Friday, 24 March 2017

Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga

I forgot how much i enjoy this series.

Kyoto Saga is a bit oddly placed in the timeline for the anime...

It's less of a season 2 and more of a season 1.75

What I'm saying is like... Watch season one but stop around episode 20 or 21.... then watch kyoto saga... and then maybe go finish season one?
maybe? i mean they kinda set up like we'll get more eventually...

The problem is back in 2011 The anime needed to 'finish' but the source wasn't done yet (hell it's 2017 and it still isn't finished) so the anime made an incredibly epic (if not a little rushed) ending...
Kyoto saga retcons that in the sense that it happens well before the events at the end of season 1.

Does having seen season one in it;s entirety ruin kyoto saga? not at all... but it did leave me confused where it was in the timeline for an episode or two.. hopefully we get more seasons and we either completely erase the ending of season 1 from existence or keep pushing it further and further away since it's a really good set of episodes.

Back to the point thought...

Blue exorcist: Kyoto Saga focuses on Rin Okumura, who just happens to be the son of Satan. Still being the son of a demon who killed countless Exorcists 16 years ago wont stop him from becoming the best exorcist ever. However right now there are bigger issues and the class of exorcists in training need to head to Kyoto and help keep the eye of the impure king safe.

I was a bit worried that focusing on a single arc after taking 6 years off would be too little too late but i really enjoy this. the characters grow a lot in that arc (and makes the sudden growth at the end of season 1 a bit more believable)

That being said only 12 episodes? but I want more! here's hoping we get another full blown 2 cour season before the manga ends cause even though i am reading the manga (the art is just so lovely) I want to see a lot of this stuff animated.

For now I'm just grateful we got more... and hopefully I can get my hands on the ost for this season cause there are some new songs that are really pretty~

Alright all that's left this season for me is Masamune's revenge and Interview with monster girls. I didn't have much this past winter to watch but at least a few of the shows were top notch. This one (for me) is included with the top notch shows.

You can watch it all on crunchyroll: http://www.crunchyroll.com/blue-exorcist (at the time of writing this the entire show is completely free so get on that!)

Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju

Aka: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Sukeroku Futatabi-hen
Aka: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju season 2

If Natsume Yuujinchou didn't have another season this year... i could say with almost certainty that this would be my number one show of the year...
Alas Natsume Yuujinchou Roku starts in a week and a half so... it'll have to settle for number 2.

Showa Genroku rakugo Shinju as a series follows the life of the 8th Generation Yakumo.
And i do mean that literally.
we start off with him as a child.
and we experience his entire life.

For those unaware (like i was before i saw this show) Rakugo is a type of Japanese Theater performed by one actor. There are no sets and they very rarely move off a single cushion however the have have some props (a glass of water, a candle, a fan... or even if the story calls for it the burning of incense)
The story is told almost exclusively with your voice.

Considering this is an anime and the voice actors literally had to be able to perform these pieces in ways that also shows if the character was nervous or confident or tired of having a heart attack. This is possibly the best show of voice acting i have seen in any piece of media ever. From the first minute to the very last line i found myself drawn in and loving every moment of the show.

It runs the gamut of emotions where you can be laughing one second while crying the next (and wow did i cry a lot during both season of this show). However, the most important aspect is that the characters feel real. Their lives feel real and when they hurt you feel for them... when they are happy you cheer them on.

This is a truly wonderful show and even though i'm sad it's over (and there really is no room for a 3rd season... in the end the story has been told) i'm happy that you can go over to crunchyroll right now and watch it all.

I feel like i'm not doing this show enough justice but I really hope you take the time and watch it.

Between the story, the animation, the acting and the music... i just can't say enough good things about it.

Also i've never had a intro song tell a story that actually made me cry... i had to pause the show and compose myself before continuing on with the show... that's how emotionally connection to this show i became.

However why take my word for it, see for yourself! http://www.crunchyroll.com/showa-genroku-rakugo-shinju

Next should be either Masamune-kuns' revenge or Blue exoircist~

Thursday, 23 March 2017

March Comes in like a Lion

Season 1 finished a few days ago and season 2 is announced for October but i figured it would be best to talk about this now cause i don't want to wait.

March comes in like a lion focuses on a young professional shogi player, Kiriyama, as he deals with the stresses of life and battle with depression (and possibly PTSD)

It deals with the pressures of children who are extremely talented at something and how that can completely wreck their self esteem.
It deals with loss of immediate family members and the challenges of living with a family you weren't born into.
It deals with the concept of family as a whole being the people you surround yourself with who make you feel at home....
and most importantly...
It deals with the inner monologue of cats.... and i am sure it is 100% accurate.

The show is stunning, full of wonderful visual metaphors that make you ache from the core as you watch this kid struggle.

The music is also really good (and i mean any show that has a bump of chicken intro and ending can't be bad in my books) and evokes a feeling of continuing to fight even when it feels like the water is rising up around you.

Finally i want to talk about the creator Umino Chica. I have been a fan of their stories for years.
Even if i'm not the biggest fan of how Honey and Clover ends the journey is one that has stuck with me more then more.
Even if i still haven't see the second eden of the east movie the concept was still handled in a way that was incredibly interesting.
With March comes in like a lion the biggest pitfall would be that it takes half the series to even try and explain the rules of shogi.... but in the end that doesn't matter... it's a show about the characters above all else and had it finished last year it would have been in my top ten anime of the year (maybe number 4? last year was amazing for anime)
The point being I don't think i've seen one of their properties i didn't enjoy immensely... and i knew going into this show i was going to have a good time.
Does that mean i was a little biased? probably BUT I really would love if others watched this show. The journey is worth it.
Plus... the cats... they are the cutest... ok yeah i'm a bit biased.

I look forward to seeing more in October, hopefully it's another 2 cour show because i think the additional episodes allows for the perfect pace.

