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 1 October 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, My Hero Academia, OVAs and Movies:

Ah, the movie tie in. A right of passage for all aspiring Shounen series. Some, like One Piece have weathered it and come out Golden, while others are better forgotten (Looking at you Bleach). My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, in my opinion, is closer to former. Animated by BONES , Directed by Kenji Nagasaki and advised/concepted by the original author Horikoshi Kouhei, the film checks all of my boxes. Even going so far as to be considered cannon by the Author, tieing into both the Anime and the Manga, Two Heroes is a brilliant first dip into cinema for My Hero Academia.

Lets jump in, and be warned, there are some spoilers within!

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Posted on 30 September 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews

Our protagonist

What it claims to be about: Angolmois (a reference to a Nostradamus prophesy which is rather irrelevant for the show, as he lived several centuries after the events) focuses on the first Mongol Invasion of Japan in 1274. Specifically it focuses on the early phase of the invasion when the Mongols attack Tsushima, which essentially is a way station for invasions from Korea to Japan and the other way around.

What it really is about: We follow a band of criminal exiles, which are conscripted into defending the islands by the local feudal lord’s daughter, Teruhi. Among them is Kuchii Jinzaburō a spunky samurai with a good grasp of military matters. He is headstrong and that is what nets him his exile. The show follows the attempts of Teruhi and Jinzaburo to defend the island against overwhelming forces, while at the same time exploring elements of Tsushima myths and culture in the era.

Our protagonist again. Another side of him.

Why you should watch it: In general Angolmois is a mediocre show. It does some things right. The “Mongols” are presented ,as was historically accurate, as a multi-national force including Koreans, and Chinese. The Mongol openness to giving service to anyone is also correctly presented, as is their rapaciousness. The Japanese arms and armors seemed well researched to me, as well as the fashion. I found Jinzaburo an interesting character with complex motivations, but with enough blood-lust to not make him boring. The Mongol secondary characters are interesting, ranging from the timid but intelligent, to the blood-thirsty. The show does not dreg into too much overt nationalism and myth making. Do not get me wrong, the view of the Japanese as unique is still there, but it is not done in a vulgar way (I am looking at you Kopeki no Kantai). Indeed the show honestly dives into the more localist and personal motivations of the protagonists, including ones that lead to betrayal, without sermonizing. The end is well played out, being at the same time brutally realistic and still hopeful (in this sense sharing similarities to the excellent Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans-watch that instead). Character art was in general pleasing to my aesthetics.

Why it is mediocre: The problems though are major. First, the secondary characters on the Japanese side are very shallow. While the Mongols get some great secondary characters, the creators on the Japanese side only focused on developing really Jinzaburo. From the eight exiles only one more gets any real development. The rest are really archetypes. Tehuri is a crucial character but her development is never pursued (perhaps realistically as war engulfs all).

Second, the animation was a complete and total failure. This was surprising, as I expected a historical anime, based on a manga, dealing with such a rumph rumph nationalist fervor topic would get more funding. Indeed the first and second episodes had some good work. Alas, it did not last. Still shots dominate, the battle scenes lack animation, and while bravo for the show pointing out the multi-ethnic character of Mongol armies, all those Chinese, Mongols, and Koreans look like each other. Over the whole animation is a filter that tries to convey the feeling that this is parchment, but fails. Instead it looks like a tv screen splashed with muddy water.

As a result the story suffers and the presentation also does.

Finally, you leave the show with a feeling that you just watched demo for a bigger show on the full invasion of Kuyshu. There is a feeling of indeterminacy. It is true our main characters get closure. But many of the secondary characters seem to have been shoved in for no other reason than to premeditate a sequel. Perhaps there will be, perhaps there will not. But I hope if there is that they actually spend the money for better animation.

The music is nothing to write home about. The Opening is pleasing enough, but not a home run. The rest is

End point. If you are looking for a light historical show and like spunky characters watch this, but do not expect much. A C- in my grading system.

Posted on 28 September 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Steins;Gate 0

Before I begin this review in earnest, I have to ask, who doesn’t know about Steins;Gate? The amazing, beloved original series that Steins;Gate 0 is an offshoot of. Well if you don’t, if you haven’t seen the original, then stop now. Steins;Gate 0 is not worth it. It is not for you. Without having seen the original, Steins;Gate 0 will make even less sense and fall apart even faster than you than it did me. Because, long story short, Steins;Gate 0 tries to do everything and in doing so fails to do most anything.

Lets jump in!

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Posted on 28 August 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews

Watching Mirai, there are two observations that spring right up to my mind: Mirai is Hosoda’s most grounded, personal film and it plays out completely different from what I expected based from the promotional materials. My feeling is confirmed when I later learned that Hosoda based the concept from watching his own children’s react, and that his daugher is indeed named Mirai. The film centres around the 3 to 4-year-old Kun and details how he cope with the appearance of his younger sister, Mirai. While the PVs play as if this is an escapist adventure in the vein of Peter Pan between Kun and Mirai the teenage version, Mirai is instead an episodic film where Kun meets various family members in different timelines and come to learn some “life” lessons. Its more realistic setting and its small-scale family drama are a stark different from his more fantastical (and messy) previous works, but it should relate well with kids and moreover with parents who have experienced these before. To put it better, Mirai is a perfect family-oriented feature that respect the child’s point of view with all the mature sentiments behind it.

