Posted on 27 July 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Kaiba


Welcome and say hello to one of the best anime of 2008, and along with Haibane Renmei and Hi no Tori, my favourite anime of only 12 or 13 episodes long. Kaiba is the product of director Masaaki Yuasa, who was the one behind Kemonozume, Cat Soup and Mind Game and it shows the result of when an already excellent director learns from his mistakes.

Kaiba is very much an experimental anime, which tries to be different from the stuff you usually see. The character-designs may look childish and simple, but make no mistake: this storyline isn’t afraid to show adult themes at all, and the perfect example of why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. It’s about a futuristic world with the fascinating concept in which people’s memories can be stored in chips and placed from one body to the other. The series smartly spends its first half fleshing out and playing with this concept, so that the viewer feels at home inside the setting, only for the second half to kick in with the real meat of the series, where the storyline keeps spiralling to the point of going out of control. The final episode is indeed one of chaos.

The setting may be already an incredibly imaginative one, what really won me over for this series is its sense of storytelling. It’s hard to explain, but if there ever was some kind of x-factor for anime, then Kaiba would have it. This is one series that knows exactly how to progress a mystery-storyline: lots of random flashbacks, in order to flesh out both the storyline and characters, a back-story that goes way beyond the “person x killed person y in the past” and lots of different hints to keep you guessing.

This also really helps fleshing out the characters, and the interesting twist that they keep changing bodies (made possible because of the setting) puts them in interesting different spotlights. The romance can be incredibly sweet when it’s in its element and even the villains get their own piece of development.

Overall, Kaiba is definitely recommended if you’re into experimental, mystery or science fiction anime. The only bad thing about it is that the plot isn’t the most solid one, so don’t expect everything about the setting to be fully explained by the end. Nevertheless, Kaiba is an masterpiece that makes excellent use of its limited time of only twelve episodes, and it has been my top pick of the past spring season ever since it started.

Storytelling: 10/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 10/10
Posted on with categories: Kaiba



Short Synopsis: Neiro tries to tell Kaiba his secret as Kaiba and Warp go out of control.
Highlights: Not all questions answered, but this series somehow gets away with it…
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10
And so it’s unfortunately over. It was to be expected that not every question would be answered (like, what’s up with the planet that Kaiba lives on? It turns out, only the memory of Popo got killed, but how did that happen? and in this episode Kaiba also pulls out a number of random powers that would have been better if they were introduced earlier, so I think that one extra episode would have been sufficient to answer these questions, but still this was a pretty awesome episode.

Masaaki Yuasa clearly intended this episode to go out of control and become something surreal, in a way, it’s in the same style of the ending of Kemonozume, which also came from out of nowhere. It was obviously not the best episode of Kaiba, but at the same time it was very much fun to watch. The surreal parts in this episode were definitely worth watching.

So, in the end, the thing that Neiro discovered about Kaiba was that his mother’s memory was stuffed in the ostrich, as a punishment. At the same time, probably the cutest thing about this episode was this unexpected romance between Hyohyo and the memory-guy. ^^;

At this point, I’m not sure which series to call better: this one or Shion no Ou. They were both absolutely fantastic in their own ways, and without a doubt the best series of 2008. They both had fantastic storytelling, while Shion no Ou had incredible characters, while Kaiba had an incredibly imaginative setting.

Posted on 19 July 2008 with categories: Kaiba



Short Synopsis: Popo continues his plans to overthrow the heavens.
Highlights: This is what you get if you build up properly…
Overall Enjoyment Value: 9,5/10
Holy crap! This episode was utterly utterly incredible. The best episode of Kaiba yet, and with an already incredible series, that HAS TO SAY SOMETHING. I’m still baffled at all the plot-twists that bombarded the screen for the past twenty minutes. Obviously MAJOR spoilers follow. DO NOT read this entry if you haven’t watched this episode yet.

Oh my god, I’m still pretty speechless about this episode. The entire first half of the episode develops Popo further into insanity: the strange purple mist first caused Cheki to lose most of her memories, and he then lost his mother’s memory-chip. He already thinks that he defeated Warp, so he didn’t even bother to confirm whether or not Kaiba was really dead. He first claims to love Sate, but then betrays her by showing his affections for Cheki, and with the prospect of soon ruling the entire universe, his personality keeps moving out of control.

This guy was an excellent example of a great villain. He clearly is the villain in this series, but at the same time his desires kept spiralling out of control.

