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
Lenlo
That was an interesting comparison. Cool to see how far anime has come.
Lenlo
I cant wait to watch Kaze Fui tonight to answer those questions Kazier!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Someone has done a comparison video for Dororo for a scene in the new one, comparing it with the old one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j38anJY3BtA
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe some people found the flashback scenes too dramatic, but I didn't mind, they worked for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo:One thing that has come to mind, how would it go if he encountered the coach again, but in the present?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo:I also liked how the flashback was done in a grainy looking style.
If I found someone who was finding it hard to get into this show, I think that this episode would win them over and it’s the episode I found myself feeling the most.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Episode 13 of Kaze ga tsuyoku is the fitting and perfect culmination of what has come before it and all is now essentially out on the table dramatically and all the better for it because of how well this series has built itself up.
Animosh
In essence it is still a battle shounen though: even if the fights always have narrative weight (it's not just fighting for the sake of fighting), the characters are to a significant extent developed through fights. So if that's not your thing it might be a hard sell even with its amazing animation and sympathetic cast.
Animosh
@Lenlo/Kaiser: the problem with Mob though is that its first two episodes are by far the worst of the series. So if you give it a try you should watch at least until the third episode, and possibly even episode 4/5 (since it's the first really good arc of the series imo).
Animosh
Yeah, it must be tough to blog three shows in the span of two days, especially with how long your posts tend to be. I find it hard enough already just to keep up with everything!
Lenlo
Ugh. Didnt get to Kaze Fui tonight. A shame. This whole Dororo/MobPsycho then Kaze Fui air schedule is gonna be a pain. You can expect Kaze Fui's maybe... Thurs? Not sure yet. Busy night
Kaiser-Eoghan
*newer not old
Kaiser-Eoghan
Some additional things I always notice in certain things, sometimes in these old medieval films or shows, in the American ones the characters occassionally don't look earthy enough.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koyomi from clannad i mean
Kaiser-Eoghan
Somewhere in my head Koyomi is this weird anime take on an autist.
Amagi
All she did what stupid, but everyone was saying that she was a genius that would probably soon develope the theory of eversthing so it must be real even if she's only ever smart when the plots needs her to do some sudden computer hack or something.
Amagi
Smart characters can only be written by smart writers. So sometimes writers just tell that the characters are smart but you don't actually witness it. It's either shown by using such wise one liners or just because someone else is telling the audience they're smart. Reminds me of that one Kyoani genius girl.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Can't do the walk, don't do the talk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can buy it more for a tough old dude.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On more thought, alot of it has to do with who is saying them. Men who look like children with no charisma.
Amagi
I absolutely hate these one liners too. Especially when you can already hear them in the trailer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hate it when scripts coverup for awful characters by spamming quips at you.
Amagi
It's why I dislike so much stuff that gets released today. All these run-of-the-mills, copies, clones, alternative universes, sequels and so on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But, beyond cgi, its the modern take wise-ass stuff that drives me nuts.
Amagi
Even if you're just drawing a landscape you need creativity. Where are the shadows, the lighting, what atmosphere should it trigger and so on. Maybe even a hidden motif.
Kaiser-Eoghan
ANARCHY KINO-MACHE!
Amagi
Yeah creativity is, well, should be among the most important things out there. I mean movies, anime, etc are actual art, art is meaningless without creativity. At least the narrating type of art.
Amagi
Kinda miss these anime. They're rare to begin with but I can't imagine anyone creating such a thing nowadays. Like Blame/Ergo/Texhno, even Lain. They never sold though, so I can even kind of understand it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ergo worked for me up until the ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think clever is too often a miused word by people when they describe things. They reduce it to being "Just a smart storyline", when really it is more suited a word to something in tune with its creative side.
Amagi
Ergo Proxy even had a dense/heavy plot that was developing while you're busy figuring the setting out. And many things were shown indirectly. It was one of the rare anime I had to watch twice to get it. Texhnolyze is also such a thing but more bizarre in my opinion, less logical than Ergo, but still great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Its really really nice knowing that I can talk to someone like you about this on my level .
Amagi
It's why I love series with strong settings so much. See Blame for example. Even Made in Abyss. You never know what kind of landscape you will see next and in Blame everything is fucked to behin with.
Amagi
Yeah. Well we do watch movies to feel excitement, and you can't really feel that if you can guess what happens next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now obviously these types of things can end up a coin toss of it either works or it doesn't, but I appreciate the risk taken.
