Posted on 4 April 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Jigoku Shoujo



It’s quite a challenge to review the third instalment of Jigoku Shoujo, since I’m so incredibly biased for it. The third season basically continues with the same formula, of having 26 episodes, nearly all of them about someone taking a revenge against someone else. The show is evolving, though: the third season does feature a bunch of differences from the previous two, though. A few subtle differences… and a bunch of not-so-subtle ones.

The big difference in which the third season sets itself apart is the nature of all of the different revenges. There never really was a distinct line between good and evil in the Jigoku Shoujo, but at least you could see that the most of the (with a number of notable exceptions of course) ones asking for revenge sort-of deserved some sort of help. This completely disappears in the third season, when the people taking revenge turn into total misguided and deluded bastards, often sending people to hell who haven’t even done anything wrong.

This has several effects. On one side, some of the revenges become totally ludicrous: the formula quickly gets predictable, and sometimes the creators make a bit too generous use of their artistic lisences to send people to hell for the most bizarre reasons. On the other hand, though: it allows them to explore the boundaries of political incorrectness. The only thing it doesn’t touch is racism, but apart from that it confronts the viewer with countless of modern-day taboos, and presents them in a politically incorrect, and yet somewhat realistic manner; and that’s the creepy bit.

Jigoku Shoujo has also been known for its particularly strong climaxes, and Mitsuganae is no different. while I’m not going to spoil anything here, the eventual finale makes optimal use of the huge amounts of building up that the rest of the season put into it, up to the final minute of the show, and this has definitely been the best finale that Jigoku Shoujo has shown us thus far.

So yeah, the first half is mostly nothing special for Jigoku Shoujo’s standards, but the final quarter SO makes up for it. Obviously, in order to enjoy Jigoku Shoujo, you must be aware that it’s an incredibly repetitive series: in nearly every episode, you know for sure that someone is going to get sent to hell. But what makes this such a special series is that even though it has this weakness, its atmosphere totally makes up for it: it’s very consistent and thanks to an excellent sense of build-up, it only gets tighter as the show goes on. And that’s really the strength I see in horror-series: using creepy atmosphere and storytelling to draw the viewer inside the story, and Jigoku Shoujo doesn’t just succeed in it. It succeeds in it for 78 episodes.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 9/10
Posted on with categories: Jigoku Shoujo



Short Synopsis: A certain character‘s father calls Jigoku Tsuushin.
Episode Rating: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
And with this, the Winter-season is really over for me. this was the second best final episode after Birdy the Mighty, but then again, when the entire season has been building up to this point, in a season where there only were a few endings that really impressed me, Ai had to start acting like an overly energetic schoolgirl to for me to change my opinion of this series. Jigoku Shoujo has a great personal value for me: after Mahou Shoujotai it was the major reason for me to start blogging, and more than three years and 78 episodes later and it’s still going strong as an awesome series. If there is going to be some sort of fourth season, I’ll definitely be up for it.

So, the big twist? The spider is Kikuri!?!? This seems to be a major case of split personality here, but it turns out that ever since Ai and the others left from Ai’s grandmother’s house, the spider has been happily camping inside of Kikuri’s head, who does seem to be a completely different person, say, a doll. This explains why she’s always causing trouble: it was as a means for her to resist the almighty spider.

As for Yuzuki: in the end she turns out to involve herself with her clients way too much. She turns against the spider and ends up getting punished. Ai then takes the blame, and becomes Jigoku Shoujo, even after finally becoming free, in order to let Yuzuki’s spirit die in peace. A very nice and creative ending, and it does make sense if you link it to the ending of the second season: Ai is mostly emotionless, but the people she spends a lot of time with she develops a bond. This was first started with Tsugumi, and the strength of the bond only became stronger in the successive seasons, in which in the second one she had to endure a punishment of losing her body, and in the third one she had to give up her chance to finally be free of being Jigoku Shoujo.

So, I have no idea what Studio Deen is up to for the current spring season, but these guys always manage to surprise me and they have produced many of my favourites. The past half year has been relatively weak for them, since all of their shows were simply sequels apart from Hetalia, so it’s about time for them to put some new stuff on the table again. Jigoku Shoujo has once again been a joy to watch despite the repetitiveness, and Ai’s character-design has to rank among the top-10 of best character-designs ever.

Oh, and we have a prime here after this post: the part on the right side-bar under “Currently Watching” is completely empty. I’ve never had that case in all the years that I’ve been blogging so far, there were always one or two oddballs every season at least. In any case this means that I can blog 12 episodes for the new season. Definitely going to be interesting.

