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
That caught my attention, some kind of suspense manga set in world war II, for obvious reasons you don't often see manga/anime set in that time often enough so thats interesting at least.
Anonymous1124748
KTravlos here: On RE-Creators Saouto. Remember we are talking about a 14? year old kid who believed made his girlfriend commit suicide. I get the point and frustration, but do keep that in mind.
Lenlo
@Mario, for Hero Academia, just wait. The hype is real for Shouto vs Midoriya.
SuperMario
This is one of Saekano's biggest issue: while there are 5 main casts, the show seems to care to develop 3 of them. When that rival-guy begs Tomoya to continue the circle, and stresses that "Don't lose Eriri and Utaha". I just feel... dishearten. No recognition for Kato and Michiru then
SuperMario
Another 2 shows that I want to mention this week: My Hero Academia's last episode fight between Ecchan and Urarawa is my favorite match out of this Tournament arc. Saekano's last episode actually frustrated me. When it's obvious that this is the time for Kato's conflict, the show still spends too much time on Eriri and Utaha.
SuperMario
KTravlos: based on the content I thought it's you as well. I actually enjoyed Virgin Soul. It's an important episode actually, where all of out mains are locked up/ imprisioned. Yep, Re:Creators was great as well. But hell, Souta... his character's annoying. The creations, on the other hand, are developing quite nicely
Anonymous1123421
KTravlos here. Hmm wordpress has cast me out :p
Anonymous1123392
what a great RE:Creators episode. I do not know how Mamika will end up. But manly tears shall be shed. A great character.

Virgin Soul had a so-so to disappointing tonning down episode. Expected. Still they are smart to put Favoro there as a "sorry for that mates".
AoT, knowing what I know from the manga, made this episode all that more striking.
Anonymous1123296
Woah, Alice n' Zokuro has some of the most amazing writing I've seen this decade!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: And because of the negative space in the picture and guy in the background, it might also emphasize distance.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: This was an obvious shot choice (come on, because they KISSED), but the one I liked the most was the top right one. The characters aren't in the center of focus, and a bit too close to the screen tell us how much Chinatsu wanted to get close to Kotarou, at the same time we feel a bit uncomfortable just like him (too close). Smart visual telling there
Kaiser-Eoghan
I should start giving attention to shots in anime as I do in art films. You've chosen a good one for tsuki ga kirei on the bottom right.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Speaking of shots....some of the static photography is Tsai ming liangs Goodbye dragon in is stunning. I saw an Ozu film where the framing was absolutely masterful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The eyeball scene in the restaurant OMO, scenes like that had very good way of creeping up on the viewer.
SuperMario
... and the fireworks in the end. Emotionally satisfied for that bleak film
SuperMario
Thanks Kaiser. Still think Black Coal is a very stylish and well-done neo-noir. One shot in particular still stick with me is the one long, unbroken shot that combine the past with the present.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*reviewing
It was your review that got me interested in the film mario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I know that feeling, having to get out all my thoughts immediately. I also stream of consciousness what I write whether it be a poem or review then go back to edit, shows the passion a person has for what they're review.
SuperMario
It was just 3 years ago. I think I MUST review everything as soon as I finish, otherwise I will forget. Getting old now. Dang it
SuperMario
It was a great review, Kaiser. I also feel comparing Black Coal to Memories of Murders don't do this film justice too (although to be hinest I don't see the comparison). Your review just reminds me that I did review that film on Letterboxd, thou for the life of me, when I read ny own review I had no clue that i did write it
Kaiser-Eoghan
@K-off: Constantine was really the only reason I would have considered seeing the film, as I enjoyed some of the comics he appeared in.
Lenlo
Yaaay! Favaro is back!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Ah, now I remember, I stopped watching ghost hound at around episode 14 or 15 years ago.
K-Off
Justice League Dark ended up being one of the weakest among the recent animated dc films. The opening was intriguing but it drops the ball as soon as it focuses on Zatanna and Constantine...The demonic manipulation of people isn't tied well enough to the villain, so that premise ends up feeling pointless, everything is inconsequential by the end. Why was this even made?
