What anime are you watching right now? Summer 2016 to now

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pwhodges
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Re: What anime are you watching right now? Summer 2016 to now

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Postby pwhodges » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:56 am

Yesterday I watched through the first two parts of Kizumonogatari, on the day that the third part opened in theatres in Japan. Now comes the frustrating wait for the third part to complete the trilogy. I know the story though, as I have the book.

The films change quite a lot of details and emphasis, to suit the medium, and there are moments when I wonder if it might be hard to follow if you haven't read the book; but I guess that's a thing that one thinks if one has read them - someone coming to it fresh will find their own logic to it. The animation is mostly just gorgeous. Why mostly? Well, it is actually how good it is that makes the odd clumsy bits stand out in contrast, whether it's faces off-model for a moment, or a bit too crude when at a distance (a common anime failing I feel), or silly errors like how in a couple of scenes in the first film Koyomi's CND pendant has the arms at completely the wrong angles (as a former member of CND itself, I was hyper-aware of that!). But overall a straight A, I think - certainly for any fans of the series.


I've also just finished a rewatch of Clannad (including After Story, of course, as they're a single coherent whole, but omitting the fluffy OVAs). So good in the end, and yet curious in a number of ways about how it gets there.

The first two-thirds is largely a school SoL drama, with odd metaphysical aspects (the spirits of Fuko and Katsuki appearing to some people in the outside world) and the strange unexplained "illusionary world" sequences with the dying girl and the robot. There really is nothing to hold these aspects together beyond Nagisa's play mirroring the illusionary world and Tomoya's nagging feeling that he knows the story - and at the time, these relationships are not explained or worked out at all. But the last third is quite different - a real emotional rollercoaster, though still one that arises naturally from the earlier parts. During it the illusionary world sequences increase in number and intensity, and it's clear there is a connection, but still not what it will turn out to be.

A lot of people object to the "reset" and time-travel ending - but that's not what I see it as at all. To my mind (in retrospect, of course - that's the only way to understand this series) at the point of Ushio's birth we enter a dream world. Tomoya's emotions and his unresolved feelings of inadequacy propel his mind into imagining the future up to the point of the final tragedy. But in doing this, he finally connects with his other dream - the illusionary world, in which the girl is Ushio and the robot is Tomoya - and his memories of first meeting Nagisa, and finally comes to understand his family relationships, past and present, and that he is in fact capable of carrying them forward into the future. And so we appear to return to, but actually resume from, the moment of Ushio's birth and are shown his successful and happy family life. This also makes it reasonable that in the final part Tomoya remembers parts of both his dreams - which wouldn't be expected with a reset. Fuko also reappears - but this time it is the real Fuko who has emerged from her long coma.

If you don't like or feel convinced by my version, there's a highly detailed alternative analysis here.

There are also aspects of this show (as there are in just a couple of others) which appear to touch on unresolved issues from my childhood - I think this from my extreme reaction to them; but what they are I cannot say, as several years of therapy failed to reach them. I guess it's far too late in my life for me to worry about them in any case!
"Being human, having your health; that's what's important." (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?" (from: The Eccentric Family )
Avatar: Shinji feels oddly embarrassed sharing a bath with Kaworu (details); Past avatars.
Afterwards... a post-Q Evangelion fanfic (discussion)

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Re: What anime are you watching right now? Summer 2016 to now

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Postby Joy Evangelion » Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:54 pm

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:I haven't watched an anime as it airs since Kill La Kill. Studio Trigger is bringing me back with the Little Witch Academia TV series this week. Thank you Studio Trigger. An anime with female protagonists that (hopefully) doesn't need to be defended as a "a guilty pleasure."


I think if there's any medium with an abundance of strong female protagonists, who don't just exist to long after some dude or to be leered at, it's anime. Recent examples include; PMMM, Psycho Pass, Magical Girl Raising Project, SnK, Sound of the Sky, Yuki Yuna is a Hero and basically every PA Works, work. And I'm only including shows I've watched.

And there are many wonderful series coming out every year(or season, even) other than those made by Trigger. There may be shitty harem shows(one of which was made by Trigger) and repetitive fantasy shows being made as well, but I simply pay them no mind.

Speaking of which, thank god the wait is over and Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu is back. The chances of it living up to the first season are a bit slim, but it should deliver anyway. I've got a feeling things are going to get pretty dark(er) this time around, which is basically right up my alley.

View Original PostShinoyami65 wrote:Just finished Shinsekai Yori. It started slow at first, but after Episode 08 it really picked up and I started marathoning it.

