Thanks sushi I was going to make a new thread but I forgot about it
Previous thread: >>18
Have you ever seen Texhnolyze?
Forgot to add that seeing the main character lose all hope he had from before and becoming corrupted by other's influence works as well>>3327
That one was actually the one I was thinking of watching just after finishing NHK
Oh nice, hope you try it out. I love it, but it's hard to follow sometimes and certainly pretty dark
I watched No Game No Life: Zero. This is the movie sequel to the TV series No Game No Life (henceforth NGNL). Here are my thoughts:
This review will specifically discuss the NGNL: Zero movie, not the franchise as a whole.
First of all, it's been years since I saw the TV anime. I liked it a lot though and rated it 9/10. I really really liked the art style and colour palette, and overall found it a very fun and entertaining show. Much of this review will focus on how the movie compares to the TV series, since that is the benchmark of my expectations.
Although it still looks good, I prefer the colour palette of the TV series. I miss those bright pastel colours; this movie has a comparatively duller colour palette. It still has a lot of visual detail though and is fairly captivating. The visuals are still good, don't get me wrong. In particular, the setting and background frames of this movie look interesting and detailed.
The audio production quality is decent, but I did not like the OST as much as the TV series (Konomi Suzuki sounds amazing in the ED song though as usual). The movie has more of a classical music style; I prefer the electronic OST of the TV anime – it felt much more unique, creative, immersive, and suitable for the anime. Also, for whatever reason I did not like the voice acting of the male MC of this movie.
As is often the case with movies, I find it difficult to feel emotionally invested when I've only known the characters for a few minutes. This movie is yet another example of this – it jumps into strongly dramatic content early in the runtime, and I couldn't help but feel underwhelmed by it. I never felt any emotion whatsoever towards the characters and their story. I don't think this is just me being a stick in the mud either – I think a lot of people would agree the storyline of this movie is weak and unengaging. Overall I would say the story is very mediocre, not to mention barely coherent and poorly directed. The pacing was also too quick for my tastes.
There was a stark lack of world building and exposition. I was often confused by the plot. Random plot-critical facts were often introduced out of nowhere. Barely anything is adequately explained and the story basically just feels like "humans fight in apocalyptic setting because reasons."
Similarly to the TV anime, there is a fair bit of sexualization in this. And it is equally as shameless. If shameless fanservice is something that bothers you (or you can't at least ignore it), then NGNL is not for you. It is a fairly sexualized show, even by anime standards. Personally, I don't really care, but I feel like this is a point worth mentioning. In my opinion, the sexual elements fit in with the overall atmosphere and escapist theme of the show. To me, the sexualization is just one element of NGNL's unique personality. Others will find it off-putting though, so I definitely want to address this point. Also, the fanservice fits more naturally into the playful atmosphere of the TV series, whereas it is somewhat out of place when it interrupts the more-serious moments of the movie. However, I also recall the TV series having an erotic tone more frequently, so there is a tradeoff in that respect as well. Like I said, this isn't a big deal to me either way but I know a lot of readers care about this kind of thing (either positively or negatively) so I thought I should address it, especially for a series like NGNL.
The TV series had a more-lighthearted mood overall, and was way more fun to watch. Overall I found the TV series far more enjoyable, both in terms of story and atmosphere, as well as audiovisuals. Also, unlike the TV series, this movie has little actual game-focused content. I thought maybe this movie would explore the lore of the TV series a little, but it didn't even do that significantly.
My overall rating: 4/10
This movie lacks nearly all the features that made me enjoy the NGNL TV series so much. The main reason I liked the TV series was because of its unique artistic flavour, as well as its creative setting and storyline. And also the simple fact that it was incredibly fun to watch. The movie does not do any of these things nearly as well as the TV series, and so my viewing experience was quite disappointing. The only redeeming features of this movie are the visuals, which are good overall.
I would not recommend this movie to anyone (unless literally the only thing you care about is visuals). It's hard to believe it was made by the same people who created the TV anime.
I love that show so much. I would pay for a second season if I were rich.
I wonder if there is even enough source material for a second season though, the manga releases very slowly.
You have watched some great shows, sushi. What are your thoughts on those?
I watched "The Irresponsible Captain Tylor" recently, the dub, which is all available on youtube. I was expecting just a straight comedy but that show was a roller coaster of emotions in the best way. It took me a while to really get into it, but after finishing I can confidently say its a solid 9-10/10. The ending is one of the best endings to an anime I think I have ever seen.
I was recommended it through a youtube video, and was not expecting it to be one of my favorites, but it absolutely is.
I've been making a point to watch anime directed by Mashimo every so often and Cpt. Tylor might be the next one I watch considering I've seen multiple sushi rolls sing its praises
>>3378>girls last tour
That's awesome, one of my favorite shows. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did
Mushishi is fantastic. I love how the stories plod around interested themes without really hitting you with a moral most of the time. The music is so relaxing and so is ginkos outlook. I was a little annoyed with how self righteous he was in the episode with burning weeds, but it's a small grievance.
Bakemonagatari made me uncomfortable with some of its fan service, but the way it told stories, the cuts and sudden changes in art style hooked me. I thought at the beginning that it was doing something with an untrustworthy narrator kind of thing, and letting us know whose perspective we were seeing with the sudden changes in scenery. I still think that's at least partly true, but honestly I was expecting to see more sharply contrasting points of view from araragi. Math girl doesn't count. Kaiki almost does, but there really wasn't much interaction between them. Forgetting that though, the OPs are fantastic, and the character arcs were all really good.
Girls last tour has the nicest calmest feel to it. I didnt like the ending, but I wish it could have gone on much longer just wandering. I guess the world is also very sad, but it feels nice at least all the fighting is done.
Gits sac I first watched as a teen. The major had just as many pants as I remember. It was nice to revisit this. I'm not sure I would have liked it if I just discovered it now, as it's very violence heavy, but there might be something to the dialogue and world building that still would have drawn me in.
Eizouken was great. I really liked kanamori, which surprised me, cause I'm kinda put off by the money side of things, but as a character she was a good argument against that view. Of course the explanation of anime through the medium of anime was delightful. I actually wasn't that enthralled by the crazy world building and outlandish visuals, but they definitely fit well within the context of the anime and it wouldn't have worked as well without them.
Komi cant I found really funny and cute.
I just rewatched Girl's last tour and that show surely leaves a lot of questions. Did anybody read the manga? Does it contain more background regarding the world and it's past? I once heard what happens at the end of the manga and therefore never read it, I think I wouldn't be able to take it. I would spoiler what happens there but I never figured out how spoilers work.
Anyway I ask myself what those mushroom creatures are. There is a temple dedicated to them, a graveyard with a statue of them and an entire area that is full of those statues. Makes me think if those beings are man-made to clean the devastated place up? They also said that they don't eat living humans, maybe they eat the dead, which explains the lack of bodies everywhere? I wonder why they started fighting anyway but I doubt this was explained.
Well I could go on and on but I don't want to ramble.
Been awhile since I watched it but I was always under the impression that the mushroom people (and Nuko) were "evolved" from whatever technological singularity type event they showed bits of in the camcorder episode.
I watched Just Because. Here are my thoughts:
Overall this anime has an unmistakably amateurish and low-budget feel to it. Despite its flaws though, this story plucks at my heartstrings. In a lot of ways, Just Because is a fairly standard-fare highschool romance story. However, I found that the character dynamics and interactions feel very real. The story genuinely feels like something that could happen in real life. The writing is very down to earth and involves ordinary people and ordinary events. It feels very organic and wholesome. The story in this feels like soil between my fingers – it is so authentic, lifelike and down to earth. I found Just Because very immersive because it felt like a genuine depiction of real life. This is not something that can be said for most anime, romance in particular.
I had this show on my mind a lot. Long after each episode ended it would still be creeping into my mind. Despite it being a slow-paced show with mundane events, I finished it in under 5 days (very rare for me, particularly for a 'low-intensity' anime like this). I always eagerly looked forward to watching the next episode and did not want to watch anything else until I had completed this anime; I was quite captivated by it.
This anime has a unique atmosphere to it. It is consistently very calm and soothing – almost hypnotic. Despite there being interpersonal conflict, nobody ever really yells or fights, or even interrupts. Most characters' emotions are conveyed gracefully. The dialogue is nearly always slow and calm. This might sound like a trivial observation, but these qualities are relatively rare for anime. It's also worth noting there is basically zero comedic relief in this, which in ~90% of cases is a good thing for anime, in my opinion.
Although I've praised aspects of the writing above, one of my main criticisms of this show is that the characters are fairly bland, especially the MC(Izumi). Pretty much the entire cast is bland and underdeveloped, with the possible exception of Komiya. I'm not sure this could have been avoided given the size of the cast and the 12-episode runtime, but it is a weak aspect in any case. Of all the characters, I empathized with Komiya by far the most. Another criticism I have is that the plot does seem to rely excessively on coincidences to make things work. Maybe that is an intentional artistic decision though (recall the title of this show).
I don't particularly like the character designs. A lot of characters have these overly blocky square faces; feels like this is a romance in Legoland. In general the visuals are lackluster and unpolished. I found the character animation very lacking overall as well – even with the simplistic character designs it still often looks sloppy. Very often. In fact the character animation is often embarrassingly poor. However, sometimes the urban landscape does look nice (so many trains, yay!). As a whole, this anime looks very low budget and sloppy. The character animation in particular is often dreadful; I am usually quite forgiving about this kind of thing but it was bad enough to break my immersion sometimes.
I didn't like the voice acting for the male MC; it was very dull and unemotive. On the other hand, Komiya's VA does a good job. The OST seemed alright, although admittedly I didn't pay much attention to it; this is a pretty dialogue-heavy show. I do recall there being some okay piano songs. Also, the music consistently fits the calm soothing atmosphere I mentioned earlier; I recall there being few (if any) uptempo tracks.
I should probably mention this: despite having a significant romance component, this show has zero sexualized fanservice. Although I typically don't really care either way, I know that some people might find that a desirable feature. This is one of the many ways this is a wholesome show. Despite involving romance there is pretty much zero sexualization, which I think is noteworthy.
Between the two main male characters, I found the romance arcs involving Izumi more engaging than those of Souma. This is because the female partners for Izumi were more-interesting better-developed characters, and also because their romantic chemistry was much better. I found Izumi's romance arcs much more emotionally engaging – they have a lot of truly precious moments that made this anime a worthwhile experience.
My personal overall rating: 7/10
I have really mixed feelings about this anime. As I've said, it is quite amateurish and low budget. The character animation is sometimes awful. The characters themselves are bland and underdeveloped. However, despite these flaws I still found it a very captivating show and couldn't turn it off. The character interactions felt so real to me and the writing is very down to earth and lifelike. There are some really touching moments in this anime; it invoked emotion in me. I liked the consistently smooth graceful calm atmosphere as well.
There is also the simple fact that this show avoids two very common pitfalls of romance anime: unfunny poorly timed comedy and intrusive tone-breaking sexualization; simply not making these common unforced errors is praiseworthy.
