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 No.18[View All]

I started rewatching Mushishi lately, because I haven't seen the OVA or any of the extra seasons, only the first one many many years ago. It's as great as I remember it and I can't wait to get to the stuff I haven't seen.

What have you all been watching lately?
96 posts and 59 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


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Anyone seen the new Made in Abyss movie yet? I really enjoyed it. It adapted the manga quite well in my opinion and some of the moments were really impressive to see animated. I think my only complaint is that a couple parts of the Bondrewd fight felt a lot more dramatic in the manga. I certainly had an idealistic version of the way it would look in my head from reading it. Something to do with the sense of scale seeming lesser, and also the animated version of course lacked all the little info tips about his artifacts, which added a lot to the coolness factor for me. Overall though it was still really awesome. And yes the papas rod part was animated.


How do you feel about Masaaki Yuasa's works? Stuff like Tatami Galaxy, Cat Soup, Kemonozume, etc


Tatami Galaxy is actually one of the last things in my bucket, seen 2 eps a while back and really enjoyed it so I've been kinda saving it for the right occasion. Cat Soup was great. Think I've checked most of his other stuff and either wasn't in the right mode to appreciate it then or just wasn't my thing, should have a look over for things to recheck, thanks for reminding me!


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>the way I actually understand his character is that Tanya is basically a straw nihilist, someone who imagines himself an Ubermensch but just isn't because, among other things, he really is just following what other people have done in the past and achieving success by following what other, more intelligent people have done

Not exactly my interpretation. Tanya is, or tries to be, a staunch believer in human organizational structures and sees them as well kept, tried and true path to success. Tanya only ever derides people who act out of emotion than rational thought. S/he denies god's existence because it goes against everything s/he has come to believe. S/he goes to the military because it's the most suitable path thanks to high magic abilities and spends most of the time climbing through the ranks to try and get him/herself an easy do-nothing job away from the frontline. However, as the story progresses, s/he becomes a major player in the war effort, which itself turns into a struggle against being X. If s/he thought her/himself better than everyone, s/he wouldn't have followed the orders s/he was given in the final episodes. You could say s/he has killed his/her own individuality for the sake of the organization.

>There's also the plot point, which I think at this point has to be deliberate, that Tanya is utterly incapable of recognizing when his surroundings have changed and that what he learned on Earth does not apply.

But there's demonstrative evidence that it does apply. S/he came up with a whole war plan based on how WW1 turned out which even led to the conquest of not!Paris a decade or two before scheduled.

>He makes the weak case that God is not worthy of worship and is in fact "being X", but this runs contrary to the profit-oriented mindset we see in him everywhere else

He doesn't refuse to worship as s/he is downright forced to at one point. What s/he refuses to do is acknowledge Being X as god and it makes sense considering his "faith" lies somewhere else. Plus, seeing as there won't be another reincarnation after living as Tanya, there really is no profit to be had in worshiping Being X. It's just a fight between egos at that point and, ironically, Tanya is being "tested" for a different kind of faith.


Is there any more to it than "WW1 but with magic"?


I like that Tanya's unit is essentially the first spec ops team in history. Are there any examples you can name of bad strategy? Most of it seemed pretty sound to me.


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>human organizational structures…emotion rather than rational thought
The issue here is that Tanya him/herself is commentary on an emotional rather than logical response when your worldview is challenged. He relies on human organization structures from postwar Japan to operate in what is essentially Imperial Germany, and seems utterly incapable of assimilating new information into the organizational structure. Someone as rigid as Tanya, seemingly totally oblivious to how other people feel and incapable of absorbing the fundamental values of their new homeland despite years living as a helpless infant, shouldn't even have made it to middle management in a company.

>it does apply

I don't actually mean the war, which is just the author rattling off how smart he is for reading a basic history of WWI. With that being said, I'm struggling to think of a time when she actually used her experience in history to advantage in a way that wasn't stealing someone else's thunder. The man is 90% just reciting rote off actual geniuses; it's as if a Shakespeare student went back in time to Elizabethan England and wrote down King Lear by memory.