SuperMario
And for once, I feel that developing the characters isn't a appropriate choice for this type of show. The main cast need to develop, yes, but most of the supporting cast was presented as ambiguous and mysterious, thus making them change in the end feel just wrong
SuperMario
The main kidnapping was never addressed thoroughly, and it should be the main overarching arc, instead of this ending.
SuperMario
So... I've just binged through Ghost Hound. It starts as a compelling psychological mystery series, and ends up being... thriller of sort? The first half, building up stage was its best, and then unfortunately it run out of steam
KTravlos
Hey Favoro is like a good whiskey. You gotta drink it slow and enjoy it :)

I liked Predators.
Spike
8 episodes in we finally get to see who we were all waiting for in Bahamut! ...for 2 seconds.
Vonter
I did watch the version with the alien coming out of the ox. I haven't watched Predators, AVP1 was ok, like the newer movies its just the human element that has consistently gotten worse and unmemorable. I think that element in particular made me enjoy watching Alien 3 now, than if I had watched it in order, considering how it begins.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thankfully the franchise can never fall as low as the predator reboot or alien vs predator.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Be sure you're watching the extended version.
Vonter
I liked 3/4s of this film, as the plans to kill the alien got more cumbersome the film got more tiring. And I think it was obligated to annihilate the cast considering they take the time to take out a whole bunch of them. I also think it's very noticeable the tiring production this had, and while people praise practical effects now, this movie sadly didn't integrate well the alien puppet.
Vonter
I've just watched Alien 3, the only Alien movie I hadn't seen do to the diviseness towards it. I think I went with the best expectations considering now on hindsight newer movies have made it look more competent, having more weight. This movie has characters, integrates the religious motiffs better, the Alien more than a closet monster is a formidable force of nature.
Kaiser-Eoghan
.....It just dawn on me looking through my letterboxd account...I have never seen afro samurai...
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm on hold with SukaSuka as well after 5 episodes. Ejoyable so far but its LN's tendencies hurt the show
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, like I said in one of my weekly post, Tsuki ga Kirei is simple, but isn't easily obtained. At this point, I'm truly invested in these kids that it makes me tense just to see how they keep up with their relationship, haha.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have yet to catch up with sukasuka and don't care about bahamut all that much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel its sweet and sensitive approach has a rhythm to it that I started going along with.
It’s obviously slow but I began not noticing the time go by as I watched more.
The art makes me think of Shimura Takako’s and makes me wonder what the series might have been like if she wrote it.
The dub is mediocre so after 3 episodes I switched to subs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The relative quietness and how scaled back in comparison to other anime romances is welcome and it never becomes dramatically or comedically obnoxious which I think is in its favour.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to catch up on tsuki ga kirei. We said this before, but that scene where he meets the publisher about his writing is a stand out one.
For the show overall so far itself, above all I see it as something simple, un-demanding to watch, its good a break from all those old/art films I have to concentrate on harder to follow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe Goth would count but its more o a mystery manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not familiar with shibito or sugar life. May as well recommend everything by Kazuo Umezu and Junji ito. 6000 ended disappointingly, I fell behind in dead tube. Does sugar dark count?
Lenlo
I am a Hero is a personal favorite of mine
AidanAK47
@Anon: Uzumaki, Shibito no Koe o Kiku ga Yoi, Happy Suger Life, 6000 and Dead Tube. I suppose.
Anonymous1116992
What is some good horror manga
K-Off
@Mario I also noticed that korean thrillers are way too obnoxious with shakycam.
Lenlo
@Mario, about LWA, that was how I felt. Its just not as magical, as special, as the original OVA was to me. I suppose thats to much to ask for a 25 ep series, but it turned me off
AidanAK47
@Mario, TV Diana has some charm points but I think OVA Diana provided a better dynamic. I mean sure, She was essentially female Draco Malfoy but her attitude made reveals like her being a secret Chariot fan more impactful. Plus her tsundere act torwards Akko was rather adorable.
