Posted on 30 June 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Natsuiro Kiseki – 12: I usually use Media Player Classic to watch episodes, but I watched Natsuiro Kiseki’s finale on Windows Media Player (on my crappy laptop I have experienced that it’s the best in terms of smoothness). Unknowingly I had the player settings stand on repeat. So yeah, I got quite a scare when suddenly the episode started looping, ESPECIALLY with this kind of episode. Apart from that, what can I say about it? Wonderful idea for a final episode and a really heart-warming finale. – ** (Excellent)

#2: Hunter X Hunter – 36: Yes, Madhouse: this is how you do action scenes. With lots of dynamic movements instead of frames that look like they have been directly copied and pasted from a manga. This episode did drag on a bit too much, but hey: this definitely is a start. Up next will be the arc that I found to be the single most boring of the 1999 series, so this is really where this show can make the difference. – ** (Excellent)

#3: Nazo no Kanojo X – 12: This episode yet again was chock-full of teenaged hormones, though they were used well. The tension between two lead characters is what makes this show fun, and this episode had more than plenty of that. – *+ (Great)

#4: Kimi to Boku – 25: Kimi to Boku goes with the “random episode”-ending, but it’s a fitting one: it’s about the future of the characters, it had a ton of Chizuru being annoying, and instead of being the most dramatic episode of the season it ended on a mellow, yet charming note. Well done. – *+ (Great)

#5: Jormungand – 12: So much for the interesting trio of last week. As for the other antagonists in this episode: the guy who killed off all of Valmet’s comrades was just another snarking bad guy who kept smiling even though all of his subordinates got killed. I know he’s a killer himself too, but wouldn’t he at least be annoyed or something? I like the guy with the many nicknames, though. That scene where we first see him with his family is exactly the thing that the other villains in this series lacked. Also, who did they get for that one great song that popped up in the middle of the episode? There is no way that that guy is Japanese. – *+ (Great)

#6: Sankarea – 12: Well, that was inconclusive… this episode definitely had its char in nothng happening, but having nothing happen also is a bit of a dwnside for an ending. I’m sure Studio Deen are going to milk this into a second season and all, but still this was a strange way to leave. – *+ (Great)

#7: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 25: Great to see that Poyopoyo seems to continue for another season. This episode perhaps tried a bit too hard with the slapstick, but it still had quite a few inventive jokes. – *+ (Great)

#8: Shirokuma Cafe – 13: Okay, so for episode 13, this series dedicates itself entirely on to Handa and the comedy takes a much less prominent role. I think that that’s one of the main issues with this series: it dabbles tooo long on one particular subject, because Handa already was a main focus of last episode, and this episode only established that he wants to date Sasako, yet can’t muster up the courage. This episode did have its charms with the Tanabata, though. Also, Mr Tortoise’s wish had me in stitches. – * (Good)

#9: Saint Seiya Omega – 13: The fight of this episode was boring in which the main cast had to take down some strange fly guy, but I do like that the creators at least went itno his motivation for being evil (being unhappy with Athena). Oh, and Aria finally did something. – * (Good)

#10: The Legend of Korra – 11 & 12: Ouch. Amon’s background was good and all, but the ending… that was not good. Not only was it a huge Deus ex Machina ending, but it also rendered so much of the earlier episodes useless. I really found the idea to take someone’s bending away forever a great idea and it’s part of what attracted me to this series. But yeah, as soon as Korra lost her bending it became obvious that the creators were trying to look for a way to cancel all of that. And really? By having a bunch of dead people show up from out of nowhere? – – (Disappointing)

Okay, now so to wrap things up:
Number of series consistently covered: 11
Series that made the number one spot in these rankings: Natsuiro Kiseki (4x), Another’s OVA, Kimi to Boku (1x), Legend of Korra (1x), Hunter X Hunter (1x), Nazo no Kanojo (1x), Shirokuma Cafe (1x).
Series with the highest average rankings: Natsuiro Kiseki, followed by Kimi to Boku, Legend of Korra, Nazo no Kanojo and on place 5 there is Shirokuma Cafe.
Series with the lowest average rankings: Saint Seiya Omega, followed by Sankarea and Medaka Box.
Biggest improvement: Hunter X Hunter’s latest episodes. Sankare and Medaka Box also improved.
The Best Week: Week 23; every series delivered there and there were many awesome episodes to be had.
Worst Week: Week 26; endings are hard to do really well.

My plans for the next season.
Overall, I really enjoyed these posts, so next season I’m going to do them as well. There are six series that look interesting enough to weekly blog. The rest of the series will be summarized in these Kaleidoscope posts. Now, there is only one thing: Phi Brain doesn’t deserve an entire post dedicated per week anymore after what it pulled for the past arcs, so that series will too be delegated to the Kaleidoscope serie. So what should I replace it with? I’m currently toying with a few too many ideas, so I need a bit of guidance.

What should I do next season?
  
Posted on 24 June 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Hunter X Hunter – 35: Holy crap! What happened here? Suddenly the fight animation has turned incredible. I was fearing that the creators would put the shading overdose with the Hisoka fight again, like what they’ve been doing many times now when he comes into the spotlight, but the movements were amazingly fluid and dynamic here. – **+ (Excellent+)

#2: Natsuiro Kiseki – 11: Again, this was very impressive. The audition scene in particular showed a completely different side of Yuka, but the rest of the cast also got its share in the spotlight. The rock will probably pull one more nasty trick, which is probably what the final episode will be about and on top of covering the audition, this episode also built up for that wonderfully. – ** (Excellent)

#3: Kimi to Boku – 24: The best romance this season doesn’t come from any romance shows, but instead of shows that happen to have romance in them. Kimi to Boku, I applaud you with such a subtle portrayal of Kaname’s romanc. The implied love triangle with the younger sister was a bit pointless, but Kaname and his romantic interest were really well acted. – ** (Excellent)

#4: Legend of Korra – 10: This episode was meant to show the character development, especially on Korra’s part, as well as starting up the actual climax of this “Book”. The action scenes were still good, even though not among the best, but the plot twist at the end was a big one and I like how far the creators went with that. – ** (Excellent)

#5: Jormungand – 11: The bad guys of this episode were better than usual. Their personalities combined together better than usual, and they were actually built up as a threat, rather than just some more cannon fodder for Koko&co. Valmet’s backstory also helped. – ** (Excellent)

#6: Shirokuma Cafe – 12:: An entire episode dedicated to trolling pandas. Oh dear god, Panda really was more sadistic than usual here to Hand, and yet it again had quite a few hilarious moments, the best probably being the point where they took over the zookeeper’s office. – ** (Excellent)

#7: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 24: Amidst random sketches about passing the time while it rains, this episode stood out because of that giant frog. After nearly two seasons, Poyopoyo can stil manage to find new ways to be adorable. – *+ (Great)

#8: Nazo no Kanojo X – 11: This episode was indeed better than expected considerng the build-up. The creators didn’t go into the corny love triangle route, but instead kept tihngs fresh. I do have a different complaint about this episode, though. Nazo no Kanojo is all about the subtle tease: saying a lot with relatively little fanservice. this episode was all “Screw that! Here are naked girls over and over! Let’s have wacky hijinks ensue when the male lead accidentally sees them!”. – * (Good)

#9: Sankarea – 11: I have no idea what to make of this episode. On one hand it had some really good partsand twists, it used a few anti-climaxes nicely and all. and on the other hand there was the really weird decision of the creators to randomly dress up Rea for no particular reason (not to mention the question how these maids managed to dress up Rea when she was in shackles and all), the incredibly silly tone after all that build-up, the return of the cousin with her really bad dialogue and the uncanny ability of the creators to focus on her boobs and ass whenever she appeared. Sankarea: you have potential. Why do you have to be so goddamn annoying as well? – @#*% (?!?)