However the winter season is coming to a close and even though i haven't been watching much... i should have 3-4 more of these before i rush out my first impressions of spring anime (because i'll be going on trip shortly after the season begins and i want to get it out before that)

Thursday, 26 January 2017

First Impressions: Winter 2017

After an amazing Fall season it's time to roll into winter where i don't have many high hopes but maybe something will surprised me.... but first

Ground rules


1. I will TRY to give every show on Crunchyroll and Daisuki a chance but that doesn't mean i am obligated to watch a full episode. If i stop early i will give a time stamp and reason for stopping.

2. No shows that are under 20 minutes in length, i don't like waiting a whole week for a 3 min gag. there are some exceptions it's rare.

3. No shows with Brother, Sister, Father or Mother in the title... too often it goes into incest... which i really do not like.

4. If the show is a second season of a show i didn't watch before I'm not going to talk about it here.

5. No card game shows, i may give them a chance but they really aren't my thing.

6. All opinions are my own and based solely on what i have seen. I tend to go into these shows completely blind. If i don't enjoy the show after 1 episode or even quit out of an episode early I'm not saying the show is bad... just that i didn't enjoy it.

Returning Shows


Blue Exorcist - Kyoto Saga

It has been a long time since this show ended.
According to MAL it finished in 2011... so yeah that's a long time between seasons.
I really enjoyed this show, i own it on DVD and regularly watch it (not to mention i have both OSTs and I'm really looking forward to getting me hands on this one... and i guess the movie one too eventually)
However I'm a little confused about where this one fits?
is it.... after the ending of season one (the logical choice except one kinda sorta important thing happens and i feel like they are acting like... that hasn't happened yet)
is it around the time of the movie (which now that i think about it I'm not sure where that fits in either)
However no matter what... i am just so happy to have another season... i know i complain about Natsume Yuujinchou having long breaks between seasons but at least it wasn't like this one.
I have high hopes for this and even if they do retcon the thing that happens at the end of season 1... I'm okay with that.
however it's being listed as a one cour show.... less happy about that... maybe it'll be a split cour? (i mean you make people wait that long and only give 12 episodes? cruel.)
still definitely going to be watching this one.

Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju

it's been a year since Season 1 aired and i loved the show then... even after this first episode i know I'm going to fall in love with it all over again.
After getting the back story of how the 8th generation Yakumo came to be we are now focusing on his Apprentice and how he hopes to keep an old art form like rakugo alive.
And i know this is going to hurt... there is only one way for this story to end... but i will sit back and enjoy it while it lasts.


March comes in like a lion

Still a lovely show, adore the animation and visual metaphor and i look forward t o seeing the character grow in this season.

New shows


Masamune-kun's Revenge

The amount of crap hot people get away with truly is unfair, that is the premise of this show. Enter Makabe, after years of hard work he has finally become the good at everything bishonen needed to get revenge on the childhood crush that rejected him.
The plan is simple, make this girl who is known for humiliating boys that like her fall in love with him and then dump her in the cruelest way possible.
It can't possibly fail! well... other then the small detail that this is a rich girl with an extensive information network... that could make things difficult.
I'm still on the fence with this one because even though  i enjoy the absurd premise and i love the "lets call out the fact that people who are attractive practically get away with murder" mentality... but right now i don't like the characters... so I'll give it a few more episodes (cause so far... there is not a new show I'm excited for) and just take it from there.

FOREST FAIRY FIVE

This is odd cause it's got these high detail 3d models for the backgrounds but then the characters models are super simplistic... it just doesn't mesh at all...
besides that it's only ten minutes long so pass.... i just had to comment on what i was noticing when i clicked it.

Saga of Tanya the Evil

Right off the bat i hate the style... like CG can be used well i anime but so often it's just terrible and chunky looking.
that and the design of the mages is so cutesy for this grim dark war story...
and I'm sorry i just... with the shit that's going on in the real world i just... don't want to watch a show romanticising war with cutesy anime girls.
And yes i don't like War anime at the best of times but i just can't with this right now... maybe it's good but what i have seen is just painfully bad... like who are these people? why do i care? who are the fighting? why? what are these peoples names? why are mages a thing that exist? why are said mages so young and cure while everything else is super gritter and even realistically proportioned?
so yeah... can't sit through this... sorry.... if i hear amazing things maybe I'll give it a chance but i seriously doubt it would ever be the kind of show i enjoy.

Fuuka

oh man meeting by bumping into someone and them accidentally seeing your underwear.... never seen that before...
but seriously what is this... the early 2000s?
Also i hope this colour aberration is only used for certain scenes/the intro cause... i can't even begin to describe how much i hate this technique.
*face palm* OK... anime... i can only talk about myself and the other girls i know but... OK so i know guys feel clothing is optional when home alone and underwear is a thing that is comfy... but girls aren't the same way... we don't just lounge around in out matching bra and panties... if we wanna be comfy it'll probably be a large loose fitting t-shirt or something like that... not shit you just happened to pick up from Victoria's secret.
The story is cute enough... it's nice seeing a protagonist who is believably shy and a love interest who is a bit more take charge... but i could seriously do without the fan service.

Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club

first - wow this title is bad.
second - wow the backgrounds look stunning... i guess as the show has the place (Kamakura) in the title it's important that the places actually look like Kamakura.
third - not a fan of club shows... not a fan of tourism show (which i think is a safe bet to assume this is one)... and i actually I am not a fan of bikes... like i understand people like them but i really don't... also so much CG.
so yeah it's super cutesy... about subject matter I'm not a fan of and i just would rather watch something else.

