Posted on 29 December 2016 with categories: Monthly Summaries

This December was… a challenge. Amidst the busy holiday month, my schedule got very busy and my backlog got larger and larger. However, in the end I did manage to keep up with five series (four of which which ended, and one which will continue onto the next season). These are the first series I have finished ever since the first season of Space Dandy, in Winter 2014. Two years, since my writer’s block started.

And really: all these five series are special. They have made this a very successful season, and even though I have my criticisms about them, when it comes down to it I consider them to be really good. These are what anime as a medium is capable of. They knew what they were good at, and they delivered, unhindered and without compromise. They’re all incredibly different from each other, all at least a bit weird, but I recommend them all for those with an open mind

As usual, these impressions are mine and mine alone. And beware of spoilers here and there.

#5: TO BE HERO (09-12)

Okaaaaay… that ending. I’m a bit speechless by what I saw there, but I think the creators actually did it: create a comedy without cheesing the ending. Or at least, that’s what it feels like right now. Even though some of the things they pull are like the things that immediately get you an F in writing 101.

Yet it all works because of how ridiculous the series is. On one hand the final episodes turn this show into an action series. And really good action by the way, the animation is surprisingly good, and while the series is a bit more serious, the jokes aren’t completely gone. The tone changes, but it stays very deliberately TO BE HERO. The main character’s love for his daughter keeps everything together, and even more after “the big reveal”. It’s just as trolly as you’d expect, and yet I admit that I felt sorry for the guy. He’s a horrible human being, and yet… it worked.

This was an emotional roller-coaster. It’s faaaar away from the series you’d usually associate with that term, but it fits so much, only the emotions you feel are a bit different. At any moment in this series, you either feel schadenfreude, disgusted, or the struggles of a failed father who despite everything loves his daughter deeply. It’s comedy at its blackest, and yet I’m glad to have finished this series.

#4: Yuri on Ice (09-12)

And the series of 2016 with the most annoying fanbase is… yeah. I mean I do not belittle anyone for their passions and likes. Everybody is different and everyone’s taste is unique, and it would be horrible if this wasn’t the case. However, when one of the main reasons to like a series boils down to “porn”, things get a little… awkward. Both for male and female fanservice.

Thankfully there are plenty of other reasons to love this series. The final two episodes of Yuri on Ice breezed through the world championships of figure skating, and in two episodes we got 12 performances with together made for a riveting finale where in total style, a ton of things happened and a lot of characters got to show off. However, because it was the finale, its disadvantage was that it got a little predictable. I mean, the ending… think of the single most likely scenario for the final results. And yeah, that’s it.

It was beautifully made though. And props to the creators for using actual French in their series. I really like how international this series is. There are many nationalities represented here, and the creators did justice to them: characters were portrayed as actual characters, and the creators resisted going for the cheap racial stereotypes, and that resulted into a really wild and colourful cast of characters.

With this success there is bound to be a second season. I’m not sure whether that’s the best idea, since these 12 episodes are perfect for just a standalone show, however the ending really was a bit of a cop-out with a “will they won’t they continue”-tactic. Be bold: either close things off or immediately plan for two seasons right from the beginning. Being wishy-washy more often than not makes things awkward. Like you’re at the end of a party and say goodbye, only to end up awkwardly standing in the same room for fifteen minutes without anyone leaving.

#3: Natsume Yuujinchou Go (09-11)

My favourite episode of the fifth season? Episode 10. My heart just completely melted, it was just so adorable. Season 5 was really the season of the side characters (where Season 1 was the introduction, season 2 about the setting, season 3 about the character-development, season 4 about Natsume himself), and this season was at its best when focusing on this. Not that the other episodes were bad or anything, but we’ve seen better.

Like expected, the sixth season has already been announced, and I really beg the creators: make this the conclusion! Make this the end of the series, and end it with a bang. Compare it to eating chocolate for example. A bit is delicious and amazing, especially if you’ve got the really good quality kind. However try to wolf down ten bars of the stuff and after a while you’ll be so full that it just tastes horribly. It’s up to the series to find that right balance between leaving the viewers hungry and over-stuffing them, and season six feels like exactly that balance, especially considering how season 5 wasted one of its episode for that stupid Nyanko-sensei sidestory.

Because episode 5 I would not consider that the best season. That goes to season 4. I’d also consider season 1 and 3 better, and season 2 worse. It was very clearly a building-up season, so I’ll forgive it for that. But I keep stressing this: brevity! Like it’s a good thing that I watched Legend of Galactic Heroes when I still was a student with no life, because brilliant as it might be: if I had to watch it today I’d simply refuse. There is no way I have that much time just lying around.

#2: Classicaloid (09-12)

This was the halfway climax for Classicaloid, and it was awesome. It’s a fitting climax by finally making everything around Bach come together and finally made him step outside of his shadow and gave him a character; it did not disappoint. However, my favourite episodes still are the ones that revolve around Kanae. I LOVE her character, she is one of the best straight man (or straight women in this case) in a comedy I’ve ever seen. She doesn’t just offer order to the chaos of the other characters, she offers responsibility to their idiocy, she’s being forced to deal with whatever ridiculous ideas the other characters come up with, and is basically being forced to raise this group of man-children. Also check out all of the effort she puts into keeping the mansion tidy. This might seem like an tiny detail, but it’s actually incredibly important from a storytelling perspective. It not only adds character to the mansion itself, but it also makes the setting so much more believable. It adds a very natural sort of tension to the series to keep the mansion clean. It makes the viewer feel much more part of the whole setting, compared to if the characters just lived somewhere.

Amazing stories and characters can be found in any medium. But what makes anime stand out, and the reason why I originally became a fan, is the way in which it combines everything: animation, music, storytelling, characters, themes, setting. How they all work together in creating one experience to the point where the whole is better than the sum of its parts. Obviously not every anime gets this (most don’t), but Classicaloid adheres very much to this philosophy. It very blatantly sacrifices making sense for a feast for all the senses (heck Musik is pretty much a Deus ex Machina with which the creators can do whatever they want). And it’s not just the way in which all Musik scenes are incredibly fun, with all their remixes of famous classical works and full of crazy ideas like giant penguins and mecha helicopters, but also look at the themes: Classicaloid is a series about music. And between all the lines of goofing off, it really is trying to explore what music is, what drives great music, the struggles that the composers face when creating it. We’re halfway through the series and it’s already quite fascinating what’s going on here.

This is why I like Classicaloid more than Natsume Yuujinchou: as much as I love Natsume, it could have been done in any other medium. I can see that work. Classicaloid can only work as an anime. Any other way to do it just won’t work, and it makes brilliant use of that.

#1: Fune wo Amu (08-11)

In its final month, Fune wo Amu has turned out to be incredibly motivational, much more than I expected. Just about everything that was thrown at the characters: they just ended up sucking it up and dealing it up, working diligently for fourteen years until finishing. And I love how well they did it: usually when a challenge is presented, the creators end up cheesing it with the solution: a convenient loophole is found, the problem doesn’t really matter that much in the end, a plothole shows up, or they just kind-of end up solving everything without really going into detail how. Fune wo Amu avoids all of this: the characters work hard and for every problem in their way, they come up with a solution to handle the incredible task of putting together a dictionary.

The time-skip was brilliant in this, and yet it didn’t gloss over how hard these characters worked in compiling every of the 240000 words to get there. There was only one commonly used trope: the death of the professor. But even that was handled very tastefully: very carefully built up for episodes, and it was swiftly presented as part of the path of life, rather than dragging it out for the sentimental value. I really shed a tear that final episode, it was that good.

And really, there is no contest that this was the best of the season. Of course I have not completed many series this year, but let me just say that there would be very surprised if there is a better series than this one in 2016. Fune wo Amu has been amazing, and exactly what I needed. As I struggled keeping up with the episodes, I found that I really WANTED to finish this series. That’s a first in years.

And if there is any series I’d like to be influential, it’s this one. And it’s not like I’m asking for more series about dictionaries, but it goes deeper than that: nearly every single series can learn something from Fune wo Amu. How to animate characters to breathe them to life without overdoing it. How to develop characters, how to adapt your source material by making everything fit within the time you’re given. You want romance? Treat it as this show does, rather than the annoying whining we normally get. Look at this series for a textbook example of how subtle acting should be done, how attention to detail should be done. I can name very few series where it’s all this obvious. The biggest flaw really is that building a dictionary limits audiences: it’s probably a bit too mundane for most audiences. But whoever manages to figure out how to apply the design principles and philosophies that lead to the creation of this series to a more mainstream title: you’re gonna hit pure gold!

Posted on 2 December 2016 with categories: Monthly Summaries

And that was November. The month without a beginning or end, most series are using this time to build up their setting and characters for added depth. Some shows got better, some started to show kinks. These are my impressions, in order from least liked to best liked, about all the episodes that came out in November, so some of the new episodes aren’t counted yet. As usual: there be spoilers. And I’m not sure whether I’m going to include ratings in these lists. For now I’m refraining though. Just note that #2 is way above #3 and #1 is miles above #2 again. #1 in particular just restored my faith in anime again.

Oh and I unfortunately had to drop 3-Gatsu no Lion. Not for a really particular reason other than time. I had to drop one, and it became that series. Was I right in dropping it? Dunno.

#9: Bernard Jou Iwaku (05-08)

Granted, the only reason I’m still watching this is because every episode is over within 3,5 minutes, but it says something that out of the entire onslaught of mini-shows this season, this is the only one I kept. This is what I expect when I watch one of these series: due to the dialogue it never loses my interest, it remains fresh, it makes me chuckle once in a while and it knows what it’s about: name-dropping famous novels.

I like how it’s both poking fun at the literary imbeciles as the snobs. This dynamic has been good for 8 episodes of fun, and I can pretty much see this show finish its run without too much difficulties at this pace. It’s interesting, fun and short. Nothing special of course, but short series should look here for how it’s done. They really need that because the amount of really bad shows really is getting out of hand.

#8: Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari (05-08)

Oh boy, this series. This was not a good month for Udon no Kuni. I will continue watching it, but this month the show headed into a really questionable direction that… I both don’t like it and I don’t get it to be honest. Over the past month I’ve been watching this guy slowly losing his mind by a shapeshifting tanuki. And if that was an actual plot point then I’d love that, but I’m getting more and more convinced that the creators are playing this straight: that the series really is going to end with Souta and Poco living happily ever after as a family…

In a normal series that would be fine and all, but at times this show seems to forget that we’re dealing with a tanuki here… Souta never seems to question where he came from, his origins, he doesn’t seem to find it weird that he basically is treating his pet like his son. He gave up his entire life in the city, not through careful consideration, but because Poco liked it there better, which takes away a lot of the power of the first episode.

It also doesn’t help that Poco is getting really annoying now. His antics… they’re a bit too blown up. He’s trying sooo hard to sound like a kid, and I get that he’s a tanuki and all, but it’s also the responsibility of the creators to create a fun series and all. Episode nine was especially cringe-worthy when he got lost in the most clichéd way possible. No meaning behind it whatsoever, just to get some development out of Souta. I also really dislike Souta’s coworker, especially now that the creators seem to have decided they want him back as a regular character.

They’re going to really have to step up their game for the finale here. And what happened to the Udon? I mean they eat it here and there and all, but this is supposed to be one of the major themes of this series. We don’t call Cross Game Napolitan Game for a reason.

#7: Cheating Craft (05-08)

Usually in a comedy, when the big rival is introduced it’s the moment the series goes south. I do not know why so many comedies want to be taken seriously all of a sudden, but you need good characters for that, and most comedies depend on stereotypes or gimmicks. Cheating Craft is basically one gigantic gimmick, so I was dreading this moment, and yet something really weird happened: the show actually got better.

The crowning moment definitely was episode 6, which just said “screw it” to linear storytelling and delivered a really weird mish-mash of scenes right intertwined with each other, held together in a theater play. That one episode succeeded in trying to sound like it was taking itself so seriously, yet it kept trying to get away with more and more ludicrous scenes. And it was fully aware of that by the way. It was magic!

After that followed two episodes of training arc parodies. A bit more conventional, but they worked. It had a bunch of neat ideas, it was fun, it made me laugh. I’m impressed in the way that the story of the show is actually progressing, and yet it does not forget that it’s supposed to make the audience laugh. This is the middle month in which series like this usually lull into a period of nothing really happening, and here Cheating Craft comes with a pacing that really is just fine.

#6: To Be Hero (05-08)

This series continues to be an excellent example of how comedy should be done. The fast pace makes sure that the jokes just keep coming and coming, the half episode length makes sure that it doesn’t drag, and in terms of inspiration it hasn’t slowed down in the slightest since it started, and it still feels fresh. It still manages to surprise me with how politically uncorrect it can get and every episode finds a new way to weird me out. It’s one of those rare shows where I just know that I’m going to laugh through the entire episode.

What also helps is that there are no bad characters. Sure, the characters are terrible people and all, but every characters has a point and purpose, and actually made me laugh. Even Gintama (or Excel Saga for a more concise comparison) had characters that got on my nerves and I wanted to just go away. Every character is also their own epitome of black humour. Some characters may have some annoying moments, but these are so rare compared to what I feared this show would turn into.

Endings are the bane of comedy’s existance, but with Nabeshin at the helm I actually have confidence that he can pull it off. The key is have a climax while still being funny, and using that climax for extra tension for the jokes. 90% of all comedies make the mistake of just completely scrapping the jokes, or putting the jokes on second place for the sake of wrapping up the story. That’s bad! Ideally, you’d use your entire series to one gigantic joke of a climax at the end, and there are very few series that understand that. Is this series one of those that do? Find out next month!

