Posted on 25 September 2010 with categories: Sora no Oto



The first DVD episode was a pointless side-story. This one wasn’t, though, and it’s very relevant to the series. It’s a much better ending for this series than episode twelve, but still leaves me bloody hungry.

Most importantly, the most burning question here was answered: where the heck does this series take place in. And I have to admit, the creators were shrewd here. I always thought that we really were somewhere in Switzerland where the Japanese somehow settled again in the past, but it turns out to be much simpler: The entire world was nuked and somehow the only piece of land that was spared was Japan. The French and the Germans then invaded Japan and started living there. Really, I like that idea.

But at the same time, this really convinced me even more: this setting is too good for 14 episodes. You can really see that the creators realized this a little too late, resulting into that disastrous twelfth episode. I know that I’m talking down on this series a lot, but it for me it really has become a textbook example of how one episode can just completely kill my enthusiasm and destroy my suspense of disbelief on a series.

The thing is, that the creators didn’t seem to know what they wanted to do with this series: if they wanted to explore their unique setting, they should not have chosen Kanata as the lead character, for that they needed someone more central to the plot. If they wanted to show the adventures of a simple remote army base, then the creators shouldn’t have tried to make this series epic: the princess backstory, the way that the war miraculously concluded in the main characters’ back yard, they were all pointless. Instead, we are here with a combination of both that just doesn’t fit and come together. The subsequent installments of Anime no Chikara really improved on this: Senkou no Night Raid clearly chose to explore its setting, while Occult Academy clearly chose to focus more on its characters. And despite a few annoying flaws, that really worked in their advantage so far.

I was pretty happy with this episode, though. It dropped all of the epicness for what it was and just focused on the girls again. I liked how they made very natural conversations with the townsfolk (and how we learned a bit more about Naomi), and how this episode focused on the dreams that all of the characters have…

…that we’re unfortunately never going to see realized.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 24 June 2010 with categories: Sora no Oto



Okay, so apparently an extra DVD episode was released for Sora no Oto. It’s numbered as 7,5, so I assume it takes place between episode 7 and 8. So, what did the creators decide to focus on? Was this episode meant to flesh out the setting a bit? Did a specific character get taken under the loop? Did it add some subtle details to the series as a whole? Ehm, no. It was just pointless.

I get the idea behind it, however. I really like that, because anime tends to be incredibly scared with alcohol. Especially when it comes to teenagers, while plenty of teenagers at the age of the lead characters are already drinking. I would really stand behind an episode that was dedicated to a drinking party between these characters. But the execution of this episode, and the context it took place in… they didn’t work at all for me.

So basically Kanata and Yumina find out about the distillery, so Felicia turns them drunk in order to make them forget what happened. It’s logical when it just remains to that, but the medieval paintball… what was the point of that? It could have been fun if the creators actually executed it well, but the way in which everyone started horribly overacting in a way that I don’t even think would be possible. Not to mention that it was incredibly annoying.

I actually don’t drink myself, so I can’t say this for sure, but is this really how teenagers behave after only a few glasses of liquor? To me, it feels like the creators were just looking for a cheap excuse to make the characters act really moe.

This episode wasn’t entertaining; it dragged on horribly at times, but I think that my biggest gripe would be that it didn’t really add anything aside from two lines of backstory from Yumina that didn’t really lead to anything. Everything that happened in this episode is just forgotten afterwards with alcohol as an excuse. And later, we found out that Kanata figured out about the distillery anyway, so there essentially was no point to this episode. I guess that you could say that this was the episode in which Kanata found out about the distillery because she simply did not forget what happened, but even then: out of all the things that the creators could have chosen, they choose to elaborate on something that didn’t really need any extra attention? There are a ton of stuff that the creators could have done here, to explain a bit more of that incredibly rushed ending, and in the end the creators pretty much waste it.

Overall, this pretty much reflects on my general opinion of Sora no Oto: it really has a number of terrific and excellent ideas that made me love how well they were making use of Anime no Chikara’s framework of coming with original premises. But some of the other decisions it made… were completely pointless.
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Posted on 22 March 2010 with categories: Sora no Oto



Sora no Oto is another one of those ‘don’t by fooled by its looks’-shows. Sure, it may have the same character-designer as K-On, but its content is completely different. Instead it takes place Switzerland, in some sort of mysterious post-apocalyptic world of a threatening war and child soldiers. It tells the story of a military outpost, which can sometimes be quiet and laid-back, but at others dark and powerful.

