Posted by AidanAK47 on 13 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Hand Shakers

Short Synopsis: A boy holds the hand of a girl he finds in a hospital room and ends up in a supernatural battle to the death.

GoHands, you know what would be great? If you know, instead of slapping on lens flares and colour filters all over the place, you just don’t do that? For I can at least see some good character animation here underneath all the horrible CGI and distracting visual effects. Well except for that class president girl with breast physics that likened her chest to jello in zero gravity. Seriously, I think if I slapped these things they would jiggle in perpetual motion for all of eternity. We also have another girl in this episode who spend the episode being chained up and surely her acting direction was to moan like she was in a porno and not much else. This seems like an anime experiment of the bad kind as Hand Shakers has the characters in 2D animation and animated the backgrounds completely in 3D. Considering that the main character’s catchphrase is to saying things are meshing or not it seems unintentionally ironic than the 2D and 3D of this show doesn’t mesh at all. Plus this makes the same mistake as K in that the show decides to introduce itself by shoving the viewer into a full on confusing series of action sequences of which we have no idea what the stakes are or what is even going on. What is particularly annoying is that they repeat these animations at the end of the episode where we are at least up to speed so why even bother putting it at the start in the first place. A confusing mess, a visual disaster and considering the blatant fanservice(Oh look, the main heroine has a bath scene next episode), a rather trashy show. Still it’s not Occultic;Nine so I suppose that’s one point in it’s favor.

Potential: 0%

Mario: And I thought we can’t possibly get any lower than Spiritpact here comes Hand Shakers. The show is one rare anime that consistently messy, all over the place in almost every department. Where do I start first? Let’s talk about characters. All the characters are unmemorable at best, irritating at most of the time and just trash at worst. Our main guy has that stupid quirk, behaves like a doll with no real personality whatsoever, but worst is how the show portraits the female casts: his best friend talked while her boobs juggling, the main girl didn’t have a single dialogue this episode and that other girl was chained, tortured, lying on the ground, while her guy stepped on her stomach and used her power and talked bullshit. WHAT? Now that’s offensive! I can tolerate all other awfulness but if you treat your characters like trash then it’s hard for me to take you seriously, Hand Shakers. Then the story. What’s the story really as this is the most awkward pacing I’ve ever seen. Why include the scene of him fixing some stranger’s car? These shifts of tones are often jarring, like how the series showed his drama with little sister then jump to the action scene in the next minute. Finally, the visual. What utterly incompetence the visual was. Those chains were so out of place that a ten-year-old boy would do a better job at this, and those sparkling out of nowhere? Everything looks stiff and everything looks ugly. Even the idea of holding someone’s hand for the rest of their life scare the life out of me so really there’s nothing that hold me back here. In fact, keep delving on how awful this show is would require a whole length of Gone with the Wind novel so I highly recommend you guys to watch it for yourself to be stunned and amazed.

Potential: 0%

 

Kemono Friends

Short Synopsis: A human child ends up in a park filled with humanoid animals.

I am fairly certain this isn’t the kind of show for anyone who reads this blog. I am not really sure on how to judge it either as I am clearly not the main demographic. Basing this on if I was about twenty years younger, I say I would watch this episode but not really seek to continue the show. It has a very happy go lucky feel to it and the whole thing just felt very safe. The CGI wasn’t too jarring so visually it’s decent. Overall just a rather mediocre kids show.

Potential: 0%

Mario: Being a kid’s show (actually the only new kid show this season), of course my standard of giving my two cents is different too. There’s not much for us adults to take out from: the storyline is simple, the character designs are even simpler and the CGI animation is easily the simplest. But on the other hand, judging the show by how well it will entertain children, then actually I think the show does a decent job. The sense of fun is there, and even try to pick out what types of animals those girls are is amusing. The aesthetic isn’t much ­as everything appears quite plain and stiff, but I don’t fault it for that either. Only those Ceruleans are out of place but I guess those monsters are something akin to four enemies that try to catch Pac-man. Speaking of which did I mention that this show is based on the free-to-play game? For it being a children’s show I won’t treat it harshly like Hand Shakers up there (but really, this is a better show) as there’s nothing truly bad about it, it’s just forgettable so no, I’ve done the job for you to check it out so you don’t need to watch it yourself.

Potential: 10%

 

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

Short Synopsis: A dragon falls in love with a human girl and vows to become her personal maid.

You know it’s a fairly long time since we got a truly hand drawn animated dragon instead of the usual CGI dragon. Which is a pity because those are generally the best kind. So how my heart weeps that the show to fulfil this desire is cheap gag slice of life. My biggest problem with this show is that it’s getting the attention to detail and level of quality it truly does not deserve. A series about a dragon that turns into a lesbian maid.  I will give credit that the dragon girl openly admits that she is sexually interested in Kobayashi which from my knowledge even Yuri on Ice was too afraid to do. But the problem is that this is an utterly mindless gag show with no real substance. Or at least what little substance it has is bound to be phased out in time as more dragons are introduced. Yes it’s not bad but it’s just so average that I can’t bring myself to care about it. If you have the time and like these kinds of shows it’s not a bad choice but truthfully you would be better off watching Demi-chan instead.

Potential: 10%

Mario: I guess your enjoyment out of this show will depend entirely on how you like Tohru the dragon maid and more importantly the dry humor of the show. As such I’m not a big fan of either. Given I already liked half of its jokes, from Tohru chewing the laundry to her roasted tail, I found it’s lacking in overall tones because in truth it’s a fan-service show from head to its tail. The premise is kind of lazy one as she just suddenly appeared in front of Kobayashi’s house and declared that she’d like to be a maid. Compare it with Demi-chan who actually give a lot of its heart to the characters and this is pale in comparison. The visual is attractive though, so are the character designs. I know after a spectacular Sound! Euphonium 2, KyoAni needs something light-hearted like this but aside from Tohru and the gags about her perspective towards this mundane, “inferior” world, this show is more a missed opportunity to me. If you have to pick one slice-of-life monster moe pick Demi-chan instead.

Potential: 20%

Posted by AidanAK47 on 12 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Little Witch Academia

Short Synopsis: A normal girl goes to attend a academy for witches

You know if the remaining 24 episodes are as great as this one this anime may end up on of my all time favorites list. Animation is great and full of personality, story is simple but fun and I had a blast while watching it. It’s a big joke to say that Studio Trigger is saving anime but the level of quality on display here actually lends credence to that claim. My biggest worry is whether they can keep up this quality for the remainder of the show and just what they plan on making the main storyline of the series. Though I am most certainly interested in finding out. Look, watch this. I give it the highest recommendation out of everything this season.

Potential: 95%

Mario: Apart from the show being a reboot, meaning that we have to go through the introduction and some of “don’t know how to use magic/ witch blood” situations all over again, which I’m kinda feel overdone at this point, everything else is what to be expected here (and I did expect a hell lot from this). For those of you who unfamiliar with its shorts, think the best elements of Harry Potter (which is its world-building) without all the dark, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named bullshit. Little Witch Academia is all about adventure and what an adventure the cast have been through this first episode, getting lost in the forbidden forest to hunt rare giant fire-breathing chicken. Already in this episode our three main girls have a great chemistry together, the visual is wild but creative as expected from Studio Trigger and the show never lose its sense of fun. If you’re about to watch just one show this season (hopefully you aren’t) make it this one and rest assured that even if this show will be released all at once by Netflix, one of us will cover it regularly for your own pleasures.

Potential: 80%

 

Idol Jihen

Short Synopsis: A farm girl enters the world of politics by singing on a stage.

Ah, the idol industry. The soul sucking demon which takes adolescent girls and treats them like mere commodities for making cash. Idol Jihen may be trying to dress it up like most anime do but quite frankly the only thing produced by Idols is crap music, destroyed childhoods and fanatical fans. I really do love how this show avoids talking about actual idol skill and instead we have these “aura” which apparently decides how good an idol is. Yep you can perform perfectly but you are doing something wrong because of your “aura”. Anyway the premise of this show is ridiculous with Idols somehow being politicians as well? My guess is the political side isn’t going to get explored much and instead idols will sing the corruption away. I can only imagine the fallout once they aged past the point where they are no longer suitable for idol business. There may be novelty value in the premise but all we really have here is yet another idol show.

Potential: 0%

Mario: Politics Idols? I admit that it sounds amusing on paper but when you actually mix them together the show just falls apart. First, the 2 tones are vastly different that it often feels like two different shows; and none of them work. The politics are decidedly in your face with corruption, stupidity (death by food choking?); whereas as much as the series show us the danger causes of this world, guess why the main girl decided to run for election? To make people happy. Yeah, that might be noble but that doesn’t fit with what you were selling us, Idol Jihen. The girls aren’t memorable and you can probably list a dozen other characters with that same traits. Afterall, the only thing remotely similar about politics and idols world is they are just for show so we appropriately can just take it at face value. An easy skip.

Potential: 0%

 

elDLIVE

Short Synopsis: A boy is randomly abducted and pushed to become an space police officer.