But the craziest thing about this episode was definitely the domino-effect-killing scene. I repeat: MAJOR SPOILERS IN THE NEXT PARAGRAPH:

Inside the main control room of Popo’s ship, Sate kills Popo. Then the body-collector kills Sate, who turns out to be a cyborg. The three older Kaibas then gloat over their victories. Fake Warp (who turns out to be alive) then kills the body-collector and the three older Warps. As an added bonus, we also learn that the memory-guy and Sate were sisters, and they grew up watching Neiro, Popo and Cheki play together.

There were a few things I didn’t understand, though. What was up with the fans, wiping out the purple fog? Who activated them? Why did fake Warp erase the collection of all the memories, which basically meant the entire history of the world?

In any case, it’s amazing to see how much Masaaki Yuasa has learned from his mistakes. I remember how the pre-ending episodes of Kemonozume were a big mistake because the huge contrast between the light and extremely serious final episodes was way too big. For Kaiba, he made sure to build up as much as he can, he kept throwing in flashbacks, foreshadowing and different hints that all came together in this episode. This episode was dramatic, sure. But it WAS SO WORTH THE WAIT. It’s a definite candidate of the best episode of the year for me, along with episode 21 of Shion no Ou. I’m really curious as to how he plans to end this series. Kemonozume’s final episode was absolutely nothing like its other episodes, but on the other hand, Kaiba is absolutely nothing like Kemonozome, so I’m very interested, and at the same time very sad that the goodness will only last one more episode.

Posted on 10 July 2008 with categories: Kaiba



Short Synopsis: Thankfully, the hiatus “only” took two weeks. This week: Neiro’s background.
Highlights: Kaiba’s back! Kaiba’s back! Kaiba’s back!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10
Okay, this time I didn’t care about the raws. I just wanted to watch Kaiba again as soon as possible, so I just settled for a horrible one. For this episode, we were promised Neiro’s background, and it doesn’t disappoint at all. This anime very cleverly wraps up about 50% of the questions that the previous episodes left hanging, while keeping the vital questions still a mystery, for the final two episodes to answer.

As it turns out, my theories were wrong. Kaiba is the real Warp, and he got the name Kaiba for no particularly important reason: Neiro gave it to him, because when the two met, he again had lost his memory when he met Neiro for the first time. Therefore, he didn’t know his name, so Neiro named him after the legendary plant, and only later he started to remember again. How this exactly works is unknown, but Kaiba possesses some sort of power that unconsciously erases and recovers his memory, which gets activated with either a huge mental of physical shock. Every time this power gets activated, the hole in his body increases in size.

Also, the fake Warp didn’t shoot Neiro at all, it was the real Kaiba, in order to protect her from that AI-manager who we’ve seen bothering the fake Warp a few episodes back. He properly revived her and brought her back afterwards. And as it turns out, Warp never killed Neiro’s parents in the first place. That too was just some alteration by Popo (or the memory guy, on request by Popo). That AI-manager also turned out to be one of the villains in this series. It used the fake warp to prevent Kaiba from finding out information about his parents, whom he thought he killed himself. Kaiba turns out to never have been evil, but this image was just spread by this AI-manager.

We now also know why Popo didn’t kill Kaiba when he had the hance. I can imagine how the guy needed to get a weapon strong enough to destroy Kaiba’s indestructible body, and failed to get there on time before Kaiba woke up. The shot he fired was indeed aimed at Kaiba, and not at the enemy. This gave the memory-guy the chance to escape with Kaiba, and with the help of that girl in dress (forgot her name), they managed to smuggle Kaiba away from Popo.

Now, the question remains: how did Kaiba get his first hole. Before he crashed in front of Neiro, he already had a hole inside of him, which suggests that he lost his memory due to some sort of shock before that. Also, what role is the plant Kaiba going to play in the end? And why did the memory-guy alter Neiro’s memory, if he was on her side? Was it to fool Popo?

Aagh, only two more episodes to go. I demand a second season. Or at least a series in the same style that goes on for longer than just 12 episodes! This series is too good for the treatment it’s getting.

Posted on 21 June 2008 with categories: Kaiba


What can I say? This episode was just incredible, no question possible. Spoilers obviously follow.

