Posted on 24 December 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Umineko no Naku Koro ni



When it aired, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni really blew my mind with its mystery horror combination, so obviously I was looking forward to its spiritual successor: Umineko no Naku Koro ni. It really managed to take the Higurashi formula, and take it into a new, fresh and original direction with a really mind-blowing mystery-story.

Umineko at heart is a murder mystery-story with so many layers, so many red herrings and so many times at which the viewer is forced to look beyond the box for new clues as to the identity of the real killer. Higurashi already had me forming wild theories about what was going on, but this effect is even more noticeable in Umineko. It’s a really thought-provoking story that makes you think you have a clue as to what’s going on, only to throw a plot twist that renders all of your speculation useless. This mystery really is why you want to watch this series, because it really does this like no other.

It’s just a shame that the story’s incomplete. There’s no second season announced at this point, so at the end of the series, you’re not going to know what the heck happened throughout the majority of the series. This really is the thing that I hate the most about modern anime: that the shows with weak sales don’t get their much-needed sequels. Umineko is at the verge of becoming yet another one of them. NOTE TO SELF: delete this paragraph in the unlikely event that a second season does get announced.

Okay, so how about the execution? Unfortunately, it’s a bit rushed. Apparently, the creators tried to stuff 50 hours of visual novels into just 26 episodes, so a lot had to be cut. While the cuts were made skillfully so that the entire storyline is still intact, the direction feels rushed at times, and not as captivating as it could have been. The animation is rushed as well, but thankfully neither are bad enough to get in the way of what’s really important.

Because of that, I can say that I really enjoyed this series. It’s a thought-provoking series that really brings mystery to a whole new level. But where the heck is that second season?

Storytelling: 8/10 – Direction could have been better, but well paced which keeps your attention.
Characters: 9/10 – Large and varied cast of characters where nobody feels redundant.
Production-Values: 7/10 – Good music, rushed animation.
Setting: 10/10 – Incredibly thought-provoking. Brings mystery to new levels.
Posted on with categories: Umineko no Naku Koro ni



Okay, so apparently this episode was terrible for the visual novel readers. I however am just watching this anime, so I don’t care. This episode was pretty good, and the only thing I’m raging about is that bloody cliff-hanger, especially considering that that second season might not even come!

However, I do agree that Umineko was really, really rushed. How could this have happened, really? People keep saying “DEEN! DEEN! DEEN!”, but they’ve made plenty of great series and adaptations in the past, so that can’t be the only thing. In the end, my eye still falls back to Chiaki Kon, the director. I don’t like her. While she adapted the Higurashi novels really well, with nice balance and a strong direction, she was able to do so because she really didn’t have anything else to do at that time. It was her debut, so she really had to prove that she could direct something right.

But take a look what she’s up to from the past spring: 20 episodes of Hanasakeru Seishounen, 26 episodes of Umineko no Naku Koro ni, and when this is over she’s going to do Nodame Cantabile’s finale. That’s more than 52 episodes within one year! She really took way too much on her plate, and like Shinbo I’d wish that she’d just concentrate on one single series and make that one right, instead of trying to do everything at the same time. Now all of those shows are just going to be really rushed, and they’ll miss the strong direction that Higurashi had. Most directors manage to produce one series every two years, or perhaps even one series a year. Counting the upcoming winter-season, Chiaki Kon has directed six series in two years. Somebody stop her and hand those series over to some other directors. I mean, Studio Deen has enough other talents walking around.

At this point, I have a really hard time deciding how to judge this series. Rushed or not, Umineko has one hell of a backstory. It was always fun to formulate theories, trying to figure out what’s going on. This is why I’m not going to recommend this series to people who already played the visual novel. Not because it’s badly executed, but by far the best thing about Umineko is its mystery. When you already know what’s going to happen, then what’s left? What’s the fun in reading a detective novel if you already know exactly how everything is going to happen?

As for the people who haven’t played the game, it’s a bit trickier, though. It’s a great watch, but I sure as hell ain’t going to recommend this if a second season isn’t being produced. It’s like reading a detective novel, only to discover that someone ripped off the entire second half. This is probably the thing I like the least about anime: it’s “let’s just animate the first part so that we can only animate the conclusion when the sales are good”-mentality. Imagine if Monster or Legend of Galactic Heroes were animated this way.

EDIT: ah, forgot to talk about the episode. It’s interesting how Beatrice basically let Battler bombard her with theories that she could in fact just have blown all away, as if she wanted to lose. At first I thought that she was simply acting again, but for some reason I don’t think she really did that here. Kinzou’s death actually being confirmed was a major revelation, of course. The question really is: who the hell is this guy? If he is one of the seventeen people alive, the servants must be playing a really strange game.

At this point, it’s pretty clear that at least one of them is in on the game: there are only a few family members who knew about Kinzou’s death, while they were in on it all along since they lived inside his house, and otherwise the closed room murder in the third arc would be pretty impossible, but actually plausible: they knew that Kinzou was already dead, and made it seem that he was killed along with the other six to cover him up.

