Posted on 23 June 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, Mayoiga

Mayoiga has to be one of the most misunderstood shows in recent years.

On a surface, the premise alone has a lot of potential. The idea behind putting 30 people, each of them has very different set of personalities, together in a bus to a mysterious lost village, in order to start over new life is an intriguing concept, because there could be lots of angles to explore, even within its mystery/horror fare. The show could use the setting to explore the internal conflicts between the cast, or the nature of those monsters that drive anyone insane or even dig deep to the mystery behind Mayoiga, or the show can go full cannibalism that was suggested many times in the first episode.

Instead Mayoiga goes off track very early and never looks back and the overall execution certainly stands out, in a very-bad-it’s-good way

Billed as a mystery show, Mayoiga contains many elements that feel like a recipe for disaster: over the top characters, awkward pacing, long and meaningless conversations. In the first 10 minutes of the show for example, literally EVERYONE in the cast got introduced (and that 20 plus characters to remember). The characters have a distinct and overall solid character designs; but most of them are way too over the top to feel like real people. Mitsumune, our main character, for instance, feel really bland and his only traits are unsure about himself and his affection towards Masaki. The conversation drags on, don’t really advance the plot or flesh out the characters. Worst of all, the pacing sucks, sometimes it drags for too long before moves too quickly, for example in the first half of the show, there are few episodes where nothing important happens except the cast arguing. The cast themselves uses their time wisely to talk about how to call rock, paper, scissor the most correct way, arguing over the name of one of the cast who just vanished, or lying asleep in the end without the care of anything else.  The cliffhangers, were presented in almost the end of every episode, just so that the stake returns back to normal in a very next moment.

Thematically, Mayoiga actually has its meaning underlying under the surface. The monsters are revealed to be Nanaki, which are part of each individual’s past psychological trauma, come to life. They are a symbol of all those ugly things that the cast left behind to start over their new life. They are not, as the series progresses, intend to harm the cast, but are a part inside each character, and the show made a point (as in your face as possible) that all of them need to face their own Nanaki (their traumatic past) in order to become a better person. The Nanaki monsters, represented in 3D animation, are both out of place and uneasiness at the same time, which actually fits to the theme very well.  But I have to say, reading this underlying message is a bit too much, as the series itself never attempt to dig deeper into its theme.

Which brings me to the next point, many of the above elements actually WORKED in favors of the show. One thing that Mayoiga truly excels, the one thing that Mayoiga will likely be remembered for years to come, is its ridiculousness. All the ridicuolous, awkward bits are intentional, majority of them are so well-aware that it becomes hilarious. Many of the Nanaki monsters, for instance, are just plain silly in concept, such as a big silicon boob monster (yeah! You read it right!), or a girl seeing a giant Mitsumune because he happens to look like her ex-boyfriend, so instead of seeing her ex she would see Mitsumune who she just met for 2 days. See the absurd sense of logic here? Indeed, most of the cast embrace that ridiculous sense of logic wholeheartedly that it’s actually refreshing to see them keep betraying our expectation. Lovepon would be nothing if not for her “execution” speech, and after a while it’s just feel so welcome to see her running for her life from the monster, still remain in character “We going to be executed!!”. The Driver and his bus also keep appear/ vanish without any explaination is also a good running gag. Other characters, like Mitsumune, Hayato, Koharun, Nanko, actually the whole cast also embrace their one-note traits to a bitter end, put it up to the max that they become so gimmick and fun to watch. The conversations, as I mentioned above, drag on and on; but there is a lot to enjoy there, mainly for their unique train of thoughts and the ridiculous topics they could come up to.

Like I mentioned in my review posts, Mayoiga is a masterclass of using anti-climax not only to twist our expectation out of the usual conventions, but also to reduce any tension whatsoever. Take the revealing about the nature of Nanaki for examples, in a sequence where 4 members of our group witness their own Nanaki, they seem defeated, had nowhere to run but somehow, all of them managed to escape from it, without any injury. In other scene we witness the group decided to tied Masaki up and attempted to stab her, just so that she got ambushed by the bus driver, who drove her away just to beg her to allow him to meet his daughter again. The extensive use of anti-climax might seem uneven, absurd and even laughable at first, but actually these are all intentional so that the show can screw you out of any conventional sense.

