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What was the recent Anime you watched?

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Dunno, I suppose it's the first thread I flocked to, I suppose I'll use that one in the future  :P

The more activity we get there the better!

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Seitokai Yakuindomo

 

..I didn't like it very much.

I'm not above dirty humor in any way, and in a sense, I can appreciate the candidness of some of the jokes, but it got predictable after a while.

 

Gundam Thunderbolt

 

Don't particularly like the art style, but whoa what a nice start. I wish it had been longer than 18 minutes. I'm currently in the middle of the early UC stuff and all the things I've seen came out in the late 70s - late 80s, so seeing something that's set in that time period, but is recent is really cool. I like how it's focusing on grunt soldiers too since those guys were largely overlooked in 0079 and Zeta.

I hope the next episode won't take horribly long to be released. I've heard it'll only be 4 episodes so I wonder just how everything's gonna play out from here too.

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Finished Ie Naki Ko a couple days ago.

It was really, really good. A bit predictable, and like Gundam 0079, the ending previews spoiled a few things, but all in all, those didn't take away from the overall experience too much. The first half and second half differ a bit, but they don't feel like disjointed and are great in their own ways. The animation is really nice for its time, and the artwork was just generally very charming. The characters were pretty good too. This show was very good at making you downright loathe the antagonists and fall in love with the protagonists. For better or worse, after the first 5 or so episodes, the tone really increased. I did tear up a few times after that, but those first three episodes were the most crushing and, imo, it never quite reached that level of depressing again. Though Ie Naki Ko is a kid's show, very obviously so at some points, I do think it's one of those things that most people, regardless of age, could enjoy if they did have interest in the series.

 

Most of my complaints with the series are nitpicks, like how the one Acquin kid who likes guns and runs around with his hand carved shotgun(...?) makes a machine gun sound when he "fires" it. I do have two larger complaints but, they're also not very detrimental. The first one being that Ie Naki Ko starts when Remi is 8 and ends when he's about 12. Despite this, he doesn't get physically bigger. It's a small thing, but an 8 year old kid looks a lot different than a 12 year old kid.  I can think of a number of reasons as to why Remi and Mattia, the deuteragonist, stay so short, but it's still a little weird to me how oddly small they are at the end of the series despite being quite a bit older than they were at the start. Remi, Mattia, how do you be so short? Despite this though, one of my favorite parts of the series is actually the subtle facial development of Remi. When you look at a picture from him in episode 1 and compare it how he looks in episode 51, he just looks so much more mature. And the progression of him to the point was done so subtly, you don't even fully recognize it until you look at the two screencaps side by side. 

My other and main complaint is the sudden 10 year time skip in the last like 5 minutes of the last episode. I ended up reading a summary of Sans Famille, the 1878 novel Ie Naki Ko is based off of, and found out the novel does the same thing so there's just this missing chunk of their lives we're left to wonder about. Personally, I would've been really interested in seeing what Remi and Mattia would've been up during those years. The anime left off on the two going off a journey to sort of find themselves and become "real men" (whatever that means. Opinions on what 'makes a man' are obviously going to differ, and the vague definition they use of what it means to be a mature adult is one I, and probably others too, don't 100% agree with), but going off what their careers are revealed to be, it sounds like they had to get some schooling at some point and meet back up with their old friends. I have no idea how long the novel already is aside from that it was split into two parts, and maybe it would've been too long had those years been included, but it just overall seems like a missed opportunity to me.

