May 2012 Archives - Star Crossed Anime Blog : Star Crossed Anime Blog
Posted on 31 May 2012 with categories: Tsuritama

The explanation behind this series… actually turned out to be pretty simple: there is an alien who controls people using water. Haru and his sister are out to stop him. Duck investigates both of them. That’s it, and I’m impressed that the creators managed to make an entire series out of just that.

What this show did was very risky, but still: I like how it didn’t force anything here to put in extra tension. This episode pretty much explained what was going on. There will be one point of confrontation with that alien: the typhoon. The characters took a while to venture out to its location because in the first half of this series, they had no reason to, and they’re not going to go back again because they’re not stupid. This show is about fishing: being patient and letting things come naturally. The downside of this is that you also don’t know if you’re going to catch something.

And that’s the double edge of the series structure that this show picked of letting everything evolve naturally, compared to the series that start out action-packed: I’m not advocating action, but rather characters and storylines who show themselves off and bring up emotions. Having a slow pacing either works out really well because it allows us to really get a feel of the characters, or become completely boring because nothing happens. The trick I use in an attempt to guess how well a series will end up based on just the first few episodes is by looking at its potential: what is it building up to? Is the characterization good? How do the characters work together? And this is where Tsuritama scored really high.

all that’s left now is the pay-off: these final episodes have the daunting task of using all that build-up and delivering a very memorable finale. You can have amazing characters, but if they don’t do anything or don’t get pushed to their limits, then it’s a bit of a shame. The one thing I noticed in this episode was the impact that the scenes about the Bermuda thingy made to me: I got really excited there when the music started playing. Keep that up.

NB: holy crap Natsuki looks different now!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Sakamichi no Apollon

This really was an episode that focused on the different romances going on, to the point where the first couple has been formed. The end of the episode is pretty much the point where this series goes back to being a love triangle, but a very messy one at that, with character A thinking that character B likes character C while she is growing to like character A more unbeknownst to him, at a point when character C has realized that she had a crush on him.

These love triangles are very easy to screw up and devolve into a soap opera, but what I really like is how the creators made use of Rituko’s character development to further complicate things, rather than pulling some random twist for the sake of drama. The way she came to like Kaoru after spending a lot of time with him, knowing he has a crush on her, while trying to move away from Sentarou… it’s plausible for all of this to happen: over the course of the past episodes we were given enough reasons for her change.

The problem I have with series about teenagers is that there are too many of them: it gets harder and harder to stand out. However, when one comes along that is as well acted as Apollon, I’ll gladly shove these biases aside. That doesn’t change the fact that I want to see more variety in anime, especially considering that “seinen”-series that are supposed to focus on young adults feature teenaged lead characters more often than not. I can’t really fault the creators for picking an excellent manga about teenagers and animating it incredibly well.

But still, we’re currently in a very important half year for Noitamina: these are four series that really need to do well after the Guilty Crown disaster. Apollon and Tsuritama for being really well executed. Natsuyuki and Moyashimon meanwhile need to succeed in order to prove that there still is an audience for series about adults.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

What sets this season apart: the sheer amount of great series out there. Seriously, the amount of interesting shows that push boundaries is the best in at lest two years. Now all that’s left is a bunch of great finales: a lot of the series in this seasons will end next month, and a lot of them have quite a bit of potential to end wonderfully.

#23 (25) – Medaka Box – (7/10) – Medaka Box is dangerously close to being one of those “meh” series. What I mean by that is that it’s going to end within one month, even though it hasn’t really done much so far. It has introduced plenty of things with potential, but those were just introductions: it hasn’t really done anything with them because these will very likely be used later on in the series. So yeah, this show is mostly building up to parts that aren’t going to be animated. This is why I really dislike shounen jump series.
#22 (22) – Saint Seiya Omega – (7,4/10) – I’m on the verge of dropping this show, and then episode eight came and was slightly interesting. My main problem with this show is its characterization: it’s all too wooden and one-sided, especially that main character is a one-sided hot blooded idiot and the villains other than that golden saint are all terribly uninspired and stereotypical.
#21 (23) – Sankarea – (7,6/10) – Sankarea is that really annoying series of the season, that has flashes of brilliance, intermixed with flashes of incredible annoyance. Pretty much what Nisemonogatari was last season. Sanka Rea is a pretty interesting character to watch, especially considering the state she’s in. Shenever she takes up the center of attention, this show is great. The cousin however, is annoying. The classmates are annoying. This show also wastes too much time on random fluff. I understand that characters need to get fleshed out, but the balance of these scenes feels missing.
#20 (12) – Phi Brain – (7,75/10) – Oh boy, Phi Brain surely took a hit to the suspension of disbelief this month. I mean, it’s the series nature to be over the top and rather stupid at times, however what it pulled this time is so vital to the overall storyline and characters that it’s really hard to overlook. I really hope that there is more to it, because Freecell, you’re very close to becoming a very pathetic villain here.
#19 (21) – Jormungand – (7,9/10) – If I had to point out one point at which Jormungand, it’s the characterization. I still can’t exactly point out what it is, but most characters fail to capture my interest, there are a lot of very similar characters walking around, or characters who are carbon-copies of other characters or who just try too hard. It’s strange, but for a show that’s supposed to be about gun delaying, I miss this lack of tension.
#18 (20) – Aquarion Evol – (8,25/10)

Aquarion Evol continues to balance between a tense storyline and a heap of cliches, in a pretty bizarre way. It’s over the top and some of the twists are great entertainment to watch. There are characters who really shine here, but on the other hand we have Mikono: the main female character… who didn’t really do anything over the series other than get kidnapped.