But self-aware or not, Mayoiga can’t hide a fact that, in a nutshell, this show is an incoherent mess. In fact, inconsistency is the only consistent trait the show has. Mayoiga always feels like a product of too many minds, too many ideas that crammed all together, that contributes to too many half-baked ideas, and the pacing is all over the place. This seems understandable though, as in the process of making Mayoiga, the director Tsutomu Mizushima (Girls un Panzer, Shirobako, Prison School) encouraged the team to come up with ideas, and Mari Okada responsible for putting everything together. On that note I have to say the ending is surprisingly conclusive. Yes we would never know what happen to the people before the cast arrived, or how the majority of the cast meet their Nanaki (they JUMPED straight from those guys sleeping to they being back to the bus), but all the main questions are addressed and I actually feel kind of satisfied with the ending. This is a show with lots of obvious flaws, but it is also a show that unlike most of our usual anime fare. I have a great time with Mayoiga and ’m happy that I got the chance to cover it.

~SuperMario~

Posted on 19 June 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mayoiga

Mayoiga pretty much wraps up its story this week and for the series that focus much about anti-climaxes and inconsistency, this ending neatly conclude all of its main loose end. In the final twist of Mayoiga, it turns out that Koharun is God’s daughter (now I understand the inclusion of him in Mayoiga) and all she does was to prevent a Nanaki from fading so she could take her father’s Nanaki back. Sounds vague, right? But this is Mayoiga we talking about so I have no complain. The thing I notice in this last episode was the main confrontations this week: from Mistsumune and Hayato, Koharun and her father, to Masaki and Reiji; are not at all feel ridiculous but are quite emotionally effective. This result for me not come from the writing, but comes from the director who knows how to make a shot that bring out the most effective drama.

But also true to Mayoiga, the amount of ridiculous and (un)intentionally hilarious moments are still all over the place. Lovepon again proves that she’s one of the most consistent character in the show, with her remark “We’re going to be executed” while being chased by Hayato’s Nanaki. I also enjoy the way Dahara keeps betraying himself, telling people that he’ll stay one moment, then completely change to go back like nothing happen. Or the fact that Yotsun appeared in God’s house at the end credit, where previously he was stuck in the bus in the Lost Village, but then, Who Cares? Or many out of nowhere but equally hilarious punchlines “so her dark past was a boy” / “Guess I‘ll call off the engagement when I get back to reality” – “So you coming back?”/ “Koharun is a villain” that really explain why Mayoiga is one of a kind anime series out there. I also love the fact that after going through all kinds of Nanaki troubles, personal conflicts, all the cast reflect were people having the same painful experiences, so we might be not that unlucky to begin with. I’m still amazed with the train of thought this group has. Moreover, the decision to split, majority of them leave, some of them stay, was natural for me but seems so random as well.

So in the end, as far as the last episode goes, I’m happy to say that Mayoiga succeed. The episode tied up all the narrative loose end here, while still maintaining its own silly beat. All the things that shouldn’t work in other anime: namely the over the top characters, awkward conversations, silly themes and most of all ridiculous situations; all worked here. I won’t go as far as saying the whole thing is a success, because damn sometimes I still can’t put my finger on whether all the silly incidents are intentional or not; but it is really a feast to witness a series that offer something so different than the rest of your typical anime out there.

~SuperMario~

Posted on 15 June 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mayoiga

With the ending where every crazy idea has to wrap up and come to an end, it’s no surprising that Mayoiga has a lesser amount of goofy scenes and ridiculous characters compare to their previous episodes. But this is still pretty much a Mayoiga episode. I must tip my hat off for the creator of this series for making the whole thing ridiculous and unpredictable till the very end here. There are some interesting revelations this week, and I’m intrigued to see how the last 2 episodes can make use of that. First, for the first time in the series, there is an actual scene where the show goes for real emotion, aka the bus driver and his daughter. In that particular moment, things don’t go ridiculously, but actually very tender and honest. This seems really out of place with the tone that Mayoiga keep building for 10 episodes, but then again out of place is what Mayoiga known for. We also get another revelation about the nature of Nanaki, apparently some of them can be visible to other people and can talk because of… What? I honestly still don’t get it. So the Nanami can talk after people accept his/her own Nanami, but it doesn’t seem like the case with Masaki, and isn’t they going back to their real life? Duh. We also learn that Koharun had some kind of traumatic experience in the past, that’s why she can’t trust people she used to trust and tried to power up the Nanami. This is an interesting development and I can see her circumstances parallel with Masaki’s here. While it is revealed that Reiji is Masaki’s Nanami, it comes down to both Reiji and the person Koharun trusted were the people both girls care the most, and they lose it. Koharun for me is the wiser, more mature version of Masako, and might be represent what Masaki would have been if Mitsumune failed to help Masaki facing her Nanami.

