Posted on 21 July 2010 with categories: Darker than Black - Ryuusei no Gemini



What an awesome conclusion to the Gaiden-arc. The direction here was just perfect in hitting the right emotional notes. I love how well it made use of the build-up in tension of the previous episodes, and at the same time it also stood apart as a unique episode to Darker than Black.

So, we now know how Yin ended up with the ministry of community and affairs: they stood back from a distance, watching Hei struggle to get Yin back, and when everyone aside from Hei and Yin died, they grabbed their chances and took her while Hei was still… out cold, I guess. But that was nowhere near the main focus of this episode. The episode started getting awesome as soon as the illusionist started playing mind games on not just Hei, but everyone around him. It was interesting to see that he didn’t seem to care about money or power, despite having such a convenient ability. When Hei shocked Yin, I think that that was the point at which she really awakened, or at least lost the control of her real body, explaining why she was had to be kept in such a container in Ryuusei no Gemini.

Still, to think that it was Yin who caused the massacre of the previous episode. The way she so easily killed all of Amber’s former allies, in the same way she again released the souls of everyone here.

This episode also fills in the blanks of Hei’s development. Another big focus here was that we finally get to see Hei, showing himself emotionally vulnerable. As soon as he loses Yin (he thinks she died), he starts turning into the drunk that appeared at the first episode of Ryuusei no Gemini. I love how the creators animated his eye when the woman from the CIA contacts him. It’s there where he closes off his exposed self, and becomes stoic again.

The music really was brilliant here. Ishii Yasushi… his works are quite limited but I believe that his works really equal Yoko Kanno’s soundtrack of the first season. Again, it’s very different, but just as powerful.

As for a review about this OVA, I don’t think that I can say more about it than what I’ve done in these entries (I’m not really good at writing these reviews of OVAs that air only once every few months), unless a lot of people request me to. Now, for a sequel there are three possibilities:
– The creators are now secretly working on the third season, and will announce it in a few years. God, if this is true then I really wonder what that one will look like.
– We’ll get to see a few more OVAs in the future that will close off the entire series.
– There just aren’t any sponsors left interested in the series so it’ll die a silent death.
Obviously I’m rooting for the first, but I’m not going to get my hopes up until it actually gets confirmed. In the meantime, I’ll just eagerly anticipate Bones’ next major series. No offence to Heroman, but compared to the usual standard of Bones series, it just doesn’t live up.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 2 June 2010 with categories: Darker than Black - Ryuusei no Gemini



It’s interesting how all three installments of Darker than Black (Kuro no Keiyakusha, Ryuusei no Gemini and Gaiden) have been completely different from each other. Gaiden again has no intention to be repetitive, and instead plays out like a slow-paced love story between Hei and Yin amidst all kinds of intrigue. Hei is here at his weakest, and even the soundtrack is completely new again.

And as much as I’m trying not to, I really can’t avoid those very obvious hints that the creators keep giving that the Darker than Black Saga is nowhere near over. I know that this is very dangerous, especially after what Ookiku Furikabutte is currently trying to pull, but still. There is no way that the creators intended the final episode of Ryuusei no Gemini to be the conclusion of this series. Even with this episode’s explanation, about how Yin is able to change the world, there still remain a ton of twists that still haven’t been nowhere near wrapped up.

About this episode, it was really excellent. It was a really slow paced episode, but the ending was very sad, and very well and very subtle in its delivery. We also learn what happened to Amber’s former comrades. They died. Seriously, all but one massacred in just one go. It again shows just how unforgiving this series can be. And at the same time, this episode also was dedicated to showing weaknesses of Hei. For the first time, he hesitated in killing an enemy, and rushed through combat.

One thing I absolutely loved about this episode was that we did not get to see the point at which Yin was captured. We only heard about what happened through that dog. Whatever went on is just left up to our imagination.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 27 March 2010 with categories: Darker than Black - Ryuusei no Gemini



Ah, excellent. The Gaiden OVA is another one of those extra OVAs that aren’t just meant to be side-stories, but a vital part of the series. This episode yet again did a wonderful job of tying the first season to the second. It didn’t just explain what happened to Yin, but also some of the smaller plot-holes of the second season were explained.

The big question is of course: what the heck is that thing that took control of Yin? Izanami seems to be vital to this, and I guess that the entire point of the second season was to explore the possibilities of “Izanagi”. You know, that all just hints at a possible third season. There’s no way for the creators to have considered the end of Ryuusei no Gemini to be the end of this franchise.

I also stumbled upon an interesting article here (translated here), in which the general graphic director of Sora no Oto claimed the following thing: “People won’t be moved nor consented unless someone dies. Why aren’t they impressed by the character’s survival? It’ll be an easy job to create a war anime from now on. You can make a popular anime by letting the characters kill each other!”. To me, that’s not the reason of why I’m such a fan of Darker than Black’s habit to just kill off people. I’m perfectly happy with people surviving, as long as it’s done believably (which is exactly why I have no problems with Hei surviving all this time, because of how this series has shown how careful this guy works). It’s when creators start pulling Deus ex Machina to just keep a character alive that it becomes a big problem. It’s just as bad as them pulling a Deus ex Machina to just kill off a character. In the end it’s the story that should dictate whether characters live or die, not a desire to include more cheap drama.

