Posted on 29 June 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews, Makai Senki Disgaea



The spring season 2006 began with its ridiculous amount of series which aired. Of course, there had to be a couple of series which got marked by the majority of people as the “worst series of the season”. These series were immediately labeled as bad series. In this case, “High School Girls” and “Makai Senki Disgaea” got this title. I haven’t seen the former, but does the second one deserve that title?

Absolutely not. The fact that most people seem to forget is that this is a children’s show. You will find elements in this show that are meant for children, for example, a male main character who wants to be the demon king and burns people who oppose him to a crisp, and some characters who first appear for a second, only to be blown into the air in a team-rocket fashion because of this. The fact remains, that these events do give this show a character.

If you can not see that this show is a children’s show, you probably won’t be enjoying yourself during most of the episodes. Does this make it a fact that adults can’t watch it? Of course not. Anyone can watch it. All of the characters have personalities who are pretty easy to figure out by children. Though I really noticed after a while that each of the characters has his or her own very enjoyable personality trait. For example, Flonne’s incredible fangirling about love, Laharl’s disgust of it, Etna’s will to depend on Laharl while she actually wants to kill him, et cetera.

Episode 6, 9, 10 and 11 are incredible. In these episodes, all of the characters are really fleshed out, and it works PERFECTLY. The drama works really great. The characters’ intentions are shown, everything which happened before in the plot makes total sense, and at those times, you really can’t help to feel along with the characters. Not to mention the awesome comedy which was thrown in. The fact that this show is awesome is because of these four episodes.

The comedy thrown in also really works at times. At other times, however, the humor is more directed to children. Luckily, this doesn’t happen too often, which results in some very hilarious situations.

The voice-acting is just awesome. The creators managed to find the perfect voices for some of the characters. Especially Flonne. When she’s raving, you can really hear that her voice-actor is giving the best she has. Etna also sounds great, just as Laharl and the other characters. The OST is surprisingly interesting. It’s nothing special, though it does contain some breath-taking tunes, which really contribute to the scenes they’re played in.

The character-design looks great, though the animation might look a bit inconsistent at times. The background art makes totally up for this, though. Every outside scenery looks just stunning. And not to mention the CG. Where the character animation is falling, the CG is really shining in this anime. Especially near the end, it begins to look more impressive by the minute.

Overall, I’m recommending Disgaea to anyone who has a bit of patience. The first couple of episodes may seem a bit dull, though it soon becomes clear that these episodes were actually used to build up for the awesomeness which follows in the later episodes.

Posted on with categories: Makai Senki Disgaea



Spoilers up ahead. Do not read this post if you haven’t seen the ending of Makai Senki Disgaea yet! While not as good as the total awesomeness of the previous episode, this episode does managed to deliver an ending, worthy of being called enjoyable. It brings us the perfect bland of comedy and drama. Especially Vulcano was great.

The guy attempts to corner Laharl using brute force, but even then he doesn’t stand a chance at all. Seeing him and his minions flee was just hilarious. His beliefs were also very interesting to watch. He’s obviously an angel who’s gone corrupted because of his high status. He then tries to give Flonne all of the blame, though she comes back with some nice arguments that totally kick him into the ground. I know, it’s a simple concept, but it works.

Another thing I also loved was how different Lamington turned out to be from what I thought he would. He nicely broke the cliche of the hierarchy of an evil society. The conflict does not come at all because of the fact that he’s evil. It’s just that his beliefs and personality are totally Laharl’s opposite. Add that to the fact that he does believe in atoning for one’s sins, turning Flonne into the flower she loves most, and you’ve got yourself a very decent climax.

Though what was up with Mid-Boss? Was his only role to just be watching from the side-line and be astonished at Laharl’s decision? I have to admit, at that moment, it really contributed to the scene, though I was expecting some kind of bigger thing. Ah well, I guess we can blame that on the creators, not being able to fit his story in the twelve episodes. It’s the only rushed feeling that the series portrays.

I’ll say it again: SPOILER. Another fact which surprises me, when you consider that this is a childrens’ show, is the fact that Laharl actually gives up his life for Flonne, and he actually dies. Of course, he comes back as a Prinny. But remember the previous episode? At one time, he has to say goodbye to them, for a final time. That would’ve made for an awesome scene.

