Posted on 18 June 2013 with categories: Spring 2013 Kaleidoscope

#1: Yahari Blahblah – 09: The main character’s pessimism: I’m really surprised at how well that has been done in this series. It really has depth: he’s not just wise-cracking his way through the series, nor is he wallowing in self-pity. He is who he is, and he is happy that way, even though his life could be so much more fun if he didn’t think the way he did and he wasn’t so cautious in avoiding disappointments. And even that part gets developed in this episode. This is the first light-novel adaptation with a stupidly long title that I actually liked, but even then this has exceeded my expectations.

#2: Majestic Prince – 09: The plot in this series is nothing special. The characters still show off their clichés. The villains are boring, the setting is standard. Yet why do I like this? Why do I find the characters so enjoyable to watch? Why do I find their quirks funny? What’s going on here?

#3: Hunter X Hunter – 83: What I really like about the Chimera Ant Arc is how well it explores the ants themselves, and how they gradually learn from their mistakes. They’re smart… for ants. That unfortunately is also why I don’t yet consider this to be the best arc of the series so far. At this point the ants have nothing on the Spider Troupe yet and the fights still are boring. Will that change or not?

Wtf of the week:

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z – 09 & 10: What on earth did I just watch? What was that? Why, Japan? Why!?!

Worst episode

Valvrave the Liberator 10: Oh boy. I’d like to talk a bit about the series from the “Code Geass”-school, or to be more accurate: the products of Ichiro Okouchi and Hiroyuki Yoshino, because I’m deeply concerned with what these two are doing. Hiroyuki Yoshino may not be involved in Valvrave, but the general trend is definitely visible. The two of them are prolific writers who get assigned to do the series composition of a lot of high-profile original anime, yet their philosophy favors sensationalism over everything else: they write series with shock value in mind, while at the same time having storylines that don’t even bother hiding that they’re ridiculous.

I say that it comes from the Code Geass-school, but I believe that this started with Mai Hime and Mai Otome. Mai Hime was actually a very good series that actually did a very good job at shock twists, but something happened in the transition to Mai Otome, which started to sacrifice good storytelling and likable characters for said shock twists (really, what happened there just did not make any sense!). Ever since that point, our lovely duo proceeded to write original scripts that just threw in shocks for the sake of having shocks, even though they are either really convenient, or just didn’t make any sense at all (and before this point they didn’t do that: these are the guys who wrote Planetes, Overman King Gainer, the adaptation for Angelic Layer) and indeed Mai Hime. A downside is that they use that to also drag down some really good directors in the process: Tetsurou Araki, Goro Taniguchi, Matsuou Kou, even Shoji Kawamori (in a less noticeable way though, probably thanks to Shoji’s ego). They’re all brilliant directors, but none of that brilliance shined through when they had to work with these guys.

So yeah, the rape. Let’s just say that I disagree with how it was used here. Valvrave is supposed to be this fun over the top and crazy series. With this, you just made it way too serious. I understand that they wanted to show that Valvrave can turn people into monsters. But don’t try to combine that with a student council election. That’s very bad use of irony, not to mention that I find that it looks very much down on rape and rape victims. With this episode this series also really started to take itself seriously. Why? Also, I glimpsed at a few of the reactions people had after this episode. And god. It’s times like these where I want to disassociate myself from the anime fandom…

Posted on 30 May 2013 with categories: Spring 2013 Kaleidoscope

#1: Hunter X Hunter – 80: Once in a while Hunter X Hunter comes with an episode that just stands out. This was one of them. The first half just oozed style and really was a big change from the usual atmosphere and I found it really well done with how it was just in black and white, and how it didn’t show the guy’s face at all. The second half of the episode… let’s just say that it’s the first time in 80 whopping episodes that this series managed to shock me.

#2: Yahari Blahblah – 05: The end of this episode. That’s where I understood the appeal of this series and where it really became better than its contemporaries, rather than just a series with potential. The first parts of the episode were a bit iffy, but at the end it really became apparent that the creators spent time on it: the male lead’s loneliness is actually well.

#3: Yondemasuyu, Azazel-San – 07: This was actually quite hilarious. Yondemasuyo Azazel-san is at it’s greatest when it’s just banter. The characters have a really good chemistry together, and I especially love the creative use of facial expressions as this show tries to parody the murder mystery genre. Of course, they then proceed to ruin it in episode 8 while trying too hard on being weird and gross again. Enough with the jokes about people’s nether regions already!

