Posted on 27 December 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Shinrei Tantei Yakumo




Bee-Train’s installment for 2010 is called Shinrei Tantei Yakumo, a 13 episode series about a psychic detective who can see ghosts. Lacking their usual director, Koichi Mashimo, the characterization is not as good as we’ve come to expect from them, but there still is a lot to like about this series.

Let me first put a few disclaimers here though, because this isn’t the most accessible series. First of all, despite the “Tantei”-part of the title (tantei = detective), don’t expect this to be a murder mystery: it isn’t. The culprits are often immediately revealed without really giving the audience the time to speculate wht happened. The mystery of this series instead mostly lies in its overall story.

Second of all, adapations whose stories don’t exactly fit within either 13 or 26 episodes nowadays often have slow paced beginnings and rushed endings. Yakumo is completely the opposite: it rushes through its first chapters, just so that it can take its time with the final two arcs of the story in which everything comes together.

So the first half of this series basically consists out of random stories for every episode. The pacing is really fast and some things are rather rushed in order to get everything to actually fit within twenty minutes, but overall these stories work surprisingly well. They’re especially good a using their own build-up and almost all of them end with a neat and interesting conclusion.

The main story that pops up in the second half is actually very interesting. The show boasts a number of very interesting characters (another plus point is that this is one of the very few series of the past season that isn’t about teenagers and actually make suse of it), with some badass characters that are very likable to watch. The show can also boast a neat cast of major villains here, who really are built up as a menacing bunch with a very interesting backstory. The voice actors meanwhile are good, yet composed, so there is none of the usual annoying overacting. There however are a few characters that can get on people’s nerves. Most notably Haruka, the romantic interest, but she’s far from the worst of her kind.

With 13 episodes, the characters aren’t as deep as your usual Bee-Train series, but they are great nonetheless. I especially loved the way in which the second half interweaves all of their stories together, and there is quite a bit of good development in this series, both for the main characters and the side characters.

The music this time is compoed by the relatively unknown RON, who deliver a great little soundtrack that is surprisingly varied. There are a ton of great tracks that the creators use really well, and this show just continues to introduce new ones. The character designs are simple, but the inbetween animation is quite good.

Overall, Yakumo is another series that went a bit under the radar this season (despite the HUGE hype leading up to it) but this is quite a good series to watch, even for some people who usually don’t like Bee-Train’s really slow sense of storytelling, because the pacing of this series is much faster than their usual series. Just be aware of some sloppy and rushed storytelling here and there.

Storytelling: 9/10 – A bit rushed and lacks attention to detail in the beginning, but makes up for it in the way that it manages to weave its different stories together and how well it uses its own build-up.
Characters: 9/10 – Great and diverse cast of well developed characters, there are plenty of strong and likable characters around. And a few that are hard to like, though.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Great soundtrack, decent animation, unremarkable art.
Setting: 8/10 – Seeing spirits is nothing new, but this series does give a fresh spin to it.

Suggestions:
Madlax
Soultaker
Matantei Loki Ragnarok

Posted on with categories: Shinrei Tantei Yakumo



That turned out to be a very nice little ending. It’s far less exciting than I expected, but it formed a very good conclusion to the series. Unlike the rest of this series, nothing was rushed about this episode at all.

So the plot of the bad guys was indeed to try and get the ghost of Yakumo’s father a real body. For that, they needed him in despair and that’s why all of his family members were killed. Miyuki Nanase indeed shot Gotou, as the final straw. The way in which things eventually got solved is a bit weird, yet interesting. It’s not like some deus ex machina suddenly makes the villains incompetent or stupid: their plan just failed. The reasons why exactly are a bit vague, but Yakumo simply refused to give into his despair.

In the end, the villains probably waited for too long to inhabit Yakumo’s body: it would have been much easier to drive him to despair while he was still a teenager (but then again, I think that Yakumo’s father was too much focused on acquiring an actually good vessel, and not a teen-aged one which I can somewhat understand). They tried to make him into a broken character, but in the end Gotou, Isshin and Haruka pulled him out of it. It’s cheesy, but this is one story where the power of friendship is actually quite acceptable to be the final twist. It could have been better, but it also definitely could have been worse.

I also really like that the creators really took their time for the epilogue. I’m not sure how Gotou wasn’t hit at a vital spot, but at least he does spend quite a bit of time at a hospital. Isshin however… actually died. It’s a great idea to base the epilogue of this series around his funeral, it’s a perfect way to close off the series.

Overall, Bee-Train’s series usually last for two seasons: that really gave them the opportunity to come with some really great plots and characters. With just 13 episodes however, Yakumo actually gave a very good attempt. It’s nowhere near Bee-Train’s best, I really noticed that while watching Madlax, but it’s still very good. I’m really thrilled for 2011: not only will Koichi Mashimo return, but he’s actually going to do a series of 39 episodes. I’m really glad that after 2010 that had so few series that dared to be long, 2011 finally is showing series again that go beyond 26 episodes.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 20 December 2010 with categories: Shinrei Tantei Yakumo



It’s the penultimate episode, and a series that once was so incredibly fast paced here really takes its time to deliver its story properly. The result is one of the quietest episodes of the entire series. It’s going to depend entirely on the final episode whether its time was well spent. The main event of this episode was that indeed it wasn’t Yakumo’s father who stabbed Ishii, but instead it was the father of that little girl he talked to. This guy really is quite the interesting villain, doing everything while dead and only able to talk and influence people. In terms of the side-characters, I especially liked Gotou. Throughout the entire series, his dialogue and voice acting has been consistently snarky and amusing.