I also have a small question about that Contractor destroyer thingie, shown after the ED. If that doctor knew how to increase the power of a contractor all along… then why didn’t he use it? And what exactly does it mean to become a more powerful contractor anyway? Will their abilities have less limits or something?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 30 January 2010 with categories: Darker than Black - Ryuusei no Gemini



Seriously, this has to be one of the fastest OVA releases I have ever encountered: only a month after the original series ended. In any case this OVA was nothing like I expected. I loved it to bits, but it never really resolved any of the plot-holes that it seemed to have promised to answer.

Instead, this is very much one of those classical extra OVAs: the ones that aren’t important to the plot, and instead focus on the characters and fleshing them out so that they can’t exactly be called useless. Much like the Gunslinger Girl – Il Teatrino OVA, or Birdy the Mighty Decode – The Cipher you do not want to judge these episodes as standalone products. But they really are everything you could hope for in character chemistry.

Because GOD, this episode was satisfying. The entire first half was just spent on Hei and Yin, spending time together in some sort of tropical resort, on their run from the Syndicate. Mao is there too, but he’s just in full time cat-mode throughout the entire episode, so that Yin and Hei can finally get some quality time for themselves. In terms of plot, we don’t exactly learn something new, but Yin does start to show signs that she’s not as obedient as you’d expect of a doll, and this episode also shows one of the attempts of the Syndicate to capture her.

The animation also looks very good, and the music was as terrific as ever. Those who were hoping for lots of plot will be disappointed, because it just wasn’t there. Who knows. Perhaps a third season will some day in a couple of years get announced, which will fill in all of the question marks that are still left. However, with the current trends in anime, which still somehow seem to believe that there is not enough moe in anime, I’m not getting my hopes up.
Rating: ** (Ezxcellent)

Posted on 25 December 2009 with categories: Darker than Black - Ryuusei no Gemini



Darker than Black was an excellent example of a mature series when it first aired. The entire setting was very original and creative, and so it was awesome to see an actual second season eventually got announced. I do want to warn fans of this first season to not expect exactly the same, however: Ryuusei no Gemini has no intention whatsoever to rip off the first season and going for the tried-and-true formula. Instead, it comes with its own concept, story-lines and focuses. and it does this so well.

Ryuusei no Gemini is about people with powers (called Contractors in this franchise) versus those who don’t. It explores its own boundaries that it set for itself, in the way that these contractors behave and act. It’s got a great direction throughout the entire series; there’s hardly a weak moment and it feels like every second is either there for building up or as a climax. I also really like how this is one of the very few series with a truly “people die when they fight to the death”-mentality that seems to be missing in anime way too often: when characters fight, the chance is big that someone (even a major character!) is going to end up dead.

While the first season of Darker than Black was about adults, Ryuusei no Gemini strangely has a teenager as a lead character. But don’t worry: she really doesn’t ruin this show in the slighted. Suou has an engaging personality and is well developed throughout the series. While you can see that she’s a teenager, she’s for once in no way inferior to the adults in this series and her story (just as all of the other subplots in this show, by the way) is very compelling. This show really succeeds in weaving all those little side-stories into one, while making all of them count. There’s lots of variety in this series. The ending may be a bit rushed, but even that one is very thought-provoking.

The soundtrack itself is even better than the one from the first season. It’s also different, but in a good way, full of haunting synthesizers. The animation is also what you’d expect of Bones: detailed, consistent and imaginative.

As for which season is best, it’s really hard to tell because the first and second season are just so completely different. The first season is episodic, the second has a continuous story. My favourite episode of Darker than Black still sits in the first season (the conclusion to the Yin-arc), however the second season is much more consistent. However, the first season in its turn is longer: that second season is really over before you know it! The first season in its turn had more adult themes, but the character-development in the second season also rocks despite the inclusion of teenagers. It’s really impossible to point at one as better, because they both have their own points at which they stand out.

The biggest complaint for Ryuusei no Gemini is simply that it’s too short. There are a few subplots that could have needed a bit more time, and if it had 24 episodes to work with it would have been even better. The really big fans of the first season are also going to have to accept that some of the more prominent characters in the first seasons have really small roles in the second season, in order to allow the new characters to shine. Nevertheless, I liked it a lot. It’s intelligent, exciting, well written, well directed, there are lovable characters. My third-favourite show of the past Autumn season.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Well directed, albeit a bit rushed at times due to the short amount of episodes.
Characters: 9/10 – Well developed new cast plus original use of old cast.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Excellent soundtrack, excellent animation.
Setting: 9/10 – Continues to push Darker than Black’s very creative setting forward.
Posted on with categories: Darker than Black - Ryuusei no Gemini



Yeah, this episode was rushed. There’s no denying that this episode lacked the emotional impact that it could have produced if it took things easy. However, I don’t think that the creators really intended this episode as entertainment, but rather as brainfood. A lot of weird stuff happened here, and you know what? I’m actually still interested. For a Bones Ending, it’s actually not that bad. Plus, that soundtrack was just bloody awesome.

First of all, Shion. I thought that he was really a huge bastard, however his goal was pretty gentle. It turns out that he set out to Tokyo in order to get to the gate, and create a completely copied world in which Suou wouldn’t feel out of place. He hid it well, but I think that he felt really guilty about what he did to her.

