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)

Customize
K-Off
@Friend Damn, kind of surprised to see how abstract some of those concept art are for Mulan. But generalizations are just easier to make if all they care about is validation.
Masky
Generalized statements are in general rather annoying, but everyone loves to make them anyway for some reason :D
Friend
I'm nearing completion with our banner, in terms of work-hours Id say 3 hours? But in real life that equates to about 4 days because of stuff.
Friend
Something that annoys me: when a fellow artist makes a generalized statement about the industry by saying something silly like "japanese animated films have more creative input involved." Uggh Google "Alex Nino Mulan Concept" and tell me if you still think that. Sorry about that X/
SuperMario
And it might sound weird to you guys, especially majority of you are in one of the hottest days of summer, but I'm gonna head off to snow mountain for skiing this coming weekend. So expect the weekly posts will be a bit later than usual.
SuperMario
I don't know if that guy @Bond is still lurking around here, but I'm still interested In doing that thing with him
SuperMario
@Aidan: imho, those numbers don't really mean if we have nothing to compare them to. I'll say the ratio between original/ all anime for particular seasons would tell us a lot better
AidanAK47
But it does counter the point of "We don't get enough original anime anymore" which in itself was a pretty silly statement.
AidanAK47
Of course just because they are original doesn't automatically qualify them as good.
AidanAK47
@Anon44887, that logic would apply if it was an exception. 9 original shows last season, 14 original shows this season. 20 in the next. Are they three seasons all an exception?
Anonymous44887
@AidanAK47: An exception that proves the rule
Vonter
Just to ask does any of the shows being reviewed have a great soundtrack. Just asking for asking.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I recall he posted under the name Bold/bond, the same poster who made the chart.
AidanAK47
Who was it again bemoaning that we don't get enough original(Not adaption) anime anymore? Cause there are 20 original shows next season. Great for anime but hard for me cause what am I gonna write in the preview?
AidanAK47
I am a bit too stubborn to burnout.
@afgm, I didn't change a thing.
Anonymous38539
I hope AidanAK47 would not suffer an Anime Burnout. I love this site and it pains to think that one day, no one will be writing the seasonal previews and yearly summary.
SuperMario
@Aidan: you have 91 days's episode as 9 instead of 7
AidanAK47
Bloody hell, even the spambots are referencing Pokemon Go now.
K-Off
For future reference, let's direct admin dialogue to email, apart from direct feedback.
@Mario We're working on allowing users to set up accounts.
SuperMario
And the constant anonymous names just keep bugging me. Can we make it back to the old shoutbox, where you have to put down your name in order to write message?
SuperMario
I think it's one thing leads to another. he's getting too burnout that he doesn't know what to write anymore.
AidanAK47
@Anon36049, pretty much what he said. Though it seems to be a combination of anime burnout and writers block.
Anonymous36271
He suffered from anime burnout and is getting on with real life.
Anonymous36049
Hi guys I havent been around for a long time. Does anyone know what happened to psgels? I see that the new posts are not his.
AidanAK47
Disgaea 2 coming to steam. Sweet.
Gotta finish Disgaea 1 and hope they don't screw up the port on release day again.
AidanAK47
Illuminati are everywhere, regardless of wherther it's anime or not. Sword Art Online was the work of the illuminati. All in the name of the gaint magic eyeball triange god do they rule the landscape of entertainment medium.
Also Magic Eyeball-kun also argees that Rem is best girl. And none shall dare denounce that claim.
SuperMario
@Anony35181: never thought they're that much interested in anime thou
Anonymous35181
@supermario, illuminati confirmed
SuperMario
Is it just me or couple of messages from the shoutbox just gone missing?
Topgavin
Haven't been watching it myself, but apparently in Taboo Tattoo, that large-chested high school girl died while running *onto a live battlefield* to check on her boyfriend with a shirt that said "flag". 10/10
K-Off
@afgm Sent you a message.
@Friend Looks good, I'd be interested in seeing multiple witches as well.
Anonymous32745
Chemotherapy is a cause of cancer rather than a cure.
Anonymous32745
If you know someone dying of cancer, immediately inform them that allopathic medicine will kill them and turn them to natural remedies which often work.
Anonymous32745
"Medicine and science are powerfully institutionalized, but no institution or profession has existed for the purpose of encouraging people to act reasonably." - Ray Peat
afgm
.
afgm
@Friend: yeah it's a problem
@Koff: I emailed you a while back. did you get it?
Fri3nd
Huh, I can't use my username.
