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)

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
On this I as a bicurious man agree, when I read a romance story, I just want ad like a romance ore relationship story, its not special to me what the race or orientation of characters are.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My brother also felt that romance stories involving homosexual characters often falter in a space where the same sex pairing becomes more about pure novelty than just being a love story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Imredjimmy, who posted on here as a user before, he himself homosexual had issues with yaoi manga, feeling that it didn't address issues properly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He feels "All romance stories belong in the romance section and shouldn't be too categorized and that most yaoi/yuri isn't really for the homosexual audience"
Kaiser-Eoghan
Is it really fanservice for a homosexual audience though? I do find both male and female characters attractive as a bicurious man but it has to be admitted, shounen-ai and yaoi is really a thing for girls and bi men, I can admit that. My brother, a gay man is very critical of yaoi/shounen-ai as well as yuri/shoujo-ai.
Anonymous1831032
You are overly critical
Anonymous1831032
why can't gay people have 'fanservice' without being compared to fish blindly poking for worms and being caught by some manipulative fisherman? It's 'normal' for weebs to watch 'cutesy' or 'moe' shows.
Anonymous1831032
Who cares dude. I liked the show. The term 'queer baiting' is fucking insulting.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - I agree with that, there is a lot of meandering in Hourou Musuko manga, it makes it feel more realistic and grounded. But there's a reason many storytellers don't tell the most boring aspects of real life, like constantly pondering about what the future may bring.
Vonter
Pokemon and Zelda let the community make the conjectures and the creators mostly shy away from explaining them, because they fear they'll write themselves into a corner.
Vonter
I mean, not all things should make statements. Ranma 1/2 is recognizable, despite being a comedy. Conan is iconic and its just contained mystery stories, despite the themes of Evangelion the creators have admitted the use of christian elements was because of aesthetics, moreso than delivering a statement.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Some felt that the manga for hourou musuko felt more low key in tone than the anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Travlos, I've noticed the site seems to be giving you trouble setting a username sometimes, best to just create an account instead.
AidanAK47
@Anon, that respect seems on different levels for people though. I mean I seen people championed Yuri on Ice as a major win for LGBT representation in anime while I myself just saw it as queer baiting seeing as the series itself couldn't admit it's characters were gay.
Anonymous1829806
Travlos here: I know many of the AoTitan fans hate the new direction of the manga, but I love it. Gimme more war!

While I love the ideas in Birdy the Mighty, the pace of the mangaka is maddening.
Anonymous1829447
Well, one last thing. I understand that anime like games or movies are a refuge for people who want to escape from politics for a second. But when mangakas bring those topics up themselves with stupid yaoi, gender bender, or yuri fan service, they're the ones politicizing anime and manga, not people like me. If they'd treat it with respect, then there would be no need for outcry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Eh sorry about that, I almost launched into a rant about tumblr.
Lenlo
Yeah, id prefer not to get to political in this chat, but I agree with Aidan. Theres a limit, and I strike that limit at the + of LGBTQ+. There comes a point where your just making things up to be special
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking back I probably read hourou musuko initially to get a better understanding of the topic it covered.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not looking for cares/attention/fellating/self promoting, just felt a moment to pseudo-intellectualize because it was related to the identity topic.
Kaiser-Eoghan
From a psychological standpoint, apparently this is linked in with autism to some level.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of cosplay as a thing is fascinating honestly as an escapist thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I imagine it would probably be easier to interact in a relationship as someone else, of course with them being aware of that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More in a religious/spiritual sense however and having a greater sense of identity/feeling through temporarily taking on the role of someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
but the person themselves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did have ideas after hourou musuko and also finding out someone was trans that that might have applied to me and I still use female names in some sites but I really just came to realize it wasn't about trying the female clothes thing numerous times, wasn't trans(vestite or sexual), really pretty much found out I temporarily can take on roles of what/who I dress as, not due to gender
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh, tumblr sjws are a parody of leftism /activism .
AidanAK47
People have the right to be whatever they want to be. That said there is a line when it comes to respecting peoples choices. For example, I don't think we need Tumblrs 40 different Genders.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I haven't read the lesbian experience one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Love my life was another good one, a serious shoujo-ai manga.
