Posted on 14 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Monogatari Series

Well done Monogatari for building up a final showdown that is tense, not by the climatic battle but by the amount of information release, how the pieces of the puzzle finally get into place. An ending that tied up everything the show has paintakingly constructed from previous dozen arcs; an ending that emotional satisfied and an ending that unlike any other ending. Usually for the climax this crucial, all the important players will be in place to play their roles; here in Monogatari, it’s an one-on-one confrontation, mostly through talking, and concluding with a single line of acknowledgement on top of it. Monogatari series has always been a show about growth, about characters who learn about themselves and embrace their dark side. Thus, isn’t it fitting that after saving all the girls, it’s time for Araragi to face his darkness and save himself? Growth, after all, is about acknowledgement. It’s until Araragi acknowledges his dark side that he’s truly become more mature. How NisiOisin make an ending that perfect and conclusive really prove me again how I fall for his style in the first place. The following paragraphs will content huge spoilers of the whole Monogatari series, so if you don’t want to spoil yourself, I guess I will see you out there in the chatbox.

Gaen makes herself very clear to Araragi by her two “minimum requirements” in order to reach everyone’s objectives: assign a new Deity for the North Shirahebi Shrine; and exterminate Ougi Oshino (one of them ultimately failed by the way). Since Araragi unexpectedly bring Mayoi up from hell, she becomes a perfect candidate as a new God for the shrine. And to think that the catch phrase that I always overlooked “Kami Kashita” is a forshadowing all along – from back to episode 3 in 2009. My hat off to you NisiOisin. If you really notice, despite having a large cast, Monogatari never had more than 4 characters in the same sequence (something I’d love to write more about, another time), up until this episode. Here, basically Gaen’s monologuing and info-dumping us much needed expositions about the history of the Shrine, and how everything came to the way it is now. The exposition is long and demanding, so Shaft again uses their old tricks to engage our attention: having Mayoi and Ononogi playing around, and then emphasis on irrelevant topics like playing baseball and cricket (something I’d love to write more in deep some time, again. I regard this technique as “the art of distraction” to keep our attention). Originally Gaen intended to put Shinobu as a Deity, but it’s rather fitting, and surprisingly make so much sense to enshrine Mayoi as a new Deity. The snail that defeat the snake part is a bit of a stretch to be frank, but all those info had been planted well before in previous arcs (notably, Shinobu Time and Hitagi End) that it just comes all together in a neat package.

The second minimum requirement is to exterminate Ougi. But what makes Ougi dangerous is that her true identity is a total mystery. In fact, she has only two purposes: to eject those broken the rules, and to point out how imperfect Araragi’s approach is. The one thing left she knows she has to do is to exterminate the biggest “fake” of all: Tsuhiki the Phoenix. Tsuhiki, stays true of being one of my favorite (but under-developed) characters, and stay true to herself, doesn’t care about the future and just simply enjoys the present. That what her character always is: embracing the present, having fun while supporting what other people do, especially Karen and her brother. “I’m pretty good at living.” That is indeed a marvelous thing that she can say confidently. In that moments alone, Ougi feels compassionate towards Tsuhiki’s “fake” nature. Coming to face Araragi, I sense something about Ougi I had never felt before. A hint of sadness. She comes to the fight knowing that she’d get suck by the Darkness, but it’s the fight she has to fight. Kudos to the seiyuu of Ougi who give such a demanding performance that make her sound emotional towards this final climax, a feat that isn’t easy to pull consider her spooky emotionless role.

And here, all the concepts the show has built throughout its near-decade long all surface: The act of selfless sacrifice for the sake of others. The concept of rightness. Justice. We know before that Araragi keeps pushing himself over his limit results in him slowly losing his humanity. But he also forms a guilt towards those girls that he had helped: regrets that he could do it better, feelings that he cheated because of his vampiric immortal ability, blame himself for the unfortunates of others. All those negative feelings, plus the strange occurrences of the town (most notably during the First Minion’s period) that create Ougi – or Koyomi Darkness. Ougi is an appariation that has all the special abilities of those girls he helped, specifically assigned to attack Araragi, form a justice that oppose to his very ideal and has a dark intent to crush all the girls and his ideal down. Araragi just does what he thinks is right, and Ougi does what “right” by eliminating the “wrong”. In the end, no one is truly right and wrong. And Araragi just doesn’t give a damn about what is right anymore and come saving her instead, if it means that he would be exterminated too. That act, that Araragi finally saves himself, is the biggest personal grown for him. Bye bye adolescent. Araragi now becomes a full-fledge adult and Ougi the Koyomi Darkness now becomes Ougi the niece of Meme Oshino.

All the girls all make an appearance in this last episode. It’s rather heartwarming to see how much Nadeko has grown since her last arc, and she’s cute now because she doesn’t try to be cute. Hanekawa’s still kicking ass, getting Meme back all the way from Anartica goddamnit (the only place where there is no oddity, thanks to the Lost Cow effect by Ougi) and Shinobu shines just by little things that she said. Brilliant. I would love to see more from Kanbaru but this ending just hit all the sweet spots in my body, so I’m done complaining. This is a conclusion that easily justify the insane amount of time I have been following this series. I’m not at all joking when I say I’ve grown along with Monogatari and at a specific time of my life few years back, this show, along with their characters who struggled for their own issues, connected deeply with me in a personal level. As for what my opinion is about the possibility of further adaptation of the Monogataries series. As much as I love the whole cast and its universe, I believe that the story (pun obviously intended) has run its course. Monogatari series had been blessed with too much efforts from Shaft and I would love to see the same kind of attention for some other materials out there that needed adapting. Not sure if I can be able to grade this Owarimonogatari, or the whole Monogatari objectively so I guess I will spare you guys on the full review. Monogatari is one of a kind series, there’s nothing like it, just like there’s no place like home.

Posted on 13 August 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Monogatari Series

This arc certainly is a calm before the big storm, in which instead of the final showdown promised at the end of Mayoi Hell, we have a date between Araragi and Hitagi, a day after his college exam and a day before the actual graduation. Their last date as a high schooler. Normally I would be in tears because seriously, a date when we’re nearly reaching the climax? But I’m totally at peace since it offers more Hitagi’s precious time. As much as most people regard her as the main heroine in Monogatari series, in truth she barely has any screentime at all. Her first own arc was right at the start of the whole franchise, and her second arc was a disguise of Kaiki’s arc. As such, her presence is always there but she has mostly relegated to scene-stealing moments from other arcs (most notably, in Sodaichi Riddle).