#5: Shuumatsu no Izetta (06-09)

This show, it’s got a lot of major things right, and a lot of minor things wrong. So overall, I’m happy. My biggest praise is how well the creators thought about the plot. There are no really big cop-outs, the tone is consistent, the setting is very solid. A good story just writes itself, and that’s exactly what happened here. This month we saw the war between the two main nations here evolve further, and with what it was given, it makes sense for things to have happened the way they did. Characters are no morons, Eylstad did what they could in order to hold out as long as possible, while Germania took its time to find a way to deal with the white witch: a powerful weapon, yet ultimately too fragile to win an entire war with.

And I realize how rare this is now that there is a series that actually doesn’t do that: but the deaths actually surprised me. I’ve seen so many series that copped out at the last minute: pretending to kill off characters only to find some way to revive them again, or pulling completely ludicrous leaps in logic to prevent certain characters from dying. Not here: when it felt logical for them to die, they actually did. They underestimated the situations they were in and paid for it. I love that! These deaths have meaning, it’s not like this is a trigger-happy show that just kills for the sake of killing. Hats off!

Now the bad: first of all the fanservice. An sich I don’t mind that (hell, there are some series this season where there is far, far more), but it’s the context in which it’s used. This is a series that takes itself very seriously, the light-hearted moments are very limited, and there are nearly no jokes. The only jokes are the really bad boob jokes that you see in every single series. THAT’s is what I take offense to: if you’re gonna do fanservice: make it flow well into the storyline. Don’t come across like the only way you know to flesh out characters is grabbing each other by the boob. I’m sick and tired of that.

Now, episode 09 finally brought in the second witch. It was a major episode, and I loved what it lead to… except the new witch herself feels kinda iffy. The revelation that she was cloned feels… a bit out of place in the setting. For the first time in the entire series. It was built up, but still it felt a bit weird. But okay, it’s their series, if they want a setting reminiscent of the first world war with a few details changed here and there, like witches and cloning, I can buy it. But then the witch started talking….

Look, what also made this series so good is the believable characters. There were a few things here and there, but most of all the characters here: you can believe that these people all fit, and their acting was all down to earth and business. There was a lot of cold and serious acting, but Izetta and Fyne balanced that out by also showing the human side of the cast, and when they did they also knew their place. And then that new witch came and started acting like a supervillain in an action flick. It was… jarring…

#4: Natsume Yuujinchou (05-08 + special)

I’m not entirely sure what to think right now. On one hand, episode 08 was the best episode involving Natori and Matoba so far. The other episodes have been really excellent as well. But that Nyanko-sensei special was the single worst episode of Natsume Yuujinchou, ever. It’s really rare how consistent Natsume Yuujinchou is, so any episode that isn’t up to its standards immediately stands out, to the point where the episode was just hard to watch.

Let’s talk a bit about brevity in storytelling. Ideally, a story should progress at a logical pace, and it should end at a place where it fits best. This is not an attack on filler episodes, because these can serve a very good purpose in fleshing out characters and getting to know them, however we are already more than 50 episodes in right now. Series should not try to pad out their length and go on as long as possible, because that will eventually just diminish the impact. Telling a story is a delicate balance between taking your time at the right moments and hitting hard and fast at the right moments. The timing of that special felt completely out of place, and the creators knew it so they aired it as a special outside of the main series, so I’m not really sure whether to hold this against the series or not. I mean most specials are either just for background information, or some silly side-story… however specials always air when a show is finished. Not when you’re right in the middle of a story.

Because it seems that this series is addressing my concerns I voiced right at the beginning of this series: there’s been lots of character development of the major side characters this month. Whereas season four was all about Natsume and his family, this is about his friends and Natori, Matoba and Reiko. Since for these episodes, the series depends on something other than the powerful closures of the episodic stories, so it took a while to build up, but with episode 08 it all came together quite nicely.

Now ideally, there should come one more season after this. ONE. Entirely dedicated to wrapping up the story and closing off all threads that the series laid out. I really think that any longer than that will be too long for Natsume Yuujinchou By then it will have been able to say everything that it wanted to say.

#3: Yuri!! on Ice (05-09)

Well then. Sayo Yamamoto’s series have always been incredibly sexual, all in their own unique way. Her masterpiece Michiko e Hatchin seamlessly blended the sexiness in Brazilian culture with its plot and characters, while Lupin the Third… I’m still surprised that they managed to get away with everything they did. Now Yuri on Ice is here for the Yaoi fans. The thing with fanservice is this: there will always be people who will not be attracted to what you’re showing. So, if you focus too long on that, or make it incredibly stupid you will alienate people. This is a rule that a lot of anime fail to understand. Yuri on Ice was awfully close to that line this month though. Especially on the orgasm skater I was like… “do I really want to watch this?” And yeah, the first episodes still were a bit ambiguous, but this month made no mistake: Victor is gay and Yuri is bisexual, and we’re getting a romance here. It feels forced. I don’t buy it. I have that with most romances though, but it’s a shame that the romance in this show does not form an exception.

Because damn, the characterization in this show is so good! This month this series had the challenge of blowing through two major matches, each showing 6 contestants performing two routines. Usually a series would then focus on the main character and one rival, degrading the other characters to a bunch of cardboard boxes who are just there for filler, but not this show! Because so much time of these episodes is focused on showing actual ice skating performances, every single one of the characters gets his own personality, story, background, antionality. And with the exception of the above-mentioned orgasm skater they were all incredibly well done for how little time they got. You remember them, they’re all fun, they all drew me right into their performances. They made for four really riveting episodes that just sparkled with personality.

However, one big problem remains: Yuri on Ice really is about its characters, and therefore it really is putting logic a bit on the second place. The world of ice skating is huge, and Yuri just basically reached the world finals in a best of six tournament, even though he finished fourth and second once. I get why they do it: the creators really does everything it can to spice up this show, and for the characters it works! For the story though… do not watch this for the story.

#2: Classicaloid (05-08)

Can I also give a shout-out to the producers of this series? Every single episode features a new awesome cover of classical music, used both in the climax as the ED. And don’t forget we’re dealing with 24 episodes here! This is something you have to consciously decide to go after, certainly with how good all these songs are. And on top of that there is the “Pain! Pain!”-song of episode nine, which too was just incredible in its own way.

I’m not sure how much on the radar this show is, but I love everything about it. Seriously, I have nothing to really criticize here. Perhaps only really minor nit-picks like jerky animation here, and some coincidences there, but that’s nothing. This is my idea of a sitcom. Every single character here is completely adorable, and their chemistry is just amazing. These guys can be incredibly annoying, but every time they do something that gets on your nerves, it also gets on just about every other character’s nerves, and that all just continues to build up, to the point at which I just can’t stay angry at these guys. The most notable example of this is episode 07: on paper this episode is terrible. It’s a gimmick that spelled the downfall of so many series yet. And yet at the end the only reaction I could muster was the same that Kanae, the female lead had: just shake your head and give up.

The plot moves slowly, but it does move. And the way it does move! It’s always either in ways you don’t expect, or the most obvious way imaginable. Things happen and characters act like it’s the most normal thing in the world, so it takes a while to really digest what happened. Or in the incredibly obvious cases it takes a while that yes, they really are going that way. There are very few series I had as much fun with as this series. This is no longer just a comedy, this is just a show with awesome characters.

#1: Fune wo Amu (04-07)

Fune wo Amu is my favourite series this season, but even that isn’t indicative of just how good this show is. This is just a completely different level, it blows just everything away with its execution, and it would stand at the top of nearly every season this decade. That’s how incredible this show is!

And it didn’t do so with the biggest story, the most epic setting, dramatic conflicts. Instead it’s so simple, yet everything it does is perfect. Aside from throw more budget so that some drawings can be more high-resolution (not even better animated, just give the artists a bit more time to animate everything in the right resolution) I would not change anything so far about how these episodes have played out. The way this series manages to breathe life to its characters with such a simple story of writing a dictionary. And sure, there is drama. But it’s everyday drama: corporate issues of management that’s looking for ways to have their way, cocky professors. It all just feels so real, like you can touch these characters.

And the romance! Holy crap the romance! Let me tell you that this show has the best romance out of any series where romance isn’t the main focus. Like I can’t even think of any show that tops it. Especially episode six, it hit me like a truck, that’s how well built up and acted it was, and it has been many years since an anime hit me as much as that single episode, even many years before my writer’s block started.

Like finally a show comes in and does everything right. Majime is socially awkward, and yet. No silly drama, no characters behaving illogically for the sake of creating drama. No bad overreactions, no misunderstandings that create terrible drama because characters refuse to talk to each other, no main character who is too scared to even confess, no generic forced resolutions. Nope. Majime just needs a few episodes to gather courage, but the bugger actually goes ahead and does it! And not just that, Nishioka himself kicks ass too. He has a stable relationship, and while this has its ups and downs, these ups and downs are realistic: they’re about the small things. I absolutely adored how subtle the end of episode 07 was. Where in every other series there would be a huge drama, the very small gesture of him planning a date was so much more powerful.

And I know, these are so simple. And that makes it al the weirder that this series is the first to actually get everything right. THIS is the romance I want to see: scrap the bullshit, the whiny drama about nothing, the refusal to communicate, giving such a skewed portrayal of reality. THIS should be the standard!

Posted on 5 November 2016 with categories: Monthly Summaries

In the past I wrote these summaries to give everyone an overview of as much of the series of the month as I could, therefore I tried to avoid spoilers as much as I could. Right now though, this feels like a good method to talk about everything that I’m watching, since I’m not going to do episodic posts, so I do want to talk about spoilers. Apologies for that. Also, in the past when I was a student with no life I really made an effort to post these summaries at the exact last day of each month, but right now I’m not going to even try to be on time. Still, this summary is about all episodes that aired in October of the shows that I’m watching, excluding anything that aired in the past four days. For the sake of clarity, I just included all relevant episodes after each title.

With these technicalities out of the way, this is a very solid season! It has really been a while since I witnessed so many solid shows together, that actually ended up delivering. There were a few shows that have started so show cracks despite initial favourable impressions, but there is really a lot of good stuff to be found here. So here are my impressions on the shows that I watched more than 1 episode of, in order of least favourite to favourite:

#12: Soushin Shoujo Matoi (02-04)

I gave this one four episodes, but I’m going to drop it now. The first episode was fun, it had diverse characters, humour; it was exciting. And episode 02 and 03 were also alright too. Not as good, but still fun enough to keep my attention. And then episode four happened, that blond girl arrived, and everything got so dark and dramatic and serious. It showed that yes, this series intends to take itself seriously.

Here’s the thing: this is a show where teen-aged girls in silly outfits throw waves of energy at evil monsters that want to destroy everything. You cannot pull that with a straight face, the only way for this show to work is to be a wacky action series carried by the antics of the lead cast. As soon as the blond girl started angsting this show was over. I mean kid, if you want to tell a serious story: there are way better series this season for that.

#11: Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku (02-05)

I cannot suspend my disbelief for this series enough. This is a show where you absolutely need that because some characters pull some really weird leaps in logic, but my ability to take it seriously got less and less (now that it’s episode 05 I finally cannot ignore it anymore).

So yeah, my predictions came true: this show tried to all be cute and lighthearted at the beginning, only to get really “dark” twists after a while. The dark twist being here that people die. Fair enough, you can make that work with the right development, but I do not think that this show knows that right development is. It tries, oh it definitely tries, however it just is so hard to take it seriously.

The characters are the problem here. The concept on its own is good: collect a bunch of magical girls, kill ’em off here and there, and watch the drama unfold. The creators really tried to have a diverse cast, and by that we have characters who aim to be the reincarnation of Mother Theresa, and other other hand we have the “yes rawr fight I kill” types, trying to cover the whole spectrum. That’s commendable, but the characters only get developed within the context of the game the characters are playing: everybody has a different tactic, a different way to interact with the rest of the cast, and a different way of looking at the game. That’s plenty of variety and it really is nice and all, but beyond that I have no idea who these kids are. Who they are in the real world… this show refuses to give us any background in that. We have a businesswoman. Okay, what about the rest. Any hobbies? Any nice tidbits? Just the bare minimum. Then there’s the lesbian couple. Good, but are they anything other than lesbians? The only reason is that one seems to be really rich. How? In what way? And nearly every character is like that. Even the lead character is a bit of a blank slate with the amount of time dedicated to her. How am I supposed to feel sorry for these characters?

So what about the rest? Yeah, the battles are boring, the animation is just a string of people talking keeping up mostly the same poses. So yeah, if then you pull stuff like “I like you and look up to you for your leadership skills but I need to kill you because I want to be a leader even though it’s totally out of character”… yeah it’s not gonna work. Heck, just use the reason that everybody was fed up with Ruler’s whining. I would totally have accepted that!

#10: Cheating Craft (02-04)

The only reason this show works is because of the completely ridiculous things the creators keep throwing at the characters. But hey, that’s enough, and I’m still entertained. I’m noticing that I keep watching to find out what ludicrous gimmick the next exam is going to have. I also really like how much this show takes itself seriously during these exams, because it has reached exactly that uncanny valley of “so bad it’s good”. Episode 04 had just a small one, but I loved the idea of just stuffing the characters into an airplane and blowing the roof off. Now that’s creative!

As for the characters… yeah, they work, I guess. They do their job, but the only reason they work is because everything is so over the top, and they’re not ashamed of it. If the male characters were even a little less subtle about their actions they’d be incredibly annoying, but the way they are now is sufficient and they make me laugh without annoying too much. I like the bespectacled girl though. Her biting cynicism speaks to me.

