Posted on 2 October 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Himitsu ~The Revelation~


This is probably going to be the most difficult review of the past month for me. First of all, it’s always difficult to review your favourite series without delving into plain rambling, but this also isn’t a case where I just sum up the points I loved about it and get things over with. Himitsu is a series with a lot of weaknesses, and yet after Kaiba, it stood out for me as the best series of the past half year.

Let me first get these weaknesses out of the way. Himitsu is basically a crime series, where the main characters try to find the culprit of a crime by looking into the mind of the victims. Its biggest mistake is that can be a bit over-theatrical at times. Its got an excellent soundtrack that can however sound a bit too cheesy when put into practice, and it’s got those nasty tendencies of showing some strange instances of fanservice for the fangirls (why this is considered to be worse than blasphemy, while female fanservice is always praised, I don’t know).

Then there are the issues with the series’ messages. Because it involves policemen who look inside the brains, you’d expect a lot of ethical debates. A series that makes you think about whether or not it’s right to look into the privacy of a deceased. This however, doesn’t turn out to be the case: Himitsu merely just lists a large number of taboos that even Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei didn’t dare to touch, and presents its own views about them, but it doesn’t try to spark any discussion.

So, despite all this, why did I like this series so much? Well, first of all: it just is an excellent mystery-series. Every case keeps you guessing what’s going on. Because in the series, the memory-recovery system is a very advanced technology, people often need to wait a couple of hours before a new piece of the victim’s brains are loaded in the computer. This series is a master in timing its revelations, and keeping the viewer busy and wondering what’s going on.

This also is a very inconsistent series, for the good and the bad. If you liked one case, you can be sure that the next case is going to focus on something completely different. This isn’t exactly good for your expectations, but at the same time it makes the series extremely unpredictable: you’re never going to know what’s going to happen next. You’ll never know what the next episode will focus on. Every episode is different, and focuses on something else, and this makes for a very varied episodic series.
This series is also excellent in the few times it delves into horror. If you thought that Code Geass was shocking, just wait until you see a few particular episodes of this series. Madhouse has always been a production studio with very little censorship, and this series ranks along with Shigurui to their least censored series, making for a few gruesome cases that pop up once in a while and take you by surprise.

And then the characters. They really are a case on their own. For a long time, you’ll be wondering what the series is planning to do with them. Because this is a series that focus mostly on the people that are involved with the case, the actual main characters, the investigating policemen, at first sight seem to be neglected a bit. But as it turns out, the creators knew exactly what they were doing with their characters. Because they moved away from the manga this series is based on, they were able to plan this series exactly for the length of 26 episodes, and they’ve been fleshing out the main cast very subtly throughout the series.

The result is that the cast of this series comes together wonderfully in the final quarter of this series. All of them are developed very subtly, and each of them becomes memorable somehow, and overall they become a lot of fun to watch as they try to solve their cases. The finale of this series forms an excellent conclusion for this series, where this development is used to its full extent.

In terms of graphics, a lot of people may disagree with me, but I absolutely loved them. Madhouse has always had the reputation of straying away from the overly moe or GAR character-designs, and it’s the same here. The character-designs look excellent, and never seem to be trying to be overly cute. Overall, this is one series where the foreground characters and background art really mesh excellently with each other, making sure for some awesome shots.

Overall, it’s really a shame that the subs stopped right before the best episode of the entire series, and Himitsu has definitely been the most underrated series from the spring-season for me. It can be surprisingly intense at times, while surprisingly touching at others, fully tying in with the “fooling the viewer”-theme of the past half year that I’ve mentioned a few times already. It knows very much how to tell a story, got an awesome set of main characters and definitely turned into my favourite series after Kaiba ended.

Storytelling: 10/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 9/10
Posted on with categories: Himitsu ~The Revelation~



Short Synopsis: Maki rushes in to find the hidden pieces of Suzuki’s memory.
Highlights: A bit over-exaggerated, but an incredibly tense ending.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10
Okay, so this episode loses points for over-exaggerating a bit too much, but thankfully it turned into that over-the-top ending that I’d hoped for. In the end, it didn’t beat RD’s ending, but it really took second place. If it had a bit more subtlety, this episode really could have been incredible, but that field of flowers really was a bit too much. The hypnotism also was unrealistic, and the episode’s end was a bit too theatrical for its own good (why didn’t the MRI explode the way it did when Suzuki shoot it?).

But really, that climax between Aoki and Maki was SO intense that it made up for everything. Now everything really is clear: Kainuma’s final plan wasn’t to just proclaim his love for Maki and go for just the shock factor. He wanted to shock the guy, and then hypnotize him into murdering the entire of Daiku. Because Suzuki saw it, he went berserk instead.

The final bad guy? Daiku’s boss. It turns out that he’s been trading people’s memories for money. Now he’s had enough and wants to close it off by having Daiku kill off each other. He probably sealed Suzuki’s memory of Kainuma, because that’d be the perfect way to time their deaths. Unfortunately, this went wrong because Aoki realized in time that Kainuma was trying to hypnotize them.

Posted on 24 September 2008 with categories: Himitsu ~The Revelation~



Short Synopsis: Someone is trying to get rid of Daiku, and uses some very extreme measures to get his way.
Highlights: Awesome set-up for a finale!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 9/10
Ah, okay. This and the next episode may have different titles, but they turn out to be the two halves of one big arc that is going to be the finale of this series. But really, it’s promising to be an awesome finale, and with this, we can really see the power of the decision for this series to go into a different path than the manga: because of that, the creators could plan exactly what they want to place when and where, and thus they have managed to save the perfect story to close off this series. I’m really excited, seeing how this series is about to avoid the number one mistake made with manga- and novel-adaptations: the fact that the length of the manga and anime don’t match. Seriously, more series should do this, instead of creating an artificial ending that was pasted together in the last minute.