If you like highschool romance then Just Because is worth a try. This anime made me feel strong emotions. I literally sobbed during the last episode; there was one scene in particular that was a gutpunch tearjerker.
SPOILER-ISH COMMENT BELOW:
I think that Natsume's emotions in general were not demonstrated to the viewer as clearly as they should have been, given the importance of her character. I think I would have empathized with her more if the show did a better job of depicting her feelings.
Just for the record, I shipped Komiya x Izumi really hard in this, in case you hadn't guessed already.
Just now I realized that the picture of the op is a crossover, mostly likely the creator had the inspiration because of the following; The depicted character is Sora from Sketchbook Full Color's and the uniform and background is from So Ra No Wo To.
I have seen both shows but only realized it today, after the thread being a month old and me visiting daily since it's creation. I honestly feel stupid right now.
I was wondering when I posted it if anyone would know what it was, so your post made me happy
Are you watching anything this season? I find it easy to watch when I really look forwards to new episodes. Also watching with other people is fun, so try that!
I watched Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau, also known as Children of the Whales. Here are my thoughts:
I'll begin with discussing visuals, as this is one of the show's best features. This anime consistently looks excellent. Nearly every single frame is screencap-worthy. The art style is unique and has an organic look to it that is quite immersive. There is a lot of variety among the character designs, and most of them look good. The MC is adorable, both in design and personality. Facial expressions are well illustrated and the character animation is consistently good. The creative art style and high visual production quality really enhance the fantastical setting of this show as well.
The setting is another very remarkable aspect of this anime. It is quite unique and otherworldly. It was a major component of my enjoyment. More and more information about the world is gradually revealed throughout the show; it is pretty intriguing and the show does a decent job at worldbuilding for a 12-episode runtime. What I can reveal to you without spoilers is that the show takes place in the middle of a 'sand ocean' aboard some sort of magical ship composed of earthy materials. It is quite cool and fantastical, and the nice visuals really complement it.
Even beyond the world building, there are a lot of mystery elements in the show and hints dropped about things not yet revealed. However, as you might cynically expect from a 12-episode manga adaptation, many of the mysteries alluded to the viewer are never explained. Regardless of some of my questions not being answered, I still often felt a sense of intrigue while watching. The writer clearly had some fascinating ideas. Also worth mentioning is that the ending is not particularly satisfying and leaves a ton of loose plot strings. The last episode indicates an upcoming sequel (and I did watch the Blurays), but at the time of writing this (December 2021) I'm not aware of any sequels.
One of this show's most significant issues is the size of its cast. The enormous cast with this limited runtime is not a good combination, especially in an already plot-heavy show with a lot of exposition. This anime tries to balance way too many character arcs, and none of them are done particularly well as a result. Compounding this issue further is the fact that it's difficult to feel emotions for characters who are not given adequate development, or barely any screentime at all for that matter. A common criticism that I've heard from others about this show is that it is too "melodramatic." I would argue that this feeling of so-called melodrama described by others is the result of phenomena I've just outlined: emotionally impactful events happening to inadequately developed characters. In any case it is true that the show is dramatic. Most episodes involve somebody crying at some point. If frequent tears is something that puts you off then you likely won't enjoy this anime. It definitely lays on the drama heavy (that's certainly not an issue for me personally). Apparently the source material is shoujo demographic, although it felt much more cosmopolitan than that to me. One subtle but praiseworthy aspect of this anime is that it maintains a fairly consistent emotional tone. I was grateful for the absence of comedic relief and minimal 'emotional whiplash' effects.
Beyond the characters, the show tries to tackle a bewildering amount of story arcs, in addition to the already elaborate worldbuilding. Simply put, the show tries to pack way too much story into its runtime, and as a result none of the story arcs are executed particularly well. The divided attention of the viewer and lack of sufficient screentime meant that any resulting emotional payoff from a given story arc was significantly impeded. To me, this is a core reason for this anime's squandered potential. I think you won't be surprised to read that I found the show's overall pacing way too quick, particularly during the later episodes.
Although they weren't present in every episode, I found the fight scenes to be a weak point of this anime. They were fairly lackluster and, even worse, drawn out and soaked up a lot of precious screentime. I'm really not sure why so much screentime was allocated to these fight scenes. Regardless of the execution, it was disappointing to see such a unique creative show devolve into mundane violent conflict. I realize that the kinetic conflict was a mechanism to explore the themes of the writing, but I wish it was approached a different way. However, my opinion on this is definitely biased due to my general distaste for fight scenes. It's possible I'm overstating their significance.
The OST seemed decent but I'll need to listen to it in isolation to evaluate it with greater confidence. I know there were some good tracks, but it was mostly overshadowed by dialogue and sound effects (like sandstorm background noise), at least from my perspective. In terms of voice acting, nobody in this large cast impressed me or stood out (besides Ouni's sexy deep voice).
My overall rating: 7/10
This anime has a truly unique setting along with some intriguing worldbuilding, and it's all presented with a wonderful organic-looking art style. It consistently looks fantastic. Unfortunately, it suffers from unfocused storytelling and poor screentime budgeting. It tries to present far too much story content for its runtime, and sadly as a result none of the story arcs realize their impressive potential.
A lot of this anime's issues could have been diminished if it were two cours instead of a mere 12 episodes. Most of its flaws are common manga adaptation problems.
Despite my criticisms, I think that a lot of people could enjoy this anime. There are a lot of aspects here worth appreciating. I'm surprised it isn't more popular.
I watched Shoukoku no Altair, also known as Altair: A Record of Battles. Here are my thoughts:
This is a historical show set in a vaguely medieval time period. Magic does not play a significant role in the show (if at all – I don't recall any magic but I hesitate to promise its total absence), and overall it is pretty realistic. The MC (Altair) does have protagonist plot armour in some situations, but as a whole I found the story fairly believable.
The setting consists of a variety of nations that resemble those of the historical-Mediterranean perimeter. The MC is a high-ranking member of a pseudo-Ottoman nation's government. The MC travels around throughout the show and different nations are featured along the way. Various ideologies of both nations and individuals are explored throughout the story. It is pretty interesting. The show accomplishes an impressive amount of elaborate worldbuilding during its 24-episode runtime. All the different nations depicted in the show were also potent imagination fertilizer.
Overall the story of Shoukoku no Altair is exceptionally well written and clever. The storyline is very intricate and unique. It is complex yet coherent and intriguing. I found the story very interesting and enjoyable. The writing (including worldbuilding and abstract themes) of this anime is its best feature. Most of the plot is related to political and military conflict between (and within) nations.
Beyond the plot, the writing explores themes relating, or at least tangential, to international relations and geopolitics. Themes such as military grand strategy, relations between a nation's culture and its foreign policy, and a wide variety of political themes in general. These themes made the show very interesting. There are often parallels that could be drawn between the story and real-world history.
In addition to being excellently written, the story is well executed. Despite the complexity of the story I never had any difficulty understanding what was happening. Furthermore, the pacing felt perfectly calibrated to me. It is a well-directed show.
One caveat I should mention is that, as you might expect of a manga adaptation, the ending of this anime does not have any finality. Although it does end at a major turning point in the plot, most of the conflicts that the plot is centered around remain unresolved. Personally I don't mind this (and it does signal that the adaptation is faithful) but I know it will bother others. I am very tempted to read the source material to find out how the story continues.
Despite the mature themes explored in the writing, the show does sometimes have a juvenile shounen-ish feeling. It's a very mixed bag though and varies from episode to episode. Generally speaking, I found the earlier episodes felt juvenile more frequently. As the show progresses, the strategy elements start to dominate more and more, and the scale of conflict increases. It takes time for the worldbuilding to develop to a point where the exploration of some political themes is even possible. My numerical rating for this anime increased as I progressed through the episodes.
It's also worth noting that this is not a particularly character-driven show. It is very much plot-driven rather than character-driven. It seemed to me that little attention was paid to depicting the emotions and feelings of the MC and other characters, particularly during the later episodes. This isn't a criticism, just an observation. In a different show this might be an issue, but for a strategy-focused show like this that explores abstract political themes it really isn't. Although there certainly are emotional episodes, some episodes are so devoid of emotion it almost felt like watching a history documentary. Again, particularly during the latter half of the show when the grand-strategy elements really reach their climax. Despite the show's length, there's also not a whole lot of character development, however there is a diverse variety of personalities in the cast, and perhaps more importantly, different sociopolitical attitudes. The show certainly has ideological diversity within its cast.
In a lot of ways the MC does feel like a generic anime protagonist. Although his lack of character development really isn't an issue, perhaps more effort should have been made to depict his ideological attitudes and their development throughout the show. On balance, I have a neutral feeling towards the MC, but I can understand the perspective of people who disliked him. I would agree that this is one element of the anime where there was room for improvement.
In my opinion, the OST is good. Nice OP and ED songs too. The voice acting is adequate but nobody really stood out to me. I thought the voice work for the MC was a little weak.
As for visuals, some of the character designs are nice. Due to the size of the cast and its cultural diversity, a wide variety of outfits are featured in the show. Unfortunately, the character animation is frequently crude and lacking detail. However, the background setting usually looks great (I took lots of screencaps); every episode has at least a few nice detailed landscape frames to admire. During indoor scenes a lot of the pseudo-Arabic architecture and interior decor is neat as well. The visuals are inconsistent overall, but there are certainly moments where things look awesome.
My overall rating: 8/10
This anime is exceptionally well written. The story is interesting and clever, the themes explored are thought provoking, and it contains some of the most elaborate worldbuilding I've seen in a while. It is rare to see anime handle a topic like political strategy so competently. Furthermore, the anime is well executed and doesn't have any major direction issues. Visually, the setting looks good but the character animation is often sloppy.
This is an underappreciated show that would appeal to a lot of people, including those who aren't typically anime fans. I would definitely recommend Shoukoku no Altair to people who like political/military strategy stories. However, I should warn you that I found the first couple episodes comparatively weaker to the rest of the anime. The show feels a little juvenile at the beginning, but it eventually develops an elaborate world with a rich complex story. Don't judge it prematurely based on the first few episodes.
Also, the manga might be a better way to approach this franchise. I haven't read it, but the fact that the anime's best quality is its writing does suggest that literature is the optimal consumption medium.
I liked this way more than Arslan Senki (a similar anime in concept).
>I will never command a unit of attack-falcon-equipped soldiers in a medieval war between civilizations on the Eastern Mediterranean perimeter
I watched both seasons (including OVAs) of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, also known as Haganai or I Don't Have Many Friends. Here are my thoughts:
I tend not to like harem shows such as this with a male protagonist and a lot of (typically unfunny) comedy. Nevertheless, I decided to give this anime a chance. The title is certainly enticing and relatable.
I really liked the voice acting for Sena, Yozora, and Kobato; everyone else is unremarkable. The OST is bad, in my opinion.