As it turns out, the memory-guy plays a vital role in the entire story. He never was aligned to Popo, but made it believe like he was. Popo probably ordered him to use the plant Kaiba on Neiro, in order to mask all of her memories and change all appearances of Warp/Kaiba into Popo. Behind his back, the memory-guy put the remains of these memories into Hyohyo. The ostrich was also a servant of the memory-guy, who indeed helped out Popo back in the first episode. That’s why he secretly let Hyohyo join Kaiba without Popo knowing about it.

And Heck, only now I realize that in Neiro’s memories, Warp’s images are also blackened out! We only saw the evil Warp shoot Neiro, but the rest of it are all images of a black-on-white caricature. I’m getting some strong urges here that Popo was the guy who really ended up killing Neiro’s parents. Why would he want to mask them otherwise? Especially since this episode shows how easily he can just kill people.

A few questions remain with this, mostly: who was the Neiro that evil Kaiba shot, and why is Neiro still alive. In this episode, we also get confirmed that Kaiba wasn’t the Warp that killed everyone, because Neiro addresses him as “Kaiba”. That leaves the biggest question that still needs to be answered: where the heck did Kaiba come from? What also seems strange is how the memory guy seems to think that Warp changed after he met Neiro, because it obviously conflicts with Neiro calling Kaiba Kaiba…

I must say that my biggest fear for Kaiba would be the episodes before the finale, simply because Kemonozume screwed up so badly at that point. It dived way too deep into melodrama for it to remain believable. Still, thankfully Kaiba has managed to avoid this flaw entirely, and this episode really used the building-up of the previous episodes wonderfully.

Posted on 14 June 2008 with categories: Kaiba


It’s been a long wait, but finally my beloved Kaiba is back. And what an episode does it return with! For once, Kaiba doesn’t appear in it at all, and instead it’s all about Popo, and how the bastards killed off his own mother to keep up his appearances. As it turns out, she once changed his body, which is against the rules of the organization Popo works for. That does make me wonder why Neiro was just allowed to change into Ger and all…

In any case, we indeed learn that there is another Warp besides Kaiba. This guy probably was the one who shot Neiro. If I understood things correctly, then Neiro’s body was shot, and she ended up in Hyohyo. It seems that her memory got split in two: one part works for Popo, and the other one went along with Kaiba.

That still leaves the question to: which Warp is the real one? What we know is that the body that Kaiba was in in episode one was the genuine indestructible body of Warp. I believe that the Warp we see in this episode is the real Warp who killed off those hundreds of people. Then at one point, he ran into this “Kaiba”, which stole his body. Kaiba then met Neiro and the two fell in love. Warp then tracked down Kaiba and destroyed Neiro’s body, though what I suspect is Popo’s meddling, Kaiba escaped him, somehow causing Kaiba to lose his body and get that hole through his body, after which episode 1 started.

What interests me the most is the real link between the plant Kaiba and the human Kaiba. We know that that plant has a lot of an appetite and that it eats memory, but what I want to know is how such a plant ended up being turned into actual memory. What I also want to know: who are on Kaiba’s side in this story, and most importantly: why? Why would the ostrich be working for such a plant? What’s the connection to the memory-guy to all of this?

I must say, that this series knows EXACTLY what makes a good mystery-series. I totally forgot about this, since 2007 was a bad year for mystery-series, but a good mystery-series doesn’t just ask questions, but it forces its viewer to form his own theories about what happened. This is what sets the genre apart from series that have to rely on some obscure side-story that you can only understand if it’s spelled out in front of you.

And indeed, even though I originally thought that Crystal Blaze would be a mystery-series, its mystery turned out to be just a simple back-story and the story focused on storytelling and characters instead. Instead, Shion no Ou’s mystery-plot was simple, yet it knew how to make its viewer guessing about the identity of the murderer, and most viewers already knew exactly what happened when facts were finally revealed. Nijuu Mensou no Musume is about to do the same: the simple question is: what happened to Nijuu Mensou, and there are several theories possible, and enough clues to keep you guessing.

Another great approach to mystery is the one used in Himitsu: it offers you the pieces of the puzzle for each episode, and they only really fall into place when you connect these pieces. Ergo Proxy and Boogiepop Phantom are yet another story: they just provide a few clues here and there and apart from that they make no attempt to help the viewer figure out what happened.

I now see that the series that just feature a huge setting, but withold some of this information at the start aren’t necessarily good mystery-series, and rather use the appeal of the unknown to create tension. I personally loved Dennou Coil, but it was excellent because of its plot, characters and the amount of imagination that was put into the setting. Not because of its mystery, and I’m surprised it took me so long to realize this.