I also wonder, at the end we see Lambdadelta and Bernkastel talk about how Beatrice must never win. Again, big clue: the two are working together and somehow have interest in keeping the game going on forever. And how is Bernkastel’s magic going to play in, I wonder? I mean, her magic is to make anything happen as long as the possibility isn’t zero. If Beatrice is going to be able to win of her she’s going to have to be able to create such a lock-down that there’s no possibility for escape.

There. Happy now? ;)
Rating: * (Good)

And remember: even though the series is finished now, I still reserve the right to delete any comment that spoils beyond this point in the novel

Posted on 17 December 2009 with categories: Umineko no Naku Koro ni



This episode was evil. The previous episode left with a huge cliff-hanger, so I was really looking forward to see what would happen with Beatrice next… and here this episode comes and focuses entirely at Ange. That’s definitely not what I expected for a semi-final episode.

It wasn’t exactly a major episode, though for some reason the characters kept using different names for older Eva and Maria’s diary. For some reason, old Eva now changed her name to Kasumi, though this was probably to escape the links she had with the Rokkenjima murders. Maria’s diary somehow is called Mariage Sorciere. We still don’t exactly know the how and why of this, but my guess is that it’s Maria’s magical alter ego who wrote the diary, explaining why the handwriting is different.

I think the most confusing part of this episode was right after Kasumi showed up from out of nowhere, as it took a while to sink in what the heck she was talking about. Basically, Eva refers to Kyrie as her older sister, meaning that she’s actually a part of the Sumadera family. Then really, what does this mean for the Ushinomiya-family? Is Hideyoshi actually Kinzou’s child? On top of that, Kyrie was about to marry this mysterious Hideyoshi, but instead married Rudolf, who then had a son called Battler who isn’t the same Battler as meta-Battler. Damn, and I thought the previous episode was complicated.

EDIT: Ack, I just realized that there are two old ladies in Ange’s timeline: her first aunt is Eva, who apparently did die a few episodes ago. Her second aunt is Sumadera Kasumi, who is Kyrie’s sister. And I kept thinking that they were the same person! Well, this at least makes things a little less complicated, and this episode much more straightforward. Which is a bit of a shame considering that there’s only one episode left!

Ultimately, this was an episode of building up. Which is a goddarn shame considering we have to wait around two years before actually seeing it being paid off.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 10 December 2009 with categories: Umineko no Naku Koro ni



Very nice, the plot twists just keep heaping up with this episode. While not as interesting as the third arc yet, there’s plenty of potential left for this in the final two episodes.

The first half of this episode was the usual slaughter-fest in which members of the Ushinomiya-family die rather one-sidedly, though there are several interesting questions raised here: has non-meta-Battler ever directly seen magic up till now? The only point I can think of is the end of the second arc, and that could easily have been an illusion. My guess has always been that what he saw with his eyes happened in real life, and this puts the three phone-calls he made during the first half in a very interesting light.

Right now, my guess is that the murderer used some sort of psychological attack to kill these people. Perhaps some sort of drug or mushroom that made them think that there are things that there actually aren’t. We’ve never really seen Nanjo check for any drug effects, and I can imagine how the killer could have created the flesh wounds afterwards to confuse people and hide the real causes.

A different theory is that the three characters in question found out who the murderer was, and why they were committed. As this seems to have been a very good reason, and simply resigned to their fate.

Because that second half gave a very interesting twist to the whole matter. Beatrice could have acted this again (I see her crazy enough to just ignore Battler like this), but I think that this was one of the first time in which her actions were genuine. Otherwise it would not have made sense for Lambadelta to have shown up.

So the way I see it, Beatrice made a mistake. Something happened six years ago that for some reason really upset her, and she believed Battler to be the culprit… and yet he wasn’t. This wasn’t a case of simple amnesia, he really had no clue what happened. The thing that would make sense is how Rosa killed Beatrice, but this doesn’t make any sense because Beatrice would know this, and she’d be going after Rosa instead.

My guess is that the creators have yet to reveal the exact reason, but I do believe that six years ago multiple things happened that set everything in motion, Rosa’s sin being one of them: I can very well imagine that Kinzou wasn’t really happy when he found out what happened to Beatrice. Also, why couldn’t Battler claim that he’s the son of his mother? Was he switched as a baby with someone else or something? In that case, what happened to the real Battler? And how did this create Battler’s “sin”, six years ago.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 4 December 2009 with categories: Umineko no Naku Koro ni



Oh wow, now this is indeed more like it. Talk about an intriguing episodes after the rather boring past three episodes. This episode returned Umineko where it’s good at: mind-numbing mystery. How the heck are the creators going to write themselves out of this? It’s a bloody shame that we have to wait for more than a year to get to see those answers animated.

The biggest question mark of this episode was obviously George becoming the demon king. While I have no idea what that meant, he now also has his own magical powers (a shield, which is something which he somehow learned from his mother, who I guess knows martial arts…), with which he pwned Gaap in this episode.

