Posted by Lenlo on 7 September 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Steins;Gate 0

Sometimes, even problem children will surprise you. This week, Steins;Gate 0 did just that. I was not expecting a leap to the future, and now that I have seen it, I want more. Sadly I don’t think I will get it. Not much anyways. Lets jump in!

So, outright, this episode wasn’t bad. I like that we got to see the dystopian future in more than just flash backs (flash forwards?). But after the initial enjoyment, all it really did was remind me of what a waste of potential this series is. Take this future episode as the perfect example. Why should we care about Ruka or Suzuha or Ferris here? Suzuha just “died” 2 episodes ago, and now Ruka is “dying”, but we are about to go back to 2011. Steins;Gate 0 hasn’t spent enough time with these characters to make me care about them. We didn’t see them suffer through this war, we didn’t see any of these experiences. Its like they are copy-pasted from the 2011 timeline into now, with military redesigns. Animosh, from our chatbox, said it very well. Everyone but Okabe feels like a character from a mediocre fan-fiction.

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Posted by SuperMario on 5 September 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hanebado!

After some hyper melodramatic development for several weeks, this episode unfortunately stumbles on another issue: too plain, with confusing messages all around. The main plot taking a backseat as the final match between Ayano and Nagisa is nowhere to be seen, thus this episode mainly plays around with the boy’s prelim – whom we never spend any time with. Most surprisingly plain is Ayano. After last week in which she went through some sort of a trance figuratively, this week she meets the Bad Mama and guess what’s she doing? She ignores her Mom and acts pretty normal. Which makes sense but it doesn’t justify everything that goes before it. If there’s a period where she can go nuts, it’s this time. If you tell me she acts over-confident and cruel after she sees her mother, I would have believed much better.

This episode is one of the few times where get into Nagisa’s headspace again and Hanebado reminds me how much better it handles Nagisa’s mindset compare to Ayano’s. Nagisa has all the good reasons to not playing her best in this final. It might sound weird come from me but since they’re qualified for the National tournament, it’s one of the player’s role to not overtax themselves, especially regarding her injuries. Yet she decides to push on for her own confidence. Regarding how their last match affects Nagasi severely, this match is the one where she wants to try her best in order to move on.

Nagisa’s development is the only one part I can recommend, sadly. The rest of this episode we focus on two boys at school and we have some confusing messages from Hanebado that I’m not quite sure what they want to bring across. In one scene, Coach Tachibana asks Nagisa to consider her knee in fear of permanent injury. We then learn that he had the same experience in which he stops – and loses his Olympic privilege. What?? It’s contradicting. Yuu’s crush for her upperclassman goes the same way too. Hanebado shows us how Yuu cares for him in many instances, cries for his lose and all that before it turns its head into she confessesing but not really “confess”, saying it’s her love for badminton rather she likes him. What? Come again? I don’t get it at all since the show isn’t quite clear on how it wants to approach the characters. Bad Mama has little involvement for now, but I expect she’ll turn Ayano’s head around before the match. I know it sounds strange but if I have to pick between Hanebado’s “BIG melodrama” and plain Hanebado then I prefer the former because at least then I still have something concrete to talk about them.

Posted by SuperMario on 4 September 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight

Last week, with the earth-shattering revelation of Banana’s secret, I expected Revue Starlight addresses 2 developments. First, Nana and Hikari’s chemistry in the present now that we see the true reason why Nana is so fixated to Hikari and Second, why does Hikari crashes this timeline which she doesn’t in previous loops. As it turns out, we learn most about the Second part this week (and next to nothing on the First part) given this episode plays out through Hikari’s perspective. One important detail in this world-building this episode manages to spill out is that the Revue Audition doesn’t strictly happen at Karen’s school. The extra-dimensional duels occur in London where Hikara studies as well. It becomes quite clear to me that these auditions are a manifestation of all these Takarazuka Revue trainee girls’ drive and competitiveness to be a Top Star and that talking Giraffe is like a guard of that world (but why Hikari? Torture him more! I want to hear him speaking English more).

While this episode isn’t as crucial in term of changing the plot into another direction like last week’s, it’s still a perfectly fine episode that moves the narrative forward. We see again how important Karen and Hikari’s childhood promise that guide them to basically give their all. I was struck at first how Hikari was too energetic earlier compared to her stoic current self, so imagine my satisfaction to learn the reason behind her lack of enthusiasm. She literally has her ‘drive’, or ‘radiance’ (depend on which subs you watched) taken away from her. It’s a high price to pay for the auditions, given that Hikari wasn’t aware to all that. Through her big slump of why she’s doing all that in a first place, the only thing she can hold onto is that promise. So she makes a deal with the devil almighty giraffe, thus appear in Karen’s world and single-handed destroy Banana’s perfect world.

But then, when we learn about the ultimate cost the losers will have to pay, isn’t that what Nana been doing all along is to protect these smiles? Keeping the status quo so that no one can lose their power. What can be more noble than that? Hikari and Nana’s fight isn’t simply a clash between past vs present, it also a conflict of self-ambition vs team mentality. In addition, I particularly enjoy the contrasting in weapons’ choice this week: Hikari with her dagger and Nana with double swords. The duel has a nice dynamic, and the stunning compositions with strong dark red color and shadows motif certainly give a strong impression. Revue Starlight also set itself up for a melodramatic climax, with Karen and Hikari have to fight one another in the end. While we have strong development from one of our main lead, I still feel the way this episode cuts from Hikari’s backstory to their duel a bit abruptive. Hikari and Nana’s clash is certainly interesting in theory, but the lack of their on-screen time together means that we can’t get behind them as much as I like. I also want to see more of Karen – Claudine duel. With 4 episode left I guess it’s time for Claudine to be in the spotlight very soon.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 4 September 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Planet With

