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Anime

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  • maryadaviesmaryadavies She Shoots For The Stars Somewhere east of Atlanta, GAModerators
    edited October 2014
    *scoops up volume 2 of her Kodansha SM manga reprints* Yes, in the original she's using a laptop/notebook pc. Not surprising they went tablet, I know tablets are used in schools a lot now a days.
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  • CadianCadian oh god who are you people Back and forth between New York and VermontFull Members
    edited October 2014
    A great part of going back to college after taking a break for several years is that I get to make new friends, some of which are into anime and can introduce me to shows and movies I otherwise wouldn't have known about or watched.

    Ouran High School Host Club: or, as my friends and I like to call it, Damn Rich People: The Anime. We're about halfway through and I'm loving it.

    Elfen Lied: We've been meaning to finish this one but life and school and stuff has gotten in the way. We're only a few episodes in, but I really like it so far.

    Good Luck Girl: The story of a rich, selfish high school girl and the goddess of poverty who tries to make her life less perfect, as the former is making everyone around her miserable. Lots of slapstick, character-based humor, and referential humor, some surprisingly emotional moments, and a TON of fanservice. Most definitely not for everyone, and far from the greatest television program I've ever seen, but we had fun with it.

    Danganronpa: The Animation: or, as my friends and I like to call it, Ding Dong Ron Paul. I don't know whether or not it's better that I watched the anime before playing the game, but I guess the fact that I still wanted to play the game after watching the anime says something. It's a shame that it couldn't go as in-depth with the relationships and plot points and whatnot as the game could, but good nonetheless. A plus of getting into a popular series is that allows one to enjoy all the parodies and whatnot.

    Summer Wars: A movie that's one half family drama and one half War Games meets The Digimon Movie with a pinch of Yu-Gi-Oh. The technology is understandably simplified in order for a younger audience to understand what's going on (
    How does practicing martial arts make one better at fighting games? And what reason would Love Machine have to accept Natsuki's Hanafuda challenge?
    ) but overall I really enjoyed it.

    The Garden of Words: A cute and touching love story. The people I was watching it with were kind of obnoxious, so I couldn't pay as much attention to it as I would have liked, but I enjoyed what I saw. Really nice backgrounds and animation also.
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  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited October 2014
    I'm still going through my rewatch of the original TV dub of Sailor Moon. I finished the first season and R and have started watching S. Perhaps I should have watch Sailor Moon the Movie R in between, but eh. With S comes the change of a number of voice actors, including Sailor Moon's own Terri Hawkes. I still remember my reaction to watching that first episode of S dubbed by Cloverway. I was taken aback and almost appalled due to the voice changes and the music changes (I had no idea at the time that the soundtrack for Sailor Moon in the first two season dubs was completely different from that of the Japanese one. S and Super S keep the original Japanese music). I also just heard the first use of "trippin'" in this dub...I would roll my eyes more, but the DIC dub had "cool your jets" and "let's book it!" I don't think I heard anyone use those phrases, even in the 90s, outside of Sailor Moon. :P

    I've also been watching more Ultra Maniac. It's still mostly cutesy middle school shojo comedy stuff, but it's endearing as well.
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  • ShayminShaymin The Gratitude Pokemon Halifax, New SealandFull Members
    edited October 2014
    I finished Attack on Titan today... and it just left me cold. Even ignoring the fact they killed the good theme music from ep 14 on, the back half of the series was bursts of action spread too far apart to hold my attention. Also, the scientist creeped me out majorly, and I've got no interest in following up on the sequel hook at the end.
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  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    edited October 2014
    I'm still going through my rewatch of the original TV dub of Sailor Moon. I finished the first season and R and have started watching S. Perhaps I should have watch Sailor Moon the Movie R in between, but eh. With S comes the change of a number of voice actor, including Sailor Moon's own Terri Hawkes. I still remember my reaction to watching that first episode of S dubbed by Cloverway. I was taken aback and almost appalled due to the voice changes and the music changes (I had no idea at the time that the soundtrack for Sailor Moon in the first two season dubs was completely different from that of the Japanese one. S and Super S keep the original Japanese music). I also just heard the first use of "trippin'" in this dub...I would roll my eyes more, but the DIC dub had "cool your jets" and "let's book it!" I don't think I heard anyone use those phrases, even in the 90s, outside of Sailor Moon. :P

    I've also been watching more Ultra Maniac. It's still mostly cutesy middle school shojo comedy stuff, but it's endearing as well.

    I have been known to say cool your jets and lets book (not book it just book) on occassion
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  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited October 2014
    I just finished watching Ultra Maniac. The series is largely composed of filler, the localization is decent, but a little stiff at times, and a number of plot points in the ending are kind of rushed, but I actually quite enjoyed it. I doubt it will be a favorite, or even something I watch regularly like Gokudo due to how entertaining it is, but this show has a lot of heart. I especially enjoyed the characters and their interaction with one another. Although not as prominent as other female protagonists, main character Nina Sakura undergoes a decent amount of character development as well. Ultra Maniac is a cute series mostly composed of fluff, but it's endearing fluff.
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  • maryadaviesmaryadavies She Shoots For The Stars Somewhere east of Atlanta, GAModerators
    edited November 2014
    Just finished watching the latest ep of SM Crystal and..OHMYGOSH, the feels! If you're the crying sort, get the tissues guys.

    They stuck really close to the manga with that epi, so if you got the re-release you'll recognize it (that's why I didn't cry, I knew this was coming) but..oh my gosh.
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  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited November 2014
    Well, after hanging on the DVDs for a long time and watching them slowly, I've finished Star Ocean EX. The series was corny to begin with, but man did it go up in the last two volumes. It's generally better when being funny than when it was trying to be serious. As someone who never played Star Ocean 2, I only have the vaguest notion of what was changed and how it compares to the game. Not being a fan, I thought it was an amusing, if corny, watch. I got the DVDs cheap at a Suncoast shutting down, so it was no big loss. It's better than Burst Angel, another meh anime series I picked up for really cheap.

    My Blu-ray/DVD boxset of part one of the Viz release of the original Sailor Moon series also arrived in the mail. I haven't actually seen a single episode yet.
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  • ironmageironmage chaotic neutral observer SaskatoonFull Members
    edited November 2014
    This time, I've managed to reject most of Crunchyroll's fall lineup.

    ---
    Series that caught my attention:

    Fate/Stay Night [unlimited blade works] (just started): I'm a fan of the franchise, and the production quality of this installment is high (it looks a lot like Fate/Zero). The first episode is from Rin's perspective, and I wish the series had continued it that way; I think she's a more interesting character than Shirou.

    Yuki Yuna is a Hero (just started): Because of a first-episode spoiler, I won't even tell you what genre this is. Just go and watch the first episode. If you dislike it, I'll give you your half-hour back.*

    Yona of the Dawn (just started): I'm totally a sucker for medieval-asian imperial romances, and this one has strong characterization, and a nice dark storyline.

    Your Lie in April (just started): A failed piano prodigy has an encounter with a violin-playing goddess of chaos. Started out cute. Episode four gave me the chills.

    Karen Senki (just started): Written, directed, etc. by Hiroi Ouji, of Sakura Wars fame, but the cyberpunk themes seem more like something I'd expect from Masamune Shirou. This is either spectacularly awesome, or utterly abysmal; I honestly can't figure out which. I suspect a slight change in editing would tip the scales either way. The CG is pretty to look at, though.

    ---
    Series I've finished:

    Nobunaga Concerto (finished): ...what a waste of potential.

