Posted on 8 October 2008 with categories: Red Garden



Short Synopsis: About 200 years after Red Garden, we return to the girls of Red Garden, who still turn out to be alive.
Highlights: It’s about bloody time!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10
So, finally the final OVA has gotten subbed, more than a year after the original airdate. Indeed, it’s about bloody time. To clarify: I’m not going to write a review about this series, simply because my memory is just too fuzzy about the majority of the series, and I can’t recall exactly what I liked so much about the original series. Let’s just leave it at that Red Garden was my second-favourite in the season it aired in, after Asatte no Houkou.

In any case, it was pretty much clear from the start that Dead Girls would be a disaster, but I do have a lot of positive things to say about it. First of all, I really admire the GUTS of the creators: go for a conclusion that’s completely different from the TV-series. Seriously, more series should attempt that. As it turns out, the lead characters indeed revived, though without any memories. After that, they’ve been living for 200 years, working as bounty-hunters and travelling the world. What I really liked about these two episodes was the chemistry between them, especially in the quiet moments. The characters underwent massive changes, and the way the creators explored these changes were really enjoyable.

But really, what the heck happened to the production-values of this series? This is supposed to be an OVA: the creators got extra time to get the graphics right, and yet the animation was just plain and the CG was downright horrible. What have the creators been doing in that half a year? Then there’s also the fact that Dead Girls answers no questions at all that Red Garden left hanging, and introduced a huge amount of new ones: why have all the side-characters reincarnated at the same time? Why did Lise turn into an android? Where did the giant robots come from? Why is the Red Garden still in its same state, 200 years later? What the heck was up with that climax?

Really, I feel that Gonzo would have done better if it went with the route of Clannad, xxxHolic and Nodame Cantabile: just go for a short second season. Dead Girls actually had a lot of potential, but there’s no way that you’re going to fit that in just two episodes. These two episodes did well in fleshing the characters out, but the thing is just too damn short. I also liked the girls’ theme song. It sounded pretty silly at the beginning, but once you start thinking about it, it does fit.

Posted on 21 March 2007 with categories: Red Garden

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Short Synopsis: The Semi-ending of Red Garden, and what an ending it is. Let’s just say that lots of people die.
Good: The final scene of Hervé and Anna. God, that was so good, I actually cried, and that doesn’t happen often.
Bad: 8!? August!? That long till the OVA comes!?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8.5/10

Oh boy, that surely was an awesome episode, as it marks the end of the struggle between the animus and the Doral. Still, the characters who really stole the show were Kate and most especially Hervé and Lula. The episode starts with Kate and Hervé yelling at each other, which clearly shows that he lost it, due to his concerns for his sister. Still, that was just an introduction of the following events.

First of all, Lula sacrificing herself to mortally hurt Hervé was amazing. Right before she hit her, I could really see in her eyes that she was trying to avenge her brother. Well, she didn’t necessarily kill him, but what she did do was erase all Hervé’s chances of success. So sad.

But the definite highlight of the episode, and quite possibly the entire series, was Hervé dying himself. I don’t cry often, this probably happens once a month or something, but that scene did it. Seeing Hervé kill his own sister, whom he cared about so much was just way too sad. The ending was a bit strange, though. But then again, you can’t really call that the ending of the series, with an OVA coming in august. I wonder what it’ll be about, actually. Everybody apart from Kate, Rose, Claire and Rachel died. Will it show two episodes of them, living with their memories lost? While that would be awesome, I think that there’d be some kind of twist included. But can the creators really do so much in only two episodes?