This week on Planet With, wimpy paladin decides to take on a sealing device, becomes an antagonist and…wins? I mean wow, I never saw this coming. Yousuke generally felt to me to be the gentle sort who was looking out for others but once Benika fell prey to her own sealing device causing her to lose all drive and motivation, Yousuke just went full villain. Not that I don’t understand his motivation here, he lost his brother and now the woman he loves is stuck in a eternal dream with that same brother so the only way he can see himself being happy is joining Benika in that dream. Of course the sealing faction won’t do that for free so Yousuke needs to seal the earth in Benika’s place, essentially fulfilling her last wish before falling to the sealing device. The parallel between him and Souya’s current mental state is interesting as both lost everything they care about and no longer care what happens to the world. So I love that Yousuke actually turned out to be the greatest threat to the earth despite being the more timid paladin solely because he didn’t approach the objective of sealing the earth with half hearted feelings. Benika didn’t truly want to seal the world and the sealing faction themselves seem torn on the idea with Generalissimo holding great respect for cat sensei’s wishes and Shiraishi not quite keen on the idea herself as she didn’t really want earth to go down without a fight. Yousuke on the other hand has strong conviction, kicks all the other paladins ass and accomplishes the goal.

If there is some spirit being channeled in this episode it’s hot blooded robot anime as what happens after this is true super robot action with all it’s cheesy glory. I am a little disappointed that Nozomi’s role remains firmly in the love interest alone category but damn if the second half of this episode was some truly hype action. Seeing what happens to a world that’s been sealed was interesting as it felt as though time had stopped and the direction from that to Souya pulling everyone out of the dream was excellent. Souya’s new found conviction was a little on the sudden side but I can see how he reached it and hopefully the people of paradise don’t end up some massive deus ex machina for the rest of the series but looks like this will be the one and only time they will lend a hand. It’s been very much an unsung hero of the series but the sound design is absolutely excellent. It can be easy to overlook such a thing but it can really make the difference when action is on screen. I have been taken out of the moment at times when I happened to recognized a stock effect being used.

I recall a show I watched were it showed a laser about to fire and I noticed that the power up noise was literally Samus’s arm cannon charge sound effect from Metroid Prime. Here through you can really feel those blows and the impacts. I recommend watching this series with headphones as it is certainly an experience. It’s a shame that the CGI cannot match that level of quality, I have gotten used to it for the most part but I find myself thinking of how much better things would looking if they animated the fights in 2D instead of 3D. My apologies to the CGI team of this show but these robots just don’t fit in this series they are far too out of place so it would have been better they someone made some filter to help them blend better or just scrapped CGI entirely. Well the Paladins are all down and that leaves just the sealing faction and the Dragon left to take down. So how hype will those fights be? Considering the scale of escalation it’s looking like the Generalissimo fight will be in space with them ending with fighting the dragon on the moon, which sounds pretty hype to me.

Posted by SuperMario on 3 September 2018 with categories: Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro, Currently Watching:

So… the sequence which I’m waiting the most from the PV made its to the screen this week, and it underlines both the strengths and the weaknesses I found in Chio-chan so far. The sequence in question is Chio pole dances by herself. On a dark side, since that arresting dance sequence was basically the first thing I watched in Chio-chan, I expected it more outrageously over the top. Imagine how awesome Chio-chan would have been if it embraces its wild nature more. I mean, I would love to see Chio actually has to do real pole dancing in some pub. As it stands, this version we have in Chio-chan is a slice-of-life show with Chio – a slightly more eccentric and acrobatic than normal girl. Both two fragments this week are mundane in its concept, which occasionally elevated by some amusing gags and rock-solid chemistry from Chio and Manana. Chio-chan might turn out NOT that special than I’d love to be, but as a slice-of-life comedy with mild situation-based gags it does its jobs nicely.

For the first segment, the main joke lies in how bland Chio looks without the glass (“it’s like your entire personality is on the glass” Nicely put, Manana), so Manana and Master Kushitori has a chance to out multiple crazy wigs onto Chio. Apart from multiple references that range from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure to GTO to Gabriel Dropout, I find its most amusing when she resembling Marilyn Monroe (and nice callback to that hairstyle in the second half). As Chio innocently thinks her image has improved (it’s not. To the frustration of Manana and Master), she pole-dances at a freaking shrine flawlessly with that Showa-era wig. Despite as I said earlier I felt a bit underwhelming as I wanted her to do it for real in a club, this sequence is still the episode’s high point because A) everything about her appearance doesn’t match at all with the pole-dance. She does it at a shrine. She has traditional outdated hairstyles AND she wears a freaking school uniforms. Just the thought of her doing it like that brings a smile on my face and B) she manages to do it effortlessly (I tried it one time and it’s insanely difficult). It’s the more amazing when later on we learn that she picks up naturally after watching it on her games repeatedly. She a natural acrobatic girl for sure.

Although as silly as the premise sounds, I pretty much enjoy all Andou’s wayyy too on-the-nose plan to get Chio’s attention. The jokes boost up nicely when we get all those in the point of view of Manana, whose head isn’t as thick as our Chio, and whose taste is “normal” enough so that she can see something absurdly wrong (or put it better, niche appeal) in Aidou’s plan. Her dream sequence is absolutely the segment’s best gag. Imagine Chio in her convertible car with that outrageous wig and annoying accent is so much fun to ignore. In addition, the way Manana tries to sabotage that not neccesarily because of Chio’s wellbeing (Chio’s quite happy in the dream, the one who is miserable is Manana), but from her “jealousy”. It also helps that Aidou does all that with a straight face, and Chio’s fascinating reactions are on point. He seems to have a good grasp of what Chio likes (boys who smoke, for example), but one thing he does wrong is Chio’s love for BL. It closes up with some of the best closing pun of Chio-chan in awhile, that both Manana and Aidou’s underlying behave like some yuri/yaoi characters (well, our girls did kiss before, right? RIGHT?)