This series has really been one of the very few series that can boast an original storyline nowadays. In 12 episodes, it paints the picture of a mysterious setting in which a ton of stuff happened in the past, and it’s truly at its best when it can flesh out this setting. It’s amazing how well detailed it describes the village that everything in this series takes place in, and the story that lies behind it. It leaves a lot to your imagination: it doesn’t reveal everything, but instead relies on the viewers to piece together all of the clues.

The characters themselves also have imaginative backgrounds. Through the series I liked how they first start out as those seemingly annoying moe stereotypes, but ended up developing in sympathetic ones. My personal favourite was the Felicia episode, which was a true triumph in storytelling. The slice of life is also very imaginative and has an interesting presentation, rather than trying to rip off the ton of other slice of life series that exist out there.

With a series that’s completely original, you’d expect that the creators would have the perfect opportunity to create a story that fits that 12 episodes that it consists of perfectly. But, now. The creators took too much on their plate and tried to be way too epic for their own good. If the characters didn’t somehow end up standing at the centre of a huge war, then it would have been significantly better. Instead, this show is stuck with an utterly terrible ending that doesn’t just fail to answer some of the most important questions, it’s utterly cheesy, nonsensical and furthermore it destroys a ton of build-up that the previous episodes tried to create so pain-stakingly. It’s a huge step beyond a simple ‘disappointing ending’.

In the meantime however, A-1 are showing more and more what an excellent production company they can be. This series looks utterly gorgeous, and the animation is vivid and imaginative, with especially the backgrounds being really well drawn.

But yeah, in the end this remains a series that went too epic than what was good for it. It’s a shame, I really liked it in the beginning, but for me, it left a nasty bad taste behind in its final minutes. I’m still recommending this show for its first two thirds, but just be aware that this show can’t fulfill the things it promises.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Very solid writing in the first two thirds. Last third is too rushed. Bad ending.
Characters: 8/10 – Interesting development, but some get taken a bit too far.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Beautiful animation and background art; the best OP of the past season.
Setting: 8/10 – Incomplete, but fascinating and well detailed.
Posted on with categories: Sora no Oto



No. No, they didn’t. This didn’t just happen. It can’t be. This show was heading in such a good direction. It was so on its way to be amongst my favourite series of the Winter season. And then it pulls this. I was fearing for this show to end with a cliched route, and it actually pulls off something worse than I ever could have expected.

This is just… unbelievable. The ending went well enough, I guess. It was a bit melodramatic, but okay. Then the action starts, and the spider somehow is totally fixed again. Despite that, it’s not something that was too bad, and I had seen far worse endings at that point. However, then Kanata started playing the trumpet. And every single soldier stopped and listened. What a headdesk moment!

To think that out of all series, this show would end up pulling a “let my song stop all fighting”-ending. What a disappointment. The creators tried to save it by having Rio show up from absolutely nowhere just seconds after that, but the damage already was done for me. It’s one of the first endings I’ve seen this season, but I have no doubt that it’s going to end up as the single worst one. Yes, even Ookami Kakushi’s finale felt more satisfying than this thing.

I’m really thinking of how I’m going to end up judging this series. Before this episode, I had no doubt that my top 3 of the Winter Season would consist out of Durarara, Heartcatch Precure and Sora no Oto. After this episode, I might actually consider to put Gag Manga Biyori + in its place. This wasn’t just a bad episode, but for me it actually destroyed all of the credibility and realism that it built up in the previous things. War should have been a horrible inevitable thing. And here the characters come and solve it like it’s nothing, exactly at the most convenient time for the writers. Blegh.
Rating: —- (Abysmal)

Posted on 15 March 2010 with categories: Sora no Oto



Yes! Yes! Yes! It’s going as I hoped: this episode started the finale, which is both at the same time hard-hitting, yet stays true to the main cast. The drama in this episode was powerful, and instead of moving the main cast to the conflict, it moved the conflict to the main cast (makes sense, trying to hit an outpost rather than a well defended city). The war is about to begin, and yet this series did not forget that it’s also a slice of life series, and saved a good number of minutes, just for that purpose.