    Ao Haru Ride [Blue Spring Ride] (finished): A charming romance series, with interesting character development; but, it doesn't stray too far from the genre archetypes.

    ---
    Series I've dropped:

    The Fruit of Grisaia (1-episode drop): An excruciatingly bad harem series. From the characters, I'd say it was based on a dating sim.

    Orenchi no Furi Jijo (1-episode drop): The premise is "Mer-man in a bathtub"...or something. Possibly Yaoi.

    Phantom Thief Joker (1-episode drop): Intended for a younger audience, but not possessing enough charm or humour to bother with.

    Hi-sCool! Seha Girls (1-episode drop): The characters are anthropomorphized Sega consoles; this series includes footage from old games. The writing is amazingly bad. Why was this made? Why was it translated?

    CROSS ANGE Rondo of Angel and Dragon (1-episode drop): On the surface, this is a bishoujo / giant-robot series, but it has what is effectively a rape scene at the end of the first episode, played for shock value. This means either: A) I'm not in the target audience, or B) The writers are incompetent to the point that they don't understand how to establish conflict, while leaving room for dramatic buildup.

    Trinity Seven (dropped): I have nothing against the magic high-school subgenre per se, but it seems to be a refuge for a lot of B-grade writing.

    Girl Friend BETA (1-episode drop): Third-rate yuri series is third-rate.

    Denki-Gai (dropped): This is centered on the antics of some manga-store employees. The premise might have worked, but the character writing is too weak to sustain it (especially if compared to Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun), and it relies too much on fan-service.

    I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying (dropped): Great premise, poor execution. If I can get bored during a four-minute episode, then you're doing it wrong.

    Log Horizon (dropped): I watched the entire first season, which had slow pacing, yet was moderately entertaining (but decidedly fluff). The second season pacing is glacial, and worse, they failed to establish an interesting conflict, or even remind me why I should care about what happens to the characters (not that anything much was happening.)

    Parasyte -the maxim- (dropped): Although the pure 'alienness' of this is intriguing, I think it relies too much on gore to manipulate the viewer's reactions. Terraformars is more entertaining so far, and I can't watch everything.

    Tribe Cool Crew (dropped): A couple of middle-school students get involved in street dancing. Bland characterization is augmented by a nonexistent plot and surprisingly bad music. I might pick this up again if I have difficulty sleeping.

    When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace (dropped): I don't know what this is supposed to be. It's like watching tropes from three different genres at once, all of them mediocre. The supernatural battles aren't commonplace, that's for sure.

    Gugure Kokkuri-san
    (dropped): A girl summons a fox-spirit, who then begins to haunt her...and serve as a sort of butler. After a pretty interesting first episode, this fell apart pretty quickly.

    Celestial Method (dropped): A flying saucer appears above a town and ... just hovers there, basically serving as a tourist attraction. I suspect this series is eventually going to get somewhere interesting, but there was too much manufactured drama, and a couple of the characters are idiots. It's not often I quit a series from pure irritation.


    The jury is still out on World Trigger, Wolf Girl and Black Prince, Terraformars, and Shirobako[White box].


    *Offer void where physically impossible, or if prohibited by law.
    Only the livin' have the privilege of sayin' they'll fight ta the last breath.
    And words like conviction and resolve don't mean much to a dead man...
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  • maryadaviesmaryadavies She Shoots For The Stars Somewhere east of Atlanta, GAModerators
    edited November 2014
    woo, new sm dub clippy! HEEERE'S JUPITER!

    I think she sounds okay. ^^
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  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited November 2014
    Amanda Miller sounds like she's channeling Susan Roman. I could get used to it.

    I have so far seen only the first episode in full. I had forgotten that many episodes were cut for time, so there were several extra seconds that are not in the original North American dub. The only new voice to really rub me the wrong way was Umino. Still too early for me to form any major opinions, though.
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

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  • severinmiraseverinmira Managing Editor RPGamer Staff
    edited November 2014
    Finished off from the From the New World yesterday. Can't say it was my favourite series of the year*, but it was good. I also watched Robotics;Notes in between that time, which I think I enjoyed a touch more. Certainly no Steins;Gate but good fun. Next up is Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet before I dive into Attack on Titan, and I want to watch Appleseed Alpha at some point.

    *Year being based entirely on when I watched it, due mostly watching anime via Blu-ray/DVD releases and they're a bit behind here :)
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  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited December 2014
    I just finished watching the first seven episodes of Ouran High School Host Club (yes, I am quite behind on this series). Other than Inu Yasha: The Final Act on Toonami, it's the first new anime I've watched in a while. I've otherwise made it to the Mimete arc of Sailor Moon S (original TV dub).

    I've heard many good things about Ouran Host Club and I must say, I am rather enjoying it thus far. I haven't laughed that hard watching anything since Space Dandy. Almost every one of the characters are wacky or over the top in the own way, and I just love how Haruhi plays straight man to the zaniness, and a very blunt straight man at that. The voice actors are doing an excellent job as well. Vic Mignogna is a perfect fit for Tamaki. Caitlin Glass does a superb job as Haruhi, a bit surprising since I'm used to her doing more boisterous voices like Winry from Full Metal Alchemist and Hiyono from Spiral. It's also kind of neat to hear Luci Christian voice a boy, as she tends to do teenage girls. The rest of the cast aren't slouches either (though as usual, Greg Ayres, while talented, has a very limited range).

    One major complaint I have so far, though, are the dubbed opening and ending theme. Surely it wasn't that hard to find people who could actually sing. Why dub them into English in the first place? I know the domestic DVDs were released by Funimation back in 2008, but they kept the Japanese versions of their series' songs before.
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  • DombantDombant New Member Full Members
    edited December 2014
    I have started watching second season of Hajime no Ippo, its based on life on boy named Ippo who would be bullied by his classmates everyday until a boxer saves his life and he decides to become boxer himself. Lot of comedy and fun to watch:)
  • CadianCadian oh god who are you people Back and forth between New York and VermontFull Members
    edited December 2014
    I know it's Western-made so it technically isn't anime, but guys.

    The Legend of Korra finale.

    Guys.

    Oh my god.
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  • ironmageironmage chaotic neutral observer SaskatoonFull Members
    edited January 2015
    Here are my end-of-season notes, in no particular order.

    Yuki Yuna is a Hero (finished): Halfway through this, I started thinking of this as "Mahou Shoujo: Aftermath". This series clearly draws inspiration from Madoka Magica, but is somewhat lighter in tone, and sometimes drifts into slice-of-life territory (but to good effect). I recommend this for fans of the Magical Girl genre; but if you're uncomfortable with the Break the Cutie trope, approach with caution. One of the scenes later in this series is decidedly unnerving.
    I personally found the ending
    vaguely unsatisfactory; I think the writers bent the rules to get a happy ending. A tragic ending would have been more effective (albeit extremely unpleasant to watch)
    .

    Fate/Stay Night [unlimited blade works] (first season finished, impatiently waiting for second): On a scale of "Bleh" to "Awesome", this rates a SQUEE.

    Glasslip (finished): I quite liked the characters, and the artwork, but the story lacked something in impetus, or coherency. (As an aside, it seems to me that someone on the writing staff doesn't understand the essential poopiness of chickens. Taking them home? Letting them wander into the school? Eww.)

    Shirobako [White Box] (continuing): This is a slice-of-life series, centered on a production assistant in an anime production company. As you would expect from an anime series about an anime company making anime, the versimilitude is high, and I'm enjoying this as a view into the industry. I'm a fan of pretty much anything that gives me a new perspective, so I quite like this series; but, I suppose the characterization and plot could be better.

