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
Vonter
Or are the 50s the new late 30s or early 40s?
Vonter
Are japanese people vampires? https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/Toru_Furuya
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: If you look at the voice list, that Japanese voice actor for Mario in that anime movie is the same voice actor for Amuro Ray from the original Gundam.
Vonter
Also considering Baby Bowser was raised by Kamek. I suppose those beings could be made by magic.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - My head canon is that Bowser made them himself. Kinda Lord Zedd or Rita from Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still subscribe to the headcanon that Peach is the mother of Bowsers children.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember growing up with the relatively poor American cartoons, none of them featured Wario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have committed videogame genocide apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Everytime I broke or hit a brick in the Mario games I was probably murdering a toad.
Vonter
The ending it's "interesting" considering the relationship Mario and Peach have isn't something as close, as Link and Zelda.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's weird but at the same time it does use elements from the game. Like the music, and story bits from the manual from the original Super Mario Bros. (Where it mentioned Bowser uses magic to turn Toads into the bricks, clouds and other objects of the game).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never did end up watching the Mario anime movie that came out in the 80s.
Vonter
Also someone is putting the effort of making a Bowsette adventure doujin. This is the type of stuff that could be it's own original thing since it strays far from what's Mario. Despite the occasional mild nudity it's quite fun so far, despite also how weird it is.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - At the very least it'll be interesting to see where it goes. It happens also every time something comes back. Times change and so the way we make stories. Also the original run had a curtain call chapter, so this is more a new story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is often what happens with episodic stuff for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I essentially read Fraken Fran until I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I feel that Franken Fran pretty much ran it's course though. Not sure what a new series could bring.
Vonter
Latest news: Franken Fran will get a new manga series. After it was cut short, it seems this little horror manga will get another chance: https://imgur.com/a/ypjtI4c
Vonter
I also read a bit ahead on Shield Hero. And I like it is character driven, but the cast isn't as big as other Isekai, like in Overlord where there are too many characters to easily keep track of what's happening (ever since it started Overlord feels like the most attached to its light novel origins).
Vonter
The monster town growing and expanding into it's own country reminded me of Digimon World. A game which you allied with Digimon to expand your town, add shops and other services. I've heard Xenoblade X was also like that.
Vonter
I watched during the weekend, the Slime Isekai. It's fine, though it lacked more conflict, the MC feels like its too powerful. Maybe this would have been great as a videogame since the concept of how this Slime evolves reminds me of the SNES game: E.V.O. The Search of Eden. It was about your character evolving through the ages and the player choosing how it adapts to it's environment.
Animosh
Also nice to see some love for LOGH in your personal lists (especially Aidan's). I guess it's too much of a niche series (a political epic in space) to score highly in the overall list, but I loved it. It retained much of what made the OVA so great while providing a much-needed update to its visuals and arguably better pacing.
Animosh
I also hadn't heard of the Kase-san OVA. Not sure whether enough can really happen in a one-hour OVA to make it worthwhile (it gives the impression of being promotional material more than a full-fledged adaptation), but I've been looking for another good yuri series after Bloom into You, so it can't hurt to give it a try.
Animosh
Nice to see Kaze ga made it on the list, even with just one cour out. I've seen most of the stuff that's won positive awards, but I've always avoided Pop Team Epic because of how silly it seemed to me. But given all the positive reviews (here and elsewhere) maybe I should give it a chance after all.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yu-no can go fuck itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also Yuasa's new thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe the thriller shows will be worthwhile but I'm not really as interested.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah spring looks packed for me, there's also that throwback ova to riding Bean and some creature horror ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I notice that Index gets an annoying amount of episodes/adaptations, one of those shows that keeps going away for a while then keeps coming back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We might get dororohedero and Vinliand saga at years end. I would like for pluto to air this year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Definately looking forward to the josei and shoujo stuff in Spring 2019, nothing of interest for me thats on the summer 2019 list yet.
