Posted on 27 March 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Letter Bee




Letter Bee as a series that’s difficult to recommend. I mean, the heights it can reach is amazing, but its quality does tend to fluctuate and it tends to waste time, the fillers of the first season being the biggest example of this. The second season of Letter Bee is a huge improvement over the first, though, let there be no mistake about that. The amount of amazing episodes has pretty much doubled and the cast of characters grows into an amazing one that plays off each other wonderfully. It’s just not as good as what it could have been, but more on that below.

First of all, the first Letter Bee Left with an absolutely amazing cliff-hanger. It was tedious to sit through that series at times, but everything just came together in those final ten minutes. The second season immediately builds further upon that, and does so wonderfully. The creators just come with episode after episode of character-building that makes the main cast a delight to watch, with some of the most gorgeous artwork and very imaginative episodic stories that are just full of charms. The first half of the second season shows Letter Bee at its utter best.

And then… the creators found out that they only had 50 episodes to work with. With a manga that’s still ongoing, they had to make the choice to continue adapting the manga that this show is based on, only to cut off somewhere in the middle of the story, or make up their own finale. They chose the latter.

Now, I know that anime original endings are notorious, but Letter Bee actually does a very good job of wrapping up its story: a breath of fresh air after all those countless series that just refuse to end because the manga or light novels that they’re adapting doesn’t fit into 13, 26 or 52 episodes. Most of the storylines that needed to be wrapped up are wrapped up pretty decently while at the same time most of the characters also get a good closure.

This really could have gone wrong terribly, but the end result is a cohesive and enjoyable series. But the fact remains that the creators of the anime just aren’t as good storytellers as the writer of the manga. The adventure parts feel a bit sloppy and lack detail, and the emotional turmoil dies down a lot in the anime original parts. The tension becomes just less dynamic and interesting and overall it just never really manages to reach the height it once got to. It’s not bad at all, it’s just… less good. That’s one disappointment that you do need to take into account when watching this series.

Overall, today it’s very rare for series to have 50 episodes. Letter Bee’s biggest fault was that it didn’t use them well. Make no mistake, though: when this series is at its best, it really is amazing and this last for more than a dozen episodes. The big difference between the first and second season is that even when the second season is disappointing a bit, it’s not like it becomes too annoying, boring or unwatchable: there’s definitely enough interesting stuff happening, it’s just not as interesting or well executed as it once was.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Excellent at building up and closing off its story. Especially the first half is wonderfully told with a lot of creativity.
Characters: 9/10 – The main selling point of this series: at this point in the series the characters have received some excellent development that is used wonderfully.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Gorgeous at times, but unremarkable at others. The soundtrack still is very good.
Setting: 8/10 – Dulls in a bit after a while, but still good and full of moral dilemmas.

Suggestions:
Popolocrois Story 1998
Argento Soma
Natsume Yuujinchou

Posted on with categories: Letter Bee



Nowhere near a great ending, but this also wasn’t a complete disaster. Really: this ending had both its good and bad parts.

Let’s start with the bad points: the climax of the series looking much more like an anti-climax. This is one thing that the creators of the anime just got wrong and it was a flimsy way to end the series. I can imagine what they wanted to do: bad guy sacrifices himself, the person that the lead character looks up to gets mortally wounded and so the lead character summons his inner powers in order to get rid of it. This was told very sloppily, though. It just doesn’t fit in the story. What really would have fitted much better was to exit this series with an exciting chase scene that involved all of the important characters.

At the same time though: that short climax did allow the aftermath to be very good. I mean, this series did not magically bring back Gauche’s heart, but explicitly stated that Lag gave him a new purpose in life. I mean, that pretty neatly wraps up his story here and I applaud the creators for that. Sunni meanwhile has the chance to recover (probably because she only got half-eaten by the cabernet), but again I like how the creators didn’t magically make her better, and instead made her recovery something that could happen over time, if it even would have happened at all.

Overall this series left some questions behind, but with most of them I actually don’t mind that they were unanswered. Lag’s mother for example had no business being inside this climax: there just wasn’t enough time to really focus on her character in detail, and instead this series gave enough hints to who she was and why Lag ended up the way he did. The rest of the details, we can fill in for ourselves. This episode has this “life goes on”-theme that I appreciate a lo. I’ve certainly seen much worse endings than this.

In the end, the big mistake that the creators made is that some of their key ideas just backfired on them. Of course the climax of this episode was one I’m referring to, but the biggest of them all was how they decided to put Gauche’s return at the end of the first season. I can definitely understand why they did it: the finale of the first season was one of the best hooks to a second season I’ve seen in a long, long while. At the same time, though they had to waste a lot of time in order to accomplish that, and because of that they ran out of time near the end when it became clear that they only could get 50 episodes.