Considering this is a studio pierrot offering, the animation is fairly decent but the story is as inoffensive shounen as it was in the manga. If you are a fan of pretty standard shounen this checks the boxes in that regard. But I still say this is essentially the premise of Space Patrol Luluco with none of the fun. Our main character is apparently ostracized because he keeps talking to the pokemon that has taken residence within his body. Which would be tragic if he couldn’t just stop talking out loud to it. It didn’t take long for Migi and Shinichi from Parasyte to figure out that talking out loud to each other is a bad idea. So seeing as you spent your entire life with this and still are making this mistake that kills any sympathy I would have had for this plight. So he’s dragged kicking and screaming out of his normal life to be pushed into a life or death situation by superiors who clearly don’t care if he lives or dies. It’s played off comically but all things considered these policemen such are vicious. At one point when they shoved him into a spacesuit they even considered cutting off the oxygen to the suit if he refused. Though I am just looking at it far too seriously and it is a rather harmless show. Still if I wanted to watch space police take down alien criminals on earth then I would just watch Birdy the Mighty Decode again.

Potential: 10%

Mario: elDLIVE is Men in Black, anime-style. Not really. If I compare it to MIB than I give this show too much credits. Apart from Space Police which could be a fun angle to delve on, there’s not much else to recommend. Let see, how this kid was chosen in a first place? Because he WAS CHOSEN. And then they throw him back to his town for a test, but guess who figure out the alien? Not him, his “inner voice”. Who was the one that capture the alien? His inner voice. Who was the one that have superpower? His inner voice. In other words, this guy didn’t do any damn things except talking to himself, and that not even count the time when his complex kick in. That weird voice that come out from his chest gives me a creep to be honest, so no this isn’t something worth checking out. 10% comes purely on the weirdness of that mascot, because for the life of me I wouldn’t dare to imagine what my inner voice would look like in physical form.

Potential: 10%

Posted by AidanAK47 on 12 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Spiritpact

Short Synopsis: A boy is killed by a truck and finds himself teamed up with an exorcist as a ghost.

Sorry China, by all means keep trying but this isn’t going to top Japanese animation any time soon. So what’s wrong? Well the animation is fairly basic, the characters are annoying and the comedy falls flat on it’s face. Though I may be mistaken on this part but I think I saw signs of fujoshi pandering as well. It’s a bit sad that the execution of this show is so lacking when the general premise could work. I like the idea of a ghost and a exorcist teaming up together but the characters are just so bland and the dialogue feels so lazy. The exorcist just says exposition in a tone that honestly makes me think the voice actor is bored out of his skull. Not that I could blame him as does feel like a bankrupt show. There’s nothing interesting or notable about it.

Potential: 0%

Mario: Those Chinese co-production anime just keeps popping up every season now, huh? Anyone who read my post before might already know that I have very mixed feeling with Haoliners animation, and here Spiritpact is another uninspired product from them. I don’t know if it’s more of cultural unfamiliarity when it comes to humor but the comedy sucks big time here, and worse it drags out for too long. The story of getting the main guy to become a spirit exorcist is way too forced, way too inconsistent, way too bland, way to uninspired. The main guy might be one of the most annoying character I have seen in awhile, and it doesn’t help either that the production is among the worst so far this season. I originally brush this off but now with the constant influx of Chinese anime getting into Japanese anime market every season, it’s only a matter of time before Chinese anime make a breakthrough hit that will shake the anime community (I’ll say in 2 years), but as of now this title will be remembered as the worst of this Winter season. Congrats Spiritpact!

Potential: 0%

 

Demi-chan wa Kataritai

Short Synopsis: A biology teacher who wishes to study demi-humans suddenly encounters a number of them in his school.

It can be difficult at times to predict just how well a manga would work in animation. In the case of this I found the manga to be a decent read though not something to blow anyone’s socks off. To my surprise, and what looks like many others, the anime was quite an enjoyable watch. I still think Monster Musume went a whole lot further on the monster girls aspect but Demi-chan is certainly a lot less fanservice focused. Well it certainly has moe in abundance but at least in this case that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The nature of these various monster girls integrating into society is more the main draw for those watching and so far at least it’s doing a good job. The main character is also a nice change of pace as it is rather refreshing to have someone talk about erotica and not flare up like a bunsen burner. After all he did make a number of good points on how vampirism is related to lust and it is curious in the way vampires can live without blood. The vegetation comparison was particularly apt and I at least appreciate a take on vampirism that isn’t a attempt to turn them into fetishised jewelry in human form. Though with only four demi-humans I wonder where the show will go once the teacher has interviewed them all?

Potential: 70%

Mario: Man, I was prepared to approach Demi-chan for whatever it is but I certainly wasn’t ready for this heart-warming and cuteness. The story takes a slice-of-life approach to explore the demi-human points of view in regards to adapting the normal life and redefining the “old legends”, which they deliver both the points in the most natural way. Usually for other slice of life cute girls show characters have their own quirks that more or less make them unrealistic because… eh, it’s weird or sometimes even irritating, but those quirks work surprisingly well in this series because they serve as the main point to both show the characteristics of those demi styles, as well as how those characters see the world around them. Then all the characters have such natural and warm chemistry together and you basically have a winner episode. Out of those demi-human, succubus sensei is the weakest character so far but other than that I have no real complaint. Check this little show out guys, it’s worth it.

Potential: 70%

 

Chain Chronicle – Haecceitas no Hikari

Short Synopsis: Fantasy war stuff, I guess?

As this show is really just a series of movies cut into tv episodes I won’t really bother giving my two cents.

Mario: Did they really start the show in the middle of the battlefield, right in the climax of a fight? How they think it’s a good idea to catch our attention is beyond me. Well, I get that our team failed so we’re going to have a whole series building things up again, but for the love of god don’t show us too many characters without proper introduction. They all gathered (and then disbanded) to follow the guy’s quest, but the problem is that we don’t even know that guy, let alone those characters so why should we care? Who is that girl who hold the precious book? Who is that princess, and from which country? The worldbuilding is surprisingly detailed on the other hand considered that this series was adapted from tower defense’s mobile game. The actual story though doesn’t look that promising so if you’re a fantasy buff you can get by with it, otherwise I don’t think it appeals to the general viewers out there.

Potential: 20%

Posted by AidanAK47 on 12 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu S2

Short Synopsis: A former ex-con hopes to keep the profession of Rakugo alive.

It’s good to see this show hasn’t lost it’s touch in between the seasons and having Yotaro do a recap of the first season through Rakugo was a particularly great touch. The drama is still excellent and we already have some interesting aspects being brought up. For one it’s fascinating how Yakumo is in his prime as a performer now that he’s a senior. Age does benefit a storyteller as it gives his words more weight and you can really tell it with Yakumo. We have those claiming that Yakumo is a shinigami who will take Rakugo with him when he dies thanks to his reluctance to take on appearances. Even Yakumo himself isn’t reluctant to take on the role of being Rakugo’s reaper. Yotaro and Konatsu’s relationship is heartwarming and it is nice how Yotaro is a happy go lucky idiot that is charming for how genuinely honest he is. Yotaro looks to be bringing the future of Rakugo with the help of a man who was refused when he asked to be Yakumo’s apprentice. We have a great start to what is likely to be an underrated but absolute gem of a series.

Potential: 95%

Mario: Rakugo is back again in fine form, now the second season follows Yotaro in present day. As Yotaro is much more impulsive than Kikuhiro, the story in turns has a lot more comedic moments and overall offbeat tone. As for now I don’t feel that comic exaggerated gestures (especially his friend in Kyoto who gave up rakugo) fit well with the rest but I will wait to see more. Other than that, there’s nothing to complain here. Making new rakugo plays sounds like an interesting angle to me and I really don’t mind to follow just that for the rest of this season, but then we also have his relationship with Konatsu and Kikuhiro and many of the people who connected to rakugo in all sorts of way. As with the nature of rakugo or really of nearly everything traditional, women have a restrict, limited role so I really look forward for Konatsu to break that restriction. This show is easily the cream of the crop this season so people who missed out on its last season, go watch it. You don’t even need to catch up on the first season, just go watch it now.

Potential: 95%

 

Seiren

Short Synopsis: A series of romance tales involving a boy and various girls in his school.

This is Amagami in everything but name. The good news is that if you liked Amagami then you will like this. The bad news is that it carries the same flaws as Amagami. The biggest being the protagonist whose as bland as they come. I find that self insert protagonists really only work within novels and games where you are in the mind of the character in question. When it comes to the more visual medium self inserts are less effective as it’s difficult to insert yourself into a character on screen whom you cannot control nor hear his thoughts. You could imagine being in his position but not really usurping it. In truth this kind of protagonist only really serves to make the lead as boring and malube as possible which causes all character interaction with him to suffer. The second problem is that when you have romances happening and then negated to move on to the next heroine it somewhat falsifies the romance in question. After all even if the protagonist declares himself to have found his true love then wouldn’t that statement sound hollow considering that if things were slightly different he would be declaring the same thing with someone else just as easily? Either way there is nothing truly wrong with this show and I do find it watchable and the girls are rather charming. Should make for a fairly decent romance series.