@Bam You're right, I'll work on it.
Bam
@K-off: It's moments like these that really remind you of mortality. People pull thru tho. medical science has come far in that field; but definitely not far enough.
Bam
@Friend: It's looks pretty good. I like Mario's suggestion of a series of witches, but a solitary one is more in-tune with the current banner. I would say however that there is too much dark in the negative space to the right. Could be just me tho.
Bam
@Kaiser: a series of consecutive 'yes'. I was really into Laloux, but FP is the one I liked the most. I've been watching Mr. Robot since season 1, and it's well worth your time. Not really all that cyberpunkish tho; mostly just cyber. And anybody who hasn't read Gibson's masterpiece is a fool of a Took.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Bam: Have you been looking into that Mr Robot series? I heard its meant to be some kind of cyber thriller, it could be our thing. Also have you read Neuromancer?
Kaiser Eoghan
And I suppose that brings me to that stranger things show then, I love horror so I guess that caught my eye, but apparently its a family/kids thing =< don't know whether to bother.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still say it takes me that extra bit of convincing to watch a childrens animated film.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Friend: The banner is in good hands I see.
AidanAK47
Well Coraline wasn't written by Laika. It was written by Neil Gaiman. Laika just adapted it. Still I would like to check out Kubo to see what all the hype is about.
SuperMario
@anony29442: I will watch Kubo this coming week so I will comment on the movie then. But I'm not that surprise if Kubo has a weak writing. Laika never really great at story development: I mean Coraline is exellent, ParaNorman is just okay and Boxstrolls writing is just so underdeveloped and full of plotholes
SuperMario
@friend: wow. It looks awesome. But why only one witch? ^^
Friend
Hey everyone! Just an update on our new banner, here's my WIP up to now: [link src="https://i.imgur.com/0QSv6IK.png
I'm"] trying a witch as a tribute to one of psgel's favorite anime maho shojotai. Feedback is welcome, I have a lot left to do. A 5:1 aspect ratio is the weirdest dimension I've ever painted in
Anonymous29442
I just saw Kubo and the 2 strings and im really shocked at all the praise its receiving. People calling it an instant masterpiece on looks alone but not enough are talking about how underdeveloped the characters and story were. It felt as if they made the whole thing up as they went along to the point where I couldnt suspend my disbelief any longer and got irritated.
Anonymous29415
qualidea code's characters havent become better in terms of how they are written; only that they have been fleshed out in the most generic and trivial of ways as to sympathize with them; and sure, they have become some what likeable in the same way you'd like a person who you heard nothing but kind things about but that does not save the characters from being boring. QC is still a bad show
AidanAK47
@Anon27511, even if the animation was kept consistent the story still can't really escape the done to death aspect of it's story. I agree that the writing has gotten better but despite that the show just feels...meh.
Anonymous27511
Fucking Qualidea Code, as the story and characters become more interesting, the animation and drawing proportionately decreases. Sad they simply do not have the budget to pull off what seems like a potentially very good story
K-Off
@Mike I'm sure you already heard but for some reason I didn't keep up to date. I thought it was strange that releases stopped in March after chapter 68,.
K-Off
Just learned that the writer of my favorite webtoon is battling terminal cancer, but despite it she hopes to finish it someday. God damn I would've never expected this.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Once spilled hot microwaved food over my hand by mistake, hurt for a day.
Kaiser Eoghan
*remaining
Kaiser Eoghan
@Bam: The story and ideas however were better in gandahar I felt. Time masters while good was a bit stop and start in its pace and animation.
I’m definitely interested in Laloux’s other, short animations and Mobius’ comic book work.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Bam: I watched Rene Laloux's remain animated films, Gandahar and time masters, I enjoyed both but not as much as Fantastic planet. I remember we talked about fantastic planet two years ago. Did you see the other two I mentioned. I liked the big moments and the ending to time masters, especially those angel things.
Anonymous27024
Ok. I beat Federation Force. I think the main positive is that the levels were playable despite the lack of voice chat. The bosses took a lot of damage and the beginning and end are relevant to the Prime continuity.
SuperMario
@K-Off: I did it once just like you did, and once when I put a metal bowl into a microwave. So yeah, boys will always be boys.
Bam
I tried my best not to half-ass either of them tho. Any oddity you guys see just write it off as mental exhaustion.
Bam
Okay, I'm officially beat. These two reviews should be considered companion pieces, as some material from one flew into the other. Thank god that episode 08 was not a heavy one, or I'd be completely depleted.
