Posted on 26 March 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Suteki Tantei Labyrinth


Suteki Tantei Labyrinth is one of these series where there’s one thing you absolutely mustn’t do: take it seriously. Once in a while, a series appears that doesn’t really care about making sense. Still, even though Suteki Tantei Labyrinth may not have the most exciting plot, it does deliver quality entertainment.

I think the best way to understand this is to look at the two most prominent staff-members for this series: Hiroshi Watanabe for the direction, and Natsuko Takahashi for the series composition. Natsuko Takahashi is basically a very experienced and talented scriptwriter, who worked on many different series like Jigoku Shoujo, Moyashimon, Full Metal Alchemist, Gankutsuou, Popolocrois, and those are just the best among her repertoire. She made sure that each character in this series has a motivation, and is well-fleshed out. There are no loose ends left behind, and the screenplay itself is quite impressive.

Then there’s Hiroshi Watanabe, who is in my opinion the strangest director out there. He directed epics as the Law of Ueki, Orphen and was the one who proposed the concept for Jigoku Shoujo, and yet he is also the mastermind behind flops as the final parts of Star Ocean Ex, and the abominable Shining Tears X Wind. This guy really has a strange idea of what is good, and that strangeness is exactly what makes this series so enjoyable.

Enjoyable, but far-fetched. The first half of the series basically consists out of random mysteries that our main character has to solve. They range from enjoyable to absolutely ridiculous. One particular villain goes through the trouble of spiking the body of his victim on the tip of a huge radio-mast, and the extreme focuses on tea become rather jarring after a while. Thankfully, the second half removes any traces of murder-mysteries, and instead it starts developing the characters and turns into a really entertaining family-drama, full of cheesy plot-twists that just have to entertain.

This series is basically what you’d get if a series is at some parts incredibly good, while at others incredibly bad. The storytelling is quite impressive, and it definitely succeeds in keeping the rather… flawed story interesting throughout the run of 25 episodes. The characters are also enjoyable to watch, especially in the second half, and some of the drama can be surprisingly good. Still, you’ll get the most enjoyment out of this series if you like a good dose of cheese once in a while.

Posted on 25 March 2008 with categories: Suteki Tantei Labyrinth


Whaa! I could have sworn that this series had 26 episodes! To think that this was the final episodes, this series sure features a lot of series that end sooner than I expect.

And the cheese! The overwhelming cheese. This episode may not have been my idea of top-notch writing, but it sure as hell was entertaining! I remember predicting that this episode would be over-the-top, and I was right in a way. This episode was over-the-top, but not with action and manliness, but with melodrama. Seijuu ends up dead, along with Byakko, because he tried to see the future but couldn’t due to Mayuki’s mother’s influences. Mayuki tries to stop him by the request of his mother, but in the end fails.

And teh TEA IS BACK!!! After Seijuu is dead and all, Mayuki falls asleep due to exhaustion, and doesn’t wake up for days. Guess what saves him? His favourite blend of tealeaves. Things get even better when every female ends up in tears when they find out that Mayuki has woken up, and when they see him again it’s like a fest of smiles and “glad to see you back again”.

But the creators really saved the best for last. Don’t ask me how or why, but a reincarnation of Mayuki’s mother shows up at the last moment. That scene will get an “OMG” or “WTF”-reaction off almost everyone. The plot-twist is ridiculous, but I absolutely loved it. It’s good to have such a cheesy series once in a while.

Now, to get a bit more serious, it’s a shame that Seijuu didn’t really develop in the end. Sure, he was fleshed out, his motivations were shown, but he never really changed. One thing that the creators could have done better is make one of his plans fail badly; it would have been much more interesting to actually see him challenged, rather than simply defeated in the end. I like how Byakko ended up, though. She has been a character that was developed, she has questioned her master many times, and yet at the end she decided to stay with him, and I’m still not sure whether this was because she was brainwashed, or just really changed. I doubt that Seiju really in his final moments was in the mood to take everyone with him, and something really tells me that she committed suicide out of her own will.

