What anime are you watching right now? Summer 2014

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Postby Stan » Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:08 pm

Just finished up Free! Eternal Summer today which is the second season of the anime Free!. Despite it being labelled as 'for girls only' (which I disagree with), I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was fun keeping up with it for the past 2 summers while it aired. Myself being invested in swimming as a sport since early age I liked it, it was definitely original for an anime and quite fun at that. Somewhere along the way in the last 1.5 years I guess I became attached to these characters and it saddens me to think that there won't be a 3rd season (it wraps up quite nicely not leaving much room for continuation).

Overall the 2nd Season was equally as good (if not better) than the 1st. The show managed to maintain its silliness and humor while also retaining the competitive aspect nicely. I also like how Haru (the protagonist) got some really nice development in the last 3 episodes leading up to the conclusion. Great series that I'll surely miss seeing next summer :sniffle:

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Postby caragnafog dog » Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:34 pm

I'm inclined to forget all that airport chess nonsense in the middle of zankyou in light of the finale. Excellent use of music (which complements but does not overshadow the direction), and that fucking synesthesia at the end man. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTLSPspiZrc#t=30 They put this song to VERY potent use and I feel TERRIBLE. The entire episode was mesmerizing, hypnotically apocalyptic but simultaneously tranquil. I don't know if I've seen anything like it.

The writing could have been better but I liked this very much and hope Watanabe continues to direct stuff.
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Middle of the road Mecha. B/

Postby Alaska Slim » Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:06 am

M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane

I'm up to the final episode which will be released in the on-coming week.

I still haven't found out what the "M3" is for.

My estimation of the series has been: Not bad, but still mediocre. If you broke down the series to its basic elements you could likely name one or more that did them better.

Idea of the main character having "betrayed" someone they don't remember, the enemy being a great undead blob that threatens to swallow the world, the mecha themselves being based on a mix of radical science, espy powers, and nightmare fuel, the Espy powers phoning in the old well-intended extremist POV: "If only everyone could understand everyone else! ... and what if we could make that happen?"

One of the series troubles is that it doesn't hold its cards closely enough. You're let onto impending plot twists quite early, so you as the viewer are left waiting, agonizing at times, for the characters to finally figure it out so you can see what the whole picture was. And the whole picture, the backstory to why their world is F'ed up, isn't very impressive. It does the job, I'm not claiming an asspull, but it does feel well-worn.


I do like the mecha designs. The faces aren't much to look at, but the third-leg/tails meant for high-speed movement are a nice touch, as is their Samus Aran ability to collapse their shape into a semi-ball.

I also really dig the impact hammer the main bot carries around. If Unreal Tournament ever gets into mecha, this is totally how they should it.


The characters are pretty plain. What good nuggets there are in characterization tend to happen around the edges, like with the girl who sits in the corner prophesying future events in her journal writings, or the not-main-couple who got shafted for not having a main-bot for themselves (and in one of the more puzzling moves of this show, they gave a main bot to journal girl).


Be ye warned, the show is adfrift with RAPE IMAGERY. Though an actual rape I'm pretty sure never occurs. But along with the main antagonist being a girl in a camisole and nothing else, fan service is habitual.


I don't mean to harp on the show, nothing about it has had me sieving with anger. At worst, it's just left me perplexed or impatient. It's not a terrible show, but it's not great either.
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Postby pwhodges » Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:14 am

Its meaning is elusive; but what matters to me is that this film is just a beautiful thing.
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Postby Bagheera » Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:12 am

View Original Postpwhodges wrote:Its meaning is elusive; but what matters to me is that this film is just a beautiful thing.


Which film?
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Postby pwhodges » Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:57 am

Angel's Egg, which this post was all about - only it wasn't the previous post, because I missed the page break.... :facepalm:
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A awesomly awful Mecha show. BP

Postby Alaska Slim » Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:55 am

Aldnoah.Zero

Being just 12 episodes, thought I could dally in it to get my mind off of waiting for the M3 finale.

What to say... the show has flaws, but it's flaws you can't help but marvel at. Like a train wreck that was paradoxically done with incredible finesse. It shouldn't exist, but there it is!

To start with, the main character is a robot. He averages 1 emotion every 6 episodes. There's no way in hell the director didn't notice how unnatural this looks, so I think this was an intentional exaggeration, something you're supposed to be bothered by. I'll admit, I found it endearing in some strange way. Also hilarious.

His Gary stu performance was far less endearing (mecha action aside). But still hilarious.