But then, attempted to dig deeper in Mayoiga seems like a waste of time, as I can safely say that Mayoiga does not try to provide any deeper meaning behind its premise.  Not everything that add up in Mayoiga, like I still don’t know why introducing a “God” character, so late in the game here. It’s not like he could change anything. And the ridiculous gags keep popping up with so deadpan delivery that for me is purely gold. My favorite gags this week is how the bus driver keep appearing/ vanish like a badly-written ghosts (remember how he suddenly disappeared last couple episodes ago, made us feel like has was consumed by the monsters, to he reappeared this episode, safe and sound, and the vanished again at the end of this episode); or how a bunch of characters that the characters seems like get tired of them, so they literally put the cast to sleep. Their reactions to the ambush is so hilarious that made Mayoiga such a pleasant to watch. One of my favorite whimsical moments would be when God explains that he has tried to stop people coming to the lost village for years, and unfortunately on the day that the bus arrived, he fallen asleep. Typically, Mayoiga! Looking ahead, we have the big bad Nanami that Koharun had raised and Mitsumune team going to rescue our princess Nasaki. Things look brighter ahead and I expect things will blow up in the last 2 episodes.

~SuperMario~

Posted on 5 June 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mayoiga

It is a feast to see a show that still remains very unpredictable till its very end. Yes, this episode put the silliness to the max and I prefer it this way. Now to think about it I think this might be one of the best way to approach Mayoiga. They consistency screw up our expectation, twist any ordinary convention by making things as insane and as little sense as possible. So kudos to Tsutomu Mizushima for remain really consistent for composing things inconsistently.

Because for me, the fun of watching Mayoiga is to experience the ridiculousness of the episode, and this week it’s choke full of absurd and nonsense sequences that  today instead of reviewing the episode, I will rank them in order of RIDICULOSNESS:

Mayoiga 10-10Mayoiga 10-9

For number 10, we have our Yotsun back (which makes the total body count a big ZERO). This is a good introduction phase to our GOD, which later we found out that “a long time” means 3 years ago.

For number 9, we learn that Mitsumune indeed returns back to the real world. We witness one of the most bizarre parental guidance (“You can leave home and come back any time”), and even a more chilling confession above. It’s a shame because after nearly 10 years of imposing his dead brothers, Mom just decided to not getting better. And what they mean by getting better? Accept Mitsumune as Tokimune? Yuck.

Mayoiga 10-8Mayoiga 10-7

At number 8 and 7, we have two out of nowhere backstory mean to freshen out Yotsun and Lion, respectively, which at the end we learn nothing new from each of them. Who are the people with those cello? His parents? Over the rap career? Lion said nobody believe her but she did build quite a strong following so I’m just not sure what she complaining. Also her gift is quite vague: she can see dead people? She can see the people who about to die? She can see people that might not die? Oh god. This adds up to nothing, which also means Mayoiga at its best.

(more…)

Posted on 31 May 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mayoiga

Now the trick to enjoy Mayoiga is to expect the unexpected. Anything could happen, and probably will. The series has successfully tweaked our noses weeks after weeks, then if Mayoiga stops being ridiculous and becomes conventional, I would be very disappointed. The fun is again on par this week and we have one of the most bizarre flashback of the show (which already a high bar), together with ridiculous monsters and crazy character’s interactions. In other words, AWESOME.

Let’s get to the ridiculous part of this episode, shall we?  The biggest revelation this week is of course, Hayato’s past. Prior to this episode, Hayato seems to be one of our most sane person on this colorful group, except for some motherly attitude towards Mitsumune, he might be the one who keeps our insane cast a balance. Well, maybe not. He turns out to be as insane as Lovepon’s level, wanting to keep Mitsumune as his pet. I believe his very existence in the series so he could murmur this speech: “I realized that I need a puppet of my own”. It makes sense. Hayato behaviors and his past fits like a glove to what Mayoiga has been established so far. And Hayato got an extra point for his trauma past (the over-control of the parents is totally different from his fear (his grandma’s picture, which was another victim from their parents), I’d be damn if he could ever resolve his own issues. But the crowning achievement for me is Valkana with his line: “I managed to escape because it was kinda surprisingly low”. The delivering is just pitch-perfect and deadpan, especially from the serious guy Valkana.