We still follow Ange as well, and the mystery gets yet another extra dimension: all of the children of the people who died on Rokkenjima received a key to a lot of cash, presumably the Ushinomiya family fortune. If it were just Ange who received it it would have made sense, but why did the son of Nanjo, who is totally not related to this case nor the headship of the Ushinomiya family, receive access to this fortune as well? Also, what was that thing that Ange saw in that plastic bag?

What also surprises me is that meta-Battler doesn’t make an appearance whatsoever in this episode. In this way, it becomes a bit tricky to see what Beatrice is planning with this incredibly elaborate set-up. I mean, if her goal is indeed just to keep the endless loop, couldn’t she simply show the first arc over and over? Something tells me that she’s really wanting Battler to acknowledge magic, and that this isn’t because of the job she received from Lambdadelta.

This also makes me very curious to see what Kinzou has in store for Battler and Maria. Battler will probably have the option to kill off Kyrie, while Maria just lost her mother. who is the one who is listed on her trial? On top of that, the two of them have a far weaker resolve than Jessica and George. Meta-Battler excluded, Battler has so far struck me as someone with a strong opinion, but also stubborn and not the most competent. To come with a comparison: Jessica doesn’t just talk about protecting her loved ones, she also acts upon it. Battler just talks. Now that I mention it, has he ever actually done anything significant?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Oh, and just a reminder: I don’t know exactly when chapter six, seven and eight will be released, but remember that I will unceremoniously delete any spoiling comments about them. I’m not repeating this message because the commends during the past few entries have gotten out of control, but rather for after this series finishes, in the case that some random visual novel player stumbles upon this page and finds it a good idea to let the anime-only viewers know about what’s going to happen in the end.

Posted on 27 November 2009 with categories: Umineko no Naku Koro ni



So now we’re back at the island again, and this episode portrayed a new character as the villain: Kinzou. Like all villains of Umineko, this guy is way over the top, but then again, that’s part of the fun. You don’t exactly watch this series for its realism. We also see a new servant introduced: Gaap (not the most fortunate name: it means “yawn” in Dutch, which makes it a bit hard to take her seriously).

What’s also interesting is that in this arc, we never get to see the corpses for the first twillight confirmed. All we see is Beatrice smirking and claiming that it’s the same as the previous first twillights, but the massacre scene was just like any other magic scene in this show so far: an illusion. Who is to say that these people really died? This is especially notable because one of the biggest suspects right now (Dr. Hanzo) could have used this to his advantage and pretend to be dead, killing everyone from the sidelines.

Still, this also supports the theory that there are multiple killers. My prime theory at the moment is that Kinzo is responsible for the first twillight (see the third arc, in which the murders had to be committed by one of the six people who died there), and after that Hanzo took over with the rest of the murders.

And boy, that scene between Maria and Rosa was intense. This also explains why the scene between the two of them in the last episode felt a bit incomplete, and now you can really see where the twisted personality from Maria came from. However, Rosa does raise a few questions: if this supposedly happened in every single arc (of which I’m not convinced of at the moment), then it doesn’t really fit with her behavior during the second and third arc. Having been killed more than a 100 times, Rosa should now be terrified of of her. I didn’t exactly get that impression from them, aside from the first arc, perhaps.

Now that the first season has nearly ended, I do have to say that so far, I do consider Higurashi to be better than Umineko. We’ve now seen 22 episodes, and while the potential for mystery on both series is just as interesting, Higurashi had far better characters at this point. And while Studio Deen’s influence really contributed to the creepiness and atmosphere of the first season, I’m not feeling the same as with Umineko.

Overall, I’ve been getting a bit disappointed by Studio Deen for the past year. They used to be one of my favourite studios, but their shows seem to have dulled, and ever since Amatsuki, their good shows have either been good shows because they had awesome source material, or because they were sequels of already good shows (Jigoku Shoujo and Higurashi Rei). I’m missing that typical Studio Deen-esque feel that can make already good premises even better.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 19 November 2009 with categories: Umineko no Naku Koro ni



Well, the third arc was awesome: it had a new twist in just about every new episode and kept holding the balls in the air with increasingly astonishing plot twists. In comparison, the past two episodes have really been a let-down. Especially considering how the creators have the arduous task of filling about 50 hours of visual Novel in just 26 episodes, they really could have used this episode better.

My problem with the past three episodes is simple: who the heck is Ange? Why the heck should I care about her? And why the heck does she have more background than nearly all of the other characters so far? This backstory of the past three episodes could easily have been squeezed in one episode, just like what the creators did with the first arcs. That would actually have left plenty of room for background on some of the other characters who deserved this, instead of this rather one-sided mini-arc that’s just there to show that Ange feels lonely and gets bullied by really, really, really stereotypical evil classmates.