If the creators would have chosen to continue with the story of the manga, I do think that I would have whined a lot more at this series, simply because there is no way that it could have been wrapped up in time. What the creators did here is commendable. It’s just a shame that they just aren’t the best storytellers.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 20 March 2011 with categories: Letter Bee



You know what? There have been a lot of anime based on wonderful stories that unfortunately didn’t have enough time to animate these entire stories. Leaving aside the series like Giant Killing that managed to pick a logical point to end, and series that just ended up rewriting the entire source material, Letter Bee turned into one of the better attempts to wrap up its story. It’s obvious that the final quarter of this series isn’t its best, but at the same time: I can’t really fault it for anything here, aside from just not being as good (and perhaps being a bit sloppy in the adventure department at times).

This episode again: granted, it was pretty much a “now that we made up let’s all fight the big evil together”… but it just did everything so solidly. Everyone pretty much acted like you’d expected. Sure, it was a bit disappointing to see Dr. Thunderland turn good again, right after it was revealed that he worked for Reverse, but seeing the nature of Reverse I don’t really blame him to have a change of heart either. He probably had a few talks with the twins, who also had all the reasons to eventually step away from them. Also, Largo went in to get the help of Maka? I mean, why not? If there’s anyone who can stop that Cabernet it would be Maka, and after Nichi’s visit I don’t see them refusing a genuine request from someone like him.

Everything pretty much flowed into each other based on how pretty much the entire cast has matured over the series and stopped caring about these revenge plans that really harm more than are useful. Pretty much the only one who didn’t develop was Lawrence, who I liked the least in this episode. Next episode we’ll see whether or not that action of his was pointless.

The creators pretty much ended up wrapping up the story of Letter Bee by instead of having things spiral out of control, they tried to reduce the tension between the characters. And the way in which they did this… it was actually pretty plausible and worth the large amount of episodes they put into it. The plot is less exciting, but at the same time there also weren’t any cheap plot twists, rushed conclusions, or downright ass-pulls. The plot still plays around with morals, but the characters are brought together through this single evil entity of the Cabernet. The Cabernet alone is a pretty lousy villain of course, but as a plot device it did its job pretty nicely.

If only this series had more episodes, though.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 14 March 2011 with categories: Letter Bee



Ah, this episode explained a lot. It didn’t just contain a lot of backstory, but it also really showed what the creators of the anime are trying to do here: they’re trying to close off the Letter Bee story while resolving all of the major questions and subplots. On one hand, it’s a shame that the sponsors didn’t give them the full chance to completely tell the story of the manga. On the other hand, it’s commendable to see the creators of the anime go through these lengths in order to avoid what is by far the single biggest and most frequent mistake of manga and light novel adaptations: completely cutting off the story and leaving you hungry for a sequel that will never arrive.

The small dip in quality really was their way to carefully wrap up the storyline without rushing it, and because the manga put so much meaning into it, they really had to take their time to let the story play out. Now that that’s happened, the past weeks have finally gotten back to focus on what made this show so great: the characters.

Because, yes! The creators didn’t cop out. I really was afraid when Noir turned back good that the creators would find some excuse to turn him back into Gauche, completely nullifying his development. They didn’t! This episode clearly states that Noir is still Noir. He now just happens to have similar goals as Lag. The scene in that cave between the two of them did an excellent job of using the build-up of both the early episodes and the anime original ones.

Also, finally! Lag’s mother makes her appearance. She’s the centre of all of the mystery here, and even though it was already pretty much established that she was that sun, it’s good to finally actually see her. Again, well worth the build up.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 5 March 2011 with categories: Letter Bee



I can only imagine how different things must have been in the manga at this point, because this episode in particular pulled a few twists that gave a completely different dimension to a few key characters. Still, the manga has an unlimited time frame and the anime doesn’t, so I at least admire the balls of the creators to go with some of the twists in this episode.

The thing with mystery is that it tends to leave a void whenever it’s solved, unless a different hook is provided. That was was a pretty big problem of this series for the past number of episodes, save for the Connor episode. This episode provided that hook again, and it’s just in time for the finale here.

It was obvious that if the plot were to just revolve around getting rid of the Cabernet, it would end up rather boring. It needed some extra spice to be introduced. Thunderland being part of Reverse is definitely an interesting way to do it. He has the background and enough motivation to do it, and having foreshadowed in in the previous episodes would only have made it more shallow, although I do wonder what kind of logic went behind his decision to store the ones who couldn’t become a spirit… int he middle of the Bee Hive.

Meanwhile, Gauche is good again! This lacked some of the impact due to the previous episodes rather shallow reason for it, but nevertheless: that scene between him and Sylvette was an excellent climax between the two. I mean, Letter Bee has always been very character-centric, and now it comes with a plot focused final quarter. It’s great to see that they still have a number of moments dedicated to simply the characters for the finale.

