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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:15 am 
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Finished Occultic;Nine

It was kind of a mess, but I've seen a LOT worse. There was at least some intelligence in the story structure and while a lot of the characters delivered a lot of their lines machine-gun quick like they'd learned how to not breathe, the show did at least occasionally take a second to build some atmosphere. Not enough, but some.

Still in the middle of Magi. Still appreciate its ability to have bright heroes, black villians, an optimistic tone, and a bitterly cynical grey-on-gray world and make it all work.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:46 pm 
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So, I finally finished the second season of Magi. It was... really good. Al Tharmen was a smart and cool evil string-pulling organization, and it balanced incredibly well a dark take on the world and society, while having most individuals being basically good, or at least starting out that way and being redeemable. The action was solid; maybe a little more static than something like DitF or Shana but still visually creative and decently paced, and the characters are well explored and overall rounded, except maybe for the True Villains.

About halfway through Girl in Twilight. So far it's... actually pretty good. I wasn't expecting that, at not exactly. True, the characters started out a little flat, but it's clear the structure of the show is that each of them gets two episodes dedicated to her development in the Dystopian Alternate Universe of the Week.

Just started Bakemonogatari. This is a weird one. Like, in every way -- its visuals, its storytelling, its pacing, everything's just a little off. I'm digging it so far though.

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I have a blog. I review anime, and sometimes related media, with an analytical focus.

I'm a (self) published author now! You can find my first book, The Accursed, on Amazon as an ebook or a paperback!


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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:48 pm 
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> Bakemonogatari
I'm pretty curious to see what you make of it, and yes, it is rather oddly stylized. I think all the head tilting the characters do is a eccentricity of the animation studio, but I rather enjoy it for some reason.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:56 pm 
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I'm about 10 episodes into watching Psycho-Pass with a friend.

The show is good. Like, seriously good. I like how the show is willing to actually take its villains to task for their hypocritical and solipsistic worldviews/motives instead of glamorizing them as transgressive aesthetes.

For example, the handful of scenes during the plasticization arc where they just show the victims in their daily lives as people plays a role in framing the later scene where the villain describes how she sees them as objects. The show is actively showing you how wrong her worldview is.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:08 am 
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YingLung wrote:
> Bakemonogatari
I'm pretty curious to see what you make of it, and yes, it is rather oddly stylized. I think all the head tilting the characters do is a eccentricity of the animation studio, but I rather enjoy it for some reason.

I'll let you know when I get back to it. I was two episodes into the second arc and enjoying it a lot, but it vanished off Amazon Prime Streaming.

I feel like Shaft, as a studio, is kind of like the filmmaker Robert Rodriguez. Rodriguez is (or at least was) known for usually working with a shoestring budget, and usually doing a LOT of work on projects himself. He also typically had a very distinctive style to his films, using inventive creativity to cover for the fact that the production was pretty cheap. That's sort of how I feel about most Shaft productions I'm familiar with. Some had more budget to actually put up visuals than others (such as Madoka Magica), but they all rely on these very stylistic choices that lens how you see the world presented. The wide shots of these vast, empty spaces and cuts to tight focus on characters making odd expressions like the iconic head tilt are things that could be done very cheaply, but even if I can recognize it's cheap, it never feels cheap, because it typically helps to establish an atmosphere (Typically a weird, uncomfortable atmosphere because Madoka, Mekakucity Actors, and Bakemonogatari are all kind of weird, uncomfortable Urban Fantasy tales). Because of that, they can get away with a lot.

