Posted on 26 February 2018 with categories: 2011 Anime Retrospective, Chihayafuru, Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou

If you want a comparison to psgels’ reviews:

Chihayafuru

Heaven’s Memo Pad

Chihayafuru (Madhouse)

Chihayafuru is a sports show that done right. Moreover, it combines many good aspects of both josei and sports, making it thrilling to follow, while provide enough growth and conflicts for the main characters to achieve. Let’s me first point out how niche this sport Karuta is (and all the more reason to applause the show for bringing this niche sport to mainstream audience). Karuta is the sport that embrace the old to the modern Japan, it has a mixture between sport and poetry, it can be play competitively by people of all genders (can you think of other modern sports that allow this?), and lastly, unlike shogi players where they are full-time professional, all karuta players – even the Master and the Queen – aren’t. Most of them have office job or currently in college/ high-school. The latter, in particular, is one of the reason that make Chihayafuru interesting. For you see, people come to this sport purely by their passion. Chihayafuru’s core theme is the exploration of discovering and following your own passion. Each character has their own reason to play karuta, but they share the same love for the sport and it’s inspirational to see the team keeps trying their hardest and keeps improving themselves for the thing they love.

Chihayafuru also benefits from the fact that it understands sports, in general. I have some sports background so trust me when I say this: unless you’re incredibly talented, losing is always your best mate. You tend to lose way more than you win. And losing freaking hurts. EVERYTIME. In addition, your number one opponent is always yourself. Through the course of this season, Chihaya loses lots of times, some of them she was expected to win but failed due to her own lack of confidence. The show understands that losing is a natural part of the game, and never shy away from that. Secondly, I’m really digging how Chihayafuru underlines the fact that each player has their own karuta game; as in you can see their own personality reflected through the styles they play. Chihaya is quick-tempered; she’s born with fast style and quick reflex. Taichi relies more on his memory, while Desktomu uses statistic and analysis and Kana through her knowledge of the one hundred poems (if I were to approach karuta I’d be like Kana, as the “competitive” part is my least concern). These styles fit the personality of each player and as a whole, it’s a firm reminder that there is multifaceted approach to the game and more than once Chihaya learns how to improve her game by observing the good quality of other players.

It helps that the josei part of the show, the undertone relationship of the three mains, remains as a backbone and never overwhelm the whole show. At least for now the romance is kept at the right balance, while allow our characters growing, both in the game skills and in their maturity. I still don’t buy much about the affection of Chihaya towards Arata but I can live with that. If I have one main complain, however, it is that because the sports drama is so well done, when Chihayafuru tries to create its own conflict, it usually falls flat. At the top of my head I could name 2 instances like that (the bully act when they were primary schoolers – actually this show has a very insensitive depiction of bullying; the little drama of Desktomu trying to quit in the middle of the tournament). Other mild complain I would have is how the show can be damn overbearing at times with so much tears. I’m starting to wonder whether it caused by the source materials or by Madhouse volume up the emotional response.

All in all, Chihayafuru is a clear winner. The pacing and the production are top notch, the matches are exciting and thrilling and the characters are relatable with both their quirks, their chemistry and their deep. This is one of those rare show that has universal appeal, given I can pretty much recommend Chihayafuru to any other viewers, anime fan or not, without much hesitation. Can’t wait to watch its second season.

Rating: 83/100

Heaven’s Memo Pad (J.C.Staff)

Well, I’m thoroughly bored.

And I already put aside many of its obvious issues (like NEET detective agency – yeah it doesn’t make sense to me. Or after finishing the show I still don’t get the title at all. I know KamiMemo explained it somewhere but I failed to grasp it).

But let’s be positive. I will address many of the show’s strengths first before touch upon its problematic parts. The production values of this show are surprisingly above par for a low-tier title. The art settings remain its best assets. Each of the setting has a personality of their own and I certainly remember the ramen store, Alice’s room and even the garden rooftop fondly. I also like the way each case takes up usually about 2 or 3 episodes, which for me is a right length to introduce, develop and resolve each case (Un-Go suffered from this). The actual cases are a bit mixed though, as I only enjoyed the first and the last cases. Each arc revolves around a character in Narumi and Alice’s circle, so it’s a good opportunity to flesh out the said characters too.

Or so I thought.

Here’s the biggest issue with KamiMemo: All the characters feel pretty empty. You often see how I complain about characters betraying their own personality, right? Now, this is the exact opposite problem. All the characters of KamiMemo have significant traits that made them stand out at first glance, but they keep that same lines of thought for an entire season and thus they become a bunch of cardboards who say “cheese”. It feels to me that I was reading some typical Visual Novel about stereotyped stock characters. Take Doki Doki Literature Club, using those empty lines with a purpose. In this show they serve no purpose other than making the characters look cool. And cool dish gets cold really fast without any substantial support. As a result, it’s hard to care for any of the character, and it’s a big bummer because those cases based around those said characters. The main duo Alice and Narumi, likewise, still feel very plain and her tsundere act is not something that I need to see again. Alice sounds pretentious all the time and Narumi always shines when the plot calls for it; which again are just plain weak and terrible.