To sum it up, what is the moral of this story this week? Be extremely be careful when you make an homage. It’s a double-edged sword.

Posted by Lenlo on 2 September 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Currently Watching:

Ladies and gentleman, for the first time writing these posts, I legitimately do not know where to being. This week Banana Fish proved itself, unequivocally, the best drama of the season. I am willing to admit, I started crying a bit this week. So let’s just jump in.

So, right off the bat, I was not expecting what happened this week. This felt like a finale for another anime, which since we are nearing the end of the cour sorta makes sense. But the fact that Banana Fish was willing to kill off one of its central characters in the 9th episode? And in such a brutal way. I am impressed. Banana Fish does a great job of making sure none of the characters feel safe. Sure, Ash and Eiji may survive, but at this point there’s no guarantee they will get through in one piece. That 4 characters have died in 9 episodes only enhances that feeling of unease. Its this kind of buildup that makes every confrontation with the villains tense. Because, unlike say a Shounen like Fairy Tail or Naruto, Banana Fish has proven that actions have consequences in its story. Consequences like say, Shorter.

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Posted by Lenlo on 29 August 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Steins;Gate 0

Hello and welcome to another week of, I don’t really care anymore. Apologies for the lateness of this, but I have simply been so… un-enthused with Steins;Gate 0 recently. So without further ado, lets jump in and see why.

So to start off, Steins;Gate 0 has become boring. And here is why. With easy access to limited time travel removed, it is afraid to commit to anything that shakes the status quo. It took us 19 episodes to get to the lock-down point. The moment that Okabe is supposed to dedicate the rest of the season to fixing, the big “wow” moment. And now that we are finally here, what do we get? A “are they aren’t they dead” scenario where Steins;Gate 0 is afraid to actually commit and kill off any of its titular characters. Hell, the only characters Steins;Gate 0 IS willing to kill off onscreen are Reyes, who is criminally underused, and Kagari, a character whom I hate even exists. There are no stakes. Steins;Gate 0 has backpedaled or reversed every major event with nary a scratch on our leads. It’s boring.

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Posted by SuperMario on 28 August 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews

Watching Mirai, there are two observations that spring right up to my mind: Mirai is Hosoda’s most grounded, personal film and it plays out completely different from what I expected based from the promotional materials. My feeling is confirmed when I later learned that Hosoda based the concept from watching his own children’s react, and that his daugher is indeed named Mirai. The film centres around the 3 to 4-year-old Kun and details how he cope with the appearance of his younger sister, Mirai. While the PVs play as if this is an escapist adventure in the vein of Peter Pan between Kun and Mirai the teenage version, Mirai is instead an episodic film where Kun meets various family members in different timelines and come to learn some “life” lessons. Its more realistic setting and its small-scale family drama are a stark different from his more fantastical (and messy) previous works, but it should relate well with kids and moreover with parents who have experienced these before. To put it better, Mirai is a perfect family-oriented feature that respect the child’s point of view with all the mature sentiments behind it.

Mirai’s episodic segments all share the same formula: Kun is dissatisfied with how the baby sister takes all the attention from his parents, he throws a tantrum, he’s miraculously thrown into another timeline where his relatives live and he grows a bit in the process before transport back home. If it sounds a bit like a gimmick, it doesn’t because all Kun’s issues are very believable for the kid his age. Children always feel left out when their “prince” status fall apart with the appearance of some annoying baby. Mirai really nails it when it exaggerates Kun’s outburst with comical distorted face that can only be done effectively in this medium. The film also understands the kid’s imaginative mindset. Kun’s at the age where everything seems possible, where dog can talk and act like a prince, where his Mama is just as messy as him when she was young, where Mirai appears as a high school girl.

It helps that the episodic segments feel like true adventures with many different settings. There’s a sense of wonder everywhere, and the production has a chance to stretch their muscles by breathing life and details to these different era. In one instance Kun is lost in a Hell-like train station, the art appropriately goes impressionist and nightmarish. In other instance (and the only time where it happens in the present), Miral the high-schooler, along with Kun and their dog in human form have to find a way to take down the dolls (Hinamatsuri) to save Mirai from “late marriage”. These moments like this not only help the members of this family bonding deeper, it also helps Kun to appreciate his family more, especially to his younger sister who he seen at nothing but a burden. If I have one minor nitpick, it is that I find the segment where he meets his great-grandpa a bit far-fetched since he doesn’t even meet the old man in real life. But in Mirai’s defense, it’s actually one of the most meaningful story in the film so  well, it’s deserved to be there after all. There’s also some moments where the film take on adult’s perspective. Especially the time where the father has to do real houseworks for the first time, thus he learns how he had been slacking on helping his wife all these years. These instances ring so true here.

But the most impressive thing Mirai pull off is how all these stories add up to paint the same family bond theme. It’s like different branches of the same tree – an apt metaphor for this film given the film frames these stories as threads connected by the grand tree that transcends multiple generations. It’s an ode to the family where every family member’s life sounds just as wonderful and epic like famous figures; where every action, every decision connect and interweave that result in the present-us just as we are now. The settings themselves have a lot of personality in Mirai, especially their house with multiple levels and see-through glass and big garden that easily triggers any kid’s imagination. You can also spot some of Hosoda’s directional trademarks like his lateral camera movement that detail members (usually the father) doing housework in a nice flow of time. There isn’t a lot of dynamic animation, but the character animation is top-notch, especially when the film deals with children expressions since they have much more movements than the adults. The most stand-out sequence for me is the one where there’s only visual storytelling about his great-grandfather and his running challenge. Just seeing how that scene play out brings tears down my eyes. It’s powerful precisely because it keeps the moment “small”.