>downright forced to

That's brainwashing and clearly not of her own will. Realistically speaking it makes absolutely no sense to acknowledge being X as a god, because something that is supremely more powerful than you in every way and can decide your fate at the drop of a hat IS a god; his 'faith' in human social structures operates essentially the same way - it's so big and so vast that you will be crushed if you fight against it and rewarded if you follow its strictures. The rational (not emotional!) thing to do is to follow its strictures, because the rewards are potentially many, while refusing to follow being X leads directly to problems for Tanya such as Lt. Mary Sue existing.

>bad strategy

For one the launching of cannon is stupendously stupid, not least because operational headquarters during the first world war were no longer really concentrated near the frontlines without failsafes due to radio being a thing. Historically you had your operational headquarters concentrated because of difficulty of communication, but even by the Crimean War we see a dispersal of command begin. Decapitation strikes are always in the minds of commanders since it's the one way you can turn around a battle no matter the circumstance, and so people have tried to take precautions against just that whenever possible - the strongest bodyguards, a mobile command unit, and dispersed structures. More to the point, it's less that Tanya's strategies are bad and more that they rely heavily on the enemy being foolish, or else are lifted directly from history in a way that's the more specific equivalent of an isekai smartass introducing crop rotation.



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Shiiiet, where did you see it? Wasn't it's release in NA delayed due to Covid? I watched the series pretty recently and liked it way more than I expected. I'm looking forward to seeing the film.


Been watching Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and I've been having a blast with it. I'm honestly surprised that Kamina is dead.
Though I'm getting a bit anxious because I want to get into Attack on Titan after finishing it, since the last season is getting released this year. Don't know exactly when though.


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ahhh Riko's too cute, I love her
Anyways, it came out in Japan it seems https://nyaa.si/view/1283585


Attack on Titan always struck me as normie anime. That's a super biased opinion 'cause the one guy I know who's into it is a cringy gymbro who thinks he's into anime because he likes My Hero Academia and Death Note, but I've never watched it so I can't really say.



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You're welcome!
Have you read the manga or are you going into the movie blind?


I got the manga in Japanese but I’m not good enough yet to read it in any sort of timely manner. I feel like resorting to scanlations would be giving up, so I’m kinda stuck. I’ll probably go into the movie blind. I hadn’t read the manga when I watched the series either.


>Attack on Titan always struck me as normie anime
20 episodes in you're kinda right, I feel dead watching this. It kinda involves all the tropes of anime that put me off in the first place
>cheap animation
>uninteresting characters
>events take too much to happen
>colours are flat and everything looks the same
I just hope it gets interesting enough later down the road. Also the second ED is shit. This is really ruining my hopes in anime after TTGL, maybe that set the bar a bit high?


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I finally got around to watching it. Overall I thought it was decent, although it didn't have the impact of the first season on me. For reference I haven't read the manga. I'm about to rant, so don't read if you really liked it and don't want to hear my criticism.

The whole time I kept thinking that passing Bonodorudo was only going to be a part of the movie, so the pacing felt way off to me, although that's my own fault. My main gripe is that it doesn't feel like the main three characters grew or changed at all. The first season brought the characters together and developed them and their relationships; there's a ton of character development. You learn intricate backstories for Riko and Nanachi, and watch Riko and Reg grow closer and closer over the course of the series. I didn't learn anything new or have my perception of the characters changed at all by the end of movie.

The part where Reg goes to short out the base's power felt like it was going for something big, then simply dropped it. Riko sets up the idea that Reg might lose all his memories (like when they shocked him awake at the beginning of the series), and indeed when he gets electrocuted he goes "Mob 100%", and the whole time I'm thinking "holey shit, they actually did it, Reg lost his memories, how are they going to get them back?" I thought it was like a character death or something, but no, he just goes back to normal for more or less no reason. He isn't really any better at fighting in his "possessed form" either. When Mob explodes in Mob Psycho it's one of the most hype things I've ever seen, but I lost count of how many Bondorudo fights there were and this one didn't stand out. I ended up just wondering "what was the point?"

