Posted on 28 September 2013 with categories: Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi

God?! Screw God! We’ve got a timeloop story that we need to wrap up!

But granted, that ending was really quite good. It again made use of this show’s weird talent make random characters sympathetic from out of absolutely nowhere by suddenly blaming the source of the timeloop to be the classmates of Alice (yes, Alice, don’t ask me why he has a girl’s name) and Dee.

Perhaps basing your story on a misunderstanding isn’t the strongest, but for what it did, the series wrapped that subplot up really nicely. It wasn’t about the misunderstanding anyway. The main issue of the arc was escapism: fearing change, people stayed in the timelooped world because it was safe. You could really see that with Scar and Yuri: the environment felt so safe and trusted to them.

What made this ending was the point at which it was time to move on for everyone. The time to head back into the real world again after 14 years. Alice ‘surviving’ was a bit of a cop-out, but yeah: that’s a bit the premise of this series: he’s still dead, he just lives as a ghost and Ai ust doesn’t bury him.

And there the series just ends. I would have preferred some sort of epilogue, but at this point I think that the ending here is that eveyrone just keeps living until they die, and then keep wandering around until all of the gravekeepers have buried everyone. Quite a bleak ending there if you look at it that way.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 14 September 2013 with categories: Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi

One of the things I love about this series: it’s like this big road trip. People travel togeter and people lack purpose in this world so some of them just go along for the ride. That’s quite rare for travelling series like this. Also, when one of the main character runs off for a few episodes in the spotlights, off screen development happens for the rest of the cast. Also very appreciated in making this cast come alive by showing that they do more than what you see on camera. Episode 9 was a wonderful example of this where the focus of the episode just kept changing. This series perhaps jumps around, but it’s being very creative in doing so.

Yeah, things come out of nowhere. I don’t care. The proposal of episode 9 was awesome. It’s bizarre: whenever this show pulls something out of its ass like that, it feels like it fits. Like, scarily well.

Also, why did the time-loop in episode ten decide to reset everything on my birthday. I’m scared now….

Now, let’s talk about the big picture now. For a long while the show dealt with many different people and their stories relating to the setting. Right now, we’re getting character development. Alltogether, this makes for quite a rounded series. Both the setting and characters are really intriguing, and are well developed; very charming. This series obviously uses the vague type of storytelling: it doesn’t tell everything and you need to read between the lines for a lot of stuff.

But yeah… as for the actual concrete story… I’m not sure whether we’re really getting to the “saving the world”-part. My big fear will be the ending here. Please dont make “god” some kind of evil end boss or something.

The biggest downside of these four episodes? The start of episode 07, which somehow succeeded in bringing in a school and a bath scene again… are we nowhere safe?
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 14 August 2013 with categories: Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi

It took me a while to realize and all, but Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi actually has a very good soundtrack. Its dreamlike tunes are just the perfect touch that this series needs on top of what it already does right: its thought-provoking themes and charming characters.

This series really does its random stories right: it makes them count, rather than make them just boring filler. In these two episodes, it explored its themes even further, now that the characters are in the city of the dead. At this point the creators have twisted the meaning of “death” so much, that people are seeing it in a completely different way. Especially now that living is so harsh, there are more and more people who willingly choose it, now that it’s not final anymore. Sure, you’re a zombie and all, but actually knowing that you’ll be fully conscious after you die makes a pretty big difference here. It’s different from reincarnation, though: this series really stresses that if you die, you don’t get a second chance at living. You really become a zombie aside from the fact that you don’t need brains or don’t lose your mind.

It uses all of this to be very heart-warming. What’s really weird about this series is how Ai collects her travel companions. Every single time, it’s like out of nowhere: oh hey, we’re travelling together now, without any prior hints whatsoever. The last part is what gets me the most: not even a bit of foreshadowing? It’s also a bit weird that they just “handed” that baby over to this random gravekeeper who didn’t really do anything throughout the entire arc. Still, three characters who vaguely met each other: I can actually see them just end up travelling together in this kind of world. For comfort, at the very least.

I think that loneliness is a big underlying theme in this series. It’s never mentioned fully, but this series is full of characters who are alone: they are fundamentally different from the people around them, living people stuck among the dead, or dead people stuck among the living (nt to mention those gravekeepers who are neither of those). Then there is the way in which no children can be born anymore, destroying the wishes for people to have children. This episode showed the way out for a lot of people: a place in which everyone can just blend in and get rid of loneliness.