The only thing about this episode that was questionable… was Noel. I mean, it’s a bit late to suddenly reveal that she used to be a genius young scientist; my suspense of disbelief was about to break when that revelation suddenly came from out of nowhere. I mean, a princess is one thing, but a genius young girl who saves the war with her own inventions is on a whole new level.

Thankfully the rest of this episode was awesome enough to make this insignificant. There was plenty of character-development now that Rio is gone, the animation was as imaginative as always, and I loved how this episode showed that both Helvetians and Romans can be quite nice people when they’re not trying to kill each other.

And the creators actually thought of language boundaries. The Roman people actually spoke German. And it’s not like we heard one word or something, no. This woman uttered entire monologues in German; the creators cut no corners in making her ramblings believable. And I must say, Japanized German sounds surprisingly good. The European languages all sound very different when the Japanese try to speak them. Their Dutch is fairly good, mainly because a lot of our vowels sound similar (for an example of that I direct you to a certain episode of Samurai Champloo). German also survives fairly well, as this episode showed. English is a bit different, as it often gets raped by voice actors who have no idea about their pronunciation. By far the worst I’ve heard, however, is French. Seriously, whenever the Japanese try to say it, it’s not French anymore. Its just become gibberish.

In any case: that finale. Right now it’s very tempting for the creators to Deus ex Machina that enemy army away with that priestess legend from the first episode. With all of the build-up of this series, a lot depends on that final episode: bring those themes together! Get the best conclusion out of those characters! Do something unexpected that lifts this series to a higher level, yet doesn’t derail it!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 9 March 2010 with categories: Sora no Oto



The main reason why I wasn’t too happy with Rio during the past number of episodes is the lack of attention she got. I mean, from out of nowhere she suddenly turned out to be a princess and started angsting. It sounded so cliched. However now that she got an episode properly dedicated to it, my opinion of her turned to the complete opposite. This was an excellent episode that did several things at once, and surprisingly succeeded in all of them.

With this episode I very much understood why Rio was feeling down for the past number of episodes, since she has basically been running away from her duties as royalty (taking that owl along with her, for some reason). My guess is that she didn’t want to be forced into everything, especially because of Iliya’s death.

I as also surprised at how such a major plot-related episode also stuffed in the story of that old woman in it, and made it surprisingly good as well. It wold also have been perfectly fine to include that story a bit earlier, but this way it had an interesting effect on Rio. With the small character-development from Rio and Kanata, it turned out quite heart-warming.

Now, with only three episodes left, the climax has finally begun, though not exactly in the way that I expected, now that Rio is gone. I really wonder whether the final three episodes are going to her, over Kanata who’s supposed to be the main character. To be honest, I’d much rather that the focus would stay on Kanata and the town that we’ve been in. It’s too late at this point to suddenly introduce politics.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 1 March 2010 with categories: Sora no Oto



So, since Kureha was the only one who has yet to get an episode of her own, it’s good to see that this episode focused on her. It’s not as good as the Felicia-arc, but definitely adds to her character. The story between her and Claus, who she decided to admire after the loss of her father made this episode quite worthwhile.

Regarding the main story: I’m surprised that the princess is actually dead. There’s an interesting twist, and probably explains why Rio looked back to her with a sense of nostalgia.

In any case, four episodes left, and this episode just finished all of the preparations that this series needed to do. After this, it’s just a matter of this series closing off well, using the stuff that it’s built up for in the past nine episodes. My biggest fear here is Rio: in this episode she may have been a bit too angsty for her own good. If she was trying to make a difficult decision that we don’t know about, then okay, I can understand that. But please don’t tell me that she was angsting like a teenaged girl who hates her father and who is trying to make her do things she doesn’t want to.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 23 February 2010 with categories: Sora no Oto



A calm before the storm episode… through a really weird one. I admit that I didn’t expect such an episode at this point of the series.