This one was very awesome, and yes, very draining. There were definitely moments when it dragged, but it did end wonderfully. Wish the novel was available in English.
Avi; Yakumo VIII
I used to work in a factory and I was really happy because I could daydream all day -- I.C.
And thanks to EVA, I've started like myself and that has made me very happy. Mr. Anno, please keep working on EVA a lot more.
and thank you so much for everything!!

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Re: What anime are you watching right now? Summer 2016 to now

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Postby Gus Hanson » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:54 pm

Just saw episode 1 of Masamune-kun's Revenge. Got me thinking I am cruel for thinking that it would be nice if Masamune's plan to humiliate Aki actually works even if I know deep down it won't. :tongue:
Gundam Wing is the N-Sync of mecha anime. - NemZ

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Re: What anime are you watching right now? Summer 2016 to now

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:40 am

First episode of Little Witch Academia is glorious. Busy. But glorious! And no usage of THAT tired face once! Trigger is fully embracing the art of animation! Loving it! Does anyone know if it's a short show (12-13 episodes) or a longer one?

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Re: What anime are you watching right now? Summer 2016 to now

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Postby Bagheera » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:44 am

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:First episode of Little Witch Academia is glorious. Busy. But glorious! And no usage of THAT tired face once! Trigger is fully embracing the art of animation! Loving it! Does anyone know if it's a short show (12-13 episodes) or a longer one?


It's like Trigger went full Ghibli, and I'm completely okay with that. Not sure on the length, though I'd be surprised if it extended beyond one cour.
For my post-3I fic, go here.
The law doesn't protect people. People protect the law. -- Akane Tsunemori, Psycho-Pass
People's deaths are to be mourned. The ability to save people should be celebrated. Life itself should be exalted. -- Volken Macmani, Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Re: What anime are you watching right now? Summer 2016 to now

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:03 am

The first episode was just superlative & even if I wasn't already a major fan of the three lead girls the character work in the first episode was sharp, classic & on point. The writing was to the point & the character designs + animation perfectly provides visually insight into who the characters are from the way they dress to the way they walk & stand. No "same face but different hairstyle" nonsense here.

Plus that opening scene.... WOW! It's visually stupendous & economically tells you why Akko cares so much for magic & what her goals are.

I've got high expectations for this show & really hope they don't let themselves get bogged down with a grander Harry Potteresque "Evil Wizard" narrative (clearly the HP books if not THE starting inspiration for the series creative process definitely is definitely something they're generously lifting from) but if they do go down that route, as long as they keep these three characters prominent this show could be an all-timer.

Also it's the rare anime I would happily show my niece & family at the holidays ... as long as the show doesn't start going down fan service alley.

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Re: What anime are you watching right now? Summer 2016 to now

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Postby robersora » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:53 am

^
Gendo'sPapa&Bagheera are on point. What a splendid first Episode of LWA. Such a sense of fun, and the animation is expressive and gorgeous and if I didn't love the girls already, I would now. After this Episode and my trust in Trigger, I'm very hopeful that this show will turn out to be one of 2017s best.


View Original PostRay wrote:magical shopping arcade abenobashi
I laughed, loud and hard. I really like how the first episode is relatvely muted and realistic until the balls to the walls insanity happens.


It's been so long, but I still remember laughing pretty hard watching it, which is something that doesn't happen too often. Normally I just chuckle and move on. Seems like I only rated it a 6, but I've watched it directly after Eva and FLCL, and was kinda disappointed that Gainax didn't grant me another masterpiece I could feast on for years to come.
Kinda sad that the planned OVA never came to fruition.


View Original PostGus Hanson wrote:Rahxephon episode 24
Haruka FINALLY declaring her love to Ayato didn't really need to be 24 episodes in the making, did it?! It's one of those "it's about time" moments that really stick with you with how beautiful the scene is. Speaking of beautiful, the Xephon morphing into it's true form featured some of the most stunning animation I have ever seen in a TV series.


I really like Rahxephon. It's like a clean consumer-friendly version of Evangelion. And the voice actress of Ayato's mom gives me the weirdest boner.

View Original PostJustacrazyguy wrote:Occultic;Nine: Fast paced dialogue, curious directing(I hope you like tilting your head) and massive tits are among the many things that made this anime stand out and garner a not so positive attention. Don't let this fool you though, at its core Occultic is a solid mistery/drama series with a bunch of twists and turns to keep you interested. The music and animation is also quite good and I never skiped past the Op and ED.
All this said, it's a show I honestly have a hard time recommending. Its style is something else and if you don't like it enjoying the rest of the show is probably difficult.
Watch one or two episodes and decide for yourself.



