February 2018 Archives - Star Crossed Anime Blog : Star Crossed Anime Blog
Posted on 28 February 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Extra Last Encore

So we have basically established that the events of Fate/Extra’s game story did in fact happen as Maximilian has a flashback to the point where he lost in Fate/Extra’s game. So it is rather odd that I still can’t make much sense of the plot here. What I can gather is that he was somehow revived as this floors master and effectively decided to throw away his chivalrous attitude and focus on killing a master to advance up the floors. However because he is a previously deceased master he can no longer advance up the floors but Robin and him still kill masters because…then they don’t lose? What is this motivation here? Are you telling me these two killed people for a thousand years only because they were sore losers? Yep, I think it’s time to admit it. The honeymoon period is over and I have started to lose a lot of interest here. So far the main drawing point of this series has been the mysterious nature of it’s plot but there’s a point where it’s too hard to care about something when you end up with more questions than answers. Not to mention the mystery is primarily presented through massive amounts of exposition and the characters just remain uninteresting. The only other drawing factor is the action which once again has a servant be taken out anticlimactically by Nero. The way these servants just go down so fast has started me making a pet theory that they all have pretty much given up over the thousand years and just let nero win, which would be delightfully cathartic if that was the case. Nero has previously staged fights in her life where the fight was rigged so she would win and the idea of her victories in this war being nothing more than servants just letting her win would be so suitable. Ultimately meaning she’s not really that strong a servant and is just getting full of herself.

The annoying factor is that the fights so far have a great setting for a showdown with the Sniper battle with the master and Robin hunting in the woods are great setpieces for an epic battle. These floors make for explosive battlegrounds for these servants to wreak havoc and yet the battles often just feel like they are cut off too soon with no real satisfaction. Topped off with the fact that Nero is the only one in danger here as we have more or less established that Hakuno cannot be killed. His dead face powers are far too vague at the moment as it’s not even clear if he can activate them at will or why he’s keeping them secret from Nero. What these powers can even do is a mystery as he somehow materialized a gun to shoot max and I don’t know if that’s part of his powers or not. It doesn’t matter if Hakuno gets shot by Max, he won’t die so there no real tension. Sure Rani can die but quite honestly who cares about Rani? She was introduced last episode, has the emotional range of a teaspoon and has done nothing but spout exposition. Am I supposed to be sad when she gets shot and dies? But this could be another trend with this shows formula as I recall Rin being on the bottom floor as Shinji flooded the city, meaning she could be dead. But then who is the Rin at the end of this episode you ask? Well I have gotten fully on board with the Rin is Tamamo in disguise theory. Though I think that only applies to the Rin that traveled up the elevator with them and then mysteriously disappeared during the events of this little skirmish.

Regardless despite this info I just find myself rather…apathetic. Tamamo fans might rejoice if she shows up but I don’t particularly care if she shows up or not. Fanservice can only go so far and I need something to get me interested here. The characters are not doing it for me cause our main heroine has nobody to work off besides the soulless husk that is Hakuno and everyone else just feels like exposition devices. The action scenes are lacking so no eye candy to keep me interested either. My point is, I want to care. I want to like this show, I want it to not be as disappointing as the other non Ufotable Fates have been. I remember referring to UBW with disappointment during it’s airing but over time I think it did a better job than Apocrypha and Extra here. As far as I see it, this show needs something to grab my interest again, perhaps a new character to join our duo to make their interactions more fun to watch? Maybe give Hakuno a bloody personality? Perhaps an upgrade to the fight scenes? Or maybe we can stop being all mysterious here and start telling the audience just what in the holy hell is going on, or at least a framework that allows for us to start making theories. What I don’t want is another Nero bath scene, another encounter of the new master and servant antagonists only to be interrupted by some new random serventless master who takes in the two, followed by another barrage of barrels of exposition, with another anticlimactic final confrontation while leads to the elevator and wash, rinse, repeat. As a wise man once said, Variety is the spice of life.

Posted on 27 February 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mahoutsukai no Yome

Hello and welcome another episode of Mahoutsukai. This week it makes the best of a bad narrative decision, introduces more tertiary characters and sprints through story arcs like nothing. Lets jump in!

Starting off, I am a bit disappointed in how quickly the auction/dragon bit was resolved. Its as if Mahoutsukai can’t let any given story or arc last longer then 2 episodes. At this point Mahoutsukai is less of a drama and more a “monster/problem of the week” type show. That might be an unfair criticism, as many drama such as Rakugo, Steins;Gate and Your Lie in April also lack the typical “arc” format. However in those the story always seems to make sense, it… it flows, for lack of a better word. One event always lead into the next. In Mahoutsukai just feels like its moving from one story beat to the next, trying to hit all the notes it can along the way, without considering how those beats link up. Regardless how good those stories are alone, they often don’t fit together well.

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Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Darling in the Franxx

Today on Darling in the Franxx…a beach episode. A beach episode. Really? I mean i suppose even one of my favorite shows, Gurren Lagann, had a beach episode but in that case the story wasn’t taking itself too seriously so it was fine. It even took shots at the concept by having the main fanservice girl go conservative and disappointing the crew. Here though, Darling in the Franxx can’t seem to find a level between being serious and not taking itself seriously. I mean we are in a mostly destroyed world where humanity lives in rolling plantations but there’s a small patch of land with foliage and a beach to have a beach episode. The group has swimsuits despite not having an ocean or a indoor pool at their birdcage. We have the boys getting all excited by swimsuits and asking about kissing, alongside confirmation of humanity abandoning cities to ruin and foreboding dark tidings. I feel conflicted on this show, truly. Based on what I have seen so far I can say it does have merit but alongside that merit is is the ridiculous and similarity.