Basically the whole movie felt like a container (hah, get it?) for Prushka's Mitty 2.0 arc. It was definitely gross; tragic; horrifying; and affecting, but honestly it made the same mistakes as Mitty's arc in that it introduces a character, gives her 10 minutes of backstory, and then she suffers a existentially horrifying death. I just didn't have time to get emotionally attached to this character who hasn't really done anything except love her dad and guide Riko up some stairs.

Bondorudo is like a worse Thanos. He's willing to sacrifice everything in the pursuit of the greater good (in this case understanding the Abyss), but unlike Thanos he's so needlessly brutal that it's hard to say he's morally ambiguous. I do like Bondorudo, but I don't think he deserved nearly as much time as he got. I want to see what's at the bottom of the Abyss and how it affects Riko and Reg, so the whole movie felt like a filler side-story to me.

It was all worth it for pic related


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Nice nice, lots to talk about! I'm glad you at least found it decent.
> I'm about to rant, so don't read if you really liked it and don't want to hear my criticism.
Discussion is always good, critical or not!

> I didn't learn anything new or have my perception of the characters changed at all by the end of movie.
That's a fair criticism I think. It's definitely more of a long boss battle and lore dump than a story/character arc, especially if you don't care for Bondrewds "character". It's funny that you say you only expected Bondrewd to show up in passing, because believe it or not this actually felt compressed compared to the Idofront arc in the manga. I do wish they included the in depth explanations for his soul split machine and other relics but I get that they probably would have messed with the pacing even more

> He isn't really any better at fighting in his "possessed form" either

He is, though. It's more of a permanent power up than a super form though. He says something to the effect of "It felt like a bunch of people were inside me, and one took control" after the effects of the supercharge wears off, then while fighting he says "Someone made me remember how to be this agile". That's why he's able to do his crazy arm cable whirlwind after regaining his sanity, but he couldn't fight Bondrewd on that level beforehand. I think the implication is that rather than erase his memories or make him stronger, it just short circuited his ability to reason and unlocked some old skills/memories/personalities which let him fight better. So I guess while it isn't as "hype" as it could be as far as powerlevels go, it's certainly a significant thing in terms of lore implications (and it recharged his laser beam which is important as well)

> I just didn't have time to get emotionally attached to this character who hasn't really done anything except love her dad and guide Riko up some stairs.

That's totally fair. I cry every time at Prushka, but she wasn't given a lot of time to develop in the manga, and she's given even less in the movie. (also I get emotional/attached to characters pretty easily personally) I could argue that it was more meant to hammer in how twisted Bondrewd is than to have you care for her, but that's kind of two sides of the same coin. For me the creativity and interesting lore around all the suffering makes it totally worth watching and showing, even though you can certainly argue that Tsukushi lays it on a little thick sometimes

> it made the same mistakes as Mitty's arc in that it introduces a character, gives her 10 minutes of backstory, and then she suffers a existentially horrifying death.

I kinda disagree here though, because Mitty's character is more about Nanachi than Mitty. I think it's actually one of the best moments of character growth in the series when Reg puzzles out that Nanachi's plan is to kill herself after she solves the Mitty problem. She was so devoid of reasons to live and full of guilt after escaping Bondrewd that the only thing forcing her to go on was the hope of ending Mitty's suffering. So when Reg makes her promise not to die after he kills Mitty, it forces her to go and search for new meaning with the group.

>Bondorudo is like a worse Thanos. He's willing to sacrifice everything in the pursuit of the greater good (in this case understanding the Abyss), but unlike Thanos he's so needlessly brutal that it's hard to say he's morally ambiguous.