When you watch this without paying attention, it will feel like a bad show. But seriously, when I start thinking about it I really realize how solid this storyline is put together!
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 30 July 2013 with categories: Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi

This series could have gone wrong so easily. Seriously, from the outside it looks like your average show with a bishie and a cute girl, but it’s just consistently interesting. What this show is really good at is playing with the motivations of its characters: everyone here has this interesting backstory. And it just keeps getting better.

What this show is very bad at is making its action scenes believable. I mean I know she got help and all at the end of that third episode, but a 12-year old should not be able to smash through a bunch of well-muscled adults so easily. Even if they are zombies. But yeah, I can’t really stay critical at that scene, because everything else really had me charmed like no other. I did not expect that turn of events, let alone that that guy died!

And then there was episode four. I mean, at first it was a bid dodgy what the creators were trying to do there with the characters traveling around and all, but they really wasted no time to further explore the setting. This episode was most likely unrelated to the plot and all (aside from perhaps the last part), but it continues to use its setting really well, with that huge city full of dead people, showing how the walking corpses try to deal with the fact that they’re not alive anymore.

But yeah, this is a great mystery-series: it makes you hungry, it brings the kinds of twists you don’t expect, and the revelations are predictable, yet they are brought in a fresh way that you still don’t see coming when they do.
Rating: 5,5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 16 July 2013 with categories: Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi

Okay, at this point I’m pretty sure which series I’m going to blog this season. But first a few short comments about the ones I’m not going to blog:
– Free is well made for a bishie series but I don’t trust the creators to actually use the characters well enough.
– Gifuu Doudou hilariously camp, but ultimately a one-trick pony
– Inu to Hasami is badly produced
– Servant X Service is great, but I already know that I don’t have inspiration to write full entries about it.
– Dagan Ronpa… I’m going to decide whether to blog that one after episode 3 where I can see how the creators handle the detective part, because I don’t trust that yet (this also depends on how fast I can catch up to Uchuu Kyoudai…).
– Fantasista Doll is oddly interesting, but I don’t have enough inspiration to write about its bland parts.
– Stella is just entertainment, not really the right show to blog every week.
– Blood Lad is fun, but I miss substance which will make it a bit hard to write about.
– Gen’Ei is too bland and tries too hard.
– Watamote seems like too much of a one-trick pony, which is not good to write about every week.
– Kimi no Iru Machi is together with Dagan Ronpa the one that I’m the most doubtful about. Both have the potential to become really good, or really, really bad. Do I want to watch enough to find out about that?

In the meantime, this is the third Kamisama-series that I’ve blogged, and the fifth Kamisama-series that I’m going to watch, after Kamisama Dolls, Hajimemashita, Kazoku and no Memo-Chou. And that’s a good way to describe this series: a mix between stuff that has been done before, together with new and fresh stuff.

Let me get back on Gen’Ei wo Kakeru Taiyou in particular, because it does bear some similarities with Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi, in the way that it puts a little girl and forces these very dramatic things upon her. In this show it works, in Gen’Ei, it doesn’t. Why is that, even though both are pretty dramatic and use their protagonist being young as shock factor.

When I looked beyond, I realized the difference is that in comparison, Gen’Ei is bland. On one hand you have a young girl who grew up in the middle of zombies and has taken the task upon herself to become a respectable undertaker. On the other you have a high school girl who finds a bunch of girls who fight for her and that pretty much all look the same. Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi spices up its story: it comes up with creative twists and sides to both the setting and the characters, and that actually makes it very interesting, whereas Gen’Ei to mee seems to rely just too much on its shock factor without making the rest likable. Shock factor is supposed to be used as a condiment, not the main course.

I often go on about series repeating themselves too much, but there is also such a thing as “stealing well”. And to me, that goes to this series. The idea of there not being children? Been done before. Old guy (32!?!) travelling together with young girl? Been done before. Zombies? Been there, done that. However the way in which this show uses these themes is new, and it doesn’t feel like it copied these things out of laziness, but rather because it was a good way to get to the ideas it wanted to explore. I mean the concept of God just saying “screw it” and refusing to kill people. That’s pretty damn interesting!

