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.

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
Ground*. I hate it when I fat finger something.
Lenlo
Thats always the worst, when a story starts off promising and then someone runs it into the grouhnd
AidanAK47
@Mario, so it's still at it. To me it's like someone was given an interesting story and made it his mission to ruin it as much as possible.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it's still the same crap. I have a feeling that Sagrada Reset gives a middle finger to us viewers. The plot with development and characters that we have no way to figure out ourselves. The characters who change motive and even personality after each timeline. The main lead girl who act like a robot. I gave this show too many chance so I won't bother to spend more time watching it.
Anonymous1052767
Eromanga sensei
AidanAK47
@Mario, Oh ho, what was the dealbreaker? Just that it didn't change or did something really stupid happen?
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset (long sigh) (scratching my head) (eyes rolling). Dropped
AidanAK47
Hey you.
Konstantinos
Yeah, at this point, this season looks good.
SuperMario
Quite happy with ID-0 and Zero in particular. Zero charms me to no end that I'm still debating whether I should blog it. The trio Re:Creators, Kado, Atom still doing pretty well and the sequels MHA and Bahamut are enjoyable as expected. We have a wide range of anime offerings this season.
SuperMario
Sagrada Reset & SukaSuka I will give it another episode, at least until this current arcs over. They both have potential but Sagrada Reset tries so hard to sound smart, and SukaSuka still falls into its LN tropes which bugged the show down.
SuperMario
*no real urge
SuperMario
I've finally catch up with all other series I wanna follow this season. Alice & Zorouku will be off my list for now, Zorouko is a great character but everything else falls flat so far. I have real urge to continue Attack on Titan and Berserk so I'll wait until they're finished.
Vonter
I watched some episodes of KonoSuba yesterday, reminds me of Those Who Hunt Elves. And I suppose it might be an easy recommendation because it mainly comes down to; do you find it funny? or fun? If not, skip.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While yes its true of watching those slice of life shows week by week is better, I felt that when reading the manga for Aria it was easier to marathon by reading it rather than watching.
SuperMario
Flying witch have the same atmosphere, but it's a purely slice of life anime. I love Aria too and I agree that watching it 1 episode a time is the best way to enjoy it. Can't think of other serious anime that have those calming elements for now
Anonymous1042537
Yeah, I noticed they all have pretty different structures from one another (ACCA's political, Mushishi's naturalistic, Monster is a thriller, Rakugo's about a specific art form, 3-gatsu is ostensibly about Shogi, etc.) but I found that I found some similar calming elements in them (to different degrees of course).
Anonymous1042537
Thanks, I'll definitely check Aria out!
AidanAK47
One of the hardest shows to marathon besides Bakemonogatari. Though Bakomono gave me a headache after a few episodes whereas Aria just had me so mellow that I could drift into sleep at any second.
AidanAK47
Don't know if you could call it a sub genre as the examples you listed are all really different from each other.
Though in the vein of calming shows I think you can add the Aria series to the list. That show is so relaxing that you find yourself nodding off to it. Not out of boredom but it just has that effect on you.
Anonymous1042537
Do you guys know if there's a specific subgenre like this, or am I making it up? And are there other anime with that kind of feel. Not exactly slice of life, but in the general vicinity of it.
Anonymous1042537
The Great Passage was another great example. It delved into the seemingly boring subject matter of dictionary-making, but it was a surprisingly charming show. 3-Gatsu no Lion also looks promising, I enjoyed a lot of the first season (but wasn't a fan of the forced comedy sometimes).
Anonymous1042537
Like the episode where Tenma first meets Grimmer on the train to Prague and they have a picnic on the mountain was so dang good. I really need to rewatch that.
Anonymous1042537
There are some elements of that style in other shows too, but to a lesser extent. Like some parts of Rakguo (mainly season 1) was very soothing. Naoki Urasawa's Monster had some fantastic, almost melancholic episodes like this.