Overall, the ending was enjoyable, though it doesn’t fall in the category of awesome endings. Then again, there are only few anime who can manage to accomplish an awesome ending. This episode showed a good attempt, though!

Posted on 20 June 2006 with categories: Makai Senki Disgaea



The thing with Disgaea is, it’s either incredibly good, or incredibly bad. At least, that was the fact, until the ninth episode arrived. After that, the bad part completely disappeared. In fact, this episode was the best yet. As the story now takes its focus towards the main characters of the show, some things about Laharl were revealed. This made for a totally incredible episode.

This episode was mostly about Flonne, trying to understand Laharl better, backed up with some amazing events. Etna tells her about Laharl’s mother, which is the first time that she’s been mentioned. She died, giving her life to Laharl. The Prinnies also get their secret revealed, which totally explains their acting in the previous episodes. They appear to be the souls of criminals, who have to repent for the sins they commited. Once they’ve done that, their souls are taken back, and are reincarnated again, in the hope of them, leading a better life. The pink Prinny also returns, and she appears to be (SHOCK) Laharl’s mother! The scene at which mother and son managed to see each other for such a short time was just so incredibly sad. Kudos to the creators.

Earlier, I said that Disgaea doesn’t work when it doesn’t focus on comedy, though I entirely take that back now. This was just drama, perfectly executed. People really need to forget about the game, and remember that this is the Anime called Disgaea, and not the game. The two of them can’t be compared that easily.

I also loved Mid-Boss. He already was great in his three-second long appearances throughout the anime, but whenever he appeared, something funny happened. You could count on it that he was about to make some kind of fool out of himself, and disappear as fast as he showed up. Even though these scenes were greatly amusing, what do you think happens when the guy begins acting serious? That’s right. The huge contrast between his serious side and his wacky side had an incredible effect. That’s something that a small selection of comedy-anime understands: create a character who is on one side incredibly hyperactive/silly/whatever, and then force this person into a situation in which he or she gets an active story, and has to act serious. A lot of anime mess this up, though (Magikano, anyone?), but other anime get it right (Jubei, Siberian Yagyuu and Excel Saga, for example). It’s all about creating the impact, and Disgaea managed to do it.

You also can’t come with the argument that Disgaea just bears one-dimensional characters, without any development at all. This show is filled with it. Remember the Flonne from the beginning of the anime? At this moment, she wants to know what’s going on, compared to her rather impulsive, short-minded version at the beginning of the episode. Etna also got more relaxed after episode six and Laharl begins to listen to Flonne more and more (her ramblings on the meaning of love and peace remains hilarious, even after this many episodes).

Still, the highlight of the show remains the short reunion of mother and son. Laharl appears to have some human genes, though these made him get extremely cold when his mother passed away. I loved it when I saw that his mother didn’t want to so say goodbye for a second time. Although he said nothing at that moment, it did hit Laharl at an important spot. And that’s what matters.

Overall, this episode was amazing. Drama at its best. I’d like to see how the ones who turned Disgaea down would react when they see this episode.

Interesting detail: Flonne recognizing that Laharl and Mid-Boss look a lot alike, based on their air of exitement. ^^;

Posted on 15 June 2006 with categories: Makai Senki Disgaea



Oh, how awesome. This episode just takes the most overused clichés of a midboss-battle, and gives them a totally original twist. I couldn’t help but love it. Makai Senki Disgaea is turning more awesome by the minute as it reaches the ending. The last three episodes will probably resolve the main plot. Hmm, I wonder what those angels are up to…

In any case, I mentioned that the episode took all sorts of overused scenes for mid-boss battles (not our Mid-Boss, by the way), and gives them an extremely original twist. For starters: the main characters get to be spectators this time. This really remains the battle of Gordon and Jennifer, and Flonne makes sure for some awesome fangirling, Etan makes sure that the enemy ship gets destroyed, and Laharl just stands by watching. The characters also realize this, which makes for some pretty funny side-marks. I especially loved Flonne´s fangirling, and Laharl´s and Etna´s reaction to this. She makes sure that the two of them don´t interfere because of this. I also loved that the two of them just ran off at a certain point when the side-villain started to tell about his backstory. ^^;