Schoolgirl Strikers

It's like Sailor moon but more panty shots... not played for fetish just girls flying around in short skirts... so.. a magical girl show that is trying to get a male audience?
the problem with introducing an ensemble cast like this in medias res is that they already know each other, why they are fighting, what their names are and we know none of this... or why we should care.. .which is why so many of these start off by introducing them one at a time over time
i mean they start off by fighting a monster... jump immediately to being in an all girls school except one if a volleyball start and they they are trying to figure out the school 7 mysteries.
oh no it's fav's voice... this can only end well... just like magical girl raising project... only good things...
anyways this school seems to gather magical girl groups to deal with distortions... and yeah everyone wears a short skirt so the camera can focus on low angled shots from behind.
oh boy amnesia just casually explained in exposition... good times.
Also... look sometimes we need exposition... but the exposition should say something... not just "listen to all these terms... sounds important doesn't it... sure nothing means anything but... look.. .terms"
I swear if you took a shot for every low angled ass shot you'd get alcohol poisoning
oh my god one of the magical girls teams literally fighting in bra and panties...  like i guess they are just being blatant with it but that is all this show is... there is no substance.

Spiritpact

I wasn't expecting a Korean intro song but i will say this animation is very pretty.
there is this odd geometric shapes all along the edges... not sure why there went with that as a style choice... not to mention that again this is a lot of exposition.
The concept is interesting enough... some humans that die but have strong spiritual powers remain as ghosts for 7 days... they can stay around longer if they form pacts with exorcists.
However the pacing is kind of atrocious. it is so rushed and so exposition heavy that i just kind of want it to sit back and take a breath.
so yeah not a bad show just too frantic for me.

Interviews With Monster Girls

oh boy... last time i watched a show with monster in the title i bailed after a few mins.... well lets give this a chance.
*blink* hello Suwabe... I'll get used to being able to pick you out instantly one day.... i was voice blind to him for so long it's weird that it's so far the other way now.
it wasn't bad... very chill but as long as they don't set up the teacher as any kind of love interest should be a cute little show.
A teacher wants to write a thesis on Demi-humans however he has never met one... until one day when he meets 4. a Succubus, a vampire, a yuki-onna (snow woman), and a dullahan. he simply wants to interview them.
granted some of the questions he asked the vampire would get him fired in a north American school but other then that it was cute.

Idol Incidents

apparently idols can fix everything (or at least be a ray of sunshine in a shitty dim world full of poverty and depression)
ok but seriously... i know idol m@ster is like super popular and Love live has been doing very well but that can be the reason we have like... 3-5 idol shows a season... what is going on?
also apparently you audition for being an idol by running up a hill.
so it's also about... an election... like Japan has a system of government known as a Diet... and these idols are called Dietwomen so.... i guess the two are connected?
but besides all that.. the pacing of this episode is atrocious... like it has 3-5 episodes of plot in 1 episode... just cause you are an idol show you don't have to have the debut right away... it can wait a bit. also.... i still don't fully know what a idol dietwomen is.... maybe.. an explanation would have been nice.
the character designs are cute but yeah I'll pass on this one.

elDLIVE

(or probably the more accurate/sensible translation of elDRIVE... that is how it's said in the show so that is how I'm saying it for the ramble)
Uh so... this kid hears a voice inside his head for most of his life... and then gets warped to a alien police station thingy... and then after passing a exam to become a alien police thing he finds out he was a special snowflake all along.... or something.
it wasn't bad and it did make me chuckle once or twice but it's not the kind of show i enjoy so... another pass.

Nyanko Days

Sorry but there is only one Nyanko i care about... and that is Nyanko-Sensei...
Also it's 2 mins long so... yeah...
but yeah girl would rather chill with cats then people... i wont say i don't identify with her but still short show is short so pass.

Seiren

This show is far to obsessed with fluttering skirts... but seriously was their a time slip and suddenly we are getting a bunch of shows we should have gotten 15 years ago?
uh... who are these people... why do i care...
i can't even sum this one up cause... like... there was nothing. Guy fantasizes about girl and is bad at school. like this was just a waste of time and set nothing up in the first episode... i don't even know the main characters name.... i barely know most of the supporting casts names.
and I'm sorry but the way it portrays all the girls as extremely flirty but then get mad if you pay attention to them... it feels like the creator has a big chip on their shoulder. so yeah yet another pass...

ACCA: 13- Territory Inspection Dept.

The art style for this looks pretty awesome... but if it's just going to glorify smoking (like the intro song and first few mins seem to be about) i will be out pretty damn fast.
and while there has been a bit more world building in this show i still have the same issues. Who are these people, why should i even remotely care about them losing their jobs (or later not losing their jobs), what do cigarettes have to do with it... and I'm sorry... it's really hard to enjoy something that focuses so much on smoking.. i know this is my bias showing through but i can't help it.

Gabriel DropOut

Gabriel is one of the top angels to ever graduate from angel academy... now she must travel to the human world to observe and make people happy.
However by chance she stumbles onto a MMO (already installed and hovering in the over world despite not having made a character yet) and everything changes.
she becomes a repugnant human being who is addicted to games and calls herself a fallen angel with pride...
there are also demons at this school... cause... why not?only the demons are responsible... but the angels are awful.
it's a bit too cutesy for me but i did chuckle i few times. still not the kind of show i enjoy.

Akiba's Trip The Animation

isn't this based off a game where you destroy peoples clothing cause they are vampires and you need to expose them to light? well I'll give it a chance even though... pretty sure it's not gunna be my cup of tea.
yeah it's... before the intro song and i already wanna stop.
the animation is weird and the fan service is the focus... maybe the game is fun but as a show it's just silly.

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid

I'm getting a Nichijou vibe... not saying there is a connection just... a similar feeling a i guess.
This show doesn't seem bad... but I'm not a big fan of gimmicks (in this case a dragon being a maid) I'm not a big fan of moe (in this case the dragon maid being cutesy as hell as well as completely incompetent and it's plays as endearing.) and finally comedy shows in general tend to be hit or miss... this one is a bit of a miss.
so yeah no bad by any means (there is certainly worse this season) but this is just not the kind of show i enjoy.

Hand Shakers

I should add a new rules to my list... it's pretty much implied but... i should just make it official... no fully CG shows.
granted i guess this isn't fully CG but all the action bits seem to be and i just can't describe how much i hate the look.
however this show just lost me at the 4 min mark. you wanna treat your characters like that? fine... i don't want to watch.