The humour is sometimes funny. The comedic theme of social ineptitude is a winner. There is also a lot of 'otaku humour' which can be funny as well. Character interactions are sometimes enjoyable. The various activities of the club and the resulting antics of the characters can be fairly amusing. Humour and character interactions are really this mediocre anime's only redeeming qualities. Probably the thing I enjoyed most about the anime was the chemistry (or lack thereof, haha) between Sena and Yozora. The way they play off each other is amusing. Sena yelling "YOZORA AHO" and then running out of the club room will never not be funny. Conversely, I found the other characters (i.e. not Yozora or Sena) to be unfunny. This anime is at its best when it focuses on Sena and Yozora. In fact these two characters are the only reason I kept watching. Seriously, I did not like anyone else in the cast besides maybe Kobato because her chuuni moments were funny. Despite the 25-episode length of this anime, the entire cast has shallow characterization and is often one-note in their behaviour, which can result in the gags and character interaction feeling repetitive.
The writing of this anime feels amateurish and crude. The show has an overarching story that mainly involves Yozora and the main character. The story is quite dumb and I didn't like it (the story-focused episodes are the worst in the series). Thankfully it does not suck up that much screentime. This anime is mostly episodic. I did enjoy how both Sena and Yozora have uniquely flawed personalities in their own ways, which is sort of refreshing compared to the usual idealistic love interests you encounter in typical romance/harem shows.
I don't mean this in an overly critical way, but this show is juvenile even by anime standards, both in terms of the writing and humour. This isn't an objectively bad thing; I can imagine that a teenage boy would enjoy this anime a lot more than I did. It's not that I can't enjoy childish anime, it's just that a lot of the content of this one fell flat for me, and a pervasive underlying reason for this seems to be the juvenile nature of the show. This is coming from someone who generally enjoys the SoL genre. It's difficult for me to articulate this point because it's hard to concisely express why this schoolyard comedy is more juvenile than other schoolyard comedies.
In terms of visuals, the art style in this did not age well. I did not like the character designs (although purple eyes do look great on Yozora — wish that were a more common design choice). The colour palette is also very dull. Animation quality was acceptable — there were 'quality' moments but at least the facial expressions were adequately animated. There's a ton of fanservice as well, which isn't surprising since this is a harem anime.
My overall rating: 4/10
It was pretty bad but amusing enough to keep me watching. This anime did have funny moments, but my average level of enjoyment while watching was fairly low. There were plenty of unfunny skits that diluted the parts that I did enjoy. Yozora and Sena basically carried the entire show — I would have dropped this on episode 1 were it not for those two characters. Also, as I said, the voice acting for some characters (Sena & Yozora) is an outstanding aspect of this anime.
A teenage boy would likely enjoy this anime more than I did.
Compared to season 1, season 2 has notably better animation quality, cinematography and lighting effects. Otherwise, the content is pretty much the same. By the way, the prequel OVA is complete garbage; don't waste your time watching it like I did. Conversely, the season 1 OVA (AKA episode 13) is one of the relatively better episodes.
Somebody should make a compilation of all the times Sena yells "BAKA YOZORA" or "YOZORA AHO". It could be really funny.
I appreciate you confirming my assumptions about this show, which were "I would hate this now in my mid 20s but if I was 14 I'd probably be all about it". Elfen Lied and some other shows fit into that weird arbitrary presumption for me. I always imagined it would be really fanservicey but your review doesn't mention it so maybe I'm mistaken.
Oh I totally know the feeling you're describing.
Also it was quite fanservice-heavy and there was loads of in-your-face sexualization for the female characters (see last sentence of my paragraph on visuals). I didn't elaborate on that aspect since it seemed obvious and anyone who has seen a couple romcom harem shows would know what to expect anyway.
I have rewatched it too, although in November. It is indeed such a soothing show with such a loveable cast.
Kuri appealed a lot to me too, but those two goofballs won me over. Especially the scene where they created a raft, placed a snack on it and sent it down the river cracked me up. As you already mentioned though, all the side characters are so great, that they do deserve more screen time and could easily carry a weaker slice of life on their own. Such a pity that there wasn't an OVA where each character got an episode or something.
One thing that I also liked a lot is how all the people treated Sora. They completely accepted that she now and then has the urge to be alone and didn't think any less of her because of that. It reminded me a lot about Yuru Camp with Rin, the characters know each other and trust each other, which is beautifully shown with subtle acts like that. They take each other for who they are.
Yeah Sora is really cute and it's nice that her friends respect her personality. Her shyness is exaggerated at times but never made into too much of a gag. Overall I think she's one of the better (and to me more relatable) examples of a super introverted character.
My favorite gag from the upperclassmen duo is where they keep telling Kate dumb fake shit about Japan and she believes it every time. OUHHH SOO NAN DESS KERR!
I watched Sora no Woto again, probably for the 9th or 10th time now, but it's been a couple years whereas I used to watch it yearly. I'm happy to say it's still one of my favorite shows. The setting and the way it's presented and teased about as the show goes along is excellently done worldbuilding, and still engages me even knowing the show as well as I do. The characters too, are a strong point. There's not a single girl of the main cast who I like much less than any of the others. On top of being well-crafted and likable examples of familiar SoL archetypes, they also go the extra mile in fleshing the characters out to the extent that you can understand why each of them are how they are. Rather than it being "this girl is the really motherly/strict/kuudere one because she just is", Sora no Woto gives you believable reasons and a backstory as to WHY she is the way she is. I wish more shows did this, it really adds to my connection to the characters. Oh and the OST of course is fantastic. It's rare that I watch a show and remember the OST, so when one of them stands out to me it tends to REALLY stand out, and SnW is one of those shows. I still throw on the OST sometimes when I'm baking or cleaning and need to relax a little.
It also does a really great job at communicating its themes in a way that feels honest and without being too preachy, which is something that many anime especially struggle with. The whole episode about Felicia's PTSD and her wish to protect the girls from that will always stand out to me as one of my favorite pieces of anything ever, as will the finale. The scene where they play back Servante du Feu over the Roman version of the legend is just awesome. They connect it visually with both the past and present, to show that it's a retelling of history to some level, and to draw a parallel between how the girls save Aisha and how the Fire Maidens sheltered the wounded Angel. It serves to help you understand the world better and to drive home the message of compassion towards your enemies all in one extremely climactic scene. And of course the final Amazing Grace scene is just iconic.
If I had to criticize the show I would say the pacing is a little bad at some points, and while I personally like him just fine I can think of a lot of ways the villain of the final conflict could have been better or played a bigger role. I think some people might find the fanservice shots or some of sillier parts of the show out of place, but I think to complain about that is to miss what Sora no Woto really is, a CGDCT show that has an actual story and themes at its heart. And for being that I adore it.
i have to agree with you. There are those constant cutaways to the cats who are way less interesting or well developed compared to the main cast, and also not really that funny and i felt like that took away from how great the rest of the show is. If it wasn't for that stuff it would be one of my favourites for sure. Still goated show though.
Girls Last Tour is a 10/10 for me, I love the atmosphere and themes. Glad you're enjoying it too.
I watched Gyakusatsu Kikan, also known as Genocidal Organ. Here are my thoughts:
I feel like military-themed sci-fi media such as this is one of the rare things that Western entertainment does better than the Japanese (or at least used to).
This movie does an okay job of creating suspense. The pacing is fine and it is competently directed.
There were relatively few action scenes. I was expecting this to be a lowbrow sci-fi action movie, but it was slightly more complex than expected. However, you should be warned that there is a female love-interest character in this. Thankfully she does not suck up much screentime, although her presence is influential.
As far as the story goes, it was fairly generic near-future sci-fi. However, I will say that the involvement of linguistics was creative, or at least somewhat unique. Genocide is a significant theme in the story, as you might expect from the title. The movie is pretty morose, and you should expect people dying and a lot of bad things happening. When it does occur, the violence is pretty graphic.
The characters as a whole are pretty generic, and not much character development takes place during the movie. I would have liked to have witnessed more interactions between the soldier characters. The focus on special forces soldiers did appeal to me, and I wish this aspect was examined even more in the movie. This is definitely a reflection of my own biases though (I have been interested in the psyche of SF soldiers for a very long time, and have listened to at least hundreds of their interviews over the years).
In terms of sci-fi elements, there's some cool technology but nothing I hadn't seen before. Some of the futuristic combat technology was sorta neat I guess.
Audiovisuals were adequate. The soundtrack was adequate but unremarkable. Voice acting was at best adequate, although there weren't many opportunities for a VA to showcase their talent anyway. Animation quality was fine, although hardly high-budget blockbuster anime material. Some of the European cities featured in the movie looked okay; otherwise, the visuals were fairly lackluster. Facial expressions were decently animated at least. Also, although infrequent, the action scenes did sound and look decent – not spectacular, but decent. I usually enjoyed them. They are shortlived though, so don't let that be your motivation to watch this.
My overall rating: 5/10
It was adequately entertaining and I never considered turning it off. However, there was nothing exceptional about this movie, aside from perhaps the use of linguistics in the story. There was some neat technology, but nothing much beyond your typical 'future soldier' stuff. As a whole, it felt like a pretty generic sci-fi military-themed movie.
I wouldn't recommend watching this unless you are obsessed with sci-fi or have some strange fixation on genocide. If you are seriously interested in this work, you should probably just read the source material. If you just feel like watching some futuristic combat, scan through the movie and watch the action scenes I guess.
I watched Kuzu no Honkai, also known as Scum's Wish. Here are my thoughts:
Basically this is a romance anime, but with multiple romantic pairings and more focus on sexual intimacy than usual – in some ways this show is more 'mature' than your typical romance anime, especially one with a highschool setting.
When I read the synopsis for this anime I immediately felt that I probably wouldn't enjoy it. This is because I usually dislike love triangles (or n-dimensional polygons, in this case) in fiction. Add to that a bland school setting, and I was feeling fairly pessimistic. However, my intuition was wrong. Although I was correct in that the writing of Kuzu no Honkai is literally fanfiction-tier (and that's being generous), it is an exceptionally well-directed show. The poor writing is more than salvaged by the excellent execution. I found the style of storytelling immersive and captivating; they did a good job of depicting the emotions of the characters. The inner feelings of the characters were richly developed and depicted in a deep thorough way, despite the crudeness of the story.
I still did not like the love triangle aspect of this anime (again, this is a writing flaw). However, there were other redeeming qualities that made my viewing experience worthwhile. And although I criticize the love triangle element, I also found that the diverse mix of relationships that are developed in the show created a lot of variety in terms of the chemistry of the romance, which in turn kept the show consistently entertaining. I think a major reason I enjoyed this anime is because it usually explores the perspectives of both parties in the relationships featured in the show; this is often the case for me with romance shows – I usually feel more immersed and emotionally engaged when the feelings of both people in the relationship are demonstrated, instead of just totally one-sided romance (which a ton of anime are guilty of). This anime usually explores the feelings of both romantic partners, and in doing so really enhances its emotional immersion as a whole.