K-Off
Shit, I'm a damn idiot at baking, slightly burnt my hand a minute ago grabbing a hot tray with a wet towl. Why do I even try.
K-Off
@afgm Alright, send me a message at fightthepowwa@gmail.com and we'll work it out.
Bam
*cinematography
Bam
@K-off: I second that, as although the Poirot series has very well-done choreography, casting and music, there is still a little more of that unquantifiable magic sprinkled on the Granada series. But keep watching and I'll guarantee that Suchet will become the quintessential Poirot in your mind as well.
K-Off
I said that while I liked the performance and the direction, I didn't think that it did for Poirot what Granada did for Holmes.
K-Off
@Bam Yeah it is, and generally when I camp I like to stay for 1-2 weeks, places like Niagara or Yellowstone I can pretty much see everything I want to see in a few days so I don't find much value going to those places. The Adirons on the other hand is diverse as hell.
Bam
@K-off: I'm not sure if you mentioned it while I was gone: but did you get to watch any of the Poirot series with David Suchet? And if so, what are your thoughts?
Bam
I generally go to either the Muir Woods north of SF, or the forests around Big Sur. It doesn't take much to please me really.
Bam
@K-ff: is that by Lake Champlain? Cuz I've been there once and loved it.
Bam
@K-off: I thought of a combined post, but my OCD wouldn't allow a skip in the episodic order of the reviews.
K-Off
Usually when you go camping in Yellowstone or Yosemite the tourist industry kills those places, like I'd be on a rowboat and see cars, cabins, and people from a long ways offshore. The Adirondacks are nice because their building codes mandate construction to be hidden behind trees.
K-Off
@Bam My favorite camping spot is the Adirondacks in upstate NY, I went there probably 4-7 times and never get tired of the place. No, I don't have any posts for now, but for future reference consider combining episodic reviews when you get behind. I.E. Episode 6-8 Review
Bam
Also there's a reader in the comment section of Berserk 07 who wants to know if we have a notification system. I vaguely remember a widget that links the site to a FaceBook page. If anybody knows how that works, or if it's still functional, please shed some light on the matter for him/her. Thx.
Bam
@Aidan @K-off @Mario either one of y'all has any post near completion? I'm almost done with Berserk 08 and as previously mentioned, really prefer not to put two reviews up back to back. I think the length of them is already a hassle for some to get thru, let alone two right after eachother. I think it hurts the viewership, but if nothing's on hand then I'll guess I'll just finish up and post mine.
Bam
@Kaiser: I was actually camping near a mountain, but aren't all mountains somewhat holy? That could be my bias tho, since I was raised on the Alborz mountain range, and for me there is something therapeutic about the mountain air.
Kaiser Eoghan
Yes! Looks like the shoutbox is fixed and not deleting posts after 24 hours anymore!
Kaiser Eoghan
lol Or you could live in the shitty suburb where I do and spend your time just waiting for when your internet connection randomly cuts out twice a month or as it has the past few days two-three times a day.
Kaiser Eoghan
Basically bam went up the Holy mountain .
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: ....guy I know who loves war films and I've ended up inadvertedly/un-intentionally gotten him to buy some fucked up Polish horror film that just happens to be set in WW2. lol he's going to be pretty freaked out when he watches it.
Bam
Everything been cool here? Hehe ... looks like I conveniently missed all the hard parts.
Bam
@Mario: thx m8. I wish I could just make it down to Rio on a whim, but then again, I took a much-needed vacation, so I ain't complaining.
SuperMario
Welcome back Bam, I was already convinced that you went to Rio for screwing around. Lol
Bam
Also I apologize for the absence. I was gone somewhere without reliable internet access, and looking back I should've gave a notification.
Either way, I'm back now, and will be jumping on getting those Berserk reviews out as soon as possible.
Bam
Man looky here with the renovations; I like it.
SuperMario
@Vyse: wow. So how was the sites then back from 2005?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: and what is that sh!te you're talking about?
VyseLegendaire
<— fixed
VyseLegendaire
<— me
VyseLegendaire
Ive been a reader since 2005
Kaiser Eoghan
Haha, this'll be fun lol
Kaiser Eoghan
.....that feeling when you keep going on about a show or film but fail to give all the details...and someone goes out and buys it not knowing the full extent of the mad shit their in for...s--t lol
Anonymous24840
any reader from 2005 here....
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: This guy seems interesting: https://letterboxd.com/director/tsai-ming-liang/
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Hmm, not familiar with him.