The actual cases themselves, are nothing worth bragging about. It’s neither realistic, nor well-made enough. Many contrived details in the service of moving the plot forward, many big words that trying too hard to impress and Alice has overpowered ability so that when she’s on board, everything is pretty much solved without much sweat. I figure the reason I like the first case is because the cast still feels fresh and I believe the last case redeems the show a fair bit (look, KamiMemo, at least Ayaka has some deeper level). KamiMemo still works as a mild mystery detective case, and the presentation is competent enough to keep viewers engaged, but the serious lack of well-developed characters makes it hard to invest to the show on deeper level.

Rating: 71/100

And done. Tell me your own thoughts on Chihayafuru and Heaven’s Memo Pad if you have seen either of these. Next post, to celebrate one of the most anticipated sequel of next season (no, not Legend of the Galactic Heroes), we will head back to the future for Steins;Gate and its diary in the future Mirai Nikki. Should be a fun ride, Doc. Till then.

Posted on 24 September 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou




Time to review another one of the top shows of the past Summer season. Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou is either my third or fourth favourite show of the serie that debuted on Summer 2011, depending on how well Blood-C’s ending turns out. This was the series to go to for intelligent mystery, well written scripts and varied cast.

Especially the script of this series is something where this series shined like no other. Thsi show, above all else, is well written. It consists out of a number of standalone arcs that are all focused on some murder mystery, and it’s the script that does wonders in fleshing all the different cases out into multi-layered stories and it tries to put as much meaning into the eventual conclusions as possible. This makes just about every conclusion worth watching, as the creators always manage to throw in some sort of satisfying conclusion.

The cast of characters is also an interesting bunch: from the outside they all look like your regulr JC Staff cliches (you know, moe school girls, bland male lead and in particular an annoying little girl), but this show actually manages to give an original spin on them. It does so by excellent acting, and also by giving each of the characters strong roles. The cast of this show is HUGE, but it’s very varied, and most of them turned out to be actually very interesting to watch. The male lead meanwhile starts off a bit bland, wanting to help people for the sake of helping people, but as the show moves on he really grows into a reliable and sympathetic manager and organizer.

Where this show falls down is that it doesn’t seem to realize that it’s only got 12 episodes. It doesn’t drag, but some arcs are very long (one takes up four episodes; that’s a third of the entire series!) and there are too many episodes that focus on the side characters. That’s nice and all, and the result was that the characters in question got some really memorable stories, but because of that there was no time left to animate the arc that focused on the central character of this series: Alice. She could have been an amazing character with a little bit of depth. And in fact, the entire series ended just prematurely: It’s built up in such a way that a potential second season has the potential to become a classic. Unfortunately, that will probably never arrive.

Oh, and there is also something that you need to take in mind when ou start watching this series: the fanservice. This remains JC Staff unfortunately, and so the creators tried to insert very out of place fanservice scenes, similar to what happened with Index II. Don’t worry though: these scenes disappear in the second half. Right when this series really starts to hit its stride, although its opening episode also is one heck of an eye catcher.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Terrific script, well use of build-up and twists. Only 12 ewpisodes long. Will become even better with more episodes.
Characters: 9/10 – Varied cast, likable characters, strong drama, excellent character development.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Crisp art and animation, nice usse of CG in the backgrounds.
Setting: 8/10 – The stories don’t tie together whatsoever, nor do they have a general theme beyond murder. But this show does create a very believable atmosphere.

Suggestions:
Himitsu The Revelation (Granted, Kamimemo does not hold a candle to the master of the arc-based murder mystery genre, Himitsu – though it is a fine attempt nevertheless)
Ayatsuri Sakon
Shinrei Tantei Yakumo

Posted on with categories: Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou



Well, it had it coming, but I’m still really glad that it actually happened: this was pretty much the best ending out of all of the unfinished series that have ended this month, and I also doubt that it will be surpassed like anymore. The big flaw of this season really is the length, and this showed in a ton of series: No.6, Kamisama Dolls, Ao no Exorcist, Kaiji (though in the opposite way)… aside from Natsume Yuujinchou (which is the only one of the bunch who actually got a second season), there are just four shows who avoided this: Usagi Drop, Croisee, Dantalian, and this one.

And I know that this show had it easy by being episodic, but still: the creators did pick a great arc to finish on, and they executed it right. With this, there is only one major problem with this series: its wasted potential. This series can become so much more with 12 extra episodes. The iffy episodes at the beginning… they don’t matter anymore. The fanservice disappeared completely in the second half, and Narumi really grew up. He started out as yet another Touma, but the use of Ayaka in this episode really matured him beyond just that role.

Ignore the length, and I’m very happy with how this series turned out. Heck, this pretty much was the best JC Staff series since Aoi Hana.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 17 September 2011 with categories: Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou



Oh, thank god! After No.6 and Kamisama Dolls suddenly took a turn for the worst, I’m really glad that this series continued its consistent run. With this, it stands above both these shows, as even though there is a ton of wasted potential here, it actually looks to close off really solidly.

This episode was solid build-up, but what struck me in particular is how the main cast grew even closer to each other. What happened to Ayaka was perfect for that. And in the meantime we got a great mystery story, looking for exactly how it happened. The cast definitely grew on me even more this episode, especially with the addition of the hopelessly broken brother of Ayaka.