Then the side-villain telling his backstory. The cheesyness of all of it managed to save it. Most anime try to throw in an extra amount of drama, with a villain who needs thirty minutes to be convinced. But this guy actually has been jealous of Gordon, being called the “Defender of Earth”, and therefore tries to beat some sense into him in an extreme way. Flonne then really gets into her part when she gets to convince the guy to stop his evil plans. After the speach, he’s about to do something. In most of these situations, the number of choices for the villain is limited to two options: 1. Do some evil thing. In this case, shoot Gordon. 2. Join the good guys. This episode managed to introduce a third option: Get blown away by some exploding machinery. A brilliant use of a Deus ex Machina, in my opinion.

Then we get thrown into another cliche: the side-villain is about to be engulfed by flames, and the main character has to choose between leaving the guy and saving the guy. The side-villain actually manages to convince Gordon to go after Jennifer, and leave him to die. Flonne has other opinions, though the Prinnies take her along with Gordon. But then again, this is another cliche, no? That’s what I also believed. Until the guy reappeared, perfectly healthy, only to commit suicide and save the day. I loved that part.

Then the main villain. How many villains manage to gain mind-control over one of the side-characters? I don’t think that amount can be counted, just take a look at Bleach and see the horror. But how many characters manage to achieve this by equipping the victim with a headband, equipped with two round, fluffy antenna’s? And how many anime make the villain call this “Transforming”? (On a side-note: I just loved Laharl and Flonne’s speculations about how the transformed Jennifer would look like ^^;).

The next cliche: the main villain has to convince the controlled character to stop being controlled. Most bad anime try to reach a climax, at which the controlled character’s emotional strength manages to break the controller (again, look at Bleach for a perfect example). Makai Senki Disgaea does not do this. Instead, the main villain attempts to blow it up, with Jennifer along with it, the side-villain shows up, grabs the headband (which was not secured at all, by the way) and jumps off a large height, killing himself.

Then we come to another cliche: the villain losing, and escaping (again see Bleach for references). Still, Makai Senki Disgaea manages to make this worthwile. For starters: he doesn’t get any help from others. Second of all, he uses a method you so would not think off. Disgaea is very good in making perfect use of semi-Deus ex Machina’s. Also, the way this was animated turned into a hilarious sight. The whole process also takes up less than a second. This fact only makes you realize what happened after it actually happened. It may be my personal taste, but I just love scenes like this.

And the last one is the villain trying to move as far away as possible, until a more important villain runs into him, and kills him anyway. Except for the fact that this isn’t a more important villain, it’s Mid-Boss. And the fact that the villain doesn’t die. Mid-Boss just says a few lines, the villain gets impressed, Mid-Boss gets hit by a comet, disappears and the villain escapes. ^^;

Overall, I was wrong with my prediction. Flonne doesn’t break down, she actually gets stronger because of it. I’m getting very curious about the last couple of episodes from this anime. In any case, I just loved her in this episode. She managed to help turning this into a true parody on mid-bosses. ^_^

Posted on 14 June 2006 with categories: Makai Senki Disgaea



Omg, an actual story. And a pretty good one as well. This is something you will not expect from an anime like this. Still, I have to say that I like it. Most comedy-anime try to introduce a plot, and fail miserably, though Makai Senki Disgaea manages to shine in this department. Especially Gordon played a great role, although I’m still having visions of him in a waitress-outfit. So wrong.

In any case, every piece of the puzzle comes together. The beauty is that you never see it coming. Both the angel from the first three episodes as Gordon, Thursday and Jennifer were into a plot by the humans to take over the demon-world. And especially Jennifer and Gordon have troubles with this, as they managed to see the demons living their daily life. It also seems that the angels are involved in this plot by the humans as well. I so can not wait for Flonne’s reaction when she finds out about this. After all of her preaching about the goodness of heaven, her world will probably be shattered when she finds out that the thing she always believed in appears to be causing the ultimate destruction.