I really don't think Bondrewd is supposed to be morally ambiguous so much as just obsessed with the concept of "progress" to the point of being completely unhinged and unfeeling. He's not even selfish, he has zero compassion for anyone and anything including himself, and the things he does to others and himself are supposed to be morally repugnant because he simply has no morals. He even has total apathy towards being defeated simply because the groups conception of "progress" was stronger than his. It's entirely possible I'm forgetting a line about him doing all this to "cure the curse", but even so I have trouble believing he really cares about that.

As far as being needlessly brutal, well, I'd argue that's more the fault of Tsukushi and the setting being edgy as heck than it is Bondrewd as a character. They mention that Idofront was already there when Bondrewd arrived, and that it was a "ritual site", so I don't think it's a far cry to speculate that the operations involving forcing people to take on the curse/blessing were already underway by whoever built the place, probably as a means to produce white whistles so that you can proceed further down. Bondrewd is doing anything "needlessly" brutal, the things he does are brutal out of necessity for maximum "progress", he's not doing them out of sadism.**


Okay clearly I'm too dumb to spoiler things
Just don't read that wall of text if you haven't seen the movie pls


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>Glasses Nanachi

Thanks for the nice reply! I probably would have been a lot more defensive if someone criticized something I liked to that degree.

>I do wish they included the in depth explanations for his soul split machine and other relics
So that's what was going on. I thought maybe it was something more abstract like Bondrewd is an idea rather than person, and every time he dies another like-minded black whistle puts on the mask and becomes "Bondrewd."

Thanks for explaining Reg's "power up" scene. I didn't realize the twirling arm thing was something he couldn't do before. Maybe it was clearer in the manga, but I didn't feel like the movie did a very good job showing me the cause and effect there. That could also be my fault for not being attentive enough.

>and it recharged his laser beam which is important as well
That was another thing I seriously misinterpreted. Nanachi tells Reg the symbols on his helmet display "the number of uses left before a relic becomes unusable. No exceptions" very much implying that Reg (being a relic) will become unusable (die) once he runs out of uses. I imagined this was setting up some major drama down the road in which Riko has to decide between dying or allowing Reg to sacrifice himself to save her or something like that, but it turns out he can just be recharged with electricity?! This relic that's "powerful enough to rewrite the rules of the Abyss" in Nanachi's own words can just be recharged like a battery? What's the point of telling us he has limited power if he can just be recharged whenever Akihito feels like writing in a generator or a thunderstorm? It feels like a random Naurto power that you have to keep track of on a spreadsheet, but it doesn't hold any narrative weight anymore. (Sorry, I wasn't going to rant anymore, lol)

>I cry every time at Prushka
I mean, so did I. I should say I really loved the Mitty arc, so I enjoyed seeing more of what Akihito Tsukushi seems to do best.

>I kinda disagree here though, because Mitty's character is more about Nanachi than Mitty. Man, you got me there. I agree 100%.

I think your interpretation of Bondrewd's character is a good one! Makes more sense than mine did.

Thanks for the discussion! I need to get some of this out since I just watched it the other night.


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You guys talking about made in abyss movie, watched it recently and was a whole other experience because i watched while high and thinking mostly the movie concepts and themes. Guess its not a good idea since all the gorey stuff, but i could take it. Really loved the movie and motivated me to read the manga.


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Recently rewatched it – Dennou Coil is one of my favorite pieces of media, period. Aside from the other sushi roll that mentioned it in their list earlier up the thread, I've only met one other person that knows of it, and they were the one that introduced me to it in the first place.

The themes feel similar to Serial Experiments Lain, which is admittedly another one of my favorite shows, but while Lain leans significantly into the terror and isolation that arrives with the internet primarily, Dennou Coil takes a significantly more optimistic approach that treats those ideas with the same seriousness, but in a different way that makes it feel distinctly real. I could probably parse it out if I had more time, but suffice it to say that if you grew up with the internet as a kid, you will likely relate in some way to Dennou Coil personally.

The first time I watched it, I felt it may have had some pacing issues, but the second time through I didn't feel that way at all. Either way, I think it's a really amazing show. It was marketed for kids and there are a few childish scenarios and jokes, but it's never patronizing and the anime takes itself seriously.