The mystery-element here is of course Yin, but we have to wait for the OVAs to get some concrete answers on that. What we do know is that her powers helped Shion complete his plan: she helped him create a copy of the entire earth, and she brought July and Suou there: two children who indeed shouldn’t be involved with these adult struggles. In this episode, it’s also made clear that copies can’t retain their memories for long, so that’s why Suou was experimented with with her necklace. So apparently, Yin also made sure that Suou and the others would be able to survive without this pendant.

Then, the motives of the woman of the CIA: she for some reason was very interested in Shion’s ability to create copies (Hmm, what if one of the twins that’s with her is a copy as well?), and her actions seem to revolve around that. We now know that she helped Shion create his copies, and my guess is that when Shion came with the plan of creating an entire new planet because he didn’t want to involve Suou anymore, I guess she found it an interesting idea and cooperated with him. Her ulterior motives still are a mystery, though.

Then there’s Yin: why the hell are there two of them? The OVA is really going to have to answer that question. Also, the prophecy: Izanami and Izanagi, who we assumed to be Shion and Yin, met, and yet nothing bad happened. Again some OVA material, or perhaps the white Yin was Izanami, and so the disaster could be averted.

Then: Suou and July behaving uncontractor-like. My guess is that it’s got something to do with Hei. He’s always been a big question-mark: he has his sister who lives in him, who may or may not have disappeared completely when his powers were taken away. My guess is that he has some sort of effect on children and teenagers, that allows them to retain their their personality.

In the end, before I started to watch this episode I really think that I’ve been a bit too much spoiled by endings that just spoon-feed their information to the viewer. This episode was a nice wake-up call and it showed the power that these “rushed endings” can have. This episode didn’t treat its audience like idiots, and instead it’s just one of those episodes where if you don’t think about it, you’re going to dislike it.

Overall, I may have said this a bit too often by now, but THIRD SEASON WHERE?! Ryuusei no Gemini really was a really well done side-story, but there’s still so much potential left here in this series. It’s another one in the increasingly long list of shows that desperately need continuations. And yes, I’ve heard about the rumours but I’m not going to get my hopes up until I see official confirmation.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 18 December 2009 with categories: Darker than Black - Ryuusei no Gemini



An excellent build-up for that final episode. My big worry right now is the pacing, because there is A LOT that still needs to be revealed. On top of that, the story needs to reach its conclusion, the themes have to be wrapped up, as well as the ton of side-plots that were going on. Oh, I really hope that the creators are going to be able to pull this off. I won’t mind a few questions left open, but I will mind it if the creators end up rushing though the ending.

And yeah, I was wrong: Suou is the only copy alive at this point: the original doctor survived and instead had a clone of his killed. In the meantime, the real doctor dies in this episode. From a shot in his leg. Seriously, I think that this is the first time in anime in which a character dies from such a minor injury, although it does make sense: he was treated poorly and ended up bleeding to death. Though it gets a bit hard to believe amongst anime where characters survive multiple gunshots without being treated for days in some cases. :P

There’s just one thing… how did the golem guy survive? His fight against Suou doesn’t really make any sense: he was shot in the eye before and he was just fine, and then he gets shot in his forehead, where the impact is apparently strong enough to cause a flesh-wound and knock him unconscious, but nothing more…

I also finally remembered to keep watching after the ED, and those were some major scenes this time: Mao is the blond woman’s former lover? Heh.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 11 December 2009 with categories: Darker than Black - Ryuusei no Gemini



Hell yeah! This series is really coming together quite nicely. It both fits in with the first season and yet has created an entirely new style and mood. With this episode, you can really see that the build-up of the past number of episodes has paid off.

2009 really has been a stellar year for Bones. But yeah, now that we’re near the end of this series, their particular weakness pops up again: their seeming inability to create an actually good ending. I’m really not sure what it is with their series and adaptations, but during the previous summer, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 was the first series I’ve seen from them with an actually good ending. All of the others that I watched so far were either rushed, forced, or just completely ruined their series. And that considering that the rest of their series are often so well produced.

Still, if there’s any series that could break this trend, it’s this one. With so much build-up, it will be a disaster if the ending goes wrong, but you can see that the creators have planned out this series really well. they should have a great ending planned here, if this episode was any indication. The depth it gave to Suou’s character was really remarkable.

This episode also sheds a totally new light on Shion: it’s obvious now that the Doctor who was with him also was just a copy that he created: the real one really was killed by Hei. How he said that Suou needed to learn what pain was was very hypocritical: he himself has no concept of this, since he thinks that he can just clone anything that he loses.

And zomg: Mao’s backstory! it’s strange to see this guy inside a regular human body, but we finally get a good look at how he lost his original body. The question that remains now: why did the Syndicate betray Mao? Was it just because he happened to be on a place that they needed to bomb, (say, an unfortunate sacrifice), or was he specifically targeted?

Also, Hei has frustrations: it’s one thing to torture his victims for information, but to leave such a mutilated body behind… what the heck was he doing to her? O.o
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 5 December 2009 with categories: Darker than Black - Ryuusei no Gemini



I had my doubts when I heard that the goofballs of the first season would return in this episode. Especially combined with Hei, shaving his beard: the creators would have to very skillfully write these final episodes, even more than the previous eight episodes. The danger of this show turning into one that goes into its on direction, yet gives up in the end and simply decides to go with the tried and true formula of the first season would be disastrous.