At the moment, I’m wondering whether Real Drive will be able to pull off good mystery. Right now, it relies a lot on the appeal of the unknown, and it’s definitely got my attention about its concept, but interestingly enough, it hasn’t started asking focused questions yet. When this’ll happen, I wonder whether it’ll allow the viewer to speculate about the setting, or whether it’ll just carry the viewer along with its revelations.

Posted on 23 May 2008 with categories: Kaiba


This episode was absolutely incredible. There’s probably no better way to say it. It’s one of those very rare episodes that just blew me away due to its sheer awesomeness. Everything Kaiba has been building up to has come together perfectly. Seriously, Kaiba right now has actually a chance of surpassing Haibane Renmei as my favourite 13-episode series, if it continues on at this pace.

Seriously, in seven mere episodes, Kaiba did what other series usually takes other series 20. When I first learned that Masaaki Yuasa would direct this series, I had my doubts, seeing as Kemonozume, Mind Game and Cat Soup were all good, but seemed to lack something, though Kaiba really shows that he’s evolving as a storyteller, and Kaiba is the work of a genius.

Vanilla, sacrificing himself for Kuroniko indeed had it coming, and I haven’t forgotten the horrible things he did in the first and second episode, and yet his end was so incredibly sweet. The guy knew full well that Kuroniko didn’t like him, and he only got this confirmed with her disgusted look after he kissed her, after which he planned to send her away, back to the planet where it all began in the first episode.

And then Neiro’s past. Her memory is a bloody mess, and it’s especially interesting to see Hyo-hyo being so shocked about it. We now know that it’s got something to do with Neiro, but it wasn’t aware of what exactly was done to her. There are also more Hyo-hyos than just Hyo-hyo, so I guess that it was just assigned to do a simple task: keep an eye on Warp, and I have reason to believe that that ostrich was also part of the complot.

I suspect that, assuming that everything Kaiba saw inside of Neiro’s memory came in chronological order, Warp once got attacked by Kaiba, and got his memory copied of some sort. That’s how Kaiba was born, and Kaiba was the one who got close to Neiro and fell in love with her, at the displeasure of Warp, so he tried to shoot her, like we saw in this episode. I have no idea how Neiro managed to survive, but if I had to guess, then Popo came to their rescue. He then messed with the memory of both of them, in order to manipulate them. I’m not sure what kind of purpose Kaiba has in his plans, though.

Oh, and I HATE TENNIS. Two freaking weeks without Kaiba!? $#!!$#$!@!@!!!

Posted on 17 May 2008 with categories: Kaiba


Really, is there no end to this series awesomeness? This was quite possibly the best episode of Kaiba yet, for very obvious reasons. For the sake of spoilers showing up in the blog-aggregators like animeblogger antenna, this sentence is meant to fill up space. This one is meant to fill up space as well. So, this should be enough.

Kaiba finally meets Neiro! Although under very strange circumstances. She spends this episode in the form of a huge male cyborg without any hands. The thing that made this so awesome was that both of them were struggling with the feelings of being in the body of another gender. Kaiba has his first period as well, while Neiro has trouble with the male hormone-impulses.

As it turns out, Warp was the worst kind of king. He killed Neiro’s family, imprisoned thousands, and he was also probably responsible for the huge gap between rich and old, and several of the memory-clouds we see in space. That makes me even wonder why Neiro fell in love with him in the first place, because right now she seems to consider him as an enemy.

What’s more: in this episode a strange plant appears, which sucks out the memories of nearby persons. Neiro calls it a KAIBA!!! Could it really be that Warp fell victim to one of these Kaiba, and that’s how Kaiba originated? Oh boy.

The case in this episode looked a lot like the episode with the old couple in Kemonozume. Both couples have been travelling for decades now, and both suffer a huge loss as the episode went on. I must say that I prefer the Kaiba-version. This might be a small spoiler, but the problem with Kemonozume was that the ending had no point whatsoever. The two of them just turned into monsters and killed each other due to the big bad guy. This episode in Kaiba has been very deep, though. This time, just the old lady gets her memory sucked out, and as it turns out, she has been cheating on her husband. And yet the husband doesn’t matter, and he’ll just continue to travel with her memory-less body.