I had to stop myself rolling my eyes at having the council of Papa Seele declare being surprised about Hiro being her partner(Despite evidence that was the case) and then declaring that Zero Two would bring him to the Grand Crevasse to start human instrumentality or whatever they are calling it in this one. These guys don’t really add anything, they just sit around, reference vague terms and twiddle their thumbs assuming that everything will work out exactly as planned with no effort on their part. Just like Seele. If they are to be here then let them have a presence or at least some meaning on the plots events. So far they are just there to justify the plot contrivance of not getting Hiro in the Franxx sooner.

Another issue potentially rears its head as I fear that this series may be on the verge of developing Kiznaiver syndrome. Wherein the plot is derailed by introducing various love triangles and troubles which proceed to dominate the show with frustrating love antics. In this episode i am already seeing a chart forming with various lines of who likes who. Kokoro appears to be forming feelings for Mitsuru while Futoshi clearly has a bit of a thing with her and Mitsuru seems to be forming some kind of trust between his old partner Ikuno. Zorome and Miku seem mutual though both wouldn’t admit it. Meanwhile Hiro digs Zero Two, Ichigo digs Hiro and Goro has pretty much confirmed that he likes Ichigo though seems unable to recognise his own heartbreak. We got a whole host of feelings and whatnot that could be easily escalated into teenage love troubles as people pine about senpai not noticing them while simutanously lacking the balls to take the indicative to confess. Made all the worse by these kids clear lacking sex education and you got a big boiling pot of teenage angst just ready to overflow. So I am hoping they take a more ambitious route instead of resorting to shipping wars. Like i don’t know? Start killing them off one by one? Ah even that might be a bit on the predictable side.

The most interesting aspect of this episode is the discovery of the town and the kids reaction to it. This could end up being these kids version of the data creature in From the new World, something which throws off their worldview. We do see Kokoro take a book that looks to be about raising babies so I am guessing that would lead to her getting some big questions. Zero Two appears to know the most about the situation and remarks about the city being abandoned. Note her choice of words isn’t evacuated but instead suggesting that humans willfully left the town to rot. Biggest theory I have now is of humans migrating to some sort of data like existence and abandoning physical living together. Hence what the kids protect are actually giant servers containing the virtual population. Thus these mecha pilot kids may be the only real true humans on the planet. These spects interest me about Darling in the Franxx and despite misgiving this could still go in a interesting direction provided the writer takes the opportunity. Though it’s still going to be hard to put forth a serious plotline when we got mecha controlled by female asses.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Junji Ito Collection

Well I don’t know what kind of production trouble hit Deen, but this was the worse animation of this show to date. Honestly this was near the level of just having powerpoint animation as still frames were abundant and any scenes with animation were made far away enough to excuse lacking detail. There is a scene with clowns running on stage and I swear their running animation is literally three frames. So yeah this series has hit a new low despite the stories being relatively interesting. Our first story details a woman with amnesia who has her former fiance attempting to get her to accept his proposal and remember him. However the woman is clearly rattled by the mans strange sickly father and her nightmares involving giant centipedes. The final twist is stranger than her imagination as the man brings her with him to his father’s death bed only to see him getting devoured by some strange centipede creature. Turns out that seeing this creature is what caused her to be traumatised enough to lose her memory and to make matters even more strange the strange caterpillar creature is actually the collective brains of all the man’s ancestors. So it is family tradition that your brains eaten and joined with all the other brains in the centipede creature. Making for some kind of immortality as all the brains ingested appear to still has sentience. Makes for a decent scary story but it does have its share of holes, such as why is it that the man somehow thought she would change her mind on marrying him if she saw the caterpillar creature again. This one also has a non-ending as the woman just gives up on running away and is presumably…forced into the family? Hard to justify why the entire family is on board with the whole centipede eating your brain thing. I mean you can claim insanity but even the insane have some logic.

The second story was on the weird side as the circus has come to town and men from all over come to see the beautiful tightrope walking girl who captivates all that see her. However the show gets progressively more disturbing as the performers each die horribly during their acts.The level of nocalanence the ringmaster presents to each of their bodies getting dragged off stage makes this seem like a common occurrence. Ultimately it’s revealed that the top performer in the circus gets to marry the beautiful tightrope performer and each performer is gearing to win her affection. Though it’s a scam as the ringmaster appears to have some supernatural ability to sabotage performances so they have gruesome results. At the end of it all the ringmaster states that all the performers are dead and asks for volunteers from the audience with the prize of winning the tightrope girl as their bride. I was originally thinking there might be a bait and switch when the tightrope girl started claiming the ringmaster was a demon collecting souls for I thought it was rather on the nose to declare the supernatural entity. If anything I originally pegged the girl as the demon for she’s the one attracted the men to the tent in the first place by walking around town before the show. However it does appear to be that simple and I really question the logic the male characters show here.

