Posted on 27 September 2008 with categories: Shigofumi ~ Stories of the Last Letter



Short Synopsis: Fumi still gets bullied, which catches the attention of one of her classmates.
Highlights: Good to see more of this series.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
Okay, so I’m not sure whether this is THE Shigofumi-OVA, or just a regular DVD-special, but more Shigofumi is always welcome, since the original series was just too damn short. This episode basically tries to involve all of the main characters, and focuses more on fleshing them out, rather than it just being another random case.

The main bullies were a bit stereotypical, but I liked the idea of trying to fake the Shigofumi. Especially that red envelope was a nice touch. This episode also shed some light on where the name Shigofumi came from: it’s another play with numbers: 4(shi)5(go)2(fu)3(mi). I also don’t think that the final two numbers are randomly chosen, as they also spell out Fumi’s name. The first number also makes sense, since “Shi” can also mean “death”. That only leaves the five, of which I’m not sure what that points at.

Overall, while it wasn’t the best episode and a bit unfocused, I’m glad to see a bit more about this series, and especially to listen to this series’ awesome soundtrack again. It’s ironic: this series has a very haunting soundtrack, and yet it has to settle with such a mediocre ALI-Project OP.

Now, where are those Gunslinger Girl – Il Teatrino DVD-specials?

Posted on 22 March 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Shigofumi ~ Stories of the Last Letter


Shigofumi is another episodic series that takes an in-depth look at death. At first, it may seem like some strange cross between Shinigami no Ballad and Jigoku Shoujo, but it quickly finds its own style and identity to work with. The earlier episodes mostly focus on random cases, where Fumika, our lead girl for this series, delivers the final memories of a person who just died to his loved ones, while the latter episodes focus on Fumika herself, and why she ended up delivering these letters in the first place.

Shigofumi’s strength is how it’s able to deliver a quiet and engaging atmosphere, with the subtlety of a herd of stampeding elephants. One moment, you’re enthralled by the versatile characters, the next you’re freaked out by some disturbing plot twist that came out of nowhere. The interesting thing is that this series knows fully well how to combine its quiet moments with its eventful ones.

Another strength about this series is the cast of characters. The writers make sure that all the characters are likable before they start playing with them. Especially Fumika turns into a well-rounded character for such a small series. Her development is started early, and not at the semi-final episodes, which seems to be a mistake that many series seem to make.

But yeah, I mentioned that this series has the subtlety of a herd of stampeding elephants. This is in both the good and the bad way. If things seem a bit too quiet, you can bet your hat that a candle will fall over and set a house on fire, just too spice things up a bit, and the entire series is filled with these kinds of plot-twists.

The individual stories basically range from one particularly far-fetched tale of bullying, to very subtle and insightful views on death, and especially the people who have been left by them. Shigofumi definitely has its flaws, but because of this it also has its own identify. You may try, and Jigoku Shoujo and Shinigami no Ballad indeed at first sight seem similar, but you won’t find any series that’s really captured the same essence as this one. If you want a series that’s short, sweet, and yet still packs a punch, then this one could be worth to check out.

Posted on with categories: Shigofumi ~ Stories of the Last Letter


And so Shigofumi has ended. Surprisingly, it didn’t go as I planned. Fumi didn’t turn into a psychotic killer at all, and she instead became surprisingly likable throughout the episode. It’s really sad that this series is so short, as it would have been able to do great things if it was allowed twelve more episodes. Shigofumi really has its own style, and I believe that it wouldn’t run out of inspiration with two seasons. Ah well, in exchange for its short length, it turned into a short but sweet series.

Basically, Mika went back into Fumi for a while and temporarily disappeared, so that Fumi would be able to lead her own life. Fumi, however, had a lot of trouble in her own life, and just wasn’t suited to be transferred to school so quickly. Everyone took pictures of her, she became paranoid, her own mother didn’t want to have her anymore. In the end, when she runs to Mikawa Kirameki’s house, Mika finally appears again, and smacks her for running away every time. While it wasn’t the best ending, it was great to see the “internal” struggle between Fumi and Mika. In the climax, it finally turned out that both of them had their own needs, but were holding back because of the other. Nice. I like it.

But why? For GOD’S SAKE WHY!? Who the heck found it a good idea to suddenly make Natsuko fall in love with Kaname? It comes from nowhere, serves absolutely no purpose, is very badly developed, and turned her entirely character into a joke. I suppose that the writers wanted to add a bit more extra tension, but that rather backfired on them, just like every umpth series that attempts such a freaking twist!

Ah, now that that’s out, I do hope that more series like Shigofumi appear. Series that create their own style, and don’t try to be like others. This really has been a series with its own identity, and even though the plot was a bit boggled up at times, I had a blast watching it.

Posted on 15 March 2008 with categories: Shigofumi ~ Stories of the Last Letter


Ah, of course. Shigofumi wouldn’t be Shigofumi without a deliciously over-the-top finale. What else could you expect for a series with the subtlety of an African elephant? Thankfully, this was yet another terrific episode for this series. I must say that I really had my doubts when I found out that the guy behind Code Geass behind the series composition, but this really turned out to be the perfect series for this guy, especially when the series is directed by a very talented director. They really brought this series to life.