With this episode, I know for sure that Kaiba is my favourite series this season. The 26-episode series really need try their best in their second halves if they want to trump this series.

Posted on 9 May 2008 with categories: Kaiba


This episode was surreal, even for a Kaiba-episode. I think it has to do with a guy named “Jamie Vickers”, who was listed in the end-credits. His previous work includes a few episodes of Kemonozume, and the animation of the ED of Tokyo Tribe 2. This guy’s sense of style is even messier than that of Masaaki Yuasa.

This episode was all about bodies, and how they’re discarded once they die. The previous episodes have never really shown what happens to a person if he or she dies from a natural reason, but I suspect that the mind and body die together, and the body can’t be used anymore by another mind, so it is discarded and destroyed. In this way, Kai’s body also gets destroyed accidentally. Oh, and Hyo-Hyo mysteriously disappears in this episode without any clue whatsoever as to where… “it” went, apart from the fact that it saw a huge load of Neiro-like bodies with “Neiro” written on them.

Kaiba this time runs into a designer of bodies, who has become quite famous. He’s of the opinion that people shouldn’t walk around with dull bodies, and his vision seems to catch on rather well. Nearly everyone walks around with some kind of strange body. His own body seems to be actually powered by electricity, and his servant, in the body of a dog, just needs to be re-winded once in a while. This dog seems to be a former woman who took care of the… “cat”, though she got too old at one point and separated her mind from her body, just as she was about to die. The two of them also share the same eyes: the designer can only see what the dog sees, and nothing more, and therefore he’s really dependant on the dog, and they’re always together. The dog also takes care of powering this designer.

In this episode, I also noticed a huge difference between this series and Himitsu ~The Revelation in terms of privacy. In Himitsu, Aoki is very much bothered by the fact that he’s intruding the privacy of others, and yet Kaiba just peeks into the minds of others without any second thoughts, in order to find out their stories.

I also have a theory. In this episode, we learn that Kaiba’s original body was some sort of hero, famous enough to warrant his own statue, though at the same time, nobody knows who this guy actually was. I didn’t totally understand the explanation, but it seems that we’re dealing with a king here. My theory is that Kaiba and Warp are two different persons, and Kaiba was just meant to protect Warp’s body as something happened to him, involving the terrorists and Popo. That still makes me wonder what Hyo-Hyo’s purpose was, because the mission of protecting Kaiba’s body clearly failed. Heck, we have no idea where it is now. Or is there more about the locket that it just being a pretty picture?

Posted on 2 May 2008 with categories: Kaiba


Okay, so while the introduction of weird accents didn’t exactly help my ability to understand this episode, I still loved every bit about this episode. Really, I’m trying to think of one part of this series that doesn’t stand out, but so far this series couldn’t have progressed better. I absolutely LOVE the pair of Kaiba and the guard (I think his name was Vanilla) as they travel through various world. They stand so incredibly far apart from your usual travelling-companionship. The two of them are without a doubt my favourite characters of all new shows this season, apart perhaps from xxxHolic.

I originally thought that Kaiba would switch bodies with every new episode, but this episode proves us wrong. He just has two bodies: one of the stuffed animal and one of the girl. Both bodies are very different from the Kaiba we saw in the first episode, and it felt especially weird when the stuffed animal suddenly started talking. It turns out that normal rules don’t really apply when you’re into the mind of a person.

What’s also interesting: we see Vanilla into Kaiba’s mind this time, and there, we saw the body he was in when we found him in episode 1. The thing is also that this doesn’t seem to be his original body (because yes, this episode also gives us a small shot of Kaiba when he still had his memory). There’s nothing of that fancy outfit we saw. And really, what the hell has happened to Popo? He hasn’t appeared for four episode, and yet he seems like a vital character in all this, after the previous episode showed some hints that he was connected to Neiro.

In any case, this episode is about an old woman, who refuses to share her dead husband’s “treasure” with her two sons. They may be poor, but they’re always causing trouble for others, and don’t ever pay attention to their surroundings. Of course, the “treasure” turns out to be an ordinary memory-box, but still. The interesting thing is how this episode went into this old woman’s mind, as she’s still trying to forget her deceased husband. He fell off a lighthouse, but she never knew why. Inside her memory, she then finds out that he was just trying to pick a flower, in the hope of making his wife smile again. I probably missed the important point of this episode again, though, due to the above-mentioned dialect.

