Posted on 25 June 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Ristorante Paradiso



I’ve turned into quite a fan of the modern horeca-series, brought back and popularized by Bartender. It’s a genre with an atmosphere unlike any other genre, and one of those very few types of series targeted solely at adults. The latest installment is Ristorante Paradiso: yet again a short but charming and relaxing series about a restaurant somewhere in Rome.

From the outside, the premise of this series indeed looks quite shaky. It’s easy to think that this is just a harem, but this time the lead character being a female in her twenties and the male characters all being stereotypical bishounen in their forties or above. Thankfully, the series proves that it’s fully able to avoid this cliché. There is one lead couple, and the rest of the characters all have their own romances.

One of the things that makes this series so enjoyable is how well it manages to handle its limited airtime of only eleven episodes, and yet it manages to develop a relatively large cast of characters. Every episode is basically dedicated to one or two characters, but they’re all inspired and miles away from stereotypes. The characters here have realistic problems and issues, rather than those overdramatic ones you tend to often see in anime. Every episode keeps you guessing on what’s going to happen next; despite the next-episode previews, you’ll hardly ever find yourself able to predict what’s going to happen next, or what the next character’s back-story is going to be about.

And still the series forms a coherent whole in the end. A major theme is the past, and how it affects characters today. Surprisingly, most people in this series have relatively dark pasts, but unlike most other anime they hardly ever bear grudges or feel depressed. A major theme of this series is not getting worked up about what happened in the past, but instead using these experiences to enjoy today. It’s a theme that’s explored wonderfully throughout the series, and makes it feel complete.

Of course, you need to know that this isn’t the series for those who want action or lots of drama. Instead, it’s meant to be relaxing, while most of the drama is done very subtly without ever dragging on. Apart from that though, I couldn’t find any major flaws in this series, or reasons why one would not want to watch this. It’s not anything epic, but what it does it does really well: the creators really put thoughts into how they could make this show work best, and not let a minute go to waste. It’s a recommendation for those who are looking for a short relaxing series.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10
Posted on with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



Haha! This series pulled it off! Mitsuko Kase really proves that she knows how to make a good series. She’s probably one of the very few female anime directors out there, most of her series are very under-appreciated, but you can really call me a fan of her. Especially when it comes to the endings, nine out of ten anime series simply fail to put an actually good and satisfying conclusion to their story, but she time and time again uses that ending to wrap up all of the hanging plot-lines, develop the main characters, AND pull in a few surprises here and there to boot while still staying true to the atmosphere of the rest of the series. There really aren’t many directors who also have consistently proven to do this.

So yeah, I don’t think I could have hoped for a better ending than this episode. I had to laugh at when they played the scene that showed up in last episode’s next episode preview: when watched in context with the actual events, it was much more humorous (Nicoletta basically out of nowhere slapped a plate of spaghetti over Claudio). Last episode’s preview made it look so dramatic, but in the actual episode it happened so fast that there was hardly any time to build up any tension, and instead the focus fell on Nicoletta, trying to get Isabella to understand to stop making Claudio suffer.

I really liked how the creators resolved Claudio’s issues with his former wife, which was very un-typical of anime. Usually, you’d build up and up, until the climax where characters confess their feelings and suddenly forget about all their problems, but here it was done very gradually. There wasn’t one point at which Claudio immediately forgot about his past. Instead, they just gradually became a couple over the episode: slowly, bit by bit Claudio was able to let go of his past, until eventually he returned his wedding ring. I wish more anime did this.

As a surprise, we also see more development for Olga. Her story was handled with a bit less subtlety, but I still liked it a lot. It really showed how much Nicoletta has grown over the past series: at the start of this series, you’d think that this show would be about a bitch-fight between an angry mother and daughter, but in this episode Nicoletta proved to be much more mature than her mother, and managed to convince her that she doesn’t mind the past anymore.

Overall, I’m glad to have followed this series. It was probably the most un-typical anime of the season, the drama was nearly always subtle and yet packed a punch. The ending wasn’t my favourite, but I would definitely label it among the top 5 of best endings I’ve seen in 2009 so far. The series also had the best character-designs for the past spring-season (in contrast to most people, I’m not yet a fan of Range Murata or Satoko Morikawa). It obviously wasn’t an epic series that had me on the edge of my seat, but it didn’t need to be: it used its time well and delivered a very enjoyable and relaxing series. I’m looking forward to what Noise has in store for us the upcoming season.
Rating: ** (Excellent)
Among my top 5 endings I’ve seen this year so far. (For those wondering, the others are Birdy the Mighty Decode, Michiko e Hatchin, Ride Back and Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae).

Posted on 18 June 2009 with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



Ah, of course: for the conclusion, the creators didn’t just try to focus on the relationship between Claudio and Nicoletta, but also they’re going to try and give a conclusion to Luciano and his dead wife. This episode was much more about the latter, while the final episode next week will probably focus at the former, especially considering that next-episode preview: we now already know how it’s going to end, but I’m curious to see the context in which it’s going to happen.

