Posted on 16 August 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mononoke, Throwback Thursday

There really isn’t a good way to introduce this episode. Nothing is really going to soften the madness of what I just watched. As this week Mononoke has given us one of the darkest/creepiest yet most endearing episodes I have seen in a long time. So let’s just get on with it.

Starting off, a quick look into the production of this week. Once again, Mononoke didn’t really “wow” in terms of straight animation, but rather with it’s style. The most obvious example of this would be the “flip book” presentation of a number of scenes. Looking at it cynically, you could argue this is to save on the animation budget. A simple paper flip effect and 4 frames. For me though, with the overlaid paper effect permeating every frame, I thought it rather clever. That’s not even mentioning the actual subject matter that was displayed. This was… incredibly evocative. I thought a lot of the presentation was clever and clear. Such as the red cloth from the babies, to the urns in which they were stored. Or what body the Proprietress had during different tellings of the story. While it may have only taken place in one room, I was impressed.

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Posted on 9 August 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mononoke, Throwback Thursday

Welcome one and all to another season of Throwback Thursday, this time covering the 2007 Horror series Mononoke! There is a lot going on here, so fair warning, this series is going to get weird and probably a bit creepy. But if your ready to come a long for a 12 episode wild ride, then let’s get into it. And remember! This is based off the last arc of Ayakashi: Samurai Horror Tales, so check that out as well!

Starting off, I think it necessary to explain my mindset going into this series. You see, recently I have been burning my way through the entire Monogatari series. So expect to see a lot of comparisons between the two, with how similar the subject matter is. So much so that I wouldn’t be surprised if this inspired it. You see, Ayakashi came out in early 2006, with the first Monogatari novel releasing later that same year. Then a year later you have the offshoot of Ayakashi’s last arc, Mononoke releasing. With a style very similar to what we would later see in Shaft’s Bakemonogatari adaptation. That series finally starting in 2009. There is plenty of time between each of these for them to inspire each other in a myriad of ways. Which considering their subject matter is very interesting to me. But enough with the history lesson, onto the series.

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Posted on 30 July 2019 with categories: Anime Reviews, Finished Series: Mystery/Suspense, Reviews by Lenlo, Serial Experiments Lain, Throwback Thursday

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime history. That said, Serial Experiments Lain can hardly be said to be an “enjoyable” series. It is certainly evocative, Serial Experiments Lain will bring about emotions and force you to confront reality in a unique way. But I at least did not end the series thinking I would watch it again anytime soon, and this density will no doubt be off putting for many. However while these may keep it out of my favorites, it is without a doubt worth your time. Lets go.

(Disclaimer: I am working to make 50 the new “average”. 70 is not an average score people. 70 is above average. Carry on.)

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Posted on 25 July 2019 with categories: Serial Experiments Lain, Throwback Thursday

Welcome one and all to the finale of Serial Experiments Lain, perhaps the oddest of the series done for Throwback Thursday yet. This week Lain moves on, Arisu grows up and everyone just… goes back to normal. Lot’s going on, none of which I am qualified for, but let’s jump in.

Now before we get into the meat of the series, I want to talk about “enjoyment”. You see, I am not entirely sure that I “enjoyed” Lain. Don’t get me wrong, it was incredibly interesting, and very evocative. Lain made me feel a lot of emotions throughout its run. Think about a lot of topics anime normally doesn’t. Yet, were they positive emotions? Was it… enjoyable? I don’t think it was, though I don’t think that’s necessary either. You don’t need to enjoy something for it to have value. For an extreme example, I never enjoyed textbooks, yet the information was valuable. I don’t enjoy many of my favorite moments in Berserk, because of their tragic nature. Yet they have value and cause me to feel emotions I normally don’t. For someone as unexpressive as myself, that’s an accomplishment. Enough about me though, onto the finale itself.

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Posted on 20 July 2019 with categories: Serial Experiments Lain, Throwback Thursday

Welcome, one and all, to the penultimate episode of Serial Experiments Lain! This is a weird one, yet I feel like I got it on some level. As Lain questions peoples perception, her place in the world, and Masami’s words, let’s just dive right in.

Starting off, I haven’t been bringing it up as much recently, but I want to draw attention to Lain’s production. This was a really good week visually, rivalling 8 even. The outstanding finish aside, which was incredibly fluid, the presentation of Lain’s house and Masami were great. Lain really nailed the atmosphere of the virtually abandoned home. The entire thing trashed and dirty, Mika sitting upstairs and droning on like a modem. It was incredibly creepy and disconcerting, with only simple stills and a locations history to really go by. Meanwhile, the aforementioned final scene was the episodes capstone. Really belying the fact that Lain is from the late 90’s. None of this is even mentioning the sound design. So yeah, I suppose the only thing to say is Lain had a good week production wise. Now let’s take a look at the story.

