Posted on 30 July 2011 with categories: Steins;Gate, Summer 2011 Kaleidoscope



Nurarihyon no Mago – 30
Talk about a massive improvement here. There are the types of stories that should be slow-paced. Nurarihyon no Mago is not one of them. Another big disadvantage of the first season is how little time it spent on backgrounds, so right now this series is really catching up on that, with half of the second season consisting out of background and all. Junji Nishimura really did not fit this series: he should be busy with original stories. That’s where he really shines at. The snappy direction here is much better, especially in this episode. The art also looks much crisper. This could very well be the only actually good thing of Studio Deen this year.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Steins;Gate – 01
After many people recommended it, I re-watched the first episode of Steins;Gate and holy crap What the hell!? If you haven’t re-watched that episode by now: go and re-watch it. Don’t read the rest of this paragraph of analysis and just watch it. This episode did the opposite of what I expected and actually asked more questions than it answered. The big one is the message that Okarin sent to Daru: how the heck did that happen? How the heck did Okarin send a D-Mail when it hadn’t been invented yet? It’s going to be the key to save Mayuri, though: if Okarin never sent the message back to Daru, Daru would never have been able to warn Okarin, and CERN would never have been able to track them down. And holy crap, this show will also turn into a quest to save Makise Kurisu. I totally forgot that some version of Okarin actually tried to warn Makise Kurisu. Now… has the future Okarin created a freaking time-loop for himself? This plot just got even more amazing than it already has.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Sket Dance – 17
This arc was really strange. I really got the impression that it didn’t know what it wanted to do here: there was this huge build-up with the members of the Sket-Dan joining all different bands and having practicing for an upcoming school concert championship… and here this episode comes and throws in a bunch of illnesses and broken arms causing these bands to disband (no pun intended) immediately. It then turns into some moral life-lesson for a violinist as the three members just do the predictable and form a band themselves. I was really looking forward to see all of the different bands compete with each other, but instead this episode skipped across most of the acts for just a few seconds and the only one that we really got to see was this really cheesy J-Rock song in which Bossun suddenly revealed that he has the singing voice of a J-Pop Idol. This series always did so well in capturing school life, but to me, it felt like it didn’t really do this with the school concert. It all just felt too clean. The song that the Sket Dan performed was just too rehearsed (remember that these guys had very little time to prepare. I don’t care how much you practiced, you’re not going to get THAT good in that little time). It’s a bloody shame, because these school concerts are often very fun to watch. Especially because this one looked to be a REAL concert, unlike those silly unimpressive idol acts.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Usagi Drop – 04
Do note that I’m not guaranteeing to blog every series every single week in this kaleidoscope. This time I was merely late with checking out Usagi Drop’s episode, but there may be weeks where I just don’t have any inspiration about the latest episode. In any case, I like how the children in this series really sound like young children, rather than voice actresses trying to act really high-pitched. I also like that this episode introduced yet another single parent, with whom Daikichi can relate with. He’s by no means a perfect parent, but the tension between him and Rin is quite interesting to watch.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 26 July 2011 with categories: Steins;Gate



Talk abOUt a bloody moral dilemma here. Whereas the previous episode was all about Feyris, this one is all about Feyris. I had my doubts about her at first, but heck: this episode really gave her character a different twist by explaining what the message was that she sent back. Spoilers coming up.

So in order to save her father from being killed, Feyris sent a message to her father in ordedr to get rid of a bizarre coincidence that happened to her in the past. Or at least, this is what I made of it: she got kidnapped, at the same time that her father died in a crash. For some reason the kidnappers weren’t able to contact Feyris’ father in time, and my guess is that after that, Feyris probably used her inheritance to set up Akihabara.

Basically Feyris had to choose between her father and Mayuri. If she saved her father, he would still have had to deal with the kidnappers, and he would have gotten the message telling about the IBN5100. I have no idea where that one came from yet, but that is one message that will probably be impossible to erase. In any case, usually when anime pull something like this, they come with this convenient way that allows for both options to come true. Not here though: Feyris deciding to change the past back made all that happened into a bit of a dream.

I really have to praise the creators here by the way: this show isn’t spiraling out of control; it’s getting more and more entangled with itself. It’s currently trying to re-engineer the plot, to the point where the time machine never got made. This forces the creators to go back to all of the major events of the first half. Talk about an awesome plot.

by the same logic, the next episode should then delve into the gender change again. The episode ended with the IBN5100 still not present at the shrine, and this makes sense: it disappeared after the gender change, not after Akihabara’s change. We’re about to find out what the heck could have caused that to happen: why would the girl version of Ruka want to get rid of that machine?
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 19 July 2011 with categories: Steins;Gate



This is one of those spoilery episodes. Spoilers I will be talking about below, so if you haven’t seen this episode yet it’s probably wise to just close this window and watch the episode. This line is to make sure that those spoilers don’t show up in blog aggregators.