I love the way that Disgaea is built. When you look back at it, everything seems to have been extremely well prepared. Gordon and his companions were more than just objects. The first eight episodes were actually meant in order to get the viewer introduced in the Demon world. In order to see all of the twists, and the daily lives of all of the demons. Much like Gordon and Jennifer, in a way. In the meantime, the creators filled up time by showing either some kind of filler or Laharl’s quest to find the one who ruined his life, get back to his castle and Etna’s personal problems. The recovery of the Tome of the Demons was also done in an extremely creative way. I love it when something is found when you’re actually not looking for it at all. After all, this does remain the fact in the real world, and I see too little anime who realize this.

I also loved the first part of the episode, at which there even was no clue about the story at all. I could already see what Laharl was up to even before he explained it, and it was so evil. Still, it did give some nessecary character development between the two parties before the humans invaded. And as always, Flonne’s voice-acting keeps getting better and better. This was probably one of the first times that voice-acting actually impressed me.

Posted on 13 June 2006 with categories: Makai Senki Disgaea



An episode dedicated to the prinnies. A good idea? Not really. The prinnies are just starting a revolution and Laharl is there to stop it because he wants his food. The comedy-part was a bit neglected here, unfortunately. Still, I liked Flonne’s ideas. She seems to be getting some influences from Laharl after all.

Doods.

Posted on with categories: Makai Senki Disgaea



This episode managed to deliver the same hate/love-relationship that we’ve gotten used to. Laharl runs into a little girl who pretends that she’s his little sister. In order to unmask the girl, Laharl tries to make her feel comfortable, and that’s where the episode blunders. Laharl either is an incredibly good actor, or his actions were a bit too sincere… Everything revolving around the two of them trying to fool each other was just too much over the top. The ten minutes that it took up could easily have been turned into one.

Still, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the rest of the series. Especially the climax was brilliant. I’ve never seen such a brilliant use of a Deus ex Machina since Brian fell off a tower and got saved by aliens. (cookie for those who can identify the reference) Etna’s sarcastical view and Flonne’s continous preaching and brilliant voice acting also really helped, and don’t forget the oh so wrong crossdressing of the male captain.

The story in this episode also was pretty well written. There was nothing wrong with the motives of the bad guys, and it seemed that they indeed prepared a lot. The only things wrong with the episode were the fact that Laharl just randomly wandered in without a reason, and the illogical acting of some of the characters.

Posted on 24 May 2006 with categories: Makai Senki Disgaea



Okay, everyone who wrote this series down really needs to take a look at episode six. The children’s elements are still clearly visible, but apart from that, the episode’s brilliant! It nearly killed me from laughter at times.

I knew it was a good idea to keep following this series. We start with our “heroes” walking over a very fragile and more importantly long bridge between two floating islands, over a vast mass of nothingness. There’s no continuity in these masses, and Laharl quickly gives Flonne a demonstration of their characteristics. ^^ They then end up at another large, dark castle, at which the one who put the reward on Laharl’s head is said to live. They got the directions from Sardia, from last episode.

Inside the castle, Laharl puts his plan of collecting his own reward into action. He sees a butler (a miniature-zombie with a very introvert personality), who tells him the master of the house is coming soon. The master appears to be an extremely girly demon, up to the point at which it becomes funny. He gets giddly over everything. Then, Etna reveals to be actually working for this guy. She grabs a large, black box and captures Flonne and Laharl into it.

The black box appears to be a kind of board-game, at which the ones who get caught into it will be living out random lives for all eternity. I so loved this. You can really see that the creators had lots of fun trying to think of different roles for Laharl and Flonne to play (imagine seeing Flonne as the leader of a motor-gang, hairstyle included, and Laharl as a ballet-dancer and a sumo-wrestler ^^).

Etna, meanwhile, has problems of her own. It appears that she actually had some reasons to work for the castle lord (apparently named Maderas), as he stole some of her memories. She worked out her part of the deal, so she asks Maderas to give in to his part. Of course, this is a children’s anime and Maderas is a devil, so he refuses. Etna notices him looking at a suspicious-looking painting, so she suspects the memories to be there. She gets kicked out by Maderas, who goes to take a shower afterwards. She sneaks in, only to find the memories being absent from behind the painting and realizing she walked into a trap.