Still, this case does seem awfully simple now that the creators hinted at the big boss drugging Ayaka and getting her to drop off that cliff. Still, even considering that there are things that still don’t make sense: why did she choose the school building of all places?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 10 September 2011 with categories: Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou



Oh heck. It may not be the Alice arc, but once again this was really good. Ayaka’s brother’s introduction gave a completely different light on her character and I have no doubt that the creators can make something nice out of it. Especially that ending: at first I thought it was some sort of flashback. Then I accidentally caught a glimpse of next week’s preview (I always really try to avoid those). Yeah. This will be an awesome finale.

Now, I do want to hi-jack this post for a bit for some general observations of this entire summer season, especially considering that this series has a pretty big part in this. I remember noting at the start of this season that this might be the best summer season so far. Now, the season of course hasn’t ended yet, so anything can still happen, but I do not think that it will end up like this. My favourite Summer Seasons so far are the ones of 2006 and 2007, and I do not think that this season overall can beat them.

And the biggest reason for that is in my opinion the trio of No.6, Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou and Kamisama Dolls. I mean, Penguin Drum and Natsume Yuujinchou are both doing fantastic. They are more than enough to make this season awesome at this point. Blood-C although it is not as great as it could have been still looks to be rock-solid, while the slice of life series of Ikoku Meiro no Croisee and Usagi Drop are also doing really well. Meanwhile there is the big surprise of Blade, and Dantalian no Shoka is also very charming. The Kamisama series and No.6 should have been the icing on the cake, and while they are really good series: they could have been pure gold if they were longer. It’s by far the biggest weakness of this season.

Compare that to 2006, which had four 2-cour series which made brilliant use of their length (Bokura ga Ita, Chevalier, Night Head Genesis and NHK ni Youkoso), some rock-solid 1-cour series who knew exactly how long they were (Flag, Kemonozume and Honey and Clover), added to some awesome light-hearted shows (Akazukin & Power Puff Z).This season unfortunately wasn’t enough to really match that and it still stands as my favourite Summer Season ever. As for 2007, it is slightly more difficult. The thing with that season is that it had five absolutely amazing and ground-breaking series (Baccano, Higurashi Kai, Shigurui, Mononoke, Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei), but hardly anything memorable aside from that. This season has definitely beaten it in terms of quantity and it has many more series worth watching, but unfortunately only Penguin Drum really matches up to these best series, with perhaps also Natsume Yuujin-Chou San if the ending is really good. If Kamisama no Memo-Chou, Kamisama Dolls and No.6 were longer however, they actually would have stood a chance to also stand in that tier. In that case this season would have also blown Summer of 2007 out of the water.

As for third place though: I’m pretty confident that this season will take that. 2008 had some really good series with Xamdou, Ultraviolet, Blade of the Immortal, Natsu no Sora and Natsume Yuujinchou I, but that just doesn’t match up to the huge array of excellent series that are aired right now. 2009 meanwhile had a select number of classics (2009 had Tokyo Magnitude, Aoi Hana, Spice and Wolf II, GA and Umineko, but in the end this season is just richer, has more variety consistency. 2010’s only noteworthy series meanwhile were Shiki, Kuroshitsuji II and Occult Academy, with perhaps also Denyuuden added. That also just doesn’t match up.

However, I am very happy with this season. The thing is that 2006 and 2007 were near godly years for anime, in which so much stuff happened at the same time. This was the summer season that came closes to those years, and who knows. This upward trend might be continuing. At the very least, the next season is one that isn’t bothered at all by short series lengths. I’m quite hopeful for the future.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 3 September 2011 with categories: Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou



Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou what the heck do you think you’re doing you only have 13 episodes.

This is what I mean by this show acting like it’s twice its length: I mean this episode standalone was very good, but in the context of this series the creators pretty much wasted one valuable episode. I mean, Nemoto’s background was very good and all, but do the creators really want to focus on such a minor character when there’s enough gold buried underneath the main cast? The writing and mystery of this series really are great, so it’s very annoying when the creators keep dodging them…

But yeah, this episode. It was a bit bizarre, suddenly deciding to go with a baseball episode of all things, but it was fun to watch. Especially Alice showed a totally different side of her when she actually went out to the field to try batting. It obviously wasn’t meant to be believable at all, but it’s a good way to flesh out the main cast. It was fun. Heck, even the fanservice was nearly completely toned down. It’s just completely the wrong time for it.

What’s more: the previous episodes promised us some awesome backstory on Alice. And yet the final arc of this series seems to focus on Ayaka. Which is nice and all, but that does leave us with a main character with gaping holes in her back-story. I was really looking forward to that story of hers, so it’s a bloody shame that we won’t get to see it.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 28 August 2011 with categories: Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou



Yup, now that this arc has officially finished, I can say that it’s the best arc of Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou so far. The two extra episodes really did it, and allowed this series to really create a surprisingly interesting story with some very creative twists. Oh, and Narumi… he actually popped up as a very good leader; that’s not something that many of his counterparts can boast here.

So I have been rather busy lately, so I don’t have as much time as I’d like to really speculate what’s going on. Because of that the truth behind the mystery really came out of left field for me, and that made it all the more satisfying. I love how nearly all makes sense with the build-up that these past four episodes have put into it.

the only thing that I’m a bit iffy about is the Fourth’s reasons for keeping silent. I mean, I understand them, but Renji was willing to destroy everything he built up, which basically involved him putting the lives of everyone loyal to him on the line. Was that really worth it for a simple pride issue? The only thing I can think of is that he didn’t expect Renji to go as far as he did.

