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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:19 pm 
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I had a whole big entry typed out and lost it. The short of it is this:

Grancrest war has an interesting basis for its world building but fails to grip me.

Darlings in the Franxx is a very anime anime in that it turns its themes into concrete elements of the story world. I'm excited to see where it goes and very much recommend it. Fighting robots are powered by the emotional bond between their male-female pilot pairs. Lots of fanservice, but it's symbolically appropriate. One character is an inverse of Evangelion's Rei Ayanami, and seems to be doing a much better job in her role than Rei ever did. THe protagonist is pretty good for a genre where the protagonist is always the boring one. I like the character of Ichigo. I hope we don't see her chewed up and spit out by a system that can't bring itself to address human needs. That last bit looks to be an overarching theme. It's ery, very promising.

I had some rather pleasing turns of phrase in there that where lost by ... a forum timeout I think? so please feel free to imagine that the above was much more witty.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:46 pm 
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So, it occurs to me that despite jumping into Anime since the first time I listed shows (I now watch FAR more anime than western shows, though to be fair the only western show I watched in the last year was Stranger Things), I haven't really caught up.

I've dropped two shows: Vividred Operation (Mid Ep. 2. Reason: Shame-o-meter maxed out) and Seven Deadly Sins (Ep. 13. Reason: Didn't like any of the characters except Ban, wasn't invested in the story, really didn't want to deal with the fact that I was only half the freaking way through). I've got others in pause-land to pick up when I'm in the mood, like WataMote and Shinsekai yori, but those are the two I won't go back to.

I'm actively watching "Alderamin on the Sky" and "Love, Chuunibyou, and Other Delusions" when I make time for shows. VERY different material, but enjoying both so far.

Some notable hits and misses I haven't mentioned on this thread before:
Angel Beats (Hit): The plot makes no sense, but it's really good at playing with emotions, using both good comedy and heavy as lead drama and somehow working out.
Clockwork Planet (Miss): Wasted Potential - the Show. I made it to the end since it didn't really insult me until the final arc, but I was just constantly disappointed for the entire running time
DanMachi (Miss): Tries to freely mix comedy and drama. Fails hard. Nothing ever feels right or natural in this show.
Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks (Hit): I'm not going to pretend this thing is actually that deep, but it strings its plot together in a competent fashion while providing action that ranges from good to extremely good, and some of the characters are really memorable (Rin, Lancer, Caster, and Gilgamesh come to mind as my favorites. Archer's not bad but geez does he like to talk)
KonoSuba (Hit): How the hell did I like this show? What in the world possessed me to watch it? By all rational estimates, knowing my opinions on other media, I should HATE this show. Yet I eagerly await a third season... It's like 8-bit Theater in anime form.
Little Witch Academia (Hit): Can I really say anything about this that hasn't been said already? The pacing isn't great and the shame-o-meter was often driven to yellow alerts by Akko's antics, especially early, but in the end I can't not like the whole package. The payoff is great.
Madoka Magica (Hit): Best show.
The World is Still Beautiful (Hit): So, I normally don't go for romance as genre. I'm more a action/adventure/mystery/maybe horror with strong romantic subplot kind of guy. But the two leads here were very likable while still being flawed people who will sometimes, perhaps often, make mistakes or bad judgment calls. And their behavior when the chips are down comes back a few times to remind you how much the good sides outweigh the bad.
Witch Craft Works (???): Very much a guilty pleasure. I know this show is bad, and probably, in an objective sense, really bad, but it just has so much fun being bad that I find the fun infectious. Like towards the end they pull in one of those "Basically the Joker" type villians that are used to cheaply make something feel tense and gritty but I can't take it seriously because not that many episodes ago we had a kaiju-sized teddy bear fighting a similarly upscaled robotic rabbit and... yeah, it's silly as heck.
Yamada-Kun and the Seven Witches (Hit): Much like KonoSuba... how did I ever think that watching this was going to be a good idea? The entire setup sounds like one big cringey moment. And there are a lot of what should be cringey moments in there. But I really liked the character work in here, and never "shamed out" too bad... Little Witch Academia was actually worse about that.


Looking forward to: Mekakucity Actors, The Ancient Magus' Bride, and Made in Abyss.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:38 pm 
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Some notable hits and misses I haven't mentioned on this thread before:
Angel Beats (Hit): The plot makes no sense, but it's really good at playing with emotions, using both good comedy and heavy as lead drama and somehow working out.

I watched Angel Beats a few years back because Keeper had mentioned it positively, but I do not share your opinions on it. I could neither buy into the absurd melodrama nor the typically over-the-top comedy.


