Posted on 25 September 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Pandora Hearts



The past spring season was a good one for fantasy-series. Among the best ones of this genre was Pandora Hearts. It takes the air of modern-day fairy-tales, and gives them a dark and twisted… twist, resulting into quite a unique series that focuses on themes as the past and forgiveness.

What sets this show apart is its distinct and dark style of storytelling. It has a heavy emphasis on twisted dialogues that are well delivered by the voice actors, and once it gets going, it just keeps getting more and more intriguing. This series has the very interesting characteristic that whenever you think that the creators couldn’t possibly pull any more plot twists, they do. This series is delightfully unpredictable, and just about every plot twist makes the setting more intriguing.

And what an intriguing setting it is! While at first it might seem like nothing special, but soon this series evolves into a multi-layered mystery-series that only gets more and more complex as the revelations come. Combine that with a deep and varied cast of characters and you’ve got a recipe for success.

As for this series’ flaws, it’s that the lead character Oz isn’t always able to carry the series. Whenever Oz starts angsting he tends to drag the entire series along with him, and his times of inner retrospective are deep, but also tend to drag along a bit too much. And overall, the cast could have been more fleshed out. At the end of the series, I only started to feel like I was beginning to get to know the characters. Add the fact that it’s not yet sure whether a second season will come to animate the remaining manga chapters, and you’ve got an incomplete series that desperately needs more screentime.

Nevertheless, Pandora Hearts really is a gem of a series, and when it delivers it really does over and over. Xebec created a really unique graphical style that combines the art style from the 90s and the past decade, and a lot of shots really are visual feasts in terms of aesthetics. The music by Yuki Kajiura may not be her best work, but still shines in every single way. Now if only that second season would get announced.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 9/10
Posted on with categories: Pandora Hearts



I have a question for the manga-readers: was this episode really anime-original? I mean, it was a standalone episode and all, but at the same time it gave out a lot of new information about a certain character, it actually showed the current Sabrie and it also developed Oz a bit and it was well paced with a very nice insert-song at the end.

But yeah, Oz’s father was a very nice way to close off this series. It very nicely ties in with the beginning of the series, and it really is a major bit of development for Oz, getting over the trauma that was caused by the neglect of his father. He did angst a bit this episode, but he had enough reasons to do so, after finding out that his father made a contract with a Chain, became a member of the Baskervilles and forced Oz into the Abyss! I’m not sure about the coincidence that allowed him to meet up

The question still remains whether that second season is going to come or not. This episode gave no hints whatsoever about the creators’ intentions. Or rather, the sponsors’ intentions to finance another sequel. Let’s really hope that that’s going to be the case, because there is a lot of potential left in the second half. It’s going to be a bloody shame for the story to be just cut in half like this.

Overall, Pandora Hearts ended up as a really enjoyable series, despite a few bumps along the way. It always knew a creative way to develop its story and every time I thought that it couldn’t pull any more plot twists, it did. the characters all have a strange charm to them, though I wouldn’t count them among my favourites of the past season.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 18 September 2009 with categories: Pandora Hearts



Well what do you know? Even though this episode was anime-original, it was actually really good. I’m very impressed by the creators here: they showed that they don’t just know how to adapt a good manga, but they also showed that they can write on their own, keep in the same style of storytelling, don’t ruin the Kanon and yet they don’t entirely waste time by making everything irrelevant in the end. Really Xebec, that was a job well done.

Of course, I’m not exactly sure whether this episode ruined the canon of the series, but it seems pretty unlikely. the creators here create an epic scenario that makes sense within the context of the series. The Will of the Abyss feeling lonely, that seems like a perfectly acceptable scenario at this point and it provides a nice epic conclusion for this first season. It’s a bit of a shame that the creators couldn’t afford a whole new set of character-designs for huge amounts of chains running around, but nevertheless that Bunny Dragon looked really impressive.