Dennou Coil is awesome, good taste sushi rollymous. It's been many years since I watched it and you made me want to see it again. I recall having a few moments where I thought to myself "can't they just take off the glasses", but aside from that I thought it was fantastic.
I really don't remember much about it though now that I think on it, so I do think a rewatch is in order


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Is the loli hanging and the shota stuff in made in abyss supposed to be disturbing or sexy?


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Dennou Coil was optimistic in a way I doubt is really possible nowadays with the proliferation of an actual augmented (and distorted) reality in the form of smartphone-assisted social networks.
>I've only met one other person that knows of it
It's just kind of old. Not a lot of stuff from back then still gets discussed much. Might just be me but it feels like we used to talk about anime from the 90s a lot more in the 00s than we talk about anime from the 00s now.


I've been watching more of black clover via stream because I'm poor as well as cheap and it's been one hell of a ride. There's this sense that everything has a purpose and everything has been building up to the current arc. Even things that seemed like filler at first. I'm tempted to check the manga to see how much of the anime is actually filler since everything has been neatly tied together with the "main" story.

It's been hard to stop myself from binge watching more than I already have, starting around the tournament arc's climax, or the first time the mage emperor fights (both moments blessed with some great fight choreography). However good the arc I'm at feels, though, there's a feeling of finality to it. Like where can they go from here? It's dealing with a theme whose resolution was the ending of a very popular long-running shounen. I've mentioned it before but, once again, it sort of feels like the author is rushing through yet another arc out of fear of getting axed before he gets to finish his story. This time the pacing doesn't look like it has a couple of awkward moments, though. The action is happening at a quickly but well structured. It's good unfiltered shounen. I'm drawn to the ideal of hard work paying off and black clover gets that across wonderfully. I'll be sad when the eventual reveal that the protagonists were children of destiny all along rears its ugly head, but I'll keep enjoying the ride.

Charmy still mega cute and the cuter she is the more mysterious she grows. She has some awesome overpowered abilities that she doesn't seem to be using at their full potential. I keep expecting her to show up and kick the shit out of everyone at the critical moment but she's always either involved in group efforts or conveniently absent. I might be reading too much into things but it makes me think the author has big things in store for her. Charmy as Julius' successor as mage emperor confirmed?!


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What episode you at, Sushi?


Leet post for leet girl!

About to watch episode 113. I've been pretty much non-stop watching since the tournament started but like I said, around episode 84 when Yuno fights the aqua deer captain I started getting really hooked and by the episode Licht kills the mage emperor which I think is episode 92 or 93 I've been watching it non-stop.

Speaking of which, the OPs have been pretty damn awesome but the ED themes are misses more times than they are hits with me. I love it when OPs change visuals along with the story progression and when one opening's visuals changed to Licht fighting the mage emperor I was so damn hyped.

And also also, I was afraid the author had spent all his creativity on giving individuality to the squad captains but a couple of nice characters have been popping up all over.

Finally, I will continue praying that sister Lily wins.


Damn I forgot to mention that I want to marry Mereoreona.


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One last thing.



This is why you don't fuck with Charmy's food.


Watched the Yume Tsukai because I liked the manga rec so a lot. The anime was pretty underwhelming. They over wrote all it's unique parts are just replaced them with decent, but less inventive parts.
I think the most major hit was the art style. The more quirky stuff was replaced with bland design. The final conflict at each episode also uses the exact same red dessert format. The only interesting parts are the badly aged uses of CGI or computer effects. It looks like shit, but it's some what unique in the fact they were trying something new.
The new plot isn't terrible, but changing "Exploring random stuff" to "fighting irl dreams" kinda limited the plot potential. Every episode is now predictable "figure out the dream and beat the boss"


この勇者が俺TUEEEくせに慎重すぎる, Hepburn: Kono Yūsha ga Ore Tsuē Kuse ni Shinchō Sugiru

Action comedy how about an overpowered hero who is also over-cautious. Nice balance of comedy & serious with the emotional goddess guiding the coldly rational hero. I liked it although the pacing was slow at times even if it is made sense in the story.
Rating: B


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I've been watching the dub of Ghost Stories, it's amazing entirely due to the English VAs deciding to go wild with the script. This show is otherwise atrocious, from the plot to the QUALITY


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Aw man, me too! I thought it was going to be a stupid meme of a show but I'm actually having such a great time watching it. I just saw episode 9 (the one with the rabbits), the voice acting is no holds barred.