WTF of the past Weeks:

Saint Seiya Omega – 56: So. We have this ninja, who has been raised in an incredibly conservative ninja village. This ninja then hears rock music, it changes his soul and now he suddenly is performing J-rock in a band of power-ranger impersonators. Okay.

Posted on 12 May 2013 with categories: Spring 2013 Kaleidoscope

#1: Valvrave The Liberator – 04: Just… wow. Don’t get me wrong, this episode was incredibly cheesy. But at the same time it was just florious with how much confidence it brought that plot twist of its. I guess this is what I meant by this series just going over the top: screw logic, and just focus on creating as much fun as possible. So far, this is what Guilty Crown should have been: the male lead is the only one with special powers, and he just uses them to screw everyone who is against him over. The big potential pitfall right now is the characters. These types of series also seem to think that you don’t need characters to remain entertaining, but the whole trick of making these series last is by keeping them interesting. Otherwise it’ll just get boring!

#2: Hunter X Hunter – 77: I still find the ant designs to look a bit silly (a minor detail perhaps, but it does screw a bit with your first impressions), but I like the idea behind the Chimera ants a lot. The way in which they continue to evolve. And again, it’s completely different from any other arc in Hunter X Hunter before and I really admire that for a shounen series. But do the villains have actual emotional depth? There’s one way to find out!

#3: Yahari Blahblah (I still refuse to use the whole title of this show until it gets actually really good) – 04: What I liked about this episode was the use of that one really popular guy. It was a bit of a narrow-minded episode, but it raised some good points for the characters. At the very least, I’m really glad to see that this didn’t turn out to be yet another one of those brainless school series, but that it actually tries to bring some substance in, even though it’s got a bunch of cliched and annoying characters.

Other Notes:

Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge – 04: Now I see! The thing with this series is that the story is crap, yet the characters and the atmosphere are charming. This may seem negative, but it is what keeps me watching. I couldn’t care less about those killing thingies or whatever plot there is supposed to be, but the creators gathered together an interesting cast that stands out. There are some weird things though. Like that girl who got stranded in this episode. I’m not sure what to think of her.

Posted on 28 April 2013 with categories: Spring 2013 Kaleidoscope

#1: Hunter X Hunter – 76: Well, finally. It has taken a year and a half, but we’ve finally gotten to the actual new material of Hunter X Hunter with the Chimera Ant arc. I was fully set to start dedicating an entire entry to it again, but as I started typing, I realized something: I’m not really invested in this show. I’m not motivated to dedicate an entire entry to this series. I’m not sure what the main reason was. Perhaps it’s how annoying blogging the first episodes turned out to be, or how annoying it has been to wait so long for this point to come. My guess though, it’s the characters. Overall, the 1999 series at its height was much more engaging than what this series was at its height. This lack of character investment is something that’s quite important to me: oftentimes I was able to enjoy series with really shoddy plots due to really good or interesting characters, though the reverse (good plot with uninteresting characters) are rarer. Instead, I have the kaleidoscope, because I can’t deny that the plot here is really good. Episode 76 tells about the prologue of the series, which was originally meant to be shown at the start of the series. I preferred the latter (I like foreshadowing), but really: this works too as a flashback. Character building yay! Although that ant queen looks rather silly. And Madhouse still couldn’t get any good singers for their EDs?

#2: Majestic Prince – 04: This one surprised me, a lot. With a few exceptions, the characters are starting to move away from their stereotypes, and also: it’s still quite self-aware. Especially episode 4 was actually quite genuine for that blond woman as it showed her role in the story along with her background and her worries. I did not expect that.

#3: Saint Seiya Omega – 54: I’m still not quite sure what to think of the new series, especially the villains are really boring and all look alike. Yet, this episode still grabbed me with Yuna’s doubts about her strengths (also that was surprisingly blunt of Koga to say… “Why aren’t you fighting?!”).

WTFs of the week:

Yahari blahblah – 03: Half the cast of this show is a tsundere!

Valvrave the Liberator – 02: Oh my god, this show is really aiming to be a huge trainwreck. I mean, the plot is exciting and all with the whole personality switching, but dear god, the characters! “L-EEEEELF!!!!!”