This episode was also very good at fleshing out the characters: it didn’t provide any new information, but it let the information we already know about them sink in: Oz with his development, Alice with that fragment of her past, and Break who recently dropped the wall between him and the others. But what really surprised me was that there was a point at which they even improved on the manga. One of my main problems with this series is that Oz’s moments of self-reflection tended to go on and on and on. They were often way too long and cheesy. This time however, he’s short and to the point, and it makes just as much impact.

the animation also was very good in this episode, and you can really see that Xebec invested time in it. I only have one problem with it, and that’s basically a problem with just about every series who lets hordes of monsters roam around. These monsters individually proved to be clear threats and very hard to take care of, and yet when they’re in a group their IQ suddenly gets divided by 10. Especially the way they react to guns seems… random. But then again, that can also be because of Oz’s lousy aim. ^^;
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 11 September 2009 with categories: Pandora Hearts



Do correct me if I’m wrong, but this is he part where the anime seems to be going into original episodes that weren’t based off the manga, right? If that’s the case, then the creators handled it pretty well this time. This episode didn’t try to rush through revelations, or go into a completely different direction, ruining the rest of the series.

Okay, it was a build-up episode, but a very pleasant one. My guess is that the creators have decided to end the series with the truth about the tragedy of Sabrie, and if they can pull it off it’s at least going to be a satisfying conclusion. This episode was all about building it up and what I liked a lot about it is that it did bother to show the development of the past few episodes: how much closer the five lead characters have gotten after Break gave in and told about his backstory. It’s as if that broke down some sort of invisible wall with that. It was also pleasant to see Ada again, and the jokes around Oz’s private security were also hilarious.

I’ve said this before, but anime-original material isn’t bad at all. It all depends on whether or not the creators are able to handle it correctly, and I’ve seen plenty of series who pulled off great things when they included stuff that wasn’t in the original source material. For Pandora Hears it unfortunately seems unlikely for a second season, so I’d rather have at least some conclusion, rather than that the show simply “ends” after episode 25 (this is one of those shows in which a “life goes on”-ending like in Aoi Hana simply doesn’t work), and so far they seem to be doing a good job. I’m not going to get too enthusiastic before I find out what the creators were actually building up for, but it does look like this show isn’t going to pull a Claymore at the end.

Right now, I want to have a good explanation for those strange puppets that appeared at the end of this episode. Did Vincent summon them in an attempt to get those who are close to the secrets of the Tragedy of Sabrie out of the picture, and can the creators pull it off without being cheesy? Well, let’s find out in the next two weeks!
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 4 September 2009 with categories: Pandora Hearts



Well, since the manga is going on way beyond the end of this series, which is going to come in three more episodes, I’m not expecting too much from this series’ finale. Sure, the final episode may end up to become awesome, but the story isn’t going to come together like with most endings, and it’s probably going to keep me hungry for more until that second season gets announced. If it ever gets.

Nevertheless though, this show just keeps surprising me. Some of the flashback parts in this episode were utterly demented, not to mention that just about the entire episode was dedicated to Break’s past. We also learn about how Alice and the Will of the Abyss used to be twins, somehow strangely connected through each other in the Abyss. When Alice got killed, I assume that the Will of the Abyss remained in the deepest parts of the abyss, while Alice herself was just cast into the regular Abyss, where Oz ran into her.

Thinking back though, this series did miss out on being a classic. Now that this series has nearly ended, I’m beginning to understand why: compared to the other series this season, the cast of Pandora Hearts didn’t grow on me as much. This series has always excelled at two points: the complex storyline and back-story behind everything, and the demented style of storytelling that just keeps the surprises going. But it also excelled at these points incredibly well.

In the end, Oz ended up as a bit of a flawed character: he works when the focus isn’t on him, but when this show focuses on him it starts focusing a bit too much on his cheesy self-retrospection. As for the rest of the characters: the thing that made them awesome was this series’ style of storytelling: the people from Xebec did a great thing of translating the style from the manga to the anime, and give it as much impact as possible. But in the end, the cast members on their own just aren’t as interesting as the cast of Guin Saga, Phantom, Shangri-la, Full Metal Alchemist, Cross Game, the New Mazinger and some other shows.

