Posted on 30 June 2011 with categories: Spring 2011 Kaleidoscope



And as today is the last day of June, this is going to be the last post for my Spring 2011 Kaleidoscope. I am not sure what I’m going to do next season though: whether I’m going to do a Summer Kaleidoscope and blog six full series, or blog seven full series instead: it’s entirely going to depend on that seventh series. Plus, it’s got two huge question marks as well in the form of Appleseed and Last Exile. They’re both two series that aside from the regular line-up I really want to blog.

In any case, this episode was build up, build-up and even more build-up. The creators made sure to make it into a gripping episode though, especially when Kaiji brought in Endou of all people: the guy who was responsible for getting him into his mess in the first place. This episode was really being mysterious in the way that it refused to reveal Kaiji’s plans (much like the previous arc), so a lot of this episode consisted out of cryptic hints at how supposedly awesome his plans are going to be, although the negotiations with Endou really kicked ass in how intense they were.

Now, the big pitfall for this series is going to be the the suspense of disbelief. There is one big difference between Akagi and Kaiji: Akagi was superhuman. It’s not about seeing really smart plans, but about psychology. Kaiji meanwhile belongs in the category of series that specialize in plans and schemes. The biggest pitfall of those kinds of series is to take their plans a step too far and make them just ridiculously complicated, a la Death Note or Code Geass where in the end things depend on the most precise coincidences. That’s also one of the reasons the first season annoyed me, in the way in which Kaiji miraculously danced across death on the beam arc.

In terms of characters though, this arc does have the most interesting side-kick for Kaiji that we’ve seen in this series yet. His Buddhist roots, his incredible temper: all of it works really well and it’s quite a step away from the usual young guys. The villain though has yet to prove himself. He’s just this posh underling, and nowhere as interesting as some of the best villains of this series.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 25 June 2011 with categories: Spring 2011 Kaleidoscope



Okay, I know I already made a post for my Kaleidoscope this season, but I just can’t help but gush at how absolutely fantastic this ending was. This ending… it’s just unbelievable. If you thought the previous episodes were crazy: this one actually tops them. It’s been a long while since I saw an ending with this much BALLS. It was the perfect closure for this series. But what the hell did I just watch!? Seriously, who came up with this stuff?

This episode already started off hilarious with a Wacky-races parody of all things, but after that the characters just continued to pull all sorts of random powers out of their ass to upstage each other. It was a really creative final battle where things like popcorn were used to fight Enma’s fire for example, or glowing tangerines turned Kappaeru into a professional wrestler. Just when you thought that this couldn’t get any crazier, this episode pulled something more bizarre out of its ass.

And then… the finale. That was just… surreal. The entire series had been building up to Enma losing control of his fire powers. The OP kept unsubtly foreshadowing it, and when it finally happened… it just turned out to be a side-effect of his powers. I’m not going to say here what the real reason why his powers were sealed was. Just… watch this episode.

What I’m really amazed at is how all three endings of this season so far have been much better than I ever could have imagined. Anohana, C and Enma-kun: they all ended with completely amazing endings that brilliantly made everything come together that they had been building up to. Enma-kun has been incredibly juvenile, but ridiculously entertaining. If you’re looking for a series that’s completely crazy: go for it.
Rating: **** (Fantastic)

Posted on 23 June 2011 with categories: Spring 2011 Kaleidoscope



One sub-genre of shounen that I’ve been missing for quite a while: the ones based around playing games. And I don’t mean those stupid kiddie shows that are meant to sell toys or cards, I mean the ones that are based around the characters involved playing various games and try to be creative with that. Of course these kinds of arcs can be terrible if the creators don’t make them fun to watch, as it’s impossible to get a good plot out of that, but I can enjoy a good tournament arc once in a while. Sket Dance is a very nice example of this.

It’s not just the characters playing games that was fun about these past two episodes. In fact, the way the games are won is about the only predictable part. What also makes these episodes so great is characters like Bossun fidgeting from the sidelines, or the energy that this series has, setting every of the games up. I especially loved the stress in trying to find the fifth member for the tournament and how Bossun just randomly switched the names around in his panic.

What’s more: this also shows perfectly that the characters in this series aren’t stereotypes: by making everything fit so well at the beginning, this episode shuffles around the characters competences, and shows that everyone doesn’t just have one thing that they’re good at, but are in fact well fleshed out characters. At least, this goes for the main characters. This episode ended with the single biggest stereotype in the entire series’s turn about to start, so I have no idea why the writers chose her of all people to fill in aside from shock factor. She’s bound to lose (predictability yo!), but then again, I wonder more about she plans to do to make that match entertaining.

Overall, I am not really fond of Shounen jump adaptations, especially the ones that go on for ages, due to how incredibly long they take to get somewhere. The good parts tend to be overshadowed by the really long and draggy ones. Sket Dance though managed to be entertaining throughout its entire run so far. Its lack of plot doesn’t really matter so far: it’s really good at giving colour to its character, and it also keeps bringing back old characters, not just as cameos, but to flesh them out even more. And it’s really creative and funny in the process.