Letter Bee has definitely been an interesting series, it went from good to tedious to charming to repetitive, to amazing, to captivating, to a bit less interesting to a bit more interesting again. It’s going to depend a lot on the ending here. This ending needs to be more than “and they defeated the bad guy and lived happily ever after”. That would be just a dull anti-climax after all that build-up.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 26 February 2011 with categories: Letter Bee



“Don’t bother chasing him. He’ll have no chance of getting in our way.”

Dude… no. Just no.

Overall, this episode was quite solid, but I feel that the creators could have taken more risks. The result is a lot of cliches that you usually see when a story is nearly over: once morally ambiguous villains turn evil, good guys who were tempted by the dark side turn good again and due to the absence of any sort of development from the government itself… it has turned into a good versus evil story. Bummer.

Now, it’s not like this episode was bad or anything. I mean, Cabernet versus the capital, this has been built up for an entire season now, so it was going to be obvious that the climax would focus on this. Lawrence’s decision to sacrifice the ones who didn’t become a spirit also has a perfect explanation when you look at the way he’s willing to sacrifice in order to get to his goals, even though he originally probably didn’t intend to sacrifice them. I’d just wish that he didn’t make it so easy for Gauche to choose which side to join.

And as for the lack of any info on the capital, it’s an interesting twist in any case. The fact that we don’t know anything about them is definitely left up to the imagination of the viewer. We can sort-of imagine why they made the decisions they made, but I like how it’s still anyone’s guess as to who they exactly are. So yeah; last episode: don’t ruin that by turning them into stereotypical evil overlords or something.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 19 February 2011 with categories: Letter Bee



This could be me, but I have a strong feeling that this was one of the chapters of the manga again. And I can understand why the creators just had to include it, despite how they’re trying to wrap up the series while the manga is still on-going (that’s the only reason I can think of for why the previous episodes went into anime original territory anyway. It really is a shame that Pierrot couldn’t get a third season for this show in time). This chapter is fairly standalone, simple and away from the main plot, but it contained a ton of heart.

Connor obviously had been missing from the past episodes, and this episode explains what he had been doing. It turned out to be a wonderful piece of character development. This really was an excellent aftermath that made Connor into a much better character than he already was. It was overall a very quiet episode, even for Letter Bee standards, but that really gave Connor the time to show how Connor and Sunny changed.

the big question at this point is of course going to be: will the final episodes be able to do the story of this series justice? I’m hoping for a few more episodes like this, plus a very solid finale that tries to do more than just answering the major questions and wrap up the story.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 12 February 2011 with categories: Letter Bee



An episode full of morals. Really, this episode was all about the fact that the Reverse have a very justifiable cause and that the Letter Bees, despite their jobs, work for an organization that does a ton of terrible stuff. Especially Zazie was excellent in this episode and I like how professional he was.

It’s a bit of a shame that Jeel got shot before anything could get resolved, though. It would have been really interesting to see him continue on with the story here. In exchange though, we got the first hints to Lag’s mother since… episode two of the first season? What’s interesting is how Lawrence knows all those things. I mean, based on his scars, he also seems to be one of those people who got experimented upon, yet he did an awful lot of stuff for someone who lost his memories. In any case, he’s special in some way.

My main issue with the past few episodes is that its sense of location is a bit rushed here and there. Making up an original story is much harder than just following a manga, and this really shows itself in the way that sometimes, small scenes seem missing. Like the point where the Cabernet dies: the creators could have shown a small scene of Noir and the others running away. Or when Lag and the others fall down a cliff, and suddenly Valentine appears from out of nowhere with a horse carriage… on a beach. It would have been nice to show where they all came from.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 5 February 2011 with categories: Letter Bee



That OP just looks amazing. I guess that we now know why the previous episodes suddenly came with a recap OP: Studio Pierrot was still working on the real one in order to get it just right. When it looks this good, it really was worth the wait.

Also, I’ve said this before, but my stance on anime original material is that, as long as it works, I don’t mind it at all. With that in mind, I enjoyed this episode quite a bit. There were some strange technical issues, like a giant explosive garbage disposal machine that can be turned on by a big ripple in the water, but it’s easy to forget about that as it lied in the middle of a huge corpse graveyard!

This episode also made great use of the fact that the Letter Bees aren’t on the right side of the moral scale, despite believing to be so. Despite the services they provide to deliver hearts, they’re still on the side of the government, which has made quite a few enemies. This makes choosing between which side to join a much more interesting dilemma beyond the usual “am I good or am I evil?”

Regardless of however good the manga may be, the anime so far did create a pretty interesting job of coming up with an original story, but it’s not there yet. It’s clearly currently building up to something, and that really does need to pay off in the end. In particular, the creators are apparently no longer bound by a manga-format, so I hope that they make use of that instead of playing for safe.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 29 January 2011 with categories: Letter Bee



So apparently we’re now in anime original territory? Well, this episode didn’t feel as solid in the adventure department, but that may also be because if I got things right, the episode director of this episode was the director of Glass no Kantai… In any case, I’m glad that the creators are now already building up to their own ending, rather than doing this, say, during the final three episodes.