I’m of course not talking about the identity of Suzuha’s father: Daru. I think it really was clear with the name of the time machine: if Okabe was really Suzuha’s father, then it’d have a really fancy and screwed up name, and yet her father just had to be an important character. I still think that Daru’s voice actor was a bit of a mis-cast. There was this one line where he tried to act cool, but instead sounded more like he does usually. Overall he just sounds strange, in a way that he’s forcing a different voice from his usual range a bit too much.

In any case though, what really struck me about this episode was Suzuha’s death, and how she failed to change the future for more than one percent. Throughout the entire scope of Steins;Gate, the concept of travelling to the future has never been hinted as plausible, and this episode really confirmed that it’s a one-way ticket. On top of that she also gave really strong background to the landlord.

I’m also fascinated at the complication that this has for the future. Especially since this episode was purposefully really vague on what else has changed: what happened to Makise Kurisu? What happened to the IBM5100? I mean: what was the reason why Mayuri’s death was evaded? I see three possibilities:
1. John Titor II never existed and he never gave Okabe the inspiration to experiment with time travel.
2. The message that Okabe received from himself scared him really badly and made him decide to abandon the time machine research.
3. Makise Kurisu never got involved and therefore the time machine is currently different.

I really suspect that a lot here is connected to each other. Suzuha travelled back in time, pretending to be John Titor probably was the cause that Makise Kurisu became a lab member. Interestingly, what would have happened if Okabe never went back in time to where Makise Kurisu was alive, back in that first episode? That also would have been a big setback for CERN. It’s also interesting how the time machine really seems like something that Daru would have built: one that focuses on sending stuff back to the past. It was Makise Kurisu’s influence who suggested sending thoughts back in the past, which so far turned out to be by far the most convenient time machine. I also suspect that that’s the reason why CERN was so easily able to take over the world.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 15 July 2011 with categories: Steins;Gate



I wonder how the nature of time travel works in this series, especially with Okabe’s mysterious ability. Is this series like Noein, where all kinds of parallel dimensions exist right next to each other between those lines every time he (note: he, he’s not aware of anything Cern has been doing) interferes with the past, or is there just one true time-line that can be manipulated, and where Okabe is the only one aware of these changes? Is Okabe desperately searching for a time-line in which Mayuri doesn’t die, or is he desperately trying to bend that time-line into a direction where she doesn’t die?

In any case, mostly whenever fiction uses real world examples for bad guys, they’re always these terrorists, evil armies, villains, those kinds of things. Here though, the world is going to be taken over by an organization that is at the edge of modern science. It both makes sense and is very creative for Cern of all things to be involved (after all, the person who is the first to get his hands on the technology to time travel can pretty much doom the entire world, no matter what kind of position he/she’s in.

This episode was really dedicated to Suzuha and building her into the team. We’re now at the point where she doesn’t have any secrets from the main characters anymore. After the last episode I wondered why she was wary of Makise Kurisu, and not of the obvious villain of Shining Finger, but of course it makes sense: in her time, Makise Kurisu is famous, while shining Finger was just some goon who works in the background. With the past episodes though, a lot of history has already been changed, in the way that Makise Kurisu really isn’t likely to end up working at Cern right now, which means that Cern would need to find a different way or person to create their time machine. It’s probably not impossible for them at this point, though.

It’s also interesting that Suzuha’s plan was pretty much bogged down by her own flaws: the fact that she knew hardly anything about what really went on in 2010 and her shyness. It’s a shame that she didn’t know about the Cern hacking, otherwise she just could have screamed to Okabe to just stop hacking Cern. If she was less shy, she would have found a way to explain that she’s from the future, like what Okabe did in this episode.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 5 July 2011 with categories: Steins;Gate



Okay, so I do think that Okabe was overacting a tad too much in the first half of this episode. This stands out more than usual because the acting in this series was always so great, but that’s where the melodrama got a bit too much, especially because it caused him to not think of the obvious solution of using the time machine to travel further back in time. I also think it was a bit cheap for this episode to just “announce” that Okabe tried every possible way to save Mayuri: I understand that it was for time issues, but I would have liked to have seen Okabe to try some more and exploit other possibilities.

On the other hand though, this episode got right back on track when Christina returned to the main picture. Her level-headedness was exactly what Rintarou needed, and the plot turned really interesting with the actual introduction of leaping beyond the 2,5 hours of the previous episode. The big twist at the end that Suzuha turned out to be John Titor makes perfect sense. The prospect of severely altering time in the next episode also makes yet again for one hell of a cliff-hanger.