In any case, what happened in this episode: Maki turned out to have a heart-attack, but he managed to restore quite quickly, although a next attack would be fatal to him. In the meantime, someone has put some sort of virus in the main computer of Daiku, causing Kainuma’s face to pop up like it did in the previous episode, which points to the fact that a certain someone who knows about Maki and Kainuma is trying to get rid of Daiku. The main chief is also getting followed by someone.

Maki also discovered that a certain piece of Suzuki’s memory has been erased by someone. It is revealed that Michiru looked up to Onogida and that’s why she ended up joining Daiku. Onogida then DIES afterwards, and Maki is also nearly killed by a mystery attacker! Talk about plot twists!

Oh, to think that the creators had no intention to stop the massacre. It does make sense, though: what better time to attack Daiku when the members are already confused by the death of one of their comrades? But what bugs me the most is that missing piece of memory of Suzuki: that means that he saw something inside of Kainuma’s brains that was even MORE SCREWED UP than kissing his dead victims while scraping off their skin while proclaiming his love for Maki. Bloody hell!?

I’m not sure what exactly it is, but I’m very cynical about this season’s endings. I hardly look forward to any of them, and most of them just seem destined for a straightforward and predictable ending, but for Himitsu I’m willing to make an exception. The finale of this series has so far been downright excellent, and there are no signs at all that this series won’t finish with a huge climax. This is exactly what I look for in a good climax!

Posted on 18 September 2008 with categories: Himitsu ~The Revelation~



Short Synopsis: There is NO WAY I’m going to spoil this episode in front of the blog aggregators. MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW. READ AT OWN RISK!
Highlights: Why did I ever say that this series was bad at characterization?!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 9/10
That was one AWESOME episode. It really fitted for a finale, it packed a punch, and it wasn’t afraid to go for the worst-case scenario. After the previous episode, I really expected the creators to find some way to revive Amachi. Guess what? She actually didn’t make it! She’d goddanmed died!

Basically, what happened is the following: after Amachi saw the extra set of footage that got saved from the victim’s brains, she went to investigate on the research facility of that woman that came to claim the body. That’s the reason why she was captured and her brains taken away from her. It turns out that the woman had a personal vendetta against Daiku, and that’s why she brought back the brain, in order to lure more Daiku members who’d come rushing in to save her.

Which Aoki does, of course. She captures him, but she didn’t take into account that the rest of Daiku would also chase after Aoki, and after that, her practices of human experimentation are brought down quite quickly, so she kills herself and destroys her brains. Amachi, unfortunately, had already died. Her body stayed away from her brains for too long. The thing is that when Aoki got captured, she actually was still alive! The two of them shared a dream, if I recall correctly.

I’m really impressed by how this series turned out. At first, it may seem like a strange idea to just go with anime-original stories, instead of keeping to the manga, but in this way, the creators were able to plan EXACTLY the sufficient airtime for each character, so that each one of them got enough attention. The result is an absolutely awesome cast in the end, even though there were enough times where I lost faith in this series.

And I’m really curious: what the heck did the creators have planned for the final two episodes? The first one will be another aftermath to the Kainuma-case, but what is the second going to be? Ooh, so many possibilities!

Posted on 15 September 2008 with categories: Himitsu ~The Revelation~



Short Synopsis: Two dead bodies are found at a love hotel.
Highlights: SEARCH MY BODY
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,75/10
OMG!

Now THIS is what I’m talking about! THIS is exactly why I like this series so much!

Himitsu’s multi-episode arcs have always known exactly how to use their time, rather than dragging on endlessly, they’re focused and try to tell a story that would be impossible to tell in only one episode. Some focus on complex stories, like the one with the biological weapon, others focused on politics, like the case with the murderous girl who killed her family, and others were downright shocking, like the one about the bald mass murderer that caused Maki to shoot Suzuki.

This arc seems to go for both the shock and the complex story. It starts out simple enough, when two dead bodies are found at a love hotel. It seems that one of them committed suicide, but his girlfriend also turns out to have been pregnant. Then however, a high-placed person of a hospital comes to claim the body. Amachi resists, but fails. Only a few days later, her BRAINS pop up in a container, with the note “SEARCH MY BODY”. I think that this is the first time were any main character had his/her HEAD SLICED OPEN like this…

If I had to guess, then the doctor wanted to prevent Amachi from finding out too much, but that doesn’t explain at all why she left Amachi’s brain right in front of Daiku, nor the “Search my body”-note. Also, what was the significance of those numbers that were written on the babies’ feet, in the memory of the guy who committed suicide?

In any case, this episode was just awesome, as it also provided for a lot of new insights into the characters. The characters in this series are already excellent, and this series is still fleshing them out, which only is a good thing. I really wonder whether Amachi is able to return, because Maki did say that her body may still be alive. Who knows, perhaps in this age, there’s some sort of technique that can separate people from their brains without killing them? Still, we have to wait for that until the next episode, I guess.

There’s also one thing I noticed, while looking at the list of episode titles: the final two episodes of this series are going to be standalone stories! In a way, it’s very much possible for the next episode to contain the dramatic climax for this series, only for it to finish with two shorter stories. I personally LOVE these kinds of endings: they’re so much better and less predictable than the “the bad guy dies”-endings. A lot my favourite endings are actually episodic, rather than those with a continuous storyline. Series as The Third, Night Head Genesis, and in a way Bokura no too, they all finished with an episodic final episode or final two episodes, and their endings have become some of the most memorable endings for me. In a way, it does make sense, because it’s much harder to plan everything right in a final episode if you’re going with a continuous storyline, and it’s very easy to rush things, or just finish things with a predictable blow. Some endings of series that I did love, despite their continuous storylines: Haibane Renmei, Crystal Blaze and Revolutionary Girl Utena.