What I meant with that this episode wasn’t as solid as the others was that strange point of Aria fanservice that felt totally out of place for this series, or the way in which Nichi suddenly pulled another power out of nowhere(she can now even make wheelchairs), that conveniently located trap door for Nichi or that very badly animated horse carriage…

At the same time though, there was still plenty of good stuff here, most of it revolving around Gauche versus Lag. The scene in which Gauche pretty much tells him that he simply received a bunch of Lag’s memories is quite powerful, but at the same time we got confirmed that the letter bullet at least partially worked: if Gauche entirely spoke the truth in that scene, he would have been able to kill Lag easily.
Rating: * (Good)

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
And that extends to action scenes, don't just slap old songs over your trailer thoughtlessly/carelessly or dump a generic pop song over your mecha battle or generic rock song over a fight scene.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Scenes would be better served by subtely or sinister sound design or less/no music in most cases.
Amagi
@Niello: Same here. It annoyed me to no end. I was curious so I watched the live stream. It was much better/less bad with subs, most of the first episode was nothing but shousa shousa and casually a "violetto chan..".
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I would disagree on music. The soundtrack is far too bombastic and overbearing for the nature of the series.
Niello
Watching the first episode raw was a mistake imo. I actually cringed when I heard chuusa for the 10th time in the hospital room scene. At least the subtitle would serve as a distraction.
Amagi
It's kinda sad because the execution of scenes, music and animation are awesome and I think that its depiction of characters and their behaviour is pretty good too, the problem is that the MC is a bad/illogical character to begin with and that they want to attract a larger fanbase through certain pandering. Still enjoy it overall, though.
SuperMario
We share the exact same thoughts about Violet's issues then. I think the story isn't that great and the characterisation so far is weak. But count on me to blog it to see if it can improve itself
Amagi
Yeah, the idea of some unworldy girl learning about emotions through ghost writing is great and I love the setting. But the war part makes no sense in that context, and I wish they'd tone down that "I'm mayor's dog" stuff. It's pretty common for these type of people being clingy to one specific person, but they should totally leave out the waifu pandering. Ep 2 was better in that regard though.
Niello
How come Violet went through war and back and still doesn't even recognise, in the slightest, the grim emotions humans sometimes feel such as pain, worry, distrust, anger, hate etc. Then the premise set up that she's going to learn love and all the other emotions, good and bad, though ghost writing and empathise with people. I call bull.
Niello
@Mario: The writing is disappointing and underwhelming, especially the characterisation. I would rant, but I'd rather not. It's just, if this show doesn't have the amazing visual or Kyoani name attached you can just imagine that its fate would be rather bleak.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: hhhmmm, I have good news, the French dvd of that film let the corpses tan is coming out in March, well before the vod release, so it'll probably get fansubbed or something before we have to wait for an official English web-dl/cast.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was never much of an on stage/presentation man really, I was always rubbish at it, to quiet an introverted person really to get up in front of a crowd and give a lecture/speech.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: And this would be the part where I say it would be great if I even had half your presentation ability or sounded that clever.
Your voice is as imagined it, though I'd pictured you younger looking in my head.
KTravlos
fianlly done with the academic meeting I was organizing. Should get back to some anime watching. Also if you want to see my presentation go here

