Posted on 30 October 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Finished Series: Adventure/Fantasy/Science Fiction

According to much of the Western Anime community, this series wouldn’t be relevant for a site like this. Being made in the West by Americans, and English being its first language, many would disqualify it from the start. However I name them all fools for Castlevania, Directed by Sam Deats and Ryoichi Uchikoshi is clearly inspired by and modeled after Anime. Just like Avatar: The Last Airbender or the currently airing RWBY, let Castlevania stand as a testament that Anime can be produced beyond the borders of Japan. A damn good one at that.

Lets jump in, and beware of spoilers!

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Posted on 19 October 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews

In a year where comedy shows gain an unexpected strong showing, somehow a show about 3 cute girls and their pass-timer club emerges as one of the best comedy around. Yep, forget Hinamatsuri, forget Grand Blue, forget Chio-chan, Asobi Asobase delivers some hilarious absurdist laugh-out-loud moments for the ages. It helps that we were in for some trolling even before the series starts. Asobi Asobase is a prime example of a huge disparity between “what the shows is selling us” and “what it is actually about”, and for all the better of it. In all promo arts before its airing, and watching the deceptive OP that introduces the show, one would have assumed they’re about to watch for a comfy CGDCT. The truth is, where are those cute girls in the OP? It consistently displays how nonsensical, degraded our trio are and their situations they find themselves in.

Asobi Asobase’s main source of humor comes from how it introduces the mundane situation, then escalate it and flips the situation over to the most absurd level, usually with the expense of our trio. The jokes often land due to how unpredictable and crass it can get, and it benefits from a bombastic chemistry between the trio, along with the rest of the cast. In fact, in term of “stealing the scene” the supporting cast does a damn fine job with their personality is even bolder than our main girls. We have a shogi captain who goes at great length to teach the trio about “going all out for pass-time games”, we have a senpai who might or might not be a trap (my favorite recurrence gag), we have a girl who is designed like a Japanese classic painting, but she’s a total foil for our Olivia with her great mix of Japanese and English sentences; we have a live-in butler (or whatever role he is) of Hanako whose “special ability” is so bizzare we can’t help but tip our hats for its sheer creativity (it involves shogi as well), and guess what? The best part is that Asobi Asobase is crazy enough to build a proper backstory for his condition that involves alien and touching ass. Yes, Asobi Asobase is that kind of show.

While all the jokes are built in an absurdist manner, Asobi Asobase makes it ten times better with all the crazy reaction shots from the girls. The degraded reactions consistently betray their first cute appearance, making it hilarious in the delivery. Now, to our main three girls. We have Olivia, the non-foreign foreign girl who has a tendency to bend the rules (she’s my favorite character but I ‘d love to see her awfulness more), then we have Kasumi who is the least stand-out, but she possesses many hidden hobbies (chief among them: BL-fanfic story and her afraid towards men – see how contradiction she is) that it becomes a great source of laughter whenever Asobi Asobase delves into it. Finally, the star of the show Hanako (the simplest way to describe her is that she has a few loose screws. Like, seriously) who is basically responsible for all these stupid hijinks, and her rapid mood swing somehow just becomes funnier and funnier as time passes. In addition, not only the voice actress clearly kills it with their performances, I consider the VA of Hanako – Hina Kino a true breakout with her fearless performance that keeps raising the bar to the absurd level. Just listen to the “don’t give a fuck” metal ED to hear her voice screaming. She brings so much energy to this show.

Admittedly, some gags are weaker the others and sometimes it can cross the line between crassly enjoyable and mean-spiritedness (the portrayal of Olivia’s brother nerdiness for example) but that’s the thing because Asobi Asobase is excel at taking us outside of the comfort zone, or to be more precise, the comfort zone that CGDCT genre often doesn’t dare to go. Moreover, while other viewers see this show as “cute girls who is mean to each other”, I don’t really see any mean intent from the girls. While it’s true that most of the times the consequences go out of their hands, it’s also true that they have a blast of a time. And so did we watching and laughing at all the nonsensical hijinks from a show that simply doesn’t give a crap.

Posted on 14 October 2018 with categories: About

While there are some shows still lagging behind, we’ve pretty much had the general sip of what this new season has to offer. While personally I don’t have a clear favorite (my top shows only have 70% potential, the lowest since I’ve taken this job), there are many shows that genuinely surprise me. Who would’ve thought an anime with “Bunny Girl senpai” in the title can be this solid, or shows like Zombieland Saga and SSSS Gridman that defy their own tropes in every turn? On the negative side, I can regard this season as the season of bad-taste rape-attempts. From yaoi show about a romance between two sexy boys poisoned by attempted rape; goblins sexual assault to loli abuse, incest romance and a boy who travels to another world to make love with 12 different girls. This season has it all. Welcome to another season of Star Crossed Anime.

Here’s our schedule for the 2018 Fall Season:

Aidan: Goblin Slayer, Zombieland Saga, Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl-senpai no Yume wo Minai

Mario: Thunderbolt Fantasy 2, Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara, SSSS Gridman

Lenlo: BANANA FISH (carry-over), Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru, Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san (short), Planetes (Throwback Thursday)

Let’s enjoy this last season of the year together, my friends.

Posted on 13 October 2018 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san

Short Synopsis: A skeletal bookstore employee fields requests from perplexed parents and foreign fujoshi.

Lenlo’s Review:

This was the most amusing power point presentation I have seen all year. Sure, you could probably dig into the symbolism of a character’s head and how it connects to their personality or world view as the show goes on. You could talk about the stereotypes of the guests and how Japanese society views them. Instead, I am just going to leave you with one simple fact. This single 10 minute short had me chuckling almost the entire time. Honda-San is grounded absurdism and you know what? I love it. The delivery, the pacing, the power-point levels of animation. I have no idea why it resonates with me so, maybe because I worked retail for a year, but I love the story of this poor decayed book-store clerk.

Potential: This is my crack

Wooper’s review:

This is a half-length comedy about a skeleton named Honda who works at a bookstore. His co-workers include (in order of appearance): a guy with a bag over his face, a man with a cartoon rabbit’s head, somebody wearing what I assume is a stylized Daft Punk helmet, a woman wearing a helm from a medieval suit of armor, a character named “Mr. Sales,” and a girl wearing a Noh mask. There are many more to come, if the ED is anything to go by. Honda is the only one whose strangeness extends below the neck, however. Sometimes his jaw falls off when a customer surprises him with a strange request. Though he gets nervous around the store’s gaijin clientele, he still does his best to assist them however he can. Please support him by watching Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san.

Potential: Worth a chuckle or two

 

Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto dakedo Imouto ja Nai

Short Synopsis: A girl wins a light novel contest with an incest story, and decides to use her brother as a public proxy.

Aidan’s review:

To contrast Wooper’s post below I have decided to only remark on the positives of this series in order to give a fair objective view of this anime. Well to begin the animation and character designs are…terrible..but ah the story, right the story is very…well…um….Alright you see this is clearly satire commenting on the nature of this incest fad with light novels. Sort of like a manga I knew called Oniichan Control which was about a brother who loved his sister but it turned out the sister was putting up a little sister front and is actually a psychopathic yandere grooming him to like her. Thus being a subversion on the arcitype and this show decides to shake things up by…playing it straight and sincere..alright so it’s not satire but it’s obviously a parody based on that one joke in the criticism of the main character’s work…even though the rest of the episode actually seems to be parading the LN state of being overrun with incest. (Screws eyes shut) Okay then this is actually postmodern experimental commentary on the nature of anime and incest which focuses on the preparation of archetypes to appeal to a mass demographic which demands the safe and familiar over creativity ingenuity or quality writing. It shows this by making use of exaggerated tropes pushed to the limit of absurdity like big titted women whose breasts are having seizures based on that jiggling, loita managers and obsessed brocon sisters. Thus all this trashy lazy setup is a metaphysical commentary criticising the appeal of familiar norms with conceptual taboo which in turn leads to the degeneration of mass media pandering towards teenage fantasy sexual desires and this is because….well it’s because…that’s all because….