What can I say, the first two Episodes have been a chuunibyou-laden feast of unrealistic otaku tropes. It's kinda dumb too. Edgy teenager me would have devoured it in one sitting, but I still have a place in my heart for a show like this. So yeah, definitely my jam. I could never stand Boogiepop Phantom, as it was just way too ugly and obtuse, so I'm happy I'll get a cleaned up version of this kind of story telling. And it looks amazing. This is my aesthetic, hitting all the right notes. How I wish the Persona adaptions (especially of P3), looked like this.
So yeah, I'll definitely watch it.

View Original PostJustacrazyguy wrote:Lesbian Witch Adventures is a solid, (if somewhat underwhelming, considering its premise,) show with some great action scenes sprinkled throughout. The music and OP/ED are also pretty good most of the time. It does suffer from not terribly complex characters, bland directing, some average animation and a unsatisfying ending.
If you like hints of lesbianism, action and WWII stuff you might enjoy this one.


So good call for me to drop that one.


View Original PostJustacrazyguy wrote:Flip Flappers has made a bit of a splash in the community due to its stellar animation and whimsical, adventurous tone. In essence it's a partially episodic show about visiting imaginary worlds that switches gears halfway through to give a rather bland main story that just cannot live up to what came before.
If you're a sakuga fan, give it a watch, just don't expect the ending to be in any way satisfactory.


I feel like the last Episode remedied the generic rip off of superficial Evangelion plot beats that preceded it, though.

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:Does Papikari stop being nails-on-the-chalkboard irritating?


No, never. But her thematic existence becomes kind of superfluous, as soon as the horribly trite resolution sets in.

View Original PostJustacrazyguy wrote:Jojo Part 4 is the fourth part(redundant much?) of the popular Jojo series. I haven't watched the first 3 parts but this one was great. Fantastic music, solid directing, generally interesting and inventive scenarios(the side stories are almost as good as the main one, which is saying something) and a formidable cast of characters make this one of the best of the year. Give it a watch.


+1! I'm really looking forward to the last third.

View Original PostJustacrazyguy wrote:Hibike Euphonium 2nd Season is pretty similar to the first season, but a bit better.

Sounds great. This one I also want to watch badly.

_____________________________________________________________________






This fall season was extremely busy, so I’ve given up even trying to follow all those shows as they air. I’m not capable of keeping like 12 different plots straight in my head for three months anyways. Still, I’ve already finished and dropped some of the Fall season, but there’s still lots of shows I wanna get around to.

Unfortunately Onara Gorou, the show about talking farts that aired this summer still awaits completion.


Anyways, don’t fear, I’ve taken my fill of backlog-Anime. To ease us in, I’ve ventured into ANIME OBSCURA territory - watching short stuff that I kind of stumbled upon that I’ve never heard of before.
Thanks to this article, I’ve rediscovered this video and watched his other stuff. The guys name’s Wataru Uekusa and most people might know him from the Punch Line ED credits. What I didn’t know was that his first work utilized a song from Soutaiseiriron, my favorite Japanese Indie-Rock band. Talk about a pleasant surprise.
He’s got a cool style going on, but I almost always immediately lose track of what’s supposed to be happening - if you like the music you might have fun with it. Generally 7/10
Twinkle Nora Rock Me
If you need a good laugh of so bad it’s good, good for it - preferably with a similar-minded friend. 2/10
Catman Specials
It looks like shit, but it’s told with lotta ♥ and an amazing soundtrack. Funny thing is, I've watched this series already back when fansubs were still a thing. Completely forgot about it.5/10
6heart princess
I like Takashi Murakami’s style, but the best director, he is not. Cute song, though. 4/10


So, I’ve also finally completed Last Exile, which I started watching a year ago. I breezed through the first half, enjoying the start of an adventurous story. I was enticed by the gorgeous design-work (despite the LOL-Gonzo CG) while enjoying its atmosphere, which is one of a kind. Watching it feels kind of dry, bleak and weirdly iyashikei. Very particular, but very powerful. After a strong first part, though, it sadly kind of fell apart, so I've lost interest and stopped watching. Then a year passed in which I slowly dredged through cumbersome Episodes in the middle part of the show. By the time I've reached the apocalyptic finale I was utterly disengaged with it, because there was no way for me to be invested in the characters after forgetting about the show for so long. I can’t remember how it concluded, despite watching it fairly recently - which is never a good sign. The finale just went all out Anime, meshing the somber tone and a run-of-the-mill world—end plot very clumsily, making it a rather jarring affair. Honestly, it was a pain to sit through for me, because it just lost me along the way. But I really felt an obligation to finish it, because I really loved the first half. I’ll still remember the breathtaking first part and beautiful character designs that carried me through it all.
At least I’ve finally watched the show which OP I marveled at all those years and still listen to regularly.
Should you watch it? Nah. But definitely look at Range Murata’s artwork. He is a master.
4/10