Nevertheless, where as the spring season of 2008 brought some truly inspiring science fiction premises and the autumn of 2008 brought lots of new things to the table for the horror-series, the spring of 2009 excelled at the fantasy-premises. The new Full Metal Alchemist, Guin Saga, Pandora Hearts and Shangri-La (which walks a bit in between fantasy and science fiction) and if you include the winter-season Kemono no Souja Erin all came with great and inventive premises that really contributed to the fantasy genre.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 28 August 2009 with categories: Pandora Hearts



Whoa. Even for Pandora Hearts, this was a surprisingly good episode. Since it already has been two weeks since the plot disappeared (with the previous week a hiatus and the week before that more aimed at comic relief), but damn, I didn’t suspect that the creators were already going to arrive at Break’s background this early.

So this episode basically starts out as Oz manages to get himself an appointment with the person who most likely is to remember something about the tragedy of Sabrie 100 years ago: Rufus Barma, the longest sitting of the four dukes, and a collector of information. Apparently, Oz had heard of him from before he was cast in the Abyss. Makes sense.

Anyway, it then turns out that Barma likes to play with his visitors, and creates a whole illusion to try and hide who he really is. With the threat of the Baskervilles and all, this indeed seems like a wise move. Anyway, it seems that the biggest reason why he accepted Oz’s invitation is because he wants to learn something from Break. On a side-note, the foursome of Break, Oz, Gilbert and Alice look awesome in formal attire. It’s nothing new, but this series sure is good at its costume designs.

Anyway, while this seems nice and all, the second half of this episode completely turns the chessboard upside-down, to come with an Umineko-reference, when it turns out that Break’s background is much darker than I imagined (or should I say, Kevin’s background). In his original time, his family was murdered and he willingly travelled into the abyss to get their murderer back. He already had a contract back then. He then met the White Alice, who turns out to be no-one else but the “Will of the Abyss”. She then pokes Kevin’s eye out, gives it to Cheshire Cat, and kills his chain. wtf. To make things even more inexplicable, a young Vincent (who seems to be an acquaintance of the Will of the Abyss), brings an unconscious Gilbert (who also happens to know her) in and acts like it’s the most normal thing in the world.

This explains quite a bit: it explains how Break knew of the Cheshire Cat, and what he wanted from him (his eye back), it also is probably going to explain why he has such a deep-seated grudge against Vincent. The next episode is probably going to show Vincent doing something really nasty to him. As a result, it’s probably because of this that Break has vowed to find out what happened in the Tragedy of Sabrie: it’s his wish to find Vincent’s weakness, and what Vincent absolutely doesn’t want is the truth about the tragedy to come out. The reason why he refused to sacrifice Sharon has probably to do with his little sister.

Also… about Alice being the Will of the Abyss, this is just a theory but was the Abyss actually created along with the Tragedy of Sabrie? I mean, the people who returned from the Abyss all were special cases: Gilbert and Vincent were there when it was created if this is true, and this would also explain why Vincent knew the Will of the Abyss so well. Break meanwhile was probably the only human who willingly entered the abyss, which seems to be confirmed with how the Will of the Abyss said that he was the only one who maintained his conscience. Oz was special because he found Alice’s locket, which somehow did something with one of the Alices to make some connection.

Also, was I the only one who noticed the weird Rozen Maiden cameos in the Will of the Abyss’s dolls?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 14 August 2009 with categories: Pandora Hearts



Okay.

That was awesome!

Whoever said that fillers are bad? Most of this episode was just random banter, but that’s exactly what made it so hilarious at this stage. Especially when Oscar brought out the liquor in the second half of the episode, the hilarity really started. And okay, I know I said filler, but it’s not like this episode was completely useless either. It did a great job of fleshing out the characters, developing them slightly and wrapping up the past arc.

But seriously, more anime should have drinking episodes. They almost often result in hilarity and yet you hardly ever see them. Obviously with shows about kids this is understandable, but with series where the characters are sixteen years or older, I don’t see much harm. This episode really showed some interesting new things about the characters, like how half of the members of the main cast are terrible at handling alcohol. Only Oz and Oscar seem to be fine with it, and Break only pretends to be drunk, but Sharon turns into an even bigger narcissist than she already was, and especially Gilbert and Alice experienced really heavy mood-swings.

Something also tells me that in this episode, the creators were having the time of their lives trying to come up with all of the different facial expressions throughout this episode. They were all very creative, and really funny.