Unfortunately, this episode ended with the infamous “let’s nearly kill someone right before the final episode”-cliffhanger. That’s a bit of a bad sign as most of the series that pull that twist only use it as a cheap gimmick instead of making it really part of the ending. Again, it’s all going to depend on that final episode and whether they can portray it well. The problem is that Nanase Miyuki has been built up as pretty much the strongest and most professional character of the entire series. If she manages to miss Haruka (or whoever she intended to shoot), it’s going to ruin her character.

In any case, Bee-Train have usually worked with famous composers, such as Yuki Kajiura, the ALI Project and Kou Outani. I really like that this time, they went with the relatively unknown RON, and pretty much allowed them to put all kinds of creativity in the soundtrack. This episode premiered a ton of new tracks, all of which worked wonderfully well. The only soundtrack they did previously was the Kurenai ED, which was generic J-Pop, so I’m really impressed by what they ended up delivering when they moved out of that genre.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 13 December 2010 with categories: Shinrei Tantei Yakumo



In a season in which so many adaptations are heading towards an incomplete ending, Yakumo feels incredibly refreshing. This is EXACTLY what I mean by proper build-up!

These are the kinds of stories that make perfect use of their build-up, rather than either doing the same thing over and over again, or just failing to do anything with it. Koichi Mashimo has always been terrific at this, but with this series, it’s awesome to see that more and more people are walking around in bee-Train who know the ins and outs of Bee-Train. That’s pretty much the thing that made me a Bee-Train fan, and why I don’t mind their slow pacing at all. Their music is of course amazing, but what really sold me on them is how well they manage to lay out their series in terms of the big picture. There are exceptions, of course, like Blade of the Immortal (way too short!) and .Hack//Roots (tried way too much and shot itself in the foot by that), but the vast majority of their series come together wonderfully in the end. While not a Bee-Train series, the anime that really showed me that was the Irresponsible Captain Tylor that I watched a week ago. With Yakumo too: instead of focusing for too long on the boring stuff of the manga, they really wanted to rush through that in order to do the great parts of the manga justice and that’s working wonderfully so far.

The “death right before the finale”-trope has been used often enough before, but I really like the effect that this had on both the characters and the plot. At first I thought that Yakumo’s uncle’s message that he’s going to die of cancer was just there to instill some sympathy. Instead, it caused him to just throw away his life in an attempt to try and talk to Yakumo’s father (who is turning into a more and more interesting villain, by the way). The result is that he’s now in a coma of which we won’t know whether he’ll wake up or not.

A lot of time really went into the repercussions of this, and especially the two people on which his coma made the biggest impact: Yakumo and Noa. Especially Noa was just amazing to watch, having her father in a coma at such a young age, and I loved how everyone tried to help her here. Yakumo meanwhile just sat at the same place. He’s no child anymore, but at the same time this is the second time at which he’s about to lose the most important person in his life.

At the same time, the plot also really moved forward here, with Nanase Miyuki suddenly getting attacked by Yakumo’s father, and more and more people finding out that he’s actually a ghost. This episode really showed many different scenes of different people together, and that gave it a very interesting dynamic here. There are two episodes left, and I can’t wait for this one to end.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 6 December 2010 with categories: Shinrei Tantei Yakumo



A lot of series will be ending at the end of december. The ending I’m looking forward to the most however is Shinrei Tantei Yakumo, closely followed by Shiki. The current (and probably final) arc has only just started and already it has delivered some amazing twists. Just think of how everything is going to come together in the end. I’m also the least worried of a rushed and incomplete ending, exactly because how the past episodes made it clear that they rushed the first half, exactly in order to avoid this problem.

The previous arc really cemented Miyuki Nanase as a bad-ass, and yet here this episode comes and also labels her as flawed when she completely unexpectedly gets caught. Not through some overblown car chase by one of the lead characters, but instead she gets cornered by regular patrol cars. Finally another series comes along that completely busts the “police are useless”-trope. To make things even more interesting, it’s heavily implied here that the main villain… is already dead. Again: why does this guy have such a grudge that even in the grave, his soul still continues to haunt Yakumo. On top of that, this makes Miyuki Nanase even more awesome, considering how just about everything in the previous arc was her work.

meanwhile, it’s good to see that finally there is another man who is about to die from a terminal illness, breaking the “women get sick really easy”-trope, and yet this isn’t a simple reversal in the way that the creators introduced that little girl whose future is also looking pretty bleak, balancing things out. In any case, the creators gave Yakumo’s uncle a very good portrayal. He was bleak, yet things didn’t get too sappy. Same with Yakumo’s baby pictures (nice touch to his character, by the way) that finally showed Yakumo some of the good sides of his mother again.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 29 November 2010 with categories: Shinrei Tantei Yakumo



Again: I’m baffled here. We all know that the first episodes had problems due to being rushed and all. And so here this episode comes with the main plot of this show and it suddenly becomes incredibly solid. Seriously, this episode was amazing in both its plot and atmosphere, and showed more than ever that Koichi Mashimo isn’t the only big talent that’s walking around in Bee-Train.

I’m really impressed by the plot here, and especially how it focused on just about everyone here: both the main characters and the villains. I just love how this episode tied everything together, the plot is both disturbing, imaginative and deep. And I really have to admit here: the bad guys in this series kick ass. They don’t just look evil, their actions really pack a punch here, from the trauma they inflicted on Yakumo’s mother by first raping her, murdering her boyfriend and then getting her to kill her own son, to recruiting little girls by having them kill off their own family. I also love the subtlety with which Yakumo now remembers his past. He’s obviously silent and introvert, but it’s not like he’s angsting over it either. I also really liked how he as a kid didn’t really like Takeda Shunsuke, and only much later found out that he was dating his mother.

