
Bam
Can anybody else see these?
Bam
@K-off: right on m8, I'm excited for you. Email me your itinerary and I can not only recommend some spots that aren't just basic tourist-traps, but can also hook you up with some friends to take you around and show you what the real Japan is all about.
Bam
I was planning to release the posts just as scheduled, but my Chinchilla suddenly got ill, and given the exotic nature of such pets I've been in and out of dozens of veterinary clinics. Over a week later and $600 spend, the poor thing finally gave out. I've been pretty out of since it happened, but again sorry for just disappearing.
Bam
I am actually still breathing. Sorry again for the unceremonious absence.
K-Off
@anon196168 I'm all ears for suggestions.
Anonymous196168
If youre going to japan maybe you could do something more unique than just taking pictures of locations? Plenty of those already on Google.
Kaiser Eoghan
Noticing a server error showing up on the shoutbox there.
AidanAK47
Good point, normal users generally just stay anono. ke69Vin?...69...really....that's just sad humor right there.
K-Off
That was most definitely little Kevin as well. 9vinke6 is obviously an anagram.
AidanAK47
@9Vinke6, I don't know what you are trying to share but it ain't an image. Deleting your comment as I don't want dodgy files on the site.
Anonymous181098
Are you kidding??!! Tokyo is amazing if you want excitement & you want to experience social life. But I agree go to Osaka. If tokyo is like Quebec then osaka is like toronto. More laid back
Anonymous180231
OPM was a shoe-in. It's showing very good success on Adult Swim on US TV and Viz is throwing big dollars to keep the gravy train rolling
AidanAK47
One Punch Man season 2 was announced. Expected but most certainly welcome.
...now I need Re:Zero season 2.
CJayTiiii
Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
K-Off
If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
CJayTiii
Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
CJayTiii
Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
K-Off
@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
CJayTiii
For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
afgm
Well, it's hard, since it doesn't really feel finished, so even if you know it will eventually end well if given a chance, you can't really put your full confidence behind those bets
AidanAK47
Got a bit long winded in that review and yet I feel like I really didn't get across what makes the series so good.
AidanAK47
Well that's the Re:Zero review written up. I will get to work on 91 days next and maybe Prisms Illya maybe after that. Lost all entuasim after they messed up that last episode in Illya. Overall it's been pretty disappointing.
AidanAK47
As for that twist. I think they could work it easily into a first episode. The impact would still be there for people marathoning the thing in the future and it would be a good "Oh Shit!" moment to start the second season. If they jump ahead a bit to a certain moment it would actually make for a great opener.
AidanAK47
I say the only chance of season two not coming would be if White Fox doesn't like money. Considering that the pace which the light novel adaption has sped up from every few months to a release every month I guess that they want to make that second season as badly as we want it. At this pace they could start a second season in maybe a years time. Maybe every half a year depending on cour length.
Syndrome
Also, if season 2 ever come (that would be a surprise if not, and truly annoying), I dont know how they will manage with the "twist", as something this impactful would come way too fast without any kind of setup. Wait and see, I guess.
Syndrome
After seeing the last Re:Zero I couldnt help but spoil myself, and I kind of understand why WhiteFox went with that kind of ending, skipping what would be a giant shtstorm on the internet. Even though, in a sad world where there would be no season 2, Im still a bit disappointed with the ending. Its nice to wrap it up this way but its a stale regarding the plot and there is no food for thought.
SuperMario
@aidan: you sure are fast when it comes to Re:Zero haha. Alrighty, we'll go with that then
AidanAK47
@mario,I am putting up a Re:Zero post. Tommarrow. I will unsticky it for a day and then we can sticky it again.
reaLjustified
@K-Off No worries, it's so messed up. Stay safe.
SuperMario
@Aidan: if you going to post Re:Zero review soon, you can unsticky the Versus Show post, otherwise I will take it down in 2 days
SuperMario
@K-Off: I feel for ya. Glad that there were only minor injuries. I heard a blogger claimed that he did it because of the gay rights. Sound bullsh*t to me
K-Off
Shit ton of manga have gotten updates but I don't feel like talking about them for a while, lost my appetite.
K-Off
@Kaiser Living in NYC all my life I remember 9/11, flight 587 crash in Queens, the Hudson River water landing, and now this.
AidanAK47
So far it seems most of the people calling it disappointing are those who know whats comes after that last scene and were looking forward to how the fanbase reacts to it. But it would have been a pretty terrible as well as evil way to end the series.