I really really loved in the mood for love, alot, it emotionally effected me. I even watched it three times.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I couldn't seem to enjoy any of Zimou yangs films apart from Hero, which had some pretty creative fight scenes. I've seen the story of Ricky and some of John-woos films but they were more just silly entertaining exploitation films.
SuperMario
Don't know if you know the Vietnamese-French Tran Anh Hung. His works are stunning too. If you want to check out East-Asian cinema don't forget to check him out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Yeah, but Park Chan Wood changed the ending, so the author insisted that the Handmaiden is more "inspired" than "based". The third chapter is the weakest part for me
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Of interest, The handmaiden was based on some British book/tv show.
Kaiser Eoghan
I need to completely re-evaluate/get into more Chinese cinema.
Kaiser Eoghan
Doesn't look like I've seen anything by Hong-sang-so.
My favourite Korean actor is song-kang-ho.
Kaiser Eoghan
Theres an anime convention over here in Dublin in three months. Although I haven't been to one in years.
SuperMario
I'm heading to anime convention today. Normally I don't really care about those conventions but I figure I'd come this year to see the taste of it. The only hassle is it's 3-hour drive, which gonna be a pain when I drive back after a long day being there.
SuperMario
Bong Joon-ho, on the other hand,is incredible at writing. His scripts are often layered, sharp and best of all fuses many tones/ genres into one coherent whole. The best thing about this Korean New Wave directors is they all have very distinctive voices. But my favorite director isn't the ones that you list. That would be Hong Sang Soo. I just love his simplicity style so much.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Park Chan Wood is a master of visual. Whenever I come to his movies I expected to be blown-away by his visual. He can write compelling characters (he loves his characters) as well but his screenplays in general are weak. You can watch his lesser effort "I'm a Cyborg, but That's Okay" and see many things that made him good/bad. That's the movie I feel he made without the care of the critic
afgm
.
afgm
@koff: Yeah I can help. But midterms/finals are coming up so I can't dedicate to much time.
Kaiser Eoghan
I always felt Bong-jong and Chang-dong , kim-di-duk and Kim-jee-woon were better than Park-chan-wook. Oldboy did have that one hell of an ending, so did lady vengeance but I feel that those are the bits people tend to remember and the rest was good but not great.
Topgavin
For anyone that doesn't regularly browse /r/anime, Godzilla is apparently getting an anime adaption by Polygon Pictures with Urobuchi involved. Should be good.
K-Off
Well, I climbed to rank 52 in Overwatch with Tracer alone. Looking forward to season 2 already, but I do wish Blizzard had somehow implemented a single-player storyline since the lore in Blizzard titles is always so vast. Kind of surprised they didn't make one with Overwatch.
K-Off
@Kaiser Watch Train to Busan if you can. Me neither, I can't dig too deep into Korean films due to the language barrier. Sure would be convenient to have Vincent recommending films again.
K-Off
@afgm Hey, are you still interested in helping out with the site? At this point I'm looking over the site's code & doing some rewriting - if you think you can help, let me know.
K-Off
@Mario I hadn't watched Old Boy for 6 years when I got to I Saw the Devil and it was out of mind for me, so you may be right.
SuperMario
@K-Off: maybe it was just me but I was underwhelmed by I Saw the Devil. The point it trying to match was similar to OldBoy, and Oldboy's execution was way better (OldBoy's one of my favorite movie). Yes, the soundtracks of OldBoy, Lady Vengeance are exceptional. I still listen to The Last Waltz after all those years...
K-Off
The soundtrack in a lot of these Korean films are top notch as well, Lady Vengeance and I Saw the Devil in particular.
K-Off
@Mario Speaking of which, Korean psychological thrillers are hands down some of the best in the last 10-20 years. I Saw the Devil, Lady Vengeance, Old Boy, list goes on.
SuperMario
@Aidan: It just comes to me that we're already half way of this season... Time sure flies
SuperMario
@Kaiser: so please finish up Inside Mari. The last chapter had been out. I need someone to talk about that goddamn manga anw
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I always consider the Korean New Wave started back in 2000, and really peaked in 2003 (OldBoy, Memories of Murders, Spring Summer..., A Tale of 2 Sisters). Before 2000? The only director I can think of was Im Kwon-Taek
AidanAK47
About nearly finished Fata Morgana but I might have to finish doom first because that thing is eating a huge chunk of my SSD drive.
