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.

Customize
CJayTiiii
Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
K-Off
If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
CJayTiii
Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
CJayTiii
Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
K-Off
@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
CJayTiii
For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
afgm
Well, it's hard, since it doesn't really feel finished, so even if you know it will eventually end well if given a chance, you can't really put your full confidence behind those bets
AidanAK47
Got a bit long winded in that review and yet I feel like I really didn't get across what makes the series so good.
AidanAK47
Well that's the Re:Zero review written up. I will get to work on 91 days next and maybe Prisms Illya maybe after that. Lost all entuasim after they messed up that last episode in Illya. Overall it's been pretty disappointing.
AidanAK47
As for that twist. I think they could work it easily into a first episode. The impact would still be there for people marathoning the thing in the future and it would be a good "Oh Shit!" moment to start the second season. If they jump ahead a bit to a certain moment it would actually make for a great opener.
AidanAK47
I say the only chance of season two not coming would be if White Fox doesn't like money. Considering that the pace which the light novel adaption has sped up from every few months to a release every month I guess that they want to make that second season as badly as we want it. At this pace they could start a second season in maybe a years time. Maybe every half a year depending on cour length.
Syndrome
Also, if season 2 ever come (that would be a surprise if not, and truly annoying), I dont know how they will manage with the "twist", as something this impactful would come way too fast without any kind of setup. Wait and see, I guess.
Syndrome
After seeing the last Re:Zero I couldnt help but spoil myself, and I kind of understand why WhiteFox went with that kind of ending, skipping what would be a giant shtstorm on the internet. Even though, in a sad world where there would be no season 2, Im still a bit disappointed with the ending. Its nice to wrap it up this way but its a stale regarding the plot and there is no food for thought.
SuperMario
@aidan: you sure are fast when it comes to Re:Zero haha. Alrighty, we'll go with that then
AidanAK47
@mario,I am putting up a Re:Zero post. Tommarrow. I will unsticky it for a day and then we can sticky it again.
reaLjustified
@K-Off No worries, it's so messed up. Stay safe.
SuperMario
@Aidan: if you going to post Re:Zero review soon, you can unsticky the Versus Show post, otherwise I will take it down in 2 days
SuperMario
@K-Off: I feel for ya. Glad that there were only minor injuries. I heard a blogger claimed that he did it because of the gay rights. Sound bullsh*t to me
K-Off
Shit ton of manga have gotten updates but I don't feel like talking about them for a while, lost my appetite.
K-Off
@Kaiser Living in NYC all my life I remember 9/11, flight 587 crash in Queens, the Hudson River water landing, and now this.
AidanAK47
So far it seems most of the people calling it disappointing are those who know whats comes after that last scene and were looking forward to how the fanbase reacts to it. But it would have been a pretty terrible as well as evil way to end the series.
Topgavin
Yeah, I thought it gave enough closure for us to be satisfied yet still desperately wanting the next season.
AidanAK47
@Anon120947, I really don't see what's so disappointing about it. I thought it was a pretty solid way to end the series.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think at most the worst thing that happened in my area was two conmen going around and an gangster attack on a nearby hotel.
Kaiser Eoghan
@K-off: Honestly, glad to hear you're safe. And having a bomb go off nearby would make me feel paranoid.
@Anon: I'm waiting, waiting for reviews written after the show ends.
Anonymous120947
Feels like it has been done this way in case of a never happening season 2... to kind of close it.
Anonymous120947
Wow, that last episode of Re:Zero was pure straight disapointment... finishing like this feels is real suffering.
K-Off
Well, we don't know yet. We don't know who did it, if it was connected to the pipe bomb explosion in jersey, etc. But the second device found on 27th street does seem to point the situation towards terrorism.
afgm
Luckily it doesn't seem to be a terror attack
K-Off
Yeah. I was a good 8 blocks away inside a restaurant so I didn't even know until later. It must have been a pretty small bomb since all the injured have apparently already been released from the hospital.
AidanAK47
Damn. Just looked it up. Good thing you weren't at the area when the bomb went off.
K-Off
Fucking hell, transit is so congested I still can't get home. Luckily it seems like there's no fatalities according to the initial reports, there are still a shit ton of people around central for shelter. I didn't hear or feel the explosion at chelsea, and currently I'm at lenox with my bicycle. So congested it looks like I'm going to have to walk my bike a few more miles before I get picked up. L
AidanAK47
Watched The Empire of Corpses. I makes me sad to see a great idea be turned into such a mediocre movie. I think this concept could have been put to much better use but instead it decided to go with the blandest option.