Well, as far as a date goes, Hitagi and Araragi spend some sweet times together, and I’m honestly quite surprised that their date is really a normal date. No battle between appapriation. No other characters interfere (actually, yes, but this girl Ougi hardly counts) and they enjoy their date like any normal couple would do: driving a car, going to the planetarium, playing bowling, drinking some tea and singing karaoke. It kinda funny to know that she intentionally put up a penalty: the promise of absolute obedience for loser but then keep losing the challenge to Araragi. Especially, in a karaoke turn when she sings her own song “Futakotome” and somehow still lost to Araragi when he sings Hanekawa’s song (guess what the karaoke’s comment was? “You have very high singing skills, but emotional expression seems slightly week” Great touch there Shaft. A true tsundere huh?). At first, I thought she goes easy on him in bowling but after learning about her request, this isn’t the case. For all her manipulatiion and emotional demanding, the request is as sweet and simple as ever: Hitagi wants Araragi calls her by her first name for the rest of their lives, meaning their relationship is taking more intimate step this time.

Ougi again appears like a shadow and she’s as spooky as ever. Well, her true nature is still a question mark (and finally we going to have a glimpse at it in final arc) but her intention is getting clearer this time. Her main role is to eject those that have broken the rules. In addition, she clearly states that she isn’t the Darkness, an entity that almost swept away Mayoi’s existence before. The long-winded presentation about the constellations from Dream Ougi might not make much sense, but I’m digging how she compares the Hydra with Shinobu. Now that the show mentions it, it was the same method they kill the Hydra that almost killed Kiss-Shot: cutting their heads/limbs apart and destroy those before they can regenerate. Apart from the nightmarish air she always manages to bring, this time around I can also sense the desperation from her. She knows that she’s in inferior position right now, she knows damn well that she’s about to step into the enemy’s trap, she knows that not only she has to face Gaen, she will face off invincible Kiss-Shot as well. But as a “principle of the universe” she won’t back down, knowing that her chance to get defeated is coming right near. She asks Araragi for his assistance and Araragi has a tendency to take on such request from any girl. The big battle is coming near and I’m sure heads will roll this time.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Monogatari Series

The Monogatari-fest is reaching near its end. For those of you who are slightly off about the current events; here’s a brief break down. Araragi wakes up in Hell and learns from Mayoi that he had been killed – chopped off by the kokorowatari – by Gaen, just so that he will be resurrected back again. Sound like a meaningless roundabout course of actions, but in truth, there are some subtractions and additions involved. The “subtractions” part: his vampiric ability is fully gone and thus, restore Shinobu into a full-fledge sparkling eye-winked vampire lord Heart-under-Blade (such heartwarming to realize that even now when their bond is broken and Araragi is no longer her “master”, she’d go such length – threatening to rip Gaen apart – to bring him back). The “additions” part: Araragi also grabs Mayoi back up, the decision that wasn’t initially planned by Gaen, but something she did expect from him; and a neccesary time to reassert his actions and learn more about his role in this masterplan.

I must say that the cast of Monogatari is one of the rare cases that I have personal attachment to almost all of the characters; and I like Mayoi well enough (her matter-of-factness regarding her staying in hell to pile stones up everyday like it’s a part of mundane daily life totally won me over). But the chatter banner between Araragi and Mayoi has always been one of its weaker, more questionable part that does more harm than good in my opinion. Even at large, the introduction part when characters get together has never been Monogatari’s strong forte as they usually rely too much on established gags and wordplays that really hard for us, foreigners to comprehend. Here, Araragi apparently is all over the moon and can’t keep his desire to “touch” her. Bleh. Apart from that though, even with her role this time as an assistant for Araragi to lead him back to surface, Mayoi more than hold her own. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that his help meant the most to Mayoi more than any other harem character. Others still have their lives beyond their apparition nature, her life was an endless cycle of wandering alone – the lost snail. Thus, more than anyone, she understands about how all his efforts really worth, as a result she won’t accept the low-esteem, woe-is-me Araragi. That’s why when she’s furious and hits Araragi for his insecure rubbish, it holds so much weight. For all of its “heavy-dialogue nonsense” and “irrelevant visual style” and “weird characters’ poses”, the series’s heart is always in the right place because the show understands the characters’ struggles and sympathy with them.

As Mayoi leads him to meet Teoru, they pass through all the girls he had “saved” with a “what-if” scenario. What if he didn’t save Hitagi back then? What about Hanekawa? Interestingly, he always regrets about saving KissShot because obviously his life would take a very different turn had he walked away from her. Even in Nadeko’s case it’s a sense of regret that he failed to help her, or to be more exact, he failed by helping her. But make no mistake, although he’s at his lowest confidence, if he had a second chance to redo everything, he’d still help those girls out. This episode also raises another interesting theme: the difference between doing the right thing and correcting mistakes. I believe this will tie up to Ougi’s arc as she always believes that she does the right thing by erasing the part that don’t function like it’s supposed to. I highly believe that she was the person behind the darkness entity that threaten to erase Mayoi in “Mayoi Jiangshi” for example and I think the reason she said she’d come into the trap that Guen prepared is to exterminate Kiss-Shot for good.

I didn’t expect to see this guy Teoru back, and he has one or two intesting expositions to spare. First, all his kipnapping, his supposed “death” in Yotsugi Doll was all scams to deceive Ougi. In reality, since he failed in his own experiment, he became an entity himself: half human – half monster, wandering the boundaries of material world and the afterlife. Meme got him into the plan and he was put in hell to prepare for this moment: bringing Araragi back to life. Second, he also reveals the person who ordered him to exterminate Araragi and Shinobu: none other than Ougi. Really love the fact that this episode set in Hell (that made it the third Hell episode I’ve seen this year, all of them were fantastic), so that Shaft even has more opportunity to go wild on the visual; and the visuals were spot on for most part. The OP is good though a fair bit forgettable. Now that all the pieces are fit into place, we’ll head to the next equally important part: Araragi and his college entrance exams plus his full date with Hitagi the next day. Unbelievable, right? That’s Monogatari series for you.

Posted on 2 August 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, Monogatari Series, World Animation

Just a quick note that I originally intended this week’s review to be about Miss Hokusai. But because of the DVD release of this Kizumonogatari (with good subtitle to boost), I decided to bump this up and review it instead. Monogatari series has been among one of my favorite series, and certainly the one that I spend time the most. Sorry Miss Hokusai but you will have to wait for few weeks later. When it comes to Monogatari series there’s simply no competition, okay? Now, let begin.