#10: Saint Seiya Omega – 12: This was watchable fodder in which Kouga shows yet again that he’s the chosen one, though it was interesting to see some more back-story revealed of what I presume was the first season. In order to put the spotlights on the new cast, the creators had to pull some tricks here and there to get the old cast out of the picture, and yeah, I guess being defeated to the point of being crippled for life is a good option. – * (Good)

#11: Medaka Box – 12: And Medaka Box closes off with a return to the mundane “character of the week” routine while waiting for Medaka to heal and the new bad guys to arrive. It had some merits, like showing what the cast would do when the lead character is absent, but this isn’t really the kind of episode you’d want as a mid-season finale while waiting for that second season. And yeah, this one got a sequel. I didn’t expect it, but it does help, considering how little the first actully got done. – * (Good)

Posted on 16 June 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Shirokuma Cafe – 11: Polar Bear Cafe, you just surpassed yourself. The first half of this episode was just surreal, and pretty much was the funniest thing I’ve seen all season. I couldn’t stop laughing while watching it. – *** (Awesome)

#2: Medaka Box – 11: So yeah, this arc was completely different from the rest of the series, but it worked. It was so over the top, but at the same time it used the development of the first half of the series and I also liked how it toyed with the shounen conventions. I have no idea how this show plans to wrap itself up in just one episode, but still this was Shouji Saeki‘s best work as a director on a full series. I guess it really helped that he was both the director and the main adapter, because as flawed as this series is, it does have one thing: a big picture, and that can’t be said of every incomplete adaptation. – ** (Excellent)

#3: The Legend of Korra – 09: I’m not really fond of how the creators continue with the love triangle and all, but the second half of this episode took some really interesting twists and turns here. I like how there are many different parties who are up against each other here and it makes for a great plot. But what will this show do once everything is over? – ** (Excellent)

#4: Kimi to Boku – 23: This episode was about Mary, and as expected it got a lot of very neat character development in. What I didn’t expect was that the twins also got some unexpected character development; it was subtle, but definitely there. Both worked really well here. – ** (Excellent)

#5: Yondemasuyo, Azazel-san OVA – 03: Azazel-San’s latest OVA came out this week, and this one takes place directly after the TV-series. It’s 30 minutes long, with an OP that hints at many characters who haven’t appeared yet, so the creators are definitely planning more of these OVAs. This episode introduced Lucifer, a very narcissistic Koala, and the direction was in top shape all over this episode, with a creative direction and a lot of hilarious visual jokes. – ** (Excellent)

#6: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 23: This was another one of those episodes in which the creators tried to cram as many different sketches into one episode as possible. people chatted, launched themselves, rode a bus, visited a movie, cleaned for spring, were bothered by lots of rain and… are these episodes really just 2 minutes long? – ** (Excellent)

#7: Sankarea – 00: A ton of shows are on hiatus this week, but Sankarea did have an OVA coming out. And really, I expected to be this pointless OVA of some sort, but it actually had a very clear point to it. It was a tad uneventful and that coincidence at the end was just unnecessary, but as an explanation behind the notebook, and therefore the concept behind the entire series, this was actually a pretty interesting use for a prequel OVA. – *+ (Great)

#8: Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou OVA – 01: So apparently Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou has DVD specials that contain extra sketches. This one was just two minutes long and was mostly just buiding up to one joke. And despite being rather corny, that joke made me laugh. – *+ (Great)

#9: Saint Seiya Omega – 11: At the very least: the stakes are now much higher and more interesting beyond high school tournaments. This episode was not as impressive as the previous two weeks, but still it had its merits. Just don’t let this drag on by again having one episode focus on a different cast member, because that’s getting really formulaic. – * (Good)

#10: Jormungand – 10: Hmm, this may have been me not paying attention, but was it explained how Koko was able t find that Balkan leader so easily? I’m still trying to puzzle out why this series leaves me relatively indifferent, even though its subject matter is pretty interesting. This episode also had interesting dogfights… but it all just goes too easily for out main cast. – * (Good)

#11: Nazo no Kanojo X – 10: This week… was building up to something really corny here. And I am not sure whether it’s smart to end the series with that, people. Childhood crushes are a dead horse by now so it was very tedious to see the writers use that to create a love triangle. It’s a good thing that Tsubaki and his “ex”-crush were well acted so they managed to save this episode with that, but this show will be ending in two weeks. This isn’t the time to introduce cliches. – * (Good)

#12: Kingdom – 02: Dear god, I can’t watch this series anymore. It’s one thing to be dramatic, but this was some of the most overblown melodrama I have seen in years. On top of that the script tends to repeat the obvious over and over. I unfortunately got my hopes up way too high for this one, and it’s definitely the biggest disappointment of 2012 so far. Dropped. – — (Bad)

Posted on 9 June 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: The Legend of Korra – 08: This episode caught me off-guard. Every time I thought “oh, they’re finished now”, it only got even better. This had it all: excellent action, it was full of emotion, it played with Korra’s hypocrisy and touchy politics. The best episode of this series yet, without a doubt. – *** (Awesome)

#2: Nazo no Kanojo X – 09: I already had a suspicion when the episode started up, and a quick look-up on ANN confirmed it: yes, Shigeyasu Yamauchi was behind this episode, and he really succeeded in making an already excellent adaptation even better. This episode was even more expressive than usual, and his camera-angles and different poses that focus on subtle movements really brought the characters to life here. – *** (Awesome)

#3: Saint Seiya Omega – 10: Okay… I was originally intending to drop this series; it still hadn’t caught my attention, but I figured that I might as well give it one more episode. And then this episode proceeded to surpass the entire series in every single way: better acting, better action, better music and better use of it, there is better character-development and the plot got a lot more interesting, not to mention that the drama also finally delivered. A quick look-up revealed that Rie Matsumoto was behind this episode, and it really shows. Keep an eye out for her, because she really is Toei’s latest rising star, and let’s hope that the next episode can keep up with this momentum. – *** (Awesome)

#4: Natsuiro Kiseki – 10: And with this, this series is back to its old level. The rock was at its trollish best again, and the entire episode was just based on a great idea with time travel. This one was all about youth memories, and a really creative way to show more about the cast when they were young. – **+ (Excellent+)

#5: Shirokuma Cafe – 10: A hilarious episode. It pretty much was the best use of Panda in the series so far. He is such a troll, and this episode had a ton of fun with that by having a group date with Handa of all people. Penguin also was priceless in this episode. – ** (Excellent)

#6: Kimi to Boku – 22: Very cute episode, again with great romance. Plus, having a graduation ceremony has been done many times before, but it is a great way for character-development. – ** (Excellent)

#7: Sankarea – 10: This series really is trying to get its basics right: background, background and more background. This is the third episode that just takes one of the members of the cast and devotes the majority of its time to show her background and her issues, this time it was the mother’s turn. And really: this was good. It showed who she is, why she is with that asshole of a father and how she changed over the years. Plus: none of the annoying characters made an appearance! Or at least a conscious one. – ** (Excellent)

#8: Medaka Box – 10: And we’re over nine thousand here with Medaka Box. This episode was not as creative as last week, but the change of tone really is apparent here and I like how the creators pulled all of the plugs, while still remaining consistent in the themes it explores. – *+ (Great)

#9: Jormungand – 09: An episode of contrast. It worked very nicely, with the combination of an escort mission giving a new dynamic to this series, while on the other side the small moments take enough time for the characterization of the main cast. The fanservice was annoying though, and this series chronically ignores to give any sort of interesting background or touches to the villains beyond the basics. – *+ (Great)

#10: Hunter X Hunter – 34: That one scene with the electricity: that’s where the animators finally loosened up a bit, and there were other scenes during Killua’s fight that finally had a direction that didn’t seem like it was pasted from manga-panels. The rest of this episode had plenty of those shots, but it’s definitely good to have a start here. What I also appreciate is that the creators bothered to fully let this arc play out, even though that meant having a few repetitive fights. – *+ (Great)

#11: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 22: This week’s episode was a cute story about a crow. Nothing stand-out hilarious for this series’ standards, but it remained very cute. – *+ (Great)

NB. Yes, Poyopoyo is actually last this week. What that means is that pretty much every series on this list delivered and was really enjoyable to watch, and I have very little to bitch about. That’s the great thing about this season: the huge quantity of series worth watching.

