What anime are you watching?

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Mys145
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Re: What anime are you watching?

Postby Mys145 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:40 am

BlueSpark wrote:While I'm only at episode 7 as of yet, I feel like I can voice my thoughts on UQ Holder by now. Namely that it's nothing like Negima!, and I'm honestly a little infuriated that they're labeling it as "Negima! 2" in the title card. The difference here is akin to that between Soul Eater and Soul Eater NOT - a transition into a completely different genre with (mostly) different characters.

Overall, the style of UQ Holder reminds me a lot of Noragami: the sometimes outrageous comedy, the supernatural powers, the flashy combat, the "group of good guys vs. evil organization" dynamic. At least, the protagonist being voiced by Brittney Karbowski is helping carry me through so far. But at this rate, I expect that after finishing it, I'll banish this season from my mind the same way I did Aria: The Scarlet Ammo AA.


I'm going to assume that you just only know Negima from the previous two anime series and not the manga itself. During the run of Negima, it change from being a harem comedy to a shounen battle manga which the author wanted to do from the beginning but was told by editors to stick with harem comedy. There's an ANN article that details the messy history of the anime adaptation of Negima which you should read. So UQ Holder isn't that far off from Negima as you think it is but due to the way the anime adaptation was treated, I can see why you think the two are so different.

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BlueSpark
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Re: What anime are you watching?

Postby BlueSpark » Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:57 am

Mys145 wrote:I'm going to assume that you just only know Negima from the previous two anime series and not the manga itself.
That's correct. Although the way I see it, my criticism kind of still stands with regard to the manga, then - the extreme genre transition is still there. Just that the transition was perhaps smoother in the manga. But you're right - both styles are in the source material, so I guess even this season deserves to be branded as "Negima!".

Looking at the article you linked, I believe I've actually read it a good while ago. I don't remember many details. Overall, though, I'm frankly not too interested in behind-the-scenes stuff (I believe I only checked out the article out of boredom at work). When I think of the scandal behind Kokoro Connect, it just makes me depressed to think that learning something like this prior to watching the anime itself might put a damper on my enjoyment of an otherwise great show. I'd rather just take it at face value and see if I like it or not without worrying about adaptation (and similar) issues.

Sorry if that sounded unappreciative, I'm still glad you gave a reply to my post with pertinent information :).
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SethAmaha
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Re: What anime are you watching?

Postby SethAmaha » Tue Jan 22, 2019 6:38 pm

Like I've said before, UQ Holder ia a treat for those of us who have read the entire Negima manga, not so much for those who haven't. The author has always had a skill im battle shounen stories, but if you don't read t he mangas, you would never know that. The second half of the negima manga was a pure battle shounen full of fights and training, very different but from how it began. Love Hina was similar in that respect. On the latter part of the manga, Akamatsu sensei added some action to it to spice it up, especially with Mokoto. He is one of my favorite authors but the anime additions always fail to tell the complete story he crafts

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BlueSpark
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Re: What anime are you watching?

Postby BlueSpark » Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:25 am

I guess that's a fair assessment. It just really blows when you expect a sort-of sequel to a show you know and like and get confronted with something totally different (especially if you're already negatively predisposed to the new genre, like me with battle shonens). But I can't fault the show for sticking to the content of the manga.

I was quite stoked when we finally got to see all the familiar faces in the final episode (I haven't watched the OVAs yet), and then immediately bummed out because more than half of the voice actresses had changed. I mean, that's hardly a big deal since most of them only had a single line, but it certainly added another blow to this small nostalgia moment.
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SethAmaha
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Re: What anime are you watching?

Postby SethAmaha » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:09 am

yeah, I can agree with that critique. This series is prone to getting a bad rap with their characters since the cast is so huge and if you haven't read the manga, which did a pretty good job with getting you close to the 20 or so students, than all you to rely on is the anime which even with 2 seasons and a bunch of OVAs, it did not do much justice in getting you as connected to characters. This is specially bad since it has been more than a decade since the anime first aired so trying to remember characters you barely had any real connection to so many years later does not bode well for the show

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BlueSpark
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Re: What anime are you watching?