I loved how in this episode, both Nicoletta and Luciano tried to encourage each other to pursue a bit of romance, but neither of them really got anywhere. Luciano just stubbornly ignored the advances that the woman in this episode tried to make on him, while Nicoletta, who was supposed to invite Claudio to a concert that they were all going to attend, ended up chickening out and invited Vito’s wife instead. I also liked how a bit of extra attention was given to the rest of Luciano’s family. It really makes his back-story more complete to not just focus on him, but also his offspring.

At the same time, this episode also built up the fact that Claudio really doesn’t want to forget about his old marriage, and he still hasn’t properly gotten over the divorce. As a conclusion, it definitely makes sense for this series to wrap up that part of the show, but like with every series: pulling off a good conclusion is hard, and probably one of the things that’s the easiest to screw up in, or to become lackluster at. Let’s see whether this show can pull it off, though I’m confident for now: the director has pulled off great conclusions before with Saikano and Crystal Blaze, which both closed off their respective series pretty nicely. Let’s hope that he can do the same here.

And overall, I don’t think that David Production could have hoped for a better debut in the anime scene. It smartly chose not to go the way that’s been travelled a thousand times already, but instead they went with their own style, and it pretty much worked, and they put down a pretty good series without any major flaws. The artwork also looked really good, with hardly any screw-ups. Now all that they need more is the ambition to continue to produce new series, instead of to simply give up.

Rating: * (Good)
Pretty quiet but solid build-up for the finale, and it’s good to see that even with the finale this close, this show doesn’t forget what it’s good at.

Posted on 11 June 2009 with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



Yup, today it’s time for the Theo-episode. And like always, there’s another surprise in this episode: the reappearance of that mysterious main chef that the restaurant started out with. She indeed was the one who guided Theo through his rookie-years when he first came to work at the restaurant, though they didn’t get along all the time.

And yet it’s very interesting how the creators only show the moments at which they had the biggest fights with each other: we’re simply left to guess what happened in between, and how the two got along with each other on a daily basis. And how they gradually grew to like each other. ^^;

After just completing Bartender, I’ve come to see this series in quite a bit of a different light. Since the horeca-genre is really new when compared to all of the other genres, there still is lots of opportunity to be different within the genre, and so far it’s good to see that all of them decided to focus on something different. When compared to Bartender, you can really see that the creators of Ristorante Paradiso lack the knowledge about food: they did a bit of reading on correct Italian dishes, but it’s clear that they don’t have a deep understanding of how Italian food works. In the meantime, it has other points at which it can be praised: a really calm and relaxing atmosphere, very nice visuals and an excellent characterization.

This episode also indeed showed what last week’s next episode preview had been showing: it’s time for the chefs to create the new menu, and Nicoletta gets to help. Obviously, her dishes are all good, but not good enough to be on the menu, and especially Theo is harsh. But as always, that again was a bit of a misleading part, because it’s not like Theo hates her food at all. Instead, he just had a bit of trouble giving her some good comments, since he himself had to endure the same abuse when he began. Something’s also telling me that he found Nicoletta’s work better than what he managed to produce when he just started out.

Speaking of which, that next-episode-preview of this episode weirded me out a bit. I mean, Luciano getting hit on by some middle-aged lady? It’s obviously not as it looks (I know how sneaky this series can be with that), but still, what do the creators have in mind as a finale for this series?

Rating: * (Good)
Theo’s back-story was very nice as usual.

Posted on 4 June 2009 with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



Okay, so now that this show is nearly at its end (three episodes left), we’re finally able to see whether it used its time well or not, and whether the series composition knew what it was doing. And if I have to say so, Ristorante Paradiso passes with flying colours. It really made excellent use of its limited eleven episodes, and it turned into one of those series that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

It’s been a very slow and quiet series, but that really is part of its charms, and really managed to capture the essence of slice of life. Even though the past few episodes have been themed to a certain character, it really NEVER FEELS FORMULAIC. Every episode is different, and yet they all have the same atmosphere, feel together as a whole and they really don’t take any stereotype for granted. If the creators can pull off a great finale, this series is really going to be complete, but that often is much harder than it looks. I’ve got faith in the director, though. She has pulled off some creative endings before, and that’s exactly what this series need.

I remember, when this series first started, that I compared it to Antique Bakery, but now I see that those are two completely different series. Antique Bakery stood out because of its originality: it dared to go where no other anime had gone before and was very creative in its storytelling. Rispara however, is much more about its characters: subtly fleshing them out, and letting the viewer slowly get to know more about them.

This episode yet again toyed with our expectations. We were promised a Furio-episode, and yet Claudio got just as much development as he did, when it turns out that when they were younger they used to work at the same restaurant: Furio as one of the top chefs, while Claudio was very much a rookie waiter without much talent. He was even less secure than he is now (you can now really see that his older version is more confident in his actions, while still recognizing that insecure version that he was 20 years ago. Now THAT’s subtle development!), but it was Furio’s fiancee who gave him enough inspiration not to quit being a waiter.

Rating: ** (Excellent)
Lots of depth for Claudio and Furio is always welcome. Very meaningful dialogue.

Posted on 28 May 2009 with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



Misleading previews are very misleading. Really, the first episodes showed the big climaxes of their next episode, and so with the way the next-episode previews are so forcefully inserted after the end of the episode, it really makes you create expectations for that next episode. So, let me ask why the heck the previews for the past few episodes were so incredibly misleading. I was believing that this episode would turn into a date between Nicoletta and Claudio, only for the majority of this episode to focus on Luciano and the date turned out to be an incredibly small thing meant for building up.