Still, looking back, and not taking the OVA into account, I have to say that Red Garden appeared to be the best series that arrived in the Fall-Season. It may never had episodes with a rating of 9/10, but those who’ve been keeping an eye out at my episode ratings have noticed that Red Garden has been getting the most consistent and yet high ratings. Nearly every episode since episode 15 has gotten a 8,5/10. Asatte no Houkou was great, and Bakumatsu is great, but they haven’t really reached the heights of Red Garden yet. Death Note stood a chance of beating it at one point, but it destroyed this chance due to the rather bad Yotsuba-arc. Ghost Hunt turned out disappointing, while Jigoku Shoujo is quite fun at the moment, but again, it can’t just reach Red Garden yet. At least, unless its final three episodes turn out to become really awesome. :)

Posted on 20 March 2007 with categories: Red Garden

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Short Synopsis: If there ever was a “calm before the storm”-episode, it’d be this one. This episodes showcases the final interactions Kate, Rose, Rachel and Claire have with their surroundings.
Good: Even though no major events happened, this was a heart-warming episode. Red Garden just continues to deliver.
Bad: Ooh, let’s hope it won’t have a screwed-up ending. *crosses fingers*
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10

I’m going to be quick with this review, as I can hardly wait to see the next episode. Like mentioned above, this episode showed the last interactions the girls have with their friends. It’s slow, it’s quiet, but it works perfectly. Every scene just has some kind of deeper meaning. I just loved Rachel, as she was in the cafetaria, all alone, drinking coffee. I just loved Claire, as she sees her father in a car next to her, and has trouble speaking. I just loved Rose, as she covers her siblings with a blanket. I just loved Kate, who was given some make-up by Paula. And I can continue for a while, weren’t for the fact that I’ve got episode 22 waiting on my hard-disk.

There was no tension at all. Except perhaps with the only scene Hervé appeared in, in which he watched his sister, and the ending of the episode, but the huge number of hidden meanings in the different scenes made this episode just as enjoyable as the previous ones.

Also, a total irrelevant, but nevertheless interesting fact: JC’s real name is Jeremy Charles Ferhlan.

Posted on with categories: Red Garden

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Short Synopsis: Okay, so Kate doesn’t die. Instead, others do. Quite shocking at this point of the anime.
Good: Kate just continues to be an amazing character; The Deaths were awesome.
Bad: So, the series is going to end at episode 22, while the final two episodes will be released on DVD? I don’t think I can wait that long!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8.5/10

Oh god, that was an amazing episode! First of all, Kate was awesome when she was in the building. I haven’t seen many characters which acted so genuinely at those points as she did. And can you blame her? I mean, she has been abducted, she wakes up, half-drowsy and then she suddenly sees Lise, whom she thought to have died long ago.

Claire and Rose meanwhile continue their own stories with their fathers a bit. Especially Claire was heart-warming when she found out that the reason her father was in Europe while Randy committed suicide was because of Randy himself. Her father finally has the courage to speak his mind to Claire, and this has some great results.

And then the deaths! Emilio, Hervé’s uncle and the main researcher just die like that. Especially Hervé’s uncle was something I SO didn’t expect at this point. Hervé then makes use of the confusion in order to make himself the head of the Doral. Lise, meanwhile, hit the limit, and transformed into the beasts we’ve been seeing.

The final explanation of the story is also given at the end of the episode. Doral once stole one of the cursed tomes from the animus. This caused the leaders of the animus to be frozen in time, unable to move, only speak. They’ll be able to die when the stolen cursed tome is obtained.

Posted on 7 March 2007 with categories: Red Garden

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Short Synopsis: This episode develops lots of relationships: the one between Kate and Paula, Rose and her father, Claire and her brother and Rachel and Luke.
Good: Kate.
Bad: No bad points this time.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8.5/10

Whoa! The next paragraph will be a major spoiler for the next episode, so if you haven’t seen it yet, close this window NOW, if you don’t want to be spoiled. I accidentally noticed Impz talking about it in IRC, and I just have to confirm whether it’s true or not.

