Posted on 1 September 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews, The Animatrix



The Animatrix is a collection of nine short films, all around ten minutes in length. Kid’s Story, Matriculated, World Record, Detective’s Story, Final Flight of the Osiris, Program, Beyond, The Second Renaissance Part I and The Second Renaissance Part II. Each of these films gives an attempt to cover one part of The Matrix, a movie trilogy made a couple of years ago. The remarkable thing about this anime is the fact that both eastern as western producers and directors worked on it. If you haven’t seen the matrix yet, the story basically revolves around the future, in which machines have taken over the world. The sunlight has been blocked and the machines noticed that human bio-energy was an extremely useful source of energy. The machines then put humans in containers, while their minds are permanently captured in The Matrix, or a huge virtual world. There’s no way to tell that this world isn’t real. The Matrix stimulates each of the senses. Every human locked up just believes that that he’s living his daily life in a world similar to ours.

The Matrix itself was really though-provoking, and it’s unsurprising that most of the nine-shorts are so as well. They bring up interesting questions. Also, when you look at the graphical department, The Animatrix excels. Each of the different shorts offers a different art, background and animation style. And each of these styles, ranging from CGI to extremely messy and from black and white graphics to extremely smooth ones, works out great. A lot of budget went into the art and animation, and this clearly is visible, with some great effects.

About the different shorts. The thing is that there are some very good ones, but also some very bad ones. The best of the bunch is arguably The Second Renaissance. It features an extremely interesting, though very shocking explanation about how The Matrix originated. Beyond and World Record also are definitely worth the watch. Beyond features a huge amount of style and symbolism, with an interesting story as well. World Record is extremely intense, with a very interesting main character whose body and soul get the shock of their lives.

Then we’ve also got some slightly interesting shorts. Both Program and Kid’s Story provide some interesting issues with really make you think. They also have some interesting art styles (Program goes back to the old ninja-movies, but with fluid animation while Kid’s Story features extremely messy character art with beautiful background art). While they are interesting, and a good watch, they weren’t really as good as the three mentioned above.

And then we have the rather bad ones. Detective’s story leaves things rather unexplained and moves a bit too fast. While its film noir style was interesting, the negative parts bothered me a bit too much. Matriculated dragged on. Its art was psychedelic, though it took way too long. And the semi-3D art wasn’t really appealing for the eyes as well. The worst of the shorts was Final Flight of the Osiris. While it did provide realistic 3D-characters, it just consisted of people fighting and guns shooting without a purpose. Its failed attempts at drama by providing love interest also totally backfired.

Overall, The Animatrix has its ups and downs. Still, I’m really recommending it if you’ve seen the original movie. Because oft he different styles used, there’ll definitely be a movie which appeals to you.

Posted on with categories: The Animatrix



Okay. That was amazing.

The Second Renaissance Part II has definitely been the best of the nine shorts of The Animatrix. I think this is because of its highly disturbing material. In the previous part, we saw the humans abusing the machines, now we see the machines, taking everything away from the humans, killing most of them off and placing the rest into cocoon-like containers, in order to get their energy. But I never could have imagined that it was this gruesome and intimidating…

We continue where we left off. The robots began to wage war on humans, taking over human territories. Then, the humans came with their most desperate plan yet: sealing off the sky. They used a huge amount of planes, disposing huge amounts of a strange gas into the atmosphere, closing off the earth from all sunlight, the machines’ main source of power. Afterwards, the humans planned to wage one huge war against the weakened machine.

Still, they weren’t weakened enough. What follows is a number of horribly disturbing scenes, in which the machines gradually kill off human soldiers in some rather disturbing ways. Humans didn’t stand a chance. Hospitals became overly crowded. The machines seemed to have studied the humans bodies. After they had won the war, they started experimenting with the surviving humans in order to use the power from the human body. The final cities of the humans were destroyed, and each human was converted into The Matrix.

This short indeed was as awesome as it’s rumoured to be. It’s really been a while since I saw such huge shocking images in anime. Heck, even in regular movies and television. And just when I thought that Beyond was chockfull of symbols. As this is a documentary, the screen is so full of all kinds of references, symbols, analogies, et cetera. Awesomeness.

Posted on 31 August 2006 with categories: The Animatrix



Very interesting, a documentary. It’s the first time the art style isn’t easy to define. It’s a mix of CGI frames with rather common character designs. Most of the time we see robots doing their thing, and we don’t really see that many humans.

In any case, this documentary explains how The Matrix originated, why the robots took over control and more background information behind The Matrix. It’s a rather gruesome tale, which makes clear that humanity indeed got what it deserved. This film has been split in two, so the last remaining one will end this story.

In the beginning, humans constructed robots, and the robots fully obeyed the humans. The robot design was rather unrealistic, but it does bring over the point. The robots possessed AI, and they were treated rather badly. Still, entire armies of robots kept working for the humans, doing all of the hard, harsh and dirty jobs.

Then, one robot stood up against its master, and killed him and his entire family. Because of this, humans got scared, and tried to dispose of the robots. What followed was a huge war in which the robots were shamelessly killed off in huge masses. People became to hate the machines. With passion. What follows is a couple of scenes showing the graveyards for these robots. It’s not funny when you realize how many of these were dumped. Entire ocean floors were filled with their corpses.

The surviving machines fled, in order to start a nation of their own, somewhere in Arabia. They called their nation “Zero-One”, or 01. They began to live a life of their own, improving their own AI and equipment. They then attempted to coexist with humans, and participate in the world economy. However.

The leaders of the humans, with their power degrading, didn’t feel anything for cooperation with the robots, who still had good intentions at that time. The robots, attempting to be recognized were killed off. What happens afterwards, we learn in the second part of The Second Renaissance.