Kemono Friends

I was expecting this to be a short show... somehow it's not.
the cg animation on this is so bad.. i wonder if they even tried to make the character look like they are walking on the ground.
but yeah again with an extremely cutesy style being adorable in every way and i... just can't.
again maybe not a bad show but definitely aimed at children.

CHAOS;CHILD

true story: when out for dinner with a group of friend i was discussing with a friend who has pretty opposite taste to mine about how nothing was really grabbing me this season... only sequels to shows i already knew i liked.
we both brought up being curious about this title.. pretty much both saying "didn't care for the show like this last season... but it has a semi colon so will give it a shot.
I guess that just goes to show you how good Stiens;gate was...
first off... wow that is one hell of a subtitle.
Chaos;Child: If you are God, and the delusion becomes reality. About what kind of the noids you get? Is it the sensual world? the despotic society? The destructive sanctions? Or...
... yeah based on that alone i may... not enjoy this show... but hey... wouldn't make it any different from anything else this season. OK time to give it a chance for real i guess.
Yeah.... this... isn't something i enjoy.
Look you wanna watch a show about crazy stuff happening in shibuya with a chat room as a framing device and a deceptive main character... watch Durarara... it's far better then this.
you wanna watch something that pretends to be deep about how we may or may not perceive the world go watch the matrix.
this is just trying way too damn hard... and falling flat on it's face in the process... i want to give it the whole episode but considering it's nearly 50 minutes long... i think I'm going to pass.

Churian 1/2, Piacevole, One room

all short shows.

Marginal #4

OK but.. .seriously what is it with all these idol shows?
the animation is nice but.... everything else is painful... so much exposition... so much trying to be funny and just... falling flat
about halfway through the episode there is no plot just... look here are some idols... and here are some other idols... yay idols... oh but look they go to shcool too... yay school!
just a little bit of plot would be nice.

Granblue Fantasy the animation

interesting animation? a bump of chicken intro song? is this anime based off a video game going to actually be decent?
I will say while the overall look is interesting... the line work is driving me nuts... imagine a drawing with a mostly dead sharpy and that is kind of the look you get... and then the colour doesn't always go as far into the line as it should (or it goes too far) making it look.... fuzzy... couple that with high detailed BGs that don't really fit the rest of the look and i just have to wonder... could there have been a better way to get this style across? even if just the BGs were treated the same way i think it would help.
but other then that one gripe... this wasn't bad... especially considering it's based off a game. will i watch it all? who knows... but I'll give it another episode at least.
i do wanna punch that little dragon mascot in the face though... it adds nothing but annoyance... not everything needs a mascot.

BanG Dream!

No seriously... what is with all these idol shows... are they just that popular?
to give this idol show credit it isn't just "oh hey look we are idols... we see the girls inspiration to start a band and hopefully in the next episodes we see her struggling to learn the guitar (cause this could easily pull a k-on and just have her be really good with no practice and that is all kinds of bullshit)
may give it another episode cause i have so little to watch this season but it's not the kind of show i enjoy so i probably wont stick with it.

*blink* . . . that.. can't be it... i thought Little witch academia was was this season?
it has to have been picked up by one of the simulcasts....
*checks*
hm... guess not... and if i can't watch it legally then i don't get to see it... thats a bit of a bummer.

alright so shows i can't watch (unless crunchy or daisuki pick them up later)

Kazu no Honkai - the premise has a school days vibe based on the description so I'm okay with not seeing this one

Little Witch Academia (TV) - yeah i never saw the movie so i was curious about the show and this kind of bums me out.

Urara Meirochou - uh looks a little on the cute side but nothing in the description seems too bad.

Reikenzan: Eichi e no Shikaku - a fantasy comedy about temporal distortions and getting back home... maybe it could have been good? *watches PV* well it looks like something from the 90's or early 2000 so... yeah

Onihei - show set in edo period... at least it didn't look super cutesy

6hp (six hearts Princess) - OK pulling directly from MAL here "the first episode of the anime was unfinished at airing time" WOW... apparently i blocked out an hour and only filled half of it then had the creator apologize and explain that two more episodes will be made as well as a redone first episode. Like MAL doens't even list studios or any information about this show... thats a pretty big embarrassment. now I'm curious *watches PV* So it's a fully CG anime and... WOW does it look terrible. the character designs are cute but what little they give away in the preview is just so bad it's hard to describe in words... so click the link (before i quote MAL) and see for yourself.

And that is it...
I feel like such a grouch this season but... after last season was so amazing (and considering next season is going to be even better for reasons)
to only be watching 4 shows
Masamuna's revenge (made it 4 episodes in so i'll probably continue unless it gets too harem-y i guess?)
Blue exorcist 2
Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 2
March comes in like a lion
maybe we can add granblue fantasy but i know me I'll probably drop it by episode 4...
also i guess interview with monster girls could be a tentative add but i am really creeped out by these students having crushes on their teacher (even though he wouldn't act on anything)
... it's all just a bit... empty.

and cutesy anime is fine.. i know i spend most of this blurb bitching about it but it can be done well... this season it just feels like they forgot to have some story with the cute.

So yeah not the best season for me Btu if you like hyper adorability then of boy... just watch everything i couldn't sit through.

at least next season we have my eccentric family 2, AoT2 and most importantly natsume yuujinchou roku... but I'll talk more about that and why spring 2017 will be super exciting for me personally.

For now i just think it'll be time to tackle the backlog of shows... until spring.
What shows are you enjoying this season? are there any shows i should give a second chance? please feel free to let me know.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Year end top 10ish Disappointments

OK i don't have 10 things because honestly i didn't have many disappointments this year as far as anime and video games were conserned.
I mean the rest of the year sucked and i think we all know it but right now... video games and anime only. and these titles aren't 100% bad... just disappointing to me personally.

8. www.working!!!

or as i call it, Web Working.
This was the final show i finished this year and it was a rushed mess. Yes i like the characters... the psychic girl who doesn't know she's psychic... the murderous pricess who tortures her poor childhood friend/crush...
actually those are the only characters i liked but they are great... but it doesn't have nearly the same charm that working/wagnaria had and i feel like they were just trying to cash in on a known name and when Server x Service didn't do it they tried this and yeah... just not very good.

