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
Bokusen
@SuperMario Thanks! I'll give Houseki no Kuni a try then. A lot of the series I thought would be good are disappointing me, so I might be following a low number of series this season & it'd be cool if Houseki turns out to be something I like enough to watch this season.^-^
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right. The sole reason I described it as "cinematic" was just to lure you into watching it, so mission accomplished! Mind you, Girls' Last Tour is still a moe show at heart (look at their round faces and those big eyes. They're killing me)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, I had had it initially written off as a crap moe show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You're ministry of anime propaganda tactics mentioning how cinematic it is got me to pick it up =P And you know how much of an aesthetics guy I am =P
SuperMario
I'm glad that many of you enjoying Girls' Last Tour. It's a nice little gem that I think works best when you going to it without any expectation
SuperMario
I swear this season has a lot of good anime to offer. I'm jaded
Amagi
I always considered backgrounds as pretty important. Most anime only use them as backdrops because they have to be there somehow and it's really a different thing than Girls' Last Journey for example. Also I will like everything that has exploration and world building.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And achieves taking the viewer into its world, thankfully without relying on tons of expositional dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girls last tour, somewhat succeeds in pulling me in by using its landscape that dwarfs the characters, to create its atmosphere, I wouldn't call it all that unfunny either. Though premise could risk going stale.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, HA! Yeah I would like to believe but I am thinking that's not the case. Besides next season is looking pretty barren so far.
Amagi
Eden would be great. But speaking of it, a lot of good manga get adapted recently. Maybe they finally understood that generic isekai, harem and school stuff isn't as popular as they thought it would be.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe one day I can hope for a Freesia or Eden Endless world adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jesus christ....I never thought it would happen, Banana fish is being adapted, I didn't think they could adapt a shoujo like that in todays market.
KTravlos
I also watched Inuyashiki and Girl's Last Tour. Inuyashiki looks great. Man do I hate that young guy. Reading what he did and seeing it was a totally different experience. Cannot wait for the next episode.

Girls Last Tour is really something special. In a good way.
KTravlos
Altair's episode showed all the issues and all the good things of the show. The pace is too quick, and yet they managed to build Urado and its denizens up quick fast in it. But again, this is a show that needs the LGOH treatment.
Amagi
The manga also always uses "he/him" but I am not sure if the original had this too (like "kare" or similar words) since you can talk for a long time in Japanese without ever using pronouns.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, yes I noticed Phos uses Boku in this episode which is the male way of saying I.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Man, Zvyagintsev really, really knows how to deliver truly emotional gut punching moments and endings that are like cutting at open wounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Houseki has fallen into place for me with those scenes with Dia and the snail thing and I've fully embraced the show, happy to see it just continue to do its thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: While Marios are girls best friend DIAmonds ahhhhre for evvvvvvahhh *Shirley Basey voice*
Masky
*bride
Masky
I can say though that if people fear the "Bastard Boyfiend" angle, its not that really. Its more of really weird apprenticeship relationship. Ainsworth is inhuman character in many ways
Masky
Oh hey, Mahoutsukai no Yome is on covered list. Nice, it is weird manga to read through since I'm kind of creeped out by the bribe thing, but its barely mentioned at all.
Anonymous1497942
After finishing Made in Abyss it stuck out, some animation shortcuts in this week's Mahoutsukai. Holding on frames a bit too long, mainly having the music giving the emotion. To be fair, it was also a slow part in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I recall correctly, the words "wandering Jew" were used at one point in the manga in relation to the villain.
Lenlo
Mahoutsukai was very pretty this week, but there were some troubling things popping up in there.
SuperMario
@Aidan: They are trying to bring Phos back from a snail. Man, Houseki sure is... quirky
AidanAK47
@Mario, I would take a guess and say they are fighting evil by moonlight.
SuperMario
Okay, heading to Houseki now... let's see our gems doing this week
SuperMario
@Bokusen: (not because I'm blogging it but) watch it. it's a polarized one but it at least offers something original. I still haven't watched the third one though.
Anonymous1497873
The new Mahoutsukai no Yome episode was so beautiful. TwT
Bokusen
BTW, is Houseki no Kuni worth watching? I was turned off by the animation, but I've read some good reviews on it.
Bokusen
Darn, last message didn't show up for me but now it does. Sorry about that.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil and Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, but Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil & Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, though Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Amagi
Doesn't mean that there weren't other good series but I distinguish between good and somethin special I will instantly remember even months or years later.
Amagi
How can you not like at least one of the current series, this season is pretty good. MiA was probably my only real great thing in the last season though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Aren't you forgetting Acca, Rakugo, Little Witch Academia and Tanya the Evil?
Anonymous1497006
Made in Abyss seems like it's the only gem this year for me tbh
AidanAK47
Whoa, I never even knew we had a PM feature.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I've received it. Thanks Kaiser. I've never noticed the PM feature either
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I sent you a private message.