(Sighs and stares blankly)
….this anime is shit.

Potential: Light Novels were a mistake

Wooper’s review:

Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto dakedo Imouto ja Nai opens with a series of 13 close-ups on little sisters who appear to have been ripped from 2000s visual novels, all of whom address their older brother using different cutesy honorifics. Once they’ve finished, they all cry out in unison, “I love you, big brother!” This turns out to have been the main character’s dream, but even after he wakes up, Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto dakedo Imouto ja Nai doubles down on the otaku baiting. For your viewing pleasure, the series features:

  • a perfect little sister who does all the housework,
  • a flat-chested loli co-worker who’s actually of legal age,
  • panty shots,
  • fantasy scenes where the main character imagines his imouto in provocative poses,
  • censored nipples which will be uncovered for the Blu-ray version,
  • a curvaceous editor who relentlessly flatters the MC and volunteers her boobs for groping at any time,
  • tons of dialogue discussing the wonders of light novels,
  • a big-breasted illustrator who nearly orgasms when her appearance is complimented,

and the list goes on. All of this is just gravy, however, compared to the fact that our hero’s little sister is totally in love with him. We witness that love in the form of excerpts from her light novel, entitled “This is the Tale of a Little Sister Who Loves Her Brother Too Much to Cope.” She also rolls around on her bed while scheming up ways to become his girlfriend and shrieking with glee. Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto dakedo Imouto ja Nai covers all of this with a veneer of plausibility by making its lead character totally relatable. For example: he can’t imagine that his lil’ sis (who has just confessed to writing a story where the female lead loves being petted by her older brother) secretly lusts after him, because that would be totally weird! Am I right, fellow normal guys? Plus, he gets tongue-tied whenever sexy women grab his hands and use them to massage their chests. What a common situation in which to find oneself as a typical high schooler! Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto dakedo Imouto ja Nai is the perfect gateway to the wonderful world of incest anime, because it keeps it [100 emoji] with the audience. We’re not elitist snobs who need fancy animation or a well-crafted soundtrack in our animes. All we need are older brothers and younger sisters who love each other more than anything in the world. That, and some tig ol’ bitties.

Potential: Ore ga Sick of this Shit dakedo Shit Keeps Getting Made

 

Conception

Short Synopsis: A highschool boy and a pregnant girl are transported to another world and must screw in order to save it.

Aidan’s review:

Wow. I mean when I heard about the whole aspect of making babies to save the world I was under the impression that the process actually didn’t involve sex. As a matter of fact in the games that appears to be the case as the ritual is not really elaborated on but obviously heavily implied to be sex. In the second game it appears they just place their energy inside some urn or something. Not here. Here they remove all ambiguity and go full on sex. Honestly I find myself both disgusted and somewhat impressed at the complete lack of shame in this. I mean I suppose it’s nice to see a protagonist with a sex drive and them just tossing aside the harem hijinks to just have them boink. But this has to be the trashiest Isekai I have ever seen, the animation is bare bones and the anime itself decides to do worldbuilding by literally linking a website. This is a story that gives no fucks at all besides it’s tituar concept of becoming a hero by banging girls. It knows how dumb this all is and it doesn’t care cause hey, it’s a game where you bang chicks to gain RPG powerups. Dare I say it, I may even play the game on steam due to morbid curiosity. The anime on the other hand…well I think they would have been better off just making hentai instead of this.

Potential: What am I doing with my life?

Lenlo’s Review:

An isekai of a harem game. Guess i’ve seen it all now. I’m done, I’m retiring. This show killed me. I don’t even wanna bother writing up a full paragraph, just read Aidans instead. God damnit.

Potential: Can I be done yet?

Mario’s review:

And I originally thought this season was already bad enough with rapes and loli sexual assault, now here’s the premise that can’t be topped: pregnating a harem team, one of them is your cousin. Yuck. If there is one praise I have for this show, it is that I admire it for its shamelessness. The opening sequence pretty much strips out all the pretense and gives you what this show is about (half of it anyway), a vintages of silhouetted naked girls. The other half is your cliche isekai world that the show doesn’t even bother to build it properly. Everything is fanservice to your teeth. We have girls already lining up to him to have sex (they literally say that), we have creepy mascot who trying to help our boy by molesting a girl for him, we have him tied up in chain with only underwear by a busty doctor. Even with the actual sex scene, there’s an overlong moment where the guy clumsily takes of the girl’s strap. It’s so badly framed that at one point it becomes unintentionally hilarious. Look, by now you know what you’re getting into so if this is your thing then go right ahead.

Potential: Anime again brings me down.

Posted on 12 October 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Planet With

Planet With is an anime that likely leaves many unimpressed when they look at the cover and makes for a solid proof that you cannot judge a book by it’s cover or even by it’s first episode. Many have overlooked this show in it’s season but for those that did give it chance it went above and beyond expectations. It is the first original anime work of Satoshi Mizukami, who is most well known for Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer and Spirit Circle which are both highly lauded manga and personal favorites of myself. The story is twelve episodes long and yet tells a tale that could very well have been two cours in it’s small span of time. Now in many cases that would be disastrous and result in a rushed mess of an anime but Planet With beats all odds and not only manages to make it work, but provide a masterclass in using a single cour to its fullest potential. It’s writing is top notch, this show never wastes your time and things are always escalating and subverting your expectations, making you never truly know just what is coming next.

The story involves a boy with amnesia who is dragged into a war between humans and aliens. Indeed the setup seems rather rote but by the first episodes end things start getting changed up. The boy isn’t fighting the Aliens but instead the humans and the agendas of each faction become a lot more than simple world domination. The characters can at first be trope heavy but end up with a depth to them that you wouldn’t expect. Eventually the stories scale grows grander that it resembles the escalation of Gurren Lagann. In fact as far as similarities go, Gurren Lagann and it’s old school mecha contemporaries make an apt comparison. The is a hot bloodedness to the action but also a playfulness to character interaction that lets things flow naturally. It’s a show that knows when to buckle down and get serious while spotting times it needs to take itself less seriously. So you never quite question yourself on why you are so invested in a show with a giant mascot cat fighting a dragon while an alien dog watches with his secretary. While there are aspects of animation, art and music which could be more polished, the writing is something I have a hard time criticizing. Any nits i could pick could be attributed to the shows one cour length but a lesser writer would have caused it all to fall apart.

There are negatives to this in that it takes a few episodes for this show to truly start, the mecha battles are done with awkward CGI which while watchable is still jarring and can’t match animation, the music can get a bit too cheesy as it goes for traditional hot blooded mecha style, the name of the show is hard to google and the ending could have used a bit more of a epilogue. But the more critical negative is that much like the rest of Satoshi’s work, this will likely remain a anime gem not getting the popularity it deserves. Still I implore those willing to listen to at least give it a chance as it deserves that much. With enough time perhaps people can look back on this and come to appreciate everything this show did.

Posted on 11 October 2018 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Release the Spyce

Short Synopsis: A girl is scouted to join a bunch of high school girls being ninjas.

Aidan’s review:
The opening scene of this episode had me feeling like I was in the 90’s again watching a really crappy version of the matrix. This show is certainly trying hard to look cool but so hard that it just comes across as really dumb. The science behind everything here is ridiculous and I am not sure if the writing itself is aware of it. I mean the “Spyce” in the shows title appears to be a drug based on the whole “Humans only use 10% of their brains” myth and the main character seems to have a supernatural sense of sight and smell but even more ludicious, the ability to diagnose physical and mental problems by licking people. This show seems to be targeting two conflicting demographics, those who want cute girls doing cute things and those who want action. The two are obviously at odds and it doesn’t help that the action is just painfully trying too hard. This show desperately wants you to think it’s cool and just as expected comes off as rather lame instead. I am not sure about a show which glorifies drug use either as this spyce turns girls into superheroes with seemly no negative consequences. This is just a really dumb poorly written show.
Potential: 0%

Mario’s review:
Release the Spyce is pretty much what you expected, a nonsensical fun ride. This episode spends its amount of time into two subplots: cute girls having their normal everyday school life and cute girls moonlighting as spies – or more as ninja, or more as heroes in cute outfits. Some details might stretch its credulity a little (ninja frog? Hell, yeah! Licking to sense other person’s personality?), but to its credits it doesn’t take those seriously. I suppose the main character Momo embodies the first episode’s strengths and weaknesses so far. On the narrative level, her role works as she’s a qualified addition to the cast. Unlike other main helpless protagonists who usually get sucked to the case all by accident, Momo gets there all by her ability and her determination to fight crimes. Her hesitation when it comes to action, her inspiration comes from her late-police father, all work by that glance. On the negative side, she never feels like a real person to me. Her ability is nonsensical and there isn’t much subtext going on in this chick flicks. The cast fares much worse as for now they fall into archetypal roles, and the villains are clearly evil and maniac. It’s too simple and straightforward for its own good.
Potential: 40%

 

Ulysses: Jeanne d’Arc to Renkin no Kishi

Short Synopsis: A wannabe alchemist searches for a way to grant his childhood friend immortality.