The art this time was also different from usual. It looked much more like Kemonozume than ever. While it’s usually not that good of an idea to have an episode with a different animation-style than usual (just take a look at Gurren Lagann 04), for Kaiba it works surprisingly well. Perhaps it’s because the changes are there, but not quite radical.

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe it works better in hellsing and drifters moreso to both being goofball action shows.
KTravlos
A point on the chibi in AMB. I was thinking about shows were the chibi did not bother me, and Hellsing Ultimate and Drifters (newest episodes coming out), both had deformed/chibi segments. For some reason they did not bother me. I think ABM directors have bad timing with them.
KTravlos
I have to say Ichirou Inuyashiki is very cool. Like he is really a cool character. Also I am saddened to say it but watching AMB together with Inuyashuki does not work well for AMB
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Silver: There are sad moments certainly but plenty of humour.
Anonymous1639132
Man, I sure hope Ichirou Inuyashiki and Hiro Shishigami make out, everything is just building up to that
silver
I actually have only watched one or two episodes of this season of 3-gatsu, but its rising scores and rave reviews are making me really excited! I've only put it off because it's somewhat emotionally tiring for me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Well, after the first season of 3-gatsu ended, I did skim ahead to this bullying arc so I already know this is going to be powerful, yet the anime still wow me over and over
Anonymous1637770
Also it can be tricky selecting a season sequel since some old series had like 50 to 100 episodes, what counted as a season then?
Anonymous1637770
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's more common in videogames (especially Capcom) than in other mediums. Megaman 2, RE 2, Street Fighter 2, Dino Crisis 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually in a rarity, a sequel season is better than the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which makes my enjoyment of sangatsu so strange.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I generally do not like game/sports orientated shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That you slightlySuper-erMario and superwooper!
Kaiser-Eoghan
And my reaction to the show is such, that I enjoyed it enough to make such a huge pot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also I want Akari to be my mom and Hina is adorable without being annoyingly so and Kana Hanazawa is doing a good job voicing her.