SuperMario
oh boy. Just received Mind Game Bluray Region free today. I ordered/funded it through Kickstarter a year ago and eventually forgot about it. Was a nice surprise to see it in the mail today
silver
I enjoyed this week's Kino. Leave only footprints indeed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the other hand I noticed some slight censoring in juuni taisen episode 3 I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also surprised with the lack of censorship during Inuyashiki's second episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
First episode of inuyashiki covered the whole of volume 1.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*but almost never
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In general, Death of Stalin is an amusing film throughout, but never laugh out loud hilarious, Simon Beale is hilarious in it as Beria.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Gonzo did that mecha 7 samurai thing we must never speak of. However schmaltzly/sentimental Ikiru is, however it slumps slightly in the middle and final arc , it was still a genuinely moving film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than it is
Kaiser-Eoghan
To elaborate, I expected to dislike inuyashiki based on not enjoying Gantz, my reaction to the second episode was the same as Amagi's . The first episode was heavy handed a bit as Aidan mentioned, but its harder to watch that scene with the older guy get bullied/tormented that it is to watch highschool kids getting picked on by cliche anime thugs.
AidanAK47
Also why Hillary Clinton? I mean i know Trump is supposed to have a cameo in the manga but why her?
AidanAK47
@Vyse, Lets not jinx it. Plenty of series have shown great potential in their second episodes only to flop later. We can sing praises if it keeps this quality to the conclusion.
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki main villain should be Hillary Clinton
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki is suddenly like the best thing of the decade.
Amagi
I wish there were more old MC series out there. Liked that about Real Drive too. Maybe someone will have mercy and adapt Kurosawa one day. Not exactly old but at least a series about a guy with midlife crisis.
Amagi
I thought the happenings of the second Inuyashiki episode would have been too egdy but they actually gave the last few scenes a very good impact and the episode showed pretty well how sociopathes think (that whole gap between emotions for real people VS manga/fiction characters and events)
KTravlos
yup, I have no problem with Lenlo's review. Execution is what matters with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: You managed to sell me on a show that I didn't think I'd have bothered with.
silver
You did fine. It's a risk associated with reading post-viewing episodic discussions. Pretty much everyone knows that if you don't want to be spoiled don't even get online.
Lenlo
I tried to leave explicit spoilers about what happened outside the (more...) tag, but its a risk of readin a review I suppose.
silver
Hah, sorry about spoiling it. That's the problem with major shocks like that; they're most effective if you're not expecting them. Still, the show has deft execution of its executions, and that makes the experience worse than I could imagine.
Lenlo
Well im glad it convinced you. Tried something different with writing this week
KTravlos
man I should not had read the review. Now I will go and watch Inuyashiki. I had missed it.
silver
@Lenlo: It caught me off guard, too. Definitely working to earn that 'psychological' genre tag.
Lenlo
Well... Inuyashiki surprised me today. It went far darker than I was expecting. Thanks Gants author
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Such an odd art style, have you ever seen these? These are the film covers the Polish get:
Kaiser-Eoghan
*that was the most interesting character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Z's ending was very very well played and it was Jean Tringnents was interesting, largely for that he was a right winger working with the left wingers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course the British version of house of cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if he's seen Yes Minister and The New Statesman, also political comedies and for those of us who lived in the 80s seeing Thatcherites getting slagged off was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think thick of it works better though as the humour serves a thirty minute episode more comfortably. Stalin's fairly short though so I don't think the joke will run out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the Death of stalin is the title I'm looking for as well. Will screen here in few weeks. I almost reccomend In the Loop and the Thick of It (haven't watched the latter though) for Travlos since they're a political satire, which I think he'll enjoy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hope you already booked that heavens feel screening, cause its sold out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that the anime's character development in Juuni taisen expands on the books, which only give them short lines for their backgrounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, so perhaps in Juuni taisen they'll spin that so the Rat guy uses the ox guy to his advantage in some different way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is a special atmosphere watching anime on a big screen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I might be seeing death of Stalin tomorrow or Saturday. The thick of it was hilarious and this has the same director as that.
SuperMario
Both Z and All the President's Men are coassic movie. Hold my attention from start to finish. Z, in particular, wowed me that I literally had my mouth wide open
SuperMario
Off tangent, watching Fireworks in the cinema the other day made me realize how I miss watching movies on the big screen. I might try to go to the cinema once a week again. Been missed out all the good movies lately.