I really wonder: can the final four episodes top this? It al depends on what kind of material they’re gonna adapt. The thing is: I do not think that this will get a second season. The thing with JC Staff is that they in general are very loyal with their series… and yet Aoi Hana did not get a sequel (this has been confirmed: disappointing sales were the reasons). Based on recent years this was about the only series of theirs that really left with an open end and that did not get a sequel along the way… but then Uragiri and Yumekui Merry came around, both with disappointing sales. In the same way, I really can’t see Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou’s sales to turn out good. It does have the typical JC staff tropes, but it executes them in a completely different way from usual, to the point where there’s hardly any cliched moe left at this point. Even Alice’s antics are nothing like her counterparts (we can thank her excellent voice acting for that; I shiver at the thought of them putting Rie Kugimiya on the job again…). The problem is that this is just all speculation, of course. It’s gonna take years before we fully know whether this is true.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 20 August 2011 with categories: Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou



Now this is really more like what this series should be! A four episode arc that really allows the creator to take their time to flesh out everything, to build up intrigue and atmosphere. The mystery in this series really is excellent and really well written. If the next episode handles things right, I can see little in the way for this arc becoming the best arc so far.

What I really like about this series is that the mysteries aren’t just of “the butler did it”-variant, but there are tons of details about them that just make them more intricate. There are many layers that make solving them a lot more challenging than usual. Unlike Gosick, the gathering of intelligence makes sense and things flow logical into each other.

I also think that amongst the Gosick Trilogy, Alice is the best amongst her counterparts, or at least around the seven episode mark. Dalian of Dantalian no Shoka unfortunately turned out to be just annoying, but I even feel that she’s more dynamic than Victorique, who at the beginning was just a simple genius who once in a while showed a cute side. Alice’s dialogue is always interesting to read whenever the fanservice isn’t involved, and her bond with the male lead doesn’t just consist out of tsundere type insults. Instead they can just have normal conversations, and Alice’s insults are usually much more subtle than her counterparts.

Now, whether Alice will really turn out better than Victorique overall… that totally depends on her development of course. This episode gave a big hint that that’s coming somewhere, but the problem with this series is that it still feels like a 13-eepisode series, pretending to be a 24 one. This show is arc-based, so it won’t have an as big of an ending problem as No.6, but the current pacing makes sense for 24 episodes, but not for 13 of them. With one arc taking up a whopping four episodes, there’s hardly any time left for the rest of the content.

Oh, and the characters were actually playing the Colonists of Catan here. That’s a reference I never expected to see in an anime. :P
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 13 August 2011 with categories: Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou



Now this is why I originally was looking forward to this series. This definitely was the best episode of this show since the first episode. This fully let the characters show their characters off, without divulging in annoying fanservice. This show already had the best dialogue of the series that premiered during the summer season, and this episode finally showed the heights you can reach with it.

I really like how natural this episode progressed. Little by little the past between the Fourth and the guy with that strange haircut became clear, and just about everything was well acted. The scenario was very creative, and I liked how Narumi also got to hang out with some of the side-characters for a bit. Alice’s part in it as a bystander was also top notch. Everything was just really well written. I’d go as far to say that the characterization was even better than during the first episode.

The weird part though, is that this doesn’t really have anything to do with Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou. Alice was just a side-character here. A role she fulfilled really well and all, but this series is acting like it’s got 24 episodes, while it actually has just 12. This is a mystery series, but instead of that this was much more a character study. A very well written character study and all, but I still believe that this show has a bit of an identity crisis.

Overall, Narumi does have the “Kamijou Touma”-syndrome of having very vague reasons to want to risk his life in order to help others. The people he meets thankfully are a lot interesting than with To Aru Majutsu no Index and all, but it still stands out especially with the actual mysteries of this series. This arc has managed to avoid that, though: with this, I can see why he wants to involve himself. He’s a guy who very easily makes friends and attaches himself to people who treat him with respect. I guess his family situation also has a lot to do with that.

The fact remains though that it remains a bit annoying that anime keep pulling the dead parents thing. It makes sense for things set in the past and all, in modern times it just happens way too often.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 6 August 2011 with categories: Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou



The entire theme of this week seems to be doing things against expectations. After the previous episode I expected another mystery story where Alice had to solve another case. Instead, we got this strange mish-mash of slice of life, character development and… organizing the stage for a band. I’m not sure where that all came from, but it was definitely something different for this series.

The thing with this episode is that the characters got side-tracked A LOT, however the things it got side-tracked with are actually pretty unorthodox and creative. They range from being ordered by Alice to go to the zoo, picking up a new apron, doing the laundry, meeting this strange rock guy and again: promoting this indie band. It’s a pretty whimsical episode and whether it’s good or not entirely depends on the length of this show.

The thing is, that for a 13 episode series it’s just goofing off too much. For a 26 episode series however this was some great material to flesh out the characters. It’s all going to be a matter of waiting what it’s going to be.