Another show from the backlog I’ve finally watched was
Hyouka.
It didn’t rock my world, but I was very entertained by it. I can’t say a whole lot about it, other than making those High-school premises somehow interesting to me, signals the mark of real craftmanship. It's a pleasant time, with pleasant characters. And visually this is Kyo-Ani at its best.
8/10


And then there’s a big one. The by far longest show, I’ve ever completed. And man, was it easy to do so.
HunterxHunter is over its run time around 400 different things and it succeeds with flying colors at almost all of them. But over all it is about how compassion, friendship and hard work beats the crap out of brute violence.
(except for Greed Island and the 15 Episodes explaining 5 Minutes in slow motion. While I can see how some people enjoyed the slo-mo part in Chimera Ant, Greed Island was a failure in every regard.)
If we go with the vacuous title of children's show for a moment, I have to compare it to my all time favorite, Digimon Tamers. HunterXHunter almost dethroned Tamers from being my all time favorite kids show, but for reasons, that are entirely due to the inherently different goals, approaches and natures of each show, Tamers remains No.1 for me. Let me explain. I really like Togashi's take on Shonen Manga, which to me is the perfect storm of using tropes we all know and love and spicing them up with just enough twists to keep it engaging. And for what HunterXHunter is, it succeeds with flying colors and is the best at it, it could be. But Konaka's off-beat writing for Tamers and sci-fi idea space just appeals to me on a fundamental level, as opposed to HunterXHunter's emphasis on creating an adventurous world. So while the adventurous spirit of the wacky world of HunterXHunter is great fun, I'm just more of a Sci-Fi guy. And while HunterXHunter is certainly not devoid of substance, Tamers is way denser - clocking in at only 50 Episodes, as opposed to Hunter's 148.
So while it just barely didn't manage to dethrone my eternal darling Tamers, I found a lot of intriguing things, while also entertaining me on a moment to moment basis.

Now I want to talk a little bit about the things that it made me think about. First very broadly, and more in-depth in the spoiler tab.

HunterXHunter is like chess. Easy to grasp, but there's so much more beneath the surface. It has profound things to offer, despite its inherent simplicity.
It gently nods to ideas like
- the isolating effect of being the best
- embracing the capitalistic spin of "ganbare" culture that emerged in Japan in the last 50 years and making the best out of it
- the idea that talent alone is worthless unless you're capable of applying yourself
- how the biggest adventure-stories are built on a foundation of engaging and believable interactions of its cast (I'm looking at you, FFXIII)
- how to infuse grimdark edgederp in the right doses to make it both cool for children but also for grown-ups.
- how to be welcoming and easy to watch while providing those ideas to seasoned media consumers.

On of the biggest strengths of the show is its depiction of morality. It glorifies self-sufficiency and self-responsibility while acknowledging it's dangers and relying on others is not only human, but necessary. No one can achieve great things alone.
The series characters operate almost exclusively in a grey area, there's no good and evil. All of them are defined by their goals at a certain moment in time, making it entirely possible that your greatest foe becomes your best friend and vice versa. The genius of it is how organically it all plays out and how interconnected everything is.
SPOILER: Show
Take the Phantom Troupe, which are murdering bastards, but they have been created by exploitation of another force, the mafia. So naturally the Troupe has no qualms to destroy the Mafia in the most gruesome way possible. And I sat there watching feeling conflicted, because both sides were assholes.
Enter Kurapika, who became a part of the Mafia to enact his revenge. Kurapika's revenge already explored the futility of retributive justice from the get go, but his story went beyond that point showing the emptiness his thirst for blood created inside of him. He is extremely determined, but this is not always a strength, as it almost breaks him at the end of his arc. It's kinda sad, we've never really seen a conclusion to his journey.
Then there's the righteous Gon, our happy-go-lucky MC who, if you observe superficially is painfully bland. But as time goes on I observed a uncomfortable self-destroying streak in service of self-sufficiency and self-responsibility. This will become his pitfall, before emerging with the help of all the friends he made. He also has an uncanny innocent resemblance to Hisoka, as both only do what will provide them with the greatest pleasure. Both define pleasure very differently, of course. But at their core they are frighteningly similar. Gon will never go down Hisoka's path, as Gon learns through the friendships he forges, that self-sacrifice also comes with pain for other people. Gon does not want to hurt other people. Hisoka, on the other hand does not have those bonds, as he isolated himself from everyone else. He is excellent not only in, but also through his isolation. He can live his dream of being the ultimate egocentric hedonist. He is a scary reminder of how toxic a dog-eat-dog-society can be. And Gon and Hisoka share a fascinating dynamic. As a character he is great fun, he injects the show with unpredictable life every time he is on screen.
Killua is very edgy brat, but he is infused with enough personality to keep him engaging. I like him a lot. He has the most straight-forward path and by the end of the series I got a great feeling of closure from him. He and Gon share a great friendship, and watching those two adventuring together, was a blast.