#9: Bernard Jou Iwaku (02-04)

This… is one of those shows that should not be good, yet I keep enjoying. Heck, all this show is, is name-dropping famous books and authors. It makes a point that it’s only interested about these names and not about the content, that it only wants to superficially seem smart but actually has the intellectual value of that one hipster you see at parties who tries to seem all educated.

And yet, it works! The really fast dialogue helps as well, but most of all: it packs a number of good jokes. And four episodes in and I still see no sign of them getting worse. I find myself having to actually pay attention in order to catch everything they manage to stuff into these three-minute episodes. Very few shows of its kind can claim this.

#8: 3-Gatsu no Lion (02-04)

Okay, so this one didn’t turn out to be as solid as I thought it would be, but it definitely still has my attention. Its portrayal of Tokyo still is as immersive as in episode one, and you can definitely see that it’s trying to do something new. Every episode so far has shown us a bit more about the different cast of characters, and they’re getting really well fleshed out, and the few bits of drama hit hard, yet with plenty of subtlety. They make you think.

Unfortunately, the past few episodes are also trying to be funny… and they’re not. I mean I can see that the creators are trying to bring in this fun banter between the characters, the music gets all forcedly “quirky”, and we’re supposed to laugh as an audience and all, but I haven’t even chuckled at all during this series. And it’s not like the humour is terrible thankfully, it’s just… not funny. Because of that I’m a bit bored during the segments that are just focused on random jokes that are not getting anywhere, with the rival being the worst offender (however his silver lining is that he’s an overweight character done right, and his annoyingness is used actually well afterwards!).

Also, the close ups in this series! Usually this show looks gorgeous, until the camera is like inches from a character’s nose and then all kinds of problems appear, but what annoys me the most has to do with cinematography. I don’t get it. They put in so many inbetween frames in some of these shots, yet all movement looks weird and unnatural. Also, whenever a character turns his/her head to look at something: there’s like no continuity in that whatsoever. Usually this is a camera trick used to get the viewer to pay attention to the immediate next scene. This time they’re just randomly turning around with no reason from angles we did not see them turn to. And then the camera focuses on something completely different. What is the purpose of these scenes? Because I can vaguely recall that Shaft has done this before in the past. Is it to mess with the viewer’s mind? Shake things up? Because personally, my immersion is broken every time with such a shot.

#7: TO BE HERO (02-04)

Oh Nabeshin, you glorious bastard! I wait years and years for a new series of yours (Excel Saga still stands as one of my favourite comedies), and then you finally return, with THIS?! This show is off its knockers! We’re four episodes in now, and it’s still an incredibly disturbing watch, and yet I find myself in stitches from start to finish. This show completely butchers the idea of superheroes, and leaves nothing standing, and I love how it keeps searching for new ways to freak its audience out. Episode four was completely disgusting, but it just went with the idea and squeezed a ton of jokes out of it. My favourite though was the Transformers parody in episode 03, along with mister smilie face.

What’s also interesting: despite being a comedy, this show continues to evolve. These four episodes basically did everything they could about an alien invasion, and there’s no way they’re going to be able to add to that, so the creators decided to just ditch that whole storyline and we’re looking to go more into a sitcom. Okay, that works. Although in a few episodes it’ll have to change again of course, because simply devolving into a sitcom and staying there has been done many times before, with disastrous results.

#6: Shuumatsu no Izetta (02-05)

Contrary to what I suspected, Shuumatsu no Izetta turned out to be much more a series about political games. The titular character has huge powers, however also huge weaknesses, and in these first five episodes we saw them trying to use them in the best way possible. Characters actually use their heads instead of blindly attacking, and even though there is a bit of a “good versus evil”-theme going on, the evil empire isn’t just attacking because they’re evil: they’ve got their reasons, which are quite believable. The series really is about seeing how well such a tiny nation can hold against such a big foe.

There are times where it does do a number of weird things though. Like I did not expect this to be one of these series that thinks female bonding is groping each other. Or the squad of elite sniper teenaged girls in episode 05 also came from out of nowhere. Scenes like these feel so… out of place. “Oh, every show with cute girls does this, that means we should also have that”.

#5: Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari (02-04)

Yeah okay, this show probably piggybacked off of the popularity of Usagi Drop (and wasn’t there this other show recently…? Barakamon I think it was called), where an “old” guy takes care of a child. But you know, that is how genres are created. More and more shows realize that it can be done to successfully make a series about a certain topic, and with a bit of luck there will be more and more good ones, using the original as a diving board to jump off to and explore other concepts. In the ideal world you’d obviously hope for total diversity, but unfortunately we’re stuck here in this boring real world and this will have to do. And they’re handling it well. What often happens is that copycats just start appearing, for example what happened with Shaft’s signature style: as soon as they got successfull inferior copies started hitting the market while they themselves had already moved on, and I guess that years later, anime has gotten kinda better overall with its use of colours… but the bad stuff about their style and the uninspired clones still persist unfortunately.

Udon no Kuni puts the focus on a character study. The kid in this case has some mystical relationship to him (it’s probably his child version), and it’s not so much about parenting as they use parenting as a vehicle to where they really want to go to: character-development. How well that turns out is still hard to say at this point because they’re still building up and all, but in terms of setting up the main character, they’re pushing a lot of the right buttons, these past four episodes just show him. His interactions with the closest people to him. why he made some of big decisions in his life. They show key moments in his past, but not too much of it so they can also use the vagueness for nostalgia. From the outside it’s obvious what the creators are trying to do, what matters now is them doing it well, and they’re right on track.

Is this a show for you? If you like laid-back slice of life series with a meaning behind them: yes. Obviously I’m biased because I recognize a lot of myself in this character, especially since we don’t get to see his age that often (and if I have to be totally honest: I find him to be more interesting than the lead of Usagi Drop). However there’s a lot to like here. It really tries to be adorable with the raccoon child, and so far it has only slightly tested my patience. Obviously though, because it’s not a real child the creators can get away with “yeah okay he acts child-like but not really childlike.

#4: Natsume Yuujinchou Go (02-04)

I seem to recall that Natsume Yuujinchou was at its best, the less plot there was. Just single episodes focused on a story of some youkai. The main storyline with the Matoba clan was good, but not AS good. This season starts off with a bit of both: we get two standalone episodes, plus two episodes about the main storyline. Natsume Reiko is gone though, despite my original thoughts that this season would focus on her like how Season 4 focused on Natsume’s family.

My memory is fuzzy, however the two Matoba episodes have been the best ones so far. He upped the stakes this time, got a bit more direct in his approaches, and at the same time we learn that the guy really has a bad reputation. Most people hate him and he only gets by by blackmailing. This will be a very good thing for Natsume to overcome next. He has grown now, and for example has gotten better at dealing with people, and became a lot less shy and isolated. Natori didn’t appear a lot, but the scenes he did have were also great for him. We got a tiny bit closer to his character.

Meanwhile episode 2 with the towel was just completely adorable. Absolutely wonderful and it has shown that the creators haven’t lost their magic in creating these episodic gems.

#3: ClassicaLoid (02-04)

Okay, I can’t help it. This has the most ridiculous premise, and yet I just love this show. Each episode has me excited like no other this season, it’s just so incredibly uplifting! Really, the premise of the show is just about the only negative thing I can say about it, this is everything entertainment should be.

What ClassicaLoid does incredibly well is breathe life into its characters. It’s so chockful of emotions, completely over the top, but so incredibly genuine. Every character so far works, but I have to give especially credit to Mozart and that male lead. Not because they’re my favourites, but because they’ve mastered the art of being annoying. Every single episode I want to punch their smug faces really badly, yet their ridiculous antics crack me up at the same time. As for my favourite characters… Beethoven and the female lead. They keep everything together, and the female lead especially for surviving all of the crazy stuff that she has to deal with as the only responsible character in the show.

Speaking of responsibility: you would not expect this show to have so much continuity. A hole is blown in the wall? It’s not immediately fixed. Heck, the female lead is constantly cleaning. You want delicious tasty gyoza? Well then you’d better have the money for it. You do weird stuff? People will remember that, actions have consequences yo! Especially episode 04 was a very good example of that. And holy crap, did they bring in some former Ghibli staff for that episode or something? They managed to bring Ghibli’s expressive art into a freaking TV-show! That kite festival was just incredibly well done. Really creative to set your episode there. ClassicaLoid, I applaud you and please keep this up for your entire runtime of 26 episodes!

#2: Yuri!!! on Ice (02-04)

I was not surprised when I found out that Sayo Yamamoto is directing this thing. When it comes to TV-series, she is one of the best you can get, and she especially stands out with an impeccable sense of characterization and framing, and she did it again: the characters in this series feel alive. Not just because of how well they’re written, but also how they are on the screen: their movements, expressions, and presence: it’s all full of life, and incredibly fun to watch.

So far one criticism I’ve heard of this series is that it’s kinda gay. And why yes it is, but so what? I get that gay guys have gotten a rather bad name in anime due to all of the badly written gay fanservice that exists solely to please the fanservice, but this is the first time in years that it’s actually been done right: there is tension, but it’s not so ridiculously overblown: it adds to the characters. I can’t recall when the last time was in which this wasn’t done for either cheap comedy or fanservice, but simply a part that happens to the characters. I get that in both the cases of gay and moe fanservice that you have to prove that you’re not doing it for the porn of it, but at this point this show basically proved more than enough that it’s one of the top shows of the season.

Episode 03 in particular was big, and contained a ton of character-development. I love how they put Yuri and Yuri against each other, even though they’re completely different, especially the age part: rivals are rarely that much apart in terms of ages. Yurio is growing as a brat, while Yuri is trying to grab his last chance. It’s all wonderful coming together. What I loved about episode four was how it stressed that everybody had a life before the series started off. Please continue on with this amount of attention to detail!

#1: Fune wo Amu (02-03)

I cannot stress how good the animation in this series is. And it’s not just the budget here, but also how well it’s used. Characters move around in all sorts of ways, with as little corners cut as possible. They touch each other, they occupy each other’s space. Their faces and gestures are stuffed with subtle and not-so-subtle signs and details. Yuri on Ice breathes life into each characters by clever directing. This show just does it by the sheer force of its characters. You can almost literally feel these people and touch them. And the voice acting! Holy crap talk about good. Everyone gives such a layered performance: knowing when to ham it up, and when to be more subtle.

Like seriously, this show is actually doing it: they made a series about writing a dictionary interesting. At first I wasn’t sure whether the introduction of romance in episode 03 was a good idea, however it was surprisingly honest about it: so far it’s just a random crush from the incredibly socially awkward male lead. And he’s actually socially awkward in a believable way, because of how all other people react to it. That’s something you hardly ever see in anime. And it’s not romance for the sake of romance, but it’s first and foremost for the characterization of the lead male. I mean of course this guy would be horrible with girls.

But yeah, despite my praises: know what you’re getting yourself into. This show absolutely isn’t for everyone since the target audience is so far from the usual. The plot of this series is exactly what it is on the tin: they’re making a dictionary, and that can take up to 10 years. So far they’ve done a few pages’ worth. This is NOT fast-paced. The atmosphere depends entirely on whether you connect to the characters. If you don’t, there isn’t any humour, action or sad backstory to make up for it. Oh wait, episode 03, at the end, seemed to feature one twist. Let’s see where that takes the series.

And no, I am also not sure on the meaning behind the really silly and out of place dictionary skits and the exact kind of effect the creators were hoping to achieve with it.

Posted on 1 October 2013 with categories: Monthly Summaries

Inspiration can both be a blessing, and a curse. It’s awesome to have, but often likes to strike at the most inconvenient moments. So hereby I present a list of my impressions of the series of the past half year. I’ve been feeling guilty for a while knowing that I can’t write a full review for all of them, so hereby an overview, in order of how much I like them. With the ones that I finished I included their final rating. Also enjoy the big pictures.

And yes this is about the past half year. As in, the most recent six month, otherwise known as the series that aired in the spring and summer season. Not the winter season. Just the past six months.

Watamote, Blood Lad

These series started out as moderately fun comedies, but I did not expect them to become more than that so I did not watch more than two episodes. I’ve said this before: when I watch a comedy, I really want something with really good jokes and I want to laugh out loud, instead of just having to snicker occasionally.

Fantasista Doll

This one won the award of the OP song with the most chance of annoyingly getting stuck in your head. It had potential, but in he end it was just too childish. Those thingies that the lead character summoned were complete idiots, and I don’t mean in a good way. Anime writers pay attention: there’s a different being simple minded and stupid!

Free

Free was a prime: finally there was a fanservice series for females that didn’t have horrible production values or incredibly cheesy acting and it actually resembled something like an actual drama. It wasn’t interesting enough for me to keep watching though.

Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C3-Bu

The first episode was really fun to watch, I dropped this after episode 2 though. Why? Because I did not think that the creators could match episode 1. I feared that it would be too much of the same thing over and over again with a few coming of age themes here and there. Was I right?

Servant X Service

This series actually did make me laugh out loud… in the first episode. I continued for five more episodes, but the wit of the first episode was just gone, and the characters descended into stereotypes. That otaku girl in particular. Dear god what happened to her? She used to be normal but devolved into this deranged fangirl.

Dagan Ronpa

Excellent premise, but Seiji Kishi. In the first two episodes I already saw hints that this would be a really lackluster adaptation and some stories I heard afterwards seemed to confirm this. Because of this I didn’t watch past episode two.

Aiura

Beautifully made, but in the end it’s just a random show about high school girls. Come on, someone put Ryouske Nakamura on a project that will actually put his talents to good use. I only watched four episodes of this one.

Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge

Crime Edge turned out to be a series that celebrated weird fetishes. Nice for a while, but after a few episodes it just got boring and formulaic, with every arc doing a different genre. It had its charming moments, but not enough and I dropped it after about 5 episodes.

Tamayura – More Aggressive – 75/100

I like series to be concise and to the point. A bit of lingering is okay of course, especially if it has interesting stuff to do, but Tamayura mostly just repeated itself in its second season and gave hardly any attention to the side cast. That’s basically the reason for the low grade here: it was fine with just one season. Don’t go and make it longer and harder to watch.

Hataraku Maou-Sama – 80/100

Oh, the promise that this series gave. For a while, it really was a lot of fun to watch, but alas: it couldn’t keep up. It lost the spark that originally made it really funny, and the episodes, while still well written, started to become a bit of a chore to watch

Majestic Prince

Surprisingly, I didn’t finish this show. I’m only something like five episodes away, but I can’t think of a reason to finish it. I thought that it was good, but in the end none of the cast really made an impression on me, strangely enough. Even though the battles got good, and the characters were slightly fleshed out and developed, not to mention episode 19. I’m not sure what happened here… but I totally have no motivation to continue it.

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet – 81/100

Gargantia had a pretty interesting setting, but its plot had a few humps and bumps along the road, with characters that had strange motivations, or didn’t really become engaging. Still, overall it was Enjoyable, and especially that AI was a great character in how it played off the rest of the cast.

Teekyu – 82,5/100

This show is just heaps of fun to watch with all of its energy and the creativity that the animators throw at the screen.

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru – 82,5/100

Yahari Blahblah (yeah I’m still calling it that) started off rather mellow, and then something happened. Completely against my expectations, it turned into a very well written high school drama with relatable characters. The cast consists out of characters who look like stereotypes, yet aren’t and the show actually made quite a few good points along its run.

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San – 82,5/100

For me, this was the best comedy of the past half year. Utterly hilarious but also completely shameless. It often had me wondering what the heck the creators were thinking and smoking. Sometimes in bad ways, but when it was funny, it really was funny.

Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi – 84/100

This show really had a great premise, and I loved how it showed all of the characters coping with it. It had a strange sense of plot twists when it suddenly pulled random twists out of nowhere at the most random moments, but that did give it a unique spin. It’s a melancholic but very engaging and thought-provoking series.

Gatchaman Crowds – 84/100

Gatchaman Crowds got a lot of flack for not making any sense, but in the end, I loved this series as a quirky action series with an imaginative premise. In fact, the summer season stood out in how its series had some really great ideas for their premises. At its core, this is a series that celebrates social media, and all of the chaos that comes along with it. It has absolutely nothing to do with the original Gatchaman, but if it used this title in order to get funded, then it is a sacrifice that had to be made. It was a bit weird sometimes, but it built up into a very satisfying climax.

Uchuu Kyoudai

I’ve mentioned this before: Uchuu Kyoudai has fallen. It used to be the best, incredibly well written and really engaging characters. It’s still there, putting a lot of detail to its characters, but its sense of pacing is totally gone, and it feels like they’re just randomly adapting the manga now without any soul left. It’s a bloody shame because this show deserves some good treatment here.

Hunter X Hunter

Hunter X Hunter is really difficult to rate because my opinion of it just jumps all over the place. The Chimera Ant arc for a long while just took waaay too much time building up and too much time was spent on training arcs. Now that those are over though, this series has suddenly become amazing lately, with the main storyline and objectives having completely changed. These are the characters at their best for the entire remake’s airtime.

Silver Spoon – 86/100

Silver Spoon, an anime about a farming school. It’s got a lot of similarities to Moyashimon, but the big difference is that it’s meticulously planned: everything is there for a reason, either for a good joke, or some sort of character-development, and that character-development is really good and well thought out. I really was surprised how this series did not shy away from the darker side of farming and it tackled that issue with a lot of respect.

Uchoten Kazoku – 86/100

Uchoten Kazoku for me stood out as the best non-sequel of the past summer season. It was chock full of cultural references, and with most of its characters being either Tanuki or Tengu, they actually acted like that. It’s a fun and whimsical series, that still can be really intelligent when it wants to, and the dialogue in particular switches from really simple-minded to intelligent and well thought-out.

Rozen Maiden 2013 – 86/100

My only gripe with this show is the cliff-hanger at the end. Apart from that, this show gave a terrific new spin to the Rozen Maiden anime, and turned a to of characters completely upside down. I really have to praise the plot for taking risks, and trying out something different, and the themes of the series rock as well: every character here is trapped in some way. The creators also managed to make this a very varying series by cleverly putting characters on a bus in order to focus on others.

Shingeki no Kyojin – 87,5/100

This really was the epic of the past half year. No other series came close to its production values, or its sense of action. The pacing was slow, but it always gave us the impression that humanity is completely screwed, and that the titans are just inches away from wiping out humanity altogether. The creators put so much detail into this series, and it looks gorgeous, and the great thing is that it’s also really quite smart: the battles are full of tactics and people trying their best to think straight. This really is just one of those series that deserves the praise that it gets.

Aku no Hana – 89/100

I spent a long time thinking about my favorite series of the past half year. I mean it was obvious for me that it would be one of these two. Both shows were just fantastic, though unfortunately unfinished. However in the end I gave Aku no Hana the edge. Yes, it’s completely unlike any other series that we’ve seen before, but what really won me over was the sheer atmosphere of this thing. This is filled to the brim with emotions, The rotoscoping will push a lot of people away, but that’s not the only thing about this series that’s controversial. The incredibly slow pacing also was an incredibly risky move, but it works oh so well. The series is so chockfull of details that it allows us to get to know the characters on a deeply personal level.

Posted on 5 June 2013 with categories: Monthly Summaries

Sorry for the lateness of this entry. You can thank animecon for that. Anyway, the current season. I’m having trouble keeping up with it, and because of that I am rather glad that it’s such a small season. Nevertheless, this just pales in comparison to what we’re used to from Spring Seasons.

#12 (13) – Saint Seiya Omega – (7.75/10) – Saint Seiya Omega is currently in its boring character-reintroduction phase. At least, that’s what I thought until the creators pulled that really random episode in which Ryuuho suddenly became a rock star in order to let out the conflicted feelings that loom inside of him. Saint Seiya, you are treading a very dangerous line between character development, and someone just completely changing character. And don’t get me wrong, I like the idea, the execution was just… weird.
#11 (8) – Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge – (7.9/10) – I watched up to episode 6, and I think I’m going to drop this in favor of other series. I like how it celebrates really weird fetishes and all, but it does so formulaic, and the different powers all feel rather shallow. With the length of this series I don’t really think that this show can really make something memorable.
#10 (12) – Valvrave The Liberator – (8/10) – Valvrave is completely stupid. It however realizes this, and just rolls with it. This also means that I will drop it as soon as it starts taking itself too seriously (there is no way you can get anything remotely serious out of this), but as long as it keeps bringing in the cheese I’m hooked.
#9 (9) – Majestic Prince – (8/10) – I’ve seen up to six episodes now I believe, and this was a big surprise. The creators took cardboard cut-outs and slowly gave them character. I still dislike how these guys are able to somehow do the impossible by winning battles against huge odds, but it uses this well at least.
#8 (10) – Yahari Blahblah – (8.25/10)

I have seen up to episode six here. Yahari Blahblah took a while to get going, and it had a few boring parts. However, episode five gave the characters depth that I was looking for. Here, some of the characters became more than just random tropes and I didn’t expect that.

#7 (4) – Hataraku Maou-Sama – (8.25/10)

Hataraku Maou-sama’s sense of humour rocks. It still makes me laugh in every episode, but the clever plotting… it just isn’t as clever as what it was In the first few episodes, and that made this series a bit of a disappointment to follow. But who knows. It has the potential to pick back up again.

#6 (6) – Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet – (8.25/10)

Gargantia could have balanced itself a bit out a bit better, resulting in two strange slice of life episodes after each other. It still had thought put into it and it showed new and different things about the setting, but the writing just was not as solid as what it could have been. Also culture or no culture, having a bunch of teenaged girls dance half-naked into a bunch of grown men… they could have put some more thought on that.

#5 (15) – Uchuu Kyoudai – (8.5/10)

My biggest problem with Uchuu Kyoudai isn’t the slow pacing. That is brilliant, and it really allows the characters to slowly build themselves. Instead, I get more and more annoyed with the recaps at the start of each episode. I know it’s small, but this series is so good. It’s not worth it to have it brought down by such a single stupid thing that makes it much longer than what it needs to be. Because the effort it put into its character development this month was brilliant.

#4 (5) – Hunter X Hunter – (8.5/10)

Thank god we’re finally at the new material when it takes off, and thank god it actually delivers! They took a bit of time to get used to, but the villains are getting better with every episode as this show continues to explore their personalities.

#3 (3) – Shingeki no Kyojin – (8.75/10)

This really turned into an awesome action series, in a different way from the manga. It really tries to put the characters into as much despair as possible, without making it one-sided. The giant designs really work well in animation and how some of them are coloured, and most imporantly: the characters are also getting very engaging to watch.

#2 (1) – Aku no Hana – (8.9/10)

I don’t care. Aku no Hana is amazing. Heck, the past month had a few scenes that would have been impossible to do right if it was in regular animation. And heck: if you ignore the low budget then the creators pretty much did a perfect adaptation for this series with how god damn expressive it is.

#1 (2) – Chihayafuru – (9/10)

That finale was awesome. It just boggles my mind how much build-up the creators have been putting up throughout the entire second season (and also first season) in order to reach that point. Heck, everything is just coming together in such a ridiculously solid way. It’s amazing!

Posted on 2 May 2013 with categories: Monthly Summaries

This season may have some really good series, but really: it’s a bit disheartening to note that this has been the worst spring season I’ve ever blogged. What happened to the variety of different unique series? What happened to the large amounts of series that all want to try something different? I’m seeing way too many series that just end up looking the same, that don’t bother to stand out, and that bother having some interesting characters. The few that do though, are quite interesting to watch.

#28 (new) – Sparrow’s Hotel – (2/10) – What the hell was that? It looked terrible! The acting was terrible! Worst show of the season!
#27 (new) – Date A Live – (3/10) – This is terrible. Incredibly annoying with fulfillment that goes nowhere. Seriously, this one won the contest of having the worst premise of the season.
#26 (new) – Zettai Bouei Leviathan – (5/10) – This really is Gonzo at its worst. Really generic moe girls with really, really, really bad fighting scenes. I saw no reason whatsoever to continue with this.
#25 (new) – Yondemasuyo, Azazel-san – (6.25/10) – The first arc was incredible. The funniest thing I’ve watched all year. The second arc… bleeding asses. Seriously?!
#24 (new) – Uta no Prince Sama – (6.4/10) – Incredibly girly series. There are only two actual girls in this series!
#23 (new) – Namiuchigawa no Moromi-san – (6.5/10) – This series is one of those shows that try way too hard to be funny, without actually being it. It’s just a hyperactive mermaid who punches things.
#22 (new) – Yuyushiki – (7/10) – Just another slice of life series that did not really managed to set itself apart in any way.
#21 (new) – Mushibugyo – (7/10) – A random shounen action series that did not impress me.
#20 (new) – Photo Kano – (7.1/10) – Not the worst, but still quite a dull in terms of character. It remains a harem after all.
#19 (new) – Karneval – (7.25/10) – Too corny for my tastes. No interesting characters to keep my attention.
#18 (new) – Arata Kangatari – (7.4/10) – I did not continue with this one, simply because the competition looked more interesting. Plus hearing stories that it would get really generic quite fast didn’t help much, because a story like this needs to stay interesting.
#17 (new) – DD Hokuto no Ken – (7.5/10) – Good director, but in the end it’s just too silly, and the jokes are too juvenile. Some of them work, but most of them don’t.
#16 (new) – Devil Suvrivor 2 The Animation – (7.6/10) – I just had no motivation to keep up with this one, due to both the dull characters, and the uninteresting plot.
#15 (4) – Uchuu Kyoudai – (7.75/10) – 10 years ago, Wolf’s Rain came with four consecutive recap episode. The reason behind it was an outbreak of SARS which would have made the showing a little too insensitive for the audience. Today, Space Brothers came with three consecutive recaps. The reason is a timeslot change. I am disappointed.
#14 (new) – Danchi Tomou – (7.75/10) – Danchi Tomou is a bit strange. It’s got an awesome opening theme, and it tells the daily life of a really bratty kid. The big problem is that the kid acts like half his age. The creators tried to make him stupid, but went a bit too far in that.
#13 (11) – Saint Seiya Omega – (8/10) – The big problem with the new arc is how incredibly silly and monotonous the new villains look. Apart from that, I can’t say much about it yet. It’s obviously building up right now (the first half also took ages to get going), but the main cast still is very solid to watch.
#12 (new) – Valvrave the Liberator – (8/10) – This is just so incredibly silly. Camp in every single way with incredibly over the top name yelling and all that sort of stuff. A definite contender for the trainwreck of the year, but will it be a beautiful or a disastrous one?
#11 (new) – Aiura – (8/10) – What really caught me here is how beautiful the animation is. It may not look like much, but the attention to detail is exquisite with a lot of focus on small and subtle movements. It’s a darn shame that the characters are generic.
#10 (new) – Yahari Blahblah – (8/10) – Interesting, but it focuses way too much on tsunderes, to the point of driving its points a bit too far because of that. This is however, looking out to be the series that Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai should have been.
#9 (new) – Majestic Prince – (8/10) – Started out with really stereotypical characters. And then they got better, which is what I did not expect. This show is surprisingly self-aware.
#8 (new) – Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge – (8/10) – Crime Edge is really weird. It’s got this really weird celebration of fetishes, but in the end it has little substance and is just a battle series.
#7 (new) – Red Data Girl – (8.1/10) – Takes itself a bit too seriously in its build-up, but it does have potential. I’m really behind this one, though…
#6 (new) – Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet – (8.25/10)

This series has some interesting characters, and I like how it puts emphasis on cause and effect, combined with big cultural differences. It’s quite good science fiction so far, albeit the short length worries me.