Anonymous1042537
It seems that most anime w/ that kind of style usually also have another genre mixed in. Mushishi was also very naturalistic, ACCA had a political underpinning.
Anonymous1042537
It's sort of in the vein of a "Mushishi" style show. I suspect it's an emerging subgenre of slice of life that's meant to be very calming, relaxing, atmospheric which I really am digging.
Anonymous1042537
I really hope there are more shows like it; not that it was perfect, but it was certainly unique and hit a lot more than it missed. I really like those cool, quiet shows you can enjoy with a nice cup of tea before you go to sleep.
Anonymous1042537
Ironically though, I would say that the first half of ACCA (up until the big flashback) is better enjoyed week by week, or at least that's what I found.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It felt good marathoning a show again rather than waiting week by week and next weekend I'll probably marathon house of five leaves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Forgot to mention...there were certainly a share of moments in Acca that feel fanservish to the female audience =P
SuperMario
@Aidan: haven't noticed that. Will fix it soon.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Only problem I can see is that the posts have no spaces in between paragraphs.
SuperMario
... to be near my laptop for an entire week. First time that I had to blog entirely through my phone. Seemed to work out fine but I had to borrow screenshots from other source (I thank you that other source) ^^
SuperMario
*unless* rather than *as long as*. This has been a crazy week for me as I didn't have a chance
SuperMario
@anon1039488: I find the idea of limiting excess to exclusively stream an aime is a dumb idea; because as long as people have a chance to expose to the anime they won't really care to check it out. So I detest owning the legal streaming account, but I always pay back by buying DVDs/Blurays that I liked
SuperMario
I watched House of Five Leaves by the same mangaka and I really enjoyed it. Nataume Ono is a pretty excelent storyteller (a bit mixed on her art-style thou)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I agree that the first dew episodes of ACCA were not that engaging but the endingg neatly tied up all loose ends. I still feel Grossular's act is kind of messy (why was he under such control from Lilium? He's not that kind to be in such passive role to be honest) but other than those I don't have any real complaints.
Anonymous1039488
Competition is good, but it makes it cost so much to legally watch everything. That's why a lot of people pirate I feel.
Anonymous1039488
You have Crunchryoll and Funi, fine. Then there's Daisuki which is kinda random. Then Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu all have some random anime, though it seems that mainly Amazon has current series
Anonymous1039488
I don't have Amazon Strike, which is like their new venture into anime I guess. There's too many streaming services to keep up with tbh
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest I'm pretty crap when it comes to supporting things, I don't pay for almost all the things I watch/read/play, I don't have a crunchy or amazon account, I still pirate legal streams.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is it a case that your country is blocked? Maybe go for a vpn? If you absolutely have to you could pirate the show...
Anonymous1039488
I wanna watch Re:Creators but don't have Amazon... :( alas
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel like I need to wait and see approach with sekaisuru Kado...this prologue phase is...long...
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wish it had been 24 episodes long though to better organize itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Favourite characters were Jean, Groslur and Nino.
Can’t say I cared for the goofy interactions between Jean’s workfriends though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet for whatever I could say about the pacing, when the twists happen they creep up on you and the show mostly lands every one of them, even if I’m not exactly pleased that sometimes the series does the “I pulled it out of the hat/ass” approach.
I’m relatively indifferent on the art/animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did feel it picks up, improves by the mid-mark and to an extent the wait is worth it and things do come together even if I wasn’t always totally confidant with how it was getting there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Having the protagonist go from district to district to flesh out the settings a decent enough idea and the main characters a fairly chill, cool guy.
Though the dialogue does create suspicion, intrigue, it does also plod/pad in equal measure at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Finally decided to sit down and watch Acca.
This show had its lovers/haters I’m sure, having watched it my feelings are mixed.
