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
SuperMario
haha, Aidan: heartless grumpy monster & Mario: sentimental sappy bloke. Readers, you got yourself quite an odd combination of writers here.
Anonymous951955
We'll see; trailers can give false impressions
Anonymous951955
Not that all changes from source adaptations are terrible, but in this case, at least the trailer makes it look pretty bad.
Anonymous951955
It looks not great; I understand the need to change it a bit to suit the format/audience, but at what point does it turn from adaption to "loosely based on"?
HelghastKillzone
I'm glad we're past the phase of moe club shows.
AidanAK47
@Helghast, now that's something I never thought I would hear.
HelghastKillzone
Hell ya. We are in a golden age of anime that is filled with options and quality.
Anonymous951809
What a great week! Iron Blooded Orphans, Onihei, Little Witch Academia and ACCA 13 all had great episodes! I am spoiled!
Anonymous950847
@Anon and @Aikan

The LoGH manga remake has been out. It did not work for me.

I hope he anime goes its own way. I do trust Production IG, so I hope. I think it might not be this year. No lgoic, just a hunch.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Only info I can find is that it's coming out this year and it will be by Production IG. But I think you are right in that if it;s coming this year it will definitely be winter.
Feeling rather cautious about the remake myself. LoGH is dated visually but in a way it is a product of it's time and things you could forgive in the old version wouldn't be so forgivable in the new.
Anonymous949997
Does anybody know when that LoGH readaptation is coming? It's supposed to be this year right? Probably winter right?
SuperMario
But I will give it a full review anyways because all the amount of time I spent in that series should be paid off somehow, right?
Kaiser-Eoghan
But serious Gohands is a studio that had potential its just a shame its wasted on rubbish writers. Although I did like mardock scramble, because cyberpunk =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I met handshakers in public I'd refuse to shake its hand =D
SuperMario
Oh, it's actually just an extra Hand Shakers episode that serves as a prequel story. Not that bad then
SuperMario
Not to disregard Hand Shakers, but the best way to describe how I feel about that series is mind-numbing
Kaiser-Eoghan
They tried with that Military guy and his daughter but not by much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I do agree that there needs to be more to the characters, right now its JUST Tanya.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As for Tanya, having caught up with it, its a nice trashy guilty pleasure, especially due to the protagonist and I enjoy the setting because I'm a war film fan and like some of the action/politicking. I still do wish it was aesthetically a bit better. The dub isn't that bad and I'd welcome a second season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In an ideal world Kino's journey would have been a good model for what light novel adaptations can be and SHOULD be.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we must have more light novel adaptations, I would prefer them to be like Tanya, Muvluv, okay hardly breathtaking, but still better than that thing Aidan linked.
Lenlo
*Sigh* It looks exactly how I imagined it would and its terrible.
Lenlo
Please dont tell me thats an actual title.
AidanAK47
In another world with my smart phone light novel to get an anime.

Oh my god...This literally sounds like a joke title you would see within an anime. Tried giving it an honest chance by reading it and it's just shit. Just pure terrible.
AidanAK47
If people in Japan are actually buying blurays thinking its a good show then something is seriously wrong with the world.
AidanAK47
@Topgavin, maybe too many people watched it because it was so terrible. I haven't watched past episode 1 but it doesn't sound like it improved.
Topgavin
Just incase you guys were avidly waiting for the announcement, Hand Shakers is getting a prequel season because it's apparently selling well......
SuperMario
Should be happy for it, though I'm a bit disappointed that I can't be able to cover it
SuperMario
Inside Mari gets live-action series adaptation. Why not anime?? Duh
Spike
Little Witch Academia finally tips it's hand on the overall plot! I'm pretty pleased and think some direction might help bump it up from just being 'good' overall.