7. Ceres: Celestial Legend

So Incest plot lines are ALWAYS bad... and this show acknowledges that it's gross and icky so that's one good thing
everything else is just so forgettable....
don't believe me? apparently in 2012 i saw a large chunk of this show (like... 16 episodes) and i logged it on my Myanimlist account... and i completely forgot... and nothing from this show even felt a little similar
so yeah... this show is pretty boring and so i figured it should have a spot on the list.

6. Kiznaiver

To date i have never seen a Studio trigger show I've liked (I should clarify... they aren't bad they just aren't the kind of shows i enjoy)... but i thought the character design for this one was so cool and i had been hearing great things.
and yeah i just didn't enjoy this at all... it never resonated with me and i still don't get the hype... the intro was good?
But yeah this was a disappointing show and hopefully a future trigger show will make me understand why the studio is so beloved by all... this wasn't the one.

5. Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

Interesting concept, stunning animation... but it goes nowhere, does nothing and i barely remember watching it. maybe that stuff would be fixed with another season but for now i can only judge it on this and boy was it underwhelming. I kinda hope with this that the trend of adapting Light novels that focus on a video game-y world kind of dies down... cause i can only think of one good show that has come of that trend... (and it sure as hell isn't SAO).

4. Magical Girls Raising Project

It's painful watching something try way too hard.
this so desperately wants to be like Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Danganronpa and it just fails at both. maybe had it kept it's twist till a few episodes instead of showing us in the first few seconds... it should have tried to be more sinister instead of just "yeah this is happening and this is what we want you to do"
the ending was also very lackluster... maybe they were hoping for a second cour and it wasn't green lit? but it just felt rushed.
also i can't care for characters when it's like "oh here is there back story... time to get rid of them now" it's shallow and you quickly stop caring.
I still love the intro and ending of the show... but the show itself? not worth it.

3. Mighty No.9

I have no nostalgia for megaman
none
never played one before
still the kickstarter to this game looked like a good starting point for those types of games.
it was colourful and looked really fluid and fun, not as archaic as it's megaman counterpart... so i donated to lowest tear that would get me the game and little to nothing else... and waited.
and waited.
and forgot about it
and then it came out and no only was it nothing like what they were promising at first and to top it off it was also incredibly unfun.
Hell i'd argue that this game is damn near unplayable.
Now to be fair i have heard some people say "it's not that bad" or "you are just being blinded by your nostalgia" but to those people i say:

No, this is a terrible game.

It's buggy, it's got terrible controls (like there must have been a better way to map those buttons), the graphics are muddy and completely lacking on contrast. The level design is atrocious (i would argue some of the worst level design i have ever played). The story is lacking, the cutscenes are laughably bad and while the voice acting is fine there is just too much of it. (to the person who made Beck talk every time you dash... i question your sanity)

I cannot think of a single redeeming quality to this game except that it made a lot of people realise why it's so hard to put your money behind an unproven concept.

The biggest thing about this game though is just how little fun there is... like someone had to test this and be like "wow i would rather do anything else with my time right now" like... did anyone play the mansion level and think "wow this is great... i love that there are instant death things all over and no checkpoints" or the car level and think "man i love these slippy controls that make me plummet to instadeath constantly" or how about "gee this dashing thing is great... i wish there was a dash that made me just a pixel shorter so i could go under these instadeath pink fan things"

so yeah... this had to be on my list even though i didn't write about it (cause by this point everyone knows how bad it is... i honestly almost forgot about it till i was watching other year end stuff and was like "yep... that's is on my list")

2. The Last Village

Fun story, at the end of the year i check this blog and make a list of everything i finished.
Then i mark them as either Green - able to be in the top 10
Yellow - meh - can potentially be honourable mentions if there aren't many green.
Red - Bad/dropped
This was the only show on my entire list of the year that ended up red.
I have already written a bit about this waste of time so I'll sum up here.
the show takes it's own concept and then throws it out the window.
In a show about facing your past and accepting it to move on it has a lot of people choose to wallow in it.
I did plan on making this number 1 but in the end... it's really just on the bad side of mediocre. i had not hopes going in and i just felt like my time was wasted by the end but i knew in time i would forget all about it...
and honestly? i have... i can't remember any characters names (doesn't help that the cast is massive) and other then the basic plot BS i can't remember any of their struggles... so i can't give something so forgettable the number one spot... not when there was something i was looking forward to so much more that was just so disappointing.

1. Star Fox Zero

I have ALL the nostalgia for Starfox.
I have beaten starfox 64 hundreds of times.
there are times where it's like "i wanna kill an hour or so" and i just go through that game.
I love it.
Star fox Zero took that love and slapped some shitty controls and made the game unplayable for me.
I know people say you just have to have the click moment.
but this was game was frustratingly difficult to control that i didn't want to play long enough to have the click moment.

All they had to do was make it optional.
They could have had a setup that was just like Starfox 64, one where the wii u game pad was only used for the joy sticks to move the vehicle and point where you want the lasers to go.
not to mention the current control setup is like... so mu ship is pointing forward but my lasers are going left? or oh gee thanks for getting de-synched... again.

I wanted to love this game
I can't even begin to describe how happy I was when it finally got a release date.
and i should have learned not to expect anything... that getting your hopes up like that is just a good way to have them dashed.
I so desperately wanted to love this as much as starfox 64... and i just can't.
So i have to name this the biggest disappointment in anime and video games for 2016.

I hope you enjoyed my lists.... i know people like more negative stuff and i try to avoid being that person but it felt good getting this all off my chest.
Here is to 2017.... please let it be even better then 2016.




Friday, 30 December 2016

Year End Top 10ish - Video games

I played lots of games this year...
still technically only beat 9 (cause even though one is 3ish games... I'm counting it as one since it was on one cartridge for me)

SO yeah year end Top 9... i could run and beat FFXV or Xanadu next or spirit of justice but honestly i rather just take my time.