It’s always a tricky line when you are making a TV movie when you think about it, because you have to please both the fans of the series, along with new audiences who never see the series before. In other words, you have to make a movie that maintains the elements, tone and themes that make the series famous, at the same time the movie has to have something that can stand on its own. In that regards I always consider that The Adolescent of Utena is the best TV movie adaptation ever in anime. The way it reimages the plot of the original show, updating the settings, altering some plot points, and then goes completely bananas with its theme. Kizumonogatari has a bit of advantage, since it is also based from the light novel as a prequel to Bakemonogatari. The film was originally announced to be adapted right after the first series, back in 2010. Six years past, with the presence of many following seasons, there were doubts whether or not Shaft going to adapt it at all. Then comes the announcement of not one film, but a trilogy. This movie is just the first part of the trilogy, and clocking at exactly 1 hour, the film doesn’t hide the fact that it’s not self-contained, instead the film pleases itself of placing a groundwork for more events to come in latter parts.

Kizumonogatari part 1 nails many of the show’s distinctive features. Audiences who already love the series will find a lot to enjoy here. There are long, snappy dialogues, the distinctive but messy style of visual, the sharp impressionist art backgrounds, the insert screen texts, the ecchi undertone and of course the head-tilts. They’re all here. Its quick styles of visual prove to be too much for some, but never fail to impress (there’s a reason that my avatar is from Monogatari). The color palate changes according to the mood the characters are in or the topics they conceive. Monogatari is one of the few examples on how a great adaptation should be, in the sense that they don’t need to adapt it faithfully, but take the tone, the theme of its source material and turn the show into a very distinct visual feast (The Tatami Galaxy is another example). After all, light novels and visual anime shows are two different mediums, there is something that work well in one medium but will not work in another, hence taking an artistic liberty to the source is a very necessary task. Many characters that we come to know and love has returned for the film, or to put it more correctly, appear for the first time together. It’s actually very nice to see those characters before everything happen, when they are still insecure and naïve.

Yet, this movie sets itself apart from the series for so many reasons, or I should say, this movie is an update version from the series. While usually I don’t like the use of narration, Monogatari series is one of the best example on how to use the voice-over right. Because every character in the show has their own distinctive voices, using narration to understand the way they think, the worldview they possess feels deeply personal. Yet in the movie, the inner voice is stripped down and what we have instead is the external experience. The film shows what the characters experience through pure visual storytelling instead of relying on what the character’s inner thought. The first sequence of the film is the perfect example of this approach to create a sense a paranoia we feel along with our main character Araragi. We literally follow our main character’s every footstep, see what he sees, hear what he hears. In the sequence, Araragi wanders around an abandoned building. He’s shaking and terrified, completely out of place. It is a nightmarish situation in which Araragi couldn’t get out of and we sense his uneasiness. All this were achieved without any spoken dialogue.

Moreover, if there is one element that truly stands out in the film, it is the sound designs. The film uses a more jazzy, popular melodic soundtrack that fits the scenes they play like a glove. My favorite piece of soundtrack happens when Hanekawa and Araragi meet up for the first time after the “incident”, the soundtrack goes Latino and sweet and upbeat, but later when Araragi encounters the vampire Kiss-Shot, the soundtrack goes dense and off-putting. The sound, or the lack thereof, complements the movie in so many way as well. I have to note that the sound designs, just like the visual presentation, are highly unconventional. The film use sounds like the tickling clock to represent the sexual tension of Araragi when he thinks back about Hanekawa’s underpants and big boobs, or use baby cries to substitute for the desperation of Kiss-shot when our main character refuse to help her, or the distorted sounds of people talking to illustrate the un-humanness Araragi is becoming. The more I think about those sound designs, the more I believe that the movie has outdone the series in so many level. The settings also get new designs: the old abandoned cram school, the high school and Araragi’s house have these new looks and it’s a joy to watch. As did with our characters. The characters have their own distinctive appearances and ask me which hairstyle fit Shinobu better, I would choose this one without hesitation. Unlike the series that I have mentioned earlier, the color palate in the film is dominated by the bright yellow and orange colors, which for me is very suitable, since Kiss-Shot has yellow hair (and she’s very important to this story), the yellow ray of the sun (which also very fitting with the theme) and most of all it makes the blood looks less terrified.

Story-wise, the film contains 3 parts: Araragi and Hanekawa meet for the first time; Araragi finds a limbless vampire Kiss-Shot on a verge of dying and decides to help her; Araragi on his mission to retrieve Kiss-Shot limbs in order to reverse back to human, with the help of Oshino Meme, a “negotiator”. Actually, for those of you who curious, the very first opening section of Bakemonogatari is basically a very quick overview of Kizumonogatari and contains the prequel’s most important scenes. Now I don’t encourage you to watch that to spoil yourself, but you might check it out to see the different in approach and design between that “preview” and the actual movie. That is for me what Kizumonogatari would look like if it were adapted 6 years ago. The second part of the film is easily the best part of the film, the way it mixes the natural world of the first part and the supernatural world of the last part, in addition with the visual and sound designs to create an eerie and quite disturbing atmosphere. Monogatari has tackled difficult and even depressing subjects before (the whole Sodachi’s acts), but this is the only time where they manage to put the viewers in and make sure us stay there with Araragi with an unflinching look.

So what’s to expect for the next two movies then? Oshino Meme mentioned that the whole thing now is too unbalanced that he can’t help but to step in; and he is the negotiator who bridges between here and there. Araragi thought that this is them (Araragi and Kiss-Shot – the Vampires) against human (the Vampire executors), but then Meme remarked again that Araragi and himself are human. If he can pick up something from that, he should have realized the reason Oshino Meme steps in is to help Araragi against Kiss-Shot. She’s hiding something and at this moment she just manipulates Araragi in order to get her full power back. Like the film states clearly in the beginning, “This story about a vampire has an unhappy ending – It concludes with everyone becoming miserable”. Don’t expect a joyous ending here, but that’s precisely the reason I look forward to the next movie.

Overall, Kizumonogatari part 1 is a worthy successor to the series, and a major step up in terms of production values and its visual storytelling, which is a feat itself consider that everyone have an extremely high expectation from it. Still, I have a hard time to score it alone as this one is clearly just a set up for more to come, but at least I could say that it succeeds in what it sets out to do. Lastly, to the question whether this movie would be a good place to start for newcomer. Well, I always prefer to go with the airing order, because they have been written that way (Kizumonogatari would be the third release in light novels). But I’d say the newcomer would welcome to watch this, because the movie both maintains many trademark elements from the series, and it’s chronically a beginning of its all. The only downside with this is you then have to wait for almost a year for the full trilogy to come out and it’s no fun waiting.