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San! – 03: Moloch is awesome. It’s not just his character. He’s this catalyst that makes every single other character awesome. Now that he’s gone this show has gone to bleeding ass jokes. I wish I were kidding. What the hell did I just watch there?

Danchi Tomou – 03: Even considering he’s young… there is a bit of a screw loose on Tomou. He seriously acted like half his age in this episode!

Posted on 19 April 2013 with categories: Spring 2013 Kaleidoscope

So, some feedback on my previous entry: it seems that people were actually expecting something else when I said that I’d do a kaleidoscope this season, and that is more of an entry with short impressions on a lot of different series.

I can get behind that. I also like to highlight a lot of different series. The problem is going to be to keep up with all of it. Ever since I got a life I can’t just consistently keep up with everything every single week, so be sure to expect some delays.

These entries won’t be complete, but every thursday, I’ll try to give a rundown of my favorite episodes of the series that I’m not blogging, along with disappointments or other noteworthy episodes that I happen to watch. Enjoy.

Top 3:

#1: Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z – 02: very rarely is a comedy sequel better than its predecessor. And yet, Azazel-san here had its best episode yet. With this I include all the OVAs and TV-series together. With the first episode I already said that Moloch is by far the best character of the series, but he really surpassed himself with this episode; it was just brilliant. The creators had so many hilarious ideas with how they made him pretend to be a stuffed animal and they built up their humour perfectly. Heck, this was the funniest thing I’ve seen all year.

#2: Hunter X Hunter – 75: Finally. After waiting for more than a year and a half. Throughout 75 episodes. We are finally about to get to the new material. Finally I won’t have to bitch anymore about the series just being a glorified recap. Anyway, the Greed Island arc was done better in Madhouse’s version compared to what Nippon Animation did to it (better pacing, better action, better acting, things flowed much better), but it remains for a large part a training arc that is just boring to watch. This final episode though was really good, as it showed some of the people behind the Greed Island Game. Just one thing: didn’t Hunter x Hunter have its own alphabet? What are they doing then toying with latin letters over and over here? And then the text on the cards for Greed Island is in Japanese… how do languages work there anyway?

#3: Danchi Tomou – 02: Oh come on, people. It’s been a week and still no subs? What is this? 2008? Anyway, Tomou is good. It’s slice of life without much happening, but the characters are quite endearing so far, and it’s about actually interesting situations. I actually quite liked how everyone just got out and had dinner outside on a whim. It’s full of these small relatable things, but sometimes it does go on for a bit too long (the smelly hands thing got awkward quite fast, and it just went on and on!)

Notes about Aiura: sorry, but being the fan of Ryousuke Nakamura I have to talk about this. The second episode still was funny, the voice acting was still very good, but there are some stereotypes. Well hidden stereotypes, but you can see that this was based on a mediocre manga.

Disappointments:

Karneval – 02: I’m not going to watch the second episode of everything, only the series that I thought had potential. Out of those, Karneval disappointed me the most. Listen, there is a difference between stupidity, and acting like you’re outright lobotomized. The male lead acts like a completely whiny kid with no grasp of who he is. The rest of the cast tries way too hard with their acting. If I dropped the Hakkenden, I also have to drop this one, because the Hakkenden was much, much more solid.

Devil Survivor – 02: You know what really surprised me? How boring this show is. I mean, even Persona had some fun elements when it started, but this… the characters are completely bland and I’ve already forgotten what half of this thing was about. The animators try, but I see no motivation whatsoever from the scriptwriters or directors.

Posted on 12 April 2013 with categories: Spring 2013 Kaleidoscope

To be honest, I am not sure yet which series I’m going to blog or not this season. I still need to make up my mind on that. Still, I feel like doing another kaleidoscope this season. Giving a small commentary on every episode I watch is going to be impossible, so instead I’m going to blog a different series each week, and on top of that I’ll cover the episodes that really stand out or catch my attention.

A fitting start would be the transition for Saint Seiya from its first half into its second half, because there are some really weird decisions made here… First though, about the conclusion of the first half: the animators really went all out for that, and I really like that. The story was cliched, but the really good animation and atmosphere really brought that to life and I love how much freedom they got for it.

And then… this happened. As I’ve said before, I was really looking forward to this because it shows the return of the Heartcatch Precure director. This is a guy who also directed Interlude, which was a really weird OVA that did have its flashes of brilliance, and I think that that’s what describes this first episode of Saint Seiya Omega’s new arc for me.