I have yet to see the 1996 World Masterpiece Theater version, but I plan on getting around to it eventually. I'm a little hesitant to because it changed quite a few things. The main ones being the lower episode count, different character designs, and that Remi's a girl in that version. Remi's and Mattia's friendship gave me Gon and Killua vibes occasionally, and I don't know if I really want to see that changed to be a romantic relationship in the WMT version. that's arguably not the best comparison though since there are few instances in HxH that imply that Killua might be queer and have feelings for Gon but you get my point. I just really don't want to see their friendship of travelling throughout late nineteenth century France, with their animal companions, playing music and singing songs together changed to "well would you look at that! they like like each other, oooh~..." What would happen to Lise in that case too, or is the Acquin family not included at all in the WMT version? ...I don't know and don't know if I want to know

unnecessarily long post is long

tl;dr - Really liked it and it's worth a try if it interests you and you don't mind older animation 

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Bayonetta: Bloody Fate

To get myself prepped for Bayonetta's Smash debut last night, I watched the movie adaption of the first game.  I knew it was going to be bad from what fans of the game had said about the movie, but even so I enjoyed it for what it was.  I'm too lazy to write up a review, so I'll just leave Demo's thoughts on the movie here for you to watch since we agree on just about everything and he says things a lot better than I would.  Even if I didn't "like" the movie, I certainly appreciate Bayonetta as a character more and enjoy playing as her in Smash more than I would have if I had just gone in blind.  In fact, I'm so intrigued I'm almost tempted to continue the story and play Bayonetta 2, hmm...

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Gundam Thunderbolt episode 2

 

They didn't waste any time and it was just a great 17 minutes. The jazz is used really fittingly and does at great job at setting the tone. Thunderbolt's also incredibly pretty like holy crap 

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Ep 2 certainly upped the grittiness factor and it tread further into that gray area UC Gundam usually sits in of "war is bad, everything is awful, people on both sides, both soldiers and civilizans, are suffering in one way or another. Not everyone fighting for Zeon is a bad person, and not everyone fighting for the Federation is a good person either." And ep 2 especially drove that message home with what happened to Daryl n' all the poor kid's really in need of a break  

 

Episode 3 is due out in March and I hope it'll contain more flashbacks since the two in Ep 2 were great and added some background story to the two main characters. It's incredibly disappointing this'll only be 4 episodes long, but it's hard to complain after the first two episodes were such a high quality. If it just keeps going up from here, Thunderbolt might over take 0080 War in the Pocket as my favorite Gundam ova.

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Teen Titans :3

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Now and Then, Here and There

Here's an anime you've probably never heard of.  It follows the hardships of a regular Japanese boy who is accidentally teleported to an alternate world very different from the one we live in today and finds himself inadvertently involved in the wrath of a crazed dictator. To put it bluntly, this 13-episode show is heavy.  There is very little room for levity and it leaves you feeling empty at the end of each episode.  To say it's a sad anime would be a bit misleading though.  It probably won't make you cry, but it will almost certainly make you uncomfortable.  It's a frustrating and thought provoking show about war that requires you to be in a certain state of mind to enjoy. I personally enjoyed it quite a bit, but I certainly wasn't very happy while watching it.  It lays on the despair and injustice a bit too thickly at times, which can easily deter people from finishing it.  However, I implore anyone who watches this to watch it to the end.  It will be difficult to find the motivation to, especially if you start having cravings for something more lighthearted and and little less suffocating, but I felt that the last few episodes were the best and stopping halfway through would be a shame.  The animation was pretty decent for a late 1990s anime, and the scenery and world are something you'd find in a dream, or more fittingly, a nightmare.  It's haunting and as disturbing as it is beautiful.  The soundtrack had its moments as well.  More so than the soundtrack, the voice acting in this show is impeccable.  It isn't very often that I recognize high quality work in the sound department that isn't music, but it's noticeable right off the bat with an anime like this.  As far as characters go, the main character might turn some people off.  He's headstrong, energetic, and has a mindset similar to Shirou Emiya's, if that gives you a good perspective.  He would have been even more insufferable if not for the existence of the main antagonist of this anime, who is probably my least favorite anime character of all time, and that's really saying something.  All in all, this anime isn't for everyone.  I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't recommend it.  That doesn't mean you shouldn't watch it though.  If you're in the mood for a heavy, emotionally stirring war anime, then this is something you should watch.  However, it can be so unsettling at times, that I couldn't, in good conscience, force it upon anyone.  This is something you should watch only if you've personally decided you want to.