Vonter
Like you wrote, seems like it's the start for new ways to stream anime. With Crunchyroll making simulcasts and Netflix putting some anime in the spotlight considering the audience it has (and it also helps it has better dubs, at least in spanish). Finally I felt last year the criticism of fanservice got more loud, also summed with how tumblr and facebook politics are putting restrain on sex conten
SuperWooper
@Anon, Netflix is getting Watanabe's new series, Carole & Tuesday, next season. It might not have the mass appeal of Crybaby (violence and sex) or Aggretsuko (cute animals), but it ought to do well for them if they slap "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF COWBOY BEBOP" all over the Internet.
Vonter
Last year I also didn't watched a lot of drama or slice of life, which is a shame since a lot of what's listed reads like it fits those genres.
Vonter
Kind of a lukewarm year 2018 was in terms of anime series. Although I admit I watched a lot of trash as well. Most of the good stuff I watched last year was on Netflix. In terms of bad I already an issue on the list because disappointing, bad and trash are different degrees of badness.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for being so long and overdramatic, I'd normally stay quiet but I had to get my feelings out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to say anymore about this show anymore, I know those who did watch it generally emotionally connected with it or thought it was some kind of epic, if anything I felt it was an epic ruined by being chopped down. I hated it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nothing seems settled on long enough and nothing registers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As Hateable as Jomy is in the beginning, I would at least liked to have seen proper flow of plot structure allowing for some natural progression of character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an idea and I think if explored with more episodes/more it could be something, this also includes Keith.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The timeskip and general pacing annihilate anything that could be anything approaching reaching close to working with this series, resulting in an un-compelling cast I feel nothing for that ruins and undersells any drama which is far too overdone when it occurs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't complete this, don't care if I've watched the first half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't like the couple of episodes of Terra e I watched a some years ago, unfortunately this second attempt, over halfway through the show only illustrates further just how much I utterly despise this show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've said before, I do think re-watches are important, especially years later after watching a show you disliked, if only to see if you'll enjoy it on the second run, lately thats been mostly successful for me, however....
Anonymous3325300
Meanwhile, I do expect that this year will be much stronger in terms of quality. Of course, I had the same assumptions last year based on the winter shows, but I do feel like this could be a stronger year full of great shows, instead of a lot of merely "good" ones.
Anonymous3325300
I predict that Netflix this year probably won't have a Devilman/Aggretsuko-level hit in terms of new anime. Evangelion is probably all they need, even though it's an old series.
Lenlo
If anyone thought that wasn't getting on this list, they either didnt watch it or have really low standards
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Its so catharctic that you listed steins;gate 0 I remember how we essentially lived and watched it together.
Lenlo
I think thats what the most pleasant surprise category is supposed to be. Didnt wanna double up on to many cats
Kaiser-Eoghan
No biggest surprise category?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand including bunny-senpai as a runner up, I'd have trouble picking between it and sorayori.
Lenlo
Episode 7 is so damn good, I don't care that its American.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: How do you think I feel, I'm not far off 35.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glad you actually made room for a movie category aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Based Lenlo, cheating with American anime cartoon.
Lenlo
Im just happy I got Castlevania on this list at all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dropped planet with, hinamatsuri and violent evergarden though, didn't see Hisone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I probably would have replaced planet with with happy sugar life or banana fish though or yagate ga kimi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In any case, I am glad my wife Kanna Hanazawa won an award on your list and that Devilman got featured more than once.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I though you would be splitting the voice actor category into voice actor and voice actress, though I suppose that's probably cheating a bit.
SuperWooper
You're not alone - of the four of us, I was the only one who watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must have missed ASAGAO TO KASE-SAN. Hadn't heard of it until now, I should have paid more attention.
Anonymous3324478
Oh and the music was pretty good too I guess. Another episode is airing in March.
Anonymous3324478
Masa also recovered from his car accident from a few episodes ago. It was totally unneeded in my opinion.
Anonymous3324478
The last episode of Tsurune was a decent ending to an otherwise formulaic sports show with some great animation on par for the course with KyoAni. Minato overcame his target panic and won it for the team. Twins got owned big time.