With no Honourable mentions.... here is the list!

9. Professor Layton Vs Ace Attorney

I have been a fan of the Ace attorney series since i had a chance to play the first game and while the Professor layton games have been lacking as of late i still have a soft spot for them. So when it was announced we were getting the crossover game here i was thrilled.
The i played it and... it was easy... and i mean... super easy.... easy enough where i didn't really want to continue at that moment so instead i played something else.
Fast forward a few years and i wanna tackle my backlog... and this game had been bugging me... so i figured even if it's super simple compared to the others in both series i could just speed through it.
In the end story wise this may be my fav of both series? It literally had me sobbing at one point where they did a very uncool thing. yes overall the puzzles were simple the courtroom stuff did get more interesting and that kept me engaged... plus the character designs were simply fascinating. I think the Collaboration brought out the best of both companies and i can see the influence of this title on the later Ace attorney games... and i mean that in the best way possible.
it's also nice seeing a game with proper spelling~ (it's the European translations... no words missing Us it was lovely)


8. Legend of Heroes: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch

this was the other game that had been bugging me cause I've had this game nearly beaten for years....
instead i just played from the start and it didn't take too long to get back to the end. the story follows two characters on a Pilgrimage that just happens to end in saving the world. still this means i have 2 Garghav Trilogy games beaten... just need to finish Song of the ocean and I'll be done with these hilariously translated games.
And yeah... hate to say... not the only falcom game on this list so... uh... sorry

7. Pokemon Sun

I enjoyed this more then i thought it would... sure it doesn't add too much but it had more personality then the other pokemon games have had as of late... and a lot of the Alolan versions were cute and i hope we get more regional variants in future games.
it did feel a bit short but i still haven't done much post game stuff so maybe I'm judging it a bit unfairly in that regard.
Now they just need to make a game for the switch that has all the regions... that would be amazing.


6. Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

This game was custom made for me... SMT games mixed with Fire Emblem? i couldn't have been happier.
Yes the story is goofy and terrible... i don't care i had so much fun with this and I'm still a little sad that it's over and i beat it months ago.
At least i have some of the music for it.
I know a lot of people hated the censorship... i understood most of it (except the wedding dress... that one makes no sense/looks terrible)and it didn't bug me.
Part of me hopes TMS#FE 2 would be a thing.... i know it wont ever happen but i really loved that combat system and i wish i could play another game with it.
plus so much colour... it's so nice to play games that aren't afraid to just use all the colour.

5. Asagao Academy

Dammit i was determined to make this higher... but the next four games just mean so much to me.
Asagao Academy is the first visual novel dating game i have ever played and i love it.
I don't often complete games (as in 100%) but this one i did, i got every scene, every line variant, every ending, every extra.
I drew a crapton of fanart for it (and i still want to draw more)
The writing is great, the art is fantastic, the music is great and the fandom just makes me smile from ear to ear.
This game makes me want to make stuff... like it's so inspirational that this game was made with a relatively small team and has such a high level of polish is just... ugh i wanna go out there and make all the things.
Also if you are wondering, you don't need to be a fan of the actual youtubers the characters are based on. you can go into this game completely blind and i promise you will have a good time... then go check out their stuff after cause all the content creators are incredibly talented.
I was hoping it could be number 2 or 3 but.... this is still a fantastic game that you should try for free 

4. Zero Time Dilemma

Worth the wait. I was so happy we were getting a conclusion to the Zero escape series (possibly my all time fav VN series) and even though the ending leaves some things unanswered... i still loved every second of it and the fact that the twist got me once again... just perfection.
I do wish there weren't so many graphical oddities considering all the cut-scenes could have essentially been pre-rendered...
but i love the theme of chance... and things actually being based in chance... oh boy so good. I am sad it's over but hey... at least i still have another Danganronpa in the future.

3. Fire Emblem Fates

Because i got this as one cartridge i will treating it like 1 game.....
that being said i think birthright is the weakest of the games (too easy/too much "oh man sure is great being the good guys") Followed by conquest (awesome to play as the bad guy but some of the story doesn't make sense considering who you are working for) then Revelations (most varied types of maps and huge cast leads to interesting character interactions) HOWEVER my fav of all the plotlines...... The Heirs of Fate DLC
no seriously... that 6 chapter DLC with all the children from the characters is just... so good. it ties everything together and i wish it was longer. it also gives us the 4th verse of the song AND a kickass final battle song... i couldn't be happier.
I feel like i need to stress something... everyone knows i love Falcom games.... Honestly i love Fire Emblem just as much... the only reason this isn't number one is because of falcom.
So without further ado.... the top Two games are

2. Trails of Cold Steel

Cold steel Is a great game. It takes my favourite elements from other games (mostly persona and the Tales of games) and slaps an amazing soundtrack on it. The characters are great, the story is great, it does a great job of adding to the lore of the other 'kiseki' line of games.
I love this game... while the cliffhanger ending isn't quite as heartbreaking as Trails in the sky First chapter it still had all my emotions running high.
Not to mention i spent the entirety of the game trying to prove myself wrong.... only to be correct and full of tears by the end.
However it wasn't the best game this year.... that honour goes to!


1. Trails of Cold Steel 2

.... so Fates gets considered one game cause it's on one cart for me... this is on two disks that were sold like... 6 months apart.... so it's different then fates.
cause i say so.
PLUS...Cold steel 2 is barely the same game....
I mean is still has elements from games i like, a kickass Soundtrack, great characters a heartbreaking ending... but it's so different.
and unfortunately i can't even hint to what is so different cause that would be a spoiler and i am trying to keep these spoiler free.
all i can say is that i hope the translation for Cold Steel 3 (which is set to be released in japan next autumn) is simple and quick... granted I'm not going to mind waiting for this gem.