So yeah. The fluff in this episode was very unconventional. After the hard-hitting previous episode, you’d expect the fun and games to be over, but instead we get a really uneventful episode in which Kanata waits for a phone to ring. The part in which she was about to wet herself was rather uncomfortable to watch. It was well written however, there’s no doubt about that.

However, we finally know what the final arc of this series is going to be about: saving the country. This has been a very down to earth series, but it had it coming: there were a few very clear hints pointing to this. The first one was the legend of the five priestesses: very basic foreshadowing. And then there’s the matter of the princess of the country being mentioned a number of times. This episode also confirmed that Rio has a very high status, and basically came here, running away from that.

The final five episodes are basically going to take care of that, and I bet that they’re going to be completely different from what we’ve seen from this series so far. I really hope that the creators weren’t too ambitious with it, I’d much rather have seen a finale that would focus on the characters. For this final arc, the creators are really going to have to take care to not overdo it and suddenly have our five-some god-mode themselves through this war. That’s the thing I’m most afraid of.

Oh, and Kanata in this episode proved that airheads can use their brains as well, when she revealed that she knew about the secret practices of the platoon. God, more anime should realize this.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 15 February 2010 with categories: Sora no Oto



Wow… just wow. To everyone who was expecting this to be a fluffy and light-hearted series: this episode is here to prove you wrong.

But yeah, that’s one of the things about anime: while it’s often relatively simple to tell whether a series is going to be good or bad, after blogging for more than four years I still can’t predict at all when a seemingly innocent series like this one is going to blow me away. This episode caught me utterly by surprise: what an execution!

While this show has its moments of innocence, it’s moments like this that remind us what would happen if war would break out again. And really, this episode revealed that it’s been lie, what? Five years since the last war? This episode didn’t just do a wonderful job in fleshing out Phylicia (it only took one episode for us to understand EXACTLY what kind of a character she is, without making her a stereotype), but it also showed how fragile the setting is.

This episode also gave a lot of more hints about what happened to the past. First of all, the Japanese somehow took over Europe. After that, or during that, there followed a technological boom, and what I expect is AI going out of control (humans in machines don’t control them like the way they moved in that flashback). In order to get rid of them, nuclear weapons were used. The Japanese died of the aftereffects of the fallout, and the French resettled the area. My guess is that we’re currently at one of the few areas that were unscathed. My guess is that the current generation of wars either is about a few survivors of that strange AI (that would explain why they called the attacker of Vingt the “Invisible Angel of Death”, rather than just another war, or it’s a power struggle between the survivors for the last remaining patches of fertile land.

I must say, I’m impressed by the director. His two previous works, Elfen Lied and Denpateki na Kanojo both had some very good direction, but both were held back by a certain degree of unbelievability: characters would do stuff, just to advance the plot. In this series, his focus is EXACTLY to fix this. And here this episode comes and shows that he can also hit really hard when he wants to. I really have to say that Elfen Lied would have been a truly amazing series if it had its characters as well written as in Sora no Oto.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 8 February 2010 with categories: Sora no Oto



I do not know who animated this episode, but whoever they are, they surely rocked. Take a look at the huge frame-rate of some of the scenes in this episode. I never really considered A-1 Pictures as a top-notch animation studio, mostly because they produced a number of series that I really wanted to like… but couldn’t (Fiary Tail, Kannagi, Persona and Valkyria Chronicles… hmm, they should stay away from video game adaptations…). But really: after Birdy the Mighty and series like this, who am I kidding? These guys rock in terms of graphics and powerful animation.

This episode was very interesting. On the surface, it was perhaps a bit of a standard set of two adventures, but there were many subtle details thrown into it that made it into a very touching and enjoyable episode. Basically, Kanata spends time away from the other four main characters. In the first half, we follow these four. In the second half, we follow Kanata. Some events that happen in the first half can only be explained if you know what happened with Kanata. Nice touch.

regarding the setting: Vingt. This episode was all about showing that, while war might be bad, it’s not the only thing that is. That monster who killed a bunch of people in City number 20: who was it? Where did it come from? And where is it now? Also, the financial issues of the corps: to think that they were secretly and illegally distilling wine. That takes about care of their predictable and generic stereotypes, doesn’t it? It does make me wonder: can you really recognize whether a character is stereotypical or not, right from the first one or two episodes? I still believe that it’s possible. It’s series like this that remind me instead of trying to spot stereotypes in first episodes, you should try to spot what makes characters move away from these stereotypes. Even the slightest hints could promise something interesting for the future.