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Posted on 12 July 2019 with categories: Serial Experiments Lain, Throwback Thursday

Welcome one and all to a 2 parter for Serial Experiments Lain! Apologies for missing last week. Between end of season reviews, first impressions and a boxing match, I was a bit busy. But we are back on track with some Lain weirdness, so lets dive right in!

Starting off, I once again was forced to appreciate how good Lain looks and sounds. It’s nothing flashing, like your modern sakuga showcases. Lain doesn’t show off the same way Mob Psycho or Attack on Titan do. With huge showcases from big name animators. Lain does much better with pointed imagery and interesting composition. So my eye roams the screen during the stills, and I don’t notice the lack of animation until it’s moved on. At the very least, it succeeds here more than Paranoia Agent did. The sound design also caught my attention. Specifically episode 11’s opening, with the sink and dishes, the dripping water. I don’t know what it stood out to me, such a simple thing. But I still remember it a week after watching the episode. I wonder what happened to get this kind of effect. Still, enough with production. Onto the madness!

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Posted on 29 June 2019 with categories: Serial Experiments Lain, Throwback Thursday

I will admit, this episode of Serial Experiments Lain was difficult to get through. This week we learn about History, both of our and Lain’s world, and get more information on the Knights. So lets just jump into it!

Starting off, this episode felt… weird. I don’t want to say it was a waste, as it introduced the series endgame with Masami. But it feels like beyond that, not much happened. Like a lot of exposition and additional information got thrown at us solely to setup the ending of said episode. That isn’t to say there wasn’t some progress, I think Lain demonstrated Lain’s deteriorating mental state well. With her difference in personality when dealing with Taro, or the Alien who came into her room. It’s making a very clear point that Lain feels isolated from society now. Just like she was, if not more so, at the start of the series. It’s just the conspiracy stuff surrounding that which I felt really broke up the episode for me.

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Posted on 21 June 2019 with categories: Serial Experiments Lain, Throwback Thursday

Welcome to another episode of Acid Trip Weekly, also known as, Serial Experiments Lain! This week is one of the most confusing, yet simultaneously coherent episodes of anime I have ever watched. It’s impossible to summarize, so let’s just dive in.

Starting off, like I said, this episode was an acid trip, both visually and narratively. From the crazy colors and sequences, to crazy metaphorical representation for ideas/situations. In particular I loved the fiery explosion of Lain when she was just done with everything. Now, I started the episode having only the faintest idea what was going on. One could argue I ended the episode not much better, but personally, I at least feel more informed. Some of it no doubt went over my head. However I think Lain did a very good job of getting the core of the episode across. The specifics of rumors, acknowledging your true self and anonymity on the internet were clearly shown. Both through visuals and dialogue. To show this, let’s move on to the actual story and take a look at some of these moments.

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Posted on 16 June 2019 with categories: Serial Experiments Lain, Throwback Thursday

Hello all and welcome to another episode of Serial Experiments Lain! Apologies for the lateness and brevity on this one, was/am feeling rather sick as this week wrapped up. Oddly enough, the addled state of mind may have helped me understand Lain better. As this week we get a lot of answers, the Knights become more active and the line between Reality and Wired gets even thinner. Lets dive in!

Starting once again with Production, Lain did a lot of interesting things this week. Not that Lain isn’t interesting normally, but it got really experimental with it this week. Specifically, I am talking about the homeless man and his VR headset. Lain tried a lot of different filters to this, experimenting with odd changes to the footage. Whether it be taking real life footage and applying some kind of filter over it or just screwing with reality. It was a lot of fun to look at, and I really enjoyed the homeless man, even if he wasn’t a lead character. Basically, we got to see a lot of the tech/Wired aspect of the show, and I thought that was good. Now though, onto the actual story content of the episode.

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Posted on 7 June 2019 with categories: Serial Experiments Lain, Throwback Thursday

Welcome one and all, though its a day late and no longer Thursday, to the episode where Lain truly begins. I think. Really, I am not sure anymore, but this week Lain becomes a God, her room becomes a cave cave and dresses nice for once. Lets dive in!

Now normally I open these up with the production aspect, but you know what I think at this point. Lain is a very static show visually, that has more interesting shot composition and visuals than it does animation. Instead I want to ask a question about how every episode starts. That same street, that same line of “Present day, present time”. Is this supposed mean that Lain is occurring right now? Under our very noses, without society noticing? Grand events playing out while the wider world is unaware? Its the only explanation I can think of, at least that’s positive. Because Lain generally overlays a speech of some kind over it. Whatevers related to the episode. It could just be part of an extended OP, with no greater purpose. But that would be disappointing after what the series has shown thus far.

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