Amagi
I tolerate it for games because whereas I still don't like it there, at least the game as an additional value which is the gameplay. So even with weak atmosphere I am still enjoying it for being a good game. But when I watch a movie I want get sucked in to some degree instead of being aware that I am just the audience (or the player).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like that feeling of I don't know whats going to happen next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like the idea of a madman getting to do a movie and running with his imagination.
Amagi
It's like dreaming and suddently hearing your real life cat meowing and realising that it's just a dream, you're in the bed and about to wake up. And yes this is exactly why I dislike CGI
Kaiser-Eoghan
But sometimes people cry pretentious wrongly, when there wasn't really any intended thing to get.
Amagi
It's why I am so easily angered over little errors or writing problems. Because they destroy the atmosphere more than anything else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean, I do like themes, characters etc, but my favourite experience is nightmare/dreamscapes.
Amagi
If the atmosphere is missing it doesn't matter what story you are telling, everything feels kinda hollow. Doesn't mean that show with weak atmo and great plot is bad, but it would be ten times better with the proper atmosphere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hate this modern idea of "It HAS to be coherent or mean something or follow some kind of linear or logical thing or some kind of rules"
Amagi
@Kaiser: Yeah it's why I often say that atmosphere is the most important part of a story, actually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
With cgi I am constantly reminded I am watching a film.
Amagi
Don't know all of the titles you mentioned, will probably look into a few of those I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
What I love about these old slavic art films, is no longer being aware of the world around me when I watch them. They use actual crafted cinematography so they can still feel like you're living it, despite being so unreal.
Amagi
Technobabylon and Gemini Rue are my favorites. These games capture this fucked up feeling of noir-punk and dark cyberpunk perfectly and have a bunch of great twists and character arcs.
Amagi
I like this type of darkness somehow, as well as trash punk and noir stuff. I do enjoy the Wadjet Eyes games for that reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Naturally I loved both
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hard to be God and On the silver globe are insane, there's this sense of what the utter hell am I watching? But you feel like you've been transported someone else entirely.
Amagi
"We" (Мы) is also a Russian dystopia novel, it shared a bunch of similarities with 1984 but was written long before Orwell had had even started with 1984.
Amagi
STALKER has also made me check out a bunch of Russian/Ukrainian novels. I love their ideas. Their dystopias and everything.
Amagi
Slavs are doing good games right now. Looking forward playing this Russia Fallout clone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't remember the name of the Soviet animation with the robot that keeps on working after everyone's dead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But crappy puns aside. Dead mans letters, letters never sent, Ivan's child hood, Andreii Rublev, Cranes are flying and I am Cuba have amazing cinematography.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wanna b a Potemkin master....
....like no-one ever was =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dead mans letters is up there with Threads as being one of the best apocalypse films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*evangelion
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or would that be Nyguen genesis Evagelion =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You'll always be my ho chi main man minh Mario =)
SuperMario
I love Soviet cinema. Yeah the Mirror has that monochrome part. And they aren’t that big as they used to be but Soviet animation has great history
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stalker is an excellent science fiction film and not neccesarily because of need to anaylze it, but because it works of a visual-psychic level.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Zerkalo/mirror is a great example of this, just a stream of the directors thoughts, all visual impressionism, there might be a scene where I couldn't tell you the why or the what, but it'd make me feel something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Basically where to understand, is simply to feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Its always fascinating that some filmakers have the ability to just let the film wash over you and move you with intricately crafted arthouse visuals. That they can do that, without character arcs/intellectual message/monologues.
Amagi
Speaking of soviet stuff I kinda want another movie or maybe even a cartoon like some of these old soviet movies that were partly monochrome and partly colored during important scenes. Didn't solaris have that too? - I know the monochrome parts were done to save money, but it was kinda impressive seeing colorless movies turning colorful ones during emotional scenes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Definately something that would appeal to me in terms of alternate style of animation. I'm actually quite a fan of different, out there animation styles.
Lenlo
Heres the ED
Lenlo
Yup, paint on glass. The entire ED for the first season was done in that style. Mob loves to use obscure or generally unusual art styles to sell the other worldlyness of its spirits.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That sounds pretty cool.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Excuse me....paint on glass effects in Mob? There was a Soviet animator that used that style.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*earlier
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Again you psychically read my mind =P I was just thinking that about Farnese arlier.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I think I've accepted there are some manga I need to wait until they're finished before go back to them either due to slow scans or because they've gone on so long or go on hiatus.
Amagi
I think the later half as well as the hiatus killed it for me. Can't deal with that two chapters per year policy.