Yet again, we’ve got lots of symbolism in this movie. The robots have been given a uniform and human-like design, like in most ancient robot movies. It’s not really realistic when you look at today’s huge diversity of machines. But by giving these robots human characteristics, this film does manage to give them a uniformity. Because of this, things don’t get unnecessarily complicated. And it also provokes some sympathy for these robots, like Matriculated tried to do. I’d say that The Second Renaissance managed to do this better than Matriculated.

Huge exterminations, like shown here, have occurred more often in the history of humanity, at times, even more extreme than this one. Most mass murderers never really got their equal payback (Incans vs. Spain, anyone?). This time, however, payback in the most extreme form arrives. Still, the fact does remain that people uninvolved got their payback as well. I guess that’s inevitable.

The question remains whether what the robots did was the right thing. After all, they were heavily abused, and revenge is sweet. Apparently, even for robots. Still, both the humans and the robots were wrong in this case. The humans for abusing the robots, and the robots for going through the extreme measures of locking the humans up. What happened to love and peace, everyone?

Posted on 30 August 2006 with categories: The Animatrix



The best art style so far: Studio 4C style! When you combine this with 3D and a big budget, it works out great. Beyond really is a feast for the eyes. Most companies need to understand that there’s more than flashy graphics, 3D, lots of realism and lots of CGI in order to make great graphics. You need to add something special for that. Good Witch of the West understood this, Noein understood this and now Beyond also understands this.

The story this time is about a glitch in the matrix. Somewhere, in an old abandoned house, the laws of physics have been rather messed up. A group of kids and one teenager have discovered this, and are having the most fun they’ve ever had in their lives, playing with these laws. Unfortunately, the men in suits have tracked down this error. They rush into the site with a huge truck, close off the area, take the kids away and repair the error. The children return afterwards, but they find that their playground has been destroyed.

Lots of symbolism in this movie. Take for example, the kid’s playground which gets destroyed. That’s happening at more places in the world. At some places, children can have so much fun playing with each other, while adults can’t see this, and plan to use the playground to build, like, an office. But not only that, you can also link this to animals. At the end of the movie, you see rats, who’ve been living inside the haunted house, fleeing from the men in suits. At the moment, things like these still are a major news item with the rarer animals, like tigers and rhinos.

I also found it interesting that we’ve got a bunch of kids who know about the glitch, and they decide to tell our main character, a teenager, about this. In most stories like these, it’s something that the children only know about. It’s interesting to see someone have fun with children 8 years younger than her, like it’s nothing. Talk about symbolism.

Overall, along with World Record, this has been the best story so far. World record had its very intense plot and very interesting main character while Beyond has its incredibly imaginative visuals and deep symbolism. All that’s left now is The Second Renaissance, which is rumoured to be the best of the bunch (I’ve indeed been saving that one for last, in order to save the best for last. ^^)

Posted on 28 August 2006 with categories: The Animatrix



Program was very interesting. The art style this time resembles that of old japanese samurai-anime. If you combine this with the extremely fluent animation and choreography, the result turns out interesting.

We’ve got a woman, inside a mini-matrix. Another guy comes up, and challenges her for a spar. He then makes a confession to her, while he has blocked the signal so nobody can hear him. He plans to go back to the matrix. The woman doesn’t agree. She can’t turn back from the truth. The two make a small chase, after which the woman kills the guy. In the end, it appeared to be a test for her, to see whether she’d react in the right way. The woman isn’t really happy with it.

The interesting point of this film is the emotional effect the matrix can have on a person. The guy appeared to be a simulation, but when you’re in the matrix, or mini-matrix in this case, you won’t notice. A program was created so, that it would look like the guy she knew in every single way. If that’s the case, how ever can you recognize whether that guy is a fake? In normal anime, people often recognize this because they feel something different, or that their heart knows that they’re being deceived. But the fact remains that the matrix can create these feelings.

Program also had a few claustrophobic moments. The program tells the woman that he’s blocked the signal. When she starts screaming for help, nobody reacts because of this. It must be quite a scary feeling, when you always know that you can escape a “dream”-world because of your comrades. I think that that’s a reason for people to be calm in situations like these. It must be a huge shock to find out that you don’t have a means of returning to the real world. Especially if someone’s about to kill you.

Overall, it isn’t the best. It has yet to reach the brilliance of World Record. Still, it was an interesting watch. The fights also were well-coordinated and full of details, though I admit that they lacked a bit in creativity.

Posted on with categories: The Animatrix

Ah, CGI. Yet another style of animation, totally different from the others. This, however, doesn’t really mean that Final Flight of the Osiris is good. It’s actually the worst film so far.

See, the problem with Final Flight of the Osiris is that it has awesome graphics, but zero substance. Basically, what happens is a man and a woman are inside a mini-matrix, sparring with swords in sexy outfits when their ship suddenly gets attacked by robots. The rest of the film basically features lots of guns fired at these robots and the robots getting inside the ship and destroying it, causing as much explosions as possible in the process.

The action scenes it features also aren’t very exciting. The fight in the mini-matrix is basically two people stipping each other’s clothes off. The sound effects also made no sense at all. Swords cut way too easily through air. And even though the choreography looks interesting, it remains uninspired. The robots attacking the ship also aren’t very worthwile. Basically, we see lots of guns shooting and robots crawling, but nothing that looks impressive.

Also, sorry for the lack of screenshots. I played this one in a weird format which doesn’t support screenshots, and I only managed to take one of them before my computer started acting weird. And I’m not exactly motivated to spend time to this one.