 

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Dennou Coil

Oh Dennou Coil, you crazy little anime, where to begin...  You probably haven't heard of this show either.  But unlike Now and Then, Here and There, I highly recommend you watch this.  Not even four big ol' gifs can accurately portray what this show is all about.  It's fast paced and slow, sad and funny, silly and serious, episodic and story-driven, all in one big package.  It's even difficult to put the premise into words.  In short, though this doesn't nearly describe everything that this anime is about, the show follows a girl who moves to a new city in a futuristic society, where people wear glasses that project digital images into real life.  If the images weren't evidence enough, this show is gorgeous.  It's a full 26-episode series from 2007, but its animation quality and consistency exceeds that of many of today's shows.  It also boasts some of the best, if not the best, CGI and hand-drawn animation integration I've ever seen in an anime, though series like Fate/Zero and Shingeki no Kyojin did a pretty decent job during their action scenes as well.  The soundtrack is varied and especially good during the intense and emotional moments.  The characters are quirky and seem a bit weird at first, but they're easy to warm up to.  The plot initially appears disjointed, and it certainly doesn't help that the story drops you right in the middle of this futuristic world without any explanation.  As such, it's easy to dismiss this show as merely mindless eye candy, but that's far from the truth.  When things begin to fall into place and the plot picks up at the halfway point, you'll find a mysterious and haunting story with its fair share of plot twists and intricacies.  This anime also has a good amount of light-hearted and humorous moments as well.  In fact, some of my favorite moments from this show are the funny ones.  Instead of feeling out of place and atmosphere-breaking like in other shows, the humor in Dennou Coil is on point and helps to give character to and develop the cast of the show.  It's a real shame that this series is as unpopular as it is.  It's probably partially due to the fact that the show isn't licensed in the States, and also has a noticeable lack of official merchandise save for a couple of art books.  After marathoning all the episodes yesterday, it immediately became one of my favorite anime of all time.  The plot went by really fast at times, and I'm sure I missed a couple of details here and there, so a rewatch is definitely in order a couple of years from now.  Anyone who can spare the time should definitely watch Dennou Coil.

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Durarara!!

 

I'm only on the first season. It's a confusing show. Most of the first cour made no sense, and although the finale of that cour sort of straightened some things out, there's still so many muddy explanations. It shouldn't have taken that long for the viewer to sort out the limits of the universe -- I spent a couple of episodes thinking that the plot was revolving around supernatural characters and incidents. It's as if the creator created an amazing 2/3 of the cast and decided, "Wow, this is gonna be awesome!" then failed at the last 1/3 and execution of the plot.

 

The music tho. It is... unique. But sometimes they'd play a light medley people are threatening to murder each other.

 

Coolest thing about the show: http://dollars-bbs.org/

Password is baccano

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Started Romeo no Aoi Sora because 1 - anime Switzerland and Italy, 2 - it's part of world masterpiece theater, 3 - the time period appears to be the mid/late 19th century, 4 - young, somewhat emotionally compromised orphan protag, and 5 - it looks like it's gonna give me Ie Naki Ko vibes. I'm pretty sold so far but not as sold as the main character is to the human trafficker that came to his village ayyyyy , the synopsis admittedly doesn't appeal to me that much, but I've seen virtually no negative things said about this so I figured it's worth a shot anyway. The character designs are simple, but the background art is really pretty. The protag and deuteragnoist are likable enough and they seem to feed off of each other fairly well. I hope their friendship will eventually turn into something like what Mattia and Remi had by the end of Ie Naki Ko. It's pretty slow paced, but it's an enjoyable slow pace. I'm not too far along yet, so I hope the plot will kick in a bit more soon since, as of right now, Romeo's just been cleaning chimneys and getting treated horribly by the family that bought him, except for the sickly daughter who's taken an interest in him. 

aannndd I just accidentally spoiled myself of the one kid's fate by reading the wiki page :^)

tl:dr It's nice, relaxing, cute, and overall very enjoyable. The ending sounds like it's gonna be a tearjerker so you should probably brace for that if you give this a go.