So yeah, this was a really good episode about the birthday party for Luciano’s grandson. And really, you can’t get more slice-of-life than this, and it was such a great way to look into Luciano’s character. It’s SO devoid of any sort of clichés, and it really was such a charming episode, seeing everyone prepare and celebrate Francesco’s birthday.

At this point, you can really consider me a fan of Mitsuko Kase, the director. After this series, I’m convinced that she(he?) has her own style: she doesn’t care being mainstream, and what she excels in is subtly fleshing out her characters, with that kind of subtlety that’s really hard to put into words, and yet I’ve noticed the same with both Saikano, Crystal Blaze and Ristorante Paradiso. Her biggest fault is that she tends to be a bit too emo at times (for which Rispara is of course a great way to get rid of that nasty habit). I have really enjoyed the characterization of her works so far (yeah, I don’t care whether I’m the only one who believes so, but Crystal Blaze rocked).

With this, there are only four episodes left. Two will be spent on the remaining members of the cast (Teo and Furio), while the final two will probably wrap up the story between Claudio and Nicoletta, and I wonder what kind of path the creators will go into. This series has already shown that it isn’t of the type “and they killed the dragon and lived happily ever after”. In fact, it doesn’t seem to follow any formula at all, and I really wish that the creators can keep this up, while doing something with the romantic tension between Nicoletta and Claudio at the same time.

Rating: ** (Excellent)
A Luciano episode, still as calm and fresh as ever.

Posted on 21 May 2009 with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



I really love how mature this series’ outlook on relationships is. Because the characters are nearly all so relatively old in this series, it can really show a different side of romance, other than the “falling in love” part that has been explored to death by now by all of the teenagers. Someone finding his love may be interesting if well executed, but maintaining this relationship also definitely has its charms.

While at first sight this episode promised to be an episode about Vito, the main focus instead was on a newly introduced married couple, between which a few problems lied: the husband kept fooling around with younger women and this got on the wife’s nerves. Vito merely served as an example, of how for every relationship different negotiations have to be made.

While Vito’s wife didn’t mind at all to see Vito surrounded by younger women, because she knew that his heard lied with her. The woman in this episode was different though, and didn’t like it at all. The two of them developed really nicely throughout this episode, until the end, in which they finally sat down to talk about their differences. Overall, this entire series has been really refreshing in terms of relationships: some of them really are doomed to fail, but in this time the couple talked in time with each other before they ended up growing apart.

I also loved how subtly the creators managed to show a bit of what Olga does for her job, and with this, I can understand a bit why she ended up falling in love with her job, up to the point where she left home and overworked herself. In Olga’s case, it was her job that she found more important than her husband at the time. And somehow this changed when she met Lorenzo.

Now that this series has passed its halfway mark, I do have to say that Noitamina finally has gotten competition in terms of awesome time-slots with the Noise time-slot. It’s really good to see more time-slots like this that value originality and freshness over the same old formula done over again, and series that consider a different target audience than most other series.

Rating: ** (Excellent)
A Vito episode, with a mature outlook on relationships. Nice.

Posted on 14 May 2009 with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



This really was an excellent episode for this series. It’s really clear that this is a character-study, and this time it’s Gigi’s turn to be placed under the loop, and I must say that he has quite an interesting backstory, and I think that this was one of the first convincing stories of adultery I’ve seen in anime.

So as it turns out, Gigi is Lorenzo’s half-brother. Lorenzo was born because Gigi’s father committed adultery with his own brother’s wife. The interesting thing though, is that none of them really hold a grudge against each other, and the two of them actually grew to be really close. It was Lorenzo’s father’s winery that fueled Gigi’s passion for liquor, and what’s also ironic is that Gigi’s father himself, even though he was outraged by his brother, did commit adultery himself with another woman, which gave Gigi another half-sibling.

I’m also starting to get the central theme of this series: the past. Sure, every character here has his or her own past, and collection of bad memories, but this series asks the question: why would one still hold a grudge for these events? Nicoletta came to Rome in the first place to smack her mother for the things she did to her, but then she came to understand how her mother found happiness that way, and she just stopped with trying to make her mother’s life miserable. Claudio and his wife must have shared a few sad memories when they broke up, and yet the two of them still are on good terms with each other. And this episode shows the same with Lorenzo and Gigi: sure, their parents did some stupid things, but is that really enough to hate them and get emo over it? The only one who got worked up over it was Gigi’s father.

This really is a-typical of most anime, who most often put lots of angst in these sad past events, but this series shows that they can also be very well used in order to flesh out characters without any angst whatsoever. Vito’s up in the next episode, so I’m interested to see what he can offer to this.

Rating: ** (Excellent)
Excellent art direction, combined with Gigi’s fascinating backstory.

Posted on 7 May 2009 with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



Well, like its predecessor Michiko e Hatchin, Ristorante Paradiso sure has been put into a very strange time-slot: it’s gotten two hiatuses already and its first episode aired as a set of two. I really wonder what’s going on at the time-slot when this show isn’t broadcast, and where people get the time to broadcast two episodes at once?