Posted on 5 September 2008 with categories: Himitsu ~The Revelation~




Short Synopsis: The members of Daiku have a day off when a rather urgent case pops up.
Highlights: Just about everything in this episode!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 9/10
What an awesome episode! Really, I can’t believe that in the end, this series is coming together wonderfully. Seriously, it feels like this series has only just started for real after the biologica-weapon arc. It really feels like the cast’s introduction finished there. The past two episodes have that hard to describe feeling, where you really feel the chemistry between the different characters. If that makes any sense. It’s that very vague point that the characters reach, when they just feel like normal people, instead of two-dimensional ones.

I must really say that the creators have a very interesting way of fleshing out their characters. It’s very strange, I first labelled it as bad characterization, but as it turns out, this series has shown us many sides of the Daiku team. This episode fleshed them out even more, by showing how the Daiku members are on their days off. You really see different sides of them, than when you compare them in their business suits.

And the new character who kept bugging to join Daiku was hilarious, especially after the way he got pwned by Maki like that. But then again, just about every scene in this episode stood out in some way. From the light-hearted moments, to the amusement-park bombing that turned out to be just a simple fireworks show. I’m probably just rambling here (which usually happens when I run into a series I really, really like), and this episode definitely isn’t the easiest to explain why it’s so awesome. I think that it’s one of these episodes that has the x-factor.

I’m really curious: are there still people apart from myself that are watching this series? It really feels like everyone seems to have given up on it, either after the first episode with its gay undertones, or after the subs stalled. It’s a real shame: out of all the episodes the creators could have chosen, they stopped right before the best episode of the entire series.

Also, it’s strange, but I’m starting to really like Madhouse’s sense of visuals, especially in this series, even though the graphics budget is incredibly small. It’s the way that the creators use their filters and lighting-effects, along with the down-to-earth character-designs (no girls with hair in rainbow-colours = win). A great example is the gorgeous shot with the fireworks.

Overall, there were often times where I lost faith in this series, but now that it’s finally coming together, I’m confident that after Kaiba, Himitsu is my favourite series of the past spring-season.

Posted on 27 August 2008 with categories: Himitsu ~The Revelation~



Short Synopsis: A previously unmentioned Daiku-member is found dead.
Highlights: Finally the cast in this series feels complete!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10
Oh boy, they should have done this episode much sooner. It’s strange, but it finally feels that the cast has been introduced, and that with only three more episodes to go! With this episode, we learned a bit more about the final member who always remained in the shadows a bit (the red-haired woman whose name I forgot), and strangely enough, the cast also felt very complete with this episode. Screw the statement that this series isn’t good at characterizations. Sure, the characters don’t develop nearly as much as with other series, but at least with this episode, they’re fleshed out well.

I can’t believe that it took me this long to notice, but even though this is an incredibly inconsistent series, there have been two major themes throughout the episode: the first is the obvious Suzuki-storyline, and the second is a theme that you hardly get to see in anime in this form: the relationship with your wife that actually isn’t overblown. It’s one very realistic aspect in this series: each member of Daiku has his or her own love-life that doesn’t have anything to do with their job (apart from Aoki and Maki, perhaps. Ironically, still single).

But this episode did convince me: a second season for this series would rock, and the creators still have so much more to play with. Unfortunately, this is Madhouse we’re talking about. They nearly always go for new premises, instead of continuing old ones. And in a way, in the long run I like this approach better. Okay, it does leave a number of unfinished stories that way, but the other extreme is just as bad: just continue to make series of premises that already exist and which you know will rake in cash (like what Sunrise is doing right now, or even more blatantly, those recently introduced Haruhi spin-offs). The gaming-industry is currently showing what happens when such a mentality gets taken to the extreme: only sequels and hardly anything original. In the end, I do prefer the variety, so I can understand it if Madhouse would just end this series with a bang and then move on to other fresh premises.

Posted on 20 August 2008 with categories: Himitsu ~The Revelation~



Short Synopsis: Aoki tries to catch the culprit of this arc’s crime red-handed.
Highlights: A solid conclusion.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
This arc really took its time to tell its story, and it worked out pretty well. The thing I liked about this arc wasn’t the characterizations or the intensity that some of the other arcs of Himitsu showed, but rather the complexity of its storyline. The previous episodes showed lots of question-marks, and this episode answered them very nicely, even though I had trouble as usual, trying to understand those elaborate dialogues. ^^;

So in the end, it was indeed the bald guy with the hat. The first incident on the train wasn’t because of him, but a girl he really liked was assaulted by a knife. When he tried to stop it, the girl got stabbed, and a bottle that contained the disease got slashed open, spreading the disease through the various people on the train. The following murderers were him, trying to erase the evidence. I didn’t like it when the characters started talking Chinese, though. It was already hard enough for me to grasp what that dialogue was about without some Japanized Chinese translated in Kanji…

I also liked how this episode addressed the sardine-can syndrome of the Japanese trains and subways. They are notorious for how nobody ever seems to talk there, and when such a major incident happens as someone getting threatened with a knife or something, most of them try to ignore it, instead of trying to do something to resolve it.

Then there’s that idiot Aoki. As it turns out, he never kissed and got himself infected, but he just made his fingernails look like they were infected. He did jump right in front of a train in order to save the culprit, though, in a desperate attempt to save Miyoshi from her disease. In the end, there was a romantic tension between the two, but Aoki reminded Miyoshi too much of Suzuki. That doesn’t really work when he wants to get a relation with her to make her forget about the guy.

I think I also finally get why this series feels weird at times, and I can’t seem to fully enjoy it like I did when it first started. I first thought that it was because of bad characterization, but that’s not quite right: even in the first half, this show has seen some great cases. The thing with this series is that it’s incredibly inconsistent: one episode focuses at characterization, while the next focuses on mystery, then the next one is all about horror, then there’s one that aims to disturb, then there’s a thought-provoking one, et cetera. The things that made a previous episode great aren’t the focus of the following. The best example of it is episode eight: possibly the best episode of the entire series because it was so bloody disturbing, but it also caused me to expect the same of the rest of the series.