Because holy crap, who came up with that new character? What is this walking cliche doing, just forcing himself into the middle of the story, right from out of nowhere with that stupid outfit of his? I guess now that Koga has grown up the creators needed a new immature character to balance things out and all, but couldn’t he have been a bit more likable and less cliched? I mean, this is a cliche that only really bad sequels pull in order to drag out their storylines even more.

That’s not to say I hated this episode, but the weird thing is that I liked it for really weird reasons. I mean… that butler! I have no idea who he is, but I really felt sorry for him! The part where Seiya failed to kill that girl? I liked that a lot. That one golden saint? His speech about how shallow his own powers are really got to me.

And then on the other hand you have the animation that clearly had its shortcuts taken, including really cheesy transformation sequences (I know that there is a background from Heartcatch Precure here, but you don’t HAVE to include them, you know?). And then Koga just went and randomly pulled that giant unicorn out of his ass… So yeah, all in all this has me quite baffled on how it will turn out…
Rating: #%!*/8 (???)

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
Still enjoying the sangatsu manga and all the character interactions in this most recent volume.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Quintuplets might be under consideration, dororo is a definite. I don't want to watch revisions , girly airforce or plane thing because of the cgi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have the first 3 doro episodes downloaded to watch tomorrow, I'll comment on them, I'm giving it a shot because I love Tezuka.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The quintuplets thing is one of those things I would see myself chuckling at for a bit then feeling no obligation to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cat thing is probably cute but its too light for me to invest in in the long run.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding this season, I'll be direct, it isn't my thing, I got my fill of Kaguya's manga and all I can out of it, promised neverland, once the escape bit finished just turned into an action series (at least from what I read) lacking a compelling followup hook for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Acca had this odd way of delivering information that made it seem stuff went on between the lines or offscreen, often it worked, sometimes it didn't. Its a show that really picks up after the first couple of episodes and really gets elevated by its revelations, cool setting , art style and opening theme too.
Lenlo
I agree it does that. I think my issue may come with me maybe missing something or just not understanding the series as a whole, and so parts of it were lost on me. I enjoyed the series I would say though
SuperMario
Let me rephrase by saying ACCA ending neatly ties up plot threads for me
Lenlo
I didnt say I didnt like it, just that it wasn't what I expected. It was odd. I think I need time to process it.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: you didn't like ACCA ending? I thought the ending is easily its best part. It's the first few episodes that feel slow for me
Lenlo
Also, just finished ACCA. Man... that was a weird ending. Not sure how I feel about the series, but damn, did it have style.

Also, thanks (?) Wooper.
Lenlo
Lets see... Dororo is good, but I am still lukewarm on it. Kaze Fui is a fantastic carry over from last season. Mob and Neverland of course. Shield Hero, if you want to be part of the latest big craze discussion. Kaguya if you like romance. Ill search some more, but those are off the top of my head.
Anonymous3338351
What are some must-watch anime this season; I'm watching MBP100 and Promised Neverland rn
Vonter
Shield hero looks like it fits with that journey of doing the right thing even though most are against you.
Vonter
You know what it reminds me of. It's kinda like that episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Where the family returns after a trip and find the neighborhood celebrates their absence, since everyone dislikes them. By the end when they make up, all the neighborhood gets bitter with one another because they no longer share a connection of hate with Malcolm's family.
Vonter
Also the undercurrent semblance of looking more like a bad guy or anti hero. Despite him having a good moral compass.
Vonter
SuperMario - I don't felt it was about being defeated or not. I got the feeling it was taking the hit for others. Because since he has high defence he does take the damage, but he does look weary about doing that. And the framework paints him so far more as an underdog than a prodigy.
SuperMario
But does the fact that he’s the greatest defender makes him the one who can’t be defeated? I haven’t watched the latest one though
Vonter
I did like the new episode of Shield Hero. It made me realize there can be stakes in Isekai battles. In both Overlord and Slime I usually space out in the battles because they seem unnecessary outside of animation. It's more interesting if there's a display of wits and using the environment. I also like the protagonist be on the defense and the sidekick as the attacker.
SuperWooper
Here's a "review of one of our own reviewers:"