Instead, what this series now has to do is instead of completely going back to the style of the first season, bring both seasons together: converge the two of them into one. And bloody hell, this episode actually did it.

Of course, this perhaps wasn’t the best episode of the second season, but the two goofballs were a lot less annoying than what I remember them to be. They again had a clear purpose: to form a contrast with the contractors in this series, and they went further than the goofball in this series by actually pushing Suou towards meeting her mother; something that she for some reason didn’t look forward to. It’s a really good episode that contributed to how she’s struggling with her own identity as a contractor, while brilliantly having her avoid the usual angsty indecisive teenager route.

On top of building upon the themes of the second season, this episode was also chockful of references to the first season: Amber seems central to the plot, Hei has cut off his hair and finally has another reason to act like the nice guy he pretended to be in the first season. What’s more, some of the characters of the first season seem vital to the plot of the second season. You can see that the creators have put a lot of thought into it.

That scene in which Suou met her mother surprisingly lacked impact for me, though. I’m not sure what it was, but I was much more interested in just about everything around it. There are still a few huge questions behind it that need answering: why that woman from the CIA direct Suou to her mother? What is she trying to achieve? What has Suou’s mother been up to anyway?

Also, colds in Japan are weird. Instead of taking quite a few days to blow over, you simply faint, sleep and it usually completely disappears after a few hours. Either that or a lot of Japanese mistake colds for anemia, which is also much more common than where I live…
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 27 November 2009 with categories: Darker than Black - Ryuusei no Gemini



Oh, the soundtrack for this series rocks. I consider it to be even better than the one from the first season. What I only noticed right now however is that Yoko Kanno didn’t write it this time. Instead, it seems to have been composed by a voice-actor, of all people. It’s the guy who voiced Hamdo in Now and Then, Here and There and Shou Taishi in Saiunkoku Monogatari, among many others. I’m really not sure where he got the idea of composing a soundtrack from, but he did a bloody brilliant job at it.

In any case, this episode yet again showed off this series’ wonderful style of storytelling, which is brutally direct, and also creative and very exciting during the action-scenes, even though the action itself is in no way over the top. In Darker than Black, fights rarely end with everyone retreating with minor wounds. In this series, battles are fought with the intent to kill. Take that, shounen-series!

But seriously though, I didn’t quite think that even Tanya was no exception to this rule. Here I thought that the creators were saving her for the big climax in which Suou manages to settle their differences, despite being contractors… and here this episode just unceremoniously kills them off. Her death wasn’t in vain, though: it was a great opportunity to show that teenaged contractors indeed have bugs inside of them. This series has mentioned it before, and it’s an interesting concept that in the world of contractors, there also still exist contractors that need to grow up. it also fits really well in the development between Hei and Suou, and you can see that the creators spend some time into this.

On top of that, the mystery has also thickened. What the heck was Shion doing there? I this some kind of double red herring? That their father needed Suou the most so he pretended that Shion was the most important one so that she wouldn’t catch suspension? Heh, some father.