Now, the one point at which I have criticisms of this episode was the way in which Gotou suddenly arrived at exactly the right time behind Miyuki Nanase, but I’ve seen far worse coincidences: Takeda Shunsuke made sure to tell everyone the location of Yakumo, with Gotou using a car with a bit of a delay, he could catch up to Haruka who took the train.

Speaking of which, Haruka again just ran into a situation unprotected, even though Takeda Shunsuke advised her to stay, but for once her actions make sense here: she was being targeted by Miyuki Nanase, and hiding would have actually worked against her favour: Miyuki would have easily captured her, just going to Yakumo would have saved Miyuki the trouble of dragging her over to Nagano, which is why she was left untouched. The way Miyuki was defeated may perhaps been a bit of a cop-out, but really: it was the only way. It’s already been established at this point that she’s completely badass, and that there’s no way that she would have lost in a real fight.

Also, what the hell was up with the animation in this episode? I mean, that’s not Bee-Train. I mean, smooth frame-rates are one thing, but there were tons of shots in this episode which had completely fluent movement, with more frame-rates than I’ve probably ever seen in a Bee-Train series. That scene in which Nanase told about how she murdered her parents was also just amazing: there was a TON of style within just those thirty seconds.

I now understand what this series is doing, and why the first few chapters were so incredibly rushed: they were simply trying to go through those chapters as fast as possible, so that they could put more emphasis on these final few episodes. You know how a lot of series waste too much time on their introductions, so that their endings get rushed? Denyuuden is a good example of that at the moment: it’s currently amazing, but it did take sixteen episodes with a lot of boring build-up to get there. That’s what the creators most likely wanted to avoid here, so for that they had to sacrifice some first impressions due to these rushed chapters.

The current Autumn Season wasn’t the best one for the reputation of series that feature adults as main characters, with Iron Man, Togainu no Chi and Hakuouki with their cheesy stories and characters and in a bit less of a way Panty and Stocking and Arakawa who have their minds in the gutter and riverbed respectively, but at the same time I really appreciate how there still are series like Otome Youkai Zakuro, Kuragehime and Shinrei Tantei Yakumo that try to come with mature storylines that aren’t chockful of teenaged antics. They may have a few cliches, they may be a bit rushed, but they really are the proof that anime hasn’t entirely been taken over by whimsical teenagers.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 22 November 2010 with categories: Shinrei Tantei Yakumo



A building up episode, but nevertheless a really solid one. It’s here where we finally get to see the “mystery”-part of this series, because the entire episode was full of twists and revelations to spice up this arc. It’s a bit weird at times, but that also gave this show a bit of a charm. Yakumo’s past suddenly got a lot more intriguing here, and I’m beginning to see what the creators were building up for here.

It’s also an episode who completely removes some of the key lead characters: Yakumo only appears in one shot, while Gotou is nowhere to be found at all. I like these kinds of episodes, as they really give the side-cast their time to shine, and in this episode they really show that they’re more than a useless bunch. Especially that wimpy detective gets some background and development and also Haruka was very different from back when she still got kidnapped every other episode.

I do have to wonder which police office keeps secret files hidden behind a toilet, of all things. This episode also returned to the quick-fire pacing of this series which feels like the creators tried to stuff a ton of material into just twenty episodes. Again though: it works. You can say a lot about this series, but it definitely doesn’t drag on.

The fact that Yakumo is the child born off a rape victim makes a lot of sense in the story, and only ends up making that bad guy even more of an asshole, establishing him now as an uncaught rapist. It’s still a complete mystery about what he’s planning to do with him though, but it probably involves the spirit seeing powers that he has. The bond between his mother and Haruka’s mother is a bit coincidental, but on the other hand, it’s entirely possible for Haruka’s mother to send Haruka towards Yakumo. I doubt she knew about the extent of the practices that Yakumo was involved in, and instead probably tried to prevent Yakumo from really losing his way.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 15 November 2010 with categories: Shinrei Tantei Yakumo



Holy crap, that was awesome! What the hell happened here? This show suddenly starts building up its main story, and then it delivers by far the bets episode it ever had. I wasn’t really expecting much from this series other than its great music, style and atmosphere, but damn: this episode pushed a ton of right buttons. Not to mention that the soundtrack surpassed itself. Yet again.

The biggest part of why this episode was so awesome was because it introduced us to the two most bad-ass women of the entire season. I mean, I was aware that Bee-Train had something for strong female characters and all, but even for those standards, Nanase Miyuki and Miya both were awesome in this episode in completely different ways, though their similarity is their professionalism. Miya is just… I love her voice actress: the way that she’s just so serious, and yet she doesn’t try to add in anything more. Nanase Miyuki meanwhile was who most of this episode focused on. We had never really seen that much about her: she just kept standing next to Yakumo’s father, but that’s all she did. In this episode she finally comes into action, and she’s just crazy, yet hardly wastes any movement in order to get what she wants. (Also, take that, Sailor Moon! Even I didn’t recognize her in that disguise and yet Gotou nearly noticed it).

And oh, the character-development. In particular Yakumo and Yuutarou got hit hard: the phone call Yakumo made to Haruka was definitely not one he would have made a few episodes back. Yuutarou meanwhile also was a bit of a klutz, but the creators used that one surprisingly well near the end, when he really got pounded by Miya for not doing anything while Gotou got captured.