#17 (19) – Hunter X Hunter – (8,25/10)

We are now at a point of explanation and exposition. It’s a point that also made me tired in the original 1999 series, so watching it in recap is… annoying. On the other hand though: the thing it’s building up to will be something really special. I usually hate remakes that do nothing but recapping, so it has to say something that I’m still stuck with this show after 30 episodes. Nen is very original, and I hope that this show’s success inspires future shounens to also put a lot of attention to detail and creativity in their settings.

#16 (14) – Shirokuma Cafe – (8,25/10)

The bizarre thing with this series is that the jokes are incredibly corny, yet consistently enjoyable. The Polar Bear and the Penguin are the standout characters here. The penguin is great to watch and gets great stuff out of the rest of the cast, while the Polar Bear has some awesome deadpan humour.

#15 (9) – Nazo no Kanojo X – (8,25/10)

In this day and age in which everything is just trying to get more and more fanservice in, it’s great to see a series that puts so much restraint in it. It’s a really good way to flesh out the characters, and I like how they grew closer together a lot here.

#14 (4) – Zetman – (8,25/10)

This month was not as impressive because the budget decreased, but the creators still are trying to make this show as expressive as they can with their limited means. The pacing also actually slowed down in order to have some mid-season build up and extra tension. It really depends on that ending whether this show will work or not.

#13 (24) – AKB0048 – (8,4/10)

Oh, AKB… I want to hate this show. I really do. But it’s such a charming series. It’s obviously pandering, but some scenes are played so straight that I wonder whether they are partially meant as a criticism as well. The cast of this series is huge, and what me impressed the most within these first five episodes is how well it gave every single one of these characters a bit of detail and info, keeping a great balance between all of the characters.

#12 (17) – Hyouka – (8,4/10)

What I like about Hyouka is that the long dialogues are about something. It’s well acted and consistently interesting, which really is a breath of fresh air after all those Shaft-series that attempted the same thing but couldn’t hold my attention. The animation still is very excellent and even though most mysteries are about mundane things, I do find myself drawn in.

#11 (8) – Tsuritama – (8,4/10)

Tsuritama is building up to something. I feel that that finale is going to be the major factor for me in evaluating this series, because it is clear that it has like a deck full of aces hidden in its sleeves and socks. There was one episode that really showed that potential and it was awesome. Now finish things properly!

#10 (18) – Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – (8,4/10)

You know what? Poyopoyo actually is the best show about owning cats that I’ve seen. In fact, if you don’t count movies (Night on the Galactic Railroad, Tamala 2010 and the Cat Returns were awesome), this pretty much is the best cat chow I’ve ever seen. It’s all just so relatable, and the pacing is just perfect for five-minute episodes. I know it sounds weird and all, but I’m consistently enjoying this show.

#9 (15) – Legend of Korra – (8,4/10)

The romance in this series isn’t really that interesting. Everything apart from that though is really good. Especially since there are no anime about politics at the moment, this really fills my hunger for the Spring Politics Series. The villains are very credible and a great threat for Korra, and the creators made good use of how out of place she is.

#8 (11) – Kimi to Boku – (8,5/10)

Kimi to Boku really blossomed in its second season. Every episode is standalone, but they nearly all created some very impressive character-development, both for the main cast and for the cast of side-characters.

#7 (13) – Eureka Seven Ao – (8,5/10)

Eureka Seven Ao’s charms are hard to define. In any case they’re different from what made the first season great. It’s the great acting, along with some surreal parts and very good directing that makes it really entertaining to watch, but I think that it’s the acting that really put this series above most other mechas of the past few seasons: kids are treated like kids. There are tons of different parties active, all with their own goals.

#6 (5) – Lupin The Third – (8,5/10)

This show has class. I know it’s a bit weird to say that of a series with so much nudity, but what makes this show so interesting is how well Mine Fujiko is portrayed, along with the guys around her. It’s the storytelling here that really stands out with a great direction.

#5 (7) – Natsuiro Kiseki – (8,6/10)

Every episode of Natsuiro Kiseki so far has been dedicated to character development. We’re now at the point where the rock takes a step back, so that we can really focus on the four main characters, and this series still pushes them into situations in which they’re forced to grow. This show does an amazing job in showing their worries and despite that having them act believably.

#4 (6) – Mouretsu Pirates – (8,6/10)

You know, I’m really enjoying Mouretsu Pirates at the moment. I said it before, but with this, it’s pretty much the best non-sequel to have come out the past winter season. The past arc is especially fun and and this show also gets more and more creative with its storylines.

#3 (3) – Fate/Zero – (8,6/10)

This really has been a month of build-up for Fate/Zero, but what build-up there was was really, really dark. A ton of characters got extra backgrounds, changed, and moved into some really harsh plot twists. A few of these scenes were a bit too harsh (apparently they were better built up in the novels, but this is an anime first and adaptation second), but it nevertheless is excellent and dark stuff.

#2 (1) – Uchuu Kyoudai – (9/10)

Really, there are two stand-out series this season. Both of them rock because of their characterization, but both do this in completely different ways. Uchuu Kyoudai is briljant at fleshing out its characters: Mutta’s inner monologues are really sharp, and the rest of the side-cast all fits incredibly well with each other.