Mirai’s episodic segments all share the same formula: Kun is dissatisfied with how the baby sister takes all the attention from his parents, he throws a tantrum, he’s miraculously thrown into another timeline where his relatives live and he grows a bit in the process before transport back home. If it sounds a bit like a gimmick, it doesn’t because all Kun’s issues are very believable for the kid his age. Children always feel left out when their “prince” status fall apart with the appearance of some annoying baby. Mirai really nails it when it exaggerates Kun’s outburst with comical distorted face that can only be done effectively in this medium. The film also understands the kid’s imaginative mindset. Kun’s at the age where everything seems possible, where dog can talk and act like a prince, where his Mama is just as messy as him when she was young, where Mirai appears as a high school girl.

It helps that the episodic segments feel like true adventures with many different settings. There’s a sense of wonder everywhere, and the production has a chance to stretch their muscles by breathing life and details to these different era. In one instance Kun is lost in a Hell-like train station, the art appropriately goes impressionist and nightmarish. In other instance (and the only time where it happens in the present), Miral the high-schooler, along with Kun and their dog in human form have to find a way to take down the dolls (Hinamatsuri) to save Mirai from “late marriage”. These moments like this not only help the members of this family bonding deeper, it also helps Kun to appreciate his family more, especially to his younger sister who he seen at nothing but a burden. If I have one minor nitpick, it is that I find the segment where he meets his great-grandpa a bit far-fetched since he doesn’t even meet the old man in real life. But in Mirai’s defense, it’s actually one of the most meaningful story in the film so  well, it’s deserved to be there after all. There’s also some moments where the film take on adult’s perspective. Especially the time where the father has to do real houseworks for the first time, thus he learns how he had been slacking on helping his wife all these years. These instances ring so true here.

But the most impressive thing Mirai pull off is how all these stories add up to paint the same family bond theme. It’s like different branches of the same tree – an apt metaphor for this film given the film frames these stories as threads connected by the grand tree that transcends multiple generations. It’s an ode to the family where every family member’s life sounds just as wonderful and epic like famous figures; where every action, every decision connect and interweave that result in the present-us just as we are now. The settings themselves have a lot of personality in Mirai, especially their house with multiple levels and see-through glass and big garden that easily triggers any kid’s imagination. You can also spot some of Hosoda’s directional trademarks like his lateral camera movement that detail members (usually the father) doing housework in a nice flow of time. There isn’t a lot of dynamic animation, but the character animation is top-notch, especially when the film deals with children expressions since they have much more movements than the adults. The most stand-out sequence for me is the one where there’s only visual storytelling about his great-grandfather and his running challenge. Just seeing how that scene play out brings tears down my eyes. It’s powerful precisely because it keeps the moment “small”.

After a string of movies that entirely focus on grand, fantastic story, I understand why some of you might be let down by this small-scope film. It’s a film with almost no real ambition but I beg to differ on that. Here’s where I like to compare Hosoda with Shinkai’s previous inputs. While Shinkai’s latest expands his scope and finds himself in tune with the general audience’s appeal, Hosoda limits his scope to the theme that he knows most; and cares the most. And that is perfectly fine. Every auteur has at least one personal film in which they disregard any artistic or financial merit and just make something that meant the most to them at the time. It’s the small cozy real-world brush that makes Mirai so enjoyable, relatable and feel almost like home.

Posted on 12 August 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Fate/Extra Last Encore

To many the Fate series is daunting with its numerous incarnations and spinoffs and here in the year of many a Fate adaption we get another one by Studio Shaft which was first thought to adapt the story of the PSP game Fate/Extra. Fate/Extra could basically be considered Fate with a sci-fi twist as this entire series takes place in a virtual reality where a massive Holy Grail War is taking place. The protagonist Hakuno and his Saber Servant must advance up seven Floors while defeating the servant and master that guards each floor to reach the Holy Grail at the top. The scenario itself certainly feels like that of a video game but this anime is not actually an adaption of the PSP game but instead an alternate retelling/sequel to that game. Despite claims from the writer that this anime could be experienced blind, the story itself does require context from the game to understand the story as a whole.

I will say that the story of this anime does sound good on paper and I am sure if you read summaries on each episode you would find yourself interested as the events of this anime do sound exciting, at least on paper. However the execution is botched heavily as the story was essentially a novel written by the author and handed over to be adapted into a anime screenplay. It’s source trappings remain in the show as Fate/Extra is an anime that prefers to tell you it’s story rather than show you it. There is an unforgivable amount of exposition and characters are not developed enough to make such copious amount of exposition interesting. The main character is essentially characterised as having no personality besides a vague anger which makes him a poor foil to the heroine of the series who mainly acts as fanservice. The massive amount of dialogue and Shaft being the animation studio has had people referring to this anime as Fatemonogatari which certainly seems like an apt comparison. The show is mainly dialogue and the battles between servants and masters on each floor all feel uninvolving and anticlimactic. Not helped when each fight either boils down to the protagonists trying harder or pulling out some previously unmentioned dues ex machina. I will say that Shaft make the show quite visually striking and there is some legitimately beautiful aspects like the illustration of the servant master duos in the episode endings. However the animation isn’t as strong as some other Fate entries and this series can take a bit too many of Shafts quirks as an anime studio.