Posted on 28 March 2009 with categories: Jigoku Shoujo



Short Synopsis: Yuzuki’s past.
Episode Rating: 8.5/10 (Awesome)
Muaha, this episode obviously was meant to explain how Yuzuki died, and it did a great job at it. while extremely exaggerated of course, this episode also featured the problems that single moms face, and oh my god that small version of Yuzuki was cute. The most disturbing thing of this episode wasn’t the death of her parents, but rather how she ended up dealing with it, burying her mother under cherry blossom leaves in the end and simply falling asleep alongside her teddybear.

And yeah, at the end of this episode the inevitable happens: Ai disappears and Yuzuki becomes Jigoku Shoujo. In the end, it was Ai’s knowledge that Yuzuki’s ghost hated modern day society that made her so confident that Yuzuki would be a worthy successor of hers, but at the same time she’d better not be gone forever!

And of course the next episode is going to feature the scene we’ve all been waiting for: that bloody spider. since this series has gone exactly according to Ai’s plans, I really wonder what that total bastard is going to do this time.

This is just pure speculation at this point, since it’s a total mystery what that next episode is going to be, but I’ve got a hunch that the creators still aren’t finished with this series. Think about it: there is one character who hasn’t received any background at all: Kikuri. Something’s telling me that the entire third season was just one big build-up for that possible fourth season, which is going to put Yuzuki and Kikuri against each other. I mean seriously, with a series so focused on build-up, there has to be some sort of meaning between Kikuri’s constant “I’m going to be the next Jigoku Shoujo!”, and there’s no way that that’s going to be able to be resolved in just one episode. But let’s not count chickens before they hatch. First we need to wait for that fourth season to actually get announced… that might take a while.

Posted on 21 March 2009 with categories: Jigoku Shoujo



Short Synopsis: Yuzuki is!%$#%#$@$@#!@#!#$@!@#!!!!!
Episode Rating: 9/10 (Fantastic)
Holy. Freaking. Heck! Oh my god, what an utterly incredible episode. I would even go as far as saying that this has been the single best episode that I have ever seen from Jigoku Shoujo, and with such an amazing series, THAT HAS TO SAY SOMETHING. Oh my god… I’m still amazed at the huge guts of the creators to pull such a plot twist….

So yeah, we all know the problems with the third season of Jigoku Shoujo: the incredibly far fetched stories that populated that first half. But seriously, the show has managed to pick itself up so wonderfully after that first half. It really is something the second season didn’t succeed at, and while at one point I claimed the third season to be the weakest of the bunch, I’m going to have to take that back now. Mitsuganae is at least better than Futakomori, and if the rest of the finale is as amazing as this one, it might as well be as memorable as the original series.

Because, ZOMG, Yuzuki turns out to have been a ghost in denial! Everything that happened so far was because she refused to acknowledge that she was dead, while in fact she was simply being recruited by Ai to join her league. It was indeed very weird for Ai to just pick out a random girl, but there’s nothing weird about it at all: Yuzuki is just another one in a string of random corpses that Ai tried to use in order to find her successor. My guess would be that all of them tried to escape to their previous lives when they found out, leaving Ai without a body again, in search for the next one.

I have to say that I was getting a bit wary of this series when the previous episode still came with the usual revenges, but now I see that this is the sort of climaxes that really works on the surprise element, and thus doesn’t need that many episodes, as opposed to the ending of the second season, which required much more build-up to work.

And yeah, the first half was good for another thing: it helped me lowering my standards for this series. At the beginning of this series, I really was expecting the most amazing series, that may have been a bit too unrealistic. But unlike the stories of the first season, which were incredibly diverse, the stories of the third season all were much more similar in atmosphere and themes. At the expense of the lack of diversity, it did allow the series for some magnificent build-up for the grand finale of the season, and oh my god… it worked so well.

On a completely unrelated side-note: was I the only one who loved how that little crawling ant was animated?

Posted on 14 March 2009 with categories: Jigoku Shoujo



Short Synopsis: A boy who is bullied by some of his classmates calls Jigoku Tsuushin.
Episode Rating: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
When talking about episodic series about a school setting, then the bullied kid is often a very popular storyline (or take any dark series set in school). I really have to say that this has been the best story about bullying I have ever seen. One of the most thought-provoking episodes of Jigoku Shoujo yet and yet again an awesome addition to the finale of the third season of this series.