HelghastKillzone
@KTravlos Still watching it week by week and I'll write up a review on the second season of Iron-Blooded when it ends.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: It is however the kind of anime film that would have the wide audience appeal though, as in anime for people who don't watch anime.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: just prove that people has paid attention to anime. That's an encouraging sign actually
Kaiser-Eoghan
Feck, silent voice was booked out when I got there just now....should have booked in advance, showing at 7:00 on Friday booking it now.
SuperMario
@KTravlos: I haven't, but that more because I'm not a big fan of Mecha genre. I believe one of our writer HelghastKillzone still follow the series
KTravlos
No idea, if you are all still watching MS Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans. I am, and while the 2nd Season toned down some of the elements that made the 1st Season good, it is still pretty good with the last episode doing a great job. If it keeps it, it definitely is head to head with Turn A Gundam for my favorite long-form Gundam Series (I am doing Gundam Origins for the original story)
Lenlo
Mhmm. It was one of those shows it weave adult themes into a kids show, so it had something for both. Now I can also appreciate the artstyle that doesnt use hard black outlines for everything.
AidanAK47
If anything I get so much more out of Samurai Jack now than when I watched it as a kid.
Lenlo
Love that dude Aidan. And yes Kaiser, I think anyone get enjoy it now. I love that its back, but even without that its easily standing on its own
Kaiser-Eoghan
How much of this love of samurai jack is a nostalgia driven thing? I'm not knocking that nostalgia but would it be possible to get something out of the show now if I never watched it when I was younger?
Lenlo
Yeah, that conversation was great. Really shows you how messed up hes become. Its also amazing when you realize that was the last set of spoken dialogue in the episode. There was not a single word uttered in the second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The audience who enjoyed samurai Jack has grown up, them bringing up seppuku and blood is possibly a part of that.
AidanAK47
Scene with the coffins was awesome as was the fight in the dark. My personal favorite part of the episode though was Jack arguing with his old design self. And young jack suggesting committing seppuku made my eyebrows raise. I mean..damn.
Lenlo
I agree Aidan. That quick shot of Jack vs the Daughter, with the sudden blood, suprised me as much as it did Jack. I really loved the scene with the coffins. The music nad sound was just great there.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, It was a really great episode. I love the meta of Jack being worn down by the wait and the wait the viewers had to endure for the new season. I is rather odd seeing blood in Samurai Jack though but it does make that particular moment have so much more impact.
Topgavin
April 16th for NZ. It is a lesser known movie than Kimi no na wa though, so I do wonder how available it's going to be in cinemas
Lenlo
This second episode of Jack was really just amazing. Its making full use of the new budget/tech for the art and of the new rating, along with the impact the timeskip would have on Jack. The cinematography was superb as well.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Koe ko machi will creen in Aussie in the beginning of April as well. I'll go to watch it; but I would love to jear your thoughts on the movie.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a preview screening of koe to kachi on Monday night, depending I may go, I may review it or at least talk about it on here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm dying waiting for the Blame! anime film adaptation to come out in May. I've wanted an adaptation for years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I'm too much of a cheap-ass to actually buy anything, don't even use legal streaming for films or anime/manga/comics, pirate almost everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or shelves for that matter.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've fallen out of the collectors thing pretty much entirely. I don't like to advertise any of my interests on my bedroom wall either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Some years ago I ended up selling almost all of my anime dvds/vhs and manga, comic books aswell, took down my posters and moved what figures I had left into attic boxes , just no space for it and it was a good way to get some quick extra cash.
Lenlo
I love Rakugo as well, im not meaning to bad talk it at all. I simply also agree with Aiden that slow rolling us with Yakumo's death was poorly done and that its feeling stretched.