NB2. Overall, I’m really enjoying doing these rankings each week with short summaries. I’ll probably do this next season as well.

Posted on 3 June 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Another – 00: I don’t feel like writing an entire entry about Another’s OVA, but I do want to say: this is how a prequel OVA should be done. If you liked Another’s quiet moments, then this is a great recommendation because it adds a lot to Mei’s character here. The suspense build-up also was really well done, and the shout-out at the end of the episode was a very nice touch as well. Excellent way to close off this series. – **+ (Excellent+)

#2: Medaka Box – 09: Now this is more like it. Finally stuff happens, and I like the new direction. The action scenes finally delivered, and I really like how the different weapons and moves used poked fun at shounen conventions. Will this be enough considering there are only three or four episodes left, though? – ** (Excellent)

#3: Nazo no Kanojo X – 08: Lots of teenaged hormones running rampant this week, but they were done with such restraint that the tension really got addictive. Usually boob touching is completely and utterly shallow and just for the sake of fanservice , but here it played a huge role in pushing the main couple closer to each other. – ** (Excellent)

#4: Jormungand – 08: One of the best Jormungand episodes so far. They came with an interesting character for Koko to face, it used its politics nicely and some more side-characters got fleshed out. Let’s hope that the next episodes will also be like this. – ** (Excellent)

#5: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 21: What’s so amazing about this show is how easily it is to relate to these characters. This episode was a wonderful example of highlighting all sorts of different habits that pet owners have, and I don’t even have pets. – ** (Excellent)

#6: Shirokuma Cafe – 09: The first half of this episode was boring. The problem with Rin Rin is that he’s just an over the top stereotype, and focusing more on his characters just exposes his flaws. The second half though had Penguin and Polar Bear both in their best element. – *+ (Great)

#7: Hunter X Hunter – 33: Getting back to the explanations: so first we have an actual match in which some of the powers are explained. Then we have the aftermath in which Hisoka explains his powers. And now we get even more explanations as Gon and Killua also have to figure out what’s going on. Just weave that into one; it’s not really a major fight that deserves so much airtime. The end of the episode though. That was quite good. I’m still not a fan of how this series prefers shading over actual animation during the really heavy standout parts, but finally Killua showed off something new. – *+ (Great)

#8: Saint Seiya Omega – 09: Things are finally getting excited. The problem with the first episodes was that the fights lacked impact. Here though, they were interesting to watch and exciting as they were intended. The animation still has miles to go before it can reach Heartcatch Precure and Casshern’s levels, though. – *+ (Great)

#9: Sankarea – 09: An episode entirely dedicated to the sister. Okay. Surprisingly, this resulted in all of the annoying characters being completely absent, and resulted in a much more bearable episode. It was a kindof touching episode. On a side-note: Sankarea is stating to turn into a pet, rather than a human being. She needs to do things for herself as well. – *+ (Great)

#10: Natsuiero Kiseki – 09: This is a strange week: the boring series surpass themselves, while the usually strong series have a week off. The problem with this week’s episode of Natsuiro Kiseki was that it was too forced, but in a bad way. Some parts that would be really surprising are just slided off for the sake of convenience. The biggest example was the end of the episode: when a naked girl just randomly appears, it should be a huge shock, but the two girls here seem to have forgotten about that mere seconds afterwards. Not to mention the bad boob jokes. – * (Good)

#11: Kimi to Boku – 21: Hmm, this was the weakest episode of the second season. I’m not really a fan of the “let’s see how much trouble the characters can work themselves into”-storylines, especially when they involve slapstick, and it was too forced. Better luck next time. – (Enjoyable)

Posted on 26 May 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Natsuiro Kiseki – 08: I love travelling series, and this episode captured that perfectly. Trips are fun and all, but getting there is very often underestimated. As much as I like the direction Kimi to Boku turned into, in the end I do like Natsuiro Kiseki better, because it accomplished the same thing, while needing half of that airtime. – **+ (Excellent+)

#2: Kimi to Boku – 20: This time it’s the turn for Shu’s brother. As annoying as he was in the other episode he was featured in, as charming he was here. Seriously, that was some good romance there, especially for a guy with as little airtime as him. – **+ (Excellent+)

#3: The Legend of Korra – 07: By far the lest interesting part of the Legend of Korra is its romance, but that really got a push into the right direction with this episode when everyone finally seems to drop all of the tension. Aside from that, once again the action was great and I indeed saw confirmed that I’ve been suspecting all along now. – ** (Excellent)

#4: Nazo no Kanojo X – 07: The male lead’s big flaw is that he is very unremarkable. There is one point at which he sets himself apart from his counterparts though: the way he reacts to his girlfriend. Add that to a played down performance that isn’t trying too hard, and you’ve got a male romance lead that I really don’t mind watching. Nevertheless though, the female characters in this series remain the better ones. – ** (Excellent)

#5: Shirokuma Cafe – 08: A grizzly bear, a polar bear and a panda go fishing. I never imagined that they’d actually make an anime out of that. That bird in the first half of this episode was also hilarious, not to mention Shirokuma’s past. – ** (Excellent)

#6: Jormungand – 07: Nice episode, especially in terms of the gunfight. Koko’s date was a bit anticlimactic, though, but this show is steadily making its cast more interesting. – *+ (Great)

#7: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 20: The thing with this series is, that the entire cast is just fun to watch. It’s not just Poyopoyo, but the brother and sister tht own him are well acted and just as fun as he is, if not even more. – *+ (Great)

#8: Hunter X Hunter – 32: This is one fights which was done completely different when compared to the 1999 series. Overall, I prefer the waythe 1999 version did it, for one main reason: this episode went overboard with the explanations. It just went on and on with guiding us through every step in the ultimately brief fight. At times it also felt like the characters were talking to the audience, rather than each other. It’s a shame, because with the right execution the creators could really have done some impressive stuff here. Also, I disagree that my arguments can be dismissed because “this is a shounen series”. Genre conventions are guidelines. Be bold! Screw conventions! Break them! Hunter X Hunter is the perfect series to do that with! – * (Good)

#9: Saint Seiya Omega – 08: Okay, so apparently I dropped this show right at the wrong time: stuff actually happened here. I admit that the golden saint is interesting, but this episode did not fix the character issues I have in that they’re just too bland and uninteresting. That gold saint was one of the best characters so far for a reason. – * (Good)

#10: Sankarea – 08: There is one thing I am really struggling with with this series: it has parts that are really good. But it’s completely boring during the rest of its time. Now, will it get better/ Knowing Studio Deen, they will milk this show into a second season, but even thhen this is a manga adaptation where a lot of focus will be on how they handle the ending.This episode was already dragged out, despite the good bits at the end of it. – (Enjoyable)

#11: Medaka Box – 08: You know, it’s nice and all that the genre shift is about to begin now… but this show will be over in four weeks. Yeah, it’s only a 1-cour series. So yeah, in the meantime we have another dull episode about some random police officer who takes het job way too seriously. Also, if she didn’t have another uniform, what happened to the one she was going to make Medaka wear? – (Disappointing)

Posted on 18 May 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Kimi to Boku – 19: Are Japanese girls really so weak that they faint if you so little as even bump on them? I know she was tired and all, but these girls have health issues… Anyway, I digress. An amazing episode with the love triangle finally moving somewhere. Chizuru in particular changed significantly. He’s the type of character who often gets done wrong, with some horrible results. With this though, he really redeemed himself. – *** (Awesome)

