The "nobody has a name" trick is a bit tiresome.Not true! Goblin Slayer has at least 3! Orcbolg and Beard Cutter!
The Anime Appreciation Thread • Page 33
@Rivuzu Hah, yes, I saw the Orcbolg thing as a bit of an admission by the writers that even they were finding the no-names conceit a pain in the arse to keep up.
Maoyu Mao Yusha previously did the no-names thing as well. But that was a very different kind of show, being a much higher-level story about a fantasy world and society going through turbulent reforms, where the characters were much more clearly just ciphers for various ideas and concepts. It's trickier to keep it up in a more straightforward adventure show.
@Rogueywon Thanks, I did (very briefly!) look into the other shows you mentioned. I am only about eight or nine episodes into UBW at the moment though, and I'll probably take a bit of a break again after I finish that. Good to know that some of it is worthwhile, though.
Just as a heads-up, if you're after any physical anime stuff, All the Anime will be doing their 12 days of Christmas thing again, starting on Saturday. They tend to have some decent deals.
Anime adaptation of Ace of Diamond 2 has been confirmed.
We're back on the mound, boys.
Space Dandy is on sale, someone sell me on it.
I've never looked into it too closely, but it's a Shinichiro Watanabe joint, isn't it? All the Anime have both seasons blu ray collectors editions going for a tenner each.
You probably won't be surprised (given my downer on Cowboy Bebop) that I'm not a fan. But I think I'm in more company on Space Dandy. It launched with a huge amount of hype and fanfare, but ended up a commercial damp squip.
The Japanese audience barely noticed it - not surprising given it was never really marketed at them. Among Western audiences, its first couple of episodes got a lot of notice, but people drifted away from it. It had a lack of continuity (deliberate, but still irritating), over-use of the same few gags and a bit of a trying-too-hard tone running through a lot of the writing.
Watanabe oversaw it, but it essentially became an open-house, free-for-all of top talent chipping in whenever they had free time and it shows it. There are some weaker episodes, but there are stone cold classics too, with different art styles, directors, writers and musical themes depending who was around.
A Fonz surfer dude, working as an alien bounty hunter, accompanied by his hoover robot and Instagram-loving freeloader cat. What's not to like ?
Ah yeah, I just read Them Anime's review and they mention it feeling quite disconnected due to the raft of different directors and styles. I'm willing to take a punt for twenty quid though! It at least looks nice!
Weird thing about Space Dandy, it was one of those shows that were supposed to "save anime".
Yes, I know they say it about something just about every other season. But Space Dandy in particular seemed to receive a lot of hype, perhaps because in those years, the "moephobia" that swept the anime community was at its peak.
Finished watching Citrus. A pleasant Yuri anime, let down towards the end with it pulling off yet another love triangle, but this one came out from nowhere.
Started and a few episodes in with Goblin Slayer, and it's decent so far. Zombieland Saga has been awesome during the past few weeks. Will be sad when it ends soon.
Edited by FrostPan at 22:45:33 05-12-2018
@FrostPan I liked Citrus. It was trashy, it knew it and it just wanted to have fun. Agree the love triangle at the end was a bit overdone, but at least they shut it down quickly enough.
Aye. Also like to mention the show looks lovely, and I'm glad they ended it nicely. Don't think it's a show that necessary needs another season.
Just finished Netflix Hero/Mask. Been getting rave reviews.
Genuinely can't understand why. Mystery is a mess and it's not as good as the writers think it is.
Art is great, particularly the rendition of London. Pretty cool to see high-level detail and accuracy of London, and everything around it (from cars to phone).
In fact it was so hyper-realistic, for the first time in am anime, I noticed how there was no black or ethnic people....at all, not even as extras in the background, for a world entirely based in London.
But then has all the other anime art clichés such as 50 year old's with long flowing and everyone bar the baddies looking like they're in their 20s regardless of their age.
Rave reviews ? I hadn't even heard of it, and a quick search shows a lot of promotional bumf in the media channels (outstanding, must see etc) and a lot of forum posts ripping it, as you say for being yet another cliched and boring mess. Don't think it's even been mentioned on reddit, and I haven't seen it uploaded to any of my regular haunts.
Hmmm, after B:The Beginning and A.I.C.O, I don't think I'll bother. Why can't Netflix get it right with these original shows ?
Finished Shinsekai Yori, and despite a decent tale, it really didn't live up to the exalted position I've read about. A lot of "tell, don't show" to save budget/time, wildly varying animation quality and ethics-for-kids plot, utterly spoiled with it's obvious hints. I've always avoided spoilers knowing I'd watch it, but over eps 3-5 it pretty much ruins any suspense with the blunt fore-shadowing it presents. I do wonder if it's a case of the show's ideas being utilised thereafter, and thus suffers from a familiarity, but as a 2008/2012 release it feels too late in the game for that.