Lenlo is a pretty cool guy. His taste refreshingly runs the gamut from shounen action series to character-driven period pieces. His use of "Read More" tags and intro paragraphs, though they break the site's house style, give his posts their own signature that his readers likely appreciate. I give Lenlo a 92/100.
SuperWooper
Also, if we're getting pedantic, my post on Kaguya wasn't a "review of one of your own reviewers." It was a review of an anime episode.
SuperWooper
It's "shitty?" Really? None of what we do here is for profit, or for a grade. If I want to alert readers to the fact that I've never read the manga, and choose to do it in a less-than-serious way, I don't think that violates any sacred rule of anime blogging.
Lenlo
@Niello, the technical aspect of Megalo Box is very lacking. Its a character drama with sports, not a sports series with good characters, basically. And yeah the gear makes no sense.
Anonymous3336806
It seems kinda shitty to write a "Proceed with caution!" disclaimer before the review of one of your own reviewers...
Firechick
There are also old school isekai manga such as Red River, From Far Away, Crest of the Royal Family (Which is still going), and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Red River also, but for a while it takes some time to re-gain the addictive quality it has in the beginning. I didn't stick with Yona, it felt like it didn't have any direction on where it was going.
Vonter
Those were different times. And while Isekai, it feels like a different genre. I feel the Isekai of old were also more eastern, given the RPGs of the time were more fairytale like and also several you listed have more of an eastern influence.
Animosh
Yona of the Dawn is also a good example of a series with a politically ambitious female lead, though I wasn't a fan.
Animosh
I forgot how female-oriented early isekai series were. I already mentioned Twelve Kingdoms, but there's also Escaflowne, InuYasha, Rayearth, Fushigi Yugi, Haruka (I've only seen TK though) ... so I guess it's only after the recent revival of the genre that it started targeting men.
Niello
Out of all the sport anime I have watched I think Monkey Turn V is the best so far. Megalobox is pretty good but nothing special imo. I heard that in term of boxing the technical aspect isn't good, though I don't know how true that is. What I personally can't get over is how their gear in reality should just be making people fall over quicker, which shouldn't make the matches more fun.
Niello
I still
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to stop underestimating these sports shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo is good at convincing me to watch stuff I might not have otherwise watched, I saw ashita no Joe, Kaze and megalobox due to him =)
niello
I should catch up on Kaze, the gap is starting to get quite big.
Lenlo
Im gonna say this every week. How is an anime about running so damn good?
Vonter
I suppose when creating a story one also needs to put some restraint, since as human beings we easily gravitate to certain "tastes."
Vonter
But oh well, I think guys do also have their kinks.
Vonter
@niello - Love might be the hardest emotion to convey. Since even if you put the poses, attitude and the like, the interactions is what sells it. The chemistry as some call it. Sadly in most anime it kinda feels one sided because the male characters are too passive. I like the relation in Shield Hero, but it also underlines the common parental figure girls tend to put.
niello
Later, the author made him accepts the love as a kind of rehab for his bitterness and for the sake of political advantages the girls will gain. So there's this weird atmosphere where the author criticises harem isekai but is writing one himself, although he's certainly trying to make it an unconventional one. At least that's how it is in the web novel. I don't know if they changed it in the LN.
niello
And also to show off. Meanwhile the MC acts like he's not involved because he prioritise the right thing, and also because he's dense toward some of the girls around him (at first) and felt put off by other girls who make bold advances. In essence, he has a harem but he doesn't seek to make one.
niello
@vonter The thing with Shield Hero and harem is that the MC berates how other people who got transported to another world have the idea of forming harems like the LN/manga/anime they know before getting transported. That became the focus of some people instead of what they should be doing like seriously training and preparing for enemy attacks, which they opt for the easy way like it's a game.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Aside from reincarnating as a baby. Not really. Zettai Karen Children from the author of Ghost Sweeper Mikami, seems like they do. I mean they start very young and later covers have them as teenagers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: A slower take on a story is something that has grown on me as I get older.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Those scenes in kaze clicked for me this week, but at the same time, that last bit and also the scene in the middle were definately uncharacteristically cheesy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter@Amagi: Mushoku tensei has the lead character grow up throughout it I think?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think fan interaction by creators, theres something there, listening to fans ideas within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that comes to mind here, sometimes i think we the audience might be better at writing the shows than the people doing them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy explictness but wish it was used less juvenile-ly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest character thats being recurring in my head is a kind of communist or liberation theology soldier that is trying to convert people, while also struggling to keep his highly polarized beliefs in some kind of balance.
SuperMario
@Amagi, tell me about it (having ideas but to lazy to materialize it). Heck, they are mostly lame ideas to begin with