After a string of movies that entirely focus on grand, fantastic story, I understand why some of you might be let down by this small-scope film. It’s a film with almost no real ambition but I beg to differ on that. Here’s where I like to compare Hosoda with Shinkai’s previous inputs. While Shinkai’s latest expands his scope and finds himself in tune with the general audience’s appeal, Hosoda limits his scope to the theme that he knows most; and cares the most. And that is perfectly fine. Every auteur has at least one personal film in which they disregard any artistic or financial merit and just make something that meant the most to them at the time. It’s the small cozy real-world brush that makes Mirai so enjoyable, relatable and feel almost like home.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 28 August 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Planet With

Why is it that no one is watching this show, as it is legitimately great. Looking online it’s sad to see that this show has pretty much no hype around it whatsoever. Those that stuck with it look to be pleasantly surprised but it seems that many got turned off by it’s first episode. It’s a shame truly as this show really has come into its own. It could be that Satoshi’s nature of making use of tropes and subverting them is working against him as viewer deem him as unoriginal before he managed to go against expectation. Take for example this episode where it has Souya refusing to fight the Sealing faction because his revenge is essentially complete now that the dragons power has been collected. Souya has no real reason to fight anymore and points out that everything he ever knew or loved is gone. Sure he has new friends on earth but the fact of the matter is that he truly lost everything before coming to earth. Any other anime the characters would start kicking the kid when he’s down and telling him to man up and fight the alien. Even in Evangelion they go out of their way to berate Shinji for not wanting to pilot a robot. Here it looks like they are heading in the same direction with even a member of the sealing faction questioning just why he isn’t fighting. But here one of the former paladins releases that Souya is just a kid and takes up the responsibility to fight the battle. Regardless it looks like Souya is going to get dragged into the battle no matter what as the paradise race tell him that the dragon is coming back at the dark side of the moon.

Benika got some development this week as she relates the story of a detective she used to admire who was killed by a kid with a gun. Making the reason why she joined the sealing faction being that she doesn’t trust humanity with power and believe that they will lose control like that kid who got his hands on a gun. What’s more it looks like the detective is the brother of Yousuke who likes Benika but looks like he feels he can’t measure up to the memory of his brother. on that if I am not mistaken it Benika looks to have feelings for Hideo and may have subconsciously wanted him to defeat her. Oh and great callback to him being the strongest of the paladins and having him defeat her. I thought that with the first half over and the paladins defeated that the op would need to be updated but they are gearing up to play a role in the second half of the series too. Comedy was on point here too with Souya seeing through Shiraishi’s illusion and having a mental crysis over whether real or illusionary boobs are better when she pressed up against him. Again, it starts as a common trope but then twists it in such an interesting way. Not to mention that cheeky little ghost in the shell reference at the beginning.

Overall I like that the paladins are coming back into the story as new warriors to fight the sealing faction and Souya’s growing psychic powers. Little disappointed that Nozomi didn’t take up the position of protecting the town but there does seem to be hints of her taking a more active role besides romantic interest. The comedy still makes things quite fun with even the antagonists lightening up like Shiraishi buting green with envy over Souya and Nozomi’s date. Benika looks like she’s out of the sealing faction so I wonder just what she will do now after being defeated. Well who knows what could happen in the best show that no one is watching.

Posted by SuperMario on 28 August 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Hanebado!

I hope Hanebado having fun of drawing Ayano this week. She who switches from normal-Ayano to Weiwei-Ayano to evil-Ayano in a blink of eye. Appropriately all my screenshots this week are dedicated to her multiple disorder personalities. After all, ridiculous drama with ridiculous facial expressions are Hanebado at its essence now. Story-wise I’m pretty sure that we won’t get to the national stage this cour. It’d be the final match between Nagisa and Ayano and the boy’s tournament. Speaking of that I find it strange to move the final match to the week after. Isn’t it just one match left? Before addressing the elephant in the room (which is Ayano, not the real elephant), let’s get down to Nagisa’s perspective first. To put it frankly her role isn’t big or important enough to be seen as a co-lead. Worse, like many characters in this show, she makes some head-scratching decisions. If she practises to the extend of hurting her knee, then what’s the point of all that? It’s the time where you’re supposed to rest your body, and one more week of practice doesn’t make any real different. Where is Tachibana in all this? Isn’t he supposed to be a coach? I know Hanebado never intends to be realistic but little nitpicks like this take me right out of the main story.

More than any other episodes, this week is the one where we can see Ayano’s character inconsistency all over the board. They say the eyes are the windows to one’s heart and it can apply appropriately here. Her eyes, from total blank when she meets Connie, to all fluffy when she’s in the Weiwei amusement park, then to Psycho’s level of creepiness, ain’t come from the same person. You can pretty much say the same for Connie. First appeared as a talented, stuck-up brat who refuses to let her partner play, what does she become this week? She got beaten by Ayano completely flat. In addition, I don’t really buy her reason to get Ayano accept her as “family member”. They aren’t bloodlined for Peter sake and this is more about proving herself to be a better badminton player than Ayano than you know, get together like a big family with welcomed arms.