Potential: 40%

Mario: In preparation for this show, I watched the first season of Amagami SS and I found all those standalone stories were a decent take on romance. Seiren, although billed as an original, serves as a more spiritual adaptation of that series so you know what you’re getting too. On the matter that whether Seiren can make itself apart from Amagami SS still remain a question mask. I enjoy the 4-episode arc format focus on each girl as the romance won’t drag for too long. The main guy is improved a bit compared to Amagami SS’s but he still isn’t interesting at all. That main character again has a little sister and I really don’t know why the show include her at all. Apart from the harem girls the show spends quite a time for Shoichi and his best mate so that’s a plus for me. At least the first girl Hikari is interesting enough and I very much enjoyed the loose but naturalistic dialogues. Overall I have a good time watching this and for the season that actually crowded with romantic offerings, this one still stands as your safest bet.

Potential: 60%

 

Urara Meirochou

Short Synopsis:

Out of cute girls doing cute things shows this is the best out of currently airing but I can honestly say this genre will never quite appeal to me. Maybe because I am a soulless gargoyle who wouldn’t be moved by such fluffy antics or maybe I just find the general concept a bit too artificial. There are no girls who act like this and the experience of watching this show is akin to watching baby animals in a zoo.  Sure it’s cute but there’s nothing more to it. It’s just watching dumb animals being dumb. So you will watch, go dawww, laugh and forgot it all by the time you walk away. Not saying anime doesn’t need a show like that but I find there is just too much of an abundance of them lately.

Potential: 30%

Mario: Okay, it was rather surprising even to me but I enjoy every moments of this show. The series is simply a variation of cute girls genre but damn are they overly cute! That town looks strange but lively and warm, these girls are admittedly very generic but just look at those ears and those belly buttons (I know, I know!) Those fortune telling types are what sell the show to me and I’m generally intrigued to learn more about those details. Yes, in that world every girls are obsessed to fortune telling, but to what extent and for whatever purpose are still pretty much in the air now. Of course not even the main girls but the instructors, the manly guardswoman, even all the animals are too fluffy that actually turn me off a bit. This normally isn’t my kind of show (on a second thought, maybe it is), but I’m more than happy to spend more time with those girls and those fortune tellings.

Potential: 50%

Posted by AidanAK47 on 12 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

Youjo Senki

 

Short Synopsis: A little girl named Tanya Degurechaff fights for the German Empire in World War One as the most dangerous sorcerer of the imperial army. However, she is actually one of Japan’s most elite salarymen, who prioritizes efficiency and her own career over anything else, that was reborn as a little girl after angering a mysterious being who calls himself God.

A decent start to one of the shows I am looking forward to this season. Animation wise this show is looking great as those war scenes really are just how I thought they would be. THey need a lot to keep up this level of quality though but I hope they can. However if there’s one thing that has suffered here it’s the female character designs. They differ quite heavily from the more realistic male soldiers and I can’t help but find them a little off putting so far. Tanya is fine but her subordinate just looks off at time. Doesn’t help that she has gotten a serious downgrade from she novel design. If you look it up the two don’t even look like the same person. However I don’t really get the decision to jump to chapter 3 of the novel right from the start. I am hoping that this was a flash forward and they plan to go back to the start. What is really needed here is Tanya’s inner monologue which paints an entirely different picture of her character. I do believe it was the intent to make this more an outside view of her so that people would be misguided by her character. Her voice is also strange to me as I often thought she would have a more intimidating tone but this voice could add to the more comedic aspects of this series. Overall this is a strong start but it hasn’t really shown what it can do yet.

Potential: 80%

HelghastKillzone: World War One seems to be in vogue with the release of Battlefield 1 and the Izetta: The Last Witch featuring some vintage hardware military in the Blitzkrieg phase of World War Two. Youjo Senki looks to become the show that Izetta promised but never delivered on with its good animation, depressing color palette and utter savagery that is Tanya Degurechaff. She is less of your standard magical anime girl and more like the calculating mind of Lelouch Lamperouge that has no qualms about loping heads off or incinerating entire groups with her superior magical levels. Speaking of magic, it is far more prevalent in Youjo Senki’s world and makes for an interesting conflict where entries armies clash using a mixture of traditional firepower alongside with fantasy powers.   

I don’t have any real gripes with the opening episode even though the story is being told in a different order. The fundmental objective of any opening episode is to hook the viewer into its world and Saga of Tanya the Evil fulfilled those goals for people like me who are unfamiliar with the source material.There are complaints about the drastic changes in the character design of Viktoriya Serebryakov and I actually don’t mind her anime dopy look because it matches her overly cheerful personality and airheadedness as opposed to the generic look in the manga. So  long as this show keeps its focus on Tanya ripping and tearing through her enemies with ruthless efficiency backed up by sound tactical decision making,  I can see this become one of the highlights in this sparse winter season.

Potential: 85%

 

Schoolgirl Strikers – Animation Channel

Short Synopsis: A bunch of schoolgirls fight monsters.

I have a firm belief that when this show finishes airing, no one will remember it. It is that kind of utterly forgettable show, not good enough to be watchable yet not bad enough to be entertaining. In a word it’s blah. Just a soulless show trying to cash in on current trends. Either way the monster in this show are ridiculously unthreatening to the point where I actually wonder if they mean any real harm. The only ones to stop them are schoolgirls with various fetish outfits. You gotta feel sorry for the team that decided the best battle attire would be bikini swimsuits. I found the school life elements don’t really mesh well with the whole battling supernatural beings as after an introductory battle we transition to a normal school day where it isn’t even mentioned. I originally thought that this was how they became Schoolgirl strikers but nope. Straight out of nowhere to interrupt the search for school mysteries our girls get messaged and blam. Sudden sci-fi complex and exposition about how the school is gathering girls to fight off monsters for…some reason. The girls themselves honestly feel like tropes ripped from other shows. Not really characters, more just quirks. It does warm my heart to see even a low priority show like this can have pretty decent battle animation but that could be because they replace the backgrounds with CGI to compensate. Anyway, this isn’t worth watching.

Potential: 0%

Mario: After watching this first episode, one thing that baffled me was whose perspective we’re supposed to follow here? In the beginning the red hair girl served as our main with her silly antics, but as soon as the long black hair appeared she was dropped like a falling apple. To make that issues more glaring these two girls don’t have any chemistry together at all. That same main girl who lose her memories is also something that we see way too often. I like the O’bli creatures aspect of the show but I don’t care much about those schoolgirl strikers at all. The story actually hinders to get darker later on. There’s never a good sign when those girls don’t really know what they’re fighting against or even why they fight. This show is more like a magical girl show in disguise (as strikers) and I expect this one to be a mildly effort at best.

Potential: 20%

 

Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu

Short Synopsis: A girl learns to ride a bike and goes to school.

You know what’s the problem with moe? It depends on making characters dumber in order to make them more “pure” and spur protective instincts because they can’t look after themselves. Hence why the female cast of any Key work tend to act more like eight year olds rather than genuine teenagers. But there’s a point where stupidity stops being endearing and just makes a character look bad. This girl crossed that point as she takes out a bicycle, tries to ride it and then realised that you have to pedal bikes in order to make them move forward. I mean wow, that’s just a level of stupidity that makes me think this girl isn’t ready for high school. In this show it’s clear that the effort went into the backgrounds as while the character designs are rough, the backgrounds are beautifully slush and vibrant. The story so far is like attending the first day of japanese high school and it certainly is as dreadfully boring as I imagined it. Other than that we just have a girl making friends which is been there done that to death. Look you want cute girls riding bikes then watch Long riders or even Bakuon if motorbikes suffice. This just isn’t worth it.

Potential: 0%

Mario: On my personal notes, I had been to Kamakura myself and it was a beautiful place; therefore I’m extremely glad I have a chance to see the settings again in anime. The show does justice to many attractions that made that town famous (the great Buddha statue, the ocean road, Mt Fuji from afar) but unfortunately that’s the end of my praise for this show. First off, the show goes completely overboard with the cherry blossoms to the point of irritating. The main girl is eccentric and carefree, but not in a good way. The plot is way underdeveloped, like how the show reveals that Hiromi was riding a kiddie bike with training wheels (that explained why she has no idea how to ride a bicycle), but isn’t that bike her old bike? Where does it from then? Why do all good, special things tend to happen only in class B? How can she appear fine without scratch after falling down so may time? The story so far is as generic as it gets and even compare to Long Rider last season this show is an inferior one. You don’t need to waste time on this.