I do have to wonder what Suzuha meant with that the Y2K problem was one of the moments where world lines greatly converged based upon the choices made. Of course I was only 12 when it happened, but was it really as important as the Gulf War? I rather would have guessed that 9/11, the invention of the internet or the birth of social media would have counted as that.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 28 June 2011 with categories: Steins;Gate



Okay, so I’ve complained that the characters in this series are too one-sided. Okay, I take that back. With such brilliant acting as in this episode, Okabe and Mayuri have more than shown that they are awesome characters. This episode was just amazing.

Let alone the plot twist at the end of this episode, it rocked because of Okabe and Mayuri’s rock-solid performance. The trust between everyone also was incredibly well detailed, and I especially liked Mayuri as she got dragged around without knowing what’s going on, and how Okabe traced back what she had been doing in the past episode. With this episode the relationship between the two of them really shined.

The biggest questions were asked at the beginning of the episode, and most of them revolve around the part-timer: why didn’t she warn about the obvious villain of Shining Finger, but instead was so hung up over Makise Kurisu? She seemed to know her when she talked to her with those cryptic lines. Also, “42”? Was that really meant to reference the answer to life, the universe and everything or is it just technobabble that we’re only supposed to understand over a few months?
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 22 June 2011 with categories: Steins;Gate



And wit this, the second half of Steins;Gate has begun. That twist at the end is bound to change everything for this series. I also love how well animated that final part was. This series is a pretty neat example of delivering great graphics with a limited budget.

Now, it’s still the question as to whether Mayuri is really gone or not (Makise also revived once and we still don’t know why), but I’m really interested in what that scene was between her and Okabe where they were 70 million years in the past, or how Mayuri seemed to know that something was going to happen to her. This episode really was building her up to be some very interesting character for the future.

Beyond that: Okabe actually suggested to publish the results of the time machine. That also would have been quite an interesting concept: how would it get used? How do you prevent it from falling into the wrong hands? And how would people notice that something has actually changed? Are there more people like Okabe around who retain their consciousnesses throughout different timezones? The only one who has been hinted to be the same is Shining Finger, and perhaps Suzuha.

Overall I like the balls that this series has to keep its cards to itself for so long. This show actually did a great job of building up with its first half. Sure, it was annoying at times and the characters could have been more versatile, but it built up its setting really well, the slice of life moments were good and it managed to put a lot of meaning into it plot twists of changing time. Now, for the second half, I do hope that the creators don’t end up fully abandoning those small things like the shopping scenes. That had something really down to earth that I really liked so far.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 14 June 2011 with categories: Steins;Gate



Looking back on this season, I really have to say that its big strength is storytelling: showing interesting stories, and deliver them well, ranging from the wonderful pacing of Ano Hana, the impeccable timing and dialogue of Hyouge Mono, the great ideas of Tiger & Bunny and C, the outrageous Deadman Wonderland and Kaiji, the action-packed X-Men, the really well detailed Hana-Saku Iroha, and of course Stein’s Gate with its excellent delivery of its plot twists and atmosphere.

This episode took a step away from this focus in order to focus on one of the main characters, Christina, and show her background. At least, or so I thought until Okabe got that phone message out of nowhere, followed by a very artistic and stunning piece of animation about him running back. Seriously. That was good. That’s how these artistic animation bits should be used: instead of random clutter they bring out even more out of the characters than what conventional animation would be able to do.

Really, the ideas of this series rock. It’s also the way it gradually became clear at the end that Cern (I still refuse to call it Sern) pretty much let themselves get hacked (probably using its data as bait in order to find out about the microwave). I also like how this show is being really vague on who exactly is from Cern, and whether or not that mysterious message sent to Okabe was from one of them. Also, did Okabe check the number where it came from? It didn’t look like it came from anyone he knew, or there must be characters in this show using multiple cell phones.

As for the annoying parts in this episode, I’m not going to list the “accidentally walking in the shower”-scene because it was well built up for once. It’s just about the most terrible twist you can pull right now, but at the very least I am glad that at least the creators put some meaning behind it as an anti-climax. Seriously, this is more than just about any other show that pulled this crap during the past number of years. Instead, what annoyed me about this episode was the point where the characters started talking in various internet memes I didn’t understand up to the pint where the dialogue became hard to follow due to all of the random rambling.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 7 June 2011 with categories: Steins;Gate



Okay, so my post about Stein’s Gate 09 was a complete disaster. I had problems with the episode but blamed them on something completely stupid and irrelevant. I still hold that Daru needs to shut up, though, but more on that below.

First of all I want to say that before watching this episode, I got intrigued by a message of PL on the shoutbox, where he (she?) claimed that “Suspension of belief cracked”. With that, I assume that that referred to the scene in which Okarin assaulted Rukako. And yeah… that was out of place. If everything around Okabe changed, wouldn’t it at least have crossed his mind that the thing they tried to change in the first place? I mean, it’s a ridiculous scenario, but when the entire area I lived in changed dramatically, I’d at least consider buying flying pigs.