I mean it could be there is some sort of spell keeping them blinded with love and stopping them seeing the trick to it all but I don’t think that’s quite the case. I mean the girl straight up tells the trapeze artist, whom she seems to have genuine love for, that if he tries to perform that he will die and the ringmaster has sabotaged the act somehow. But he’s like “No, I will perform perfectly, have no fear my love!”, thus the trapeze breaks and he falls and dies. Almost comical the timing of it. The final clown at the end with his oh so brilliant plan to announce running away from the circus, by shouting it up to the girl while the ringmaster was quite literally right beside him was just…really I am not sure we can blame magic on that level of stupidity. So we are well past the halfway point of this show and we can be pretty sure this is what we are going to get for the remainder. It appears that Junji Ito’s works just are not suited to the animated medium, or at least they won’t be getting a fruitful effort any time in the future. We have an anime for those not particular interested in reading manga but honestly the manga is just the better option as you get these stories with better artwork and more details that the anime cuts out. But I will say that Ito’s work very much is a matter of interesting ideas not quite fleshed out into full stories even in manga form.

Posted on 26 February 2018 with categories: 2011 Anime Retrospective, Chihayafuru, Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou

If you want a comparison to psgels’ reviews:

Chihayafuru

Heaven’s Memo Pad

Chihayafuru (Madhouse)

Chihayafuru is a sports show that done right. Moreover, it combines many good aspects of both josei and sports, making it thrilling to follow, while provide enough growth and conflicts for the main characters to achieve. Let’s me first point out how niche this sport Karuta is (and all the more reason to applause the show for bringing this niche sport to mainstream audience). Karuta is the sport that embrace the old to the modern Japan, it has a mixture between sport and poetry, it can be play competitively by people of all genders (can you think of other modern sports that allow this?), and lastly, unlike shogi players where they are full-time professional, all karuta players – even the Master and the Queen – aren’t. Most of them have office job or currently in college/ high-school. The latter, in particular, is one of the reason that make Chihayafuru interesting. For you see, people come to this sport purely by their passion. Chihayafuru’s core theme is the exploration of discovering and following your own passion. Each character has their own reason to play karuta, but they share the same love for the sport and it’s inspirational to see the team keeps trying their hardest and keeps improving themselves for the thing they love.

Chihayafuru also benefits from the fact that it understands sports, in general. I have some sports background so trust me when I say this: unless you’re incredibly talented, losing is always your best mate. You tend to lose way more than you win. And losing freaking hurts. EVERYTIME. In addition, your number one opponent is always yourself. Through the course of this season, Chihaya loses lots of times, some of them she was expected to win but failed due to her own lack of confidence. The show understands that losing is a natural part of the game, and never shy away from that. Secondly, I’m really digging how Chihayafuru underlines the fact that each player has their own karuta game; as in you can see their own personality reflected through the styles they play. Chihaya is quick-tempered; she’s born with fast style and quick reflex. Taichi relies more on his memory, while Desktomu uses statistic and analysis and Kana through her knowledge of the one hundred poems (if I were to approach karuta I’d be like Kana, as the “competitive” part is my least concern). These styles fit the personality of each player and as a whole, it’s a firm reminder that there is multifaceted approach to the game and more than once Chihaya learns how to improve her game by observing the good quality of other players.

It helps that the josei part of the show, the undertone relationship of the three mains, remains as a backbone and never overwhelm the whole show. At least for now the romance is kept at the right balance, while allow our characters growing, both in the game skills and in their maturity. I still don’t buy much about the affection of Chihaya towards Arata but I can live with that. If I have one main complain, however, it is that because the sports drama is so well done, when Chihayafuru tries to create its own conflict, it usually falls flat. At the top of my head I could name 2 instances like that (the bully act when they were primary schoolers – actually this show has a very insensitive depiction of bullying; the little drama of Desktomu trying to quit in the middle of the tournament). Other mild complain I would have is how the show can be damn overbearing at times with so much tears. I’m starting to wonder whether it caused by the source materials or by Madhouse volume up the emotional response.

All in all, Chihayafuru is a clear winner. The pacing and the production are top notch, the matches are exciting and thrilling and the characters are relatable with both their quirks, their chemistry and their deep. This is one of those rare show that has universal appeal, given I can pretty much recommend Chihayafuru to any other viewers, anime fan or not, without much hesitation. Can’t wait to watch its second season.

Rating: 83/100

Heaven’s Memo Pad (J.C.Staff)

Well, I’m thoroughly bored.

And I already put aside many of its obvious issues (like NEET detective agency – yeah it doesn’t make sense to me. Or after finishing the show I still don’t get the title at all. I know KamiMemo explained it somewhere but I failed to grasp it).

But let’s be positive. I will address many of the show’s strengths first before touch upon its problematic parts. The production values of this show are surprisingly above par for a low-tier title. The art settings remain its best assets. Each of the setting has a personality of their own and I certainly remember the ramen store, Alice’s room and even the garden rooftop fondly. I also like the way each case takes up usually about 2 or 3 episodes, which for me is a right length to introduce, develop and resolve each case (Un-Go suffered from this). The actual cases are a bit mixed though, as I only enjoyed the first and the last cases. Each arc revolves around a character in Narumi and Alice’s circle, so it’s a good opportunity to flesh out the said characters too.

Or so I thought.