But really, this series continues to be good stuff. Shows in which the lead characters run a restaurant always have their own kind of unique charms. Antique Bakery also had this unique chemistry between its characters, and there is an understanding that is much, much different when compared to your average high school show, even with shows as Natsu no Arashi, which actually has teenagers involved.

This episode was a bit confusing as it suddenly introduced flashbacks from out of nowhere, but it was a great chance to see how the restaurant first was formed, how Luciano and the others were recruited, and it’s interesting to see how there once were three staff-members who have since quit. The youngest one I guess felt out of place, but for the others I don’t think their reasons were mentioned in this episode.

When this show started, I also believed that Nicoletta’s mother forcefully made everyone wear glasses, but in the end it was actually something that just evolved on its own. When Olga first got to see the restaurant, she simply became so happy that she could cry, and that kept the tradition of keeping on glasses going. At first, we’re really lead to believe how she’s the selfish mother from hell, but she’s gradually turning into someone who may have made a mistake in her life, but yet has plenty of good and genuine sides.

I also liked that bit with the little girl who had to wait endlessly for the owner to show up. That’s really typical for them, having to wait for hours really is going to bore any child.

Rating: * (Good)
Nice flashback to when everything began, although it was at times hard to point out what happened when

Posted on 23 April 2009 with categories: Ristorante Paradiso



Short Synopsis: Nicoletta tells Claudio about her mother.
Episode Rating: 8/10 (Good)
I’m really not sure what’s up with this show’s tendency to spoil the biggest plot twists of every next episode but for some strange reason it works pretty well. Since this is a series that’s much more about the characters, rather than these fancy plot twists, which are only there in order to get the best out of the characters. In this episode for example, the most important thing wasn’t for Nicoletta to tell Claudio how the girlfriend of the owner is her own mother, but rather how the two of them start to gradually understand each other, and realize that they’re actually quite similar.

But really, this episode was good stuff, and I’m glad to say that the first three episodes of Ristorante have some of the most solid characters of the season. The advantage it has is that since it’s only 11 episodes, it can’t really waste any time building up like most of the other shows this season: while most of the other shows still have three months to go before they can get to the real meat of the story, RisPara is already there, and like Genji Monogatari in the previous season, it’s a very consistent romance show, although in comparison, the focus of RisPara lies more at the characters, when compared to the storytelling that was central in Genji Monogatari.

It’s obviously not a show for everyone, but you have to appreciate that finally we have a show in which the average age of the characters lies above thirty (perhaps even above forty). I can only think of two other anime who achieved the same: Real Drive (simply because two characters were in their eighties) and Millennium Actress.

It’s interesting how Nicoletta finally got a proper talk with her mother in this episode, and yet the two of them got along pretty easily, rather than Nicoletta trying to scratch her mother’s eyes out and it’s interesting how Olga even was worried about Nicoletta going after Claudio, and in the end she even encouraged her. Olga herself was immediately taken in by Lorenzo, and apparently that feeling came from both sides.

It’s also interesting how Claudio and Gabriella split up over a pretty trivial reason: her work became busier and in the end they got into a fight about a misunderstanding, and so they broke up, even though they seem to have settled their differences by now and are not in love anymore.

In any case, I’m glad to have stuck with this series. At one point I considered dropping this show from blogging instead of Natsu no Arashi, but looking back now, the latter is much more a show where you shut up and watch, and even though it’s probably the most underrated show of the season, I don’t think that there would have been much to say about it aside from that. The director of RisPara has a knack of getting the best out of short 13-episode series, and it’s a very interesting effect to see him dealing with a slow-paced romance show, instead of a suspenseful thriller or extremely sad wartime romance. He’s definitely able to show the best side of the original source material this way in only eleven episodes.