I was lurking a bit in #animeblogger, and then I noticed Impz mentioning that the creators of Red Garden aren’t afraid to kill off a major character for the progression of the story. Afterwards, I tried to forget it, but OMG, are the creators really planning to kill of Kate!? Seriously, she could have been considered the main character of this show. Of all the four girls, she got involved with the main storyline the fastest, and it was her that Hervé started dating. And now she’s just going to die like that? Okay, I don’t know if it’s really true, but the ending of the episode sent some really big hints. O_o

Regarding deaths, Neil also died! To make things even sadder, this makes his only reason in this anime to be killing off Kate. To make things even more complicated, the head-officer died so that Neil could die, so that Kate could die. It’s like a domino-effect! Are the creators going to keep this up until they kill off every single character of the cast? It would be disturbing, but seeing that there are still 7 episodes left, I’m feeling that lots of characters are going to die in the next couple of episodes. O_o

Also, regarding the main part of the episode, that one was meant to develop the different girls even more than they already were. And guess what, the predictions I made in the first half of the series for both Rachel and Kate were way off. Luke comes back, and even after dating Amanda he still loves Rachel. It’s not Luke who dumps Rachel, it’s Rachel who dumps Luke. Paula also was never in trouble because of Rachel’s bad attendance. She was in trouble because she kept worrying about Kate. She knew everything, and she even loved her (at least I had that part correct). The scene between Paula and Kate was too sad, by the way.

Claire was just adorable. She’s become rather spaced-out, after the previous episode. On top of that, she finds out that her father has actually been helping her brother. Rose, meanwhile, develops a cold during the episode. Fairly predictable, but right now, she’s getting even closer to her father.

Posted on 27 February 2007 with categories: Red Garden

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Short Synopsis: This is more of a standard aftermath, in which Kate, Rose, Claire and Rachel try to accept that they’re going to lose their memories. Oh, and someone dies.
Good: Really quiet for a Red-Garden episode, but still a great atmosphere.
Bad: Don’t you think Hervé would double-check whether he was being followed or not?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

This really was a quiet episode. If I had to guess, it was meant as an aftermath of the previous episode, and a preparation of the final episodes. It’s interesting, there are so many episodes left, and the plot has already progressed this much. At this point, I really can’t think of how the creators are planning to fill these, which means that we’ll be treated to some nice plot-twists in the future.

The majority of the episode focused on Rachel, Kate, Claire and especially Rose, talking a bit of courage into each other. It also seems that Lula is an animus as well, which means that she’ll lose her memory too when everything’s over. I’m suspecting that the headmistress and her companions share the same fate. So what about Paula? Also, I’ve been wondering, where did the “borrowed lives” originally come from? In any case, even though nothing much happened, the animus definitely made the episode worthwhile.

Hervé and Emilio, meanwhile kidnapped Lise, in order to send her back in to the sea. I originally thought that Emilio acted on his own, but it seems that Hervé got through to him in the end. He plans to send Lise back to where everything began. Apparently, he met her at the peer, near the beach. Still, that doesn’t explain why Lise starts to walk into the ocean at one point. Something tells me that something happened between the two of them that we have yet to see. In any case, the two of them apparently forgot to either clear their own trails, or that the place Hervé chose was the most predictable one to abandon her.

The policeman also has quite an interesting role in this. By pure chance, he sees a car with Hervé and Emilio in it, with Lise on the backseat. He’s been searching for a clue like this all along, and he rushes after her. What he didn’t expect was that Hervé’s uncle arrived as well, killing him. I guess that that will place his assistant in an interesting position. I wonder how much influence this guy will have in the end, as he’s probably going to continue the investigation his boss started.

Posted on 24 February 2007 with categories: Red Garden

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Short Synopsis: In the end, Hervé spoke the truth. It’s now up to Kate to tell the others about it.
Good: Kate; Claire; Rose; Rachel; Amanda; Hervé; Anna; Lise; Emilio; Yes, about everyone who did anything significant in this episode.
Bad: I expected a bit of Lula, but she was nowhere to be found.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8.5/10

Seriously, I expected an aftermath after the eventfulness of the previous episode, but I never expected it to be such an awesome one. Most aftermaths are quiet, but this one was probably even better than its previous episode. So many characters were involved in so many awesome ways.

In the end, it’s true. Kate and the others will lose their memories after everything is over. She now has to tell everyone about this. It’s almost freaky how different everyone reacted. More on that below. Kate also has to cope with her sister, now that Emilio has dumped her and disappeared.