Posted on 21 August 2006 with categories: The Animatrix



Yet another style: a film noir. Like any proper film noir, everything’s in black and white. The art style is the most realistic one yet. It isn’t as overly pointy as in Matriculated, or as overexaggerated as in World Record. And certainly not as messy as in Kid’s Story. Everything also seems to have gotten a noise filter.

The story is about a detective who accepts a case to look for Trinity. He gathers a bit of information, and then realizes that there’ve been more detectives on the same case. One killed himself, one went missing and one went crazy. The latter keeps claiming that Trinity isn’t real. The detective then continues to search through chatrooms and cafes, frequented by hackers. At one point, he finds a certain Red Queen, who happens to be Trinity.

Trinity sends the message to him that in order to meet her, he’ll have to jump the first of six brooks. This appears to be a train. Inside the train, he sees Trinity. She reckons that he might be able to make it. The entire assignment seems to have been a test for him, to see whether he would make it. She then puts some kind of machine on him, and extracts something out of his eye. It’s the same thing they tried to poison Neo with in the movie, I think.

Then a couple of men in suits appear, and chase after them. However, the detective himself begins to change into one of these men. Trinity then shoots him. Then the two of them talk a bit, and Trinity escapes.

To be honest, I didn’t really like this one. It felt like a bit too fast, and the references were all lost on me. First of six brooks? He talks about a certain Alice who jumps the second brook to get her into the woods. Alice jumps the first brook and then she boards a train. Who the heck is this Alice, why does she jump brooks, why are a number of streets highlighted on the map? How does he know which train to catch? In fact… what is a brook anyway?

I think that this film was a bit too short for its own good. I think it would be better if it borrowed some time from Matriculated. In the end, the case is interesting, though the other three films were thought-provoking. This one, however, wasn’t. I don’t seem to have any inspiration because of it.

Posted on 20 August 2006 with categories: The Animatrix



Whoa… this was actually quite interesting. Quite interesting indeed. It’s most definitely the best of the three films I saw so far. I’m impressed.

The art this time looks totally different once more. It seems like the overall picture had to endure a filter which darkened all of the colours, making it a grey world. Not quite like Matriculated, though. The backgrounds are a bit more simple than before. The faces of the characters aren’t pointy like in Matriculated, though neither as round as in Kid’s Story. It’s more like they’ve turned square. The animation is a combination of the smoothness in Marticulated and the distorted anatomy of Kid’s Story. The art remains fluid and crisp at all times, though.

The story’s another awakening. In Matriculated, an enemy machine got converted to join the human’s side by own will. In Kid’s Story, Neo sends messages to a kid, who awakens afterwards after seeing the truth. This time, we’ve got a case in which the main character awakens on his own strength. In mere eight minutes, the creators managed to deliver something extremely fascinating.

We see an athlete, getting for the world championships 100 metres while a narrator voice explains the background of the story. The runners stand ready, and the start shot is given. We then see a flashback, in which the same guy seems to have made the newspapers in breaking the world record in the preliminaries of the same contest. He managed to get right under 9 seconds (8.99 seconds, to be exact). However, gossip about him using dope are circulating around. Dan, the main character, claims that these are untrue in a phone call to his father.

Meanwhile, Dan lifts off. What follows is some scenes of him, running in slow-motion. This looked kind of creepy. Then, another flashback. This time with his coach. It seems that Dan has worked too much, causing his muscles to be at the limit of bursting. When this happens, his athlete-career is over. The coach is keen on stopping Dan, though Dan wants to run, no matter what. It seems that he wants a final chance to prove everyone wrong who’s been claiming that Dan’s old record was impossible to beat. The coach then abandons him. Or so it seems.

Back to the race, Dan begins to look more creepy by the minute as the animation keeps getting more and more distorted. We then see a journalist, looking at him. Another flashback: the night before the race. The journalist meets up with him, in an attempt for an interview. Dan claims that it releases you from your world. That you become totally free.

Back to the race, Dan’s leg is beginning to show signs that it can’t take much more. This is expressed quite graphically. While gross in one viewpoint, it did add up to the intensity of the scene at another viewpoint. Then, one of his legs gives up, and the muscles inside of it break, causing quite a graphical shock. He however, continues to run, even though his leg has given up. He actually continues running, and surpasses every other runner. This shows signs that he’s about to awaken.

Meanwhile, the men in suits have arrived yet again. They have to stop him from awakening at all costs, and some of the nearby runners also reveal to be men in suits, attempting to stop him. This however, fails. This is even more motivation for the guy to reach the finish line. In the end, right before he reaches it, he awakens in his cell. A robot sees this, and forcefully puts him back to sleep.

Back to the race, Dan crosses the finish line, falls and crashes. He managed to break the world record: 8.72 seconds. A quick shot of the matrix shows him fainting. We then switch to the hospital, in which Dan is in a wheelchair, being pushed by a nurse. He’s holding a couple of walnuts, though his face shows that he’s lost the motivation for everything.

Then, we hear the men in suits evaluate Dan’s case, as they see him in his wheelchair. It’s an interesting case, though they reckon it’s nothing to be concerned about. He’ll live in his shell for the rest of his life, not doing anything. His memory has been erased and he’s got quite a souvenir left from it, a world record nobody will be able to beat.

Dan then surprises everyone when he suddenly utters the word “free”. He then stands up, continuing to utter the word “free”. The walnuts he dropped begin to move on their own. Dan attempts to float a bit, until he collapses and the film ends.

It’s quite shocking that World Record features a guy, being treated in a way like this. His body and mind get destroyed throughout this film, though I think that that’s the reason it works. Especially when, after all the hardships his mind endured by both the machines as the men in suits, he still continues remembering what he saw. This just shows how complex a human mind is. When humans are ignorant, they’re easy to control. Though something goes wrong in this when they’ve set their minds to something. Especially the stubborn people. I guess that it isn’t easy to just forget “the truth” after you saw it with your own eyes.