Here’s the biggest issue with KamiMemo: All the characters feel pretty empty. You often see how I complain about characters betraying their own personality, right? Now, this is the exact opposite problem. All the characters of KamiMemo have significant traits that made them stand out at first glance, but they keep that same lines of thought for an entire season and thus they become a bunch of cardboards who say “cheese”. It feels to me that I was reading some typical Visual Novel about stereotyped stock characters. Take Doki Doki Literature Club, using those empty lines with a purpose. In this show they serve no purpose other than making the characters look cool. And cool dish gets cold really fast without any substantial support. As a result, it’s hard to care for any of the character, and it’s a big bummer because those cases based around those said characters. The main duo Alice and Narumi, likewise, still feel very plain and her tsundere act is not something that I need to see again. Alice sounds pretentious all the time and Narumi always shines when the plot calls for it; which again are just plain weak and terrible.

The actual cases themselves, are nothing worth bragging about. It’s neither realistic, nor well-made enough. Many contrived details in the service of moving the plot forward, many big words that trying too hard to impress and Alice has overpowered ability so that when she’s on board, everything is pretty much solved without much sweat. I figure the reason I like the first case is because the cast still feels fresh and I believe the last case redeems the show a fair bit (look, KamiMemo, at least Ayaka has some deeper level). KamiMemo still works as a mild mystery detective case, and the presentation is competent enough to keep viewers engaged, but the serious lack of well-developed characters makes it hard to invest to the show on deeper level.

Rating: 71/100

And done. Tell me your own thoughts on Chihayafuru and Heaven’s Memo Pad if you have seen either of these. Next post, to celebrate one of the most anticipated sequel of next season (no, not Legend of the Galactic Heroes), we will head back to the future for Steins;Gate and its diary in the future Mirai Nikki. Should be a fun ride, Doc. Till then.

Posted on 24 February 2018 with categories: After the Rain, Currently Watching:

Dang it, this episode. Before you know it, a typhoon comes right in sweeping everything away. At first few minutes no one would never have guessed Ameagari evolve in such a complex way, even though we still know next to nothing about that Chihiro person. How should I take on the action of Kondou hugging his underaged employer while they’re alone in his house? I don’t know and none of the main duo seems to know either. But first, let’s tackle the episode’s earlier conflict. When Kondou is increasingly bothered by the book by that Chihiro person, Tachibana keeps blurting out about how wonderful a person Kondou is. Kondou knows he is everything but, so he straight up cuts their conversation short with “you don’t know anything about me”. He doesn’t mean any ill, but there’s a lot of truth behind that statement. The truth remains that they live in a different lifestyle that it feels like they live in two different worlds: Tachibana with her high-school life and lives in the centre of Yokohama, and Kondou lives alone in the crappy apartment trying to make ends meet and raise a kid. Even such a simple topic like a chatroom apps for staffs would remind her how difference a gap between her and the middle-aged Koudou is.

Moreover, Tachibana for the first time feels some resistance from her manager, and it pains her that she might become a nuisance to her crush. That thought totally wrecks the poor Tachibana (and I always think Tachibana isn’t the kind who let her personal feel affects her work) to the point she comes into his apartment, in the freaking typhoon, to… what exactly does she come into his house for? The depressed girl announces that she wants to know more about him, echoing her lines in last few episodes. But Kondou has his own reasons for feeling irritated with all the praises Tachibana says about him. For him, Tachibana holds the idealized version of him that he knows he never going to be. The version that everything about him, although flawed, is kira kira in her eyes. But maybe it’s her who sees through him, it’s her who see many great characteristics from the wear-down, failed and awkward middle-aged man. He doesn’t feel that Tachibana is a nuisance. Quite the opposite that it’s her youthfulness reminds him of many feeling he thought he had forgotten, in which he’s grateful.

Seeing the crying Tachibana, in the moment of brief black out (which unassumingly creates a perfect mood), he hugs her – the first physical contact between them, all the while thinking to himself that he “will close my umbrella and get wet in your rain” – whatever that means. Is it then, the fleeting feeling of love from Kondou? It’s hard to pinpoint, and I’d argue that it’s best not to delve into it too much. The hug, even as a friend or more than that, is still just a hug (we just know one thing for sure that’s is how Kondou transferred his cold to poor Tachibana). Everything in that moment is perfect, from the music, to the lighting and the atmosphere. Definitely one of Ameagari’s best moments to date. We also have quite a treat to see Tachibana again fantasying about that moment hugging Kondou… naked. Gosh, those developments could easily become distasteful and too much in other series, so why on earth Ameagari delivers them so heartfelt and graceful here? As our commenters point out last week, the manga will end soon so there is a high chance Ameagari will finish as the manga approaches its last few chapters. Completed story is always a plus for me and judging how Ameagari performs so far (in other words, flawlessly), I have my high hope that we will have a satisfying ending waiting ahead.

Posted on with categories: Currently Watching:, Violet Evergarden

It’s a full-blown soap opera in this week’s Violet Evergarden, in more ways than one. On one side of the coin, we have a playwriting and a process of bringing a children story to life, the story that tied very well to his feeling towards his deceased daughter. On the other side of the coin, this week marks a clear improvement for Violet’s emotional growth and put a catalyst into her personal arc. It’s the goddamn time that Violet need to learn about the death of Gilbert, but then why make him only disappearing huh? Learning and accepting the death of her love and moving on will be Violet’s own personal growth from this point on. One thing we did learn from Hodgins is that it’s Gilbert who pushed her away before the bomb exploded and saved her life. Violet Evergarden often deals with loss, and more specifically, the loss relationship between parent and their child. For once I believe that theme is appropriate within the settings of Violet Evergarden, the post-war era where there is a clear gap between young and older generation; the settings where the consequences of war still somewhat linger around, like in the form of the robotic Auto Memory with mechanical hands.