Nearly always, these bullied stories are very exaggerated: the bullies are portrayed as pure evil, and the bullied one is entirely portrayed as the victim, or at the least the bullies are some sort of misguided villains. We should sympathize with the victims and hate the bullies, because that’s the politically correct thing to do. The best example I can think of right now is that episode Shigofumi dedicated to it. We could sympathize with the bullied one because he was just a good kid who only made one mistaken.

This episode showed that with bullying, people too often try to seek the problem with the bullies. The guy in this episode had enough reasons to be hated. He comes from a rich family, and is basically a spoiled brat, and yet he stood SO FAR away from the usual spoiled rich kids that anime has become notorious for. There’s this whole “I am better than you”-air around him, and that’s why he gets bullied, which only increases this air, spiralling out of control. Especially since the ones who bully him do so mostly because they hate how the guy is wasting money like he is. He continues to flaunt around with expensive tools, like very expensive watches, flat-screens and cameras, while the bullied guy has lost his father, has a sister who out of necessity needed to grow up fast in order to support her family because he himself is bad with the household chores.

Especially the scene in which Ai hands out Wanyuudo to the guy: he really expected himself to be the pure victim, even though he should be happy that he’s got so much money to spend. I think that he never really tried to talk things out with the bullies: whenever they start to threaten him, he’d just pay them off with money, or whatever gadget he was holding. It’s a very interesting kind of discrimination.

And damn… I could have sworn that we have seen one of the bullies before, but I can’t remember the exact episode in which that happened!

In any case, I’m surprised that the series is still going for revenges at this point, with only three episodes left. There was also hardly any Yuzuki in this episode, so I really wonder for what kind of climax the creators are going. It’s clear that they’re building up like crazy right now, and I’m not complaining about this at all, since the past few episodes have been absolutely amazing. And then again, the creators have had an entire season to fully plan in that climax of theirs, and they’ve also done a very successful climax twice before, so something really strange is going to have to happen in order to screw up the ending for the third season.

Posted on 8 March 2009 with categories: Jigoku Shoujo



Short Synopsis: A girl whose identical twin sister is a famous idol calls Jigoku Tsuushin
Episode Rating: 8/10 (Excellent)
Oh boy, this series sure has rocked for the past number of episodes. This episode probably was the last of the regular revenges, and the finale should start next week, and it was yet another great episode that yet again shatters the borders between good and evil.

First it’s established that the girl has a very cocky older sister who she envies a lot (including her boyfriend). The girl then gets to take revenge when her sister gets into an accident and she gets to take over her role. While she’s normally shy and held back, she falls in love with standing in the spotlight and soon starts taking over her sister’s life that she worked hard for to attain. Even when the sister gets better, she isn’t backing down. In the end the sister is the one who calls Jigoku Tsuushin in order to have the pesky sister that tried to take over her life moved to hell. What was especially great about this episode is that at one point, you could hardly tell which one was which, and only if you paid a lot of attention you could see which one was being sent to hell.

Okay, so four episodes left, and the creators have done a very good job at keeping the contents of the finale of this series a total mystery. Seriously, I have no bloody idea what the creators are going to fill those final episodes with, apart from one episode’s attention to Yuzuki’s mother, and that pesky spider is probably yet again going to wait until episode 26 before it shows up.

Posted on 2 March 2009 with categories: Jigoku Shoujo



Short Synopsis: A boy whose mother is pregnant calls Jigoku Tsuushin.
Episode Rating: 9/10 (Fantastic)
Easily the best episode of the third season. Oh, it’s awesome to see how good the final third of this series has become, compared to the huge trainwrecks of the first two thirds. They definitely served their purpose, and it’s really episodes like this one that remind me why I’m such a big fan of this series. Originally when it started out, it was the second-biggest reason after Mahou Shoujotai for me to start blogging, and now more than three years later it’s still going really strong.

First of all: Muahaha! Kikuri is also planning to become the next Jigoku Shoujo (I loved the “Ai no Baka!”, by the way). This just begs the question why she didn’t just take over Ai’s role when she died for the first time, and why she was the one who reunited the dolls again after Ai came back. She may prove to become an unexpected ally of Mizuki, though. That’s going to be interesting. :P

As for the story this episode, it really was a sad yet typical case of domestic violence: one parent is abusing her child (who isn’t even hers), and the other parent knows about it but turns a blind eye to it. The ironic thing is that the stepmother used to be very nice, until she got pregnant. She really wanted to have a happy family at all costs, and when the boy didn’t turn into the only one who could provide her with this she started seeing him just as second fodder (plus, pregnant women can be scary).