The fun in Umineko comes from creating the theories and the crazy out of control plot in which you really have to guess what’s going on, and you can trust nobody. This episode… I just can’t make anything from it.
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Posted on 12 November 2009 with categories: Umineko no Naku Koro ni



Whoa, the CG Shaders have found Umineko at last. I have to say, that now that the properly shaded characters actually look pretty good. That’s the thing with Studio Deen’s graphics: it either looks really good or really bad. There’s hardly any in between.

Anyway, this episode rounds off the second part of Ange’s background. We learn that she’s not only revived Maria, but also she attempted to train as a witch, which eventually went wrong. On top of that, Maria is also revealed to be not just a witch, but also as Beatrice’s ally. Which does at the moment make no sense because I have no idea on whose side Maria truly is. If it is true that magic even existed in the first arc, it would explain her strange behavior there: she indeed was on Beatrice’s side, and merely enjoyed Beatrice’s little game a bit too much.

The question of course remains: if this is true, then what was up with her in the subsequent arcs? And I think that that’s where the real killer comes in. My guess is that as a little kid, she knew Beatrice and she really believed that whoever was behind the murders was Beatrice. This worked in the first arc because she was one of the people that the killer apparently let live (or at least, killed the last), however in the subsequent arcs (especially the third) she wasn’t as lucky and realized that someone other than Beatrice was on a killing spree.

I really suspect that Maria is able to remember every single arc. That would explain her huge change in character, and more importantly why she was able to write down every single detail about all of the arcs so far. It’s a bit of a mystery how she ended up writing about her own death, but again: at this point we have no idea exactly how much influence magic has in the real world. The witches must have been able to use illusions: otherwise people would not have been able to see them, and if magic really was the culprit then it doesn’t make any sense that it completely disappears once the magic scenes are over.

Lambdadelta comes with an interesting twist at the end, although I don’t think I fully understand it. She mentions how, when Battler wins the game he gets sent back to 1986, not 1998. However, doesn’t that mean that Ange still gets to meet her brother, only his 30-year-old version? Or did she mean that Meta-Battler gets sent back to the dimension he came from, while the other Battler simply remains dead? After all, it actually seems that Battler survived in the second arc. I’m actually pretty interested to see what happened to the Ange of that world.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 6 November 2009 with categories: Umineko no Naku Koro ni



This episode takes a bit of a step back as it explains more about “Gretel”‘s past. Her classmates were… stereotypical to say the least, but at least it’s good to see a bit more attention for her, and a bit of a more detailed report of what happened to Eva after the massacre of the third arc.

Maria was surprisingly tolerable in this episode, though. There’s one thing that I agree that the anime adaptation screwed up: the first few arcs showed her evil side way too much. The past two arcs actually gave her a bit of a character. The way she teased Battler with his fear of flight and how she was resurrected by Ange through magic (again, questioning how much magic there is in this world, and whether the world she came from is the same that Meta-Battler came from).

This episode also showed that even the starting events of each arc don’t necessarily have to be the same: we don’t know whether Rosa confessed about how she killed Beatrice in every single arc, because in this arc we see how Kinzou himself decides to attend the family meeting due to Krauss’ incompetence. This episode also raises the question: is Kinzou really alive? We’ve seen him a few times, but that says nothing: we’ve also seen Beatrice once in a while, and she too clearly wasn’t there. The only question is the point at which Natsuhi talked to him in the first arc: I’m still not sure whether that arc was completely free of magic, or whether it too had magical elements in it.

By the way, now that we’re nearing the end of this series’ airtime: has a second season already been announced? I know that the “no naku koro ni”-franchise should be popular enough to warrant a sequel that animates the answer arcs, but lately I’ve seen too many series that are in need of a sequel, yet never ended up getting one.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 30 October 2009 with categories: Umineko no Naku Koro ni



It’s episodes like this that really remind me why I’m still such a fan of anime. This episode was just… beyond awesome. Major spoilers coming up, do not read this entry if you haven’t seen the episode, and for the rest I can say little else than:

What the Fuck!?

I sort-of suspected that this episode would end with a bang, but this kind of a bang… I never saw coming: freakin’ Beatrice set everything up. The reason why her acting felt so forced was that it was SUPPOSED to be acting: there’s no way Battler was going to notice, and instead Beatrice started playing the innocent victim, while creating a new villain in Evatrice. Holy crap, talk about an awesome plot twist!

I’m now starting to see why Beatrice was supposed to be such an awesome character. The sheer cruelty in which she continuously keeps thinking of scenarios to fool Battler, and does it every time, and at the same time you can see that she isn’t perfect. My guess is that she originally didn’t plan to include the Evatrice plot in this arc, and instead just tried to use her Teacher to confuse Battler, but when he cornered her (when Ronove interrupted her when she was about to give away an important clue) and they went into that emergency meeting of theirs, they decided to go for such an elaborate illusion.

On top of that, Beatrice seems to have two intentions that contradict each other: her first goal is to “win” from Battler: make him acknowledge that she’s a witch. However, on top of that it’s also her “job” to “win” the game endlessly, and she seems to be under the orders of Lambdadelta. While seemingly contradicting each other, could it be that the first goal of hers is also just a red herring? That she simply already is a mage, but needs to keep the Ushinomiya-family in that endless loop of theirs for some reason? That could explain why Battler’s sister suddenly popped up as a major player.