This episode was also a great tease. I mean, we all know from the director what he has done in the past. We know that he can write these disturbing scenes and he he has gone for something completely different with this series. Right at the point at which the series seems to take a darker twist, it all turns out to have been an act that fully makes sense within the setting of this series.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
I suppose we've had this talk. But; do women have a different type of power fantasies? Or you could essentially do the same thing as any other Isekai but with the genders flipped?
Vonter
@niello - Most power fantasies eventually lead to harems (like Hyrule Warriors). I did like the interactions of the two main characters in Shield Hero. And with Slime is sorta like watching a Let's Play as the main character visually gets more powerful along with his village, but like with Dr. House it seems it's a one man's show.
niello
Shield Hero is actually quite similar to Slime as after a while the MC basically settle down and make his own village to cultivate fighting force. The downside is that at that point it started to turn into a harem.
niello
It'd be nice if the new Franken Fran series could get it an anime, but that chance is probably near 0%...
niello
He does look young though
niello
Didn't Furuya ruined his voice with his smoking habit? It's coarser and deeper now. Judging from his Seiya voice a few years ago.
Vonter
Or are the 50s the new late 30s or early 40s?
Vonter
Are japanese people vampires? https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/Toru_Furuya
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: If you look at the voice list, that Japanese voice actor for Mario in that anime movie is the same voice actor for Amuro Ray from the original Gundam.
Vonter
Also considering Baby Bowser was raised by Kamek. I suppose those beings could be made by magic.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - My head canon is that Bowser made them himself. Kinda Lord Zedd or Rita from Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still subscribe to the headcanon that Peach is the mother of Bowsers children.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember growing up with the relatively poor American cartoons, none of them featured Wario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have committed videogame genocide apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Everytime I broke or hit a brick in the Mario games I was probably murdering a toad.
Vonter
The ending it's "interesting" considering the relationship Mario and Peach have isn't something as close, as Link and Zelda.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's weird but at the same time it does use elements from the game. Like the music, and story bits from the manual from the original Super Mario Bros. (Where it mentioned Bowser uses magic to turn Toads into the bricks, clouds and other objects of the game).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never did end up watching the Mario anime movie that came out in the 80s.
Vonter
Also someone is putting the effort of making a Bowsette adventure doujin. This is the type of stuff that could be it's own original thing since it strays far from what's Mario. Despite the occasional mild nudity it's quite fun so far, despite also how weird it is.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - At the very least it'll be interesting to see where it goes. It happens also every time something comes back. Times change and so the way we make stories. Also the original run had a curtain call chapter, so this is more a new story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is often what happens with episodic stuff for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I essentially read Fraken Fran until I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I feel that Franken Fran pretty much ran it's course though. Not sure what a new series could bring.
Vonter
Latest news: Franken Fran will get a new manga series. After it was cut short, it seems this little horror manga will get another chance: https://imgur.com/a/ypjtI4c
Vonter
I also read a bit ahead on Shield Hero. And I like it is character driven, but the cast isn't as big as other Isekai, like in Overlord where there are too many characters to easily keep track of what's happening (ever since it started Overlord feels like the most attached to its light novel origins).
Vonter
The monster town growing and expanding into it's own country reminded me of Digimon World. A game which you allied with Digimon to expand your town, add shops and other services. I've heard Xenoblade X was also like that.
Vonter
I watched during the weekend, the Slime Isekai. It's fine, though it lacked more conflict, the MC feels like its too powerful. Maybe this would have been great as a videogame since the concept of how this Slime evolves reminds me of the SNES game: E.V.O. The Search of Eden. It was about your character evolving through the ages and the player choosing how it adapts to it's environment.
Animosh
Also nice to see some love for LOGH in your personal lists (especially Aidan's). I guess it's too much of a niche series (a political epic in space) to score highly in the overall list, but I loved it. It retained much of what made the OVA so great while providing a much-needed update to its visuals and arguably better pacing.
Animosh
I also hadn't heard of the Kase-san OVA. Not sure whether enough can really happen in a one-hour OVA to make it worthwhile (it gives the impression of being promotional material more than a full-fledged adaptation), but I've been looking for another good yuri series after Bloom into You, so it can't hurt to give it a try.
Animosh