As for the main plot, there was only about a minute dedicated to it, but the twist we learned was pretty big: Eliot is yet another guy who was warped into the future during the tragedy of Sabrie. In fact, he was the one who wrote Alice’s song, and something tells me that the creators had a very good reason to keep Alice out of the action during the past Ada arc.

There is some bad news, though: next week is going to be a hiatus. Damn.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 7 August 2009 with categories: Pandora Hearts



This episode was really there to add more depth to Oz: Eliot’s rather rash words have hit him hard in this episode, and even though it probably wasn’t that special for Eliot, it really gave Oz the opportunity to reflect on himself. But yeah, there are only six episodes left for him to show how much he learned. Second Season Where?!

Through Lotti, we also came to learn a lot more about Jack Bezarius and his past. It turns out that he wasn’t anyone special when he was still alive: he just happened to be best friends with Glen Baskerville, the instigator of the Tragedy of Sabrie. Glen turned out to be far from the evil overlord that I imagined him to be, and something must have really screwed him up to have ordered that tragedy. Not to mention that it’s still unknown what Vincent and Gilbert were doing there.

On a side-note: the first DVD for Pandora Hearts seems to be doing pretty well right now in the sales, being the only one aside from Higashi no Eden and K-On (which were bound to appear there anyway) to appear in the top 18 of DVD sales in the past week. Here is a surprise success for Xebec.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 31 July 2009 with categories: Pandora Hearts



I must say that this episode turned out completely different from what I expected. Now that the setting has become your average high school, I was expecting a more light-hearted chapter, and the way this arc started indeed seemed to suggest so. So I was wrong.

Because this was the last place I expected the Baskervilles to show up at. I’m not exactly sure how they knew that Oz was visiting his sister this day, but the Tragedy of Sabrie turns out to be a bigger mystery than expected, especially since the ones who instigated it don’t even know everything that happened. I suspect that they want to know the exact details of what Jack did back there in order to prevent it from gobbling up the entire country.

The most interesting thing in this episode was the piece of meta-fiction in terms of the Holy Knight series, which seems to be a series of popular books in the Pandora Hearts universe. I loved how both Oz and Eliot (the new guy, who seems to be part of the Nightray family, of all things) had completely different ways of interpreting a guy named “Edgar”. Oz, being cast in the abyss and all, has lost just about all of his self worth, but it turns out that he even thought little of himself before he was cast into the abyss, which again brings us back to the way he was raised by his parents. This episode shows that he still fails to see the many people that care about him (Ada, Gilbert and especially Alice). Those words from Eliot made a lot of impact.

And on a side-note: what kind of school has a barbecue club? Seriously?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 24 July 2009 with categories: Pandora Hearts



Okay, so this episode was basically an aftermath and introduction. In the first part of the episode, Sharon’s kidnapping is wrapped up, while the rest of the episode shows us a familiar character returning: Ada, Oz’s sister. Both were excellent opportunities to see different sides of some characters. What I liked most about this episode was how we come to see Break and Sharon in a totally different light.

We learn that Break too was alive 100 years ago, and involved in the time-warp that got hold of Gilbert and Vincent. He was then found by Sharon and her mother, and while he started off as a closed off brat, it was Sharon’s mother who turned him into the playful sadist he is today. As what happened to Sharon’s mother, we still don’t know. She could be dead, but this show has a tendency of keeping it a mystery of who survived and who died.

As for Oz’s sister, she overacted a bit in my opinion. I’m not too fond of how she turned into some sort of blond bimbo, but she definitely has potential if she gets fleshed out more. Oscar in the meantime was priceless in his worries over her. The school also seems to hold some mysteries that have to do with Alice, so I’m wondering what these kids can add to the story. I mean, if they’re at school, they were five years old when Oz was cast into the Abyss, so they can’t have something to do with the whole story, can they?
Rating: * (Good)