Potential: 10%

Posted by SuperMario on 10 January 2017 with categories: 3-gatsu no Lion, Currently Watching:

3-gatsu no Lion is back again in the new year with another stellar episode. Structure-wise, I think this is one of the most confident episode 3-gatsu no Lion has delivered for a while, as the show handled multiple tones and aspects in Rei’s current life in one neat package. This episode begins with a deep look inside Rei’s depression, then move on to the noise and colorful life of his shogi life from his shogi-mates, then deliver one of the most intense moments when Rei meet Gotou, and later on back to the warm and cozy atmosphere of the sisters; the result is like a roller coaster of feeling: disturbing one moment, warm and heart-felt the next, all wonderfully tie up with Rei’s own emotion right in the center. Let’s get down to each of them below.

Shaft has always been superb when it comes to depicting Rei’s inner psyche, especially his insecurities towards the life he been living. Sharp lines with black and white imaginaries, water bubbles, the loud noises of his clock and his air conditioner, and even their extreme close-up, all successfully visualize his mental breaking point. It actually gives us the nausea effects that Rei is suffering, put us into his mindscape and for me this is one of the most real depiction of depressions in anime. Rei compares the three sisters’ house as kotatsu, a place so warm that it makes every other place seem colder and pale in comparison. Now he’s sitting in his house and realizes how lonely he is and he knows full well that he can’t rely emotionally to others; because once you rely on something you become dependent, and vulnerable as well, yet at the same time he can’t help but longing for one. I’m myself amazed with the complexity of personal struggles the show given to Rei. It’s not only his struggles but the same for all of us, it isn’t a temporary battle but a lifelong one and even then we might never find a true answer at the end of the road. Must be suck being human.

In a steep contrast to that dark void of his inner voice, the professional shogi players all serve as an energetic and hilarious facet to spice up his life a bit. All the matches this week aren’t about competition or ranking progression like other sport shows, but function more as bright, light moments in his life. The ninth dan who played against him this week fit well into that vein as his antics are decidedly quirky. I personally love the moments Smith-san won the match, the two were just staring and dissecting Smith’s tactics because it’s so damn unprofessional but simultaneously show how they love shogi at hearts. The shogi chairman also kicks things up a notch with his fishes. A lot of fishes. It’s a brief sequence but I’m totally feel the care of him towards Rei so I’m up to see more about him in the future.

But never before, even in Kyouko’s moments, the show has reached that much intense when Rei (to be more exact, we) finally meets Gotou in person. Unlike Kyouko where Rei’s feeling for her is a mixture of love, guilt, and heaps of pain, there is only pure hatred from him when it comes to Gotou; not that the guy has any better opinion towards Rei either. Now it sheds a rather intriguing twist to Gotou and Kyouko’s relationship: Gotou calls her “a stalker” and wants to get rid of her. Talking about perspective! Either they had been in an affair (his wife is “still” in the hospital) and now Gotou wants to cut his ties or all the intense love from Kyouko are just her feeling alone. Those possibilities are still pretty much unclear at this point; but one thing for sure that Kyouko is in a deeper sh*t than she thought and that Gotou is not a sane guy. Things pretty much set up for the match between those two (poor Smith-san) and I know everyone is pretty hyped up for that moments to come. Well, you better be.

The episode ends with the warmness moments inside the Kawamoto’s house and the show again handles those scenes with styles. Rei now aware that he feels at home in that house but in order to keep forward, he has to step out and walks on his own two feet. The moment when Rei hold Momo tight gets me every time for how emotionally honest it feels. This episode by far is the most tonal inconsistency the show had to encounter so far, but by focusing squarely on Rei’s feeling, those uneven in tones actually become an asset to underline the highs and lows of Rei’s current life; as a result this episode is one of the richest 3-gatsu no Lion had ever pulled off.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 8 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Some Quick First Impressions

AKIBA’ S TRIP: THE ANIMATION

Short Synopsis: A boy and girl fight off possessed humans by stripping them of their clothes.

Honestly I expected this to be a lot worse but it could turn out decently watchable if the rest of the episodes match this then this could turn out to be a good series. I am quite skeptical on that however as it would require them to keep up this level of animation. The art and character designs are somewhat crude but I think this could be like the new Pokemon series where the artstyle was changed to allow for much more fluid animation. For the fight scenes here are actually pretty well animated and it does warm my heart that even lower budget studios can have some pretty good fight animation. The designs and general mannerisms of the characters do feel somewhat studio trigger like but with far more Otaku and Akiba pandering. Which has me worrying that instead of having more fight scenes they instead just run around buying figurines and worshiping Otaku culture. So far for a show about stripping people this looks alright but I would say there are likely better shows to watch this season.

Potential: 30%

 

Mario: And with this the new season has begun. Akiba’s trip’s not only the first series aired this Winter season, it’s also representing the very first new anime material of 2017. I think it’s very fitting that the Akiba’s Trip is a very typical anime product, set in the epicentre of otaku and anime madness: Akihabara. The show itself is terrible, full of fan-service (the very premise of stripping the enemies) and completely campy; the characters fall comfortably under your usual cliche types but Akiba’s Strip knows how to push those elements up with its shameless execution so yeah basically if you had a good time with this first episode chances are you gonna enjoy the rest of the show. Special kudos for the good use of many amusing scores here and there (I spotted Girls Just Wanna to Have Fun-inspired score in one instance). There will be more girls tripping; there will be more otaku-babbling and the show will get dull fast later on but hey, what’s wrong with dumb fun?

Potential: 20%

 

Fuuka

Short Synopsis: a boy, while twitting, crashes into a girl so she breaks his phone. Later, they meet up at school and go for a date.

You know as I get older I find that romantic comedy cliches become less endearing and more insidious. Take this for example, a girl crashes into the protagonist, in the crash she accidently shows him her panties and because he accidentally see her panties she breaks his phone and slaps him across  his face. In no way was that the protagonists fault and this girl is clearly out of line. If a girl did that to me I would punch her in the gut and tell her to pay for my phone. Doesn’t matter if she’s cute or a girl, that shits not on. Anyway this is a normal romantic comedy so far and it does gain a music element later. Though honestly that music part is mainly like Nana where it’s only there to heighten the drama rather than actually be about music. Protagonist is a bland plank who’s got girls after him left right and center. If you happen to know the author Seo Kouji and his works Suzuka and Kimi no Iru Machi then you might know what you are in for here. Fun fact the movie Half and Half that these characters go to see in this episode is a manga by him also. So the general rundown is this, this show is fanservice, stupid drama and apparently rage inducing plot twists.(Personally I wasn’t invested enough to be affected. Unlike Mario down there.) I won’t be watching the show but I might be keeping up with the reddit episode discussions because man, those things are gonna be entertaining.

Potential: 10%

 

Mario: I’m normally not a writer who give impression based on their previous works, but let me tell you my personal experience with this mangaka Kouji Seo. I had fallen victim for his works Suzuka and A Town Where You Live and I was raged over the latter especially (because it hadn’t finished by the time I read it yet). The guy made me stay invested to the characters and then breaking my emotions apart by his characters’ kneejerk, stupid, dumb decisions to make the romance more doomed and unbearable. Now I know his trick so I won’t fall very easily this time. That said, his introduction always be an ordinary rom-com set up before break everything up with melodrama and Fuuka takes up that trend. There’s a chemistry between Fuuka and the male lead but apart from that everything falls flat. All their encounters are your textbook rom-com, Yuu is a boring male lead and the sisters don’t do much except making everything feel even more awkward. If you’re into heartbreaking romance or if you enjoy the couple’s chemistry then Fuuka is for you, for me though I will jump off this train fast because I don’t think I can handle what awaiting me ahead.

Potential: 10%

 

Masamune-kun no Revenge

Short Synopsis: A boy seeks revenge on the girl who broke his heart.

Well for starters I should mention that the manga of this anime will be ending soon and from my information the anime intends to adapt the full manga. Which is good as there are not many harems which have conclusive endings. Admittedly calling this show a harem is somewhat questionable though it does qualify as there are at least four girls into the protagonist. Anyway I forgot how brutal Aki was in the beginning as here she did essentially ruin the rest of a boys high school life, by revealing personal information after an unjustified investigation and all because he asked her out. Sort of loses it’s comedy when you look at the context. Anyway this remains as relatively mediocre as I remember. If you don’t mind something being generic it does make for some watchable entertainment. There are tropes what with the male friend who looks like a girl and the loli mom. Threw me through a loop seeing the maid had blond hair, I always seen her as a redhead in the manga. For those watching this show more for the revenge aspect I say it doesn’t really pay off. This is a romantic comedy so you will be watching it for one of those two and not Aki getting some much needed just desserts. A decent watch while waiting for other shows but not something you should go out of your way to watch.

Potential: 40%

 

Mario: Admittedly, revenge story always intrigued me because it’s so damn entertaining to follow every step of the plan till the final showdown, and in that vein the show actually piques my interest throughout. The main casts are decidedly unlikable: jerk and bitch respectively but these traits are just their fronts for now so they will be more approachable soon (or so I hope), but the rest of the cast is unfortunately so uninteresting and full of cliché: loli mom (Why?), plain little sister, plain female friends, one-note school servant. The art is actually nice to look at for a high school comedy and I didn’t expect her secret to be that “out of the box” so I enjoy the ride so far. I will give if another episode to see how his revenge plan going to turn out. Revenge after all is the dish best served when it’s cold.