Customize
K-Off
@Friend Damn, kind of surprised to see how abstract some of those concept art are for Mulan. But generalizations are just easier to make if all they care about is validation.
Masky
Generalized statements are in general rather annoying, but everyone loves to make them anyway for some reason :D
Friend
I'm nearing completion with our banner, in terms of work-hours Id say 3 hours? But in real life that equates to about 4 days because of stuff.
Friend
Something that annoys me: when a fellow artist makes a generalized statement about the industry by saying something silly like "japanese animated films have more creative input involved." Uggh Google "Alex Nino Mulan Concept" and tell me if you still think that. Sorry about that X/
SuperMario
And it might sound weird to you guys, especially majority of you are in one of the hottest days of summer, but I'm gonna head off to snow mountain for skiing this coming weekend. So expect the weekly posts will be a bit later than usual.
SuperMario
I don't know if that guy @Bond is still lurking around here, but I'm still interested In doing that thing with him
SuperMario
@Aidan: imho, those numbers don't really mean if we have nothing to compare them to. I'll say the ratio between original/ all anime for particular seasons would tell us a lot better
AidanAK47
But it does counter the point of "We don't get enough original anime anymore" which in itself was a pretty silly statement.
AidanAK47
Of course just because they are original doesn't automatically qualify them as good.
AidanAK47
@Anon44887, that logic would apply if it was an exception. 9 original shows last season, 14 original shows this season. 20 in the next. Are they three seasons all an exception?
Anonymous44887
@AidanAK47: An exception that proves the rule
Vonter
Just to ask does any of the shows being reviewed have a great soundtrack. Just asking for asking.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I recall he posted under the name Bold/bond, the same poster who made the chart.
AidanAK47
Who was it again bemoaning that we don't get enough original(Not adaption) anime anymore? Cause there are 20 original shows next season. Great for anime but hard for me cause what am I gonna write in the preview?
AidanAK47
I am a bit too stubborn to burnout.
@afgm, I didn't change a thing.
Anonymous38539
I hope AidanAK47 would not suffer an Anime Burnout. I love this site and it pains to think that one day, no one will be writing the seasonal previews and yearly summary.
SuperMario
@Aidan: you have 91 days's episode as 9 instead of 7
AidanAK47
Bloody hell, even the spambots are referencing Pokemon Go now.
K-Off
For future reference, let's direct admin dialogue to email, apart from direct feedback.
@Mario We're working on allowing users to set up accounts.
SuperMario
And the constant anonymous names just keep bugging me. Can we make it back to the old shoutbox, where you have to put down your name in order to write message?
SuperMario
I think it's one thing leads to another. he's getting too burnout that he doesn't know what to write anymore.
AidanAK47
@Anon36049, pretty much what he said. Though it seems to be a combination of anime burnout and writers block.
Anonymous36271
He suffered from anime burnout and is getting on with real life.
Anonymous36049
Hi guys I havent been around for a long time. Does anyone know what happened to psgels? I see that the new posts are not his.
AidanAK47
Disgaea 2 coming to steam. Sweet.
Gotta finish Disgaea 1 and hope they don't screw up the port on release day again.
AidanAK47
Illuminati are everywhere, regardless of wherther it's anime or not. Sword Art Online was the work of the illuminati. All in the name of the gaint magic eyeball triange god do they rule the landscape of entertainment medium.
Also Magic Eyeball-kun also argees that Rem is best girl. And none shall dare denounce that claim.
SuperMario
@Anony35181: never thought they're that much interested in anime thou
Anonymous35181
@supermario, illuminati confirmed
SuperMario
Is it just me or couple of messages from the shoutbox just gone missing?
Topgavin
Haven't been watching it myself, but apparently in Taboo Tattoo, that large-chested high school girl died while running *onto a live battlefield* to check on her boyfriend with a shirt that said "flag". 10/10
K-Off
@afgm Sent you a message.
@Friend Looks good, I'd be interested in seeing multiple witches as well.
Anonymous32745
Chemotherapy is a cause of cancer rather than a cure.
Anonymous32745
If you know someone dying of cancer, immediately inform them that allopathic medicine will kill them and turn them to natural remedies which often work.
Anonymous32745
"Medicine and science are powerfully institutionalized, but no institution or profession has existed for the purpose of encouraging people to act reasonably." - Ray Peat
afgm
.
afgm
@Friend: yeah it's a problem
@Koff: I emailed you a while back. did you get it?
Fri3nd
Huh, I can't use my username.
@Bam You're right, I'll work on it.
Bam
@K-off: It's moments like these that really remind you of mortality. People pull thru tho. medical science has come far in that field; but definitely not far enough.
Bam
@Friend: It's looks pretty good. I like Mario's suggestion of a series of witches, but a solitary one is more in-tune with the current banner. I would say however that there is too much dark in the negative space to the right. Could be just me tho.
Bam
@Kaiser: a series of consecutive 'yes'. I was really into Laloux, but FP is the one I liked the most. I've been watching Mr. Robot since season 1, and it's well worth your time. Not really all that cyberpunkish tho; mostly just cyber. And anybody who hasn't read Gibson's masterpiece is a fool of a Took.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Bam: Have you been looking into that Mr Robot series? I heard its meant to be some kind of cyber thriller, it could be our thing. Also have you read Neuromancer?
Kaiser Eoghan
And I suppose that brings me to that stranger things show then, I love horror so I guess that caught my eye, but apparently its a family/kids thing =< don't know whether to bother.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still say it takes me that extra bit of convincing to watch a childrens animated film.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Friend: The banner is in good hands I see.