So, basically, in this episode Fumi wakes up. Because of this, Mika wants to kill herself to accept her punishment, so most of the episode shows attempts as the shy Fumi gets kept away from the reaches of Fumi. Obviously, this can’t last forever, and the two run into each other at one point. Fumi then goes through an entire personality-switch when she found out that Mika shot the father she loved so much, and shoots Mika.

Obviously, because of one of the big rules of anime (a character is only dead when confirmed dead, and this isn’t the kind of series to try and diverge from this cliché :P), but still, Fumi is turning into an actual villain! The best thing is that she doesn’t even realize how much everyone has worried about her. And what was her plan at the end of the episode? To actually kill her father for real? And the blonde woman… could she be Fumika’s mother?

That twist with the dog was also nicely found, and it shows that already back then Fumi was more than just the shy and scared girl that Mika came to know. That look on her face when she chased away that dog explains a lot. And interestingly enough, it was that look that caused Kaname to develop his crush on her.

Posted on 10 March 2008 with categories: Shigofumi ~ Stories of the Last Letter


This episode featured a regular case again, and boy, was it a great one! Basically, a guy hears from his doctor that he only has a very limited time left to live, and he ends up spending time with a naive little girl. The creators did a wonderful job of bringing the guy and his anxieties to live. After all, it’s easy to think of what you would do if you only had a limited time to live, but what if this fantasy turns out to be a reality?

This episode still featured the standard Shigofumi-subtlety (that random truck, coming from out of nowhere). Little kids also usually turn very whiny during the evening, at the end of a day out, so where the little girl in this episode got her energy from is beyond me. Still, these details didn’t stop this episode from being a success. It lays an interesting parallel to the desire to fit into society. Look at how the policeman got surprised when he found out that the main character for this episode had no job (which he quit, because it had no point at all).

One thing that the creators did nail perfectly about little girls is their ignorance of death. At such a young age, it’s perfectly understandable that you don’t get why all the adults are getting so worked up about somebody dying. When the main character for this episode died, she didn’t even cry. She just realized that she’d never be able to play with the guy again.

Posted on 2 March 2008 with categories: Shigofumi ~ Stories of the Last Letter


Well… that wasn’t one of the most exciting episodes…

This could be just me, but whenever the major crew of an anime heads off to another resort or hotel, it just feels horribly bland and uninspired. Especially since EVERY SINGLE ONE of these episodes has to have some kind of hot-spring sequence. It’s not necessarily the fanservice that gets me, but the fact that every single episode looks like each other. It feels just like the creators were in a “well, we need one more episode to fill but we’ve run out of ideas so let’s just send the cast off to a resort so that they can enter hot springs”-mood. Such an episode SO doesn’t belong in this series, especially after I praised it for feeling so refreshing!

So, basically this episode was meant to give Chiaki a bit of development, but I feel that it would have been better if it didn’t spend half of its time on pointless chatter. We’ve enough other series for that! It turns out that she too was a normal human, fifty years ago. She was in love with a guy who was about a decade older than she was, and just as the two were about to propose, they got in a car-crash and Chiaki died. Now, fifty years later the guy also finally passed on, and used the Shigofumi to talk to Chiaki one final time. It turns out that she’s always been on his mind.

Posted on 24 February 2008 with categories: Shigofumi ~ Stories of the Last Letter


Haha, this was the best episode of Shigofumi yet. The creators did an excellent job for the episode on Fumika’s past. It was really over-the-top, but at the end you can really understand why Fumika shot her father. I’m glad to see that Shigofumi has found its own style, and kept with it, and it’s a great example of combining calm storytelling with extreme themes.

So, we already knew that Fumika’s father was insane, but there’s more to this story than just that. Her mother immediately divorced the guy as soon as she gave birth to Fumika, and now she’s remarried to another guy and lives in another country. Ever since then, she spent her childhood just with her father. In the beginning, he was really nice to her, though at one point, he started drawing on her, just like what he did in the last episode, but much more extreme. It was his way of getting inspiration for his books, but he was never content with it, and released all his anger about this on Fumika.

It was at this point where Fumika started developing an alternative personality: Mika, while she herself became Fumi. By talking to herself, she found peace between the horrible tortures of her father, and this continued until Fumika went to middle school, and she finally met other people, including Kaname and Kasumi. Meanwhile, though, the abuse continued, and at one point, it was Mika who couldn’t take it anymore to see Fumi being abused like that, and shot her father.

What’s interesting is how Fumi continued to love her father, no matter what he did to her. After her father was shot, I believe that the shock of seeing her father shot caused her to go into coma, and ever since, Mika became unable to contact her.

The question will now be: what do the creators have in mind for the final third of this series? There are four episodes left, and Fumika’s back-story seems to be resolved now. If I had to guess, then the final episode ends with Fumi, waking up again, though I’m interested to see how the creators are planning to do this.