Animosh
There's a new episode out of the Gridman voice drama: https://barnnn.blogspot.com/2019/01/ssssgridman-voice-drama-episode-6n.html. It's a pretty good one too.
Animosh
My only worry is if the series will be able to get to its logical stopping point (the end of the Claw arc) in 12 episodes. But I suppose I should trust Bones over my vague memories of how much content there is left to cover.
Animosh
Yeah, I agree a split cour could be good. It would allow the series to maintain its high levels of animation, and given how stacked next season looks to be (anime aside, there's also American Gods and the Game of Thrones madness to keep up with), and with another ONE show airing, a break wouldn't be so bad.
SuperMario
Split cour of Mob Psycho would be awesome. I don't want to watch 2 ONE's adaptation in one season
Lenlo
Not for bloggin
Lenlo
While I love Mob, I am a bit happy its only 1 cour. I couldnt do 3 2 cour series
Animosh
Assuming we do get 12 episodes, a split cour would still make sense ... but I guess we'll just have to wait for the official confirmations
Animosh
As far as I can tell the only source is some guy in Twitter, so not sure how reliable it is
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Devilman Lady is what comes to mind on how to do this type of show better. That one had also a special agency for supernatural incidents, has a simple but compelling main character, uses it's time to build atmosphere and mood and even the action while a bit stilted had better monster design and the violence it's graphic but entertaining like Robocop.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok I will check. I'm also curious where it goes in terms of tone. Because it's all over the place.
Vonter
Ok. Last time I tried the login in feature didn't respond. This time it worked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Keep me posted of magical girl spec ops in case it does turn into the kind of guilty pleasure shlock it should.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is this vonter? If you register an account you can keep the name.
Anonymous3321080
But I think what gets me the most its how it beats the dead horse of the 80s action hero arc. Van Damme, Arnold and Stallone had more or less these type of lines. Its kind of funny this anime pretends these aren't tropes we don't use anymore because of how corny they come off. It'll definitely work better as an abridged series since it can be very boring when it tries to add the school life moment
Anonymous3321080
Also Mahou Spec Ops... Is interestingly bad. It tries to be exploitative and shocking but feels very sloppy, kinda like that meme of *slow heavy metal music plays* It also wants to play it like a dark shoujo anime, but the cute monsters are just distracting.
Anonymous3321080
Reading your conversations about idols, despite being mediocre Gokudolls and Ore Mahou Shoujo made jabs at that culture. At least painting some aspects that may be true of how exploitative it is. I suppose because those are subpar, over the top and cheap is what they can do that. Can't remember one aside from Perfect Blue which criticizes that industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But only if there was more anime noirs.
Amagi
Reminds me of that stalin vs hitler comic. Think it was russian. They're attacking each other with magical super powers there. And yeah, I love noir now that you mention it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That'd make for a great noir story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Imagine Stalin and Hitler trolling each other on twitter.
Amagi
It's easy to construct superiority when you never have to show your private face and never participate in mundane chat talks or so.
Amagi
I bet a lot of people who had some aura of authority back then due to only ever appearing in books or for very rare (scripted) speeches would probably laughing stocks now if we'd see them commenting on daily stuff and news on twitter or reddit.
Amagi
I personally have given up upon having heroes. I still find a lot of historical people interesting but let's be real the few of them that weren't blatanly bad in some way were different then we imagine them to be (even if they're good). Just look how different people feel now that you see them tweeting on twitter VS policians etc decades ago.
Amagi
I like the idea of a main character longing for a dead friend and role model he had and still idolizes. Then at some point he starts reconstructing his friend's past to cherish his memories about him even more but finds out that the friends wasn't the hero he believed him to be and maybe even the own memories of him were idealized a lot over the years after his death without him even noticing.