AidanAK47
Well Coraline wasn't written by Laika. It was written by Neil Gaiman. Laika just adapted it. Still I would like to check out Kubo to see what all the hype is about.
SuperMario
@anony29442: I will watch Kubo this coming week so I will comment on the movie then. But I'm not that surprise if Kubo has a weak writing. Laika never really great at story development: I mean Coraline is exellent, ParaNorman is just okay and Boxstrolls writing is just so underdeveloped and full of plotholes
SuperMario
@friend: wow. It looks awesome. But why only one witch? ^^
Friend
Hey everyone! Just an update on our new banner, here's my WIP up to now: [link src="https://i.imgur.com/0QSv6IK.png
I'm"] trying a witch as a tribute to one of psgel's favorite anime maho shojotai. Feedback is welcome, I have a lot left to do. A 5:1 aspect ratio is the weirdest dimension I've ever painted in
Anonymous29442
I just saw Kubo and the 2 strings and im really shocked at all the praise its receiving. People calling it an instant masterpiece on looks alone but not enough are talking about how underdeveloped the characters and story were. It felt as if they made the whole thing up as they went along to the point where I couldnt suspend my disbelief any longer and got irritated.
Anonymous29415
qualidea code's characters havent become better in terms of how they are written; only that they have been fleshed out in the most generic and trivial of ways as to sympathize with them; and sure, they have become some what likeable in the same way you'd like a person who you heard nothing but kind things about but that does not save the characters from being boring. QC is still a bad show
AidanAK47
@Anon27511, even if the animation was kept consistent the story still can't really escape the done to death aspect of it's story. I agree that the writing has gotten better but despite that the show just feels...meh.
Anonymous27511
Fucking Qualidea Code, as the story and characters become more interesting, the animation and drawing proportionately decreases. Sad they simply do not have the budget to pull off what seems like a potentially very good story
K-Off
@Mike I'm sure you already heard but for some reason I didn't keep up to date. I thought it was strange that releases stopped in March after chapter 68,.
K-Off
Just learned that the writer of my favorite webtoon is battling terminal cancer, but despite it she hopes to finish it someday. God damn I would've never expected this.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Once spilled hot microwaved food over my hand by mistake, hurt for a day.
Kaiser Eoghan
*remaining
Kaiser Eoghan
@Bam: The story and ideas however were better in gandahar I felt. Time masters while good was a bit stop and start in its pace and animation.
I’m definitely interested in Laloux’s other, short animations and Mobius’ comic book work.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Bam: I watched Rene Laloux's remain animated films, Gandahar and time masters, I enjoyed both but not as much as Fantastic planet. I remember we talked about fantastic planet two years ago. Did you see the other two I mentioned. I liked the big moments and the ending to time masters, especially those angel things.
Anonymous27024
Ok. I beat Federation Force. I think the main positive is that the levels were playable despite the lack of voice chat. The bosses took a lot of damage and the beginning and end are relevant to the Prime continuity.
SuperMario
@K-Off: I did it once just like you did, and once when I put a metal bowl into a microwave. So yeah, boys will always be boys.
Bam
I tried my best not to half-ass either of them tho. Any oddity you guys see just write it off as mental exhaustion.
Bam
Okay, I'm officially beat. These two reviews should be considered companion pieces, as some material from one flew into the other. Thank god that episode 08 was not a heavy one, or I'd be completely depleted.
K-Off
Shit, I'm a damn idiot at baking, slightly burnt my hand a minute ago grabbing a hot tray with a wet towl. Why do I even try.
K-Off
@afgm Alright, send me a message at fightthepowwa@gmail.com and we'll work it out.
Bam
*cinematography
Bam
@K-off: I second that, as although the Poirot series has very well-done choreography, casting and music, there is still a little more of that unquantifiable magic sprinkled on the Granada series. But keep watching and I'll guarantee that Suchet will become the quintessential Poirot in your mind as well.
K-Off
I said that while I liked the performance and the direction, I didn't think that it did for Poirot what Granada did for Holmes.
K-Off
@Bam Yeah it is, and generally when I camp I like to stay for 1-2 weeks, places like Niagara or Yellowstone I can pretty much see everything I want to see in a few days so I don't find much value going to those places. The Adirons on the other hand is diverse as hell.
Bam
@K-off: I'm not sure if you mentioned it while I was gone: but did you get to watch any of the Poirot series with David Suchet? And if so, what are your thoughts?
Bam
I generally go to either the Muir Woods north of SF, or the forests around Big Sur. It doesn't take much to please me really.
Bam
@K-ff: is that by Lake Champlain? Cuz I've been there once and loved it.
Bam
@K-off: I thought of a combined post, but my OCD wouldn't allow a skip in the episodic order of the reviews.
K-Off
Usually when you go camping in Yellowstone or Yosemite the tourist industry kills those places, like I'd be on a rowboat and see cars, cabins, and people from a long ways offshore. The Adirondacks are nice because their building codes mandate construction to be hidden behind trees.
K-Off
@Bam My favorite camping spot is the Adirondacks in upstate NY, I went there probably 4-7 times and never get tired of the place. No, I don't have any posts for now, but for future reference consider combining episodic reviews when you get behind. I.E. Episode 6-8 Review
Bam
Also there's a reader in the comment section of Berserk 07 who wants to know if we have a notification system. I vaguely remember a widget that links the site to a FaceBook page. If anybody knows how that works, or if it's still functional, please shed some light on the matter for him/her. Thx.
Bam