Now, it IS going to be really hard for this show to keep this momentum, I realize that very well: this episode ended with all of the main characters kidnapped all in different ways. It’s the reason Miyuki was so awesome, but how the heck are the creators going to write themselves out of that? There really has to be something within Yakumo’s father’s plans that specifically includes not to kill them, otherwise things could get a bit nasty with Deus ex Machina…

Oh, and the music. Dear god, the music! at first I wasn’t the most impressed it (having heard far better from Bee-Train in the past), but seriously, when it just keeps introducing new tracks that just get better and better then I’m really anticipating the tracks that they’re still saving for the last parts…
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 7 November 2010 with categories: Shinrei Tantei Yakumo



Quite an unusual episode for Yakumo: in most of its episodes it tries to stuff in as much as possible. The story in this episode however was really small. It was so simple that it probably would have fit into half an episode. So instead the creators stuff in a lot of scenes to flesh out the different characters. It works well.

And seriously, the drama in this episode was simple, yet very effective. The ghost in this episode was not angry because of some romance, but instead this episode featured a shy and secluded girl who once made a picture of herself wearing a pretty dress. It’s a simple yet very effective twist here.

Karuka, she has her issues, but in the end I do consider her to be a good female sidekick. She’s got plenty of weaknesses, but she also is pretty useful in getting Yakumo to crawl out of his shell. She’s certainly no moron and is really trying to understand him and the various ghosts she runs into, without becoming overly pushy or obnoxious. I like that. Speaking of morons… To think that “the klutz” in this series would be played by a guy. This guy… has no backbone. And yet I like his purpose in the series, having to work together with that woman that he’d once seen possessed.

This episode featured quite a few of those small scenes of characters who had nothing to do with the plot of this episode, but I like those kinds of scenes for some reasons. Heh, and yet this was the first episode in which we didn’t get to see Yakumo’s father. This really was meant to be some sort of quiet before the storm.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 31 October 2010 with categories: Shinrei Tantei Yakumo



It’s rushed, it’s full of coincidences, I know that. But damn, this episode was surprisingly good here. I really want to praise the creators here, that even though they had to cut god knows how much from the manga in order to make this fit into just one episode, they still managed to make it work. This show is indeed visibly flawed, but it also avoids the single biggest pitfall for any rushed anime: the fact that the plot doesn’t come together.

This episode just kept building up its tension, right from the start, and within these 20 minutes, they really did lot here: they gave the doctor a good backstory, it fleshed the rest of the cast, especially Gotou tried to squeeze a bit of personality as much as he could without getting in the way of the story or the rest of the characters, we know a bit more about the new intern (who despite his whining is surprisingly useful), and most importantly: we now know who Yakumo’s father is. That certainly added a neat twist to this series.

The atmosphere was particularly wonderful in this episode. That’s where it really helps to be a Bee-Train series, because that soundtrack definitely kept me to the edge of my seat, and it worked great with the storytelling and the pacing of the series. This balance is probably the thing that makes this show works so well: the characters and story are very well balanced in each episode, and the creators make sure to give all of them equal time to show themselves off. Its definitely not the most solid series, but to me it does feel like everything comes together like it should.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