Posted on 19 March 2008 with categories: Suteki Tantei Labyrinth


And another series where its finale has begun. So far, it hasn’t been anything amazing yet, but I never expected this series to deliver an awesome climax. For now, it was entertaining and without flaws; it was built up well, so I’m happy. The fights were entertaining, and the themes on friendship may not have been as well-developed as in, say, Higurashi, but still there’s nothing wrong with it.

In this episode, Seijuu basically gets his hands on the path that leads to god. It turns out to be the music box that Mayuki’s mother gave him when he was one… which makes me wonder why he didn’t just get it in the first place, but I think that that can be explained because Mayuki unconsciously led him towards it. So anyway, the end of the episode shows Seijuu getting into God-mode, and if things go as I think they will (which is very likely), then the next episode will feature a very flashy fight as a climax of the series, where Mayuki defeats Seijuu.

The entire success of that episode will probably depend on how Seijuu will develop. There’s still one question left: why did he leave is wife to become God? I’ve seen this series long enough to know that it can very well give background and push its story forward at the same time, so there should be no worries about this series having a rushed ending, or questions that are left unanswered, that plague quite a few other series.

One thing I do hope is that Seiran, Sanae, Hitsumi and Byakko find something to do in the next episode. One very common pitfall is that final episodes very often neglect side-characters, and these guys often end up cleaning things up after the main character and his antagonist. My prediction is that Seiran/Sanae/Hitsumi will give Mayuki the final edge in defeating the big bad Seijuu because of their friendship, but Byakko could prove to have one final card up her sleeve.

In any case, I think that this explains pretty well why I like endings that try to do something different. I’ve seen so many anime end now, that I’m getting better in predicting how they’ll end, especially the ones with generic formulas. Series like The Third and Night Head Genesis are great examples of series that really tried to be different in their endings. Series like Bokura no and Kemonozume both really succeeded in their endings that had a completely different mood, and Ooedo Rocket greatly subverted the overdone ending-trope. I’m hoping that the end of this season will add one more series to this very small list, but that one most definitely won’t be Suteki Tantei Labyrinth. :P

Posted on 12 March 2008 with categories: Suteki Tantei Labyrinth


Well, this was not the most exciting episode, but that’s because it was just an intermezzo: an aftermath of the previous episode and an introduction to the finale of this series. I’m really curious as to how the director plans to end this series. Based on his previous works that I’ve seen, it can go really anywhere. Orphen’s end was actually quite good, and the same goes for The Law of Ueki (even though the pre-ending episodes were rather disappointing there). In the meantime, Star Ocean Ex’s finale was one horrible trainwreck and the way Shining Tears X Wind ended was just plain bad.

Especially with a series like this one. If he’s crazy enough to include “the star-wars plot-twist”, then who knows what he’ll have in store for the final three episodes? The only thing that I can say with any hint of certainty is that it’ll be over-the-top, but it would be a bit anticlimactic for Mayuki to just bust up his father and then end with it.

Thankfully, there are still three episodes left, so it’s perfectly possible to get a satisfying ending down, but if you want to put down a good ending, you really have to try, and there have been enough cases where the ending made or broke a series for me. After all, it’s the ending that decides whether or not a series will leave a bad taste behind. Ah well, at least the director made sure to answer all of the questions he asked, so that’s already one point in the right direction. Now all that’s left is to finish it!

On a side-note: I’m curious: am I really the only one who still watches this series, or is there some soul out there who follows this one as well?

Posted on 5 March 2008 with categories: Suteki Tantei Labyrinth


Oh my god… you’ve got to be kidding me! This really was an awesome episode, even though this was for the wrong kind of reasons. For those who’d still like to remain in the dark about this series: a major spoiler is coming up ahead. This is really one of these plots that can be absolutely bad and still rock due to its great sense of storytelling.