    Terraformars (dropped): A terraforming project on Mars has unintended consequences, and the planet is infested by gigantic anthropoid cockroaches. In order to capture samples to help in curing a new disease, Earth sends a team of surgically-enhanced humans with special abilities (drawn from various animals/birds/insects). After an interesting beginning, this fell into a fixed pattern. In each episode, we get the backstory of a team member, their abilities are explained by the narrator, and then their "gimmick" is demonstrated as they splatter giant cockroach guts across the Martian landscape (and possibly get spattered, themselves). The individual episodes are mediocre at best, and without a storyline to connect them together, this simply didn't hold my interest. I kept thinking it was going to get better, but I have to cut my losses at some point.

    Coffin Princess Chaika (2nd season finished): Pretty decent fantasy series, although the characterization could have been a bit stronger. The quest-type plot will be familiar to most RPGamers.

    Akame ga Kill! (finished): A very bloody action series, with a greviously high death rate on both sides. I found this fun to watch, but I won't claim the writing is particularly original, or that the characters are much more than somewhat polished anime cliches (with the possible exception of General Esdeath, who managed to freak me out.) It still hurt when my favorite character died, though.

    World Trigger (continuing): Some aliens are invading a city through interdimensional portals, and a government agency is fighting them. This series is mostly uninspired, and the only reason I'm still watching it is that I like listening to Kenji Kawai's music (which doesn't include the opening theme. Blech.)

    Sword Art Online II (finished): This was broken into three separate storylines. The first is much the same kind of action/drama you would expect from the first season, but better paced. The second arc is a completely throwaway sidequest set in ALO. The third arc gave Asuna some much-needed character development, but it had too much forced drama, and the result was kinda sappy. Frankly, I'm not sure why this franchise is so popular. Fate/Stay Night blows it out of the water.

    Naruto (continuing): Over the years, Naruto has had some really good story arcs. This ain't one of them. The pacing is awful. I think we've gone through three episodes worth of material in the last twenty. The somewhat recent two-episode (and completely out-of-context) sidestory/flashback about Hinata's little sister was far more interesting than this absurdly drawn out final(?) battle. This is the RPG equivalent of an end-boss with multiple forms, each with millions of HP...that regenerates indefinitely.

    Argevollen (finished): An entertaining mecha series, somewhat reminiscent of the Gundam franchise, but not particularly outstanding in any respect. The political subplot and character development in particular both could have been done better. The complete lack of aircraft threw me off a bit, but I give the series bonus points for casting the female lead as an engineer.

    Wolf Girl and Black Prince (finished): Yet another high-school romance series. By the time I decided I didn't really like it, it was almost over anyway. Catchy ending theme.


    My recommendations for Yona of the Dawn and Your Lie in April are unchanged.
    Only the livin' have the privilege of sayin' they'll fight ta the last breath.
    And words like conviction and resolve don't mean much to a dead man...
    --Raven (Tales of Vesperia)
  • ClixClix Listmaster Full Members
    edited January 2015
    Finished in Fall:
    1. Sword Art Online II - Well, overall, I enjoyed this season more than the previous one. I still think it's crap partially salvaged by the production values. 5/10
    2. Amagi Brilliant Park - The surprise of the season. It's a comedy series from the creator of the Full Metal Panic franchise. With fond memories of Fumoffu, Amagi was a fun revisit of his brand of humor. While by no means perfect, I largely enjoyed the show. 8/10
    3. I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying - A really cute (usually) and funny (always) 3 minute show detailing the lives of an otaku and his "normal" wife... and the awful people they know. I was pleased with the show, but I think it would have worked better at twice the length, like Seki earlier this year. Instead, the short format made some episodes difficult to process as everything was speeding by like a runaway train. 6/10
    4. Kokkuri - Another pleasant surprise from this season. The comedy was spot on in the beginning and towards the end, and I loved the two main characters (Kohina and Kokkuri). Really, the issue was the rest of the cast, including the secondary mains. I am not sure I would like a second season, because I feel like we've squeezed what we can out of these characters' shticks. 6/10
    5. Cloudy Laugh - I dropped early in the first episode. I just can't stand the character designs or voice acting. I was clearly not female or gay enough for this, whatever it was.
    6. Ronja the Robber's Daughter - Well, no one ever subbed this to the best of my knowledge. Not surprised.
    7. Terraformars - I dropped after the first episode because holy hell that censoring! I may one day revisit the uncensored cut, but that's a hard maybe.

    Continuing into Fall:
    1. Ace of the Diamond - Ho boy, I am not sure where we are going now. The tournament ended, and so did "summer". I am not sure what all will get done next, since I do not know how far into year 2 the manga is. Maybe this will be the last cour. Maybe. Probably not.
    2. Sailor Moon: Crystal - Wow, this continues to be surprisingly bad. The climax for arc 1 has largely come and gone, and I am still underwhelmed. I doubt Chibi-Moon will raise the bar either.
    2. Yona of the Dawn - A pleasant surprise. It is a shojo fantasy series that is clearly intent on being a long-runner. So far, that's actually good. The pacing is slow but not glacial, and I am enjoying the slowly growing cast.
    3. Parasyte - Well, this has been a thing. I am really enjoying it, but I am not sure how this all will be resolved in the second half. At least the most annoying character has bitten the dust.
    4. White Box - A cutesy take on anime production. It is not hopelessly/pointlessly moe, but I feel like there might be a disproportionate number of attractive young women in this anime studio, especially since their male counterparts are more in-line with what one would expect of anime creators. Still, I am enjoying the series, and the next half should be fun.
    5. The Seven Deadly Sins - It's like a long-lost childhood classic. There is nothing original here, but it is currently executing every cliche and trope wonderfully. I look forward to it each Friday night.
    6. World Trigger - While better than the other tripe Toei has been crapping out lately, World Trigger is still harmed by their production style. Namely, the pacing is terrabad, and it's going to be 50 episodes long. Oh dear...
    7. Your Lie in April - While not as on-point as I would have liked, I am happy to have a music show that's actually a music show. I think the overall issue is that I am not as invested in the characters' romances as heavily as it wants me to be.
    8. Pedal Nerd: Grande Road - Yay more Pedal Nerd! And that's about all I can say it. The bad aspects are still, but the good aspects are also still there.

    Premiering in Summer:
    1. Assassination Classroom - I've heard good things about the manga, so I hope the anime delivers.
    2. Drrr!!x2 Understanding - A new season of Drrr!! I am still surprised this is even happening.
    3. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders 2 - Finally, Egypt! I don't particularly like Part 3, but I do want to see the far more interesting Egyptian God stands in action.
    4. Maria the Virgin Witch* - I could see this crashing really quickly, but I want to have some hope.
    5. God Kiss 2* - I wasn't the biggest fan of season 1. I will only pick up if time permits.
    6. Rolling Girls* - Sounds original?
    7. Yuribear Storm - Ikuhara time again? Really? Well, sure, maybe this time I won't be severely disappointed. Last time he tackled incest again, now he is returning to lesbianism. Maybe he will be more at home here.