In other words: this series is incredibly unpredictable: you’ll never know what an episode will be about. It’s both so in the good ways and the bad ways. On one hand, those bloody expectations don’t always cooperate you expect tension but instead get a fairly quiet episode that aims to be more thought-provoking, et cetera. On the other hand, it does show great writing to be so incredibly versatile with this series. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword, that’ll probably cause Himitsu to never really make it to my favourites, but it’s a great series nonetheless.

Posted on 12 August 2008 with categories: Himitsu ~The Revelation~



Short Synopsis: Whoa! The train-massacre-arc is going to take up three episodes!
Highlights: Talk about a change in plot-direction.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10
Ah, so that’s what it was! The previous episode was supposed to be a huge question mark, only for this episode to shed light on what happened back there. The big twist: this arc is dealing with bio-terrorism: all the passengers in the train were somehow infected with a disease that first shows up on your fingernails. THAT’s why the killer looked at the fingernails of his victims, and THAT’s why the same symptoms showed up at Miyoshi: she’d been sleeping alongside these dead bodies (no, really) and carelessly caught the disease.

And I also knew something was fishy: Miyoshi and Suzuki used to date together, and Maki killed Miyoshi’s lover. There seems to be more than that, though. This episode did show a time where both of them were having a fight. And that Aoki: in this episode he actually tried to hit on (and kiss) her. That idiot caught the disease that way as well. I didn’t quite catch why he did such a thing, but we’ll probably learn that in the next episode.

I remember once noting that this series wasn’t good at characterizations. And yet I was shocked when Aoki revealed his fingernails. And at the same time, Aoki sure changed a lot in this episode, and became much more mature. I feel like this arc was really meant to show how his experiences with the MRI have influenced him, and he’s much more confident now than he was in the first half of this series. I think the first sign of this we saw was in the “don’t reach for that neck”-episode, where he just cut off the head of the dead guy.

I originally thought that it would be best for this series to keep to short arcs, and yet at the same time this is the longest arc of this series yet and it’s looking very promising. I’m really interested to how the creators plan to end this series, and this episode showed me that the best way to end was with a long arc, like this one. This is no Jigoku Shoujo, and for most of the time, it really needs its time to build up, it seems. The surprises worked great in the first half when the concept was still fresh (as shown by episode eight which STILL NEEDS TO GET SUBBED), but when talking about the second half, by far the best stories have been those that had two episodes.

Let’s see whether the next episode can surpass episode thirteen.

Posted on 5 August 2008 with categories: Himitsu ~The Revelation~



Short Synopsis: This case is divided over two episodes, and it’s about a serial murderer who has been killing people near train tracks.
Highlights: A new interesting character from Maki’s past.
Overall Enjoyment Value:8/10
Hmm, let’s see what this two-episode arc can deliver for this series. It’s been a strange episode so far, and I’m having a bit of trouble understanding it. At first sight, it seems like a simple case: a guy kills someone on the train and then kills all eye-witnesses. But then the episode pulls out all sorts of weird stuff like the culprit looking at fingernails and an old acquaintance of Maki. Seriously, this episode kept changing focus: you first thing it’s about a high school getting murdered, then it’s about Aoki’s wedding, then it’s about the serial murderer, then the stabbing on the train… Plus… there were much more people on that train who watched it, and the killer suddenly disappears and a bald young man with a hat shows up.

This episode was surprisingly more complex than it appeared at first… if I understood correctly, Miyoshi (Maki’s old friend) is the head of the autopsy department and she often sleeps right next to the corpses. Somehow, her fingers are related to the case… At one point, she also mistook Aoki for the real culprit of the case, but why would she think that the culprit would visit her at the police, of all places? Does that mean that she’s related to the case or something?

Especially the last of the episode has me puzzled… her fingers seem to be the same as the ones, seen from the brains of one of the victims, but what would that have to do with anything? Then at the same time, the guy who committed the first murder shows up dead in a train cabin, having killed himself.

Argh, I need to watch that next episode in order to get what the heck is going on here… my money right now is on the bald guy with the hat being the culprit, but don’t ask me why.