Anonymous1829213
That's unfortunate. TvT
Anonymous1829200
no thanks
Anonymous1829213
In the future though, I'd like to see something exploring sexuality as a whole even further. Even LGBT in and of itself implies a gender/sexuality binary. Let's get into the gender neutral/fluid, pansexuality, and so on as well. :.D
Anonymous1829200
and i like the
Anonymous1829200
i have one
Anonymous1829213
And I definitely agree - those manga exist and are excellent. ^_^
Anonymous1829213
*Shimanami
Anonymous1829213
And in regards to the celebrities themselves acting flamboyant or playing into stereotypes, why do you think those are the ones who are famous? They are allowed to be, because they paint a comical picture that is more easily accepted by the public. This is why Hourou Musuko and manga like Shiranami Tasogare/My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness are so amazing by painting people as actual humans
Kaiser-Eoghan
There ARE good shoujo-ai manga of course, girlfriends, aoi hana and yaoi like haru wo deiteita.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I notice that bisexuality isn't much addressed in these things , the coming out thing doesn't often come into it.
Anonymous1829213
@Other Anon: You might add that a lot of those shows also perpetuate some pretty extreme stereotypes and male light of other of serious issues (i.e. the perception others have of LGBT people and that LGBT people have towards themselves, the experience of coming out, etc. etc.)
Kaiser-Eoghan
By lol coincidence he seems to have also voiced a pokemon character too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*re-incarnation of, not evolved
Kaiser-Eoghan
Totally based, hilarious guy to, once claimed jokingly in an interview he was the evolved form of pikachu.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: There is a view of the transvestite as a "silly joke character" even in live action media there thats connected to homosexuallity but I'd say in most cases the person themselves is into it, Akihiro Miwa, famous Japanese gay actor played up that flamboyant drag act since the 60s.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: That is well known to me. Also its seen as anti-conform and I heard that the teachers don't know what to do when people are bullied over it, some of them think its down to mental illness.
Anonymous1829154
How japanese media portray lgbtq issues is a problem to this day. Sure shoujo, gender bender, and yaoi genres are mainstream, but at the end of the day people are expected to eventually "grow out of it" and find heterosexual partners in the end. Pretty patronizing
SuperMario
Oh shit, I didn't realize I put Wandering Children instead of Wandering Son in the title. Thanks for pointing that out Kaiser
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Shuu, mai precious lil' Babbu *hugs*
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol Okadas best anime work cause she didn't really write it lol
SuperMario
I will read on the manga to see how these kids growing up. Boy do i love this cast
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I suppose thats fair enough.
SuperMario
@Aidan: yeah, I know I stretched that image a bit but for some reasons I was goddamn hard to find an image for Wandering Son that I liked. Will make a slideshow later today to see if it looks better
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah I call them by their physical gender because at that stage, they haven't come out yet, right? If I remember correctly, Shuu still regards himself as "boku" rather than "watashi"
Kaiser-Eoghan
I guess this amuses me mostly because theres a jokey line later on in the manga where the girl with shu says "Ha, guess this makes me a lesbian"
Kaiser-Eoghan
There has been some theory/suggestion that Doi is attracted to shuu seeing shuu's femininty, seeing shuu as a woman .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Later in the manga Takatsuki stops having these feelings toward masculinity, which is addressing adolescent confusion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry about this really hope I don't come off as trying to start anything/an arguement/coming off as an asshole here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whats really interesting about hourou musuko is that in addition to Takako Shimura being a Lesbian , by choosing a mtf character as the protaganist and with shuu's relationship with a biological woman later in the manga, she is dealing with an even more interesting issue of whats called by Lesbians as Trans-lesbianism.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Transexual, mtf or ftm are probably the more accurate words to use as transgender also includes transvestite which is a different thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its a very good review though, you don't have to change anything I'm probably being overly anal about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was wandering Children chosen instead of wandering son to avoid suggesting pronouns in the title? But then the text of the review uses shuus physical rather than psychological gender. I'm not preaching or asking for changes or complaining, I just found this somewhat contradictory.