 

So I googled "gory anime" and Midori: Shoujo Tsubaki was one of the first things that came up. After seeing that it was less than an hour long and was entirely hand drawn, I decided to watch it and... well.... if I had to describe it in one word, that word would be "macabre" 

The story follows the amibiguously aged Midori and her new life living against her will with a handful of carnies and their travelling freak show. The first 10 minutes is pretty awful, but if you can sit through that you'll probably be acclimated enough to be able to watch the whole thing without too much of an issue. The entire thing's fairly grotesque, but the first part is especially unpleasant due to the excessive gore, implied rape, and other horrible happenings. It kinda reminds me of Litchi Hikari Club, especially in terms of art style, and in the sense that I can't necessarily say I enjoyed either of these. LHC at least had some positives in it though, like there's some ridiculous quotes in that manga that just crack me up every time I think about them, but with MST, there's not really any positives to distract from the overwhelming amount of negative things that happen. Both of these appeal to a very niche audience, and if you're not apart of that, you'll walk away from both of these feeling slightly uncomfortable at the very best. 

tl;dr; Unique and interesting, but you should probably steer clear of this one. If this sounds like your thing though for whatever reason, go for it pal. Have fun I guess? 

 

Finished Diebuster. Still don't like the super robot sub-genre, am not sure why I watched this, especially considering the fact that I didn't like Gunbuster much at all. Lal'C was pretty cool though--I liked Lal'C a lot actually. The subtext between her and Nono was pretty cute at times too. The opening and ending were also nice. 

tl;dr Alright I guess???

 

I started Oniisama e not too long ago too. After watching so much Gundam in a somewhat short period of time, I figured I was well overdue for something with a mostly female cast. I'm about halfway through and it's pretty nice. It's very drama heavy and you have to be in the right mindset to watch it since, imo, it's best watched in small groups of 4-5 ep's at a time. The art style is really nice though. The anime is an adaptation of a manga from the 70s, and I really like how apparent that is even though some of the clothes the characters wear outside of the school is very 90s. The characters are fairly unique and the relationships between some of the main characters are really interesting. There's not much of an overarching story, so it's hard to say where it's going to go exactly, but I suppose that's where part of my enjoyment of it comes from. 

tl;dr Overly dramatic, but in a good way. Also gay. (Romance plays a pretty big role, but it's not the main focus)

 

And lastly, I started Patlabor: The Early Days. Like everything else here, it's fairly old (Romeo no Aoi Sora's from the early 90s, as is Oniisama e and Midori: Shoujo Tsubaki, Diebuster's from the early 2000s, and this is from the late 80s). The ova itself doesn't feel too dated, but the opening is wonderfully and unforgivingly 80s. Patlabor falls in the real robot sub-genre, and considering how most other real robot things I've seen have been Gundam, this is a very nice change of pace. I've only 3 of the 7 episodes, and the third ep was really different from the first two, but I've been liking it so far nonetheless. Izumi Noa and Shinohara Asama are likable and I hope they'll get some character development later on whether it be in this ova or the full blown tv series.

tl;dr Pretty nice. If you don't want to straight away commit to the full ~50 ep long series, this is a good way to get a taste of what the show is like.

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What a gorgeous train wreck.  This is the first of three Project Itoh movies, all of which I've been anticipating for quite some time.  Unfortunately, my hopes for these films have been all but dashed.  Genocidal Organ has been on hold since Manglobe filed for bankruptcy, and The Empire of Corpses was a disappointment.  If I keep my expectations low for Harmony, it may not be so bad.  The Empire of Corpses is a film animated by Wit Studio and an adaptation of the late Project Itoh's (yes, he's a person) book of the same name.  As I mentioned earlier, the movie is beautiful.  It features amazingly detailed, dreamlike landscapes as well as crisply choreographed action scenes.  The music is fantastic and the voice actors did a decent job with their roles as well.  As much as I hate to say this though, that's where the merits of this movie stop.  The plot started off fine enough, stumbled a bit, got better, and then completely crashed and burned by the grand finale.  The fansubs I used weren't all that great, but even if I watched the movie with better subtitles I doubt it would make the story any less understandable or well-structured.  The characters, intriguingly based off of literary and historical figures from the 19th century, ended up being rather generic and bland.  This is something only worth watching for the animation and music, and even then I'm not sure it's worth the time investment.  If anything, this movie has given me even more reassurance that Wit Studio will make the second season of Attack on Titian look even better than the first.