Anyway, back to the murders: the survivors this time are Battler, Eva, Jessica, Krauss and Rosa. It’s interesting how Evatrice confirmed that Jessica isn’t one of the murderers, and neither Eva nor Battler killed Nanjo. However, that doesn’t go for Krauss and Rosa. In fact, while I don’t think that Krauss was the murderer in the first two arcs (perhaps he got killed off before he could get started), but he actually seems like a pretty likely suspect this arc: remember how he said that surprisingly nice comment about how he regrets having been so mean to his family members? After Beatrice’s act and all, I don’t believe one word from that anymore.
Rating: **** (Fantastic)
And remember, I reserve the right to delete posts that talk about what happens in the novel after this episode

CHANGE USERNAME
Niello
I tried doing Unlimited Blade Works chant with Houseki no Kuni. It works...too well.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I need one before Saber Wars kicks off though. Won't be able to farm efficiently without one. My main worry is that the Paid gacha was pushe dup cause they won't have London out in time. And no London means no Jack or Mordred.
Lenlo
Im in! Apartment get!
Amagi
@Aidan: Yeah, I expected it for new year but no idea now. At least Waver is a very good one, probably the best of the current non-limited servants. There are many 5* Sabers so I think/hope you'll get one later somehow.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I was hoping to get a Saber in the Paid Gacha but I ended up getting Waver instead. By no means disapointed with that, I plan on boosting him into a powerhouse to make him part of my endgame team. But I really do need a least a good Saber. Hoping we get another paid Gacha at New Years but it's looking unlikely.
Amagi
I only had really shitty Sabers like you the first months and then I got Arthuria and Atilla and now another Arthuria. I hope it will be the same for you.
AidanAK47
I have given up on GudaGuda. Main goal is looting the Christmas lottery. I am fairly screwed for the Saber wars event though as I have yet to get a single worthwhile Saber. Got Gils, Caesar and Fergus but the rest elude me.
Amagi
The events are killing me right now. I still have to farm these landmines for the shop's materials but there is also the half ap event, have mercy. And yeah, lookign forward to christmas, these bonus servant points are a quite funny idea.
AidanAK47
Anyway right now I am busy preping my Christmas event team. Gotta get them leveled.
AidanAK47
Oh good. I was hearing the next one wasn't until the middle of next year.
Amagi
On the positive side, she is, unlike Brynhildr, a servant that gets quite many rate ups in the future, so hope isn't entirely lost.
Amagi
@Aidan: I agree. Not to mention that she's the first really good (and only 5*) Lancer. I also got basically everything, including 2030 and the new servants, but no Scat
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I got Diarmuid and fergus as well as a 2030 CE but not Scarhach. They made it even worse when that mini quest made her even more desirable.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: I agree.
Amagi
Damn, another Arthuria and now I have like every damn 4* servant save for two. Just give me Scathach now ;_;
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if Harvey Weinstein is leaking information now that they've caught him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Spacey and Rolf Harris were genuine surprises to me though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Basically what I'm getting at is that I'm glad that we live in an era where people actually speak up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Had attitudes been different, these people would have gotten their due sooner.
Kaiser-Eoghan
One of the reasons why its so much easier for all these people to be exposed now, is that because back in the 60s and 70s no-one gave a shit .
Kaiser-Eoghan
The worst I ever heard of celebrity sex scandals though was Jimmy Saville.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In some cases the people involved are difficult to look at their faces, Klaus Kinski is terrifying .
Kaiser-Eoghan
A film like Pretty baby could never ever be made now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Suddenly American beauty is painted in a whole new light.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Think about Chinatown though, Noah Cross(the villain) gets away with raping and impregnating his own daughter , Polanski gets away with raping a teenager. I mean its a great mystery thriller but yeah theres the paralell.
SuperMario
The thing is, everyone inside the industry or had worked directly with Lasseter all know about this, and it had been going on for over 15 years now
SuperMario
I was fairly disappointed in Kevin Spacey's case since at one time I liked his acting so much, same goes with Lasseter but yeah, I can separate their outputs with the messy personal lives.
KTravlos
I too tend to try and separate the creator from his creations. But it is not always easy.
Niello
Also f*ck, Houseki no Kuni chapter 62 spoiler. Phos didn't have Rutile's permission.
Niello
@Eoghan, as long as I don't have to see their face it's not much of a problem for me. That's a good thing about animation I suppose.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In general I don't have much trouble keeping on with something even if the creator/creators are awful people, it doesn't really change the quality of the content of the work they produced.
Vonter
Man, this week there's been prospects of the US and European governments to regulate loot crate systems. And also the mangaka of the classic Rurouni Kenshi having underage material. And John Lasseter having bad manners around female employees. Is curious when one gets on the dilemma of separating the work from the creator.
AidanAK47
Damn it. Didn't get Scathach. I knew my chances were low but...still feels bad.
SuperMario
Finally back after several days that I didn't feel like blogging at all. Hope that was just a small slump of burnout and nothing too serious