The show follows a fairly formulaic pattern which makes the show feel vacuous as it continues to progress but the characters on screen remain machines for exposition or meaningless dialogue. What is likely intended to be the driving force of the series is the mystery behind what is actually happening as the story itself is very stingy on the details of what is actually happening causing many a viewer to just think “What?” which is the intention of the author but sadly backfired. Anytime you feel you are beginning to understand just what is happening in this show, it throws another curve ball and leaves you trying to figure it out all over again. Once pieced together the story becomes more straightforward but instead of being a rewarding experience to puzzle out it just becomes a reason why the viewer becomes so disconnected to the events on screen as we can’t engage if we are too busy trying to get to grips with what the plot even is. Upon its conclusion it just feels empty and meaningless, providing nothing of worth nor entertainment. Music didn’t leave much of an impression either. Overall there does feel to be a story under all this which could have made for a pretty good anime but the execution of it’s ideas where botched to the point that it just feels soulless and vacant , lacking anything which makes it recommendable besides finding out where that girl who looks exactly like Saber but in a red dress came from. Even then playing the Fate/Extra game would be a better experience even if that too isn’t perfect. So I pray…for Fate/Extra CCC to be localised for that certainly seems like it would beat out both the previous game and the anime. So get on it Marvelous or Xseed.

Posted on 17 July 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews

In following anime seasons it can be quite an experience to follow a show as it airs as the hype and rollercoaster of reactions can be entertainment in its own right. In that regard Darling in the Franxx was a hell of a ride as week by week peoples feelings for it ran hot and cold. An odd aspect of this show which I found troublesome is that I was never quite sure how to evaluate it. For example, if you were to ask me if I enjoyed Darling in the Franxx I would have to say yes, week by week it certainly was an enjoyable watch at least up until it’s final four episodes. But at any point of this series if you asked me if I recommended it then that would be met with a solid “Hmm..I wonder”. Because this show is a mess. There are sudden tonal shifts as it jolts from lighthearted comedy to dead serious drama. At times it can be a grim as Evangelion and at others it can be as ludicrous as Kill La Kill. Sometimes it can have a great episode and other times it can have a trainwreck of an episode. Sometimes it decides to take it’s time and others it moves the plot along at lightspeed.

Developments can be forced and others can be decently thought out. Suddenly stakes are raised only to be negated on episode later. Interesting Ideas can be brought to the board only to be thrown aside. It even starts with joking double entendres with stupid fanservice while portraying a tale about child soldiers in a dystopian regime. This is a confused mess of a series that didn’t know where it was going nor what it was trying to accomplish which results in a storyline which feels like it’s reaching for the stars with the right hand while attaching weights with the left. Do I like Darling in the Franxx? Honestly with the bad taste the final few episodes left me which I would be inclined to say no but there was a point where I legitimately thought this series could turn itself around and become something to be remembered.

The story would be familiar to who’s familiar about the Mecha Genre as it is about a bunch of teenagers who pilot giant robots to fight off some unknown monsters. What made Franxx stand out initially was its focus on sexuality with the male and female pairings to control robots and on the dark insinuations of the dystopian society that these children lived in. However as the series continued it eventually scrapped all this and became a derivative of many a Trigger/Gainax anime before it. The characters can be enjoyable and likeable provided the plot doesn’t force them into a hateable position for the sake of drama with the titular character Zero Two acting as poster girl for the series. If there is one thing that likely carried the series in its weaker moments it’s likely this cast of characters as while not particularly deep, they still proved likeable and relatable enough to care about their circumstances.

The opening is alright with the general soundtrack being passable. Animation wise it could be quite impressive with the show forgoing CGI mecha and instead having 2D drawn mecha. The action set pieces can be a spectacle. Ultimately this is a show that some might enjoy up until it’s final few episodes wherein I would find it could leave them disappointed or disgruntled. It’s a series that shouts a lot but says nothing. One which is a rollercoaster of emotions that when it ends makes you question if you really had fun with it. A deeply flawed series which I cannot completely dismiss as garbage yet cannot praise as well. When all is said and done, Darling in the Franxx just left me empty, apathetic as the finale unfolded and I was left watching credits. I would say the best metaphor for this series is that it is like scoffing down junk food. While eating it’s tasty and satisfying but as you run out you find yourself sick of it and feeling the pains of your digestive system. Left wondering why you bothered eating it in the first place.

Posted on 9 July 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Hisone to Masotan

Coming off as one of my most anticipated anime out of this last Spring Season, based solely on staffs involved alone – after all, an original anime written by Mari Okada and produced by Bones (which I regarded as one of the best anime studio working right now) – I can’t help but feel let down towards how HisoMaso progresses and wraps up. It’s a show with many highlights, mind you, as I consider the production as one of the best of the year so far: simple yet expressive character designs, stunning backgrounds and crisp animation. All you could ask for really. It has some interesting ideas, but that precisely pains me even more that the world-building just doesn’t support the ideas HisoMaso has.

To begin with, let’s address my main issues regarding this production. Unlike other anime shows which bring themselves down by treading the same tired path, HisoMaso is a show with many fresh concepts. I would applaud anyone who can think of the idea of them inside the dragons and piloting (note: not riding) as a military fighter jet. It’s a wonderful and whimsical mix concept that fit into the easy-going tone and the simple character designs. In fact, the first few episodes still carry this concept forward due to the fact that it never takes itself seriously. That’s when the issue arises when we need something more substantial when the appeal wears out, and it becomes increasingly frustrated to see the plot progresses without any backup. As an example, the show introduces the whole “ritual” concerning the whole giant dragon which “wakes up” every 82 years. It opens a whole new can of worms regarding the whole village who dedicated themselves solely for this event and even the process of it all. Equally under-developed and underwhelmed is the anastomosis bit, which for me is the prime example of creating conflicts solely for the sake if conflicts. As it stands, HisoMaso often feels like a first draft on a novel, many wonderful ideas but all of them are half-baked because the creators just don’t spend enough time to think this through.