#2: The Legend of Korra – 06: This series has also just surpassed itself this week. Really good action scenes, and the creators just keep building further upon Korra’s naivety. I really like how this series is set to subvert a number of often-used fantasy cliches. – **+ (Excellent+)

#3: AKB0048 – 03: I do not have time right now so I’m going to delay deciding whether or not to blog this, and how on earth I’m going to fit this into my schedule, for one more week. But seriously, what the hell did I watch here? Yet again enough proof that the creators know what they’re doing here: this show glorifies idols, but this episode also showed the uglier side of this bizarre premise. Especially Mari Okada was on fire on this episode: this was full of emotion, yet not as extreme as with Black Rock Shooter. – **+ (Excellent+)

#4: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 19: Oh my god, this was one of the best episodes yet. The sketch where Poyopoyo gets caught in quick drying cement was priceless. I was wondering why there were less jokes than usual, but the build-up was totally worth it. – **+ (Excellent+)

#5: Natsuiro Kiseki – 07: I hate the idol business in Japan. So why are the idol themed series so damn good? A thoughtful episode that highlighted the layers of the different characters and how they feel about the rock. – ** (Excellent)

#6: Nazo no Kanojo X – 06: That’s some impressive romantic tension you’ve got there, Nazo na Kanojo X. Nice aversion of the love triangle, and a very good potrayal of Tsubaki’s insecureties that make him less bland as a character. – ** (Excellent)

#7: Shirokuma Cafe – 07: Polar Bear is without a doubt my favorite character of this sereis. His deadpan humour in this episode especially was just hysterical. And that while the premises of each episode remain absolutely corny. – ** (Excellent)

#8: Hunter X Hunter – 31: “Let me drag out this fight by holding long monologues in order to explain you exactly how my powers work, giving you plenty of hints on how to stop me!” – This is exactly why I dislike the shounen genre dammit! The pacing keeps slowing down here! – * (Good)

#9: Jormungand – 06: I’m still missing something with this series. I mean, the backdrop of Africa is good, it’s nice to see the characters getting fleshed out and slowly reveal their pasts and the diplomacy is also nice, but I don’t know. The charcters still feel too one-sided and stereotypical. – * (Good)

#10: Medaka Box – 07: This was Medaka Box’s worst episode so far. Dull and forced fanservice, bland premise about art and a forced way to flesh out that new council member. Also I hate how creators can’t think of any light-hearted way to open a scene, so just go for the “walking into changing”-scene. Why has this turned into a default scene to use? – (Disappointing)

#11: Sankarea – 07: Seriously? An entire episode dedicated to that cousin? With no scene of Rea whatsoever? And it only reaffirms her character as “I like the main character”, with nothing beyond that? Come on, Sankarea, weren’t you supposed to be this romance with creative twists? – (Disappointing)

#12: Saint Seiya Omega – 07: I’m dropping this series. It has consistently ranked last amongst these rankings, and it got me thinking: what did it really offer in the past seven episodes? Nothing stood out, it was just a bunch of random hot blooded fights without much soul to them. There are too many other gret series this season for this. – (Disappointing)

Posted on 12 May 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Natsuiro Kiseki – 06: Brilliant characterization! Developing the same character in two different ways, based on a simple whim. This show just keeps getting better! – *** (Awesome)
#2: AKB0048 – 02: I have been asked very persistently by a certain someone whether or not I’m going to blog this series. I’m going to withhold that answer for next week, though. Why? Because I want to know what happens next. The intro is done, and what now? Will this turn into yet another boring school series like so many series with promising first episodes have done (lookin’ at you, Saint Seiya…), or will it evolve with the promise of these first two episodes? So far it’s good stuff, though. – ** (Excellent)
#3: Nazo no Kanojo X – 05: This episode again contained that mysterious charm that this sereis has with its bizarre fanservice, even though it was a beach episode. It was restrained, and very nicely played with that. Now if only the male lead were a bit less bland. – ** (Excellent)
#4: Jormungand – 05: Interesting back-story arc with the addition of Koko’s brother here. Good to see Jonah’s backstory earlier. – ** (Excellent)
#5: Kimi to Boku – 18: Aw, what a cute little romance. Naturally this only blossomed after one of the two had to move away, so that’s a bummer, though. – *+ (Great)
#6: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 18: This has to be the most tsundere cat I have ever seen. This episode really shined in how it managed to emote the different cats here. – *+ (Great)
#7: Hunter X Hunter – 30: The fight was boring with again unimpressive animation, attack names and weird musical choices. The aftermath however was surprisingly dark, and actually done better than the first season. Also YES! Kurapika’s arc has started! One detail that I think the 1999 series did better there is that we saw things from Kurapica’s perspective there: when Nen was used, we didn’t see anything. – *+ (Great)
#8: Shirokuma Cafe – 06: This episode had too much panda. the charm of this series is that all of the other characters are hilarious too. Although the punchline at the end of the episode was as hilarious as usual. Why the village people of all things? – *+ (Great)
#9: Medaka Box – 06: Well, this episode did stand out by subverting its own cliches a bit, but I don’t know… it still feels so forced for some reason. – * (Good)
#10: The Legend of Korra – 05: So the only way they decided to spice up the tournament arc was with having a very menacing and egotistical end boss and a lot of yelling for romantic reasons. Not the most interesting episode. – * (Good)
#11: Sankarea – 06: Agh, this show is frustrating! On one hand it’s well acted and written. But the attempts at comedy are so cringe-worthy. It’s also that grandfather who tries way too hard at being funny, resulting in especially the first half of this episode to turn into a chore to sit through bad jokes. – (Enjoyable)
#12: Saint Seiya Omega – 06: You know, the more I’m watching this series, the more I’m convinced that it doesn’t really look all that good. You can have a great character-designer, but even those designs look rather ugly if you don’t use it. – (Enjoyable)

Posted on 5 May 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Natsuiro Kiseki – 05: What a completely adorable episode. The characters just continue to grow here. even though there was no stone today, this was one of the best depictions of a cold in a long while. – **+ (Excellent+)
#2: Shirokuma Cafe: I don’t get it. Some of the jokes in this seris are horribly predictable. This episode again had all kinds of animals suggest bizarre dishes around their favorite food, and Shirokuma’s bad puns. And yet it’s hilarious and so refreshing to watch. The punchline to the parfait fair also was delightful. – ** (Excellent)
#3: The Legend of Korra – 04: Cheesy romance aside, this is the first time I’ve been impressed by this series. The creators used Korra’s brashness in an excellent way here in combinatiton with the politics. – ** (Excellent)
#4: Kimi to Boku – 17: This episode played up Chizuru’s annoyance to the max again, but I’m not bothered by that as much as I used to. Again this episode was really charming and simple. – ** (Excellent)
#5: Sankarea – 05: Very torn on this episode. It would have been #1 if it wasn’t for that annoying cousin. Excellent build-up and pay-off, although I do wonder whether turning zombies in assaulters was the right decision. – ** (Excellent)
#6: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 17: I’m still amazed at how short this series is: not including the OP and ending screen, its episodes are only two minutes and ten seconds long. This episode had 6 different sketches in just that time-frame. All of them were fun. – ** (Excellent)
#7: Jormungand – 04: Good episode for Koko as finally her character was a bit more rounded. Also, “I am an American! I have blond hair, I work for the CIA and I am an asshole!” – *+ (Great)
#8: Nazo no Kanojo X – 04: A bit of a step down compared to last weeks, mostly because the saliva is starting to lose its gimmick, but nevertheless that girl whose name I’ve forgotten had some nice moments together with Urabe. – *+ (Great)
#9: Medaka Box – 05: I noticed that Medaka is often able to hold the higher moral ground, solely because she’s so ungodly good at everything. Will this get used later? Also Gainax, there are times where a slideshow is good, but there are also times where a slide-show is just lazy. For a Gainax series I am surprised how actually mediocre the action in this series is. – * (Good)
#10: Hunter X Hunter – 29: Uh, Hunter X Hunter… are you serious in this? Do you really intend to have people call out the names of their attacks, accompanied by huge letters? Is that your idea of how to best represent Nen? – * (Good)
#11: Saint Seiya Omega – 05: Is the entire series going to be about training and people being hot blooded? – (Enjoyable)

