Posted on 15 February 2011 with categories: Senkou no Night Raid



Most DVD episodes are random side-stories that if they’re lucky, have something to do with the main story. This one is different though: it shows a vital conclusion to this series. The story is over now, but it tells what happened to the characters after the events of the TV-series: what happened to them, and how they changed.

It was mostly centred around Kazura, as this episode hints that he died in a rebellion, started by his former classmates. Before that happens he’s able to meet Aoi (who recovered and is now travelling with Shizune) and Yukina, who has been handling Natsume’s death. Again, they really did justice to the setting: they didn’t choose a cheap way out. Even Aoi helping Kazura from out of nowhere didn’t really have an effect, and he made the conscious decision to help his former classmates.

It was also wonderfully told. This had none of the acting problems of the TV-series, and the actors probably put out some of the most believable performances of the entire series. Obviously the story being less epic really helped there, but even compared to the other DVD special, the pacing and atmosphere felt very natural here. I also really like how the creators used that story of the escaped panther to subtly spice up this episode. If you liked the TV-series, then this episode is a must watch.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 3 July 2010 with categories: Senkou no Night Raid



Okay. So apparently an episode 0 got released. I assume that it’s a DVD-episode, but I don’t think we’ve ever gotten one of these this fast. I mean, it hasn’t even been a week since the series ended. If this trend is going to continue throughout all of the Anime no Chikara series however, then we might have the beginning of a very interesting trend and attempt to lengthen anime beyond thirteen episodes.

This episode plays before the entire series: we’re on a boat, and we get to see the point at which all of the lead characters are introduced to each other. A very important episode, and I’m very glad that it’s this that the creators decided to focus on, compared to Sora no Oto’s DVD episode. The rest of the episode was about a standalone story about the infiltration of a group of human smugglers who posed as a film making company on that same boat.

I actually believe that this serves as a better introduction than episode one. It’s nicely action-packed, we get to immediately see a bit of intrigue, the characters are properly introduced and I think that it’ll give a favourable impression on more people than that that real first episode did, which rather haphazardly threw in the concept of superpowers.

The story of the episode itself was interesting in the way that none of the main characters knew about each other, so you could all see the jobs in which they infiltrated intertwined as they waited for the right moment. The problem with it was that the villain was a bit stupid to just leave an enemy like that unconscious without confirming whether he really was harmless. This brings me back to the earlier criticism I had about this series, before it came with episode seven: the spies in this series are closer to James Bond than actual spies.

Still, I wonder: Sora no Oto is going to have a total of two DVD only episodes. Will Senkou no Night Raid be the same? I’m especially interested if one of the later episodes contains one as well: at that point, there’s going to be no way for the creators to squeeze in an episode with a pointless or random story, so who knows what they’ll end up contributing to?

That attempted rape was… heavy, though. The way that the creators made no attempt at focusing at how Yukina was about to be violated by a creepy old pervert.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 28 June 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Senkou no Night Raid




The fact that a series is slowly subbed doesn’t mean that it can’t be excellent. Really, with Yojou-han immediately subbed, this was by far the hardest one to translate by fansubbers, and therefore it didn’t get the coverage and attention that it should have gotten. Night Raid is a special series, and much more series should share the utter guts that it displayed. Be sure to support it when it eventually does come out in English!

But first and foremost, let me respond to the naysayers out there: no, Night Raid does not rape history. As a series about a group of Japanese people in China, in the 1930s. This could have been the most historically insensitive series out there. The problem is that, if I understood things correctly, there is this habit of the Japanese to really ignore anything they did around the second world war, and instead of accepting that they did a lot of things wrong and move on, there seems to be this air of not wanting to talk about it and learn from it at all.

This series, it seems to me, wanted to be a response to statements like this. While we follow a group of Japanese spies in the middle of China, it makes sure to cause no misunderstanding: the Japanese did some horrible things, and they consciously chose to do these things. In fact, a huge part of this series is about them, making these decisions, considering the alternatives, and act based on what they believe is right. Self-righteousness is a huge theme in this series, and the way this series explores them makes it a very thought-provoking series. Sure, some of the tropes it uses have been used a number of times before, but never in this context.

Now, as for the actual execution, this one could have been a bit more solid at times. The result is a number of plot-holes that are there to just keep the plot from going further. With thirteen episodes, it also doesn’t exactly have the time to give the characters a lot of background, though it definitely does try.

The acting department is a bit of a mixed bag. Some characters put down very convincing performances, like Yukina and Airi. Others, like Aoi, sound a bit too immature and unrefined. Especially in the first few episodes does this get tedious to watch.

Which is especially annoying because the first half really exist to just set everything right. It’s episodic in the way that it introduces all of the concepts, and fleshes out the setting. I think the most notable here is the infamous fourth episode, which is only dedicated to fleshing out the characters and nothing else.