The perspective of the boy was also awesome, and the exact reason why any sort of domestic violence is BAD. Even though he’s constantly abused by his step mother, all he thinks about is the fun times they had, and the one responsible in his eyes isn’t his mother, but the about-to-be-born baby, so he ends up sending his future little sister to hell. Since he’s just a small boy who just happens to be a bit more mature for his age and so able to find Jigoku Tsuushin on his own, as he grows up he’s steadily going to be able to see the huge mistake he made in his childhood.

I also loved the effects that the previous episode had on this one: the dolls now start involving themselves more and more with the cases, and they now talk to Yuzuki on a much more personal level, instead of having to remain in the shadows all of the time.

And you also HAVE to love the final scene of this episode. That explains exactly why the creators waited so long with letting Yuzuki getting close to the different people who accessed Jigoku Tsuushin. Even though in this episode she did a lot of work to prevent the boy from using Jigoku Shoujo, when she looked at the end result and how he was happy, she couldn’t help but smile, and we immediately see Ai spying on her. Bring on the character-development!

Posted on 22 February 2009 with categories: Jigoku Shoujo



Short Synopsis: A scientist calls Jigoku Tsuushin
Episode Rating: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
This was definitely the best episode of the third season yet in terms of solid storytelling. Now this is EXACTLY why I’ve become such a big fan of the franchise: it’s nearly always entertaining to see the different revenges, but the real goodness pops up once the story starts touching the main storyline, which is purposefully saved until near the end.

In the third season, where most of the revenges simply looked like each other, this episode stands out as a really unique one, in which it attempts to combine technology with the supernatural. Faking a grudge with the help of a machine. Most of the time, magic is something… magical that no technology can touch, and here we have a very practical example of how technology can manipulate the human body, and so affect the magic in this series. And of course, any episode in which Ai appears for more than three minutes is nothing short of awesome.

And yeah, it’s AWESOME to see Tsugumi back again. To think that it’s been twenty years since the first season. Now all that’s left is for Hajime to make his reappearance with more than that very short cameo in the second season, and I’ll be really happy. It’s also interesting how Tsugumi doesn’t address him with “father”, “dad” or any other Japanese equivalent, but instead addresses him with “Hajime-chan”. That just signifies how extraordinary the relationship between the two has become (well, okay I know nothing about how this goes in the Japanese society, but at least it’s pretty rare for anime; I can only recall one other series which did the same: Arusu in Mahou Shoujotai, which immediately makes it something awesome).

Posted on 15 February 2009 with categories: Jigoku Shoujo



Short Synopsis: A famous flower arranger calls Jigoku Tsuushin
Episode Rating: 8/10 (if only because of that awesome plot twist at the end)
Muahaha! Oh, this is going to be awesome! I guess that I should have seen it coming, but the end of this episode finally reveals the purpose of Yuzuki, something that the show has been building up for nineteen episodes so far: She’s going to be the next Jigoku Shoujo! Oh, this is going to mean two things:
– How the heck is she going to accept the revenges that she loathes? How the heck is she going to accept her job?
– If she’s going to take over Jigoku Shoujo’s role, then what the heck is going to happen to Ai!? Was she just brought back by the spider temporarily in order to find a replacement for her? Talk about cruel.

Oh, and here I thought that she was simply going to be the next Tsugumi. I guess that that now reveals that the final scene of the second season: it probably was a flash-forward (or whatever that’s called) to the future in which Yuzuki has taken up her role as Jigoku Shoujo. The finales of Jigoku Shoujo are always excellent due to the immense amount of build-up that goes into them, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how the creators are planning to instate her as the next Jigoku Shoujo.

Anyway, the rest of this episode was the standard though solid revenge. The theme is yet another one of the evils of society: heritages. Oh, those things can be real bitches if both parties can’t agree on what they want. If I understood correctly, in this episode two sisters try to respectively poison and send the other to hell because of it. The boyfriend was a bit crazy, though: why couldn’t he just point out that the drink was poisoned, rather than gobble everything up in order to prove his point?

Posted on 8 February 2009 with categories: Jigoku Shoujo



Short Synopsis: A girl who likes to send her stories to a well-known radio-host calls Jigoku Tsuushin.
Episode Rating: 7,5/10 (Good)
I really wonder what Ai is doing behind that computer of hers. “Ippen Shinde Miru… wait, let me check my e-mail first”.