I should have known! I should have known that the creators would be crazy enough to make Seijuu the FREAKING FATHER of Mayuki! I only began to suspect something when this episode showed the child-version of Seijuu. He looked suspiciously much like Mayuki back then. After then another scene was shown of about eight years later, where we see Seijuu and Mayuki’s mother in the same scene, it got me thinking that this series has been awfully silent about Mayuki’s father, and then I realized the kind of director that was behind this series, and he’s been notorious for these kinds of plot-twists.

Still, I really have to say that the build-up for this twists was excellent. The entire episode was just excellent and kept me interested, and I think that the creators too knew that they were dropping subtle hints, and as an addition, it was also really nice to see the added background for Seiran, Chien and Seiju from when they were young. The timing for the revelation was also perfect, just as the atmosphere was getting a tad too cheesy for its own good.

I can understand why the subs for this series have… rather stalled. Still, it would be interesting to see this series fully subbed one day, as it’ll definitely entertain its viewers. :)

Posted on 27 February 2008 with categories: Suteki Tantei Labyrinth


Ah, finally Byakko gets her background! I must say that this has turned into quite an interesting family-drama between Seiran, Chien and Seijuu. Their background doesn’t feel complete yet, but then again, there are still five episodes left and these can be used to fill in the blanks that we’re still missing like their parents and why Seijuu has decided to go after the Hyuugake Gentoushuu in Mayuki.

At this point, I’ve also started doubting whether Byakko will change sides or not. At the beginning of the episode, we see her about to kill her master, until he reminds her how he gave her the name Byakko. It turns out that she grew up with Youko (that was her name, right?). Then Chien took Youko away and she was all alone until Seijuu picked her up.

Seriously, Byakko’s mood took huge swings throughout the entire episode, especially after Mayuki (in Hyugake Gentoushu-mode) pointed out towards her cocky mode that she was in fact really unsure of herself. She was really fun to watch, though. One moment she was crazily uttering her name over and over, the next she dresses up in a fancy costume to lure Mayuki’s friends to a deserted location.

And I must say, that this has been one of the most solid episodes of this series yet. There’s no botched storytelling, nor any far-fetched mystery and for once everything felt believable, even Byakko’s insanity (the series built up very well for that, in my opinion). It was also refreshing that for once Seiran was out of the picture, so that none other than Chien had to protect Mayuki.

Posted on 20 February 2008 with categories: Suteki Tantei Labyrinth


This episode featured one of the best fights of this series yet. I mean, what’s not to like about Seiran, driving his van off a cliff, jumping out of it just to get to Mayuki faster. Talk about an entrance. Also Byakko’s new weapons were quite creative. I’ve seen these claws before, but never were they attached to the feet of the wielder. You can say a lot about the director, but he does know how to create a good fight if he wants to. :P

About the rest of the episode, there was a lot of talking much more than usual, which means that I’ve had more trouble than usual trying to understand it. Apparently, Sanae’s mother plays a quite a big role in this as some kind of neutral party, when both Seiju, Chien and Seiran visit her. Seiju apparently wanted something from her, in her memory. According to Byakko, this is supposed to be the “path that leads to god”. In a flashback, we see how Byakko thinks that Seiran has it.

This episode also continued to develop Byakko and Seiran, probably the ones who suffer the most from the conflict between the three brothers. We see Chien feel pity for what happened to Byakko, though we don’t see the reasons for this yet. Later this episode, she yet again tries to go after Mayuki, though as she’s about to kill Seiren (who randomly appeared with that entrance described above), Seiju yet again stops her from doing so. Seiran in the meantime is getting more and more desperate to get rid of Seiyu, especially now that he knows

Posted on 12 February 2008 with categories: Suteki Tantei Labyrinth


You know, it’s clear that I had a lot of doubts when I started this series. Especially the first half with its “mystery of the week” tested my patience more than enough. But with this episode, I can finally say for sure that I’m glad that I continued to follow this series. With the second half, this series has become so much better, and the things that were the worst about the first half (ludicrous mysteries and extreme focus on TEA) have been removed entirely. Instead, Mayuki and Seiran have gotten much more attention, not to mention that the comedy has turned out hilarious.