Amagi
Yeah we are always searching for some sort of über-ich or perfect being that symbolizes the goal of some personality growth we're trying to achieve.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or the reason why some people need to have so many things or idols they probably don't need.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think there is a genetic/mental inadequacy in humanity that makes us susceptible to following "higher people who we forget are actually human" because of our own desire for an avatar or general inadequacy as human beings.
Amagi
Yeah this. It's probably also why they defend them so eagerly. Because it's actually true that "their" version of that person would never do that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that probably creates a much stronger blow to them when the actor is found guilty of a crime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Very good response.
Amagi
It's kinda weird how almost everything we know about others is actually just interpretation to some degree.
Amagi
The weird thing is that I think that many fans of acrots/celebrities rather create their own versions of them they fall in love with rather than loving the actual person, whom they barely even know. It's fun because the concept of a waifu sounds extremely weird to normal people, but many normal people kinda do this too but with real persons (but imaginary personality).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats where it starts getting obsessive or where it gets too close to the next level, such as what the anon mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also can't bring myself to get too attached to a celebrity or to a character. I do look at hentai doujins yes but, I've probably had thoughts about certain actors or what not, but I never actually want to sleep with them, again I think that's taking fantasy too far.
Amagi
I never know if these are serious celebrations or rather some fun memes they do to post, I always assumed the latter. Kinda.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the fans celebrating the idol's birthday thing is taking it to far too, especially if its an anime character.
Amagi
Yeah I was never an idol fan either, and I don't just mean the idol genre in anime but anything similar to idol stuff in general, like being a fanboy/girl of some celebrity or something. Was never able to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all too superficial.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't like the ideas it gives teenage girls either .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Certain topics just set me off =<
Amagi
The third episode of Wake Up girls was pretty good in that regard. I think it was the third one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, thats a pretty bad story what happened to the woman you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be a good idea to catch some documentaries on that topic .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that was just a sentence from some guy on a podcast though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now though I didn't see it, I do recall someone saying some of that Wake up girls idol anime slightly brought up seedier parts of the industry if not much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The hallow shallowness of the idol industry I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also dislike the shallowness of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love how Perfect blue takes influences from those gialli/giallo style films from the 60s/70s to an extent, while also spitting on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you know what sucks? A part of me, both in regards to those women (and probably some of the male idols) whether it be in reality or animation, I can't actually deny finding some of these men/women actually physically attractive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Music industry has its seediness just about everywhere and of course victim blaming going to appear everywhere, not just Japan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*commodification-consumerist
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I hate capitalism, I hate the idol communication-commercialist industry and the willing self-aware slaves and their masters who perpetuate it, the music is largely awful aswell. I don't watch most of the idol anime, I think the idea of 30 something men throwing cash it is awful.
Anonymous3319279
Wonder if there will be some modern equivalent of Perfect Blue? That was a scathing critique of the idol industry back in the late 90s. Although given how shows that are flat out glorifying the industry are the best-selling shows on BD every year, I doubt it.
Anonymous3319279
In short, she was assaulted by two men at her home who were then arrested. Then she was pressured by her managers into claiming that she was to blame for this, not the men and apologizing to an audience.
Anonymous3319279
Hearing about what happened to some idol named Mahohon seriously makes me wonder if idol culture in Japan seriously needs an overhaul and if media needs to stop glorifying the industry so much.
Anonymous3319260
Ok. No pressure, just asking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, we are working on it. It's nearing completion and should be posted soon.
Anonymous3318799
I don't know if I missed it. But have you put the overview of 2018? Of best show, best character, etc. Did 2018 had a good anime villain?
Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Kinda sad that the latter half of Flip Flappers was rather weak because it started with this different worlds idea.
Amagi
I think Matsumoto stuff might actually be the very first anime I have seen in my life, not regularly though and usually when I was in Italy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The noir world could be in black and white.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How about another world that has different sections that follow different genres?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Helped greatly by his use of artistic cinematography and use of dramatic stills.
Anonymous3316528
Old anime has very bitter stories. Despite the old drawings, several had harsh live lessons. Osamu Dezaki had such a talent to direct drama.
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Winter 2019 Summary – Week 2

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