Many ridiculous unresolved plot lines appear throughout this episode like a spider-web. The tunnel scenario ended with the Driver again being the most childish and stubborn man of the series by doing exactly what others say not to do. He himself was vanished afterward but it seems like no one care at this point. The Lion group contains of Lion, Maimai and Nanko tried to investigate the tunnel (which ridiculous method, putting Maimai into the tunnel to see if she still sees the monsters) and get interrupted by Jack, who then was interrupted by an unknown man, presumably Masaki’s uncle. If all of that doesn’t make any sense, then I do this series justice.  I have to say the monsters appear to be more like a mascot characters this week, they not actually scary and they at least don’t mean any harm. Maybe they are just like a device for characters to look through their darkness, then perhaps they will get back to the real world? That a sense I get from Mitsumune waking up at the end of the episode, but we will soon know the answer next week. At this rate if next week we find out that Nanko and Koharun (the only two left who still act like normal human being) turn out to be insane, I wouldn’t be surprise at all.

~SuperMario~

Posted on 23 May 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mayoiga

Again this week Mayoiga succeed at bringing a big screw-you to us audience. The cliffhanger last week is quickly revealed, and we come to learn that Masaki is not a ghost, nor is she a witch, but simply that… she had visited the Lost Village before. Big surprise! It really is a ridiculous anti-climax, but this time I mean it in a slightly positive way. Indeed, Mayoiga is a series of anti-climax scenarios put altogether. Like remember before Mitsumune and the gang saw a floating body in a river (presumably Yotsun), he got into a dramatic fight with Lovepon, and what did we get next? A see-through wet clothes of Lovepon. Or when Lovepon, Mikage, Nyanta, Jigoku tried to run away from their own monsters, they started to lose their mind, had nowhere else to run, and what did we get next? They all make their ways back to the village, unharmed, AT THE SAME TIME. The extensive use of anti-climax might seem uneven, absurd and even laughable at first, but actually these are all intentional so that the show can screw you out of any conventional sense. Speaking of body counts, it seems to me that at this point either there will be no one die (even those that disappeared), or they will all die at the end. Apparently Mr. Judgement what-his-name has returned safely and even more equipped than the rest of the cast. Well glad to see him back, I suppose.

Masaki, once again with her poor choice of words and kind-but-clueless attitude, failed to convince the cast and was nearly execut… No I mean exorcised by the gang, before the bus driver, Hollywood style, kidnapped her and somehow Mitsumune and Hayato tagged along. The craziness doesn’t stop there. It turns out the driver abducted her so that he can beg her to see his daughter again (talking again about anti-climax). The relationship between Hayato and Mitsumune seems weird as well. He really cares about the well-being of Mitsumune, like a lover really, to an extend to follow him to Nanami village and nearly stab the “witch” girl to save his friend. Mitsumune, on the other hand, seems numb about the “big secret” of Masaki, but reacts like a maniac when someone mentions that the uncle guy might be her boyfriend. And guess what, someone actually admires him for his hormonal impulses because “he stands up for Nanami”. Taking about common sense. Love conquers all huh?

All this sarcasm aside, we learn two new things from this episode, that there might be more lost villages like Nanami village, which could be an intrigue idea. The lost village really is a metaphor of a place where people wish to get there to escape their real world, so it makes more sense if places like this can exist anywhere, any place. Second, the end of tunnel seems to be a borderline between this world and the real world, or it could be between this world and hell, because as Masaki puts it bluntly, there is something dangerous in that place. So they could either face the hellish, nightmarish world, or they could see themselves in the real world, all dead.