Maderas threatens to let her memories lose upon the demon-world. These memories come in three different kinds of levels, ranging from mildly to normal to highly embarrassing memories. Furthermore, these seem to be memories of an unrequited love. I wonder who the person that she loves might be. It doesn’t get mentioned anywhere in the episode. Still, it does show that the show is actually capable of delivering some character background. Laharl also gets a bit, in a flashback at which his father tries to teach him a lesson about the reliability of demons. Very enjoyable indeed.

I loved Etna at this part. She tries a bit of acting, and ends up imitating a crying little girl. Too cute. Maderas then tells her that he’ll give her her memories back, if she throws the box with Laharl and Flonne in it in the fire. You would expect an Etna who begins to struggle with her feelings. Hell no! She just throws them in the fire, like it’s nothing. When Maderas again breaks his promises, Etna really gets angry, and Mid-Boss arrives to save the day. At least, that’s his version. As he stands outside, the fog surrounding the castle blinds him, he throws some random roses, and disappears again. ^^

The roses, however, hit three suspicious Prinny statues, revealing them to be actual Prinnies, petrified. They then reveal that Maderas put the memories inside the Prinnies for safe-keeping (you were expecting a quest through the castle in order to find al three of them, weren’t you? ;)). With this, Etna feels confident enough to release Laharl and Flonne from their burning prison, after which she quickly hurries to silence the Prinnies, who nearly can’t bear to not tell about her embarrassing memories.

I’ll ignore the next scene for now. Basically, Maderas summons an army of mechanical angels who keep yelling peace-inducing quotes. This doesn’t really work, and it gets carried a bit too far. Flonne is about the only one who can manage to do this right. Laharl manages to recover in time, and Etna takes gets scary. She then reveals her motivations for helping him. She was actually waiting for the right opportunity in order to get revenge on the bastard who ruined her life. The Prinnies, meanwhile, can’t hold back anymore, and release Etna’s memories. Everyone inside the castle gets to see them. The viewers, however, don’t. Like I said, I wonder whether we’ll be able to see them once. Eventually, Laharl and Etna manage a truce.

This anime is actually well developed, full of surprises, and there’s been an exceptional attention to detail. The bridge, for example. Flonne breaks one step of it, and some pieces of wood fall down. About a minute later, we see the same wood, falling down again, suggesting the dimensional gateway between the top and bottom. Laharl sees this as well, so he sends Flonne into the void as well, knowing that she’ll just end up back at the bridge. Flonne also notices a rose-petal before the three of them enter the castle. This suggests that Mid-Boss is in the area, just waiting to make an appearance. Etna, also sees Maderas look at his portrait in a very suspicious way, and figures that her memories might be there. Then, this seems to have been the intention of Maderas all along. And the Prinny Statues. I kept wondering why Maderas would keep some statues of a Prinny, but then it appeared that they were to actually guard Etna’s memories. It’s these little details that I can appreciate.

In terms of voice-acting, this anime also is amazing. Especially Laharl, and most importantly Etna and Flonne sound awesome. Flonne with her screaming is just way too cute, and Etna’s voice really fits her when she turns evil and manipulative. In terms of the relationships between the different characters, this anime also is brilliant. Just think of Etna who desperately tries to stop the Prinnies from doing something stupid, Laharl ignoring Flonne on short terms, but getting more used to her on long terms, Etna either being incredibly dependant or incredibly manipulative towards Laharl and Mid-Boss trying to get our heroes’ attention at almost every episode, only to disappear five seconds later.

Overall, this anime is going into the right direction. Elements of children’s shows are definately visible, but they’re packaged inside something brilliant. It’s just too bad of episode 3 and 4. These seemed to make no sense at all, and the more I think about it, the more badly they were executed.