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Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember the idea of dlc was something that annoyed me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I do remember getting a kick out of playing old N64 multiplayers, lol bunch of then 13 year olds not knowing how to play goldeneye multiplayer properly or stealthily , so it basically turns into a Hong kong style shootout.
Kaiser-Eoghan
"We're in the middle of a battle! You have to stay logged in"
"GODDAMMIT I need to eat I can't stay!, Godammit nature calls"
Kaiser-Eoghan
When my friends got into MMOs and online shooters, I simply didn't have the time commitment or patience for the prior in particular.
Amagi
A person will only play one or two of such endless games, people won't start new ones just because they pop up everywhere, but nobody seems to get this.
Amagi
The problem is that everyone is only looking at how much money the few big ones make and think they can imitate it when the whole thing is actually just a bubble, just as with gacha games.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I actually enjoyed classical coops but yeah, MMO not really. Especially not when it feels like a game was created for single player and they shoved the MMO stuff in or when a game gets less story heavy and less content to make room for the lootershooter/pvp/whatever MMO stuff.
Amagi
I am doing this too right now. Will probably marathon a few shows I skipped so far in case that they're good till the end. More into playing right now
Kaiser-Eoghan
You might say I was keen on the idea of being in the same room as someone after I defeated them in a fighting game =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
*going on
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its far more easy to remember whats going in that way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*the habit
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I've gotten into he habit of only watching a few shows each season, then later on catching up with others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Back in my gaming days my idea of a multiplayer was with a group of friends in a room, but it all shifted into massive online multiplayer mmos and fps games.
Amagi
Sadly, the OPM PV looks weak, I will miss the great animations of MP100.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Have to admit that I like Mob more than I feared, it's the show I enjoy the most right now. Otherwise I'd go with your ranking, maybe with an added Neverland.
Amagi
Man I hate how every game has to become more and more multiplayer'ish just let me play games as loner again.
Amagi
I already dropped it during episode 1. Considering that the manga has ~120+ chapters I guess it's another eternal status quo thing too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Wooper: I read a couple of volumes of the manga, its hit or miss and eventually gets repetitive, it could be often funny in certain parts but I'm bored of it now. I saw some bits of the anime and didn't laugh.
SuperWooper
>not watching Kaguya-sama
I seriously hope you guys don't do this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose now that its near the end of this season I should rank what I've been watching: 1. Run with the wind 2. Boogiepop 3. dororo 4. go-toubon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: And there thats the other thing, out of it so long there's a massive buildup of games , increasingly difficult to catch up and get back into.
Vonter
At the moment I'm playing Guacamelee 2. Which I had my doubts since the first game got a bit frustrating do to the backtracking. This one gives me a Super Paper Mario vibe in the villains departament.
Vonter
@AidanAK47 I'm not even mad anymore, but still disappointed Western Games can't give closure to their over 10 million dollar games. I think you can have a self contained story and maybe tease the story is open to more adventures or something.
Vonter
I suppose if I'm curious for the story I'll watch an edited Let's Play.
Vonter
Yeah, I agree, it does feel like indie developers and Nintendo make the games I like. I don't know maybe I'm just getting old to catch up with the recent trends most ambitious projects tend to follow. Also how most of these games take a lot of time to get going and I don't have that much free time to spare waiting for the game to let me play it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I got into watching letsplays for a while some years back, it was a decent way to re-live an old game without playing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whoring out sequels is pretty much the bane of most things, just continually dilutes the original and in some cases can even ruin the original for you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I can still remember that very moment when I first played a 3D game and how unreal that felt .
Kaiser-Eoghan
And there isn't time to give to absolutely every medium.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unfortunately I think I've been so long out of the habit of gaming that I've gotten used to and familiar with not being part of that scene , to where I kind of simply just don't pick up a controller anymore.
AidanAK47
Not to mention that they are gonna milk it to death. They already got about 5 sequels planned and put in a thing showing how they could milk it. To me GOW 2018 is an incomplete game, a part 1 of a needlessly long franchise. Whereas the old games had stories which felt complete.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I would say it's more that despite the fantastical settings both Hoizon and GOW 2018 make use of tired sandbox game mechanics. GOW especially annoyed me as I feel they stripped out everything that made those games there own things and replaced them with game mechanics stolen from other games. GOW lost it's very essence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Futaro
Kaiser-Eoghan
Fuataro is best girl.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I just read that the new Orphan anime is a prequel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Back when I played/watched people play videogames, it was moreso Jrpgs and old Nintendo and sega genesis games.
Vonter
IMO making something more complicated than it should ends making something less enjoyable to play.
Vonter
Why not just watch a Let's Play. I suppose is an overreaction, but I felt very mixed how God of War 2018 was a good Father and Son story, but really annoying to play. Constant walking and climbing sequences, combat that I think it's less involved than the ones from the other games, and constant looting that lost it's charm by the 30th chest.
Vonter
I don't know why but I've been feeling that I'm enjoying more playing on the Switch than the PS4. While I enjoyed RE2 and will likely replay it, other high tech games like God of War, Horizon and the like don't do much for me. Most of this realistic games have very slow starts, make the playstation fans sound like it's struggling, and if the best part of these games is the dialogue and cinematics.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Genuinely a very good sign when a 20 minute episode feels much shorter than it is and its rewarding to see an anime series possess such a degree of confidence in its direction.
Lenlo
Just finished it. Seriously, Kaze Fui has nailed this segment of episodes. Just homerun after homerun. Its ridiculous. I love it. Kurahara tapping into the freakin speed force
Animosh
Now only Haiji is left. When there were five episodes remaining I was wondering whether there'd be enough content to fill them all, now I'm wondering how the show is going resolve everything in one episode. But the show has barely made any missteps so far, so I'm sure it'll nail the ending too.
Animosh
Kurahara's segment was also good. He's fallen in love with running, and now that he's pursuing running for its own sake he runs faster than ever. It also helps that he's crazy talented, of course.
Lenlo
I want to be excited for OPM 2... but JC Staff