~SuperMario~

Posted on 15 May 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mayoiga

This going to be a ridiculous post review rambling about the ridiculousness of Mayoiga. This week the silliness has gotten to the whole new level. I’m not going to complain though because this is just Mayoiga being Mayoiga. Ridiculous had always been its main element since the first episode. It’s not bizarre, it’s not absurd, it’s just plain silliness and I have become really appreciate that silliness. This week there are so many madness happened and it’s always fun to talk about that. Firstly, it’s amazing that just from a little news article people read last week, they really convince that Masaki was a ghost to the point of tying her and stabbing her just to test her out. Even when the poor girl is bleeding they would think that this is her ghost’s power. What an amazing train of thought this gang has. Consider that this is not one of the series where they would explore the dark side of human by blame someone as a sacrifice thingy, in this show they really believe that Masaki is a ghost. Lovepon remains everyone’s best friend with all her suggestions keep feeding people what to do. Secondly, the backstories this week are just as nuts and ridiculous as last week. From Mitsumune’s story of his twin brother passed away because of his Mom shouting, his mother keeps treating him as his twin dead brother, to the father who actually suggest him to play the twin role, to his sincere apology for things not going according to plan. The most amazing bit is that we also learn that the father was a teacher and he was in the process of promoting, which is NOT AT ALL related to the how Mitsumune turns out the way he is. Other backstory is from Maimai, the girl who saw giant Mitsumune few weeks back. Turns out that her ex was similar looking to our main character, and by dating him, everyone (including the guy) turns their back on her. This must have hurt her a lot, and she must really miss the guy, since what she saw back there was not him, but the giant Mitsumune. And I did remember not only her see the giant monster, but others like Nyanta and Toshi Boy was scared and run away as well. Are they really see the same thing? I guess not but the show seems to forget about that bit as well. The third ridiculous thing happens when our main guy, who always wants to stay on the same side with Masaki and would do anything just to be with her, was defeated and back down from his love when he faced the monster. “Masaki, I’m sorry” he said. Other silliness stuffs include the gang decided to deceive our main protagonist, which make the whole conversation the most human-like moments of the show; and the way Valkana keeps judging Koharun for going with the flow and try to calm Hayato down from stabbing Masaki, but he ends up to be the one who hold Mitsumune down so that the other guys can proceed what they are doing.

Seriously, it would take me all day to talk about all these ridiculousness, and it’s precisely what so interesting about Mayoiga. Don’t let the other stuffs like backstories and theme fool you, Mayoiga has no deep meaning and had no attempt to do so. It’s just loud and madness, but at the same time it really feels like you talking to your drunk old friend, where you know all his talks are nonsense but you can’t help but enjoy them anyways.

~SuperMario~

Posted on 7 May 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mayoiga

Back stories time! This week of Mayoiga dedicated itself for backstories of many characters. Too many characters indeed. This is for me the turning point of Mayoiga, where many facts are revealed and we seem to head to the new phase. The show now becomes much clearer and have a sense of direction. This week, Lovepon, Mikage, Nyanta, Jigoku all have their own stories to tell. Most of them ridiculous as they are (like the silicon part, or the monk, or the 12//20 mix-up, or the bullying girls, basically all of them), but they all serve their purposes. Lovepon, for example, has been a source of complaint for the last few weeks as being one-note and anime-like, but with this week’s reveals, she was also a victim of injustice, violence and her own hatred. The use of heavy symbolisms in these flashback scenes could rivals Kunihiko Ikuhara’s shows anytime, and I mean it in a good way. The devil, the silicon, the bees and the laughing train are representative of their characters’ deepest fears, their CG designs make us feel both uneasiness and alien, and that exactly what the show aims for. Those flashbacks give us a reason to care for those characters and I for once root for them when they running away from that thing. The most effective story is for me, Nyanta. Being bullied is more common than you would think and people tend to do more extreme and painful things to cope with it. In her case, this is to shoot those bullying girls with a BB gun. There is a sadness behind all that and Mayoiga (briefly) nailed that raw emotion.

So it appears that the Lost Village is a place where people have to face their darkest sides, they have to face the negative feeling (like hatred, shame) that they had buried inside themselves, which for me is very fitting. Remember all of them want to go to the Lost Village because they want to run away from their problems to make a new life there. Well they can physically escape from it but they have to face their own issues in order to really get over it. As I suspected, Masaki is the main source to all the mysteries, but I don’t think she’s a ghost yet. From what the paper says she was just disappeared, so I think she was stuck in this lost village ever since. There are two things that baffles me this week: first, how the hell that those 4 people were chasing by god-know-what but they somehow all escape from it, I originally thought they would be killed or at least be vanished. What’s else going to happen after this? Second, I find that Koharun’s habit of stop talking and then singing in the middle of conversations is a bit chilling, it’s like she’s a ghost. Hell! Mayoiga! You might be the only one show that can pull it off.