The other big flaw is the protag's foil character. He pretty much just gapes and emotes all the time. Mind it's not without reason, and it's not for "just one thing" that happened to him years ago that he never got over *cough*Shinn Asuka *cough* so I don't think anyone would call him a bitch. He keeps on having bad shit happening to him, and is consistently rob of clarity on how to take it. He also just doesn't so much do anything as have things happen to him. His action ratio is the same as Protag's emotion (though action #2... oh boy...).

You're also left wondering "why don't these two fight on the same side?" Their goals align well enough, they worked together, but for some reason they decided they were enemies.


And then there's the ending.

...Nope, don't buy it. Sorry, but you have another cour coming, no way in hell did you just pull a...
SPOILER: Show
Tomino.


Maybe if you hadn't announced that just as the credits were rolling would I have gone along with it. As it stands, I know your BS'ing me.

Am I going to watch the next cour? Does red make the Zaku move faster? The Protag's systematic break down of his enemies is what drew me to the show, it's what works, and it's all I need. The laughably awful characterization is just a fun diversion.
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Re: A awesomly awful Mecha show. BP

Postby Agentomega » Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:13 pm

Yesterday while taking a break from Destiny, I finished up Aldnoah Zero and Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun.

I'd say Alaska's review pretty much sums it up, 'specially about the bits where the protagonist (whose name I can't recall offhand) is pretty much Watson personified and that he and his foil (Slaine Troyard, who I'd originally mistaken for being the protagonist and whose name I actually do remember, which is somewhat telling) really could have been on the same side. This is followed up by a series of train-wrecks that could have been prevented if anyone had been remotely sensible.
Last Episode  SPOILER: Show
The one irking me the most is that Slaine left Count Saazbaum alive after the Count told him he'd kill the princess if he had a chance. Moreover, it's not just that he had a chance to kill him and didn't take it. He actively protected the bastard after spontaneously finding out he could pilot a mech (which incidentally I predicted ~three episodes before that). I did, however, really appreciate that they didn't play any music during the credits. That really gave the situation some gravitas even if the princess is probably going to come back to life somehow. I'd be pleasantly/horrifically surprised if they don't go that route.
Don't get me wrong: despite my gripes, I actually somewhat enjoyed the show. It was also extremely aesthetically pleasing, and I liked just how dark it got, starting from episode 1.

Gekkan Shōjo Nozaki-kun (Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun) is basically an extremely meta, really comedic deconstruction of a Shōjo manga. That is to say that the main character, Sakura Chiyo, starts the first episode by trying to confess her love to her crush, the titular Umetaro Nozaki. He turns out to be a popular mangaka, and hilarity ensues. Seriously, this show had me laughing at every episode, and the finale had me legitimately squee-ing.
Final Episode  SPOILER: Show
Even if it was summarily averted in the way I expected, that confession and response was adorable. I'm pretty sure those two are my OTP for now.
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Postby Fireball » Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:49 pm

Terror in Resonance

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Apparently it always needs a nuke for Japan to get their shit together...

This show is a prime example of what Kurosawa emphasized time and again that the screenplay was the absolute foundation of a successful film and that, though a mediocre director can sometimes make a passable film out of a good script, even an excellent director can never make a good film out of a bad script.

Watanabe's direction was there as always as was Kanno's excellent music and the production values weren't bad either, although the character designs were quite uninspired and that didn't help the impression I had from the series, but it was the script that really killed it being way too uneven to hold up to the setting.

I mean, you have this rich subject at hand to explore here - especially in a post 9/11 world where terrorism is an inescapable topic. Yet while it certainly alludes to contemporary acts of terrorism and while its connections to Japanese anxieties regarding nuclear weapons and the loss of WW2 are quite evident, it doesn't go nearly deep enough in exploring those ideas. That doesn't make it automatically bad, having to endure a thriller with characters that remain as flat as a cardboard over 11 episodes and a plot that just feels more like the Pepsi light of 24H however does.

I could go into the details now how much the likes of Five, Lisa and leaps of Airport chess pissed me off but I'll keep it short and say, at the end I was just glad it was over which is never a good sign. This anime will forever remain as the turd in Watanabe's great résumé.


Free!: Eternal Summer

Image
man this is going to be a bitch to clean


Not much to say other than I'm a sucker for sports anime in all kinds of forms and I greatly enjoyed the increased competitive part of the second season. At times it could get unbearable cheesy however overall this was solid entertainment. I will miss my my weekly dose of ottermode but something tells me there is a movie in the making.