Next post, I will review one of my favorite film and personally the best animated film of this decade so fa… scratch that, this is one of the best film of this decade so far in any form, animated or not. Expect a high score here. Stay tune!

~SuperMario~

Posted on 17 March 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, Monogatari Series



To start this review, here is where I was coming from when starting Nisemonogatari: I really did not like its predecessor, Bakemonogatari. I had a ton of problems with how Shaft executed that series; it was trying too hard, the tons of still frames, far-away shots and blank frames made it look more like a slide-show than an actual anime, the characters bored me, the subject material didn’t feel interesting. It was a chore to sit through. In the meantime though, Shaft changed a lot. It’s not like they stopped making boring shows (Arakawa’s second season was a pain to sit through…), but their successes have allowed them to get a budget to actually animate their series really well. Enter Nisemonogatari.

To my surprise, I actually liked this series. I have a ton of problems with it, don’t get me wrong. But they actually get less in the way compared to Bakemnonogatari, and I was actually able to enjoy the good stuff inbetween these flaws.

Now, by far the biggest improvement and the biggest reason to watch this series is the visual presentation. Unlike Shaft’s early work, the characters in this series are actually animated, and they’re animated really well. Heck, Nisemonogatari was by far the best animated series of this Winter Season, and that is with a season that has a Shoji Kawamori series and a Brains Base series. There is a ton of creativity in the images without looking like it’s trying too hard with pretentious references or unnecessary convoluted detail. This show is a visual feast.

Bakemonogatari also really got on my nerves with its really poor storytelling. It had a ton of dialogue and all, but in the end its arcs never really seemed to amount to anything. To my surprise however, I actually really liked the way in which the both arcs that comprises this series resolved themselves. The dialogue was actually used well, and the growth tat the different characters go through is much more interesting. So yeah, I liked this show. but it really made it hard at times.

You might notice that Bakemonogatari had 15 episodes which combined to five different arcs, and even then it was dragged out. Nisemonogatari has 11 episodes… and consists out of only two arcs. It takes forever to get anywhere, and especially its first half drags on horribly. And ti does so with an ungodly amount of fanservice.

Seriously, this show randomly brings in characters, giving them a rather shallow reason to appear again and then proceeds to have them walk around naked, bathe with the male lead and all kinds of other stuff. At best it’s creative and clever, but at worst it’s realy distasteful. You’d think that at least the dialogue would make up for it, but even that grinds to a halt when the characters end up talking about nothing else but fanservice, over and over and over again.

This really ends up eating away at the majority of the series. The entire female cast needs to have had a long dragged out fanservice scene with the male lead that doesn’t go anywhere. It’s just way too much. Just as you think you’re done with one girl, the male lead moves on to the next and it starts all over again. The important lines that are tacked onto it that actually develop the characters and add more to them feel tacked more than anything. This show even jumps the implied incest bandwagon without really contributing anything to it. I don’t mind fanservice if it’s used well and all, but this was just way too much.

Thankfully, the points where it gets down to business, it really becomes good, and this series does really give some good insights into its lead cast. The dialogue whenever the fanservice isn’t involved is actually dedicated to fleshing out the characters and the wordplay is more put to the side-lines. Watch this if you want to see an arthouse flick, because it definitely is a well directed visual feast.

Storytelling: 7/10 – Great dialogue, way TOO MUCH fanservice.
Characters: 8/10 – Good development, interesting cast, well fleshed out characters for once.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Gorgeous and fluid animation with very creative shots and images. The music is nothing special, though.
Setting: 8/10 – Even though nobody seems to live in the world of Nisemonogatari outside of the main characters, the underlying themes make up for itwith some neat ideas and backstories.

Suggestions:
Dororon Enma-Kun Meerameera
High School of the Dead
Michiko e Hatchin

Posted on 25 February 2012 with categories: Monogatari Series, Winter 2012 Kaleidoscope

If I had to give this season a label, it’d be the Winter of WTF. Seriously, Nisemonogatari: you as well?

Anyway, for the reason of this post: there just wasn’t anything interesting this week. Danshi was more miss than hit this week, Ano Natsu continued with that boring beach arc (though admittedly it was much better than the week before), Inu X Boku was the same as what it’s always been and I don’t want to repeat myself on it yet again, Black Rock Shooter has completely descended into forced emo and Smile Precure still is in that boring introduction arc of its. Which brings me to Nisemonogatari.

To my complete surprise: I actually liked Nisemonogatari this month. Heck, for the past weeks, it did exactly what I hoped it would do. Something actually happened, and I actually really liked the way the Karen Bee arc was resolved. It was an anti-climax, but it worked well and was very well built up. Finally I actually got the chance to enjoy this series for what it was and marvel at its animation without being bothered by everything else.

However, the fact remains: this show is just way too long. The first episodes of Nisemonogatari were pretty much Araragi walking around until something happened, and passing the time with tons and tons of fanservice. And it lead to this episode. I have very mixed feelings for this episode. I really want to praise the creativity here. The toothbrush scene was just weird in every single way. The animation and direction were also excellent. At the very least: this was a great piece of animation. But this show has also just completely turned into a farce. Is this show too going for the incest? I thought we finally dropped that dead horse. If this was an attempt to be subtle and clever, that part of it at least failed, because it 1) has already been done by a ton of other shows and 2) exactly went back to the themes of the first few episodes in which hardly anything happens aside from tons and tons of fanservice.

I really consider Nisemonogatari better than Bakemonogatari at this point. Another great annoyance that’s gone now: the series no longer feels like watching a bunch of voice actors narrating over a slide-show. They actually animate the characters here. This episode had some of those “ahoge-shots”, but they were far more balanced than before.

I really noticed that after Bakemonogatari, the animation in the Shaft series improved significantly. They seemed to have especially invested a lot in inbetween animation, and the first series where this really stood out was with Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru. For once, this series actually doesn’t feel rushed. Now that they actually have a period of one year in which they release just one series, they can actually focus much more on making that show good. It’s just a shame that it wastes so much time on pointless fanservice over and over. If it was just some random fanservice I would not have minded, especially with the creativity that this show had been doing it. But there were just large parts of this show were nothing just happened aside from the characters talking about random smutty topics. It’s just too much. Still, this episode did show the most amusing ones, even though in the bigger picture it was just blah.
Rating: #%&! (???)