The half-baked approach spread into the characters themselves. These girls have many quirks that distinct them to the rest of the cast, but at the end of the day there simply isn’t much development for them, or the development feel calculated and forced. Take Kinutsugai and Hitomi, the D-pilots who appear at the poster and the ED, HisoMaso just doesn’t know what to do with them. Same thing regarding the dragons, which feel more like mascots. The main lead Hisone embraces what could be the worst tendency of HisoMaso’s attempt of developing characters. Like the show, she tends to tell us out loud what her issues are, and like the show she tends to make rather weird decisions. Many of her conflicts are raised and solved within an episode, as a result the development doesn’t feel earned.

Speaking about making weird decisions, I can’t still put my fingers on the central message of HisoMaso. In some ways, Mari Osada underlines the struggles of working women in Japanese society, as they have to choose between career and family. Having Hisone and Hoshino fall in love that could potentially cause negative impact on piloting the dragons is part of that strategy. But how do they deal with it? By having the entire army unit work on “make them fall in love then crush their love apart”. That’s mean-spirited to the point of stupidity. On that note, they didn’t resolve the love’s conflict thoroughly either. Second, HisoMaso marks the relationship between the dragons and their pilots, as we see in how Hoshino struggling as she considers herself “a pilot” – not dragon caretaker; and we see the theme reflected by the titular characters. But the problem with its is the way Hisone regards her dragon. She considers Masotan as someone who see the specialness in her, and piloting dragon is something that make her worthwhile, as a result in episode 3 we have something as obscure as her demanding Masotan to “take responsibility” because he picked her. That level of dependence repeats later on, when Hisone argues with another girl solely about a boy. This questionable treatment to women is unacceptable, especially with a show about adult women written by an adult woman. As a result, HisoMaso become the first show from 2018 that receive a minus (-) mark from me.

But what HisoMaso makes up for the under-cooked story is the sheer power of visual presentation. Everything looks great, the characters are on the simple design, but that’s exactly why the studio can go wild on their facial expressions and characters movement. What it’s lack from the character depth is replaced by their mannerism, in which each character moves differently and has different tones. The background designs are simply gorgeous with bright color palette, and the animation are crisp and a feast to an eye. If you don’t mind the lack of deeper layer, HisoMaso’s aesthetic alone would serve as a visual treat. Indeed, at top of my mind only the recent FLCL’s production is on the same level with this show for the first half of this 2018 calendar year.

So yeah, HisoMaso is a show with many highs and lows. Its visual strength is amongst the best of the industry right now, and it’s an easy watch all around with some emotional resonance. The lack of a well thought-out world, however, hurts the show since it’s crumble as it moves along. It’s still a show worth checking out, but don’t delve too deeply into it.

Posted on 1 July 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Megalo Box

Ah boxing, the quintessential manly man sport of beating each other unconscious. In anime, the sport was first forged in the fires of Ashita no Joe, and some would say later perfected by Hajime no Ippo. Both fantastic series in their own right. Both filled to the brim with epic clashes of wills, phenomenal characters and some of the best fight scenes in anime. Some would probably count Megalo Box among them, near the top of sports anime. I am not one of them. For you see, Megalo Box is not a boxing manly mans sports anime. Megalo Box is a character drama. With boxing.

Lets jump in!

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Posted on 28 June 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews

This is a remake of a series made way back when which is one of the most highly acclaimed anime in the medium. It is of legendary status but you would be hard pressed to recommend it as to many the barrier of entry is too high to consider. A 110 episode OVA with dated animation and art is hardly an appealing show looking from the outside. Thus we have Die Neue These, a remake which takes the story of LOGH and sticks closer to the original source material of the novels. Acting as a small offering of what makes this series so highly regarded. LOGH is a story set in the future that plays out like actual history, for the stage is grand and the cast is huge. It is about a war between the Free Planets Alliance and the Goldenbaum Dynasty, one being a democracy while the other a autocracy. The series explores these two systems exposing the ideals and flaws of both as while there are large space battles, the true worth of this series is the great amount of politics that surround this war. Even though the story was made over thirty years ago, it’s messages still ring true today making it excellent food for thought.

The series mainly follows the two heroes representing each side, with Yang Wenli being the believer of democracy and a man who seeks a easier life but is pulled time and time again into historic battles due to his talent for strategic combat. Reinhard is the young upstart of the empire who wishes to rise through the ranks to reform the heavily corrupt society of the class system of the empire. The story can be a bit erratic as it jumps forward in time and it can be hard keeping track of the large cast of character which just seems to expand infinitely. The space battle remain the weaker aspect of the series and from word of mouth it appears the strategy employed is only base level tactics. There is also a common factor of highly incompetent people in high positions that gets reused time and time again as justification for the actions of the plot though not necessarily unrealistic. Also is the factor this is very much only a tenth of the full story of LOGH and when this show reaches its final minutes you may not even realize that it has concluded for the story just cuts off like someone slamming a book shut while you were in the middle of a chapter. There is plans for movies to continue the story but you will be left hanging quite a bit if you don’t intend to watch the original OVA.

Presentation wise aside from some rather odd character designs this series is leaps and bounds over it’s older counterpart. Thus I can conclude that this series is the prefect means to recommend this series to a newer fan of anime to encourage them to check out some of the older greats the medium has to offer. Even after all this time this series remains a standout tale within animation and one anime fans should at least attempt to watch in their lifetime. It loses points for being only a part of a story which has barely begun but for those seeking something that’s away from high schools and teenagers with more mature themes then LOGH is right up your alley. Perhaps even sparking an interest in shows of a bygone era.