Now, as for the JC Staff cliches, there was a good thing and a bad thing about this episode. The good thing is that the main character isn’t just randomly running into females all the time: it’s actually nicely balanced at this point with that rock guy. The bad thing however is that for some reason beyond me, the creators are trying to make Alice into a Shana-clone! Thank God she’s a lot more eloquent than her counterparts, but it’s really getting annoying to see that JC Staff are trying to shoehorn the same bloody character in every bloody show of theirs. I keep complaining about this, because it really feels like someone took a look at the script and changed Alice to act more like every other bloody tsundere, especially after how different she was in the first episode.
Rating: * (Good)

CHANGE USERNAME
Animosh
@Kaiser & Amagi: I also had lots of political discussions with my father. Didn't know that was such a common occurrence. Boys will be boys I guess? And he's actually a former Marxist too, having grown up in the 60's-70's and all. Now he's just a boring socialist though. ;)
Animosh
RErideD seemed really promising in theory: an original time travel anime written (at least in part) by Abe, with the director of Steins;Gate in charge? Count me in. But unfortunately the reviews so far seem to be uniformly negative. So I'll probably avoid it for now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Four episodes of RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida got uploaded at the same time earlier.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Yes, although probably just for the Saturday, usually the best day to do so because thats when the sellers are there, usually everythings gone by Sunday. Friday is generally anime pub quiz.
Lenlo
Its just a saturday, so busy. And Kaiser, nice. Gonna go to the con at all?
Lenlo
As a writer for it, I dont believe so?
Anonymous2818178
is this site dead?
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is an animecon here in two weeks. That eyepatchwolf youtuber will be there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still have old single issues of fushigi yugi, inuyasha, Ah my Goddess, narutaru laid around.
Kaiser-Eoghan
They used to realease them like single American comic book issues in the west.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not talking bound volumes but actual 20-30 pages chapters and these would be expensive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Who remembers RENTING anime dvds and RENTING videogames? Does anyone else remember buying each individual manga chapter as they came out when the official English translations rolled around?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Anyone willing to post their desktop? https://ibb.co/buc4Zz
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or things like Mischief makers .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know vonter mentioned Mystical ninja 64. But I remember after I'd moved on from the snes to the N64 when I was younger, growing up with that obscure castlevania game on it, or stuff like those 3D bomberman games no-one cared about. Or obscure stuff like body harvest, jet force gemini, blast corps , turok, quest 64 and shadowman.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love coming across those online lists of literally WHOtier, WHOcares , games literally only YOU liked and heard of/played. Makes me feel less alone.
Amagi
I was also always discussing about politics with my father. Whenever we started with this my mother just said "porca putana" and went into another room to watch tv in peace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animemosh: lol I have daily political discussion with my Marxist-Leninist father just like that =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh I should state, even though I'm not as bothered by the modern setting, I actually do prefer the cold war narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The documentries name was Battle of Chile by Patricio Guzman.
Amagi
Especially since I don't think that the typical BF audience is of a kind that would lose interest because a series is taking place in the past. It was just written for the 80s, people can't just change that without changing the story itself to some degree.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I thought the anime did such a good job with Shio's backstory , that I didn't miss what was omitted. The anime is now up to date with the scans. I do agree that Satou's obsession with Shio is non-pedophilic but I think the scene itself is kind of going to give the wrong message.
Amagi
@Animosh: one of the many reasons why I would have prefered Banana Fish's original setting.
Animosh
By the way, apparently the backstory of Shio's mother - which supposedly is really tragic - was largely skipped. Guess I'll have to read the manga.
Animosh
I get what they're going for, recreating the ritual and all, but I also thought the Shio-Satou moment was a bit forced. I still think their relationship is platonic though. Satou has never been shown to lust after Shio: she just fills her with warmth and happiness. They're more like messed up siblings than (romantic) lovers.
Animosh
@Kaiser: sounds interesting! Chile is an excellent example of the kind of Cold War intervention that I really don't see happening today. Although you never know with an impulsive narcissist in the White House.
Animosh
End of monologue. Sorry about this. :p
Animosh
Long story short: I think the Banana Fish conspiracies fail to adequately represent the current situation. At the very least, it fits the Cold War world order much better.
Animosh
That includes the US (backing the Kurds and the rebels), but also Turkey and the Arab states (Sunni rebels), Russia and Iran (Assad), and so on and so forth. You can't act like this is the fault of one party. Hell, I'd say Russia and Assad are more responsible for failing to a peaceful resolution when they had the chance.
Animosh
As for Syria, it's a mess, but the US is only one of many parties responsible. And oil isn't particularly important in this conflict. It's a civil war that's been made much worse by the influx of money and weapons from many different parties vying for regional influence.
Animosh
So what does it do? It gives military and financial backing to militias with shared interests (which is much less than Russia does, by the way), orders drone strikes, and perhaps the occasional tactical strike. But overthrowing countries and setting up puppet regimes? I don't see it happening. That's basically declaring war on the other big powers.
Animosh
And even when it does intervene militarily, it rarely goes all out. The US has learned from Iraq and Afghanistan. It doesn't want to be dragged into another endless conflict, or see its efforts end in another brutal civil war that destabilizes the region.
Animosh
So although the US occasionally still intervenes militarily in other countries' affairs, other means of pressure are now more popular. The sanctions against Iran and North Korea are a good example of this.
Animosh
The current landscape is much more complex. America is still powerful, of course, but relatively speaking it is in decline, and that means it can get away with much less. Today's world is closer to a multipolar world, with many sides fighting for influence. And because the ideological conflict is much less pronounced, the US is much less willing to go against its purported values.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Coincidentally I recently watched a series of Chilean documentaries regarding the murder of Salvador Allende and the installation of the Pinochet Junta.
Animosh
And that meant both that America was far more powerful than it is now, and that much more intervention was considered acceptable - including shamelessly backing dictators that oppressed and exploited their people. After all, a defeat meant evil would prevail.
Animosh
Obviously the US still interferes in other countries. Quite a lot, actually. But there's a big difference between its current policy and that during the Cold War. Back then the geopolitical landscape was very different. It was bipolar, with two big Isms (capitalism and communism) fighting it out.
Animosh
@anon: not sure if this is the right place for a political discussion, but whatever. I like politics, so here we go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*was no exception