It is a slight breath of fresh air I’ll give it that and makes me want to maybe re-assess of adaptations of the author’s work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The only assayas film I've encountered so far that I disliked was Irma Vep, even though the lead actress was great, the surrounding performances, especially by Jean-Pierre-Lenaud were awful. Sils Maria I was initially evasive of because I'd heard that the relationship between Binoche and Stewarts characters was under-unexplored.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Weersathakul's films are something else entirely...Otherworldly yet still cinematic. I feel a bit underwhelmed after watching the Unknown girl. The identity of the culprit, for example, feel forced for me that take me out our their naturalistic style. I'mmin between Clouds of sils maria too, know it's a good movie but it feels pretentous at times, like the movie Youth
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got round to watching Unknown girl by Dardenne, it carries enough moments of their brilliance but I felt they didn’t have as much mastery over their usual pacing style this time round, for the first time it felt like a thriller that played out like a drama, rather than a drama that has a pseudo thriller feel to it.
Going to watch Clouds of sils Maria next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The entire second half, which I’d have watched an entire film about is very atmospheric and dreamy/esoteric nearing just exactly the kind of thing I like.
The way he uses/shoots Thailands geography along with his cinematography is impressive, particularly in that second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: He shoots something simple like a chopping scene in a strangely engaging way, the scene with the old woman going into the cave is also very impressively shot and that one driving scenes with that pop song in the background has an airy feel to it.
In some ways I agree that there’s a bit of sensuality to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It’s the kind of film that feeling tired/relaxed when watching it isn’t a condemnation of it(although a share of moments in the first half could be patience testing), it’s the sort of film where you aren’t really aware of anything outside of watching the film when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally looked into a Weersathakul film, Tropical Malady. I don’t even know how to give a star rating for this film.
SuperMario
I'm still on the fence with Alice & Zouroku. Like the title suggests, the warm chemistry between those two are its strongest point, but those moments are far and few in between as the story progresses and I don't care one bit about the Red Queen storyline. I might drop this one if the story doesn't improve
SuperMario
@Lenlo: 3 episodes anf Berserk still hasn't grabbed me as much. Yep facial expressions are really off-putting
Lenlo
Man... the facial expression in Berserk for the 3D models are, ever so slowly, killing me.
AidanAK47
Alright. Tommarrow I will get out all those posts I am late on seeing as the impressions are all finished.
AidanAK47
SukaSuka still has me mixed. On one hand there really are some great ideas and some well executed moments. But some of the dialogue is a bit typical of a light novel and the fanservice is really shameless. The massage at the end of the episode was something the show could really do without.
Konstantinos Travlos
I am in love with RE:Creators. I have no idea if they will keep it as good, but these two first episodes did all the right things.
AidanAK47
Alright, Easter made me lazy so it's time to play catch up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Or even Georgiou Nikolaidis while I'm at it, morning patrol is a great mood piece. Not familiar with the other guy.
Puran
@Kaiser: No Grammatikos recommendation? :)
SuperMario
I still enjoy Zero pretty much. I like the contrast between the beastfallen and Zero. The hilarious lines sound more like accidental to me, not the best product but I enjoy the ride so far
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with everything you said. Apparently Haneke put Flashmob on hold because the main actress was conflicting in her schedule, so he decided to do Happy End instead
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Does the old man represent gritty anime of old? I don't know honestly I'm just throwing it out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In case you hadn't heard, Haneke dropped the Flashmob movie and is now doing one about the refugee crisis.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To whoever will be playing Godard in that biopic, I'd wonder if they could capture how incredibly douchey he sounds irl lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is such a big divide between 50s/60s Bresson and 70s/80s Bresson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lathimos and Avaranas remind me in an odd way of Tarr in that they're the only Greek filmakers people seem to talk about , Check out Koundorous and Theodorous Angelopolous' works if you can.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Meh, I don't like that sort of overly on the nose social commentary some American films and tv shows do in recent years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Godards extremely hit or miss with me. Hazanavicius did the artist I think, but I'd sooner recommend Biancnieves as a stronger example of a modern take on silent cinema or maybe a Guy Maddin film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Lotznitza directed a gentle creature not Zvyagintsev, though the latter is a fantastic director, Leviathan's ending hit me very very hard, its gut punching and I appreciated that the return never went into too much detail regarding the father.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: off topic, I didn't realize Get Out having such buzz reception. It's coming here next week so I will get to watch it
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Michel Hazanavicius makes a biopic about Jean-Luc Godard and Anne Wiazemsky (the actress in Au Hasard Balthazard), which I think will be interesting. I considered The Lobster one of the best film out of that year so I anticipate his next movie a hell lot. Yep, I watched few movies from Andrey Zvyagintsev and he certainly is in my radar. Bleak, social commentary, technical impressive
AidanAK47
Oh, it's confirmed that was what was actually said in Japanese. Well...that's rather cringe worthy.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Can't say I am too fond of it myself. Though that arrow to the knee reference definitely sounds like something the translator added in.