#1 (2) – Sakamichi no Apollon – (9/10)

Yes. To say that this show is good would be a huge understatement. This series manages to capture its characters in a unique way and it does it with so much detail and believability that is un-matched by only very few other series. The way this show plays with emotions and awkwardness is exquisite. Add that to the excellent animation (including the parts that aren’t rotoscoped but actually animated) and Yoko Kanno’s awesome soundtrack, and you’ve got a winner. Definitely the best Noitamina series since Ano Hana.

Posted on 29 May 2012 with categories: Zetman

Okay Zetman: if you’re planning to end next month, you’d better make it an awesome one. The past two episodes understandably switched a gear back in order to focus on some character development, and after this you need to pick the right chapters to both give this closure and an action-packed finale.

I really noticed that with series as Kamisama Dolls and No.6 past summer: these series may have been excellent in their start and middle, but their unsatisfying conclusions unfortunately hurt a lot, and lowered my opinion of them significantly. Zetman isn’t the big disaster in terms of pacing this season; that award goes to Medaka Box, but it would be such a shame if this show ended with a lukewarm feeling.

The one standout point in this episode was the fight at the Amagi mansion. That was short but sweet, and there was a very interesting death along the way: someone actually got careless and didn’t run away fast enough. The players actually didn’t charge into the strongest opponents, but tried to attack everyone at random. One criticism here is that it’s again the old ugly guy who died on a whim, even though the girls in this show have been attacked again and again while coming out alive.
Rating: *+ (Great)

Posted on with categories: Hyouka

This episode was interesting. The mystery was pretty simple, but what caught my attention was how it highlighted the cultural differences between Japan and the west. I mean, for a western guy like me, it very quickly occurred to me that the teacher just misread the small capital a and d, but the characters were making such a big deal out of this and building it up for so much. But yeah, these are Japanese kids who have a completely different alphabet.

This show really likes looking at the meaning of words and letters. We don’t really have that: sure, words have origins and all, but when we talk about the origin of a word we mean to refer to the first time in which the word got used. In Japanese, every kanji has a meaning and a way of writing. Hiragana and Katakana don’t, but this focus on calligraphy is completely different from how we in the west see letters. And with this episode this series tried to bring that same mentality over to the latin alphabet. Quite interesting.

And then there was that bit about the seven deadly sins. And in that discussion I have to praise Chitanda for acknowledging this very important thing that these discussions in anime often seem to ignore: balance. I really enjoy series that are about lots of talking, but I get really annoyed with series with characters who talk just for the sake of talking. A lot of Shaft series for example went way too far with the latter. Hyouka is in the middle of this: it’s got a lot of high schoolers talking to each other in random conversations, but it’s always about something interesting and fleshes out the characters.
Rating: *+ (Great)

Posted on 28 May 2012 with categories: AKB0048, Aquarion Evol

Next week’s episode of Aquarion Evol: that will be the time for you to show yourself, Mikono. That will be the time where you need to show that you’re more than a damsel in distress. You have been guided, you have been trained, but so far… you haven’t really done anything. You are very close to stepping in the pit of the generic Kawamori female love interests, and that will be your time to either jump over it or go into a completely different direction. Zessica is about to do it, so you can do that too.

For the rest of this episode: this really was action-packed. Nice action, amazing soundtrack, it all was very entertaining, with the spotlights reserved for Shrade. The tension around this guy is actually much more interesting: he and Amata both have huge powers, but the difference between them is that he actually uses it well. Amata doesn’t know how to use his.
Rating: *+ (Great)

AKB and pandering. Of course you can have a cast with females. When it becomes a problem is when the creators start using moe and fanservice as an excuse for not trying, which unfortunately still happens way too often. AKB0048 doesn’t have that… or didn’t at least. I really began to fear that right the first episode after I decided to blog this show, the characters suddenly got a day off, we got a bath scene, a bunch of very stupid antics and this disturbing focus on pheromones.

So yeah, weakest episode of AKB0048 so far. But as it went on, I did notice something: the sheer amount of characters that the creators managed to stuff into just this episode. Heck, I believe that they actually succeeded in fleshing out the entire cast of named characters, giving everyone a bit of a moment or scene to show more about herself. That’s actually pretty impressive to balance well.

Also, this show doesn’t actively criticize, but some of the ideas in this show nearly seem like they were put in to subtly provoke this. I’m mostly referring to the pheromones talk, but especially that bizarre family that breeds idols to look like each other…
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Uchuu Kyoudai

So, it was a will. It makes sense, and it also changed the mood of this series quite a bit with this episode. There still is plenty of light-hearted stuff, but at the same time it also got Mutta thinking about the more serious issues of spaceflight and how things can easily go horribly wrong. Add that to Serika’s reason for trying to become an astronaut, and you’ve got an episode with a lot of really good mood-swings.

Also, Kenji: a “best friend” character who actually has a stable relationship. Not only that but he is married and has kids. I know that this is a series about adults, but still, it is very refreshing to see his archetype being done completely different. At first I feared that there would be some sort of love triangle between him, Mutta and Serika, but with this that also is very neatly avoided.

I also love what this episode hinted at: a time-skip. Instead of having characters ready within months to go into space, it’s established that it may very well take up eight years before Mutta can join Hibito into space, in which he’ll be in his forties already. Besides death, this episode put an even bigger focus on the passage of time for these astronauts, and how it’s completely different from what we’re all used to.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Phi Brain

The sliding puzzles arc has some really big flaws, combined with a number of things that look suspiciously much like flaws, but can be written out of with the right writers.