Lenlo’s Review:
Ah, my first bamboozling of the season. It feels… bad. I went into this expecting something completely different than it turned out to be. Based on the description and some promo art, I was expecting some kind of historical epic during the Hundred Years’ War, maybe with some fantastical local elements ala Mahoutsukai no Yome thrown in there. Instead I get a high school harem series set in the 14th century, with a bunch of cliches that don’t belong there. I’ll be frank, I lost my interest when I saw 3 anime girl stereotypes in the same shot 1 minute in, all staring at our bland male leads empty seat. Color me disappointed and move on. There are better series in this season.
Potential: 0%

Wooper’s review:
How much longer will it be before the average Japanese animator loses all ability to draw walk cycles? If the premiere of Ulysses: Jeanne d’Arc too Long Title is anything to go by, it could happen before 2019 hits. This episode was chock-full of awkward and aborted motion, from sword fights that freeze at inappropriate times to characters that are supposed to be entering a room, but appear instead to be marching in place. The low budget appearance is just what this story deserves, as its historical setting is squandered on a cookie cutter harem setup. There’s even some fetish baiting, with the most nervous of all the same-faced girls peeing herself because a bird startles her in the middle of a dark forest. Fear not, however, as our gentlemanly lead character proclaims that he’s got a little sister (of course he does), so he’s totally used to spontaneous urination. If you want to write a series this insultingly bad, why not just set it during the modern day? A quick Google search reveals that the link between the Hundred Years’ War and alchemy is tenuous at best, so you could have just made this another high school battle harem rather than dragging Joan of Arc’s name through the mud. There’s a time skip twist just before the credits, which is the only decent part of the episode, but it’s not worth the price of entry. Do yourself a lifelong favor and never, ever watch this show.
Potential: 0%

 

Anima Yell!

Short Synopsis: An excitable high school girl attempts to start a cheerleading club.

Lenlo’s Review:
Ah, the seasonal entry into “Cute Girls doing Cute Things”. This time that thing is Cheerleading, a traditional highschool activity. Anima Yell looks competent enough. The art isn’t bad, the animation is enough that for a few shots I was actually surprised with how the well the Cheerleading worked. Anima Yell even took the slow approach of gathering the club members and not just overloading us with everything all at once. Most of all though, it was actually kinda funny. It’s not my proudest moment, but I giggled at the “Chair” joke the first 2 times it came up, I’ll admit it. Basically, if you want a show you can sit back, relax, not have to think too deeply about the philosophical meaning of and just enjoy, you could do a lot worse than Anima Yell. Yeah, it’s not my cup of tea, but I’m the kind of asshole who enjoyed Ergo Proxy, and I can say Anima Yell is at the very least, competent in every way that matters.
Potential: 30%

Wooper’s review:
This is another high energy club anime in the vein of Anime-Gataris or Comic Girls, which should tell you everything you need to know. If you like pink-haired protagonists and would cite “irreversibly cheerful” as your mood of choice, Anima Yell was made just for you. The character designs won’t win any awards for originality, but they’re moe enough to make your teeth fall out. The animation isn’t exactly top shelf, but it’s competent, even for a series that revolves around a movement-heavy sport like cheerleading. The plot point of gathering five members to start a high school club won’t set the world on fire, but it’s a good jumping-off point for some decent character work, should the show be so inclined. One thing Anima Yell does better than a lot of its contemporaries is striking a balance between earnestness and clumsiness in its main character. When both of these traits are present in one person, they typically vie for dominance, when they should be harmonizing instead. This series takes the latter approach, which makes for a pleasant watching experience. Anima Yell’s lack of ambition and familiar template will discourage a lot of fans from picking it up (myself included), but it looks to be one of the year’s better entries in this genre.
Potential: 30%

Posted on 10 October 2018 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Radiant

Short Synopsis: A young sorcerer takes on a giant monster without his teacher’s help.

Aidan’s review:
This was certainly quite different from the French manga I read and I was concerned that the Japanese animation studio decided to go anime original with the product. However it seems the creator of the original french manga(Yes, French) decided that the first 5 episodes would be a rewrite of the story. This could be due to the general consensus that I heard that Radiants first two volumes are too formulaic shounen and not very interesting. However it seems that most agree that once this story gets into its first real arc then it improves dramatically. Of course the question is, how long is that going to take and will it reach that point in a 21 episode run? I don’t think what I seen this episode is bad, as a matter of fact I would say that out of most recent efforts this show captured the spirit of golden age shounen quite well. The big problem is that everything you see here is very much an echo of shounen you have seen before. Thus your opinion on this show very much depends on your exposure to shounen anime. As someone who has seen a large share of Shounen anime I would say this show is fine and I have seen shounens that didn’t work as well as it did. The animation is certainly better than something like Black Clover as well. There is potential for this one to surprise but that’s if it can keep viewers interested long enough to pull out it’s big guns and if those guns can truly blow people away so that they forgive a slow start.
Potential: 60%

Wooper’s review:
I’ll be blunt – I didn’t enjoy a single thing about this premiere. Some people are excited for the cultural broadening of anime that Radiant represents (the source material is French), but if tired shounen copycats are the type of non-Japanese works that get selected, the net change is hardly significant. This show features a loud, spiky-haired magic user who can punch things really hard, and who must deal with discrimination based on his sorcerer status. He has a teacher who’s strict but secretly kind-hearted, and he even saves a young boy from a frightening monster in the very first episode. Is any of this sounding familiar? The series boasts strange character designs, verdant backgrounds, and European music, but these elements aren’t enough to distract from how safe and shallow the final product feels. There was only one image that interested me in these 23 minutes: a wide shot of the teacher’s airship against a moonlit sky. Apart from that, my eyes were starving for visual stimulation. My funny bone fared even worse, nearly disintegrating at the attempted physical comedy on display. For the sake of French comic authors everywhere, I hope that Seiji Kishi butchered this adaptation, so they can put all the blame on him and try again some day with a different director at the helm. If you’ve never met a shounen you didn’t love, this will be right up your alley. Otherwise, steer clear (no pun intended).
Potential: 20%

 

Goblin Slayer

Short Synopsis: A party of adventurers take on a quest to rescue some girls from goblins.