The news is quite a shock for Claire, but as usual, she manages to control her feelings. Still, she was so sad through the episode. First she tells Kate that she’d rather have that they won’t have secrets for each other anymore, but when they have to tell the news to Rose, she suddenly understands how difficult it is to tell someone some sad news. When they saw that Rose grew so much, and that she finally was able to see her father again, who is working hard for his family, they just couldn’t bring her the news that her memories would just disappear. They expected the same with Rachel, based on episodes 4-6, so they didn’t even bother to try and tell her.

Rose indeed has grown so much. Just compare her with Rachel, who’s currently in the midst of losing all her friends. When the anime started, I could never have imagined Rose actually comforting Rachel like the way she did now. Still, in the end she’s grown so much because of her memories of her family and friends. She breaks when she hears that she’ll lose her memory in the end. She actually starts yelling at Kate.

And OMG Rachel. She actually doesn’t care whether she loses her memory or not. In this episode, we see her officially break up with her friends. After this, she obviously has nothing left. And surprise, Sam, the rather goofy guy who always remained in the shadows gets worried about her, and tries to comfort her. She obviously doesn’t realize this, but I wonder how Sam will act in the future.

Also, Rachel gave some interesting information about Amanda. When Rachel still was alive, she was probably the most popular of her group, and Amanda always seemed to look up to her, and she always wanted to be like her. She now finally managed to win over Rachel, it seems.

Hervé, meanwhile, has been locked up. He’s probably going to escape any episode now, but it’s now clear that he’s cut his ties with his former “allies”, who are now all worried because Lise remembered Hervé. Because of that, they ignore Anna, who’s starting to cough up blood because of her sudden separation with Hervé and Mireille.

And boy, Emilio made sure for an awesome cliff-hanger in the end. He’s obviously not going to directly help Hervé anymore, due to the fact that he’s lost his girlfriend, but it does seem that he’s begun acting on his own. How? By kidnapping Lise. This can become really interesting. Especially if the latter happens to run into Claire, Rose, Rachel or Kate. ^_^

And finally, I must praise the ED. It’s a great way to succeed the already exciting cliff-hangers.

Posted on 14 February 2007 with categories: Red Garden

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Short Synopsis: Randy is just barely alive, Claire yells at her father, Rose finds her father, Luke breaks up with Rachel, Hervé finally reveals the goals of the endless fighting, Lula finally does something for herself, Hervé nearly kills Kate, he finds out that the headmistress is the leader of his enemies and somebody actually dies.
Good: Finally Lula actually does something; the climax of the episode was grand; Claire’s fight with her father.
Bad: Why does Rachel keep quiet about her reason to be with Nick?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8.5/10

Finally this anime is getting steamed. The past two episodes have been amazingly good. We finally see some results of the building-up of the first season. It already starts out great when Claire has a fight with her father.

Red Garden is unique in the way it portrays two characters yelling at each other. It’s interesting, most anime go from a close-up of one character to a close-up of the other character, with usually an increase of tension. The character says something and the camera switches back to the first one. Red Garden, however, has people talking right through each other’s speeches. Because of this, there’s no room for a small break between two statements. Because it doesn’t focus on just one character yelling, the scene just doesn’t give room to relax a bit. It’s a great way to turn up the intensity of that scene. Especially when such a scene takes so long.

The middle of the episode was filled with a number of random scenes, dedicated to develop the characters a bit more. Kate’s sister gets on another date with Emilio, Claire didn’t regret the things she said about her father, Luke finally has had enough about Rachel, and his patience finally ran out, because she just doesn’t dare to tell what’s on her mind. That’s why he breaks up on her. Jessica becomes quite interesting when she actually starts to worry about Kate, based on the things she overheard Paula say. It’s interesting, I rather disliked her previously, but with this, she also shows actual signs of character development. Hervé meanwhile gives Kate a suspicious call. Anna’s condition is getting worse, while Rose finally managed to track down his father. It seems that he left his family because he got caught in some heavy debts. He didn’t want to trouble his family, so he left. He isn’t planning to return, as his troubles still aren’t over. But then he finds out that Rose’s mother has been hospitalized. It’ll be interesting to see what he does in the next episode. The police officer is getting closer to the bottom of the mystery when he actually gets a clear suspicion that the missing girls have been reincarnated from death. Hervé meanwhile calls Emilio to inform him that he’s going to see Kate. Lula, the headmistress and the others meanwhile hurry to Kate. It seems that they found out about his plan…

Phew. That’s another thing I like about Red Garden: so many things happen in one episode. And everyone is just different. Everyone has their own problems and twists.