Postby BlueSpark » Wed Jan 23, 2019 5:24 am

SethAmaha wrote:the anime which even with 2 seasons and a bunch of OVAs, it did not do much justice in getting you as connected to characters.
There's a case to be made that a manga will always allow you to build deeper connections with the characters; while I hardly ever read mangas, I can confirm the same effect for visual novels.

However, I sort of have to disagree with you: I thought the Negima! anime (which didn't even have 2 proper seasons, but rather 2 different adaptations of mostly the same content) did a fine job endearing me to a wide range of the 30 students in the class and giving me a good impression of their personalities. That's something I'll always hold the series in high regard for.

SethAmaha wrote:This is specially bad since it has been more than a decade since the anime first aired so trying to remember characters you barely had any real connection to so many years later does not bode well for the show
I think it's a bit unfair to hold that against the anime (same as with Full Metal Panic!'s 4th season). Although I'm probably biased in this regard since I always tend to rewatch older shows when a new season comes out after several years. To me, the time gap literally does not make a difference.
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BlueSpark
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Re: What anime are you watching?

Postby BlueSpark » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:47 am

This might be the first time ever for me to outline 3 (and a half) animes I've seen in a single post. And not even a rewatch among them, either. Yes, I've been somewhat busy with anime over the last couple of days :P. Strap yourselves in.


On Friday, I finished And You Thought There Is Never a Girl Online. The show had flown under my radar when it came out, but recently, a fellow Animedubs Reddit user described it in a way which reminded me of Gamers!. Naturally, that piqued my interest. And sure enough, I had a blast. It was actually a bit more akin to Recovery of an MMO Junkie, which I also loved.

The whole package felt really warm and charming. Ako's devotion bordered on overbearing at times, but in the end, I thought it was mostly very sweet. Akane was another snarky tsundere voiced in a deadpan tone by Jad Saxton (in the dub, of course), which I can never get enough of.

Some fun gaming-related jokes in there, too. I loved the bit about the random loot box purchases :D. I was a bit surprised that episode 8 almost felt like a season ending point, but for the final stretch they added another neat little arc. Definitely a show I'll strongly consider for a physical purchase one we get a home video release.


After that, I checked out the recent RErideD. I kind of hated myself for it, but with the premise of a time travel thriller, I couldn't help comparing it to Steins;Gate - a bar it had no chance of reaching, unfortunately. During its early episodes, RErideD felt sub-par to me on just about every level. I even noticed a few instances of sloppy/incoherent shot composition - something I don't usually ever pay attention too. Many shots with minimal movement. A direction which frequently felt like a haphazard collection of scenes strung together, lacking cohesion. Rather stiff and boring pieces of dialog (again, in the dub). Characters making blatantly irrational decisions. Uninspiring OP and ED songs. It just didn't seem to be working out for me at all.

But with time, the anime grew on me little by little. I can see 2 main reasons why:
- The time travel concept - how it works and what it can do - was unique and refreshing. Especially with several revelations from the final episode which tie into this, it ultimately made for a compelling mystery/thriller story, and the part about Mage's sacrifice (weirdly, it's pronounced "Madge" in the dub), as well as the epilog, also touched my feels.
- By far the best aspect of RErideD, in my mind, is the backstory of Angelica/Dana. The flashback half-episode focusing on their interactions almost gave me goosebumps and had me glued to my screen. Extremely unsettling, and bringing up intriguing philosophical/moral questions. It helped turn Dana into a surprisingly deep character. I was feeling for her by the end of the show.
Ultimately, I think it was worth a watch, but nothing I'd call even remotely great.


Yesterday, I continued with an anime movie: Hal. I'd never heard of it before, but it was featured in a trailer on my Your Name blu-ray which I recently found. The trailer pitched it as a romance/drama featuring a robot-turned-boy and a young girl, which was more than enough of a hook to reel me in. And indeed, it turned out mostly as I'd expected. I can't say I was genuinely amazed - the short 1-hour runtime might have had something to do with that. But it was a highly pleasant watch, especially given a major twist later on that I hadn't seen coming. I shed a couple of tears, for sure.