This episode is an adaptation from the very first chapter of the light novel, but if you catch on KyoAni’s pattern by now, yeah, they alter a lot from the original story. The playwright, for example, is completely original and it’s one of my favorite part of this episode. Maybe it’s just me who like children’s story but I like what we heard about their story so far: a girl who fight monsters, befriend with all kind of friendly spirits and she must get home because her Dad is waiting at home. Well, what makes this story resonates lies in how well it connects to Oscar’s own story. He’s not alright to begin with, he’s now in a pitiful state, drunken and messy. The play is obviously inspired and modelled after his lost daughter, and he determines to write a story to finish her one-day wish that he’s always longing for. In one of the show’s most beautiful moment, Violets cross the lake by jumping and hopping from fallen leaves on the lake. Oscar’s story is compelling in its own right, but this climax further elevates the drama and strengthen the emotions in the best possible way.

Violet is surprisingly active and expressive throughout this untitled episode. Not only she cares for the play she transcript (She actively asks how the story will go. The old Violet wouldn’t even care to bother), she expresses empathy towards the main character of the play. Empathy plays another big role in Violet Evergarden, as the whole premise is about learning other people’s feeling through the power of writing. It also struck me how the plays from Oscar personally parallel Violet. The play at the beginning ends with “I must live with my sin now for the rest of my life”, and Violet experiences exactly that. She has grown to realize the bad seed from her time at war, killing off countless people, ending countless “one day” dreams. She comes to feel the pain of her own action, and plus to the fact that now she realizes Gilbert is as good as death, it further pushes her into some sort of despair. That isn’t bad by any means, given at least she has a strong feeling towards something. This episode is a clear step up from last week and for me easily the strongest episode to date, coupled by strong visual presentation and a neat story, even it still feels heavy-handed at times.

Posted on with categories: A Place Further than the Universe, Currently Watching:

Aah seasickness. It sure brings back some memory. I remember once I got so sick on the boat that I still had that hangover feeling several days afterward where every food into my mouth tasted like cat food. But enough about me and let’s talk about this week’s Universe, where our girls experience the toughness of Mother nature for the first time, even before setting foot into Antarctica. This episode of Universe tackles two main ideas: the huge gap in physical and mental preparation between our girls and the rest of the crew; and those hardness the girls experiencing right now is relatively nothing compare to the South Pole. But what makes it tick is how Universe does it light-heartedly, all the while still serious enough to let the drama sinks in. The girls’ interaction remains a pleasure to watch, as those little silly moments still strengthen each of the girls’ personality. I’m still pretty much on board with this trip.

In the first half, we follow the girls adjusting to the life on board. Filming, doing a kitchen hand, following the crew’s daily routine (and it’s a harsh daily routine to boost, with all the timing and heavy workload). The girls find themselves out of their depth with all the running, weighting lift and only barely makes it there. And they were merely the preparation for the Antarctica trip to come. And things turn out even worse when the seasickness begins to kick in. Speaking of which, seasickness is a clear symbol to show how inexperience our girls are and serve as a great contrast between them first-timers to the rest of the team. Throwing up, unable to sleep, unable to eat, throwing up again. Les miserablés. And that’s not to mention the situation will eventually get harsher. The strong wind current and waves also cause the boat rocking, 50, 60 degree (That’s why we all need a hammock chair to prepare for these kind of situations). And all that was still relatively a child’s play compare to the extreme weather in Antarctica.

The girls have it worse, but they’re even more frustrated to see other crew members seemingly don’t affect by these conditions at all. As Yuzuki puts it, they have “different kind of organism”. Yeah, the idea of high school girls going to the South Pole is kinda fantasy-filled and unrealistic to begin with, but Madhouse team understands it and makes that premise utterly believable and relatable. It’s never easy for mere high-school girls to participate such a life-changing event without learning the hardness of all this. The girls feel themselves hard to keep up with everything, let alone contributing to the expedition team. But as Mari says it firmly in the end. It’s not that they don’t have a choice, it’s more like they always have a choice but they chose to go through all this. It’s just a change in the way you look at it. I’m quite surprised myself that Universe takes a sweet time in between (after their Japan’s stage, before the South Pole destination) but it’s a journey story and I enjoyed the journey thoroughly so far. Now the icebergs are in sight. Welcome to Antarctica, the place of true South where the sun rises and sets only once a year; and no official time-zone occurs given all lines of longitude emerge there. In a way, that makes the place timeless, doesn’t it?

Posted on 21 February 2018 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kokkoku

Hello and welcome to another bi-weekly checkup of Kokkoku. This time we have one episode of action and mystery, while the other is the first dud of the season for Kokkoku. Apologies in advance, this is going to be a shorter one as there simply isn’t much to talk about. Lets jump in!

To start off, Kokkoku has been flagging recently. The cliffhangers for instance all fall short, as immediately upon starting the next episode they are resolved. Its like Kokkoku is afraid to leave the fate of its characters in question. Atleast in regards to the main cast. Then since this cliffhanger is over, Kokkoku chooses to throw more trouble Tsubasa’s way as he gives in to Stasis and slowly becomes a Handler. Really, if he was going to get pushed out or needed to be in danger, why not just continue it with the knife fight? I recognize that mystery of the Handlers and how Sagawa is planning to use them is central, but I don’t see the point of Tsubasa’s conflict anymore. The only interesting thing that can still happen to him would be for another spirit to choose him.

