Posted on 27 December 2010 with categories: Autumn 2010 Kaleidoscope



I really would have liked to see Otome Youkai Zakuro go on for 26 episodes instead of just thirteen, but ah well, at least this was a great ending that was simple, yet very well told: all of the important characters reached their catharsis and the creators managed to add a very nice emotional charge to it. The three main couples all grew even closer together, Byakuroku and Daidai got themselves a great conclusion, and the final twist on Zakuro’s mother also made her into a really sympathetic character, where her love as a mother, that has been questioned throughout the entire series, was restored.

Only Omodaka got a bit of a short straw here with that suicide ending of his. I’m not sure what was up with that and what the creators wanted to prove with him just dying without any reason: he just chose to sit next to his mother as the house around him burned down. And I know that there is the golden rule of anime and all (no character is dead unless this is confirmed), but this is the final episode: there was no hint whatsoever that he survived, despite half the episode being dedicated to the epilogue.
EDIT: oh wait, it seems I missed an epilogue and he really did not die. ^^;

At the end of the episode, the bureau of spiritual affairs also got disbanded, only to reappear only minutes later (with a plausible reason, though). That twist was mostly there to get that kiss out of Zakuro and Agemaki. I guess that there wasn’t time to let it flow naturally between them (because granted, it’s probably going to take a long time for them to stop arguing if their relationship ends up happily ever after in the first place). It in either case was a charming bit of romance.

Overall, this blogging a different series each week turned out to be a nice experiment, that I might do again in another season where there a lot of shows about which I have something I want to say. I’m not going to do it next season, though: when Heartcatch Precure ends I’ll be able to cover nine new series: that’s half the total amount of series in the entire season.

I’m not yet sure which series those are going to be, though. I’m guaranteed to blog Level E, and things also have to be pretty strange if I’m not going to cover Yumekui Merry, Fractale and Hourou Musuko. For Supernatural it’s all going to depend on how the heck they plan to release it. For Rainbow Gate, Freezing and Infinite Stratos it’s going to depend on whether or not they have their mind in the gutter. Madoka Magica, Wolverine and Beelzebub have very notorious staffs so any hints towards that will play a big role in whether or not I’m going to blog those, and Gosick and Dragon Crisis will get covered if they’re not as childishly stupid as they seem to be at first sight. In any case though, I never had to choose nine new shows to blog in such a small season, so I’m at least thankful that it’s going to be a very diverse one.

Going back to Otome Youkai Zakuro, my initial worries were that it wasn’t ambitious enough with its story, and granted its story isn’t as complex as, say, Shinrei Tantei Yakumo, but it still developed into a very nice and simple story that pushed a lot of right buttons. A definite recommendation for those looking for some light romance.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 24 December 2010 with categories: Autumn 2010 Kaleidoscope




Okay. That ending was awesome.

As for the climax itself, the first half of this episode was a bit dull, in which the creators pulled the usual twists that you’d expect at the end of a series. Panty loses her powers but gets them back after having sex with Brief, it was a bit too standard, although the farming scenes were really entertaining. The second half though had some very neat action scenes that really were worthy of this series’ finale. There was a ton of neat animation going on on a really epic scale, and the final twist was just completely bizarre, and yet worked really well.

I love the guts of this series with its ending, though. For one, Garterbelt’s revival scenes were hilarious (“GOD MY OOOOOHHHHHH!!!”), but the way it lead into its potential second season with Stocking’s complete and sudden betrayal was a really neat and nonsensical twist. Now, as for that second season however I do want to say this: there has been a series in the past that pulled a very similar twist right at its final episode. I refuse to spoil which one for obvious reasons, but despite so obviously pointing to a sequel the director later stated in an interview that that was never going to come. Also, that premise of that second season has to be pretty bizarre: “Brief and Chuck with Garterbelt”. Would that even work?

So let’s just wait for any official announcements. If there is going to be a second season, I’ll probably end up blogging it. The main reason why I didn’t blog this entire season was because of the mediocre episodes 2, 3 and 4. After that though, this series took some really neat advantages of its format with a ton of neat and experimental segments.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 14 December 2010 with categories: Autumn 2010 Kaleidoscope



This is the episode in which the creators decide to reveal the past, and what happened to Zakuro’s mother. It’s pretty much the episode that explains it all, right before the final climax of this series. And with this episode, this series got even more solid than it already was.

This episode was both very tragic, as surprisingly deep. The role of Zakuro and her mother turned out to be much more at the centre of the entire story than I thought, with Zakuro’s mother’s existence even being the reason that these half spirits exist in the first place, all thanks to these disturbing corrupt practices that were going on in order to try and use her powers. I mean, this episode never explicitly stated it, but it’s pretty obvious at this point that Zakuro’s mother was raped multiple times in order to attempt some good off-springs.