In a way, the more realistic a show is, the more these small inconsistencies tend to stand out. That’s what makes these kinds of series tricky to do, but that does make them really interesting. This episode may indeed not have been the best of the series so far, but I still really liked the turns that the plot took in the end.

In any case, let me try to actually explain exactly what has been bugging me about this series. It’s got nothing to do with plotholes or cliches that may or may not be there; that kind of suspense of disbelief is just the effect it has. Instead this is about storytelling versus characters. Steins;Gate is brilliantly told. It’s a pity that it chose the same season to air in as Hyouge Mono so that it can’t exactly boast the best dialogue of the season, but the camera work, pacing and atmosphere: I’ve said plenty of times that they’re amazing.

When looking at the characters though, I’m missing something. I keep praising other shows this season for adding to their cast, and giving their characters more depth by developing them, but I can’t really do that with this series. In fact, this episode finally took an in-depth look at one of the characters: SuzUha. With this episode her character finally changed, or at least our perception of this. In the meantime: all we know about Okabe is that he once got sick in the past. Mayuri meanwhile has a sad past that caused her to remain with Okabe, Daru meanwhile is a typical Otaku and it feels like all Christina has been doing is either be quiet or act tsundere.

Instead this show has been fleshing out its characters, and that’s another thing that it can be really good at. As much as I dislike Daru, I really like how he in this episode went out to a meeting of various members of a forum. The times that the characters spend shopping and doing the laundry are also quite cute. But at the same time they feel repetitive. Especially Okarin, Daru and Christina are guilty of this. Okabe’s monologues were once fresh, but after ten episodes they sound too much like each other. Daru was better in this episode, but generally he feels very repetitive whenever he’s not involved in the plot (I also realized that he’s voiced by Tomokazu Seki, and oh my god: he’s really forcing his voice here, making the acting of this guy just bad).

In short: too many characters are just repeating themselves too much. They mostly tend to shine whenever the plot is involved, but that’s because the plot is so incredibly good, not because the characters themselves are enjoyable to watch (or not as much as I’d like anyway).

The big question is of course: is this intentional? With 24 episodes, this could just be a form of build-up. The characters right now are slightly annoying because the creators are building them up, to give them some good depth in the second half. This has been done quite a few times, but there also have been plenty of shows who didn’t. The repetition in the banter right now however is something that’s irking me.

And why did I get a deja vu when I just wrote that?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 1 June 2011 with categories: Steins;Gate



This episode was wonderfully atmospheric and paced. I really liked the parts about time travel that go more and more in-depth. There were some things that bugged me about this episode, and it was more than just inaccurate fansubs.

Steins;Gate is a harem, but beyond that it doesn’t suffer from any badly used tropes or one-dimensional characters. Mostly. After nine episodes, there is one harem cliche that gets more and more on my nerves: the best friend, and the lengths that the writers go through in order to make this guy an unlikable asshole, or in other words: someone who has no chance of stealing away all of the females from the main character. Harem cliches on their own aren’t bad, but it really gets to me when creators are sacrificing their characters, just to adhere to these cliches. Daru is a cliche for the sake of a cliche.

My second problem is with the ending of this show, because I couldn’t relate to it in the slightest. Tora no Ana shops (I suspect that those are doujinshi shops) are gone from Akiba. Okay. So what? Are we supposed to feel sad about that? That entire part, including that cat-girl whose name I’ve forgotten at the moment were completely ridiculous in this episode.

Nevertheless, this episode juggled around the butterfly effect brilliantly. Shining Finger also was great: first to have her run off with the IBM 5100, only to take it away from her again through another D-Mail. I also really liked Mayuri’s subtle developments. That really was a hint that the creators are planning to use her for something interesting.
Rating: * (Good)

CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
@Niello - That's 'cause Miayano isn't Pepe Macias: https://youtu.be/nCL6e5TmVG8?t=34
Lenlo
Personally I like this Miyano voice, but only because it sounds like Old Okabe before 0 ruined him
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Wouldn't go that far. But as I've said this show did not click with me at all on most levels.
Niello
Am I the only one who think Miyano sounds annoying in Zombieland Saga? It was the same in Tadakoi too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Castlebros4life.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I forgot to mention, what I like about this guy is that he actually does have a plan rather than just milling it into the goblins.
Lenlo
Castlevania hype! I cant wait for season 2
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm more looking forward to reading The year one side story which is more about Goblin slayer himself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, I've caught up to the 28th chapter of Goblin slayers manga chapter, in spite of being rinse and repeat with not much depth, so far its remains fun. There will definitely be a "human shield" scene that won't appear in the anime. I'd hoped the side story manga would go into priestess girls past our something but it doesn't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Castlevania season 2 is out next week.
AidanAK47
Damn, Youtubes down
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mamoru Miyano is the same voice actor for the producer and Okabe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think they are doing other genres in zombieland too, I think one is vaporwave.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It would be very strange if the guy who is the past version of Hitomi's grandfather started falling for her.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That leads me to consider , should the search bar be moved?
AidanAK47
Pretty Sure he mistook the chat window for a search bar
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Fell behind, part 3 too long aswell.
SuperMario
@anon: it's just too little too late...
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Interested in seeing more of that horse guy who showed up in the recent beastars chapters. Also liked how they co-relate lion guy with louis' dad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that I'm knocking Honda-san, as that simple/minimalist style is another thing that makes these gag comedies work also.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Animation's a bit BARE BONES though wahaha!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I'm quite amused by the surrealism of it all, a skeleton working in a bookshop =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: A quick random fact, one of the manga the blonde girl in episode 1 is asking for is a legendary, old shounen-ai classic from the 70s. The short format suits these gag comedies because I feel that stretching them out to 20 something minute runtimes kills the joke.
Lenlo
Honda-San continues to be the funniest thing I have seen in awhile
AidanAK47
@Vonter, That should not go together as well as it does
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Goblin slayer did nothing wrong.
Animosh
It's dumb, but I can't deny it's uplifting. :)
Animosh
The slime anime really offers the perfect counter to Goblin Slayer. In Goblin Slayer murder is the answer to everything, peace is impossible and revenge will haunt you forever. In the slime series? A short speech about the benefits of kindness and cooperation and the pitfalls of revenge is enough to convince everyone to get along (and that includes two races who were on the verge of war).
Vonter
Also because I just had to: http://vmashup.com/yvDoiQhU
Vonter
Zombieland gives me Scooby Doo vibes. With a silly premise of reviving moe girls to make a band. How they're prey to their instincts and I do like the music aspect doesn't feel as artificial as other shows that may also promote the songs to be sold. Since the music seems more to play for the story than to be good songs. Not remarkable but enjoyable I'll say.
Vonter
So far I've more issue with what the maid says than what she does. Since the anime wants to paint her in a good light but some of the things she says are very creepy. On the other side, there seems an underlying sadness since she seems capable but dumbfounded on how to live her life.
Vonter
I checked UzaMaid! and Zombieland Saga, which were funny and silly and entertaining, nothing major, but I also don't found them bad. The first one treads the line so far of having creepy implications, but it has a bit of John Hughes slapstick thrown a bit. I'll like it more if the little girl were a bit more like Kevin from Home Alone or Junior from Problem Children.
Amagi
Seems like a part of the background has changed after the post-kaiju fight reset in Gridman. I wonder what's even real in this series.
SuperMario
Gosh, how I love the improv dialogues and the indie Kemono-Friends level of visual flourish in Himote House
Masky
Like Zero Escape series itself goes through pretty much everything related to psychology
Masky
In general I don't really get what is up with japanese fictional works running different scientific paradoxes or theories into everything unrelated ._.
Lenlo
Mmm Im so glad I started throwback thursday. 2 episodes in and I already love Planetes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think might know it off by heart now I hear it mentioned so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I hope I haven't doomed you, I voted for Goblin slayer .
Amagi
Hate that too and I actually got my hopes up in episode 1 since it seemed like they wouldn't explain it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I was hoping someone else would bring that up.
Niello
Bunny Girl is pretty good so far, but I do have to say that I rolled my eyes at another rundown of Schrodinger's cat. What's with the obsession?
Amagi
Drama never works for me with Key and even most of Kyoani's works in general.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I already mentioned about how surprisingly solid/serious bunny girl senpai takes itself for the better, but I'd like to add, the drama doesn't feel obnoxious either such as in a Key work.
Amagi
I love those first impression reviews of bad series.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Yeah, it's why I never picked HxH up again as well. I also think there are still tons of issues with SAO although most of them come up later. AW will always be way better in my opinion.
Anonymous2948346