Nice to see Kaze ga made it on the list, even with just one cour out. I've seen most of the stuff that's won positive awards, but I've always avoided Pop Team Epic because of how silly it seemed to me. But given all the positive reviews (here and elsewhere) maybe I should give it a chance after all.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yu-no can go fuck itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also Yuasa's new thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe the thriller shows will be worthwhile but I'm not really as interested.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah spring looks packed for me, there's also that throwback ova to riding Bean and some creature horror ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I notice that Index gets an annoying amount of episodes/adaptations, one of those shows that keeps going away for a while then keeps coming back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We might get dororohedero and Vinliand saga at years end. I would like for pluto to air this year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Definately looking forward to the josei and shoujo stuff in Spring 2019, nothing of interest for me thats on the summer 2019 list yet.
Vonter
Like you wrote, seems like it's the start for new ways to stream anime. With Crunchyroll making simulcasts and Netflix putting some anime in the spotlight considering the audience it has (and it also helps it has better dubs, at least in spanish). Finally I felt last year the criticism of fanservice got more loud, also summed with how tumblr and facebook politics are putting restrain on sex conten
SuperWooper
@Anon, Netflix is getting Watanabe's new series, Carole & Tuesday, next season. It might not have the mass appeal of Crybaby (violence and sex) or Aggretsuko (cute animals), but it ought to do well for them if they slap "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF COWBOY BEBOP" all over the Internet.
Vonter
Last year I also didn't watched a lot of drama or slice of life, which is a shame since a lot of what's listed reads like it fits those genres.
Vonter
Kind of a lukewarm year 2018 was in terms of anime series. Although I admit I watched a lot of trash as well. Most of the good stuff I watched last year was on Netflix. In terms of bad I already an issue on the list because disappointing, bad and trash are different degrees of badness.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for being so long and overdramatic, I'd normally stay quiet but I had to get my feelings out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to say anymore about this show anymore, I know those who did watch it generally emotionally connected with it or thought it was some kind of epic, if anything I felt it was an epic ruined by being chopped down. I hated it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nothing seems settled on long enough and nothing registers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As Hateable as Jomy is in the beginning, I would at least liked to have seen proper flow of plot structure allowing for some natural progression of character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an idea and I think if explored with more episodes/more it could be something, this also includes Keith.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The timeskip and general pacing annihilate anything that could be anything approaching reaching close to working with this series, resulting in an un-compelling cast I feel nothing for that ruins and undersells any drama which is far too overdone when it occurs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't complete this, don't care if I've watched the first half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't like the couple of episodes of Terra e I watched a some years ago, unfortunately this second attempt, over halfway through the show only illustrates further just how much I utterly despise this show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've said before, I do think re-watches are important, especially years later after watching a show you disliked, if only to see if you'll enjoy it on the second run, lately thats been mostly successful for me, however....
Anonymous3325300
Meanwhile, I do expect that this year will be much stronger in terms of quality. Of course, I had the same assumptions last year based on the winter shows, but I do feel like this could be a stronger year full of great shows, instead of a lot of merely "good" ones.
Anonymous3325300
I predict that Netflix this year probably won't have a Devilman/Aggretsuko-level hit in terms of new anime. Evangelion is probably all they need, even though it's an old series.
Lenlo
If anyone thought that wasn't getting on this list, they either didnt watch it or have really low standards
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Its so catharctic that you listed steins;gate 0 I remember how we essentially lived and watched it together.
Lenlo
I think thats what the most pleasant surprise category is supposed to be. Didnt wanna double up on to many cats
Kaiser-Eoghan
No biggest surprise category?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand including bunny-senpai as a runner up, I'd have trouble picking between it and sorayori.
Lenlo
Episode 7 is so damn good, I don't care that its American.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: How do you think I feel, I'm not far off 35.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glad you actually made room for a movie category aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Based Lenlo, cheating with American anime cartoon.
Lenlo