There is a bit of the romantic cheese: Zakuro was born out of true love and therefore has inherited some incredible powers. This is obviously a bit of a flaw, but after this backstory I don’t mind, because this episode brought more than enough to make up for it. Especially Omodaka became a much better villain after this episode: after this episode I really hate this guy as an asshole, rather than this cheesy shoujo villain.

I’m also glad to finally see an actually justified hints at incest. Anime with incest nowadays are nearly all of the type “hey we have a boy who has this hot sister. Let’s make them fall in love with each other!” Zakuro’s family in contrast is so completely broken; Omodaka has been corrupted by his father from the start, he now turned out to constantly lust after Zakuro’s powers. It’s miles away from the lazy and shallow incest we usually see.

In any case, in the end this series did turn out to have just 13 episodes, which thankfully means that Mari Okada only has three series to worry about in the upcoming fall season. She’s an amazing writer, as shown by how well she treated Otome Youkai Zakuro, so I really hope that she can give all three of Hourou Musuko, Fractale and Gosick enough justice instead of rushing through all of them. Only once I’ve seen a more extreme version, this was in the Autumn Season of 2007 when Natsuko Takahashi wrote a whopping four series at the same time. The results were still good, but really unbalanced at times (but then again, that’s pretty much Natsuko Takahashi: she’s either really solid or makes really strange design decisions).
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 10 December 2010 with categories: Autumn 2010 Kaleidoscope



Of course it’s great to see Garterbelt’s past here, but what really made this episode for me was its brilliant second half. It pretty much was about nothing: Panty and Stocking sitting in front of the television being really bored. But the entire half was shot on the same camera on the same position. It only panned twice, it only cut three times. Apart from that, it was all about Panty and Stocking randomly talking, along with Chuck, Brief and Garterbelt who appeared along the way. I love these kinds of episodes that really take this unconventional way of storytelling.

And still there were plenty of things going on with that half being everything but boring. Panty and Stocking being bored was surprisingly interesting, especially when you learn about the bizarre context at the end of the episode: Garterbelt spending ten hours inside the kitchen in order to cook a lunch party to celebrate that his afro was announced as the best afro in the world. The voice acting was especially fun and excellent here, and I like how the animation brought the characters here to life without a camera that usually keeps changing positions. I also really liked the final punchline. That was some great comedic timing there.

A lot of the anime today are just too safe and hardly ever bother with episodes like this and that’s quite a shame, really. There’s a ton of potential here if you’d just wish to abandon conventions and that’s what I really appreciate this series for doing.

Oh, and it’s not like Garterbelt’s backstory was uninteresting either. I mean, with the entire history tour that this guy made, parodying everything from Adam and Eve to the vikings.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 29 November 2010 with categories: Autumn 2010 Kaleidoscope



For the Autumn 2010 Kaleidoscope I’ve been talking about different series each week. Otome Youkai Zakuro’s ninth episode makes for the last series I want to say something about. For December, I’m going to fill this category with posts about the series that I think will have the most interesting finales, which probably will be posts focusing on Panty and Stocking and Otome Youkai Zakuro.

Oh and on a side-note: I’m probably not going to go a kaleidoscope for the upcoming winter season, because of the simple reason that TOO MANY SHOWS ARE ENDING at the end of December. With that as a result, I’ve got room for eight new series; nine when Heartcatch Precure ends. That’ll be plenty of room to blog all of the good shows, plus also a bunch of premises that I normally wouldn’t even consider.

In any case, this episode is a good point to talk about this series, because a) we’ve gotten some significant build-up at this point and know where this show is heading to, b) I can praise a lot about it and c) I can also criticize a bit about it.

Starting with a), Otome Youkai Zakuro definitely has built up the best cast out of all the shows I’m not blogging this season. It’s got three couples who play off each other really well, and the past episodes have developed some really genuine relationships between all of them. the most intriguing being Zakuro and the mystery behind her: she’s a really tragic character who was really well explored in the past eight episodes.

Now, this episode was meant as a bit of an intermezzo between the heavy arcs, mostly focusing on fleshing out the romances a bit. It was enjoyable because we’ve seen relatively little of the cast in light-hearted situations due to the short length of this series. This episode was enjoyable, simply because the characters have been very well developed at this point, and because of that they were fun to watch.

And yet, this episode also enlarged some of the major flaws of this series. For that I need to go back to the source material, or its original author Lily Hoshino. When you look at the different covers of some of the other manga she has written, there’s one thing that immediately caught my attention: they all look the bloody same! Nearly all of them feature two people looking mellow and hugging each other. I couldn’t find a premise for most of them on ANN, but the premises I did find were just completely stupid and cliched, most notably that one about a family which forces all of its children to marry guys.