Kuzu no Honkai actually deals with sex in a somewhat mature manner instead of glossing over it as if it isn't a significant component of a romantic relationship (like most other anime). I found this very refreshing. This show does a great job of depicting sexual intimacy (especially by anime standards). Sometimes it's a little cheesy and over the top (expect a lot of exaggerated saliva-heavy makeout sessions), but honestly it fits the atmosphere of the show. Although the sexual scenes can be borderline comical at times, that corniness is nothing compared to the story itself. You really need to be in the right mood for this anime and let yourself be immersed in the atmosphere — an atmosphere which typically swings abruptly between soap opera and raunchy sexuality. If you're not willing to let yourself be shamelessly enveloped by this atmosphere then you won't enjoy this anime to its fullest potential. State of mind is hugely important for appreciating this show, in my opinion.
In some ways, the romance in this seemed like how real-life relationships actually work. Meaning, people settling for someone who doesn't reach their own true desires, often due to loneliness and low self-esteem (remaining in a relationship out of convenience or due to lack of superior options, instead of sincere mutual attraction, might be a theme that some viewers find relatable). The way that some characters use physical intimacy with others purely for their own validation is another example. This kind of realism is something you rarely encounter in anime romance. Furthermore, this anime depicts intimacy in a realistic manner (i.e. with actual sexual intercourse and all the related psychological phenomena such as insecurity and performance anxiety), as opposed to the reluctant hand-holding (etc.) that the audience has learned to expect from this medium. In fact the sexual elements of this are often depicted quite graphically and in far more explicit detail than I'd usually expect from anime.
I say this often but it's especially true for this anime: you need to be in the right mood to enjoy this to its fullest potential. Every episode is raunchy sexualized romance with a soap-opera-tier storyline. Don't watch it unless you're in the mood and prepared to enjoy this kind of thing. If you have the right state of mind, this anime is fantastic. The attitude of the viewer is hugely important for this show. I watched it slowly because I wanted to make sure I was always in the right mood to enjoy it.
I should also mention that there is minimal comedic relief in this, thankfully. The show nearly always maintains a serious dramatic tone, which is something I very much appreciated, even if I was laughing internally at the fanfiction-tier storyline.
Visuals are overall another strong aspect of Kuzu no Honkai. The character designs are terrific – the detailed hair and eyes looked great. Detailed facial expressions are used effectively during the frequent close-up face shots. The cinematography of the show is excellent and enhanced my enjoyment a lot. It's difficult to put into words, but cinematography is employed in sophisticated and creative ways to really elevate each scene, and the screenplay style of the show feels unique. However, arguably the animation quality itself is mediocre. The animation is kinda 'powerpoint-ish' (or, in more-optimistic terms, 'manga-like'), in the sense that stills and minimal in-frame animation are employed. Personally I was fine with this, but others may dislike it. In my opinion, the visuals for this anime are great.
The audio of the show is also solid. The voice acting is good and enhanced many scenes (Hanabi in particular does a fantastic job). Music is skillfully implemented; it is turned off and on at appropriate times, and climaxes in the music coincide well with a scene's emotion. The soundtrack is decent and suited the mood of the show. The audio production quality in general is good; the voices sound like they were recorded on really high-quality microphones.
The incestuous romance in this is somewhat unique in that it is told from the (imouto) female perspective. Furthermore, the otouto is the nonreciprocal party of the romantic duo. I found this element of the story interesting because it's not something I recall seeing before. For anime, any kind of incestuous romance is usually narrated from the perspective of the male, often along with crude wish-fulfillment character dynamics. Kuzu no Honkai is unique in this regard; I enjoyed seeing this unique style of romance explored from a female perspective.
I found the romantic pairings involving Hanabi far more engaging than those she was uninvolved in. For me, this show was most engaging when it focused on Hanabi and her romantic escapades. It was still an entertaining show when she wasn't on screen though – don't get me wrong.
My overall rating: 8/10
I was pleasantly surprised by the way this anime defied my expectations. In multiple respects, the show does have artistic merit. It impressed me in many ways. Going into this, I expected it to be a generic highschool romance; but after watching, I have to say that I see Kuzu no Honkai as a very unique show. The nature of the romance is unique. The cinematography is unique. Its maturity (in some ways) and the way it parses sexual issues is unique. Visually, the show is skillfully crafted. Overall it is quite well directed and a demonstrative example of how bad writing can be salvaged by good execution.
If you're a fan of romance anime you should try sampling this. Don't think about the crude writing too much, just take it scene-by-scene and bask in the emotion.
Lastly, I'm going to say it one more time: you need to be in the right mood to enjoy this anime. The tone and themes of each episode are fairly consistent. Don't rush watching this. Watch an episode when you're in the optimal mood to enjoy it; don't binge watch it. State of mind is really important for savouring this show. I watched an episode every week or so, and when I did I was constantly rewinding and dissecting each scene and savouring every moment. It would take me at least an hour to finish an episode because of this.
Trust me the motivation to watch anime will come again, u just have to wait a little!
I watched Itsudatte Bokura no Koi wa 10 cm Datta, also known as "Our Love Has Always Been 10 Centimeters Apart." Here are my thoughts:
This is just a 6-episode anime, so I'll try to be brief. Although you can watch this show on its own with ease, it is sort of a sequel. There is a sorta-prequel movie with the same cast, but the MCs from this anime are minor supporting characters instead (and vice versa for this anime – the movie MCs are supporting characters). The sorta-prequel movie I'm referring to is Zutto Mae Kara Suki Deshita; I didn't particularly like it (for pretty much the same reasons as this anime) and rated it 4/10 when I watched it 2 years ago. Anyway, moving along from this preamble…
As you might guess, this is a typical highschool romance show. I found it quite mediocre. There are a few decent scenes, but it doesn't compensate for all the other lackluster content. My average level of enjoyment while watching was low. There were flickers of emotionally engaging romance (ex. the fireworks scene), but they were infrequent.
The story in general is weak, and the second half of the series is filled with forced drama. Sometimes the actions of the characters don't make any sense.
The characters are, at best, generic. In fact they are borderline unlikable, particularly the male MC. The supporting cast is totally generic and might as well be cardboard-cutout props.
The visuals are adequate but unremarkable, as is the audio in general (both music and voice acting). The character designs are totally generic, although Miou's brown hair/eyes do look nice. I will say that sometimes the facial expressions are well done, but these moments are infrequent.
My overall rating: 4/10
This is a totally generic mediocre highschool romance show with no particularly noteworthy qualities. There were a few decent scenes, but they were not nearly plentiful enough to satisfy me. There is a lot of forced drama, and the characters range from generic (at best) to unlikable.
There is a music group by the name of Honeyworks that has been strongly associated with this franchise. I attentively listened to a bunch of their albums (about 75 songs) and found ~10 songs I liked enough to set aside for future listening. So, although there was stuff I kinda liked, the signal-to-noise ratio was high.
There isn't much of value in this franchise. I recommend avoiding it entirely unless you are obsessed with highschool romance. I tried to like this franchise and gave it many chances, but every single thing I tried was mediocre at best. Your time is better spent elsewhere.
Check out One Pound Gospel OVA. Same director as Ashita no Joe and it is available on youtubehttps://youtu.be/-oj_KQ6bieA
though you should definitely watch Ashita no Joe at a pace as it is a classic.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Have you considered trying to learn japanese? I've been playing VNs like a madman, like 12+ hours a day, since it's easy to delude yourself you're doing something productive.
I watched Hanasaku Iroha. Here are my thoughts:
I really wanted to like this anime; at first glance, it seemed like something I would really enjoy. Unfortunately however, my viewing experience was mixed at best and certainly didn't meet my optimistic expectations.
During approximately the first third of the show, my optimism persisted but began to wane, and in retrospect the earlier episodes were the best part of the series. As the story and characters continued to develop, my opinion of it soured, and by the time I was halfway through the TV series I knew I was watching something mediocre.
At its core, Hanasaku Iroha is a character-driven drama much moreso than a typical slice-of-life show. Generally speaking, I like character-driven dramas. Unfortunately, this one has a very weak set of characters as well as quite generic and cliche writing. All the conflicts were things I've seen before in fiction. All the characters were tropes I'd seen before. All the character arcs were, at best, tropey and cliche. The writing felt like a generic character-driven drama that happened to be set in a ryokan. The mediocrity of the writing is a major flaw, especially considering this is a 26-episode(+movie) character-driven drama. The writing of the latter half of the show in particular was very weak and had plenty of forced artificial-feeling drama. The movie-making arc, for example, was absolutely dreadful.
I really want to emphasize my lack of enthusiasm for the characters themselves. Literally the entire core cast is unlikable and/or annoying. It's actually impressive that they managed to create such a consistently off-putting set of characters. By the time I completed this show, I can confidently say that I disliked every single significant character (and there are a lot of them). It really is astonishing how such a character-driven show has such a lackluster cast of characters. Despite it being a drama, I never connected emotionally with any of the characters. Some of the most important cast members felt like exaggerated caricatures – particularly the older characters; the younger staff felt more realistic, although still irritating in their own unique special ways. I think maybe I would have empathized more with the characters if they actually evolved as people and overcame their problems/flaws, but there is barely any character evolution during the 26-episode runtime! Saying that there are character arcs in this show is a misnomer – nobody overcomes anything, nobody achieves any goal, and certainly nobody improves their personality or grows as a person.
The comedy was also consistently unfunny. The consultant woman character was annoying as hell; she was clearly supposed to be used primarily for comedic relief, but she was incredibly annoying and groan-inducing. I dreaded her appearing on-screen.
Alright, up until here I know I have been ripping into this show, but I do want to give credit where credit is due: the ryokan setting of this anime feels very authentic and I appreciated that a lot. In fact I specifically sought out this anime because it was about ryokan employees. The ryokan feels very real and there is lots of attention to detail paid to the setting. This is further enhanced by the surprisingly great production quality. For a 26-episode SoL-ish TV anime in a real-world setting, without any action or anything to justify a large visual budget, that aired in 2011, the visuals of Hanasaku Iroha are rock solid and very well done. Although there isn't much artistic flair, there is not a single blemish to be found. It easily could have passed as a modestly budgeted movie. The setting often looks quite nice; lots of detail is used in backgrounds and the like. The visual style was simplistic but natural and organic-looking and felt remarkably similar to a live-action show. Despite the mundane events of the anime, the character animation is well done. The attention to detail and high production value really enhanced the ryokan setting and made it immersive. I appreciated this aspect of the show.
As for audio, I must say that the voice acting has a ton of variety and nearly every core character has unique distinctive voice work. I liked the voice work for Minko and Nako. Ohana does some good work during some of the more-dramatic scenes. The OST is okay, although a little more variety would have been nice for such a long runtime. The OP/ED songs are good, in my opinion (to those of you wondering: yes, I do like nano.RIPE's vocals but I can understand the perspective of those who don't).
My overall rating: 5/10
I wanted a ryokan-employee simulator and I got a ryokan-employee simulator. However, it unfortunately came with some undesirable features. Although the ryokan setting is very authentic and immersive, and executed with flawless visual production quality, its inhabitants are annoying and unlikable. Furthermore, the writing is as cliche and lackluster as the characters themselves.
Sakura Quest had its flaws too but I enjoyed it more than this; it certainly had way better characters. I haven't seen Shirobako yet but hope to watch it soon.