Anonymous1026829
Holy shit Zero is hilarious. "I used to be a mercenary like you once. But then I took an arrow to the knee." "My magic is super weak so I need a powerful offering. Can you loan me your head please?" The comedy is so pointed and understated.
Vonter
I do like how contrasting Zelda is to Nier in the sense that. Zelda cares more about how the game plays and making the player have fun constantly but doesn't care about telling something. Nier Automata doesn't care what it throws to the player but cares a lot about it tells the things that happen to player.
Vonter
I think this is a hard game to score. Mainly because IMO the combat has wear out a bit do to the repetition and the sidequests have been a mixed bag with some being relevant to the plot or themes and some being just fodder to level up. On the other hand the game has a lot of implications, subtext and symbolism that so far has been enriching to reflect upon.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, Actually wrote up 4/5s of a review on Nier Automata but with the new season I haven't had time to finish writing the review. Though my thoughts on it are similar to yours.
Vonter
Nier Automata has a 10+ hour prologue. So far the game feels like it's more interested in delivering strong emotions than a compelling narrative, not that script is poor but seems disjointed in a way, circling around the themes of existentialism, purpose and truth without overexpositing about these things. It also some moments remind me of Fragile Dreams. Like the despair.
AidanAK47
The old man is the one I can't pin down. Been thinking he might represent the kind of anime that's critically lauded but sadly unpopular. Makes sense as he's one of the few on the opening that doesn't stand near ads for his anime. Or else he's a live action drama representative.
AidanAK47
Been wondering about the Re:Creators characters. We got the obvious representatives from Magical girl, Mecha, Light novel and video game. The knight girl looks like clear homage to Saber from Fate so a Visual novel representive? The psycho girl looks to be a chunni anime representative. And the guy who appeared at the end of ep 2 is clearly Shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Ramsay one sticks out as the most interesting to me as does the lathimos one. I'm curious about that Russian one about the woman looking for her imprisoned husband as I'd like to watch more contempory Russian films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If you can get passed the accents Ramsay did a strong piece of social realism in the 90s called Ratcatcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think the only Baumbach film I've seen is Frances Ha and I liked the new wavey feel it had. With The lobster and re-watching dogtooth I was able to get into Lathimos' pitch black humour alot more. I've never actually seen a hong-sang so film.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I still really enjoy it but I do get what you mean. Looking at the series overall so far it does feel like there was lost potential.
Amagi
I honestly still don't know what to think of LWA. I wasn't a fan of the formularic first half but the second half doesn't really catch me either. I loved the first OVA though.
AidanAK47
Well I will be damned. That G Koh commenter managed to predict the inclusion of Yggdrasil in Little Witch Academia. Nicely done.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sadly i won't make it this year. I wanna try the Toronto International Film Fest next time whenever I have a chance
SuperMario
@Kaiser:you heard about this year's Cannes selection?Overall it's solid, not many that scream "masterpiece" for me.Overall I'm exciting for Hong Sang Soo's new movies (he has 2 movies screening at Cannes and 1 already aired at Berlin.What the hell),and The Killing of the Scared Deer(Yorgos Lnthimos), You were never really here (Lynne Ramsay),Okja(Bong Joon Ho) and Meyerowitz Stories(Noah Baubach)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm...just found out That Blame! 2017 is being done by a the Ajin director, not sure how I felt about that.