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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:45 pm 
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That's fair enough. It worked out for me, but I can totally see it failing that way with how it mood swings, similar to how DanMachi failed for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:34 am 
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Citrus:
Citrus is the story of two girls who suddenly find themselves stepsisters and then in love. Citrus is surprisingly sweet. (In the "d'aaaww" kind of way, not the "heck yeah!" kind of sweet) This isn't the kind of show I've watched before, and I was surprised to find myself quite endeared*. Watching these very real characters struggle to understand and come to terms with their feelings, and work to figure out what they should do and how to communicate evokes a lot of sympathy out of me. I'm not sure how cliche the show might be because I've never seen anything like it, but it's really working for me so far. (I suspect my trope naivety also factors into my love for the Haruhi series)
Some parts seem formulaic- with back and forth progress and unrelated obstacles popping up to replaced challenges as their dealt with. So far though, there's enough progress between arcs to carry the show. If something sinks the show, it will be the lack of forward momentum. Luckily, the plot seems pretty tight and look forward to watching this ship sail all the way into harbour.

Darling in the Franxx is awesome and well worth checking out. It's not something that would appeal to everyone, and a lot of people will actively hate it. I can totally understand, and sympathize; the show plays in some risky ground with its themes and presentation. But for anyone who can't confidently say they'll hate it, I highly advise you check it out.
Maybe I'm just feeling really sentimental lately, but much of what I've said about Citrus seems to apply here. The impact of words left unsaid, the untimely interruptions and the bungled communication of these hapless kids lend a real dramatic tragedy to the story. I just know things are going to get heavy any episode now.
I'm just crossing my fingers that this thing doesn't show the same faults that marred the latter halves of Evangelion and Gurren Toppan LAgann. I want to see one of Gainax/Trigger's animes totally nail masterpiece status. These jerks keep letting me down at the last moment, and I'm hoping it doesn't happen again.
That out of the way, let's commence with the rampant speculation! Spoiler tag more for brevity than for spoilers.
"the rampant speculation"

*Aw, should've saved "endeared" for talking about Darling in the Franxx. I could've done a dear/darling thing.
**How on earth do you boil "Darling int the Franxx" down into a typeable word? DItF? DFXX? Franxx?

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:55 pm 
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Seven Deadly Sins (Ep. 13. Reason: Didn't like any of the characters except Ban, wasn't invested in the story, really didn't want to deal with the fact that I was only half the freaking way through).

boo
Seven Deadly Sins is my favorite "continuous escalation to non-sensical power-levels" show. It's dumb fun.

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks (Hit): I'm not going to pretend this thing is actually that deep, but it strings its plot together in a competent fashion while providing action that ranges from good to extremely good, and some of the characters are really memorable (Rin, Lancer, Caster, and Gilgamesh come to mind as my favorites. Archer's not bad but geez does he like to talk)

You should probably watch Fate/Zero, it's pretty much the same, except the source material is way better (writted by Urobuchi, which you are familiar with from Madoka.) I'd argue it's more or less strictly better, except outside of brand recognition, since UBW adapts the original VN.

Looking forward to: Mekakucity Actors, The Ancient Magus' Bride, and Made in Abyss.

If I were you I would probably de-prioritize Mekakucity Actors. It's not one of SHAFTs finest, so to speak.
Magus Bride is pretty good in that classic fantasy allure though, and Made in Abyss is very much worth it.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:33 pm 
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Finished Alderamin today.
Spoiler


I'll be starting Mekakucity Actors shortly despite the warning, mostly because I'm not totally going in sight unseen (Having been breadcrumbed there by Kagerou Project covers)

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:29 pm 
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filthy frank
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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:00 pm 
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So I finished Mekakucity Actors today and... yeah it was kind of a mess. Granted, it was a really pretty and sometimes emotionally effective mess, but it just didn't have the runtime to tell the story it wanted to in a complete fashion where everyone got the focus they needed. The structure is fundamentally similar to Steins;Gate, building up a story via episodes heavily focused on each of eight or so major characters, but Steins;Gate had literally double the episodes. That said, I would say I liked it. I would want to see more. I already knew the songs (to an extent) and having actually seen some of these characters come into their own with a full narrative, I'm interested in the manga and the upcoming sequel/remake Mekakucity Reload. I really liked Ayano, Ene, Marry, and to a lesser extent the rest of the characters, at least in concept. I loved how their relationships were explored. But the plot is scattered, chaotic, and not told incredibly effectively. In a weird way I'd recommend it, but more as a surreal experience with sides of humanity and mystery than as a fulfilling narrative.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:26 pm 
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More Darling in the Franxx ramblings:
Futoshi and Kokoro have a somewhat tragic relationship. I think they both love each other, but Kokoro doesn't feel deserving of the affection. I suspect she has really low self confidence. The weight of Futoshi's affection is too much for her to bear. Kokoro is afraid to voice her concerns and Futoshi doesn't know to ask. They're both stumbling in the dark not knowing where they went wrong.

002 has to start opening up or her relationship will face the same problems. I think part of her concern is the opposite of Kokoro and Futoshi's problem- she's afraid of how knowing the truth will effect Hiro. There's more to it than that, but I found that bit ironic.
It'll probably come to a head when 666 shares his discoveries about the adults.