Glad the Imouto review was good for something, niello. The show itself certainly isn't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't deny that for some a series could improve as it went on, but with sword art, its now three seasond and a movie , thats alot to watch and quite the ask to get to the "good" part.
Amagi
@niello: I meant that key visual https://d38fgd7fmrcuct.cloudfront.net/1_3p7wgf1obds2mkioy1cmi.jpg - but as said it doesn't mean anything. I will only get hyped once I see the first animated scene and confirm that the boats aren't CG or at least a good kind of CG.
Lenlo
Oh baby. Spring 2019, One Punch Man S2 and Hero Aca S4. Can't wait
niello
@Amagi, Vinland Saga promo pic looks good? Aren't those just manga cover pictures that they showed in the promo...
niello
"Ore ga Sick of this Shit dakedo Shit Keeps Getting Made", I laughed so hard, thanks.
Lenlo
Will probably do a final review but not weekly episodes
Lenlo
But I watched it. Its alright, im gonna watch it to the end.
Lenlo
@animosh, I dont know about them.
Animosh
Oh, that sounds very promising! I've always found thematic explorations of virtual reality very interesting. You know: What is "real" and what isn't? Does it even matter? And what place should virtual reality have in society? In previous seasons those themes were a bit dumbed down, so I'd be up for seeing them explored in some more detail. And with four cours, there's plenty of time to do so.
Amagi
I am not yet sure how much SAO III will suffer from the lacking inner monologue though. The interesting part fo it was the world building and the taboos and how it was the first actual simulation and creation of humanity and the birth of a virtual culture, with mods and admins being literal gods in the VR, like some matrix thing. The anime skipped a lot and actions they do feel more casual there.
Amagi
@Animosh: Well the author did improve a lot, I actually consider most of Accel World as pretty good, especially the later arcs. Thanks for reminding me to buy the last two volumes by the way.
Animosh
I'm sure it won't be great (hell, given SAO's track record, it'll almost certainly end up punishing me for getting my hopes up), but there are at least signs that the author has recognized what went wrong in previous seasons and is trying to correct his mistakes. So with some luck, I might just end up enjoying this season! Maybe. Not getting my hopes up too much though.
Animosh
And where previous seasons barely made any attempts to build up the various virtual worlds, this season is taking it slow so far, which makes it feel more like a well-realized world than a generic fantasy blob. And last but not least, it seems Kirito will have to start over, so even if he'll inevitably end up OP again, he'll probably have to work for it, which is something the series really needed
Animosh
For example: the old cast has been stuck in the harem-mold for a long time, and that makes them incredibly dull. Most of them only exist to make Kirito look good, and barely have any agency of their own. But the new characters are different (so far at least). The most prominent new character (Eugeo) is male, and has clear goals of his own.
Animosh
By the way, did you guys skip Sword Art Online for your first impressions posts? I know you're not fond of the series (and rightly so, because it's way too popular for such a mediocre series), but I actually think it's been pretty decent so far. A fresh start with a largely new cast is exactly what the series needed, and there are some promising signs it's heading in a positive direction.
Animosh
@Amagi: I felt the same way after the episode. It's a very predictable move, but somehow I still didn't see it coming. I guess I should have known better than to trust a happy-go-lucky love interest (although I'm rooting for Rikka) after Darling in the Franxx.
Animosh
But in their own ways they still offered the kind of wild and wacky ride through adolescent insecurities that FLCL is known for, and the characters were likable enough (even if underdeveloped). The OST remains strong too. So although the series could definitely have been better, overall I think this has been a pretty enjoyable revival of the series.
Animosh
After its slow start I'm glad FLCL at least managed to end on a fairly strong note. I still think it's a shame none of the two series really managed to replicate the surreal craziness and visual inventiveness of the original (though Progressive did try), and the wider focus of both series compared to OG FLCL (with the same number of episodes) backfired a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Sometimes the offscreen content can allow our imaginations to work and disturb us more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Deception more like.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girl wasn't even pregnant, show telling lies, too lazy to draw pregnancy too probably .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Was your internet acting weird today? Don't know what provider you're using but mine only came back an hour ago or so, lots of people in Dublin were reporting connection issues and in other counties too.
SuperMario
@Amagi: still haven't watched the second one but the first episode did surprise me
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Still ain't watching it
Amagi
Okay I didn't really see the content of ep 2 of Gridman coming. I feel like I should have seen this coming, but I didn't.
Masky
I'm honestly confused about Conception since I'm under impression that Conception games are about "Do some sort of weird ritual to create "Star Child" which doesn't actually involve pregnancy". Like did game also go this far, did anime change this or is this setup for second episode to start with "lol just kidding" or what the frick
Amagi
I think deaths are often the best examples of failed attempts to keep the audience invested. Regardless how many tears there are and how tragic the death is, I won't care when the series itself is bad, the character not flashed out or the scene forced. I have seen series in which one died offscreen that hit me harder than a full episode of whining over some dead moe blobb.
Amagi
There are a lot anime like that since the presentation is important. There are many of those convoluted trainwrecks with 10 different plot twist where one or two of them are actually good on paper but do nothing when you watch it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding those crap light novel shows...it really is a sign isn't it, that its so bad sometimes, that even if it does something that appeals to you/would titillate you, you still don't care and won't watch it, because its so shit.