Let me start with the big flaw of this arc; one that can’t be excused at this point: we’re basically watching five episodes about the same game here. No variations, it’s five episodes of sliding puzzles. That is way too much and way too long. I’m not opposed to the tournament set-up: it’s clear that the creators intended this to be an arc chock full of character development. For that it makes sense to devote an entire arc to just one game. But writers: you should have picked different puzzles to do this with. This is just lazy.

Another flaw here seems to be the cheese. The long format of this arc leads to a lot of time being devoted to characters angsting. I felt that the first season did this better (although I do admit that none of the characters in the second season comes even close to being as bad as that one villain of the first season who smashed the screen with his chair out of anger…). I’m missing a bit of balance here.

Now, the flaws that seem like the writers wrote themselves into a corner, but can still get out of with the right direction: the bizarre plot devices:
– First there is this mysterious “data” that cubic collected, which was way too vague. With an entire episode being dedicated to him collecting that “data”, it has to be something pretty awesome to make up for it.
– Then there was the previous episode. There, it was established that Freecell hates Kaito because he made him sad on the day that his mother died, causing his mother to die sad, but in this episode made it look more like he outright killed the woman. The funeral scene definitely hinted that there is something more going on, but really: there are still so many ways in which that back-story can end up as a complete disaster.
– And then there was this episode with Ana Gram. At one point he suddenly from out of nowhere reveals that he has an older sister… oh hey Mizerka, what are you doing here?

the way the creators can fix this by making Mizerka just some random girl who grew up with Freecell. My biggest issue with this is the way it was built up though: it does make sense for Ana’s sister to be sent to England as well, but don’t just introduce this from nowhere and show hints that Mizerka actually knows Ana. The creators could have avoided this by making Mizerka incredibly stoic to her sister: with that it would have made sense if this came out of nowhere, but this episode also shot down that potential thread by making Mizerka just flip out: she is not the type of person to hide her feelings.

When the second season first was announced, I really thought that the first season was made with the second season in mind. Right now though, it’s pretty obvious that the writers only learned that there would be a second season after the first one was completely written. Most of the times they were able to hid this very well, but Ana’s sister really is a big hint that the second season was written much later. It really feels like a nice idea one of the writers had along the way to add to his character, because if she really is so special to Ana, then he would have mentioned that somewhere in the first season.

Rant aside by the way: I did like this episode. I mean, I think that Ana is a very interesting character to watch, and he used his charm well here. He’s much more interesting than Cubic in any case, so it’s great for him to have another episode dedicated to him. The way she managed to cheer up Kaito was also quite heart-warming.
Rating: *+ (Great)

Posted on 27 May 2012 with categories: Mouretsu Pirates

So… in this one episode this show did what I thought would take up the rest of the series. What the?

And don’t get me wrong here: this was really well done. Suddenly the pacing of this episode increased two-fold, and that lead to an incredibly fun race with a ton of action and intrigue and suspense. It was chaotic in a good way and there was a lot going on here and this pretty much stands among the best episodes of Mouretsu Pirates. I really was totally immersed here and I love how despite the slow pacing the creators chose, they are also flexible enough to once in a while just go all out. This brings a wonderful balance between action and slice of life.

Also, with the graphics in this episode you could really see that this comes from the director of Stellvia of the Universe. For the people who haven’t seen that yet: the CG scenes looked really ugly and made no attempt whatsoever to blend in. The dinghies really look like the space ships that they used in Stelliva. Now, this episode took that mentality, and handed it over to Satelight’s CG department, who are known for their eye candy. The result looked very artistic.

I also feel like the end of the episode with Ai was a great shout-out to Stellvia. In that series the pilots didn’t even get to see outside and were forced to navigate though these very abstract and convoluted interfaces. Here though, the opportunity was given to her to fly around without any screens or electronics, and she took it. Although I do wonder how that all would have worked in terms of aerodynamics.

Overall, Mouretsu Pirates turned into a great example of a series that spends a lot of time building up. In the early episodes there were enough hints that his show knew what it was doing: great acting, real character performances and a good amount of creativity and imagination put into the premises. This was enough to keep me confident and interested in this series. And really: it paid off. I’m glad to have kept up with this show.

The show hasn’t ended yet so I can’t say this for certain yet, but I get more and more convinced that Mouretsu Pirates will end up as the best non-sequel series of the shows that premiered in Winter 2012.
Rating: **+ (Excellent+)

Posted on with categories: Fate/Zero

The second half of this episode took some huge risks. This series has been very composed in terms of acting; with some exceptions, the acting in this series was subdued and even during the over the top parts, the characters knew exactly how to act with just enough restraint whilst still giving off great performances. This episode drops that and descends into overblown melodrama. Not just to show how a character feels, but also vital to the story.

These are the moments when a character completely loses it. They’re not meant to be pretty, they just are about characters completely breaking down and looking very ugly in the process. This is incredibly hard to act right because it’s just all too easy to scream at the top of your lungs and do the most outrageous thing out there. Another key to this is willing suspension disbelief: as a viewer we really need to get the idea that these characters have broken down. Which is why I’m a bit puzzled that the creators chose to do this with the master who has gotten the least amount of airtime to get fleshed out so far. To be honest, that breakdown scene… it didn’t really hit me and looked more silly due to how little we actually know of these two people. It also felt like there was just too little build-up and aftermath for it. Tohsaka killed the woman, walked away and immediately we switch to Archer and Kirei sitting back and having some wine celebrating. It… doesn’t flow well.