AidanAK47
Think this is the best time to end the series too as the difficultly was getting to be a bit too cheap.
AidanAK47
Lore wise it's pretty disappointing. Ending the game with an enemy that doesn't really have that much relevance. But Gameplay wise it was excellent. The final area was just beautiful.
Lenlo
Ringed City was a great piece of DLC and a good way to end the series imo.
AidanAK47
Dark souls sure can give you workout. Finally got around to finishing the ringed city DLC. Funny thing is that people were raving about how hard Midir was when I didn't have that much trouble with him. Gaol gave me some trouble but I managed it. Hardest was the demon prince and god I hate multi stage boss fights. Such a goddamn pain.
SuperMario
Atom still waiting for suitable subs. I swear to God, for a completist like myself the wait is unbearable, especially it should've been available already
HelghastKillzone
Yes it is.
Anonymous1020539
I mean...
Anonymous1020539
Re:producers is really great
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I can see myself chancing more of it, I kind of caught into its rhythm a bit.
AidanAK47
Novels are actually really short. About 90 pages long per volume. They really could cover this in a single cour.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, SukaSuka? From what I could tell it covered the first two chapters of the light novel. Each novel has 5 chapters. Though the first and last chapter are more of a prologue and epilogue respectively.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually if shuumatsu's first episode is going faster than the novel, roughly how much so? Its still obviously a slow burn in animated format but how much was covered in episode 1?
AidanAK47
Could have done without the huge infodump but otherwise still loving Re:Creators. Seeing a magical girl shocked over her own level of destructive power was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I liked the use of music early on in shuumatsu and theres a good mood set up early on along with a good opening scene but the later parts of the episode except maybe for the after credits bit get a shrug from me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Kado has made its hook, now it needs not to keep holding its cards and get going.
SuperMario
hmmm, don't know what to think about Kado ep2. Still good but I expected more
SuperMario
But really my mentality is that this site comes first. Getting more traffic and improve the site are my top priorities, then "what I wanna do for myself" comes later
SuperMario
@Travlos: guess you won't have to read me this season :). Haven't checked out the last episode of Kado yet but based from the first 2 episodes I think you'd enjoy that show.
Don’t worry. It’s something Aidan and me both agree on. We pretty much write for ourselves, otherwise we couldn’t have stayed this long. I get a chance to go off track once in a while to write something I wanna write.
Konstantinos Travlos
@SuperMario. I am definitely watching Shingeki no Koyjin 2, Shingeki no Bahamut 2, Re:Creators, Little Witch Academia, and probably Kado and Zero Kara. I may also do Zipang this season.
On the reaction reaction. What you say is ok. But remember, a hobby is something you do for yourself. There is a limit to how much you should care about the views of others. :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or if I can use a quote from Chang from Black lagoon : "A fragranced shit will forever still retain the smell of shit"
Lenlo
As most likely the biggest Berserk fan in this chatbox, its better but that doesnt make it good. Spraying fabreeze on crap doesnt make it any more appealing. Yet I will watch it anyways.
Anonymous1018231
You don't even know
Anonymous1018231
Lies Aidan it is soooo much better
Anonymous1017807
Tbh I'm enjoying Alice to Zouroku so much simply because I identify with the old guy's no-nonsense attitude. It's fun to see the annoying loli get put in her place. X.D
AidanAK47
Anyway Bam is supposed to be covering it. Seeing as he covered the first season.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I watched the first episode of the second season. Better? Yes, but only slightly.. It has all the same problems as the first season.