Lenlo
A poll assumes people would actually vote in it. I guess I can try it out and see if people care enough for it, sure. Still, would need things to put on said poll, so feel free to suggest
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes with these shows you just have to let them wash over you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Perhaps I could say similar about irozuku as I do Yagate.
Amagi
I am kinda happy I managed to avoid all bad series this season with the exception of Release the Spyce which I only tried because I gave it the benefit of doubt due to having enjoyed Princess principal to some degree despite its many flaws.
SuperMario
I'm back after a week vacation and the first thing I watched again was Conception. I mean I was prepared but this show is one of the reason we all need break to stay sane
Kaiser-Eoghan
I need a refresher on the early bits of vinland and Viking Count Dooku (Askeladd) arc so watching the anime would be a great recap oppurtunity.
Amagi
I really hope Vinland Saga will have a good budget. The promo pic looks pretty damn good but I also liked the very first promo pic of the last Berserk series and we all know how that one turned out.
Amagi
And yes Legosi also always makes me think of Bela Lugosi. I guess I watched too many old movies.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I strangely also lost interest in some game series I liked as little kid, Megaman too for example. I guess there are just series that can work on NES and SNES but not that well as 3D series on modern consoles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I come away from irozuku feeling I watched an aethetically pleasing, somewhat cute show but not much else, but that may not be an entirely bad thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@lenlo: Alternatively you could put up a poll.
Lenlo
Thats a good idea Kaiser! I read all the comments, so if there are any you think would be good feel free to suggest them. I can compile a list and pick one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: To make things easier, perhaps each season, for variety, the throwback Thursday thing could pick a different genre for it each season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Every time I read his name in Beastars, I kept thinking the actors name "Bela Legosi" because the wolf's name was legosi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Weird tangent, looking up Irozuku on google image search reveals theres a porn actress with the same name as the lead female character =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes I think the fans had better ideas for the games.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that I hated any of his games though, but they did have diminishing returns and weren't always consistent in quality. It was disappointing when they started going for some kind of story, then kind of dropped it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was a big fan of megaman growing up, but like sonic, unlike Mario and Zelda, his games got increasingly diluted the more the franchise went on, megaman didn't work in 3D either. Also the second nes one has a really neat soundtrack =)
Vonter
Megaman 11 made me want to play the old games. So I bought the first Legacy Collection pack which has a rewind feature. The first game is hard and cheap at some spots. It also feels a bit stiff. Still it's funny spotting things that were changed in every other entry. Like the boss checkpoints having enemies and traps. Also I think this is the only game showing Dr. Light's house from the outside.
Lenlo
Ah, that anon was me! Was on my phone
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: My beastars post would have gone into spoilers. I decided to private message instead.
Anonymous2930785
I am very happy that Shorter isnt a one and done event.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In regards to humour. However in terms of anime humour, something like hoozuki no reitatsu would have me losing my shit laughing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I love stuff by Bunuel or Roy Anderson.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I prefer sardonic, sad bastard, bleak, dry/depressing or particularly serious but surreal comedy, humour/comedy played straight .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, yes as expected with Zombieland saga, I gave it a second episode chance, but this is an easy drop for me, its just how comedy goes sometimes, but I didn't laugh once during this episode , just left me cold/blank to it.
Amagi
It's like that season that had SoraYori, I watched like 7 other shows but I only remember SoryYori by now.
Amagi
I think for the last season (counting finished series) this is only true for Planet With. I do remember Chiochan when I think a bit but spontaneosly I couldn't come up with anything else if I had a time limit of 20 seconds or so.
Amagi
I often only really become aware about which series I liked the most when I try remembering the respective season months later. I often enjoy a bunch of shows and watch even more, and yet, at the end of the day, there is always onely one or two that actually stick in my mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to say again, I'm glad that Shorter is still being remembered episodes after him leaving the show. Thought they could have held that scene with yut-lung longer, its obvious he despises Eiji. Sudden gag in this episodes middle threw me off. lol at that killing attempt in the second half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also a horror manga about Robert Johnson, me and the devil blues.
Amagi
Speaking of great manga series, everyone should try Shiori Experience, the Jimmy Hendrix manga. There is barely any series that hypes me up as much as this one and I read a lot. This could be the anime of the year if it would get adapted by a competent team and get a good budget and appropriate OST.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think I will marathon the rest of Dorohedoro the next days. And then looking forward to her next series.
Amagi
Zombieland Saga is the only new anime that actually surprised me. I am not talking about good or bad here, there are a bunch of other pretty good series airing right now but Zombieland is the only one that caught me off-guard in a positive way.
AidanAK47
Okay, I think I love Zombieland Saga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've embraced bunny-girls approach to its dialogue/drama now with the second episode, also they go a bit into her past in this episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I'll be posting my thoughts later. Also, there's on one chapter of dorohedoro left.