Also I cant wait to watch Kaze Fui when I get off work. Sounds like it was good
Animosh
Yeah, King's segment was better than expected. Pretty relatable. His issues did come a bit out of nowhere though. His segment could have been even better if there had been some hints that he has been struggling with this earlier. It's also a bit strange that there wasn't any development with his job hunt, since that what basically his defining trait throughout the series.
Anonymous3563660
The developments from the first cour are absolutely paying off big time and it's amazing to see how far this cast has come since the first episode. And now it's time for Haiji's segment next episode. I can't take waiting another week for this!
Anonymous3563660
Well. Bravo Kaze ga. That was an amazing display that Kakeru showed. I loved his segment. King's backstory really hit me close to home as someone who recently graduated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now on Boogiepop phantom episode 16....a discount Godzilla!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I liked Densetsu no yusha even though no one did and Record of Lodoss war, always wished there had been more of both.
Animosh
Yeah, that trailer ... does not look promising.
Anonymous3563292
Just as MP100 s2 takes its bow, there's going to be a lot of people expecting OPM to be as amazing as that or s1. Oh boy.
Anonymous3563292
A reminder to temper your expectations for OPM s2.
Anonymous3563001
After a messy start, that Prince of Smiles show has largely settled for okay. Not terrible, not amazing, but largely above-average and rather forgettable. I'd compare it to that Record of Grancrest War show from last year.
Anonymous3563001
This apparently isn't like that other Doga Kobo show where the pedo bait was persistent throughout.
Anonymous3563001
So uh, has anyone tried to go back to Wataten and see if the pedo bait has subsided since the first episode? Because it seems like it has for the time being.
Animosh
@Anon: no, I mean a continuation of the main story. I read about it on the anime subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/anime/comments/b26yj1/shaft_producer_mitsutoshi_kubota_confirming_that/
Lenlo
@Anon, I love Mob Psycho, but the series does have some iffy stills. Thats not an issue though, because this is an animated medium. Its meant to be viewed in motion and holy shit, does it look good in motion
AidanAK47
However my main issue at the moment is the feeling of them dragging things out for the sake of having that be the finale. Right now episodes just don't have much content and I feel it's too dragged out for it's own good.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Nervous isn't really the word I would use. As far as adaption is concerned I feel the series has done quite well for the most part with the only big misstep being the shows reluctance to have any inner monologue whatsoever which has lead to questionable choices to alternatively present information that was usually spoken in mind. I say the end of the arc will be done well.
Anonymous3560732
@Aidan As a manga reader, are you nervous about how they'll adapt the end of the arc in Neverland?
Anonymous3560839
mob psycho was amazeballs this week. It's the show that just keeps on giving. On a side note, I've seen some comments floating around about how the show has terrible still shots and I'm going to dispel that erroneous assessment in this week's discussion
SuperWooper
Search bar is in the upper right hand corner, in case you're still searching.
Anonymous3560732
@Animosh You referring to that Madoka mobile game tie-in?
Anonymous3560739
That’s not the search bar
Anonymous3560739
Mob psycho
Kaiser-Eoghan
They decided to adapt mushoku tensei apparently. I might aswell see what all the fuss about it is as being one of the "better" isekai.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't imagine how the polar bear isekai or vending machine one would handle the harem aspect.
Animosh
As for Slime getting another season, I personally don't mind. It's obviously not a masterpiece, but I don't watch isekai for enlightenment. If they can offer me some relaxation after a day's work, that's enough for me.
Animosh
Some nice announcements in the past few days: Oregairu is getting a third (and final) season, and Madoka is rumored to get a sequel too (maybe focusing on Sayaka?).
Anonymous3560293
Cross Ange is not trash tho, way better than those others
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm wiser nowto certain types of story telling, making an overly long show that keeps throwing endless gotchas at you, eventually you get tired of the show trying to play with you instead of actually moving things forward.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I've enjoyed many a trashy show/film in my time, but guilty crown, cross ange and Valvrave I couldn't finish, there are certain cases where the brain begins hurting/aching.
Anonymous3560221
While different in settings and genres, they obviously have Okouchi's writing full of shock value and swerves.
Anonymous3560221
Guilty Crown and Valvrave are like his most explicit attempts to recreate Geass, and look how those two fared. Kabaneri also falls into the same traps as those too.
Anonymous3560221
But even he ends up letting his worst tendencies slip in with examples like Princess Principal, particularly the last episode.
Anonymous3560221
Which ironic that the best shows that he's written are the ones that are not trying to recreate those Geass days like Lupin the 3rd Part V or that Devilman Netflix show.
Anonymous3560221
It's amusing to see that Okouchi's worst enemy is essentially himself. Trying to recreate that Code Geass magic with ass pulls, shocking swerves, and shock value without realizing that it's never as shocking the second time around. And that has basically ruined almost every work he's attached to.
Amagi
I always find it funny how almost everyone agrees that it was Biba who ruined Kabaneri. I liked that show so much before he appeared, damn. Will watch the movie but my hype is killed and I fear the movie will just be about another random human antagonist instead of the actual Kabaneri problem.
Anonymous3558784
mongatari
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo@Wooper: At least we have the Tanya movie to look forward to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Even though I know its going for something fun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh COME on Japan, just give me by communist isekai mecha show so we can be lovers again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Biba fucker ruined the show and it stopped allowing me to enjoy Kabeneri as a shitty ova throwback.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Couldn't even make good on a stupid re-incarnation premise on the ones you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or better yet, find some old proto-isekai and adapt it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
"Could be worse" I suppose I win by default by bringing up Parallel paradise and ruining everyones fun by reminding them of its existence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think my brother in laws reason for liking trashy isekai is because he sees them as an anime equivalent to exploitation films, I should just tell him to watch old ovas.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we're doing the re-incarnation thing, just give me a full please save my earth adaptation or bokura no kiseki or that other re-incarnation thing done by Spirals artist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not an isekai, but a LN adaptation, Index keeps popping up again every so often, I fell out of the series a long time ago and got exhausted with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel the same way about konosuba, I wish I found it funny but I don't because I know it is going for that "fun" thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think, especially with a second season, I'd eventually get fed up with it aswell and that it would get repetitive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My brother (and probably my brother in law too) seem to enjoy Reincarnated as a slime as a casuals show and find it funny. I saw clips of the dub, the voice actors sounded like they were having fun and I think some people found the slime/dragon interactions at the start amusing. I'm just left thinking that the show is something my younger self might have gone for but I'm indifferent to it now.
AidanAK47
Or the vending machine isekai
AidanAK47
Or the polar bear isekai
AidanAK47
It could be the hot spring isekai
AidanAK47
Well guys it could be worse.
Lenlo
I sense a disturbance in the medium. I fear for the future.
SuperWooper
That's fantastic news, as series set in the real world give me diarrhea. I assume that the majority of Japanese otaku suffer from the same issue, given the number of isekai manga and LNs that are slowly polluting my favorite art form. :^)
Anonymous3556601
As expected, that Slime isekai show has been renewed for a second season.
SuperWooper
@Anon3540676: Hey!
Anonymous3542644
And despite all of these recent announcements lately, IG still hasn't announced a release date and release model for DNT s2 yet beyond theatrical screenings. =(
Anonymous3542320
https://youtu.be/cxjXEIDbBxAInterestingly, seems like Banana Fish (technically not BL) did well enough for Noitamina to consider having an adaptation an actual BL manga on their block.
Anonymous3542320
I would really love to see that Kabaneri film get things back on track after the second half nearly derailed it (pun intended).
Anonymous3542320
Huh, well that didn't take too long for a release date regarding Psycho-Pass 3. It's slated for October.
Meanwhile, Beastars is going to be Netflix-exclusive, and interestingly, the Kabaneri film is going to air simultaneously on Netflix and Amazon alongside a limited theatrical release.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Did you ever read beast complex? I haven't done so yet, it seems like like the beastars authors prototype for it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hadn't known that, thanks. Also, I read the most recent 20 or so chapters Amatsuki, all has finally been revealed.
Amagi
Q's (Dorohedoro) new series started, Dai Dark. It's basically Dorohedoro in space (therefore, I am completely fine with it).
Lenlo
This adaptation of Dororo is adding a lot of new content to its story in its adaptation. It's taking what was a much more one-dimensional story in my opinion, and giving it layers.