The climax was the best thing of the entire episode. First of all, Hervé tells Kate the truth. Kate and the others have been fighting in order to recover one of the Cursed Tomes. Whichever side collects both of them, wins. If Hervé’s side wins, Kate and the others will die. If Lula’s side wins, Kate will lose her memories. The question remains whether he told the truth or not, but I’m suspecting that he actually did. At least, I’m hoping so. Things will turn out very interesting if that indeed is the truth. :)

But then things get even more interesting when Kate and the others take a step back, to show a fight between Emilio and Hervé and Lula and the rest of the school staff. In the end, this comes down to a fight between Lula and Hervé. He’s about to finish her off, though JC jumps before her, losing his life. And surprise: they’re actually siblings! And finally Lula shows a bit more of herself!

The next episode will obviously be an aftermath, but it’s interesting to wonder how this series will continue. I think that JC’s death marked the end of the first half of Red Garden, and that now the second half is about to begin.

Posted on 10 February 2007 with categories: Red Garden

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Short Synopsis: Things go bad with Claire’s brother, Rose gets closer to finding her father, Hervé starts to use Kate to his advantage, Rachel gets spotted with her teacher and a sad thing will happen with relation to Mireille.
Good: A wonderful episode; Hervé gets better with every episode; great ending!
Bad: We still don’t really know why Rachel exactly chose to date her teacher.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8.5/10

That was amazing! Especially Hervé, he’s really turning into my favourite character for this series. The episode starts with Mireille being in a state of near-death, his sister is about to lose her best and only friend. I couldn’t help but sympathize with him, though later, we see him start to use Kate, and act coldly towards her. I’d almost start rooting for him. In the end, Mireille died, and she had to be beaten by tons of security guards because she turned into a monster (what, they don’t have any more civilized methods for this?). This definitely was a stimulant for Hervé, to find a solution as fast as possible. But how does he think of using Kate to cure his sister? I also nearly cried when he tried to strangle Lise. So sad.

Still, Hervé wasn’t the only one who was amazing. Claire also got caught up in some very interesting events: the death of her brother. Suicide, to be exact. His business was doomed to fail, so I wondered how he’d react when that happened. I never imagined suicide, though. Also, do we get to see Claire’s father after this? Anyway, because of this, Claire got a lot of airtime this episode. We saw her in lots of scenes, along with Kate, which were probably meant to build up to this. It’s definitely interesting to see how she’s going to react to this.

The next episode will probably be a big one for Rachel, since Luke found out that she’d rather hang out with her teacher than with her (seriously, what is it with girls falling in love with characters way older than them in this anime?). I’m still not sure why she’s doing that exactly. She obviously likes to be with him, but is it love? Rachel, in any case, does know that Luke already cheated on her.

Rose didn’t play a large role, but she was too cute when she tried to inquire information about her father in a crowded bar. ^_^ It does, however, seem that her father has been desperately going from one job to the other. He seems to quit them for some kind of reason. What could that reason be?

Posted on 6 February 2007 with categories: Red Garden

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Short Synopsis: Rose’s training pays off; Hervé reveals more things to Kate; Interesting plot twist from Paula; Claire’s car breaks
Good: Hervé was brilliant as usual, I also loved Paula.
Bad: It’s already episode 14, and still no awesome episodes. When will they come?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7.5/10

A large focus of this episode was training, and increasing your strength. Rose finally starts to become more than just a strange bystander when she too manages to leap into the air, and Kate even manages to master this power. Claire, meanwhile, works out during her job and Rachel also seems to be training, as her muscles have been getting into good shape lately.