Episode 9 is my favorite so far, I started watching it after seeing some scenes, the context (or sometimes lack thereof) makes it all so much better


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I finished it a couple of weeks back. Endings a bit weak, but it was well worth it for the laughs.


That AMV makes the show seem cooler than it is, I love it.
>ending was weak
I'm not surprised, like you I'm still having a good time with it though. It's a great pick-me-up after work because I know I won't get saddled with suffering like might be possible in other shows.


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I'm checking out Hellsing currently, tried to maybe a year or something like that ago before but didn't feel like something that resonated with me then so dropped it at first ep.
Doing both the first and Ultimate one at once for fun, interlacing them. Prefer the tone/pacing of the non-Ultimate one so far.


>That AMV makes the show seem cooler than it is, I love it.
This. I've been listening on loop everytime i see this thread.


Chinese anime is pretty good sometimes.


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I'm currenty watching Kaiba, and it's great! I really love the simpler style of animation, it really allows more movements and bolder camera shots.
Does anyone have recommendations for something similar to this ?


Everything from Masaaki Yuasa (Kaiba's director) is great, especially Cat Soup and Tatami Galaxy


Tatami Galaxy was great but I have never seen Cat Soup (didn't even know it existed). I try will watching it then, thank you for the recommendation!


It's one my favorite manga and has a great anime BUT it is the antithesis of comfy, i'd recommend watching it with a good state of mind. The author was a very interesting but problematic person and Cat Soup tells a lot about her.


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I finished watching Rec today with some other Sushis. Fun show. If I had to pick a few words to describe it they would be: "cute" "nostalgic" and "simple". It's a romance anime, which I admit I'm not normally a fan of, but to be honest I found this one far more tolerable than most. It still had the thing where both characters engage in drama and stupid behavior and then have to make up about it after the fact instead of just talking it out beforehand, but at least in this case I found both characters motivations to be completely realistic which was honestly quite refreshing. Aka feeling unsure about commitment after having impulse sex and experiencing Matsumaru being too pushy and spending the night at his drunk ex-crush's house, and Matsumaru himself having a string of awful luck and feeling inadequate as a simple salaryman compared to his star VA gf. Of course both characters end up dealing with this is ways that only exacerbate the situation until they make up and all ends well and lovey dovey, which is just fine. I will say though, Matsumaru was far worse in this regard than Aka and he's lucky she likes him so much lol


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My thoughts on the Berserk adaptations are provided below.

Aside from reading a small amount of the manga a very long time ago, my first encounter with Berserk was via the Ougon Jidai-hen movies sometime around 6 years ago. My memory of the movies is fading, which is what triggered my watching the original 1997 TV adaptation. I enjoyed the movies and rated them 7/10. I liked the story above all else.

Anyway, I watched the 1997 TV adaptation of Berserk much more recently, and here's what I have to say about that:

The original adaptation is better in terms of visuals and overall production quality, especially with consideration to production year. I much prefer the art style of the original adaptation. It also has a longer total runtime which is used effectively for greater character development and more plot detail. I would say it is better directed as well.

The story itself is very good, and the adaptation is well executed and well directed. Berserk's strongest characteristic is the writing, but in one respect it is also its greatest flaw from my perspective. My biggest issue with Berserk is the main character — Guts. He is poorly characterized and simply boring as a main character. The series would be much better if Griffith were the main character and Guts were a side character. Griffith is a far more compelling and interesting character than Guts. The same could even be said for Casca, albeit to a lesser degree. Although the 1997 adaptation does a much better job of exploring Casca's character arc than the movies. In any case, I wish that Guts hadn't soaked up so much screentime.