But yeah: the big question is whether this series will end up dragging, and when this will happen. There have been tons of once excellent shounen jump adaptations whose huge length became a huge turn-off: Gintama, Bleach, Naruto; even Dragonball Z would have been a pretty nice series if it ended right after the saiyan arc. Will Sket Dance avoid this and know when to quit like Level E, or will it pull a Bleach, jump the shark and refuse to end for the next couple of years?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 13 June 2011 with categories: Spring 2011 Kaleidoscope



Ideally, we’d want a list of exactly what kind of episodes of Gintama’s sequel are worth watching and which ones aren’t. It’s going to make this series much more accessible to the ones who can’t be bothered to sit through the bad episodes at this point. I myself am nudging more and more to that group. In any case, let me at least start for the first eleven episodes of the second season:

Skippable: Episodes 1-7
Worth watching: Episodes 8-11

The first eight episodes were random stories, where episodes 9 to 12 consist out of the Otose arc. This Otose arc is really recommended, more on that below. As for the random episodes, the only one that I can really recommend is the eighth one, in which the characters start toying with recap episodes again. Out of all of the running gags, that’s the one that still works at this point. I also wouldn’t really recommend the Catherine episode: that one was basically the creators screaming “Find this sad!” It didn’t even prepare for the Otose arc either.

In any case, I remember clearly that the first episode focusing on Otose (I believe it was episode eleven, so this goes way back) was the point where I first realized that the original series would be something special, and not just a focus on good laughs. Finally, 200 episodes later we see this story continued, and at the very least I’m glad to have stuck with this series at this point, because the added background to Otose was just excellent.

Oh, and Otose’s younger form was awesome. It usually works great when a younger version of a character is shown to illustrate how much he/she changed, but for an old lady this works even better. The story created around this was just great: it’s both tragic, yet unlike the Catherine episode it’s not just there for cheap cries. It adds a lot of new stuff to Otose’s character and it feels genuine for nearly all of the involved characters.

Now, I hardly ever edit posts aside from fixing typos, but with this one I’ll continue updating the above list for as long as I keep watching this series. I’ll probably drop this series some time around the beginning of the Summer season, due to how incredibly busy it’s looking out to be, so let me know when any new awesome episodes pop up from this series.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 10 June 2011 with categories: Spring 2011 Kaleidoscope



These final weeks I’m going to be revisiting my favourites of the past season that I didn’t blog, or any other particularly awesome episode that pops up. This week’s episode of Enma-kun was completely crazy, so I couldn’t pass up this chance. It’s also a good point to talk about the comedies in this season in general.

Because there have been quite a few comedies this season: aside from Enma, there was Gintama, Hen Zemi, Azazel-San, Sket Dance, Fireball, plus the half-comedies of Hyouge Mono and Tiger & Bunny, and those are just the ones that made me laugh. With this many series out there to get some laughs, especially for the pure comedies, it’s certainly difficult to find any lasting impact: what series will be remembered years after this season?

I think that here, it’s going to matter a lot what series managed to set themselves apart. Especially with so many sequels, this matters even more: can these series really prove that they were worth it to expand further upon. And I think that here, Gintama, Hen Zemi and Azazel-san pulled on the short end: Gintama’s comedy episodes have mostly been pointless and instead it should have just stuck with its serious arcs, which really are good. Hen Zemi meanwhile never really succeeded to step outside of the OVA’s shadow. Yeah it added nice things to the characters, but overall it’s not enough to gain any lasting impact. Azazel-san meanwhile is too inconsistent: Moloch was brilliant, but too often I get the idea that the creators lacked inspiration for good episodes and characters. It’s the kind of one trick pony comedy that it unfortunately couldn’t avoid.

The ones that set themselves apart the most were Fireball Charming, which improved upon the original with some great creativity and visuals, and Enma-Kun, who despite being completely juvenile had consistently the best ideas of the pure comedies this season, added to how incredibly entertaining it has turned out. It’s the kind of roller-coaster ride that never leaves a room for taking a breath, and this episode was one of the best episodes so far. It once again was wrong on so many levels but its huge amount of energy made it one heck of an enjoyable ride.

And the episode was basically the lead characters trying to turn the home base of the Youkai Patrol into a giant robot and screwing up horribly in the process, with just bout everything going wrong, and somehow this lead to some of the funniest scenarios I’ve seen this season so far. Especially Kappaeru was hilarious: both when he was randomly goofing off in the background and whenever he kept eating important plot devices. When he first appeared in this series I really hated this guy: he really looked like the usual pointless side-kick. So okay, he turned out to be a parody of that. And I must say that it was a hilarious one: in just about every episode since the third he has been hilariously useless.

Also, what the hell did the creators do to poor Yuki here? An angels are actually those stereotypical Americans? What the hell?