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree with you on On Body and Soul, the otherworldly dream sequences are the best part, the romance is so-so and the investigation is fairly weak that I still don't know its importance to the story
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: It was you that got me to watch it actually, your posts.
Lenlo
@Kaiser I am glad you think so on Inuyashiki. Ive loved every episode of it so far
Kaiser-Eoghan
But Dies Irae is the best comedy of the season.....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unless he means Kino? In that case I've never read the novels.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Juuni taisen is also better watched as it expands on its source material.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If you mean girls last tour then thats better off watched too as its more immersive that way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Inuyashiki is a definite watch as the pacing is much better than the manga, houseki elevates its source visually so theres that.
Amagi
@Anon: It really depends on the series. If you mean a current anime, then watch. Because the current season is full of good manga adaptions (if you mean Dies Irea, then read)
Amagi
I am not even one of those who condemn fanservice in anime like Illya for example, but this.. welp. Guess I rather watch the new MahouTsukai episode now.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Why do they want to do that? I don't think this is a good idea. Man the whole world seems to go back instead of going forward the last yers
Amagi
Seems like it was actually 5 child prostitutes that's even worse. Maybe not even that but just school girls I can't into kanji and I only see the *chan thread right now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Apparently in France they want to lower the age of consent now. They are also still protecting Polanski.
Amagi
Kaiser-Eoghan: Just saw it too, just wanted to see if the Kenshin mangaka thread was still there and now this too.
Anonymous1582168
Watch or read? Which do you recommend more?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I see Toriko's author was caught with teenage prostitutes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And now I'm thinking, some of my enjoyment of the original Kino was partly due to watching it dubbed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Its is true that I would prefer kino to go deeper than it is allowed to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: mild Asperger syndrome , in my case its a touch discomfort thing.
Amagi
Also, damn - I just a saw a thread regarding the Kenshin thing
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: Agree with Kino, there are a few things I prefer in the older version too. Although I have to admit that many plot points I would have viewed as deep 10 years ago feel very simplistic and naive by now, like how simple minded the people are, especially if plot dictates them to be. Welp. Also, there is another autist here?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Maybe not, but you'd probably do well to watch the show.
Anonymous1581844
@Kaiser-Eoghan: Is Weed really for kid though? -.- Also, the pups are cuter in this one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Bitches don't know about my Ginga densetsu weed =P
Niello
This is very much a kid version of Wolf's Rain.
Niello
I finally found this thing. Been looking for it for years. The problem now is even if I know the name it's going to be hard to find a way to watch this thing again... https://myanimelist.net/anime/3355/Fortune_Dogs
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Kenshin author was caught with images of child sex abuse. Things have turned into a fallout since the Weinstein case.
Lenlo
I like to keep deadlines. Adds some consistency to things. Appreciate it though
Anonymous1581244
@Lenlo: No need to apologize lol. I don't think anyone expects you to drop everything in order to blog. XD Just do what you can and keep up the great work. d=(^_^)=b
Lenlo
Sorry for the slow turnaround on Mahoutsukai this week. Moving into a new apartment and work is abit busy. Should be up tomorrow though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I dug the premise and though there could have been more dream sequences its prettily shot, especially within those sequences, I was surprised by the suicide attempt and didn’t see it coming and it succeeded in being uncomfortable.
Although I did find the film sometimes a bit sterile and overlylong
Kaiser-Eoghan
@@Mario: I'm torn on Body and soul, speaking as someone who has autism, I genuinely felt that the depiction of the female protagonist was solid and was backed by good acting, as autism is generally overly associated with male characters, seeing it through a female focus was a bonus.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its an odd season, with shows I had no expectations of being favourites and one I looked forward to being a disappointment.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know we mentioned before on here but I honestly did wish that one episode, the 6th one WAS an additional backstory, it would have elevated the episode for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The original had a grittier artstyle that clashed less with the setting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I do think some of these episodic shows could benefit from two parters, this kino season especially.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But its not a good sign when I forgot some episodes content of this new adaptation less than a week after their airing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I don't say it lightly about the original having a strong degree of consistent quality, even the best episodic series often can't avoid being uneven but again I never felt the original ever fell into that trap .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its the consistency I miss in this version, I enjoyed all the episodes in the original, this being more of a mixed bag sticks out like a sore thumb.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Want to specify I did love the Murder country episode and the Liar country episode, the ship country episode was an episode of two halves, the latest episode was too slight .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Honestly I think I'll play it safe with the new Kino and just wait till it ends and pick the most recommended stories.