SuperMario
about LWA again, unlike Aidan I actually enjoy this version of Diana. I know she's one note, too perfect but she's charming. Too charming haha which serves well as a contrast to Akko
SuperMario
...just pop one random film from him. His films are not without its bad side thou, in particular I find the dialogues shapeless and dragging. But well it does add to the naturalness of his films
KTravlos
on LWA I would also recommended it. It is a fluffy show, with a sense of wonder. Some episodes are better, some are more flat, and the over-arching storyline leaves me bored. But it does have that sense of childlike wonder, which I had missed among all the "grim" shows.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have a bit of problems with Korean movies lately as now they're heavily thriller style-over-substance films, so films that have very simple style like Hong-Sang-Soo's joints are the welcome change of air. One thing about his films thou, If you watched one of his film, you've watched them all. They're so similar in tones and concepts that I reckon if you feel like watching his films...
SuperMario
So I say it's still worth finishing. It's good but I don't feel the sparks that made it so great from the OVAs anymore
SuperMario
@Lenlo: about LWA. Plus side: Those hijinks. I mean the show is fun and magical. Negative side: I wish the show's storytelling is a bit tighter, each episode feels so loose it doesn't add up much and more like different variations of Akko + one member of the cast's hijink. Doesn't help either that the other casts just disappeared until they have an episode for 2 for themselves
SuperMario
@Anon1113829: I "enjoyed" Beyond the Boundary, but that show was a mess. The episode 10 was stand out for me, and the ending was kinda... a wreck. Certainly interesting but quality-wise I wouldn't reccommend it
Anonymous1113829
@SuperMario KyoAni fan? What did you think of Kyoukai no Kanata? I really wanted to like it, I thought it had some potential, but IMO nothing worked right.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, It's good. Fun to watch certainly. Though sadly it falls short of being great.
Lenlo
So question: Is Little Witch Academia worth finishing atm? I started it last season, but for some reason it just fell off my radar
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thankfully, while not entirely satisfying, day he arrives is just the Korean film I've been looking for, refreshingly more low key, quieter and I enjoyed the new wavy combined with raw style, making it all feel very natural.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Well then, thanks for the rec on Hong-sang-so, I looked at The day he arrives. Y'know the reason I sometimes dread going into films featuring romance is because I'm conditioned from seeing the bad ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....I may actually read this, the last time I read a manga steeped in politics was Sanctuary: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle:_The_Making_of_an_Asian-American_President
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I actually have very limited experience with Ellis as a comic book writer, only read Transmetropolitan, I know he's writing the Castlevania adaptation.
SuperMario
@Aidan: I heard the same thing; can't help being a completist though so I'll eventually get to them
AidanAK47
@Mario, From what I heard, it doesn't get better.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that scene from the 1st episode of Phantom world lost me... but even then I'm willing to give the show another chance. That's how far I would go ^^ https://mobile.twitter.com/aaapodcast/status/687148875052892160/photo/2
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Looks like they are putting some real effort into it. May actually turn out pretty good after all.
@K-Off, Under the Red hood is a damn fine movie. Likely one of the best of the DC animated universe. Though try Superman vs the elite out. It's pretty good.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Even phantom world Mario...even phantom world ? =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just the teaser trailer, not much to go on, but heres a short preview of that netflix castlevania thing that got mentioned on here a while back, up the quality to 360p:
SuperMario
At this stage, I'm pretty much KyoAni fanboy now so with every new material, I'll hype it up to the sky ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I did follow it up with The spy who loved me though to cheer myself up =P Given that Rodger Moore just died =)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: just looked through what Short Men Behind the Sun is about: "human experiments carried out by Japanese army during WW2?" Already sound grim and too real. Then "a graphic depiction of the human experiments" haha no wonder you felt unsettled Kaiser
VyseLegendaire
My favorite Exploitation Flick is An Inconvenient Truth 2.0
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Long story short men behind the sun is finally the exploitation flick that defeated me and actually made me unsettled.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I remember you talking about how Salo really affected you as an exploitation film, generally exploitation films don't shock or disturb me, but I just watched the cantonese dubbed version of Men behind the sun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the worst thing about beyond the boundry and phantom world, it discolours my opinion of kyoani as a whole, making me negatively reflect on older work they did .