Customize
Topgavin
There's a post about it somewhere I think
Topgavin
Also Mr anon, from what I've seen he's suffered from anime burnout and/or real life getting the better of him, so he doesn't have time for the blog (I think).
Topgavin
So I'm rewatching some random show called Seven of Seven and I must say, the old-school tropes are quite refreshing to the current day ones. Like a current day romcom but old school-style (no overused tropes, less cute girls, simple characters and plot), quite a rare novelty that I'd say is worth checking out if you're bored.
Anonymous223149
ayy, might I ask about what happened to psgels? been gone for far too long.
AidanAK47
Yeah I really can't see that.
AidanAK47
Naruto, for insight into major philosphical question and demi god reincarnation.
Also featuring moon ninjas.
Anonymous222624
*insight* *major philosophical questions* *??????*
Anonymous222458
I can understand that. Before the conclusion the main cast was pretty linear and repetetive character developement wise - the main focus was shounen action for the majority of the series. The conclusion showed us that these characters are reincarnates of sons of a demi god. They build up that past world with such an insight to major philosphical questions but easily understandable & relatable.
SuperMario
People might disagree with this but I like how 91 Days plays out. Low-key but satisfied ending.
AidanAK47
@Badesh, Forgive me if I am rather skeptical on that statement.
reaLjustified
Well when the series is two decades old how is it an accomplishment? There are one shots that make me feel more emotionally attached to the story.
Badesh
Hell, Naruto final arc turned out to be one of the most holistic storytelling i've encountered in a while. The character developement ties in so nicely with the whole universe. It's a great accomplishement growing a pop anime into a mature mystic saga. i highly reccomend it even for newcomers. just watch past great ninja war.
Kaiser Eoghan
*last two
Kaiser Eoghan
I'll leave it to someone else to pick the last one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Might add trouble every day by Claire Denis and Livid by Julien Maury.
Kaiser Eoghan
Thanks for that. So now its under the shadow, return of the evil dead 1, dagon, from beyond, re-animator, haute tension, nekromantik, the tunnel.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah I had forgotten, I'd meant to see Haute tension.
Kaiser Eoghan
Of those I haven't seen nekromantik or dead things.
SuperMario
That's all I can think for now. I'm sure K-off and others will have more inspiring suggestions down the line
SuperMario
For pychological edge: Haute Tension, Lake Mungo, Three... Extremes (actually the 3 shorts are all interesting), The Tunnel 2011 (underaprreciate Aussie found-footage)
SuperMario
For sick minds, Man Bites Dog, a Serbian film, Der Tolesking, Human Centipede (1&2)
SuperMario
Alright, for pure horror pleasures: Necromantik (1987), Green Inferno, Dead/Alive (my childhood's nightmare), Children Shouldn't Play woth Dead Things (more like a guity pleasure)
SuperMario
Haha scary indeed
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The scariest thing about the haunting was that a remake of it exists that betrays the original.
SuperMario
Now, let me check my own horror list for more reccomendation
Kaiser Eoghan
Hahaha! Possession predates urotsukidouji =P in terms of the tentacle monster thing.
SuperMario
And I heard that the Haunting (1963) is good as well. Some david lynch movies (Lost Highway for example) could be claasified as horror too
SuperMario
Shame he passed away early this year. But he did say that the violent relationship in that movie was based on his own divorce.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I think Polish directed films are apparently rooted in theater. Though I believe he is a Dadaist.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Apparently Possession and diabal, all of his works are full of hidden political messages.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: That director is genuinely off-the wall insane, silver globe and l'amour braque actually make that look sane.
SuperMario
Possession the movie that Isabelle Adjani stared in? God, that movie exhausted me
Kaiser Eoghan
Innocents was so much better than its remake the others, the atmosphere was a lot lot stronger too, black and white really adds to the mood too.
Kaiser Eoghan
ha! I loved those.
This year I'm looking for silly horror movies predominently.
SuperMario
Let scare Jessica to death; the innocents 1961, Kill List, goodnight Mommy
Kaiser Eoghan
My alltime favourite horror film is Possession.
Kaiser Eoghan
No fuck it, no sequels. Currently it stands at under the shadow, return of the evil dead 1, dagon, from beyond, re-animator.
SuperMario
Too lazy to check out which horror movies that you've watched, but sure I can reccomend you some, from shitty to pure camp.
Kaiser Eoghan