And yeah, Run with the Wind was great. Sure Kurahara has been the most emotional, he is the lead, but I think everyone in the cast has done a decent job
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although while I did enjoy last week, I didn't think it captured the impact the manga had.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dororo upped the ante this week to its benefit. This episode also showed how the series can succeed even with the protagonist having a minimized screentime. I don't remember Taromaro going up against a demon in the manga, this is an advantage of this adaptation adding stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...because there will be that sense of saying goodbye.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: And thinking it over, I've been beginning to get the feeling that this will be one of those took me on a journey shows, one of those shows where I felt I really spent alot of time with everyone in it and after it ends/in the last episode, it'll get me feeling something...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: While so far in the series I thi7nk the stuff around Kakeru has been the most emotionally rewarding, the middle of this episode crept up on me , the tension of the race itself was never interrupted by the flashbacks and they were well stitched into the narrative.
Lenlo
Just watched it. I love this show so much. How is a show about running so damn good
Lenlo
I want to read your comments so much but I wont watch it until tonight ;_;
Anonymous3535670
You know,by the end of this month, it feels satisfying and surreal to have a show that's longer than 1 cour, not be a LN/manga adaptation, and have a (hopefully) satisfying conclusion that's also self-contained. And it's based on a novel about running.
Anonymous3535670
2 episodes left. Last episode is likely going to be Haiji's segment and probably the one with the most waterworks in both his running and his past.
Anonymous3535670
Nico's segment was also exceptional too, looking at his past. King's up next, and he's going up against that douche Sakaki. That guy still wants to prove that he's better than these "amateurs". Next episode is going to be King's segment and then Kurahana's as he goes up against Fujioka.
Anonymous3535670
Day 2 of the Ekiden begins and boy, it's just as emotional as the first day. Huge props to Yuki for being able to make it down the slope, but man his feet took a tremendous beating.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I actually respect that, him doing it out of spite.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For example, cinema is infuriating politically correct these days, so I'll happily enjoy some old trashy thing that is guaranteed to piss off certain people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I really really don't like something, then end up enjoying something oldskool trashy/exploitative, its an even better show of contempt for the thing I disliked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've stopped watching trash ironically now though, to unironically enjoying it as trash and cynically as a reaction to modern hollywood and modern anime trends.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And i am largely against doing that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I guess I enjoyed parts of both seed series but overall I consider them a low point for the franchise, I essentially fastforwarded through parts of both.
Anonymous3532051
The whole thing comes off as a vindictive screed from the show's producer towards Sunrise because they won't let him direct another show after the mess that was Gundam Seed Destiny.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My introduction to anime was in the late 90s through exploitative ovas, can't believe I still haven't seen angel cop or dumb shit like Kenya boy. In the latters case it has the misfortune of being incredibly dated.
Anonymous3532051
But most of the show isn't really like that afterwards apart from the continued bloodshed, and fan service. There's something up with that if they were going to make such drastic tonal shifts. That had to be intentional.
Anonymous3532051
So bam! First three episodes of Cross Ange contains blatant racism, wanton bloodshed and violence, people dying left and right, lesbian sex, and that really disturbing "cavity check" at the end of episode 1. This must've been done on purpose because Fukuda wanted it to prove some point I guess?
Anonymous3532051
I recall he said prior to that show's airing that he was frustrated that TV content regulations had grown even more strict compared to when Seed was on the air back in 2002, and that Seed wouldn't even be the same had he made it today.
Anonymous3532051
God, Cross Ange feels like a dare made by Gundam Seed's director to create a show with the intent of shocking its audience with edgy material since he produced it.
Anonymous3532051
So I guess at this point, Netflix has officially stopped trying to license anime (and delaying their Western premiers by months after the Japanese airing concludes) since they're announcing nothing but original productions lately. As long as they put out good content like they promised to the anime community.
Vonter
I'm a bit baffled by people arguing Cross Ange is good. Since it's hard to make a case of something being soo good at being baad.
Vonter
WatchMojo made a list of the top ten anime so bad they're good. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1HCnZSriig
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also other than that I'm glad that Totsukuni no shoujo is getting an ova which could possibly lead to a bigger adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hope bokura no kiseki ends soon too so I can just re-read marathon it aswell, just give both full anime adaptations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm 22 chapters behind in Amatsuki, I didn't know it had ended, only a few volumes left to be scanned/translated, then I can re-read the whole thing. This thing had very slow updates, which made an already complex manga harder to follow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Didn't think anyone would actually remember/care about spriggan, I remember parts of it when the ova aired in the late 90s/early 2000s. But i can't recall any opinion I had on it.
Anonymous3529312
I wonder how they'll deal with the anti-American themes though that the source material had (and I think the English adaptations needed to tone down)? Granted, it's a lot easier nowadays to paint America as the bad guy given who's running it lol.
Anonymous3529312
Spriggan adaptation coming to Netflix from David Production huh? Haven't heard of this property in a long time. There was a film iirc that came out 20 years ago.
KTravlos
I loved Paranoia agent. It really was a great show
Lenlo
Oh boy. Just watched Paranoia Agent 8. That got weird. This entire show is weird. I like it.
SuperWooper
Yeah, I'm bummed about the Chihayafuru delay. On the upside, I get to treasure my memories of the first two seasons for six more months before they're tainted by S3.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For others like myself who'd been waiting for them , Chihayafuru season 3 and 7 seeds got pushed back to another season instead.
Anonymous3515039
Even still, perhaps a clean slate is probably for the best. At least in my book.
Anonymous3513877
So, they're going ahead with Psycho-Pass 3 then huh? Again no Urobuchi, but IG will handle this one unlike season 2 (please no Ubukata) and it'll feature a new cast. I assume it'll be written by those who did the recent film trilogy. No Akane it seems, but one can hope for a supporting role or cameo.
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Featured Posts