CHANGE USERNAME
AidanAK47
Actually forgot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know why you don't just read kara no shoujo 2 instead.
AidanAK47
And Himawari is actually boring me. It's proving difficult to push myself though just to see where the point that makes it highly regarded comes in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In the end I was pretty much curious about it.
AidanAK47
Yep, that's it. Gonna stop discord displaying what I play from now on. It's weird when people comment on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now my current rankings: 1. Devilman
2.Junji itou
3. sangatsu
4. Cardcaptor sakura
5. Pop team
6. Evergarden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Aidan
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm joking obviously, but I am surprised to see you playing Himawari Aiden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh Aidan you and your lolicon visual novel you =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Shin Godzilla had the evolving godzilla thing and that freaky ass final shot too, it also justified itself quite well i think by showing how relevent he is today, given the nuclear thing and that it drew on the Fukushima incident essentially.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Thats a far better and shorter way of putting it than I.
Alonaria
I wish I'd just waited for the other parts of the Godzilla movie trilogy to be released. As it is, I'm just going to remember it as "that incomplete movie." And the character designs kind of blurred together for me, which was really disorienting.
Anonymous1746949
Oh psgels is back
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I've seen other Godzilla things so I pretty much was supposed to see this anyway.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or you know you could always take what I said with a pinch of salt, because you know....I don't get on with Urobutcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea behind it is definately cool and a different spin for the franchise though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe I was held back a bit by the cgi or the mediorce voice acting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I'd need to see its followup before properly assessing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Godzilla often makes for silly films, but lke alot of silly older films the silliness and seriousness combine without clashing, this one is too Poe faced .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw that Godzilla anime film, I'd describe it as watchable in parts but far too caught up in setup mode and an unlikeable protaganist , it could go somewhere with what it raised at the start but this is an example of a first film in a trilogy that suffers from being unable to currently stand on its own.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I generally feel that Itou's stories have a winning track record but theres exceptions, Uzumaki and Gyo in manga form struggle toward the end and the first episode story the anime chose to adapt is, while fun one of the weaker offerings.
Alonaria
Honestly, the shorter stories have been more effective at getting a reaction out of me, though. I actually didn't really enjoy the first episode's first story, mostly because I found the MC too obnoxious. :.D Maybe because my younger brother chased me with a bug once and it was really unpleasant. XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It wasn't just it coming out of her mouth, but when they were stamping on them too.
Anonymous1743747
@Kaiser: Yah, I was horrified for like 5 seconds but the other characters made me crack up. :.D
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although it was mixed in with laughing my ass of eventually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of all the Itou stories to be un-nerved by, its the second half of this third episode oddly that does it for me and I never get uncomfortable during anything .
AidanAK47
@Anon, We are working on it.
Anonymous1742736
Are you planning on making a top anime of 2017 list?
Amagi
Yeah Mash is one of the few good ones it seems.
Amagi
Oh damn, good that you remind me, I didn't pick anything yet. But I guess I will go with Altera, considering that some of them don't look that good and I own her anyway. Would have wanted the Scat one but the drawing looks weird.
AidanAK47
Which Bond CE did you pick for the 2 mill? I went with the Mash one. Only only whose artwork I liked.
AidanAK47
Might settle for making Bryn my endgame lancer though.
AidanAK47
As I said in my Apocrypha post, I have no interest in any version of Jeanne. My top priorities for my endgame team is Isekander, Scathach and assassin Shiki. And Shiki is a welfare so only need to worry about the other two.
Amagi
Yeah, I was considering to keep rolling for the new 4* at first but I really want Jeanne Alter and she's coming soon.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I tried rolling for Karna and got nothing. Though I think Bryn is better. I plan on rolling one more time with the saint quartz we are getting to try for NP2. Though we do have the valintines event coming.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here, just got Brynhildr. Even though I already got Karna last month. But I wanted her, nice design, finally a single-targed 5* and she's even one of the few servants related to my country.
KTravlos
@SuperMario. The contemplation of the death of humanity, and the loneliness, both were very disturbing to me. Kinda like thinking of my grave.
AidanAK47
YANDERE GET. Bryn's mine baby.
AidanAK47
Gonna try rolling for Brynhildr tomorrow. Bit annoyed they chose to translate it as Brynhild. I mean it's not incorrect but her name is far more recognisable as Brynhildr
AidanAK47
@Amagi, The grind wasn't that bad for me. Mordred carried me for it. Though I managed to get Siegfried in the gacha despite not being on rate up. I admit that the event was rather lackluster. Story wasn't that fun and the whole saber restriction was a pain. Also gonna take me a while to readjust to regular damage.
Amagi
Man that FGO Saber Wars event was annoying. I am happy finally I have 2 mio. altrium now and am done with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminder that netflix Godzilla anime is later today.
Amagi
Damn I didn't noticed that ankle band of the little demon from the intro scene of FranXX 01, now I feel stupid.
Lenlo
Yuasa is great! Ping pong and Tatami Galaxy are still some of my favorites
SuperMario
Oh fuck, the lead singer of the Cranberries passed away. I literally just listened to their music yesterday. Damnn, sad news
SuperMario
@Kaiser; thanks for considering me but I believe Wooper is much more a Yuasa's fan than I am
SuperMario
Far out!!!
SuperWooper
Yuasa will be answering questions on Reddit's anime board on the 20th.
SuperMario
@Niello: what do you mean regarding Yuasa?
SuperMario
@Travlos: I agree that Girls Last Tour is a special little gem, but in what ways it's disturbing?
Niello
Holy cow, Masaaki Yuasa AMA!! What magic is this?
Niello
Meawhile, Japan took a different approach and we ends up with a bunch of .hack rehash and diving more and more into escapism. Until we eventually got isekai and then it just spiraled into a sea of mediocrity.
Niello
While that opened its own can of worms, at least it opens up element about making ends meet, managing irl relationships, earning extra income for a poor family, getting cheated etc.
Niello
in the characters real life just fine. Something more a long the line of Net-juu but more technologically advanced. And I would say that plenty of those have been superior to Japanese online game and isekai story shenanigans. That said, it doesn't mean that those don't have their own kind of traps they usually fall in. A bunch of those instead focus on the aspect of making money off of games.
Niello
...Getting stuck in a virtual reality game and being transport to another world that happens to be like a game are completely different though. I don't know what is it with Japan and getting stuck in game plots considering that there are loads of other game-base Asian novels that came before it that manage story lines where they manage to tell compelling stories in game while balancing what happen
KTravlos
I finally finished Girls Last Tour. What a profound, fluffy and disturbing masterpiece. Bravo.
Amagi
Yeah. I feel the world swap is pretty much pointless when real life isn't relevant anymore. It's just a stupid as hell excuse to combine fantasy wish fullfilment with self-inserts, which is why these main characters tend to be 29 by now, just like the big part of the otaku community.
Lenlo
Of those you listed, no, I dont think they get explained? I mean, SAO did, but I dont think that falls into your category.