I also liked the shortness of this movie. Both Kid’s Story as Matriculated dragged on a bit. World Record, however, felt like it had fully utilised every second of it. This makes Dan even more intriguing. We know almost nothing about him. Right now, I feel like I want to know more about him. And that’s actually in a good way. I think that, because the creators decided to focus on this case, and this case alone that it worked so well.

The audio-department also was a major plus. Matriculated did this below average. I can’t even remember whether they actually had sounds at this point. Kid’s Story featured interesting background music, especially during the chase. It contributed to the scenes, though it wasn’t anything special. World Record, however, made excellent use of the available background tunes. Changing from fast-beat techno for the race itself to psychedelic, apocalyptic tunes for the moments at which Dan saw the truth, they fitted perfectly.

The only point at which World Record looked clearly inferior to the other two? The background art. Especially Kid’s Story features high-quality background art, which are quite stunning to see. Matriculated also played with this in an interesting way. Not to mention the psychedelic surroundings. In World Record, however, the backgrounds are kept simple. Very simple.

Posted on 18 August 2006 with categories: The Animatrix



Matriculated is entirely different from Kid’s Story. Especially in terms of art, animation and style. While Kid’s Story had really messy animation, everything is moves extremely fluid n Matriculated. The extremely messy drawings have made way for a strange, futuristic-like look on one side, and very colourful, psychedelic CG-scenes on the other side. In this case, literally.

The story takes place outside of the Matrix. It deals with a group of rebels, one woman in particular. The overall air is dark, making the drawings fit quite well in their surroundings. The woman runs into a couple of robots: runners. They’ve got quite original designs, moving with extremely thin legs. In any case, after a small chase, the woman takes out both of the runners, and one of them gets taken to the camp of the rebels.

The goal of these rebels is to attempt to convert this machine to their side. Not by reprogramming it, but making it join their forces out of its own will. They do this by connecting both themselves as the runner to a Mini-Matrix (how did they call these again?). They get brought into a psychedelic world, in which an illusion is given to the runner that it can rely on the rebels. It’s quite interesting to see how they managed to do it. Slowly, the machine changes from machine into a humanoid-shape. We follow the runner, as it tries to make sense out of the virtual world. In the end, it gets converted.

Though then, it seems that reinforcements have arrived. It seems that the runner, before it was defeated, called for backup. This backup now has found the rebels’ main quarter, and are starting to destroy everything and everyone. In the end, the intruders get destroyed, but the price for this is high. The runner aids in fighting the intruders. When all is finished, the runner is the only one left standing, with the woman badly hurt, as the only survivor. The runner plugs the two of them back in the Mini-Matrix, in the hope of saving her. Inside, however, the woman is terrified when she sees the runner. So terrified, that she flees, and dies.

It’s indeed quite sad to see the woman who tried to convert you, the woman you believed was nice and embraced you, scaring herself to death by seeing you, only minutes later. Also, the fact that AI can actually be converted by toying with their morals also is quite intriguing. It’s shown something fake, though its AI isn’t able to determine that it’s fake. That’s why it works. The style of this film also was quite appealing. Both the colourful, psychedelic scenes, as well as the dark, futuristic scenes looked stunning. Especially the fluid animation was quite impressive.

Still, the voice-acting was once again a problem. I don’t know whether it was my version of the video, or it was meant to be like that, but the voices sounded really vague, which didn’t really work. I also feel that this film dragged on a bit too much. Currently, its length is 16 minutes. It could easily have been brought back to just ten of these. I also only began to like the ending when I watched it for the second time. Dunno what caused that.

Overall, it was quite an interesting watch. I think I liked Kid’s Story a bit more, though. But that’s mostly because of the themes which were more appealing, and the interesting art style.

Posted on 17 August 2006 with categories: The Animatrix



I’ve been taking a look at the shows which are to air during the Fall-Season, and I doubt that that will be an overall good season. Seriously, eight bishoujo-anime. Isn’t that getting a bit too much!? Apart from that, another majority of the shows seem to be either boring, or tasteless shounen stuff. That probably only leaves a few gems, which will probably be blogged. I’ll probably do a full preview of the fall-season at the August-Summary. In any case, most of the shows I’m blogging will be ending as the fall-season begins, which means more time to blog about some interesting anime which aired in the past. Not only Ayatsuri Sakon and Popolocrois, but also the interesting-sounding shows which I have yet to see and some more unknown gems. I’m also going to check out some of Studio 4°C. They’ve already proved that they can do awesome stuff by producing Mahou Shoujotai, and I’ve also noticed that they’ve got a certain unique art and animation style.

So I ran into the Animatrix. It’s a collection of nine short movies, regarding the Matrix. They’re all playing in the world of the Matrix. The interesting part is that it’s partially been written by american directors. Studio 4°C handled the animation, along with Madhouse and apart from that, several big names in the japanese anime-industry wrote/directed parts of it. I’ve only seen the first one of the Matrix-movies, but then again, it never stopped me from watching before. I also have no idea whether there’s any order at which you have to see the stories, so I decided to just randomly pick ones. The first is “Kid’s Story”.

The story’s like this: it follows the teenager named Michael Popper. He’s been having dreams, in which he fell from a height. Strangely enough, the dream feels more real that the life he’s currently living. Neo also seems to be sending messages to him. He then goes to school, and then it shows that he wants Neo to take him to the Matrix, as he keeps writing suggestive lines in his notebook (eg. “get me out of here”).