Space☆Dandy

Image

God is dead and Dandy killed him for tits


No matter how much Terror in Resonance sucked, there was always Dandy putting a smile on my face. One of the most original and creative series in recent history that will forever be remembered as Mushroom Samba every week. Episodes could range from meh at worst to quite amusing, bizarre or absolutely genius, especially the second season outdid itself mutliple times. The way they actually implemented physics to interlink all the episodes was a brilliant way to end it. Fuck, even the narrator had a point in the story - that's just great sci-fi.

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Re: A awesomly awful Mecha show. BP

Postby cyharding » Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:57 pm

View Original PostAlaska Slim wrote:His Gary stu performance was far less endearing (mecha action aside). But still hilarious.


As far as Inaho's character is concerned, it wasn't as if he didn't have emotions at all (even his sister stated that fact and she claimed that she could tell what his emotional state was at any given time), he was extrememly reserved, which is a bit refreshing compared to a lot of MCs in mecha shows, but I agree it wouldn't have hurt his character portrayal if he emoted more. I also agree that his actions were very Gary Stuish. It would have made for much better drama if any of his plans got thrown out the window either by his own miscalculation or his opponents simply outsmarting him (and I don't mean relying on their superior technology).

As for the ending:
SPOILER: Show
A couple of days ago, I rewatched the last scene in detail (almost like a JFK conspiracy nut looking over the Zapruder film) and I think that the princess is alive, but Inaho is dead. If they do bring him back, I hope their explanation for it isn't bullshit.


Despite its flaws, this is an anime I'm thinking about purchasing. The problem is that it's going to be Aniplex that will release it. I'll wait to see if season 2 will make it worthwhile, but even if it is good, I'm not sure I'll like it enough to pay $200-$500 for it.
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Postby Alaska Slim » Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:53 am

View Original Postcyharding wrote:It would have made for much better drama if any of his plans got thrown out the window either by his own miscalculation or his opponents simply outsmarting him (and I don't mean relying on their superior technology).

Well he did miscalculate there at the end, the "bat" got involved. :lol:

I read one reviewer say that this was his consequentialist thinking coming back to bite him, as he made the situation what it was. "You're my enemy" and all that.

Anyway:

Shirogane No Ishi: Argevollen

In between the gritty mecha action, I was struck by something, looked around the web, and it seems I'm not the only one who noticed: there are no airplanes in this show.

No airplanes, helicopters, dirigibles, or air mobile vehicles of any kind.

In-between solving the cube-square rule problem, harnessing radio waves, and developing mental interfaces (also, IPads), this universe evidently never discovered that air has buoyancy.

I'm surprised we haven't seen more trains, given how reliant they must be on ground travel.
And no, this isn't technically an oversight, or something that might turn up "eventually". I've read that the writers intended this. Because they're lazy I guess and don't want gunships spoiling the robo-fun?
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Postby heavytread » Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:55 am

Aldnoah.Zero is basically the anime equivalent of a Bay film. Iffy story, robots that can change shape, protagonist who's boring, protagonist who has potential but has minimum screen time, and of course lots of explosions. And, also like a Bay film, despite it's flaws it's fun to watch.

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Postby Squigsquasher » Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:40 am

This doesn't really count because his is more "What anime will you be watching" but I have a few things on my list of stuff to watch.

Space Dandy because everyone seems to love it, it looks awesome and holy fuck why am I not watching this show right now?

Sword Art Online because I watched the first 2 episodes, got bored with it, and then heard what a colossal clusterfuck it turned into. I need to witness its sheer badness now. Also I ave a friend who suffered through the first series and watching it will increase the amount of lulz we can have together.

I can tell it's gonna be bad though. I immediately picked up that the writing was incompetent when Kirito, upon being accused of being a cheater in addition to a beta tester (a "beater" as the highly imaginative background character labelled him) instead of calling him out on his bullshit and saying "Are you fucking kidding me? I saved your arses, I'm trying to help!" instead goes "Yep, I'm a "beater" whatever the hell that is! Now if you don't mind I'm going to go be an edgy dickhead somewhere else! Haw, haw!". Also who the hell puts cream on bread...

Ech.


Super Dimensional Fortress Macross because I have a torrent of it and once I'm finished with Sailor Moon I'm gonna watch it (Xard and C.A.P. will be pleased no doubt).

Azumanga Daioh because it's adorable and if I don't watch it soon Catamari is gonna kill me.

So yeah. Wish me luck.
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Postby Alaska Slim » Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:06 pm

View Original Postheavytread wrote:Aldnoah.Zero is basically the anime equivalent of a Bay film.

Mhm, I wouldn't go that far.

The premise never becomes lost or incomprehensible, the characters aren't assholes, the show tries to be clever with its action and largely succeeds, and the coarse, dirty humor Bay is infamous for is pretty minimal here.