Im just happy I got Castlevania on this list at all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dropped planet with, hinamatsuri and violent evergarden though, didn't see Hisone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I probably would have replaced planet with with happy sugar life or banana fish though or yagate ga kimi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In any case, I am glad my wife Kanna Hanazawa won an award on your list and that Devilman got featured more than once.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I though you would be splitting the voice actor category into voice actor and voice actress, though I suppose that's probably cheating a bit.
SuperWooper
You're not alone - of the four of us, I was the only one who watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must have missed ASAGAO TO KASE-SAN. Hadn't heard of it until now, I should have paid more attention.
Anonymous3324478
Oh and the music was pretty good too I guess. Another episode is airing in March.
Anonymous3324478
Masa also recovered from his car accident from a few episodes ago. It was totally unneeded in my opinion.
Anonymous3324478
The last episode of Tsurune was a decent ending to an otherwise formulaic sports show with some great animation on par for the course with KyoAni. Minato overcame his target panic and won it for the team. Twins got owned big time.
Animosh
There's a new episode out of the Gridman voice drama: https://barnnn.blogspot.com/2019/01/ssssgridman-voice-drama-episode-6n.html. It's a pretty good one too.
Animosh
My only worry is if the series will be able to get to its logical stopping point (the end of the Claw arc) in 12 episodes. But I suppose I should trust Bones over my vague memories of how much content there is left to cover.
Animosh
Yeah, I agree a split cour could be good. It would allow the series to maintain its high levels of animation, and given how stacked next season looks to be (anime aside, there's also American Gods and the Game of Thrones madness to keep up with), and with another ONE show airing, a break wouldn't be so bad.
SuperMario
Split cour of Mob Psycho would be awesome. I don't want to watch 2 ONE's adaptation in one season
Lenlo
Not for bloggin
Lenlo
While I love Mob, I am a bit happy its only 1 cour. I couldnt do 3 2 cour series
Animosh
Assuming we do get 12 episodes, a split cour would still make sense ... but I guess we'll just have to wait for the official confirmations
Animosh
As far as I can tell the only source is some guy in Twitter, so not sure how reliable it is
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Devilman Lady is what comes to mind on how to do this type of show better. That one had also a special agency for supernatural incidents, has a simple but compelling main character, uses it's time to build atmosphere and mood and even the action while a bit stilted had better monster design and the violence it's graphic but entertaining like Robocop.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok I will check. I'm also curious where it goes in terms of tone. Because it's all over the place.
Vonter
Ok. Last time I tried the login in feature didn't respond. This time it worked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Keep me posted of magical girl spec ops in case it does turn into the kind of guilty pleasure shlock it should.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is this vonter? If you register an account you can keep the name.
Anonymous3321080
But I think what gets me the most its how it beats the dead horse of the 80s action hero arc. Van Damme, Arnold and Stallone had more or less these type of lines. Its kind of funny this anime pretends these aren't tropes we don't use anymore because of how corny they come off. It'll definitely work better as an abridged series since it can be very boring when it tries to add the school life moment
Anonymous3321080
Also Mahou Spec Ops... Is interestingly bad. It tries to be exploitative and shocking but feels very sloppy, kinda like that meme of *slow heavy metal music plays* It also wants to play it like a dark shoujo anime, but the cute monsters are just distracting.
Anonymous3321080
Reading your conversations about idols, despite being mediocre Gokudolls and Ore Mahou Shoujo made jabs at that culture. At least painting some aspects that may be true of how exploitative it is. I suppose because those are subpar, over the top and cheap is what they can do that. Can't remember one aside from Perfect Blue which criticizes that industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But only if there was more anime noirs.
Amagi
Reminds me of that stalin vs hitler comic. Think it was russian. They're attacking each other with magical super powers there. And yeah, I love noir now that you mention it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That'd make for a great noir story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Imagine Stalin and Hitler trolling each other on twitter.
Amagi
It's easy to construct superiority when you never have to show your private face and never participate in mundane chat talks or so.
Amagi
I bet a lot of people who had some aura of authority back then due to only ever appearing in books or for very rare (scripted) speeches would probably laughing stocks now if we'd see them commenting on daily stuff and news on twitter or reddit.
Amagi
I personally have given up upon having heroes. I still find a lot of historical people interesting but let's be real the few of them that weren't blatanly bad in some way were different then we imagine them to be (even if they're good). Just look how different people feel now that you see them tweeting on twitter VS policians etc decades ago.
Amagi
I like the idea of a main character longing for a dead friend and role model he had and still idolizes. Then at some point he starts reconstructing his friend's past to cherish his memories about him even more but finds out that the friends wasn't the hero he believed him to be and maybe even the own memories of him were idealized a lot over the years after his death without him even noticing.