#5 (8) – Hunter X Hunter – (8.4/10)

While the new ant queen looks a bit silly, the rest of the new arc is looking good. Thank god we finally have gotten to the new material!

#4 (new) – Hataraku Maou-Sama – (8.4/10)

Hataraku Maou-Sama is surprisingly witty. Really, the humour here is clever and very funny. The downside to it is that it uses clichés too much. You can also use other ideas for that, you know.

#3 (new) – Shingeki no Kyojin – (8.6/10)

This series really is looking rock-solid. The cast is large, yet well fleshed out, and the titans really look freaky. The action scenes really are great and even though it’s still building up it’s looking really promising.

#2 (6) – Chihayafuru – (8.75/10)

Overall I would have preferred a pacing that was a bit faster, but the finals of the team matches were nevertheless AWESOME. This show just keeps showing twists and turns with its huge cast of awesome characters!

#1 (new) – Aku no Hana – (8.75/10)

This show is amazing. Sure, it’s cheap and rotoscoped, but heck, it has an incredible atmosphere. The director knows exactly what he’s doing, and the characters are incredibly expressive: the rotoscoping has allowed the creators to focus on the tiniest of movements. This show is incredibly dark, and I love it!

Posted on 1 April 2013 with categories: Monthly Summaries

March… was crazy. For one I had my life getting in the way of actually updating reliably, but also in terms of how every series concluded. Some series got much better, others got much worse. Because of that, this list is completely different from last month’s. It’s good; keeps things exciting and unpredictable.

#17 (16) – Amnesia – (5/10) – Oh dear lord. That obsessive stalker. Things really did not improve afterwards, with the actual ending as a really cheesy conclusion that tried to stuff as many infodumps as possible into its airtime, and things still did not make sense. It was incredibly cheesy and bad. I now feel stupid for thinking that this had potential.
#16 (7) – Robotics;Notes – (7/10) – Robotics;Notes completely fell apart for its ending. All of the subplots it has built up were joined together in a completely hacked way that just felt so incredibly forced. Then they introduced brainwashing and other kinds of cop-outs. Nothing really made sense and nothing really was concluded in a satisfying way. Blagh. I had high hopes for this one.
#15 (14) – Tamako Market – (7.1/10) – Oh dear god, Tamako Market. What on earth were you thinking with that stupid marriage subplot that overtook your entire second half? It didn’t really go anywhere and you could have used your time so much better. Like, on actually developing your characters. My favorite episode so far was the one that focused on Tamako’s father, but that was not enough to make up for how boring the rest was.
#14 (11) – Magi – (7.5/10) – Aah, I wasn’t able to catch up to this series. I’m at this point eight episodes behind, with a lot of other stuff that I also want to check out and watch. I didn’t want to do this, but I don’t think that I can finish it. Did this series turn better in its finale? Will its second season be interesting?
#13 (10) – Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo – (7.6/10) – A been there, done that ending. The only thing that really stood out was how incredibly cheesy the whole subplot with the dorms closing down was. Apart from that I can hardly remember anything that caught my attention, and the whole ending was full of cop-outs that got I the way of change. The script just had none of the wit of the earlier episodes.
#12 (15) – Kotoura-San – (8/10) – The whole killer subplot was stupid, and I didn’t really like that. As for the actual ending though, I liked that one surprisingly much. I’m not sure what happened ,but it’s there where this series got really genuine with itself and its characters. It was one of the big reasons why this is pretty much the only non-sequel series from the past winter season that I enjoyed watching.
#11 (13) – Saint Seiya Omega – (8/10) – Things were much less predictable than what I expected. It wasn’t the best month for Saint Seiya Omega, but still the battles in it were quite good and full of emotions. Also ZOMG, the director of Heartcatch Precure is going to return to do the second half of this show!
#10 (8) – AKB0048 – (8/10) – A decent finale. A bit cheesy with some problems here and there, but it was fun and enjoyable while it lasted. The second season of AKB0048 was less interesting than the first, but still it was a fun little animated musical.
#9 (12) – Shirokuma Cafe – (8.25/10)

I must say, this surprised me with how solid the ending was, especially since the creators saved some of their cards for the end. I laughed quite a bit and this was the best month for this series in quite a while, which is really handy for an ending.

#8 (9) – Hunter X Hunter – (8.25/10)

The finale of the Greed Island arc is definitely done better in the 2011 version of Hunter x Hunter. The animation is much more up to par, and it doesn’t drag on. I still find some parts of it boring though, since half of the arc is basically nothing but a glorified training-arc. And finally, after a year and a half of recaps, we are about to get to the new material!

#7 (17) – Little Busters – (8.4/10)

Well, there you have it. On the home stretch, Little Busters actually got really good there. Kud’s story was by far the best out of any of the girls, and the final episodes were just individual stories about some of the characters. And you know what? These things are what makes Little Busters good! Just screw all of those long complicated arcs that try way too hard to be sad. Just give me more episodes like these! If the entire series was like that, then this would have been a really good series. Now though, I can’t really recommend this show because of some of the crap that you have to sit through.

#6 (1) – Chihayafuru – (8.75/10)

Chihayafuru in this month was mostly build-up, but still it was of edge of your seat quality. It still managed to develop a ton of characters at the same time, and made the entire main cast count, instead of simply forgetting about them when they’re not needed anymore. It wasn’t the best month, but still rock-solid.

#5 (2) – Zetsuen no Tempest – (8.75/10)

The actual ending of Zetsuen no Tempest wasn’t its best, but it did have a really good finale. Especially how everthing just fell into place, and how on one hand it embraced logic, and on the other it just went completely against it. The characters really made this a really enjoyable month for me.

#4 (4) – Uchuu Kyoudai – (8.75/10)

Uchuu Kyoudai this time is in the middle of the desert for a training mission. The pacing still is quite slow, but the characters still are rock-solid. Especially Nitta and Mutta were in the spotlights this time.

#3 (6) – Psycho Pass – (8.9/10)

Psycho Pass had a really solid ending. Perhaps it did not answer everything, but it did wrap up its biggest points in a satisfying way. Not everything got solved, but things evolved. It concluded its view on its own setting and it made for a great emotional climax. More series like this, please.

#2 (5) – Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – (9/10)

The fights this month really were epic. A great example of how these things should be done. Instead of just being boring with characters exchanging punches until one falls down, the creators introduced all sorts of cool stuff to keep things interesting and varied, ranging from incredibly over the top to small and subtle. Oh, and Stroheim is awesome.

#1 (3) – From the New World – (9.25/10)

An absolutely fantastic ending for From the New World. One of the best I’ve seen in a long, long while. The animators really showed one final time how great this series looks, and the main villain here was one of the best you could get.

Posted on 1 March 2013 with categories: Monthly Summaries

As if this season wasn’t bad enough already: all of the non-sequel series that I did pick up this season did not improve, and got worse. Perhaps I chose the wrong series, but this season… it did not go well with me. It’s a good thing that the on-going series have such a strong line-up: there are not many, but the good shows that are there are getting really, really good.

#17 (15) – Little Busters – (7.6/10) – Here is the thing with Little Busters: I really like it… when it’s not too serious. When it tries to be too serious it becomes incredibly rushed, a complete info-dump and it gets incredibly forced. And yet I keep coming back to it for the moments when the characters are just having fun, or the small scenes with just a tiny bit of drama. Here is the thing though: this show likes to pretend that its core is these sad stories. It’s not really in its favor when that completely sucks.
#16 (11) – Amnesia – (7.6/10) – I still like the concept of skipping dimensions and dating other guys. But holy crap. That white-haired guy is a total prick. His arc was horribly contrived, and the blue-haired girl is one of the most forced villains I have seen in a long while. Talk about overreacting here.
#15 (14) – Kotoura-San – (7.75/10) – Kotoura-san. What was the reasoning behind having first a beach episode, and then a resort-episode? That’s like throwing your hands up in the air and giving up. Couldn’t you really find more interesting things for the characters to do? That made this show lose a lot of points for me, because I still like some of the characters here. Kotoura is great, the president and the vice president are also very nice. I’d just wish that this show would stop glorifying perverts. It’s not funny.
#14 (13) – Tamako Market – (7.75/10) – As much as I appreciate the details in this series, I have one big problem with it: I find the slice of life scenes to be quite boring. It’s got a lot of cultural information which is interesting, but the interaction between the characters just does not catch my attention. There is very little to the characters, and I find all of them quite dull. The bird in particular was fun at first, but has gotten quite annoying at this point.
#13 (8) – Saint Seiya Omega – (7.9/10) – Saint Seiya Omega made two really big mistakes this month: the first is using some of the biggest villains of the original Saint Seiya, and having the cast defeat them without much effort. The second is having such an incredibly cheesy background story for the main villain. So much for all the build-up, eh?
#12 (16) – Shirokuma Cafe – (8/10) – This show was going along its usual pace, still occasionally very funny, and most of all laid back, and then suddenly WHAM: Melodrama! I have no clue where all of that came from, but it really felt out of place, and quite weird for this show to suddenly be filled with tears. The change was waaaay too sudden and furthermore just about everyone started acting out of character… what happened?
#11 (12) – Magi – (8/10) – I’m really behind this, I’m sorry! But I do want to finish it. The thing with Magi is that it’s really well executed, but in the end the story just is not that interesting. It’s got some good elements about slavery, it has a good deal of emotions in it, but it’s a bit too shounen for such a setting for me.
#10 (9) – Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo – (8/10) – Sakurasou’s second half… just is not as good as its first half. The reason behind that is that everything has gotten more contrived: we have to have a lot of drama with the pointless love triangle, there has to be a lot of drama with Sakurasou closing down. It’s all too forced, and not as creative as the first half.
#9 (17) – Hunter X Hunter – (8.4/10)

We’re going through the Greed Island arc, and with this you can actually see that here, the Madhouse version is actually better than the Nippon Animation here. The fast pacing really helps here to keep things going, instead of getting bogged down by fight scenes that last for episodes. The thing with these series is that they need to learn when you need to be fast and when to be slow. You can’t just have one pacing and expect that to work throughout the entire series…

#8 (10) – AKB0048 – (8.4/10)

AKB really was well done this month, hard as it may have been to believe. It has taken a bunch of characters, and completely changed their role by revealing more about them. It’s still full of emotion and the music still is strangely great.

#7 (7) – Robotics;Notes – (8.4/10)

In this month, things went to hell for Robotics;Notes. It didn’t go entirely smoothly: the creators seemed too busy with following a checklist in order to squeeze everyone’s stories in without much flow, but the stories that were told were really impressive. The character-development that was there was quite impressive. The ride was really rocky, but interesting.

#6 (5) – Psycho Pass – (8.75/10)

Psycho Pass really went to town with its plot developments in this episode. The setting got a lot of developments, and you can now see that this series loves to play with it in its social commentary. The characters don’t have as much development as I would have liked, but they still remain interesting and solid. The animation is nicely inconsistent again, but hey: when it looks great, this series really looks great.

#5 (3) – Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – (8.75/10)

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: watch this if you want to see incredibly over the top fights. This month delivered that beyond a doubt. A common problem with shounen series is that as the enemies become more powerful, the fights get more boring and epic. Here though, the fights get more epic, yet stay as interesting as they have ever been with very creative and bizarre uses of powers. And the acting. The glorious overacting!

#4 (1) – Uchuu Kyoudai – (8.75/10)

Zomg, an episode in which Uchuu Kyouda is not at the top 2 for me? It finally happened. The reasoning behind this is that this was a month with a lot of build-up, compared to other shows this season that really hit some heights. As much as I love Uchuu Kyoudai (and the build-up really was excellent, make no mistake), I have to hand it to other series this month.

#3 (4) – From the New World – (8.9/10)

Holy crap, From the New World really surpassed itself this episode with an incredibly sad turn of events. I still cannot believe how far the creators went with this series, but I have to give it to this series: it really has some of the best villains out there. Their backgrounds, their actions, their threat. It really delivered and came together this month.

#2 (2) – Zetsuen no Tempest – (9/10)

Zetsuen no Tempest, I love you! The addition of romance and comedy in the second half was an incredibly bold move, and yet it works so well! The show still is very intelligent and full of mind-screws, which makes it all the better with such a silly backdrop behind it. It’s awesome to see the adults in this series go crazy with the fate of the world being decided by a bunch of impulsive teenagers, and the creators are making brilliant use of it, not to mention that the series has become hilarious.

#1 (6) – Chihayafuru – (9/10)

Chihayafuru, holy crap. After a relatively quiet beginning, it’s just completely back in full force. In particular the team match in this month was really awesome to watch. The strength of Chihayafuru is that it somehow manages to develop a dozen characters in one single episode every week. That strength really shined here, and to think that the match they were playing was nowhere near the most important one.

Posted on 1 February 2013 with categories: Monthly Summaries

Okay, so this season is crap. I’d like to go into a bit more detail than that though, because there are a few things going on here. First of all, it is true that this season is in between two really good seasons. Producers are burnt out so that means less variety. Dear god, less variety. Everything just looks like each other, and the only really innovative series that isn’t a sequel got bogged down by bad characters and boobs.