Potential: 35%

Posted by SuperMario on 6 January 2017 with categories: Anime Reviews, Flip Flappers

What makes Flip Flappers stand out from the rest of the anime field? I found a lot of people asking that question along the way. Well, first off, Flip Flappers isn’t your ordinary anime offering, that’s for sure. Its visual styles are too much and too incoherent for one thing, the narrative never really reveal anything until halfway point for another thing. At the same times, this is the one rare anime that inspired many analysis, essays trying to decode what it is actually about, drawing thematic relevance out of their visual motifs and symbolism. So, what’s all the fuss, really? Let me get into that now.

On the surface, Flip Flappers is an adventure stories between the timid, shy Cocona who was dragged by the impulsive Papika into “Pure Illusions” worlds, the alternative realities that might or might not represent the inner psyche of its human’s subjects; to collect fragments that would grant wishes. Originally billed as a magical girl, the show hops through variations of genre, settings to whatever it pleases. In one episode Papika and Cocona were in the middle of a wasteland for an action Mad Max-inspired adventure, to the next they were trapped in a Class-S circle that would actually surpass many psychological horror shows out there, to another episode where they mysteriously became one identity that would make any David Lynch’s fans proud. It’s that freedom to break the rules and pick whatever content and styles they see fit made the show refreshing and unpredictably, which actually very fitting to how adventures should be like.

Moreover, Flip Flappers is a very visually arresting show, a true “show, don’t tell” kind of series. We’re no stranger with shows that are more about styles, shows that are showcases for young, talented animators to experiment with new styles and visuals, Normally, I don’t mind those kinds of show because we do need something like this to push the boundary of anime medium, but more often than not those shows don’t have any proper storytelling at all. Great visual doesn’t mean great storytelling anyway. Flip Flappers walks that very thin line as the show seemingly try to overwhelm us with its abstract visual, vibrant imaginary; color and resonant emotions in an expense for coherent plots; but I will give the show this: while Flip Flappers not always make sense narrative, it more than makes it up thematically as those wild visuals and motifs are in service for of its adolescence themes.

In fact, if you look a little deeper behind its fun adventures, the show constantly addresses many of its coming-of-age concerns throughout its run. First and foremost is the theme of identity, as for its 13-episodes long our main Cocona had to figure out who she wants to be, whom she can be trusted. The identity theme is continuously directed in many forms, both visually and symbolically: from Cocona being a constant source of being manipulated and controlled by others, those two girls are trapped in a false, repetitive cycle of “safe” environment, the girls represent the same character or even to other extreme, Papika appears continuously as various different identities. Papika and Cocona’s relationship, on the other hand, function like two sides of the same coins of being growing up. The show is a constant adolescent journeys that make up from opposing force between the urge, freedom and emotional directness from Papika and compassion, responsibility, think before act quality from Cocona. It’s a legitimate fear of growing up and becoming an adult filled with responsibility and burden; but as the third girl Yayaka and our Cocona later figure out, maybe small steps like be honest to your feeling could be what it takes to become a fully-grown person and overcome that fear.

The show’s climax, while closing down nicely Cocona and Papika’s relationship and give Mimi just about enough development to become a fearsome antagonist; I still consider it a lackluster final arc that keep me from giving it a higher score, especially coming straight from a spectacular middle part. In fact, the only time I would consider as brilliant in this last arc was Yayaka kicks ass and getting a well-deserved transformation. The rest of the cast unfortunately don’t have much roles in the final showdown. Judging those side characters as a whole, we actually know very little about them despite the twins and the staffs from Flip Flap organization appear in nearly every single episode, which is a shame. The late addition of Nyunnyun and the very role of Bu-Chan are also hugely unnecessary, as they don’t add much to the big picture and moreover, the inclusion of them feel a bit awkward to the rest of the story. Dr. Salt, on the other hand, had a bit of development but the show still doesn’t know how to use him to full potential as his role in the show function towards Mimi only; as a result; although it’s pretty much confirmed that Dr. Salt is Cocona’s father, I have a hard time believing that because there was no chemistry between them. Maybe that’s a whole point as he felt awkward towards Cocona based from his guilt, but I have a feeling that the show doesn’t seem to try even that.

But as I said in my weekly post, judging the show by how well it plays the rule isn’t a right approach, for Flip Flappers is the show that determines to break free and walk its own path. So back to that very first question: What makes Flip Flappers special? Well, I will put it this way: the show is a sublime example of animation in its purest form. Shows like this further highlight what makes animation so unique and appealing (I’m not talking strictly about anime, but the whole animation medium) that others medium can’t be able to express. Story like this can only works in animation form and the show successfully remind us the pure magic of animation and really why we fall in love with animation in a first place. With show as confident and creative as this I have a pretty optimistic feeling for the future of animation. Cross my fingers.

Posted by SuperMario on 4 January 2017 with categories: Anime Reviews, Sound! Euphonium 2

I must admit that out of all the series I was blogging last year, Sound Eupho 2 was the one I’m saddest to see it ends; not because it was my absolute favorite anime last year, but because the sheer amount of their attention to details and their ridiculously quest for perfection are something that out of this world, in this day and age, which I will get to that later in my review. This is a sequel to Sound Eupho last year but I will keep the comparison to the first season to minimum in terms of quality because this season is great enough to be judged by its own.

The story is a direct continuation from the end of last season, as the Kitauji high school concert band just qualified from the qualifying round, now heading to Kansai region competition and later on, the National competition. Unlike the first season where the main dramatic events like Aio pulled out from the music club to focus on her study; the audition to choose the best players for the competition or the challenge to pick the lead trumpet arise and resolved around the development of the band club itself, the second season concentrates more on the band members’ personal issues. This change of focus is more apparent in the second half, when the show completely drops the band practice, even to the point of not showing the national performance at all. I understand this bold choice can cause disappointment to many fans who want to see the band in action, and moreover focus on individual character drama can cause the lack of cohesive theme; this shift of attention, on the other hand, also brings out some of the best character developments and intimate moments the show has ever achieved.

I will get to the negative part first. When the show concentrates more on character’s heightened drama, those dramas can be uneven and doesn’t add up much to the big picture. Two of this season’s acts for example: Yoroizuka and Reina act don’t play well for me because they have the exact opposite problems. Yoroizuka (the only character that I used by surname here, as this is how Kumiko refers her) is a secondary character who was suddenly given the spotlight and while her final confrontation with Yuuko and Nozomi was effective, the drama was resolved too quickly, Yoroizuka changed so fast that I personally don’t see her grow as natural at all. Reina’s affection to Taki-sensei grow to another level this season, but I’m not alone to say that this was the show’s weakest act because almost everyone can see the outcomes. That drama isn’t much to speak of to begin with; it’s a shame because Reina was my favorite character the first season and I’d like to see other kind of developments for Reina, any other development but this.

Moreover, sometimes it does feel like Sound Eupho stumbles around those dramas in order to “create the situation”; as a result sometimes the show loses its focus because it has to cover too many grounds (like in episode 6), other times some of the conflicts feel forced and calculated (of all time, Mamiko choose she decided to tell her parents to quit college on that stormy night, and “she quited because it has to be now”. Why?). While the Mamiko act actually turns out pretty great, those issues speak to the lack of single unified theme that made the first season so tightly constructed. The last issue, which was also the show’s biggest flaw, lied in the fact that when they focus too much on one set of characters for the drama, other cast members unfortunately don’t have much roles so all they do is hanging around and making the best out of little screen time they had. Reina, before reaching her act, serves as a shadow behind Kumiko; Shuichi becomes the unluckiest guy in the world and worst of all, Hazuki and Sapphire don’t have any development anymore, given that they are still billed as the lead characters.

In contrast, if anything, this season will be remembered as the season of Kumiko and Asuka. They are the heart and the soul of this season, and it’s a blessing to see how far both of them have matured in the end. Asuka has been one of the most complex character in Sound Eupho’s universe and the show did a damn fine job to underline her struggles with both her parental figures, as well as gradually peeling off the mask to reveal her true feeling inside. The most brilliant part of it was that she never lose her strong side at all, never in many moments we are allowed to see her vulnerable side, because it’s more that she becomes honest to herself, embrace herself to what she loves most and comes out even stronger than before. In additions, most of Asuka and Kumiko moments develop into the highlights of the season. When Asuka played that Sound Euphonium piece to Kumiko in episode 9, it was one of the best moments of the whole show, period. When Kumiko poured her heart out to convince Asuka to come back to the band, it was one of the most effective drama the show could ever committed. As the two getting closer and more honest to each other, it makes a whole lot sense that we have that final confrontation between them that warmly tied up this whole season together. This show indeed ends on a high note.

Kumiko also deserved to be one of the year’s best character here as she has changed a lot from timid and passive with no real passion into the one who is really honest to what she feels. Aside from her interaction with Asuka, her moments with her sister, while soft and never overly dramatic like other acts, feel all too real ans intimate on how siblings care about each other. The last few episodes when we follow her through her quiet tears on the train, her outbursts, her confessions were a joy to watch and each step she made feel like a natural progression. I have to give extra gratitude Tomoyo Kurosawa, the saiyuu of Kumiko, for delivering such a deadpan, plain but strangely distinctive voice of our main girl.