Then, his mobile phone goes off, in the middle of class. Needless to say that his teacher doesn’t like this, especially when Michael seems to be doing rather bad in his classes. When the phone goes off for the second time, even though Michael’s sure he turned it off, the teacher has had enough of it, and attempts to take away the phone. Michael picks up, and hears Neo. Apparently, dangerous men in black suits have come to get him, as he knows about the Matrix. Neo urges him to run away.

Michael then loses it, and runs away like crazy, making use of his skateboard, inside school, hurting countless of people and objects in the process. He eventually flees in the girl’s bathroom, and climbs outside a window. He then makes it to the top of the school building, though the men in black suits have already been waiting for him. He then drops himself from the same roof, with the message to Neo that he believes in the things he said. He then relives the dream he had, and hits the floor.

Everyone around him thinks he died, and he’s buried. People blame the fact that he was mentally unstable. That reality can be quite difficult to take for some people. This world must have been cold and alienating for such a boy. Meanwhile, outside of the Matrix, we hear Trinity’s voice. Michael begins to awaken. Trinity can’t believe that self-substantiation was possible like that. I think it means something like getting loose from the matrix without having to use the red pill.

The first thing noticable about this film is the unique art it features. It’s by no means pretty. It’s actually very messy. Some scenes really have look as if they were drawn by a pencil, and then colored. Overall, it does fit the mood, which is dark, grey and light at the same time. The action scene, in which Michael flees from everyone especially looked good. I really like action scenes in which the animation drops all boundaries, and continues with really messy art, and this was a great example of it.

The fact remains, however, that this anime is one of the few who has actually been made in english. This made the voices rather annoying, except for Neo and Trinity, perhaps. But that could be because they were voiced by their original actors.

The most interesting part of this short film was the reaction of the adults, at the end of the movie. They’re wrong, in a sense. They’re talking about reality, and how Michael couldn’t accept it. However, they’re the ones away from reality. Michael was the one who was trying to reach it. But the fact remains that they don’t know they’re in this fake reality. They’ve been told that the world they live in is real for their entire lifes. They never heard about anything close to the Matrix. The untruth, is truth for them.

Overall, this was an interesting watch. It’s also short, so I can’t say I was bored.

CHANGE USERNAME
KTravlos
man I should not had read the review. Now I will go and watch Inuyashiki. I had missed it.
silver
@Lenlo: It caught me off guard, too. Definitely working to earn that 'psychological' genre tag.
Lenlo
Well... Inuyashiki surprised me today. It went far darker than I was expecting. Thanks Gants author
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Such an odd art style, have you ever seen these? These are the film covers the Polish get:
Kaiser-Eoghan
*that was the most interesting character
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Z's ending was very very well played and it was Jean Tringnents was interesting, largely for that he was a right winger working with the left wingers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course the British version of house of cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if he's seen Yes Minister and The New Statesman, also political comedies and for those of us who lived in the 80s seeing Thatcherites getting slagged off was great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do think thick of it works better though as the humour serves a thirty minute episode more comfortably. Stalin's fairly short though so I don't think the joke will run out.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the Death of stalin is the title I'm looking for as well. Will screen here in few weeks. I almost reccomend In the Loop and the Thick of It (haven't watched the latter though) for Travlos since they're a political satire, which I think he'll enjoy
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Hope you already booked that heavens feel screening, cause its sold out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that the anime's character development in Juuni taisen expands on the books, which only give them short lines for their backgrounds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, so perhaps in Juuni taisen they'll spin that so the Rat guy uses the ox guy to his advantage in some different way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There is a special atmosphere watching anime on a big screen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I might be seeing death of Stalin tomorrow or Saturday. The thick of it was hilarious and this has the same director as that.
SuperMario
Both Z and All the President's Men are coassic movie. Hold my attention from start to finish. Z, in particular, wowed me that I literally had my mouth wide open
SuperMario
Off tangent, watching Fireworks in the cinema the other day made me realize how I miss watching movies on the big screen. I might try to go to the cinema once a week again. Been missed out all the good movies lately.
SuperMario
In the Great Race story, Rat used a very underhanded tactic to win the race (it jumps into the Ox to pass the great river and then jump off to the finish line. This Rat guy's speciality is Killing All so there is a high chance that he survives till the end
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I have no doubt that we will have more amazing character arcs for Juuni Taisen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that could prove to be too predictable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if the Rat guy is going to be the wild card in all this, after all in the old story, wasn't it the Rat who won that zodiac race thing?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Juuni Taisen is killing off its most interesting characters.... =< I wanted the bird girl to stay around a bit longer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd love to see more Lem or Stugastky style/brand of scifi, I need to rewatch stalker again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Going back to the cyberpunk thing, I don't want just any ol' thing getting made, I want to see something scifi related thats ACTUALLY clever and has long and DIFFICULT dialogue .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: While not a political series Chaos;head is a good example of being annoyed at the conspiracy thing, what drives me up the wall about that show and its sequel is how every every time I think about going back to it I realize that its only interesting on a surface level and is utter hokkum.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. Yup, perhaps because I work in political science, they tend to anger me. So I avoid them. Borgen is a good political series.