Here are my comments on the Home Sweet Home movie:
- I should mention that I watched this immediately after finishing the TV anime, and was already feeling pretty burnt out on the series after 26 episodes. It's possible I might have enjoyed it more if I let the TV anime digest in me for longer, although honestly I doubt it.
- Visually, the show was the same but with slightly better production quality. The TV anime already had solid visuals, so there wasn't much room for improvement here anyway.
- I liked the focus on teenage Satsuki. I actually think they did a good job depicting her and her youthful struggles, especially with the limited runtime. I think I would have much preferred her as the MC in the TV series.
- There was not much of an overarching plot and the movie basically just consists of an assortment of mostly SoL-style scenes. I was fine with this; it would have been a mistake to try to cram a serious plot into this short runtime.
- Aside from the scenes that depicted teenage Satsuki, this movie felt just like another TV episode (including the usual flaws).
- My rating for the movie: 5/10
Hanasaku Iroha has kind of a 'live action' feel to it, in the sense that I could easily imagine it being played out with real-life actors. People who typically prefer live-action TV dramas might like this anime.
Hey sushi, I wonder if you could take your reviews someplace else since I feel they kinda clash with the casual vibe of the site. Also it's not like they generate much discussion and giving a rating may repel viewers who could potentially derive more enjoyment from a show. Just my two cents.
I enjoy reading his reviews, it's always nice to see someone go into detail when sharing their thoughts on imageboards. I don't see what's so unfitting about them.
I will throw my voice in the ring and say I like reading rolls reviews. I don't think even a scathingly negative review would be out of place as long as it doesn't devolve into fighting. It's just opinions.
>>3705>I don't see what's so unfitting about them
They're big blogposts on an sushi rollymous imageboard and the fact that the reviews are reposted on other IBs doesn't help. I can understand that the reposting is done to get a wider variety of opinions but it could attract uncomfy attention.
Excluding shitchan, the only two other IBs I post reviews on are basically on life support, especially with respect to anime discussion. The only reason I post them on 4/a/ (they usually go straight to page 10) is so it ends up in the archive so when people (like myself) search the shitchan archive they will find my review.
Also I really like the unfiltered feedback (including negative replies) I get in this medium and it's not something that can be replicated elsewhere. I also watch a fair bit of obscure stuff and it can be very difficult to find english speakers with similar interests.
To the people who want me to leave: show me an alternative platform and I'll gladly look into it.
One of these years I may finally launch a serious high-effort blog, but I work a lot and don't have much free time. In the meantime I am just trying to contribute to imageboard culture before it completely fades away.
Moved the most uncomfy posts to >>>/superhell/414
Reviews are of course allowed.
Nobody have to like everything, but there is no reason to be mean about it.
Edit: I fucked up when moving the posts. I'll ask Seisatsu to fix ;_;
Yuno is an integral part of the /otaku/ (formerly samachan) experience and it saddens me to see his contributions relegated to superhell…
I watched Net-juu no Susume, also known as Recovery of an MMO Junkie or Recommendation of the Wonderful Virtual Life. Here are my thoughts:
In terms of the writing, the characters are a strong point – they are likable and often relatable, particularly the MC (Moriko). However, the plot is cliche and predictable. I don't want to be too harsh on the plot though because it set up a ton of situational comedy and was a fertile source of humour in general. Regardless of the story, the script itself is overall well done; I thought they totally nailed it during some scenes, and it was further enhanced by the voice acting. The dialogue was often funny too. I enjoyed the humour in this a lot, and the script and its delivery was a major component of that. I laughed out loud at every episode.
The voice acting in this is surprisingly good, especially for the female MC. Her voice work definitely enhanced the humour for me in many instances, and she also handled emotional moments well. In fact all the lead characters do a good job. Lily's in-game voicework is great, as is Lilac's. Hayashi does a good job too. The voice acting in this was a significant contributor to my enjoyment. Conversely, the OST seemed like it lacked variety (even for the short runtime) and felt low budget and unremarkable. There is one nice piano melody that is used frequently though.
As for the romance aspect, there are certainly some cute moments but I wouldn't say it's the main appeal of the show. This is more of a romcom (which I know is an off-putting term for many people, myself included). It doesn't play it straight and serious like a typical romance; comedic relief is frequent, including during romance-heavy scenes. Ordinarily I would take issue with this, but I really enjoyed the comedy of this anime and thought it was skillfully implemented. The mixture of sweet and funny feelings made for a really enjoyable viewing experience. It's very rare for me to feel this way about comedic relief, which I think is a testament to how well it's executed in this instance. Overall this is a surprisingly well-directed show.
The visuals are pretty basic and lackluster. Although I will give credit to the fact that the character animation is consistently on-model, which is not something I take for granted (especially with the presumably low budget of this anime). Even so, the visuals are adequate at best and there is definitely room for improvement in this dimension.
My overall rating: 8/10
I was either smiling or laughing while watching this. This show is funny and relatable. The MC is quite likable. The script is usually well written and delivered surprisingly well by the VAs. Although the plot is cliche and predictable, it created a lot of hilarious situational humour. Regardless of its lackluster production quality, this is a surprisingly well-directed show; I was consistently engaged by it and always looked forward to the next episode. This is a really fun anime and I'm glad I watched it.
I would definitely recommend this to people who spend a lot of time in internet communities, or have a significant component of their social life online.
This anime is 10 episodes plus one full-length special sequel episode. Just warning you, that 11th episode is one of the weaker ones IMO, so don't get your hopes up too much. You should treat the 10th episode as the finale.
I watched Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu, also known as Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World. I watched both seasons (including both parts of season 2), as well as the two movies. Here are my thoughts:
I should mention that I watched the director's cut for the first season, which supposedly had slightly more content than the original TV series. The first-season director's cut consists of 13 ~50-minute episodes, instead of the 25 TV episodes that composed the original version. For this reason my viewing experience might have been slightly different than others', although I've heard anecdotally that there's not much difference between the director's cut and the TV version.
The setting of Re:Zero is a fairly typical classic-fantasy world, but with a few unusual mechanics thrown in. There are a few cool things (like the flying magical whale), but overall it is pretty standard-fare fantasy stuff.
I'm really not fond of the character designs. Seriously, every single character in this is an eye sore, in my opinion. I just personally don't like the character art style at all. I also found the character animation during season 1 to be sloppy, however that did improve during season 2. Conversely, the setting and backgrounds in the show are sometimes animated well (moreso during season 1). The clash between the detailed backgrounds and poor character animation was impossible to ignore. It is quite stark and there are countless frames that look absurd because of it (again, this is a much more prominent issue in season 1).
I don't particularly like any of the characters, especially the MC. The story is told entirely through the perspective of the MC, and he is pretty much constantly on-screen, so my distaste for his personality was a major issue that seriously impeded my enjoyment of this series. My dislike for the characters (especially the MC) also prevented me from feeling empathy for them, which in turn inhibited my overall emotional engagement with the anime. The MC's behaviour and motivations were often stupid or even incomprehensible, and I frequently felt frustrated by his actions. Simply put, I would have enjoyed this anime more if the MC wasn't constantly behaving like a childish imbecile. His personality really is intolerable. Furthermore, even by isekai standards, the MC comes across as very 'self-inserty.' The rest of the cast is also fairly bland, and most supporting cast members just exist to facilitate aspects of the plot. The story really does revolve entirely around the MC (with the exception of some portions of S2P2).
During some portions of this anime I thought there was way too much unfunny tone-breaking comedy that would totally ruin the tension and emotion in a scene; this issue was most prominent during the first half of season 1, but never really went away entirely. It's really just a symptom of a broader issue, which is that the scriptwriting in this is garbage, at least from my perspective. Everything is overly spelled out so explicitly, the characters might as well be narrators. There is no nuance at all. It sounds like the VAs are reading from a rough draft. Scenes that have the potential to be emotionally impactful are often crippled by clunky unnatural dialogue and/or inappropriate comedy. Another ever-present issue is that the character interaction in this consistently feels unnatural and forced. These issues might be related to the seemingly juvenile target audience (more on that further below). The overly literal and explicit dialogue might be an intentional decision so that a younger viewer won't have trouble understanding anything. Sometimes the dialogue felt cheesy too, although that is just another manifestation of it being overly literal and explicit.
I didn't like the voice acting for Subaru (the MC) or Emilia. This is particularly unfortunate because the MC is near-constantly speaking, either to others or internally monologuing (I will concede that the VAs for both Subaru and Emilia got better during season 2, or maybe I perceived it that way due to the reduction in comedic relief). However, I did like the voice work for the two maid sisters (Rem and Ram), and Garf (introduced in S2) does a remarkable job as well.
The plot is sometimes good, and pretty much the only reason I stuck with this anime. The plot can be entertaining and sometimes the series does a good job of creating suspense. It's fairly easy to watch and the episodes pass quickly (during season 1 at least). If you want a somewhat interesting and complex plot, then this anime might be worth watching for you. It's also noteworthy that the plot is usually fairly coherent and laid out clearly, despite its complexity. There also aren't any major pacing issues (at least not in season 1). Plot execution is done well — and that very easily could have not been the case, so this is praiseworthy.
The OST felt a little generic sometimes although with fantastic production quality. There's a lot of orchestral music – some of it is actually quite excellent. I liked the season 2 OST more than season 1, despite the composer being the same. The composer's style eventually came to grow on me, but it took a while (I listened to the OST numerous times in isolation – not having to hear Subaru's awful voice concurrently likely helped). Regardless of your personal tastes, the OST is far better produced than your average anime soundtrack. Also, all of the OP and ED songs are good, and their respective albums are worth sampling. Music is a strong aspect of this anime, overall.
The first season of Re Zero had a pretty weak start. I think a major reason for this is because Emilia occupies more screentime. This is bad not only because Emilia has the personality of cardboard, but more importantly because Subaru and Emilia have terrible chemistry together. Their whole relationship feels unnatural and forced by the writer (actually, this is the case for all of Subaru's romantic pairings). So, as more characters are introduced as season 1 progresses, Emilia's character presence becomes diluted, and the show becomes more tolerable. Another significant reason that my enjoyment of season 1 increased in its latter half is because the show becomes much more serious, and there is a corresponding reduction in the awful comedy I addressed previously. However, conversely, I found that the feeling of suspense was strongest during the first half of season one. The latter half of the season also contained more action scenes, which I personally didn't find particularly entertaining.
As for the second season, the cast of characters is just as awful. However, season 2 does excel at developing mystery elements. Although there wasn't much linear plot progression, I enjoyed the way new dimensions of the story were gradually revealed during each of Subaru's reincarnations (during part 1 at least). All of my other criticisms continued to apply though, and the overall character of the show wasn't much different from season 1. The second part of season 2 had a weaker story in my opinion. There were also a lot of flashbacks, which I found boring. The supporting cast who received more attention were somehow not any more compelling than Subaru and Emilia, which really is revealing of the author's lack of skill. I found part 2 of season 2 to be the weakest portion of the entire series, and getting through those ~30-minute episodes was sometimes a struggle.