Also, an observation that I made before this all happened: in the first season, Rider really was the stand-out character: his charisma and monologues were wonderful and it brought a lot of spark to the series. In the second season… this just doesn’t apply at all. He has been weakened and beaten pretty often, with in this episode him losing his chariot, in favor of characters as Kotomine Kirei and Kiritsugu. This can be quite interesting build-up if the final episodes know how to handle it.
Rating: * (Good)

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
https://manganelo.com/manga/baikoku_kikan I haven't read this yet, but its written by the guy who did Youjo senkai.
Amagi
*exists
Amagi
People also forget that We (Мы) exist. It basically was 1984 before 1984 was written. It's from 1920 or something.
Amagi
Same here. Political dystopias are the best and eastern europe is especially good with creating them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Golden Kamuy got me all excited about Russo-Japanese war stuff, went off and watched Hill 203 and found an obscure Akira Kurosawa film (which he wrote) called Advance patrol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be to my interest, I love political/conspiracy stuff, especially East European.
Anonymous3209354
love how alternate history is getting more attention from mainstream television lately
Anonymous3209354
anyone watch 1983 episode 1 yet?
Kaiser-Eoghan
*about it
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm actually in the mood right now for adventure stuff like this, there is a manga called It's my life. Also about a guy and a kid going from town to town.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I read five volumes of a manga called Somali yo mori no kami sama and noticed you made a post about it. I generally agree with what you said about. The parts with the witch girl, the chapters with the harpy girl and the bit with the golem actually getting violently angry were my favourite parts.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have this itch now to watch the original again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just want all of the new boogipop phantom to air right now, I genuinely can't wait for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: That makes it Promised Mob Psycho Neverland
Kaiser-Eoghan
Promised neverland and Mob are tied in the poll.
Anonymous3208080
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok. I just didn't felt like it had much closure in the final scenes. Though I suppose "that scene" was sort of like the climax of the movie.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember a lesbian themed comedy film based on a play where an old woman busts her friend out of a care home and they go on a road trip to Canada to get married, picking up some young guy along the way.
SuperMario
@Vonter: I watched 3 recent latin films, each of them rocks in their own ways. Roma is the most critical-darling amongst the bunch. Then I also watcjed Birds of Passage, about the rise (and eventually fall) of an extended family selling weeds in Colombia. The third one, The Heiresses is a favorite of mine. It’s rare to have the leads as 60 something lesbian couple, and the entire cast are women
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: If you scroll down far enough myself and Mario talked about that film.
Animosh
Overall I still think this season is lacking focus compared to the first season though. It just drifts in all these different directions without really trying to tie them together in any way. And I'm getting a bit fed up with all these near-deaths. How many times has a character been saved (or spared) at the last moment now? It's lazy writing.
Animosh
I love how Urobuchi keeps subverting expectations with his characters. You think the Hunting Fox will be furious over his loss of status? Nope, he just shrugs it off and pisses off Lin as a result. You think the Monk is being controlled by his sword? Nope, he fell in love with her of his own will (I think?), and now he's firmly in control, acting like an obsessive boyfriend and everything.
Vonter
The director is the same as Gravity and the third Harry Potter movie (Azkaban).
Vonter
@Lenlo - Try watching mexican films most of them are very downbeat and tragic. Latest one I watched was Roma. About a neighborhood in Mexico City during the 70s. And the story of the maid of a middle class family.
Lenlo
Thats fine. Endings can largely be personal preference. Im just a bad man enjoy tragedies. <3
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding tragic endings, I prefer them to happy ones, largely because, even if the character has had a miserable existence, giving them a crueller ending prevents them being given the storytelling equivalent of a handout.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually, this was a season of surprises for me, I expected nothing of bunny-senpai, as far as I was concerned enjoying gridman would be impossible for me and I initially avoid run with the wind cause I know so little about sports. All three ended up being my favourites this season and this site was able to convince me to watch them.
Anonymous3205580
Not only did they simplify the FRANXX's plot, but they even disregarded themes they were exploring, plot threads that were considered, characterizations that were supposed to be more nuanced, in favor of giving us an obviously evil villain who are aliens, no one dies expect for side characters who were rewritten to be antagonized, and an unconditionally happy ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its a miracle I really liked gridman, especially the latest episodes and since the second half started.
Anonymous3205521
Meanwhile, with Gridman, we basically have a subversion of tokusatsu tropes written by an actual toku writer and pulls it off in fact, while being an affectionate homage to the genre at the same time.
Anonymous3205521
It seemed like CloverWorks ended up taking over production late in the game and decided to greatly simplify the plot, disregarding most of the worldbuilding that Trigger previously contributed.
Anonymous3205521
I will say though that Trigger seems to have trouble working with others due to the clashes they had with CloverWorks during FranXX's production. That must've contributed a lot to the huge story problems and inconsistencies later on.
Anonymous3205521
I find it interesting that we got both the best and worst of Trigger in one year. What they're really good at, and what they're really limited at, and the bad habits they can't seem to quit doing, although it's clearly more apparent in the Trigger show that aired earlier compared to the show that aired later.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Back in the day where I was more open to watching everything, H20 tricked me with its first couple of episodes, the ending was insulting as was that middle joke episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel Natsuyuki sort of takes away the attention from the authors other work, Sekine-kun no koi.