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Just finished Sket Dance though! Initially, I started this anime back in the summer of 2011 and when I was still a newb to anime and knee deep in the weeaboo phase. I tried to watch it again over the summer of 2013 between SnK ep's, but I only got as far as I did in my first attempt; which was about 12 ep's. Considering the amount of references in this anime, I'm pretty glad I held off on it since being able to catch the references, especially the more subtle ones, can improve the overall experience.

In a sense, I'm a bit disappointed since it's not what I was expecting.The first cour is almost all introductions to recurring characters, and that left the impression that the rest of the show would be like that. Sket Dance's synopsis on MAL came across like it's sort of like an episodic show, wherein the characters help classmates with mostly petty/trivial/mundane, but occasionally meaningful/"deep" problems and that's it; rinse, repeat. The Sket-dan does help people, but some of the situations they get into are over the top, and while some of those times are pretty good, other times it just felt ridiculous. Like a lot of other anime, it felt like it lulled in the middle from like ep 20 - 45 (exlcuding Switch's and Himeko's short backstory arcs). Then again, those are some of the most comedy heavy episodes in the series, and, to be honest, the comedy just didn't click with me a lot of the time. Sket Dance's author worked as an assistant for Gintama, and the two have similar styles of humor. Gintama's humor never really appealed to me, so my complaint of those episodes being kinda boring is more of a personal complaint than actual issue with the series itself. 

To say some good things, the characters are great! The main three are immediately likable, the student council is given enough screentime for you to genuinely like them by the end, and the side characters are a pretty unique bunch. This is very much so a friendship anime and, especially for its length, there's not very much romance and fanservice. A lot of the romantic bits almost feel like they're there in part to tease the viewer. As previously said though, this anime puts a decent sized emphasis on friendship and platonic bonds, particularly Himeko's and Bossun's relationship. A good amount of focus is put on those two, and imo it's handled really well! Their relationship falls into a really interesting area that's not explored in a lot of other anime. Switch himself even describes the two as being in the "more than friends, but less than lovers" area. Being that they are best friends who are the opposite sex, and that this is an anime, it's pretty much inevitable that romantic feelings would be thrown in the mix. (Their relationship would probably be less believable if that wasn't added in to be honest) Judging by what I've read from others, and from the last two chapters of the manga I went ahead and read, no relationship becomes canon, though feelings the two have about each other are heavily implied if not outright stated at some point. Speaking of the manga though, of the last two chapters and few chapters from the school trip rhapsody arc I've read, it's definitely got a different atmosphere than the anime does. I don't know if I'm going to read the remaining 100 or so chapters. Aside from a few different parts, there's not really much that's only in the manga that I want to read. The fact that it does have a different feel to it is certainly intriguing though. 

And lastly, I just want to mention the openings. The endings are a bit of a different story, as well as the rest of the music used in the anime, but all 6 openings are great. They're catchy and fit the tone of the show well. The main reason I'm bringing attention to this though is because of the very beginning of opening 4. The beginning sequence shows Bossun and his younger sister, Rumi, in snapshots/short videos over the years and I love everything about it. Just the attention to detail in the background alone is worth mentioning. It's really cute too how you can see Rumi's attitude towards her brother change through the frames. I just think it's really neat when there's things like this that allow you to peak in and learn more about characters' lives offscreen. It's not something that's super common, so it's the sort of thing I really appreciate when it is shown. (Sorry the gif's in black and white. It's the only gif I can find of that part that's nicely sized and paced)

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tl;dr average overall, liked the characters a lot though

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The Anthem of the Heart

I was pleasantly surprised by this movie.  From the creative mind of the guy who gave us AnoHana, I didn't know what to expect from this two hour film.  At it's core, it's just a basic high school love drama, but the overlying message is what really resonated with me.  I can't say what it is because that would be spoilers, but it's something that struck a chord with me and I appreciate it for that.  It's also interesting to watch a high school drama now that I'm in college.  I dunno, I feel a bit more tolerant of them now.  Either that, or the characters for once weren't unlikable.  Certain aspects of this movie also brought back some bitter sweet band memories, so there's that.  It's worth checking out if you're in the mood for some love drama and just need a quick movie to give you your fix.  It's quite generic, but if you're fine with that then there's nothing else to really complain about.