Thats why I liked .hack//sign over alot of more modern game Isekai. Also .hack//sign did explain what happened to Tsukasa.
Amagi
Considering how bad most of these are I wouldn't wonder if they wouldn't even bother with an explanation and just end it with the characters being happy in that game world and that's it. Or magic and the whole harem gets transported into reality at the end because power of love and such.
Amagi
I have no problem with a sci-fi fantasy mix, I liked .hack//sign for example, but it annoys me that such an incredibly bizarre situation gets never explained. Or maybe it will but it never happened so far because none of these LNs was ever finished and concluded yet. I just wish to know how they explain that.
Amagi
I mean all those shows in which the character just finds himself stuck in a real world that's (coincidentally?) the same as the game he recently played. Be it Overlord, Death March, Log Horizon or the 300 other series with that premise.
Amagi
Some thing that always bothered me about game isekai for which I never got an answer so far: did any of those series ever end and/or explain how the warp has happened and why the MC is in the game? - Not talking about .hack, SAO and such where the action of getting trapped is part of the premise
Niel
@Eoghan - Btw, Kokkoku isn't a time travel. it's stasis, apparently. Looks very promising so far. Though if I am to trust the manga score, it's shit.
Niel
But is Toradora really slice of life? As far as I can see it's straight up romance.
Lenlo
And Mario, ill rag on SOL all I want! :P

Wooper, its true good shows transcend genre, as there are still some like Toradora I like, but those are exceptions that prove the rule so to speak.
Lenlo
@Niel, yeah I base my potential % on the odds something gets/stays good.
AidanAK47
I am of similar mindset about Franxx. I want it to get better but I don't really see it doing so. Unless the other characters get a majority personality boost or the MC stops being a plank.
Niel
XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
I confess....I only sat through just over half an episode of aldonoah.
Niel
Since it's Trigger, I will give the benefit of the doubt. I'm just very skeptical about this whole formula.
Niel
The way I can see this series improving is through world building. And if other aspects are going to improve too, it's going to revolve around that.
Niel
It leaves about as much impression on me as much as the first episode of Aldnoah did, and I dropped that one straight away. The character chemistry doesn't look like it will go places that's not cliche. The gimmick doesn't seem like it has much potential either.
Niel
So you're all betting it on "this is going to get better". I mean, I hope it gets better. Though right now this feels more Kiznaiver than Kill la Kill or LWA.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd nominate Mario to do the devilman review as he's the most immediate Yuasa fan to do it and Bam is too awol to write it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cute girl shows just bleed and blend in my mind now, same with the isekai shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Devilman, my show of the season, unless after the rain ends up having some emotional wallop.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So for me its looking like: Junji itou, Cardcaptor sakura, keeping up with sangatsu, wait and see on amegari . Not watching a time travel or trigger show and I remain unable to sit through Mahoutsukai .
Amagi
The story itself is generic so far but so are most Trigger series at the beginning so not sure. Maybe it will stay weak, but in general I prefer series that start with the weaker episodes and get better and better over time over the many series that use up all of their budget and trump cards in the first episode and drag on after that.
Amagi
I really love Trigger's esthetics and their characters. I am happy they're more often involved in non-trigger-only productions because I honestly think that most of the stuff I enjoyed about FranXX was heavily influenced by them.
SuperMario
@Nielo: Franxx's first ep was stellar for me. Storywise, it's lackluster (and I see the similar in tropes between this and Beatless) but production-wise it's excellent
SuperMario
I think I just keep watching it on a weekly basis. Still trippy as hell
SuperMario
Okay, I just watched second episode of Devilman Crybaby and it's still pretty good.
Nielo
By the way, what's up with Darling in the Franxx? I thought it's a very weak first episode.
Nielo
@Lenlo: Slice of life isn't my thing either, and I usually avoid series set in high school.
Nielo
@SuperMario: Takagi-san is cute, I'll admit that, but since I already read the manga it's not new to me. Sora Yori is good, but it's not particularly cute. I found Hakumei to Mikochi and Yuru Camp very boring. Haven't got the chance to watch Mitsuboshi Colors or Gakuen Babysisters but I don't think they could be more cute than Mii-kun.
SuperWooper
HOT TAKE: Genre is irrelevant. What matters is whether a show is good.
SuperMario
Don't knock off MY genre Lenlo. It's one of the reason I got into anime in the first place :)
Lenlo
Im not saying it doesn't do what it sets out to. I just don't think what it sets out to do is all that... great.
Lenlo
@Niello, Slice of Life was never my Genre in the first place :/ I typically avoid them. I have my own life to deal with and already graduated high school, why would I want to deal with a melodramatic anime highschool, is my line of thought.
SuperMario
@Niello: okay, let's see:Takagi-san (the titular character), Mitsuboshi Colors, Gakuen Babysisters (Toddlers!!), Hakumei to Milochi (tiny girls) and two more slightly more mature but equally cute: Sora Yori and Yuru Camp's casts
Nielllo
@SuperMario: I'm sure this is where our definition of "cute" parts way, but I'll ask anyway, what are those 5 shows?
SuperMario
@Niello: seems so because I can eaisily pick 5 more shows that are cuter, and better than Mummy this season ;)
Nielllo
...So I suppose I'm the only one who's kinda bored out by a lot of the slice of life shows that's trying to be cute this season and only perked up by the Mummy anime because it's actually do what it's meant to do and be legit cute.
Lenlo
I am interested in Koi, but still have concern about the relationship itself.