This show does have flaws so far. The biggest so far is that a lot of the characters seem just devices to tell the story; their acting still feels wooden and they are used A LOT for exposition. That needs to improve, this series needs a bit more of “show, don’t tell”. The big challenge for this series will be to correctly explore its themes throughout its limited airtime. Create interesting stories around this setting, instead of just randomly filling up time.
Rating: 4,5/8 (Good)

Posted on 29 March 2013 with categories: Anime Reviews, Zetsuen no Tempest



Spiral was a series that was all about mind games. The characters had to battle people who used puzzles and mind games. Zetsuen no Tempest is the next logical step from its original author: a world-shaking plot that can decide the fate of the entire world, but somehow it managed to find a way to make it entirely dependent on the logic of a bunch of teenagers. It was glorious!

This may sound weird, but really: the characters in Zetsuen no Tempest really are excellent. All of them are fresh and witty, and they play off each other really well. I mean, it’s nothing new that series put a lot of consequences on teenaged emotions, but it has never been done with a cast that works so well together, not to mention with a cast that tries so hard to put logic into the plot as well. The two lead males in particular look like your average male hero at first, yet they turn out to be completely different.

I have sometimes called this “mindfuck, the anime”. This series really loves its surprises in its plot. And while it’s not the first series to attempt some mind-screws, it did manage to pull them off in a unique way. The key here was how it played with its own logic. On one hand, it took itself entirely seriously, on the other it deliberately just ignored it and just went wild with emotions. This dual battle is a really big theme in this series. Logic versus emotions, Genesis versus Exodus, Magic versus Technology, Tempest versus Hamlet (this will all make sense when you see the series). My one complaint though is that it takes a while to get going, and the ending is not what it could have been. The goodness in this series really is in the middle.

Also it also helps that this series has an incredibly epic soundtrack. No, seriously. The animation may be normal, but the soundtrack is just amazing. Right from the start, it just bombards you with complex and classically inspired tracks that just keep coming.
One-Sentence Review: If you’re looking for a good mind-screw with a godly soundtrack and fun characters, then this is a series to check out!
Suggestions:
Death Note
Un-Go
Armed Librarians – The Book of Bantorra

Posted on with categories: Zetsuen no Tempest

From the New World and Psycho Pass had endings that really impressed me. The downside to that is that they did raise the bar on endings quite a bit now. You can’t just defeat the evil monster and do nothing beyond that. You have to do something special now as well. I guess that that’s why I was underwhelmed by the first half of this episode, because that was exactly that. Not to mention: this series prides itself inits logic. A fight scene ending doesn’t have the same impact compared to if they would have based it on logic.

The second half of this episode was much more satisfying as an epilogue, though. This really showed everyone being able to move on, and quite a few characters have changed their ways or beliefs thanks to what happened in the series. Aika also showed again that she was a really compelling character to watch. She was a character who was dead at the start of the series, and yet her impact is all over it. She definitely was my favorite character here.

Tempest was great. It’s a shame that there is not going to be a bones series next season, because they are always interesting, even when they’re weaker. But really, their last weak series was Heroman for me. I eagerly await their next work.
Rating: 4.5/8 (Good)

Posted on 27 March 2013 with categories: Zetsuen no Tempest

And these are the penultimate episodes for Zetsuen no Tempest, with its finale about to air tomorrow. They weren’t about a mindfuck, but instead about a complete role reversal from what you’d expect: Hanemura gets to play the hero, while everyone else plays backup. It might seem insignificant, but I find this really refreshing to see: it isn’t trying to force its main characters into the spotlights. Instead it’s offering everyone his chance for this.

And I really like Hanemura by the way, for a character who got introduced in the second half of this series. He is a very good example of a wimpy looking character done right. First of all because amongst the cast, he was often the only one stupid enough to state the obvious. Plus, his little outburst in episode 22 was pretty damn cool for him. I really loved the irony there: this series prides itself with its focus on logic. And here Hanemura just coms and kicks some emotions back into the characters.

What also was really refreshing was the way episode 23 ended: when they were all rounding up those crewmembers on the boats, I was really wondering why everyone just complied like sheep. I mean, I know that they put bombs on the ships and all, but the way in which everyone just complied neatly felt a bit like they were all just plot devices. To think that nobody was crazy enough to try something… And they did. It’s not the first time Yoshino has been shot to near-death, but this is slightly different than before, with all of the build-up of “we’re not going to care about you or anything”.