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked Scums wish .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its almost always a boring comedy or action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or have some kind of anaylsis of why the characters express themselves in certain ways in relationships.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish more stories involving nudity/sex/fetishes/ecchi/hentai could actually use this kind of thing for a good psychosexual story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really like it when the conflict has something to do with beliefs or repression aswell.
Amagi
Same here. I mean people are conflicted too, so these characters are actually more relatable. Strangely directors usually think otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I loved goodbye Lenin, my old German teacher in school was really awesome and took the class to see it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like conflicted characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also fond of the idea of a villain trying to turn pure hero out of guilt from the past while still longing for his evildoing days and self-hating because of that and also feeling guilty out of enjoying the violence he commits against the villains he's up against. And sees the violence done onto himself as punishment .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: They just end up as ideas written up rather than stories in my case.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I often feel guilty for being as lazy as I am because I have a lot of ideas and barely do anything with them. I don't even have the "I can't draw it" excuse most other people have. I am just lazy and useless.
Vonter
I've been trying to make a story for quite some time. Is about a special ops agent, that turns into a woman after a failed mission where he lost his friends and comrades. He's on a mission in order to look how to turn back and find redemption for the lost of his friends.
Amagi
OH GOD actually got FGO's Hassan i Sabbah after all with the last few quartz. Suicide prevented, thank you God.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Not a day goes by where I'm not thinking up some wild idea.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - The best use of incest in a story, is the one you don't see coming, like in King Ooedipus or Old Boy.
Vonter
I think the best case for that story would be using the Yoko Taro method of storytelling. Start by the end and build on how that tragic ending happened. There's a presentation where he explains his method. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_d3fwTNPo
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would never ever use incest positively in a story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, I had a scenario where the hero develops an obsession with the villain, to where killing him is less about personal heroic codes, but curing himself of that obsession.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the great thing is that the actual thing, relationship never happens.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - That last one just reminds me of erogame about a girl than can't quite get with her crush and relives that same moment several times. Sometimes she reincarnating as man and the crush as a girl. In the end all versions end with rape.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also some of these villains I came up with, they're deaths and rebirths could only occur when it came to settling their specific individual problem. Thus by admitting his/her love for the brother he/she dies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'll add it to my list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I treated one of my characters like total shit, guy was a girl in his former life, got raped by some alternate version of his brother, got reincarnated a man and as a child killer/abuser, only every time this character committed a crime, they felt they abuse they inflicted on others.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Have you read A World I Rule by Tank Guy? That's essentially an isekai about screwing over, what's essentially Eden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And the true victory and winner is those who lost.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love the endless cycle of you can't win no matter who you are.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I live for this stuff.
Amagi
@Vonter: I liked that about Tiger and Bunny. I don't want to spoil in case someone is about to watch it. But it contained this element of "something we're looking up to is actually some evil thing/person" and I don't mean the guys they're working for, it was clear from the beginning that those were corrupt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time, it isn't like the hero was right either.
Vonter
Amagi - I think in the case of old villains it was caused because those didn't had civilian identities to empathize to the "human".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, because I love screwing characters over, after becoming the villain and actually achieving through evil, the perfect good society, even after taking in all the sins of the world and seemingly eliminating the evil inside people, humanity just fucks it all up again and became a monster all for nothing.
Amagi
We also usually don't see the villains having any problems that aren't related to the actual thing they cause. For example losing someone dear to them. Not because heroes killed them or anything, just..so. That's life etc. Making them feel more like persons. Hell even heroes have this problem. Usually when a hero suffers it's caused by the villain. As if the world wasn't more complicated.
Vonter
Also Franken Fran had a very dark and very funny story about a superhero founding out that the organization he's facing wants to conquer the world with charities.
Vonter
Watchmen, Dr. Strangelove, The day the Earth Stood Still kinda put a similar message about needing to be better with each other in order to have a better future.
Amagi
Yes, it's usually too simple. We have a clear hero fraction and a clear fraction of the villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*villain