Posted on 26 June 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Monogatari Series



I usually don’t wait for DVD-only or other kinds of extra episodes for writing a review, but for Bakemonogatari I made an exception because I thought that the final three episodes would air quite soon after the end of the TV-series. So I was wrong. My memory may be a bit fuzzy about the series right now, but I do want to talk a bit about why I didn’t like it.

But first, let me say the following: I’m usually a big fan of shows that feature lots of talking. Ergo Proxy, Mouryou no Hako, Amatsuki, I can’t get enough of them. I also like series that do something interesting with their art and visuals, to give us some kind of unconventional eye candy. I was set to like this series when I first started watching it… but the way it turned out just didn’t work for me.

Now, the reason I’m a fan of anime is the way that it combines storytelling, visuals and music into one. Even with series who have a ton of dialogue, they really focus on portraying these characters as they tell their stories. With Bakemonogatari however, this combination is completely gone. There are way too many scenes that don’t focus on the characters, but on some random eye, object in the background, or just a very far away shot of a bunch of people talking. The creators go out of their way to avoid animating the full faces of these characters. There are a number of episodes in which this gets carried way over the top: one episode has scenes of three minutes, at which it just does nothing but stare at the same landscape without any variation. Another episode consists for about thirty percent of just black and red screens with random text on it. The rest of the episodes are also riddled with these blank screens that don’t really do anything except break pace.

All of this results in the fact that this isn’t really an animation about a bunch of characters having conversations with each other. It feels more like an animated slide-show in which a bunch of voice actors read a story. If I wanted something like that, I’d go for drama CDs or something.

The way that the source material was adapted leaves also a lot to be desired. Scenes are dragged on for way too long with boring dialogues, while the dialogues that matter are rushed through. This series has this very annoying habit of hinting at back-story, while only devoting a few lines to what happened, if any. This is especially annoying considering that this is a harem, in which everyone and his dog just ends up falling in love with the lead character. Most of the motivations for these characters and their crushes turn out to be just superficial. For me the worst was the snake arc. It wasted so much time with pointless stuff and weird fanservice, while the real story was rushed, glossed over with hardly any attempt given to give the characters some depth.

Now, the series also likes to play around with poetry: there’s a ton of symbolism, and the original novel is full of wordplay, but in the end that doesn’t really amount to anything. Yeah, there are a bunch of word jokes, and when the characters talk about cats you see pictures of cat ears, those kinds of things. They will strengthen the experience if you did like the series, but for those who aren’t a fan like myself, they’re pretty much pointless.

Granted though, the budget and focus do get better near the end: the creators finally take their time to fully animate episodes, it wastes less time with pointless stuff and there are a number of scenes that have some really sweet animation. But even then, it’s not really worth it to sit through the rest of the series just to get there. This series advertises itself by fleshing out its characters through its dialogues, but to me, that’s rather failed. There are still too many characters who just have one side to them, and just feel like caricatures.

There really was a time at which I liked Shinbo. And I still consider him to be a good director. However I’d much rather see him put his full attention on just one series, instead of churning out a bunch of half-assed product that might or might not have their moments.

Storytelling: 7/10 – Badly paced, and badly portrayed.
Characters: 7/10 – A lot of bark, but no bite. Most characters fail to impress.
Production-Values: 8/10 – I give this one the benefit of the doubt here. It cuts a ton of corners, but granted there are a number of scenes that are really well animated.
Setting: 7/10 – There is no explanation of the magic system here. Things just… are there, but I failed to see any cohesion or depth.

Suggestions:
Soultaker
Boogiepop Phantom
Twillight Q

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whats really interesting about hourou musuko is that in addition to Takako Shimura being a Lesbian , by choosing a mtf character as the protaganist and with shuu's relationship with a biological woman later in the manga, she is dealing with an even more interesting issue of whats called by Lesbians as Trans-lesbianism.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Transexual, mtf or ftm are probably the more accurate words to use as transgender also includes transvestite which is a different thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its a very good review though, you don't have to change anything I'm probably being overly anal about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was wandering Children chosen instead of wandering son to avoid suggesting pronouns in the title? But then the text of the review uses shuus physical rather than psychological gender. I'm not preaching or asking for changes or complaining, I just found this somewhat contradictory.
AidanAK47
Oh Tomogui Kyoushitsu? That is a weird death game manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Checks manga cover* Goes in expecting bondage manga *its a cannibalism horror manga instead*
Kaiser-Eoghan
Probably just me, but I feel the top two pictures should have a gap between them.
AidanAK47
I would recommend replacing the top image of wandering son. Cause you killed the quality of it by stretching it. Never stretch an image.
Lenlo
Id recommend some kind of slideshow or something Mario. For me, its a big sudden blob of images. But thats just me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't deny a single criticism of the Junji Ito adaptation, and yet despite it all it works for me , I forgive it because the imagination goes such a long way with me, I don't even mind that some of them aren't fully developed either, don't need things to be too tidy or explain everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Eh, Maverick was a fairly rubbish, thrown in villain but I liked Lunatics backstory how it linked in with the twist his father was that big hero guy mentioned at the start who ended up becoming a washed up mess.
SuperMario
And I won't take "No, you don't need these pics at all" for an answer
SuperMario
Guys, should I put the 2 arts back-to-back at the begin of the post like this, or should I use slideshow?
Anonymous1828545
Travlos here: 91 Days was not too bad.
Anonymous1828545
Travlos here: Thanks for those two historical manga's head-up.
Anonymous1828434
Akumestu soo satisfying to read
Anonymous1828321
Thank you
Lenlo
A shame. Kokkoku had the first truly dull episode this week. Suppose one had to come eventually, but this one was mostly an info dump.
AidanAK47
Like lightning, I strike. Junji Ito is basically interesting ideas with deeply flawed execution. It's not scary, doesn't really capture Ito's style and the animation is bare bones. While the stories themselves can have there interesting points, they are often not fleshed out enough. Honestly I am getting rather bored with it.
Lenlo
Holy bejesus Aidan. Nice triple post. :P