Posted on 7 May 2006 with categories: Makai Senki Disgaea



Yes, this show is meant for children. And thus, it suffers from the flaws most of the children-shows suffer from. Laharl just wanders around aimlessly and runs into random things for no apparent reason. At least, the bad guy (girl in this case) is the only one who knows this reason, as she’s apparently been waiting for him. The fights are also extremely simple. One slash or one blow and it’s over. Ah well, at least it beats Bleach’s fights. The characters also like to sing and act at random times (look back to episode three, and this episode had Laharl imitating an old Japanese-theatre). Characters also don’t need reasons, and when they do, they usually are based out of boredom (still, in Laharl’s case, they do give him a character). It also works with lots of reused-scenes. Especially the ones reused 20 times can get a bit on my nerves.

Still, the fact that it’s a children’s show also has a few good signs. To begin with, the repetition really works at times. Just take a look at Mid-Boss’ ramblings, Sardia’s continious use of the word ‘maybe’, and Etna’s struggles to not being found out by Laharl. I also notice that persons are incredibly dependant on each other. It offers a nice variation when compared to all the other anime, which try to make their characters as independant as possible. I especially love Etna in this issue. She wants the king dead, but still she clings to him for protection. It’s so cute to see. It’s also a good thing that this show knows that it’s horribly predictable, as it makes use of this at times. I’m referring to the dinner-scene. The scene’s so obvious, and Etna indeed makes indeed a comment about this, and how he’s the easiest to poison in the entire demon-world. This is quite funny, as she was the one who poisoned him in the first place.

Also, because we’re dealing with a children’s show, the art of the backgrounds has become a little brighter. Combine that with the fact that this show’s supposed to play in hell, and you get an interesting concept, which really shows. A dark forest is suddenly vibrant with colors, the desert has been more yellow than it ever was, giving it a very warm feeling, and a small lake really contrasts well with its blue water against the green grass. I found myself enjoying these backgrounds whenever a scene was taking place outside.

Makai Senki Disgaea is indeed not the best anime out there, but I love the characters somehow. They’re all like a couple of little children, with each of them trying to be something. In Laharl’s case, he wants to be cool. In Etna’s case, she wants to be with Laharl, though she tries to deny it completely. In Flonna’s case, she wants Laharl to learn about the beauties of life, even though she doesn’t understand these herself yet. These characters are each so adorable to watch, even though the show itself might be totally ridiculous.

Posted on 2 May 2006 with categories: Makai Senki Disgaea



This anime definately could have been executed better. The first two episodes showed potential, though the third and fourth episode clearly show that this is an anime for little kids. Still, I have to say that this episode featured parts that I really enjoyed.

One thing that this anime does exceptionally well, are the running jokes, or however you call the jokes that keep returning. I’m referring to Etna’s struggles to keep Laharl away from his wanted-poster. Occasionally, our group runs into one of these things, and each time she has to make up some kind of excuse in order to keep him away from these posters, with some very funny and enjoyable results.

In this episode, it became clear that Laharl’s father’s butler took over while he was asleep, though Laharl’s father’s butler’s son has reached a rebellious age, and wants more attention from his father. Thus, he sells the book which is sortof like the symbol of being king, to an old junk-seller, who sells it again to our space-adventures. I don’t think they’ll be keeping it for long, but still. This storytelling kindof reminds me of the troubadours in the medieval period. They were travelling storytellers, who lived by telling stories to important people. Each day, he’d tell one part of the story, and meanwhile, he got to stay in the castle. So, in order to be smart, the troubadours kept extending their stories. The first day, the brave knight had to rescue a princess. The second day, it became clear that in order to save the princess, he had to rescue a dragon, but the third night told of a sword which was needed to defeat the dragon, and so on, and so on. When the tensions began to rise, or the story just began to take too long so that people began to get tired of him, the troubadour would quickly end all of these sub-stories, and leave the castle.

Somehow, I was reminded of this concept while watching Disgaea. Laharl wants to become king, but in order to become king, he has to defeat the current king, now this current king is defeated, it suddenly appears that he needs a book. I see that it’s not exactly the same as described above, but it certainly bears resemblances. I think this cat-and-mouse-game will continue untill the end of the series. Still, with a bit of luck, I’m going to be finishing it. I know that once this anime tries, it can do good, and I still love the art.

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