The setting is classic dark medieval fantasy. It is fairly immersive. It is complemented by the high level of visual detail, most notably in landscape frames and backgrounds.

The OST is suitable and pretty good overall (aside from the grating OP and ED songs). However, it would have been nice if there was more variety in the OST, considering the length of this series. Some songs, although they are good, are repeated quite frequently. Voice acting is good as well; the VAs are quite well matched for their character roles, and there's a wide range of voices among the cast.

My overall rating for the 1997 TV adaptation: 8/10

This is more of a personal problem rather than an artistic criticism, but I find Berserk to be overly grotesque and gruesome at times. It becomes uncomfortable to watch at certain points. I don't derive entertainment from shock value. The show is extremely dark and I needed to be in a dark mood to even find it palatable during some story arcs. Maybe this stirring of emotion within me, no matter how unpleasant, is an indication of artistic worth? In any case it didn't affect the appraisal of the anime I've written above, but still I thought it important to address this. Berserk isn't really the kind of anime I'd gravitate to naturally, but I felt compelled to watch it because of its cultural significance.

As for the more recent adaptation that began in 2016, I decided not to watch it because the consensus is that it's an abomination and I do not want to get spoiled on that part of the story via an inferior adaptation.

Lastly, in case this isn't obvious from what I've already written, I think that a newcomer to the Berserk franchise should initially watch the 1997 TV adaptation instead of the more-recent movies.


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>1997 TV adaptation instead of the more-recent movies.
Berserk: Golden Age Arc (2012) is pretty good


the movies are garbage


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I just finished rewatching Toradora, which incidentally was one of the first series I watched when I was getting into anime. At first I was surprised by how much better it was than I remembered, but by the end I understood why I left feeling lukewarm after the first time.

The first 10 episodes were great; subtly building up Ryuuji and Taiga's relationship while they each think they're in love with someone else until episode 8 where Ryuuji almost drowns and Taiga flips out in front of everyone and screams that he's hers. The above mentioned dynamic is the soul of the show, but unfortunately from here there's virtually no progression until the finale.

After the beach house episodes the narrative progressions stalls horribly. The culture festival arc centers around the drama that Taiga's dad is coming for her. Ryuuji and Minorin have strong opinions about why that's a good or bad thing but don't explain it well to each other at all, resulting in the classic "misunderstanding drama" which is just annoying to watch. I don't even remember what else happens until the ski-resort episode near the end, and meanwhile Ryuuji and Taiga are both trying to help each other with their romantic endeavors and refusing to acknowledge their feelings for each other, just like the beach house 11 episodes prior. There were moments in the first half of the show where you almost think the Taiga and Ryuuji area awakening to their feelings, but it's almost like they've regressed since then. We could have cut all of that and all we would have lost was a lot of sad Minorin.

So I've been slogging through the second half of the series waiting for a couple of episodes of payoff, but it isn't until ONE episode before the finale they confess to each other (except it gets interrupted by a phone call for some reason so it's not even properly satisfying), then–despite only moments ago having admitted they have feelings for each other and not even having kissed yet–they decide to [i]runaway together and get married[/i] out of nowhere because Ryuuji had a very minor disagreement with his mom. They runaway together and have their first kiss (which was a really good scene), and after that Taiga leaves him without saying goodbye to attend another school, presumably to better herself for his sake. /fin WTF?!

I was so invested in the characters at first, but the show let my emotional connection fade with 13 fairly worthless episodes (there was some good stuff, but so much could have been cut), and then the forced drama of running away really alienated the characters for me. Finally the extremely bitter ending of Taiga leaving really crushed me, and further alienated me from the characters decision making.

It's a super popular show, so I know there are people that like the aspects of if I hate, and I'd be curious to hear from them.

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