AidanAK47
Oh Tomogui Kyoushitsu? That is a weird death game manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Checks manga cover* Goes in expecting bondage manga *its a cannibalism horror manga instead*
Kaiser-Eoghan
Probably just me, but I feel the top two pictures should have a gap between them.
AidanAK47
I would recommend replacing the top image of wandering son. Cause you killed the quality of it by stretching it. Never stretch an image.
Lenlo
Id recommend some kind of slideshow or something Mario. For me, its a big sudden blob of images. But thats just me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't deny a single criticism of the Junji Ito adaptation, and yet despite it all it works for me , I forgive it because the imagination goes such a long way with me, I don't even mind that some of them aren't fully developed either, don't need things to be too tidy or explain everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Eh, Maverick was a fairly rubbish, thrown in villain but I liked Lunatics backstory how it linked in with the twist his father was that big hero guy mentioned at the start who ended up becoming a washed up mess.
SuperMario
And I won't take "No, you don't need these pics at all" for an answer
SuperMario
Guys, should I put the 2 arts back-to-back at the begin of the post like this, or should I use slideshow?
Anonymous1828545
Travlos here: 91 Days was not too bad.
Anonymous1828545
Travlos here: Thanks for those two historical manga's head-up.
Anonymous1828434
Akumestu soo satisfying to read
Anonymous1828321
Thank you
Lenlo
A shame. Kokkoku had the first truly dull episode this week. Suppose one had to come eventually, but this one was mostly an info dump.
AidanAK47
Like lightning, I strike. Junji Ito is basically interesting ideas with deeply flawed execution. It's not scary, doesn't really capture Ito's style and the animation is bare bones. While the stories themselves can have there interesting points, they are often not fleshed out enough. Honestly I am getting rather bored with it.
Lenlo
Holy bejesus Aidan. Nice triple post. :P

So overall how is Junji Ito? From what ive read so far, it seems pretty hit or miss on the horror/gore front. Failing to live up to the manga. I havnt read it though, so im curious what ya think
AidanAK47
Akumetsu?
Anonymous1828142
Wearing a mask
Anonymous1828142
What was the name of the manga where the main character is some superhuman high school student who goes around fighting Japanese politicians
Lenlo
On a side note, I should really start Violet Evergarden at some point...
Lenlo
"Anime is dying" is just a meme that gets thrown around because of Miyazaki.
Lenlo
Maybe. I dont think average score per year is a good metric though, as the cash ins are increasing, but I doubt the passion projects are decreasing. For instance we had /alot/ of duds this year, but people only really remember/care about the good ones of which there was a fair number. It wasnt a bad year for decent/good anime.
AidanAK47
Well yeah, but they didn't have as many Animation studios back then as we do right now. So it's not so much that we lost artistic merit but rather the number of studios cashing in on popular trends for a quick buck have increased. Even then, I am willing to put money on there being just as much harem anime in yesteryear as we have cute girls shows in present.
Lenlo
Perhaps, but I would argue those were on smaller scales, and even then, thats not so different from Western animation or movies. Just look at Warner Bros and their DC push after the success of Marvel. Every industry has those who chase successful trends, yet they arnt failing
AidanAK47
@lenlo, the thing is though that before Moe crap there was eva copy crap and before eva copy crap you had space opera crap and before space opera crap you had hyperviolet OVA crap. The industry has always tried to cash in on a popular trend.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel people went apeshit over, say highschool of the dead because they never saw a bunch of old B/exploitation films, thus that show was never special to me and even failed at an imitation of such.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think people getting to excited for it being unique to a single medium or for, its setting themselve up for disappointment.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just think its incredibly limited thinking to base it all on just ONE medium, you CAN hold up anime to film when anaylzing anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Why should 91 days get a free pass just because its an anime about gangsters? Go watch a film about it instead which theres probably many of, joker game fail you as the mature spy thriller it ended up not being, who cares, Tinker tailor soldier spy exists.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I dislike this "Its unique for an anime/manga to do this, so instantly lets latch on to it, despite fact that same something is already extremely prevalent in other mediums "
Kaiser-Eoghan
Case in point 91 days and Joker game "It has adults, lets pre-rejoice before the show even came out"
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel though because of the level of dissatisfaction with said moe shows that people are going to leap far too quickly on anything just slightly different, getting their hopes up too high and end up feeling let down.