    From the Backlog:
    1. Record of Lodoss War - I sat down and watched both the OVA and TV series. Overall, I largely enjoyed the series for the fantasy world. However, I didn't care for the main characters. I did like Ashram though, more so in the TV series than the OVA. 6/10 for both.
    2. Legend of Crystania - The short sequel series to Lodoss. The first entry was a movie, followed by a short OVA series. Overall, it was much weaker since the mythology was kind of vague until the OVA in how it functioned with the previously established mythos of Lodoss. Also, the design choices were weird compared to Lodoss, and the spike in violence was jarring. The largest issue, however, was the cast, since the movie did not have time to properly let us get to know them. 4/10 for the movie and 5/10 for the OVA.
    3. Lupin the Third: Daisuke Jigen's Gravestone - I love the current style of the Lupin III series, though the movie was definitely "lighter" than Fujiko's heavy use of the style. The overall plot was fine, but it was shockingly short. 50 minutes is not a movie, Japan. 6/10
    4. Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion - I put it off for a while, but Shaft delivered. The movie is a visual marvel, and the sequel's plot lives up to the TV series. It also opens up possibilities for a third entry, though Shaft has said this is it for now. I actually want more due to how well this movie went. 9/10
    5. Berserk - My previous experience with Berserk was the Golden Age movie trilogy, i.e. the same content covered in the TV series from the late 90s. The core issue with the movies was how much had to be cut for time and how badly they abused CG. Well, now that I have seen the TV series, I am even more torn on the subject. The first twenty or so episodes eclipse (pun-intended) their movie counterparts, but the last episodes are all too disappointing. The Eclipse itself is done well-enough, given that there are some things that you can't show on TV, but the ending was awful. Mostly because there isn't an ending. The show literally ends mid-way, while the movie at least showed how Guts got out of this hell of a situation, as well as giving closure on the two other survivors. The final episode's after-credits just sets up that Guts survived and is now on the hunt, which the opening for the first episode already established. I was overall severely disappointed. 6/10
    ClixPsi.png
  • CadianCadian oh god who are you people Back and forth between New York and VermontFull Members
    edited January 2015
    My friend has been nagging me to watch RWBY, so she and I marathoned Season 1 and the first episode of Season 2 last night, and man, was it a thing. It was most definitely a show we watched. Yep. Absolutely.

    *sigh* okay I have a lot of thoughts on Season 1, and I really don't want to be the guy who goes "your favorite thing is stupid and you're wrong for enjoying it" (everyone hates that guy), but I really don't understand the adoration and multiple awards. SPOILERS will be unmarked.


    Let's start with the obvious main draw of the series: the weapons and fight scenes. Holy crap are these great. The weapons are extraordinarily impractical and violate every law of physics (Every action has an equal and opposite reaction? lolwut) but seeing their use in the absurdly over-the-top fight scenes is great. My personal favorites are Nora's grenade launcher/giant mallet and Penny's swarm of flying laser swords.

    But honestly, I found everything else to be average at best, and that's being generous. When not during a fight scene, the quality of the animation takes a nosedive. Penny jumps up from a prone position on the ground, a full second passes, and then Team RWBY reacts. Jaune and Team CRDL (minus Cardin) run away from a bear thing, while Cardin stands there like an idiot for five full seconds and gets whacked in the face. When characters run, they look like they're either skating over the ground or running on ice. And I know that animation can be difficult, and that crowd scenes in particular can be really difficult, but having everyone who is not plot-relevant simply be a black silhouette just reeks of laziness. To be fair, I heard that they stopped doing that in Season 2, and the one episode of Season 2 I watched had better animation than everything not combat-related in Season 1, but why didn't they go for that level of quality from the get-go? Seriously, I'm curious, I'd like to know the answer.

    Let's look at the universe of RWBY next: first of all, aside from the ammunition for Weiss's weapon, what the hell is Dust? I'm still confused about that. All I've been able to gather is that it's this magical powder stuff, but that's pretty much it. Is it the RWBY universe's version of fossil fuels or natural gas? Is it a renewable resource or is there a limited supply? Is it in high demand? What are its applications? It's clearly volatile (as demonstrated by Ruby in her initial encounter with Weiss), but are there any other dangers associated with it? Are there any controversies surrounding its use?

    And aura: it's obvious enough that it's a convenient little plot magicking that allows the characters (and their hair and clothing) to withstand the extreme physical abuse in the fight scenes (as well as incorporate video game-style life meters into said fight scenes). I'm completely fine with all of that, but man, was its introduction and application (which is, after its initial introduction, exactly twice) ham-fisted.

    And the entire episode about Faunus and the White Fang should be shown in classrooms as an example of how NOT to do exposition and world-building. The tension between the humans and Faunus is super important in this world, right? And it's the driving force behind the antagonist group, right? Then why the hell is the information introduced in the fifteenth episode of a sixteen-episode season? It very egregiously violates the tried and true rule of storytelling of "show, don't tell" - we're told that Faunus are discriminated against, but we're never shown - all we see is that one bunny girl getting bullied by Cardin and the rest of Team CRDL (who are a group of demonstrated bullies, not otherwise reasonable people who happen to have a stigma against Faunus) and Blake getting angry over Weiss calling Sun a "rapscallion" (ooooooooh that's a no-no word Weiss 2bigoted4me /s). Seriously, oppression and racial tension should be super easy to write - look at any history book, replace blacks/jews/Native Americans/women/gays/whatever with Faunus, and put it in the show. And yet here we are. This isn't something like the Jim Crow laws or the Stonewall riots where they happened long enough ago for the specific events to rarely pop up in casual conversation - the White Fang stuff is current.

    Tied for the Faunus thing, the most frustrating example so far is the various assorted super powers - namely, Ruby's super speed (which I honestly didn't notice until it was explicitly pointed out - I just thought it was regular plain old anime speed), Weiss's sigil thingies, and Pyrrha's magnetism. Pyrrha mentions them after deus ex machinaing Jaune's victory against the bear thing, but they're never elaborated on, and they're never seen nor mentioned again for the rest of Season 1. Where do the powers come from? How many kinds of powers are there? How is it determined who has what power, if at all? Are they hereditary? Mutations? Artificial? Can anyone have them, or only a portion of the population? Are they common? Are they well-known? How do they impact everyday life? What are their limits? World-building and exposition, what are those?

    And as far as the story and characters go, I honestly feel like a victim of false advertising. The individual character trailers that Rooster Teeth released to tease the series are great - each member of Team RWBY has their own unique trailer with their own over-the-top action sequence. I saw the trailers and thought that the series would be about this monster-fighting/mercenary team in this dark, mysterious world of conspiracy, intrigue, and danger. What I got was a mediocre high school drama with exactly one (ONE) fight scene that included all four team members. At the BEGINNING of the season, nonetheless. So, if I, a random guy on the internet, were to redo Season 1, here's what I would do:

    1) More fight scenes. They're the main draw of the series - I know it, you know it, the fandom knows it, Rooster Teeth knows it. They don't have to all be against giant monsters, they can be hallway brawls that break out between classmates, they can be training exercises, they can be sparring matches, whatever. I don't know the exact number, but I'm pretty sure the total number of fight scenes across the sixteen episodes of Season 1 is very firmly within the single digits. This is an action series. There should be action.

    2) Introduce the White Fang and the human/Faunus tensions much earlier than episode freaking fifteen. This is the RWBY universe's version of racism, and casual bigotry shouldn't be that difficult to work in - put an instance here or there in background conversation and you're set.

    3) The vignettes with Team JNPR can stay, albeit in a less prominent way (I mean OF COURSE we need three entire episodes devoted to Jaune getting bullied, why wouldn't we?/s. Seriously, who's the hero of this series, Ruby or Jaune?). Give Rin more screen time.