Topgavin
Nevermind, the $30 price tag made that decision for me
Topgavin
Weird how I see $8 movies on youtube as a ripoff yet a $90 series as a bargain. All these $300 box sets made me think it'd be in the hundreds. Wonder if I should get rebellion too
SuperMario
I'm still pretty much a fan of Rakugo this season. It goes much darker than the first season, something I didn't dare to think before consider this isYotaro's story. Would love to see more about rakugo's industry but this season does flesh out a lot of our core characters
Kaiser-Eoghan
I said it before but I'll bring it up again, the slow pace allows for, when big things happen to have a larger impact when they do.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*In
**and(not on) waiting for the series to finish
Anonymous935946
Season 1 showed a lot more, different periods and times, the development of Rakugo, the tragedy of Sukeroku & Miyokichi (or at least one version). In contrast, season 2 was basically about Sukeroku's legacy in the form of Yotaro and Konatsu and their kids, and Yakumo's relationship with death, changing from fatalistic to happiness over the course of the series.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think it might be 13 episodes, the first season had 13.
Anonymous935946
To be honest, I understand your point: It's hard to actually describe what happened in season 2. I guess I became invested into Yakumo in season 1, and then warmed up to Yota and Konatsu in this season.
Anonymous935946
Yeah, I think they certainly could have compressed the front half of the season. There wasn't too much plot going on, but I enjoyed the characters and their interactions, so I didn't mind the deliberate pacing.
Lenlo
I still really like Rakugo, its really good, it just probably didnt need 12 episodes. That said, really lookin forward to the timeskip
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I've never actually seen any of Olivier Asayas' films come to think of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But going back to that dragging on, that did factor in almost making me hold off on waiting for the series to finish before going back. The anon's comment was what got me to watch this weeks episode right now rather than waiting till later.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Rakugo remains at this point still going in too long, but in fairness to the anon, yes the episodes conclusion was effective on emotional level and I bought into the dreamy atmosphere, largely due to the good cinematography the series uses.
Lenlo
Really? Im torn. Im glad they didnt bait and switch us again, but I always liked how grounded Rakugo was so im not sure how ok I am with the supernatural part and some of it felt like fanservice in regards to bringing characters back. The VA though is fantastic as always and I am definitely looking forward to this last timeskip. Cant wait to see the kids grown up.
Anonymous935526
Rakugo was otherworldly today. Not going to lie, was fighting tears back, but failed at the end.
SuperMario
@Topgavin: the bluray goes by region as well so you can only buy it in Australia/NZ region (region 4). For Madoka I still find it easiest to just go to JB Hi Fi and buy it. Sometimes I find it cheaper from JB Hi Fi than even their original distribution company.
AidanAK47
@Topgavin, I ordered my Madoka bluray's from Amazon.co.uk.
Topgavin
Where do you guys buy your merch? Was looking into buying the Madoka blurays but can't find a reliable place to ship to NZ.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: nah, Personal Shopper isn't even a horror. It's just a failed arthouse that have little to say except grief.
SuperMario
...even now. For Raw, I would never expect the positive reactions from mainstream. I think the film really push the tolerance of the voewers, but it was a refrrshing watch.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: now you mentioned 2 films thay I really fond of. I come from Vietnam, so I could easily tell you that the settings are staged. The dialogue is pretty unnatural as well, but the movie grows a lot on me. I still love the striking visual and a long, slow mood the film evoke, and It speaks to one of the theme (women's identity in Vietnam society) that speaks well to me and still relevant...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Is personal shopper really that mediocre a horror film?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I also got back from seeing Raw a couple of hours ago, though the violence was enjoyable I was expecting it to be more so, it was also surprisingly funny at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I did eventually see Scent of Green Papaya, while I did like that a plot actually did appear later on I was mostly content to find it a really pretty looking and generally relaxing film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: =< Sorry that anon post was me, was using the work computer and didn't log in.
AidanAK47
@Anon, don't do that. Don't hint at future events and just let people see for themselves.
Anonymous930711
The glasses teacher in scum's wish will have an interesting moment to look out for in the coming episodes, I read on in the manga. Only one chapter left.