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: If, out of the many moments in happy sugar life that I'd consider unsettling, it would be the one's with the aunt and this weeks episode was an exception. That last part of the episode will be interpreted as shoujo-ai bait by people though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking forward to Angels of death next week, I think we're getting answers, glad to get answers on bad guy even if he is a simple villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now this is an interesting coincidence as last night I just got done watching a documentary about cyberwarfare against Iran.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats alot more detailed than what I was going to say. I was just going to say that it reflects current foreign policy.
Anonymous2808488
however the current stalemate in Syria is a reflection of the intransigence of the monied elite to not let go of ill-gotten gains, constantly provoking conflict with Russia/Assad/Iran
Anonymous2808488
Its a documented fact the US/EU promoted the Arab Spring/ISIS rebellions and it was stopped by patriots with a conscience
Anonymous2808488
replace with the mexican cartels/Hezbollah, and oil money promised to Cheney-connected Genie enerrgy
Anonymous2808488
its a pretty accurate description of the current reality minus a couple silly things like the mafia and mind control drugs
Anonymous2808488
You guys realize this plot is unfolding in Syria just replace drugs with oil money
Lenlo
Its hokey in the now, but in the original context the series was written, the Cold War, I think it could fit really well.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what felt awkward to you? I thought the pumpkin stuff in particular was pretty hilarious. Eiji is an evil guy. :p
Animosh
Yeah, the conspiracy stuff feels a bit wacky in the present. But in the context of the Cold War, it makes perfect sense. The USA supported plenty of bloody coups after all, especially in Latin America. Hell, they even backed the Taliban in their war against Russia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the future I want to make a bigger effort to follow MORE of whats being covered on here seasonally.
Kaiser-Eoghan
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Red
https://manganelo.com/manga/red_naoki_yamamoto Two history manga, wonder if they'll be fully translated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine most will probably agree with you anon though. I have alien taste/opinions. I also love conspiracy stuff =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Originally, in the manga version of that part, it was attacking communism in south America.
Anonymous2805624
I don't know; I kinda find the whole Middle East stuff a bit hokey; maybe that's just me.
Lenlo
Im about to watch it. Looking forward to it
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know its only one line, but that they still mention skip and shorter, even its just their names, at least the show keeps them in mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
With episode 12, Banana fish has successfully contemporized its political/cospiracy aspect for me . Eiji is semi-uselful. Humour in this episode for the first time feels awkward, fast pace kind of means that the quieter slower scenes , though I still enjoy them, feel slotted in.
Lenlo
Most of my emotions this week came because of the original and my love of it, not this one
Lenlo
I agree, Steins;Gate 0 had all the potential, and there are some specific episodes that realized it. Like this episode had a lot of touching scenes cause it slowed down to play up Okabe's relationship with Amadeus. But most of the time, it fails to reach that potential. So as a whole it just feels... lacking
Kaiser-Eoghan
Plebs, not combining both into a single dessert.
Anonymous2802297
I'm talking about that sweet saccharine Chocolate Mousse, the Ganache, or the Chocolate Gâteau. Your puny muffin stands no chance. Mwahaha!
Anonymous2802297
Blasphemy. As a proud American, I can't stand for anything less than pure unadulterated diabetes-inducing sugar in chocolatey cake form. Anything less is an insult to my great nation. /s
SuperMario
@anon2801739: that's a nice analogy but I can't say I agree as I prefer chocolate muffin much more than chocolate cake :)))
Anonymous2801739
Steins;gate 0 is all potential but generally it's wasted. Whenever it actually seems promising they manage to jump plot points to boring nonsensical melodrama for a century. It was supposed to be a chocolate cake. Instead what we got was a muffin with tiny chocolate chips buried few and far between. Yeah it's still sweet at some points, but most of the time you're chewing through pointless fluff.
Lenlo
Like I said in my last post on it I think, the pacing is fucked
Animosh
I did like that the lab members finally acted like scientists again, methodically thinking through their options and all, and there were some pretty touching individual moments and nicely tied up ends. But mostly I'm just annoyed by all the unfulfilled potential of this show.
Animosh
I also hated the backtracking in the beginning. Don't make such a big deal of The Return if you're going to throw it out of the window in the next episode.
Animosh
I really don't understand Steins;Gate's pacing. It slows down to a trickle in the largely irrelevant middle part, and now that things are finally getting somewhat interesting again it just speeds through everything without building things up properly? I don't get it. And how on Earth are they going to resolve everything satisfactorily in one episode?
KTravlos
Reinhard (old series). Ash is interesting and depicted well, but not close to Reinhard. There is something noble in Reinhard, something beyond charisma.
Anonymous2797046
In a charisma battle between our two favorite Blond Boys (doing what blond boys do), who'd win: Reinhard or Ash?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Kind of felt this is what prelude penultimate episode/calm before the storm episode should be and I liked quite liked the ginko and souya scene, but I'm still eh, I shrug at this.
Vonter
After watching some more Star vs. the forces of evil. I'm getting Jitsu wa Watashi wa vibes. The Sailor Moon-like character episode was cute.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc in sangatsu made me want to shootup the school.
Lenlo
I will admit, the family life stuff is less engaging than the crippling depression, but I dont think that would hit as hard with out the relaxing bits in between. Dont want to overload the audience.
Anonymous2791561
3-gatsu no Lion has its ups and downs; its ups are the intense emotional drama or shogi matches, while it's downs are the more relaxed slice of life food porn stuff. When I say up and down, I don't necessarily mean good and bad, just more about the intensity. I personally found that I could enjoy both styles, but sometimes I'd find the slice of life stuff dragging on.
SuperMario
Well, I regard 3-gatsu as one of the best character-writing in this medium in recent years. As for shaft, I'm their fan but even me was worried when I learnt Shaft adapting this. They did a nice job thankfully
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I was glad that the comedy becomes more reigned in later on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got used to the tonally discordant humour eventually, accepting that the show essentially exists in two plains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In tsukiyomi moon phase Shinbo made some of the shots look like photos, which was cool given the protaganists profession. Their weird style also was a good fit for an oddball show like Zetsubou-sensei.
Lenlo
I just finished the 4th episode, and so far I am torn on Akari. Im still not sure what to make of some of these relationships. I love the permeated depression theme in every episode though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if it will get a third season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want Akari to be my mom.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm only 9 out of 13 volumes adapted, which means the anime hasn't adapted the best bit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unfortunate that the sangatsu manga doesn't update often.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't seen it, I heard that vocaloid thing shaft adapted was very poorly suited to their style.
Lenlo
If a drama can actually make me feel something, actual emotions, then its a success. But it takes a pretty good, well made drama to do that.
Lenlo
I am very particular about my Drama'
Lenlo
Im planning on burning through the whole thing in the next few days. Maybe then ill try the manga, since there is probably more
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I didn't think your lie in April or sangatsu would actually be your thing. They're very drama-ey.
Lenlo
Basically im with Kaiser on this one. As for Shaft, I am very show by show with them. I couldnt stand Nisekoi, yet Sangatsu's color palette and way of drawing faces really has me