If you’re interested in this series however, I do urge you to watch until episode seven before passing judgment, because it’s there where the series shows its true feathers. The thing with Night Raid is that on the small picture, it is indeed a bit inferior to its predecessor Sora no Oto. In the big picture however, I really believe that it surpasses it.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Knows its priorities, knows how to build up and most importantly: knows how to be subtle with its drama.
Characters: 8/10 – Good depth for the short length of only 13 episodes, some are well acted, others could have been done better.
Production-Values: 8/10 – A-1’s best artists were at Ookiku Furikabutte this season, but nevertheless solid enough, plus a very good soundtrack also helps.
Setting: 9/10 – The guts it has with its subject material as a medium of anime surpasses even Zipang. Very daring and thought-provoking.

(On a side-note: I really wish that I could rate this one higher, but unfortunately I can’t find an excuse for it. It unfortunately had a few too many faults, but the advantages really made up for it for me.)
Suggestions:
Zipang
The Cockpit
Mobile Suit Gundam – War in the Pocket

Posted on with categories: Senkou no Night Raid



My only real issue with this finale is that Kazura changed his opinion a bit too quickly too often. But really, this was a surprisingly good finale with a number of very interesting ideas put into it. On top of that, you could also see it play around with a number of very overused ending tropes.

The biggest surprise by far was the sudden death of Isao, but it’s also a brilliant move. There was no death speech, no overdramatic rise of tension before his death and most importantly: he died really fast here. It just shows how everyone can just die here, and that even though he was the main villain, his death doesn’t have to be over the top, or saved for the end.

Suddenly, the series turns into a rush operation to prevent the Japanese from getting their hands on the atomic bomb (how’s that for nationalism, huh?). Sakurai turns from this nice gentleman into someone desperate to get his own hands on that bomb, and to use it according to his own ideas. I actually loved it how the creators decided to solve that problem: with that blue-haired guy, who turned out to be a counter-spy. He had no backstory, but at the same time, there was a ton of spy activity at the time. It makes perfect sense for people to also have infiltrated the Japanese army. But really: his voice sounded just weird. Who was that voice actor?

In any case, the trope in which the villain dies, yet leaves some kind of projectile of doom behind that needs to be stopped. It’s been done before, but it’s the context here that makes the difference. Instead of a megablast of doom, we’ve got something very concrete that’s about to destroy a city: it’s something we can relate to much more than your average nuclear blast, because we know exactly what will happen if it goes off.

And there also is the ultimate cliche: our hero faces certain death after the climax finishes. It’s not certain whether he lived. The epilogue starts, and at the end we indeed see him back. This episode averted this in quite an interesting way by having first of all Kazura live, yet not show anything about him. Aoi meanwhile somehow failed to get out of the burning plane in the spur of the moment. I didn’t like how suddenly the creators made his powers extreme enough to be able to blast an atomic bomb into space (or at least hundreds of kilometers far into the sea), however, we never get to see him after that.

All we hear is a crappy violin, but that could have been anyone who was trying to cheer on the troops of soldiers, as they left for the upcoming war. Yes, this series decided to end with anything but a good ending. The war is still going to kill many people, and this series never got bigoted as to think that it could create a plot in which people wouldn’t end up suffering horribly throughout the next decade.

Overall this series would have benefited some more natural actors. However, the intention of the creators here was very good. It’s by far the most down to earth series in terms of character reactions: people cry when they lose a loved one, but there was hardly any overacting, and people remained surprisingly calm for anime, which tends to overreact even the slightest things. There were a number of very good voice actors, like Yukina for example. She pulled off a very convincing performance. Aoi meanwhile could have used more subtlety; his voice didn’t really suit the serious nature of the series. The Chinese girl is up for debate. Oh, she yelled, but girls her age who work at a restaurant… I can imagine them to need a loud voice.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 21 June 2010 with categories: Senkou no Night Raid



Hmm, this episode violently pushed the motives of Yukina’s brother into a different direction. A cliched one, I’m afraid. “I need peace so for that to happen I will blow things up.” (By the way though, this episode did blow out any hint of nationalism out of the water. For those who were still doubting the intentions of this series at this point: it features a Japanese guy who plans to send an atom bomb into the middle of Shanghai).

So let me get this straight: the blasts that the Englishmen saw were an illusion. That seems to be the power of Yukina’s brother. We already knew that he’s desperately trying to prevent the atom bomb to drop on Japan. So, what does he do? He sends an atom bomb into Shanghai! If I understood correctly, he understood that it was the atom bombs and the fear of them that gradually lead to peace: in the way that countries would begin to think twice to attack a country that could devastate entire cities with just one bomb.