It's a great discussion piece, sure, but that's why I'm posting here......
Oh well, April/Spring isn't so far off.
@oldschoolsoviet I don't think all of the Netflix shows have been awful. I quite liked A.I.C.O myself, though it was by no means top-tier, and Violet Evergarden was reasonably good. But it's true that their co-produced shows haven't been as good as you'd expect given the money Netflix can make available.
I think a lot of this comes down to my old theme of "made for export" anime. When Netflix join the production committee for shows, they're bringing a whole different set of expectations to the table and trying to steer the show in different directions. It's not just Netflix. When Funimation joined the production committee for Dimension W, the result was one of the biggest plot-and-thematic train-wrecks of recent years (though the show was lavishly animated for most of its run).
Chinese co-productions have fared even worse and range from the "shit" to the "utterly dismal".
@oldschoolsoviet Sorry, also meant to come back on Shinsekai Yori earlier, but ran out of time to post before having to leave for work.
I really liked that show. I thought it did a good job of building a creeping sense of dread and I liked the way it did the classic dystopian-fiction thing of showing a seemingly utopian society and then peeling back the layers.
I think you underestimate the sophistication of the ethical components of it. I saw it as an interesting critique of the kind of shallow pacifism you often see in Japanese media (like Gundam, where you get endless seasons of giant robots blowing the shit out of things, with their pilots banging on and on all the while about how great peace is and how nobody should ever fight each other). Shinsekai Yori has a society which has taken pacifism to the extreme by making it biologically impossible for humans to harm each other. But as the show goes on, it becomes increasingly clear that this ideal is only made possible by a hidden system of horrific oppression, be it through the use of trained animals to kill children who stray from approved behaviours, or through the mutation of most of humanity into the molerats, who can be enslaved and slaughtered at will).
All told, I thought it was an interesting piece of dystopian fiction, drawing on some of the traditional classics of that genre (The Time Machine and Brave New World in particular), but adding its own twist to them.
See, for me it showed it's hand far too early, and all the spoiler tagged stuff was painfully obvious as a result.
From the off, a happy idyllic society is always a red flag, the removal of their lagging friend and the cheating boy clear as day, and as soon as the false minishiro started an info drop it was pretty much sealed. Think it was shortly after with the priest and one of the lads asks "what happened to the other two tribes ?" THEY BE QUEERATS I SAYS.
Hell, even the priest's fatigue looked more like a smaller effect of death feedback, possibly because he's aware that he's killing somewhat sentient beings. By the time they were helping Squealer, I knew they were being played, and that the kids involvement with them would lead to a societal change amongst the rats, hammered home in its little cues that this would come back to bite them in the arse. By the time Squealer removes his 'slave' name and goes by Yakomuru, you know it's too late.....
The snippets of ages past and stories also added to the "psychic bad, grow tyrannical, will attempted to be overthrown" theme that they build, and equally ruins any suspense at the same time. It's only once it's all finished that you can really start the debate over which society was more 'right', and despite the psychic society's misgivings about "are we the baddies ?", they've no other option but to continue in the same way. Looking back, it feels like the introduction to a better story.
One thing I had hoped for (on the basis of a few frames, and the supposedly perfect disguise of just a cloak) was that our humans weren't actually human in appearance, more a projected self identity that'd see them being equally twisted creatures. It would've made more sense for Kiroumaru's demise later too, or perhaps everyone is short sighted ?
So yeah, interesting, and filed under something I'd recommend, but I doubt I'll ever go back to it.
@oldschoolsoviet I think I'm less bothered than you by the foreshadowing/tagging. I think the main reason I like Shinsekai Yori is that it's one of a vanishingly small number of anime to grapple with social and political themes in an intelligent way. By and large, anime studios (and Japanese game developers) are much more cautious than their Western media counterparts about including political and social messages in their works. Hell, even Miyazaki himself, who is a well known communist, has always kept his politics out of his work (he has a finely honed sense for what sells). Often, this is a good thing. I like that, unlike in the West, not every show is trying to be a flashpoint in the culture wars. But occasionally, it's good to have something with a bit more substance. Probably helps that SSY is based on a full-sized novel, rather than a manga or light novel.
By and large, political content in anime (and Japanese games) falls into one of three camps:
War is naughty, bad and wrong - now buy our cool action toys: This is the most common. Gundam's the classic example (and Tomino himself is known to hate what his creation has become for this reason). But it's true of a lot of shows that air and you can find examples each season. Basically, they want to give out lots of reassuring pacifist messages - but also want to sell action toys of giant robots or people with big swords.