https://youtu.be/GNjtuf-nJ-s?list=PL7qM1ZYRwV_DbcW31vF_Codobpq7u6ffS
SuperMario
@Niello: Aside from your #1 (which ưe'll agree to disagree here), it's a nice set of shows you're follwing this season. Did you watch Violet Evergarden first episode thou and how did you think about it?
SuperMario
Great. Now I can't even send message here through my laptop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: i think it's the same issue with kisscartoon. The original site was shut down sometimes ago, and now there are plenty of Kisscartoon's fake domains that are annoying as hell
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: its back up now though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its front page has server issues from time to time sometimes for hours.
SuperMario
I just read some manga on kissmanga a week ago, is the site down already?
Niello
Well to be fair batoto is down because of the site owner personal reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So Mangahere, mangachapter, baoto, animea seem to be gone and kissmangas front page is down , mangafox is slow, whats next to go down....
Niello
I don't currently see an anime this season that really stands out from the others. Right now if I have to rank them
1) Miira no kaikata
2) Kokkoku
3) Sora yori mo tooi basho
4) Koi wa ameagari no you ni
5) Takagi-san.
Not counting Devilman Crybaby since it's already finished.
Niello
@Eoghan I love Urobuchi and still find the Godzilla film weak.
SuperMario
I just looked through the nominations for the Crunchyroll Anime Awards and to my surprise, it's a pretty solid lineups. Find myself agreeing with most of their choices there
AidanAK47
Actually forgot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know why you don't just read kara no shoujo 2 instead.
AidanAK47
And Himawari is actually boring me. It's proving difficult to push myself though just to see where the point that makes it highly regarded comes in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In the end I was pretty much curious about it.
AidanAK47
Yep, that's it. Gonna stop discord displaying what I play from now on. It's weird when people comment on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now my current rankings: 1. Devilman
2.Junji itou
3. sangatsu
4. Cardcaptor sakura
5. Pop team
6. Evergarden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Aidan
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm joking obviously, but I am surprised to see you playing Himawari Aiden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh Aidan you and your lolicon visual novel you =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Shin Godzilla had the evolving godzilla thing and that freaky ass final shot too, it also justified itself quite well i think by showing how relevent he is today, given the nuclear thing and that it drew on the Fukushima incident essentially.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Thats a far better and shorter way of putting it than I.
Alonaria
I wish I'd just waited for the other parts of the Godzilla movie trilogy to be released. As it is, I'm just going to remember it as "that incomplete movie." And the character designs kind of blurred together for me, which was really disorienting.
Anonymous1746949
Oh psgels is back
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I've seen other Godzilla things so I pretty much was supposed to see this anyway.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or you know you could always take what I said with a pinch of salt, because you know....I don't get on with Urobutcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea behind it is definately cool and a different spin for the franchise though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe I was held back a bit by the cgi or the mediorce voice acting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I'd need to see its followup before properly assessing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Godzilla often makes for silly films, but lke alot of silly older films the silliness and seriousness combine without clashing, this one is too Poe faced .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw that Godzilla anime film, I'd describe it as watchable in parts but far too caught up in setup mode and an unlikeable protaganist , it could go somewhere with what it raised at the start but this is an example of a first film in a trilogy that suffers from being unable to currently stand on its own.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I generally feel that Itou's stories have a winning track record but theres exceptions, Uzumaki and Gyo in manga form struggle toward the end and the first episode story the anime chose to adapt is, while fun one of the weaker offerings.
Alonaria
Honestly, the shorter stories have been more effective at getting a reaction out of me, though. I actually didn't really enjoy the first episode's first story, mostly because I found the MC too obnoxious. :.D Maybe because my younger brother chased me with a bug once and it was really unpleasant. XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It wasn't just it coming out of her mouth, but when they were stamping on them too.
Anonymous1743747
@Kaiser: Yah, I was horrified for like 5 seconds but the other characters made me crack up. :.D
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although it was mixed in with laughing my ass of eventually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of all the Itou stories to be un-nerved by, its the second half of this third episode oddly that does it for me and I never get uncomfortable during anything .
AidanAK47
@Anon, We are working on it.
Anonymous1742736
Are you planning on making a top anime of 2017 list?
Amagi
Yeah Mash is one of the few good ones it seems.
Amagi
Oh damn, good that you remind me, I didn't pick anything yet. But I guess I will go with Altera, considering that some of them don't look that good and I own her anyway. Would have wanted the Scat one but the drawing looks weird.
AidanAK47
Which Bond CE did you pick for the 2 mill? I went with the Mash one. Only only whose artwork I liked.
AidanAK47
Might settle for making Bryn my endgame lancer though.
AidanAK47
As I said in my Apocrypha post, I have no interest in any version of Jeanne. My top priorities for my endgame team is Isekander, Scathach and assassin Shiki. And Shiki is a welfare so only need to worry about the other two.
Amagi
Yeah, I was considering to keep rolling for the new 4* at first but I really want Jeanne Alter and she's coming soon.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I tried rolling for Karna and got nothing. Though I think Bryn is better. I plan on rolling one more time with the saint quartz we are getting to try for NP2. Though we do have the valintines event coming.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here, just got Brynhildr. Even though I already got Karna last month. But I wanted her, nice design, finally a single-targed 5* and she's even one of the few servants related to my country.
KTravlos
@SuperMario. The contemplation of the death of humanity, and the loneliness, both were very disturbing to me. Kinda like thinking of my grave.
AidanAK47
YANDERE GET. Bryn's mine baby.
AidanAK47
Gonna try rolling for Brynhildr tomorrow. Bit annoyed they chose to translate it as Brynhild. I mean it's not incorrect but her name is far more recognisable as Brynhildr
AidanAK47
@Amagi, The grind wasn't that bad for me. Mordred carried me for it. Though I managed to get Siegfried in the gacha despite not being on rate up. I admit that the event was rather lackluster. Story wasn't that fun and the whole saber restriction was a pain. Also gonna take me a while to readjust to regular damage.
Amagi
Man that FGO Saber Wars event was annoying. I am happy finally I have 2 mio. altrium now and am done with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminder that netflix Godzilla anime is later today.
Amagi
Damn I didn't noticed that ankle band of the little demon from the intro scene of FranXX 01, now I feel stupid.
Lenlo
Yuasa is great! Ping pong and Tatami Galaxy are still some of my favorites
SuperMario
Oh fuck, the lead singer of the Cranberries passed away. I literally just listened to their music yesterday. Damnn, sad news
SuperMario
@Kaiser; thanks for considering me but I believe Wooper is much more a Yuasa's fan than I am
SuperMario
Far out!!!
SuperWooper
Yuasa will be answering questions on Reddit's anime board on the 20th.
SuperMario
@Niello: what do you mean regarding Yuasa?
SuperMario
@Travlos: I agree that Girls Last Tour is a special little gem, but in what ways it's disturbing?
Niello
Holy cow, Masaaki Yuasa AMA!! What magic is this?
Niello
Meawhile, Japan took a different approach and we ends up with a bunch of .hack rehash and diving more and more into escapism. Until we eventually got isekai and then it just spiraled into a sea of mediocrity.
Niello
While that opened its own can of worms, at least it opens up element about making ends meet, managing irl relationships, earning extra income for a poor family, getting cheated etc.
Niello
in the characters real life just fine. Something more a long the line of Net-juu but more technologically advanced. And I would say that plenty of those have been superior to Japanese online game and isekai story shenanigans. That said, it doesn't mean that those don't have their own kind of traps they usually fall in. A bunch of those instead focus on the aspect of making money off of games.
Niello
...Getting stuck in a virtual reality game and being transport to another world that happens to be like a game are completely different though. I don't know what is it with Japan and getting stuck in game plots considering that there are loads of other game-base Asian novels that came before it that manage story lines where they manage to tell compelling stories in game while balancing what happen
KTravlos
I finally finished Girls Last Tour. What a profound, fluffy and disturbing masterpiece. Bravo.
Amagi
Yeah. I feel the world swap is pretty much pointless when real life isn't relevant anymore. It's just a stupid as hell excuse to combine fantasy wish fullfilment with self-inserts, which is why these main characters tend to be 29 by now, just like the big part of the otaku community.
Lenlo
Of those you listed, no, I dont think they get explained? I mean, SAO did, but I dont think that falls into your category.