The trend for comedies in 2010 and 2011 has definitely been to explore taboos. It’s nothing new what this series is doing right now: there have been a lot of series about toilet humour by now. It is an interesting trend, though. At first you might think that all of these series are just trying to jump on a bandwagon with uninspired series. And that’s indeed how this started: I believe that Juuden-chan was the kick-starter, realizing that both Gintama and Kanokon were surprisingly successful, it too tried to push its boundaries. What followed were more utterly horrid fanservice shows of Chu Bra, Ladies Versus Butlers and Qwaser, so yeah: it seemed like a terrible trend began.

After that however, series started to jump the bandwagon that actually challenged each other, and pushed each other to explore these boundaries in interesting and funny ways: first there were Mitsudomoe and the Hen Zemi OVA, then Panty and Stocking came along, Milky Holmes aired, and suddenly these series that supposedly had toilet humour ranked themselves amongst the better comedies each season. There’s a ton of stuff happening in this genre and the shows are pushing each other to produce new and interesting stuff. Even Hen Zemi and Azazel-san, while they won’t have any lasting impact, do feel fresh and come with something interesting that doesn’t make me abandon them. This actually is pretty healthy competition here.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 1 June 2011 with categories: Spring 2011 Kaleidoscope



With this episode closing off the Chinchiro Arc, it’s now a good time to look at this series. And overall, the Chinchiro arc was awesome: it took a while to get there, but it was focused, well built up and based around a carefully prepared plan. The climax was very short for Kaiji standards (in fact, that’s why I didn’t cover this show last week: I thought that there would be more than jut one episode), but very satisfying.

Now, all that’s left is to see whether this series can keep things up. I really watched the first season in the wrong way: because Kaiji took forever to get from A to B, it completely drained me from inspiration: I had hardly anything to say about episodes where only one or two things actually happened. Just whenever you thought that things would get interesting, it ended, or so it seemed at least. Instead, this is the series to watch right before punching an angry bear or something.

In any case, this episode was also the introduction of the Pachinko arc. And by god, I’ve heard some rumours about this thing. Especially the OP: it apart from the Chinchiro arc and the Pachinko arc… it doesn’t seem to foreshadow anything else aside from another confrontation with the old guy again. That means that the entire second season of Kaiji… will only have three arcs. How long is this pachinko arc going to be anyway? Especially because this episode made everything seem so simple. The key is probably going to be the same as with the previous arc: if Kaiji can take his time thinking and preparing then it’ll work out fine, however it will get tedious if it’s going to keep delaying the inevitable.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 24 May 2011 with categories: Spring 2011 Kaleidoscope



Okay, so I’m going to be covering multiple series this week for this category. People have kept saying over and over that this arc of TWGOK would be something special, and now that I’ve watched it, I do have to say: it was indeed the best arc of the series so far.

Finally, this show bring sin an actually normal girl who is more than just another stereotype come alive. Finally this show actually brings in a boundary between reality and fiction, and finally Keima actually develops. If anything, this episode was refreshing and different, and it was the first major arc since the first episode of the first season that did not feel like a chore. But I do have a few problems with it.

Especially near the end, the girl of this episode turned formulaic again. The whole moral speech-kiss routine actually wasn’t quite different from the other arcs. In fact, every arc has simply ended in the same way. It’s not the first show to do that and things like that can be done well; heck, Jigoku Shoujo turned it into an art and all, but Keima’s moral advice about how she should live… probably was the least interesting part of the entire arc.

That’s just nitpicking, though. The question is: was it worth it sitting through sixteen episodes of mediocrity, just to see this? For that, I unfortunately have to say “no”. I could just as easily have skipped a bunch of arcs, and I wouldn’t have missed anything. The thing is, that at the moment, this series feels like it’s a series where various game characters have escaped into the real world where the main character has to conquer them back, with this arc being the point where he actually has to encounter a real girl. Unlike Gosick, which despite its mediocre episodes did a wonderful job of building up and using this build-up, The World God Only Knows has too little of this to really make me reconsider labelling this as a waste of time. The rest of the series needs to be of at least this calibre for that to happen.

What was up with that Southpark-reference, though? I really noticed that the references this series puts in are… completely random and out of context.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 23 May 2011 with categories: Spring 2011 Kaleidoscope



Aaand thiss is about the point where my patience with Denpa-Onna has run out. I’m going to drop this, but I do want to wrap up my thoughts about this show because it’s not like it started off without any potential. My bias against Shinbo would have dropped this immediately if it sucked completely.

The first three episodes of this show were actually very good. You didn’t know whether there really were aliens and the theories of that cousin were quite interesting to watch. This show was quite dynamic, had good themes, was unpredictable and seemed to have a lot of potential. After that though… this show jumped the shark and pretty much now it tries to stuff material for perhaps 3 or 4 episodes in its nine remaining episodes. The way in which it fills up its extra time is… really annoying.

My big problem here: there has been no good drama for the past four episodes. Instead we get that horny aunt, ditzy classmate and that girl whose only defining trait is that she dresses up in strange costumes. All of them are really annoying. And the main character wasn’t much better. The premise about aliens was nice. Right now however, this show’s themes are just moe pandering:

“Oh no. We have this really cute girl who is completely helpless and mentally challenged and yet everyone in town hates her. The main character is very unfortunate to have to take care of her.” This is nothing but the excuses that moe pandering shows always make, only even worse.