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperWooper
Is it Japan time?
Lenlo
Posts for the week done! I am freeeeee! Time to pack
Firechick
@Kaiser-Eoghan: They are. Trust me. The Les Mis anime is really good. I've seen a bunch of anime adaptations of classic books and they're amazing. The review in question is here: http://psgels.net/2007/12/30/les-miserables-shoujo-cosette-review-94100
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'm not wholly against fillers if they are done correctly, sometimes they can be a short moment of peace in a characters hellish life, sometimes they can be amusing or flesh out characters or allow good character chhemistry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That time I got reincarnated an daikmura in another world =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I remember there is a review somewhere on this blog of an anime adaptation of Les Miserables, I've only seen the film 1990s adaptation though. I wonder if any of those classic book anime adaptations are actually worth watching?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I may have sounded like I was being down on Mahou Asuka, the manga became a decent guilty pleasure, I agree with you on action and pace but I prefer the anime designs, though I stopped watching the anime because of the speedlines/animation/pace, the dub is hilarious though.
Vonter
I do wonder if there has ever been stated how much time or pages you have in either medium. Since that was mentioned in the adaptation of Les Miserables, 300 pages to fit all one could of that novel, even joking about how a character only appeared in one page because of that limitation.
Vonter
Overlord is another one I wonder if it might work better as a visual novel. Mainly because the anime is dialogue heavy and where I think it has stumbled is that it has a lot of characters to ever give the needed time to develop each of them. Season 2 had several episodes focusing on a weak lizardman tribe.
Vonter
Mahou Asuka, I think it might work better in manga format. The anime while not the worst thing, drags a lot for what it has delivered. The manga I think it has better art, composition, but it mainly comes and goes way faster. Because it supposed to be more action than narrative in this case. It could be said the same thing of Triage.
Vonter
I've been thinking about the use of time and narrative time in both manga and anime. I suppose the anime studios have to hit a certain number of episodes which demand stretching the run of a story in any way. Filler episode? Several episodes to build up a dramatic scene? Bringing something that doesn't add anything important?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Actually I can sort of understand how you feel, after I read the flashbacks to dororo's parents , the some chapter after felt a bit inferior to that.
Lenlo
I appreciate the keepin me in check though! Sometimes writing these posts makes me feel I have to be "critical" and I think that can skew my writing at times.
Lenlo
Like I said Kaiser, I feel that whatever Dororo did this week would have to live up to episode 6, and that was a nigh impossible task. I still enjoy the series, it just had a bit of a hitch for me is all.,
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Dororo's anime will give you a confrontation with the brother, curb your expectations with Daigo, Dororo's past is excellent. But it will still do episodic stuff.
Lenlo
been*
Lenlo
Glad to hear about the laptop! Sounds like its bee rough
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I actually watched it alongside reading those mahou shoujo Asuka chapters due to you putting both in the same sentence.
Vonter
Kinda like the Batman series of the 90s. Which happens to have better stories and characters plus the dark atmosphere.
Vonter
Yeah, it's hard to explain but it's a series I'll recommend in regards to the mood and atmosphere it conveys, moreso than the story or characters. It makes me wish that some other anime with better stories had a bit more weight in terms of atmosphere since I think this one does it with very few elements.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I remember a mazinger reference in there too, also one of the buildings says Dagon on it, which fits very well I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: It felt like a full series take on a ova that I always wanted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: the 90s artstyle/lighting/atmosphere definitely helped and there was some of the psychological bit in there.
Vonter
Also I might be wrong, but I can't recall a female counterpart that has ever exceeded the original. So by design Devilman Lady has an uphill battle, but I do like that she's not an Akira 2.0 the character has her own conflicts and ore than the monsters it seems to be a duality between her supermodel job and her actual self. Which at least its something.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - I'm glad at least it kept your interest. Devilman Lady while not as infuential it's an interesting time capsule of the type of horror in the 80s. It's a bit sci fi and a bit supernatural like the Guyver. What standed out to me was the mood, it sort of leaves you in a trance when it just let the visuals and music immerse you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, Return of the king/Kaiser and stuff, new computer arrived early.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I read the recent beastars chapters, though I hope they eventually get back to focusing on Haru x legosi soon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
They finally translated another 7 seeds chapter, I think its nearing its endgame.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: There was a hilariously dumb scene where one of the mascots pull out double guns.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Some 4channer posted further on scans from magical girl spec ops, I read 5 volumes, doesn't have much of plot, they explained who cyborg guy was and introduced another magical girl villain with a shitty childhood and some obvious hinting as to who The queen is.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That is isn't the original devilman, nor does it exceed it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: My spare laptop managed to survive long enough for me to marathoned devilman lady, albeit in SD quality, I enjoyed it for what it was and that it never made a joke of its trashiness, Nagai's imagination in creature design continues to be fun. The only thing I can really call it out n is....
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've been continuing that manga by the author of aku no hana, the one about the kid with the psycho mother, its increasingly threatening.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, regarding dororo, there was a chapter in the manga with some lord and a moth woman he unknowingly fell in with, this week was anime original but kind of had a human/monster relation thing going on, the manga was less sympathetic.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked the part between yuki and Kakeru , additionally, I'm looking forward to seeing the full background for Haiji aswell. I'm running out of things to say about the show.
Lenlo
Cant wait to watch it tonight!
Anonymous3444196
This last stretch of episodes is going to be good, so I heard from that novel reader. As long as the production doesn't derail itself, we're in for a treat.
Anonymous3444196
It's pretty obvious that with Haiji being the one running the final section of the Ekiden, that this might be his last.
Anonymous3444196
I do think that there'll be an episode of downtime between the episodes covering the 1st and 2nd days of the marathon. And maybe we'll finally get to see Haiji's past prior to his leg injury.
Anonymous3444196
So there's 5 episodes left, and it'll cover both days of the Ekiden since it's split into two sections. I heard from the novel reader that the 10th and final chapter is over 100 pages long, so having 5 episodes should be enough to cover everything. Shindo's running last in the 1st half but he's got a cold, which does bring some concern.
Anonymous3444196
Seems like a pretty slow week here. Anyhow, in this Kaze ga ,we're at the final stretch before the Ekiden next episode. Really liked Fujioka's speech at the start. They're also starting to unravel more on Haiji's past as well.
Anonymous3437600
dragon ballsy
one piece
one piece
Kaiser-Eoghan
ahahahaha so that was it, she is voiced by Kana Hanazawa.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that came to mind when watching that quintuplets show, somehow the archetype I ended up going for was Ichika's character somehow. Never usually the case.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know usually its fairly consistent, traits I notice/like/am attracted to most in a character's appearence and then there are those odd cases where I somehow end up finding a character attractive or something that I'd usually never.
AidanAK47
Search box is up there ^^
Anonymous3433242
overlord
Anonymous3433242
overlord
SuperMario
Glad to here you have brand new one coming up Kaiser
Kaiser-Eoghan
New computer on its way now, 24 inch screen, wireless everything, 1000gb, got it for only 800 euro.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The current laptop I've got on loan I'm using is kind of a pain to use, makes doing anything including typing/posting/watching slow, its a ropey old windows millenium edition laptop that I'd stopped using years ago.
@Amagi: Also a sequel to legend of koizumi has been translated.
Amagi
@Kaiser: thanks for the links!
Amagi
Just bought the parts for a new gaming PC and assembled them. Love my old PC but modern shooters and HD rpgs are lagging too much as well as drawing programs. Welp.
Anonymous3430884
Get well soon, Kaiser’s CPU!
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dammit, my main computer crashed suddenly, see you all in a few days to a week maybe =< borrowing someone elses laptop.
Anonymous3429052
Dororo or Durarara. That is the question
Vonter
The cutscenes in that game kinda look a bit off, like with the Dragon Prince show they look a bit choppy.
Anonymous3425269
Personally, I'm really hoping that Orange did them so they can gain more recognition working on a big franchise.
Anonymous3425269
I'm guessing Orange, Polygon or GEMBA did the CG cutscenes for the new Fire Emblem. They look too different from Echoes' CG cutscenes to come from Khara.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It was always the second Zelda game I never played, that one is frowned upon.
Vonter