Lenlo
I, however, am still a rabid Berserk fanboy. :D
Amagi
I am also never a fan of characters completely changing personalities once they're redeemed. Farnese was an interesting villain and while I agree that she needed to overcome her trauma the current Farnese is just some soulless helpful big sister type. She only exists to care for Cjaskar and at some point even Cjaskar's eternal problem was starting to get on my nerves.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Same opinion on Berserk again. The arc before that with the inquisition tower was one of the highpoints of the manga, everything went downhill once Schierke had joined which is kinda sad since it was one of my favorite series before that.
Lenlo
Mob is much more character focused than OPM. OPM riffs on Shounen, while Mob is a much more character driven drama kinda series, with shounen elements. I would give it a shot for an episode or two.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Berserk started losing me when he started travelling around with those kids.
@Amagi/Animosh: Do you believe that Mob has better choreography than onepunch?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi:I will give exceptions to magical elements if a show can produce an adventure narrative worthwhile or if it’s a magical girl show.
If magic is featured in an occult horror fashion or in an exploitative way, I will also lean toward allowing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: While I very much doubt Mob would be my thing, given how I generally felt indifferent to onepunch man and bias against shounen action, yes the art for Mob, when elevated by an anime adaptation lends itself to something unique looking and I can praise that.
Lenlo
I think ONE's style fits Mob better, and Murata's style fits OPM better. So yeah, Bones chose well on that front
Amagi
Not only are overdesigned characters really bad for movement which is actually needed to make a series and their characters feel alive but they also often look really bad in my opinion and there is a limit on how overdesigned a character can be until I stop taking them seriously at all.
Amagi
Yeah. I also honestly think that many anime are suffering from overdesigning.
Animosh
And I like Mob's artstyle a lot as well. It gives the series a unique look, and it gives the animators all the freedom they could wish for to play around with the characters (and basically everything else) as they see fit. Add Bones to the mix, and you have one of the best-looking series out there.
Animosh
I prefer the full ONE experience too. It's part of the reason why I slightly prefer Mob Psycho. OPM looks great and all, but there's way too much meaningless fighting going on in the manga lately. I prefer the tighter and more consistently subversive storytelling of the webcomic, although I still enjoy the manga a lot as well (and the story climaxes in particular tend to look freaking amazing).
Amagi
Different example since this is actual fantasy but I also prefered the early Berserk series over the later parts. When the supernatural horror stuff was more of a hidden thing appearing around Guts and otherwise just on special occasions, while most people didn't even believe such things exist. I prefer that over the high (dark) fantasy we have now although I get what Miura is aiming at.
Amagi
I guess I just have a thing for this secret-club mentality. I prefer it over worlds with blatan magical powers everyone uses and knows about.
Amagi
It's weird but I almost always hate anime with and about magic, the more fantasy it is the less I like it (usually, not always), but then again occult stuff is always totally my thing.
Amagi
I am quite happy they stick with the original Mob Psycho designs from ONE for this series. The OPM manga is probably one of the best looking things out there but ONE's artstyle has a lot of charme and makes characters more unique, especially if looks as polished as in the anime adaption.
Lenlo
Mmm cant wait to watch it. Kaze Fui, still great
Anonymous3309336
I really like how Kurahana admitted that he let his emotions get to him when he threw that punch at the coach back then. Now he feels remorseful about that day and how he made enemies from his former teammates.
Anonymous3309336
Meanwhile, looks like the next episode will focus on Prince again and his attempts to further improve his time.
Anonymous3309336
Meanwhile, his new teammates understand the pain he's been going through and want him to move on from that. Definitely as some of the best writing of this season.
Anonymous3309336
That punch he threw at the coach was certainly well-deserved, but I can see why the other teammates including Sakaki would come to despise him.
Anonymous3309336
This episode of Kaze ga... was great as always, as we see more of Kurahana's past and how his awful coach made Sakaki and the rest of his former team turn on him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't have minded reading several volumes of seeing Satou on the run.
Animosh
Thanks! That's good to know. An alternate ending could have been fun, but I suppose the ending of the anime was fitting, and if it ain't broke don't fix it.
Amagi
Looks like it's going to end. I guess it ends the same but we can't say for sure yet.
Animosh
For those of you still reading Happy Sugar Life: is the manga continuing past the anime? Or does it look like it's going to end in the same way? If it takes a different path it might be worth checking it out.
Anonymous3307077
children of the whales
Lenlo
Holy crap. Mob Psycho 100 is the best thing since sliced bread. BONES thank you.

And thanks Kaiser!
Amagi
well we have a döner kebab ship at least.
Amagi
I am from Frankfurt, another one of the biggest German cities but there isn't much to see here aside from skyscrapers and banks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*had **taught
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hah had some notion that the Japanese didn't really know English or it wasn't well thought over there?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo's taste continues to be impeccably based.