So yeah.... a lot of very similar games this year but honestly for me this year was amazing for video games. reminded me why i love the medium so much.
but here is hoping next year i at least have 10 titles.... shouldn't be too hard right... i mean the 3rd is coming out.... persona 5, gravity rush 2.... possibly Ys VIII.... should be good. (plus i should beat FFXV and Xanadu next sometime in early 2017)

However this year wasn't perfect... time for some of the years disappointments (anime and Video games)

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Year End Top 10ish - Anime

Every year around this time i like looking back and ranking my fav anime from the past year.
Or more accurately the top anime i finished in the past year... this year there is actually a lot of potentials for older shows to make the list (but I'm thinking they may just be Honourable mentions... we will see.

Honourable Mentions (in no particular order)


Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Yes.... i only saw this show for the first time a few months ago.... Yes i have been living under a rock for the past 6 years. and yes i really liked it.
However! Everyone knows how amazing this show is so it felt silly to give it a spot on the top 10. Also i still have some issues with the first 3 episodes... but yeah this show is amazing and i still need to watch the movie but there was just so much good this year that i couldn't justify this eating up a spot on the list.

Cute High Earth Defence Club Love! Love!!

I adore this show but the second season lost some of the charm of the first season.... also it gave Hiroshi Kamiya a much smaller part and that is no good. In all seriousness i just felt like it was good... but not good enough to be in the actual list.


Erased

This show was amazing... right up till the very end were it lost a bit of it's charm... and there are just so many good shows that even something as simple as a lack luster ending could bump it off the list. Still a great show with a neat concept and setting... just like.... once everything is wrapped up maybe stop.

Sailor Moon Crystal 3

I have made 2 things very clear about Sailor Moon as a Series.
1. it was one of the first shows i ever watched and just loved every second of.
2. Sailor Moon crystal 1 & 2 nearly destroyed all the joy i used to have for the series cause it was so awful... it was my number 1 disappointment last year.
Season 3 however redeemed itself completely... and i don't even like the arc it covers. it did such a good job, the animation was so much better and it just made me smile from start to finish.
Had it been the Helios arc it would have been on the list... bu it's not so it just gets a honourable mention and a big thank you for fixing what was a blatant crappy cash grab.

And the rest are all too good... so they go on the list...

Year End Top 10 13


13. Danganronpa 3 (Despair/Future/Hope arc)

I think this show was incredibly ambitious... airing 2 separate stories at pretty much the same time and having them play off each other was such an interesting use of non-linear storytelling... and that final episode to tie it all together was simply Brilliant.
So why isn't such a unique show higher on the list? one reason... i have a feeling it'll be packed in a way where it's completely in order instead of alternating the episodes... so you lose some of the great reveals for the second half while reveals for the first half wont happen to the end. and even if they do sell it with the episodes alternating between arcs the show still has problems. I can't really elaborate but certain aspects do not make any sense if you think about them for any amount of time... and the reveal of how [spoiler] does [spoiler] was lame... i figured it would be a bit more complicated then just that.
still with that final episode... it had to make it onto the list now i just look forward to Danganronpa V3 the game.

12. Mr. Osomatsu

This show made me laugh more then i would like to admit.
Hell it made me cry more then i would like to admit.
I mean i can't even pick a fav Matsu... Choromatsu is great... but then Ichimatsu is like... who i am.
this stupid show about Sextuplets shouldn't be as funny as well made as it is. I honestly thought this would be higher (like around 7) but in the end... there was just too much good this season and as much as i loved it... i don't necessarily want to watch it again (unlike pretty much everything else after this entry)
So great show, if you want a really funny/goofy watch then give it a chance.

11. My Hero Acedemia

I'm not the biggest fan of Shonen anime so i didn't expect to like this show as much as i did. I wish there was more (I'm sure soon their will be) and I hope that ti wont follow certain Shonen anime tropes (granted i already know it follows one that i loath so... guess I'll see) It may have been higher on the list if it had been longer and dealt with more character development but I'm sure we will get another season down the line. For now this is as high as i could put it.

10. Planetarian

Imagine the world has ended, but a lonely robot tries to continue on her job as a Planetarium MC.
Imagine after years of never seeing another human one just happens to stumble by.. and he helps you fix the Planetarium even though you know you will probably never see another human again.
This is short, 5 episodes of different lengths (or 1 movie if you stitch them all together)
it's heartbreaking, beautiful and one of my fav shows of the year. the only reason it's not higher is because of how short it is... and how good this year was for anime. I want to say it redeemed Key/vis arts a bit but considering the game this is based on was made around the same time as Clannad (their peak in my opinion) they are still on probation... cause their other shows have been so bad lately. But this was a gem.

9. Re: Zero - Starting Life in Another Dimension

This show has such a neat concept... what if you had the ability to jump back in time (like a save point) however it only worked when you died and how traumatic would that actually be. Seeing the main character go through death after death just to get a little ahead and be murdered even more violently then before. Sure this show was hell to watch week to week but the payoff was worth it every time.....
well except the ending... i mean i guess we just gotta wait for another season but that ended felt a little rushed.
the other reason this show is as low as it is is the fandom... yes i get it everyone loves this side character that has been outright told she will not be the love interest... but just cause someone is nice to someone else doesn't mean the other person is obligated to have romantic feelings for them.
I'm not saying him an the canon love interest are any better... it's shallow at best... and selfish at worst... but it's just the sense of entitlement that the fandom has to their fav character being the girlfriend that pisses me right off and actually sours my entire experience with the show. I am looking forward to season 2 even though i know it'll probably be a year or two (or more... i have no idea how fast the Light novels are coming out) before we see it... and i worry by then that i may have stopped caring about this world and it's issues.

8. Haikyuu!! 

I was behind on this show for a long time... i still feel like ever since Kuroko's Basketball i just can't watch Sports anime week to week... it is too painful.
This show however has excellent pacing, realistic team dynamics... every member is interesting and i really enjoyed every minute of it.
I'm sad season 3 was cut short by the untimely passing of Tanaka, Kazunari on Oct 10th (literally 3 episodes into the new seasons.... however they seem to have recorded enough to last till episode 8 or 9 of a 10 episode season) However i hope that soon we get another season and the new voice actor can cement himself in the role... the show/manga is apparently insanely popular so hopefully that wont take too long.
Why isn't it higher? cause season 3 is literally only against 1 team and even though it's paced well and so many character grow in those 5 matches...  i still wanted to see more.

