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

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

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Postby Justacrazyguy » Fri Oct 16, 2020 4:33 pm

The Hakkenden Shin Shou (1993-95)

The sequel to The Hakkenden OVA (1990-91), it continues directly from this one, so it's better to think of these OVAs as a series of 13 ep.
They are the adaptation of an absolutely colossal Japanese book of the 19th century with 106 volumes. That alone should ring some alarm bells.

Good things first, the animation is consistently fantastic, with lots of known animators working on this anime. They must have had a lot of freedom too, because the animation changes style a lot. Ep 11 in particular distinguishes itself by being so radically different from the rest that it even becomes difficult to understand who is who. In general the animation is characterized by realistic and fluid movements, with drawings whose level of detail varies greatly from scene to scene. There is usually only one level of shading. The backgrounds are pleasant to look at, with a couple being quite beautiful.

The music exists, but it is doesn't stand out, the only thing that stuck in my mind was the ED of the first series of OVAs.

Now for the story itself. How do I explain? If I simply described the plot, you wouldn't notice many problems. This anime technically does nothing wrong, but the execution...
Put in the simplest way, at the worst of times, it seemed that I was watching the first and last 10 minutes of a 2-hour movie.
At the best of times, I continued feeling that, but the good animation and composition of the scenes managed to distract me from these problems.
To help it out even more, the cast is gigantic, with characters appearing and dying quickly in almost every episode.
I'll assume that much of this is due to adapting a massive XIX century book, but some moments are so confusing that I am genuinely incredulous as to why someone thought it was a good idea to do them.

As such, even I, a person willing to forgive a lot as long as there is pretty sakuga, found myself desperately counting the minutes in each episode.
It must have taken me more than a month to consume this tiny series because of that. I just couldn't find the motivation to watch it

I really can't recommend this to anyone but the most ardent of sakuga fans or someone that really likes cool samurai fights.

6/10
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Re: What anime are you watching right now? Summer 2016 to now

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Postby Blockio » Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:12 pm

After a movie night spontaneously didn't happen, I decided to watch the second season of Knights of Sidonia instead; much smoother than the first season, and without the starting awkwardness, but kinda weird in its own right. 7/10 fun show
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Re: What anime are you watching right now? Summer 2016 to now

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Postby Shamsiel-kun » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:32 pm

Space Battleship Yamato 2202: Quite nice, but suffers from a single major problem: The plot and its pacing. The series is, in a certain sense, much more Japanese than 2199, as the concept of Yamato (the meaning of the word) is made central to the plot, in a rather ham-fisted way that feels like the writers were trying too hard. While having a integral theme to a series can be good, in 2202 it basically parasites the whole plot, which, unfortunately, at its base, is rather thin and episodic. So while on one hand the message of the series is a good one, the execution of its integration into the series also makes it its greatest weakness. The series starts up very slowly, with the four first episodes seemingly dragging on forever, while other episodes suffer from too much plot crammed into too little time. It all feels disjointed. Whereas 2199 had true tension, that is more or less absent from 2202. Also, while 2199 was science fiction, 2202 veers more into science fantasy territory, with the fantasy aspect of it often feeling more like a way to prop up the plot than anything else. Finally, for some reason the ships looked more CG in this one than in 2199, and many of the space battles were a bit weird (why the f... do they just sit there in formation while the enemy is firing at them? Looks like a tabletop game :cringe: )...

Also, I don't like how Funimation doesn't subtitle the theme songs. I want to know what they are singing, without having to learn Japanese to do so...
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Re: What anime are you watching right now? Summer 2016 to now

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Postby Justacrazyguy » Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:30 pm

View Original PostShamsiel-kun wrote:Space Battleship Yamato 2202: Quite nice, but suffers from a single major problem: The plot and its pacing.


It's a shame almost everyone seems to agree that 2202 is inferior to 2199. I adored the original, and on a recent re watch I liked it even more, so hearing this concerns me a bit. Doesn't help that a lot of staff changed.
I'm still determined to buy the blu ray and watch it that way once I can, I just need the price to be more reasonable.

How does it look when it comes to the 2D animation? Is it still like 2199, with very detailed drawings, but generally little movement?
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Re: What anime are you watching right now? Summer 2016 to now

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Postby Shamsiel-kun » Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:36 am

View Original PostJustacrazyguy wrote:It's a shame almost everyone seems to agree that 2202 is inferior to 2199. I adored the original, and on a recent re watch I liked it even more, so hearing this concerns me a bit. Doesn't help that a lot of staff changed.
I'm still determined to buy the blu ray and watch it that way once I can, I just need the price to be more reasonable.

How does it look when it comes to the 2D animation? Is it still like 2199, with very detailed drawings, but generally little movement?


Yes. With a smidge too much panning across faces at times (contributes to the pacing issues).
It's not a bad series per se, and the plot picks up decently at about the half point. I must say I have not seen the original; it was never broadcasted where I live. So I don't know how much of the bad elements were already present in the original (beyond the basic plot), even though I can kinda guess based on other series I watched in my youth (the firefly-episode, very likely - it's a bit silly). At its heart, I think my main problem with it is that, compared to 2199, it feels so stereotypically shonen at times (i.e. the explicit references to bonding, the shots of every character as they support the main character, the new powers for the ship as the plot demands it).

Heavy spoilers for the ending:
SPOILER: Show
The ending, especially, feels like some deus-ex-machina ass pull. Zworder gets swallowed by the Ark of Destruction, the Yamato goes on a suicide mission with a crew of two, turns golden as it is infused with Teresa, things go on to ending from there, and we never learn what happened to Zworder afterwards. What is this, a Brave series?


Comparatively, the original Macross pulls off the same kind of central message much better, but perhaps I am being unfair to 2202 here, because that ending maybe comes from the original series and Macross is a decade younger than that...

View Original PostUrsusArctos wrote:A far better deconstruction of the magical girl genre, fairy tales and shoujo series in general is Revolutionary Girl Utena, I don't know if you've watched it. If you haven't, it's well worth a look, although it features some of the old 90's filler of reused animation in transformation sequences, and character design that can be a little weird. I always thought of Utena as being the shoujo "sister" to NGE, not the least because of the Ikuhara/Anno relationship and Anno being the Shinji to Ikuhara's Kaworu.


The UK Blu-rays are on my list of things to buy in the coming months.
The singularity is the rapture for nerds, dude. It's not going to happen. - Chuckman


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