In general. It still startles how much of a better character anime Tsutomu was comapred to manga Tsutomu in Bridy the Mighty. But I forgive the manga as I get more Gomez!
AidanAK47
@Amagi/Kaiser, thought as much. Strike it off the list then. And God Tsubasa was a cluster fuck by the end.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh simul-dub of Juuni taisen is out, I might aswell keep up with that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I had this weird relationship with dragonball in general. When I was younger I never actively seeked out the show, but on a rare occasion I would watch random episodes whenever I was channel hopping and nothing else was on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Clamp shared universe was a mistake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really wish that that tone breaking style of comedy stops being a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It doesn't happen often, but there ARE shows we all have that snap trigger us when they get mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel my disdain of re:zero is because I hate Akame ga kill and Higurashi so much and it prevents me because of bias from enjoying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In addition to what i posted about Pandora, you will hate the comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I will rewatch it, the first one is one of those things that improved on repeat viewings.
@Travlos: Conspiracy theories are one of those things I find myself taking interest in, then almost immediately consider immensely stupid and a waste of time.
Amagi
Aidan: If you didn't like the first parts of Pandora you won't like the rest either. Most people that loved it did this because of the characters and setting, the story isn't really getting better and I kinda disliked what they did near the end. It was overcomplicated and everyone had like three different personalities, plot twists and so on. Not nearly as bad as Tsubasa Chronicle though
AidanAK47
@Bokusenou, believe me when I say you are not few. There are plenty who Dislike Re:Zero. I can understand it and I sort of get where your coming from regarding the characters. (Though Saber sucks) There is just something about the series that I just adore.
KTravlos
@Kaiser. I have not watched most of them. But I have watched Z and All the President's Men. Both are great films. The issue with me is that while I like political thrillers I despite conspiracy theories. Far too many pol. thrillers dive into con.theory stuff. So I must be discriminating.
SuperMario
Okay, I'm off to watch Blade Runner 2049 now. Hopefully it can be as good as the original
Vonter
In contrast World's End Harem, surprisingly looks to be trying. It has one story trying to play straight, the scenario of being the last man in a world mainly habited by woman. And has had this framing of self worth, temptation and doubt I like. No work of art, but surprising for this type of manga.
Vonter
In regards to manga, I'll need to look for something good, being losing time with ecchi stuff. Which I can tell Okamoto should just make hentai, seeing as his latest work, doesn't even try to be anymore than pandering trash (at least older work, had a notion of a story).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Did all the presidents men and Parallax view by Pakula appeal to you?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: Actually as your are a Greek....have you watched Z, missing, State of siege or the confession? None of them are actually in Greek but they were political thrillers directed by Costa Gravas.
Anonymous1490677
KT here: Well I am a sucker for political thrillers and "grand" politics, so the direction it took is quite fun for me. Even if it does indicate a Tomino ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
For me Titan peaked at volume 8 and I never bothered continuing on much further.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I remember a commenters on here a good while ago that mentioned the ending didn't satisfy or come together well and made the investment not worth it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Honestly it was only near the halfway point I vested any interest in pandora hearts, the first 4 volumes left me wondering if I'd drop it, then near the last few volumes I simply fell out of reading it.
Bokusenou
I feel like I'm one of the few people who don't understand why Re: Zero is so popular...the only characters I half liked were Puck & Crusch (the latter because she reminded me of Saber from the Fate series, minus the unnecessary perma-blush marks) My anime club screened the series and I really should have skipped those meetings...
Lenlo
Mmm Inuyashiki episode 2 tomorrow. Time to see where it goes
AidanAK47
@Anon, That reminds me. Anime limited better announce the date of the Re:Zero Blu-ray release at that panel of theirs at MCM London Comic Con. They are the only ones known to have licensed it and they have a partnership with Funimation. Even if we don't get a second season I have to get the first on Blu-ray.
Anonymous1490189
Emilia re:zero
AidanAK47
Finally Got that review up. Been sitting in my to do list for a while.
SuperMario
I remeber in Dragon ball, they state that Son Goku takes 6 years of training to become a Super Saiyan. His oldest son takes 3 years and then the youngest one... only takes 3 months of training with his mother. So yeah...
AidanAK47
While we are talking about manga, I was looking into getting some manga boxsets and I saw one for pandora hearts. However I started reading it and 15 chapters in I just can't get into it. I hear a lot of praise for it but is it really worth continuing?
AidanAK47
@Amagi, yep. Like Naruto with the nine tailed beasts and Sharingan. At first they were cool and then everyone and their mother had Sharingan or a tailed Beast.
Though If I had a problem with SNK its that I just find the thing to be poorly written overall. It has creative idea's, but the characters and dialogue is really weak in my eyes.
Amagi
You know that SuperSaiyan syndrome. At first it was special and mysterious, but once the second one gets to have the power they tend to pop up everywhere. Same with Claymore and basically almost every shounen ever.
Amagi
I overall like the SNK manga but I have to agree I really have a problem with this shounen trope of some speciality one character has that suddently turn out to be the speciality of many.
Lenlo
It turned from a horror/thriller to a sort of... shounen mystery thing for me. I wasnt a fan once EVERYONE became titans.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I dropped off at that point, picked it up again and read it up to date. Now I am falling out again. True be told I haven't really got into it since the beginning chapters and I am not a fan of the direction it took. If you don't like it now I say future chapters won't really change your mind.
Lenlo
Does Attack on Titan get better? I was reading it up until Season 2 came out and then just fell off the wagon.
KTravlos
oh what a cliffhanger in the Shingeki no Koyjin manga! I am happy where this is going!
Kaiser-Eoghan