Lastly, I also started watching everyone's new favorite Yuri anime, Bloom Into You. Actually, I'm already at episode 10. But all I'm going to say for now is gao, this show is good! I'll leave my more detailed thoughts for (probably) tomorrow, when I'll have finished the series.
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BlueSpark
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Re: What anime are you watching?

Postby BlueSpark » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:26 am

No wonder this show is so beloved among the community - Bloom Into You is an amazing romance. The more I think about it, the more I'm tempted to rank it next to Mysterious Girlfriend X as one of my top favorites of the genre. It managed to touch me again and again without resorting to any tearjerking.

There are two standout elements I criticized (well, more or less) about Citrus, the first proper yuri romance anime I've seen: the pandering nature of the intimate moments between the two leads and the abundant number of lesbians popping up.

Bloom Into You never felt like it incorporated any touching or kissing scenes just to get the audience excited. It all fit into the gradual emotional development (of Yuu in particular).
As for the 2nd point, I had a bit of an eyeroll moment when we got a flashback to a certain lesbian love confession in the later stages of the show. I thought "Sigh... Maybe this is just par for the course for a yuri anime. Here the lesbians come out of the woodworks...". And then, only a minute later, the show turned that element on its head and completely took me by surprise. I loved how that girl came out and said that she considered it nothing more than 'going through a phase.' That was a great drama point which subverted my expectations. Of course, we also got another gay couple, but those were two grown women, and I can forgive that because one of them was cleverly used as a plot device to help Sayaka better understand her feelings.

In an odd way, the overall style of the series reminded me of Scum's Wish. I suppose the high number of inner monologs (of both main characters) has something to do with that. The difference is, though, that a lot of Bloom Into You's monolog sounded poetic and beautiful without being overly cryptic. I do think the very open ending (somewhat reminiscent of Skip Beat!) hurt this show a bit, but the final line by Yuu is a perfect example of the poetic writing I'm talking about and sent me as a viewer out on a satisfying note.

The standout element of the show, however, was Yuu's personality. So multi-faceted, so intriguing... so completely unlike most female protagonists in romance series. Yuu was a character who came across as incredibly likeable and cute without being presented in a moe fashion. But she also had many different traits to her which helped flesh her out so well. Her personal struggle with her romantic feelings certainly is a very important point in the show, but she isn't solely defined by it. I guess I better stop gushing now. Suffice it to say that calling her best girl feels like an understatement.

That's not to say that I didn't appreciate Touko's part in the story - she certainly helped give this relationship a unique and exciting dynamic (Although I do think she went a bit too far with the first kiss she forced on Yuu). But the funny thing is that I don't even see the homosexual aspect of Bloom Into You as an integral part of the experience - I believe Yuu's personal story and struggle could've worked just as well if this was a straight (as in heterosexual) romance. Early on, I was actually hoping that Maki would turn into somewhat of a rival for Touko. You know, capitalize on Yuu's indecision about her sexual orientation. I'm just spitballing, though; In the end, I'm perfectly content with what I got.
Last edited by BlueSpark on Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Eira
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January Report Card

Postby Eira » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:10 am

I've decided to make my posts here come out less often and each have more content and info by making monthly posts, of course if I want to talk about what someone said I will right away and if someone starts a discussion with me here I'll take part, but posting each time I started or ended a show was tedious and messy, especially around new season time. So let's jump into the...

January Report Card:
Completed:
8th - Finished off 'Bunny Girl' this day, I didn't do it earlier cause I was in Japan when the show ended and streaming services are based off your actual location, so I couldn't use Crunchyroll or others.

11th - Finished 'Tonegawa Middle Managment' I also really liked this show, even tho it was comedy then anything else I liked what it added to the kaiji world and expanded on so many things and it kept me invested a lot, glad it came out and hopefully we can get a kaiji season 3 now!

15th - Finished 'Harukana Receive' and not too long before Bluespark also went and watched it. In the end I really enjoyed it but I don't think it did the hype moments well enough, it did them well but not enough to keep me invested when the matches got over an episode long, I love sports anime and shonnen anime and I love when a 'battle' goes over an episode long and has real hype factor, but it wasn't able to sustain it for me, I'll talk more about this when I review it.