But what make Sound Eupho stand head above the rest of the crop lies in its production values. That 10-minute performance in episode 5 simply outperformed everything else I watched in recent years. KyoAni’s always known for their gorgeous designs and their attentive to make every little detail right, but this is just another level of insanity the more you get to know what they achieved. Almost every performance you heard in the show was correctly timed to their single notes (meaning that if you hear the character hits the notes onscreen, they were the right notes), the position of their fingers, their postures, even down to the preparation of the members before hitting the notes, were all accurate. Now imagine all of these in animation with a band of thirty something characters for the whole two seasons. I can’t even think how on earth one could achieve animating all that, let alone making it all flawlessly. They even go as far as making the echo of the announcement on the firework scene in the first episode, because they wanted it to be real (the city Uji is surrounded by mountains). No, something as insane as this don’t happen often, especially on TV-anime level, so to see it finally at the end of its road suddenly make me feel a little sad.

This second season is indeed a worthy follow up to the Sound Eupho the series. Just a bit of note that the score I’m giving above is for this second season alone, if I have to give a score for the whole series it would be 93/100. Sound Eupho is an install classic and for me is up there as one of KyoAni’s best works to date. As of this writing right now, there is one more novel about our Kitauji school that is more of a collection of short stories (like the real reason Aoi quit the band, or the story of Shuichi finally confesses to Kumiko) so I think OVAs will be the most possible outcomes. Otherwise we have the spin-off novels that focus on Azusa (Kumiko’s childhood friend) and her Rikka high school marching band and for now I think there’s a high chance that in the future KyoAni will return back to that universe by adapting this spin-off. Well, they better adapt it, or on that note, why not adapting Haruhi season 3?

Posted by AidanAK47 on 2 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Drifters

I know I am late with this and I am sure I disappointed those of you still reading though I doubt my Drifters reviews have been all that interesting. It is nice that Drifters managed to get a climatic battle in before the finale though what really saved it was the announcement of a second season. This series is far from an end goal and perhaps a second season can give it the time it needs to bring an endgame. This episode did manage to make the Drifters sweat a bit which was a good thing as we really need these guys to work for a victory for once. But Hannibal made that small moment of tension disappear by once again giving Oda an idea through his eccentric mannerisms.

I think Hannibal is really just putting on this senile act as the man seems to always intervene when he is needed. The battle between Toyohisa and Toshizou was clearly the highlight of the episode but was somewhat undercut by my not really knowing the history of these two. Drifters doesn’t really make an effort to explain the background of the characters which is fine for those whom have a decent mainstream recognition. But for the more obscure characters I could really use a blurb giving a brief rundown and save me looking up a wikipedia article. Even the Fate series makes the effort to acquaint the audience with the history of the characters.

Overall Drifters set out to capture the same ridiculous nature and badassery of Hellsing Ultimate  and I think it succeeded at that sometimes. The series never did stop getting hampered by Kouta’s rather jarring sense of comedic timing but it had it’s fair share of good moments. I do wish the animation could have been as impressive as the opening episodes as later down the line I noticed that the camera ratherly moved back to let you soak in the action. Often pulling out a large amount of close ups and still frames to save on the budget. On a show like this you really need to go all out on the action as it is the main selling point.

Having the character all be famous historical figures was novel but there is a problem that a lot of this are far too similar personality wise. The majority of the series so far has been a one sided match between the Drifters and the Orte so with little to make the Drifters sweat it’s been a consequence free slaughter fest. Now the Drifters have a standing with a worthy opponent to face. One of the most important things the next season can do is up the stakes, make the Drifters work for victory and get enough of a budget to make those action scenes really shine.

CHANGE USERNAME
AidanAK47
To sum that up, don't bully my waifu or I will end you.
AidanAK47
@Mario, She only killed him once and tortured him for information once. Both times because he had something which showed he had a connection to the witch. Besides, the anime mainly showed off her good points but she still has a crushing inferiority complex and a rather delicate mindset.
SuperMario
Oh I have one. How about Lovepon? lol
SuperMario
@Topgavin: it was sarcasm actually, if we do it again next year we might cut down some categories. But I totally agree that we're lacking of good villains. Biba and that teacher are the worst as they actually dragged their shows down.
Topgavin
Honestly though there's been a real lacking of good villains last year. I hear some guy from Jojo was pretty good, but other than that they've either been okay or lackluster. Makes you wonder how FMA:B managed to get so many villians right in so many ways when shows usually fail to get even 1 half as good.
Topgavin
@Supermario Biba or Teacher-dude from Erased surely...
SuperMario
Maybe we should include the best villain next time, haha. I honestly don't know who to pick...
SuperMario
oh Rem, that demon girl who tried to kill Subaru many times over. Why is she the best girl again?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I watched Moonlight last night in cinema and it was great. I had high expectation for that and it pretty much delivered. Also Janelle Monae was so freaking hot.
SuperMario
OMG, that 3rd episode of Rakugo was so greattttt. @Lenlo: don't need to understand the meaning of the rant thou, Yotaro doesn't understand either
Kaiser Eoghan
Think of the fine children/breeding stock Aidan and rem would offspring =P
Kaiser Eoghan
Dye their hair, make things confusing ;)
AidanAK47
@Anon, hahahaha, cool joke bro.....
...............................Don't make me destroy you.
Lenlo
The one with red hair of course
Anonymous765953
rem? who's that?
Lenlo
Having read the books, theres afew inconsistencies and I dont like some of the choices for actors.
Kaiser Eoghan
*couldn't
Kaiser Eoghan
Buh buh but Aiiiidan you still have the koe no katachi movie and thaaats kyoani =P But lol phantom world was so poor I couldn't get past the second episode. A shame that they could go with the darker spin the author ended up apparently going for in later volumes.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I am currently eh on it as well. Only at the second episode so far. I find it interesting but it has a lot of things that turn me off.
Lenlo
7 YEARS I SAT ON THAT BOAT!