@Vonter, the mummy anime would be better as short vignettes together I feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koi amegari is surprisingly tasteful, subdued and pretty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*to where
Kaiser-Eoghan
Try as I might, my love of kyoani tv anime has largely evaporated did where I no longer want to bother at this stage, I'll just wait and see. I'll just stay quiet on the franxx anime, theres little value in me trying to get through a trigger work at this point.
SuperMario
I get the exact same feeling with Takagi-san. It's pretty good on what it does but 20 minutes of the same thing for a whole season doesn't sound that promising
Vonter
The chibi mummy anime
Vonter
It's a shame it isn't a shorter 10 or 5 minute series, I think that format would make it shine more, since it does what it's trying to do.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I liked the second episode of Kokkuko or whatever the name is even more than the first one.
Amagi
I really have a problem with all these shows that rely on one single thing, joke, shenanigan or whatever. Be it something cute, some certain kind of interactiong or whatever. It doesn't matter how good it is it will bore me with episode 2.
Lenlo
Like, yeah, the mummy was cute. But the cute became rote/bland really quick. There has to be more than "cute" to be worth watching for more than a single episode to me.
Lenlo
@Niello, I was harsh because its not aimed at me. I wanted to drop it 5 minutes in, kept up for the post, then was thankful it was over. There wasnt anything overtly bad about it. Its just there was nothing good either.
AidanAK47
To be fair it's not as if we are lacking cute in this season.
In fact it's in danger of inflation.
SuperMario
@Niello: yes, the mummy is cute, the show is cute but beside that it's pretty mediocre. That show in particular is the only show that I have the damnest time to give it a potential rating.
Niello
It's not even down because of legal reasons, since the site pull down contents that are lincensed. It's down cause it's too much for the site owner to manage. Much of it also have to do with too many bots, which comes back to how a lot of other sites are relying on batoto.
Niello
@Masky: Not enough manga titles are getting translated. Batoto is the site scanlation groups basically rely on, and where other aggregation sites pull their content from. No batoto no obscure titles, a big blow to small scantation groups and one big manga/scanlator community down.
Niello
Why are you guys so harsh on the mummy show? It's so darn cute. Give it some credit. If a comedy show can be good because it does comedy well I don't see why a show ike Mummy can't be good if it can make people go "aww".
Masky
I don't really know why that is the case, maybe marketing budget and UI friendliness when done right? :P
Masky
Eh, wouldn't say it will kill manga industry. I mean, more and more official methods of reading manga online is starting to pop up and legit channels to pay to get access to manga can surprisingly enough harm free channels to get manga.
Masky
Anyway, I do find it funny how how the isekai character dies can be so meaningless that is joke in most of them
Niello
Batoto is going down, how this affect the manga reading is going to be interesting. Hope it's not slowly dying.
Masky
(at least that one, besides forgetting to introduce what the heck is gimmick besides generickness, acknowledged how most of otaku mcs shouldn't erally want to get transferred to fantasy world since they never get to see how their favourite mangas end :P )
Masky
Anyhoo, it gets annoying since its not just isekai being cliche, sometimes is just them being kind of badly written(or at least adapted to manga). Like, I found one new isekai today, but I have no idea what its gimmick is(from what I understood, its that "cute companion" that character gets is hideously op because mc didn't spefy cute girl when he asked god manager dude for cute companion)
Masky
Slime one is one of better from the more generic ones weirdly enough :P I mean I still wouldn't call it good, but at least MC character isn't god tier, just top tier and it has sort of village building simulation feel to it. Plus at least naming things giving monsters more powers is something funny regarding jrpg mechanics
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or alternatively the car was on a boat with the character or parents in it and the boat and car were hit by a falling plane lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its always "car accident" that sends the characters to another world or in harem cases "Lost parents due to car crash", for christs sake doesn't anyone die in out of control plane or speedboat crashes anymore, at least make it a motorbike....
Nayrael
Ah sorry, should probably not have touched the colors...
Nayrael
Trust me, Isekai is better when it doesn't try to be imaginative. When it tries to be original then... Isekai with a Smartphone... Isekai where the MC turns into a Slime... and my favorite: Isekai where the MC became a Hot Spring popular with sexy girls.
Masky
Assuming "new" things can happen under the sun
Masky
Anyhoo, I do wonder what the heck will be next "popular genre trope that will become so overused cliche that everyone groans whenever show uses it even if its actually good show"
Masky
Like, seriously you could do really interesting story variant on isekai with that if done right. Suddenly becoming characters you have roleplayed would be trippy as hell espicially if one of characters went really into detail with backstory while one of them is just "Bob the fighter, he likes fighting" and has to deal with what happens when you assume life of such a person
Masky
But I wouldn't honestly be surprised because of my anger issues related to amount of unimaginative isekai :P Though I guess trpg based one would be more imaginative in comparison
Masky
I'd assume not since I assume tabletop rpgs are much more niche than jrpgs in japan
Masky
So has anyone yet done isekai where guys getting transferred were playing trpg? :P
KTravlos
quite happy with most recent Attack of Titan manga chapter.
SuperMario
Alright, one more impression post to go before we really get on to new season
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, I just fixed it. Thank you
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than just the reviewers names
Kaiser-Eoghan
A slight problem with the coding there in the newest impression, showing code gobbledeegook rather than the reviewers names above their impressions.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'm seeing it on 2nd of February.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Late screeners generally leak shortly after the uk release, so maybe early Febbruary it'll be online?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, Phantom Thread. Could be Daniel Day Lewis's final performance. Is it available online already?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you know that Paul Thomas Anderso8n has a new film coming out? Also I found out there is a Polish semi-knockoff of purple rose of cairo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Awesome, just got myself an invite to a secret private torrent site =)
K-Off
@Kaiser When I was in University, I was a waiter at a Korean-owned Japanese Sushi restaurant with a kitchen staff of entirely Mexicans with poor English. The owner, while he provided the rest of his staff with small meals during our lunch or dinner shifts, never game any to the kitchen staff. The guy even ranted to a customer about how "lazy" or "ignorant" they were.
K-Off
Buses are pretty common in America, even outside the major super-cities like LA, NYC, or Chicago. It's public rail you're thinking of that we don't have much of outside the cities.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I brought up the racisim/aunt story wondering if anyone had any horror stories about where they worked?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Bokusen: Buses don't seem to be a thing in America, meanwhile over here, despite traffic, public transport is much more of a thing, couldn't imagine not getting a train or bus somewhere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi. I must say you changed my positive view of the German education system.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And yet Austria gets the far right party in power and Israel also has a far right apartheid leader.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If any good came from it, her boss got banned from facebook .
Amagi
Two years ago the alt/new right hold a rally here since they're successful elsewhere with their anti-immigrant/PoC speeches. In the end it was 35 nazis vs 29.000 counter-demonstrators. The joke: when they had to leave with police protection they shouted "We are the people". Yes 35 hated bigots are surely the people, not the 29k. I laughed.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: That aunt story is pretty shit. I am kinda happy about smartphones nowadays, you can often make photos or record speech if you are witnessing something. Also, thank God the racists in my city are very rare since antifa and leftwingers took hold of it decades ago - now 70% of people are immigrants so racists don't even tend to show up anymore.
Nielllo
Great. I don't think most of what I wrote actually appeared in the chat.
Niello
what I'm going to do in the long run.
Niello
While Liberal art colleges are really good for developing writing and reading skills, the truth is in science classes you still don't do much of that. it's also limited by general lack of equipments that you get at bigger Uni. My college don't even have engineering.
Total users: 41