Amagi
@SuperMario: Natsuyuki was kinda good I agree. Josei tend to be pretty good in general since they are often kinda down to earth even while dealing with supernatural elements. Shoujos on the other hand are usually bad and most of them feel like the same series.
SuperMario
We will have to disagree here, Amagi. It’a the drama of the 2nd season that raises the show several notches. For me, every single drama hits and it hots hard
Amagi
Yahari was another one of those weird shows. I enjoyed the first season. Kinda. But the second made me mad. I didn't even get what happened, it felt like the author was suddently trying create drama while knowing absolutely nothing about drama. I think it was one of the worst cases of forced drama I've witnessed and I usually hate using these buzzwords.
SuperMario
... mature romance show. A bit drags in the middle but it has well-developed cast
SuperMario
Also, I finished Natsuyuki Rendezvous the other day. It’s a solid,
Amagi
I think the worst shows I have ever seen were all adaptions of horrible harem VNs or LNs. If someone is masochistic they should give H2O or Myself;Yourself and the likes a try.
SuperMario
But I absolutely agree. In fact, watching Haganai I have more appreciation to Yahari
SuperMario
Apprently Yahari copied the concept of Haganai thou, from what I heard
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: We can get onto the topic o punishment endings in romance series or especially yuri ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: There's not much point in watching haganai when Yahari exists, haganai grew stale to where I never bothered checking the second season, it ran its course after a couple of episodes.
Amagi
Agree, I like yuri as a concept, but most shows bore me, especially if it's those weird mixes between fanservice, sudden drama and comedy. I actually like Bloom into You because it knows exactly what it wants and the characters don't suffer from the tropes most yuri shows annoy me with.
SuperMario
It’s a rubbish I guiltily enjoy watching haha
SuperMario
Atm I’m doing a little anime marathon of watching shows from early 2010s. Currently watching Haganai. Boy that show is crap
Amagi
@Kaiser: It's always better to drop. If you don't enjoy it, drop it. I even dropped shows that were, IMO, objectively good. But doesn't help if I can't feel it. I rather use the time watching a movie I actually care about
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bloom into you has made me want to go on a binge/bender of reading/watching yuri/shoujo-ai series.
Kaiser-Eoghan
When something isn't even allowed to be good or bad.
SuperMario
Do watch Bloom into You though. I think it’s one of the better yuri shows in recent years
Kaiser-Eoghan
Series with ambition and potential that end up not working on any level are definately some of the worst failings. Though personally its the things I can't say anything about that are often worse.
SuperMario
It has some neat ideas when you get into it. I like the story behind the hireman and his daughter. I like the backstory of Donna the assassin. But most of the time it’s the way the show displays these themes. It’s incoherent and it tries too hard and it’s clunky and stupid
Kaiser-Eoghan
I used to finish out shows I didn't like, well up to 2011, but not anymore, don't have the strength nor care to have the ability to, especially if its something popular I don't like.
Amagi
In the end I think it's one of those many many series that wanted too much and couldn't even get one of their plot themes right.
Amagi
Same, dropped it near the end when I was sure nothing great would happen anymore. I usually dislike dropping series unless it's after/during episode one. The crazy thing is that ReRideD has a lot of elements I am a fan of, elements that look good on paper, which is why I had hope.
SuperMario
Yeah, don’t bother watching it unless you’re a junkie like I am. I was watching it and kept hoping that it could become better later on. It never did
Amagi
@SuperMario: Someone here linked a review of ReRideD a few weeks ago, I read it back then and it perfectly summarized why it is so bad. I actually think that long review didn't mention a single positive thing, he.
SuperMario
Actually, its best moment is the one segment where it has nothing to do with the main plot or Derrida the main character. It’s the beginning of episode 10 where it tackles about identity and the dangerous in advanced technology in the lesser-Kon approach. Of course it’s pale comparing to Kon but at least it has moments of genuine spark there
SuperMario
Ahh Redrided, I finished it yesterday, I absolutely don’t see any good points about it. It’s just so bad in every level
SuperMario
@anon: I haven’t seen the one this week (ep12), will watch that tonight. Ep11 was a game-changer though, but I’m not too sure if it can close up neatly
Anonymous3204976
I honestly think DD could've been better off as just a series of stand-alone episodes with some continuity nods instead of trying to create a connected narrative that goes nowhere fast (and is likely going off the rails). These characters are great honestly but they deserve a better story (or stories).
Amagi
@SuperMario: thanks. Kinda sad it's nowhere as good as Tiger and Bunny it seems. But the problem is that spin offs never work because they take away what made the main series special in most cases. Like with TaB not only the Super Heroes but the sponsors and that whole corruption subplot in the media and entertainment morals.
Anonymous3204976
Did you see the latest episode of DD?
SuperMario
@Amagi: while I didn’t really enjoy the 1st season of Golden Kamuy, the second one is a step up for me. It gets much more goofier but it’s so damn sure of itself. Double Decker you can pretty much take it or leave it. Couple solid episodes here and there but as a whole DD doesn’t leave much impact
SuperMario
Also, apprently they have a staff role just for making those boob-bouncing looks real and all
SuperMario
Regarding ImoImo, yeah the staff using pseudonym because they don’t want their names associated with the horrible animation of the show, but I also heard that thwy haven’t been paid properly either
Anonymous3204976
This probably looks like the case of animators who wanted nothing to do with it, but were required to do it anyways or else they don't get their meager pay. Hence, they end up half-assing their efforts just to get it over with. They don't care if they get laid off as long as they get it done.
Anonymous3204976
Like holy crap, that Imouto show actually has animators who seem to be revolting, or at least acknowledge that they're basically going to be laid off after this finishes airing. One guy even chose not to credit his name, and went by a psudonym that said "Honestly, I'm Screwed".