    4) Show the passage of time. If the characters didn't state that months pass within Season 1, I honestly would have assumed that the entire season happened within about a week. Show Team RWBY (and Team JNPR also I guess) in combat scenarios, learning from their, and each other's, mistakes. Show them growing as a team. There are so many high school dramas out there; it shouldn't be difficult to find a good way to show time. And speaking of team development...

    5) More emphasis on the development of Team RWBY. Having the team come together and instantly become best friends (with Weiss sometimes being an exception) does not make for a compelling story. This might require reworking of the characters, so:

    5a) Have Ruby be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to a very clear fault. She should have a natural knack for combat and leadership, but virtually no experience in the latter. Have her make some really poor decisions in the heat of battle. Have people get upset or offended or even injured due to her decisions. Have her doubt herself, and as a result, get flustered and seize up at a critical moment. Have her learn that being a leader is more than being friends with everyone and having fun. Have her mess up because that's how people grow.

    5b) Weiss is the princess of Vale (or whatever the nation is called), right? Therefore, she has the best resources, the best schooling, and the best training, and it should show - Weiss should constantly clash with Ruby regarding the team and its leadership. A large part of her story arc should be about her learning to take orders instead of give them. To be fair, we did get an episode dedicated to this, but I feel like more could probably have been done with it. ALSO: make her a bigot. As in, have her actually be prejudiced against Faunus. Create a derogatory term for Faunus (something harsher than "rapscallion," please) and have her use it like it's the word "Faunus" itself. (S4E6 of Teen Titans, "Troq," comes to mind.) When it comes time for her to confront her own bigotry after seeing how much Blake is hurt by it, don't make it easy for her. Make it a process that lasts several episodes at the very least, preferably longer than that, but don't make it the sole focus of those episodes.

    5c) Blake should stay a loner. Remember, this is a world where her people are discriminated against, and she's a former member of what is now the most well-known terrorist group in the world. She's with new people in a new environment - she doesn't yet know whom she can trust. After she gets to know her teammates better (which includes combat situations) she starts to open up to them, until Weiss lets loose with her bigotry and scares off Blake, throwing a rift into the team. Tension! Conflict!

    5d) Yang has virtually no time in the spotlight to begin with, so I'm not 100% sure as to what I'd do with her, but I'd probably make her the voice of reason. Despite being older and more experienced than Ruby, she should have very little aptitude when it comes to leadership, being much more comfortable in a one-on-one setting. Have her be the big sister of the group, doing her best to break up the fights, but not always succeeding. Good natured, but non-confrontational.


    Ugh. I honestly don't know if I want to watch Season 2. On the one hand, more awesome fight scenes, on the other hand, everything else. Does anyone know if it gets any better?
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  • ironmageironmage chaotic neutral observer SaskatoonFull Members
    edited January 2015
    You marathoned RWBY, while I watched it piecemeal (and have since forgotten much of it)...but I agree with your assessment.

    Here's the thing: RWBY was created by Monty Oum. Oum makes his living as a fight scene animator, and he's good at it. But I don't think his talents extend beyond that.

    Here's a link to Dead Fantasy, which Oum also produced. It's entirely comprised of video game characters (several from Final Fantasy) fighting each other. There's no story or dialog; just fighting. You'll get the idea after a couple minutes of it. Think of that as RWBY's predecessor. The fighting is spectacular technically, but it lacks personality.

    I see RWBY as a fan series with a (relatively) high budget, being produced by enthusiastic but unskilled amateurs. The writers love what they're doing, but they don't have a good handle on characterization, or plotting, or dialogue. The voice acting is irregular, too. I'm not saying I consider RWBY to be actively bad, it just leaves a lot to be desired.

    I also think the music is mediocre. I mean, it's fun to listen to during the fight sequences, but if you actually stop and listen to the OST...not so much. The female vocalist has a nice voice, but she's waaay out of her range much of the time, and gets kinda...strained.

    I can't say that season 2 was a significant improvement over season 1. The characterization was a little better, maybe, but the basic criticism stands: mediocre writing interspersed with not enough fighting. I could sit through dialogue all day, if it was well done, but really, this team needs to focus on their strengths. Instead of "Magic High-school: The Anime", maybe Dragonball Z (shudder) would have been a better source of inspiration.

    Season 2 has a couple of 2-minute "exposition" episodes (the narrator tried to explain dust in one of them), but I don't think they answered any questions that I cared about at that point. The existence of purely expository sequences is a bad sign, anyway.


    One scene in season 2 episode 12 just made me mad. They introduce a clearly awesome new character, the leader of a squadron of elite fighters. Just look at her: she's stylish, classy, very dangerous. She swaggers onto the battlefield, casually compliments her subordinate on the job he's doing, and saunters up to a hideous monstrosity that is ravaging the city.

    And then she says: "You just destroyed my favorite clothing store. Prepare to die."

    Wow. They introduced a strong, confident female character, and then reduced her to a bad Hollywood cliche. In one line.

    I rewrote the scene mentally. Do you know what the right thing for her to say was? NOTHING. Without that line, the scene was perfect; the way she looked at the monster over her sunglasses, the way she spit in contempt. It was perfect. THEY RUINED A MOMENT OF PERFECT AWESOME WITH THEIR BAD WRITING.

    Ahem. Anyway.


    As far as I'm concerned, RWBY is worth watching for the fight sequences...and maybe the cute character designs...but that's it. If the fight sequences aren't enough to sustain you, I don't really recommend it.
    Only the livin' have the privilege of sayin' they'll fight ta the last breath.
    And words like conviction and resolve don't mean much to a dead man...
    --Raven (Tales of Vesperia)
  • CadianCadian oh god who are you people Back and forth between New York and VermontFull Members
    edited January 2015
    I've seen Dead Fantasy (albeit several years ago) and I enjoyed it for what it was. I'm curious as to how much creative control Monty Oum has/had over RWBY. I honestly don't know if I would rather him have had creative control over the story/characters for Season 1 or only the fight scenes.

    The music didn't leave enough of an impression on me for me to comment on it one way or another. I didn't mention the voice acting because it's my dream to become a voiceover artist (just like literally everyone else on the internet) and I felt like it would be bad form to nitpick or say bad things about the performances of people who 1) have more professional experience than I do, and 2) who could become my colleagues in the unlikely occurrence that my dream ever becomes a reality.

    All I know about Season 2 so far is:

    1) It's revealed that Ruby and Yang have the same father but different mothers.
    2) There are plenty of jokes involving the fact that Blake is a catgirl. The one or two I've heard so far don't impress me.
    3) Rooster Teeth still can't decide as to whether Jaune or Ruby is the main character.
    4) Cosplayer Jessica Nigri voices a villain.
    5) Jaune wears a dress.
    6) Team RWBY receives a pet corgi named Zwei. It's obvious to anyone who knows their anime that this is a reference to Ein from Cowboy Bebop ("ein" is the German word for the number one, while "zwei" is two). All I hear, though, is Rooster Teeth shouting at the audience, "HEY GUYS - COWBOY BEBOP SURE WAS A GREAT SHOW AMIRITE" Why yes, Rooster Teeth, Cowboy Bebop was a great show. Thank you for reminding me that it exists - in fact, I'm going to watch that instead. See you later! For those of you who watch MLP, I felt very similarly about the fan-made episode, Double Rainboom ("HEY GUYS - LATE 90'S/EARLY 00'S ERA CARTOON NETWORK AMIRITE"). But I digress.

    I think I'm RWBY'd out for the time being. I started watching Samurai Champloo for the first time in ten years so I'll probably continue watching that instead.