Posted on 16 February 2008 with categories: Shigofumi ~ Stories of the Last Letter


This episode goes back to Fumikas background, as we get to know her father a bit more. Kaname’s meets up with his old school-friend, whose sister seems to be an admirer of Fumika’s father, who turns out to be a famous novelist (his name is Kirameki Mikawa, by the way). The sister also works for a newspaper-company, and coincidentally at the same day where Kaname pays a visit, she got an assignment to interview Mikawa. Coincidentally, at the same day Fumika also gets another Shigofumi from one of his obsessed fans who committed suicide because of one of his books. Yes, this was a tad too coincidental…

Thankfully, the rest of the storytelling more than made up for this. Mikawa is really messed up in the head, which is probably also why his books sell so much. He lives in a really eccentric house, full of glass, and because of the themes he uses in his books, people commit suicide. Apparently, this seems to happen more often, because he seems to have turned burning the Shigofumi he receives as some kind of weird ritual, and I can imagine how you can go crazy because of this as a daughter. I guess then at one point, he did something unforgivable to her, so she shot him. I’m not exactly sure why she ended up in a coma afterwards, but I suspect that the future episodes will shed light on this.

Interestingly enough, because apparently the guy didn’t die when Fumika shot him, Fumika plans to shoot the guy yet again. However, thanks to some meddling by Kaname she loses her gun, Mikawa picks it up, and mercilessly shoots his daughter instead. Now, I really wonder what will happen. She obviously won’t die completely, otherwise we’d have a bunch of very boring final episodes, but the matter isn’t so simple that she’ll either die or keep living. Her Shigofumi-form may be immortal, and just come back to live as long as her body in coma remains alive. It could also cause her coma-body to wake up again.

Those were some pretty interesting camera-angles, by the way. Especially when Mikawa was in the picture, the entire frame became more and more distorted, probably symbolizing his own twisted personality. What would be interesting is an episode, dedicated to the guy’s past. How did he become the famous writer anyway, and how did he find a woman, crazy enough to marry him and have a child? One thing I like about Shigofumi is that although it reminds me of a bunch of other series, it really managed to set itself apart from all the other series with its type of storytelling.

Posted on 9 February 2008 with categories: Shigofumi ~ Stories of the Last Letter


This week, Shigofumi is about a rather extreme case of bullying. The bullies are ruthless in every single way, but this episode is told from a rather interesting viewpoint: from a guy who happens to be in the same class as the bullies, but in the beginning has nothing to do with them. He never takes any action, and finds the bullied guy rather pathetic (which in a way is true. The guy has really gone crazy under the pressure). Then, when the bullied guy asks for his help, he declines, and instead betrays the guy to the bullies (did anyone else think of Kaiji when that beam appeared?). After that, the bullied commits suicide, and the bullies find themselves a new victim in the main character, who now understand how hard it is to be bullied.

Well, I think that it’s clear now that Shigofumi lacks any form of subtlety. It knows how to build up, but it’s interesting how it never tries to go too deep, and instead presents its story quite straightforward. It’s interesting how basically the entire episode says “thou shalt not bully”, and how the symbolism with the puppies was quite straightforward. It kind-of matches Fumika’s approach when she delivers the Shigofumi as well: all that matters is to deliver the Shigofumi, and everything that’s in the way doesn’t matter. I usually like series with a bit more subtlety, but a series with a subtlety like this one also is nice once in a while.

There’s one thing I couldn’t understand about this episode, though. At the end of this episode, we see how the main character stabs one of the bullies with a screwdriver (quite an interesting method to get rid of them), which he posts on a local bbs, it seems. We then switch to a completely unrelated girl, who reads the bbs as well, and seems to get bullied too. She then makes a phone-call to an unknown person and the episode ends. What was that about? Did we meet that girl before? Or was that just an introduction to the next episode? I’m going to assume that it’s the latter.

Posted on 2 February 2008 with categories: Shigofumi ~ Stories of the Last Letter


Yep, this episode yet again showed that this series has the same scriptwriter as Code-Geass. This episode had quite a few small unexplained coincidences that plagued Code Geass, up to the extreme. Thankfully, Shigofumi promises to be ten times better than the former somehow. I think it’s because that this is the only flaw that this series really has, whereas Code Geass was plagued by emo-fests and the horrible nationalistic messages that it tried to shove down the viewer’s throats, among others.

This episode was really mentioned to flesh out Fumiko, and the person receiving the Shigofumi (a cat) took a step back. It worked out really well, in my opinion. We also learn a bit more about Fumiko, before she became the deliverer of the Shigofumi. It seems that she, after killing her father, went into a coma. And now, she’s stuck, delivering the Shigofumi while her real body remains unconscious for years. Her old classmate that we saw in episode three turns out to have confessed to her, though Fumika declined.

It was also quite amusing to see that she hated cats. In that way, she does form a pretty good combination with Chiaki, as it’s clear that both of them try to annoy each other as much as possible. I really liked how this episode gave a new dimension to Fumiko, and how she’s not just that cold girl who delivers letters.

Regarding the case of this episode, it was pretty cute for a old man and woman to try and give their last message to a cat in the form of a key to their old apartment. I like the creativity, and it shows how the original writers were really trying to explore the borders around the Shigofumi. That’s what I like about these case-based series so much. :)

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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