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol I thought coolass47 was covering Kaguya.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Germany, both Koln and Berlin, especially Koln felt like a home to me and felt the less alienating/foreign.
Kaiser-Eoghan
.....probably embarassing but, I think I'd be put off sleeping on the floor in a futon or using one of those weird Japanese toilets.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Truly I am the Kaiser Eoghan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Beyond that I've been to Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've never been outside of Europe. I didn't have problems getting around Germany though when I went because my then girlfriend was from there and I knew enough to cope on a Holiday.
Amagi
also no matter which country I visited till now people were always friendly
Amagi
Yeah, now thinking about it, I could even find everything in Iran so I guess Japan should work too. Most people knew enough random English or German words to somehow lead you to the place and you want to visit unless it's some really weird relief or a small town that's difficult to reach but tourists usually stick with the big stuff.
SuperMario
... years ago and Japan is pretty safe and the signs are easy to follow in general. Even the locals who don’t speak English they are pretty friendly and help you the best they can. You don’t need to be worry on that front
SuperMario
I did it alone few
Amagi
Not sure how he did it (he went completely alone too) but it seems to be possible somehow. Not sure if I would make it though.
Amagi
Someone I know managed it alone and he isn't even that good in English.
Lenlo
I think I can manage. Lots of English signage in places like the rail systems and such. That plus the small amount I am learning in preparation and how much english they teach them over there, I should be ok
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Do you feel you'd be able to get by in Japan? As far as I know you don't speak any Japanese.
Animosh
Mob was great again too. The adaptation is really knocking it out of the park. And looks like we'll be getting one of my favorite side stories next week.
Animosh
I love how upbeat Slime continues to be. If only all wars were resolved like this. And then he goes on to improve everyone's lives by building homes, infrastructure, and coalitions based on common interests? Rimuru for president!
Anonymous3303364
I retired from the force in middle school enjoying my retirement, I still see the faces of the comrades we lost when we defeated the big bad and saved the world, I haven't seen my cute marketable mascot in 3 years, but I like this new life I'm living, I thought I found peace but the battlefield always calls out to me, why? Because war never changes.
Anonymous3303364
I love this comment since it's more well put on what this dark magical girls show really is:
Vonter
Perhaps in ten years when the next trope comes. I wonder if some will look back to the tropes from now with different eyes. Like they say, you don't know what you have until you lose it.
Vonter
Yeah, maybe I could watch some of that schlock. In a way some of it has become more endearing over time. Since times have changed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Vampire wars was fantastic though, used shitfuck as a word from what I remember.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yes! Finally they're saying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Watching a compiliation of dub cursings for angel cop, not enough F-bombs yet.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always wish some of these old ovas got to go on for longer, especially AD police and bubblegum crisis. I'd have loved a full gunsmith cats or riding bean show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to watch Angel cop some day I really do.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think vonter, if magical girl ops can't achieve the exploi angle then it has failed all the further. We'll have to see.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I was disappointed when I saw the more modern anime! Because it didn't have the art I liked in the ovas.
Vonter
I do remember now. Did you watched the Birdy The Mighty OVA (not the series, the OVA). That one I remember liking because it was cheesy, visceral, had IMO better designs for the aliens than the ones in the TV series and I digged the dynamic of the two leads. However it was cut short. Perhaps it was too derivative for the time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes I can actually take ridiculousness much better when its a live action exploitation thing if it happens to fail in animated form. That Jeanne d'arc anime and maybe magical girl spec ops would have made hilarious 60s/70s Eurotrash films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
One of the only modern anime to do the exploitation angle right was Freezing.
Vonter
I want to believe there's something like that already out. But I'm blocked. I can only mention that I now want to rewatch some of Devilman Lady. It does have a female lead battling monsters with an 80s sci fi horror vibe, I don't know it reminds me for some reason to movies like Godzilla 1985 or King Kong Lives.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Or go mental.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Thats one I still need to get around to. If I have to have a darker magical thing, it either has to be camp and goofy enough while taking itself dead seriously or keep some of the fun .
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - If you haven't check a couple of episodes of Lady Devilman. Despite being formulaic, the monsters on that anime are really well made and feel creative, morbid and creepy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: lol Damn, now I want to see Go Nagai's take of Magical girl ops.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I love how some old ovas would sometimes take place in America, but in this IDEA of it, getting it wrong.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I love how they added in those stupid curse words every few minutes aswell, wonderfully incompotent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Mad bull 34 was lovingly perverse , like a Japanese equivalent to those wonderful Italian police things.
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