This episode was one of the most serious ones of the series, although there was plenty to laugh at as well (Seiran in a loincloth!? Oh my god) and a lot of background information has been revealed. We get to see how Mayuki met Sanae, how he met Hatsumi, how Byakko turned up three years ago and how Seiran transformed Hatsumi and Sanae into his servants. Oh and OMG TWIST: Seiju is Seiran’s brother. I’m looking forward to find out how that all came to be, and what role Chien plays in this.

The animation also was of top-quality this episode. You can say a lot about this series, but the fights are a feast for the senses, although the choreography could have been a bit better.

Also, it was kind-of strange to see Byakko so young. And what idiot just walks into a forest, sees a strangely specked red mushroom, and EATS it?

Posted on 6 February 2008 with categories: Suteki Tantei Labyrinth


Well, the second half of this series continues its trend of having utterly bizarre episode-openings… This time: Mayuki’s baby-photos. I’m not sure whether to commend or shun the fact that the creators have absolutely no sense of shame, because one of these pictures was particularly disturbing. You’ll understand when you see it.

The rest of the episode was about another one of the strange games by Seiran’s brother, which among others involved Mayuki and the others being chased by angry ostriches. You have to give this series credit for not screwing up the drama-part, though. It may seem really silly at times, but this episode showed yet again that this episode is quite capable to be interesting without the comedy. This really is something I miss in 90% of all other comedies. They may be funny, but their forced attempts at drama at the last minute is just weak.

I was surprised to find out that Shien was actually the older brother of Seiran. For a bipolar villain like him, he’s pretty interesting. We also learn that the reason he came was Seiju (whom we haven’t seen in weeks, incidentally). I wonder how he’ll fare against Byakko and Seiju, whenever they show up again. The fact remains that Byakko is dangerously close to convert over to the good side, so she definitely needs some more development. Heck, we still don’t know why she ended up with Seiju in the first place.

And really, first alligators, now ostriches. What’s next? Rhinos?

Posted on 30 January 2008 with categories: Suteki Tantei Labyrinth


Okay, now I know for sure: this show’s crazy!

I’m not sure what it is that the creators have taken, but I wonder where I could get some. I now finally understand how the director (Hiroshi Watanabe) could have produced series that are so incredibly different in overall quality. The guy is just incredibly dependant on the source-material that he has to adapt, and somehow manages to increase the most defining feature of said source-material. Shining Tears X Wind was rumoured to be the “worst RPG ever”, so of course you’d get a very crappy anime. The Law of Ueki, on the other hand, came from a very creative manga, and that worked just perfect with the strange sense of humour of Hiroshi Watanabe. And now Suteki Tantei Labyrinth has been adopted from a manga that according to Usagijen already was quite bizarre, and the result is… well… this.

The fact remains that nearly every of Hiroshi watanabe’s works left some kind of lasting impression on me, whether good or bad. I still cringe at how horribly cheese the twelfth episode of Shining Tears X Wind was. I still consider The Law of Ueki to be the single best shounen-fighting series out there. The final parts of Star Ocean Ex bombarded me with its horrible deus ex machinas, and it was exactly that series that made me realize how bad these are for the overall storytelling, and Suteki Tantei Labyrinth is currently fighting along with Power Puff Z for the title of “weirdest storytelling”. In the same way, I’m getting rather curious to check out his works on Tactics and Matantei Loki Ragnarok. The guy should try to animate some ideas of his own, though. I mean, he definitely has enough creativity to pull it off; he was the one who proposed the concept for Jigoku Shoujo, after all.

Anyway, about the episode… it really was one of the weirdest yet. The show may be heading further and further away from the “detective”-part in the title, but in exchange for that it has turned into a(n unintentionally) hilarious anime that just screams “don’t take me seriously”. Basically, Seiran’s brother seems to have made it to the new school-headmaster, and for that, he organizes a running-event. Mayuki, being by far the slowest person in the class, obviously doesn’t like this.