Posted on 29 April 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Nazo na Kanojo X – 03: What sets the soundtrack of this series on top of all of the others is hard to describe, but that one track it has that it always plays at the episode climaxes brings out a ton of emotion. – ** (Excellent)
#2: Natsuiro Kiseki – 04: That rock is very cruel: toying with the wishes of teenaged girls, and giving them a big middle finger when they try to fix it. Nevertheless though, this episode once again had some really good character development. I also really like how well this show uses the fact that some of its characters are athletic, while others aren’t. – ** (Excellent)
#3: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 16: I love how the creators are able to take everyday situations, throw a bit of sadism into them, and make them fun. That Civet cat in particularly worked well with that in this episode. – ** (Excellent)
#4: Shirokuma Cafe – 04: You know I could complain about how Panda was annoying again and all. But they actually showed the polar bear driving a car this episode! The drive-through part in particular was awesome. It’s very hard to correctly explain why this series is so good to someone who has never seen it, though. – ** (Excellent)
#5: Kimi to Boku – 17: This episode was about the twins. Quite refreshing to see the blond kid completely gone. Quite heart-warming to see some of the conflicts between them. – *+ (Great)
#6: Jormungand: The crazy obsessive lesbian is a trope that seriously needs to die. What’s wrong with having just a regular lesbian on the cast? I did like the tension that the boy soldier created in this episode, though. – * (Good)
#7: The Legend of Korra – 03: Very good fight scenes, and the real introduction of the resistance holds potential, but the amount of cliches in the first half was a bit annoying, and this show has this “Saturday Morning Cartoon’-feel to it. – * (Good)
#8: Hunter X Hunter – 28: It’s finally time for the introduction of Nen, the single best power system of any shounen out there. And it lacks a bit of subtlety here. The creators just send waves of random CG without much variation to Gon and Killua. At the very least, comparing the old and new version with each other has given me a new appreciation for how well the 1999 version was made, regardless of how accurate it may have been to the manga. – * (Good)
#9: Medaka Box: If a character is good or bad at handwriting: SHOW this. Don’t just have random characters claim this. Don’t tell me that your animators only know how to do flashy action-scenes, Gainax. – (Enjoyable)
#10: Sankarea – 04: Very annoying episode with lots of cliches. Especially that cousin and those classmates are not interesting to watch at all, not to mention that the creators actually went for a “walking into the shower scene”. this episode was saved by Rea’s changes and development.
#11: Saint Seiya Omega – 04: Rather boring training episode with generic RPG element explanation. – (Enjoyable)

Introducing this season’s Kaleidoscope. I like to experiment with these things, as it’s the perfect format to try out different stuff. This time, because there are so many series that stand out, I’m going to do a ranking: from best to worst, the episodes that caught my attention the most each week of all of the series that I’m not fully blogging, followed by a small blurb for each series (blurbs can also just be “unimpressive”, otherwise it would just take up too much time for some shows). This way I can also share my thoughts of Hunter X Hunter, without having to dedicate an entire entry to it (although I will remove it from this list as soon as the Hunter X Hunter fanbase arrives again and starts telling me how I should enjoy my series…).

Every week on Sunday I will post a new entry for this Kaleidoscope, with weeks beginning on Sunday and ending on Saturday this time. I usually try to have weeks start on Monday, but this is much more convenient because nothing airs on Friday and Saturday, allowing me time to catch up (not to mention the ungodly amounts of series that air all at the same time on Sunday, on top of me being very busy on most Sundays with this thing called real life), and I’ll update this entry as the week goes along.

Also, as for the series that didn’t make the cut (meaning the series that I’m not going to watch this season):
Arashi no Yoru ni ultimately isn’t worth it. It’s overacted and I’ve already seen the story before.
Accel World has some potential, but it doesn’t have any interesting characters whatsoever, not to mention that it’s got a pretty dull and annoying male lead.
Tasogare Otome Amnesia has really bad acting. Plus, the girl turns round and the guy immediately goes for her boob. Now that’s bad fanservice that needs to die.
Kuroko no Basuke, I don’t think that it can really improve beyond what it has shown here. It’s still a jump series full of shounen powers, and it will probably follow a very constraining format. It in any case doesn’t live up to the standard that sports series have set in the past.
– I actually enjoyed the first two episodes of Saki. However, that got me thinking: the reason I enjoyed them so much, and why I actually managed to finish the first Saki, is because there were no Mahjong battles. I’m bailing out while I still can, because those mahjong matches in the first season were just an insult.
Shining Hearts needs more ambition. The characterization isn’t good enough to make this a good slice of life series, and for an adventure it just goes nowhere with an entire episode being dedicated to… a nasty storm.
Acchi Kocchi fails for me as a slice of life due to its annoying characters.
Kuromajo-San ga Tooru also lacks ambition and is just too dull.
– And then there are comedies like Gon, Haiyore, Zombie and Jewel Pet, which just aren’t funny enough to warrant a watch.