Chimera Ant Arc is a weird little thing. Togashi extremely successfully created an alien civilization operating on its own rules and logic. It would have been easy to make them one-note bad guys, but we spent a great amount of time learning to understand them. They are extreme assholes by human logic, but once we understand and learn to accept that they are entirely alien beings, we can somehow rationally follow their thoughts - while still remaining appalling enough to resent and hate them. It's a great bunch of foes. Certainly not as cool or easy to root for like the Phantom Troupe - but that wasn't the intend, so kudos, Togashi. Your 60 Episode detour from the main focus was not wasted.


Also, Nen is so ridiculously complicated, I'm sure it's a commentary of how stupid a rule system of power levels is.


A lot of the stuff I've thought about happens on a very meta level. The show invites me to think about that stuff, but never forces me to. You can watch this show casually and be greatly entertained, but there's more than enough substance to dig in deeper for people who like to do so. This alone is ace on its own right, because if the show started to explore any of those ideas beyond nodding to it, it ought to give off some kind of opinion, even if it happened only through circumstance of framing. This show puts emphasis on embracing the world and its people as it is. Messy and conflicted. With more answers to more questions one could ever think off alone. But that is the magic of humanity, and why we need to come together. Because no human brain can tackle that mess alone.
HunterXHunter is my favorite kind of art. It's a mesh-up of pure entertainment with tons of substance beneath it. That is the mark of a master piece, if you ask me. It's extremely entertaining, and it invites people to think about a barrage of different ideas depending on the context of the viewer. I just can't give it a 10, because Greed Island and the Slow-Motion part in Chimera Ant almost killed me.
9/10

Kizumonogatari 2
The extremely juvenile dialogue and very Anime-esque delivery clashes badly with the over-produced nature of this installment. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it quite a bit, but on a character front this installment was by far the most boring Monogatari thing I’ve seen, except for maybe Tsuki? Then again, the visuals are breathtakingly gorgeous and the fan service is through the roof. I’ll withhold statement until I’ve seen the last part - but this movie series is definitly a very weird experience for me.
8/10

_____________________________________________________________________






Christmas time allowed me to check out more of Fall 2016 shows. Turns out binge-watching is much better for keeping the story straight and evaluate moment-to-moment entertainment.

Izetta was never really my thing, the only part of it that intrigued me, was the fact that it no other Anime has taken place so close to where I live. While Episode 1 was kinda ok, by the time Episode 3 rolled around, I had a hard time watching attentively. And now, no matter where I look reception is lukewarm at best, even from people who were way more into it than I ever was. DROPPED/10


Bungou Stray Dogs Season One was kinda cool, nothing special, but some remnants of Enokido’s beautiful ideosyncraties charged it with enough personality to let me enjoy it enough on a week to week basis. But context is important and things are different. Fall 2016 is fuller of stuff I'm interested in than all of 2005. Also, when you try to marathon stuff, little annoyances become unbearable. And even worse, if it doesn’t hold my attention, I get angry with myself for liking Anime. And I don’t like not-liking myself for liking loveable trash. And Stray Dogs is guilty of both. I’ve watched HunterXHunter doing Shonen much better than Stray Dogs could ever dream of doing, and watching Kizumonogatari dressing cringy, flat teeny melodrama much more beautifully than Stray Dogs could ever afford to, I see no reason to continue this self-serious shlog. I don’t care enough for any of the characters - the quirky humor is all but gone, replaced with a trite, serious tone, it isn’t able to pull off due to flat, run-of-the-mill dialogue writing. DROPPED/10


Keijo!!! is my personal surprise of the year. It made me laugh so many times, due to it’s sheer absurdity, it was entertaining at all times and sometimes it even managed to bring out heartfelt moments of its surprisingly solid cast. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s extremely good at what it does. Definitely by far the best sports show I’ve ever seen. 9/10


Gi(a)rlish Number! is definitely designed to ride on Shirobako’s success. But there’s enough differences to set it apart. While the writing is a tad stronger in Shirobako overall, some things about GN I like more than Shirobako.
I’m really fond of the design sense of GN, everything looks gorgeous, IMHO as opposed to Shirobako, that looked just kinda ok to me. I also like that the design of the cute girls in Girlish Number integrate much more elegantly with their surrounding cast, making them seem a part of the environment, as opposed to the jarring effect that the big gap between Anime girl and RL people created in Shirobako. I really enjoyed the deep seated cynisism, it often made me laugh out loud. I really related to the cast in the show, as I'm also working in the entertainment industry. Of course, Girlish Number is fictionalized and played up, but the overall attitude of people in it strikingly familiar, and sadly much more close to my reality than Shirobako's much more polite cast of ganbares. The dialogue was written extremely well too. It seemed very natural for Anime, which is always a big plus for me. (something Fune wo Amu can only dream of). I had a really great time with the show, and I feel kind of bad for scoring it only 8/10, but I cannot give it, with good conscience, the same score as the stellar Shirobako. Because while GN did some things better and I enjoyed it greatly for it, Shirobako will always be the more memorable experience for me.