Overall this anime feels targeted towards a relatively young audience, particularly for a (supposedly) psychological thriller show. The self-insert pandering is very transparent — almost obnoxiously so. In fact sometimes the self-insert pandering is so shamelessly excessive that it feels like a parody. Even if you try to buy into the self-insert bait, it's pretty difficult to imagine being as imbecilic as Subaru, unless you have a crippling self-esteem problem. For context, this is coming from somebody who usually isn't bothered by self-insert baiting. Many of the themes in the writing and character motivations are juvenile as well. There's nothing objectively wrong with this, but I feel it's an important observation that this show is likely to appeal more to a teenage male audience.
My ratings are as follows:
Season 1(Director's Cut): 5/10
Season 2 Part 1: 5/10
Season 2 Part 2: 4/10
Re:Zero has a ton of flaws but, regardless, the plot was interesting enough to hold my attention. Furthermore, it is directed competently, at least in terms of plot execution. By anime standards, it's praiseworthy that a plot this complex is presented so coherently. Also, the OST is exceptionally well produced. Season 2 in particular has a very skillfully crafted soundtrack. Aside from the plot and music, nearly every other aspect of this anime is bad; but despite my negativity, I still watched over 4 cours of content, and would consider hatewatching future sequels.
Due to the arguably juvenile nature of the show and its characters, a teenage audience is more likely to enjoy this.
Also here are my ratings for the two OVAs/"movies":
OVA1(Memory Snow): 3/10
OVA2(Hyouketsu no Kizuna): 4/10
I suggest skipping both these OVAs (especially Memory Snow) unless you really care about the franchise. They aren't necessary to understand the TV anime.
The second OVA is focused on Emilia's backstory and does an okay job of humanizing her (in stark contrast to the TV series itself). I wish I had watched it earlier in my viewing sequence (ideally halfway through season 1, certainly before season 2). Also Emilia's VA puts on a surprisingly decent performance in this OVA. Why the low rating for the second OVA then? Because it didn't have the complex interesting plot of the TV series, which is by far the primary reason I've stuck with this anime at all.
I think that Re Zero will not age well and will eventually be recognized as one of the most overrated works from this time period.
>>3749> will be recognized as one of the most overrated works from this time period
I actually fully agree with you.
I watched Juuni Taisen, also known as Zodiac War. Here are my thoughts:
So basically, as you might have guessed, there are 12 warriors, each of whom are vaguely based on a zodiac animal. They all fight each other to the death simultaneously in an abandoned city because of a battle royale-style competition. It was interesting to see how the various warrior abilities competed against each other (and worked together in some cases). I'm a huge sucker for battle royale-style conflicts such as this.
The actual battle royale plot is easy to watch and makes for suitable binge-watch material. If you just feel like burning through an entire season in one day, this show would be an okay candidate for that, despite its flaws. This is kind of a junk-food show and shouldn't be taken seriously.
This show would be much better if they just entirely cut out the time-consuming character backstories and kept the screentime exclusively focused on the battle royale plot. Instead, literally entire episodes are wasted on inconsequential exposition for characters nobody cares about. None of these characters are compelling or interesting in any way. They easily could have filled an entire cour with a 12-fighter battle royale conflict; I have no idea why they threw away that opportunity to instead waste half the runtime on generic uncreative character backstories that would be better off in an OVA or auxiliary literature. This really was a terrible decision. By far the most boring part of this anime were all these pointless backstories. They spent way WAY too much screentime on this. Nobody cares about the exposition for some one-dimensional character in a huge cast who gets killed off one episode later. I am not watching this anime for character development (although I usually value it in other shows); this is not the situation for it and this show does not benefit from it at all. I don't care about your cliche tragic backstory or that Grug likes opera and long walks on the beach when he's not crushing skulls. I am just here to watch people with cool abilities plot against each other and fight; stop wasting my time with anything that isn't that. Just as an example to illustrate my point: they waste an ENTIRE EPISODE on the utterly generic boring backstory of a character who was killed off SEVEN EPISODES AGO. Right during what should be the pinnacle of the story they pivot to this nonsense – it was utterly ridiculous and totally stunted the show's momentum.
The character designs are overly comical to the point it almost made the show difficult to take seriously. I would have preferred them less pants-on-head retarded. Most characters in this look like they were designed by an edgy 12-year-old boy shortly after he learned about Chinese New Year. This show can be a little over-the-top edgy in general, sometimes to the point of it backfiring and being comical.
Overall the visuals are adequate but definitely not a selling point. The character animation employs this effect that blurs the linework, maybe to make it more organic-looking. I think I would have preferred that these blurred linework effects not be present, but it's not a big deal either way. The character animation was consistently adequate, so I probably shouldn't complain. Overall this show is animated competently but it doesn't excel beyond that. There isn't much of an art style, which is a missed opportunity but also not a flaw. CGI is used during some action scenes, FYI. The fight scenes were quite underwhelming and unimpressive overall. The fight scenes are also usually so shortlived that I hesitate to call this an action show at all; this is not necessarily a bad thing – I would prefer it over the tedious drawn-out fight scenes that plague some other anime. If you go into this show excited for fight scenes, you will be disappointed. The strategy aspect of the battle royale competition was far more entertaining, from my perspective at least.
The OST is generic and unimpressive, and never enhanced my enjoyment of the show (although I did like the ED song). Voice acting was similarly unremarkable, despite the ample opportunity for unique voices. I guess the VA for the necromancer did an okay job. Also I gotta acknowledge the VA (Yuuichirou Umehara) for the ox fighter – that guy has a great voice and I've enjoyed him in other roles.
Often the show plays a character's internal dialogue while they or somebody else is speaking, resulting in the viewer needing to pay attention to both lines of dialogue. I found the frequency of this a little irritating but I suppose it is an effective time-saving technique in terms of getting through dialogue quickly. It's also true that the contrast between what the characters say and think can be quite significant, but maybe it could have been demonstrated better. Having to follow two people speaking at once is cumbersome and I wish this anime didn't force it so often.
One very petty criticism I have: the city they fight in supposedly had a population of 500,000; I gotta say, a city with that population would not have infrastructure as dense as what is depicted in the show, not even in Japan. It looks like a city with a population at least double that (I know this is a silly thing to fixate on).
Yet another example of this anime's appalling waste of screentime is that the final episode consists mostly of the competition winner deliberating over what their 'wish' (the competition prize) should be. This mental deliberation of course takes place over the backdrop of some very dull screenplay, resulting in a viewing experience that is simply not entertaining. It was a very underwhelming season finale.
My overall rating: 4/10
My rating for this would be higher if the absurdly excessive and out-of-place pointless character backstories were removed from the show, or at least their duration were reduced enormously. It's mindboggling how much time got wasted on this. I try not to focus on one single issue when critiquing an anime, but it really is that straightforward in this case. When the show actually focused on the battle royale conflict, it was entertaining and easy to watch. Unfortunately, the screentime of this show was utterly squandered and the cool battle royale plot was heavily diluted by very low-quality content.
Seriously, just skip the flashback scenes. They aren't necessary to understand the plot of the show, and the anime as a whole would be much more entertaining if they were removed. Ordinarily I would be mortified by the thought of skipping content, but the banality of these character backstories is especially egregious and they add nothing of value to the show at all. This is a junk-food show and should be treated as such.
Despite my criticisms, this is still adequate binge-watch material. If you just want something to entertain you for ~5 hours straight, this isn't a terrible choice – you could do worse.
Lastly, I want to be very clear so that nobody misinterprets me: character development is usually a good thing and I have praised it in other shows (or criticized its absence). The difference is that a 12-character 12-episode battle royale action show is not at all suited for it – particularly the sheer amount of time that was devoted to it in this case.
Vague spoiler: the rat warrior's ability is really cool. It's a shame it didn't get more focus. It would have been interesting to see it deployed more from his perspective.
It's got lots of cute girls/boys, with a variety of personalities to suit the viewers' taste. Enough fanservice to keep the waifuists interested, but not so in your face to turn off the broader audience. Story doesn't suck and it's explained clearly enough that almost everyone can follow without having to watch too closely.
Between the broad appeal and being easy to watch, I don't think it's all that surprising that it's popular. Not saying it has a lot of artistic merit, but the general public is probably going to remember it fondly.>>3748
definitely written with teenagers as the primary demographic, as most LN adaptations are.
I watched Dive!!. Here are my thoughts:
So, as you might have guessed, this is a fairly typical sports show that is focused on diving. Much of the show revolves around the preparation, and selection, of athletes for the Olympics. Going to the (Tokyo) Olympics is certainly relevant to recent world events at the time of my writing this. Overall this show has a pretty amateurish feeling and seems low budget.
Considerable attention is paid to the technical aspects of diving, certainly moreso than I expected. This is a very unique feature of this anime and one of the main reasons I stuck with it. It was interesting to learn about the sport of diving through this medium. In fact I would have liked to have seen even more focus on the details of the sport (maybe I should've just watched a documentary, haha).
Although it was a little melodramatic, I was grateful for the absence of comedy in the show. I could consistently feel the tension in the show and the pressure the athletes were under. There was a pervasive feeling of anticipation of upcoming competitions. I much prefer this over a comedy-heavy show. So although people complain about melodrama, I just want to point out that the alternative scenario could have been much worse.
Overall the characters were fairly weak and a little underdeveloped. However, I did like the female coach (Kayoko) and the ocean-cliff diver guy (Shibuki). Shibuki was one of the reasons I stuck with this show; he was a cool character. Kayoko was also cool and I enjoyed her presence. Unfortunately the MC was a pretty lackluster character; he didn't have much of a personality and added little to the show. A better MC could have gone a long way to improving this show, or at least somehow making him more sympathetic and likable would. I found the coaching staff more intriguing characters than the divers themselves (there is a fair bit of drama revolving around the diving organization and its members). There is also a lot of focus on the athletes' state of mind – I appreciated this, even though it could have been done better, and would have been augmented by better characters.
The visuals are serviceable but certainly nothing special. There wasn't any discernable art style. Although there were no major visual flaws, the animation is basic and lackluster, and definitely not a selling point for the show. Which is kind of unfortunate because this anime could really benefit from a high animation budget; there was tons of (squandered) opportunity for visual flair. I try not to place too much emphasis on visuals, but there was definitely a lot of wasted potential here in that regard. This anime could have looked awesome if only it had the budget. Also I can't end this paragraph without mentioning those hot muscular slender diver bodies – they are indeed tight and sexy, and there is a lot of fanservice, albeit with lackluster animation. One thing I will say about the fanservice is that there was never ever screentime devoted strictly to it – it was always just incidental and never particularly intrusive. I say this in contrast to so many other shows that basically put a neon sign up saying "THIS IS THE FANSERVICE SCENE" (I'm being hyperbolic) and proceed to jiggle breasts in front of you for the next minute straight with nothing else of entertainment value on-screen; the fanservice in Dive was way more tasteful and nondisruptive than this, which is certainly preferable to the alternative. Also it's just unavoidable that a show focused on male diving athletics is going to have a lot of naked lean muscular men on-screen.
The audio is underwhelming; the OST is not bad but fairly generic, and the voice acting as a whole is quite mediocre. At least the ED song is nice and soothing.