So overall how is Junji Ito? From what ive read so far, it seems pretty hit or miss on the horror/gore front. Failing to live up to the manga. I havnt read it though, so im curious what ya think
AidanAK47
Akumetsu?
Anonymous1828142
Wearing a mask
Anonymous1828142
What was the name of the manga where the main character is some superhuman high school student who goes around fighting Japanese politicians
Lenlo
On a side note, I should really start Violet Evergarden at some point...
Lenlo
"Anime is dying" is just a meme that gets thrown around because of Miyazaki.
Lenlo
Maybe. I dont think average score per year is a good metric though, as the cash ins are increasing, but I doubt the passion projects are decreasing. For instance we had /alot/ of duds this year, but people only really remember/care about the good ones of which there was a fair number. It wasnt a bad year for decent/good anime.
AidanAK47
Well yeah, but they didn't have as many Animation studios back then as we do right now. So it's not so much that we lost artistic merit but rather the number of studios cashing in on popular trends for a quick buck have increased. Even then, I am willing to put money on there being just as much harem anime in yesteryear as we have cute girls shows in present.
Lenlo
Perhaps, but I would argue those were on smaller scales, and even then, thats not so different from Western animation or movies. Just look at Warner Bros and their DC push after the success of Marvel. Every industry has those who chase successful trends, yet they arnt failing
AidanAK47
@lenlo, the thing is though that before Moe crap there was eva copy crap and before eva copy crap you had space opera crap and before space opera crap you had hyperviolet OVA crap. The industry has always tried to cash in on a popular trend.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel people went apeshit over, say highschool of the dead because they never saw a bunch of old B/exploitation films, thus that show was never special to me and even failed at an imitation of such.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think people getting to excited for it being unique to a single medium or for, its setting themselve up for disappointment.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just think its incredibly limited thinking to base it all on just ONE medium, you CAN hold up anime to film when anaylzing anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Why should 91 days get a free pass just because its an anime about gangsters? Go watch a film about it instead which theres probably many of, joker game fail you as the mature spy thriller it ended up not being, who cares, Tinker tailor soldier spy exists.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I dislike this "Its unique for an anime/manga to do this, so instantly lets latch on to it, despite fact that same something is already extremely prevalent in other mediums "
Kaiser-Eoghan
Case in point 91 days and Joker game "It has adults, lets pre-rejoice before the show even came out"
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel though because of the level of dissatisfaction with said moe shows that people are going to leap far too quickly on anything just slightly different, getting their hopes up too high and end up feeling let down.
Lenlo
That, or it all comes crashing down around our ears. With stuff like Houseki no Kuni and Made in Abyss from last year however, I think its going to be ok. We are just getting inundated with crap right now.
Lenlo
I do think that some of the artistic part of it has been lost, its gotten diluted in the never ending river of Moe crap. But that doesnt mean its gone. Just harder to find. Eventually all the random moe shows no one cares about will fail and stop getting made. But the anime audience will still be around, to enjoy the better stuff thats left.
Lenlo
Same thing happened in the mid/late 90's and early 00's to American cartoons.
Lenlo
Eh, I dont think anime is dying. Changing no doubt. Its going through a rough growth stage right now. It has a bigger audience than ever and people are trying to cash in on that with lots of shows that are basically the same
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Tank you and damn you for posting screencap of loli-tachibana, I now have cuteness overload a diabeetus =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
I realize thats a very minor detail to focus on though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats why I can really really get into a history manga if the art is top quality, the costume designs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the historical thing, I have a massive I repeat massive thing for full body medieval armoured characters hacking the shit into things or just the armour in general , especially templar armour designs. I also have an little obsession with male aristocratic army uniforms from the Prussian era and world war 2.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That recent Urasawa manga Travlos mentioned is ending also
@Mario: We might get a complete adaptation of after the rain, the manga is ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More historical manga I found, haven't read the second one however, I didn't hear those two mentioned on here either before.
Kaiser-Eoghan
[link src="http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Hawkwood
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Ad-Astra-Scipio-to-Hannibal"]
AidanAK47
@Anon, yes clearly you know better than everyone else on the planet despite having no evidence whatsoever to back up you claims. Thank you nameless Stranger, we owe you a debt for telling us the same thing we hear every year. Let me congratulate you by kicking you out the door.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can generally come up with an opinion for what I follow/watch/read , but I don't really have one on kokkuu.
KTravlos
Well we watched the first episode of Kokkuku. Interesting. The ED theme is quite the fanservice.
SuperMario
@Ktravlos: If your like to check out some other shows this season then I'd definitely recommend After the Rain.
SuperMario
@KTravlos: at least Kino is thought-provoking. I can't say the same for Violet Evergarden. In fact I remain skeptical with VE
KTravlos
I am quite enjoying both Violet Evergarden and Mahoutsukai. Violet gives me similar vibes to the first Kio series, though obviously Kino was a better series.
SuperWooper
EPIC post, anon!
Anonymous1825128
Of course, as ardent fans of anime, the writers of this site would not deign to agree or even entertain the idea that their passion is no longer the same artisanal endeavor it once was.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Oh. Actually surprised I forgot about that. Yeah, when it comes to something being described as edgy I think Goblin Slayer fits that definition perfectly.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, You can still throw down your take if you want.
Anonymous1824209
AidanAK47 - Or the women shields.
Lenlo
You know, sometimes I dont regret forgetting about this chatbox. Missing the "anime is dying" conversation? One of those times
AidanAK47
Oh, Goblin Slayer is getting an anime adaption. I was rather lukewarm on it but I wonder how the anime is going to handle the rather unsavoury aspects. Like the rape. Lots and lots of rape.
AidanAK47
I remember the last guy said he would make a chart and I thought it was a brillent idea as at least something useful could come out of this old dead horse. Then his chart turned out to be a useless jpeg with series thrown to the left or right.
AidanAK47
It does stir up conversation but it's really just the same conversation repeated. I remember stating the exact same points Nayrael and Bokusen are saying around a year ago when this last came up.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Indeed Ratings are subjective but it would at least be a general mainstream consensus of the quality of anime over the years. Not final but at least it's better evidence than one persons general assumption. And other factors are impossible to quaitify.
Nayrael
A good parody of the "Anime back then and now - what happened? meme (if the links are not blocked here): https://i.imgur.com/JZqxz6f.jpg
Nayrael
Not to mention that back in the olden days you didn't see every Anime that aired. Official translators and fansubbers selected the best stuff, which resulted in you seeing the best shows and never even knowing about the shit-tier shows.
Bokusen
I think that people who say "anime is dying" are just getting too nostalgic. It's easy to remember the hit series from earlier seasons. It's less easy to remember all the forgettable generic series that you dropped after 1 episode, and so anime tends to "seem better" back then because of people's tendency towards selective memory.
Anonymous1820731
Why are there more bad anime? Because there are more anime being made. That means the good ones are buried under the lots of bad ones. But saying "anime is dying" from that is like saying "music is dead because I don't like Britney Spears." Why does this conversation always come up, its obvious conversation bait.
Anonymous1820589
@Aidan: You are the first to obsess over the fact that reviews are subjective. And since they're subjective, looking at anime 'ratings' over time does nothing to gauge the measure of effort and artistic talent that goes into making anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which I got my answer by the way.
SuperWooper
>average review scores
What do those have to do with whether anime is "dying" or not? You'd need to look at the money.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Want to add that I agree with both you and Aidan, only brought up those two topics back there because I wanted to know what shows now will be popular in the future.
SuperMario
I'm on the side of Aidan regarding to this. For me it's not neccessary means the anime industry has become "better" or "worse", it's just that it takes new shape and trends and based on the number of anime produced, the industry isn't going down soon
AidanAK47
Am I really going to draft up a chart gathering average review scores of the past 25 years just t shut up this talk of anime dying?
But even if I did that won't toss aside this nonsense.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know this is complete guesswork.
AidanAK47
Plus the industry is dying? Bloody hell, we got major companies FUNDING anime. Streaming services and more anime coming out that ever before. You can argue that this new anime is weaker but honestly it's just misguided. It takes time but great shows are still coming out. Just like back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well thats kind of what I meant, what, when passage of time comes into it are going to end up being classic based on that, speculatively speaking.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats probably a much better way of phrasing it, inheriting mantles. I'm going to say that promised neverland is presently along with Titan a BIG modern shounen.
AidanAK47
Anyway my point is that the shows of the past, the so called classics, are just as flawed as the shows of today. It is only through the passage of time that they become classics. When Stein;Gate finished airing, I seen no one call it a classic. Same goes for Madoka and Fate/Zero. Now, you have people putting up the pedestals.
AidanAK47
Though if anything has inherited the Shounen mantle, it's likely Boku no hero.
AidanAK47
There is no big three Shounen and that's honestly for the best. Because in generally the declining aspect of Naruto and Bleach was mainly due to the pressure on the mangaka to put out chapters on a weekly basis. In fact it's pretty much the primary factor in Bleachs decline.
AidanAK47
Bebop is great but even it is hit and miss by nature. Doubt many remember much about the casino episode and the Alien spoof episode is likely not anyone's favorite. Eva is massively flawed but no one wants to admit it due to the massive amount of praise it receives and influence it has on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But what is the new big three shounen?
AidanAK47