AidanAK47
Yep, that's the new KyoAni one. Like Puran I don't have any expectations of it. The premise certainly seems like the closest they have come to breaking out of there usual format but I am sure they will find a way to shove in Moe antics. Though based on what is seen so far it looks like they are trying to emulate Key.
Puran
Is that a new KyoAni anime?.. I have lost faith in them a long time ago. Last Anime from them that I cared about was probably Hyouka
SuperMario
Bring you some news, Violet Evergarden will be aired as an anime TV. Though many sources saying it gonna air this year, it has a better possibility to air next year
SuperMario
Well, aesthetically, he's pretty much on par with Yang and Wong. It's just that his films are often emotionally distant, feel more like watching the paint dry hahaa
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I connect more emotionally with Yang and Wong.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I went in expecting Edward Yang and Kar-wong-wai levels of quality, which may have been quite unfair standards to put him up against.
SuperMario
I myself find his films difficult to watch, but when the films end they usually hold up very very well. Both The Assassin and 3 Times in particular are my favorite of the year
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I completely understand your reaction because his films are demanding as hell. I remembered watching The Assassin in big screen, 3 people next to me fall asleep, one of them snoring and the other one fall asleep within the first 10 mins. That Hou Hsiao's movies for you
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its such a shame because he makes gorgeous cinema and City of sadness is actually pretty informative account of the times....I just can't jive with him and I actually like "slow cinema" but watching his work is insanity inducingly boring for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: ....I'm really sorry, I don't mind long slow even spiritual, talky, non-narrative, old, complex,meditative , art films but I'm really really finding it hard to watch Hou Hsiao's work, I've tried time to live and the Assassin and I just bailed after 2 out of 3 hours on city of sadness.
KTravlos
I have to say Akko is developing nicely as a character in LWA. Also Magane in Re:Creators reminds me of Hannibal as palyed by Mads Mikkelsen. There is that same est for life married to sociopath that is a bit charming :) Mamika's character is also just cool. Beyond that AofT and Bahamut both delivered competent episodes, with Bahamut a good mix between comedy and tragedy.
K-Off
@Aidan Assault on Arkham was fantastic. Between that and Under the Red Hood, a classic.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have a lot to say in this week's Eccentric Family. Review will come up later tonight when I get back home from work.
AidanAK47
Seen Assault on Arkham or what it should be called, The animated Suicide Squad movie. Thinking of checking out Dark.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Have you seen assault on Arkham or the justice league dark film?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: It isn't so much because its Talia x Batman, moreso that it feels odd shipping Batman with anyone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While kind of amusing, initially I wasn't too into Uchouten this week, the hot spring part got me groaning, but then someway through dramatically it really picked up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
From reading comics a few years back, I still feel that they adapt better to animation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: And I say this as someone who was able to defend Alien 3 and Ressurection.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Covenent felt like an Infantilized version of Alien.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't call either John Wick film or free fire amazing or anything but they had great fight scenes that were actually visually coherent , of course they weren't given a proper release.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not watching/paying for anymore of these reboots/remakes/shakey cam pg rated action films anymore. I'll stick with my balls to the wall Hong-Kong/Chinese ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: It also had really uneven pacing aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: ....The dialogue is so embarassing, they don't do enough with this backstory, they just keep teasing, none of the new characters have the same charisma , the editting in the action scenes shakes all overtheplace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I gave Covenent a fair chance, I thought it would be an exception to the reboot thing. I'll admit theres the sets, the atmosphere, Fassbenders performance , the idea to expand on the franchises mythos is cool but....