@Aidan @K-off @Mario either one of y'all has any post near completion? I'm almost done with Berserk 08 and as previously mentioned, really prefer not to put two reviews up back to back. I think the length of them is already a hassle for some to get thru, let alone two right after eachother. I think it hurts the viewership, but if nothing's on hand then I'll guess I'll just finish up and post mine.
Bam
@Kaiser: I was actually camping near a mountain, but aren't all mountains somewhat holy? That could be my bias tho, since I was raised on the Alborz mountain range, and for me there is something therapeutic about the mountain air.
Kaiser Eoghan
Yes! Looks like the shoutbox is fixed and not deleting posts after 24 hours anymore!
Kaiser Eoghan
lol Or you could live in the shitty suburb where I do and spend your time just waiting for when your internet connection randomly cuts out twice a month or as it has the past few days two-three times a day.
Kaiser Eoghan
Basically bam went up the Holy mountain .
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: ....guy I know who loves war films and I've ended up inadvertedly/un-intentionally gotten him to buy some fucked up Polish horror film that just happens to be set in WW2. lol he's going to be pretty freaked out when he watches it.
Bam
Everything been cool here? Hehe ... looks like I conveniently missed all the hard parts.
Bam
@Mario: thx m8. I wish I could just make it down to Rio on a whim, but then again, I took a much-needed vacation, so I ain't complaining.
SuperMario
Welcome back Bam, I was already convinced that you went to Rio for screwing around. Lol
Bam
Also I apologize for the absence. I was gone somewhere without reliable internet access, and looking back I should've gave a notification.
Either way, I'm back now, and will be jumping on getting those Berserk reviews out as soon as possible.
Bam
Man looky here with the renovations; I like it.
SuperMario
@Vyse: wow. So how was the sites then back from 2005?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: and what is that sh!te you're talking about?
VyseLegendaire
<— fixed
VyseLegendaire
<— me
VyseLegendaire
Ive been a reader since 2005
Kaiser Eoghan
Haha, this'll be fun lol
Kaiser Eoghan
.....that feeling when you keep going on about a show or film but fail to give all the details...and someone goes out and buys it not knowing the full extent of the mad shit their in for...s--t lol
Anonymous24840
any reader from 2005 here....
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: This guy seems interesting: https://letterboxd.com/director/tsai-ming-liang/
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Hmm, not familiar with him.
I really really loved in the mood for love, alot, it emotionally effected me. I even watched it three times.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I couldn't seem to enjoy any of Zimou yangs films apart from Hero, which had some pretty creative fight scenes. I've seen the story of Ricky and some of John-woos films but they were more just silly entertaining exploitation films.
SuperMario
Don't know if you know the Vietnamese-French Tran Anh Hung. His works are stunning too. If you want to check out East-Asian cinema don't forget to check him out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Yeah, but Park Chan Wood changed the ending, so the author insisted that the Handmaiden is more "inspired" than "based". The third chapter is the weakest part for me
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Of interest, The handmaiden was based on some British book/tv show.
Kaiser Eoghan
I need to completely re-evaluate/get into more Chinese cinema.
Kaiser Eoghan
Doesn't look like I've seen anything by Hong-sang-so.
My favourite Korean actor is song-kang-ho.
Kaiser Eoghan
Theres an anime convention over here in Dublin in three months. Although I haven't been to one in years.
SuperMario
I'm heading to anime convention today. Normally I don't really care about those conventions but I figure I'd come this year to see the taste of it. The only hassle is it's 3-hour drive, which gonna be a pain when I drive back after a long day being there.
SuperMario
Bong Joon-ho, on the other hand,is incredible at writing. His scripts are often layered, sharp and best of all fuses many tones/ genres into one coherent whole. The best thing about this Korean New Wave directors is they all have very distinctive voices. But my favorite director isn't the ones that you list. That would be Hong Sang Soo. I just love his simplicity style so much.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Park Chan Wood is a master of visual. Whenever I come to his movies I expected to be blown-away by his visual. He can write compelling characters (he loves his characters) as well but his screenplays in general are weak. You can watch his lesser effort "I'm a Cyborg, but That's Okay" and see many things that made him good/bad. That's the movie I feel he made without the care of the critic
afgm
.
afgm
@koff: Yeah I can help. But midterms/finals are coming up so I can't dedicate to much time.
Kaiser Eoghan
I always felt Bong-jong and Chang-dong , kim-di-duk and Kim-jee-woon were better than Park-chan-wook. Oldboy did have that one hell of an ending, so did lady vengeance but I feel that those are the bits people tend to remember and the rest was good but not great.
Topgavin
For anyone that doesn't regularly browse /r/anime, Godzilla is apparently getting an anime adaption by Polygon Pictures with Urobuchi involved. Should be good.
K-Off
Well, I climbed to rank 52 in Overwatch with Tracer alone. Looking forward to season 2 already, but I do wish Blizzard had somehow implemented a single-player storyline since the lore in Blizzard titles is always so vast. Kind of surprised they didn't make one with Overwatch.
K-Off
@Kaiser Watch Train to Busan if you can. Me neither, I can't dig too deep into Korean films due to the language barrier. Sure would be convenient to have Vincent recommending films again.
K-Off
@afgm Hey, are you still interested in helping out with the site? At this point I'm looking over the site's code & doing some rewriting - if you think you can help, let me know.
K-Off
@Mario I hadn't watched Old Boy for 6 years when I got to I Saw the Devil and it was out of mind for me, so you may be right.
SuperMario