The creators here really gave a wonderful adaptation of the Otome Youkai Zakuro, but at the same time you can see that the romance is bound by these stupid cliches. The romance is mostly mature, and yet because of that premise the characters never really become couples, even though how obvious it is that Susukihotaru and Yoshinokazura are into each other, with the same going on for Bonbori and Hoozuki and Hanakiri.

Zakuro also suffers from these romantic cliches, though slightly different. In her case it’s indeed more logical to become good friends with Agemaki due to the large tension between them, and I actually really liked the point at which her crush on Hanadate was revealed. But yeah: he’s a bad guy, making what could have been a mature love triangle into a cheesy shoujo affair and Zakuro closer and closer to a standard tsundere. It’s pointless twists like these that are really holding back the otherwise truly excellent execution of this series.

Again though, I really like this series despite these criticisms. What’s even more impressive here is that JC Staff is really busy this season: they’re working on four different series at once, and yet all four of them are actually pretty good. Obviously some are better than others, but compare that to AIC which was in the same position during the previous Summer Season, working on four moe shows at the same time, where in the end every single one of them turned out to be dull and boring.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 27 November 2010 with categories: Autumn 2010 Kaleidoscope



Okay, perhaps last week would have been a better time for me to blog an episode of Index, but I did not know that that arc would just take up two measly episodes. And besides, this episode was pretty much was as interesting as it was terrible, which is pretty much what Index is all about.

So far, the second season of Index has been a huge mixed bag, but that’s part of its charms: the first arc was rather dull, the second arc was surprisingly good for being the lost chapters of Railgun (I really liked how they just cut the crap there and went straight to the point instead of dragging on). The current third arc is definitely enjoyable: it’s not the most ambitious arc, but it puts a lot of emphasis on the chemistry within the cast, which was quite enjoyable.

But really… there is fanservice, and there’s taking these dull romantic cliches way too far. How many times did Touma walk into a naked girl? How many times did his face get planted in someone’s bosom? Why did the creators suddenly introduced yet another random girl for Touma’s harem? It makes no sense, it feels lazy and it was completely pointless, making it seem like Touma can’t be friends with a girl unless he gets some romantic tension with her or something…

Either way though, this episode wasn’t a complete waste. I liked Touma in the rest of the episode, where there were a ton of different things that were going on. That’s how I like these sports festival episodes: we’ve seen them done to death by now, but this episode made well use of it to show some good antics. Another piece of criticism that I can give here is that the magical items in this show are starting to become mere McGuffins: especially in this episode, you could have replaced that Stab Sword with for example the “magical pizza of the annihilation of something very important”, and it wouldn’t have changed this episode in any way.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 16 November 2010 with categories: Autumn 2010 Kaleidoscope



This week I want to rant a bit again, even though I’m probably still the only one left who still watches this series. Still, I do want to write a bit about the strange and horrible decisions that were made for this second season. I’ll try to explain my thoughts on this series so that they also become a bit understandable for people who have never seen anything from Marie&Gali.

The first season of Marie&Gali was awesome: it was a fantastic comedy that showed how fun science can be; every episode was full of hilarity and came with completely new material and jokes, never running old or repetitive. The characters started out as stereotypes, but they really grew on you as the over the top quirky personifications of famous scientists that they were. Everything was set to also close off perfectly after forty episodes.

And then, out of nowhere, a second season suddenly got announced.

Obviously I was delighted back then, but after watching more than 20 episodes of this second season, I get more and more the impression that the second season announcement was as much a surprise for me as it was for the creators. I’m betting my hat that they only learned of it, after fully planning out the entire first season. This meant that they had to create a completely new set of forty episodes from scratch, even though they already put their best material and inspiration in the first season.

There are many reasons why I believe this to be the case. The most notable are the following:
– They inserted a freaking Scrappy. Norika, a strange whiny princess-like little girl, just comes out of nowhere and completely takes over the show as the lead character.
– The first season never repeated itself. The second season does, devoting several episodes in a row on the same concept.
– The comedy in the first season felt natural. In the second season, it feels forced. And this didn’t happen gradually, it immediately turned from good to bad at the start of the second season. But more on that below.

I’m not really sure why Toei found it a good idea to give this of all series a continuation, because it really wasn’t their most successful series by far. Especially considering how they closed off their viewer ratings cannon of Kaidan Restaurant abruptly after only 23 episodes. This season just serves no purpose.

You can also see how the creators are having trouble to fill this season through the execution. The biggest problem is Norika: her whining gets old really fast, and because of her the entire nature of this series changed because the creators included the rule that Norika can’t leave the world she’s cast in until she gets to appreciate science. What followed were 23 episodes of Norika running and screaming around, refusing to accept science and blowing everyone away with her giant teddy bear.