Lenlo
That, or it all comes crashing down around our ears. With stuff like Houseki no Kuni and Made in Abyss from last year however, I think its going to be ok. We are just getting inundated with crap right now.
Lenlo
I do think that some of the artistic part of it has been lost, its gotten diluted in the never ending river of Moe crap. But that doesnt mean its gone. Just harder to find. Eventually all the random moe shows no one cares about will fail and stop getting made. But the anime audience will still be around, to enjoy the better stuff thats left.
Lenlo
Same thing happened in the mid/late 90's and early 00's to American cartoons.
Lenlo
Eh, I dont think anime is dying. Changing no doubt. Its going through a rough growth stage right now. It has a bigger audience than ever and people are trying to cash in on that with lots of shows that are basically the same
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Tank you and damn you for posting screencap of loli-tachibana, I now have cuteness overload a diabeetus =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
I realize thats a very minor detail to focus on though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats why I can really really get into a history manga if the art is top quality, the costume designs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the historical thing, I have a massive I repeat massive thing for full body medieval armoured characters hacking the shit into things or just the armour in general , especially templar armour designs. I also have an little obsession with male aristocratic army uniforms from the Prussian era and world war 2.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That recent Urasawa manga Travlos mentioned is ending also
@Mario: We might get a complete adaptation of after the rain, the manga is ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More historical manga I found, haven't read the second one however, I didn't hear those two mentioned on here either before.
Kaiser-Eoghan
[link src="http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Hawkwood
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Ad-Astra-Scipio-to-Hannibal"]
AidanAK47
@Anon, yes clearly you know better than everyone else on the planet despite having no evidence whatsoever to back up you claims. Thank you nameless Stranger, we owe you a debt for telling us the same thing we hear every year. Let me congratulate you by kicking you out the door.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can generally come up with an opinion for what I follow/watch/read , but I don't really have one on kokkuu.
KTravlos
Well we watched the first episode of Kokkuku. Interesting. The ED theme is quite the fanservice.
SuperMario
@Ktravlos: If your like to check out some other shows this season then I'd definitely recommend After the Rain.
SuperMario
@KTravlos: at least Kino is thought-provoking. I can't say the same for Violet Evergarden. In fact I remain skeptical with VE
KTravlos
I am quite enjoying both Violet Evergarden and Mahoutsukai. Violet gives me similar vibes to the first Kio series, though obviously Kino was a better series.
SuperWooper
EPIC post, anon!
Anonymous1825128
Of course, as ardent fans of anime, the writers of this site would not deign to agree or even entertain the idea that their passion is no longer the same artisanal endeavor it once was.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Oh. Actually surprised I forgot about that. Yeah, when it comes to something being described as edgy I think Goblin Slayer fits that definition perfectly.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, You can still throw down your take if you want.
Anonymous1824209
AidanAK47 - Or the women shields.
Lenlo
You know, sometimes I dont regret forgetting about this chatbox. Missing the "anime is dying" conversation? One of those times
AidanAK47
Oh, Goblin Slayer is getting an anime adaption. I was rather lukewarm on it but I wonder how the anime is going to handle the rather unsavoury aspects. Like the rape. Lots and lots of rape.
AidanAK47
I remember the last guy said he would make a chart and I thought it was a brillent idea as at least something useful could come out of this old dead horse. Then his chart turned out to be a useless jpeg with series thrown to the left or right.
AidanAK47
It does stir up conversation but it's really just the same conversation repeated. I remember stating the exact same points Nayrael and Bokusen are saying around a year ago when this last came up.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Indeed Ratings are subjective but it would at least be a general mainstream consensus of the quality of anime over the years. Not final but at least it's better evidence than one persons general assumption. And other factors are impossible to quaitify.