Now, as for the actual ending… Zetsuen no Tempest really was an awesome series, but I do not think that it will have the strongest ending out of the “Big Four” of the Autumn Season (Psycho Pass, Tempest, Jojo, From the New World). Out of all of the penultimate episodes, I’d say that this one has the least hints that it’s going to become something special. But who knows? It might surprise us again. I’d love it if it did that.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 14 March 2013 with categories: Zetsuen no Tempest

Okay. If this isn’t a mindfuck then I don’t know anymore.

I have one question about this episode, but that is for below. First, I just want to praise this series for its absolutely wonderful rendition of Aika, who in two episodes really has become my favorite character of this series, with already an incredibly strong cast. The way she just blew Hakaze away with both her logic and powers was amazing.

In fact, this episode was so damn logical. That she killed herself: it was given the circumstances by far the most logical possible cause for her death, considering that she’s incredibly strong and the complete and utter lack of alternatives. But the reasons why really blew me away. The irony was wonderful: the way in which she decided to kill herself in order to be able to set the story in motion, in order to be able to defeat the tree of Genesis. Time travel is always tricky to write, but I really like what this show did with it. I also really liked the details at the end of the episode: Yoshino running past Hakaze, not knowing what will happen after half a year.

I just wonder: was suicide really the only way? What if Aika did not commit suicide, and instead used her knowledge to make things progress smoother? Could they have stopped the Kusaribe clan? Wouldn’t that have lead to a bigger chance of being able to stop the Tree of Genesis? Or was there some other kind of risk that I didn’t take into account here?
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 1 March 2013 with categories: Zetsuen no Tempest

Omg wtf!

This epsidode had it coming, there is no surprise here, and yet it managed to completely blow me away with how this episode was delivered. The guy who wrote this? The author of Spiral. This guy is amazing. I mean, spiral itself was smart, but with this series, he really managed to create something amazing.

The build-up for this series is juust brilliant. Aika being the Mage of Exodus? That was the first theory I had about the identity for this person. And then this episode just kept throwing red herrings at the viewers, and it kept distracting from this little fact to focus the attention on other people. Now that’s just amazingly well done.

Aika was awesome. Again, this is because of the build-up. For the entire series we’ve been talking about her, even though she was dead. Now we finally got to see her outside of a flashback, and she shows a completely different side of her. After all, everything we’ve seen of her so far was from the perspective of Yoshino (and a bit of Mahiro). It makes perfect sense for her to be able to sense Hakaze, and het yer directness in this episode took me completely by surprise.

Also, Samon. I love you. Your jokes are awesome.
Rating: 6.5/8 (Amazing)

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  • Wicked
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 10:37 AM)
    A s far as telomeres go, it’s a contributor to aging, and it is used as a quantifiable estimator of age, but it doesn’t really cause aging per se, aging just shortens it
  • Wicked
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 10:23 AM)
    It’s still very weird for me to see clone refer to a full grown animals, when I spent most of my academic life calling little colonies on a dish clones, and cloning to mean mean inserting a piece of dna into a yeast genome or a plasmid
  • S&M
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 08:19 AM)
    @Asuka Tough shit, I had to replace my tires on the side of a highway.
  • Asuka111
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 08:04 AM)
    The rotation of the steering wheel-to-turn ratio was nearly 3-1 at some point, I believe.
  • Asuka111
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 07:59 AM)
    My old Toyota’s steering fluid needed refill in 2011, but back then I was too lazy to fill it up. So I literally spent near two weeks making the hardest turns on simple intersections, my arms got sore everytime I drove. I’m glad I didn’t get into an accident.
  • Vincent
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 07:48 AM)
    @ninja Yeah. I know how to fill brake fluid, steering fluid, replace tire suspensions, fix a radio, and repair a power window switch, but I don’t know how to fix a car engine off the top of my head. If I stare long enough, yeah I could, but I’d have to learn.
  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 07:42 AM)
    @Vincent Fixing cars is easy unless you have to do something hard.
  • Yuko
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 07:38 AM)
    @Enka Truth of the Internet.
  • Enka
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 07:35 AM)
    @K-Off No, ads are never useful, even the good ones. It opens the flood gates of advertisers once one advertisement is liked.
  • K-Off
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 06:52 AM)
    @Stephanie What a surprise, a useful advertisement. Well, kind of, it’s emoticons.

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