The first season felt so fun because it basically was about a bunch of quirky scientists who loved to show off their accomplishments to Marika (the lead character of the first season). Nothing was forced, you just had the adventures of a bunch of eccentric people who really loved what they were doing. The scientific explanations really blended in well with the storytelling. The second season, however, just turned into a series that explains science for the sake of explaining science. By trying to force Norika to accept science, they also try to force the viewers to sit through it. It loses all spontaneity.

On top of that, a bunch of characters derailed as well: the first season featured some stereotypes, but the characters were more than that: Gali was this dirty old man, but at the same time you had those scenes that showed that he was quite the brilliant scientist. The second season however reduces these characters, back to their stereotypes. You can really blame that to the acting: balanced in the first season, but the second season contains way too much yelling, especially considering how everyone in every single episode, likes to introduce him or herself in this overenthusiastic way for some strange reason.

The show at this point is still mildly funny, but it’s nowhere near as good as the first season. It’s at its best when it at least tries to do something new, but even those episodes are rare. The current episode for example featured a contest between Gali and Leonardo Da Vinci: who can build the fastest flying machine.The show so far has had a ton of these kinds of episodes. Especially in the second season, whenever Leonardo comes into the picture the creators can only seem to focus on how he pwns everything about Gali.

Oh, and the “scientific” explanation on how airplanes fly in this episode… it was actually wrong. Read some xkcd dammit!
Rating: — (Lacking)

Posted on 14 November 2010 with categories: Autumn 2010 Kaleidoscope



This week, I’d like to apologize for not sticking with Yumeiro Patissiere’s first season. I originally stuck with it for five episodes before giving up, but here’s why:

The things I appreciated about this series back then was that even though this was a show in which people are accompanied by strange sweets fairies, it didn’t pull a la Corda d’Oro and suddenly make their characters incredibly talented: they still had to work really hard for it. The thing that turned me off however was that it was already getting dull and repetitive after five episodes. I especially didn’t like the cheesy drama around the arrogant rivals that appeared in front of the lead characters, and on top of that I was also bothered by a lack of creativity…

…so why did the drama in this series suddenly become so good? Where did the inspiration come from for the Professional arc? This second season acts like the two main gripes I had with the first season never existed. The current episode marks the end of the Sweets Kingdom arc, which really shows that better than ever.

The sweets kingdom is… bizarre. What mind came up with that and what kind of state was it in? For the past three episodes, the characters have travelled to various places to collect some conveniently located sweets ingredients. An entire forest made out of baumkuchen? What the heck? This episode went even further by explaining how Sweets Spirits are born. That was without a doubt the weirdest explanation of the “birds and the bees” that I’ve ever heard.

Just about everything about the Sweets Kingdom makes no sense, but that probably was the intention of the creators: to just make this very imaginative fantasy world. It definitely gave me a lot to laugh about for the past three episodes, not to mention Kashino walking around in a pink teddy bear outfit for the entire time. I’m really suspecting that the creators did that in order to avoid confusion with the Kasshi fairy, since the two look so similar. I have not watched the first season, but is there a reason why these three fairies look like Kasshi and the two others look so much like Kashino?

And regarding the drama… why did it suddenly turn this good? I mean, compared to the first season, the characters are much less obnoxious, it’s much less forced and actually quite genuine. Of course, you need to like the childish kind of series in order to enjoy Yumeiro Patissiere. I don’t think that I’m going to end up watching the first season anytime soon (50 episodes is looooong), but the new season definitely surprised me.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 6 November 2010 with categories: Autumn 2010 Kaleidoscope




Ah, who cares? I’m just going to talk about two shows this week. Don’t expect it to turn into a habit, but this episode was just too awesome. Episodes 2, 3 and 4 probably turned off a lot of people, but the past two episodes really made up for it.

Episode five was mostly awesome because of Osamu Kobayashi (yeah, the guy from Gurren Lagann’s fourth episode), but this episode was really everything that this series should be: crazy and over the top fast paced action. The first few episodes made the mistake of focusing too much on the shock factor, which is neat for one episode but becomes boring quite fast.

The bitch-fight between the two angels and devils was completely awesome though. The focus was much more on the addictive chemistry between these four than the shock factor and dirty references, and the toilet humour instead got used effectively in the action scenes at the second half of the episode. This was really the first episode of this series where the chemistry between these characters really worked. On top of that, this episode was well paced and didn’t drag on like some of the previous episode as well.

It’s really these kinds of episodes that I expected when I first learned about this series. The second half of this episode just continued building up the action without getting boring: that’s how varied it was, moving from battles with angry cars to toilets, shootouts and random chases: there was a ton of creativity in this episode that went much beyond the usual gimmicks of this series. It’s also here where the music really helped making things even more exciting.