Also, the dialogue has the Bakemonogatari syndrome. It’s not as bad, but that possibly makes it even worse because that means that it stands out even less. There is a lot of dialogue in this series, but in the end, what do these characters really talk about? They just keep repeating themselves over and over again, and they. Just. Won’t. Shut. The hell. Up. This show majorly lacks inspiration to fill its time.

Compare that to Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru: its characters were annoying, but it always had something nice to discuss, the characters were always doing something interesting and it was always trying to be varied. It’s characters like these that were genuine and fun to watch. Denpa-Onna is just annoying, and I’m glad that Shaft is not going to output any new series for the upcoming summer season. Let them put some actual work in making one series, instead of a bunch of mediocre ones.
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Posted on 20 May 2011 with categories: Spring 2011 Kaleidoscope



Dear Brains Base,

What the HELL have you created here?!

This show is sneaky. I mean, it is written and directed by the director of the crack-fest Hoshi no Umi no Amuri, so I was sort of looking forward to this series. It then commences to have a terrible first episode and an even worse second episode. I nearly gave up on it because of how uninspired those two were. But no. This show waited until the third episode to reveal its true colours. It’s completely bizarre true colours that are wrong on so many levels.

And don’t get me wrong, this IS a fanservice show. But the fanservice is the most bizarre fanservice I’ve ever seen. Stuff like Seikon no Qwaser is just thinly disguised porn. Series as Hoshikaka just use horribly uninspired and forced fanservice as cheap ways to sell dvds. This… is on a completely different level. This show is crazy. It’s absolutely crazy. The fact that it has a character who walks around completely naked save for a hat and a cape is just the tip of the iceberg.

this show is episodic, and beyond the fanservice it also has the craziest ideas to base its episodes around. Episode six was the most surreal by far, having the entire cast bounce around the world chasing a youkai who blows up everyone he touches like a balloon. This episode? You know these scenes where a character tells a bad joke and as the punchline, everyone falls over? This episode turned that into an art form by introducing a youkai who does exactly that. Some of the visual gags based around this were just beyond weird.

After the first episode I really wouldn’t have guessed at all that I’d say this, but I love this show. Sure, the only show that has more fanservice this season is Seikon no Qwaser and all, but I love its limitless energy and creativity that goes with the most creative ideas it can think of, no matter how stupid or wrong. This really is a breath of fresh air compared to the shows that are either just complete porn or just use the same kind of out of place fanservice over and over again.

Also, what also completely surprised me about this series is how good the background music is. I mean, it completely fits with the energy of this series, and actually creates even more energy this way. The songs are all catchy beyond belief and make sure that there hardly is any time to catch a breath. And you know what? It has the composer of Tokyo Godfathers doing the soundtrack, and the same guy will also do the soundtrack for the upcoming Noitamina series No.6. There’s another reason to look forward to that one.

Beyond that, I also chose this week to blog Enma-kun thanks to a very intriguing news item that popped up. If this is what I think it is, then the summer season is looking even better than it already has. For starters, this means that it’s going to break the record for the most amount of TV-series to premiere during one summer season (Anime is dying? Hah!), but more importantly: the director of Utena is finally going to make another series!

It looks childish, just the story of a bunch of penguins. But it all just seems too…strange. First of all you have to wonder why Emna-kun of all things is going to air promos for it (promos that I unfortunately have yet to be able to find), because it airs in the middle of the night; a really weird time to advertise kids’ shows. Second of all, kiddie shows hardly ever introduce themselves like this. In particular the fact that this will be 24 episodes has me intrigued. I could be wrong here, of course. This could be just another show aimed at 3 year olds. But something’s telling me that this show is pulling a Kaiba.
Rating: ** (Excellent, as wrong as it was)

Posted on 9 May 2011 with categories: Spring 2011 Kaleidoscope



Last week I noted that Gintama’s sequel wasn’t as good as I hoped to. I’m not sure whether I was the only one with this, but I’d like to use this post to elaborate a bit on that. The current episode is a good example of why, while still a good comedy, it’s no longer the comedic classic that it once was.

A lot of it has to do with many jokes not being funny anymore, and trying too hard. And I have to give this series credit: these episodes are not as bad as the point where Gintama originally started to move downhill (after about episode 100, if I recall correctly). If I were to compare it to your average comedy, it’d still be pretty decent, but I’d rank Gintama among my top 5 of favourite comedies ever. The first 100 episodes also had their weaker moments, but overall they tended to be brilliant. This isn’t.

The running jokes are probably the ones that went downhill the most: there was a time where this show knew exactly what the border was between great running jokes and shameless repetition. that’s what allowed it to become such a long series in the first place, but the new season reduced the running jokes either to repetition, or took them to too forced absurds. Sarutobi’s crush on Gintoki for example: this episode made her an even bigger fangirl of Gintoki, but it just didn’t feel fresh. Also, in the middle the mood suddenly got serious. But what was it about? About her refusal to get other glasses. What happened to the manly tears of the first season? This was just silly.