SuperMario
The guy who will direct it is a live-action director who only had Psycho Pass the Movie (not a good one) as an anime director. WTH? Don't know what to think about this new FLCL now
SuperMario
and it will be co-produced by Adult Swim on top of that?
SuperMario
How comes I just noticed this old news that FLCL will get two-seasons sequel...
Masky
And by that I mean "Huh, haven't checked the blog for two days"
Masky
Yay commenting on two days old blog posts
AidanAK47
Finished rewatching Re:Zero and now ready for the finale. Let's see how this goes.
AidanAK47
I will be mourning the now dead hope of a somewhat decent Berserk adaption.
The last few episodes were not bad but purely on the merits of the source material and not the adaption.
SuperMario
@Bam: I'll be mourning indeed.
@Anon 112098: I haven't watched Chef, but it has more to do with me not interested in chef's life whatsoever. Is it good?
Bam
I'm out of town until Sunday evening. The Berserk finale post will hopefully be up early Monday mourning, followed by the overall cour review a bit later in the week.
Anonymous112098
Habe u seen Chef with John Favreau?
AidanAK47
I am quite upset with how Sliver link handled that scene. It was the one scene I wanted done right. Just that one scene...and they screwed it up.
SuperMario
He scored the Prince of Egypt? I didn't know that, but yeah I remember it had a great score. Also "When you believe"
K-Off
Well, a lot of his earlier work is just brilliant. Prince of Egypt in my opinion is his greatest work.
SuperMario
*nothing wrong
SuperMario
Well, Hans Zimmer could do nothing really; but that's a reason why I have a bit of problem with his scores. Everything he made are solid but ultimately sound the same to me.
SuperMario
Agree that the music has been excellent. Not only the soundtrack thou, but the sound editting in general is great (that ringtone during the Great Whale for example).
AidanAK47
@Mario, Understandable. As much as I love this show, I admit that it has elements I am sure could turn off people.
Also I really should have talked about the music in this series more. It really is a phenomenal soundtrack. I hear they were going with a more cinematic approach to it with Hans Zimmer being a primary inspiration.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it has been a fun ride, I'm glad I stick with it till the end; although I'm not as enthusiastic about it as you are. :)
AidanAK47
Re-watching Re:Zero in preparation for the finale. Still is awesome a second time through. In fact the middle part of the series I felt dragged fairs a whole lot better when marathoned though. Noticing a number of things watching the second time. For one Roswell has a really goddamn annoying way of talking. I say I will be giving this on a very favorable review.
Anonymous110962
Hugh Mungus
AidanAK47
@TopGavin, I haven't watched it yet but I hope what you said about the animation isn't too bad because this is where they need to be on top of their game.
Topgavin
So that fate episode was interesting, lotsa stuff happened. Seemed like the animation was worse than usual and my god how could the subs screw up the incantation.
reaLjustified
@Aramus Why would you want to send the picture to your friend? Tell 'em to see it for themselves at the site! lol.
Friend
Most of the time they meant no harm, I think it's always about getting recognition. They quickly take them down after I send them a polite email, and I let them save their ego without smearing them on their page.
afgm
(ok maybe a little fault should go to them lol)
afgm
@Friend: That sucks, but its definitely understandable. People can be pretty thoughtless at times (no fault to them of course).
afgm
tiger mask did make it into the upper quartile though, which is surprising
Friend
@afgm I don't have a large internet presence with my work exactly because I've had situations with theft on Pinterest. For work, I just carry USBs with my portfolio pieces in them :/
Friend
@Aramus Heya, thanks for the inquiry. Unfortunately the fell image won't be available openly unless for commercial purposes, but otherwise feel free to contact me in my business email! :)
afgm
ah you know what? I read the title Time Bokan 24 and thought it had 24 votes x)
SuperMario
@afgm: Time Bokan receives 0 vote the last time I checked it. I'm more surprised that people love Haikyuu that much
SuperMario
Such a shame because I enjoy writing it a lot
SuperMario
2 more episodes on Thunderbolt Fantasy and I might break the sites' record (hall of shame really) for covering a show without any comment, haha.
afgm
Also what is Time Bokan and why does it have more votes than 95% of the other anime in the poll haha
afgm
well it's always iffy giving out images without the creator knowing. You can never know where its going to end up. I strongly suggest you contact Friend.
aramus1
@Afgm Sorry, I was the anon. The weird username thing is bugging out. And was going to send it to a friend, did she not want it out there?
afgm
@anon: you better not be thinking about refistributing the image without her consent. youre better off contacting her on her homepage...
AidanAK47
@Anon108797, In the comments he mentions that it's an April Fools joke. So there is hope for humanity yet.
Anonymous108797
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bBa44-FIqk Why does this even exist
Total users: 33

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