The big question now is whether this show will be able to keep this up. It is the perfect set-up for an action series without any bounds whatsoever, but the creators really need to make use of it and let their creativity run wild like the previous two episodes. If the remaining episodes will be like that though, then this will end up as an awesome series.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 5 November 2010 with categories: Autumn 2010 Kaleidoscope



This week I’d like to talk about this surprisingly charming slice of life series. And I guess gather my thoughts about Shinbo at the moment. I mean, I consider him to be an excellent director. The thing I hate however is how he is working on way too many projects. Just get him to work on one single project every year or two years: that will make them extra special, especially with the wait time in between. Why can’t he just leave Shaft’s other projects to the other directors at Shaft? Why does he need to hold their hands for every single series?

My big annoyance with Shinbo is that I’ve just seen too much of his series and I really do not want to sit through another one of his uninspired series. At this point, those series are easy to spot because he ends up doing one of two things:
1. Repeat himself. The best example of this is Natsu no Arashi 2, in which the first four episodes talked about the exact. same. freaking. subject. But also Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei. My guess is that that’s also why I can’t enjoy Arakawa Under the Bridge: there are just way too many similarities between the two.
2. Take his style way over the top to the point where it loses all its charms and ends up only getting in the way of telling the story. Examples of this (in my experience at least) were ef – a tale of melodies and Bakemonogatari.

Soredemo Machi is neither: it neither tries too hard, and while maids have been milked to death in anime, the delivery is fresh here. It doesn’t try to force down as many random jokes as possible, but instead focuses on just portraying the characters without trying to pretend to be anything more, and on top of that the different stories are varied and not repetitive. Finally.

Arashiyama is quite likable. In this episode she was mostly just a side-character, but even there she was pretty enjoyable as she tried to encourage Toshiko and her brother’s romances. It neither dragged on, and yet you could see that she loved to tease them. These kinds of romances are now also cliched as hell (‘I want to propose to you but I’m too scared so I just say something that sounds like “love”), but the creative characterization still made them enjoyable. If the characterization of Togainu no Chi was as good as this episode, I really would not have minded it being a dating sim.

On top of that, I’m glad that we finally have a Shaft series with a proper budget here. Especially the first two episodes had very good inbetween animation, but this episode too was very dynamically animated. I also like how all of the characters have their distinct character-designs, rather than just feeling like stock puppets with different eyes and hair pasted on top of them. On top of that, it’s also an interesting technique to use CG in frames that aren’t moving: it certainly took me a while before I noticed it.

It’s not perfect, especially in the way that those title cards get more annoying every episode, and there are times when it tries too hard (like with the chair in the previous episode), but I like its charms and how down to earth it is. It’s also got some good jokes as well (like the Czar and Luther).
Rating: ** (Excellent)

CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
I suppose we've had this talk. But; do women have a different type of power fantasies? Or you could essentially do the same thing as any other Isekai but with the genders flipped?
Vonter
@niello - Most power fantasies eventually lead to harems (like Hyrule Warriors). I did like the interactions of the two main characters in Shield Hero. And with Slime is sorta like watching a Let's Play as the main character visually gets more powerful along with his village, but like with Dr. House it seems it's a one man's show.
niello
Shield Hero is actually quite similar to Slime as after a while the MC basically settle down and make his own village to cultivate fighting force. The downside is that at that point it started to turn into a harem.
niello
It'd be nice if the new Franken Fran series could get it an anime, but that chance is probably near 0%...
niello
He does look young though
niello
Didn't Furuya ruined his voice with his smoking habit? It's coarser and deeper now. Judging from his Seiya voice a few years ago.
Vonter
Or are the 50s the new late 30s or early 40s?
Vonter
Are japanese people vampires? https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/Toru_Furuya
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: If you look at the voice list, that Japanese voice actor for Mario in that anime movie is the same voice actor for Amuro Ray from the original Gundam.
Vonter
Also considering Baby Bowser was raised by Kamek. I suppose those beings could be made by magic.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - My head canon is that Bowser made them himself. Kinda Lord Zedd or Rita from Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still subscribe to the headcanon that Peach is the mother of Bowsers children.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember growing up with the relatively poor American cartoons, none of them featured Wario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have committed videogame genocide apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Everytime I broke or hit a brick in the Mario games I was probably murdering a toad.
Vonter
The ending it's "interesting" considering the relationship Mario and Peach have isn't something as close, as Link and Zelda.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's weird but at the same time it does use elements from the game. Like the music, and story bits from the manual from the original Super Mario Bros. (Where it mentioned Bowser uses magic to turn Toads into the bricks, clouds and other objects of the game).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never did end up watching the Mario anime movie that came out in the 80s.
Vonter
Also someone is putting the effort of making a Bowsette adventure doujin. This is the type of stuff that could be it's own original thing since it strays far from what's Mario. Despite the occasional mild nudity it's quite fun so far, despite also how weird it is.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - At the very least it'll be interesting to see where it goes. It happens also every time something comes back. Times change and so the way we make stories. Also the original run had a curtain call chapter, so this is more a new story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is often what happens with episodic stuff for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I essentially read Fraken Fran until I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I feel that Franken Fran pretty much ran it's course though. Not sure what a new series could bring.
Vonter
Latest news: Franken Fran will get a new manga series. After it was cut short, it seems this little horror manga will get another chance: https://imgur.com/a/ypjtI4c
Vonter
I also read a bit ahead on Shield Hero. And I like it is character driven, but the cast isn't as big as other Isekai, like in Overlord where there are too many characters to easily keep track of what's happening (ever since it started Overlord feels like the most attached to its light novel origins).
Vonter
The monster town growing and expanding into it's own country reminded me of Digimon World. A game which you allied with Digimon to expand your town, add shops and other services. I've heard Xenoblade X was also like that.
Vonter
I watched during the weekend, the Slime Isekai. It's fine, though it lacked more conflict, the MC feels like its too powerful. Maybe this would have been great as a videogame since the concept of how this Slime evolves reminds me of the SNES game: E.V.O. The Search of Eden. It was about your character evolving through the ages and the player choosing how it adapts to it's environment.
Animosh
Also nice to see some love for LOGH in your personal lists (especially Aidan's). I guess it's too much of a niche series (a political epic in space) to score highly in the overall list, but I loved it. It retained much of what made the OVA so great while providing a much-needed update to its visuals and arguably better pacing.
Animosh
I also hadn't heard of the Kase-san OVA. Not sure whether enough can really happen in a one-hour OVA to make it worthwhile (it gives the impression of being promotional material more than a full-fledged adaptation), but I've been looking for another good yuri series after Bloom into You, so it can't hurt to give it a try.
Animosh
Nice to see Kaze ga made it on the list, even with just one cour out. I've seen most of the stuff that's won positive awards, but I've always avoided Pop Team Epic because of how silly it seemed to me. But given all the positive reviews (here and elsewhere) maybe I should give it a chance after all.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yu-no can go fuck itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also Yuasa's new thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe the thriller shows will be worthwhile but I'm not really as interested.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah spring looks packed for me, there's also that throwback ova to riding Bean and some creature horror ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I notice that Index gets an annoying amount of episodes/adaptations, one of those shows that keeps going away for a while then keeps coming back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We might get dororohedero and Vinliand saga at years end. I would like for pluto to air this year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Definately looking forward to the josei and shoujo stuff in Spring 2019, nothing of interest for me thats on the summer 2019 list yet.
Vonter
Like you wrote, seems like it's the start for new ways to stream anime. With Crunchyroll making simulcasts and Netflix putting some anime in the spotlight considering the audience it has (and it also helps it has better dubs, at least in spanish). Finally I felt last year the criticism of fanservice got more loud, also summed with how tumblr and facebook politics are putting restrain on sex conten
SuperWooper
@Anon, Netflix is getting Watanabe's new series, Carole & Tuesday, next season. It might not have the mass appeal of Crybaby (violence and sex) or Aggretsuko (cute animals), but it ought to do well for them if they slap "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF COWBOY BEBOP" all over the Internet.
Vonter
Last year I also didn't watched a lot of drama or slice of life, which is a shame since a lot of what's listed reads like it fits those genres.
Vonter