Kaiser-Eoghan
It really really hurts as a film fan, trying to find older, genuinely quality foreign films , finding that no-one is seeding them and theres no proper/in print dvd release anymore. Then finding some awful shakey cam modern American superhero film with billions of seeds and a bluray release.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I don't know. Todd was more the imperfect son always aiming for batmans approval. Damian is more an assasin wondering why the hell he can't just kill his enemies. I hear that Comic Damian works better than Animated Damian. I do think that if given a personality he could work but as he is currently you are right that he's essentially a mishmash of past robins.
Vonter
I watched Alien Covenant and I don't know if it improves by being more dumb and less pretentious or if it os the final nail in the Alien franchise coffin. Not since the StarWats prequels there has been a retcon that changes your view of the original movies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can recall enjoying a certain Jason Todd centered story called Batman:death in the family.
K-Off
Well, even when Damian does completely cross the line and become a villain, he's not even that interesting, i.e Injustice. Yup, Jason Todd already covered everything, but better.
AidanAK47
Problem is that he's an edge lord cocky piece of shit that just doesn't have enough likeable traits for this to be compelling. What really pushed him over the edge was mocking Nightwing over his parents deaths. That shit is not on.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I like the contrast that Batman refuses to cross the line and kill but Damian has crossed that line. As well as his potentail to become a villain. Tim and Dick didn't really have that though Jason sort of did. Damian's arc is more about teaching him the morality of a hero.
K-Off
@Aidan I'm not sure I like Damian's concept to begin with. The Bat-son dilemma's inherently addressed by the Robins for all intents and purposes. Damian just goes through the same motion, only difference being he's biologically related.
K-Off
Yup. Wonderwoman either doesn't need to have a love interest, or it needs to be with Steve Trevor, the two have a solid backstory that the movies unnecessarily removed.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, I don't mind the Taila X batman pairing. Makes more sense than Batman and Batgirl. But if there's one pairing pushed in the new movies that I just find wrong is the Superman X wonder woman. I just don't get that one.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, I like the concept of Damian as a character. But it's executed so badly.
Anonymous1105941
Teen titans needs one more season to wrap up all the loose ends. Such as what happens to Slade, and Blackfires revenge. The creators clearly wanted to explore those plot lines but got cut short.
K-Off
Teen Titans hasn't aged very well, but one thing I still do like about it is how contained and local the setting and cast were for the first half of that show. When godly superpowers are involved, that appeals to me. Much of the same reason why I like Logan and Raimi's Spiderman so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Very rarely watched teen titans when I was younger, I was vaguely interested in slade, stopped watching around when Terra appeared. I actively avoided comics where Damien appeared, never liked that Talia x Batman pairing much, I can only imagine how much worse it is to listen to Damien than read him.
K-Off
@Aidan, I like some aspects of those movies, but I'm not a big fan of the new continuity and art style in general...and yeah it doesn't help that Damian is irredeemably unlikable.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, There is also the DC animated Teen Titans movies like Teen Titans vs Justice Leage and Teen titans the Judus contract. Though it's not the same as the the TV series and Damian is such a dick.
K-Off
@Anon I don't think Teen Titans needs another season. The last season wasn't that good, but the movie ended the series on a high note and Young Justice pretty much rebooted everything, at least in terms of replacing people's want for a more mature DC cartoon about the Titans.
K-Off
Yeah it's become more of a hassel (for myself and my friends) to set aside time to go to a theater.
SuperMario
I guess in the end it all comes down to how easily it reaches the viewers. Give us a hard time and we don't give a damn to check the new movie/show out
SuperMario
... otherwise have to wait for a year, even more before it reaches Australia. But many companies will raise in the wake of Netflix and that will be where problems arise
SuperMario
This trend isn't happening within the anime industry, but it's happening in the movie world as well. In the past 2 years, Netflix starts to exclusively distribute many films, meaning that they won't have theatrical release, but straight to Video on Demand which caused quite a stir in the industry. Personally, I actually don't have much problem with it as now I will get a chance to see a film that
SuperMario
Dive!! , a series that will air next season on noitaminA slot will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. Not that I'm eagerly looking forward to Dive, but that news again makes me frustrated. No one will watch it and then all the hypes it might have will die down eventually.