SuperMario
In the Great Race story, Rat used a very underhanded tactic to win the race (it jumps into the Ox to pass the great river and then jump off to the finish line. This Rat guy's speciality is Killing All so there is a high chance that he survives till the end
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have no doubt that we will have more amazing character arcs for Juuni Taisen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that could prove to be too predictable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if the Rat guy is going to be the wild card in all this, after all in the old story, wasn't it the Rat who won that zodiac race thing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Juuni Taisen is killing off its most interesting characters.... =< I wanted the bird girl to stay around a bit longer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see more Lem or Stugastky style/brand of scifi, I need to rewatch stalker again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Going back to the cyberpunk thing, I don't want just any ol' thing getting made, I want to see something scifi related thats ACTUALLY clever and has long and DIFFICULT dialogue .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: While not a political series Chaos;head is a good example of being annoyed at the conspiracy thing, what drives me up the wall about that show and its sequel is how every every time I think about going back to it I realize that its only interesting on a surface level and is utter hokkum.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. Yup, perhaps because I work in political science, they tend to anger me. So I avoid them. Borgen is a good political series.

In general. It still startles how much of a better character anime Tsutomu was comapred to manga Tsutomu in Bridy the Mighty. But I forgive the manga as I get more Gomez!
AidanAK47
@Amagi/Kaiser, thought as much. Strike it off the list then. And God Tsubasa was a cluster fuck by the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh simul-dub of Juuni taisen is out, I might aswell keep up with that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I had this weird relationship with dragonball in general. When I was younger I never actively seeked out the show, but on a rare occasion I would watch random episodes whenever I was channel hopping and nothing else was on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Clamp shared universe was a mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish that that tone breaking style of comedy stops being a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It doesn't happen often, but there ARE shows we all have that snap trigger us when they get mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel my disdain of re:zero is because I hate Akame ga kill and Higurashi so much and it prevents me because of bias from enjoying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In addition to what i posted about Pandora, you will hate the comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will rewatch it, the first one is one of those things that improved on repeat viewings.
@Travlos: Conspiracy theories are one of those things I find myself taking interest in, then almost immediately consider immensely stupid and a waste of time.
Amagi
Aidan: If you didn't like the first parts of Pandora you won't like the rest either. Most people that loved it did this because of the characters and setting, the story isn't really getting better and I kinda disliked what they did near the end. It was overcomplicated and everyone had like three different personalities, plot twists and so on. Not nearly as bad as Tsubasa Chronicle though
AidanAK47
@Bokusenou, believe me when I say you are not few. There are plenty who Dislike Re:Zero. I can understand it and I sort of get where your coming from regarding the characters. (Though Saber sucks) There is just something about the series that I just adore.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I have not watched most of them. But I have watched Z and All the President's Men. Both are great films. The issue with me is that while I like political thrillers I despite conspiracy theories. Far too many pol. thrillers dive into con.theory stuff. So I must be discriminating.
SuperMario
Okay, I'm off to watch Blade Runner 2049 now. Hopefully it can be as good as the original
Vonter
In contrast World's End Harem, surprisingly looks to be trying. It has one story trying to play straight, the scenario of being the last man in a world mainly habited by woman. And has had this framing of self worth, temptation and doubt I like. No work of art, but surprising for this type of manga.
Vonter
In regards to manga, I'll need to look for something good, being losing time with ecchi stuff. Which I can tell Okamoto should just make hentai, seeing as his latest work, doesn't even try to be anymore than pandering trash (at least older work, had a notion of a story).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Did all the presidents men and Parallax view by Pakula appeal to you?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Actually as your are a Greek....have you watched Z, missing, State of siege or the confession? None of them are actually in Greek but they were political thrillers directed by Costa Gravas.
Anonymous1490677
KT here: Well I am a sucker for political thrillers and "grand" politics, so the direction it took is quite fun for me. Even if it does indicate a Tomino ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me Titan peaked at volume 8 and I never bothered continuing on much further.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I remember a commenters on here a good while ago that mentioned the ending didn't satisfy or come together well and made the investment not worth it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Honestly it was only near the halfway point I vested any interest in pandora hearts, the first 4 volumes left me wondering if I'd drop it, then near the last few volumes I simply fell out of reading it.
Bokusenou
I feel like I'm one of the few people who don't understand why Re: Zero is so popular...the only characters I half liked were Puck & Crusch (the latter because she reminded me of Saber from the Fate series, minus the unnecessary perma-blush marks) My anime club screened the series and I really should have skipped those meetings...
Lenlo
Mmm Inuyashiki episode 2 tomorrow. Time to see where it goes
AidanAK47
@Anon, That reminds me. Anime limited better announce the date of the Re:Zero Blu-ray release at that panel of theirs at MCM London Comic Con. They are the only ones known to have licensed it and they have a partnership with Funimation. Even if we don't get a second season I have to get the first on Blu-ray.
Anonymous1490189
Emilia re:zero
AidanAK47
Finally Got that review up. Been sitting in my to do list for a while.