Aidan’s review:
Well that was dark, both figuratively and literally considering the full episode took place in a cave. The first ten minutes or so played a long con of showing a bunch of characters who looked to be main cast worthy and their first job of taking on goblins. What follows is the perfect example of what not to do for anyone who’s played an MMO or RPG. Like not damaging the quest giver who recommended that you wait for a higher ranked adventurer before going on the quest. Or remembering to take potions. Or not leaving behind your mage and healer while running on ahead. Or bringing a longsword to fight in a cramped cave. Or the tank swinging his sword wildly making it that the main dps couldn’t help out. So this episode mainly serves to do two things, one is showing how goblins are irredeemable assholes and two is showing how badass goblin slaying batman is. Believe or not considering how graphic this was it was toned down from the manga which was rather gratuitous with showing the rape and violence. White Fox took the more tasteful route of not directly showing rape but still making sure we knew what was happening offscreen. For a first episode it does the job of setting up the premise and the only real hiccup was White Fox replacing Goblin Slayer with a CGI model at times and thinking viewers wouldn’t notice. I hope that doesn’t become a common occurrence.
Potential: 75%

Lenlo’s Review:
Ah White Fox, we meet once again. Your 2 for 4 with me right now, so time to break the tie. So far, Goblin Slayer is preeetty good. I saw the bait and switch of the adventuring team coming a mile away, but it still worked. I found the light foreshadowing of the longsword and the cave walls/ceiling to work well. And most of all, I enjoyed how the Goblins were suitably threatening. So often anime, and fresh DnD DM’s, forget that just Goblins being weak stat wise means they have to make up for it in other areas, such as cleverness and numbers. Being underestimated. It makes me think that our lead will face some real challenges going through the series, even if I have no idea what the central plot may end up being. The fact that Goblin Slayer didn’t just cut his way through the horde either was appreciated. He used a very pragmatic approach of traps, using his resources, knowledge and the geography of the cave. As Aidan said, he is closer to a sort of Batman than a general overpowered MC. The two aspects that bugged me, that will most likely become a reoccurring thing if its being used this much in the first episode, is the CGI model of the Goblin Slayer and the rape. One of these things is less concerning than the other. I don’t think we are escaping that. But you know what, I don’t care. I am in for the season Goblin Slayer. Don’t disappoint me.
Potential: 70%

 

SSSS.GRIDMAN

Short Synopsis: A boy with amnesia has to turn into a giant robot to fight Kaiju.

Aidan’s review:
Allow me to be blunt. I have absolutely, positively no idea how to react to this one. The inspiration certainly seems to be along the lines of Tokusatsu shows like Kamen rider, in fact this does seem to be a sequel to a lesser known one. However the episode itself seems to be half school life and half giant monster fighting. What throws me off so much however is the nature of the dialogue which some have deemed realistic but I myself find rather quirky. I wish I could react to a giant monster ripping apart the town with as much nonchalance as these characters do. In fact these characters seem to react to any supernatural incident with mild disinterest. The main character has amnesia(Tired trope indeed) and both he along with everyone else treats it like he stubbed a toe. “You got amnesia? Well that’s odd but eh, you will get over it” That’s what is throwing me off throughout this episode because the characters seem to care very little about the events of the plot, causing a strange disconnect between myself and the story unfolding. Thus I cannot get invested in any of it but even then I just think this isn’t the kind of show for me. I feel this is more for fans of the original Gridman or other Tokusatsu media.
Potential: 0%

Lenlo’s Review:
If nothing else, I have to give Gridman props for trying something interesting. Not with the story, that’s some standard Super Sentai Kamen Rider fare, though I do like the monsters being carved and created. Not the characters, because amnesia is a played out trope that every anime fan is probably tired of. No, I have to give it props for its direction. In just this first episode Gridman tried a number of interesting shots, even if they failed. The single frame cuts during a conversation, as if time is passing for awhile and its just cutting to the start of each sentence. Or the long pause after the ball knocks the sandwich to the ground. I’m not sure either of them worked as intended, but I give props to Trigger for trying something new like always. As far as the actual show goes though, I am personally not interested. I grew out of Power Rangers a long time ago, and I am not familiar with the source material of Gridman enough to truly care. As Aidan points out, the characters react to everything like they have seen it a thousand times, even the giant Kaiju showing up out of nowhere. It’s the same offbeat style Trigger is known for, but here it bugs me. Still, if you like Sentai Shows and if Gridman keeps up some of these interesting directional choices, you might enjoy it.
Potential: 15%

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Dakaretai Otoko Ichii ni Odosarete Imasu

Short Synopsis: A beloved actor loses his #1 spot to an industry newcomer, whose attraction to him complicates their relationship.

Mario’s review:
Oh boy, they go for *hardcore* borderline-porn BL. Oh boy, it’s the usual boy force-kisses the other, and of course the victim finds the predator too charming that they can’t do anything but be swept away. Damn it. I have to kick myself for watching this in public, as I don’t know how the people around me would think when the lines “I want to have sex with you” flashing repeatedly on the screen. Damn it. It would’ve been a powerful love story if they don’t rely on those uncomfortable tropes. One thing this show works quite well is that it portrays the male lead in an interesting way. He’s a mountain of personal conflicts: he hates this guy and loves him at the same time. His actions sometimes contradict with his thoughts, but they all reveal a deeper side of him. That he tries his earnest to help “his rival” with his experience makes him an interesting character to follow. The main draw of this series, however is the hot, burning hot passions from two sexy “huggable” naked boys, and for me, it’s just way too hardcore for me to fully embrace. It might be one of the better shounen ai titles, but it’s strictly for the fans of this genre.
Potential: 10%

Wooper’s review:
This would be a hard review to write if I danced around the subject, so I’ll make it short: there’s an attempted rape scene around the midway point of this episode, and it’s kind of played for laughs. An up-and-coming actor takes incriminating cell phone footage of an older co-worker, who says he’ll do “anything” for it to be deleted, and the younger man’s request is sex. The older guy’s refusal is ignored, and he has to construct a literal barricade of furniture, potted plants, and a flat screen TV to trap his attacker in the bathroom. A rowdy, vaguely flamenco-influenced guitar tune plays intermittently throughout this scene, which is in remarkably poor taste. What’s worse, the initial awkwardness this causes quickly gives way to an amicable relationship, which eventually features consensual sex. Based on the terrible message at the heart of its plot, I’m tempted to label this entire series a dumpster fire, and for many viewers it will be. But I do want to praise the internal monologue of the lead character (the victim of the aforementioned assault), whose arrogance and narcissism create an interesting lens through which we view the entertainment industry. His love for himself is equaled only by his love of his work, which is expressed in the form of both scathing criticism and smart advice. He’s a funny, worthwhile character, conceived with more purpose than a lot of the useless teenage protags that populate anime right now. Shame about the visually boring, morally repulsive show surrounding him.
Potential: 20%

 

Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet

Short Synopsis: Legitimized Highschool gang warfare in the style of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but now with Tsundere’s.

Aidan’s review:
As far as this story is concerned this was likely the best opening episode it could have. I will even admit to being a bit of a sucker for a good confession scene. Of course this is pretty much as good as it gets as we already have a second girl her whose feelings are doomed to be unrequited along with the other girls about to come along. For this is my most hated kind of harem, the one that keeps adding characters despite the fact that the main couple has already been decided. I mean the point of a harem is having a bunch of girls go after the main and each having at least a slim chance of winning. Here every girl after this has no chance so what is the bloody point? Outside of the relationship between the two leads this show has nothing really to offer besides cliche. It’s decently watchable so far but as someone who rea don in the manga I can say that whatever charm it has wears thin quite fast. Not to mean the constant competition between the two houses just gets really annoying as they constantly repeat how much they wanna kick the crap out of each other. I say for some this could prove to be a decent show to pass the time with but otherwise there isn’t that much to it.
Potential: 20%

Lenlo’s Review:
So, as has happened all too often this season, I have no idea what to make of this one. Based on the title, it looks like Kishuku is supposed to be some kind of Romeo and Juliet story, once again revamped for high school in some fictional Not Europe country? If so I really don’t know what to make of it, because it takes the basic premise of Romeo and Juliet and then proceeds to just ignore Shakespeare and go off on its own thing. On one hand that’s refreshing, in that its not the same story over and over again. On the other, there is a reason Shakespeare is still performed today hundreds of years later. Looks like another generic “Will they, won’t they” rom-com to me. Dull.
Potential: 0%

 

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara

Short Synopsis: A passionless depressed witch gets sent back in time to experience life with her young Grandmother.