Also, why does Misaki have a portrait of a black cat hanging on her wall?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Mario's youtube link had cgi models of rem and ram in the video.
Masky
I'm confused when was Rem even mentioned
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only ever watched he-man and stuff related to it in passing when I was younger, Conan was more my thing back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For so long I'd always referred to she-ra as she-man.
AidanAK47
@Mario, What is this heresy!
....
....Rems always cute.
Anonymous3084910
Hilda is fine, though is very laidback kinda like a young reader's novel. It has its moments but its fantasy with slice-of-life coming of age.
Anonymous3084910
@SuperMario Yeah I know, She Ra is the twin sister of He Man. But strangely it seems Dreamworks may not have the right to those characters. It was a marketing idea trying to bring more girls to that universe but like most girls show from the time it had a very flat depiction of what little girls want to see.
SuperMario
Sorry Aidan, I know it's blasphemy but I have to post here. Enjoy the OP song with the twins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9MUjISNm0U&index=4&list=PLU56jBSlcHw8-ol9Hi4lJ0GR0tU6EOf2a
SuperMario
I'll probably check out Hilda. Heard a lot of hypes about that show
SuperMario
@Vonter: I've heard of She-Ra, she's the female counterpart (well, sister) of He-Man (the most powerful man in the universe and the secret identity of Prince Adam). Sounds silly but I'm not even kidding
Vonter
All in all, despite not being a big thing, I think is an enjoyable recommendation. My only nitpick is that it maybe too light hearted for some kinda like above My Little Pony but below something Voltron. Also despite being less childish than the original is still kinda of girly with lots of pastel colors although it balances it a bit having girls being more tomboyish in different degrees.
Vonter
Like with Voltron it amuses me seeing anime tropes being played through western lens. Since I'm a bit hesitant to say that could this count as a harem series despite not being male gaze moments? Also having the most sensible hotspring episode I've seen.
Vonter
In this one this She Ra has pathos. A bit like Korra there's doubt in her role and also a complicated relationship with her rival. I do like the role reversal in the knight's tale this clearly is, in that most roles that would be played by men are played by women in this story. Matriarchy, displacement of both femminine beauty but also empowerment.
Vonter
So I've watched some of the new She Ra from Netflix. So far I'm in, it's not deep but it's quite charismatic. I do like there's more pathos in regards to these characters which pretty much were confined to their archetype to an extreme like the original Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It manages to make watching something like running engaging, when I'd otherwise probably not watch the sport. Also, last week the show ended up popping into my head when I was sitting around doing pretty much nothing and made me think "Ok fuck it, not sitting around doing nothing, going to go out for a run around the block"
Lenlo
I also agree, characters losing in sports is important. They can't start at the top, it makes the series lose meaning
Lenlo
I quite enjoyed Kaze Fui this week. I think your correct that the one who got the reality check was Kurahara, who thought he was the only one able to actually make it. I also thing that he has a competitive streak a mile wide, and might be a little afraid of failure. Doesnt think the team can make it, so why bother
Kaiser-Eoghan
Think I wasn't i the mood for honda-san this week even though I laughed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I like it when sports series actually show the characters you know...actually lose.
Anonymous3083989
Huh, interesting in this episode of Kaze ga that it's Kakeru who got a reality check during the track meet since he was beaten by two other runners. I think we're due for an episode soon where he has to confront his past demons instead of fleeing from them.
Anonymous3083626
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aging in fiction, I think has more to do with the story than the characters. I mean the jokes about Ash Ketchum, Detective Conan, Archie. The Flinstones tried to make different stories by aging Pebbles and Bam Bam. Or Batman having two Robins graduating into their own heroes. But in the end dynamics change, hence why most cartoons don't age the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is why when aging does occur in anime/manga, such as in vinland saga or nanoha for example, its appreciated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course, animated characters often don't age much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember enjoying the simpsons movie back when I watched it, but thinking about it it really was just an extended episode. Really the show peaked with the who shot Mr Burns episode. Catching bits of recent episodes and seeing them use modern stuff while they never age seems weird too.
Amagi
I do think series are allowed to move forward though, I am kinda interested in the Pkmn movie for example. But certain shows should just end, Simpsons for example was a parody of the 90s, it just can't work in a more modern setting IMO.
Amagi
I stopped with the Simpsons when Maude was killed/died, it was just a step in the wrong direction they should have never done and it killed the series for me. I disliked it before already though, I think I noticed the series getting worse since season..9? Or 10, not sure anymore.
Amagi
Anime for Dorohedoro announced.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Therefore ruining the fanservice fun for everybody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite beach episodes are ones where it rains and they end up not being able to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After that it was just the film for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually, regarding the simpsons, the episode I stopped on was sometime in the early 2000s, Homer was stuck on some island resort or something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose it was just as much a case of falling out of watching/playing too and then there being so many episodes/games catchup was impossible. I probably should read the manga someday.
Anonymous3081957
@Kaiser-Eoghan -Kinda like Sponge Bob, Power Rangers or The Simpsons, I can't blame those who move forward, It's imposible for a show to go that long without losing steam. I did check the Sun and Moon first season and while I think the personality and energy is better it doesn't exactly push the concept forward. Still somehow Pokemon is still a phenomenon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Very strange hearing a Pikachu talk with Ryan Reynolds voice. But my days of pokemon are behind me.
KyokoHyuga
?????
KyokoHyuga
who likes pokemon here
SuperMario
@Amagi: I think the person who made the sub for Maquia did a pretty neat job. Not perfect but the translation flows well
Vonter
We've seen realistic Pokémon fanart, but how does a movie looks when it attempts it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8CKgQFo5U8
Amagi
How are the subs for Maquia? I only heard anons complain about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*dealing with
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you should really torrent it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is 1080p stream on kiss anime, if you hate deal with the ads on that site the 4up stream on anilinkz has the best quality of the available links
Lenlo
Where did you see Maquia online? I still need to watch it. PM it to me on discord maybe? Pretty please? <3
SuperMario
One fact that not many people know is that Penguin Highway is penned by Tomihiko Morimi. It indeed has many Morimi's signature inputs
SuperMario
This year, I'm doing well with catching up anime films (kudos for Australian's Madman who always license these titles very quickly). So far, I've watched Mirai, Maquia, Penguin Highway, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas and My Hero Academia the Movie
SuperMario
So I watched two anime movies this last week, Penguin Highway in theatre and Maquia online. Both of them are pretty solid in general, especially Penguin that has magical realism elements and some great chemistry. Whereas Mari Okada's writting still rubs me in the wrong way sometimes
Lenlo
D: He did, back in August actually apparently
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I heard Dino's voice actor died.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we all took Goblin slayers attitude to trolls, then we would more easily ignore the trolls =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Big twist in the golden kamuy manga.
Animosh
@SuperMario: remember that in the voice drama Rikka mentioned talking to Yuuta in their classroom during the ball game. Pretty sure it's about that.
SuperMario
@Animosh: i just watched the episode and noticed the lyrics as well. "The Promise" seems vague at the moment. Could be between Yuuta and whoever fits but I agree the "save someone from boredom" is about Akane
Animosh