Kind of a lukewarm year 2018 was in terms of anime series. Although I admit I watched a lot of trash as well. Most of the good stuff I watched last year was on Netflix. In terms of bad I already an issue on the list because disappointing, bad and trash are different degrees of badness.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for being so long and overdramatic, I'd normally stay quiet but I had to get my feelings out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to say anymore about this show anymore, I know those who did watch it generally emotionally connected with it or thought it was some kind of epic, if anything I felt it was an epic ruined by being chopped down. I hated it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nothing seems settled on long enough and nothing registers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As Hateable as Jomy is in the beginning, I would at least liked to have seen proper flow of plot structure allowing for some natural progression of character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an idea and I think if explored with more episodes/more it could be something, this also includes Keith.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The timeskip and general pacing annihilate anything that could be anything approaching reaching close to working with this series, resulting in an un-compelling cast I feel nothing for that ruins and undersells any drama which is far too overdone when it occurs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't complete this, don't care if I've watched the first half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't like the couple of episodes of Terra e I watched a some years ago, unfortunately this second attempt, over halfway through the show only illustrates further just how much I utterly despise this show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've said before, I do think re-watches are important, especially years later after watching a show you disliked, if only to see if you'll enjoy it on the second run, lately thats been mostly successful for me, however....
Anonymous3325300
Meanwhile, I do expect that this year will be much stronger in terms of quality. Of course, I had the same assumptions last year based on the winter shows, but I do feel like this could be a stronger year full of great shows, instead of a lot of merely "good" ones.
Anonymous3325300
I predict that Netflix this year probably won't have a Devilman/Aggretsuko-level hit in terms of new anime. Evangelion is probably all they need, even though it's an old series.
Lenlo
If anyone thought that wasn't getting on this list, they either didnt watch it or have really low standards
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Its so catharctic that you listed steins;gate 0 I remember how we essentially lived and watched it together.
Lenlo
I think thats what the most pleasant surprise category is supposed to be. Didnt wanna double up on to many cats
Kaiser-Eoghan
No biggest surprise category?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand including bunny-senpai as a runner up, I'd have trouble picking between it and sorayori.
Lenlo
Episode 7 is so damn good, I don't care that its American.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: How do you think I feel, I'm not far off 35.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glad you actually made room for a movie category aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Based Lenlo, cheating with American anime cartoon.
Lenlo
Im just happy I got Castlevania on this list at all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dropped planet with, hinamatsuri and violent evergarden though, didn't see Hisone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I probably would have replaced planet with with happy sugar life or banana fish though or yagate ga kimi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In any case, I am glad my wife Kanna Hanazawa won an award on your list and that Devilman got featured more than once.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I though you would be splitting the voice actor category into voice actor and voice actress, though I suppose that's probably cheating a bit.
SuperWooper
You're not alone - of the four of us, I was the only one who watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must have missed ASAGAO TO KASE-SAN. Hadn't heard of it until now, I should have paid more attention.
Anonymous3324478
Oh and the music was pretty good too I guess. Another episode is airing in March.
Anonymous3324478
Masa also recovered from his car accident from a few episodes ago. It was totally unneeded in my opinion.
Anonymous3324478
The last episode of Tsurune was a decent ending to an otherwise formulaic sports show with some great animation on par for the course with KyoAni. Minato overcame his target panic and won it for the team. Twins got owned big time.
Animosh
There's a new episode out of the Gridman voice drama: https://barnnn.blogspot.com/2019/01/ssssgridman-voice-drama-episode-6n.html. It's a pretty good one too.
Animosh
My only worry is if the series will be able to get to its logical stopping point (the end of the Claw arc) in 12 episodes. But I suppose I should trust Bones over my vague memories of how much content there is left to cover.
Animosh
Yeah, I agree a split cour could be good. It would allow the series to maintain its high levels of animation, and given how stacked next season looks to be (anime aside, there's also American Gods and the Game of Thrones madness to keep up with), and with another ONE show airing, a break wouldn't be so bad.
SuperMario
Split cour of Mob Psycho would be awesome. I don't want to watch 2 ONE's adaptation in one season
Lenlo
Not for bloggin
Lenlo
While I love Mob, I am a bit happy its only 1 cour. I couldnt do 3 2 cour series
Animosh
Assuming we do get 12 episodes, a split cour would still make sense ... but I guess we'll just have to wait for the official confirmations
Animosh
As far as I can tell the only source is some guy in Twitter, so not sure how reliable it is
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Devilman Lady is what comes to mind on how to do this type of show better. That one had also a special agency for supernatural incidents, has a simple but compelling main character, uses it's time to build atmosphere and mood and even the action while a bit stilted had better monster design and the violence it's graphic but entertaining like Robocop.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok I will check. I'm also curious where it goes in terms of tone. Because it's all over the place.
Vonter
Ok. Last time I tried the login in feature didn't respond. This time it worked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Keep me posted of magical girl spec ops in case it does turn into the kind of guilty pleasure shlock it should.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is this vonter? If you register an account you can keep the name.
Anonymous3321080
But I think what gets me the most its how it beats the dead horse of the 80s action hero arc. Van Damme, Arnold and Stallone had more or less these type of lines. Its kind of funny this anime pretends these aren't tropes we don't use anymore because of how corny they come off. It'll definitely work better as an abridged series since it can be very boring when it tries to add the school life moment
Anonymous3321080
Also Mahou Spec Ops... Is interestingly bad. It tries to be exploitative and shocking but feels very sloppy, kinda like that meme of *slow heavy metal music plays* It also wants to play it like a dark shoujo anime, but the cute monsters are just distracting.