Mario’s review:
I’m not hard-pressed to say that Irozuku is the most gorgeous production in this season so far. It has rich background arts, expressive characters, fluid animation and it’s so goddamn striking in everything it does. The fireworks scenes are beautiful both in color and in muted black & white through Hitomi’s point of view, and the train sequence is impressive. In fact, its production values are too great that it kinda overwhelms the narrative. I like the meat of the story, a girl who loses her passion for magic, and for the colors of life, literally, but what sold me on her characters and the world so far is purely on the visual level, not the narrative. Her character is passive, not in a good way. She’s passive in a way that she seems lost and always waits for the plot brings her along. In addition, while I appreciate the way her Grandma brings her back to this world, the manner the show does it is way too contrived with a vague explanation that “it has been decided. You will understand”. I’m not too sold with the story so far, but the natural chemistry between the cast, and the rich art designs in both worlds more than make up for its more familiar story.
Potential: 70%

Lenlo’s Review:
You know, I am starting to think I was wrong about this season, that it just might have a decent set of shows. Irozuku is one of the prettiest series I have seen so far, as Mario said. The backgrounds are full, the colors pop and I was never visually bored. Narratively I am concerned, as the female lead Hitomi isn’t very compelling with how passive she is. The contrivance to start the plot, “It was decided” and “You’ll understand” bug me more than anything else though. I figure we can give it another few episodes to see how that and her relationship with her grandma works out however, as the crux of the series seems to be a metaphor for overcoming depression and finding magic and color in your world. Those kinds of things tend to be slow starters, with how dependent they are on the characters. I personally have been watching March Comes in Like a Lion recently, and while Irozuku doesn’t quite measure up narratively, it is a subject I am in the mood for. I see no reason not to stick it out for a few more episodes and see how the relationships play out.
Potential: 60%

Posted on 7 October 2018 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Gakuen Basara

Short Synopsis: The Sengoku Jidai, the Warring States era of Feudal Japan, but set in high school.

Lenlo’s Review:
So, can anyone tell me what this is actually about? I have no idea what kind of series this is. I get that it’s just a kind of comedy retelling of the Sengoku Jidai, but in high school, but that’s simply isn’t interesting. We have seen the characters before in better stories, and at this point most anime fans have at least a passing knowledge of the era. Moving it to highschool with all the same characters, from Nobunaga to Ieyasu just doesn’t make any sense. There are too many characters doing nothing relevant, with no actual plot but a pre-set on the rails played out Warring States narrative. Pass.
Potential: 0%

Mario’s review:
My goodness, this show makes no damn sense. It’s just a playfield for over the top boys acting over the top antics. Imagine a middle school kids come up with an idea to cram up all his favorite toys and you would get something close to this. I know this show aims for ridiculous but it needs to have a point. Here I don’t see any point at all. It just keeps introducing one badass character after another, and when all is crazy from design to personality, no one comes up as amazing at all. At the end of the day I don’t give a damn for any face, let alone their proxy war or real war or whatever the hell it is. This, my friends, is the worst premiere I watched so far this season.
Potential: 0%

 

Uchi no Maid ga Uzasugiru!

Short Synopsis: A woman decides to work in the house of a cute loli girl.

Lenlo’s Review:
I don’t know what to make of Uchi no Maid. On one hand it’s trying to be this sweet family/young daughter growing up/single father parenting story. On the other it’s a sort of comedy piece. It does a decent job at both of those. I especially love the Russian(?) themed music that comes on throughout, and it sometimes gives me Mrs. Doubtfire mixed with Home Alone vibes. When it’s on, Uchi no Maid does a great job amusing me. The contrast of young spitfire child and a ripped JSDF maid has potential, even if it’s pretty creepy at times. But if you’re in this for some sweet family time, I would recommend Amaama to Inazuma instead. However you want something that won’t rot your teeth how with how sweet it is, because Amaama to Inazuma is concentrated sugar, then Uchi no Maid is right up your alley. I don’t care what Mario says, just ignore him. Skip right over the next paragraph. Also, the workout ED is god damn fantastic and I love everything about it.
Potential: 50%

Mario’s review:
It’s the second consecutive show I watched about a girl who has weird fascination with a loli girl. This show underlines the level of creepiness by having the crazy one an actual adult with six-pack abs.The main joke is that doesn’t matter how mean the loli girl behaves, she can’t match the insanity of her maid. It provides some amusing slapstick gags, and I especially enjoy the Russian music, but after it passes halfway point the premise already wears thin. We does see the fact that the girl tries to cope with the loss of her mother, producing some mild touching moments, but they are quickly put aside for harmless and questionable hijinks, and a father who can’t be taken seriously. Sorry Lenlo, this show is trash.
Potential: 0%

 

Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san

Short Synopsis: A girl decides to move in to the house of cute loli g— Deja vu?

Aidan’s review:
You know it might be just my imagination but I think this anime was trying to be funny. But that can’t be, my mouth didn’t even twitch as they told unfunny joke after unfunny joke. I didn’t even smirk at the Jojo’s reference. Animation is so barebones and I don’t care how hard you are pushing the yuri angle when the designs are so basic. Not that this show could even go the yuri route to begin with as that would require taking actual risks and we must keep this as safe and inoffensive as possible. So yeah lets just joke that the human girl wants to rape the vampire girl for the fourth time, much better. Sigh…honestly this show doesn’t really get a response from me be it positive or negative. I just watched an episode of anime and I felt nothing but mild boredom. Even if I somehow had any interest, is there anywhere this story could go. I mean vampire is lonely, girl moves in with vampire, vampire not lonely anymore, story finished. I no longer see to see what the remaining 11 episodes have in store.
Potential: 0%

Mario’s review:
I’m suffocating with too much cuteness, and a sip of creepiness. It doesn’t have much in terms of plot or even production quality, it only has two main premises: that one of the girl is a cute, high-class vampire who drinks blood in a teacup and the other one is a more intimidating one. It offers some twists over the common myth of vampire, but everything here is mild, very mild that it easily slips out of the memory. From the look of the OP there are two more girls who serve as third wheels so you can be sure that these yuri hijinks won’t go away anytime soon. The girls’ design are cute but their personality sure isn’t, and the animation remains quite bareboned. Honestly there’s nothing much to look forward to except for the cuteness overdose.
Potential: 0%

Posted on 6 October 2018 with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

Bakumatsu

Short Synopsis: A pair of good-looking swordsmen from the Edo period get transported to an alternate reality.

Wooper’s review:
How many times has it been now that a bunch of Japanese military figures from different eras have appeared in an anime together? A lot of the recent ones (recent anime series, not military guys) tend to be game adaptations featuring a lot of handsome dudes, for what I’m confident are purely artistic reasons. Some of them sport better production than others, but this one unfortunately resides on the less impressive side of the spectrum. There are some really jarring visual moments here, with occasional character stills being tossed around the screen as a substitute for movement, and hurriedly drawn faces with mismatched eyes cropping up during a few of the medium shots. The soundtrack is one of the strangest I’ve heard in a long time. It features traditional Japanese music during quieter moments, but some of the chase sequences employ the sort of score you’d expect from a Hollywood comedy about a talking dog (seriously). The characters are full of knowledge about the show in which they’re starring, but none of the dialogue is terrible, which is nice for an anime so thrown-together in other respects. As for points of interest, we’ve got time travel, history, and that’s basically it. The series seems more interested in pushing its premise than laying the groundwork for Deeper Themes, and I don’t expect that preference to waver going forward. On balance, Bakumatsu isn’t my cup of tea, and it certainly won’t be included on any AOTY lists, but it’s not the worst of its kind.
Potential: 15%

Mario’s review:
Bakumatsu is another excuse for throwing pretty boys with awesome inhuman ability together to fight… what exactly? I know for a certain that I’m not within this show’s target demography. For the plot it tries to do something different by using time-travel, which itself makes for a fresher world design, but it brings a fair share of narrative issues as well, namely how these two fit in with this new world and how consistent other characters gonna be. Provided that we know next to nothing about these characters, it doesn’t come as a huge loss, still the inconsistency is there. Can’t say I care much for this cast, and in this episode we still have little clues on how that time-device works (conquer the world? Yeah, it’s the usual crap). Putting all the historical figures together getting a bit predictable lately, so if Bakumatsu doesn’t make full use of it then I don’t see the point of including it in the first place. Overall, it’s an easy skip for me.
Potential: 10%

 

Hinomaru-Zumou

Short Synopsis: A high school boy wants to be the best sumo wrestler in Japan.