16th - 'Cells at Work' took me exactly 6 months to complete and by pure chance. I don't know why I kept putting it off at random points, when I did watch it I always enjoyed it and I think it is a really good show, I like how it goes about itself. It structures itself and sets up plot points the way I tend to when I do creative writing. Last half the show really was stunning tho and I can't recommend it enough.

21st - 'Tsurune' finished and I loved it, an absolute blast of a show that I fell in love with. It knew how to hit me emotionally, but that just made me care about it so much more, I really hope we get more of this, I need more of this animated. I'm sure the manga is beautiful too but this show is something else when animated and besides, it's KyoAni so of course I want them touching it up.

26th - I don't know why but I went back to 'Himote House'. I felt obligated to finish it and I'm glad I did. I don't think this show is anything crazy good but I ended up really enjoying it and I think it's special and unique in what it did and I would actually like to see a lot more of it since the director seems to have some plan for the future and it would be a shame if that never panned out. I will have to review this cause it's just such a weird case, but basically I ended up loving it.

29th - I went and saw 'Dragon Ball Super Movie: Broly' in cinemas. And I gotta say, this is the most fun I've had with a Dragon Ball thing probably ever. More then any other movie, episode, chapter or even video game. This movie was just an absolute blast and it looked stunning! I wanted to have a review for it ready by now but that'll have to wait a bit longer.

Started:
8th - 'Mob Psycho 100 II' this entire series is just something I love to an insane degree, I actually did a review of the first season, the January of the year after it aired. I might go and post it in the review forum with some updates and touch ups. I love this show in ways that are hard to explain but it's just something real special and I'm so glad it's getting more animated content and so glad a lot of talent is working on it. I'm always waiting for the next episode.

21st - 'Kaguya-sama Love is War' this is just a really good show, I love how it's done and the characters are so fun to be around, this could actually be a much bigger hitter then I first thought. As more and more episodes come out I find myself loving it more and more and even before the ED was shown it was gaining way more traction then I expected. But yer, don't even get me started on that ED.

29th - I finally got around to 'Steins;Gate' I had not been spoiled on anything. Although a lot of the revelations you can see coming, there are some genuine surprises in there too and less important info isn't easy to guess at all but it's still a blast to watch. I loved it so far, 14 episodes in so far, definitely understand why so many people love it, but I don't think I can hold it to the high regard some people do.
Everything I say is in relation to me, objectivity doesn't exist.

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BlueSpark
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Re: What anime are you watching?

Postby BlueSpark » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:42 am

After a long wait for the 2nd half to be released with its English dub, I finally got the chance to knock out Re:ZERO: Starting Life in Another World. I have to say it didn't quite live up to my anticipation, although it was still an enjoyable ride.

I felt that the series lost some of its luster in the 2nd half. The first 2 arcs played on the respawn gimmick, the mystery, and the psychological toll it took on Subaru really well. That initial intrigue mostly faded during the later episodes. Although I have to give credit to episode 18 for an immensely touching and uplifting scene (Subaru's lengthy conversation with Rem).

Speaking of which, I can kind of see why Rem is considered a treasure by a large part of the community. She is both precious and inspiring with her unshakable dedication. To be perfectly honest, I think her falling so completely for Subaru felt a bit rushed. But then again, our protagonist worked quite meticulously towards making her like him.
What made me somewhat mad, though, was the fact that
Spoiler:
Rem literally didn't make a single appearance on screen in the final 2 episodes (!). I mean, it boggles my mind how they managed not to include her in the show's epilog - especially after how Subaru had vowed in ep 18 how he'd always want to have Rem at his side. It was just plain disappointing.
In all, if I were to make a comparison, I didn't enjoy Re:ZERO quite as much as KonoSuba in terms of an isekai 'deconstruction.' Especially in the latter half, it played most of its fantasy elements pretty straight, and most of you will know that it's not exactly my kind of genre. But I'm not knocking the show for that - I was pretty well entertained regardless.
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