Thats why I liked .hack//sign over alot of more modern game Isekai. Also .hack//sign did explain what happened to Tsukasa.
Amagi
Considering how bad most of these are I wouldn't wonder if they wouldn't even bother with an explanation and just end it with the characters being happy in that game world and that's it. Or magic and the whole harem gets transported into reality at the end because power of love and such.
Amagi
I have no problem with a sci-fi fantasy mix, I liked .hack//sign for example, but it annoys me that such an incredibly bizarre situation gets never explained. Or maybe it will but it never happened so far because none of these LNs was ever finished and concluded yet. I just wish to know how they explain that.
Amagi
I mean all those shows in which the character just finds himself stuck in a real world that's (coincidentally?) the same as the game he recently played. Be it Overlord, Death March, Log Horizon or the 300 other series with that premise.
Amagi
Some thing that always bothered me about game isekai for which I never got an answer so far: did any of those series ever end and/or explain how the warp has happened and why the MC is in the game? - Not talking about .hack, SAO and such where the action of getting trapped is part of the premise
Niel
@Eoghan - Btw, Kokkoku isn't a time travel. it's stasis, apparently. Looks very promising so far. Though if I am to trust the manga score, it's shit.
Niel
But is Toradora really slice of life? As far as I can see it's straight up romance.
Lenlo
And Mario, ill rag on SOL all I want! :P