Mayoiga this week delivered all the ambitious intentions it promised since its premiere. Just for this time, I feel glad that I haven’t given up on this. Whether it going to stay this inspiring or stumble for the rest of the series is everyone guess. At least we’ll always have this episode. We’ll always have Paris.

~SuperMario~

Posted on 30 April 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mayoiga

We now back to the status quo on Mayoiga this week, as the group who left the village decided to come back, and the cliffhanger happened last week was never explained probably. I will say this upfront: this is not a good episode. We don’t learn much after it ends. We have even longer conversations between the cast compare to last few weeks, and even more ridiculous cliffhanger.

But we do learn a few more new things in this episode. Most interesting bit is that they perceive completely differently about the noise they heard (it could be a beast, a robot, giant wings, or a laughter). That could be a hint to the mystery. The lost village can be a place where we deal with our own problems, we see what we afraid to see. In other words, we reach to our darkness side. This could be an interesting aspect to explore but hell, Mayoiga sure doesn’t show us much of a clue here. This week spend too much time on the cast arguing with each other, and truthfully, I’m getting tired of them accusing each other episodes after episodes here, especially when they just repeating the same traits over and over again (I dare you to find a line in which Lovepon doesn’t scream “executed”). If the show indeed relies on those characters’ interactions for its mystery, then this can be redeemed, otherwise, I don’t see a reason why there are too much of this.

The other bit of information we gather is Lion’s ability to see the dead, or to be more exact, she has an ability to see people about to die. This is a good character moment for Lion and it’s not really come as a surprise, seeing her as the mysterious and quiet type from the beginning, but the reveal scene is still somewhat absurd. The cliffhanger at the end actually leaves me more annoyed than engaged, the characters just keep sprouting random names here, just like last week’s driver’s daughter, and I bet next week we learn a bit of who is this Tokimune again, only to be left forgotten for the rest of the show. Why the heck should I care then?

It looks like Masaki on the verge of revealing something to Mitsumune here. I hope they don’t take few more episodes until we get that bit of information. In fact, Mayoiga gives us very little information to work with. The worse thing is that if it keeps on dragging like that, people will start to lose interest in the mystery, if not already.

~SuperMario~

Posted on 25 April 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mayoiga

It’s until this week that I just noticed the rather strange part of the OP of Mayoiga, the sequence was shown in the point of view of Masaki. It starts with her, then introducing the cast and finally ends with her standing alone in the lost village. But when I think about that, only in the first episode that we kind of follow Mitsumune as the protagonist, and that is because he had the most affection towards Masaki. She was also the last person to encounter Yotsun before he went missing. All the speeches from her are kind of prophetic as well. It seems like she unconsciously aware a lot of things about the place. Now I’m not implying she’s the mastermind behind everything but now I have a strong sense that she’s the key to solve the mystery.

We also pick up two important developments this week. The first is when the group felt threatened by the mystery and more than half of them decided to go back. I’ve always enjoyed those characters talking forth and back. Most of them are over the top and ridiculous that it’s rather fun to watch them shouting at each other. In this case they have many oppose opinions on whether or not staying is safe, I know that staying with Masaki is the best option (haha!), but I can see why they decide to leave as well. It’s a small complain but Mitsumune become increasingly annoying, every decision of his was driven by protecting Masaki, staying close with Masaki… makes him a paper-thin personality. The group decided to leave the village is an interesting progression as well, as I’m pretty sure they couldn’t leave the village, I’m curious to see what happen next to them.

And then we got to the mystery near the end. It certainly is fascinating. If the lost village is a passage way between the life and afterlife, where we can meet deceased close people, then I’m all for it. But the way I see it, it seems like Mayoiga is the place where we can encounter our deepest fear/desire. If this show goes to either of these directions, it could become a very interesting show, because when the mystery related to human emotions, there’s a lot to explore and we at the same time get invested. Many episodes ago I complained about the bus driver’s shaky role in the story, but I’m happy to say that this week he had a solid progress here. Still, damn if I know what the giant Mitsumune looks like.

~SuperMario~

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

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

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