I see Majora's Mask and Ocarina of Time as two halves of a single whole. Ocarina had the standard story but expanded from what was set in A Link to the Past. Majora's Mask has more in common to Link's Awakening being more about the characters you meet, and even Link himself. I think one has what the other doesn't. Ocarina had better dungeons, but Majora had more involved and menaningful sidequest.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The remastered ocarina of time soundtrack is some of my favourite videogame music out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also loved the freaky-ass whip arms final boss too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It seemed darker too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hold the unpopular opinion of liking majoras mask more than Ocarina, it was a harder game and it felt bigger, there was more side quest stuff to do aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Similarly, its be so very long since I played it, it was all the way back in 1993.
Vonter
I don't remember disliking it but I don't recall a lot of things. I mainly remember the ending, the animals and bit with a Goblin king that reminded me of The Hobbit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember loving the end theme music too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know its not ranked among the best Zelda games, but links awakening was the first zelda game I played in the early 90s, I also remember they re-released a colour version of it too that allowed you to do extra stuff with the gameboy camera and printer.
Vonter
So Nintendo had a Direct. A sequel to Mario Maker, a remake to Link's Awakening, a Tetris Battle Royale game, a new game from Platinum games called Astral Chain, a school type Fire Emblem, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Also new Putin isekai chapter is out.
Vonter
Apparently there's gonna be another iteration of Bem. With whole new character redesigns. I suppose at some point they felt they needed to update them, since 4 iterations looked very similar and may come off as too retro for today. https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2019-02-11/twitter-user-compares-latest-yokai-ningen-bem-designs-to-previous-installments/.143177
Lenlo
I just hope they actually do something with the leg. Its been used as a cliffhanger 1 to many times for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It was good seeing a more serious side to the twins and I think Haiji's leg issues will provide some good drama.
Anonymous3421320
lol I think it's more like an orthopedic check-up. That strain from the race must've gave him concern about if he's able to run the Ekiden or not under this condition.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Ahem* excuse the gory joke =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh my God! Imagine if it like got cut and amputated off or something like that scene in gone with the wind! It'd be like....GONE with the run with the wind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looks like we're getting more on Haiji's leg again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I guess if I was asked why I did anything, including if it was some game/sport or if I was a runner I'd probably answer the question by saying I was in it for a laugh or for a genuine good time because it'd be something I'd be enjoying.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, Dororo was awesome. This was a great week and arc. Mio is best girl.
Lenlo
Look, if the ending can make it work, I will forgive the CGI runners. But you have to admit, they don't look good
Anonymous3419991
@Lenlo But for now, you'll just have to grin and bear it when the next preliminary races prior to the Ekiden use CG for the background runners.
Anonymous3419991
I heard from a novel reader that the book is 10 chapters long, and this is currently adapting chapter 8. Chapter 10 covering the Ekiden is the longest part of the novel and will probably be covered in 3 episodes. Hope IG is saving all their resources on this finale judging by the CG used in previous episodes.
Anonymous3419991
It's also great to see how far Kurahana has come since the start. Even when confronting Sakaki being arrogant and all.
Anonymous3419991
And so this episode of Kaze ga is a breather episode, but we do get some more character development with the twins. It's nice to see Fujioka again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I would happily have watched two more episodes of this arc in dororo.
Lenlo
Well alright
Fuurophausiyuder
Speaking of loving hell fonts, I notice that the review body text, and this text here are both sans-serif; which sort of princess of variable typefaces is not present for this readability bit to land?
Fuurophausiyuder
Dororo is awesome for just the hell fonts. I kind of expect on-brand gazebos (the temple to the 10 demons) to sell well this summer at Lowe's, Restoration Hardware, RH, wherever it is actually okay stuff derives, etc. I was kind of hoping the transitional story would lift all transitional boats, but that storyline has gone to soil microbes in the USA diaspora (though you know, stay classy PR.)
Fuurophausiyuder
Kemurikusa is like Kemeko DX if all the chemicals were fentanyl and the promise of a plot muted by lingering death were only ever expected to be a possibility. What had anyone watching ep. 3...5? Clinical use?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also glad that tv anime like this is allowed to be so violent in this day and age.
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest it really is the only new show this season I currently especially care about.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read the whole Dororo manga and I think this weeks episode was every bit as moving as the manga was while building on it. I think if adapted correctly dororo (the character)'s backstory, the stuff with Daigo's son will be a highlight. I do think they could get rid of shounen shark guy though later on and not bother including him.
Anonymous3415569
The other thing, is how both this and She Ra have the same premise of the main character changing from the villain to the heroic side. I don't know if that's a good pattern but it's and interesting way to build a female character in which the relationship with their old friends is a way to add pathos.
Anonymous3415569
It felt like a new version of inspector Gadget could be do like this. Considering how it frames the criminal organization (for kids). And also maybe a crossover could work?
Anonymous3415569
I watched the Carmen SanDiego Netflix series. It was ok. I did like the simple visual style and Saturday morning vibe. It's clearly more for a younger audience, yet it wasn't that boring. Still all I could think about while watching it were 2 things:
SuperMario
Kaiser, make sure to check your inbox
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Bothanons: Issues on both sides of the spectrum.
@Wooper: Its the politest take you could get on that premise.
@Mario: I think the anime skipped some stuff from the after the rain manga, I should probably read the manga.
Anonymous3412482
Edgy 14 year olds everywhere
Anonymous3413183
moralfags everywhere
SuperWooper
I heard that show was about a teenage girl's crush on an older man. Sounds pretty problematic to me. I'm with the rest of the Internet on this one.
SuperMario
Apparantly the other side of anime fandom (the internet) doesn’t watch Koi wa Ameagari
Lenlo
The reddit anime awards are done! I did it! I was on stream! Oh joy. Can talk about this now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I have decided to adopt the same approach for the new True detective season also.
niello
@Eoghan: Exactly my thought three episodes in. I wish I realise it before I picked up the show, because I definitely need to watch those three episodes again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to watch new boogiepop at some point, but I'm just hoping it ends so I can just marathon the show, it'd be too confusing to watch once a week, instead of straight through in one go.
Amagi
Oh I just realize it's the same team as HnK well that explains that.
Amagi
@Aidan: Unsure too about the trailer but it reminds me more of Houseki, qualitywise, and less of all the other bad CGI shows. I have hope. Same with Vinland. Trailer had some CGI and Thorkell's design feels a bit different but aside from that it was good.
Anonymous3402245
sangatsu
SuperMario
@Kaiser: The selection isn’t out until April. Heck, they haven’t annouced the head jury yet
Kaiser-Eoghan
I should really watch Shirobako one of these days and on the manga end, read Kurozuka as I remember the bit I did read was quite different from the anime (which I loved).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I don't know if the film selection for Cannes this year is out yet. Though it'll be a while before I get to see them.
SuperWooper
Noice.
SuperMario
Is it OK to brag here? I’ve just got the acrreditation to Cannes Film Fest this year baby. Will look forward for that one
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I watched it years ago and thought even though the first half was poor it picked up in the second. Maybe if I rewatched it my thoughts would change.
Anonymous3400512
Majestic prince is really bad man
Anonymous3399383
kemurikusa
SuperMario
Damn, just looked at the teaser of Beastars and I’m hooked. I’m hyped for the show
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Beastars is a good choice for them yes, as was Houseki no kuni, Majestic prince which they co-made was really underated back when it aired.
niello
I like how Orange Studio seems to have good eyes for manga. And it looks as if they are trying to go for stories that lets them avoid animating normal humans. So, ones that are more compatible with their CG visual. It'd be nice if this lead to some manga adaptation that won't happen otherwise.
Vonter
I think people get too worked up on Shield Hero. While not a great show, I have found it entertaining. I suppose the underdog aspect also got meta. With that said, I think if instead of the heroine reapplying the slave contract they should have made a contract or something like that, that felt one-sided.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually have more confidence in the cgi if its done by the houseki team.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: When I talked to amagi about Beastars I don't think I ever heard your views on it. Also from what I recall you haven't read Vinland?
AidanAK47
Yep, full CGI for Beastars. I am somewhat half and half on it as the clip isn;t bad but I am a bit too used to the style of the manga.
https://youtu.be/S6H1qskbEIg
Lenlo
I dont expect the CGI to be bad. WIT has experience because of AoT now, and the boat/open ocean can profit from it a lot more than character models.