Lenlo’s Review:
You know, it’s always been a pet peeve of mine with anime where the high schoolers look NOTHING like high schoolers. What’s the point of making it a high school series if they don’t look or act like high schoolers? Oh I guess I should talk about the actual anime at some point to, huh? Really there isn’t much to say. Its a sports anime, decent production and alright plot. The weakest part to me is the sport chosen as the subject material. Maybe it’s just me, but I just am not in to the sport. Sumo might be a cultural past time in Japan, but to me it’s just two fat guys pushing each other. It doesn’t help that the characters are ones we have already seen before, and the “power” scale is a bit ridiculous. 15 minutes straight of getting punched and no reactions? As someone who boxes in their free time, it stretches belief for that bare knuckles could garner so little a reaction. If you like sports, it might be for you, but there are better sports anime in just this season alone.
Potential: 30%

Aidan’s review:
Much like Lenlo commented, it is funny how the set these things in high school but draw full grown men as the cast. It’s a bit like those high school romantic comedies where everyone is clearly past their twenties yet they try to pass them off as teenagers. Well this is basically a sports anime through and through so as such the sport itself becomes center of the universe and treated as the holy grail of living. All mundane techniques are superimposed to the level of super powers and everyone learns just how amazing and beneficial playing is. So we got the usual gambit, the highly talented rookie, a romance that’s bound to go nowhere, the goal of getting to nationals which clearly is not going to happen in a single cour and a rival character set up. Honestly the single cour thing is my biggest gripe with these kinds of series as more or less all of them are serviceable but end just when things get started. Even when a second season comes along it generally enters a nonstop marathon of tournament arcs which lead nowhere. So my point is this, this show is fine for those just wanting something to pass the time but much like any other sports show it will end half baked.
Potential: 30%

 

Yagate Kimi ni Naru

Short Synopsis: A first year high schooler joins the student council after being inspired by an older girl, who later confesses to her.

Mario’s review:
Bloom into You opens with an overly pretentious monologue that I was afraid it’s just all about those vague feelings that amount to nothing. Thankfully later on we get to know the reason behind it and I feel much more related to her issues. But immediately after that, it raises another issues: the confession is way too abrupt, in a manner too clumsily, that it takes me out to the romance again. This first episode is told from the point of view of Yuu (while literally as we have some scenes in the first person perspective), that’s why Nanami’s confession doesn’t work because we know next to nothing about her character. In term of romance I can say that it attempts more at the feeling, rather than physical exploitation in the same vein of Citrus and the likes, but to tell an intimate romance takes a lot of insight and this is just half-way there. Design-wise, the flat, big eyes of the characters might get some time to get used to, but as a whole I’d say that the production is pretty good. One of the trick to make a good romance is that they need to establish characters we can care about, and so far Bloom into You just barely makes it there.
Potential: 40%

Wooper’s review:
It seems to me that the desired mood for Yagate Kimi ni Naru (English title “Bloom into You,” which is a very pretty localization) was delicacy. The soundtrack certainly supports this, with woodwinds and strings as a pleasant backdrop for the romantic woes of our main character Yuu. There’s a lot of floral imagery, which shouldn’t need any explanation. And the constant references to being swept off one’s feet, or experiencing a floating sensation, paint love as the most beautiful of all feelings. Pretty delicate, right? Not quite, actually. Yuu’s hand-wringing over how to turn down a romantically interested guy is the plot point on which the premiere turns, but the agony this causes her doesn’t mesh with all the talk about true love. Perhaps we’re meant to view Yuu as naive (I certainly did), but the show doesn’t put in the work to support that interpretation. On the contrary, it uses a handful of superfluous POV shots to put us directly into her shoes, and encourages us to celebrate her little victories. The confession right before the credits, too, is the opposite of delicate – it works more as a hook for the rest of the series than a moment of unfiltered emotion. Why would a successful rejection be the trigger that causes the older Nanami to fall for her new underclassman? I know she sees herself in Yuu, but is that any reason to blurt out that she loves her? Rather than feeling any sort of spark between them, my heart may as well have been a pile of soggy firewood during that scene. The show’s got sun-drenched backgrounds and evocative music down to a science, so there’s definitely something here for romance fans, but I prefer my relationships to be a bit more grounded.
Potential: 40%