Started Familiar of Zero. I'll see if Bakemonogatari's disappearance is a hiccup when I finish Girl in Twilight (Which I will probably want to talk about at length, because it's poorly rated on MAL but I've been enjoying the heck out of it) and decide what to do about it then.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:15 pm 
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Bakemonogatari doesn't seem to be coming back in a timely fashion.
Commentary on Girl in Twilight... I'm just going to link my review on MAL. If anyone wants a more in-depth or spoileriffic discussion, just ask.
I finished Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka. There was some good stuff in it, but the exploitation material was kind of over the top. Can't recommend, but if you're into it there is something worth watching somewhere along the line.
Familiar of Zero is going strong (On season 2). It's not really challenging fare, but it's entertaining.
I'm going to be starting Noein. I'm excited.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:35 pm 
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If you don't mind all the ads, it's on crunchyroll.
https://www.crunchyroll.com/bakemonogatari

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:18 pm 
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I actually have premium Crunchyroll, but the issue is that they don't have episodes 13-15, which I've been told are more important than their DVD-original production status would have indicated (I looked up watch/read order for the Monogatari series and got the advice to look for the 15 ep verison of Bakemonogatari). Thanks for looking, though!

Like Eden of the East, I'll probably seek it out, because it did hook me. I'll probably try a bit harder once Noein is done.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:00 pm 
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Just finished Psycho-Pass season 1, here are my thoughts, with spoilers, below:

Spoiler


All in all, I really liked the villains of the series, I really liked the worldbuilding, I really liked the "twist", I wasn't too into the two main protagonists, but the backup cast was nice. Overall, I'd say this is a pretty nuanced show that has interesting things to say, and I'd encourage people to watch it if they're looking for a sci-fi show to try.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:54 am 
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So I didn't catch up at once, but I did finish the second season of Familiar of Zero. I don't know when I'm going to watch the third or fourth seasons, if I do because... you know, it started to wear out its welcome. Louise is just too damn unpleasant and unlikable and the appeal to status quo too damn intense. She had some good moments, especially towards the end of the season where she tried to have a little depth to her harshness, but even the ending just sets everything back to square one.

Like, damn, this whole season, nothing was accomplished.


So, since then I've been watching Noein and Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai. I was not expecting the weird amount of overlap between these two shows. Watching one episode of each a day it managed to line up so both shows went into explanations of Schrodinger's Box on the same day. That's just bizarre. They're both good shows, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 3:38 am 
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Finished Noein. It was good. Like, it had a lot of esoteric concepts, but was smart enough in presentation and handling that they all resonated well enough. Do I totally know how that ending played out? Probably not, but I feel good about it all the same.

Finished Bunny Girl Senpai. I did not sign up for this feels trip. Like seriously, from the title and pitch I thought I was getting into a goofy, surreal, Haruhi-esque comedy. There are some ways in which it reminded me of Haruhi (like, a LOT) but the overall tone of the show was NOT one of them. I loved the characters though. They had great chemistry all around.

Finished Arpeggio of Blue Steel. It was alright. The military action was good, and the treatment of the Mental Models as nonhuman (particularly, machine-like) intelligences was actually really neat, but the human characters are all super stock and some of the ships really overplay their main note in a way that conflicts with the general tone (particularly Hyuuga). I'd say I liked it overall, but it's not a huge hit

Watching Aria the Scarlet Ammo. Feeling like this is my punishment for really liking Rie Kugimiya's voice work. Shana was great. Taiga was great. And then there was Louise, who was still very well acted, but was written rather poorly. And now I've got Aria, and I'm only two episodes in but my instincts tell me this is going to hurt.

Re-watching Assassination Classroom. It's really striking me this time through (on ep 12.) that there are no wasted episodes (so far). As much as I liked Little Witch Academia, the show had terrible pacing, with loads of filler in the first half. Assassination Classroom keeps important things moving even through the 'filler' type episodes, evolving the dynamics of the characters in new and interesting ways.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 6:18 pm 
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I was rather fond of Assassination Classroom, but dropped it part way through. Talking with my friend who read the manga, it sounds like that was around the part where the 2 diverged.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:09 am 
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I finished watching Made In Abyss with a friend. It has some serious gut-punches, the characters have good chemistry, but more importantly, the atmosphere, tone, and worldbuilding are all amazingly on point. It's super immersive, and I really enjoyed it, although it gets really dark near the end. The show makes me want to play D&D too, which is probably a good sign.