The series itself is also getting rather formulaic. I mean, using guilt to get people to move? Didn’t the creators play that on Gorilla a few episodes ago? Plus, the way in which the serious parts showed up felt formulaic, and quite similar to the previous episode (which granted, was better done than this one, but even there it was forced: “care about these characters!”).

It’s also the presentation: the original Gintama may not have had the most fluid animation, it hardly ever contained weak shots. The new season though is full of distorted or rushed faces. The new season also has this habit of overabusing the “straight man”-faces. I mean those scenes that focus for seconds on on a heavily exaggerated serious facial expression after something outrageous happened. They’re all surprisingly poorly timed for this series’ standards.

It’s still inspired, though: the ideas behind each episode are definitely interesting, and each episode does have a collection of good jokes amongst the ones that fall flat. I just don’t know whether I can really enjoy this series when I keep comparing it to the classic that it once was. Especially considering how it’ll keep going on for ages. I mean watching this for 26 episodes is okay, but I don’t think that I’ll have the patience to watch 100 more episodes of the caliber of the past six episodes.
Rating: * (Good)

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right. The sole reason I described it as "cinematic" was just to lure you into watching it, so mission accomplished! Mind you, Girls' Last Tour is still a moe show at heart (look at their round faces and those big eyes. They're killing me)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, I had had it initially written off as a crap moe show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You're ministry of anime propaganda tactics mentioning how cinematic it is got me to pick it up =P And you know how much of an aesthetics guy I am =P
SuperMario
I'm glad that many of you enjoying Girls' Last Tour. It's a nice little gem that I think works best when you going to it without any expectation
SuperMario
I swear this season has a lot of good anime to offer. I'm jaded
Amagi
I always considered backgrounds as pretty important. Most anime only use them as backdrops because they have to be there somehow and it's really a different thing than Girls' Last Journey for example. Also I will like everything that has exploration and world building.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And achieves taking the viewer into its world, thankfully without relying on tons of expositional dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Girls last tour, somewhat succeeds in pulling me in by using its landscape that dwarfs the characters, to create its atmosphere, I wouldn't call it all that unfunny either. Though premise could risk going stale.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, HA! Yeah I would like to believe but I am thinking that's not the case. Besides next season is looking pretty barren so far.
Amagi
Eden would be great. But speaking of it, a lot of good manga get adapted recently. Maybe they finally understood that generic isekai, harem and school stuff isn't as popular as they thought it would be.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe one day I can hope for a Freesia or Eden Endless world adaptation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jesus christ....I never thought it would happen, Banana fish is being adapted, I didn't think they could adapt a shoujo like that in todays market.
KTravlos
I also watched Inuyashiki and Girl's Last Tour. Inuyashiki looks great. Man do I hate that young guy. Reading what he did and seeing it was a totally different experience. Cannot wait for the next episode.