Lenlo
See, so far it has a very Mushishi/Fune wo Amu/Your Lie in April feel to me. I love these kinds of things animated, because I feel the music and color-choices really help set things in the mood.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario@Lenlo: We can be Kanabros for life all three of us ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in general I do think shafts style lends itself at its best to more comedic work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually felt that shafts style elevated their adaptation of Sangatsu. I find it easier to watch these slow paced shows than reading them. Also Kana Hanazawa.
SuperMario
Shaft's style can be a hit or miss with the audience, however. While I don't mind that, I still would recommend you try the manga instead
SuperMario
Oh, so you still have, like, 40 episodes left
Lenlo
Huh. Finally got around to March Comes in Like a Lion, gotta say. 3 episodes in, its pretty good
Kaiser-Eoghan
Speaking of it though, I wish they'd get that proposed new Vampire hunter D anime off the ground.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though my memory on this is extremely fuzy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know, I saw an article there on anime news network referring to the second vampire hunter D film, I know I watched it years and years ago, loved it, but I forget the plot, thinking about it now, how was the dude D was after supposed to survive without blood after buggering off to space alone with the girl?
Anonymous2786239
Amen to that
Anonymous2785164
I read blogs to see opinions on anime, not to read about how blog writer is much better than some youtuber I probably have never heard of :D
Anonymous2785164
Anyway, don't any of you guys let that get up to your head :p I'm also annoyed whenever media producers start mocking each other and setting themselves up as better.
Anonymous2785164
Nothing is more annoying to me than nerd doing the stereotypical nerd voice to mock people
Anonymous2785164
Either way, I kinda dislike majority geek youtubers because I find them all to be hypocrites. Like for example, complaining about commentors correcting them or nitpicking them when all of them are nitpickers themselves :P
Anonymous2785164
That said, he has habit of commenting on things way too early only to later on to be proven wrong by end of the anime :P
Anonymous2785164
That said, I don't remember Mother's Basement being that bad besides that he for most parts really sucks when talking about video games despite apparently having studied game development
Anonymous2785164
@AidanAK47: I don't actually like any of anime youtubers. They all seems to be pervs to me and I'm actually rather prude person :p
Anonymous2785164
Hmm this chat is being buggy again and I can't change username from anonymous right now :P ANnoying~
SuperMario
@Lenlo: Readers will enjoy us more if we can throw some meme references... proof that we're still not out of touch with current trends ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I mean the opposite, the posts here are good because they don't use quips. They aren't fanboyish either.
Lenlo
Are you telling me I need to insert more quips. jokes and one-lines into my posts? Cause I can do that
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Drop grand blue if its taking up too much time, I know you are busy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats why I enjoy reading blog articles like on here. I feel the writers on here never sound like awful fanboys or quiplords.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*I have
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its down to an idea have about vloggers/youtubers, that the videos will be full of unfunny quips and unrestrained fanboyism due to the guy doing the video can't keep himself in check.
Lenlo
Digibro isnt worth listening to imo
Kaiser-Eoghan
Never even really pursued listening to digibro. Although I probably should listen to eyepatchwolf apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I should say the anime youtubers I've actually watched pertain to: Gigguk, one video by blackanimecritic, a few countdowns by Mistychronoxia and Animeman . I think I've watched maybe two of glass reflections reviews.
Anonymous2781300
I don't know, r/anime probably is also not the best sources; Youtube and Reddit are just the places I generally go to for large-scale anime discussion
Anonymous2781300
Oh my previous comment didn't post; basically I was saying that Anitube isn't super representative of audience popularity, at least as a whole, but it might offer some insight to at least a portion of it.
Anonymous2781300
*audience you're looking at: there's the Japanese audience and Western audience, but I feel like there's also like, another half of the world that most be people don't consider.
Anonymous2781300
It kind of depends which audience you
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't even watch gigguks videos anymore.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've never really cared enough to overexplore any of those anime youtube critics for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If someone keeps talking about something, eventually it'll sometimes work out and get through, then I'll at least have to see some of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I watched it because you kept saying not enough people were watching it.
AidanAK47
@Masky, cause Mothers basement did a video on it? Well hopefully it gets it some attention. Don't really like MB though. I mean "Gurren Meets Earthbound"? Jesus Christ.
Masky
Hmm, seems like Planet With is slowly getting more attention to it
Lenlo
I know im Shonen trash, but Hero Aca continues to be fantastic.
Animosh
You know, one person ends up broken through no fault of her own, and then ends up hurting herself and/or others to protect the only happiness she knows. And so the cycle continues.
Animosh
I thought Shio's backstory was really sad too. But yeah, although the show (and many of its characters) can be silly a lot of the time, there's a beating heart behind all of the craziness. Its main characters all have believable - if misguided - motivations, and the show portrays the cyclical nature of trauma very well.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I think the scene with satou breaking down near episodes end were the standout. I often laugh at this show for its overthetopness, then makes me feel like a jerk by pulling something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Escaflowne ended too soon and abruptly. I haven't seen rayearth but I have read the manga, so I don't know if the anime original content is as good.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've noticed that the voice acting tends to be worse in reverse harems then regular harems.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Regarding otome, one of the worst cases though had to be hakuouki though, just a bag of complete wasted potential.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: While I didn't dislike Red river, I have the unpopular opinion of preferring Basara because I found the central relationship more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Yes that was babylonia no shishi.
Amagi
I wish we could get isekai like Rayearth, Now and Then or Escaflown again.
Amagi
Sadly these series usually fail elsewhere, with the typical problems shoujo and otome series tend to have
Amagi
@SuperMario: strangely enough this is somewhat typical for shoujo whereas generic isekai can't get off that fake-rpg spleen. There is also a shoujo in which feMC gets transported into some old turkish setting and one with babylonia (think the latter was done by that mangaka that also did Cantarella).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Theres also a shoujo manga called babylonia no shishi.
SuperMario
maybe it's one of the earliest example of isekai if you don't regard isekai setting as strictly fantasy world.
SuperMario
" Or even something egyptian, babylonic, or mayan." -> actually they did just that. One of the old classic shoujo, Crest of the Royal Family, is about a girl transported into Egyptian royal family. https://myanimelist.net/manga/5284/Ouke_no_Monshou?q=Crest of the Royal Family
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the success is, if a series can distract you and still make you feel something, even if there should have been more to the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Beyond Arthur and Dino, who always came off to me as "the bad guys to be defeated", I think I might have been so into Ash that I didn't really pay as much attention to his character development as you and Mario did.
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Featured Posts