However, when I compiled this entry, I did notice something… the last time I wrote a summary in a Summer or Winter season that had as many entries as this one was back in the summer of 2007, which was like the best season… ever. Seriously, 42 shows is normal for Spring or Autumn, but the small seasons usually only have around 30 entries, no more. If there is anything, this season has a huge quantity of series. This is both due to the stupid 3-minute series, and a lot of series that continued over from previous seasons.

But that makes even more bizarre to see just how much crap managed to accumulate in just one season. I mean, the below list is huge, yet I’m only going to continue with about 18 of them. That means that for 24 of them, I just did not find them worth my time. The thing with this season is that there just are really few non-sequels that I find interesting enough to continue. Because of that, I’m going to label this season at this point as the second-worst I have ever blogged, after Winter 2010.

The positive about this season? The amount of series that continue from the previous seasons is staggering, and there are so many of them that deliver and managed to evolve into interesting ways. Seriously, we’re bound to get a huge load of awesome climaxes in the next two months.

#42 (new) – Puchimas! Petit Idolmaster – (3/10) – Idolmaster… I didn’t like it, but I didn’t find it to be the worst series. This however, is just poorly produced crap meant to just get some dollars off the idolmaster name.
#41 (new) – Mangirl – (3.25/10) – Worst title ever. Dropped.
#40 (new) – Boku no Imouto wa Osaka Okan – (3.5/10) – Screw incest! Dropped.
#39 (new) – Da Capo III – (4/10) – Generic harem with stupid and uninteresting characters. Dropped.
#38 (new) – Love Live! – (4.25/10) – Stupid premise with cliched characters. I saw nothing interesting in this one, talk about the difference with AKB…. Dropped.
#37 (new) – Ai Mai Mi – (4.5/10) – Really bad jokes that try way too hard to be edgy. Dropped.
#36 (new) – Line Offline Salaryman – (4.5/10) – Bad office jokes. Dropped.
#35 (new) – Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru – (5/10) – Ohoho, this series thinks that it’s got a fresh new take on a tired formula… while in fact it’s completely cliched anyway. Poor characters, stupid premise, nothing that stands out. Dropped.
#34 (new) – Senyuu – (5.1/10) – Bad RPG jokes. As a parody, it just isn’t funny enough. Dropped.
#33 (new) – Cuticle Detective Inaba – (5.25/10) – The problem with this series is that it’s incredibly silly, while it thinks it’s funny. It isn’t! It’s trying way too hard! Dropped.
#32 (new) – Ishida to Asakura – (5.5/10) – What the hell was that?! Incredibly corny and silly, yet dropped.
#31 (new) – Vividred Operation – (6/10) – Vividred is way too calculated. It does things because it thinks that they are popular, and rips off specific scenes for this. Seems to be working, but for me: dropped.
#30 (new) – Mondaijitachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu yo – (6/10) – Feels like Dog Days, in which the characters somehow end up playing light-hearted games, which reduce all of the tension from the show for the sake of having fun. It if was fun it would be excused, but I found the first episode to be really trite and boring.
#29 (new) – Senran Kagura – (6/10) – Boobs. Dropped.
#28 (new) – GJ Bu – (6.1/10) – The standard format of a club with a guy and a bunch of girls doing a bunch of random stuff. Not funny nor interesting, stereotypical characters. Dropped.
#27 (new) – gdgd Fairies 2 – (7/10) – Had some good jokes about going against your expectations, but not good enough. Dropped.
#26 (new) – Bakumatsu Gijiden Roman – (7.25/10) – Too childish. The problem is that it thinks it’s edgy, while it’s incredibly cheesy. I see no potential. Dropped.
#25 (new) – Haitai Nanafa – (7.4/10) – Quite the gorgeous series, actually. Didn’t continue with it due to lack of time though. Dropped.
#24 (new) – Sasami@Ganbaranai – (7.5/10) – This feels like just another Shaft series. The thing is, that it could end up with a good climax again, but I don’t want to sit through hours of random crap to find out. I lasted two episodes here, and the series just wasted too much time on bad jokes and characters trying way too hard to show off their stereotypes. Dropped.
#23 (new) – Yama no Susume – (7.6/10) – Mountain climbing. Sounds fun, but ultimately three minutes plus rather boring characters weren’t enough to make me keep watching Dropped.
#22 (new) – Nekomonogatari (Black) – (7.6/10) – Do I want to watch more of the monogatari series? Do I want more of the style of this series and the really good animation? Do I want to see more of these incredibly annoying characters? Dropped? Not sure, actually…
#21 (new) – Minami-Ke Tadaima – (7.6/10) – Unfortunately, Minami-Ke just isn’t my series. I do not like shows in which there is no progression whatsoever. There needs to be some kind of red thread, instead of just watching random sketches. For that, it just wasn’t funny enough. Dropped.
#20 (new) – Maoyuu Maou Yuusha – (7.75/10) – The problem with this series is that even though the politics are interesting, it’s got some terrible characters and awkwardly forced romance. It may have potential, but I don’t trust the creators here. Ultimately, I’m dropping this one.
#19 (new) – Zettai Karen Children The Unlimited – (7.75/10) – Ultimately I dropped this one. Lack of time is the biggest reason, plus I feel like I’d be too left behind on the background for this show.
#18 (new) – Hakkenden Touhou Hakken Ibun – (7.9/10) – Surprisingly good, I’m keeping up with this one. There are times when the animation can’t fully keep up with the storytelling, making things look silly, but it’s got a good array of different characters that play off each other well enough.
#17 (6) – Hunter X Hunter – (8/10) – This feels like an entire recap of the Nippon Animation OVA of it. I have this with this arc much more than with the other arcs so far. And with that, there is very little I can say about it. It’s lots of build-up and training arcs. They were interesting when I watched them first, but the thing with watching exposition you’ve already watched before is that it gets more easily boring than the other parts…
#16 (16) – Shirokuma Cafe – (8/10) – This series still is an enjoyable comedy. Nothing new to say really: I don’t really laugh out loud anymore, but this show does get the occasional chuckle out of me still. I especially like the small moments, like when two characters end up talking about an undiscovered past they shared together.
#15 (17) – Little Busters – (8/10) – I still want to follow this one, although I’m only at episode 15 so far. The thing is that it did get quite charming.
#14 (new) – Kotoura-San – (8/10) – This was actually quite cute. The big problem with the series is the male lead, but Kotoura has enough depth to make up for it with her feelings. The side characters also work really surprisingly well with each other.
#13 (new) – Tamako Market – (8.1/10) – The problem with Tamako Market is the bird: hilarious in the first episode, but he got old really fast afterwards. Thankfully there is enough in this series to make up for it, but it’s not as fresh as I originally hoped at this point.
#12 (12) – Magi – (8.1/10) – The reason why there hasn’t been an entry on this one is a lack of time. I’m going to try and combine multiple episodes for one post for this one, because I’d like to prioritize the other series I’m blogging over this one. It’s not like this one’s bad, but rather that the other ones are better. Where every other series is moving into new directions, this one’s direction with democracies felt the least interesting.
#11 (new) – Amnesia – (8.25/10)

Good! The whole paranoia about not knowing what is real and what is happening actually works quite well here. It’s like, a reverse harem with a lot of mystery elements, and I can keep watching that.

#10 (new) – AKB0048 – (8.4/10)

AKB0048 has continued to do what it does really well, but this time we already know the characters. In fact, the added attention to the characters so far have really worked and I did not see a few of the twists coming here. This show has ambitions for its second season.

#9 (11) – Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo – (8.4/10)

Sakurasou got more dramatic this month. And you know what? It worked really well. There was great character-development and the added romance made the characters even better, for all of the main characters. Even the sister, while still terrible, got better. The thing with this series is that it has a lot of small details put into all of its scenes that make it so much more worthwhile than a regular romance show.

#8 (15) – Saint Seiya Omega – (8.5/10)

Why do you make me teary-eyed like that!? What the hell is going on with just a simple fighting series?!

#7 (9) – Robotics;Notes – (8.5/10)

Robotics;Notes got a lot more serious this month, but it worked. A lot of build-up was used well, and I really like how it combined all of its loose threads together, bit by bit. Now keep this up.

#6 (new) – Chihayafuru – (8.5/10)

I’m behind! I know! I apologize! Nevertheless, Chihayafuru rocks and the second season continues with a bunch of strong new characters that can really add a lot of interesting stuff to the characters. I do have to note though, that the show looks less clean now. Where every shot was crisp in the first, there was a lot of awkward animation here. Possibilities are a smaller budget, or more outsourcing?

#5 (5) – Psycho Pass – (8.6/10)

Psycho Pass has headed into its second half, and with that it has gotten more in-depth with its setting and characters, and it did pay off. The developments were really interesting to watch.

#4 (4) – From the New World – (8.75/10)

We’ve just reached the third time-skip, and suddenly we’re dealing with fully grown adults. The most interesting part is the setting though. It just continues to evolve and it becomes more and more clear how screwed the characters are as the show goes on. I really like some of the cunning characters in this series.

#3 (3) – Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – (8.75/10)

Holy crap, the over the top fights in this series really were creative, and incredibly intense. This series really knows its action yet again, and it just keeps pushing itself forward. Just a shame that the training arc broke up the momentum a bit.

#2 (2) – Zetsuen no Tempest – (8.75/10)

Something interesting went on for this month. The series changed a lot. It got more light-hearted, there were a lot of jokes as the show fleshed out its characters, and I love how it subtly makes its plot more and more complicated. It’s building up to a new mind-screw!

#1 (1) – Uchuu Kyoudai – (8.75/10)

This month was different for Uchuu Kyoudai. The comedy got removed, the pacing slowed down even more and things suddenly became nerve-wrecking. The most annoying are the cliff-hangers. I do have to say though… with a continuation announced, it’s going to get really boring to see Uchuu Kyoudai dominate this ranking month after month. Can we get a series that’s even better to even things out perhaps?

Posted on 25 December 2012 with categories: Monthly Summaries

Merry Christmas everyone! As usual the December Summary is a bit earlier than usual so that I have the time to write my 2012 summary. My impression of the past Autumn Season is that I’m really astounded at how many awesome series it produced. And so many of them are continuing over to next season, that will also have Chihayafuru’s long awaited return. I’m really enjoying this, even though I’ve had some issues trying to schedule everything.

#21 (21) – Sword Art Online – (7.25/10) – Well, thankfully this show didn’t have a bad ending, because finally it actually did something with that villain of its. The whole quasi-incest around it though was just pointless on so many levels, and I can’t believe that Asuna didn’t do a single thing through the entire ALO arc. “Yes, I am your damsel in distress. I will wait for you”
#20 (17) – K – (7.5/10) – K this month went for its action packed climax. And this is where I really realized how bland the characters are.There has hardly been any character development. There has hardly been any depth in the cast. The characters are all pretty much one-sided without much depth, and instead this show kept going on about those seven kings that in the end didn’t really amount to anything other than explaining why a few guys are ridiculously powerful in this world.
#19 (20) – Medaka Box – (7.6/10) – I’m behind. But episode 10 finally was an episode that caught my attention. It’s about bloody time. And I’m getting really tired of Nisioisin because of this: tired of wading through him padding his own stories, just to get to the good stuff. There’s building up, and there is just not being interesting for way too long. If there’s a third season, I’m really not sure whether I want to continue or not (despite my bitching I’ve watched every adaptation of this guy so far…).
#18 (18) – Teekyu – (7.75/10) – Well, nothing much happened here. It’s still completely random, and I’m still watching it. It’s pleasant enough for that and I can still turn my brains off for it. It was short but sweet. It also didn’t help that that tenth episode had such a cheesy resolution…
#17 (19) – Little Busters – (7.75/10) – I’m a bit behind on this series (even for my standards at the moment), but I still want to continue with this series. The girls here are annoying, but still charming when they’re not. The male characters meanwhile are as interesting as they have always been. This still can go all ways.
#16 (14) – Shirokuma Cafe – (8/10) – I’ve said this before, but in a way, Polar Bear Cafe is too long. It’s still funny, but I also find that I need to push myself to keep watching it because it really keeps boiling down to the same over and over at this point. The creators should have boiled this down to just 26 episodes by cutting down the best parts. And again, this month made me laugh again, but I’m not as enthusiastic about this show as I used to be anymore.
#15 (16) – Saint Seiya Omega – (8.1/10) – Strangely enough, this show is still watchable, even though it’s just fighting over and over. It’s what happens during the fighting that makes me still return to this show, alongside the excellent soundtrack. I first thought that the over the top fights would be boring and all, but the creators found a way to make them engaging.
#14 (13) – Btooom! – (8.1/10) – I liked the ending a lot actually. Instead of trying to go too epic the battles were kept interesting, while also closing off with a bang. It’s a shame that the series ended with a sequel hook, but it’s a logical point in the series. The female lead, while contrived, did make for a number of interesting twists here. But still, Taira really convinced me that he’s my favorite character in this series.
#13 (12) – Sukitte Ii na Yo – (8.25/10)

Jealousy… that was done surprisingly well here. It was genuine, yet it didn’t drag itself out like what I’ve seen in so many other romance series. The big difference between this series and Kimi ni Todoke is that the characters actually talk to each other. This feels much more down to earth and enjoyable because the pacing allows it to explore various kinds about the relationship between the two leads, rather than being another “will they won’t they”-show.

#12 (11) – Magi – (8.25/10)

Magi’s story definitely improved and got more solid this week. I always was missing something from this series, but this feeling has gotten much less apparent this month with the impending war coming in, and the focus on Alibaba’s leadership and worries, and how this brushes off to the rest of the cast.