Hold on, though, it gets much weirder. When Mayuki is all alone, Hatsumi comes from out of nowhere, carrying a huge backpack full of meat and vegetables, in an attempt to replenish Mayuki’s energy (…yeah). She then falls into some kind of trap-door (yes, in the middle of a street), and both she and Mayuki end up in some kind of underground building, probably from before most of the buildings got destroyed. After a small conversation with his good and bad angel (am I the only one who was disturbed by the fact that these angels were wearing dresses?), he decides to cheat and take a shortcut.

Unfortunately, the plans of cheating are short-lived when the two of them get lost. Incidentally, he suddenly seems to have become much better at running… In any case, now we get to the really strange part… they run into a strange man who is trying to get rid of some rocks in one of the corridors. After they try to help him a bit (to no avail, by the way), he points them to a door, that’s supposed to be the exit. Behind that door, is an alligator.

Yes, don’t ask me where the heck that alligator came from. I have no freaking idea myself. After a hilarious chase, Mayuki uses the meat that Hatsumi was carrying (gee, what an incredible coincidence :P), to lure the beast away, and clear the rocks in the process. It then seems that the strange man was after a time-capsule, in which a demo-tape of his early days as a rock-band guitarist was kept. Unfortunately, the band went nowhere, and they broke up, and this demo-tape was the only thing that remained of their works. It seems that he was just being nostalgic.

The story isn’t over with just that, though. The rocks were not only blocking that time-capsule, but also some kind of underground water. Oh, and Maru ran off on his own when he smelled food. Hako uses this chance to secretly attack Hatsumi for no apparent reason, and Seiran, who also came from nowhere, tries to stop her, but fails. In the end, everyone flees from the water. For some reason, in the aftermath we see water come from the top of a huge building, which would be physically rather impossible. But then again, this is at least better than the murder on top of the radio-tower…

The episode ends with a very strange twist: The owner of the previously mentioned alligator is Shien, and he seems to have called her “Catherine”. Incidentally, it hasn’t eaten the meat from Mayuki at all, and strangely enough, the two of them end up hugging each other… Really, looking back, this series has so many bad storytelling-errors, but I’m really beginning to think that this was intentional…

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
Yeah KT, watching the two together has not come out favorably for AMB for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe it works better in hellsing and drifters moreso to both being goofball action shows.
KTravlos
A point on the chibi in AMB. I was thinking about shows were the chibi did not bother me, and Hellsing Ultimate and Drifters (newest episodes coming out), both had deformed/chibi segments. For some reason they did not bother me. I think ABM directors have bad timing with them.
KTravlos
I have to say Ichirou Inuyashiki is very cool. Like he is really a cool character. Also I am saddened to say it but watching AMB together with Inuyashuki does not work well for AMB
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Silver: There are sad moments certainly but plenty of humour.
Anonymous1639132
Man, I sure hope Ichirou Inuyashiki and Hiro Shishigami make out, everything is just building up to that
silver
I actually have only watched one or two episodes of this season of 3-gatsu, but its rising scores and rave reviews are making me really excited! I've only put it off because it's somewhat emotionally tiring for me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Well, after the first season of 3-gatsu ended, I did skim ahead to this bullying arc so I already know this is going to be powerful, yet the anime still wow me over and over
Anonymous1637770
Also it can be tricky selecting a season sequel since some old series had like 50 to 100 episodes, what counted as a season then?
Anonymous1637770
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's more common in videogames (especially Capcom) than in other mediums. Megaman 2, RE 2, Street Fighter 2, Dino Crisis 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually in a rarity, a sequel season is better than the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which makes my enjoyment of sangatsu so strange.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I generally do not like game/sports orientated shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That you slightlySuper-erMario and superwooper!
Kaiser-Eoghan
And my reaction to the show is such, that I enjoyed it enough to make such a huge pot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also I want Akari to be my mom and Hina is adorable without being annoyingly so and Kana Hanazawa is doing a good job voicing her.