Amagi
Yeah we are always searching for some sort of über-ich or perfect being that symbolizes the goal of some personality growth we're trying to achieve.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or the reason why some people need to have so many things or idols they probably don't need.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think there is a genetic/mental inadequacy in humanity that makes us susceptible to following "higher people who we forget are actually human" because of our own desire for an avatar or general inadequacy as human beings.
Amagi
Yeah this. It's probably also why they defend them so eagerly. Because it's actually true that "their" version of that person would never do that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that probably creates a much stronger blow to them when the actor is found guilty of a crime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Very good response.
Amagi
It's kinda weird how almost everything we know about others is actually just interpretation to some degree.
Amagi
The weird thing is that I think that many fans of acrots/celebrities rather create their own versions of them they fall in love with rather than loving the actual person, whom they barely even know. It's fun because the concept of a waifu sounds extremely weird to normal people, but many normal people kinda do this too but with real persons (but imaginary personality).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats where it starts getting obsessive or where it gets too close to the next level, such as what the anon mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also can't bring myself to get too attached to a celebrity or to a character. I do look at hentai doujins yes but, I've probably had thoughts about certain actors or what not, but I never actually want to sleep with them, again I think that's taking fantasy too far.
Amagi
I never know if these are serious celebrations or rather some fun memes they do to post, I always assumed the latter. Kinda.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the fans celebrating the idol's birthday thing is taking it to far too, especially if its an anime character.
Amagi
Yeah I was never an idol fan either, and I don't just mean the idol genre in anime but anything similar to idol stuff in general, like being a fanboy/girl of some celebrity or something. Was never able to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all too superficial.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't like the ideas it gives teenage girls either .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Certain topics just set me off =<
Amagi
The third episode of Wake Up girls was pretty good in that regard. I think it was the third one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, thats a pretty bad story what happened to the woman you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be a good idea to catch some documentaries on that topic .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that was just a sentence from some guy on a podcast though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now though I didn't see it, I do recall someone saying some of that Wake up girls idol anime slightly brought up seedier parts of the industry if not much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The hallow shallowness of the idol industry I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also dislike the shallowness of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love how Perfect blue takes influences from those gialli/giallo style films from the 60s/70s to an extent, while also spitting on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you know what sucks? A part of me, both in regards to those women (and probably some of the male idols) whether it be in reality or animation, I can't actually deny finding some of these men/women actually physically attractive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Music industry has its seediness just about everywhere and of course victim blaming going to appear everywhere, not just Japan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*commodification-consumerist
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I hate capitalism, I hate the idol communication-commercialist industry and the willing self-aware slaves and their masters who perpetuate it, the music is largely awful aswell. I don't watch most of the idol anime, I think the idea of 30 something men throwing cash it is awful.
Anonymous3319279
Wonder if there will be some modern equivalent of Perfect Blue? That was a scathing critique of the idol industry back in the late 90s. Although given how shows that are flat out glorifying the industry are the best-selling shows on BD every year, I doubt it.
Anonymous3319279
In short, she was assaulted by two men at her home who were then arrested. Then she was pressured by her managers into claiming that she was to blame for this, not the men and apologizing to an audience.
Anonymous3319279
Hearing about what happened to some idol named Mahohon seriously makes me wonder if idol culture in Japan seriously needs an overhaul and if media needs to stop glorifying the industry so much.
Anonymous3319260
Ok. No pressure, just asking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, we are working on it. It's nearing completion and should be posted soon.
Anonymous3318799
I don't know if I missed it. But have you put the overview of 2018? Of best show, best character, etc. Did 2018 had a good anime villain?
Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
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Winter 2019 Summary – Week 2

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Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – 02 [The Wandering Six]

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