Actually wait, under the shadow is out next week so that means I only need 5 more.
Kaiser Eoghan
Or maybe a 12 days is more feasible, easier. So that brings it down to six more. Guilty pleasures accepted.
K-Off
Any room for shitty horror in that list?
Kaiser Eoghan
I have to do a 30 days of halloween list soon. Want to limit it to horror films I haven't seen. So far I have the return of the living dead trilogy , dagon, from beyond and the re-animator.
Kaiser Eoghan
I also recently watched stranger things. I felt it did right by its 80s throw back, straight down to the references, score, costumes. Pretty cool monster too and the younger actors I thought were mostly good. Kind of slightly reminded me of the goonies to a small extent. I think it succeeded in being fairly heartfelt. Although I did find it a bit padded.
SuperMario
About the new season, I'm more interested in how these dark horse titles will turn out: Flip-flappers, ClassicalLoid, Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku, Yuri on Ice
SuperMario
@Aidan: I had Stranger Things on my queue list for a while now, but don't plan to watch it anytime soon. Glad you enjoy it.
K-Off
ReZero is the only show I finished in about 2 seasons. Hopefully the Working spinoff is up to par.
AidanAK47
Hoping things change when the first episodes start airing of the new anime season.
AidanAK47
Things have gotten quiet here. I plan on getting my Mob psycho review up today. I have to say that the next season doesn't interest me very much. There's some great stuff coming next year but the fall is looking pretty...meh.
AidanAK47
Finally got around to watching Stranger Things. Good show, I like the nostalgic way they tell the story though at times its too Spielberg/King. I admit that I can't say I was blown away by it. It's good and I will be watching the second season. But it's a tad.. predictable. Those child actors did a great job though.
K-Off
@Bam I'm not certain the email I have is one you actually use, so here it is: (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QWnGcuVQuXfOJuh80SDgtiZH4X6Zya_XEG2ZOM6u-5k/edit?usp=sharing)
It's pathetic right now, I'm sorting out my arrangements for Seoul first.
K-Off
@Bam I'll send you the itinerary in a few hours. Appreciate the offer for guides but I'll decline on that, otherwise it wouldn't hurt to have additional contacts in japan. The person I'm traveling with is half Japanese, so I trust that we won't run into tourist traps.
SuperMario
It logged me out again. Oh well! That was me Bam
Anonymous207007
@Bam: the first time I've ever heard of Chinchilla. Sorry to hear about your pet. Don't feel bad about the late post, it's perfectly fine. After all, we all volunteer to contribute here, so no pressure on the timing. Just write whenever you feel like it really.
Bam
Can anybody else see these?
Bam
@K-off: right on m8, I'm excited for you. Email me your itinerary and I can not only recommend some spots that aren't just basic tourist-traps, but can also hook you up with some friends to take you around and show you what the real Japan is all about.
Bam
I was planning to release the posts just as scheduled, but my Chinchilla suddenly got ill, and given the exotic nature of such pets I've been in and out of dozens of veterinary clinics. Over a week later and $600 spend, the poor thing finally gave out. I've been pretty out of since it happened, but again sorry for just disappearing.
Bam
I am actually still breathing. Sorry again for the unceremonious absence.
K-Off
@anon196168 I'm all ears for suggestions.
Anonymous196168
If youre going to japan maybe you could do something more unique than just taking pictures of locations? Plenty of those already on Google.
Kaiser Eoghan
Noticing a server error showing up on the shoutbox there.
AidanAK47
Good point, normal users generally just stay anono. ke69Vin?...69...really....that's just sad humor right there.
K-Off
That was most definitely little Kevin as well. 9vinke6 is obviously an anagram.
AidanAK47
@9Vinke6, I don't know what you are trying to share but it ain't an image. Deleting your comment as I don't want dodgy files on the site.
Anonymous181098
Are you kidding??!! Tokyo is amazing if you want excitement & you want to experience social life. But I agree go to Osaka. If tokyo is like Quebec then osaka is like toronto. More laid back
Anonymous180231
OPM was a shoe-in. It's showing very good success on Adult Swim on US TV and Viz is throwing big dollars to keep the gravy train rolling
AidanAK47
One Punch Man season 2 was announced. Expected but most certainly welcome.
...now I need Re:Zero season 2.
CJayTiiii
Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
K-Off
If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
CJayTiii
Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
CJayTiii
Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
K-Off
@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
CJayTiii
For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
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