Fune wo Amu has all the requisites for your typical Noitamina show.
Realistic setting, relatively common characters devoid of Anime trappings, a subject matter that swings between obscure and boring. All in all I like all the groundwork it does. I like shows which try to be „adult“, they offer a change of pace. Sadly, there’s two failings that make this whole production crumble for me. While the animation is gorgeous, giving all the characters the chance to emote their personalities’ subtle nuances, those characters are sadly rather devoid of anything that’s not about the narrow topic of the show. Generally the show fails to make anything interesting because everything in it exists only for the sake of the narrow focus the show has. Now, I mostly don’t think that’s a problem, when you do something like that when the plot is generally interesting, like in Psycho Pass. But if your plot is so down to earth you need to endear me to this cast, and none of this cast has any flavour whatsoever because they only exist for the narrow focus of the show. So what happens is that the cast talks about dictionaries, and I don't care about dictionaries. But that could be easily remedied if the cast itself was interesting. But they aren't. But this wasn't even the final straw for me. The worst offender is the score. I hate hammy orchestral scores that tell me what to feel with every fiber of my body. I know, it’s supposed to distract me from the painfully flat characters who I don’t care for, but still. But sweeping orchestras while flat characters move beautifully but bore me to tears makes me cringe more than Akame ga Kill.
So what do we have here in short:
-only animation is good
-trite setting with narrow scope makes the characters suffer, because they cannot muster any flavor
-don’t care for setting and people in it, because they are so narrow and exist only for the sake of the plot
-music try to veil the fact with over-dramatic score
-i hate overly dramatic scores
Thankfully this season Shouwa Genraku Rakugo Shinjuu returns, this show knows how to be everything Fune wo Amu failed to be.
DROPPED/10

Flip Flappers
is two shows. And I have many same-phrased sentences why I fell this way.
The first half, which I really liked, and the second half, which I really dislike.
It started off pleasantly goofy, but became sadly ridiculous.
It started off with the whimsical surrealist ♥ of an Ikuhara show, lost it and traded in for the superficial trappings of poor-mans Evangelion.
It started off extremely promising, but somewhere after the halfway point it completely lost its unique approach to fairy tale story telling and decided to become a boring version of Evangelion instead. There were so many possibilities the story could have gone - it kinda baffles me they’ve opted for such a stale conclusion.
If the first half wouldn’t have been so promising, I wouldn’t be so disappointed by its second half. I mean, let’s be honest here… If it had the decency to be generic from the start, I would never have watched this show in the first place.
A jumbled mess, that didn’t quite come together for me.
While Mimi’s two one-sided iterations are shallow for a plot reason, the human conflict failed to blossom, because it suffocated between being under-explained and over-zealous on delivering big dramatic revelations at the same time.

Maybe if the original script writer hadn’t jumped ship (for reasons unknown), she could have handled to hold it together. Since I think this show had everything to be my new favorite, but a jumbled script in the second half and ultimately too little time to flesh out the ideas made it crumble for me. Additionally, this show offers no ideas that Evangelion and Utena haven’t already presented so much better, I see no reason to revisit this show, despite it’s prettiness. And boy is this show pretty.
I love what it could have been, but for me, it's unfortunately just is a 5/10. Up through Episode 7 it would have been an easy 9, after that it's a 3.
In my desperate attempts to make sense of this mess, I read the write-ups of Jacob Chapman on ANN. It didn't really help sadly, but there was an idea that kinda stuck with me, and maybe sums up, what this show is trying to tell.
IF CHILDHOOD IS A TIME WITHOUT CONFLICT THAT CANNOT LAST, ADOLESCENCE IS A TIME WITHOUT CONSEQUENCE THAT CANNOT LAST.
Childhood is illusory, adolescence is terrifying, and adulthood is depressing


_____________________________________________________________________







Whew, that's it for now. There's still lots of titles left, though.
Occultic;Nine which is what would happen if I could direct an Anime,
Eupho 2, which I'm very excited about, because Kyo-Ani knows how to do what they do (Really looking forward to Koe no Katachi),
Drifters, which didn't really grab me in its first two Episodes, and reception doesn't seem to be like its the new Hellsing, but let's see,
Yuri on Ice, which is the big one... Episode one was fantastic, and I know what happens in broad strokes, so as a gay guy, I really oughta see it,
and of course JOJO F****** 4.

