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
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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