While this episode was mostly about Rose, my favourite moments had to do with Kate. First of all, she finds out that Hervé lied to her when she drives past the restaurant he mentioned, which seems to be down for maintenance. Because of this, Hervé is forced to either tell another lie, or tell the truth, with certain parts omitted, of course. He chooses for the second, putting Kate in a very interesting situation. Right now, she still is fine during the fights. But I can’t wait to find out how she’ll react when she finds out that the people she’s been fighting are actually Hervé’s comrades.

And Paula, dammit. Lula has connections to the headmistress of Kate’s high school. The headmistress is Paula’s aunt, who seems to have told Paula about what happened to Kate, and told her to look after her. And suddenly lots of things fall into place. The question then still remains, why only Kate? Is she special because she’s in Grace?

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
Still enjoying the sangatsu manga and all the character interactions in this most recent volume.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Quintuplets might be under consideration, dororo is a definite. I don't want to watch revisions , girly airforce or plane thing because of the cgi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have the first 3 doro episodes downloaded to watch tomorrow, I'll comment on them, I'm giving it a shot because I love Tezuka.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The quintuplets thing is one of those things I would see myself chuckling at for a bit then feeling no obligation to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cat thing is probably cute but its too light for me to invest in in the long run.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding this season, I'll be direct, it isn't my thing, I got my fill of Kaguya's manga and all I can out of it, promised neverland, once the escape bit finished just turned into an action series (at least from what I read) lacking a compelling followup hook for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Acca had this odd way of delivering information that made it seem stuff went on between the lines or offscreen, often it worked, sometimes it didn't. Its a show that really picks up after the first couple of episodes and really gets elevated by its revelations, cool setting , art style and opening theme too.
Lenlo
I agree it does that. I think my issue may come with me maybe missing something or just not understanding the series as a whole, and so parts of it were lost on me. I enjoyed the series I would say though
SuperMario
Let me rephrase by saying ACCA ending neatly ties up plot threads for me
Lenlo
I didnt say I didnt like it, just that it wasn't what I expected. It was odd. I think I need time to process it.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you didn't like ACCA ending? I thought the ending is easily its best part. It's the first few episodes that feel slow for me
Lenlo
Also, just finished ACCA. Man... that was a weird ending. Not sure how I feel about the series, but damn, did it have style.

Also, thanks (?) Wooper.
Lenlo
Lets see... Dororo is good, but I am still lukewarm on it. Kaze Fui is a fantastic carry over from last season. Mob and Neverland of course. Shield Hero, if you want to be part of the latest big craze discussion. Kaguya if you like romance. Ill search some more, but those are off the top of my head.
Anonymous3338351
What are some must-watch anime this season; I'm watching MBP100 and Promised Neverland rn
Vonter
Shield hero looks like it fits with that journey of doing the right thing even though most are against you.
Vonter
You know what it reminds me of. It's kinda like that episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Where the family returns after a trip and find the neighborhood celebrates their absence, since everyone dislikes them. By the end when they make up, all the neighborhood gets bitter with one another because they no longer share a connection of hate with Malcolm's family.
Vonter
Also the undercurrent semblance of looking more like a bad guy or anti hero. Despite him having a good moral compass.
Vonter
SuperMario - I don't felt it was about being defeated or not. I got the feeling it was taking the hit for others. Because since he has high defence he does take the damage, but he does look weary about doing that. And the framework paints him so far more as an underdog than a prodigy.
SuperMario
But does the fact that he’s the greatest defender makes him the one who can’t be defeated? I haven’t watched the latest one though
Vonter
I did like the new episode of Shield Hero. It made me realize there can be stakes in Isekai battles. In both Overlord and Slime I usually space out in the battles because they seem unnecessary outside of animation. It's more interesting if there's a display of wits and using the environment. I also like the protagonist be on the defense and the sidekick as the attacker.
SuperWooper
Here's a "review of one of our own reviewers:"

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
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