For Beastars, if its the Houseki no Kuni team, I wouldn't worry until we see a PV
Vonter
Maybe CGI wouldn not be as distracting if characters aren't humans? I mean the Star Fox Zero short was very good looking and it was full CGI.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Full cgi I think for beastars adaptation, although done by the people who did houseki no kuni so there could be exceptions made.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I didn't expect them to try and cover his post childhood. They will probably stop at the farm arc. There will be cg, I hope it won't be intrusive.
Lenlo
Ey Vinland pv is out! Looks good! I cant wait
Animosh
@Kaiser: I'm pretty sure Yuki's family issues will be addressed later on, this just wasn't the time for it. So far the show has always followed up on the character arcs it has introduced.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that feels very different about huge detailed art aswell on the other end more simpler styles, in comparison to alot of the generic moe style we mostly see now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And while I am on different artstyles, I bloody love Ryoichi ikegami and Suehiro murao also.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Complete different art too, cartoony even.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Years ago I read almost of Yoshihiro's stuff, although I never got around to finishing a drifting life by him, I also read that Mizuki guy manga i mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've been wondering about this for a bit, is anyone on here familiar with the Gekiga period/wave of manga from the 50s and 60s to very early 70s? Such as stuff the by Yoshihiro Tatsumi and also Shigeru Mizuki's Onward toward noble death?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I was right in there with them waiting to hear the results.
Anonymous3391737
They took the words I was about to say right out of my mouth.
Anonymous3391737
Late to the party, but man this was a good episode, iffy CG runners aside (though I hope that'll be addressed in the BDs). I'm so glad they were able to qualify.
Lenlo
Hmmm I cant wait to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
This cast has grown on me. Also while I would appreciate followup on Yuki's family, I actually don't mind if the show didn't, because this series manages to say much by saying little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm glad that even though it showed then in a top ten list, they weren't up the top of it. Its more believable that way. Also who'd of though a race would be so tense?
Animosh
Also happy to see that the twins will get some spotlight next week. Aside from Musa they've had the least development so far, so they can use the attention. I also like that someone's finally raising the question what the point of it all is. If you have no chance of winning, why compete? It's a valid question, and I'm looking forward to hearing Haiji's answer.
Animosh
Haiji's injury was less of an issue than I expected: he even finished as "best of the rest" (excluding the leading group). Looks like it'll keep simmering under the surface for now. The fact that it was highlighted again probably means it is going to play a big role in the story eventually though.
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Featured Posts