Topgavin
Yeah, I thought it gave enough closure for us to be satisfied yet still desperately wanting the next season.
AidanAK47
@Anon120947, I really don't see what's so disappointing about it. I thought it was a pretty solid way to end the series.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think at most the worst thing that happened in my area was two conmen going around and an gangster attack on a nearby hotel.
Kaiser Eoghan
@K-off: Honestly, glad to hear you're safe. And having a bomb go off nearby would make me feel paranoid.
@Anon: I'm waiting, waiting for reviews written after the show ends.
Anonymous120947
Feels like it has been done this way in case of a never happening season 2... to kind of close it.
Anonymous120947
Wow, that last episode of Re:Zero was pure straight disapointment... finishing like this feels is real suffering.
K-Off
Well, we don't know yet. We don't know who did it, if it was connected to the pipe bomb explosion in jersey, etc. But the second device found on 27th street does seem to point the situation towards terrorism.
afgm
Luckily it doesn't seem to be a terror attack
K-Off
Yeah. I was a good 8 blocks away inside a restaurant so I didn't even know until later. It must have been a pretty small bomb since all the injured have apparently already been released from the hospital.
AidanAK47
Damn. Just looked it up. Good thing you weren't at the area when the bomb went off.
K-Off
Fucking hell, transit is so congested I still can't get home. Luckily it seems like there's no fatalities according to the initial reports, there are still a shit ton of people around central for shelter. I didn't hear or feel the explosion at chelsea, and currently I'm at lenox with my bicycle. So congested it looks like I'm going to have to walk my bike a few more miles before I get picked up. L
AidanAK47
Watched The Empire of Corpses. I makes me sad to see a great idea be turned into such a mediocre movie. I think this concept could have been put to much better use but instead it decided to go with the blandest option.
SuperMario
The guy who will direct it is a live-action director who only had Psycho Pass the Movie (not a good one) as an anime director. WTH? Don't know what to think about this new FLCL now
SuperMario
and it will be co-produced by Adult Swim on top of that?
SuperMario
How comes I just noticed this old news that FLCL will get two-seasons sequel...
Masky
And by that I mean "Huh, haven't checked the blog for two days"
Masky
Yay commenting on two days old blog posts
AidanAK47
Finished rewatching Re:Zero and now ready for the finale. Let's see how this goes.
AidanAK47
I will be mourning the now dead hope of a somewhat decent Berserk adaption.
The last few episodes were not bad but purely on the merits of the source material and not the adaption.
SuperMario
@Bam: I'll be mourning indeed.
@Anon 112098: I haven't watched Chef, but it has more to do with me not interested in chef's life whatsoever. Is it good?
Bam
I'm out of town until Sunday evening. The Berserk finale post will hopefully be up early Monday mourning, followed by the overall cour review a bit later in the week.
Anonymous112098
Habe u seen Chef with John Favreau?
AidanAK47
I am quite upset with how Sliver link handled that scene. It was the one scene I wanted done right. Just that one scene...and they screwed it up.
SuperMario
He scored the Prince of Egypt? I didn't know that, but yeah I remember it had a great score. Also "When you believe"
K-Off
Well, a lot of his earlier work is just brilliant. Prince of Egypt in my opinion is his greatest work.
SuperMario
*nothing wrong
SuperMario
Well, Hans Zimmer could do nothing really; but that's a reason why I have a bit of problem with his scores. Everything he made are solid but ultimately sound the same to me.
SuperMario
Agree that the music has been excellent. Not only the soundtrack thou, but the sound editting in general is great (that ringtone during the Great Whale for example).
AidanAK47
@Mario, Understandable. As much as I love this show, I admit that it has elements I am sure could turn off people.
Also I really should have talked about the music in this series more. It really is a phenomenal soundtrack. I hear they were going with a more cinematic approach to it with Hans Zimmer being a primary inspiration.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it has been a fun ride, I'm glad I stick with it till the end; although I'm not as enthusiastic about it as you are. :)
AidanAK47
Re-watching Re:Zero in preparation for the finale. Still is awesome a second time through. In fact the middle part of the series I felt dragged fairs a whole lot better when marathoned though. Noticing a number of things watching the second time. For one Roswell has a really goddamn annoying way of talking. I say I will be giving this on a very favorable review.
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