Anonymous1017501
and nobody's covering it lol
Anonymous1017501
Like dramatically
Anonymous1017501
It really is much better
Anonymous1017501
You know guys its not too late to start watching Berserk Season 2...
AidanAK47
I just get annoyed when interaction is like "HUMAN, YOUR EMOTION RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT. I THEORIZE THIS IS THE REASON YOUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE IS DIFFERENT."
Their is a definite layer of pretentiousness in how it's written, seeing how nobody gets annoyed when every character tries to psychological profile them.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I have heard word that these two episodes were a prologue story and the real story is going to kick into gear next episode. But if the characters keep talking like this then it's not going to matter what happens. It will just be terrible.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Jojo part 5 died for this. That makes it all the sadder. Plus it's two cour so this show is gonna be on for half a year.
SuperMario
Being said all that I will follow it for 1 more episode
SuperMario
And then that girl who passed away because of the reset. I feel my emotions drying up at that point. Tasteless. Heartless
SuperMario
Wanna say the same thing regarding Sagrada Reset as well. I have the feeling the show tries to sound smart that ultimately if I hear someone talks like this in real life, I would go punch his face. Manipulating the social worker by slitting your own wrist? WHAT? Asking a girl about her rules, then whenever she answers you give your own warped opinions on it to sound like you know it all? WHAT
Anonymous1016169
@Aidan: Lol, Sagrada reminds me of how I used to write. Pretentious, overly complex dialogue that nobody would use in real life unless they were trying too hard. It grits on my ears so much that I don't think I can keep watching it, especially because this is probably how it's going to be for the whole series.
Anonymous1016169
@Amagi: I feel your pain. I used to enjoy those types of shows, but I've found more and more since getting out of high school that they just make me want to take a nap. It doesn't help that they're everywhere. X.D
AidanAK47
God Sagrada Reset is frustrating. So many good ideas, all absolutely ruined by the dialogue and characters. If you just changed the dialogue a bit and made the characters emote more then this would be so very interesting. But they manage to drain the life out of the story.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, in most cases you can easily write off the ones not worth your time based on the summery. Occasional those kinds of show can turn out to be worth watching but it just doesn't happen often enough.
Amagi
Nothing against those types of anime in general, but it's just not aimed at me I guess. - I also should specify: school (semi)harem, not school alone. I enjoy Tsuki ga Kirei.
Amagi
I really love this season but I should stop testing the school- and shoujo stuff. It's almost never worth the time and it always bores me so much that I have to stop watching anime for a few hours.
Anonymous1016169
@Travlos: Why does a hobbyist artist care when someone critiques their art or a fanfic writer care about reader feedback? When you do something you enjoy, it's normal to want to improve and other people's opinions are important for that.
SuperMario
@Travlos: because 1) We still need to listen to what readers say to improve and 2) we're debating more about rating system, which I also feel the need of upgrading. btw, any shows that catch your interests so far this season?
Konstantinos Travlos
Why do you guys care about what someone thinks about your reviews? You are doing a good enough thing as is, and t is a hobby. Do your thing and do not lose time on this.
Anonymous1015915
I think I'm just gonna follow sukasuka and re:creators this season. Seem to of shown the most potential universally.
Anonymous1015442
Soy and almond milk are also available as alternatives for the lactose intolerant.
Anonymous1015442
From the manga it seems like it would translate well into an anime with the right production values so I think I'm going to try it. I was mostly concerned that they'd push the melodrama even more through the roof, haha. I did see some of the reviews on it here and they made me hopeful that it was fairly well-executed.And of course the milk can be chocolate. Just not vanilla, vanilla milk is yuck i
Lenlo
Its certainly making me happy I waited until the end of the season to binge it.
SuperMario
I'd have the milk as well... Need more milk to my life.
SuperMario
Hope Scum's Wish entertains you, Lenlo. ^^
Lenlo
I will say the sound design has been great for Scums Wish though I have not read the manga to see how it matches up
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