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Posted on 20 February 2018 with categories: 2011 Anime Retrospective, Hourou Musuko, Tiger & Bunny

It bares repeating for those of you who don’t know:

– For rating, I will use psgels’ 100 score system, but keep in mind that my barometer might be different than his. For instance, I consider 60/100 (not 50) as a line between mediocre and passable shows. 75/100 to 89/100 are recommended shows and from 90/100 upward are the masterpieces. In some rare occasions, I will include plus (+) and minus (-) but remember that they don’t have anything to do with the quality of the shows. (+) is awarded for shows that address the gender role thoughtfully, including shows that have strong feminine message. (-) is casted for shows with insensitive treatment to gender roles.

– There will be mild spoilers, as I will address the main theme of each show.

Wandering Son (AIC)

Boy, I know I’d come to enjoy this series given its thoughtful subject matter, but I’d never expect the show gets under my skin the way it did. Wandering Son turns out to be even better than what I expected. Yes, they nail it on the struggles transgender youth must face during their puberty, but at heart this is a coming of age story about coming to term with their own identity. Crossdressing is a way for the kids to express who they truly are, the self that they feel most comfortable with. One thing that struck me the most is how simple the show seems to be, but it’s anything but. From the soft watercolor background, to the simple and plain character designs (those are in the service of the show, as the main leads have their asexual appearances), to the way the story focuses on slice-of-life drama, to the equally soothing soundtrack. Everything seems light-weight at first glance, but inside it, there are many complex relationships and even more complex narrative. The transgender aspect never becomes to preachy or heavy-handed, for once, and the show makes itself clear that it never judges any of these characters. It’s just simply a normal growing up tale from a boy and his friends, nothing more, nothing less.

I also appreciate the anime for the fact that it left out entirely the first section of the manga, so many drama and characters have already been introduced before we get to know them. Fear not, since everything we need to know about the characters and their dynamic are showed and hinted subtlety over the course of its run. For me, the best parts of the show aren’t the subject matter it deals with, but the rich cast and their complex dynamic together. Take the latter for example, many characters form a very special relationship to each other (many has complained the characters behave too mature for their age, which I digress. We need more of these). And it’s these special bonds that made every single one of them interesting. Take Chiba’s love for Shuu: doesn’t matter how he changes, he will always be the special person to her. The same can be said for Yuki and Takatsuki. It often feels like they reach to a mutual understanding that other people can’t never comprehend. And I suppose sharing the same deep bonds as these makes up the reason why they can always rely on each other, even overcome their own issues to reach out for each other.

Shuu and Takatsuki made up two strong protagonists for this show, both because they’re trans who bothered by their own biological bodies, but also their special bond as well. Noted that while Wandering Son deals heavily in transgender issues, all the romantic relationships in the anime are heterosexual – most notably, Shuu and Anna’s love. Why? Because, of course Shuu loves her. Not in a physical attraction sense since I guess Shuu would never desired to kiss her, but in the intimacy sense where he loves her and cares for her like a sibling love. Is it make their relationship weird? Maybe. But it’s powerful nonetheless. Although I already enjoy the first half of the anime well enough, where they focus on the kids and their gender-bender Romeo and Juliet play, the second half is when Wandering Son hits me real hard. Insecurity plays another major role to these kids, as they are constricted by social norms, by the code of rules that dictates how boy and girls should wear and behave. Takatsuki comes a long way until she decides to cross-dress as a boy to school, but Shuu has it much harder by trying the same thing. The escalated tension when Shuu gradually believes that he should dress up in girl’s uniform because he feels comfortable doing so is one of the moment so powerful that it won’t leave my head anytime soon. It’s one hell of a statement right there and it’s more compelling than any LGBT campaign because it comes from very personal lenses.

As a side note, despite people often complain the show for the lack of proper closure, for me it ends in the best possible way. In that final moment, Shuu literally takes a step forward to the stage. That single image can signify many things: that he’s taking anew step towards the spotlight with his new body; that he finally let the dark and bullied past behind; that he moves on to the next puberty stage of his life. Shuu and his friends continue to live on beyond the scope of this little story.

Rating: 92+/100

Tiger & Bunny (Sunrise)

It’s amusing to note that these two shows received the same rating 87.5 here in by psgels, my opinions on these two couldn’t be more varied. Let’s start from its best components first, Tiger & Bunny is the show that has novel concept, a commercial Superhero reality TV show in the neo-modern city that looks like a glamourous version of Gotham. It’s a pretty cool idea and moreover, the concept of commercial superheroes and their ability “NEXT” have potential to develop into heaps of interesting scenarios. It helps that the show makes these superheroes and their moves as flashy and over the top as possible. Another plus for the shameless corporate sponsorship’ logos that pop up in the team uniforms. Flashiness and cool factor have never been this appropriate. The art design is awesome, especially the city itself that feels lush, noisy but gritty at the same time. The production values, for the most part, fulfil their roles quite remarkably. The fights are dynamic, and those action sequences are always damn fun to follow to say the least. The CG department, however, is wacky and looks out of place whenever the two leads are in the combat suits. Take Tiger & Bunny as a purely action show, it certainly satisfies your cravings.