CHANGE USERNAME
Animosh
Well, you still deserve credit for suggesting the series, because otherwise I wouldn't have even known it existed. :) But yeah, I like that people here are so open-minded. Anime is great and all, but there's plenty to discover outside of it (though to be fair, I'm lagging behind with many of them: following anime seasonally is great for discussion, but it can eat up a lot of time).
SuperMario
@Animosh: don't mention it. I'm glad you enjoy it. I don't take credits in this case since I myself haven't watched it yet. I love it how this community is willing to try other medium and not exclusively anime
Animosh
Really surprised this isn't more well known. Not that there's been much competition, but it's easily the best (western) cartoon I've seen this year.
Animosh
@SuperMario: thanks again for recommending Lastman! I just finished it, and it was a lot of fun. It doesn't have much depth, but it was incredibly entertaining: it just keeps throwing these bizarrely over the top action set-pieces at you without pausing, it oozes style, and its soundtrack is killer (it reminded me a bit of Hotline Miami). And it can be pretty damn funny too. It even ends strongly.
SuperMario
"I swear if I see some nonsense like her not being able to stay “Professional” due to having a boyfriend then I will have to strangle something" --> is that why you had screenshot of kitties up there?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: little sister has a strong chance to be a protag in the last arc. I'm genuinely surprised that Futaba is the main girl in this arc thou
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see the little sister looking scared in bunnygirl agrain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yay! Sing and eiji are doing something and Ash's freakout while melodramtic and ridiculous was still bleak, learn a bit more about Blanca which is good. Didn't like the goofy bit with yut-lung.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Not intellectually non-intellectual enough for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bunny-girl has redeemed itself. Also my favourite part of this weeks episode was 7 or 8 minutes before the end .
SuperMario
I mean, just reading that title alone I might check out what this movie is about. lol
SuperMario
Well, I come across an unusual film title today. A Japanese film called "When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to be Dead"
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Lafalle arc (as thematically I probably engaged the most here)and the final arc both elevated this series for me, even though I did enjoy the bit with Vann early on.
I’ve heard people don’t like the ending it hit with me.
Really solid.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dramatically this even kind of clicked for me and the antagonist surprised me as did twintails girl and bestghosts eventual roles, comedy isn’t exactly funny but I did laugh at points.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Apparently I got third time lucky with Mizukami, because I found this a very fresh take on the re-incarnation genre while actually DOING something worthwhile with it, his pacing/story telling style definitely feels a better fit to me in a short manga like this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After a degree of indifference to planet with and only liking Biscuit hammers last arc, I ended up approaching Spirit circle expecting to not really have any opinion on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just my kind of weird.
Anonymous3093267
sword eyes
SuperMario
Here's another experimental animated short for you, Kaiser, Tango (1981) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo8O8lYDzIU
SuperMario
@Animosh: yeah the second part was released in VOD earlier this year and I watched it. Prefer the 1st one much better
Vonter
I don't know why, but I thought you were talking about Tomorrowland. That Disney movie that bombed and everyone seemed very lukewarm about. I suppose because I don't know exactly what was the problem with it, didn't see much discussion about it.
Animosh
@SuperMario: I think I've seen World of Tomorrow, but not 100% sure. There's apparently a second part out though, and I definitely haven't seen that!
Animosh
And Umfeld (https://vimeo.com/umfeld) is also worth mentioning. It kind of consists of shorts, it's technically animated (at least in part: it mixes real footage and CGI I think?), and it's definitely weird. It's a very polarizing work though. I love it, but it wouldn't surprise me if most people here hate it.
Animosh
Some other things that came to mind: Tim Burton's "Vincent" (it's stop-motion, but whatever), Loom (https://vimeo.com/24069938) and E-Baby (https://vimeo.com/25435555). And the stop-motion shorts by Lee Hardcastle are pretty fun, if you're in the mood for some needlessly disgusting horror.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I enjoyed embrace of the serpent which has the same director as Birds of passage so I'll keep an eye out for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm going to see Roma and Birds of Passage this weekend. Really excited for both
Kaiser-Eoghan
As for the she-ra thing well, as I've gotten older I probably have avoided kids stuff more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to see tokenism being seen as acceptance when it isn't, it feels that people are putting forth the idea that something is only being/can be accepted because its being portrayed in a tokenistic way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its fine, obviously to have strong female characters, Ripley in Alien, Sarah Conner in Terminator, awesome....Rey in star wars....no.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think too often shows and films, American ones today, are tokenistic or clicheed with inserting issues, merely just throwing them in or tacking them on for the sake of ticking boxes rather than any earnesty or doing anything.
Anonymous3086853
@SuperMario - I do. Yet at the same time it was a bit outside of my comfort zone, watching something like this considering that (let's be honest) msot shows are men oriented. Even the ones with great female characters. This one despite having tomboyish girls is mainly about these girls with male characters having supporting roles. I suppose that's were the uneasiness lies in my case.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just got done watching both earlier, his dark humour jives well with me and I liked the concept.
SuperMario
@Kaiser @Animosh: if you haven't seen World of Tomorrow plsssss check it out. I can't recommend it highly enough
SuperMario
@Vonter: Maybe it's a good things that shows for general audiences like this have queer context. Don't you think?
Anonymous3086853
Also because I'm a bit immature, this show is kinda gay. There's a lot of ship baiting moments, one same sex couple in the last episode and rainbows, pastel colors, emasculated male characters and some female crossdressing.
Anonymous3086853
The weakest aspect is that several secondary characters get lost in the shuffle. Kinda like Big Hero 6 in which the team had personalities but just didn't had the time to develop in any meaningful way. Still both the main cast and villains were good and like I say the protagonist and antagonist had strong arcs for a first season.
Anonymous3086853
So I now finished watching She Ra, and it got even better as it was building towards the season's end. Thes strongest aspect is the rivalry between Adora and Catra, the chemistry is very strong, kinda like Optimus and Megatron or Xavier and Magneto. In which both parts seem equally capable and to have mind games with the other.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh hey cool, rain town is done by the Penguin hhighway anime movie guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It looks like I haven't seen Don Hertzfedlts World of tomorrow films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also Prince Achmed and How Wang-Fo Was Saved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah. yes, thanks animosh, I had a look at Rain town there, I like the style it was done in, it achieves the emotions its trying to convey well without needing dialogue, piano score actually helps rather than hinders.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glassy ocean, that was another short I watched lately.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh inka isha is country doctor.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know Mario has seen this style on animation, but anyone else see any oil on glass animation?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually prefer robot carnival to genius party but liked both.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Zepo, The Pride of Strathmoor were recent animated shorts I watched.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Recently I watched two shorts, death and the mother and pleasures of war.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd say any eastern european short films would be worth anyones time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not familiar with rain town or Inaka Isha .
Amagi
Kaiser: Have you seen Inaka Isha from Kafka?
Animosh
In the meanwhile, though, I'd also be very interested in recommendations! The shorts I mentioned are among my favorite animated works, so if you know anything similar, please let me know. :)
Animosh
For western animation I really like the Don Hertzfeldt shorts. And there was this short called "Rain Town" that was really impressively animated. I'm sure there were others, but my long-term memory is pretty lousy. If something else comes to mind I'll let you know.
Animosh
I'm pretty sure you're already going to be familiar with all of my favorites, but here you go: Morimoto's shorts are all fantastic (Dimension Bomb, Beyond, Noiseman Sound Insect, etc), and two others that come to mind are Cat Soup and Kigeki (or Comedy) by Nakazawa. There are also some great collections out there (like the Genius Party ones), but again, you've probably seen those already.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If anyone has any suggestions for weird short animations, I'm looking for excuses to watch some more and I'm in the mood for them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: Mario's youtube link had cgi models of rem and ram in the video.
Masky
I'm confused when was Rem even mentioned
Kaiser-Eoghan
I only ever watched he-man and stuff related to it in passing when I was younger, Conan was more my thing back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For so long I'd always referred to she-ra as she-man.
AidanAK47
@Mario, What is this heresy!
....
....Rems always cute.
Anonymous3084910
Hilda is fine, though is very laidback kinda like a young reader's novel. It has its moments but its fantasy with slice-of-life coming of age.
Anonymous3084910
@SuperMario Yeah I know, She Ra is the twin sister of He Man. But strangely it seems Dreamworks may not have the right to those characters. It was a marketing idea trying to bring more girls to that universe but like most girls show from the time it had a very flat depiction of what little girls want to see.
SuperMario
Sorry Aidan, I know it's blasphemy but I have to post here. Enjoy the OP song with the twins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9MUjISNm0U&index=4&list=PLU56jBSlcHw8-ol9Hi4lJ0GR0tU6EOf2a
SuperMario
I'll probably check out Hilda. Heard a lot of hypes about that show
SuperMario
@Vonter: I've heard of She-Ra, she's the female counterpart (well, sister) of He-Man (the most powerful man in the universe and the secret identity of Prince Adam). Sounds silly but I'm not even kidding
Vonter
All in all, despite not being a big thing, I think is an enjoyable recommendation. My only nitpick is that it maybe too light hearted for some kinda like above My Little Pony but below something Voltron. Also despite being less childish than the original is still kinda of girly with lots of pastel colors although it balances it a bit having girls being more tomboyish in different degrees.
Vonter
Like with Voltron it amuses me seeing anime tropes being played through western lens. Since I'm a bit hesitant to say that could this count as a harem series despite not being male gaze moments? Also having the most sensible hotspring episode I've seen.
Vonter
In this one this She Ra has pathos. A bit like Korra there's doubt in her role and also a complicated relationship with her rival. I do like the role reversal in the knight's tale this clearly is, in that most roles that would be played by men are played by women in this story. Matriarchy, displacement of both femminine beauty but also empowerment.
Vonter