And whoever said it is right, the op/ed songs are worth listening to, for once I’m not skipping them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At this point it feels as if by the end of the series I’ll come off it thinking that I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.
I don’t think as of just yet it complete lives up to honey and clovers legacy though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never cared about Harunobu initially, but recent episodes have changed this.
Dull parts of the manga are easier to get through for me in the anime due to Shaft elevating the material with one of the better uses of their visual gimmicks.
Giving the series another chance, even though I won’t fully embrace the humour, it does now and then manage to make me laugh a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc centering on Hina and the shows treatment of it is better than most anime bullying stories and has provided the most emotionally rewarding aspect of the show.
Characters that are assholes like Kyouko’s boyfriend, Kyouko herself I’m finding somewhat more sympathetic and want to see more to their personal drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
However I do genuinely think that the series does a good job of allowing dramatic moments to creep up on the viewer, that early scene of Hina crying over her mother, Rei’s family flashbacks, Akari’s concerns about Hina/the stuff with her dad, all the scenes with Kyouko do carry an effective and solid dramatic weight to them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel it starts very strong, making a great first impression, then kind of has these dull moments that make it sort of a slog at times to get through, unfortunately I have no interest in chess/shougi and no knowledge the show tries to give me is going to stick or allow me to embrace that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Through jumping back and forth between the anime and manga, I can say I have no caught up to where I will now watch March comes like a lion on a weekly basis.
Anonymous1636224
The blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki
Anonymous1636224
Mmmmmm the suffering of all those innocent people feeding his God boner, this is why I love Inuyashiki
Lenlo
Oh yeah, thats not a knock against it. Just noting they dont *need* much animation
SuperMario
Well, the nature of Mahoutsukai is slow-burned, so it makes sense they focus more on static, quiet moments
Lenlo
Was that blade 2022 thing supposed to be an example? Because I wasnt a fan. It was stylish sure, but difficult to follow.
Lenlo
Maho is a good looking show, I wouldnt call it a great animated show.
Lenlo
The issue for me is, theres just not alot being animated most of the time. Usually its a pretty slow moving anime, so most of its time is talking and still shots. It doesnt need alot of animation, so it doesnt have it.
Lenlo
@Niel, I think Mahoutsukai can have good animation when it wants to. Like the water viel in episode 10 looked good (Though im not sure how much of that was after effects)
Anonymous1635607
uhhh creepy
Anonymous1635589
the blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki so much
Amagi
I think the security is the same as here, it's just that Japanese people are less likely to rip stuff (correct me if I am wrong). It seems like ripped anime, manga and so on are basically always uploaded by Americans, Chinese people or someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised heavens feel was camripped I thought security in japanese theatres was stronger.
Amagi
Yeah it's also screening in Germany, I will watch it in February, together with Heaven's Feel, Mutafukaz, Kimikoe and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*on Europa cinema
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nanoha new film to screen next February in the US, come in Europa license it for over here dammit....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did have some down moments though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I guess contrasting Luke with his old self goes some way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Saw the preview screening of the new star wars, still feel the new trilogy stands inbetween the originals and prequels, fufills its duty as a *** star blockbuster , some genuinely hilarious high camp moments, awful tokenism, Snoke is a shit villain, but two scenes with Luke actually have a pathos to them and I liked the chase/action scenes when they happened. Nobody cares about the acting/dialogue
AidanAK47
But there are times when it goes way too far and you can barely make out what is even supposed to be happening. Or characters go so off model that they are unrecognizable. It can be immersion breaking. Much like uncanny CGI.
AidanAK47
@Niel, I do agree that it's annoying to see people complain about animation when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Like those inbetween frame screenshot people. But I will say I appreciate on model characters more so than chaotic movement. When the off model stuff suits the tone of the scene like that blade runner part, then it's fine.
niel
I also don't want to see someone imply visual=animation for the hundredth time. Are people really that ignorant of the technical/artistic aspect of the media they consumed?
niel
It just depends on what works best in given scene and the aesthetic they want to go for. People can complain all they want about off-model stuff, but if they really only want that the they won't be getting nearly as much of those impactful scenes as there are now. So many of the ways people complain about it is really irking to me.
niel
normal/low action scenes is different from being on-model during the action sequences and just the ones that need some extra impact in general. https://youtu.be/rrZk9sSgRyQ?t=6m45s
niel
But that depends on the situation though. And I'd argue that being consistent and on-model during
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter/Niello/Mario: Ideally I want it both ways, fluid animation AND consistent model visuals, all the while never sacrificing choreography.
SuperMario
But really, who am I to say. I'm the dude who prefer beautiful shot composition myself
SuperMario
The same can be said with Shinkai's movies since he always prefers static, beautiful shot that people tend to overlook that his animation is quite poorly handled
Vonter
You're right, but art direction does alleviate limited animation, I mean the old Berserk anime, kinda has a lot of slideshow moments. MahoYome has nice backgrounds, and despite the samey faces, at the very least doesn't come from the same mold as other series. Still cutting corners with chibi segments is was a mistake.
SuperWooper
Is it any wonder that people prefer things to be static/on-model? They want to see characters who look consistent and familiar so they can relate to them.
Nie
MahoYome being the biggest offender of people getting triggered to any kind of statement about the show's animation not being good. And it's absurd because the show's animation really isn't great at all. It's good with distracting people with pretty pictures, but animation-wise it's still mediocre.
Nie
@SuperMario: Not much. Just stuff like "Art is part of the animation weather it's beautiful backgrounds or just amazing looking characters. It's not all about how they move. If it was, CG would be considered great animation" multiple times. I've just been finding myself being replied with these kinds of comment non-stop since the start of the season.
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Total users: 22

Star Crossed Anime Blog

5 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Juuni Taisen – 11 [To Treat a Man to Beef From His Own Cow]

To the surprise of no one, Rat wins the race by breaking in the right place at the right time with the right weapon. This is by no mean a coincidence, because later on we learn about Rat’s real power: “Hundred Paths of Nezumi-chan”, in which he can see 100 various outcomes and thus picking […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 10 [We Live and Learn]

Welcome to week 10 of Mahoutsukai! Finally, oh so finally, we have are given some backstory on Elias! Our mysterious male(?) lead gets some explanation. We also get the start of a Chise only arc and finally some more information on Lindel. Lets jump in! As the main focus of this weeks episode, naturally I […]

Dies Irae – 09[A Mother’s Sins]

DIes Irae isn’t making this easy for the anime only watcher, as we get confused montages of Lisa’s backstory and oddly of a character whose relevance doesn’t come till a much later date. I would say it’s rather spoiler-ish if the info wasn’t presented in such a haphazard way that no one could really decode […]

Girls’ Last Tour – 10 [Train – Wavelength – Capture]