Still havnt finished Flip Flappers. I like it, its pretty, each episode is different, but I can barely tell what the over-arching narrative is and thats a big deal to me
Lenlo
ITS REAL
Lenlo
BOAT TIER
Lenlo
@Aidan, Series of Unfortunate Events was eh. I wasnt a big fan of the TV adaptation, though I did like Neil Patrick Harris
Kaiser Eoghan
@Lenlo: BOAT TIER lmao.
Kaiser Eoghan
Thats why I LOVED flippflappers so much, where else can I get THAT anywhere, totally its own thing/beast.
Lenlo
My big ones for the year were easily Rakugo and Re:Zero. Disappointments, biggest one is Berserk. Ive been following it for years, have the entire series on my shelf, and I watched it like a captain going down with his ship
Kaiser Eoghan
At the same time well, yes its still good to see a non-highschool story in ANYTHING.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, you see I don't really award points to an anime doing something unique to anime, I judge by all mediums as a group/whole. 91 days may be a mafia drama, kabaneri may be a zombie show but theres already plenty of those in the world elsewhere.
Kaiser Eoghan
I could see myself getting some oldskool charm out of alderman if I watched it. I was waiting for yuri on ice to be dubbed. Drifters for all its problems was some of the most fun I've had in ages.
Kaiser Eoghan
The only thing I saw that I truly abhorred though was the new shinkai film.
Kaiser Eoghan
Most of the other stuff I didn't really bother watching. Its pointless for me to shit on about 91 days and re:zero because I was guaranteed to dislike both before seeing either.
Kaiser Eoghan
Biggest disappointments for me were erased , berserk and joker game. Whereas my surprise was lost passage. My favourites of the year were flippflappers and Rakugo. I wanted Kabaneri and dimesion w to save anime and bring back some oldskool charm but that didn't happen.
AidanAK47
Alright I spent over an hour formatting this thing and now I am knackered. Readers, this summery is over 23 pages long so be prepared as this thing is pretty huge. Don't say you were not warned.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Watch it. I bet it will be up your alley.
Kaiser Eoghan
Thats a problem with adaptations, put a voice on certain characters and it can become irritating.
Kaiser Eoghan
And to be fair on scums wish, that it deals with the sex bit in a teen story, well that makes it more daring and thats points for it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Largely stayed away from that series as I assumed it was for young children.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Additionally the relationships in that manga got too convoluted, the comedy stands out worse in the anime too. Still though I DO dig the idea behind the show of two kids who are in a fake relationship.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, you think that's hard to watch try watching Netflix's A series of unfortunate events. Because boy do I want to brutally murder the banker and his family. That may sound severe to you but trust me, you will feel likewise.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: You were right about it being harder to watch scums wish than read it. I want to hit the twin tails girl with a hatchet.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm laughing now remembering an old ANN review where they stated golgo 13 was a stress reliever for 30 something Japanese office workers, I get that so much more now lol
Kaiser Eoghan
But seriously violence in fiction, anime/manga included is so damn therapeutic.
Kaiser Eoghan
As such I genuinely was able to enjoy the new M night shaylman flick lol
Kaiser Eoghan
Venting here largely because I can, I now imagine the teenage/twenty something audience members at horror/thriller films as the victims in the films, makes it more tolerable to deal with their existence in the cinema.
Lenlo
I cant help but feel theres some cultural aspect I am missing to the Rakugo rant scene. Makes me sad.
Lenlo
Rakugo, continues to be great and gets another time skip. Im always surprised by how engrossing it is just listening to these people talk.
Lenlo
Makes me sad, just like Berserk. Got an entire shelf dedicated to it but its just so slow. stupid boat.
Lenlo
Vagabond was phenomenal, but its been on hiatus for years now hasnt it
Kaiser Eoghan
....well without spoiling towards the middle of that rakugo episode and all throughout during that middle part, my opinion on Yotaro's character went far up.
Kaiser Eoghan
Struggling to remember the name of that josei samurai manga from the 90s (or earlier 2000s), had a gender bending theme.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've already read kenshin and vagabond, I loved shigurui death frenzy and sword of the stranger but found samurai champloo uneven. Theres a kagemusha manga but I haven't read it and I've yet to see/read blade of the immortal.
Kaiser Eoghan
At a glance I'll go against the grain and say I think demi-chan is funnier than konosuba, going on one episode of each.
I've been watching a fare share of samurai films in the last two years and lately so I'm open to wathing more anime/reading manga dealing with samurai.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, how I love to watch it jumping off the cliff. This show contains lines like "I don't understand... even if I did understand... but I don't understand." It isn't a dialogue that we encounter too often I'm sure.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Sounds good to me. With me covering Little Witch Academia, Saga of Tanya the evil and Rakugo this season is well covered.
SuperMario
so I've decided to blog 3-gatsu, Scum's Wish and ACCA this season. A bit worry about the latter as I still don't have much to talk about that. Let's try it and see what happens; I say
SuperMario
Okay, I'm not hot on Onihei this week, as if the main theme about these two episodes were "people can be corrupted" then I'm not buying it. ACCA, on the other hand, was still very solid of building up the world and its big events to come.
AidanAK47
I have played all the big roguelikes and found they have the same problem. I argee on procedural generation. Even if the map is different every time you are essentailly going through the same rooms and doing the same things.
Masky
Though to be honest, I don't like procedural(or designed room and then game connects them randomly) games much. I much enjoy hand designed dungeons since I rarely play games through more than once anyway so roguelike's appeal of "Every time you play it through its different!" doesn't appeal to me much and hand designed dungeons are much more memorable
Masky
Can't really comment further on that since I don't know which roguelikes you have played, and neither I have played gungeon so I don't know if its badly designed to the point you can't do anything if rng says so. Though I guess there is nothing wrong about liking luck based games, if roguelike in question is truly unbeatable if rng says so, well, its really badly designed one if you ask me.
AidanAK47
Take my last run. Made it up to the fourth floor. Got plenty of guns but none were really useful. Even then ran out of ammo for all of them and the game was cheap about giving out ammo. Plenty of money but shops with nothing worth buying. Over 5 heart containers but no goddamn health. Died on the boss because I rolled out of a bullet into another bullet. Pretty much unavoidable.
AidanAK47
@Masky, that's the theory but in pretty much every roguelike I played its not the case. If the RNG decides you are going to have a bad time then you are going to have a bad time. Skill can only bring you so far. I have played this game for 7 hours and I know I could have finished it in 2. Only thing stopping me is a dice roll.
Masky
Like, the thing with roguelikes is that they can get easier/harder depending on luck, but well done one should be completable even without any upgrades at all if you are skilled enough.
Masky
Thats not the really case with roguelikes though, unless game design is bad and includes insta kill traps and such that are unavoidable if you are unlucky
AidanAK47
I hate roguelikes. Been playing enter the Gungeon and I just lost all patience with it. Getting real tired of my victory being decided by a RNG. It never feels satisfying to finish a roguelike because I know my victory was determined by pure luck.
AidanAK47
So we got to rely on fansubs for it when it's airing.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Nope. I think because netflix only puts up full seasons they are only planning to put it up when it's finished airing. Or when it's dubbed.
SuperMario
But how does the Netflix thing work? So of I have a Netflix account I can watch the show weekly?
SuperMario
@Aidan: that's a dumb way to do things really because unless you watch the show weekly, everyone gonna forget that it even exist. Just look at Re-Life last year
Lenlo
thought*. Words are hard.