@K-Off: maybe it was just me but I was underwhelmed by I Saw the Devil. The point it trying to match was similar to OldBoy, and Oldboy's execution was way better (OldBoy's one of my favorite movie). Yes, the soundtracks of OldBoy, Lady Vengeance are exceptional. I still listen to The Last Waltz after all those years...
K-Off
The soundtrack in a lot of these Korean films are top notch as well, Lady Vengeance and I Saw the Devil in particular.
K-Off
@Mario Speaking of which, Korean psychological thrillers are hands down some of the best in the last 10-20 years. I Saw the Devil, Lady Vengeance, Old Boy, list goes on.
SuperMario
@Aidan: It just comes to me that we're already half way of this season... Time sure flies
SuperMario
@Kaiser: so please finish up Inside Mari. The last chapter had been out. I need someone to talk about that goddamn manga anw
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I always consider the Korean New Wave started back in 2000, and really peaked in 2003 (OldBoy, Memories of Murders, Spring Summer..., A Tale of 2 Sisters). Before 2000? The only director I can think of was Im Kwon-Taek
AidanAK47
About nearly finished Fata Morgana but I might have to finish doom first because that thing is eating a huge chunk of my SSD drive.
AidanAK47
Back up to date...at least for now. I have to go to a wedding so It's likely I will fall behind again. Got to admit that I haven't had much of an opinion on the latest episodes. Might be just mentally drained personally.
SuperMario
@K-off: I totally agree with you. 28 Days Later is a gem. Though I'm not really into zombie genre as a whole, I'm more into psychological stuffs more.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Reminding me I need to catch up on boku mari no naka.
Kaiser Eoghan
Although the trailer for train to busan does catch my interest.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've gotten more than enough out of Korean films, I can enjoy them but I probably don't sing the same high praises for them as most bar some exceptions.
Seeing Lee-chang-dongs stuff I'm actually kind of interested in finding some more low key korean films.
Kaiser Eoghan
Very likely a view shared by my indie loving friend and I, but Battery and Wyrmwood were jokey takes on the zombie genre I thought were enjoyable.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Likely my preference for British comedy that makes me laugh more at Shaun of the dead more. Although Hot fuzz is the better Simon Pegg film in my opinion.
In terms of Korean films, I've been wondering, what are the pre-90s ones like. Lee-chang-dong started the Korean new wave in 1997.
K-Off
I'm still waiting for a good horror-zombie film, nothing has met my expectations after 28 Days Later (and techinically REC), which admittedly is a high bar.
K-Off
@Mario I am watching Seoul Station next week, that was just me recapping TtB after I watched it a few days ago. It's definitely more of a thriller, it has good "wtf" moments but nothing I'd call horror.
SuperMario
@K-Off: I thought you were going to watch Seoul Station? So I gather that Train of Busan is more thriller than horror? Just thinking of Zombieland already puts a smile on my face. That one and Shaun of the Dead are so goddamn hilarious.
SuperMario
@Aidan: I will review them in the future. atm I'm in watching/ reading mode so I'll push back all the world movie/ full show reviews for a while
K-Off
@Mario My impression of Train to Busan was that although it wasn't anything ground breaking, it had a great cast of characters and an entertaining gimmick that managed to stay exhilarating. I haven't seen a zombie film this well structured since Zombieland, even though they're completely opposite in tone.
AidanAK47
They are all yours if you want to do them.
SuperMario
Reading Inside Mary makes me want to watch Flowers of Evil again. If I remember correctly psgels never actually had a full review on this one, and Ping Pong.
AidanAK47
@Vyse, Width wise it's exactly the same as the old chat box. Though it's possible the old one had smaller font.
VyseLegendaire
This chat box is too narrow I think, only see a couple messages.
AidanAK47
@Anon18138, Yeah but I don't see that writer making something that truly represents the games. There may be a possibility of it being a good movie but that movie won't be Pokemon.
Anonymous18138
@AidanAK47 It'll have the writer of Gravity Falls. Though I don't have a high standard in regards to the 3D mascot and live-action style of movies.
SuperMario
They originally planned to male a live-action remake of Seoul Station, as the producer saw a footage of the animation and really loved it; but Yeon Sang-Ho (the director) insisted that if he was about to make a live-action film, he's go for a sequel instead. Hence Train of Busan.
SuperMario
@K-off: I missed my chance to watch Train to Busan but I heard nothing but rave from it. People who watched it really loved it. Damn, you make me jealous man, since I want to watch Seoul Station and review it here. Come watch it and tell me what you think; my bet is you'll enjoy it.
K-Off
@Mario Have you watched Train to Busan? I'm planning to watch its animated prequel Seoul Station next week. Animation looks shabby as hell but I can always expect a good story from the koreans.
AidanAK47
So the live action Pokemon movie will feature detective pikachu. Clearly a necessary inclusion.
SuperMario
I'm reading Inside Mary now and it's quite a gem despite its ridiculous premise. There's a lot of raw emotions. I love raw emotions. As expected from the same guy who wrote Flowers of Evil.
AidanAK47
Yep, when she sends the images let me know. It may have been a while ago but I am a qualified graphic designer so even I can lend a hand to the banner design.
AidanAK47
Ugh...a new version of wordpress is ready to be updated to. I have a bad feeling updating to the latest version could potentially break things.
K-Off
Alright, I've got Friend onbaord with a commission for our new banner. She says she'll send us sketches so we can decide if it's something we want.
AidanAK47
Considering how much trouble this plugin has given us, i am not up for adding another one. Only thing the subscriber account thing needs is me to tick and box and get rid of that password promt.
K-Off
@Aidan You can set that up if you'd like, though another idea would be to set up buddypress and link it to there. But it's yet again another plugin.
Total users: 31

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