And whoever said it is right, the op/ed songs are worth listening to, for once I’m not skipping them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At this point it feels as if by the end of the series I’ll come off it thinking that I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.
I don’t think as of just yet it complete lives up to honey and clovers legacy though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never cared about Harunobu initially, but recent episodes have changed this.
Dull parts of the manga are easier to get through for me in the anime due to Shaft elevating the material with one of the better uses of their visual gimmicks.
Giving the series another chance, even though I won’t fully embrace the humour, it does now and then manage to make me laugh a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc centering on Hina and the shows treatment of it is better than most anime bullying stories and has provided the most emotionally rewarding aspect of the show.
Characters that are assholes like Kyouko’s boyfriend, Kyouko herself I’m finding somewhat more sympathetic and want to see more to their personal drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
However I do genuinely think that the series does a good job of allowing dramatic moments to creep up on the viewer, that early scene of Hina crying over her mother, Rei’s family flashbacks, Akari’s concerns about Hina/the stuff with her dad, all the scenes with Kyouko do carry an effective and solid dramatic weight to them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel it starts very strong, making a great first impression, then kind of has these dull moments that make it sort of a slog at times to get through, unfortunately I have no interest in chess/shougi and no knowledge the show tries to give me is going to stick or allow me to embrace that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Through jumping back and forth between the anime and manga, I can say I have no caught up to where I will now watch March comes like a lion on a weekly basis.
Anonymous1636224
The blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki
Anonymous1636224
Mmmmmm the suffering of all those innocent people feeding his God boner, this is why I love Inuyashiki
Lenlo
Oh yeah, thats not a knock against it. Just noting they dont *need* much animation
SuperMario
Well, the nature of Mahoutsukai is slow-burned, so it makes sense they focus more on static, quiet moments
Lenlo
Was that blade 2022 thing supposed to be an example? Because I wasnt a fan. It was stylish sure, but difficult to follow.
Lenlo
Maho is a good looking show, I wouldnt call it a great animated show.
Lenlo
The issue for me is, theres just not alot being animated most of the time. Usually its a pretty slow moving anime, so most of its time is talking and still shots. It doesnt need alot of animation, so it doesnt have it.
Lenlo
@Niel, I think Mahoutsukai can have good animation when it wants to. Like the water viel in episode 10 looked good (Though im not sure how much of that was after effects)
Anonymous1635607
uhhh creepy
Anonymous1635589
the blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki so much
Amagi
I think the security is the same as here, it's just that Japanese people are less likely to rip stuff (correct me if I am wrong). It seems like ripped anime, manga and so on are basically always uploaded by Americans, Chinese people or someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised heavens feel was camripped I thought security in japanese theatres was stronger.
Amagi
Yeah it's also screening in Germany, I will watch it in February, together with Heaven's Feel, Mutafukaz, Kimikoe and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*on Europa cinema
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nanoha new film to screen next February in the US, come in Europa license it for over here dammit....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did have some down moments though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I guess contrasting Luke with his old self goes some way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Saw the preview screening of the new star wars, still feel the new trilogy stands inbetween the originals and prequels, fufills its duty as a *** star blockbuster , some genuinely hilarious high camp moments, awful tokenism, Snoke is a shit villain, but two scenes with Luke actually have a pathos to them and I liked the chase/action scenes when they happened. Nobody cares about the acting/dialogue
AidanAK47
But there are times when it goes way too far and you can barely make out what is even supposed to be happening. Or characters go so off model that they are unrecognizable. It can be immersion breaking. Much like uncanny CGI.
AidanAK47
@Niel, I do agree that it's annoying to see people complain about animation when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Like those inbetween frame screenshot people. But I will say I appreciate on model characters more so than chaotic movement. When the off model stuff suits the tone of the scene like that blade runner part, then it's fine.
niel
I also don't want to see someone imply visual=animation for the hundredth time. Are people really that ignorant of the technical/artistic aspect of the media they consumed?
niel
It just depends on what works best in given scene and the aesthetic they want to go for. People can complain all they want about off-model stuff, but if they really only want that the they won't be getting nearly as much of those impactful scenes as there are now. So many of the ways people complain about it is really irking to me.
niel
normal/low action scenes is different from being on-model during the action sequences and just the ones that need some extra impact in general. https://youtu.be/rrZk9sSgRyQ?t=6m45s
niel
But that depends on the situation though. And I'd argue that being consistent and on-model during
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter/Niello/Mario: Ideally I want it both ways, fluid animation AND consistent model visuals, all the while never sacrificing choreography.
SuperMario
But really, who am I to say. I'm the dude who prefer beautiful shot composition myself
SuperMario
The same can be said with Shinkai's movies since he always prefers static, beautiful shot that people tend to overlook that his animation is quite poorly handled
Vonter
You're right, but art direction does alleviate limited animation, I mean the old Berserk anime, kinda has a lot of slideshow moments. MahoYome has nice backgrounds, and despite the samey faces, at the very least doesn't come from the same mold as other series. Still cutting corners with chibi segments is was a mistake.
SuperWooper
Is it any wonder that people prefer things to be static/on-model? They want to see characters who look consistent and familiar so they can relate to them.
Nie
MahoYome being the biggest offender of people getting triggered to any kind of statement about the show's animation not being good. And it's absurd because the show's animation really isn't great at all. It's good with distracting people with pretty pictures, but animation-wise it's still mediocre.
Nie
@SuperMario: Not much. Just stuff like "Art is part of the animation weather it's beautiful backgrounds or just amazing looking characters. It's not all about how they move. If it was, CG would be considered great animation" multiple times. I've just been finding myself being replied with these kinds of comment non-stop since the start of the season.
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
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Featured Posts