Kemurikusa – 06/07

Welp, I’m back to the normal schedule now so my blogging will be back to normal from now on. My apology for those who waited for my weekly blogs for the last few weeks. For Kemurikusa, episode 6 was a slow one, even slower than its standard (and that says a lot), but the latest […]

Paranoia Agent – 5 [The Holy Warrior] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome to another week of Paranoia Agent! This week Kon explores different generations, Shounen Bat gets caught and the Old Lady becomes relevant. Lets dive in! After the bumpy reception I had towards last week’s episode, Paranoia Agent bounced back to wow me this week. Production wise, it was incredibly expressive this week. With the […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 18 [And Then, Morning]

Welcome to the big one, the start, the opening moments of Kaze Fui’s Hakone Ekiden! This week Fujioka drops some wisdom, the team learns their sections and Yuki gets some time with Kurahara. Lets jump in! This week was Kaze Fui’s big setup, along with some drops on Haiji’s background. Before we get to either of […]

Dororo – 7 [The story of the Jorogumo silk spider]

Hello and welcome to what is, I believe, an anime original week of Dororo! This time we have a sympathetic ghoul, Hyakki dealing with his emotions and a continually worse feudal landscape. Lets jump in! Dororo was a rather disappointing one after last week, to be frank. Story wise there were some interesting ideas and […]

Mob Psycho 100 S2 – 7 [Cornered ~True Identity~]

Hello and welcome to the halfway point of Mob Psycho Season 2! This week continues Reigen’s story as he rises high, falls low and comes to an epiphany. Lets jump in! Starting off, Mob Psycho once again looks fantastic. Say what you want about the story or characters, the quality of the animation is undeniable. […]

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – 06

The treasurer of the student council, Ishigami Yuu, finally got a proper introduction this week. I’d say this episode was his time to shine, but it’s actually the opposite – he’s so preoccupied with Kaguya’s apparent hatred of him (as well as his own social faux pas) that it was actually his time to mope. […]

Paranoia Agent – 4 [A Man’s Path] – Throwback Thursday

This week, once again, Paranoia Agent takes another interesting turn. This time we follow the cop who caught Shounen Bat, see a bit into organized crime and watch a man fall apart at the seams. Lets go! So in general, while this episode was interesting and explored some more aspects of society, I wasn’t big […]

Mid-Season Review of Kakegurui××

For all of you who are disappointed that we didn’t cover the sequel to the show that even Elon Musk watches, I felt that this season of Kakegurui would benefit more from an periodic overview rather than following it week from week. Kakegurui was never about the mechanics nor tense stakes as it relies on […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 17 [Searching for the Answer]

Welcome to the feel good relaxation week of Kaze Fui! This time the Twins confront Haiji, they see the track and Sakaki continues to be a dick. Lets jump in! Starting off, this episode was a very subdued one. Similar to Mob, Kaze Fui slowed down this week. Giving the characters room to breathe again […]

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If there is one thing I have lost watching seasonal anime, it is patience. Every week I expect something to happen, some kind of payoff, to make watching that week worth it. Luckily, Planetes as brought that back to me. Its depth of writing, characters, and general structure belay an anime of a different age. […]

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