Star Crossed Anime Blog

3 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

After the Rain – 02 [Rain Drops on Green Leaves]

It has been exactly a year since I last blogged you, noitaminA shows, and this time again it’s another romance drama. Unlike Scum’s Wish last year, however, Ameagari has one simple premise, but it executes the idea with such grace. This second episode is even stronger than the first, setting the stepping stone for Tachibana […]

Violet Evergarden – 02 [Never Coming Back]

I’m thankful that this second episode plays out much quieter and more subtle than the first, because I’m not a fan at all with the grandeur approach of the first episode. This makes the second week of Violet slightly better than last week, but I still find myself not totally satisfied with the whole experience. […]

Kokkoku – 2 [The Second Moment]

Hello and welcome to the 2018 Winter season! This time, we have an interesting little time-based drama called Kokkoku. It has mystery, it has cults, it has dead-beat parents and apparent god-like beings. Lets jump in! To start, a quick blurb about our characters. Personally, I like them so far. They are all flawed and imperfect […]

A Place Further than the Universe – 03 [The Follow Backs Don’t Stop]

“I could just die right now” That line, spoken by our new member, Yuzuki, bookends this week’s Universe. It marks the shift in the new girl’s character growth. Last week, the Expedition girls mentioned they have a plan to raise fund, right? Turns out it’s not the mother, but the young girl herself, is used […]

Junji Ito Collection – 02[Fashion Model, Long Dreams]

After the first episode started off as a black comedy, I was worried that this series may suffer the same problem as Kino’s Journey in that the weaker stories in his work would be chosen for adaption. Lucky this does not appear to be the case but there is another problem which is not quite […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 13/14 [East, West, Homes Best]/[Looks breed love]

Hello and welcome to the new year! New Year, a new Cour for Mahoutsukai no Yome, this time with slightly more plot. These past two weeks have been a bumpy ride of Mahoutsukai, with plenty to talk about. So let’s jump in! To start off, the new OP is terrible. The music isn’t as good […]

A Place Further than the Universe – 02 [Kabukicho Fremantle]

I’m glad that this second episode addresses straight out all my worries from the first episode: the actual implementation to make that trip a reality, because boy, it’s no simple matter. Universe apparently does its research, telling us exactly places they need to go, the initial trip ahead and the amount of money they need […]

3-gatsu no Lion – 33/34 [Where the Sun Shines…Light]

It’s been three weeks since my last 3-gatsu post, a gap owed in part to the break the show took around New Years’. Perhaps it’s because of all that time away from the series, or maybe it’s due to the massive difference between these two episodes, but I had a tough time connecting with the […]

Dies Irae – 10/11[Einherjar/Self-Destruction Factor]

Quite late in covering this one though out of the three shows I covered for the fall season my level of interest in this series has more or less evaporated. Truth be told, while this is a episode review of ten and eleven, i honestly cannot even remember what happened in episode ten. I think […]

Latest Reviews

In This Corner of the World (2016) Movie Review – 90/100

In this Corner of the World (for the purpose of this review, I’ll refer it as “Corner”), is the truest slice of life drama if you ever encounter one, in that it’s a slice into an ordinary life of an ordinary girl during the War period. That speaks into the very first strength of Corner, […]

Houseki no Kuni (Fall 2017) Review – 92/100

Make no mistake, Houseki no Kuni is the most ambitious anime project of the year. Not only because it’s an entirely CG project (and make a damn good use of it, mind you), or because of its narrative scope that at once strange, grand and beauty, but also in its very conception in their production […]

Fate/Apocrypha Anime Review – 64/100

I was quite excited for Apocrypha and in the so called year of Fate adaptations, it looked to be the crown jewel. Sadly, partly due to lacking adaption and the source lacking in areas, this anime turned out to be not quite the jewel I thought it would be. It’s hard to call this a […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World Anime Review – 73/100

One of the surprises of the year was to see the return of Kino’s Journey, a very well regarded and more unique anime among those deemed classic. Many, myself included, were very much looking forward to the return of Kino and her talking Motorrad. Though due to some factors this series doesn’t quite live up […]

Girls’ Last Tour (Fall 2017) Review – 86/100

Girls’ Last Tour falls within my favorite new trend that emerging the anime medium over the last decade: a dark moe anime. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the human race has almost extinct, our two girls wandering around the world in their kettenkrad looking for food and shelter. If it sounds a bit bleak […]

Two tales of War: Reviewing The Heroic Legend of Arslan and Altair: A Record of Battles

It would not be an exaggeration to say that my favorite type of anime is the political-military epic. This comes partly out of my profession, I study war and politics, but also my hobby, as military and political history is something I enjoy. When it comes to anime there is a clear sub-category that can […]

The Night is Short, Walk On Girl (2017) Movie Review – 92.5/100

“How many decades have passed since our drinking contest?” “It hasn’t been that long. It was only a few hours ago, this very night!” That gap in time perceiving plays a significant role in Night is Short. For you see, it all depends on how our perception of the surroundings and time itself can affect […]

Ballroom e Youkoso Review – 65/100

In the weeks leading up to the summer 2017 season, Ballroom e Youkoso was one of the most buzzed-about new series. Produced by the Production I.G. team responsible for the smash hit Haikyuu!!, and set to air on Amazon’s brand new Anime Strike service, the series had no shortage of promotion or hype behind it. […]

Inuyashiki Review – 80/100

Do you know what the average age of an anime protagonist is? Neither do I, but I’d wager its in the upper teens. For obvious reasons, most anime focus on high school and have high school aged protagonists with similarly aged problems. Its not often that we get a good older main character, who has […]