SuperMario
*ED instead of OD
SuperMario
@anon928813: usually they will release the music separately from the DVD/Blurays. I believed the OP had released last year, and according to their website the OD gonna release in 5th of April
Anonymous928813
Does anyone know the release date for Zaregoto's OST? Is it bundled with one of the BDs?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I'd like to see this Akane-sensei girl attempt to seduce me and just watch her fail at trying to do so.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My guess is that Miura will do another 6 or so chapter run then put it down for another while.
Lenlo
Im so happy Berserk Manga is starting up again, but im curious for how long. I remember sitting through that boat. I was there for all 7 years of it. Im like a hiatus vet now
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pretty much in agreement on titan where after what the first season covers I've pretty much been waiting for it to get back on track before I bother to get back to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I should be catching up and sangatsu and acca.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never saw kekkai sensens first season so there's little chance of me watching the sequel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Berserk and Natsume I'll just stick with the manga. I don't know about Bahamut, it took me a few episodes to get into before it became fun, but then the ending was disappointing, again maybe there's room for improvement in season 2.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would hope that eccentric families second season would be able to live up to the potential of building on the first. However it's been a while since I've seen season one, might need to refresh myself.
SuperMario
For the Spring season, it is a season of sequels. From sequels alone, I'll follow Berserk, Eccentric Family, BBB, My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan, Natsume (is it the last season?), How to Raise a Boring girlfriend. I dropped Shingeki no Bahamut after 3 episodes, but might pick it up again before the new season begin.
SuperMario
Before that, Utena and Haruhi.
SuperMario
Gotta love the extend a passionate fan would go. The last time I felt passionate about something anime-wise was Monogatari as there was a period of several months that I watched nothing but that series, and rewatched and rewatched. It just clicked with me personally at that stage of my life.
Lenlo
At this point, ill watch/read anything with Berserk on it. I already own all of the original print runs of the Manga. If I had the money, I would buy everything else.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: I'll be on the same boat with you regarding Berserk. I know I CAN ENDURE it (finger crossed)
Lenlo
Man, your season preview reminded me I soon have to watch another season of CGI Berserk. Im not going to like it, but its a trial I must go through as a hardcore Berserk fan.
Lenlo
Im glad they didnt lose the funny robots in their pursuit of the Grimdark
Lenlo
That flute into Skatman-like singing was great
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I had the biggest smile when Jack destroyed the robots flute and he started singing with his mouth. Looking at clips of the show on youtube I don't think I appreciated just how funny this show was. Also digging Jacks PTSD and the daughters of Aku.
Lenlo
Dude has problems and I loved the singing robot
Lenlo
Have to say, enjoyed seeing Jack again.
Lenlo
Thanks Aidan! Cant wait to watch it tonight
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I suppose it is moreso samurai Jack wasn't really a large part of my childhood.
AidanAK47
Don't know how it is for security but I never really had trouble with it.
Lenlo
Love me some Samurai Jack though
Lenlo
It may just be Malwarebytes actin up. Ill look into it and if its a false flag check it out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never really had any opinion of samurai Jack when it was airing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh I'm enthusiastic about Kino season 2, but I want to be cautiously optimistic just in case.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But has anyone read on in the Kino novels to confirm that a second season would have good material to work with, would it fall prey to the light novel curse that apparently many of then weaken by the third volume?
Kaiser-Eoghan
The only issue I've found with kiss is that, in firefox at least, sometimes it slows down my browser but only now and then. Never had any trouble with viruses or mal/spyware on it. Though it won't allow adblock =<
SuperMario
@Aidan: I was surprised at Kino's Journey news as well. Yay for having a new season!!
SuperMario
I have no problem with kiss whatsoever regarding virus. Hehe then try to catch it at Toonami
Lenlo
Yeeeah, sorry, my anti-virus isnt that big a fan of kiss.
SuperMario
You can watch it online at kisscartoon, of course at your own risk ^^
Lenlo
I really want to watch the new Samurai Jack season, but I cant catch it when it airs and dont know where to find it otherwise
AidanAK47
Plan on getting the spring season Preview up today or Tommarrow. Things basically written up so it's just a matter of getting it to look right on the site.