I think a better comparison would be Roland Emmerich. While not quite as prolific as he is, the show does try to use the destruction of famous landmarks to invoke pathos. Some of the cleverness, like his, is also just skin deep, and can easily have holes poked in it if thought on for just a bit.

robots that can change shape,

I think only one of the antagonists robot could do that, all the protag bots could do was deploy some hover thrusters and stabilizers on their legs.
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Postby Dr. Nick » Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:29 pm

Kill la Kill Special (episode 25): you know what, it's nice to see an anime that doesn't consider having a proper epilogue as some sort of poison pill. Obviously, I don't expect that every series should devote an entire fan-service laden episode specifically for the purpose as is the case here, but it's outright disturbing how many often very good shows pull the plug just seconds after the main plot has technically been resolved. For the life of me, I can't comprehend why having an epilogue should be such a taboo. It seems fairly self-evident that having an epilogue is a good thing: if you've invested enough of your time to watch a complete anime series, perhaps even emotionally bonding with the characters in the process, you want to get a glimpse of how they're going to continue their lives after their adventure. Even brief scenes will do, if they're effectively utilized. Turn-A Gundam did it fabulously; R.O.D. the TV, a series that often falters under the weight of its crazy creativity, managed to do it admirably. It would have been a good ending even if it hadn't sneaked in a spectacular post-credits twist.

In short, epilogues are awesome and they can make you feel awesome. I just wanted to get that out of the way before I start bitching about my next batch of abrupt brick wall experiences.

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Postby Alaska Slim » Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:14 am

Innocent Venus.

...Dammit. Just... Dammit...

For the first 8 episodes, this show was shaping up to be the best mecha anime I'd seen all this week, or heck, the best mecha *anything* I'd seen since Flag.

The plot was engaging, tight & focused, character motivations were clear & concise, the mecha designs were awesome to watch in action ( incidentally, they're the second time I was making comparisons to Genesect) the protag characters had a dynamic I'd never seen front & center in a mecha show before (two bad ass soldiers protecting a little girl), and the nightmare fuel powering the mechs while important, you weren't beaten over the head with it in the " did you get our pathos yet? " fashion that dominates too many of these shows.


... And then the twist happened.

Now don't get me wrong, the twist itself was fine in my mind, it actually heightened my opinion of the story initially. They had planted the seeds for it as early as episode 2, with several more signs thereafter, and it happened on episode 8, leaving the show with 4 episodes to flesh it out.

The problem, is that it feels like the writers also wrote themselves into a corner, and were forced to pull contrivance after contrivance to get the characters to do what they needed them to keep the plot moving.

It also heightened how absurd the pirate character and his subplot was, he was a little too camp and too rule of cool in an story that started out far more grounded and gritty then he was. In the final episode he finally did get more serious, but it was too late, I think he wrecks the tone the story was going for.

The same applies to Goro, the comedic character, who I think is close to a real life Naruto. He served his purpose initially, but as time dragged on it seemed less and less plausible that he'd be still around or alive.

Finally, Joe, the silent stoic character, had too much of his characterization put on the back end. His character progression isn't so much of an "arc" as a 90 degree angle. This is a problem, as his character becomes the focus in the last two episodes, whereas before it had largely been on Jin, or the pirate, or even the Phantom turncoats. As such, the ending feels pretty hollow.

I still don't mind having watched the show and would seek out other works by this writer & director, but as it stands, Sidonia no Kishi is probably the best of the crop I've picked up on.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:28 am

View Original PostAlaska Slim wrote:Goro, the comedic character
The main reason I dropped this on episode 2, as I recall.

So it turned into a mecha show, rather than being some sort of road movie thing.
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Don't make 'em like that anywhere. B/

Postby Alaska Slim » Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:55 am

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:The main reason I dropped this on episode 2, as I recall.

So it turned into a mecha show, rather than being some sort of road movie thing.

Speaking of which, I was surprised how long that truck of theirs lasted. For being something they just practically picked out of a dump, it's curious how perfectly tailored it was for moving their bots and being shot at.

Heck, the reason they lost it at all was because Goro... and it being episode 8.
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Postby BrikHaus » Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:38 pm

I echo the sentiments many had about Terror in Resonance. It just wasn't all that great. Sure, it had a few moments, and yes, the directing was good, but the story left much to be desired. I found myself dragging myself to finish it, and it was only 11 episodes long. The characters were too flat, the story payoffs came far too late, and it really didn't have anything original to say.
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Postby Nuclear Lunchbox » Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:08 pm

Is it still worth me watching it, or should I wipe it from my list?


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