And now their Mama truly comes to the picture by greeting Ayano like nothing happened? God, the drama is gonna be awesomely ridiculous next week (a little off topic but where are Connie real parents? Does Mama adopt her legally or just invite her to the house and let her stay?). On the other spectrum, we have a bit insight of Yu’s crush to her upperclassman but frankly I don’t know what will happen afterward. Will she confess? Will the other one care at all? Will we care at all? To say Hanebado goes overboard with its drama is still an understatement. THE drama is getting laughable mediocre, but the way Hanebado embraces it with all it had is kinda admirable by itself. At least, we can always enjoy the many faces of Ayano this week.

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is an animecon here in two weeks. That eyepatchwolf youtuber will be there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still have old single issues of fushigi yugi, inuyasha, Ah my Goddess, narutaru laid around.
Kaiser-Eoghan
They used to realease them like single American comic book issues in the west.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not talking bound volumes but actual 20-30 pages chapters and these would be expensive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Who remembers RENTING anime dvds and RENTING videogames? Does anyone else remember buying each individual manga chapter as they came out when the official English translations rolled around?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Anyone willing to post their desktop? https://ibb.co/buc4Zz
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or things like Mischief makers .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know vonter mentioned Mystical ninja 64. But I remember after I'd moved on from the snes to the N64 when I was younger, growing up with that obscure castlevania game on it, or stuff like those 3D bomberman games no-one cared about. Or obscure stuff like body harvest, jet force gemini, blast corps , turok, quest 64 and shadowman.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love coming across those online lists of literally WHOtier, WHOcares , games literally only YOU liked and heard of/played. Makes me feel less alone.
Amagi
I was also always discussing about politics with my father. Whenever we started with this my mother just said "porca putana" and went into another room to watch tv in peace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animemosh: lol I have daily political discussion with my Marxist-Leninist father just like that =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh I should state, even though I'm not as bothered by the modern setting, I actually do prefer the cold war narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The documentries name was Battle of Chile by Patricio Guzman.
Amagi
Especially since I don't think that the typical BF audience is of a kind that would lose interest because a series is taking place in the past. It was just written for the 80s, people can't just change that without changing the story itself to some degree.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I thought the anime did such a good job with Shio's backstory , that I didn't miss what was omitted. The anime is now up to date with the scans. I do agree that Satou's obsession with Shio is non-pedophilic but I think the scene itself is kind of going to give the wrong message.
Amagi
@Animosh: one of the many reasons why I would have prefered Banana Fish's original setting.
Animosh
By the way, apparently the backstory of Shio's mother - which supposedly is really tragic - was largely skipped. Guess I'll have to read the manga.
Animosh
I get what they're going for, recreating the ritual and all, but I also thought the Shio-Satou moment was a bit forced. I still think their relationship is platonic though. Satou has never been shown to lust after Shio: she just fills her with warmth and happiness. They're more like messed up siblings than (romantic) lovers.
Animosh
@Kaiser: sounds interesting! Chile is an excellent example of the kind of Cold War intervention that I really don't see happening today. Although you never know with an impulsive narcissist in the White House.
Animosh
End of monologue. Sorry about this. :p
Animosh
Long story short: I think the Banana Fish conspiracies fail to adequately represent the current situation. At the very least, it fits the Cold War world order much better.
Animosh
That includes the US (backing the Kurds and the rebels), but also Turkey and the Arab states (Sunni rebels), Russia and Iran (Assad), and so on and so forth. You can't act like this is the fault of one party. Hell, I'd say Russia and Assad are more responsible for failing to a peaceful resolution when they had the chance.
Animosh
As for Syria, it's a mess, but the US is only one of many parties responsible. And oil isn't particularly important in this conflict. It's a civil war that's been made much worse by the influx of money and weapons from many different parties vying for regional influence.
Animosh
So what does it do? It gives military and financial backing to militias with shared interests (which is much less than Russia does, by the way), orders drone strikes, and perhaps the occasional tactical strike. But overthrowing countries and setting up puppet regimes? I don't see it happening. That's basically declaring war on the other big powers.
Animosh
And even when it does intervene militarily, it rarely goes all out. The US has learned from Iraq and Afghanistan. It doesn't want to be dragged into another endless conflict, or see its efforts end in another brutal civil war that destabilizes the region.
Animosh
So although the US occasionally still intervenes militarily in other countries' affairs, other means of pressure are now more popular. The sanctions against Iran and North Korea are a good example of this.
Animosh
The current landscape is much more complex. America is still powerful, of course, but relatively speaking it is in decline, and that means it can get away with much less. Today's world is closer to a multipolar world, with many sides fighting for influence. And because the ideological conflict is much less pronounced, the US is much less willing to go against its purported values.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Coincidentally I recently watched a series of Chilean documentaries regarding the murder of Salvador Allende and the installation of the Pinochet Junta.
Animosh
And that meant both that America was far more powerful than it is now, and that much more intervention was considered acceptable - including shamelessly backing dictators that oppressed and exploited their people. After all, a defeat meant evil would prevail.
Animosh
Obviously the US still interferes in other countries. Quite a lot, actually. But there's a big difference between its current policy and that during the Cold War. Back then the geopolitical landscape was very different. It was bipolar, with two big Isms (capitalism and communism) fighting it out.
Animosh
@anon: not sure if this is the right place for a political discussion, but whatever. I like politics, so here we go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*was no exception
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: If, out of the many moments in happy sugar life that I'd consider unsettling, it would be the one's with the aunt and this weeks episode was an exception. That last part of the episode will be interpreted as shoujo-ai bait by people though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking forward to Angels of death next week, I think we're getting answers, glad to get answers on bad guy even if he is a simple villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now this is an interesting coincidence as last night I just got done watching a documentary about cyberwarfare against Iran.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats alot more detailed than what I was going to say. I was just going to say that it reflects current foreign policy.
Anonymous2808488
however the current stalemate in Syria is a reflection of the intransigence of the monied elite to not let go of ill-gotten gains, constantly provoking conflict with Russia/Assad/Iran
Anonymous2808488
Its a documented fact the US/EU promoted the Arab Spring/ISIS rebellions and it was stopped by patriots with a conscience
Anonymous2808488
replace with the mexican cartels/Hezbollah, and oil money promised to Cheney-connected Genie enerrgy
Anonymous2808488
its a pretty accurate description of the current reality minus a couple silly things like the mafia and mind control drugs
Anonymous2808488
You guys realize this plot is unfolding in Syria just replace drugs with oil money
Lenlo