#11 (9) – Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo – (8.25/10)

Sakurasou turned up the drama this month and threw in a lot of focus on working hard for your dreams, with some pretty neat effects. It’s still quite sharp, although not as sharp as it used to be. Still, we’re only halfway there.

#10 (15) – Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – (8.4/10)

To my surprise, the creators did not go with any sort of forced climax at all, and just continued with the slice of life like they always have, just this time with a winter and Christmas theme. That’s what I like much more and the series returned to be as funny as it has ever been, with many adorable and relatable moments.

#9 (10) – Robotics;Notes – (8.4/10)

Robotics;Notes still is in its build-up phase, but things are working out very nicely with slow character development, deconstructions of the super robot genre and the few twists that it brings definitely have impact. Now it’s up to the second half to make use of all of this build-up

#8 (7) – Kamisama Hajimemashita – (8.4/10)

Kamisama’s biggest, and for me only, problem is that it’s too short: the story of the manga goes on even though the anime ends, so the creators are going to have to come up with an alternative ending that unfortunately isn’t looking too good.. Beyond that the chemistry still is fantastic and this show uses its climaxes still wonderfully.

#7 (8) – Jormungand – (8.5/10)

Koko revealing what she has been up to for all this time, that definitely was awesome and unexpected. It’s a shame that the first season was so monotone, because this show has improved in so many ways. I haven’t seen the finale yet, but I definitely am glad that I kept with this series.

#6 (2) – Hunter X Hunter – (8.6/10)

I think my reaction to the end of the Yorkshin Arc has pretty much summed up my feelings of Hunter X Hunter this month: “it’s over already?” I really wish I could say otherwise, but this was one part that Nippon Animation’s version did better. We’re now heading to a part that the current version will most likely do better again, but I’m dropping this for now until the Greed Island arc is over again, because I feel I just won’t have enough to say about it to blog it weekly. And than we finally can get to stuff that we haven’t seen before…

#5 (4) – Psycho Pass – (8.6/10)

Psycho Pass stands out in certain ways, not just one. It’s got a thought-provoking setting and especially the past couple of episodes have shared a lot of psychology that really made an impact. The style of this series also is something to write home about, as it combines the classical with the psychotic. Its themes are slowly getting more and more solid, and I really like how this show has done it so far.

#4 (3) – From the New World – (8.75/10)

From the New World got cruel this month. Sure, it was already really dark and all, but this got taken even further when this month revealed the fate of the main cast. It was all really well done and built up even more for its second half. You can really see that this was based on a novel, rather than a manga.

#3 (6) – Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – (8.9/10)

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is insane. It’s completely out of its mind, especially now that it headed into its second arc. Joseph… this guy could very well be the best shounen lead ever, but even putting him aside there is just so much passion in this show. This is one of the best portrayals of manly action I have seen, it’s unbelievable.

#2 (5) – Zetsuen no Tempest – (8.9/10)

One word: mindfuck. With this month, Zetsuen no Tempest went from a solid series, to something mind-blowing. It took all of its build-up and continues to just turn its tables around, make its logic go out of control, and force its characters to play mind-games with each other. It all comes together wonderfully, backed up by the fantastic soundtrack of this series.

#1 (1) – Uchuu Kyoudai – (9.25/10)

In this month, Uchuu Kyoudai’s pacing was slower than ever, but at the same time it really managed to hit new heights. I’m not going to spoil how in these compilation posts, but the result was incredibly heart-warming, and brought tears to my eyes one moment, and laugh out loud the other.

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
I cant help but feel theres some cultural aspect I am missing to the Rakugo rant scene. Makes me sad.
Lenlo
Rakugo, continues to be great and gets another time skip. Im always surprised by how engrossing it is just listening to these people talk.
Lenlo
Makes me sad, just like Berserk. Got an entire shelf dedicated to it but its just so slow. stupid boat.
Lenlo
Vagabond was phenomenal, but its been on hiatus for years now hasnt it
Kaiser Eoghan
....well without spoiling towards the middle of that rakugo episode and all throughout during that middle part, my opinion on Yotaro's character went far up.
Kaiser Eoghan
Struggling to remember the name of that josei samurai manga from the 90s (or earlier 2000s), had a gender bending theme.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've already read kenshin and vagabond, I loved shigurui death frenzy and sword of the stranger but found samurai champloo uneven. Theres a kagemusha manga but I haven't read it and I've yet to see/read blade of the immortal.
Kaiser Eoghan
At a glance I'll go against the grain and say I think demi-chan is funnier than konosuba, going on one episode of each.
I've been watching a fare share of samurai films in the last two years and lately so I'm open to wathing more anime/reading manga dealing with samurai.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, how I love to watch it jumping off the cliff. This show contains lines like "I don't understand... even if I did understand... but I don't understand." It isn't a dialogue that we encounter too often I'm sure.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Sounds good to me. With me covering Little Witch Academia, Saga of Tanya the evil and Rakugo this season is well covered.
SuperMario
so I've decided to blog 3-gatsu, Scum's Wish and ACCA this season. A bit worry about the latter as I still don't have much to talk about that. Let's try it and see what happens; I say
SuperMario
Okay, I'm not hot on Onihei this week, as if the main theme about these two episodes were "people can be corrupted" then I'm not buying it. ACCA, on the other hand, was still very solid of building up the world and its big events to come.
AidanAK47
I have played all the big roguelikes and found they have the same problem. I argee on procedural generation. Even if the map is different every time you are essentailly going through the same rooms and doing the same things.
Masky
Though to be honest, I don't like procedural(or designed room and then game connects them randomly) games much. I much enjoy hand designed dungeons since I rarely play games through more than once anyway so roguelike's appeal of "Every time you play it through its different!" doesn't appeal to me much and hand designed dungeons are much more memorable
Masky
Can't really comment further on that since I don't know which roguelikes you have played, and neither I have played gungeon so I don't know if its badly designed to the point you can't do anything if rng says so. Though I guess there is nothing wrong about liking luck based games, if roguelike in question is truly unbeatable if rng says so, well, its really badly designed one if you ask me.
AidanAK47
Take my last run. Made it up to the fourth floor. Got plenty of guns but none were really useful. Even then ran out of ammo for all of them and the game was cheap about giving out ammo. Plenty of money but shops with nothing worth buying. Over 5 heart containers but no goddamn health. Died on the boss because I rolled out of a bullet into another bullet. Pretty much unavoidable.
AidanAK47
@Masky, that's the theory but in pretty much every roguelike I played its not the case. If the RNG decides you are going to have a bad time then you are going to have a bad time. Skill can only bring you so far. I have played this game for 7 hours and I know I could have finished it in 2. Only thing stopping me is a dice roll.
Masky
Like, the thing with roguelikes is that they can get easier/harder depending on luck, but well done one should be completable even without any upgrades at all if you are skilled enough.
Masky
Thats not the really case with roguelikes though, unless game design is bad and includes insta kill traps and such that are unavoidable if you are unlucky
AidanAK47
I hate roguelikes. Been playing enter the Gungeon and I just lost all patience with it. Getting real tired of my victory being decided by a RNG. It never feels satisfying to finish a roguelike because I know my victory was determined by pure luck.
AidanAK47
So we got to rely on fansubs for it when it's airing.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Nope. I think because netflix only puts up full seasons they are only planning to put it up when it's finished airing. Or when it's dubbed.
SuperMario
But how does the Netflix thing work? So of I have a Netflix account I can watch the show weekly?
SuperMario
@Aidan: that's a dumb way to do things really because unless you watch the show weekly, everyone gonna forget that it even exist. Just look at Re-Life last year
Lenlo
thought*. Words are hard.