Rewatching Fate/Zero, and I think this show could be, like, FMA:B tier of popularity/name recognition if it wasn't for the baggage it carries from the extended universe.

The characters are distinctive and have interesting motivations, personalities, and backstories, with each one being well-developed and distinctive despite the huge ensemble cast. The plot is intricate and engaging with a lot of detail, but still easy enough to follow and without any heavy info-dumping, and the animation of is high-quality, both the character designs and the fights (with the one exception being berserker's idiosyncratic CGI). The show is all-around amazing, and I'd advise anyone who hasn't yet to check it out.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:53 am 
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Made in Abyss is one of my favorite shows to come out recently, and probably the one I respect the most for its artistic quality (which doesn't necessarily correlate to favorite for me. I have a weird affection for flawed things that do an element or two super well.) I'm very much looking forward to its continuation.

Finished Aria. It was not half as painful as I feared. Still junk food, but tolerable junk food, unlike the second season of Familiar of Zero.

Started Occult Academy -- as in just started, episode 1 is all that's down. At least I'm having fun playing "name the myth/cryptid/conspiracy theory"

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:47 pm 
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Some quick anime thoughts:

Zombie Land Saga
By god this show was funny. The zombie slapstick, the mood whiplash, the abusive screwball manager, all the dumb things that get treated so seriously, the subversions of cliche. There's just a lot to love.
The character beats were just perfect. Everybody's fleshed out and they all play off each other really well.
A couple backstory bits were a little hokey though. I was really hoping 80's idol girl (I don't remember any of the names) died as a (indirect) result of her idol status. It just would have tied everything up so nicely. I was also really hoping that the manager turned out to be the driver that killed the main character. I won't spoil what we got instead, but it's way less interesting.
I've heard it called the "idol show gateway drug", but it didn't work that way for me. The explicitly idol bits all struck me as the weakest parts. The music and choreography were alright, but the real draw was always the lead up where the girls interact and work out the difficulties involved with idol life. The crazy gambits for attention and sponsorships are all way cooler.
8.5/10

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:34 am 
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Finished Occult Academy. Didn't care for it.

Finished rewatching Assassination Classroom. It's still strong -- not perfect, but strong.

Started Granblue Fantasy. I think it's based on a game but I don't know, I've never played it. Feels like Skies of Arcadia though, which is an all-time favorite game of mine. Also feels like it's just going to be silly fun to not take seriously.

Starting Shangri-la. Don't know what to expect.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:00 am 
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I watched... most? of Assassination Classroom, it st - wait a minute, I already said this.
TPmanW wrote:
I was rather fond of Assassination Classroom, but dropped it part way through. Talking with my friend who read the manga, it sounds like that was around the part where the 2 diverged.


I watched 1 or 2 episodes of Granblue. Pretty sure it's based on a game. One of those mobile games where you collect characters, but that don't have a genre title that I'm aware of- one of those games I think. Y'know, there's a Marvel one, a Star Wars one, a Fate one and a spy one I think?
Anyway I thought the anime was kind of cute, but the characters felt more like cliche checklists than real people.

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CotW is a method for ranking cards in increasing order of printability.

*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:48 am 
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They're generally referred to as gacha games.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:50 am 
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It's like Pokemon if you had to buy each one individually.
Is there a term for them based on their team-building RPG mechanics too, or just their monetization model?
(I guess it says a lot about what people think about these games if we only have a term for the one)

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Cato wrote:
CotW is a method for ranking cards in increasing order of printability.

*"To YMTC it up" means to design cards that have value mostly from a design perspective. i.e. you would put them in a case under glass in your living room and visitors could remark upon the wonderful design principles, with nobody ever worring if the cards are annoying/pointless/confusing in actual play

TPrizesW
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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:41 am 
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I don't play any of them, but don't they mostly just follow jrpg conventions?

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