Its hokey in the now, but in the original context the series was written, the Cold War, I think it could fit really well.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what felt awkward to you? I thought the pumpkin stuff in particular was pretty hilarious. Eiji is an evil guy. :p
Animosh
Yeah, the conspiracy stuff feels a bit wacky in the present. But in the context of the Cold War, it makes perfect sense. The USA supported plenty of bloody coups after all, especially in Latin America. Hell, they even backed the Taliban in their war against Russia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the future I want to make a bigger effort to follow MORE of whats being covered on here seasonally.
Kaiser-Eoghan
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Red
https://manganelo.com/manga/red_naoki_yamamoto Two history manga, wonder if they'll be fully translated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine most will probably agree with you anon though. I have alien taste/opinions. I also love conspiracy stuff =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Originally, in the manga version of that part, it was attacking communism in south America.
Anonymous2805624
I don't know; I kinda find the whole Middle East stuff a bit hokey; maybe that's just me.
Lenlo
Im about to watch it. Looking forward to it
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know its only one line, but that they still mention skip and shorter, even its just their names, at least the show keeps them in mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
With episode 12, Banana fish has successfully contemporized its political/cospiracy aspect for me . Eiji is semi-uselful. Humour in this episode for the first time feels awkward, fast pace kind of means that the quieter slower scenes , though I still enjoy them, feel slotted in.
Lenlo
Most of my emotions this week came because of the original and my love of it, not this one
Lenlo
I agree, Steins;Gate 0 had all the potential, and there are some specific episodes that realized it. Like this episode had a lot of touching scenes cause it slowed down to play up Okabe's relationship with Amadeus. But most of the time, it fails to reach that potential. So as a whole it just feels... lacking
Kaiser-Eoghan
Plebs, not combining both into a single dessert.
Anonymous2802297
I'm talking about that sweet saccharine Chocolate Mousse, the Ganache, or the Chocolate Gâteau. Your puny muffin stands no chance. Mwahaha!
Anonymous2802297
Blasphemy. As a proud American, I can't stand for anything less than pure unadulterated diabetes-inducing sugar in chocolatey cake form. Anything less is an insult to my great nation. /s
SuperMario
@anon2801739: that's a nice analogy but I can't say I agree as I prefer chocolate muffin much more than chocolate cake :)))
Anonymous2801739
Steins;gate 0 is all potential but generally it's wasted. Whenever it actually seems promising they manage to jump plot points to boring nonsensical melodrama for a century. It was supposed to be a chocolate cake. Instead what we got was a muffin with tiny chocolate chips buried few and far between. Yeah it's still sweet at some points, but most of the time you're chewing through pointless fluff.
Lenlo
Like I said in my last post on it I think, the pacing is fucked
Animosh
I did like that the lab members finally acted like scientists again, methodically thinking through their options and all, and there were some pretty touching individual moments and nicely tied up ends. But mostly I'm just annoyed by all the unfulfilled potential of this show.
Animosh
I also hated the backtracking in the beginning. Don't make such a big deal of The Return if you're going to throw it out of the window in the next episode.
Animosh
I really don't understand Steins;Gate's pacing. It slows down to a trickle in the largely irrelevant middle part, and now that things are finally getting somewhat interesting again it just speeds through everything without building things up properly? I don't get it. And how on Earth are they going to resolve everything satisfactorily in one episode?
KTravlos
Reinhard (old series). Ash is interesting and depicted well, but not close to Reinhard. There is something noble in Reinhard, something beyond charisma.
Anonymous2797046
In a charisma battle between our two favorite Blond Boys (doing what blond boys do), who'd win: Reinhard or Ash?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Kind of felt this is what prelude penultimate episode/calm before the storm episode should be and I liked quite liked the ginko and souya scene, but I'm still eh, I shrug at this.
Vonter
After watching some more Star vs. the forces of evil. I'm getting Jitsu wa Watashi wa vibes. The Sailor Moon-like character episode was cute.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc in sangatsu made me want to shootup the school.
Lenlo
I will admit, the family life stuff is less engaging than the crippling depression, but I dont think that would hit as hard with out the relaxing bits in between. Dont want to overload the audience.
Anonymous2791561
3-gatsu no Lion has its ups and downs; its ups are the intense emotional drama or shogi matches, while it's downs are the more relaxed slice of life food porn stuff. When I say up and down, I don't necessarily mean good and bad, just more about the intensity. I personally found that I could enjoy both styles, but sometimes I'd find the slice of life stuff dragging on.
SuperMario
Well, I regard 3-gatsu as one of the best character-writing in this medium in recent years. As for shaft, I'm their fan but even me was worried when I learnt Shaft adapting this. They did a nice job thankfully
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I was glad that the comedy becomes more reigned in later on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got used to the tonally discordant humour eventually, accepting that the show essentially exists in two plains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In tsukiyomi moon phase Shinbo made some of the shots look like photos, which was cool given the protaganists profession. Their weird style also was a good fit for an oddball show like Zetsubou-sensei.
Lenlo
I just finished the 4th episode, and so far I am torn on Akari. Im still not sure what to make of some of these relationships. I love the permeated depression theme in every episode though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if it will get a third season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want Akari to be my mom.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm only 9 out of 13 volumes adapted, which means the anime hasn't adapted the best bit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unfortunate that the sangatsu manga doesn't update often.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't seen it, I heard that vocaloid thing shaft adapted was very poorly suited to their style.
Lenlo
If a drama can actually make me feel something, actual emotions, then its a success. But it takes a pretty good, well made drama to do that.
Lenlo
I am very particular about my Drama'
Lenlo
Im planning on burning through the whole thing in the next few days. Maybe then ill try the manga, since there is probably more
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I didn't think your lie in April or sangatsu would actually be your thing. They're very drama-ey.
Lenlo
Basically im with Kaiser on this one. As for Shaft, I am very show by show with them. I couldnt stand Nisekoi, yet Sangatsu's color palette and way of drawing faces really has me
Lenlo
See, so far it has a very Mushishi/Fune wo Amu/Your Lie in April feel to me. I love these kinds of things animated, because I feel the music and color-choices really help set things in the mood.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario@Lenlo: We can be Kanabros for life all three of us ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in general I do think shafts style lends itself at its best to more comedic work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually felt that shafts style elevated their adaptation of Sangatsu. I find it easier to watch these slow paced shows than reading them. Also Kana Hanazawa.
SuperMario
Shaft's style can be a hit or miss with the audience, however. While I don't mind that, I still would recommend you try the manga instead
SuperMario
Oh, so you still have, like, 40 episodes left
Lenlo
Huh. Finally got around to March Comes in Like a Lion, gotta say. 3 episodes in, its pretty good
Kaiser-Eoghan
Speaking of it though, I wish they'd get that proposed new Vampire hunter D anime off the ground.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though my memory on this is extremely fuzy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know, I saw an article there on anime news network referring to the second vampire hunter D film, I know I watched it years and years ago, loved it, but I forget the plot, thinking about it now, how was the dude D was after supposed to survive without blood after buggering off to space alone with the girl?