In any case, we have another standard episode again, this time about teenaged girls and their idols, where we have a young teenaged girl whose hopes are crushed when she finds out that her idol simply reads a pre-written script. Well, that’s multimedia. Even “reality”-shows are written by professional scriptwriters nowadays, but it must have been quite a shock for the poor girl to find out about this.

Okay, and so I was wrong: Yuzuki most definitely isn’t going to be the next Tsugumi, this series is simply using her to build u for this series’ finale. She hasn’t done anything to stop the revenges at this point. All she’s done so far is failing. You’d think that at episode 18 she’d at least book some sort of progress, but now I’m sure that the creators are really saving the best of her for the show’s finale.

Overall, now that the finale is about to begin, it’s time to look back at the past season. Overall, the random stories in the third season have been the weakest of the three seasons of Jigoku Shoujo so far. The good thing about them is that they always picked out some extreme taboo and started playing with it. The bad thing is the lack of variety. Compared to the first season, the cases now all look like each other, while the first season had a number of very creative and surprising stories, despite the show’s formula. Nevertheless, this series never lost track of its atmosphere, and the stories never fail to entertain, so even though it’s not as good as the previous seasons, I’m not disappointed by this series at all and would love to see a fourth season. ^^;

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
*poorly forcing
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that is one of the biggest advantages the show has for me, after being annoyed by so many shows ending up with tonal shifts and forcing cute designs into something more serious it is nice to see that girls last tour avoids that problem.
Amagi
My texts are always too long..
Amagi
It isn't enough to just say "look there is a dark subplot somewhere or a backdrop dystopia and we will get to it whenever it seems convenient". Last Tour is the opposite, it is moe, but the girls are part and product of the world they live in, + the cute and serious parts don't feel like two different series being glued together.
Amagi
Girl's Last Tour is the good type of moe show for me. There are many that have or pretend to have some serious undertone, be it some dystopian setting or politics or whatever. But the difference between the good and the bad shows is that the former are actually connected with their serious part in everything they think or do while the bad shows only use the other topic as cheap way to alure fans.
SuperMario
@Bokusen: I'm not sugarcoating it, but Houseki tends to be the title that split the audience. Give it a try at least. If you can tolerant the first three episodes, chances that you will enjoy the rest
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Now if only someone will translate the side story manga aswell.
KTravlos
Happiness! New chapters of Gunka no Baltazar!
Bokusen
@SuperMario Thanks! I'll give Houseki no Kuni a try then. A lot of the series I thought would be good are disappointing me, so I might be following a low number of series this season & it'd be cool if Houseki turns out to be something I like enough to watch this season.^-^
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right. The sole reason I described it as "cinematic" was just to lure you into watching it, so mission accomplished! Mind you, Girls' Last Tour is still a moe show at heart (look at their round faces and those big eyes. They're killing me)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, I had had it initially written off as a crap moe show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You're ministry of anime propaganda tactics mentioning how cinematic it is got me to pick it up =P And you know how much of an aesthetics guy I am =P
SuperMario
I'm glad that many of you enjoying Girls' Last Tour. It's a nice little gem that I think works best when you going to it without any expectation
SuperMario
I swear this season has a lot of good anime to offer. I'm jaded
Amagi
I always considered backgrounds as pretty important. Most anime only use them as backdrops because they have to be there somehow and it's really a different thing than Girls' Last Journey for example. Also I will like everything that has exploration and world building.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And achieves taking the viewer into its world, thankfully without relying on tons of expositional dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girls last tour, somewhat succeeds in pulling me in by using its landscape that dwarfs the characters, to create its atmosphere, I wouldn't call it all that unfunny either. Though premise could risk going stale.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, HA! Yeah I would like to believe but I am thinking that's not the case. Besides next season is looking pretty barren so far.
Amagi
Eden would be great. But speaking of it, a lot of good manga get adapted recently. Maybe they finally understood that generic isekai, harem and school stuff isn't as popular as they thought it would be.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe one day I can hope for a Freesia or Eden Endless world adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jesus christ....I never thought it would happen, Banana fish is being adapted, I didn't think they could adapt a shoujo like that in todays market.
KTravlos
I also watched Inuyashiki and Girl's Last Tour. Inuyashiki looks great. Man do I hate that young guy. Reading what he did and seeing it was a totally different experience. Cannot wait for the next episode.

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

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