CHANGE USERNAME
Anonymous1276500
There are 2 Nyaa's now. This one is considered the 'real' one: https://nyaa.si
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looks like anirena is down for me. Although it looks like nyaa went back up as this: https://nyaa.pantsu.cat/
SuperMario
Aidan: Fate/Apocrypha, Made in Abyss, Kakegurui
Mario: Princess Principal, 18if, Youkoso
Lenlo: Touken Ranbu, The Reflection
Wooper: Ballroom, Shoukoku no Altair
Helghast: Re:Creators
SuperMario
Note: I'm deciding to take Classroom of the Elite as my third show to cover. So, for this season we are covering 11 shows.
Vonter
Just to end, it kind of shows than even if a story is predictable on where it is going. Characters can make up for that, if they're funny, interesting, and perhaps not agreeing all the time and having different agendas and points of view despite all sharing the same boat.
Vonter
Yet as a game Tales hasn't felt deep since Symphonia, (at least from the ones I've played). I'm wondering if it'll leave me wanting check the anime of Zestiria, since apparently Berseria is a prequel to that game. And many say the anime is better than the game. (I can see why).
Vonter
I also like the reused Tales beats from Phantasia and Berseria. It those have moments like when Lloyd was exiled and Cless had his village attacked. It has clear antagonists unlike Vesperia, and trying harder than the cartoony villains of Graces.
Vonter
I've been playing Tales of Berseria, and it seems to be the anti Tales of Graces. In which I'm caring about the story and characters, but the gameplay is a drag. This is the first time I've been autoplaying an JRPG. But unlike Gravity Rush 2, I'm not dropping it because I'm liking the interactions of these characters even if it gets, campy, overdramatic, or edgy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean I watch anime and films subtitled but sometimes my reading speed can be slow if theres a lot of dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I do that sometimes, mostly to check for message updates or on occasion to read reviews of what I am watching or to download more/check downloads.
SuperMario
For instance, I watched Okja yesterday and I had to take 15', 20' minute break in between for snack, surfing webs and playing mobile games...
SuperMario
I watched Fanny and Alexander... don't really remember which version I watched thou. I think it's a TV version since it divides into 4 separate parts
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it just that... my attention span has shortened greatly and I just can't stay focus on movies over an hour mark. In cinema, it's alright since you can't move anywhere but now it's abig task to finish a 2 hour and a half movie for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
And is good enough to keep up the quality for that long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll say this, for every medium, to me the length of something isn't so much the issue, if you have a writer good enough to keep something going for ages then the length shouldn't be an issue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If something goes over three hours I treat it as a miniseries and watch one hour or two a day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol if you thought thats long, have you seen the extended versions of scenes from a marriage and fanny & alexander by Bergman? I can't wait to get my hands on the tv versions I hear they're completely different.
SuperMario
Okja is pretty entertaining with pointed social commentary. I don't really feel Tilda Swinton's double roles add up much but everything else is great. Bong has never disappointed me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: good luck with Satantango then. I guess now if I watch an 8-hour long film it would take me a whole week to finish it :/
Kaiser-Eoghan
Made in abyss and vatican keep staring at me. Although I'm not chancing them yet or anything else until I hear a bit more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My once massive film backlog is nearly cleared. I can try watching stuff this season hopefully.
K-Off
Same boat here. For the first time in a long time I spent almost half the day catching up on all of my manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll have two weeks leave, I will finally watch Satantango, all eight hours of that film.
AidanAK47
I did a double take when I saw this. One of these things is not like the other.... http://gematsu.com/2017/07/blazblue-cross-tag-battle-announced
SuperMario
Well, finally have a bit of precious free time to watch something else and I have too much things to watch. Castlevania, the final Kizumonogatari movie, live-action Okja and some books planned to read... I guess I'll go with Okja today
Ninja
Looking forward to that Dies review
Lenlo
Yaaay! Time to enjoy your blogging time
AidanAK47
And now we are up to date. Just need to finally get that Dies Irae Review posted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I'll watch almost every horror film I can, don't even mind the awful acting most have.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pet cemetary was a guilty pleasure of mine when I was a teenager.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know how I'd feel if I rewatched salems lot, although a positive is that it did have James Mason in it and it was done in that 70s style of slow burn horror that I love.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The IT film has aged horribly and thats one case where I would advocate a remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stand by me was a perftly watchable coming of age film and it surprised me, seeing a non-horror King story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay theres one way to settle this =P Lovecraft > all of them ;) I have actually enjoyed some King adaptations even though I know the Shining took liberties , I also enjoyed Carrie and Apt Pupil.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, please. Early King > Richard Matheson > Modern King. Kings early works were good.
Lenlo
@Aidan, its true that Monty was the mind behind the fights. Sad, but I think the other directors are starting to come into their own instead of trying to copy Monty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But we all know Richard Matheson > King.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He did some collabs with Stephen King I believe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Like the dead films he's trying to be thematic, although this one is clumsily put together, I kind of like how it hybridizes the 50s with 70s style exploitation, it has its moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
hmmm the only non Dead trilogy film I've seen by Romero is the Crazies, feels like he's still finding his voice with it.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Part of the reason is that they started using better animation software. But despite that there was a downgrade in fight chorgraphy when Monty died. Though the story I find is getting better.
AidanAK47
@Kinseryu, I think it's ridiculous to everyone but there are those that choose to ignore it.
@Anon, That's a bit harsh. It is true that his later works never truly panned out but he did pretty much popularise the zombie apoc. Even if Day of the Triffids did it before him.
Lenlo
Every season RWBY gets just a little bit prettier. Rooster Teeth really does have some of the better 3D animation skills out there.
Anonymous1272531
goerge romero was a hack trying desperate to stay relevant.
Kinseryu
Tenshi3P... I thought it was just me that this show was just ridiculous by putting three ten years old girl that knows how to play electrical instruments. They are insulting the people who plays these. But good thing I found this site with your first impression. I laughed and I feel better. Lol.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he passed away? damn. He was the Father of Zombie genre. So like him or hate him, he was influential to say the least. RIP.
Kaiser_Eoghan
...holy shit George A Romero died? Now I have to watch the rest of his films.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Rei Hiroe is really dicking around with black lagoon lately, he's still releasing wasted chapters, just like re:creators, the most recent chapter of black lagoon was a slog.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Maybe the conversation and lives of others could sort of count as espionage stories to an extent.
Kaiser_Eoghan
If you're interested in spy fiction, Spy who came in from the cold, most wanted man, Smiley's people, deadly affair and tinker tailor soldier spy are your best bet.
SuperMario
@Travlos (regarding yoir earlier comment): yeah, it hit me as well that most of regular readers have been here even longer than myself. So thanks for sticking around mates
SuperMario
@Travlos: playing catch up with both Re:Creators and Virgin Soul yesterday. Agreed that last week's Re:Creators was weak because it focused on the Creators (they're not good) but last episode was on par again. Virgin Soul, I loved that episode that the girls go bacl to Nina's hometown
SuperMario
@anon1272074: I still haven't had the time to watch Pripri yet (probably in few more hours), but you bet I'm looking forward to it
Anonymous1272074
Then again, James Bond does count as a spy. I meant not a realistic one.
Anonymous1272074
Princess Principal 2 was pretty good. Still more James Bond via little girls than spies, but this episode was more about intrigue and stuff than action.
Lenlo
Started catching up with Kakegurui. The OP is the sort of mind games I remember from Mob Psycho. Dunno what that means for the show, but I like it.
KTravlos
Quite happy with this week's RE:Creators. Blitz is cool, Aliceteria looked so scary. It washed out the taste of last week's episode.

Bahamut is going interesting places.
BTW. Speaking of spies from Princess Principal. I watch TURN. That is a good spy show.
KTravlos
I mean you see the use of those heavy revolvers as clubs in westerns. Mythbusters did a experiment, and being hit by one could kill you just fine. But in anime, I do not remember seeing it often
AidanAK47
Homura used Gun-kata in the fight against Mami in Rebellion. Can't think of anyone who exclusively uses it though. After all Gun-Kata is more or less a flashy art that has no real benefit.
Anonymous1270604
amazing!
Vonter
Is Gun Kata the fighting style of Noel Vermillion from BlazBlue? I suppose I'm mainly thinking about how guns are handled in fighting games. Where the shots are mainly concussive. I suppose those are mainly energy blasts.
Lenlo
Ranbu took a step in the right direction I feel. Used the morals of whether or not to change history and it focused in on one of its characters.
Lenlo
Final Fantasy has had some gun swords. Cant think of any with guns in melee though. There are some with gun-kata like cowboy bebop though
Vonter
Just for curiosity, have anyone watched an anime, movie or game that uses a gun as a melee weapon. Or one in which the gun is mainly concussive but still has impact?
Spike
18if ep2 was a bit wacky... main character seems to be off his rocker.
AidanAK47
Alright. Time to finally play catch up with those series I need to blog.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time acknowledging love for creativity is more important in the end than making a profit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I was using death of artist/deceased artist as a term to suggest peoples careers in the area are too often killed before they get a chance.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Moreso also to save the guy the embarrassment of misinterpreting it so awkwardly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Nothing too extreme , moreso that the piece itself feels inappropriate/tainted to have up/leave around/submit. Ended up taking it down out of taste.
Puran
Did that change how you feel about your writing? I had a somewhat similar experience, where something I was writing was similar to a real situation some I knew was going through. After I found out I stopped writing it. Not sure why.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wasn't all that close to either of them much but yeah, weird coincidence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He thought I already knew the guy was dead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*earlier
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all okay now...but fuck that was was awkward.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....Oh jesus christ...oh christ this is a creepy creepy coincidence...I showed an acquaintance a bit of writing I did early, it mentions death of an artist, thing is I was writing something based on a conversation with my editor friend, turns out said acquaintance's artist friend died (who he knows that I've spoken to in the past) and he thought the piece I showed him was about the dead guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe I began visiting this site in 2008.
As for humanity has declined, I found it bizzare and darkly funny for a while but felt it ran dry in its second half and I kind of fell out of following it.
KTravlos
You know it hit me. I think I have been following this blog for a decade now, perhaps more. Cool that it is still around.
Lenlo
I do agree it had alot more western influence than eastern though
Lenlo
Eh nothing wrong with that I think. Astro boy was very much the same after all
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I personally saw it as more of a Saturday morning cartoon than an anime.
Lenlo
@Masky, Heroman was a decent giant robot show. It looked and sounded good, though the acting was off in places. Alot of people panned it thinking it was the West invading the east when really it was trying to bridge that gap
SuperWooper
@Kaiser: Hey, Humanity Has Declined was great.
KTravlos
need not be