As Nana and... managerial dude are beginning to suspect Dr.Franxx is trying to overhaul the system. Everything the adults do seems to be pointless tradition, and the good doc is trying to get practical and progress Franxx strategy and society in general. Maybe he'll have Ikuno set up in a pistil-pistil Franxx before this is over. I think Trigger might have a thing or two to say about LGBTQ matters with this series. The setup so far puts them in a good place to push that angle anyway.
Perhaps we'll see that the Franxx can support a pistil and stamen in reverse configuration? Heck, they might even go all free love on us and have a Franxx with 3+ pilots.

A lot of people seem to think that the series can't have deeper meaning because the symbolism is so blatant. I can't buy into that line of thinking. I might be a sign that the studio is willing to tackle the subject matter directly.

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*"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: Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:25 pm 
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So I finished Made In Abyss a few days ago. It was pretty great.

Most of the way into Ancient Magus' Bride. Just started Dusk Maiden of Amnesia. Probably going to start Shinsekai Yori when I finish one of those two, but I've also been looking into Robotics;Notes

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:01 pm 
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Finished "Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions"

That was really sweet, pretty funny for most of its run, and surprisingly hit really hard when it wanted to. I don't know, maybe it was just a bit close to home...

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:59 pm 
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Finished "The Ancient Magus' Bride"

I liked it but... I honestly don't know what to think, exactly. There were some parts that resonated in a wonderful way and others that fell a little flat, and others that weren't wrong nor right but left me saying "OK show, I'm game, where are you going with this?" I think it ended wonderfully and I love the universe it presented but I'm still conflicted on most of the characters. I guess that's kind of a good thing; people are rarely simple or straightforward.

Meanwhile, I'm 6 episodes into Dusk Maiden of Amnesia and kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop. ep. 6 was a marked tone shift, but it was still somewhat on the periphery of our main cast, so I can't help but feeling that things are going to strike closer to home.

I'll be starting Shinsekai Yori (Typically I end up watching one episode of each of 2 shows a day, though sometimes I'll just binge a third at a random point) and am looking at Robotics;Notes as 'Next' on the docket.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:11 pm 
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s2 of chuunibyou isn't very good, if you considered continuing
Robotics;Nine is a bit bland, I guess I'd call it. I'd put Steins;Gate and Occultic;Nine above it, and I'd probably watch Chaos;Head before it as well, despite it being a mess. Chaos;Child is rather bad.

Megalo Box is the standout show of the season so far I guess. It's a pretty manly show.
I also enjoyed Last Period, it has a similar feel to Bouryaku no Zvezda, which is to say it's comfy and silly.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:20 pm 
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I'll take that warning about s2 Chuunibyou to heart.

Already seen Steins;Gate (a couple times, actually). If I were to be looking for a lighter fantasy-or-scifi story with a good sense of fun and/or advanture without necessarily being full comedy (about how notes was pitched, which may have been a lie knowing other semicolon stuff and the pitches there), what would you recommend

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:15 pm 
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Pretty much all of the semicolons turn sinister sooner or later, but Robotics;Notes probably delays it the longest. It's a fine show, but it doesn't leave much of an impression. Feels kind of like a slice-of-life with eccentric characters that turns into a science fantasy mystery.


fantasy/sci-fi fun/adventure eh? Let me google adventure anime and let me filter a bit:
Hunter×Hunter could last you a while if you haven't gone through it yet. It's a shonen with a lot of meat on its bones.
JoJo?
Katanagatari? It's a nisiosin work, so you know what to expect. Or maybe you don't. Expect a lot of talking.
Noragami is pretty solid, imho. I really enjoyed S2.
Hitsugi no Chaika is some simple fun.
SukaSuka is surprisingly good despite looking like an average light novel adaptation.

They all mostly fall under some form of fantasy, idk much about good sci-fi, it's not really my aesthetic most of the time.
None of them really hit the adventure genre to the same extent that Made in Abyss does, but then again, what can?

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:20 pm 
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Hm. I'll make note of those. Do you have any strong feelings on Certain Magical Index/Scientific Raingun? They've been turning up in my recommendations with some frequency.

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 Post subject: Re: Anime
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:29 am 
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Hmm. I haven't seen Magical Index, or rather, I only watched like a couple episodes of it. I think it's a shonen with some harem over/undertones, but don't quote me on that.
I've watched Raildex otoh, and it was reasonable enjoyable from what I remember. Biggest flaw is probably that it has some pretty anime characters. Kuroko is pretty obnoxious for one, and receives a lot of screentime. There's probably an optimal way to watch it that includes weaving in Index if you look it up.
It's a pretty conventional show. If you've watched anime before, you should know what to expect. Contains some pretty cool action moments though, and the setting has some intrigue to it.

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