Thankfully 2017 seems by far not as packed with stuff I could care about. Little Witch Academia is shaping up to be a modern classic, Rakugo will hopefully not disappoint, Konosuba 2 is hopefully as great as season 1. And then there's the really, really scary Fatherland Loli. I'm sure Xard is having a blast with that show.
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Postby Gus Hanson » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:11 am

Highschool of the Dead OVA: Drifters of the Dead

Though short on length, it packs plenty of fanservice to please even the most perverted of minds. Though I definitely could've done without seeing Hirano wearing a girl's high school swimsuit. Favorite part is Saeko pouring her heart *and her body* out to "Takeshi". :wink: :devil:
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Postby Joseki » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:54 am

View Original PostGus Hanson wrote:Highschool of the Dead OVA: Drifters of the Dead

Though short on length, it packs plenty of fanservice to please even the most perverted of minds. Though I definitely could've done without seeing Hirano wearing a girl's high school swimsuit. Favorite part is Saeko pouring her heart *and her body* out to "Takeshi". :wink: :devil:


I saw the anime a long when it was still airing in Japan, I never understood why the manga stopped, it was fun. :uhh:
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Postby Gus Hanson » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:49 am

View Original PostJoseki wrote:I saw the anime a long when it was still airing in Japan, I never understood why the manga stopped, it was fun. :uhh:

I'm up to episode 3 of the TV series but I felt bored so I decided to skip forward to the OVA. The OVA's lack of zombie fighting and more fanservice seemed to be more energizing for me so go figure.

Gasaraki episode 1

Been a long time since I began to go through this one, it's the one that introduced me to the wonderful voices of Chris Patton and Monica Rial. The mecha definitely have a tinge of what the army would probably make them as in real life which always appealed to me and the ancient Japanese mysticism of the dance is exotic enough to maintain interest.

Fuzzy Lips

A 2 episode hentai OVA that I think looking back should've stuck to being just one episode considering the second episode begins with a scenario that goes nowhere turning out to be just a porn within a porn and the rest of the episode being a sort of prequel to the last episode's events which leaves one with an anti-climactic feeling *no pun intended*.
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Postby Gus Hanson » Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:44 pm

Haganai episode 13

Looking back, what else can be said except the gang has some wild imaginations in writing the round robin story. All I can say with certainty is that Sena has a HUGE fetish with people licking her foot as a sign of "gratitude". :uhh:
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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:29 am

2nd episode of LITTLE WITCH ACADEMIA (2017) is equally glorious! Trigger is having a blast! Fantastic ending credits too.

Plus the series is 25 episodes long apparently. Celebration!

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Postby Bagheera » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:40 pm

View Original PostGendo'sPapa wrote:2nd episode of LITTLE WITCH ACADEMIA (2017) is equally glorious! Trigger is having a blast! Fantastic ending credits too.

Plus the series is 25 episodes long apparently. Celebration!


Yeah, I'm having a lot of fun with it. 2017 got off to a bad start, but this will be a bright spot helping us to carry on as best we can.
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Postby Joy Evangelion » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:08 pm

robersora wrote:Yuri on Ice


This show kinda let me down, to be honest. The OP was awesome and the animation was good all the way through, but I never really cared about any of the characters, and Yuri's routine being the same every competition was a tad tiresome(though I suppose that's how figure skating works). So much crying too, which is one of my pet peeves while viewing anime. Everything it did, Ping Pong did so much better, which is a shame because Yuri was super hyped and Ping Pong will probably never really get it's due. I can see why Yuri would make a lot of people happy though and it wasn't the worst anime ever, but I don't think it's anywhere near being a landmark title. I could see people forgetting it ever existed in a couple years. But that's just my opinion, so whateverr.

My advice to my fellow Evageeks; if you want to watch Yuri on Ice, just watch Ping Pong instead. Or, if you've already watched Ping Pong, watch it again!

Rakugo S2 E2 was fantastic, and did a pretty solid job getting me fully transitioned to the modern era. Sukeroku III is proving himself to be a protagonist worthy of propelling the tragedy forward, though I wouldn't mind more Bon. And that OP animation, man.

Also decided to pick up Blue Exorcist 2.222222, because why not? Nothing else this season really piqued my interest and season one was a fun enough watch. Season 2 has definitely started out alright, and is already featuring a lot of that cat creature, which is cool.
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Postby pwhodges » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:42 pm

Well, I preferred Yuuri on Ice to Ping Pong - so I guess tastes differ.
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Postby Joy Evangelion » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:22 pm

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:Well, I preferred Yuuri on Ice to Ping Pong - so I guess tastes differ.