As a stuck-up nationalist Japanese however, he figures that the way to prevent it is to show the world what an incredible force they are playing with, as long as it doesn’t affect Japan. There are… so many things wrong with that. Yet at the same time, was this what Japanese nationalism must have felt like back then? This is an incredibly radical decisions that was made not just by him, but also several lead characters: even Sakurai let’s him just do his business here.

I must say, this series has surpassed Sora no Oto with the way that it has been so thought provoking. The motives of the villains here are just wrong, and yet they remain interesting. When watching this series, I learned a ton of new stuff that I didn’t know about the Chinese history at that time, and it’s a bit of a shame that Anime no Chikara is going back to high schools and teenagers again in the upcoming season. There really need to be more series like this.

But yeah, it does remain noticeably unrefined at times. I mean, dude. You have a gun. USE THE BLOODY THING!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 15 June 2010 with categories: Senkou no Night Raid



Setting two former friends against each other in a struggle is tough. This show did it, though. I really like how it has been blurring the boundaries between good and evil, using the war and atom bomb as a way to completely change characters’ viewpoints. This episode was all about that: you can’t just tell anyone about a secret so incredibly big. It’s also interesting how the characters in this episode acknowledged the coincidence of having a former lover of a colleague of your sister as one of your main allies. It remains a plot-hole, but you don’t often see characters aware of them. This really helps relativity that twist to something that really did happen through coincidence here.

Anyway, this episode was paced slowly, but this restraint has really been one of this series’ strength considering its subject material. This allowed for a much more subtle characterization than usual, and I’m getting more and more interested in how the creators plan to end this thing. Unlike Sora no Oto, there have been hardly any useless moments aside from the food filler of episode four, so if the creators can also close off with an actually good conclusion, compared to the incredibly rushed ending of Sora no Oto, I’ll be entirely happy about this show.

Also, the end of this episode came with quite an interesting plot twist: what was that guy doing there? Did he somehow find out where everyone was going, or does he have some sort of hidden agenda that he’s about to reveal? Two episodes left, let’s hope that this show will go out with a bang!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 7 June 2010 with categories: Senkou no Night Raid



I just realized something… episode seven still hasn’t gotten subbed, has it? Oh, what a terrible place for this series to get stuck: right before the point at which this series actually gets good. I’ve unfortunately seen a lot of negative comments here and there about this series because of it, and I really want to ask people: please, if you’re going to judge this series, wait until episode seven. It’s a huge turning-point. Series like this one should really be able to get more coverage so that they can keep making more of them. People keep saying that we need more mature series, but yeah that doesn’t work when series like this one hardly get any coverage. It’s thankfully not as extreme as with Mouryou no Hako or others, but still.

Of course, this series is also partly to blame. “Senkou no Night Raid”. A flashy night raid… that’s a terrible title to be honest.

In any case, it’s a bit of a shame, but in this episode you could again see that A-1 took a bit too much on its plate for this season. It’s a relative calm before the storm, and so they chose this episode for some budget cuts, which show themselves in a number of annoying off-models. And yet despite that this episode again delivered for me.

When at the beginning of the series, the superpowers were introduced, I wasn’t too big of a fan of it, however they ended up providing quite a bit of an interesting “what if”-scenario: what if a group of people knew about the atomic bombings beforehand? They won’t be just able to travel to America and stop the development, they also won’t get a lot of people to believe them. How far should they have gone, in such a turbulent time but when the war hasn’t even started yet? This episode is all about making these difficult decisions: what’s more important to you, your country or yourself, your position or your loved ones?

Despite the blocky drawings at times, I love how the creators are using their soundtrack here. The animation may have been flawed, but the pacing and direction still were very good. In fact, this series has the interesting pacing of Persona~Trinity Soul without most of the annoying baggage that made it a bit annoying to watch (the way in which it refused to focus on something interesting). Perhaps it has really helped that the series composition behind The Third has been working on this series. Either that, or the creators behind this series hit a major source of inspiration. I try, but I’m still often way wrong about which people or group of people is responsible for making an amazing anime.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 31 May 2010 with categories: Senkou no Night Raid



This episode did a great job of bringing the series together. It’s really interesting how different the build-up in this show is compared to its Anime no Chikara’s predecessor: there, everything was all over the place, fun and whimsical. Here the characterization
has been composed and mature. Aside from episode four, the creators have been carefully building everything that’s necessary to the plot and characters, while Sora no Oto’s pace felt much more random. It’s very interesting to see how different these shows can get, even though they’re both about impeding war.

A major theme of this episode was the following question: what’s more important to you, a loved one or your father land? Aoi here tried to get his loved one back, against all orders. These plots really need a lot of build-up in order for them not to get annoying, since it’s based on a very overused shounen stereotype. within this context however, it gets a totally different dimension here. It’s been constantly stressed that the stakes of this war are incredibly high. Heck, we actually see the Japanese portrayed as the bad guys in this series. At this point the characters are all performing delicate work that unlike earlier on at the series will have very big consequences on failure. Aoi trying to get his girlfriend back is totally different from an angsty teenager with superpowers who refuses to obey his superiors because he’s rebellious.