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like it when the villain isn't actually in co-operation with other bad guys, but theres also a hero, but the hero is marginalized because there are so many differing villaib factions.
Amagi
Even there, in the end it was heavily hinted that people can never bring back gone things. She saw through them and knew they were pretending and that it wasn't real anymore. Think that would happen in the other potential series we came up with too and it cause more character development.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Elementary school up to their mid 30s.
Amagi
Have to think of Goodbye Lenin, kinda. Not exactly that topic but similar. With the mother falling into a coma during GDR time and waking up after the fall of the wall and her family trying to pretent that they're still living in the GDR to not shock her since it could mean that she'd die.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - To what extend watching them grow up? I mean in Dragon Ball we've seen Goku's entire life. In Ashita no Joe we have a big arc before the MC ever gets into an official boxing match. In Rose of Versailles we see a change of ideology over the course of 12 years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bad guys idea was to start up so much shit in our world to terrify the people back home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The guys homeworld was basically one where things we consider evil are good over there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember working with the idea, where a villain brought people back, solely to open the gateway to his homeland through stealing energy from them resulting from psychological turmoil, then broadcasting how terrible humans are back to his homeland, and his people seeing how awful humanity are, then realizing they should stop being bad people.
Amagi
It's why I am always a huge fan of characters (usually, who could have known, villains) who try to resurrect a past decade or something. Like someone trying to build a world or VR space that imitates the 80s because it was the time he grew up in and which he is still missing and want to return back to. Could be the 90s as well or whatever.
Vonter
The paradox with that, is that technically one becomes a tyrant or a monster eventually. Power corrupts the individual. Whose to say those villains didn't start with good intentions?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi; Seeing a characters entire life too, seeing him grow up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: I am often thinking about such a series too. A real coming of age, with the character realising what he had lost or is about to lose, how life changes and him trying to make it stop or escape. Or force the old status quo but realising it isn't possible to maintain.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah that's a great compromise. Defeat the villain but maintain his new state, or develope his idea or whatever. Just without the errors the villain made.
Vonter
Oh my, realizing that last one, could make most Isekais more interesting, since there are things those characters can't do by design.
Amagi
And then the MC comes and tells everyone that the old life is good as it is with all its flaws and don't realizes that he is actually lucky enough to not be born into misery or in the middle of some war zone like many others who die and suffer.
Vonter
Villains in the end, take the decisions the hero cannot.
Amagi
It's especially bad when the authors aren't even aware of what they're doing. Like showing that there are characters in the fictional world that get an actual better life with the change the villain brings. Paralysed people being able to move for example or poor outcasts not needing food anymore, in case that the villain forces some VR world and digitalizes people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Booboo hiss , no revolution is lame. Revolution good, do revolution.
Vonter
Kaiser-Eoghan - Aggretsukko touches a bit on the last two examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still love the idea of people actually benefitting from the terrible things the villain does and actually learning from it and the world becomes a better place because we learned not to repeat the bad guys actions. But the bad guy committed those very bad actions to make us realize that.
Amagi
@Vonter: Yeah I never liked that meta message most stories have that basically boils down to "be happy with everything as it is now and don't try changing it, also, revolutions are evil".
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or where a person attempts to explore becoming something more but ends up just accelerating the breakup/going seperate ways thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
yes vonter, you are giving good examples.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And people growing apart because they've gotten older.
Vonter
@Amagi - Villains have selfish desires, human flaws, and determination. Heroes on those series usually defended the status quo, since that's the only thing they saw as right. And in the meta was to tell the audience how they should behave.
Amagi
Could never get into wimpy characters either. Shy yes, as long as shyness is portrayed seriously and not the typical shy/naive "etooo..ano ne.." harem guy/girl. But I always wondered who can even selfinsert into the typical harem or otome lead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd happily watch a coming of age story which was just about a bunch of guys hanging out, playing videogames, watching films, anime, playing outside and just joking around, very little melodramatic stuff, only on a rare occassion drifting in naturally into the narrative.
Vonter
Ano hana is about reflecting on how the characters grew up.
Amagi
I mean villains are often the oddballs. MCs are too "normal". They're usually the typical guys that maintain the status quo (even if it's flawed), get/want a romantic relation ship and a normal life whereas the villains have ambitions and are often "different" to say it that way. They feel more human to me. Or maybe I am just too weird myself I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even a character reflecting on how they've grown up.