Banana Fish – 12 [To Have and Have Not]

Welcome to the halfway point for Banana Fish. This week Ash prepares for his final showdown with Arthur, he has some moral quandaries, and gets terrified by pumpkin pie. Lets dive in! So, general stuff first, Banana Fish’s pacing this week felt a bit fast to me. Banana Fish covered a lot of ground, from […]

Steins;Gate 0 – 22 [Rinascimento of Projection -Project Amadeus-]

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Hanebado! – 11 [Because I Love Badminton]

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Planet With – 10/11[Karellen and Rashaverak/Azrabarakura]

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Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro – 11 [Chio in the Middle of the Night/ Apocri!]

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Banana Fish – 11 [The Beautiful and Damned]

Welcome to another week of Banana Fish. This week it slows down, gives us some heartwarming character scenes and the beginnings of a gang war. Lets jump in! So, starting off, the general stuff. Overall I enjoyed Banana Fish this week, but we have started to see issues with the breakneck pace it’s had until […]

Steins;Gate 0 – 21 [Rinascimento of Image Formation -Return of Phoenix-]

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Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight – 09 [On the Night of the Star Festival]

The last three episodes when Revue Starlight focuses on Banana’s arc brush off my own reservation for the show. This episode, for me, is almost perfect in its storytelling department. First, it builds up Banana’s conflict and then resolves them in an insightful manner. It puts Karen back again as the main protagonist (and the […]

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Mirai (2018) Movie Review – 81/100

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