    EDIT: After reading more RWBY related stuff (whoops guess I'm not completely RWBY'd out), I noticed something about the episodes with Jaune getting bullied - why the hell did he and Team CRDL run away from the bear thing? In the episodes in the forest where they're looking for the chess pieces, Team RWBY takes down a giant bird thing, Team JNPR takes down a giant scorpion thing, and Rin single-handedly takes down a giant snake thing. You would think that Team CRDL would be at the same approximate skill level as Teams RWBY or JNPR, so wouldn't they easily be able to take down one bear thing?
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  • ironmageironmage chaotic neutral observer SaskatoonFull Members
    edited January 2015
    No matter how I look at it, it's you guys' fault I'm not popular [Watashiga motenainowa doukangaetemo omaeraga warui (Watamote)] (finished):

    Kuroki Tomoko is unpopular. She's awkward, quiet, shy, geeky, foul-mouthed (in her internal monologues), and a pervert, but all that's certain to change when she starts high school! This is the story of how nothing changed when she started high school.

    This series isn't cute, and is rarely funny. It seems intended to make the viewer cringe, rather than laugh. This isn't high art, or masterful storytelling, either. It's often depressing, and sometimes downright unpleasant. A general audience might find this series unwatchable.

    ...but I watched it because I can relate to Tomoko. Episode ten, in particular, is me. The way Tomoko panics when she's moved to a seat in the middle of the classroom, the way she retreats to the top of the stairwell during lunch...I get it. I've lived it.

    I delayed watching the final episode for quite a while. I was afraid it was going to end badly.

    This an extraordinary character portrait, and shows remarkable insight into a personality type that is usually untouched in media. It deserves attention simply because it is unique. But...is this good anime? I can't answer that. This is as subjective as it gets. How you will react depends entirely on whether you can identify with Tomoko, and if you can't...you probably aren't going to get past the first episode.

    You can find Tomoko on Crunchyroll, under 'Watamote'.
    Only the livin' have the privilege of sayin' they'll fight ta the last breath.
    And words like conviction and resolve don't mean much to a dead man...
    --Raven (Tales of Vesperia)
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited January 2015
    I finished my rewatch of Sailor Moon S Cloverway dub, and somewhat moved onto Super S, although my recorded DVDs have the episodes all jumbled up, so trying to watch them in order it difficult. I'll have to scan through the DVDs and note which episodes are on what disc. :P

    One thing that bugged me about the TV dub was its inconsistent terminology. Were those girls the Witches 5 or the Bureau of Bad Behavior? What was the point of giving them a second name anyway? Is the person the Outer Sailors are trying to find the Embassador of Good, the Purity Princess, or the Sovereign? Ah well.

    I still really enjoy the 125th episode, which I consider my favorite Sailor Moon episode (never saw the entirety of Stars). It's Japanese title is "A Bright Shooting Star! Saturn, and the Messiah" and the dub title "Darkness, My Old Friend." Despite the two epilogue episodes that follow, it still a fantastic way to conclude the season. The animation is noticeably better than most episodes (not really surprising, but still), all of the actors really outdo themselves (the way Sailor Uranus shouts "are you happy now? Answer me!" just to note one line), that heavy despair, Sailor Moon's determination despite it all, and Sailor Saturn making her first appearance all make it a fantastic episode.

    Also, I really wish Viz would track down Jeff Lumby to reprise his role as Dr. Tomoe. His voice is just perfect for role. It's appropriately dark, menacing when calm or otherwise, and he quite possibly has the best evil laugh in the dubbed series.

    Speaking of the Viz dub, I did watch seven episodes of that, now. Wow, they really cut a lot of of the early episodes when it was still just Sailor Moon. I don't know if they were in the original Japanese version, but I like Usagi's jabs at Mamoru's clothes. XD
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  • ironmageironmage chaotic neutral observer SaskatoonFull Members
    edited February 2015
    Funimation now has a PS3 app. You know what that means; I give more series a try, and you get another impenetrable wall of text.
    This post contains unmarked spoilers for Aldnoah Zero, but frankly...if you haven't watched it yet, I think you should know what you're in for.

    ---
    Aldnoah Zero (second season, continuing): I'm rather disappointed.
    At the end of the first season, it was clear to me that three characters had died; there wasn't much room for misinterpretation. That it was staged as a cliffhanger worried me a bit.

    Y'see, I have certain expectations for space opera. Legend of the Galactic Heroes set a standard: If a character enters an situation where they can't reasonably be expected to survive, they die. It doesn't matter if they're a main character, if they've got thirty episodes of character development, or if their loss is going to completely destroy the thread of the plot, and leave the rest of the cast in confusion and despair. It might be hard on you as a writer, but if you didn't want that character to die, you shouldn't have put them in that situation.

    You can't do this too often, or the audience puts their guard up, but if you only do it once or twice, the effect is tremendous. When a character is put in danger, you believe it; the Hand of God isn't going to reach down from the sky and pluck them out of danger.

    In Aldnoah Zero, as the second season started, all three of those characters had survived. Two basically intact, one floating unconscious in a glass tube. Doing this with one character would have made me cranky, but doing it with three is an unforgivable sin. I'm not a big fan of the time-skip, either.

    This series was doing really well up to that point; it could have been top five material. But now, it can never be more than Another Giant Robot Anime. Even if these characters are killed off later, I'm just going to shrug and say, "oh, again?".
    I've already said that once.

    Don't get me wrong, I still really like this series; in the next episode, they made a passable attempt at realistic orbital mechanics, which earned a modicum of forgiveness. (It's not at the same level as Planetes, but still better than nothing).

    This is a really good sci-fi/space opera, but not great. It could have been great. Too late now.
    ---
    Yurikuma arashi [Lily-bear storm] (4-episode drop): Not good. This must be crushed at once.
    This is by the creator of Shoujo Kakumei Utena and Mawaru Penguindrum. Utena requires no comment. I rather liked the (relatively recent) Penguindrum; it had a bizarre juxtaposition of normality and absurdity I found quite entertaining.

    You can use weirdness as a comedic device; you can also use it to challenge your viewers, as long as you give them an anchor point, some scrap of normality they can ground themselves with. But Yurikuma is just weirdness for its own sake. Worse, the weirdness it employs recycles patterns from Utena and Penguindrum. And recycled weirdness is at best boring, at worst irritating. Most of the time, it's just stupid.

    It's not like I don't get it. I see the repeated patterns, the recurring themes, the subphrases used as punctuation. These are tools you could use to make a good story better....if you had written a good story to begin with.

    The yuri is fan-service grade. These girls have weakly written characters, so who cares about their relationships? Seriously, you'll find more characterization in the first four minutes of Utena than in the first four episodes of this. Fans of emotionally-grounded yuri had best look elsewhere.

    Perhaps there are hidden depths here that I cannot fathom, but in my judgement, this series is incoherent crap.
    ---
    Fairy Tail (42-episode drop(?)): Well, I gave it a good shot. It's not without its charm (Erza is a total babe), but the low production quality, childish sense of humour, and bad music were starting to wear on me, and I didn't feel like sitting through another hundred episodes just to catch up. If someone tells me that it gets better, and how long I'll have to wait, then I might give it another try, but otherwise, I'm putting this on hold. I've got better stuff to watch.

    Assassination Classroom
    (just started): The students of class E have a special assignment: kill their teacher by the end of the term. This is charming, funny, original, and weird. I think I'm going to like this one.