Nayrael
A good parody of the "Anime back then and now - what happened? meme (if the links are not blocked here): https://i.imgur.com/JZqxz6f.jpg
Nayrael
Not to mention that back in the olden days you didn't see every Anime that aired. Official translators and fansubbers selected the best stuff, which resulted in you seeing the best shows and never even knowing about the shit-tier shows.
Bokusen
I think that people who say "anime is dying" are just getting too nostalgic. It's easy to remember the hit series from earlier seasons. It's less easy to remember all the forgettable generic series that you dropped after 1 episode, and so anime tends to "seem better" back then because of people's tendency towards selective memory.
Anonymous1820731
Why are there more bad anime? Because there are more anime being made. That means the good ones are buried under the lots of bad ones. But saying "anime is dying" from that is like saying "music is dead because I don't like Britney Spears." Why does this conversation always come up, its obvious conversation bait.
Anonymous1820589
@Aidan: You are the first to obsess over the fact that reviews are subjective. And since they're subjective, looking at anime 'ratings' over time does nothing to gauge the measure of effort and artistic talent that goes into making anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which I got my answer by the way.
SuperWooper
>average review scores
What do those have to do with whether anime is "dying" or not? You'd need to look at the money.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Want to add that I agree with both you and Aidan, only brought up those two topics back there because I wanted to know what shows now will be popular in the future.
SuperMario
I'm on the side of Aidan regarding to this. For me it's not neccessary means the anime industry has become "better" or "worse", it's just that it takes new shape and trends and based on the number of anime produced, the industry isn't going down soon
AidanAK47
Am I really going to draft up a chart gathering average review scores of the past 25 years just t shut up this talk of anime dying?
But even if I did that won't toss aside this nonsense.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know this is complete guesswork.
AidanAK47
Plus the industry is dying? Bloody hell, we got major companies FUNDING anime. Streaming services and more anime coming out that ever before. You can argue that this new anime is weaker but honestly it's just misguided. It takes time but great shows are still coming out. Just like back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well thats kind of what I meant, what, when passage of time comes into it are going to end up being classic based on that, speculatively speaking.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats probably a much better way of phrasing it, inheriting mantles. I'm going to say that promised neverland is presently along with Titan a BIG modern shounen.
AidanAK47
Anyway my point is that the shows of the past, the so called classics, are just as flawed as the shows of today. It is only through the passage of time that they become classics. When Stein;Gate finished airing, I seen no one call it a classic. Same goes for Madoka and Fate/Zero. Now, you have people putting up the pedestals.
AidanAK47
Though if anything has inherited the Shounen mantle, it's likely Boku no hero.
AidanAK47
There is no big three Shounen and that's honestly for the best. Because in generally the declining aspect of Naruto and Bleach was mainly due to the pressure on the mangaka to put out chapters on a weekly basis. In fact it's pretty much the primary factor in Bleachs decline.
AidanAK47
Bebop is great but even it is hit and miss by nature. Doubt many remember much about the casino episode and the Alien spoof episode is likely not anyone's favorite. Eva is massively flawed but no one wants to admit it due to the massive amount of praise it receives and influence it has on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But what is the new big three shounen?
AidanAK47
If we go further back to DBZ, that has tons of issues with filler, dragging out episodes, animation shortcuts, and even complaints of it doing the same thing over and over again with it's story. No to mention the underutilised cast and the everlasting act up putting Goku on a greater pedestal.
AidanAK47
But let us dissect this viewpoint of yours. You claim the Shouen-jump canon as a great, guessing that refers to the shounen big three. But aside from One piece, the other two are emmensily flawed. Naruto is 50% filler and Bleach drops seriously in quality after soul society.
AidanAK47
Also Fate series is trash? That definitely seems aimed at me. What first series are you referring to? Fate/Zero, Fate/Stay Night 2006? Fate/UTW? The same thing over and over again? Sure each series has a holy grail war, but none of them every turned out the same. I am more than willing to admit that the spinoff series outside of the main canon are lesser. Calling them trash however is hyperbole.
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