Amagi
I always forget Doubledecker and Golden Kamui II exist despite liking the first episode/season. Maybe I will pick them up next week, I wasted two hours of my life watching the first episodes of Akanesasu, ReRideD and Slime so could risk watching them instead, they can't be as bad or boring as those.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is potential to parody dub it I think.
Amagi
Judging by these ranking numbers it seems like it will sell 500 at max but that would be too good.
Amagi
It's some screenshot of mine from /a/. I guess it will maybe sell 1800? Maybe more due to fans who buy everything as long as it has incest so maybe 2400 or so but not more.
Amagi
Take these with a grain of salt since there are quite some fans who only order during the day of release or buy it in shops but I don't think that will change much: https://media.trillian.im/media/?m=aW1hZ2UvanBlZyw4NzQsNTkzLLFrQMLyxCHA9iR8WB5zaoimBGJ4v0LuhUwFALlizLt+
Amagi
I think it's getting the cheap harem treatment in which the produceres themselves barely care and only shit out some garbage to boost the novel sales. It doesn't seem to do well.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It makes me wonder what the sales for it are like or what it outsells so I can despair at the Japanese fanbase.
Amagi
I only see the horrible QUALITY it has, people post screenshots on /a/ to make fun of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know no oe cares/no-one watches it nor should they, but hell Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto dakedo Imouto ja Nai is a special special kind of absolute failure.
KTravlos
Looking forward to the new Youjo Senki film.
Lenlo
My comments didnt go down, but I am looking forward to this season. Dororo and Mob Psycho are my two big ones, but I think im going to keep up with at least 6
Amagi
It's not just fear that there might be open questions (that usually doesn't happen as long as the series is original) but that you need to SHOW stuff to make it work, not tell. And there is usually not much time to show everything anymore judging by the pacing most anime tend to have.
Amagi
You know I really hate it when directors love to destroy any kind of climax by shoving in some unnecessary episodes near the end of a series and cram all the plot, development and backstories into the last 15 minutes (-5 because series also have an epilogue)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well yes I suppose I can at least watch dororo because its by Tezuka alongside boogiepop. And run with the wind has its second cour.
Amagi
If I am lucky there are five series that interest me next season. Granted, this one was weak too and the only mentionworthy series were Run with the Wind and Gridman for me.
Amagi
Wow another anime PV, thanks Aidan. Seems like this is coming out bi-monthly now, I bet I will be 90 years old in two (subjective) years from now without noticing. AND I totally forgot Date a Lif/ve was even a thing.
Amagi
Well fug, seems like I was right regarding some specific thing.
Lenlo
Post dooooone. Now I can read the preview! Yaaay
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I can vote in the poll without issue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'd like him to do more Spanish language films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Jesus fuck I hated Magical girl ops so damn much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually every shot in Roma manages to standout.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario : Although it was raunch and smut, nonetheless I liked y tu mama tambien more than other people.
SuperMario
And Cuaron said in the interview that the single image that represents the film is the last shot of her walking up the metal staircase
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just like in alien where Ridley Scott didn't tell the cast in THAT scene!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Oh, I certainly liked the warmth and naturalism that was kind of there. Handled the class thing decently well too.
SuperMario
For example, the hospital scene was played out without the lead actor knowledge. She didn't know about that *twist*, she just got swept to the moments beyond her and we sense that as well
SuperMario
@Kaiser:I didn't really connect to the film either, but I guess we're the minority here. I do learn that Cuaron keeps most of the script away from the actors, especially the maid. So in many scenes what the character acts on screen are genuine
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Did you read the doro manga for the preview or the old anime? Watching an anime episode in black and white must have been odd. Also, when I watched boogipop for the first time years ago I was confused by it initially but didn't reject it, trippy atmosphere and stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want my youjo senki and bunny-girl senpai movies and I want them now wah, wah.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: and that later scene with her in the hospital actually did kind of get me even though I knew it was coming. It also never felt un-earnest or manipulative.
Also noticed callbacks to his other films in it sort of.
Thought it was pretty watchable man.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I didn’t really emotionally connect with it and probably because I’ve seen so many of these dramas I can predict the whole thing, but it did maintain my interest and I liked how he captured the flavour of the time (such as the riots/political rally/douchebag male characters/talk about people having their land taken off them)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I decided to watch Roma by Alfonso Curon, on a visual level this is definitely a beautifully rendered film and the photography is especially impressive just before and during the forest fire scene. I watched it in the highest possible quality and it really does benefit this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Damn democracy =<
SuperMario
I hope that's just me but I can't vote on the poll thing
Anonymous3199261
Uchuu Senkan Tiramisu was definitely my favorite short this year. I found it incredibly amusing since it's basically a typical mecha series if the main character and his arch-enemy (and plot twist brother) were both insecure, self-centered narcissists.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Boogiepop is the show I'll end up watching.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Neverland I fell behind on when they got to the part in the village where the monsters hunt people.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See heres my thing with Kaguya, I never thought I'd find it funny and certainly I doubt I like it as much as others do, but even though after 50 or so chapters of laughing at it, like most comedy manga that are long, I never feel pushed to read every chapter.