Wooper, its true good shows transcend genre, as there are still some like Toradora I like, but those are exceptions that prove the rule so to speak.
Lenlo
@Niel, yeah I base my potential % on the odds something gets/stays good.
AidanAK47
I am of similar mindset about Franxx. I want it to get better but I don't really see it doing so. Unless the other characters get a majority personality boost or the MC stops being a plank.
Niel
XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
I confess....I only sat through just over half an episode of aldonoah.
Niel
Since it's Trigger, I will give the benefit of the doubt. I'm just very skeptical about this whole formula.
Niel
The way I can see this series improving is through world building. And if other aspects are going to improve too, it's going to revolve around that.
Niel
It leaves about as much impression on me as much as the first episode of Aldnoah did, and I dropped that one straight away. The character chemistry doesn't look like it will go places that's not cliche. The gimmick doesn't seem like it has much potential either.
Niel
So you're all betting it on "this is going to get better". I mean, I hope it gets better. Though right now this feels more Kiznaiver than Kill la Kill or LWA.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd nominate Mario to do the devilman review as he's the most immediate Yuasa fan to do it and Bam is too awol to write it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cute girl shows just bleed and blend in my mind now, same with the isekai shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Devilman, my show of the season, unless after the rain ends up having some emotional wallop.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So for me its looking like: Junji itou, Cardcaptor sakura, keeping up with sangatsu, wait and see on amegari . Not watching a time travel or trigger show and I remain unable to sit through Mahoutsukai .
Amagi
The story itself is generic so far but so are most Trigger series at the beginning so not sure. Maybe it will stay weak, but in general I prefer series that start with the weaker episodes and get better and better over time over the many series that use up all of their budget and trump cards in the first episode and drag on after that.
Amagi
I really love Trigger's esthetics and their characters. I am happy they're more often involved in non-trigger-only productions because I honestly think that most of the stuff I enjoyed about FranXX was heavily influenced by them.
SuperMario
@Nielo: Franxx's first ep was stellar for me. Storywise, it's lackluster (and I see the similar in tropes between this and Beatless) but production-wise it's excellent
SuperMario
I think I just keep watching it on a weekly basis. Still trippy as hell
SuperMario
Okay, I just watched second episode of Devilman Crybaby and it's still pretty good.
Nielo
By the way, what's up with Darling in the Franxx? I thought it's a very weak first episode.
Nielo
@Lenlo: Slice of life isn't my thing either, and I usually avoid series set in high school.
Nielo
@SuperMario: Takagi-san is cute, I'll admit that, but since I already read the manga it's not new to me. Sora Yori is good, but it's not particularly cute. I found Hakumei to Mikochi and Yuru Camp very boring. Haven't got the chance to watch Mitsuboshi Colors or Gakuen Babysisters but I don't think they could be more cute than Mii-kun.
SuperWooper
HOT TAKE: Genre is irrelevant. What matters is whether a show is good.
SuperMario
Don't knock off MY genre Lenlo. It's one of the reason I got into anime in the first place :)
Lenlo
Im not saying it doesn't do what it sets out to. I just don't think what it sets out to do is all that... great.
Lenlo
@Niello, Slice of Life was never my Genre in the first place :/ I typically avoid them. I have my own life to deal with and already graduated high school, why would I want to deal with a melodramatic anime highschool, is my line of thought.
SuperMario
@Niello: okay, let's see:Takagi-san (the titular character), Mitsuboshi Colors, Gakuen Babysisters (Toddlers!!), Hakumei to Milochi (tiny girls) and two more slightly more mature but equally cute: Sora Yori and Yuru Camp's casts
Nielllo
@SuperMario: I'm sure this is where our definition of "cute" parts way, but I'll ask anyway, what are those 5 shows?
SuperMario
@Niello: seems so because I can eaisily pick 5 more shows that are cuter, and better than Mummy this season ;)
Nielllo
...So I suppose I'm the only one who's kinda bored out by a lot of the slice of life shows that's trying to be cute this season and only perked up by the Mummy anime because it's actually do what it's meant to do and be legit cute.
Lenlo
I am interested in Koi, but still have concern about the relationship itself.

@Vonter, the mummy anime would be better as short vignettes together I feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koi amegari is surprisingly tasteful, subdued and pretty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*to where
Kaiser-Eoghan
Try as I might, my love of kyoani tv anime has largely evaporated did where I no longer want to bother at this stage, I'll just wait and see. I'll just stay quiet on the franxx anime, theres little value in me trying to get through a trigger work at this point.
SuperMario
I get the exact same feeling with Takagi-san. It's pretty good on what it does but 20 minutes of the same thing for a whole season doesn't sound that promising
Vonter
The chibi mummy anime
Vonter
It's a shame it isn't a shorter 10 or 5 minute series, I think that format would make it shine more, since it does what it's trying to do.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I liked the second episode of Kokkuko or whatever the name is even more than the first one.
Amagi
I really have a problem with all these shows that rely on one single thing, joke, shenanigan or whatever. Be it something cute, some certain kind of interactiong or whatever. It doesn't matter how good it is it will bore me with episode 2.
Lenlo
Like, yeah, the mummy was cute. But the cute became rote/bland really quick. There has to be more than "cute" to be worth watching for more than a single episode to me.
Lenlo
@Niello, I was harsh because its not aimed at me. I wanted to drop it 5 minutes in, kept up for the post, then was thankful it was over. There wasnt anything overtly bad about it. Its just there was nothing good either.
AidanAK47
To be fair it's not as if we are lacking cute in this season.
In fact it's in danger of inflation.
SuperMario
@Niello: yes, the mummy is cute, the show is cute but beside that it's pretty mediocre. That show in particular is the only show that I have the damnest time to give it a potential rating.
Niello
It's not even down because of legal reasons, since the site pull down contents that are lincensed. It's down cause it's too much for the site owner to manage. Much of it also have to do with too many bots, which comes back to how a lot of other sites are relying on batoto.
Niello
@Masky: Not enough manga titles are getting translated. Batoto is the site scanlation groups basically rely on, and where other aggregation sites pull their content from. No batoto no obscure titles, a big blow to small scantation groups and one big manga/scanlator community down.
Niello
Why are you guys so harsh on the mummy show? It's so darn cute. Give it some credit. If a comedy show can be good because it does comedy well I don't see why a show ike Mummy can't be good if it can make people go "aww".
Masky
I don't really know why that is the case, maybe marketing budget and UI friendliness when done right? :P
Masky
Eh, wouldn't say it will kill manga industry. I mean, more and more official methods of reading manga online is starting to pop up and legit channels to pay to get access to manga can surprisingly enough harm free channels to get manga.
Masky
Anyway, I do find it funny how how the isekai character dies can be so meaningless that is joke in most of them
Niello
Batoto is going down, how this affect the manga reading is going to be interesting. Hope it's not slowly dying.
Masky
(at least that one, besides forgetting to introduce what the heck is gimmick besides generickness, acknowledged how most of otaku mcs shouldn't erally want to get transferred to fantasy world since they never get to see how their favourite mangas end :P )
Masky
Anyhoo, it gets annoying since its not just isekai being cliche, sometimes is just them being kind of badly written(or at least adapted to manga). Like, I found one new isekai today, but I have no idea what its gimmick is(from what I understood, its that "cute companion" that character gets is hideously op because mc didn't spefy cute girl when he asked god manager dude for cute companion)
Masky
Slime one is one of better from the more generic ones weirdly enough :P I mean I still wouldn't call it good, but at least MC character isn't god tier, just top tier and it has sort of village building simulation feel to it. Plus at least naming things giving monsters more powers is something funny regarding jrpg mechanics
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or alternatively the car was on a boat with the character or parents in it and the boat and car were hit by a falling plane lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its always "car accident" that sends the characters to another world or in harem cases "Lost parents due to car crash", for christs sake doesn't anyone die in out of control plane or speedboat crashes anymore, at least make it a motorbike....
Nayrael
Ah sorry, should probably not have touched the colors...
Nayrael
Trust me, Isekai is better when it doesn't try to be imaginative. When it tries to be original then... Isekai with a Smartphone... Isekai where the MC turns into a Slime... and my favorite: Isekai where the MC became a Hot Spring popular with sexy girls.
Masky
Assuming "new" things can happen under the sun
Masky
Anyhoo, I do wonder what the heck will be next "popular genre trope that will become so overused cliche that everyone groans whenever show uses it even if its actually good show"
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Featured Posts