not

need to be
KTravlos
Masky it was not an issue of writing about politics. It is an issue of writing just about your preferred politics. A good political work need to be politicized if you understand what I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...what the hell tsuki ga kirei was directed by Seiji Kishi? He was actually capable of making a good anime?
Masky
Anyhoo, lol. Haven't mentioned Jitsu wa watashi wa in long time, but I really find it hilarious that its only actually evil character's competence is just "they aren't a idiot" xD As in, they don't even seem that diabolically intelligent, they just don't get wrapped into hijinxs.
Masky
@KTravlos: Well, depends on your views. Some people think artists should have their work speak about politics and world instead of just good stories. I'm kinda neutral about that since while stories about nature of world can be great, most of them don't really teach anyone anything new or change anyone
Masky
Huh, another anime work with Stan Lee being involved? I wonder how well Heroman did
KTravlos
Yup. A mangaka that could had been another Urasaw imho is Kawaguchi Kaiji. I really like his art, and it evokes some of the elements that I love in Urasawa. He also has interesting stories. But I fear he has let his political and ideological prejudices get the better of him. Which is a pity. Definitely a missed chance.
Masky
Did Urasawa do that billy bat manga?
SuperMario
As for Urasawa, I mentioned here before but I read 20th Century Boys few months ago and the manga was a straight out masterpiece. Fillers, yes but they are still in service for the main plot. Although out of his work my favorite's still Monster
AidanAK47
Alright. Only one more. Though the two superhero shows won't air for another week. Seeing as one is reflectiona nd the other is that marvel kids show maybe we shouldn't bother covering them in the impressions.
SuperMario
@Amagi: agree with you on the Friday's anime (well, for me it's technically Saturday) but Kakegurui, Fate and Princess Principal are worth following as well
SuperMario
@Kaiser: if you're still deciding if you should check out the manga or novel then I say novel since it's the novel that was influential, not the manga
Kaiser-Eoghan
So based on that fantasy itch I had thought about Altair, but hesitated because it was labeled as a shounen action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was a time where I was hugely into the shoujo fantasy/historical thing. I've actually been thinking of out of curiousity looking into some old obscure ovas such as Books of Y and Crystania.
Amagi
Man as much as I love the Friday's anime this time, and whenever Altair airs, but the rest of the working-week is weak as hell. At least now I will finally have more time for games, VNs and creative stuff I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It was kind of nice to hear an announcer coming in before Genocidal organ started, mentioning that for a few months their cinema will be playing anime and Japanese films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Surprised to see an anime reference Kafka and Katyn.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have not yet checked out empire of corpses.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now, I'll have to consider the manga or the novel as I heard some of the philosophical stuff got chopped. This was however a more successful and accessible film for me than Harmony.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Manglobe was always a bit mediocre when it came to animation and voice actor direction, but this wasn’t a bad film for them to go out on.
It lives up to its name, it gets quite visceral with the action that’s there, if you don’t like seeing child soldiers getting slaughtered there’s your warning, but I appreciated getting this kind of violence I want to see more of again in anime/manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just got back from my local arthouse cinema, from watching a special screening of that anime film, Genocidal organ, this is the sort of thing where you do wish that it had more time to explore its thematics but they at least offer a good enough flavouring to a solid man on a mission scifi thriller.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just to state I don't hate Urasawa's work, rather I find it sort of difficult , I could say the same about Asano Inio regarding oyasumi punpun.
KTravlos
Urasawa is supposed to be working on Master Keaton Remastered. But it seems to be on hiatus. A pity because I loved Master Keaton (I adore Monster)-in general I love this person's work.
Amagi
20thCB would be my favorite Urasawa I think but I can't imagine it as an adaption. Kinda want to know what Urasawa will do next. He already announced that he's working on a new series months ago.
Amagi
I am really looking forward to the Pluto anime. I wanted this one the most, there is a serious lack of good sci-fi anime out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...billy bat is....scattered and directionaless fro what I read but shows interesting historical scenarios.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pluto was reasonably short, so this wasn't much of a problem.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And while from the film adaptations I could tell that the original manga for 20th century boys likely had a very good storyline , I couldn't get through the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite watching monster a few times I feel I've missed or forgotten things about it, largely because although I understand its importance and did like it, its length and pace always made me watch it on and off with gaps in between.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised by how attached I got to Grimmer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Monster is a good example of slow burn tension done right and has one of the most memorable villains out there. Though it isn't without its fillers.
Lenlo
You want a mystery, I heartily recommend Monster.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I also sometimes write impressions/reviews in my spare time, its hard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although the first season probably did have just that bit better atmosphere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I may have been one of the few who enjoyed true detective season 2 as much as the first however.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not sure anymore if I'm entirely happy or not with having less time now , yes I can see the frustration, but at the same time it stops me from filling in dead moments with terrible shows/films when there ends up being literally nothing else to do.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I can only enjoy a select crime/mystery things .
Kaiser-Eoghan
It would take a very good writer to make case of the week episodes work, a mystery wrapped up in one or two episodes can just stop it from unfolding naturally or organically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've probably mentioned a few times, I pretty much go by what I'm told to watch and not watch , mostly to play it safe.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here. If the supernatural feeling is part of a series it's better if it's rather just hinted at to retain the aura of mystery but that the actual cases are just involving "normal" crimes that get resolved by detective work. Something like True Detective or Name of the Rose.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, that's good. I love a good mystery and hate it when it's ruined with magical wizard space ghosts.
Amagi
@Aidan: If people who know the original were telling the truth explanations will be rational and the series is rather an actual mystery instead of anything supernatural.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I haven't even watched the second episode of Apocrypha yet. Also behind on Re:Creators. Wonder if I will leave it. So far planning to get two more impressions out by end of day. Got one wrote up and just need to work on the other. Next up Tenshi no 3P...this is going to be painful.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, truly appreciate it. If Vatican can slow down it could really be something else. But I wonder how much of a supernatural element is going to be present in the series.
SuperMario
And now after I've watched all new shows save Gamers, I'll blog Princess Principal and 18if this season. I will watch second episode of Vatican and Centaur to decide the third choice, if I'm unconvinced by both I'll blog Tsurezure Children
SuperMario
@Amagi: Thanks, it's our pleasures. I like checking out new shows myself buy gosh it's time consuming. Have been behind on both Re:Creators, Virgin Soul because of this.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I also really hope that the pacing of the Vatican's series will slow down. Maybe they wanted to shove in as much as possible for episode 1 to attract more viewers. Love this dark and sacral atmosphere, it would be some wasted potential if they'd kill it by speeding through the story. Music is good as well.
Amagi
Don't blame yourself, your're doing this for free and there are a ton of new series. I also think that most people rather read impressions to know how others felt about the episodes and not in order to decide which series they should check out. You two are usually better at pointing out flaws than me, which is why I quite enjoy reading the reviews.
AidanAK47
Thing is that our impressions are usually late. Purely my fault of course as Mario does his write ups quickly. I am usually late with mine due to a lack of time to check shows out.
Amagi
I am usually fair and watch every first episode but sometimes I just stop after the fifth school series of the same anime season.
Amagi
I like how much Aidan's and Mario's first impressions match my own. This saves me quite some time since I don't even have to check the series that didn't look interesting to begin with.
AidanAK47
Finally getting somewhere with these impressions. God they build up.
SuperMario
@anon1264300: as far as I see the marriage system in Koi to Uso js just a setup for doomed love and whatever. They won't commit to explore that aspect at all.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I plan on playing it but first I am going to wait and see if it gets a PC port or remake. I say i will end up playing Taro's other work Drakengard before it.
Lenlo
@Aidan I played it after Nier: Automata, which is another game I missed, and both were just great.
Anonymous1264300
@SuperMario: It kinda weirded me out how the totalitarian(?)- and arranged marriage system was just accepted in Koi to Uso. Like, it's only presented as a problem because MC doesn't seem to get the girl he loves (because of some smile 10 years ago). I guess it gets more serious later but ep1 was really awkward.
AidanAK47
So cruchyroll is gonna co-devlop anime now. Guess that's one way to stop Amazon and Netflix from stealing all the anime licences.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, still hoping it's remade like they hinted it would. Would be nice if they integrated Automatas combat system.
Lenlo
Finally got around to finishing Nier, and I have to say, it was phenomenal. Still have those soundtracks stuck in my head
SuperMario
I watched the second episodes of Koi to Uso and Isekai Shokudou and... they're not good. Koi to Uso plot gets even more contrived and watching the latter show I have a feeling of watching some advertisment show for a restaurant
Kaiser-Eoghan
@K-off: Hmm, I don't know if you'll see this message, but I remember ages ago we discussed the second reboot film of Planet of the Apes, I reviewed the followup here: https://letterboxd.com/shao_liu_ringon/film/war-for-the-planet-of-the-apes/
Kaiser-Eoghan
I assume that those convoluted dialogues in Dies Irae, that many people playing it find deciphering them rewarding.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still kind of like altair though and the idea/premise of the show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have also decided to put re:creators on hold, largely due to it wasting a good premise and too much padding, while I liked megane to a good extent her character also irritated me at the same time, they also danced around the issue of sotas character arc too long, I was willing to give the dialogue a pass initially because I saw it as set up but it needs to stop now, we're halfway through.
AidanAK47
I just don't get how he thought such massive amounts of exposition was a good idea. Apparently this was a pet project of his for years and yet he didn't notice that there was too many scenes of just explaining shit?
KTravlos
I am still willing going to watch it. The last episode was a nadir though, no question. But I will give them the benefit of the doubt. But yes. Despite my love for the series, the last Episode made took away its A rating. For the first time in 14 episodes I did not re-watch the episode immediately, and I was not harking for more.
Total users: 29