Kemurikusa – 11

At long last, we have an entire episode in flashback and explains much of its Kemurikusa’s rich settings. Even at the risk of over-informed us with details, all the information we learn this week is both unexpected, and makes total sense. Before we get into the details, (AND WHAT A MAJOR REVEAL), I feel the […]

Winter 2019 Summary – Week 9-10

Another two weeks have passed, and Summer Season is coming in sight. It’s the time where most shows get busy as they reach their final arc. Mob Psycho 100 ventures into its shounen roots,  Run with the Wind does extremely well in its last leg, literally, and Kemurikusa girls part way emotionally. Let’s see how these 4 shows below perform in […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai – 09/10 [The Vagabond Leader/ The Aggressive Bombers]

Welp, Kotobuki is getting really good. Normally this is the time where shows reach its final overarching arc, and sometimes it loses a bit of it magic because of that (like what I currently have with Gotobun), but with its tongue-in-cheek manner and its main storyline that is totally unexpected but weirdly fit to the […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) – 15/16 [Overdrive: The King of Distortion 2/3]

The nightmare never seems to end. During episode 15, we have three separate segments of characters stuck in their own dreams: Makoto’s mother, Sakiko and Kentarou. Play into Boogiepop’s strength, these characters have their own drama and each of their story explores different aspect of this phenomenal, all related to the King of Distortion himself. […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 22 [Embrace Your Loneliness]

Hello all and welcome to the penultimate episode of Kaze Fui! This week we see King’s struggle, Kurahara takes off and Sakaki becomes a little less hate-able. Lets take off running, we have a lot to cover! In terms of animation and production, Kaze Fui surprised me this week. I didn’t think that, after Yuki […]

Kemurikusa – 08/09/10

Welp, I don’t think I have taken that long break before since I started blogging. My life has been busier than usual lately and I also feel a little bit burnt out from blogging lately. Writing can be a pain sometimes. Hopefully this is just a temporary slump because I’m not intending to stop blogging […]

Dororo – 11 [The Story of Banmon, Part 1]

Lets skip the preamble this week and just dive in to Dororo! On this episode our plucky pair explore Daigo’s city, fight some fox spirits and get in a bit of a pickle. Lets go! Startin off, Dororo had some interesting visuals and colors this week. With the Fox Spirits and the Crazy Woman sticking […]

Mob Psycho 100 S2 – 11 [Guidance ~Psychic Sensor~]

Hello and welcome once more to the Mob Psycho 100 blog, where I gush about Mob Psycho 100! This week see’s an old villains return, multiple defeats and more of Mob’s growth. Lets dive in! Now, at this point I feel like a broken record when talking about Mob Psycho’s animation. But the fact is, […]

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – 10

There are times when I judge anime series based on the number of screencaps I’m compelled to take per episode. This was one of those times. After closing the video and taking a look at my desktop, I was unsurprised to see it littered with mpv-shot files, all featuring distinct facial expressions, poses, and situations […]

Latest Reviews

A quick and dirty review of Garo: Vanishing Line

What it claims to be about: A secret order of knights and alchemists, the Makai Knights and Alchemists, fight horrifying creatures called Hollows who prey on human weakness .Part of the media franchise spanning anime and live action shows, this iteration is set in modern metropolis and concerns the attempts of Sword, the strongest Makai […]

Planetes Anime Review – 89/100

If there is one thing I have lost watching seasonal anime, it is patience. Every week I expect something to happen, some kind of payoff, to make watching that week worth it. Luckily, Planetes as brought that back to me. Its depth of writing, characters, and general structure belay an anime of a different age. […]

Goblin Slayer Anime Review – 60/100

The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]

Zombieland Saga Anime Review – 60/100

Zombieland Saga was a show that came out of the gate guns blazing, no one expected it nor did anyone predict it but it left a strong impression when it first aired it’s starting episodes. Originally considered to be another zombie apocalypse anime, it overthrew expectations by turning out to be a zombie idol anime. […]

SSSS.GRIDMAN (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 87/100

Let it be known that I’ve never been a fan of Trigger. For me, they’re one of the most style-with-no-substance studio on Earth with a tendency for god-awful fanservice, and total nonsense in terms of story and characters. Yet GRIDMAN completely caught me off guard in the first two episodes, and from there, there was […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 86/100

If anyone has been familiar with the first season of Thunderbolt Fantasy, you’d find yourself a lot to enjoy in this second installment. Served as a sequel, but not a direct continuation to the first, viewers don’t need the knowledge of the original in order to enjoy this ride. Thunderbolt 2 carries many trademarks that […]

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara (2018 Fall) Anime Review – 73/100

In the last few years, it’s great to see P.A Works has slowly created their own studio identity, putting more original works with consistent production values. Just in 2018, they produced 4 shows (quite a good number if you ask me), 3 of them were original: Maquia, Sirius the Jaeger and Irozuku. As I said, […]

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In the wake of many a school based light novel show this may be the small bits of fresh air was can savor out of this overdone setting. Rascal does not dream of Bunny Girl(Or by its japanese title above) is a series not about rascals or bunny girls but instead about contextualising common high […]

Banana Fish Anime Review – 72/100

Some days, I wonder what it is with America and anime about organized crime. Baccano!, 91 Days, Blood Blockade Battlefront, all set in America, all involving criminal underworlds. Today, I get to add another to that list in the form of Banana Fish. Much more grounded than the others, it’s story dates all the way […]