I agree that the way the series addresses emotion has some interest to it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The later chapters I read had some action in them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Had a read of the children of the wales manga, I am glad to see a shoujo that isn't based on an otome or school life series , additionally I like it on an aesthetic level, I can see it going somewhere but the fast-forward pace makes it hakes it harder to connect with.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Blame! was recently adapted and thats cyberpunk, even if it didn't follow the manga.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Agree. Cyber- and steampunk are two of the few settings I really dig. Especially because I think that there are a lot of potential plots and twists for cyberpunk/VR settings anime haven't used yet. AR is great too, the only series about that is Dennou Coil and it was made ~10 years ago. Maybe the SAO movie but it was just a movie.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here lol. I remember the toilet thingy but not the woman's backstory. That being said, I enjoyed the series as whole, though some parts were too K-ONish for my taste.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of would agorophobia maintain itself and they'd stay inside or would the fear of being raped/tortured/killed and bypass the agorophobia ?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Random tangent, but I would find it fascinating to see a hikkikomori subject to a home invasion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although honestly, I would prefer a cyberpunk wave of anime series to get popular again.
silver
I too am starting to really enjoy the 'adventure anime' genre. The medium of animation is uniquely suited to fantastical worldbuilding.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Was that the one where the girl is desperately trying not to piss herself? Also why can I remember that and not this blonde woman's backstory?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, agreed. It's at its best when it can use the settings to flesh out the characters. The episode after that one, one the other hand, was Sora no woto's dullest episode - where the main girl spends the whole episode waiting for a freaking phone call.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The Blonde woman's backstory in the middle of sora no oto, that was the best episode of it.
SuperMario
@Amagi: for reccomendation, if you don't mind another cute girls in a post-apocalyptic world show, you can try Sora no Woto (Sound of the sky). I love that show to bits
SuperMario
But I'm not entirely sold on the show yet. I feel the relationships are a tad too heavy-handed. The light hearted tones don't work well for me but I really feel a From the New world's vibe from the show
SuperMario
@Amagi: I will talk about Children of the Whales here in the chatbox since we don't cover it. Damnit the cliffhanger. That series really focuses on the theme of repress their own feelings. From the children in the Mud Whales with their custom of not to cry in the funeral or their lacing their hands to express their gratitude. Episode 2 has that monster who basically eats others emotions
Kaiser-Eoghan
And by extension, I would hope that it would encourage adaptations of older fantasy manga aswell.
Amagi
I really hope this type of fantasy will become a new trend instead of the classical world of warcraft type of isekai
Amagi
There is just something really atmospherical about a few characters exploring an unknown world alone that is either almost or entirely devoid of humans or just weird like in Kino's Journey.
Amagi
Shuumatsu Shoujou, Houseki, Kino 2017 and Children of the Whales are shaping up to become my favorites this season. It's funny that they have so much in common, same with Made in Abyss, which also was my favorite of the last season.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, well there were fellows down in cork that decided to go Kite Surfing. They had to send out a boat to rescue the dumb bastards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I saw that there were some profoundly stupid people ignoring the warnings, some guy even decided to go out swimming despite it.
AidanAK47
I am in some ways both relieved and disappointed.
AidanAK47
Well I got the day off work and the only thing that happened was that it was a bit windy. Wasn't really a big deal to be honest.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whats the word on your end Aidan with regards to the Hurricane?
Kaiser-Eoghan
And of course raging bull, a rare case where I watched a film twice.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I've always, apart from Creed, ignored the Rocky sequels despite enjoying the first one, not really into watching a billion followups to a film. Films about fighters seem to connect with me, I got alot out of warrior, southpaw and Rocky.
KTravlos
I was surprised by how well Ancient Magus Bride was able to sell to me the naturalness of Elia's skull head, and the falseness of his conjured human head. Well done.
Lenlo
I do love a good boxing anime. Both Ashita no Joe and Hajime no Ippo are great, though for different reasons.
Vonter
Simply put, unlike Hajime no Ippo. Ashita no Joe, also was mainly about Joe, living in a poor rural town, struggling to make a living, and boxing came out as something that gave him meaning. Instead of the typical shounen of "becoming the best".
Vonter
I think it's bold when someone announced they want to make something like "the next Rocky". Since that's apparently what I get from this announcement. https://manga.tokyo/news/original-anime-megalo-box-inspired-by-ashita-no-joe-announced-for-spring-2018/
CJayTiii
Just watched Heaven's Feel Part 1 at the movie theater last night. DEAR LORD the animation was flawless. I honestly thought they nailed the calmer scenes a lot better than UBW as well. The wait for part 2 is gonna be brutal...
Amagi
Isekai isn't even bad, it's just that it became the worst case of formularic wish fulfillment masturbation nowadays. I actually wish we would get more proper isekai anime again, especially if it's some scifi or time travel stuff for once
AidanAK47
You know thinking about it, Muv Luv Alternative could be considered a deconstruction of Isekai before Isekai was even a thing. After all it actually has the elements of of Isekai.
AidanAK47
Gonna do up a review of the trilogy. Though first I need to post that Subahibi review I have had sitting in my Google docs. Twas waiting till we got the impressions done with.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I remember checking out Muv Luv and not being too impressed about it. When i cheeked out Alternative years ago I was blown away by how good it was. Usually VNs have moments of downtime where it can get boring no matter how good they are. But Alternative just had you from start to finish.
Amagi
@Aidan: Muv Luv Alt is one of the best VNs I've read. I am happy I always avoided spoilers before. The only thing I knew was that it gets heavy around chapter 6 or 7.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Thanks for letting me know before I bothered booking for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: the plot doesn't make sense. As the story progresses, it gets weirder, the visual goes wilder and the ending doesn't wrap up much. I might need to watch the live-action version
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: See you rated fireworks 3 1/2, what did you think of it?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I suppose, same to you, hopefully you'll be alright.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It was designed by Marta Akermann : https://friendist.deviantart.com/
Anonymous1482176
Can I get where the banner is from?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know there were 18 deaths back in the mid eighties when a storm struck here back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Seems that it will be at its worst in the west, that said I'm living in Dublin in the east so I'll probably get away with a power cut for a while. Thankfully I'm not back in work until Thursday and I won't be going anywhere tomorrow.