    Maria, the Virgin Witch
    (just started): Sorci
    Only the livin' have the privilege of sayin' they'll fight ta the last breath.
    And words like conviction and resolve don't mean much to a dead man...
    --Raven (Tales of Vesperia)
  • ironmageironmage chaotic neutral observer SaskatoonFull Members
    The forum migration ate some of my last post, and I don't appear to have the ability to edit it (four hour limit?), so here's a partial repost. (Sorry, I know this is silly, I'm just being pointlessly OCD.)


    Maria, the Virgin Witch (just started): Sorcière de gré, pucelle de force. France and England are battling it out in medieval Europe. Maria detests war, so with the assistance of her familiar Artemis (an owl-turned-succubus), and a summoned monster or two, she does what she can to prevent bloodshed. This catches the attention of the Archangel Michael, who, with an attitude worthy of the Law side in SMT, attacks her for interfering with the natural order, and imposes certain....personal restrictions.
    This is often racy, but sometimes surprisingly thoughtful. The moral dilemma among the townsfolk and local clergy is particularly interesting; what does it mean when an obviously evil witch is saving your life?
    This series is going to have lots of chances to fall apart. Here's hoping it holds together.

    The Rolling Girls (just started): In a post-war future, Japan has split into separate regions, and disputes between these regions are resolved by local superheroes. This is starting out quirky and cute, but I'm worried it's going to run out of steam down the line.

    Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders (second season, continuing): I liked Joseph's arc better than Joutarou's (I prefer the Hamon schtick to the Stand schtick), but this is still pretty entertaining, if sometimes a bit gory.

    Saekano: How to raise a Boring Girlfriend (just started): Don't pay too much heed to the fan-service in first episode. This tale of a student's dream to write a dating sim treads a treacherous line between embracing cliches, and mocking itself for employing them. It's a bit rough, but there's potential. It reminds me of The World God Only Knows.

    Death Parade (just started): In a certain bar, the recently dead play a game to determine their ultimate fate; reincarnation, or oblivion. The episodic format demands a lot from the writer, so this is almost guaranteed to vary in quality, but it's starting out fairly strong.

    Yatterman Night (just started): ...I'm not sure what to make of this. Is it a dark and edgy drama, or is it a children's show...? This is giving me whiplash.

    Akagi (finished): Yakuza, high-stakes betting, and a side-order of bloodshed. Yes, this is mahjong anime. Surprisingly, this show does a really good job of maintaining dramatic tension....at least for the first half of the series. The second half was very badly paced, and the ending was too abrupt. This series drew me in to the point where I watched the whole thing in less than a week, but I can't say I'd recommend it.

    Gourmet Girl Graffiti (2-episode drop): I was hoping this was a cooking anime, but it's just food porn mixed with slice-of-life yuri. The slice was bland, and lacked flavor, so I'm not going back for another helping.

    Cute High Earth Defense Club Love (1-episode drop): It's a magical girl series, but with male characters. It was admittedly pretty funny, but I'm not the target audience. There were exactly zero female characters in the first episode.

    KanColle (1-episode drop): Alternately, here we have exactly zero male characters in the first episode. Anyway...some girls inherit the souls of historical warships, and fight on the open sea, wearing battle suits...sort of. For example, the battleship girl carries a tiny gun turret in her hand, and the aircraft carrier girl shoots arrows, which turn into airplanes. No, this isn't a spoof, or a parody, it seems they're playing it seriously. I think it would have worked better as a spoof.

    Unlimited Fafnir (1-episode drop): I'm going to make a formal ruling, and say that using "solitary male student at an all-girls magical high-school" as the basis for a series is grounds for immediate disqualification. I may grant leniency if I get a really good first episode. Obviously I didn't.

    World Break: Aria of Curse for a Holy Swordsman (1-episode drop): And this looks like it will be a magic high-school series, with characters who possess memories from previous reincarnations. They are apparently all idiots. I wonder if they were idiots in their previous lives, too.

    Absolute Duo (1-episode drop): And now a magic high-school harem series? A bit much for one season, don't you think?

    Sengoku Musou [Samurai Warriors] (1-episode drop): This is based on a video game. I imagine the audience is supposed to be previously familiar with all of the characters, because they sure were introduced in a hurry. But even if I let that go...it was pretty bland. (Come on, Japan. First Nobunaga Concerto, and now this? You can do better. The sengokujidai is a fascinating period in history, with lots of material to draw from. Use it properly!)

    The Testament of Sister New Devil (1-episode burn-it-with-fire): No need to waste words on this.
    Only the livin' have the privilege of sayin' they'll fight ta the last breath.
    And words like conviction and resolve don't mean much to a dead man...
    --Raven (Tales of Vesperia)
  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Wannabe Mistborn Lucario Administrators
    edited June 2015
    I just finished Ouran High School Host Club last night. It's a good series to be sure, and I'm somewhat interested in picking up the manga where the anime leave off. It's not a major cliffhanger like Spiral, but I really enjoy the characters and the zaniness, though as I understand it, the manga takes itself a little more seriously.

    My opinion of the series has changed since the first few episodes, but that's a good thing here. It's funny, especially in the way it parody and lampshades shojo manga conventions. I'm a bit torn on the ending as well it's somewhat typical, I still found it genuinely heartbreaking
    Tamaki's backstory and being unable to see his beloved mother, him thinking that he's a burden on everyone, his grandmother's harshness towards him, Haruhi at least starting to realize she loves the guy, the possibility of the club being broken up.
    I also need to restate just how excellently the English actors perform. I should get around to watching those episodes with the commentary, though the outtakes were great. I love this one instant when Travis Willingham burst out laughing at what was happening on screen: "oh god, what is this show?"
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    The courage to try again...

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  • CadianCadian oh god who are you people Back and forth between New York and VermontFull Members
    My friend and I marathoned two shows over the weekend. The first was Amagi Brilliant Park, a show in which 50 Cent recruits Kanye West into managing a failing amusement park run by immigrants from a world of magic, led by magical princess Queen Latifah.

    No, I'm serious.

    It was okay. It had some funny moments, but aside from the premise, it was nothing to write home about.

    Imagine the thematic whiplash when we watched Puella Magi Madoka Magica a few hours later. Holy crap, what a show.
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  • omegabyteomegabyte He's just this guy, you know? RPGamer Staff
    I just recently subscribed to Funimation's premium streaming service, which gives access to pretty much all their dubs, making me a very happy person. One thing that's actually surprised me though is that they're actually simulcasting new dubs on some of their shows, and they're only like 5 or 6 episodes behind Japan. I started watching two series, Assassination Classroom and Death Parade. At episode 3 on each of them, and both have been pretty good so far.

    Assassination Classroom has this really weird slice of life thing going mixed with a weird sci fi bent. I'm not exactly sure how to classify it, but it's unique and fun.