If we go further back to DBZ, that has tons of issues with filler, dragging out episodes, animation shortcuts, and even complaints of it doing the same thing over and over again with it's story. No to mention the underutilised cast and the everlasting act up putting Goku on a greater pedestal.
AidanAK47
But let us dissect this viewpoint of yours. You claim the Shouen-jump canon as a great, guessing that refers to the shounen big three. But aside from One piece, the other two are emmensily flawed. Naruto is 50% filler and Bleach drops seriously in quality after soul society.
AidanAK47
Also Fate series is trash? That definitely seems aimed at me. What first series are you referring to? Fate/Zero, Fate/Stay Night 2006? Fate/UTW? The same thing over and over again? Sure each series has a holy grail war, but none of them every turned out the same. I am more than willing to admit that the spinoff series outside of the main canon are lesser. Calling them trash however is hyperbole.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Not this crap again. The old "Anime isn't as good as it used to be", how many times have I heard that over the years, and each and every time it proves more untrue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
One point I'm trying to get at is, I don't get throwing the word bad taste around when I know I was probably in the same position as that other fan years ago.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Another thing, for shows we talk up and obviously I've been just as guilty of this, how many of these am I going to be able to recite off by heart years down the line?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't like Madoka but thats a good example of a modern classic that'll keep in peoples minds, people still care.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*its a
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: The reason I want to see a new show become a modern classic is because I'm tired of this "fleeting masterpiece" way of thinking, where I a show is super popular during the season and gets talked up as if it'll stick in the mind years on, then weeks later it disappears from memory.
Anonymous1819907
And anime watchers tend to be attracted to series that are just plain boring. The Fate franchise is case and point. The same thing over and over again. It really is a disgrace, to be honest--in my opinion. The first series was great, and I look forward to the movie. But everything in between is trash. But they still get the views, since people are sheep.
Anonymous1819907
The shonen-jump canon, shows like bebop and eva were huge in their time. The industry is just not the same--it's really dying. There isn't the same desire to blow shows up like there used to be. Shonen jump is still at it, but those shows are rarely worth watching, even if they're popular
Anonymous1819907
its a good anime, but it doesn't have the same staying power since it was not an entire industry
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for the long post, I want to get people talking again here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would love for this to happen with, say, made in Abyss, that becoming a show that we remember decades from now and still talk about.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something else I want to bring up, what shows do you all REALLY believe will still be talked about in the future . Bebop and Eva still come up regularly to this day, what new shows do you think will become big classics.
Kaiser-Eoghan
To base taste on things you watched ages ago doesn't really work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I bring that up because I remember a comment somewhere I read that said, the people who trashed guilty crown, forget geass was 10 years ago and if guilty crown had came out back then instead of geass they would have embraced it instead at the time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the bad taste thing, I could easily say Mahouka or sword art are terrible, but back when I watched and loved code geass people where probably bashing it as overhyped shit in the same way people like to do with sword art/mahouka now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I sure years ago I would have been all over violet evergarden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For example most anime/manga melodrama has lost its effect on me, I hate Clannad and Kanon now and I won't watch the new code geass season because I want to crop it and death note both up to a teenage error and mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And in some cases it only takes five or so years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If not that, it’s the show no one gave a shit about that you loved or it’s a recent gem.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And it hit me, the stuff you often end up loving, becoming a measure of your true taste, in my case at least are the re-discoveries, the show you HATED or didn’t get the first time round, maybe you watched it again soon after or years later, but then it does something for you that tops anything you watched in your early days.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then I remember theres a huge amount of big shounens I never cared for and popular writers that I never liked or if I did found somewhat overated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Given that I’m in my thirties and have been watching anime, reading manga since I was 11, that’s led to a very very large re-watch list, something things I will NEVER get the time to go back to re-assess , for all I know they could actually be terrible series. Then there’s when I DO go back on shows and let’s face it most DON’T hold up (of course its good when they do hold up).
Kaiser-Eoghan
This has been on my back/mind for a bit now, to where I’m actually somewhat confused by this “tastes” thing in relation to myself.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Out of nowhere comment don't you think? Besides it ain't that I have perfect taste. It's just that my taste is the only one that matters.
Anonymous1819624
@Aidan you don't need to keep pretending you have perfect taste in anime. we are all aware your taste is often questionable, as all of ours are at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its kind of a pity because there were moments where I saw potential in it and thought maybe this would be some kind of exception.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But to more calmly review this, I do think its possible to present topics like this, though in a more accessible way, I think even someone more versed in this would be bothered by this presentation, in addition to this manga never flowing properly, the dialogue just feels it was ripped directly from an article or book.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose in all fairness, its right to say I never studied any of these subjects in much detail that it brings up and never did anything sciencey for more than two years at school so I was probably doomed from the start.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know the expected response to what I said there is "why do you read/continue to read things you know you won't like" but if I don't come out of my comfort zone theres no chance of me being surprised.
AidanAK47
Hehe..well Kaiser, I don't remember saying it was good. I just said it was an insane ride. I found its concept interesting but the presentation was just terrible.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for ranting but this makes my blood absolutely seethe and boil.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got to the last two chapters and just stopped caring, the info dumping, the multiple lives thing, especially the my own father/mother thing and magical girl part....fuck...
Kaiser-Eoghan
And yes I'm talking about Qualia....this...was....abject...punishing headwrecking agony to read.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay fuck it, just fuck it, I refuse, absolutely refuse to touch anything involving many worlds interpretation, time travel, shared memory,multiple runthroughs/loops ever again under any any circumstances, this is the worst form of storytelling I can possibly sit through from my perspective , I cannot finish this its impossible.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've given away/sold/thrown out anime/manga before, including figures and posters while keeping others , can't remember off hand, but it was to free space.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Together we make....tiger and dragon....Toradora =O
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: To be clearer, any interesting series/films they threw out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Anything else interesting they threw out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'm year of the tiger, Aidan is year of the dragon.
SuperMario
And today is the Lunar New Year, happy new year guys! It's a year of the Dog so for those who is born in the year of the Dog... my condolenses since it is supposed to be your bad luck year
SuperMario
I think they move away so they just throw all their dvds there. There were other live action movies and series in there
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Strange that if he truly didn't want it that he never decided to just sell it.
SuperMario
@Aidan: I tested it and all of the DVDs are playable. The package includes the whole show and the movie. Not a scratch either
Kaiser-Eoghan
pppftt, not leaving it in the trash and instead going out and getting the blurays instead =P
Lenlo
Ha, shouldnt be surprised you read it to
AidanAK47
Everytime I read a newly translated Re:Zero chapter I just hunger for a new anime season. The latest chapter would be fantastic animated
AidanAK47
@Mario, Maybe the discs got scratched and the don't work anymore? Otherwise this is blasphemy if the highest degree.
SuperMario
Don't know how should I feel about that :))
SuperMario
Can you believe it? Someone in my apartment just threw away the Cowboy Bebop boxset. Normally I don't pick up someone's trash but it's a crime NOT TO in this case. %$^&&
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will hearby read Murasakiro Qualia!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Very good voice casting decision with hourou musuko, the voice actor for the protaganist was an actual 14 year old and sounds kind of androgynous anyway.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it comes as no surprise for me if the mangaka of Housou Musuko is a lesbian, since the show has a honest feeling if someone who actually experience those issues
Kaiser-Eoghan
So that probably came after or something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
None of those episodes 30 involved this ant-arc Aidan mentioned as I recall.
Bokusen
0_o What the heck...It must take a long while to get good then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
All I was told by a hunter x hunter fan on here was after I said I'd watched 30 episodes was "I wonder if the next arc will change your mind"
Bokusen
Does Hunter x Hunter really take 40 eps to get good? I've been thinking of watching it since I really liked YYH & it's the same mangaka. I got hooked on YYH by episode 7, but if HxH takes 40 eps to hook me I might get tired of it before then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And in some cases it can represent an temporary escape from the self.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an odd, maybe interesting relevant point, in some cases, well I think most a non-mtf , both a physical and psychological male, if they wear female clothing, the body reacts as if its like contact with a woman.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Or for a very old manga on that theme: http://mangakakalot.com/chapter/claudine/chapter_0
Kaiser-Eoghan
The anime worked suprisingly well despite the decision to start in the middle.
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This episode of Violet Evergarden, Violet learns the feeling of loneliness, AND I find myself largely indifferent to it. Not a bad episode by all mean but when the show makes same old beats and adds little thing to the table, it doesn’t leave much lasting impact. Let’s get to the positives first, I really […]