Generic anti-Americanism: Fairly firmly entrenched in a number of anime shows. See everything from serious action/dramas like Blood+ to silly fanservice shows like Asobi Ni Iku Yo.
Creepy ultra-nationalism: Fairly rare, but really jarring when you come across it. The original Space Battleship Yamato is the classic example (they toned it down massively for the sequels and the 2199 remake), but you can also see it on full display in Code Geass R2. More recently, Gate had a few nods in this direction (though didn't go as far as the older shows).
None of those really make for particularly satisfying social or political themes, so it's refreshing when you get something that strays outside of them. SSY's fairly thoughtful critique of the risks of taking pacifism too far was refreshing. A few other shows that have dabbled intelligently in social and political themes would be Psycho Pass (season 1 only), Spice and Wolf and, over in gaming-land, Persona 5. You could possibly make a case for Cross Ange's hyper-capitalist message, but that's a show which likes to bury its smarts under a thick layer of gleeful trashiness. Gundam SEED Destiny made a modest attempt towards the end of its run, but that was at the end of a long and scrappy season, at the point where the show was also sliding into production-disaster. But these are vanishingly rare - you're lucky to get one per year, let alone one per season.
While the bulk of anime remains sourced from manga and light novels, I don't see this as being likely to change.
Aye, I clearly didn't look too deep into it. I saw it on my Netflix and did a quick google search to read a couple of reviews and they all rated it, so I give it a watch, but it's so bad.
As you say, I've pretty much given up on all Netflix original anime's. They just can't seem to get it right at all.
A few thoughts on the Autumn shows, now most of them (bar the 2-cours) are over.
Zombieland Saga: Show of the season for me. Unexpected, funny and frequently genuinely unpredictable. Really hoping that the message at the end of the final episode really was an indicator of an upcoming season 2.
Goblin Slayer: Another very strong show. The final couple of episodes fell back a bit too heavily on the traditional fantasy tropes that the show more usually subverted, but still very much enjoyed it.
SSSS.Gridman: Beautifully made, with Trigger's usual lavish production values. Enjoyed it a lot, though I suspect that more knowledge of previous Ultraman/Gridman shows than I personally possess might have made the last episode a bit more meaningful.
Something-something Bunny-Girl-Senpai: Never really threw off its "Monogatari-clone" image, but still pretty solid overall. Recovered well from a weak start.
Anima Yell: Also recovered well from a poor first episode. Light and fluffy "cute girls doing cute sports" show. Not as good as summer's Harukana Receive, but still decent.
Sword Art Online: Alicisation: Only a quarter of the way through its four cour run. Some fairly solid stuff in there, but the pacing does (as I feared) feel glacial. Generally enjoying the "real world" sections with Asuna more than the Underworld stuff and wish there was more of it.
Release the Spyce: Mostly-fun show (despite a few ropey episodes and some blatant art-fails) which bumped along from episode to episode without actually ever threatening to be genuinely good.
Reincarnated as a Slime: Still not sure what all the fuss is about. Basically feels to me like a fairly standard isekai power-fantasy. Still has half its run to go, but not sure I'll stick with it.
A Certain Magical Index S3: Utter, utter shite. I'm only watching it for trainwreck value (of which it provides plenty). Basically comes across as an incomprehensible 14 year old's wank-fantasy. Biggest narrative-wreck I've seen in ages. I gather it's slightly more comprehensible if you've read the source material, but it's given me absolutely no desire to do that.
Also watched Your Name over the Christmas break (yes, I know I'm later to the party). Completely see what all the fuss was about. Stunningly good film and much better than anything to have come out of Ghibli since - at the very least - Spirited Away and probably further back than that.
So that'll leave you with A Silent Voice, Maquia, I Want To Eat Your Pancreas.....still waiting for subbed Mirai and Penguin Highway too. Oh, and Liz and the Blue Bird, which I've just finished. Sumptuous looking, if a little out of my usual viewing.
Fall, and ZS was too much of a mixed bag, started strong, couple of weak eps, and then fluttered between the good and mediocre, and Goblin Slayer was okay as well, but I'm a White Fox fan so......
Slime is trundling along with not as much town planning as I'd like, and yeah, it's harmless but so refined, and it's certainly showing up Overlord in how to not f**k up an adaptation. There's a lot of love on show, and that's hopefully going to continue into the second cour.
Tsurune has been somewhat lacklustre, too much pretty boy/not enough archery, and as for the rushed 'target panic' theme and already into a rivalry with a top-tier school....yeah. Whatever. Run With the Wind has the not-so-pretty boys coerced into an endurance race, and is definitely a slow burn, looking forward to that too. Then there was Hinomarusumo with the.....soon to be chubby boys(?) which slotted into every shounen cliche ever, and still came out a lot of fun. Best ED lol.