Even though it was amateurish, there was nothing about this anime that was particularly awful. On the other hand, there was nothing about it that significantly impressed me. It is a fairly typical sports show, just focused on diving and maybe with a bit more voyeuristic flavour than usual. A bit more melodrama as well, but I still much prefer that over excessive comedic relief. On the other hand, I wished they focused even more on the sport and experience of competitive diving itself, rather than all the melodrama regarding the Olympic team and its support staff. The last few episodes definitely had some forced drama laid on heavy.
My overall rating: 5/10
It wasn't THAT bad. Although amateurish, it doesn't have any major flaws. It's a little heavy on the melodrama but personally I still prefer that over excessive comedy; I appreciated this anime maintaining a consistently serious mood. This anime doesn't make any major unforced errors, but also isn't particularly ambitious. Although the characters are forgettable, it was an adequate sports show. I was adequately entertained and would watch a second season.
People who like sports anime should consider giving this a chance. It's a shame about the budget – I really think this anime could have benefited from better production quality, moreso than other shows. This definitely doesn't deserve to be one of the lowest-rated shows on MAL.
For the record, at the time of writing this, I have not yet seen the Free! anime (it is often compared to Dive).
I remember a long time ago when I was a child, multiple times I attended a summer camp hosted at a university with an Olympic-style pool. I swam in this giant pool frequently, and I still vividly remember the diving platforms. It was set up exactly like in this anime. It brought back some memories. I've had recurring dreams over the years about being back in that pool. It's a prominent memory in my mind. I remember jumping off those concrete diving platforms. As a kid it was really cool. I still vividly remember the feeling of those concrete diving platforms beneath my bare feet, and the feeling of jumping off them.
SPOILER COMMENT: nobody actually goes to the Olympics…during the show. The last episode takes place before the Olympics, during a preliminary competition from which the Olympic team is determined. Personally I tend not to fixate on plot milestones like this, but I know this will bother other people. The ending isn't entirely unsatisfying though. An Olympics arc would have been nice to see, but I suppose the Tokyo Olympics were still years in the future when this anime aired. As I've already alluded, most of the show's drama revolves around the preparation for the Olympics, not the actual event. So, be aware of that and set your expectations accordingly.
I never finished it but I had a really good time watching it back on /a/.
Well in a way it does sound
similar considering Demetrios and Mars share the same seiyuu, Ono Daisuke
i've been watching some non non biyori lately, and i'm surprised at how engaged i am. i never thought an anime about the life of rural japanese kids would be so fun to watch but here i am ending the first season in 3 days. something about this show really resonates with me, it feels like childhood, nature and fun and i really need those things right now so it's perfect.
i'm still very new to the slice of life genre but it looks like i'll be enjoying it more often from now on
NNB is a masterpiece in cozyness and evoking the best parts of childhood. I'm glad you've taken the SoL-pill sushi, there's a lot of great anime in that genre.
Who's your favorite girl? I like Nattsun and Dagashiya
I watched Tsuki ga Kirei, also known as The Moon is Beautiful or NyQuil PM. Here are my thoughts:
I tried. I swear I tried. I tried my very best to like this show. I dropped it TWICE – once shortly after it aired, and once again when I gave it a second chance around 2019. I picked it up a third time in 2022 in a desperate effort to see what the hype was all about, yet still I was disappointed, although did finish it. I did my very best to like this show, and watched it in a variety of states of mind only to be met by unwavering disappointment.
For those unaware, this is a pure romance show focused on characters in late Japanese middle school (around 14 years in age I think).
The male lead and his female love interest are both ridiculously boring characters. They both have the personality of a three-day-old bowl of gruel. They have terrible chemistry and their interactions are mindnumbingly boring. I never felt the slightest spark of romance between them, or any emotion at all for that matter (besides boredom and frustration). Their entire relationship feels unnatural and artificial.
The dialogue is painfully boring and tedious, way WAY beyond the point of endearing shyness. This is not the cute reluctant youthful romance I was lead to expect. The two leads are absurdly deadpan – their affect is so flat I thought they were on enough antipsychotics to put a schizophrenic elephant into a coma (and if that doesn't work they should just broadcast this anime in the beast's habitat – this show is so forgettable it could invalidate prior studies on elephant memory). Furthermore, a huge portion of their interaction takes place via phone messages, which maybe is a blessing in disguise because the character animation is so bad. Which leads me to my next point…
The visuals of this anime are poor. The character CGI is awful, and I'm usually willing to overlook this. Seriously, those scenes of the school campus with the CGI-animated students were so poorly done. Besides the rare background frame, this show has poor visual production quality. Also worth mentioning is that I did not like the character designs – those sameface characters with the beady eyes were consistently unpleasant to look at. This is compounded by the bland school outfits and totally boring colour palette. Even outside of the CGI scenes, the character animation is crude and often off-model. Like, I can excuse poor animation if the show makes an effort at some kind of art style, but this show has neither! The colour palette and character designs are ugly and the animation quality is messy. I will concede that there were sometimes nice background frames (the ep.8 festival date is a good example), but that certainly does not excuse the appalling character animation. A lot of the visuals in this look like they took a real-life photo, passed it through an anime-style visual filter, and then added some hideous CGI-animated characters. The visual contrast between the characters and their environment is often quite stark. Even in scenes that take place on the street, the CGI-animated cars look like they belong in a console game released in 2002. Infrequently the focus of a frame is well targeted to create a nice cinematic effect – unsurprisingly these moments don't have any characters in the shot. Also I would be remiss if I did not mention that the ridiculous amount of phone messages in this show resulted in some consistently boring and tedious screenplay. Seriously, when phone screencaps are a central focus of the ED sequence, you can't deny something has seriously gone wrong with this so-called 'romance' anime (and that's not even mentioning the unfunny 'comedy' skits they add after the ED).
The commercial success of this anime is a total mystery to me, but clearly the return on investment must have been great since the animation budget was planned in Zimbabwean dollars (perhaps the elephants really were running the show, with autocratic rule too).
As I already alluded, the voice acting for the two leads is totally catatonic, and because they dominate the screentime and script, the rest of the cast is largely irrelevant. Regardless, none of the supporting cast VAs impressed me. As for music, I remember there being at least one okay insert vocal song, but otherwise the OST seemed fairly unremarkable.
Storywise, the sources of conflict are quite cliche. It was a pretty generic school romance in this regard too. There was nothing in the writing that I found praiseworthy, and the story overall feels formulaic.
Later in the series, competing potential love interests are introduced for both the male and female MC. Ordinarily, I would not enjoy this, but the two leads have such awful chemistry that I actually enjoyed (relatively) the presence of these other potential suitors. Seriously, both the alternative love interests had better chemistry with their respective targets. I think in both cases this was largely due to the pairing of an outgoing extroverted character with a shy soft-spoken romantic target. This is in stark contrast to the original couple, who are both quite introverted and reserved (and boring!). On a similar train of thought, I gotta say that I liked the amusement park episode way more than the others, perhaps mainly for the reasons just outlined. Or maybe because everyone in that episode communicates in-person instead of relying on those awful tedious text messages. In any case, episode 7 when they go to the amusement park, that was probably my favourite episode of the entire series (which isn't saying much).
It's worth noting there is little comedy in this, which is certainly not something I can say about other romance shows. Regardless of all my criticisms, I will always praise the absence of inappropriate comedic relief, particularly here because it's so common in romance shows like this. Similarly, I appreciated how wholesome and pure this show was. There was pretty much zero sexualization at all or so-called 'fanservice'. This anime was consistently innocent and sweet, regardless of all its flaws; it consistently had a 'puppy love' feeling to it. I think this is one of the main reasons it was so well received, but that also illustrates the scale of unmet demand for this kind of thing – I'm sure a show with the same premise as Tsuki ga Kirei but competently executed could be very successful.
My overall rating: 3/10
Tsuki ga Kirei is one of the worst romance shows I have ever seen. I'm mystified by what people see in this show. From my perspective, it brings nothing to the table; I see nothing of artistic worth here. There are some brief romantic moments but they're not nearly enough to compensate for the time invested. The two leads are unbelievably weak characters, and more importantly, they have zero romantic chemistry whatsoever. Additionally, both the screenplay and dialogue are incredibly dull, and the character animation is jarringly dreadful.
What words would I use to describe my Tsuki ga Kirei viewing experience? Exasperating, frustrating, BORING, irritating, unemotional, tedious…
I feel like most of the people praising this anime are just projecting their own memories onto it. Since the show and its characters have zero personality whatsoever, it is certainly a good projection medium (perhaps this is a positive feature for some viewers). I also imagine that this show would be potent self-insert material for some people. Maybe I am the wrong audience for this kind of thing. Just warning anyone reading: expect a lot of negative reviews over the next few months. I have a lot of garbage in my pipeline and, with some exceptions, I am mainly scraping the bottom of the barrel of 2017 right now. I'll probably be more positive once I wrap up my evaluation of 2017. >>3787
I loved NNB (rated it 9/10). You reminded me that I still haven't seen the vacation movie or the third season. I should definitely do that. Might even write a review for it.
>>3848>>3849>I feel like most of the people praising this anime are just projecting their own memories onto it.
Yeah, that's me. I liked Tsuki ga Kirei because it tapped into that middle school nostalgia. The plot isn't memorable but the tedious, boring awkwardness you hate is what makes it beautiful for me. Tsuki ga Kirei is a more realistic depiction of middle school romance than most anime but understandably not the most capitvating.
Episode 1 of Hanairo made me want to commit suicide like nothing else I’ve ever watched. It’s been a year and I still feel sick when thinking about it.
None of the reviews I’ve read mention how depressing the story is, or how much of a punching bag Ohana is, or how the underlying message is that she deserves it and that abusing your family and employees is great.
…I’m probably weird for thinking it’s a fucked up anime, or for complaining about it after just one episode. Or maybe I’m misinterpreting the point. I don’t know. Just wanted to get this out.
I'm not gonna lie, it strikes me as kinda unhealthy for an anime to have affected you that severely. I watched it years ago and don't remember the first episode being anything put of the ordinary. I'd avoid watching anime in general because there's much worse out there in terms of showing upsetting things.
I see. It might have just hit the right sore spots for me and next to no-one else.
I've watched things that you'd expect would be more upsetting, like Eva and NHK and… Wonder Egg? but those are mostly depressing (or offensive in Wonder Egg's case), not self-harm triggers.
I watched Kimi no Koe wo Todoketai, also known as I Want To Deliver Your Voice. Here are my thoughts:
This is just a ~90-minute movie, so I'll try to be brief.
It should be noted that I'm a huge sucker for anything relating to DJing, or radio, or talk shows, or just anything that involves sharing audio with others really. For this reason I thought I might like this movie, and was cautiously optimistic about it.
The plot of this feels kind of unfocused, and most of the movie consists of the various teenage girl characters messing around in this radio cafe place. There is some petty drama among the teenage girls. Throughout its runtime this movie alters between SoL-like scenes (that often involve radio), and various kinds of drama. This movie felt pretty 'family friendly', in the sense that I could imagine both a child and adult enjoying it. There was nothing inappropriate in here for a child audience (well, maybe aside from one character being in a preexisting long-term coma, and a friendly ladyy slap in one scene during an argument among the girls).