But Tiger and Bunny is more than a mindless action show. It consistently develops into overarching arcs with more serious tone, and that, my friend, is where the show becomes hit and miss. On positive notes, these arcs make Tiger and Bunny more ambitious than your normal Superhero show and the main leads do grow a bit in their character development. The titular Tiger and Bunny, in particular, share some solid chemistry together. The show, on the other hand, has the Western Superhero and Hollywood as their inspiration and it unfortunately inherits the stupidity of Hollywood’s script as well. There is little to no grey area, the heroes are mostly your hero of justice and the villains get more and more evil as the story progresses. I don’t mind about some casual plot holes or some character inconsistencies because… you know, ACTION show, but the last arc, in instance, is so ridiculous and laughable bad that I have to mark the show down several notes. In this last arc, the whole superhero team suddenly becomes puppets with no personality, or even worse, betray their own personality. Kotetsu is being hunted by the police and being broadcasted live, and suddenly, all these developments are set aside for some more plot twists that go nowhere, fighting with Barnaby for no good logical reason and some other bullshits about androids. And I can never get why the main antagonist thinks it’s such a great idea to brainwash dozen of superpowered and influential people, instead of just eliminating Kotetsu in silence.

Character-wise, I regret to say that although spending 25 episodes with them, at the end of the day I don’t know, or care much about them. Both Bunny and Tiger are your stereotyped JUSTICED superheroes, with Barnaby’s backstory is the one we all heard before (Batman, anyone?). Other heroes each have their own episode that flesh them out a bit, but still ain’t enough to make them stand out at all. Villains are over the top in a no-good way and Lunatic (an anti-hero of sort) has never developed into his full potential. Overall, Tiger & Bunny is an adequate take on the same old Superhero genre that make some good use of the old ideas, especially in their brilliant main concept. The mixture of buddy actions, hero of the week, drama make this show consistently entertaining to follow, despite more often than not they follow the same old formula that been around since the creation of Western Comic.

Rating: 78/100

Welp, turns out I finished these two faster than I originally planned. Have you watched either Wandering Son or Tiger & Bunny? What is your take on those shows? Next time, we will meet a girl who plays karuta and a girl who is a NEET detective. Yep, I will review Chihayafuru and Heaven’s Memo Pad. See you in 2 weeks or so (this time is for real). Until then.

CHANGE USERNAME
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.
Anonymous3189472
I guess we'll have to wait three weeks for the second cour to find out.
Anonymous3189472
I really wonder who that guy at the end was though. He seems to have some beef with Kakeru judging by that look.
Anonymous3189472
Man, seems like the next episode of Kaze ga won't air until January 8. I was really getting invested in their continued training, even through rough weather this episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Although definitely different and admire it for that, the stage like aesthetic of dogville didn't work for me. He did do comedies though such as boss of it all, the idiots and some of Kingdom .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I always thought he could have fleshed out the first half of melancholia more, but it really gets going in the second when she really starts re-lapsing, I loved that part.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You gave dancer in the dark 4 stars though.
SuperMario
My favorites are Breaking the Waves (although I do need to rewatch it), and Melancholia (mostly because there's a hint of hope at the end). Dancer in the Dark is so stupid I freaking hate it. Dogville, AntiChrist are depressing and Shia Labeouf and the ending kill Nympho for me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: can't wait to see the House that Jack Built, although no release date here yet. Lars Von Trier is like depressing drugs. His stuffs are goddamn depressing
SuperMario
@Kaiser: she was like "omg MARIO, you're serious crying while watching a TV show?" well, she invaded my privacy and still had the guts to say that huh?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Matt Dillon is great in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Also, I saw the new Von Trier film, the horror one House that Jack built, its an acid black farce comedy that never takes away from the darker elements of it or the violence, even if it isn't as violent as people are saying. I loved it, even if it went off on tangents sometimes. My favourites by him are this, boss of it all, dancer in the dark and especially antichrist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*their
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: What was there reaction out of curiousity?
SuperMario
*Catch me right at the act
Kaiser-Eoghan
And visually it is immersive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Made in abyss does depend currently on what its second season will deliver and it does start out in a way that you kind of need to make it passed the first few episodes to really get into it. But it flows better than the manga and THAT scene in the middle and Nanachi's backstory elevate the series to a higher level.
Kaiser-Eoghan
BabyMario as in like super Mario world 2 =O
Kaiser-Eoghan
=O BabyMario
SuperMario
True (shameful) story: when I watched the finale of Made in Abyss, my housemate opened the door to ask me sth and she saw me sobbing like a baby
Lenlo
Made in Abyss was really damn good
Sash
I just recently watched Made in Abyss.... and i cried real hard. I was worried that this story was going down the loli route at first... but how this show frightened me... and how it pulled at my heartstrings at the end.
Amagi
Also being immortal would meant that I finally had enough time to finish all the games and series I am interested in.
Amagi
@Kaiser: the hate against immortality is overrated, I would totally be okay with observing history for centuries.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, it’s supposed to be the final one that closes the whole franchise
Kaiser-Eoghan
Theres going to be another euphonium movie next year.
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Featured Posts

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara – 11 [The Waning Moon]

And suddenly, after weeks of hovering around, Irozuku has some sort of urgency this week. You see, Hitomi’s spell starts to wear off and she only has 2 days left to say goodbye to this world. NOW the cast has some motivation to actually do necessary stuffs before time running out. That means Kohaku has […]

SSSS.GRIDMAN – 11 [Decisive Battle]