Anonymous1580206
The ED of Silver Spoon Season 1 is also amazing.
SuperWooper
"Fighter" by Bump of Chicken is the best I've heard in the last few years (3-gatsu ED 1)
SuperWooper
"Ride on Shooting Star" by The Pillows is my favorite (FLCL)
Nie
Also Akatsuki no Yona ending https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nepa6vDr-gM
Nie
Seriously though, Freedom Opening is too underappreciated: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbIy0zMukn4
Nie
if not just song then: Eden of the East, ERASED, both SSY EDs, FMA ED2, Welcome to NHK, Kekkai Sensen, Conan 40
Kaiser-Eoghan
Honestly I skip the op/ed themes for everything, there are some I haven't even heard.
SuperMario
@anon1579752: personally don't care much about EDs, since I hit the close button as soon as the episode's over. But this one is easy, Flowers of Evil ED
Anonymous1579752
321...best anime EDs of all time...GO
Nielo
Oops nvm IGNORE MY COMMENT
Nielo
@KTravlos: Which part of Chielo? How many heads?
KTravlos
Finally a great Altair episode. For once the pacing was a boon rather than a bane, and I loved the idea of Chielo.
Nielo
I have the Vagabond volumes...still haven't touch it. I just don't feel like starting another manga I'll have to wait forever.
Lenlo
Vagabonds only issue, to me, is the lack of release. I love it, its beautiful, and my god I have waited years for it to update. Its like Berserk all overagain
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I could changed something about kujira no kora, it would be toning down that overthetop shounen-kid villain henchman.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel as if I would read more of vagabond if the author ever finished it, the art however is beautiful.
KTravlos
A thing I really like about there stuff is that since they are set post-One Year War, most characters are veterans and they actually behave like veterans. Thus battles are more than just curbstomps etc. I really suggest their gundam stuff. Manga wise start with the Plot to Assassinate Gihren.
KTravlos
I have to say the ARK Performance gundam-verse is one of the favorite uses of the gundam concept . They really do a good job tying their stories together and with the original series.
Lenlo
If were talking manga as well, since I dont realy VNs/LNs, Vinland Saga, Vagabond, Berserk and Basara are all way up there for me
Anonymous1579124
I can probably disect pages on end of Kyousougiga. As for Sun Knight, it's translated from Taiwanese, so the chance of it getting an anime is a big fat zero. Not to mention that it is probably one of the hardest thing to translate into video format, movies or series, animated or not.
Anonymous1579124
@SuperMario Animation vs. Animator?
SuperMario
Kyousougiga was a creative and passionate anime. You can clearly see the love of the creators put into it. But of the year 2013 nothing can beat The Eccentric Family and Flowers of Evil for me
SuperMario
@Niello: I'm willing to give Sun Knight and Dorohedoro (or I should wait for the anime adaptation in few years?) a try but not anytime soon. My next of queue is Night is Short and re-watch of Now and Then. Sorry if I sound like a broken records but lately I haven't had that much time for myself.
SuperMario
..."Mario, what the heck is this??". so we stopped. My friends weren't trying to be rude so I didn't feel any offense, but the thought of watching a stick figure never cross their mind, hence the reaction. Anime fares much better in that regards since people still willing to watch it
SuperMario
(about people's hesitance towards animation medium): Tell me about it. Few years ago I had a Saturday movie night with my mates, one time I convinced them to watch a short animated film "Come one, it's one of the best thing I've seen this year" "It's only 15 minutes so you guys can watch them easily". So they agreed but as soon as the stick figure comes onscreen. My friend turned off...
Anonymous1578845
Lol just found out that there's a Sense8 (on Netflix) easter egg in "Just Because" ep 3 xD, made my day!!!!
Anonymous1578826
Forgot to say this, but anyone willing to give the Sun Knight novel a try, in some ways, it is quite similar to Houseki no Kuni. While it is mainly comedy....it also has a lot of suffering.
silver
@Niello/Anaon1578774?: I watched Kyousougiga maybe 6mos. ago, so I think I'll enjoy it more when I rewatch it sometime in a year or so. Seems most of my top picks cemented their place after a second viewing
Anonymous1578774
@Silver It speaks to me on a personal level no other fiction has comes close to matchin. so it has a very special place in my heart. It's also one of those that get better with each rewatch. I seem to have a penchant for liking what often get described by others as convoluted, this is one of them. I also adore Matsumoto's directing and all the symbolisms.
silver
@Kaiser: I neglected film in my youth as well.. and also in adulthood. A popular gag amongst my friends is that, "silver's never seen any movie ever." I hadn't seen star wars until a girl I dated in uni forced me to watch 4-6...
silver
Hah when I posted about liking works adapted from every medium I wondered if it was going to spark a 'top 10' discussion, but when I was trying to mentally rank them I remembered how hard it was...
@Niello: interesting that Kyousougiga is your all-time #1. I thought it was lovely but probably doesn't make the cut for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
Novels are somewhat alien territory to me as I tend to watch adaptations be they film or otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I've watched thousands in the past few years because I neglected the medium in childhood.
Nielllo
Unless you mean animated only.
Nielllo
@Eoghan: I don't think I watched enough films at all, and that's made even worst when I forget most of them after a couple of years.
Nielllo