Anonymous2786239
Amen to that
Anonymous2785164
I read blogs to see opinions on anime, not to read about how blog writer is much better than some youtuber I probably have never heard of :D
Anonymous2785164
Anyway, don't any of you guys let that get up to your head :p I'm also annoyed whenever media producers start mocking each other and setting themselves up as better.
Anonymous2785164
Nothing is more annoying to me than nerd doing the stereotypical nerd voice to mock people
Anonymous2785164
Either way, I kinda dislike majority geek youtubers because I find them all to be hypocrites. Like for example, complaining about commentors correcting them or nitpicking them when all of them are nitpickers themselves :P
Anonymous2785164
That said, he has habit of commenting on things way too early only to later on to be proven wrong by end of the anime :P
Anonymous2785164
That said, I don't remember Mother's Basement being that bad besides that he for most parts really sucks when talking about video games despite apparently having studied game development
Anonymous2785164
@AidanAK47: I don't actually like any of anime youtubers. They all seems to be pervs to me and I'm actually rather prude person :p
Anonymous2785164
Hmm this chat is being buggy again and I can't change username from anonymous right now :P ANnoying~
SuperMario
@Lenlo: Readers will enjoy us more if we can throw some meme references... proof that we're still not out of touch with current trends ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I mean the opposite, the posts here are good because they don't use quips. They aren't fanboyish either.
Lenlo
Are you telling me I need to insert more quips. jokes and one-lines into my posts? Cause I can do that
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Drop grand blue if its taking up too much time, I know you are busy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats why I enjoy reading blog articles like on here. I feel the writers on here never sound like awful fanboys or quiplords.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*I have
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its down to an idea have about vloggers/youtubers, that the videos will be full of unfunny quips and unrestrained fanboyism due to the guy doing the video can't keep himself in check.
Lenlo
Digibro isnt worth listening to imo
Kaiser-Eoghan
Never even really pursued listening to digibro. Although I probably should listen to eyepatchwolf apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I should say the anime youtubers I've actually watched pertain to: Gigguk, one video by blackanimecritic, a few countdowns by Mistychronoxia and Animeman . I think I've watched maybe two of glass reflections reviews.
Anonymous2781300
I don't know, r/anime probably is also not the best sources; Youtube and Reddit are just the places I generally go to for large-scale anime discussion
Anonymous2781300
Oh my previous comment didn't post; basically I was saying that Anitube isn't super representative of audience popularity, at least as a whole, but it might offer some insight to at least a portion of it.
Anonymous2781300
*audience you're looking at: there's the Japanese audience and Western audience, but I feel like there's also like, another half of the world that most be people don't consider.
Anonymous2781300
It kind of depends which audience you
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't even watch gigguks videos anymore.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've never really cared enough to overexplore any of those anime youtube critics for the most part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If someone keeps talking about something, eventually it'll sometimes work out and get through, then I'll at least have to see some of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I watched it because you kept saying not enough people were watching it.
AidanAK47
@Masky, cause Mothers basement did a video on it? Well hopefully it gets it some attention. Don't really like MB though. I mean "Gurren Meets Earthbound"? Jesus Christ.
Masky
Hmm, seems like Planet With is slowly getting more attention to it
Lenlo
I know im Shonen trash, but Hero Aca continues to be fantastic.
Animosh
You know, one person ends up broken through no fault of her own, and then ends up hurting herself and/or others to protect the only happiness she knows. And so the cycle continues.
Animosh
I thought Shio's backstory was really sad too. But yeah, although the show (and many of its characters) can be silly a lot of the time, there's a beating heart behind all of the craziness. Its main characters all have believable - if misguided - motivations, and the show portrays the cyclical nature of trauma very well.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I think the scene with satou breaking down near episodes end were the standout. I often laugh at this show for its overthetopness, then makes me feel like a jerk by pulling something depressing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Escaflowne ended too soon and abruptly. I haven't seen rayearth but I have read the manga, so I don't know if the anime original content is as good.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've noticed that the voice acting tends to be worse in reverse harems then regular harems.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Regarding otome, one of the worst cases though had to be hakuouki though, just a bag of complete wasted potential.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: While I didn't dislike Red river, I have the unpopular opinion of preferring Basara because I found the central relationship more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Yes that was babylonia no shishi.
Amagi
I wish we could get isekai like Rayearth, Now and Then or Escaflown again.
Amagi
Sadly these series usually fail elsewhere, with the typical problems shoujo and otome series tend to have
Amagi
@SuperMario: strangely enough this is somewhat typical for shoujo whereas generic isekai can't get off that fake-rpg spleen. There is also a shoujo in which feMC gets transported into some old turkish setting and one with babylonia (think the latter was done by that mangaka that also did Cantarella).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Theres also a shoujo manga called babylonia no shishi.
SuperMario
maybe it's one of the earliest example of isekai if you don't regard isekai setting as strictly fantasy world.
SuperMario
" Or even something egyptian, babylonic, or mayan." -> actually they did just that. One of the old classic shoujo, Crest of the Royal Family, is about a girl transported into Egyptian royal family. https://myanimelist.net/manga/5284/Ouke_no_Monshou?q=Crest of the Royal Family
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the success is, if a series can distract you and still make you feel something, even if there should have been more to the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Beyond Arthur and Dino, who always came off to me as "the bad guys to be defeated", I think I might have been so into Ash that I didn't really pay as much attention to his character development as you and Mario did.
Animosh
Happy Sugar Life was pretty intense again. It's not subtle, but it's certainly effective. For me, anyway.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*gamer
You could see that he probably enjoyed online games and knew his stuff, wheras it seemed in sword art the writer felt liking he was shitting on everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not much of a game and I know it was a fantasy show, but I guess log horizon is isekai, but in that one from what I saw, I thought the writer seemed to be making more of an effort.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But given how lazy isekai tends toward, while yes a scifi world would be a nice change up, the inherent genre laziness would probably holdback on properly building that world.
Anonymous2771364
Why Isekai are limited to the fantasy worlds? What about one with a creative retro futuristic setting (like Jetsons, John Carter or Flash Gordon). Maybe a western setting. Or even something egyptian, babylonic, or mayan. Anything at this point will be genius if done right.
Anonymous2771364
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Didn't watch Gate but it wasn't kind of like that? Adapting an alien fantasy world to the real world?
Kaiser-Eoghan
On a total tangent. Imagine an isekai that dealt with immigration issues ;)
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Featured Posts