You learn something every day. ;) Honestly though, I actually skipped the opening, so I hadn't even noticed that it had been translated until others pointed it out. And most of the time the lyrics are just cheesy one-liners, so I usually don't pay much attention to them either. But once in a while there's some nice hints hidden in there...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I never really ever paid attention to the lyrics in anime openings, I'd never thought to.
Animosh
The Gridman OP has been translated for the first time, and there's some pretty interesting reveals in there: it mentions a "promise" made in a classroom (so now we know how Yuuta and Rikka bonded in the past - glad it wasn't a simple confession), and talks of "rescuing" someone (presumably Akane) from boredom. So I guess she'll join the good guys eventually?
Lenlo
1200 words. I need to stop writing so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't seen last weeks episode of Irozuku or this weeks =< I'm waiting now for a bit to see if the series paysoff.
Animosh
Goddamn those magic segments in Irozuku were stunning! It's a shame its humdrum drama can't live up to its visual beauty, but I'll take it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think Ash's design is based a bit on River phoneix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry Eiji but your Ash is in another castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I was about to say that. Kidnapping gets used alot in shojo.
Anonymous3072040
Yeah Ash is basically Princess Peach
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I share your concerns, I don't know what studio is doing it. Some people want it to be mappa, some don't want it to be polygon pictures to adapt it. Its and long and violent manga, with some very funny at times dark humour, it could end up rushed and/or censored.
Anonymous3072021
As much as I love Dorohedoro I'm unsure if I should be happy or worried at it getting an adaptation, it isn't exactly the kind of story I imagine being easy to adapt well.
Lenlo
Yeah, I am touching on that in my writeup as we speak. The compressed story is causing Ash to be captured every other week.
Animosh
I agree Banana Fish was great this week though! My only gripe is that I'm getting sick and tired of seeing Ash get kidnapped again and again. He just escaped a couple of episodes ago! And he's just a lot more fun to watch when he's out there doing stuff.
Animosh
In a way the fights actually feel more realistic to me than those in Banana Fish. Sure, they're fantastical, bizarre even, but its battle system has a clear internal logic, and generally no power is infallible (each has its limitations). In Banana Fish the fights are rather poorly thought out by comparison. Their purpose is more to make Ash look cool than to give him realistic hurdles to overcome.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what sets Jojo apart from other battle shounen for me is how ridiculously creative its fights can get. Part 2 already shows some signs of this, but the introduction of the Stand system in Part 3 pushes it to another level, and in Part 4 the fights are consistently awesome. There are no simple beam struggles here: every fight is a battle of wits, between people with wildly different powers
Niel
Vinland Saga anime, and Now Dorohedoro just got announced. i'm really liking this trend.
Lenlo
Lots to writeup on Banana Fish this week.
Lenlo
Just finished it, I really like Blanca.
Lenlo
Because Jackie Chan and his stunt crew are some of the best in the world. There is a reason he has to insure his guys from his own pocket. No agency will take them
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have no idea how the hell Jackie Chan is still alive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Action works best for me when I really feel that theres danger involved. Thats why when some actors do their own stunts, you can fear for the actors life, and also the character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And thats why I'm a big fan of all that Chinese martial arts stuff from the 60s and 70s, that really expertly crafted chereography.
Lenlo
As for action, I like good choreography more than any super powers. Its why Cowboy Bebop, Seirei no Moribito, Sword of the Stranger and some Naruto fights are fantastic.
Lenlo
Im about to watch this weeks episode, so this chat makes me hopeful. I agree Ash and Eiji are the backbone of the series, and yeah me and Kaiser both agreed that the Gang war aspect was pretty weak, though I thought the finish with Arthur wasnt half bad
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think Banana fish has a great grit to it for this reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even more thankful to Banana fish too for that it keeps the action within the bounds of out of fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've always been kind of a guns and swords and kungfu gut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Black lagoons great example of anime action I can get behind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always found weapon combat and fist/kicking combat more raw and real,tangible than beamspam.
Anonymous3070972
But yeah if you're not a fan supernatural power fantasy action shounens, then maybe not your cup of tea, and that's totally cool
Anonymous3070972
Oh also if I'm recommending a fight from part 4, I'd say check out Highway Star
Anonymous3070972
Kira is a pretty cool villain though; he's always underpowered compared to the main heroes, but manages to somehow get out of the situation with luck or smarts; if nothing else, I'd recommend watching some Youtube clips
Anonymous3070972
*Turn off. lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its more than, even when I was younger supernatural power fantasy action shounen never appealed to me.
Anonymous3070972
Admittedly JoJo always has bad with exposition though, and always will be just due to the style, so that can definitely be a turn on for some people
Anonymous3070972
If you like slice of life with hijinks and a murder mystery combined with cool battles, you'll like part 4
Anonymous3070972
Yeah I can see why you might not like part 1 & 2, they were made in the 80s; I'd recommend part 4 and part 5 (ongoing rn) tbh, I feel like those are better for a modern viewing experience
Anonymous3070972
I used to think that BF's greatest strength was the plot; know I realize it's really about Ash & Eiji's connection first and foremost: as good as the plot can be, Ash & Eiji's relationship is absolutely the backbone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Also that scene where Ash is thinking to himself, looking over Eiji.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nah, I pretty much gave up on jojo midway through part 2.
Anonymous3070771
Also, anybody notice Blanca's VA is Kira (from Diamond is Unbreakable)? What a wonderful duwang!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: The producer guy Miyano is voicing, much like the show is irritating because the show has this "look at me look at me" feel to it, it just comes off as desperate to me and this is just going by the one episode I watched and hated.
Anonymous3070771
What's that damn piano song that plays when Ash and Eiji are talking about Japan. It's too good. For some reason, it's really magical
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I was the one who said that.
@Niello: You don't need to see steins; gate zero, myself and lenlo discussed it to death as it was airing, its all over the place. I like the original too but after a while of the first half being fun, I just wanted it to start.
Anonymous3070771
Phew, great episode of BF; whoever said the gang war stuff was the weakest point was right. this stuff is getting fantastic again.
Niello
Also I agree, Zombieland first episode was amazing, second episode is still rather great, and then the other episodes have just been meh.
Niello
In Zombieland it doesn't help that the character he's voicing with that tone is an asshole, which isn't a good combination because it's making him more annoying by the episode.
Niello
Steins;Gate is pretty good, but I don't think I like it nearly as much as most people do (I gave it a 7/10). I also haven't bothered with Steins;Gate 0. And although I didn't mind Myano in Steins;Gate, I didn't particularly like his voice there either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the sombreness of Blanca's character. Poor Ash, so broken in this episode.
AidanAK47
Yeah after episode 2 it's been a downgrade. Zombieland is still alright to watch but it really has become what it parodied.
Vonter
Zombieland sadly has winded down. I mean it was expected but still I was hoping some more creative attempts to use in the typical genre. It'll have been better if they had waken up more slowly in order to flesh the archetypes a bit more. It still has charismatic moments though.
Lenlo
Really Niello? See, I like it because it's the voice we never got in Steins;Gate 0. Its Okabe's Kyouma voice, and I have a nostalgic love for it
Masky
Wasn't gyary isekai another one that existed?
Niello
I hate Miyano voice in Zombieland Saga and find him annoying tbh.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am getting sick of self aware humour though. I see this show as something that was fun to make (such as Miyano seems to be feeling based on performances) but not fun for me to watch and that kind of extends to the manager who while I agree would be the best part of the show, I stopped finding funny after the joke was done.
Lenlo
For me, the main selling point of Zombieland Saga was always Miyano. I love this mans crazy voice.