@SuperMario: I really recommend The Legend of the Sun Knight novel. Think it's something you'll probably enjoy quite a bit. It's quite cleverly written. You can read the official fan translation online.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: A top ten film list for me is even harder, I can't even attempt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Akumetsu> death note
FITE ME.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Gunslinger girl gets such a strong mention from me because I feel that action stories often work better when you care about the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
<No Freesia adaptation
<No Eden adaptation
<No full production IG Alita film series
<why live =<
Nielllo
@SuperMario: There are some anime I'm not going to watch just because the manga is superior, period. Good examples are Monster and One Piece.
Nielllo
@Eoghan: Oh, I knew about Wolfram mangaka's apprenticeship already :p
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: First however, When mountains may depart, By Jia Zhangke, I am full romance mood.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Planetes and Vinland saga have to go somewhere on a list. Oddly they share the same creator.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Reminds me Dreams by Kim-ki-duk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I mentioned Dorohedoro's author was Nihei's apprentice, but heres another interesting one, the mangaka for Wolfram apprentice under BOTH Kento Miura and Kaoru Mori.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: gladly. On Body and Soul is a weird mix of romance drama, character study and a weirdly magical bond between two people who share the same dream. That weirdness is what make the movie so memorable, although I do feel the ending stays out its welcome
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nihei, Umezu and Itou belong somewhere among my favourite mangaka.
SuperMario
I don't know why you'd mix manga/anime together, but my own top 10 is in my profile (click over my username), I've included anime/ movies together but if the list is purely anime shows I'd add Haibane Reimen as #9 and Humanity Has Declined as #10
Nielllo
Apart from Kyousougiga which is always no.1, and The Legend of the Sun Knight, Dorohedoro, Shinsekai Yori and Monster whose places are swappable, the rest I'm quite flexible with. Saint Seiya is in if it's a favorite list, and out among the bottom of the barrel when it comes to quality list, with the exception of The Lost Canvas.
Nielllo
Hmmm, atm it's 1. Kyousougiga (a) 2. Monster (m) 3. Dorohedoro (m) 4. Shinsekai Yori (n) 5. Baccano! (a) 6. Ran to Haiiro no Sekai (m) 7. Saint Seiya (my guilty pleasure, I can't defend it in anyway) 8. Franken Fran (m) 9. The Legend of the Sun Knight (n)(1st tier comedy) 10. Haibane Renmei/Toradora!.Honorable mentions to Gamaran, Beck, GTO, Mushishi, Kaiba and Grave of the Fireflies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Damn....its a harder question to answer than it looks =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although Cruel God reigns in heaven would com close.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nah, nothing would dethrone Gunslinger girl for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even Utena but I feel it somewhat overated as I do Bebop despite enjoying both.
Kaiser-Eoghan
One of those on the top ten could easily be switched for honey and clover.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also love the works of Shimura Takkako, early takahashi and early Clamp.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Shiki would work its way onto a recent favourites list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite visual novels are Kara no shoujo, saya no uta and Sharin no kuni.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've a soft spot for ah my goddess, basara, 7 seeds , nanoha and Red river.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I was making more modern lists for recent favourites I'd probably add flipflappers somewhere or yuasas works.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh my top ten by mixing manga and anime into the same list? 1. Gunslinger (both) girl 2. Ghost in the shell (anime) 3. Earl cain saga (manga) 4. Angel Sanctuary (manga) 5. Texhnolyze (anime) 6. Lain (anime) 7. Perfect blue (anime) 8. Fruits basket (manga) 9. Monster 10. Kare kano.
Nielllo
I don't think anything will ever dethrone Kyousougiga for me though.
Nielllo
I still need to watch Tatami Galaxy and a bunch of other staple shows...
Lenlo
We could put out a site-author Top 10 list sometime maybe... Some of mine are Mushishi, Steins;Gate, Tatami Galaxy and Your Lie in April. Its got a spectrum of genre.
Nielllo
So what are people's top 10?
silver
Certainly on my top 10 list I have works adapted from VNs, manga, novels, LNs, and originals. I just think originals have a higher rate of efficient visual storytelling compared to adaptations
silver
@Kaiser: I like SEL and Haibane and texhnolyze is on my ever-growing list of things to watch. I also really like Gurren Lagen and Kill la Kill although they're both better if you've seen enough anime to know what they're parodying. My ex who loathed most anime because of the aforementioned over-exposition issue also introduced me to Dennou Coil which I really enjoyed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Body and soul just got released on a webdl , sell me on the film if you can =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Silver: Texhnolyze/Lain/Haibane are excellent examples.
silver
I think original anime offers a different experience than adaptations, particularly regarding 'show don't tell.' By necessity most anime source material is dialogue and exposition heavy and can't always utilize the medium efficiently. Of course, I've watched masterpieces adapted from every kind of source, so it's all good
Niello
I'd love to see this thing animated some day. Preferably with movie budget: http://thepropertyofhate.com/TPoH/Ex position/312
Niello
@Eoghan: Try searching in some Asian languages and you might have better luck.
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Featured Posts

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