    Death Parade, on the other hand, is totally scratching the philosophy itch. I haven't watched a series like this in a long long while. Last one I can remember was Mushi-shi, and before that Kino's Journey. Not sure if this is gonna end up living up to those two, but it's definitely starting out interesting.
    God's Final Message to His creation, written in thirty-foot high letters of fire on the side of the Quentulus Quazgar Mountains:
    We Apologize for the Inconvenience
  • ClixClix Listmaster Full Members
    BEST AIRED IN 2014

    1. Amagi Brilliant Park - While by no means the author's greatest work, Amagi felt like one of the more constant, with a good start and pacing. Using a sort of refined sense of humor from Fumoffu (no manzai helps), Amagi largely works due to the comedic likability of the cast. The biggest complaint would be that the lead, Kanie, can be boring; Sento tends to play the comedically serious bit a tad better. The stars are the middle-aged mascot characters, who thankfully get most of the screentime in the middle. The high production values one expects from Kyoto Animation helps cement Amagi as one of the best-made anime of 2014, though the year as a whole was relatively weak.
    2. Survival Game Club - In contrast to the polish of Amagi, S.G.C. was the envelop-pusher of anime comedies in 2014. The key innovation was substituting the generic-looking shojo protagonist with a villain--and most of the cast is not much better. Momoka was the main character of the year and a thrill to watch. Sadly, what held the show back from being a run-away was that not every member of the main cast was up-to-par, notably Maya. The gag scenarios could be a bit hit-or-miss and the formula felt just a tad stale by the end. However, S.G.C. is extremely wonderful most of the time and well worth the watch.
    3. Samurai Flamenco - This wacky carry-over from 2013 cannot adequately be described with words. The best metaphor is that SamFlam is a trainwreck that escapes the crash by turning into a space shuttle mid-accident. Sadly, for all of the must-see-to-believe plot twists, the cast was sort of sacrificed in order to keep the wild ride going. Finally, the production values were a bit spotty at times. Hopefully, it will remain a well-remembered show in years to come from at least a memetic point of view.

    BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS OF 2014

    1. Space Dandy - One of the two shows from Cowboy Bebop's legendary director that came out this year, Space Dandy was probably the highest profile show of the year in Western-terms, since a dub simulcasted on [adult_swim]/Toonami. While I over-all liked the show, not every episode was worth watching. Worse, it was seemingly random which episodes would be amazing and which would be disappointingly mediocre. I liked the project's aim at having fun, but the end result was a lukewarm mess that left me wanting more of the good instead of all that I got.
    2. Glasslip - I want to say that this is one of the most pretentious shows that I have ever seen, but I am still not entirely sure of what I watched. Normally, that would mean that the show was obscenely obtuse, but Glasslip was by no means "deep" in its content. Instead, it was just needlessly disjointed and directed by a film-school drop-out--why P.A. Works would feel the need to hire a Studio DEEN director is beyond me. Luckily, I was never invested enough to be burned, but this was so surprisingly bad that I could not ignore it. I hope for better this year from P.A. Works.
    3. Persona 4 Golden - After the amazingly told (but poorly animated) adaption for P4 years ago, I had higher expectations for Golden. Apparently, I should not have. Messy does not even begin to describe this show. In just a dozen episodes, this show somehow was able to erode almost all of the goodwill established by P4's anime. Really, this should have been an OVA released straight to video so few had to suffer.

    HONORABLE MENTIONS

    1. -Story Series Season 2 +a - Wrapping up Season 2, Kanbaru's post-plot story-arc was a very fun and satisfying sidestory that gave some welcome closure to one of the more side-lined characters carried over from Season 1. Like most post-Ghostory -Story productions, SHAFT made a visual marvel in the weird way only they know how. While I overall loved it, it's a tad unfair to award a 4 episode TV Special a place in the BEST OF 2014 tier.
    2. Kill la Kill - Like SamFlam, KlK is a 2013 carry over that delivered its wacky second half at the start of 2014 (the high point of 2014 anime). While not as maddeningly ludicrous as SamFlam, KlK is by no means lacking in the wacky hijinks department, particularly with its art style and Go Nagai-esque "fanservice" (hard to take the fanservice was legitimate due to how tongue-in-check everything was). Easily the show's highlight is the main villain. It's fairly rare that a woman gets to play the evilly affable villain in anime. She can be quickly summarized as anime Cruella Deville, MA-TV variant. Overall, the show's strong point is the audio-visual design and sound choices, particularly the leitmotifs and Romi Park's portrayal of the main villain.
    3. Ping Pong - After 2010's The Tatami Galaxy (though I did not finish it until 2011), I decided to pay a bit more mind to director Yuasa. Adapting a mid-90s sports manga, Yuasa certainly did... something. Yuasa is simultaneously the best reason to watch and to not watch. The direction bleeds into the non-standard designs and animation. Thankfully, this means there is actual animation, but it's by no means easy to digest due to the art design. Besides the weirdness, the greatest weakness is the ending, which substitutes a final showdown between the two main characters with anticlimactic pretension. I would like to see Yuasa get another series in the next few years, but I can live without him touching another sports series.

    BEST IN BACKLOG

    1. Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion - After putting it off for a little while, I finally sat down and watched the final entry (for now?) of the Madoka franchise. For as much as I love the TV series, the sequel movie blows it out of the water and leaves you wanting more. SHAFT also made exquisite use of its movie budget. The entire film has a lot of the visuals that was reserved for the Witch's Labyrinths in the TV show. Homura continues being an intriguing protagonist, and the ending is devastatingly good.
    2. Emma: A Victorian Romance - After years of watching anime, I can finally say that I found a show even my mother would love. Emma is a loving period piece that draws parallels between the prudent courting practices of Victorian Era England and the reserved courting practices of contemporary Japan. The original manga was well-researched, and the anime faithfully adapted the plot. The romance is by no means groundbreaking, but it is incredibly satisfying, since Emma herself is an excellent protagonist despite of--or perhaps because of--her wallflower demeanor. Hopefully the author's current work (A Bride's Story) will get an adaptation in the distant future.
    3. Space Brothers - After nearly two years of watching this every Saturday, I am ultimately unsure of how I feel about this "little" show. It was filled with multiple highs and lows, so it all kind of evened out. I loved the cast, but it started to get a bit unwieldy, even early on. The biggest issue was the slow pacing. Still, I did enjoy it overall, and Angela Aki even did an ending!
    ClixPsi.png
  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    Sadly I don't really keep up with newer animes as much as I would like. Between work and my son not letting us watch anything but MLP it's been hard
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    28 years of gaming and still going strong
    and now a mostly annoyed Father with first son. And now a father again to a second son :D

    Winner of the 2015-2016 Fantasy gaming Pool
  • severinmiraseverinmira Managing Editor RPGamer Staff
    Ok, it's been longer than I figured since I last posted here. I think this is the list of stuff I've watched since then -

    Robotics;Notes: Good, but nowhere near the level of Steins;Gate, liked hearing some new voice actors I'd not really heard in major roles before (notably Clifford Chapin)

    Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet: Probably my favourite out of this batch of things, thought it was excellent.

    Patema Inverted: Fun premise and a really well told story, recommend.

    Attack on Titan: Really liked this series, although definitely not perfect. Hiroyuki Sawano's soundtrack and Linked Horizon opening songs were probably a big part of that. Will watch second series whenever that happens.

    Appleseed Alpha: A pretty fun movie, although nothing amazing and definitely style over substance, generally liked the quality of the 3D animation but it does veer into uncanny valley territory now and then.

    Nekomonogatari White and Kabukimonogatari: (Tsubasa Tiger & Mayoi Jianshi arcs from Monogatari Second Season) More Monogatari is the only real descriptions I can come up with, but one of the best arcs followed by a pretty decent one as far as the series goes.

    Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere season one: A lot of fun, even if I did have to do some research into figuring out exactly what was going on (I did start it last year and moved on due to that initially but gave it another shot and am glad I did). Will probably alternate between the second season and the remaining Monogatari second season arcs next.
    "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
    Twitter: severinmira | Xbox Live: Severin Mira | PSN: severinmira (EU) | NNID: severinmira
    Final Fantasy XIV: Sevvi Taubemira (Leviathan)
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