So I've watched some of the new She Ra from Netflix. So far I'm in, it's not deep but it's quite charismatic. I do like there's more pathos in regards to these characters which pretty much were confined to their archetype to an extreme like the original Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It manages to make watching something like running engaging, when I'd otherwise probably not watch the sport. Also, last week the show ended up popping into my head when I was sitting around doing pretty much nothing and made me think "Ok fuck it, not sitting around doing nothing, going to go out for a run around the block"
Lenlo
I also agree, characters losing in sports is important. They can't start at the top, it makes the series lose meaning
Lenlo
I quite enjoyed Kaze Fui this week. I think your correct that the one who got the reality check was Kurahara, who thought he was the only one able to actually make it. I also thing that he has a competitive streak a mile wide, and might be a little afraid of failure. Doesnt think the team can make it, so why bother
Kaiser-Eoghan
Think I wasn't i the mood for honda-san this week even though I laughed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I like it when sports series actually show the characters you know...actually lose.
Anonymous3083989
Huh, interesting in this episode of Kaze ga that it's Kakeru who got a reality check during the track meet since he was beaten by two other runners. I think we're due for an episode soon where he has to confront his past demons instead of fleeing from them.
Anonymous3083626
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aging in fiction, I think has more to do with the story than the characters. I mean the jokes about Ash Ketchum, Detective Conan, Archie. The Flinstones tried to make different stories by aging Pebbles and Bam Bam. Or Batman having two Robins graduating into their own heroes. But in the end dynamics change, hence why most cartoons don't age the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is why when aging does occur in anime/manga, such as in vinland saga or nanoha for example, its appreciated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course, animated characters often don't age much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can remember enjoying the simpsons movie back when I watched it, but thinking about it it really was just an extended episode. Really the show peaked with the who shot Mr Burns episode. Catching bits of recent episodes and seeing them use modern stuff while they never age seems weird too.
Amagi
I do think series are allowed to move forward though, I am kinda interested in the Pkmn movie for example. But certain shows should just end, Simpsons for example was a parody of the 90s, it just can't work in a more modern setting IMO.
Amagi
I stopped with the Simpsons when Maude was killed/died, it was just a step in the wrong direction they should have never done and it killed the series for me. I disliked it before already though, I think I noticed the series getting worse since season..9? Or 10, not sure anymore.
Amagi
Anime for Dorohedoro announced.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Therefore ruining the fanservice fun for everybody.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite beach episodes are ones where it rains and they end up not being able to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
After that it was just the film for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually, regarding the simpsons, the episode I stopped on was sometime in the early 2000s, Homer was stuck on some island resort or something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose it was just as much a case of falling out of watching/playing too and then there being so many episodes/games catchup was impossible. I probably should read the manga someday.
Anonymous3081957
@Kaiser-Eoghan -Kinda like Sponge Bob, Power Rangers or The Simpsons, I can't blame those who move forward, It's imposible for a show to go that long without losing steam. I did check the Sun and Moon first season and while I think the personality and energy is better it doesn't exactly push the concept forward. Still somehow Pokemon is still a phenomenon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Very strange hearing a Pikachu talk with Ryan Reynolds voice. But my days of pokemon are behind me.
KyokoHyuga
?????
KyokoHyuga
who likes pokemon here
SuperMario
@Amagi: I think the person who made the sub for Maquia did a pretty neat job. Not perfect but the translation flows well
Vonter
We've seen realistic Pokémon fanart, but how does a movie looks when it attempts it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8CKgQFo5U8
Amagi
How are the subs for Maquia? I only heard anons complain about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*dealing with
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though you should really torrent it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is 1080p stream on kiss anime, if you hate deal with the ads on that site the 4up stream on anilinkz has the best quality of the available links
Lenlo
Where did you see Maquia online? I still need to watch it. PM it to me on discord maybe? Pretty please? <3
SuperMario
One fact that not many people know is that Penguin Highway is penned by Tomihiko Morimi. It indeed has many Morimi's signature inputs
SuperMario
This year, I'm doing well with catching up anime films (kudos for Australian's Madman who always license these titles very quickly). So far, I've watched Mirai, Maquia, Penguin Highway, Let Me Eat Your Pancreas and My Hero Academia the Movie
SuperMario
So I watched two anime movies this last week, Penguin Highway in theatre and Maquia online. Both of them are pretty solid in general, especially Penguin that has magical realism elements and some great chemistry. Whereas Mari Okada's writting still rubs me in the wrong way sometimes
Lenlo
D: He did, back in August actually apparently
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I heard Dino's voice actor died.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If we all took Goblin slayers attitude to trolls, then we would more easily ignore the trolls =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Big twist in the golden kamuy manga.
Animosh
@SuperMario: remember that in the voice drama Rikka mentioned talking to Yuuta in their classroom during the ball game. Pretty sure it's about that.
SuperMario
@Animosh: i just watched the episode and noticed the lyrics as well. "The Promise" seems vague at the moment. Could be between Yuuta and whoever fits but I agree the "save someone from boredom" is about Akane
Animosh
You learn something every day. ;) Honestly though, I actually skipped the opening, so I hadn't even noticed that it had been translated until others pointed it out. And most of the time the lyrics are just cheesy one-liners, so I usually don't pay much attention to them either. But once in a while there's some nice hints hidden in there...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I never really ever paid attention to the lyrics in anime openings, I'd never thought to.
Animosh
The Gridman OP has been translated for the first time, and there's some pretty interesting reveals in there: it mentions a "promise" made in a classroom (so now we know how Yuuta and Rikka bonded in the past - glad it wasn't a simple confession), and talks of "rescuing" someone (presumably Akane) from boredom. So I guess she'll join the good guys eventually?
Lenlo
1200 words. I need to stop writing so much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't seen last weeks episode of Irozuku or this weeks =< I'm waiting now for a bit to see if the series paysoff.
Animosh
Goddamn those magic segments in Irozuku were stunning! It's a shame its humdrum drama can't live up to its visual beauty, but I'll take it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think Ash's design is based a bit on River phoneix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry Eiji but your Ash is in another castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I was about to say that. Kidnapping gets used alot in shojo.
Anonymous3072040
Yeah Ash is basically Princess Peach
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I share your concerns, I don't know what studio is doing it. Some people want it to be mappa, some don't want it to be polygon pictures to adapt it. Its and long and violent manga, with some very funny at times dark humour, it could end up rushed and/or censored.
Anonymous3072021
As much as I love Dorohedoro I'm unsure if I should be happy or worried at it getting an adaptation, it isn't exactly the kind of story I imagine being easy to adapt well.
Lenlo
Yeah, I am touching on that in my writeup as we speak. The compressed story is causing Ash to be captured every other week.
Animosh
I agree Banana Fish was great this week though! My only gripe is that I'm getting sick and tired of seeing Ash get kidnapped again and again. He just escaped a couple of episodes ago! And he's just a lot more fun to watch when he's out there doing stuff.
Animosh
In a way the fights actually feel more realistic to me than those in Banana Fish. Sure, they're fantastical, bizarre even, but its battle system has a clear internal logic, and generally no power is infallible (each has its limitations). In Banana Fish the fights are rather poorly thought out by comparison. Their purpose is more to make Ash look cool than to give him realistic hurdles to overcome.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what sets Jojo apart from other battle shounen for me is how ridiculously creative its fights can get. Part 2 already shows some signs of this, but the introduction of the Stand system in Part 3 pushes it to another level, and in Part 4 the fights are consistently awesome. There are no simple beam struggles here: every fight is a battle of wits, between people with wildly different powers
Niel
Vinland Saga anime, and Now Dorohedoro just got announced. i'm really liking this trend.
Lenlo
Lots to writeup on Banana Fish this week.
Lenlo
Just finished it, I really like Blanca.
Lenlo
Because Jackie Chan and his stunt crew are some of the best in the world. There is a reason he has to insure his guys from his own pocket. No agency will take them
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have no idea how the hell Jackie Chan is still alive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Action works best for me when I really feel that theres danger involved. Thats why when some actors do their own stunts, you can fear for the actors life, and also the character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And thats why I'm a big fan of all that Chinese martial arts stuff from the 60s and 70s, that really expertly crafted chereography.
Lenlo
As for action, I like good choreography more than any super powers. Its why Cowboy Bebop, Seirei no Moribito, Sword of the Stranger and some Naruto fights are fantastic.
Lenlo
Im about to watch this weeks episode, so this chat makes me hopeful. I agree Ash and Eiji are the backbone of the series, and yeah me and Kaiser both agreed that the Gang war aspect was pretty weak, though I thought the finish with Arthur wasnt half bad
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think Banana fish has a great grit to it for this reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even more thankful to Banana fish too for that it keeps the action within the bounds of out of fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've always been kind of a guns and swords and kungfu gut.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Black lagoons great example of anime action I can get behind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always found weapon combat and fist/kicking combat more raw and real,tangible than beamspam.
Anonymous3070972
But yeah if you're not a fan supernatural power fantasy action shounens, then maybe not your cup of tea, and that's totally cool
Anonymous3070972
Oh also if I'm recommending a fight from part 4, I'd say check out Highway Star
Anonymous3070972
Kira is a pretty cool villain though; he's always underpowered compared to the main heroes, but manages to somehow get out of the situation with luck or smarts; if nothing else, I'd recommend watching some Youtube clips
Anonymous3070972
*Turn off. lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its more than, even when I was younger supernatural power fantasy action shounen never appealed to me.
Anonymous3070972
Admittedly JoJo always has bad with exposition though, and always will be just due to the style, so that can definitely be a turn on for some people
Anonymous3070972
If you like slice of life with hijinks and a murder mystery combined with cool battles, you'll like part 4
Anonymous3070972
Yeah I can see why you might not like part 1 & 2, they were made in the 80s; I'd recommend part 4 and part 5 (ongoing rn) tbh, I feel like those are better for a modern viewing experience
Anonymous3070972
I used to think that BF's greatest strength was the plot; know I realize it's really about Ash & Eiji's connection first and foremost: as good as the plot can be, Ash & Eiji's relationship is absolutely the backbone.
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