Girls’ Last Tour examines the concept of time and space this week, as the girls riding on a lonely moving train. The train design fits right in with this world: a long metal box that functions all by itself and contains many now-dysfunctional robots – corpses of the machines. Since last week we learnt that […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World- – 10[Kind Country]

Another remake of a story from the old series and while this one is adapted quite well, maybe even arguably better than the old version, it unfortunately lacks the same impact. The main problem comes back to the thing which ultimately holds back this season as a whole, story choice. For you see in the […]

Houseki no Kuni – 10 [Shiro]

This week proves to be the most action-packed episode Houseki has been offering so far and unconventionally, it’s Dia who takes the central stage at facing the most ridiculously overpowered Lunarian Titan to date. Well, I said “unconventionally”, but when the narration and the execution (the camera work, in particular) come together in such neat […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 22[Reunion and Farewell]

Breaking my usual routine today just to give an opinion on this episode but this episode made me feel compelled to get out my opinion. We have another action packed episode with three contestants out of the war and boy did they go out with a bang. Many will notice that the animation for this […]

Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

Welcome to another week of Inuyashiki! This week we have incredible sequences of terror, fearless Directors and death flags! Lets jump in. Obviously, the first thing we need to talk about this week is Hiro. A lot has happened in the few hours since Hiro attacked the Station. Interestingly, yet weirdly, Hiro has garnered a […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 21[Antares Snipe]

When Apocrypha slows down, it’s story shows it’s cracks. But when it’s an action showcase it actually becomes quite entertaining. The characters don’t have the time to be developed but they shine in combat when they clash, sometimes showing parts of themselves the series otherwise doesn’t allow for. Astolfo for one was actually useful for […]

Latest Reviews

The Reflection Review – 45/100

The superhero genre has been undergoing a surge in popularity in recent years. From the Marvel movies in the West to anime series like My Hero Academia in the East, super heroes are everywhere.  As such, for good or ill, it was inevitable that we would get a merging of the two. The Reflection is […]

Made in Abyss Review – 91/100

There are few series which can capture the mystery and wonder of a fantasy world as well as Made in Abyss. Their world is dangerous, brutal and unforgiving but beautiful, wondrous and exciting in it’s presentation. The story is of a ordinary girl called Riko and a mysterious cyborg boy called Regu traveling down the […]

Classroom of the Elite (Summer 2017) Review – 54/100

Here’s a perfect example of a Light Novel adaptation schlock that has some interesting concept but terrible presentation. Youkoso usually starts the episode with a thought-provoking philosophical quote, and then (in one episode in particular) they followed up with a boob shot. It sums up exactly how I feel about this show. In service for […]

18if (Summer 2017) Review – 68/100

Allow me to skip over the last episode coverage for this full review of 18if, since I was too underwhelmed by the finale to have anything concrete except pointing out how messy the ending was. The first thing you need to know about 18if is that it’s a multimedia project (along with a mobile game […]

Princess Principal (Summer 2017) Review – 82/100

Princess Principal has emerged as a true sleeper hit for this admittedly sloppy Summer Season. A joint project from indie studios that bring us my favorite anime of last year Flip Flappers (3Hz) and “better than it has any right to be” Girls und Panzer (Actas), Princess Principal records the missions of five cute spy […]

Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul Review 80/100

“Dance!” I have been a  reader of this blog for a long time. Indeed it would not be wrong to say that psgels and the current crop of writers have helped maintain my interest in anime for the last decade. So now here is my chance to give something back to this excellent blog. Shingeki […]

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Review – 63/100

Every Anime season we the viewers are shown a number of adaptations, often made after Light or Visual Novels. It’s an already written story with an established base, a smart business decision. In recent years studios have also begun pulling from the Video Game market for their shows. Pieces like the Idolmaster series, Kantai Collection […]

Kakegurui Review – 61/100

This show is one that makes conventional reviewing difficult as your enjoyment of your series will likely determine on highly subjective factors. For if I was to put this under scrutiny on matters of f-plot, setting and characters then it will end up lacking in all categories. The plot is just watching Yumeko face members […]

Re:Creators – 22 [Re:CREATORS] – 75/100

There was never going to be a epic fight with every creation squaring off against the overpowered and invincible Altair. That possibility died when the creators threw the copycat of Blank at her only to have that plan backfire horribly. Besides, it wouldn’t have been a satisfying conclusion to Altair’s story to have her be […]