A Place Further than the Universe – 07 [The Ship That Sees the Universe]

“I boarded this ship to do catchy, witty, sensational reporting! I want to open the treasure chest of Antarctica that my mother wrote about with my own hands! Everyone, let’s go to Antarctica together!” Although Universe is a show about the girls heading off to freaking Antarctica, the last couple episodes make it clear that […]

Darling in the Franxx – 05[Your Thorn, My Badge]

Today on Darling in the Franxx, Hiro gets a STD. This was a surprisingly good episode as I found myself pretty engaged with the goings on of the plot. Now previous episodes of Franxx haven’t been all that bad besides the excessive sex symbolism but up until this point I would have deemed this show […]

Junji Ito Collection – 06[Window Next Door/Gentle Goodbye]

My friends, I lament to say my interest in this series has fallen to a degree that I really can’t seem to care all that much about it. It’s a shame that it should turn out this way but not entirely unexpected. Our first story has to do with a boy being tormented by his […]

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In This Corner of the World (2016) Movie Review – 90/100

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Houseki no Kuni (Fall 2017) Review – 92/100

Make no mistake, Houseki no Kuni is the most ambitious anime project of the year. Not only because it’s an entirely CG project (and make a damn good use of it, mind you), or because of its narrative scope that at once strange, grand and beauty, but also in its very conception in their production […]

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Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World Anime Review – 73/100

One of the surprises of the year was to see the return of Kino’s Journey, a very well regarded and more unique anime among those deemed classic. Many, myself included, were very much looking forward to the return of Kino and her talking Motorrad. Though due to some factors this series doesn’t quite live up […]

Girls’ Last Tour (Fall 2017) Review – 86/100

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Two tales of War: Reviewing The Heroic Legend of Arslan and Altair: A Record of Battles

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The Night is Short, Walk On Girl (2017) Movie Review – 92.5/100

“How many decades have passed since our drinking contest?” “It hasn’t been that long. It was only a few hours ago, this very night!” That gap in time perceiving plays a significant role in Night is Short. For you see, it all depends on how our perception of the surroundings and time itself can affect […]

Ballroom e Youkoso Review – 65/100

In the weeks leading up to the summer 2017 season, Ballroom e Youkoso was one of the most buzzed-about new series. Produced by the Production I.G. team responsible for the smash hit Haikyuu!!, and set to air on Amazon’s brand new Anime Strike service, the series had no shortage of promotion or hype behind it. […]