Darling in the Franxx – 02[What it means to connect]

As it stands now, this is essentially an animated version of a double entendre. Each line is laced with a double meaning so heavy that you can postface lines with the words “That’s what she said.” and it would fit perfectly. I find my stance on this to be rather mixed as while the fanservice […]

Junji Ito Collection – 03[The Crossroads Pretty boy – The lovesick dead, Slug Girl]

Our two stories today regard the handsome man at the crossroads and slug girl. The handsome man story was given the most screen time and it is a decent story, albeit unfinished. What was presented here was only the first part of the story and I believe it will be continued in later episodes. But […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 15 [There is no place like home]

Welcome to another week of Mahoutsukai no Yome. This week continues Chise’s bad relationship with water, Elias’s with Fae and gives Silky a history. Lets jump in! To start off, I want to talk about the best part of this episode, that being Silky’s history and alone time. For the longest time Silky was a […]

After the Rain – 02 [Rain Drops on Green Leaves]

It has been exactly a year since I last blogged you, noitaminA shows, and this time again it’s another romance drama. Unlike Scum’s Wish last year, however, Ameagari has one simple premise, but it executes the idea with such grace. This second episode is even stronger than the first, setting the stepping stone for Tachibana […]

Violet Evergarden – 02 [Never Coming Back]

I’m thankful that this second episode plays out much quieter and more subtle than the first, because I’m not a fan at all with the grandeur approach of the first episode. This makes the second week of Violet slightly better than last week, but I still find myself not totally satisfied with the whole experience. […]

Kokkoku – 2 [The Second Moment]

Hello and welcome to the 2018 Winter season! This time, we have an interesting little time-based drama called Kokkoku. It has mystery, it has cults, it has dead-beat parents and apparent god-like beings. Lets jump in! To start, a quick blurb about our characters. Personally, I like them so far. They are all flawed and imperfect […]

A Place Further than the Universe – 03 [The Follow Backs Don’t Stop]

“I could just die right now” That line, spoken by our new member, Yuzuki, bookends this week’s Universe. It marks the shift in the new girl’s character growth. Last week, the Expedition girls mentioned they have a plan to raise fund, right? Turns out it’s not the mother, but the young girl herself, is used […]

Junji Ito Collection – 02[Fashion Model, Long Dreams]

After the first episode started off as a black comedy, I was worried that this series may suffer the same problem as Kino’s Journey in that the weaker stories in his work would be chosen for adaption. Lucky this does not appear to be the case but there is another problem which is not quite […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 13/14 [East, West, Homes Best]/[Looks breed love]

Hello and welcome to the new year! New Year, a new Cour for Mahoutsukai no Yome, this time with slightly more plot. These past two weeks have been a bumpy ride of Mahoutsukai, with plenty to talk about. So let’s jump in! To start off, the new OP is terrible. The music isn’t as good […]

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