The main premise of this movie is cool and promising. Much of the story revolves around the existence of 'kotodama', which are basically word spirits. The idea is that spoken word has the power to influence reality via these word spirits. I thought this was a great idea for a story, but unfortunately the execution in this case is very mediocre. I also wish they spent more time in general developing this aspect of the story. Although there are some good ideas, the actual scene-by-scene storyline of this anime is pretty uninteresting.
This movie feels amateurish as well as low budget, which is kinda surprising since it came out of Madhouse. I really do not like the character designs – they are ugly and overly simplistic. Furthermore, the character animation is lackluster and the facial expressions lack detail. The setting sometimes looks decent, but definitely not above average for a modern anime movie. Overall the visuals are lacking.
Ironically (recall title), the voice acting in this is pretty bad, overall. The MC in particular has really amateurish-sounding voice work, which is unfortunate, especially considering the importance of voice in this movie. Most of the music they play is well-known classical that you've likely heard before; it was pretty underwhelming. It felt like they played it overly safe by sticking to classical music. Also, teenage girls knowing and liking Vivaldi definitely required some suspension of disbelief. I think it was a poor decision to use classical music for this. There is a song near the end of the movie that the girls sing together; their singing actually sounds surprisingly good, especially in chorus. Nice lyrics too. I would have enjoyed this movie more if they included more scenes like that. The vocals in the ED song were surprisingly good as well.
It's worth mentioning that, despite the short runtime, this movie is well paced and the ending is neat and tidy. They didn't bite off more than they could chew. I also want to mention that there is zero romance (or any sexualization at all) in this, which I was grateful for. All the main characters in this are female, and males are barely relevant beyond facilitating the plot.
My overall rating: 4/10
Although its premise has a lot of potential, and there are some good ideas in the writing, the execution of this movie is unmistakably mediocre.
As far as anime movies go, this wouldn't be a bad choice to watch with a kid or young teenager; I think that's one aspect of this that could be a selling point. There aren't many anime movies I could say that about, so I think it's noteworthy. In particular, I can imagine a young girl (like, about age 8-12) really enjoying this due to all the early-teens female social dynamics it contains, and this movie overall has kind of a girly Disney-like vibe to it. In fact the more I think about it, the more I'm realizing that this anime was made with a young female audience in mind. This movie seems like something a mother and daughter could enjoy together.
I've seen multiple people liken this movie to Kimi no Na wa and Koe no Katachi – this assertion of similarity is utterly moronic and not based in reality. Aside from being a drama with a similar title, this has very little in common with those two other movies. Anybody saying this is "the Madhouse response to [KnNw/KnK]…" has meme brainworms and isn't analyzing things objectively. I don't know the reasoning behind this movie's title choice, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was a marketing gimmick designed to catch attention and spark discussion due to its similarity to the aforementioned well-known titles. Maybe there's a story to be told regarding that. >>3852
The character dynamics in Hanasaku Iroha were dark and twisted in many ways.
I watched ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka. Also known as ACCA: 13th Territory Inspection Department. Here are my thoughts:
I'd describe the world this takes place in as a fascist monarchy. Culturally, it felt like a mix of France and Germany but not overtly Nazi-inspired (aside from the uniforms). It also felt like a mid-20th-century time period but with some modern technology added like cell phones and desktop computers. It was peculiar. Sometimes a random piece of technology would appear in a scene and it would seem very unusual and break my immersion for a moment.
This anime is about a political conspiracy that unfolds painfully slowly over the course of the show. Most of the characters are government officials in the ACCA department and/or belong to the ruling monarchy in some way. There is inadequate exposition, particularly during the early episodes. This anime tries to be 'show don't tell', but this is not the right setup for a subtle conspiratorial political plotline. This is definitely a show that requires world building and background information, and its deficiency in this regard is a major issue. I often felt like I was watching a promo trailer or something because it frequently seemed like I was just randomly dropped into a scene with zero context or ability to comprehend the significance of the dialogue. I wasn't given a reason to care about anything or anyone in this show. Literally, putting a 1-minute exposition blurb by a narrator with visual aids in every few episodes would enhance this show tremendously. There is no broader context to what is happening in the show and it almost just feels like a nonsensical fever dream, particularly during the earlier episodes. The story feels totally aimless for much of the runtime.
Pretty much the entire cast is unlikeable or at least lacking personality. The little sister character is annoying and airheaded. The MC (Jean) is a memorably awful character. He has zero personality at all and resembles a chainsmoking beached fish. He is such an incredibly dull character, and what's even weirder is how he's adored everywhere he goes. There's also Niino, who is chairman of the Jean fan club and is his stalker BF (not quite literally). Other characters include a large number of ACCA organization members, nearly all of whom are underdeveloped. Many of the ACCA members could have been removed from the cast and the story would have worked fine without them; it seems the author needed some extras to use up the remaining silly hairstyles they had sitting around.
The scriptwriting in this is shockingly awful. Mundane comments about smoking tobacco are relentlessly included in the script for seemingly no reason at all (literally the MC's entire personality, aside from being borderline narcoleptic, is that he's a smoker). Also, whoever wrote this show clearly loved sweets and baked goods, because they are constantly inserted into the script AD NAUSEAM. The dialogue in general is incredibly dull and mindnumbing. Everything in the script is so banal and pointless. I really can't stress enough how unbelievably dull and monotonous the dialogue in this show is. It's almost hard to believe it was even meant to be entertainment. It's astonishing this anime even got greenlit, especially with such a seemingly high budget. This script is so torturously monotonous they should have broadcasted it on repeat at Waco (perhaps they will relate to the fascist themes in the story!); even if the Branch Davidians are burning alive, the real torment will come from having to hear another goddamn conversation about smoking.
Throughout the show the MC visits different districts of the kingdom, each of which have different cultures, climate, and are subject to their own unique set of regulations. In theory this sounds very interesting, but the actual product is so lackluster. Usually little of each district is shown during the visits, and not much detail in general is provided. It doesn't take long for the conversations during these travels to devolve into "dude cigarettes lmao." These trips were great opportunities for exposition and world building, but their potential was not capitalized upon at all. It's just shocking because people are constantly talking during these trips, yet the conversations contain so little information! The level of wasted potential is truly staggering. The world building in general for this anime is done very poorly.
Despite this supposedly being a mystery show, it seems like there was zero effort whatsoever put into creating suspense.
Midway through the season, there is a hugely important reveal (I won't spoil it, or specify which episode), but the way it is dropped is so nonchalant and flat. This could have been a dramatic moment but instead it was just randomly inserted into the script as casually as the MC talks about goddamn pastries. It was unbelievably strange. I was so bewildered I had to rewind the scene because I thought I misinterpreted the dialogue.
There are eventually some major plot developments during the final few episodes, some of which were inadequately foreshadowed IMO. Despite the seriousness of these developments, I was still left with a feeling of inadequate payoff in terms of that being the climax. It was dissatisfying and underwhelming, especially after enduring the long dull journey to get there. Much of this is in the execution of these scenes and the overall poor direction of the show. There is zero suspense whatsoever, and there is no feeling of catharthis at all when things are resolved, despite the ridiculously drawn-out build up. The climax of the story, including the final episode, is incredibly underwhelming and you definitely should not get your hopes up for it. Please don't justify to yourself continuing to watch this show because you're expecting some big reveal at the end – trust me it's not worth it.
I would describe the art style as being like retro anime but with a modern polish while also retaining its organic feeling. It was crisp and refined but also somewhat dull and lacking creativity. Although the character designs are unique, I think I disliked more of them than I liked. The droopy fish-like eyes of the MC being one ever-present example. Also having most of the cast wear similar bland government uniforms made for a dull visual experience; they could have had way more fun with the outfits and put more creativity and variety into them. Instead, nearly everyone in the cast wears the exact same uniform most of the time, which just reinforces the relentlessly monotonous feeling of this anime. However, the setting did look decent overall. It appeared fairly realistic but, similarly to the outfits, with not much personality or variety. It would have been nice to have something more interesting and with more artistic flair to look at while listening to the droning dialogue of this show. It is still crisp and polished though, don't get me wrong. There is not a single blemish to be found really. However, even though the production quality is solid, this anime still feels half-baked (and I don't mean the goddamn pastries) due to how poorly executed the story is.
I would say the cinematography was above average overall, although inconsistent. Shot composition often did a good job of featuring the setting. Variable focus effects are sometimes used to give the visuals more depth. That said, the animation in this is not dynamic at all. Stills appear very frequently and it felt like the bare minimum of character movement was used.
The voice for Niino (the MC's stalker BF) is unique and suits his role well. Conversely, I found the voice acting of the MC (Jean) as underwhelming as his personality. Everyone else had unremarkable voice work. As for music, I personally don't like jazz, and there is a lot of it in the OST. It seems well produced but it just isn't my cup of tea. There are a few alright piano tracks though.
Lastly, I want to mention that the consistently low-key calm atmosphere of this show made it suitable for when I was tired or just didn't want to watch anything too high energy – this anime was reliably chill and nobody ever yelled in my ear. I suppose this is a positive aspect – it is the main reason I was even able to watch this show to completion.
My overall rating: 2/10
This anime is literally just videogame-NPC dialogue played over a low-tempo jazz soundtrack. I'm not exaggerating, that's literally what this show is. The dialogue is so dull it's bewildering. Despite this apparently being a mystery show, it fails to induce any feeling of suspense or tension whatsoever, and is overall incredibly boring to watch. The lack of exposition is also crippling, particularly during the first half of the show where there is zero context at all for the events (or lack thereof) taking place. Throughout all this the MC has the personality of a beached fish and pretty much the entire cast is unlikable. Furthermore, although the production quality is high, both the art style and screenplay leave much to be desired. The visuals being quite polished doesn't change the fact that they are boring and dull. This anime doesn't even feel like entertainment.
Regardless of all this, it was reliably chill. There is basically zero high-tempo music and nobody ever yells. So, if you're looking for a show to fall asleep to, this would be an excellent choice for that. Plus, you won't miss anything if you pass out halfway through, I promise!
There is a 47-min sequel OVA which I masochistically hatewatched.
The setting looked nice and the visuals in general were a notch above the TV anime. However, all of the flaws I addressed above persisted. This OVA was just as astonishingly dull as the TV series.
I did not watch the special shorts but I bet they're awful. I did watch the Blurays though for the record.
Sorry you didn't like it sushi roll! It's funny to read your review though because that one ended up on my watch list because someone described it as "a calm slice of life with a backdrop of intelligence officers". I watched the first episode now and I think it might not be doing enough comfy slice of life to be a slice of life nor enough spy action or drama, so it's kinda in this weird in between place… which might be really appealing to some people. I think I may watch more of it sometime.
I read the manga recently… the end is totally open ended, ok! Umm… but yeah, I think they actually gave more explanation about the past in the anime than in the manga. It seems like not knowing was one of the themes though. If they explained how the world got how it is, it would undercut the feeling of the girls touring it.