AidanAK47
Back up to date...at least for now. I have to go to a wedding so It's likely I will fall behind again. Got to admit that I haven't had much of an opinion on the latest episodes. Might be just mentally drained personally.
SuperMario
@K-off: I totally agree with you. 28 Days Later is a gem. Though I'm not really into zombie genre as a whole, I'm more into psychological stuffs more.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Reminding me I need to catch up on boku mari no naka.
Kaiser Eoghan
Although the trailer for train to busan does catch my interest.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've gotten more than enough out of Korean films, I can enjoy them but I probably don't sing the same high praises for them as most bar some exceptions.
Seeing Lee-chang-dongs stuff I'm actually kind of interested in finding some more low key korean films.
Kaiser Eoghan
Very likely a view shared by my indie loving friend and I, but Battery and Wyrmwood were jokey takes on the zombie genre I thought were enjoyable.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Likely my preference for British comedy that makes me laugh more at Shaun of the dead more. Although Hot fuzz is the better Simon Pegg film in my opinion.
In terms of Korean films, I've been wondering, what are the pre-90s ones like. Lee-chang-dong started the Korean new wave in 1997.
K-Off
I'm still waiting for a good horror-zombie film, nothing has met my expectations after 28 Days Later (and techinically REC), which admittedly is a high bar.
K-Off
@Mario I am watching Seoul Station next week, that was just me recapping TtB after I watched it a few days ago. It's definitely more of a thriller, it has good "wtf" moments but nothing I'd call horror.
SuperMario
@K-Off: I thought you were going to watch Seoul Station? So I gather that Train of Busan is more thriller than horror? Just thinking of Zombieland already puts a smile on my face. That one and Shaun of the Dead are so goddamn hilarious.
SuperMario
@Aidan: I will review them in the future. atm I'm in watching/ reading mode so I'll push back all the world movie/ full show reviews for a while
K-Off
@Mario My impression of Train to Busan was that although it wasn't anything ground breaking, it had a great cast of characters and an entertaining gimmick that managed to stay exhilarating. I haven't seen a zombie film this well structured since Zombieland, even though they're completely opposite in tone.
AidanAK47
They are all yours if you want to do them.
SuperMario
Reading Inside Mary makes me want to watch Flowers of Evil again. If I remember correctly psgels never actually had a full review on this one, and Ping Pong.
AidanAK47
@Vyse, Width wise it's exactly the same as the old chat box. Though it's possible the old one had smaller font.
VyseLegendaire
This chat box is too narrow I think, only see a couple messages.
AidanAK47
@Anon18138, Yeah but I don't see that writer making something that truly represents the games. There may be a possibility of it being a good movie but that movie won't be Pokemon.
Anonymous18138
@AidanAK47 It'll have the writer of Gravity Falls. Though I don't have a high standard in regards to the 3D mascot and live-action style of movies.
SuperMario
They originally planned to male a live-action remake of Seoul Station, as the producer saw a footage of the animation and really loved it; but Yeon Sang-Ho (the director) insisted that if he was about to make a live-action film, he's go for a sequel instead. Hence Train of Busan.
SuperMario
@K-off: I missed my chance to watch Train to Busan but I heard nothing but rave from it. People who watched it really loved it. Damn, you make me jealous man, since I want to watch Seoul Station and review it here. Come watch it and tell me what you think; my bet is you'll enjoy it.
K-Off
@Mario Have you watched Train to Busan? I'm planning to watch its animated prequel Seoul Station next week. Animation looks shabby as hell but I can always expect a good story from the koreans.
AidanAK47
So the live action Pokemon movie will feature detective pikachu. Clearly a necessary inclusion.
SuperMario
I'm reading Inside Mary now and it's quite a gem despite its ridiculous premise. There's a lot of raw emotions. I love raw emotions. As expected from the same guy who wrote Flowers of Evil.
AidanAK47
Yep, when she sends the images let me know. It may have been a while ago but I am a qualified graphic designer so even I can lend a hand to the banner design.
AidanAK47
Ugh...a new version of wordpress is ready to be updated to. I have a bad feeling updating to the latest version could potentially break things.
K-Off
Alright, I've got Friend onbaord with a commission for our new banner. She says she'll send us sketches so we can decide if it's something we want.
AidanAK47
Considering how much trouble this plugin has given us, i am not up for adding another one. Only thing the subscriber account thing needs is me to tick and box and get rid of that password promt.
K-Off
@Aidan You can set that up if you'd like, though another idea would be to set up buddypress and link it to there. But it's yet again another plugin.
Total users: 33

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