And yet we can still both have Shinji avatars. The world is a wild place. :tongue: I guess I should also say all evageeks should also take all of my posts and my advice with a grain of salt then.
But yea, it mostly just wasn't to my tastes. I didn't mean to say something like "they've already made an anime like (A) so why bother making an anime like (B), when (A) is obviously superior," so I hope that isn't how I came across. Even had I never watched Ping Pong, I'm sure I still wouldn't have been much into Yuri. Nonetheless, I feel no shame in plugging Ping Pong.
Avi; Yakumo VIII
I used to work in a factory and I was really happy because I could daydream all day -- I.C.
And thanks to EVA, I've started like myself and that has made me very happy. Mr. Anno, please keep working on EVA a lot more.
and thank you so much for everything!!

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Postby Bagheera » Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:15 pm

My issue with Ping Pong is that it's ugly as sin. Even if the story's magnificent it's hard to care when watching it makes me want to claw out my eyes. But that will come down to the individual viewer -- I know some people felt that way about Knights of Sidonia, which didn't bother me at all, so it's hard to tell sometimes.
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I hate myself. But maybe I can learn to love myself. Maybe it's okay for me to be here! That's right! I'm me, nothing more, nothing less! I'm me. I want to be me! I want to be here! And it's okay for me to be here! -- Shinji Ikari, Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yes, I know. You thought it would be something about Asuka. You're such idiots.

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:04 am

Watched my first full anime series in what must be over a year.

FLIP FLAPPERS.
I was on board with this show from the very first minute with it's colorful & superb animation, excellent weird world building & beautiful character work between it's two very distinct protagonists. The first episode with it's excellent verve, Ghibli references & just how badass the two girls were had my very excited for a night of binging. Five episodes in and with "Best Girl" Yayaka taking a more prevalent role I felt this could be a new personal classic. Just wonderful.
Then it tragically fell apart...
The first sign of danger is the 8th episode which pushes all the fun fairy tale aspects of the story aside for several tired references to giant mecha battles. Okay, that's tired but not awful. Alas the female protagonists, who up to this point aside from a tone deaf beat here & there have been treated as fully realized female characters, spend the entire episode in their school swimsuits and suggestively shot at every moment. I liked the lead girls but did not feel the need to get that acquainted with their taints. Maybe it's just me.
The show refocuses itself in the 9th episode with a heavy focus on Yayaka (one of only two characters in the show who has a fully realized character arch) that is genuinely great but after that it becomes a shadow of its former self for the final quarter. Rarely have I experienced such tonal whiplash with a show but man did I hate the final act of Flip Flappers. Characters who had previously been background elements suddenly are thrust in the foreground, the main character is removed from the narrative almost entirely, terrible new characters are introduced who do nothing (a late addition character seemingly serves no purpose except pleasing a small subset of pedophiles who really want to see 4 year olds in thongs holding handguns... this happens) and everything becomes a tired Evangelion knock-off.

It's especially odd because the show for it's first two thirds is so free & liberating. Weird things are thrown at you & they're presented so well that you - or at least I - don't ask questions. You want to "go adventuring". It's like Alice In Wonderland on acid & it's wondefully wild & weird. Then in the last third you're just hit with tired exposition dumps and nothing you're shown is interesting, original or even specifically involves the core characters. The last third brings things to a screeching halt & what was once a free & wild universe becomes just ANOTHER "scientific experiments on kids gone wrong" tale. Also especially problematic is while the artwork is for the most part on point, the character designs lean childish so an adult female with a long tragic history who prominently figures in the final act looks the same age as the teenage protagonists. Bit of a bummer there.

So yeah, Flip Flappers for the first two thirds is almost flawless animated storytelling. The world is fun, the characters electric - if one-note, only Cocona & Yayaka actually have character arcs, everyone else exists on one level and don't change or need to - and the animation is phenomenal! But once you get to the episode that opens with the girls frolicking in the school swimming pool you may as well turn it off. If you love the Yayaka character (like I did) stick around for another episode & a half otherwise just press STOP.

(Loved the End Credits animation though. Happily sat through that for every episode!)

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Postby robersora » Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:17 am

^
This sums up my feelings on it too. The reason for that seems to be rather simple - the head-scriptwritress jumped ship for reasons unknown. The Mech-Episode is the first one not concocted by her. It's a bummer, because this show started off phenomenally.
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Postby robersora » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:14 pm

I've split the Crunchyroll discussion into its own thread, as it doesn't really fit into this thread. Otherwise, happy posting!
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