Girls Last Tour is really something special. In a good way.
KTravlos
Altair's episode showed all the issues and all the good things of the show. The pace is too quick, and yet they managed to build Urado and its denizens up quick fast in it. But again, this is a show that needs the LGOH treatment.
Amagi
The manga also always uses "he/him" but I am not sure if the original had this too (like "kare" or similar words) since you can talk for a long time in Japanese without ever using pronouns.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, yes I noticed Phos uses Boku in this episode which is the male way of saying I.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Man, Zvyagintsev really, really knows how to deliver truly emotional gut punching moments and endings that are like cutting at open wounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Houseki has fallen into place for me with those scenes with Dia and the snail thing and I've fully embraced the show, happy to see it just continue to do its thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: While Marios are girls best friend DIAmonds ahhhhre for evvvvvvahhh *Shirley Basey voice*
Masky
*bride
Masky
I can say though that if people fear the "Bastard Boyfiend" angle, its not that really. Its more of really weird apprenticeship relationship. Ainsworth is inhuman character in many ways
Masky
Oh hey, Mahoutsukai no Yome is on covered list. Nice, it is weird manga to read through since I'm kind of creeped out by the bribe thing, but its barely mentioned at all.
Anonymous1497942
After finishing Made in Abyss it stuck out, some animation shortcuts in this week's Mahoutsukai. Holding on frames a bit too long, mainly having the music giving the emotion. To be fair, it was also a slow part in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I recall correctly, the words "wandering Jew" were used at one point in the manga in relation to the villain.
Lenlo
Mahoutsukai was very pretty this week, but there were some troubling things popping up in there.
SuperMario
@Aidan: They are trying to bring Phos back from a snail. Man, Houseki sure is... quirky
AidanAK47
@Mario, I would take a guess and say they are fighting evil by moonlight.
SuperMario
Okay, heading to Houseki now... let's see our gems doing this week
SuperMario
@Bokusen: (not because I'm blogging it but) watch it. it's a polarized one but it at least offers something original. I still haven't watched the third one though.
Anonymous1497873
The new Mahoutsukai no Yome episode was so beautiful. TwT
Bokusen
BTW, is Houseki no Kuni worth watching? I was turned off by the animation, but I've read some good reviews on it.
Bokusen
Darn, last message didn't show up for me but now it does. Sorry about that.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil and Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, but Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Bokusen
Tanya the Evil & Uchouten Kazoku 2 were the gems this year for me so far, though Abyss was definitely the best thing I watched last season.
Amagi
Doesn't mean that there weren't other good series but I distinguish between good and somethin special I will instantly remember even months or years later.
Amagi
How can you not like at least one of the current series, this season is pretty good. MiA was probably my only real great thing in the last season though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Aren't you forgetting Acca, Rakugo, Little Witch Academia and Tanya the Evil?
Anonymous1497006
Made in Abyss seems like it's the only gem this year for me tbh
AidanAK47
Whoa, I never even knew we had a PM feature.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I've received it. Thanks Kaiser. I've never noticed the PM feature either
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I sent you a private message.
SuperMario
oh boy. Just received Mind Game Bluray Region free today. I ordered/funded it through Kickstarter a year ago and eventually forgot about it. Was a nice surprise to see it in the mail today
silver
I enjoyed this week's Kino. Leave only footprints indeed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the other hand I noticed some slight censoring in juuni taisen episode 3 I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also surprised with the lack of censorship during Inuyashiki's second episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
First episode of inuyashiki covered the whole of volume 1.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*but almost never
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: In general, Death of Stalin is an amusing film throughout, but never laugh out loud hilarious, Simon Beale is hilarious in it as Beria.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Gonzo did that mecha 7 samurai thing we must never speak of. However schmaltzly/sentimental Ikiru is, however it slumps slightly in the middle and final arc , it was still a genuinely moving film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than it is
Kaiser-Eoghan
To elaborate, I expected to dislike inuyashiki based on not enjoying Gantz, my reaction to the second episode was the same as Amagi's . The first episode was heavy handed a bit as Aidan mentioned, but its harder to watch that scene with the older guy get bullied/tormented that it is to watch highschool kids getting picked on by cliche anime thugs.
AidanAK47
Also why Hillary Clinton? I mean i know Trump is supposed to have a cameo in the manga but why her?
AidanAK47
@Vyse, Lets not jinx it. Plenty of series have shown great potential in their second episodes only to flop later. We can sing praises if it keeps this quality to the conclusion.
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki main villain should be Hillary Clinton
VyseLegendaire
Inuyashiki is suddenly like the best thing of the decade.
Amagi
I wish there were more old MC series out there. Liked that about Real Drive too. Maybe someone will have mercy and adapt Kurosawa one day. Not exactly old but at least a series about a guy with midlife crisis.
Amagi
I thought the happenings of the second Inuyashiki episode would have been too egdy but they actually gave the last few scenes a very good impact and the episode showed pretty well how sociopathes think (that whole gap between emotions for real people VS manga/fiction characters and events)
KTravlos
yup, I have no problem with Lenlo's review. Execution is what matters with me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: You managed to sell me on a show that I didn't think I'd have bothered with.
silver
You did fine. It's a risk associated with reading post-viewing episodic discussions. Pretty much everyone knows that if you don't want to be spoiled don't even get online.
Lenlo
I tried to leave explicit spoilers about what happened outside the (more...) tag, but its a risk of readin a review I suppose.
silver
Hah, sorry about spoiling it. That's the problem with major shocks like that; they're most effective if you're not expecting them. Still, the show has deft execution of its executions, and that makes the experience worse than I could imagine.
Lenlo
Well im glad it convinced you. Tried something different with writing this week
KTravlos
man I should not had read the review. Now I will go and watch Inuyashiki. I had missed it.
silver
@Lenlo: It caught me off guard, too. Definitely working to earn that 'psychological' genre tag.
Lenlo
Well... Inuyashiki surprised me today. It went far darker than I was expecting. Thanks Gants author
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Such an odd art style, have you ever seen these? These are the film covers the Polish get:
Kaiser-Eoghan
*that was the most interesting character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Z's ending was very very well played and it was Jean Tringnents was interesting, largely for that he was a right winger working with the left wingers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course the British version of house of cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if he's seen Yes Minister and The New Statesman, also political comedies and for those of us who lived in the 80s seeing Thatcherites getting slagged off was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think thick of it works better though as the humour serves a thirty minute episode more comfortably. Stalin's fairly short though so I don't think the joke will run out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the Death of stalin is the title I'm looking for as well. Will screen here in few weeks. I almost reccomend In the Loop and the Thick of It (haven't watched the latter though) for Travlos since they're a political satire, which I think he'll enjoy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hope you already booked that heavens feel screening, cause its sold out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that the anime's character development in Juuni taisen expands on the books, which only give them short lines for their backgrounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, so perhaps in Juuni taisen they'll spin that so the Rat guy uses the ox guy to his advantage in some different way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is a special atmosphere watching anime on a big screen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I might be seeing death of Stalin tomorrow or Saturday. The thick of it was hilarious and this has the same director as that.
SuperMario
Both Z and All the President's Men are coassic movie. Hold my attention from start to finish. Z, in particular, wowed me that I literally had my mouth wide open
SuperMario
Off tangent, watching Fireworks in the cinema the other day made me realize how I miss watching movies on the big screen. I might try to go to the cinema once a week again. Been missed out all the good movies lately.
SuperMario
In the Great Race story, Rat used a very underhanded tactic to win the race (it jumps into the Ox to pass the great river and then jump off to the finish line. This Rat guy's speciality is Killing All so there is a high chance that he survives till the end
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have no doubt that we will have more amazing character arcs for Juuni Taisen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that could prove to be too predictable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if the Rat guy is going to be the wild card in all this, after all in the old story, wasn't it the Rat who won that zodiac race thing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Juuni Taisen is killing off its most interesting characters.... =< I wanted the bird girl to stay around a bit longer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see more Lem or Stugastky style/brand of scifi, I need to rewatch stalker again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Going back to the cyberpunk thing, I don't want just any ol' thing getting made, I want to see something scifi related thats ACTUALLY clever and has long and DIFFICULT dialogue .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: While not a political series Chaos;head is a good example of being annoyed at the conspiracy thing, what drives me up the wall about that show and its sequel is how every every time I think about going back to it I realize that its only interesting on a surface level and is utter hokkum.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. Yup, perhaps because I work in political science, they tend to anger me. So I avoid them. Borgen is a good political series.