AidanAK47
Also Careful Kaiser, I hear we got a hurricane heading our way tomorrow.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Can't say I do. I got into anime around the time it was getting put on the internet. And I only started buying anime when I got a job. Now I got a whole bookcase of Blu-rays.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Remember back in the 90s when we didn't have all region dvd players and everything got released on region 1?
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, I checked though. Seems the screenings are strictly US for Heavens Feel. Sort of like how Grand Order isn't released for Europe either. Also took goddamn ages to get the Blu-Rays of UBW too. Aniplex just seems to hate us for some reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dublin city university has/had an anime club.
Kaiser-Eoghan
These are all one time only things though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Eh....on rare occasions the Eye cinema in Galway and the Lighthouse in Dublin do screenings . Eiretakon has re-formed as J-con in Dublin and they do screenings.
AidanAK47
Playing Muv Luv Alternative and I just made it pass a certain infamous scene. Honestly...I thought seeing as I knew it was coming that it wouldn't hit that hard. But even after all these years...it still gives me chills.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Could be worse. There are no screenings in Ireland so the wait is a hell of a lot longer for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll likely be checking out Lu over the wall in early December.
Amagi
I am really looking forward to that new movie from the Tekkonkinkreet guy and Heaven's Feel but both screenings only happen in February so this will sadly still take a while.
SuperMario
Aah, I just missed the only screening of In the Corner of the World at my local cinema (it comes as part of a film festival, guess I will watch the pirated version then). Thankfully they screened Firework anime so I'm going to watch it. Now
SuperMario
I intend to still give Dies Irea another chance. don't know if it's worth it thou
SuperMario
Maybe those kidscheated half of the way because no one can WALK faster than me :)
Kaiser-Eoghan
The animation continues to be quite poor and its only getting 15 episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I could definitely have seen my German Ex offended by it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know I never even cared enough to think that people would be this offended by Dies Irae, it would be like being offended by the Naziploitation elements in hellsing . I find both far too silly to be in anyway offensive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, good that you keep up the exercise. I walk pretty much everywhere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Little fiends likely taking performance enhancing drugs, know to poison them next beforehand =P
SuperMario
Still finished in a first half but 35 minutes for 5km is something I wasn't to proud of. Damnit.
SuperMario
Well, just finished a running event. The race was just 5 kilometer so I was aiming to run all the way. Ended up walking 1/3 of the way and lose to some 12 year old kids... I'm getting old, really!
AidanAK47
@Anon, That was a stupid move on their part. Still I prefer to judge a game based on the quality of the product and not outside circumstances.
Anonymous1479322
yooka laylee is okay but i hate it because they removed jontrons voice
KTravlos
new Altair OP is better than old Altair OP. But old ED is better than new. Man I really am sad Altair cannot have the 100_ episodes of LOGH. Because of that they really have to rush the story to make the politics work, but at same time rushing it undermines the story integrity. Which is a pity. I really think if Altair had the LOGH treatment, it would be a stupendous tale of politics.
AidanAK47
I got that with Yooka Laylee which I thought was a decent fun game. However the internet has determined it to be a flaming trash pile of a game. I even have a friend who never played the game but bashes it purely because it's so hated.
KTravlos
While I understand the point, and have indeed watched stuff both psgel and the current writers have not given a high score too, generally speaking our tastes are complimentary. In a world of scarce time and quite a lot of stress over things like work or relationships, I will take the cognitive short-cuts I can for my hobbies, and FOMO be damned! :)
AidanAK47
That may actually be quite the common occurrence as internet opinion tends to veer to extremely positive or extremely negative. Something can't simply be good, it most be amazing. Somehting can't be passable either, it has to be garbage.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I agree with that. In truth you can only really judge something when you have seen it yourself. I will even admit that mine and likely the others reviews of Imouto are a bit of Hyperbole. It's really not the most terrible thing I have ever seen. Actually I would say Dynamic cord was worse.
Anonymous1478520
(i already found some nice things i would have neglected otherwise or deemed worthless based on reviews/seasonal previews etc)
Anonymous1478520
So i concluded that even if those people were writing good reviews and had somewhat compatible tastes with me, were nice and intelligent people overall in the end it did not mattered that much. while others' opinions are helpful, my own taste is the only thing i can really trust. so watching everything it is
Anonymous1478520
I used to chose my shows based on reviews from people i trust, this site included, but then i just started trying out everything and - shocking, i know - suddenly i liked things others did not. or vice versa, which were a possibility even before.
Lenlo
Thats why I only really watch/checked out things that piqued my interest. Was gonna do it anyways, so why not write about i
SuperWooper
Comprehensive sampling does have its benefits, though. Animegataris is a show I wouldn't have touched on my own, but it was quite watchable.
SuperWooper
@Kaiser, I agree that only the better-looking shows need to be previewed, but being a new recruit, I can't exactly influence the long-standing Star Crossed policy of giving everything a shot.
SuperMario
@anon1477190: that moment you mentioned about Kino losing her cool was good, but then they followed up on the obvious exposition about the couple which I felt was heavy-handed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I bring that up mainly because I don't want to see any of the writers getting burned out/demotivated/having their time wasted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Guys it must be incredibly time consuming to watch some of these obviously from the outset bottom of the barrel shows you know will be awful and you'll never cover, I doubt anyone would have complained if you didn't mention Imouto Ireba.
Lenlo
The ending was good, but leading up to it was sort of dull
Lenlo
Agreed on how Kino felt this week. What really got me though was how she held the gun. That bugged me in those pov shots
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I'm not keen to go over old material, I'll just watch the new Kino stories.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I get claustrophobic sometimes, so Haze by Tsukamoto Shinya was fucking un-comfortable =P
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