Steins;Gate 0 – 22 [Rinascimento of Projection -Project Amadeus-]

This week Steins;Gate 0, once again, brutally reminded me of the potential it started with ~5 months ago and subsequently wasted. We have lab-member shenanigans, emotional heart-to-hearts and overdramatic time travel sequences. Let’s dive in! So in general, Steins;Gate 0 worked this episode. It really did. The emotions were on point and there was a […]

Hanebado! – 11 [Because I Love Badminton]

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Planet With – 10/11[Karellen and Rashaverak/Azrabarakura]

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The narrative beat of Revue Starlight has reached its new tempo with the end of the audition. All the things that Revue Starlight has been building up to begin to payoff this week. I must say though, it comes out a bit too predictable this week. We have the last stage audition with literally the […]

Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro – 11 [Chio in the Middle of the Night/ Apocri!]

Well, no surprises here. Chio-chan flips back to its usual self. Chio-chan has always been a minimalist-set show, with mundane set up in which only a handful of characters carry the gag. It rings especially true this week, as Chio’s antic makes up the first half and Manana’s wild imagination drives the second. As per […]

Banana Fish – 11 [The Beautiful and Damned]

Welcome to another week of Banana Fish. This week it slows down, gives us some heartwarming character scenes and the beginnings of a gang war. Lets jump in! So, starting off, the general stuff. Overall I enjoyed Banana Fish this week, but we have started to see issues with the breakneck pace it’s had until […]

Steins;Gate 0 – 21 [Rinascimento of Image Formation -Return of Phoenix-]

This week Steins;Gate 0 gave me, most, of what I wanted. It gave us a journey through the future, a Time Leap chain and the return of our favorite mad scientist. However, for all that I love it, its to little to late. Lets jump in! So, where to start. Leaving the big spoilers for […]

Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight – 09 [On the Night of the Star Festival]

The last three episodes when Revue Starlight focuses on Banana’s arc brush off my own reservation for the show. This episode, for me, is almost perfect in its storytelling department. First, it builds up Banana’s conflict and then resolves them in an insightful manner. It puts Karen back again as the main protagonist (and the […]

Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro – 10 [Shinozuka-san, Sugar Content, and the Press Conference/ Thousand Spring/ Andou and George]

We seem to have a routine of one below-average Chio-chan’s episode, follow up by one above-average as of late. This week is amongst Chio-chan’s better ones as it fleshes out two side characters with great effect. As you might remember, Momo wasn’t that memorable when she first appeared. Her uptight attitude is a nice foil […]

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Mirai (2018) Movie Review – 81/100

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Hisone to Masotan (2018 Spring) Review – 73/100

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Violet Evergarden’s existence has surely been a public one. Acclaimed before everyone lick a taste of it (it was awarded for grand prize in the fifth Kyoto Animation Award’s novel category in 2014 – read, KyoAni awards), it goes without saying that Violet Evergarden is one of the most anticipated show of the sparse Winter […]