Gurazeni I doubt will return to resolve chinese restaurant girl (but who knows these days) and despite the salary-obsession, I really liked it because it deals with the lower tiers of sports - Bonda & co aren't the multi-million stars, but the guys who keep things ticking, the core of the club. Perhaps it's an age thing too.
Irozuku was absolutely pretty and dull as drying paint story-wise, Golden Kamuy finally out-crazied itself with a read-the-manga/tbc ending, and Bookseller Honda-san was a nice little quirky short. I've saved Bloom Into You for a cozy Sunday binge, but a lot of praise has been banded about since it's conclusion.
And now it's time to prepare. Winter looks thin, and there's the small matter of "Greatest year ever" in store ? Seems strong so far. Saga of Tanya movie, Psycho Pass movies, AoT, Mob Psycho, OPM, motherF**KING CHIHIYAFURU S3, ahem. Here's hoping there's a little announcement about MiA after the movies next month too.
For reasons that I don't quite understand myself, I went and watched Nanamaru Sanbatsu over the past week (it's just 12 episodes). It's an anime about... quizzes. Yes.
It actually does a good job of selling itself as believable, treating the thing as a school club activity rather than a real sport. It's more focused than the average slice of life anime, but more relaxed than the average sports anime. I'd consider it a sports anime overall, as it still pulls off some bullshit (pretty much everyone buzzes in halfway through the questions) but at least it avoid some of the typical pitfalls of the genre, where the main characters are all psychos with only one interest in life. Most of the characters here are fairly normal dudes and girls, and the few quiz weirdos get called out for their obsessiveness. In fact, the quiz club is treated as the protagonist's way of going out more often.
I also checked out the manga afterwards (it was translated exactly up to the same point where the anime ends) and it turns out they had to cut many extra scenes and most of the humor to adapt those 33 monthly chapters within the allotted 12 episodes. A shame, because those extra scenes fleshed out the relationships between many of the side characters too. The manga goes on, but from what I can tell from the raws, starts to focus even more on quizzes.
So this series is less niche than it seems at a glance, meaning I do think it's worth checking out. But I'd suggest reading the scanlated manga instead. It's the same thing, but works much better overall.
Edited by Malek86 at 10:43:36 02-01-2019
Do not watch Devilman Crybaby on a packed commuter train.
Wasn't expecting that this morning. It passed me by, so thought it'd be safe.
When a show warns of STRONG SEX, VIOLENT SCENES it means it.
Once again, aside from the long runners (Jojo is a given, even if Part 5 is probably my second-least favorite), I don't know what to watch next season.
The only show that looks truly interesting is Boogiepop, mostly because of its pedigree. I could give Kaguya-sama a try, but I'm not really sure yet.
3D Kanojo (2nd cour, it was awful, but charming)
Boogiepop (hype show)
Domestic na Kanojo (absolute trash supposedly)
Dororo Doukyonin wa Hiza, Tokidoki, Atama no Ue. (has a cat)
Fukigen na Mononokean Tsuzuki (2nd cour, passable)
Kakegurui ×× (2nd cour)
Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (Gurls Und Planes, give it a few eps)
Mob Psycho 100 II (oh yes)
Piano no Mori 2 (TV) (really liked first cour, bad CG hands notwithstanding)
Yakusoku no Neverland (hype show No2)
Hinomaru-Zumou 2nd cour (as post above, fun)
Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru (same)
Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken 2nd cour (same)
That.....that should do it. Seasons always look thin until you tally up, but half of those are droppable if they're not up to much. Mob Psycho and Piano no Mori I'm especially looking forward to.
Kemono Friends 2:NEW KADOKAWA EDITION not so much.
With all the threads/stories lately on "GOTY 2018"... what's the AOTY 2018?
I think my pick would be A Place Further than the Universe.
Runners up would be Zombieland Saga, Revue Starlight and Harukana Receive. Honourable mentions for Darling in the FranXX and SSSS.Gridman.
It seems that the amount of new anime I watch every season is lower than even the number of new games I buy every year, so an AOTY list wouldn't be any easier to make than the GOTY list for me.
And just like how I prefer to buy older games, I'm more likely to binge watch old series instead.
Edited by Malek86 at 22:58:05 03-01-2019
@Malek86 I've been watching this stuff for so many years that I've mostly exhausted the backlog of viable older shows now, without really scraping the barrel. Still find the odd fun one, though.
My "older find of the year" for 2018 would be Might Gaine - a ridiculous Sunrise Super Robot show from the early 1990s (discovered via Super Robot Wars V). Funnily enough, SSSS.Gridman has a whole mess of visual nods to it - enough that they actually make the "controversy" section on its wikipedia page.
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