Juuni Taisen – 11 [To Treat a Man to Beef From His Own Cow]

To the surprise of no one, Rat wins the race by breaking in the right place at the right time with the right weapon. This is by no mean a coincidence, because later on we learn about Rat’s real power: “Hundred Paths of Nezumi-chan”, in which he can see 100 various outcomes and thus picking […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 10 [We Live and Learn]

Welcome to week 10 of Mahoutsukai! Finally, oh so finally, we have are given some backstory on Elias! Our mysterious male(?) lead gets some explanation. We also get the start of a Chise only arc and finally some more information on Lindel. Lets jump in! As the main focus of this weeks episode, naturally I […]

Dies Irae – 09[A Mother’s Sins]

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Girls’ Last Tour – 10 [Train – Wavelength – Capture]

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Another remake of a story from the old series and while this one is adapted quite well, maybe even arguably better than the old version, it unfortunately lacks the same impact. The main problem comes back to the thing which ultimately holds back this season as a whole, story choice. For you see in the […]

Houseki no Kuni – 10 [Shiro]

This week proves to be the most action-packed episode Houseki has been offering so far and unconventionally, it’s Dia who takes the central stage at facing the most ridiculously overpowered Lunarian Titan to date. Well, I said “unconventionally”, but when the narration and the execution (the camera work, in particular) come together in such neat […]

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Breaking my usual routine today just to give an opinion on this episode but this episode made me feel compelled to get out my opinion. We have another action packed episode with three contestants out of the war and boy did they go out with a bang. Many will notice that the animation for this […]

Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

Welcome to another week of Inuyashiki! This week we have incredible sequences of terror, fearless Directors and death flags! Lets jump in. Obviously, the first thing we need to talk about this week is Hiro. A lot has happened in the few hours since Hiro attacked the Station. Interestingly, yet weirdly, Hiro has garnered a […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 21[Antares Snipe]

When Apocrypha slows down, it’s story shows it’s cracks. But when it’s an action showcase it actually becomes quite entertaining. The characters don’t have the time to be developed but they shine in combat when they clash, sometimes showing parts of themselves the series otherwise doesn’t allow for. Astolfo for one was actually useful for […]

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Every Anime season we the viewers are shown a number of adaptations, often made after Light or Visual Novels. It’s an already written story with an established base, a smart business decision. In recent years studios have also begun pulling from the Video Game market for their shows. Pieces like the Idolmaster series, Kantai Collection […]

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