Amagi
I just learned to accept Zombieland Saga again after the fuckup since episode three since some of the following episodes were pretty good despite the idol stuff and being rather formularic, both the last two killed my hopes yet again and not hoping for too much considering the problem of the latest episode isn't fully solved yet.
Amagi
I dropped Uma Musume after five minutes
Animosh
@Kaiser: Shoko's arc will apparently be covered in the upcoming movie. The remaining episodes will only focus on Kaede.
Anonymous3197172
Unlike Uma though, Zombieland doesn't have Granblue codes in the BDs this time, so it might not reach those same sales heights. Makes you wonder if Uma did well in Japan solely because of the codes.
Anonymous3197172
Granted, like Zombieland Saga, I didn't hate it. But unlike Zombieland where it became what it purported to parody, this was exactly what I was expecting it to be. Safe and really dull.
Anonymous3197172
And to top it off, they included SSR codes for Granblue with the BDs of the series as a form of cross-promotion. That managed to maximize sales for the series. Not even Zombieland Saga was this obviously safe.
Anonymous3197172
Let's see, it's a sports anime complete with the stereotypes you'd expect, a CGDCT show, a moe anthropomorphism series where the horses are girls, and an idol series with most of the trademarks of that genre (yuri undertones, banal songs, creepy fanservice, etc.) and it's a mobile game adaptation to boot.
Anonymous3197172
Of all the shows I watched this year, Uma Musume was probably the safest, most conservative show that I've ever seen this year which took the least risks, and threw in everything they could in the hopes of maximizing blu-ray sales. It's saving grace is P.A. Works' animation, but that's to be expected with even their worst shows.
SuperMario
I haven’t watched the latest one yet but isn’t it a bit too... quick?
SuperMario
What the hell? Only one episode and BF already wiped out 3 bad men?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unrelated, but I wish more ecchi/hentai genuinely tried to mix in emotions and sensuality even into the more fetishist stuff. I like everything to be y'know sad and stuff.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Seeing that bastard get it in banana fish is so satisfying.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still wish this show had 24 episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think there's enough time for Shoko's arc though and this episode was rushed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*in bunny-senpai
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh my God I wanna save the sister bunny-sepai =<
Anonymous3196773
All 3 of BF devil trio are out :) Now we have to deal with Foxx as final boss though? Not sure about that
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I enjoyed what I read of gunsmith cats but I've only read parts of it, not the whole thing, I also saw its prototype riding bean which was schlocky fun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'm honestly not sure. But I'll say this, wasn't there some campaign to get a new gunsmith cats anime out?
Animosh
I wonder where they're going with Yut Lung though. I expected Ash to kill him in a mad fury over what happened to Eiji, but his conversation with Blanca (about finding love instead of being ruled by anger and hatred) suggests that some kind of redemption may lie in store for him.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan How is it compared to Gunsmith Cats?
Animosh
I knew Banana Fish wouldn't go through with Eiji's death. But hey, at least it looks like Golzine is finally dead! Although I really wish someone with more of a history with him had done the deed. Or you know, someone with some actual personality. Foxx is such a lame blend of villain tropes I wish he would die already. If he really ends up as the final boss of the series I'd be pretty disappointed
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Its possibly because its so old. As for myself I've only seen the first series and read a few volumes of the manga, what I followed was largely episodic.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It isn't as heavily marketed, I wasn't aware there were that many. It's this a niche series?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: There are several films live action and animated and three anime series based on it.
Vonter
The new City Hunter movie looks great. It seems to have buddy cop vibe. Were there only OVAs or did this manga ever got a TV series? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRFrmaZa1OY
Animosh
Oh right, that makes sense. Heh.
Lenlo
Ha, you merged his names.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, that is the curse of watching an episode a week, forgetting things like that, can't believe I couldn't remember that.
Animosh
Eh, Kurahara. Where did I even get that name from.
Animosh
@Lenlo: he's a reporter. He's one of the people interviewing Fujioka in episode 7 (or more precisely, he's watching him being interviewed). He also seems to notice Kakeharu then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Or maybe a washed up former runner from years ago?
Lenlo
Im sad Kaze Fui has a 3 week break, but cant wait for January now. As for the guy at the end, I want to say he is probably a reporter of some kind? Kurahara was a good runner in highschool and seemingly quit, yet is now running for a no-name team. Thats a scoop
Kaiser-Eoghan
It was pretty tense actually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't cry during that scene in made in abyss, you know the one where riko freaks out, the arm scene. But it was somewhat stressful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I haven't come across ojisama to neko. Perhaps I'll read a few chapters of it.
Amagi
Hope they will do a first season of it by turning it into a 5 minute anime now. I mean it has an old man who tries to be the best father for his pet and it has a CAT, what else does a series need to be successful in the age of the internet?
Amagi
I didn't know Ojisama to Neko was a hit. The series is so cute that every harmless piece of seriousness makes you feel like crying, it's pretty good but didn't expect it to be popular. Seems like it sells around 350k copies.
Amagi
There are so many movies or anime that kill tons of characters and throw in even more tons of cry scene and I am still unable to feel anything.
Amagi
MIA showed that it is always about how you depict a death scene and not so much about what's actually happening. I usually want to be sad whenever I am supposed to feel sad but it doesn't work. I had to cry during the MiA scene though even though it was "just" about some kind of pet, because that character lost her humanity long ago and suffered, so death was actually a good thing here. But still.
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