Ok i feel like i should mention.... most of these titles are fighting for 3rd place... like these are all amazing shows.

7. Sweetness & Lightning

Ok.... but... the shark song.
have... have you ever seen anything so utterly heart melting-ly adorable?
Sweetness and lightning is a cooking show wrapped in a family drama of a husband losing his wife while his daughter is still very young.
it made me laugh, it made me sob and most of all it made me want to try cooking some new things.
I just wish there was more... i wish it never ended... i am planning to read the manga (just haven't had the chance) and i hope it's longer cause... juts too cute for words.

6. Bungo Stray Dogs Season 1 and 2

I.... thought this would be higher.
I loved everything about the show, it's goofy nature, the animation, the characters, the serious moments... i love the concepts of people having these gifts that are oddly specific but can be quite useful. i love that the most useful character in the show isn't gifted.
I understand it's not for everyone... it doesn't take itself seriously at all until near the end where shit goes down and suddenly everything is serious.
I think the on;y reason this isn't higher is because i know that we are still missing so much of the story so there is stuff to do next season (whenever that arrives) that incomplete feeling is the only reason it's not number 3... well that and just... so many good shows... too many good shows.

5. Durarara

I thought this would be higher too.
Durarara is a brilliant story in the fact that while it is completely honest about who the main character is we think it's someone else because of their own assertions. while the 3 cours of season 2 are far less non-linear then season 1 and overall some plot elements don't get the best resolution (cause the cast is massive by the end) I still felt completely satisfied with how this ended... and the fact that is actually did end. it's rare for shows to be as final as this one was. I can't even think of any way to make this show better... it was really good and I've been enjoying the light novel quite a bit. the other shows on this list just hold and even more special place in my heart.

4. Snow White with the Red Hair

I think about this show all the time... i think about the characters, the art, the music, they story... how they could do another season and how that would be awesome and probably cover my fav arc so far. I Have already re-watched it a few times and it's not even been out very long. i hope we get another season soon. I love that Shirayuki is always willing to fight and not just be a damsel in distress... i like they she makes people around her try to act better. the only reason it isn't in the 3rd spot is because i didn't get my fav arc in the season that aired this year... and the next 3 shows were pretty much set from the start.

3. Showa Genroku Rakugo Shingu

Full Disclosure, i am currently re-watching this show to prepare for season two in a few weeks.
I adore the show, i wish every episode was as long as the first one. every week i was heart broken that it ended cause i just wanted to know more. The fact that this show is pretty much all a giant flashback (at least this one season is) is a really smart move... they could have rushed through to get back to the present but instead we spend so much time learning about these characters and their lives that brought them to this point.
not to mention for a show that mainly relies on the voice acting to carry it... it is fantastic.
When the actor isn't feeling it we feel that he isn't feeling it.
when he's scared or rushing it's physically uncomfortable... and when he's in his element you feel pride in him doing a good job. it's just so powerful where they don't have to tell us what the characters feeling because we feel it at the same time. I cannot wait for season 2 and the fact that it's so soon makes me incredibly happy.
but not quite as happy as the next two shows.


2. Yuri on Ice!!!

If not for the number one show being this year... this would have easily been number 1
This is one of the best Sports anime i've ever seen... i am so happy i finally a good Skating anime... and not only is it good it's probably one of the best shows i have ever seen. also the fact that it's got a well developed/ non fetishised homosexual relationship that is just there and not the point of the show... this is good... we need more shows that have romantic plots but are not focused on them. like it's there and it's important but the show is about a skater gaining confidence in himself through seeing the love surrounding him from his friends, his family, his fellow skaters and his coach. The characters are great and even though some of them need to chill (here's looking at you Chris and JJ) you do end up wanting to cheer for them all.
My only issue is how much they had to rush things because they were only greenlit for 1 cour.... I think this show gained popularity faster then anyone expected (especially considering it's a rare show that isn't based on a manga or Light novel... this had no established audience going in) More importantly this was a worldwide phenomenon. I have never seen a show actually gain fans that as in the actual sport being portrayed. Reading how Johnny Weir or Evgenia Medvedeva enjoy the show as much as they did or seeing people who may have never given anime a shot giving this a shot is just so incredibly cool i have a hard time putting it into words.
I hope this show continues to improve the perception of anime to those who don't currently watch it... i hope it continues to push the boundaries and i hope it allows other shows that may not have been greenlit  a chance.
but most of all i hope when season 2 hits... it's 2 cours instead of one... i'll even take a three month gap but this rushing through an entire skating season was too fast... slow it down and develop the characters even more then you already have.
but yeah i love this show and i look forward to owning it and probably re-watching it many many times.

1. Natsume Yuujinchou Go

Because of course it is... this is me we are talking about. So essentially no one should be surprised.

look this is the 5th season of my fav show... of course it's going to be number one... there was never a question about that.
Not only that it animated 3 of my fav chapters/arc.
AND after all that... season 6 was announced... i literally (not figuratively) cried for about half an hour when i saw that announcement because i knew i would only have to way a little (most likely 3 months but no confirmation just yet) to see more of my fav show and i wouldn't have another 3-4 year wait.

Yes i am bitter that this season was 11 episodes instead of 13... but we are getting more of it and that makes up for everything

oh and the show is still about a boy who can see spirits and the cat/youkai that is his bodyguard and just wants the book of friends.... granted i think only two names get returned this season but hey we still have the original concept so it's all good.

if 2017 is even half as good to anime as 2016 was... I'll be happy (even though you already know my number 1 pic for next year... so that's fun. )

Next I'll be talking about games and then we'll poke fun as some of the years disappointments in anime and video games.