Amagi
There are 7 new Beastars chapters out, I really liked the climax here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On a tangent, damn you mappa, adapt Freesia already .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I needed to watch red garden twice to really "get" it, as in for it to click for me, its a show that picks up near the middle.
Amagi
It had scenes you rarely see in anime that do happen all the time in real life, like friends talking across each other, people talking at the same time or interrupting others.
Amagi
@Niel: Have you seen Red Garden? A lot of people agreed that it had the most natural dialogues of the anime that aired that year so maybe you would enjoy that too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animmosh: josei yuri I would welcome being adapted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Hana wa saku, yuutsu no asa and Acid town adaptation WHEN.
Animosh
Yuri gets all the hype, but yaoi gets all the glory.
Animosh
So, yeah, if other folk here haven't seen it yet, give it a try! By the way, it's interesting how what probably were my two favorite shows of the past season (Banana Fish and this one) were both BL shows. Can't say I saw that coming.
Animosh
It's kind of reminiscent of classics like Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but with some anime tropes added to the mix (the bubbly main character and his tsundere love interest), and with less emphasis on politics and more on horror and fantasy. And for a Chinese series, the animation is really solid, in spite of the occasional CGI hiccup. The backgrounds in particular are very easy on the eyes.
Animosh
I don't remember who it was, but thanks for recommending Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation! It's surprisingly good for a show I had heard so little about. I love historical epics, and the main characters are built up very well and have a lot of chemistry. I do wish the antagonists were more interesting (they're very black-and-white), but the protagonists are all a lot of fun to watch.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*didn't work for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niel: Garo didn't work for outside of the fantasy setting.
Niel
The exceptions to this are usually shorts and films. You don't get to see them often in TV series. As for the story, I don't have nearly enough patience for monster-of-the-week formula as I did years ago, so if it's just going the generic tokusatsu route then you'll hear from me. but since Garo wasn't too bad I have hope that they will do something interesting with this.
Niel
The environments also feel so much more like places where people live and hang out. Take the school room for example. Anime rarely portray school rooms as this place where teenagers gather and play during break. It's usually only consist of people talking with no mischieve whatsoever. And when there are scenes of bedroom they often feels more like a showroom than a place where someone live in.
Niel
@Lenlo @Aidan Your impressions of Gridman are fair. I'm just really excited for Gridman because two of my main pet peeves with anime are the unnatural dialogue, and bland and sterilised background environments. Here when characters talk, it actually seem so much closer to the conversation flow you'd see more in everyday life, and I'm kind of starving for that in my anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although with drugs and anime in mind, I do wish that a sports anime that addresses cheating through performance enhancing drugs would be made.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Release the spyce and drug use? I find this odd, I think I heard that the Japanese had a thing about depicting that (drugs) in animation/on tv when it came to young charcters.
Masky
Like, sure, it has tactical goblin slaughter action, but its more about how broken mess of person Goblin Slayer is and how he learns to connect with people. Its surprisingly insightful at times, but the trashy parts really clash with the actual tone of series considering its only purpose is pretty much "Goblins are horrible" which is point you got with gore in first place
Masky
Anyhoo, yeah, made already comment about it on the blog, but I really feel like trashy parts of Goblin Slayer clash with what it is about
Masky
Oh yeah, that was surprisingly hilarious. Mostly because English was surprisingly good
Lenlo
I should not like Honda-San as much as I do. But I love it.
Masky
Like, lot of writers, game developers, comic artists, etc, they clearly base their works on stuff they were fan of. Lot of people get inspired by stuff they enjoyed during their childhood for example. There is no real difference between "Being inspired to do same type of thing you liked" and "You copied something popular" besides the level of half assedness
Masky
@SuperWooper: What I feel like is that there is nothing new under the sun. Whenever something feels like original, its mostly that you yourself just haven't seen it before or the execution feels fresh or the cliches and tropes haven't been used in a while
Amagi
I really don't like the highschool boy suddently getting super power and mega robot-kind of trope so they better add some more original stuff to make up for this.
Amagi
I might still enjoy this series though depending on the ideas the writers might have. As usual, much of my enjoyment depends on the antagonist. If this should really be nothing than a typical toku show with evil villain I will probably drop it too.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I only watch sub, I kinda feel like the first half was good dialoguewise but I know what Aidan and Lenlo mean, I generally didn't like the second half of the episode.
SuperWooper
Being a writer for an anime blog, I'm not really qualified to say.
AidanAK47
@Wooper, what is originality?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although personally I won't be watching gridman due to not being a fan of trigger.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In Goblin slayer I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just glad that the protaganist is a guy in his 20s for a change.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did you all watch gridman in English or Japanese? I ask because, perhaps the dialogue might have been an issue with the dub or something?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, it seems I wasn't really paying much attention to the animation in Goblin slayer, I was having too much fun with it.
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