Featured Posts

Classroom of the Elite – 02 [It Takes a Great Deal and Skill to Conceal One’s Talent and Skill.]

Something about Youkoso, after the end of both first two episodes, that left me there hanging. Something that I feel “off”, but I can’t quite put my fingers on. I guess a big part of it was caused by the pacing, which it takes way too long to get into the intrigued part. I mean, […]

Re:Creators – 15 [Waves Approach the End of Wandering]

This week’s episode didn’t have any action once again but there is a lot more movement on the main plot as each faction solidify their alliances and plan out their new moves. As speculated last week, the latest creation has a snowball’s chance in hell in be competitive against every other creation as her only […]

Princess Principal – 02 [Case 1 Dancy Conspiracy]

Man, plot twists. Through many twists and turns within the episode, we have a big switcheroo Sixth Sense-size at the end that completely change the context of what come before. I mean, Princess Principal walks on a really thin wire here. On the one hand, deceive and betrayal are the backbone of spies, guessing the […]

Made in Abyss – 2[Resurrection Festival]

Made in abyss continues strong as the animation remains beautiful, the music perfect and the story progressing with revelations at a good rate. I particularly lie that they provided necessary details about the different ranks of miners based on whistle colour  through a puppet show. It’s a good way of providing the audience information without […]

Kakegurui- 2/3[A Boring Woman/Slit-Eyed Woman]

Two episodes of high stakes gambles and I do feel that I am going to run out of things to say about this one fast. I suppose I will start with the elephant in the room and address what could be Kakegurui’s most detrimental feature. The fact that it’s set in a school setting and […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 2/3[The Appearance of the Saints/First Step of Fate]

So where do I begin? I am brain dead at the moment so forgive me if this gets a bit too much like rambling but I have to catch up with all this so here’s my best shot at being somewhat competent. WIth these two episodes we have the setup of this grail war established […]

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu – 3 [Master’s Orders]

The farther into the season we go, the clearer it becomes that Ranbu is a video-game adaptation, as this week Ranbu takes two steps forward and one step back. We start this week off immediately where we left off, with the Dutch steamship mid explosion, and wow was it a beautiful explosion. If nothing else […]

Ballroom e Youkoso – 02 [Kiyoharu Hyodo]

After a strong start to its two cour season, Ballroom e Youkoso has managed to waltz its way past all potential stumbling blocks and deliver an even better second episode. There was a lot to love here, including a carefully introduced rival and love triangle, great voicework from Shinba Tsuchiya, and some promising animation during […]

18if – 02 [Time Stopped at Age 12]

18if (pronounced as eighteen – if… nah I’m kidding) is an anime version of a multimedia project The Art of 18 which also include a mobile game and a VR game. Watching the first two episodes you can see a clear influence in its game format: a self-contained case that more or less has the […]

Latest Reviews

Tsuki ga Kirei (Spring 2017) Review – 88/100

It’s hard for me not to go overboard on Tsuki ga Kirei: out of all the show I’ve followed this season, I resonated the most to this one; but even when I’m judging this show objectively, Tsuki ga Kirei is one of the most perfect one, in a way that it achieved exactly what it […]

Seikaisuru Kado Review 51/100

Seikaisuru Kado was a title which caught my attention for a number of reasons. For one it’s visuals showed not a single teenager in sight and a cast mainly consisting of working adults. Another is that it deals with a premise not often tackled in anime, Philosophical Science Fiction. The story features an alien being […]

ID-0 (Spring 2017) Review – 81/100

Here comes one of the most under-appreciated anime of this Spring season. ID-0 has many hassles that keeps viewers away from watching it: Netflix exclusive, full CG animation and a plot that just plain weird and a bit incomprehensive at first view. I originally took it as nothing more than fun spooky little-seen show until […]

Grimoire of Zero (Spring 2017) Review – 77/100

I remember, back in our first impression of this series, Aidan remarked that Grimoire of Zero isn’t your typical LN-adaptations, but he didn’t know what to make of it. To be honest, after watching an entire cour, I’m still unsure what to make of it myself. This show has some serious flaws, yet despite all […]

Uchoten Kazoku Review – 94/100

(Note: Since psgels didn’t give his final review to the first season, this review is for the entirety of Eccentric Family. If I had to grade the second season alone, it’s 90/100). Doesn’t matter how you look at it, the Eccentric Family is a unique show, in a way it feels and tastes like no […]

Little Witch Academia TV Review – 80/100

The Little Witch Academia series has been something that’s a long time coming. Ever since Studio Trigger made the original Anime OVA back in 2013 I have been hotly anticipating the time when it would be fleshed out into it’s own anime series. I love both the original OVA and the enchanted Parade so this […]

Window Horses (2016) Movie Review – 87/100

In Window Horses, or its full name Window Horses – The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming, many characters keep asking the main protagonist, a Stick Girl in an otherwise fully formed character designs, why is she wearing a chador, in which she’s unable to reply. It’s her first trip to go overseas, so she […]

Kobayashi-san chi no Maid Dragon (Winter 2017) Review – 74/100

I remember back in the first impression of last Winter season, I regarded Demi-chan as a better Monster Girls slice of life subgenre over this one. But as the season progressed, while Demi-chan run out of its steam quickly, this one picked up its pace after an underwhelming first episode to become a much more […]

Scum’s Wish (Winter 2017) Review – 80/100

I remember after watched a movie called “Requiem for a Dream” a few years back, I felt devastated for an entire week. The ending hit me so hard that after finished that movie I had to walk around my area for 2 hours in the middle of night to settle my feeling and I thought […]