Eventually found the actual first ep though and enjoyed it.
Lenlo
Was funny. I tried to find the first Ep for Little Witch, found original short made afew years ago, watched it and though "This is very similar to the original... Whats new".
AidanAK47
Little witch is one of the best shows this season and yet I can't get subtitles because Netflix doesn't release shows weekly. Motherf*cker.
Lenlo
Ore Monogatari I enjoyed. It was a nice romance that actually explored what happens after the confession. Also the 2 leads are just precious.
Lenlo
Alright but unmemorable seems like a good summation.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: one good thing about Seiren is if you don't like this romance, the whole thing gonna reset after episode 4 so there's a chance that you might end up like it. Agreed that the comedy wasn't very good. Alright but unmemorable
SuperMario
@Topgavin: I watched like first 3 episodes and stopped because I didn't have much time there, but I enjoyed what I saw. A well-written and endearing show in my book
Topgavin
Has anyone here watched Ore Monogatari before? Because in the 4 years I've watched anime, I've never heard of it (I guess it did come out 2 years ago) and yet it's turning out to be one of my favorite shows. Always great going into a show expecting nothing and getting pleasantly surprised.
AidanAK47
Only one more impression to go. Should have it up tomorrow.
Lenlo
Im really not feeling Seiren. Its "comedy" isnt for me and I just dont find it very enjoyable to watch so far. Im curious if it gets any better but 2 episodes in it just isnt that good.
HelghastKillzone
That ending scene is an entire side-story compressed into that. Don't expect anymore of it from here on out as the it sticks to ruthless military/fantasy pretty well.
LookingForKeys
@Topgavin I think it was good, making it the second episode. That way the first set up the world the story will be in, and showed how much of a monster the "little girl" really is right at the end, and then made ep.2 the explanation. Nothing against Tanya trying to rip "God" a new one.
That after-credits scene, though...
SuperMario
Hmm, as much as I like Seiren's omnibus format, it doesn't turn out really hot this second episode. Demi-chan, on the other hand, still maintains its endearing tone. Might blogging Demi-chan instead
Topgavin
Yeah, that second episode was much better than the first. Dunno why they didn't start with that to be honest, waste of an opportunity for a good hook episode. The voice for the main girl still sounds weird to me though; I get it's supposed to sound weird because it symbolizes 'her' being out of place and her personality and body being a mismatch, but it'll certainly take some getting used to.
AidanAK47
Youjo Senki, now we are talking. Like Helghast said, Did the god scene way better than the LN and manga. Made it less comedic and more intimidating.
Lenlo
Oh man that Rakugo intro. Not sure what to think, but first time seeing it I liked it
Kaiser Eoghan
I sort of like good will hunting because I kind of saw a bit of myself in Damon's character when I watched it ages ago.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Remaking psycho and ruining the shower scene, for shame van sant, for shame.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its easy to ripoff some obscure thing though and get away with it. The dogtooth director essentially stole an old Mexican film to make that.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, that following some guys from behind like they were on a RPG games, which I think actually fit with the tones of Elephant. I have such mixed feeling with Gus van Sant too. Don't really think he's a great director.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Although Istvan Szabo is probably a little more well known for that Mephisto film that updates the Faust story. Zoltan Fabri's the fifth seal is a very thought provoking war movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I remember seeing a film documentary that featured Gus van sant in one section, they showed clips of tarrs films, Sant ripped of the cinematography and stole the style from some British short film to make Elephant.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree on the other Hungarian filmmakers, I don't know much about them either.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Scorsese's Silence was a big comeback. I really really emotionally connect with spiritual crisis stories.
SuperMario
@kaiser: yep, definitely check wreckmeister down. Althought I admit that watching his 2-hour plus films will feel like 5-hour anyways
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm more tolerant of darker teenage/coming of age films/stories. Les Demons was a big surprise.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Though its kind of frustrating, I do think Tarr probably takes attention away from other hungarian filmakers because no-body knows who the hell the others are.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Man, wreckmeister was so visually arresting I started getting dreams from it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I would consider Tarr to be kind of a poor mans Janco, Angelopolus and Tarkvosky rolled into one. I don't entirely "get" wreckmeister and man from London but they are great atmospheric mood piece experiences.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I had been wanting to watch Belar Tarr's Turin Horse and Werckmeister Harmonies for so long now. Well, Fat Girl is shocking haha, but I'm normally drawn into those kind of films anyway.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Margaret took like 5,6 years to release because he couldn't cut it down in the way he wanted. The final cut if I remembered correctly was edited by Martin Scorsese
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Only a HDcam for moonlight now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I looks like my lineup is witch academia, rakugo and youjo senki, well the most latter one until I get bored.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I sense a directors cut for manchester, it feels like it need another 30 minutes.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right up my valley. Watch Kenneth Lonergan's previous works Magaret and You Can Count on Me. Magaret is very messy but have a raw dialogue and interactions as well
SuperMario
Now the first episodes are over, I will keep on covering 3-gatsu, as for the other twos atm I have 3 options: 1) full romance/anti-romance high school Seiren/Scum's Wish. 2) slice-of-life moe monster girls Demi-chan/Maid Dragon and 3) Mature,dark Onihen/Acca (which although I like them I don't have much to talk about).If you guys have any preference on which shows you like covered then let me know
Kaiser Eoghan
@Helghast: At this point I'm watching youjo senki as an entertaining guilty pleasure.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Too many reboots upcoming, will wait for the dvds instead. I want to explore more of manchester by the sea's director's work. I also want to finally get more into Bela Tarr's stuff.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I was rather shocked by A Ma souer/fat girls final act. Scenes with the Italian in the bedroom were initially creepy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's a nice review Kaiser, a bit jealous with you that you've seen those 3 films which are touted as the best films of 2016. Also Fat Girl, haha, I love that movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
Poor yotaro =< you have so much stuff going down on you =<
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki episode was so good today. That revamped scene with God just fitted so right.
AidanAK47
A official release of that game in the west is apparently coming but it's been a few years and not much news about it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Ah yes that was the one.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Had to think for a moment on that one but I think I was talking about this. https://vndb.org/v3144
Kaiser Eoghan
Now I'd hardly consider myself a studio trigger fan, but I watched the first witch academia episode there, it was actually kind of fun, got the same reaction from me as flipflappers did, that magical, special feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I also, of interest reviewed Kenneth Lonegrans new film: http://letterboxd.com/shao_liu_ringon/film/manchester-by-the-sea/
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Moonlight got some feels out of me though it could of been more, it ends abruptly and with 20 extra minutes they could have spent a bit more time on each section of his life.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I checked out lala land, ending was very well executed, one of three scenes in the film that were impressive visually. The whole thing looked pretty and Gosling and Stone had some decent chemistry. Although it didn't resonate emotionally as strongly as the musicals of Jacques Demi did.
Kaiser Eoghan
MOM I want aiyoku no eustia and I want it now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've never heard of himawari or tokyo babel. The hellsing comparison at least interests me in dies irae. What was the name of that visual novel again that was coming out soon, Aidan you described it as "And Kaiser would love it because its supposed to be really fucked up".
Kaiser Eoghan
I vaguely remember the anime for 11 eyes, it was very forgettable, even the voice acting was poor, hated the childhood friends and the pacing was poor, those black knight things were kind of interesting though.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: You'll have to add me onto the list of those unsatisfied with the ever 17 writer, I read one of those games and felt it was a bunch of interesting bait that never paid off.
AidanAK47
Anyway I plan on doing a review of 11eyes here when I finish it.
AidanAK47
Can't say I was a fan of Ever17. That was a really good twist but when it came to explaining it their was a lot of contrived development. Generally not a fan of the writer. Looseboy, Ryukishi, Gen and Nasu are more my kinda thing
AidanAK47
@Anon, it is nice that so many VNs are on steam but I wish they wouldn't be stupid with the whole no adult content thing. Not so much for myself but to prevent idiots from writing negitives reviews because the game doesn't have sex. VNs can grip you in a way anime simply can't and while they require pathence and time those can be some pretty powerful stories.
Anonymous678956
@Aidan, I am so happy steam's so VN-friendly now. I think it's a very good type of media. Like anime, it has nice visuals, music and some movement but also the inner monologue and text amount of books. It's the perfect combination. Plus, the routes, which are often puzzle pieces and PoVs you have to go through to understand the whole story. True routes like the one of Ever17 blew my mind.
AidanAK47
Hopefully the two VNs I bought of steam turn out better. Tokyo Babel is supposed to be alright and I heard really good things about Himawari.
AidanAK47
I am about a third of the way through the game and really not much of worth has happened. The concept is interesting but the execution is sorely lacking.
AidanAK47
I went in expecting it to be a mixed bag and it's pretty below my expectations. It's just not really well written and the protagonist is a moron. THere isn't really routes and instead you are pretty much stuck with his childhood friend as the main love interest. Problem with that is her character begins and ends with loving the main.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, damn. 11Eyes is on my reading list as well. Although I almost expected it to not be as good as I thought it'd be (back then). Guess I would have enjoyed it if I was able to read it while the (shitty) adaption aired, maybe I have seen/read too many series by now. Guess I'll still give it a try some day though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I haven't heard the OST or watched the intro video. I only know it be reputation and have decided to walk into it as blind as I can. Still slightly worried as I was somewhat looking forward to reading 11Eyes for a couple of years and now that I am reading it it's well...not good.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, same here. I was waiting years for this, since I saw the intro video for the first time. Also, that OST!
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki is already leagues better than Izetta. It's going to be top anime of forever and ever. (maybe not)
AidanAK47
And finally Dies Irae is funded. May actually be able to play and finish the game before the anime airs. If the hype is real behind this baby it could be a new personal favorite Visual Novel of mine. Already looking promising with it being like a cross between Hellsing and Fate/Stay Night. Two things I most certainly like.
Lenlo
@Masky, in regards to style over substance thats where im at with Gurrne Lagann.
Topgavin
Yeah, I'll probably watch the next episode to see whether it can redeem itself. Hopefully it can but considering 1st episodes usually get a lot of budget, there's some severe doubt in there.
AidanAK47
I actually argee with character designs and voices are bad in regards to female characters. Still the next episode might change your mind if we get more into the main characters head.
Anonymous671470
It's boring
Topgavin
Also, it seems I disagree with a lot of people in thinking Youjo Senki will be a massive trainwreck. The character designs are awful, the voice acting is mismatched but most of all the premise just seems so very dumb. If I wanted to watch a badass kill people I'd go watch Hellsing or Drifters, because at least those don't have some op, disproportionate loli as the mc.
AidanAK47
Gets even more complicated when you account for Satire and Parody. You could equally argue all examples listed as being as such.
AidanAK47
Little Witch Academia is a decontruction of Harry Potter....I don't believe that but honestly if I tried I could put some reasoning behind that statement.
Topgavin
In the end, it always comes down to opinion (as with every discussion about anime, for some reason). You could spin any and every series as a "deconstruction", which is why people shy away from using the word. You could argue NGE, Madoka and Re:Zero are all deconstructions yet also argue Gundam, Precure and SAO are depending on what points you weigh more importantly.
Masky
Like, if deconstruction is supposed to be just "break the elements and then play story how it would realistically go down" well I haven't watched NGE, but as far as I know it does have stuff that isn't typical to mecha genre besides the "It would fuck up kids" thing plus "realistically how it would play out" is pretty subjective thing. I mean, its mainly about how cynical bastard the writer is :P
Masky
Like I said, I don't fully agree with it because I find video's speaker's attitude annoying, but I found it semi convincing. Main thing I don't find convincing about it is that I don't think its hard to turn video's own arguments agaisnt it and say that by its own logic NGE isn't deconstruction either, like Aidan just said earlier
Masky
And I don't really have energy for checking out the "correct" one. If there even is one. Anyway, the hipster video I was talking about was titled "What Actually Is A Deconstruction?" if you want to check it out.
Masky
Hmm, well, it does depend on definition you use. Like if you use "realistic" thing, well, Magical Girl shows don't usually have "You turn into monsters" thing going on and reason why NGE's pilots go crazy is from dangerous situations rather than evas making them do so. But honestly, I don't really have strong opinion on matter since word seems to be one of those with several different meaning
SuperMario
for me Madoka IS a deconstruction of Magical girl, and yeah like what Aidan said
SuperMario
I think part of Utena is a deconstruction of "prince riding horse and save the girl" because that notion is just a foundation for Utena to become a prince herself and save other girl. That's breaking it apart and resemble it again in its own way. Don't have to be dark/ don't have to be real either
AidanAK47
@Masky, That's just debating semantics. Besides that difinition would pretty much mean that Neon Genesis Evangelion isn't a decontruction either. Madoka isn't a decontruction because it's dark. It's more in its aspects of criticising why a girl should throw her ordinary life away for something as dangerous as being a magical girl. It does take plenty of the typical tropes and turn them on its head
SuperMario
@Masky: Genre deconstruction is such a tricky word that I normally try to avoid using because there's really no set characteristic about the term and different people have different opinions about what constitute "deconstruction". For me, I disagree that deconstruction have to be dark and real, hmm can't say it well but I will give you an example:
Masky
But yeah, I guess I could try to find the video if you guys are interested, though like I said, I got hipsterish feel from the video and felt rather annoyed through it even though I did get what the point was and found it sort of convincing besides my annoyance
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