Eventually found the actual first ep though and enjoyed it.
Lenlo
Was funny. I tried to find the first Ep for Little Witch, found original short made afew years ago, watched it and though "This is very similar to the original... Whats new".
AidanAK47
Little witch is one of the best shows this season and yet I can't get subtitles because Netflix doesn't release shows weekly. Motherf*cker.
Lenlo
Ore Monogatari I enjoyed. It was a nice romance that actually explored what happens after the confession. Also the 2 leads are just precious.
Lenlo
Alright but unmemorable seems like a good summation.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: one good thing about Seiren is if you don't like this romance, the whole thing gonna reset after episode 4 so there's a chance that you might end up like it. Agreed that the comedy wasn't very good. Alright but unmemorable
SuperMario
@Topgavin: I watched like first 3 episodes and stopped because I didn't have much time there, but I enjoyed what I saw. A well-written and endearing show in my book
Topgavin
Has anyone here watched Ore Monogatari before? Because in the 4 years I've watched anime, I've never heard of it (I guess it did come out 2 years ago) and yet it's turning out to be one of my favorite shows. Always great going into a show expecting nothing and getting pleasantly surprised.
AidanAK47
Only one more impression to go. Should have it up tomorrow.
Lenlo
Im really not feeling Seiren. Its "comedy" isnt for me and I just dont find it very enjoyable to watch so far. Im curious if it gets any better but 2 episodes in it just isnt that good.
HelghastKillzone
That ending scene is an entire side-story compressed into that. Don't expect anymore of it from here on out as the it sticks to ruthless military/fantasy pretty well.
LookingForKeys
@Topgavin I think it was good, making it the second episode. That way the first set up the world the story will be in, and showed how much of a monster the "little girl" really is right at the end, and then made ep.2 the explanation. Nothing against Tanya trying to rip "God" a new one.
That after-credits scene, though...
SuperMario
Hmm, as much as I like Seiren's omnibus format, it doesn't turn out really hot this second episode. Demi-chan, on the other hand, still maintains its endearing tone. Might blogging Demi-chan instead
Topgavin
Yeah, that second episode was much better than the first. Dunno why they didn't start with that to be honest, waste of an opportunity for a good hook episode. The voice for the main girl still sounds weird to me though; I get it's supposed to sound weird because it symbolizes 'her' being out of place and her personality and body being a mismatch, but it'll certainly take some getting used to.
AidanAK47
Youjo Senki, now we are talking. Like Helghast said, Did the god scene way better than the LN and manga. Made it less comedic and more intimidating.
Lenlo
Oh man that Rakugo intro. Not sure what to think, but first time seeing it I liked it
Kaiser Eoghan
I sort of like good will hunting because I kind of saw a bit of myself in Damon's character when I watched it ages ago.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Remaking psycho and ruining the shower scene, for shame van sant, for shame.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its easy to ripoff some obscure thing though and get away with it. The dogtooth director essentially stole an old Mexican film to make that.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, that following some guys from behind like they were on a RPG games, which I think actually fit with the tones of Elephant. I have such mixed feeling with Gus van Sant too. Don't really think he's a great director.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Although Istvan Szabo is probably a little more well known for that Mephisto film that updates the Faust story. Zoltan Fabri's the fifth seal is a very thought provoking war movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I remember seeing a film documentary that featured Gus van sant in one section, they showed clips of tarrs films, Sant ripped of the cinematography and stole the style from some British short film to make Elephant.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree on the other Hungarian filmmakers, I don't know much about them either.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Scorsese's Silence was a big comeback. I really really emotionally connect with spiritual crisis stories.
SuperMario
@kaiser: yep, definitely check wreckmeister down. Althought I admit that watching his 2-hour plus films will feel like 5-hour anyways
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm more tolerant of darker teenage/coming of age films/stories. Les Demons was a big surprise.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Though its kind of frustrating, I do think Tarr probably takes attention away from other hungarian filmakers because no-body knows who the hell the others are.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Man, wreckmeister was so visually arresting I started getting dreams from it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I would consider Tarr to be kind of a poor mans Janco, Angelopolus and Tarkvosky rolled into one. I don't entirely "get" wreckmeister and man from London but they are great atmospheric mood piece experiences.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I had been wanting to watch Belar Tarr's Turin Horse and Werckmeister Harmonies for so long now. Well, Fat Girl is shocking haha, but I'm normally drawn into those kind of films anyway.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Margaret took like 5,6 years to release because he couldn't cut it down in the way he wanted. The final cut if I remembered correctly was edited by Martin Scorsese
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Only a HDcam for moonlight now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I looks like my lineup is witch academia, rakugo and youjo senki, well the most latter one until I get bored.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I sense a directors cut for manchester, it feels like it need another 30 minutes.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right up my valley. Watch Kenneth Lonergan's previous works Magaret and You Can Count on Me. Magaret is very messy but have a raw dialogue and interactions as well
SuperMario
Now the first episodes are over, I will keep on covering 3-gatsu, as for the other twos atm I have 3 options: 1) full romance/anti-romance high school Seiren/Scum's Wish. 2) slice-of-life moe monster girls Demi-chan/Maid Dragon and 3) Mature,dark Onihen/Acca (which although I like them I don't have much to talk about).If you guys have any preference on which shows you like covered then let me know
Kaiser Eoghan
@Helghast: At this point I'm watching youjo senki as an entertaining guilty pleasure.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Too many reboots upcoming, will wait for the dvds instead. I want to explore more of manchester by the sea's director's work. I also want to finally get more into Bela Tarr's stuff.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I was rather shocked by A Ma souer/fat girls final act. Scenes with the Italian in the bedroom were initially creepy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's a nice review Kaiser, a bit jealous with you that you've seen those 3 films which are touted as the best films of 2016. Also Fat Girl, haha, I love that movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
Poor yotaro =< you have so much stuff going down on you =<
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki episode was so good today. That revamped scene with God just fitted so right.
AidanAK47
A official release of that game in the west is apparently coming but it's been a few years and not much news about it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Ah yes that was the one.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Had to think for a moment on that one but I think I was talking about this. https://vndb.org/v3144
Kaiser Eoghan
Now I'd hardly consider myself a studio trigger fan, but I watched the first witch academia episode there, it was actually kind of fun, got the same reaction from me as flipflappers did, that magical, special feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I also, of interest reviewed Kenneth Lonegrans new film: http://letterboxd.com/shao_liu_ringon/film/manchester-by-the-sea/
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Moonlight got some feels out of me though it could of been more, it ends abruptly and with 20 extra minutes they could have spent a bit more time on each section of his life.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I checked out lala land, ending was very well executed, one of three scenes in the film that were impressive visually. The whole thing looked pretty and Gosling and Stone had some decent chemistry. Although it didn't resonate emotionally as strongly as the musicals of Jacques Demi did.
Kaiser Eoghan
MOM I want aiyoku no eustia and I want it now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've never heard of himawari or tokyo babel. The hellsing comparison at least interests me in dies irae. What was the name of that visual novel again that was coming out soon, Aidan you described it as "And Kaiser would love it because its supposed to be really fucked up".
Kaiser Eoghan
I vaguely remember the anime for 11 eyes, it was very forgettable, even the voice acting was poor, hated the childhood friends and the pacing was poor, those black knight things were kind of interesting though.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: You'll have to add me onto the list of those unsatisfied with the ever 17 writer, I read one of those games and felt it was a bunch of interesting bait that never paid off.
AidanAK47
Anyway I plan on doing a review of 11eyes here when I finish it.
AidanAK47
Can't say I was a fan of Ever17. That was a really good twist but when it came to explaining it their was a lot of contrived development. Generally not a fan of the writer. Looseboy, Ryukishi, Gen and Nasu are more my kinda thing
AidanAK47
@Anon, it is nice that so many VNs are on steam but I wish they wouldn't be stupid with the whole no adult content thing. Not so much for myself but to prevent idiots from writing negitives reviews because the game doesn't have sex. VNs can grip you in a way anime simply can't and while they require pathence and time those can be some pretty powerful stories.
Anonymous678956
@Aidan, I am so happy steam's so VN-friendly now. I think it's a very good type of media. Like anime, it has nice visuals, music and some movement but also the inner monologue and text amount of books. It's the perfect combination. Plus, the routes, which are often puzzle pieces and PoVs you have to go through to understand the whole story. True routes like the one of Ever17 blew my mind.
AidanAK47
Hopefully the two VNs I bought of steam turn out better. Tokyo Babel is supposed to be alright and I heard really good things about Himawari.
AidanAK47
I am about a third of the way through the game and really not much of worth has happened. The concept is interesting but the execution is sorely lacking.
AidanAK47
I went in expecting it to be a mixed bag and it's pretty below my expectations. It's just not really well written and the protagonist is a moron. THere isn't really routes and instead you are pretty much stuck with his childhood friend as the main love interest. Problem with that is her character begins and ends with loving the main.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, damn. 11Eyes is on my reading list as well. Although I almost expected it to not be as good as I thought it'd be (back then). Guess I would have enjoyed it if I was able to read it while the (shitty) adaption aired, maybe I have seen/read too many series by now. Guess I'll still give it a try some day though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I haven't heard the OST or watched the intro video. I only know it be reputation and have decided to walk into it as blind as I can. Still slightly worried as I was somewhat looking forward to reading 11Eyes for a couple of years and now that I am reading it it's well...not good.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, same here. I was waiting years for this, since I saw the intro video for the first time. Also, that OST!
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki is already leagues better than Izetta. It's going to be top anime of forever and ever. (maybe not)
AidanAK47
And finally Dies Irae is funded. May actually be able to play and finish the game before the anime airs. If the hype is real behind this baby it could be a new personal favorite Visual Novel of mine. Already looking promising with it being like a cross between Hellsing and Fate/Stay Night. Two things I most certainly like.
Lenlo
@Masky, in regards to style over substance thats where im at with Gurrne Lagann.
Topgavin
Yeah, I'll probably watch the next episode to see whether it can redeem itself. Hopefully it can but considering 1st episodes usually get a lot of budget, there's some severe doubt in there.
AidanAK47
I actually argee with character designs and voices are bad in regards to female characters. Still the next episode might change your mind if we get more into the main characters head.
Anonymous671470
It's boring
Topgavin
Also, it seems I disagree with a lot of people in thinking Youjo Senki will be a massive trainwreck. The character designs are awful, the voice acting is mismatched but most of all the premise just seems so very dumb. If I wanted to watch a badass kill people I'd go watch Hellsing or Drifters, because at least those don't have some op, disproportionate loli as the mc.
AidanAK47
Gets even more complicated when you account for Satire and Parody. You could equally argue all examples listed as being as such.
AidanAK47
Little Witch Academia is a decontruction of Harry Potter....I don't believe that but honestly if I tried I could put some reasoning behind that statement.
Topgavin
In the end, it always comes down to opinion (as with every discussion about anime, for some reason). You could spin any and every series as a "deconstruction", which is why people shy away from using the word. You could argue NGE, Madoka and Re:Zero are all deconstructions yet also argue Gundam, Precure and SAO are depending on what points you weigh more importantly.
Masky
Like, if deconstruction is supposed to be just "break the elements and then play story how it would realistically go down" well I haven't watched NGE, but as far as I know it does have stuff that isn't typical to mecha genre besides the "It would fuck up kids" thing plus "realistically how it would play out" is pretty subjective thing. I mean, its mainly about how cynical bastard the writer is :P
Masky
Like I said, I don't fully agree with it because I find video's speaker's attitude annoying, but I found it semi convincing. Main thing I don't find convincing about it is that I don't think its hard to turn video's own arguments agaisnt it and say that by its own logic NGE isn't deconstruction either, like Aidan just said earlier
Masky
And I don't really have energy for checking out the "correct" one. If there even is one. Anyway, the hipster video I was talking about was titled "What Actually Is A Deconstruction?" if you want to check it out.
Masky
Hmm, well, it does depend on definition you use. Like if you use "realistic" thing, well, Magical Girl shows don't usually have "You turn into monsters" thing going on and reason why NGE's pilots go crazy is from dangerous situations rather than evas making them do so. But honestly, I don't really have strong opinion on matter since word seems to be one of those with several different meaning
SuperMario
for me Madoka IS a deconstruction of Magical girl, and yeah like what Aidan said
SuperMario
I think part of Utena is a deconstruction of "prince riding horse and save the girl" because that notion is just a foundation for Utena to become a prince herself and save other girl. That's breaking it apart and resemble it again in its own way. Don't have to be dark/ don't have to be real either
AidanAK47
@Masky, That's just debating semantics. Besides that difinition would pretty much mean that Neon Genesis Evangelion isn't a decontruction either. Madoka isn't a decontruction because it's dark. It's more in its aspects of criticising why a girl should throw her ordinary life away for something as dangerous as being a magical girl. It does take plenty of the typical tropes and turn them on its head
SuperMario
@Masky: Genre deconstruction is such a tricky word that I normally try to avoid using because there's really no set characteristic about the term and different people have different opinions about what constitute "deconstruction". For me, I disagree that deconstruction have to be dark and real, hmm can't say it well but I will give you an example:
Masky
But yeah, I guess I could try to find the video if you guys are interested, though like I said, I got hipsterish feel from the video and felt rather annoyed through it even though I did get what the point was and found it sort of convincing besides my annoyance
Masky
(not that liking NGE is hipsterish, its just that I find NGE to be more style than substance sort of series <_< Anyway, guy didn't dislike madoka or anything, he just seemed to dislike people using word deconstruction wrong in his opinion)
Masky
(especially with how much they seemed to praise Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Masky
I mean, I think the guy was being somewhat hipsterish, but its true the being darker take on genre isn't same as deconstructing the genre
Masky
@AidanAK47: Some other guy on youtube did video that had actually pretty good point about how Madoka isn't really deconstruction, if you go by definition of "Break it down to parts and then play them straight to show how horrifying it would be in real life"
Anonymous670441
Gente - Ristorante no Hitobito
Kaiser Eoghan
If anything its the hate I have for certain characters that makes it more effective.
Kaiser Eoghan
The obsessional level of attachment is just uncomfortable to me, I don't want to get THAT attached to a non-real character.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its literally just a case of "Okay lets look at this picture of this character, she looks interesting, no feelings or expression from me, apply this fetish, fap, get release, go home. "
Kaiser Eoghan
Or drooling/dribbling/heavy breathing/grinning over the characters. I abhor alot of the anime girls I find attractive or am indifferent, even when looking at ecchi/hentai drawings I'm straight and clinical with it.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean to each their own. But I really hate the level of emotion/devotion to moe/finding the characters attractive. Such as celebrating their birthdays, going on about how cute/hot they are, how important it is that they're virgins. Or not being being self-aware of how irritating the characters are.
Lenlo
Anime hipster is pretty accurate. His general treatment of the current state of anime is annoying, as is his obsession with moe. Maybe its cause I cant stand moe most of the time, but it bugs me.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Lenlo: Essentially my brothers view on digibro.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I don't usually feel the need to correct errors in your reviews as the errors are generally un-important, but I think you meant to say apprentices rather than appearences in the Rakugo review, just bringing that up as it felt like kind of a throw off.
AidanAK47
Which is kinda like saying Madoka wasn't a magical girl deconstruction because Sailor Moon and Nanoha had dark elements too.
AidanAK47
Went and read the reddit comments on it and seems I was right on the money.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, He's basically a anime hipster. For example, I saw a thumbnail of his which had Saitama on it and below it "Is There Meaning In "Subverting" Shounen Tropes?" and I thought "Okay, he's going to go on about how OPM isn't subversive and then list a bunch of arbitrary examples in an attempt to redefine what is actually subversive"
Lenlo
I have lots of issues with Digibro. Dude has some good points, but other very horrible ones. Some issues he feels strongly about and gets kinda biased on imo.
Anonymous669202
acca looks visually interesting, and I personally really dig this kind of show, but it seems that it's definitely not for everyone
AidanAK47
Time to live up to my word. Four posts incoming.
AidanAK47
Man, Little witch Academia was so good. I disagree with the whole Digibro thing about being able to recognise a great show in it's first episode but watching this makes me think that this really is going to be something special.
AidanAK47
Alright, gonna put in effort today and have 3 or 4 first impressions posts done. That should knock out near half the season.
Kaiser Eoghan
Had a flip through handshakers. Garish is the word I'd use to describe it visually, it takes you out of the show.
Topgavin
ASuperMario From the first minute I can already tell it's by the same people that made K. Those colour filters and the extremely jarring/obvious city CGI is unmistakable.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, literally makes my hands shaking. It's an abosolute mess. Highly recommended to check it out because it's so terrible it's great to watch
Vonter212
Yeah, and it's also a literal woman in refrigerator plot device, since that the thing that pushes the story forward.
Masky
I'd say that having to hide your sister's body in fridge would count as daaaaaaark and edgy, but when the body is wearing only underwear, and for some reason main character put metal things in fridge to keep body standing(I guess to not knock fridge open from inside?) I think it goes to "exploitation" you are talking about
Vonter212
@Masky - Did someone said doing dark things for drama? That's the bread and butter to get despair. Unless it's for the sake of perversion. Then it's just exploitation.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Masky: His other works dead tube and scumbag go further in the unhinged regard.
Masky
*relies on easy "let's do [x dark thing] for drama!" thing
Masky
Geez, Mayonaka no X Giten is fricking disturbing/disgusting ._. I'm pretty sure that writing relies on e, but I can't help but think mangaka is trying to make corpses sexy.
SuperMario
I found Onihei to be quite good, actually one of the most solid new episode I watched this new season. Guys, check them out
Vonter
I just hope it doesn't fall into the same misstep Kabaneri or Inuyasha or Bleach fall by making a villain so over the top that it crossed the line of not having a satisfying downfall.
Anonymous657941
@Vonter I think they just moved on. I lost interest rather quickly and I guess even the fans did that at some point, like with some other long-running series. There is much more new and more direct "fujo" stuff out there, many of them probably switched. Don't know what happens in the manga but maybe the story got worse or contained things some people didn't like.
Vonter
January will be loli dictator month (for me) :p. World Conquest Zvezda Plot, Youjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil (new), Seraph of the End. For some reason I stumble into three curious series with little power hungry girls. If I can ask, why did Owari Seraph's hype died, I remember back it was mentioned more often. It still has the fujoshi fanart but still, I don't see people bringing it up.
SuperMario
@CATski: well, if you didn't like its first 3 episodes I dont think the rest gonna change your mind. Have you finished Erased then? How did you like it?
SuperMario
But I understand it's difficult to speak in front of camera, get some time to get used to it
SuperMario
@kaiser: I won't commend on poem as I'm terrible at it myself but younneed to work more on presentation Kaiser. Small little things like looking directly at the camera or say "thanks for listening" in the end can connect you to the audience better
Anonymous657071
Ok. I'll give the thing another chance. *clicks torrent* XD. CATski.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Topgavin: You might like centaur no nanami if you like demi-chan.
Kaiser Eoghan
Damn...repeated myself =<
Kaiser Eoghan
There are these things called slam sessions done in bars where people get up and read out stuff in front of a crowd and read stuff out. Actually watching rakugo made me think about practicing for that kind of thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: the video I did was of me reading out a short piece of writing I did, a poem. lol I uploaded it to the wrong youtube account too I just realized =P
[link src="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypBZ2hBDBYs&t=11s
I"] was recording this from my mothers laptops inbuilt cam while reading off my desktop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I think it's a good idea for you to try out reviewing movies/stuffs in youtube channel. I'll be very interesting to listen to them
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Featured Posts

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