Anonymous1105394
Considering I didn't even expect a season 5 it's more than I could've evr wanted. Now if only if only Teen Titans could get the same chance.
Lenlo
Oh yeah, it turned out well. Didnt mean to say it didnt.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Considering that the ratio of great to alright episodes is 8 to 2 I say that it turned out pretty well.
Lenlo
I have to say, the Samurai Jack season started stronger than it ended imo
AidanAK47
So this is how Samurai Jack ends. 16 years in the making. Honestly considering how much needed to get wrapped up I knew the ending would be a bit flawed. Really think Gen should have givin it one more episode to flesh out the ending and then it wouldn't feel so rushed. Overall despite it's flaws, it's a decent ending. Not prefect by any means but it will do the job.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lol theres a surprise, seriously, Black Lagoons manga is updating again.
KTravlos
worst recap ever for me? Gangsta. That was a stupid recap episode. Really like a Public Announcement. Useless, stupid, and ruining atmosphere. Utter stupidity. There I got it our of me :p
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Unfortunately too far behind in the sequel manga to catch up, I did take a look at THAT in the latest chapter though.
Masky
Huh, for some reason thought Tokyo Ghoul was under shonen when its seinen. Welp now that makes more sense, I was thinking story about cannibalism would be kinda absurd for shonen.
Spike
They serve no purpose except to fill airtime when production gets fucked up. They have 2 bad choices - run a recap or run an unfinished episode. Recap is generally the less dogshit choice. I've seen a few anime that ran the episodes with unfinished animations and still frames.... the backlash was about 100x what a recap is.
SuperMario
I'm about to say that to you as well Kaiser, maybe watch the recap and then continue on. The only thing I kind of take from the recap episode is the editting: how they chop off the fat of 6 episodes to still give you important developments. But as a way to catch up/ to reintroduce the series, it's freaking useless
Anonymous1104087
I don't think anyone should start from the recap episode. Unless there was a long hiatus, a recap in between episodes is unnecessary for new viewers and old
Lenlo
I mean, aside from whatever happens with Mugaro.
Lenlo
Next episode seems early, out of 24 episodes, for Nina to learn the Prince is Chris, yet that seems to be what the confrontation is leading towards, and then she freaks out and he learns shes the dragon. Becomes the conflict for the rest of the season?
Lenlo
Seems I was right, Azazel didnt predict that Nina might not be so easily riled up as she once was. To bad so sad Azazel, she has someone she loves now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
How useful are these recap episodes anyway/actually? Hypothetically lets say I was feeling lazy and decided to watch tsuki ga kirei starting from the recap episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
[link src="https://www.anirena.com/?s=blame

http://anilinkz.io/blame-movie"]
Lenlo
So long as there are consequences for how hes acting, then I am ok with it. I just dont want him to turn into some MC hero when hes acting like this.
AidanAK47
And in Re:Creators Sota is still being a goddamn pussy. Now that the exposition has gone down I am really starting to hate this kid.
SuperMario
It's the presentation that they differ. Ghost Hound focuses more on the atmosphere, so those details I mentioned before work for their benefits; whereas Sagrada Reset focus on plots (and confusing themes) so those stick out like sore thumb.
SuperMario
4 episodes into Ghost Hound so far. This show also reminds me a bit of Sagrada Reset this season- the way they both emotional distant, complex plots; keep viewers away at arm's length, and feature characters that have robotic facial expressions. Yet I enjoyed Ghost Hound so far and couldn't engage in Sagrada Reset at all.
SuperMario
@Spike: I was like... "tsuki ga kirei has a recap episode, so let's move on to Kado"... another recap. Tsuki ga kirei I'm not too worry as it confirmed that it'll have 12 episodes, but I'm not confident on Kado
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