SuperMario
I remeber in Dragon ball, they state that Son Goku takes 6 years of training to become a Super Saiyan. His oldest son takes 3 years and then the youngest one... only takes 3 months of training with his mother. So yeah...
AidanAK47
While we are talking about manga, I was looking into getting some manga boxsets and I saw one for pandora hearts. However I started reading it and 15 chapters in I just can't get into it. I hear a lot of praise for it but is it really worth continuing?
AidanAK47
@Amagi, yep. Like Naruto with the nine tailed beasts and Sharingan. At first they were cool and then everyone and their mother had Sharingan or a tailed Beast.
Though If I had a problem with SNK its that I just find the thing to be poorly written overall. It has creative idea's, but the characters and dialogue is really weak in my eyes.
Amagi
You know that SuperSaiyan syndrome. At first it was special and mysterious, but once the second one gets to have the power they tend to pop up everywhere. Same with Claymore and basically almost every shounen ever.
Amagi
I overall like the SNK manga but I have to agree I really have a problem with this shounen trope of some speciality one character has that suddently turn out to be the speciality of many.
Lenlo
It turned from a horror/thriller to a sort of... shounen mystery thing for me. I wasnt a fan once EVERYONE became titans.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I dropped off at that point, picked it up again and read it up to date. Now I am falling out again. True be told I haven't really got into it since the beginning chapters and I am not a fan of the direction it took. If you don't like it now I say future chapters won't really change your mind.
Lenlo
Does Attack on Titan get better? I was reading it up until Season 2 came out and then just fell off the wagon.
KTravlos
oh what a cliffhanger in the Shingeki no Koyjin manga! I am happy where this is going!
Kaiser-Eoghan
I agree that the way the series addresses emotion has some interest to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The later chapters I read had some action in them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Had a read of the children of the wales manga, I am glad to see a shoujo that isn't based on an otome or school life series , additionally I like it on an aesthetic level, I can see it going somewhere but the fast-forward pace makes it hakes it harder to connect with.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Blame! was recently adapted and thats cyberpunk, even if it didn't follow the manga.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree. Cyber- and steampunk are two of the few settings I really dig. Especially because I think that there are a lot of potential plots and twists for cyberpunk/VR settings anime haven't used yet. AR is great too, the only series about that is Dennou Coil and it was made ~10 years ago. Maybe the SAO movie but it was just a movie.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here lol. I remember the toilet thingy but not the woman's backstory. That being said, I enjoyed the series as whole, though some parts were too K-ONish for my taste.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of would agorophobia maintain itself and they'd stay inside or would the fear of being raped/tortured/killed and bypass the agorophobia ?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Random tangent, but I would find it fascinating to see a hikkikomori subject to a home invasion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although honestly, I would prefer a cyberpunk wave of anime series to get popular again.
silver
I too am starting to really enjoy the 'adventure anime' genre. The medium of animation is uniquely suited to fantastical worldbuilding.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Was that the one where the girl is desperately trying not to piss herself? Also why can I remember that and not this blonde woman's backstory?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, agreed. It's at its best when it can use the settings to flesh out the characters. The episode after that one, one the other hand, was Sora no woto's dullest episode - where the main girl spends the whole episode waiting for a freaking phone call.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Blonde woman's backstory in the middle of sora no oto, that was the best episode of it.
SuperMario
@Amagi: for reccomendation, if you don't mind another cute girls in a post-apocalyptic world show, you can try Sora no Woto (Sound of the sky). I love that show to bits
SuperMario
But I'm not entirely sold on the show yet. I feel the relationships are a tad too heavy-handed. The light hearted tones don't work well for me but I really feel a From the New world's vibe from the show
SuperMario
@Amagi: I will talk about Children of the Whales here in the chatbox since we don't cover it. Damnit the cliffhanger. That series really focuses on the theme of repress their own feelings. From the children in the Mud Whales with their custom of not to cry in the funeral or their lacing their hands to express their gratitude. Episode 2 has that monster who basically eats others emotions
Kaiser-Eoghan
And by extension, I would hope that it would encourage adaptations of older fantasy manga aswell.
Amagi
I really hope this type of fantasy will become a new trend instead of the classical world of warcraft type of isekai
Amagi
There is just something really atmospherical about a few characters exploring an unknown world alone that is either almost or entirely devoid of humans or just weird like in Kino's Journey.
Amagi
Shuumatsu Shoujou, Houseki, Kino 2017 and Children of the Whales are shaping up to become my favorites this season. It's funny that they have so much in common, same with Made in Abyss, which also was my favorite of the last season.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, well there were fellows down in cork that decided to go Kite Surfing. They had to send out a boat to rescue the dumb bastards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I saw that there were some profoundly stupid people ignoring the warnings, some guy even decided to go out swimming despite it.
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