AidanAK47
Who here is watching the new season of Samurai Jack? That first episode hit me hard with nostalgia. It's like he never left.
AidanAK47
Spice and Wolf season 3 may not be so impossible after all. Or hell even a Spice and wolf full remake, FMA Brotherhood style.
AidanAK47
Holy crap, Kino's Journey is getting a new anime. Never thought that would happen. Sweet.
Lenlo
Art was great, sound was great, an argument could easily be made for 9/10. Its just cohesive story and efficient use of episodes means alot to me. I kinda had to actively remind my self to watch after ep 6 and then binged 10+.
Lenlo
8.5/10. I really liked the start, the middle kinda lagged plot wise for me which is always my most important metric, and the last 3-4 episodes were great.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: how would you rate it?
SuperMario
@Lenlo: it's the middle part that I completely fell in love with. Well, guess that everyone have different taste huh?
Lenlo
So finally finished Flip Flappers. Had it on my to do list since last season. It ended pretty well imo, but the middle lagged for me in places.
AidanAK47
HXH does pull off drama well but one thing that annoys me is how it builds up these big confrontations just to have them fizzle out. An anticlimax may be unexpected but in some case it would be more satisfying to just have things play out predictably.
Lenlo
And it did it better than Naruto, which had 7 years to pull that off.
Lenlo
I think one of the reasons HxH pulled it off so well, is because the first like 100 episodes built up to it. It pulled off the slow transition of basic shounen to well developed drama sort of thing very well. It slow rolled us basically.
Topgavin
Since when did HxH become a feels trip show? ep135 just ruined me, and did it better than actual 'feels trip' shows because of how unexpected and masterfully executed it was. The Chimera ant arc may have been slow, but by itself it was very FMA:B reminiscent with the huge character cast, amazing execution and the conflict in antagonists and humans and their values/morals.
SuperMario
@KAiser: oh man, you remind me again that I need to watch Bela Tarr's films. I remember one of the blogger was frustrated at the Turin Horse for "showing the pot of boiled potato for 10 minutes". I was cackling hard with his comment.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The realist genre in general really clicks with me, the neo-realist movement, can't get enough of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Selish giant, ratcatcher and fishtank, maybe even gummo might be other good example of social realist stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bela Tarr did two accessible films in his early career called Prefab people and family nest which had a social realist feel to them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I've seen Kathy come home, Daniel Blake, Kes and wind that shakes the barley, of those Kathy and Daniel were the most emotional rewarding but being Irish it was very easy to connect with wind that shakes the barley. But yes I agree (as would my father) that Loach loves to "announce everything" or turn everything into a speech.
SuperMario
I've heard good things about Lorna's Silence as well
SuperMario
so do you watch Ken Loach? admittedly I just watched his I, Daniel Blake and it was solid, but a bit too much "message" for my taste
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'm fond of that kitchen sink/social realist type of drama in general.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yes! I finally actually properly registered my name on here!
@Mario: I've seen Rosetta, L'enfant and le Promese, two days one night, very moving and affecting films. My eye is on Lorna's silence , but I haven't seen kid with the bike, so I'll give that a look.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: fair enough, although for me I never really care about the dub version. Always prefer the Japanese voices :)
SuperMario
They have such a simple, yet direct handheld film making styles, so simple that many accused them for being amateurish.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I actually watched a handful of Dardenne's works so I can give you my recommendation. Rosetta for me is their best, L'Efant, The Kid with a Bike and 3 Days 2 Nights are all excellent; with their latest The Unknown Girl was a slightly letdown
KaiserEoghan
@Mario: Acca is quite slow and wordy, so I will wait for the English dub.
KaiserEoghan
@Mario: Might check out some more of the Dardenne’s works soon.
Total users: 16

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