In general. It still startles how much of a better character anime Tsutomu was comapred to manga Tsutomu in Bridy the Mighty. But I forgive the manga as I get more Gomez!
AidanAK47
@Amagi/Kaiser, thought as much. Strike it off the list then. And God Tsubasa was a cluster fuck by the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh simul-dub of Juuni taisen is out, I might aswell keep up with that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I had this weird relationship with dragonball in general. When I was younger I never actively seeked out the show, but on a rare occasion I would watch random episodes whenever I was channel hopping and nothing else was on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Clamp shared universe was a mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish that that tone breaking style of comedy stops being a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It doesn't happen often, but there ARE shows we all have that snap trigger us when they get mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel my disdain of re:zero is because I hate Akame ga kill and Higurashi so much and it prevents me because of bias from enjoying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In addition to what i posted about Pandora, you will hate the comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will rewatch it, the first one is one of those things that improved on repeat viewings.
@Travlos: Conspiracy theories are one of those things I find myself taking interest in, then almost immediately consider immensely stupid and a waste of time.
Amagi
Aidan: If you didn't like the first parts of Pandora you won't like the rest either. Most people that loved it did this because of the characters and setting, the story isn't really getting better and I kinda disliked what they did near the end. It was overcomplicated and everyone had like three different personalities, plot twists and so on. Not nearly as bad as Tsubasa Chronicle though
AidanAK47
@Bokusenou, believe me when I say you are not few. There are plenty who Dislike Re:Zero. I can understand it and I sort of get where your coming from regarding the characters. (Though Saber sucks) There is just something about the series that I just adore.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I have not watched most of them. But I have watched Z and All the President's Men. Both are great films. The issue with me is that while I like political thrillers I despite conspiracy theories. Far too many pol. thrillers dive into con.theory stuff. So I must be discriminating.
SuperMario
Okay, I'm off to watch Blade Runner 2049 now. Hopefully it can be as good as the original
Vonter
In contrast World's End Harem, surprisingly looks to be trying. It has one story trying to play straight, the scenario of being the last man in a world mainly habited by woman. And has had this framing of self worth, temptation and doubt I like. No work of art, but surprising for this type of manga.
Vonter
In regards to manga, I'll need to look for something good, being losing time with ecchi stuff. Which I can tell Okamoto should just make hentai, seeing as his latest work, doesn't even try to be anymore than pandering trash (at least older work, had a notion of a story).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Did all the presidents men and Parallax view by Pakula appeal to you?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Actually as your are a Greek....have you watched Z, missing, State of siege or the confession? None of them are actually in Greek but they were political thrillers directed by Costa Gravas.
Anonymous1490677
KT here: Well I am a sucker for political thrillers and "grand" politics, so the direction it took is quite fun for me. Even if it does indicate a Tomino ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me Titan peaked at volume 8 and I never bothered continuing on much further.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I remember a commenters on here a good while ago that mentioned the ending didn't satisfy or come together well and made the investment not worth it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Honestly it was only near the halfway point I vested any interest in pandora hearts, the first 4 volumes left me wondering if I'd drop it, then near the last few volumes I simply fell out of reading it.
Bokusenou
I feel like I'm one of the few people who don't understand why Re: Zero is so popular...the only characters I half liked were Puck & Crusch (the latter because she reminded me of Saber from the Fate series, minus the unnecessary perma-blush marks) My anime club screened the series and I really should have skipped those meetings...
Lenlo
Mmm Inuyashiki episode 2 tomorrow. Time to see where it goes
AidanAK47
@Anon, That reminds me. Anime limited better announce the date of the Re:Zero Blu-ray release at that panel of theirs at MCM London Comic Con. They are the only ones known to have licensed it and they have a partnership with Funimation. Even if we don't get a second season I have to get the first on Blu-ray.
Anonymous1490189
Emilia re:zero
AidanAK47
Finally Got that review up. Been sitting in my to do list for a while.
SuperMario
I remeber in Dragon ball, they state that Son Goku takes 6 years of training to become a Super Saiyan. His oldest son takes 3 years and then the youngest one... only takes 3 months of training with his mother. So yeah...
AidanAK47
While we are talking about manga, I was looking into getting some manga boxsets and I saw one for pandora hearts. However I started reading it and 15 chapters in I just can't get into it. I hear a lot of praise for it but is it really worth continuing?
AidanAK47