And in regards to Isekai, discounting this most recent one, SAO actually is pretty good this season so far. Kirito is still bland, but its taking things a lot slower and actually building the world. Its taking its time with 52 episodes
Kaiser-Eoghan
By the sound of it, if some who liked the first episodes don't care for the ones beyond those two episode, then I'm glad I stopped watching.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did flick through episode 2 but the rap battle thing was particularly awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I couldn't stand the humour and have up on the show after the first half of episode 1.
Anonymous3065780
What Zombieland does have that Ore doesn't is better animation and Miyano hamming it up. But that's all it has going for it at the moment.
Anonymous3065780
You have a few "ha ha look at this" moments scattered here and there like how Ore episode 5 was basically one big middle finger to the nature of anime production, or Zombieland's Tae Yamada. But the parody value from the first two episodes is all but gone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Its in part my own fault , I jumped the gun in the first half of episode one then all goodwill I had for it died after the first couple of minutes.
Anonymous3065780
@Kaiser Same here. Very disappointed that Zombieland is going down the same route that Mahou Shoujo Ore went down: basically becoming what it purported to parody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Every isekai that pops up in recent seasons, I simply just ignore it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On another note, surely I'm not the only one who dropped zombieland saga? I'm not alone am I?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean, I've never seen an episode of konosuba or rezero and refuse to , no game no life is a series of two halves, I barely watched any of gate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the only one I can say I care about is Tanya.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I think I've done a fairly good job at avoiding the modern isekai thing, I've never actually cared enough to sit through one fully beyond the first season of log horizon, 4 seasons of zero no tsukaima. Other than that I've seen maybe 7 episodes of sword art . Never seen a single episode of overlord and won't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I'm also glad their mentioning stuff like the peoples will, the historical assassination of the Russian emperor. I enjoy the tidbits of historical reference for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: But I don't think the animation is as good as it should be in the anime adaptation and its not as violent as the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I am up to date on the manga, the post first scene chapters that have caught my attention most have been Edogai, the big scenes in the prison and that bonnie and clyde duo.
Anonymous3065196
@SuperMario Are you watching GK s2? Any thoughts on it since you aren't covering this weekly?
Anonymous3065196
I think I laughed more from this than most of the comedies airing right now thanks to these bizarre situations and characters they're introducing.
Anonymous3065196
The anime is now covering the parts in the manga where things get a lot more dramatic, and a lot more weird and oddly hilarious.
Anonymous3065196
Wonder if anyone is still watching Golden Kamuy? We're way past the embarrassing CG bear.
Kaiser-Eoghan
A polar bear isekai exists.
AidanAK47
@Anon, it will be after in another world but a polar bear but before the gyarus in another world Isekai.
MaskyAtPublicComputer
Nobody could care about world building not really making sense or being inconsistent if it didn't have the grimderp parts that cause internet flame wars
MaskyAtPublicComputer
So it goes back to what I said: GS at its core is about (at least seemingly) about cool gorey tactical action with some character study of what its like to be broken person like GS is, but rape stuff just kinda ruins it for most people and it doesn't handle subject well
MaskyAtPublicComputer
gear doesn't rust and break down
MaskyAtPublicComputer
Anyhoo, I might remember wrong, but didn't GS purposedly use lower quality gear that has danger of breaking down in middle of combat? Thats kinda what I meant with "apparently using average quality gear is too dangerous", especially since its kinda hard to believe goblins could repurpose armor used by humans for themselves. I'm completely okay with him not using magical gear since D&D wise magical
MaskyAtPublicComputer
Like, you can't be like "Aha, characters think they are in JRPG, but its actually tabletop rpg oh wait no, it still follows realistic logic instead of tabletop rpg rules"
MaskyAtPublicComputer
See, barbarians in D&D don't wear armor because they are stronger without it, sure they have lower AC, but they have lot of health so they can tank a hit. So showing barbarian adventure dying in one hit because they were stupid enough to not wear armor just comes across as "So wait, is this supposed to be realistic, tabletop rpg or JRPG or what?"
MaskyAtPublicComputer
@AidanAK47: That IS actually part of reason why I said GS' author isn't thinking it through with world building. See, I actually think world being gods' D&D campaign does actually explain lot of details about how things don't make sense and it does fit with GS being D&D inspired, but that is another example of how GS is inconsistent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Perhaps not the strongest episode of honda-san, but the golden kamuy and Brazilian guy bit made up for it.
Lenlo
I might give it a watch after Kaze Fui finishes and write that up, just for you then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The anime kind of feels a bit live actiony, which I know sounds confusing to hear, what I mean is the character designs.
Anonymous3060338
I'm very interested in doing a comparison between the anime adaptation and the live-action adaptation of Kaze ga once the series concludes next year just because these are two different mediums adapting the same novel. I would really like to know what they had to change or cut to get it down to 2 hours, compared to this two-cour series.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*storytelling
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Featured Posts

Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-San – 6 [The Man with a Secret Power/Our Fair-Day War]

Welcome fellow book lovers, to another dip into Honda-San! This week was a bit dull as we learn about the difficulties of stocking, but the second half manages to pick it back up. Lets jump in! So overall this week of Honda-San was pretty disappointing for me. Like usual it had some good gags in […]

SSSS.GRIDMAN – 06 [Contact]

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Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara – 06 [Golden Fish]

Irozuku takes us to episode 6 for something significant happen, but even then it’s decidedly under-dramatic. This week, we have a whole lot more of magical moments that certainly are the feast to the eyes, and develop many underlying themes of its narrative. The central of the conflict this week is Hitomi and Aoi, as […]

Zombieland Saga – 04-06[Warming Dead SAGA/The Nice Bird SAGA in Your Heart/Because It’s Sentimental SAGA]

Forgive me for my lack of coverage on this series but you may have guessed that my enthusiasm for it has died down considerably. I always felt that Zombieland Saga was in danger of losing what made it great in its first two episodes and sadly that has come to pass. This show has ultimately […]

Banana Fish – 18 [Islands in the Stream]

Ah Banana Fish, back in form this week. Ash and Eiji act like a married couple, Blanca show’s everyone whose boss and Yut continues to have no idea what’s going on. Lets jump in! On a general note Banana Fish is really picking back up. The Gang War/Hospital were easily the weakest part of the […]

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai – 05-06[All the lies I have for you/This world you chose]

Thus we hit the end of another arc and admit it wasn’t a particularly interesting one due to not much being at stake. The characters helped keep it from getting boring but the main conflict was obvious from the start and the solution even more so. So to get things in perspective, Koga and Sakato […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 6 [The Emperor’s New Clothes]

Hello and welcome to another, if slower than normal, week of Kaze Fui! This time we have friendship, training and Haiji continues to get off scott-free! Lets jump in! Now Kaze Fui this week was, in my opinion, a bit of a non-starter. I don’t think it really addressed or dealt with many of the […]

Planetes – 7 & 8 [Extraterrestrial Girl/A Place to Cling To] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome one and all to another week of Planetes, continuing Throwback Thursday! This week we have a beautiful contrast of Life and Death in space followed by a lighthearted affirming of the group dynamic. Lets jump in! Before I get into actual plot elements, I want to once again praise Planetes for its use of […]

Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-San – 5 [It’s a Book Signing!! Everyone Gather Up / A Fascinating Erotic Story]

Another week, another 10 minutes well spent with Honda-San. This time we have Golden Kamuy references, a Brazilian and lots, ridiculous amounts really, of gay Erotica. Lets jump in! To be honest, Honda-San started off worrying me this week. It wasn’t until maybe the 3 minute mark that it seemed to pick up. I think […]

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Castlevania Season 2 Review – 72/100

According to much of the Western Anime community, this series wouldn’t be relevant for a site like this. Being made in the West by Americans, and English being its first language, many would disqualify it from the start. However I name them all fools for Castlevania, Directed by Sam Deats and Ryoichi Uchikoshi is clearly […]

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A quick and dirty review of Angolmois: Record of the Mongol Invasion

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Steins;Gate 0 Anime Review – 60/100

Before I begin this review in earnest, I have to ask, who doesn’t know about Steins;Gate? The amazing, beloved original series that Steins;Gate 0 is an offshoot of. Well if you don’t, if you haven’t seen the original, then stop now. Steins;Gate 0 is not worth it. It is not for you. Without having seen […]

Mirai (2018) Movie Review – 81/100

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