This episode was all about seeing your past back. Yukina’s brother also becomes a lot more dimensional here when we get a few hints about his intentions. It’s not like he’s immediately a good guy either, he has done enough morally objectionable things, however at the same time I’m getting the feeling that he’s acting out of fear. We still don’t exactly know how and when he learned of the atom bombs, but my guess is that he’s trying everything in his might to stop one from hitting Japan. Again coming back to that theme of choosing your country above your loved one: he consciously decided to sin, in an attempt to save a large amount of people with a plot that might not even work, above taking care of his family.

Oh, and added to that: the soundtrack really was amazing in this episode.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 24 May 2010 with categories: Senkou no Night Raid



Okay, that’s it. You can pretty much consider me a fan of this series. This series isn’t among my favourites this spring season, but the past episodes have brought it pretty damn close. It really took some time and hiccups to get going, but after last week, I’m completely hooked to this series. It follows the classic “first half episodic second half continuous” format, and now that we’ve gotten to the continuous format I’m really enjoying this series up to the point at which I don’t really care about the Engrish (which actually was reasonably good with the native English people, and actually pretty bad with the Japanese and Chinese, like it actually should be).

However, at this point I was also very fond of Sora no Oto, but that was mostly because I was expecting a strong climax to come any minute, though it never really did, making a lot of its build-up pointless. Night Raid is different, though. While I can’t see into the future, I somehow feel like the creators know very well how to pace this show and what to build up for. The first six episodes were really meant to establish the characters and the setting: the episodic stories were also just meant for that, and to introduce the villains. Episode seven then dropped the bomb, and started off the real story of this show. It’s all signs that the creators spent a lot of time thinking about the series’ structure. At this point, I’m confident enough to say that if this show manages to indeed pull of that ending, I’ll call it superior to its Anime no Chikara predecessor.

Anyway, about this episode. It’s here where the series goes back to its roots as historical fiction. The previous episode did a wonderful job of establishing the historical roots behind the series, but this episode also made sure to remind us that we’re dealing with fiction when it goes back to the government-spanning plan of the villains. He really seems to be going for the intimidation element, detonating things that look like atom-bombs in front of a bunch of big-wigs. There’s no way that that could have happened in real life, however it does add an interesting twist to the whole story.

Criticism can sometimes be a weird thing. I just know that if it wasn’t for the previous episodes, I would have gone on about how the characters here weren’t careful enough like real spies, or indeed how overblown the villain is. This isn’t just a matter of development, but overall the series has really made up for these flaws for me. I think that it was the elegant build-up that did it for me, along with its risky but well fleshed out setting and the subtle bonds between the characters who take themselves and each other seriously. I really was expecting some cheesy back-story about Aoi’s girlfriend. But heck, the ending of this episode was a very powerful cliff-hanger when the two of them recognized each other.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 18 May 2010 with categories: Senkou no Night Raid



Oh my god, the creators actually did it. I’d easily label this as the episode with the highest stakes against it of the entire year, perhaps of the past few years: just one inserted cliche; only one weakness could completely break this show and label it as a pretentious piece of garbage. It’s been ages since I’ve watched an episode that took such a huge risk. So seeing that the creators actually pulled this episode off, showing that they knew exactly what they were doing makes this a wonderful episode.

The main characters were completely gone. In fact, only one recurrent character makes her appearance, but she only appeared for like… one minute before this episode aired, and subsequently only had one minute of airtime in just this episode. This episode was all about the figures central to the Mukden Incident, and it avoided the things that I was afraid that this episode could do really well: it did not try to avoid the fact that the Japanese themselves caused the incident, it did not present the Japanese as nice guys, but at the same time it also did not present the Japanese as stereotypical war-hungering bastards.

In fact, this episode was all about making the decision to do this. The central characters involved actually carefully considered the options they had, and eventually decided to go with the plan to blow up the railway, which eventually escalated so terribly. This episode portrayed them as knowing full well that they were changing history, and causing a lot of people to suffer.

Then, the cameo of Aoi’s sister (she was his sister, right? Or his girlfriend?). She did arrive from out of nowhere in front of key figures, right when they made the decision, but she actually did not influence them: the characters again stressed that it was themselves who decided. The one joke that this episode pulled was strangely cute, and did lessen the atmosphere. The one thing that might have been a bit fishy about this episode was how they didn’t go after her when she ran away, but I think that that can be attributed to faith: these guys believed that they saw some kind of prophet, or something. The girl overall is pretty mysterious, and perhaps it was her intention to make them believe this. Perhaps it was some sort of test, who knows? It’s up to the next episodes to go more in-depth into that.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

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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