@Amagi, yep. Like Naruto with the nine tailed beasts and Sharingan. At first they were cool and then everyone and their mother had Sharingan or a tailed Beast.
Though If I had a problem with SNK its that I just find the thing to be poorly written overall. It has creative idea's, but the characters and dialogue is really weak in my eyes.
Amagi
You know that SuperSaiyan syndrome. At first it was special and mysterious, but once the second one gets to have the power they tend to pop up everywhere. Same with Claymore and basically almost every shounen ever.
Amagi
I overall like the SNK manga but I have to agree I really have a problem with this shounen trope of some speciality one character has that suddently turn out to be the speciality of many.
Lenlo
It turned from a horror/thriller to a sort of... shounen mystery thing for me. I wasnt a fan once EVERYONE became titans.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I dropped off at that point, picked it up again and read it up to date. Now I am falling out again. True be told I haven't really got into it since the beginning chapters and I am not a fan of the direction it took. If you don't like it now I say future chapters won't really change your mind.
Lenlo
Does Attack on Titan get better? I was reading it up until Season 2 came out and then just fell off the wagon.
KTravlos
oh what a cliffhanger in the Shingeki no Koyjin manga! I am happy where this is going!
Kaiser-Eoghan
I agree that the way the series addresses emotion has some interest to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The later chapters I read had some action in them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Had a read of the children of the wales manga, I am glad to see a shoujo that isn't based on an otome or school life series , additionally I like it on an aesthetic level, I can see it going somewhere but the fast-forward pace makes it hakes it harder to connect with.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Blame! was recently adapted and thats cyberpunk, even if it didn't follow the manga.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree. Cyber- and steampunk are two of the few settings I really dig. Especially because I think that there are a lot of potential plots and twists for cyberpunk/VR settings anime haven't used yet. AR is great too, the only series about that is Dennou Coil and it was made ~10 years ago. Maybe the SAO movie but it was just a movie.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here lol. I remember the toilet thingy but not the woman's backstory. That being said, I enjoyed the series as whole, though some parts were too K-ONish for my taste.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of would agorophobia maintain itself and they'd stay inside or would the fear of being raped/tortured/killed and bypass the agorophobia ?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Random tangent, but I would find it fascinating to see a hikkikomori subject to a home invasion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although honestly, I would prefer a cyberpunk wave of anime series to get popular again.
silver
I too am starting to really enjoy the 'adventure anime' genre. The medium of animation is uniquely suited to fantastical worldbuilding.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Was that the one where the girl is desperately trying not to piss herself? Also why can I remember that and not this blonde woman's backstory?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, agreed. It's at its best when it can use the settings to flesh out the characters. The episode after that one, one the other hand, was Sora no woto's dullest episode - where the main girl spends the whole episode waiting for a freaking phone call.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Blonde woman's backstory in the middle of sora no oto, that was the best episode of it.
SuperMario
@Amagi: for reccomendation, if you don't mind another cute girls in a post-apocalyptic world show, you can try Sora no Woto (Sound of the sky). I love that show to bits
SuperMario
But I'm not entirely sold on the show yet. I feel the relationships are a tad too heavy-handed. The light hearted tones don't work well for me but I really feel a From the New world's vibe from the show
SuperMario
@Amagi: I will talk about Children of the Whales here in the chatbox since we don't cover it. Damnit the cliffhanger. That series really focuses on the theme of repress their own feelings. From the children in the Mud Whales with their custom of not to cry in the funeral or their lacing their hands to express their gratitude. Episode 2 has that monster who basically eats others emotions
Kaiser-Eoghan
And by extension, I would hope that it would encourage adaptations of older fantasy manga aswell.
Amagi
I really hope this type of fantasy will become a new trend instead of the classical world of warcraft type of isekai
Amagi
There is just something really atmospherical about a few characters exploring an unknown world alone that is either almost or entirely devoid of humans or just weird like in Kino's Journey.
Amagi
Shuumatsu Shoujou, Houseki, Kino 2017 and Children of the Whales are shaping up to become my favorites this season. It's funny that they have so much in common, same with Made in Abyss, which also was my favorite of the last season.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, well there were fellows down in cork that decided to go Kite Surfing. They had to send out a boat to rescue the dumb bastards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I saw that there were some profoundly stupid people ignoring the warnings, some guy even decided to go out swimming despite it.
AidanAK47
I am in some ways both relieved and disappointed.
Total users: 19

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