Amagi
@Kaiser: As a child it was almost always the villains for me, or villain sidekicks. Probably because writing was more strict back then and there were too many things heroes weren't allowed to think, like or do. Well it's still a problem.
Vonter
Hi Score Girl has a character that reminds me of some aspects I'm not proud of my youth.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or a protaganist realizing all of their past romances were chosen because they thought they had to fit in by having such relationships based on expectations, when really they genuinely don't care about romance.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan Wasn't 30 centimeters per second like that? Welcome to NHK also explores some aspects of the young adult. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien is a soap opera but with adult characters in need of maturing to independent people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So i can understand wanting to relate to something in fiction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also none of these stories ever reflected or related to my adolescence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to see a story about someone who is trying to adjust to their mid 20s or 30s after finally realizing that what they thought would never end (what they were familiar with in their youth) is over.
Anonymous3329534
What are the must-watch anime this season?
Kaiser-Eoghan
In alot of cases naturally the underwhelming leads, male or female are romcom/harem/coming of leads...which leads me to ask, I want an dramedy that I can actually relate to.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or it was one of the villains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of being a military commander, military leader, spy or an emperor or a more clever character appealed to me more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nor superpowered characters for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've probably said this before, and I don't know if this is just from western upbringing, but I never really self-inserted into wimpy characters because I could never imagine myself like that.
Vonter
All these in regards when a girl is the protagonist.
Vonter
1.- They rarely put interesting love interests. 2.- Few times stories aren't about seeking some internal even selfish desires. 3.- In anime at least females get along very easily while I get the impression it's more complicated IRL. 4.- I identify easily the romanticized power fantasy of men but I can't tell if I've seen that thing of women's.
Vonter
It's a dichotomy. Since I've seen both the worst and some of the best female character in manga and anime. Yet I can't shake the feeling female characters have unwritten restrictions to them.
Amagi
@Vonter: The new Promare trailer got me more interested in this. So it seems like the enemies are actually controlled by humans (that..guy/girl(?)). I also feel like the new blonde character will be a traitor or secret endboss or something.
Amagi
@Vonter: I also always had a problem with female characters, be it anime or whatever. Not because of social reasons or anything, I just found them unrelatable. But they got better over the years, especially in the west. Anime always had some series with ambitious female MCs though, it's just that a lot of anime are too selfinserty and these types prefer the safe route and do otome series.
Vonter
This movie is looking sick. It looks like it's using the same type of cel shading as the latest Guilty Gear game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFFaLB6fHw
Vonter
I've read manga and webcomics with good or bad art, both can have great or very poor writing.
Vonter
I think scores are incredibly more subjective in terms of comics than other mediums. There is just a vast array of qualities, content, and distribution and exposure also makes for some works fall into obscurity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
or huge praise either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read that yuri manga Octave, while I'd give it a higher score than they gave it, a myanimelist reviewer was fairly accurate in saying it really boils down to "another drama" but another review said it was "a quick, short and easy to read manga" I think those are reasonable takes, for better or worse this falls it the fine category and isn't really a huge black mark against it
Vonter
Interesting. I mean it's only a matter of time there are several other Isekai mangas that are either full female or gender bended. Also the Spider Isekai is also coming soon.
Animosh
Always nice to see an author reflect on and work on overcoming his limitations.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was that recent article where sword art's writer brought up how he wrote his female chracters.
Animosh
Japan has a female prime minister in GITS too, although she's just a supporting character. And now that I think about it, the world of SAO's current arc has a female leader - in fact, her all-consuming ambition is basically her #1 trait.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that is more of a case of female characters in tougher mode roles.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose if I was making a list of female characters that stood out well for me I would put Motoko (ghost in the shell) or Balsa from Moribito.
Animosh
But I can think of some exceptions. Youjo Senki technically has a female lead, and for an older example there's Twelve Kingdoms. And outside of isekai you have ambitious female characters like Shurei (from Saiunkoku Monogatari) or Maude (from ACCA). But it's true that they're relatively rare.
Animosh
It is true that political ambition is a big part of some isekai though. Overlord is an obvious case, and there's also Log Horizon and the Slime series this season. And the MCs of these series are all males. But then, I suppose political power over others is something that is just more likely to appeal to men, especially in patriarchal Japan.
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