I have a sense that GRIDMAN regresses considerably since its magnificent episode 9. Well, major events are still happening. Last week, Anti transformed into GridKinight and this week, it’s revealed that Yuuta is indeed Gridman, hence the reason the boy doesn’t remember anything before waking up is simply because he has no memory to speak […]

Banana Fish – 23 [For Whom the Bell Tolls]

Welcome one and all penultimate episode of Banana Fish! This week we lose 2 antagonists, Blanca gets a history and Ash asks for help for the first time. Lets go! Opening, I have to say, a lot happened this week and Banana Fish just nailed it. No part of it felt particularly rushed or cut. […]

Planetes – 17 & 18 [His Reasons/Debris Sections Last Day]

Hello and welcome to another week of Throwback Thursday, with Planetes! This time Planetes drops it’s greater themes for some character drama, but brings it back with one big hurrah for our team. Lets jump in! In general, I wasn’t particularly impressed by this week. Every week I am waiting for something definitive to happen. […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 11 [Overflowing Drops]

Hello and welcome to the last week of Kaze Fui for 2018! This time Shindo gets dumped, the team rallies behind him and Kurahara catches an older mans eye. Lets jump in! First off, lets get the elephant out of the room. That’s right folks, no Kaze Fui until January 8th. Looks like they are […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 – 11 [The Dignity of Evil]

This week we see something that rarely happens: Gui Niao is in a fault mood. As it turns out, this little war between Enigmatic Gale and Dirty Cop is more about the Vape Wiz’s ego rather than the Glassed Boy. The usually collected-Gui Niao shows off a whole range of emotions this episode: from being […]

Banana Fish – 22 [As I Lay Dying]

Welcome to what is, to me, a very contentious episode of Banana Fish. This time Blanca gets sentimental, Ash learns Japanese, and Eiji sets Ash on a Warpath through no fault of his own. Let’s dive in! Overall, this was a good episode. It flipped everything on its head and, assuming Banana Fish doesn’t backpedal […]

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara – 10 [Monochromatic Crayon]

Irozuku, as meandering as it always is, has some stunning sequences this episode. It furthers proves the fact that 1) the magical sequence is where Irozuku really takes off and 2) its strength always come from its visual department, not in the storytelling. Take the sequence where Aoi steps into Hitomi’s dream, for example. He […]

SSSS.GRIDMAN – 10 [Collapse]

After a crucial episode last week where GRIDMAN reached its highest bar to date, it’s understandable that everything that follows it would be a letdown. Nothing in this new episode can beat the moment Akane jumped off the crane last week in terms of sketching her depression. This episode is where the entire cast goes […]

Latest Reviews

Castlevania Season 2 Review – 72/100

According to much of the Western Anime community, this series wouldn’t be relevant for a site like this. Being made in the West by Americans, and English being its first language, many would disqualify it from the start. However I name them all fools for Castlevania, Directed by Sam Deats and Ryoichi Uchikoshi is clearly […]

Asobi Asobase (Summer 2018) Review – 83/100

In a year where comedy shows gain an unexpected strong showing, somehow a show about 3 cute girls and their pass-timer club emerges as one of the best comedy around. Yep, forget Hinamatsuri, forget Grand Blue, forget Chio-chan, Asobi Asobase delivers some hilarious absurdist laugh-out-loud moments for the ages. It helps that we were in […]

Planet With Anime Review – 90/100

Planet With is an anime that likely leaves many unimpressed when they look at the cover and makes for a solid proof that you cannot judge a book by it’s cover or even by it’s first episode. Many have overlooked this show in it’s season but for those that did give it chance it went […]

My Hero Academia: Two Heroes (Dubbed) Review – 84/100

Ah, the movie tie in. A right of passage for all aspiring Shounen series. Some, like One Piece have weathered it and come out Golden, while others are better forgotten (Looking at you Bleach). My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, in my opinion, is closer to former. Animated by BONES , Directed by Kenji Nagasaki and […]

A quick and dirty review of Angolmois: Record of the Mongol Invasion

What it claims to be about: Angolmois (a reference to a Nostradamus prophesy which is rather irrelevant for the show, as he lived several centuries after the events) focuses on the first Mongol Invasion of Japan in 1274. Specifically it focuses on the early phase of the invasion when the Mongols attack Tsushima, which essentially […]

Steins;Gate 0 Anime Review – 60/100

Before I begin this review in earnest, I have to ask, who doesn’t know about Steins;Gate? The amazing, beloved original series that Steins;Gate 0 is an offshoot of. Well if you don’t, if you haven’t seen the original, then stop now. Steins;Gate 0 is not worth it. It is not for you. Without having seen […]

Mirai (2018) Movie Review – 81/100

Watching Mirai, there are two observations that spring right up to my mind: Mirai is Hosoda’s most grounded, personal film and it plays out completely different from what I expected based from the promotional materials. My feeling is confirmed when I later learned that Hosoda based the concept from watching his own children’s react, and […]

Fate/Extra Last Encore Anime Review – 40/100

To many the Fate series is daunting with its numerous incarnations and spinoffs and here in the year of many a Fate adaption we get another one by Studio Shaft which was first thought to adapt the story of the PSP game Fate/Extra. Fate/Extra could basically be considered Fate with a sci-fi twist as this […]

Darling in the Franxx Anime Review – 57/100

In following anime seasons it can be quite an experience to follow a show as it airs as the hype and rollercoaster of reactions can be entertainment in its own right. In that regard Darling in the Franxx was a hell of a ride as week by week peoples feelings for it ran hot and […]