Anonymous3321080
Reading your conversations about idols, despite being mediocre Gokudolls and Ore Mahou Shoujo made jabs at that culture. At least painting some aspects that may be true of how exploitative it is. I suppose because those are subpar, over the top and cheap is what they can do that. Can't remember one aside from Perfect Blue which criticizes that industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But only if there was more anime noirs.
Amagi
Reminds me of that stalin vs hitler comic. Think it was russian. They're attacking each other with magical super powers there. And yeah, I love noir now that you mention it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That'd make for a great noir story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Imagine Stalin and Hitler trolling each other on twitter.
Amagi
It's easy to construct superiority when you never have to show your private face and never participate in mundane chat talks or so.
Amagi
I bet a lot of people who had some aura of authority back then due to only ever appearing in books or for very rare (scripted) speeches would probably laughing stocks now if we'd see them commenting on daily stuff and news on twitter or reddit.
Amagi
I personally have given up upon having heroes. I still find a lot of historical people interesting but let's be real the few of them that weren't blatanly bad in some way were different then we imagine them to be (even if they're good). Just look how different people feel now that you see them tweeting on twitter VS policians etc decades ago.
Amagi
I like the idea of a main character longing for a dead friend and role model he had and still idolizes. Then at some point he starts reconstructing his friend's past to cherish his memories about him even more but finds out that the friends wasn't the hero he believed him to be and maybe even the own memories of him were idealized a lot over the years after his death without him even noticing.
Amagi
Yeah we are always searching for some sort of über-ich or perfect being that symbolizes the goal of some personality growth we're trying to achieve.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or the reason why some people need to have so many things or idols they probably don't need.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think there is a genetic/mental inadequacy in humanity that makes us susceptible to following "higher people who we forget are actually human" because of our own desire for an avatar or general inadequacy as human beings.
Amagi
Yeah this. It's probably also why they defend them so eagerly. Because it's actually true that "their" version of that person would never do that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that probably creates a much stronger blow to them when the actor is found guilty of a crime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Very good response.
Amagi
It's kinda weird how almost everything we know about others is actually just interpretation to some degree.
Amagi
The weird thing is that I think that many fans of acrots/celebrities rather create their own versions of them they fall in love with rather than loving the actual person, whom they barely even know. It's fun because the concept of a waifu sounds extremely weird to normal people, but many normal people kinda do this too but with real persons (but imaginary personality).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats where it starts getting obsessive or where it gets too close to the next level, such as what the anon mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also can't bring myself to get too attached to a celebrity or to a character. I do look at hentai doujins yes but, I've probably had thoughts about certain actors or what not, but I never actually want to sleep with them, again I think that's taking fantasy too far.
Amagi
I never know if these are serious celebrations or rather some fun memes they do to post, I always assumed the latter. Kinda.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the fans celebrating the idol's birthday thing is taking it to far too, especially if its an anime character.
Amagi
Yeah I was never an idol fan either, and I don't just mean the idol genre in anime but anything similar to idol stuff in general, like being a fanboy/girl of some celebrity or something. Was never able to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all too superficial.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't like the ideas it gives teenage girls either .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Certain topics just set me off =<
Amagi
The third episode of Wake Up girls was pretty good in that regard. I think it was the third one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, thats a pretty bad story what happened to the woman you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be a good idea to catch some documentaries on that topic .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that was just a sentence from some guy on a podcast though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now though I didn't see it, I do recall someone saying some of that Wake up girls idol anime slightly brought up seedier parts of the industry if not much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The hallow shallowness of the idol industry I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also dislike the shallowness of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love how Perfect blue takes influences from those gialli/giallo style films from the 60s/70s to an extent, while also spitting on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you know what sucks? A part of me, both in regards to those women (and probably some of the male idols) whether it be in reality or animation, I can't actually deny finding some of these men/women actually physically attractive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Music industry has its seediness just about everywhere and of course victim blaming going to appear everywhere, not just Japan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*commodification-consumerist
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I hate capitalism, I hate the idol communication-commercialist industry and the willing self-aware slaves and their masters who perpetuate it, the music is largely awful aswell. I don't watch most of the idol anime, I think the idea of 30 something men throwing cash it is awful.
Anonymous3319279
Wonder if there will be some modern equivalent of Perfect Blue? That was a scathing critique of the idol industry back in the late 90s. Although given how shows that are flat out glorifying the industry are the best-selling shows on BD every year, I doubt it.
Anonymous3319279
In short, she was assaulted by two men at her home who were then arrested. Then she was pressured by her managers into claiming that she was to blame for this, not the men and apologizing to an audience.
Anonymous3319279
Hearing about what happened to some idol named Mahohon seriously makes me wonder if idol culture in Japan seriously needs an overhaul and if media needs to stop glorifying the industry so much.
Anonymous3319260
Ok. No pressure, just asking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, we are working on it. It's nearing completion and should be posted soon.
Anonymous3318799
I don't know if I missed it. But have you put the overview of 2018? Of best show, best character, etc. Did 2018 had a good anime villain?
Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
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