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Oshiete Galko-chan

 

Girl Talk: the anime essentially. It was alright, nothing particularly noteworthy to be honest. 

 

Gundam Thunderbolt ep 3

 

There's only one more episode left (assuming it won't get extended), and this episode felt like it was mainly to set up the stage for the last episode. The 3rd episode was more grim than the last two, since both sides are very desparate, and people are dying left and right. Will be very interesting to see how everything wraps up. I think the last ep will be out later this month, so hopefully, unlike ep 3, it won't take 3 or so weeks for it to get subbed im so hyped tbh

(please watch this if you have any interest in it at all it's fantastic. Being familiar with the One Year War from Gundam 0079 helps, but it's not needed to enjoy the ova)

 

MSG Iron Blooded Orphans

 

Do you like child soldiers, nearly all male casts, unfulfilling romantic subplots, strong platonic bonds, occasional shirtlessness, cool robot designs, ridiculous hair, and pretty explosions? If so, get ready to raise your flag because boy do I have a show for you

To get it out of the way, 1 - this is an AU series, meaning you don't need prior knowledge of any other Gundam series to watch and enjoy IBO, 2 - because some parts of the fanbase were worried about this, no there's no gay subtext. If you look for it, you will undoubtedly see it, but even so, except for a small handful of instances, it's pretty nonexistent as the whole 'Tekkadan is a family' angle is pushed pretty hard almost the entire show, 3 - a season 2 has been confirmed and iirc will air in the fall, so Tekkadan's story isn't over yet, 4 - if one of your gripes about Gundam is beam weaponry and newtypes, then congrats because IBO, fortunately imo, has neither of those and will probably continue to not include those in the upcoming season, and 5 - if you're gonna watch this, read the synopsis on MAL or something before starting it. The first episode jumps right into the swing of things and doesn't explain much, so knowing what exactly Gjallerhorn's purpose is will get rid of a lot of confusion 

 

Overall, IBO is a pretty enjoyable show. It certainly has its flaws, some of which are more bothersome than others (that awkward romantic subplot whyyyy), but it's not bad. Though there's overall not very much character development, the characters are all pretty likable.  However, one of the negatives of IBO is that unlike most other Gundam series, IBO doesn't really sit in that moral gray area. Gjallerhorn might not be evil or really do anything too horrific, but they're corrupt, bigoted, and unfair. Meanwhile Tekkadan are the good guys. Though the job they're hired to do will ultimately do good if things go as hoped, they themselves aren't really doing anything necessarily good/bad. 

Another good thing about this show is that all the mechs are 2D. The ships are CG, but the mechs and fights are all 2D and ohmygod is it great. The mobile suits designs are all nice and easy on the eyes. I'm not familiar with other AU Gundam series and what their mobile suits look like, but IBO's mobile suits are pretty different from the ones in the Universal Century timeline. The Barbatos' design takes a bit getting used to (its waist... it's so small. The mech has a really extreme hourglass figure essentially), and even if you don't like it very much by the end of the season, you gotta admit that it's pretty different from Gundams we've seen before. Also, Carta's Graze Ritter is one of my favorite mobile suits from any of the few mecha shows I've seen. I just love everything about it from the teal body color, red accents, sword, all the way to its yellow monoeye.. it's just so cool i want one so bad--look how cool it is

The one other thing I was to mention is the female characters. Most, maybe even all, Gundam shows have mostly male casts. That's cool, and completely understandable, but what isn't cool is that the female characters aren't always handled well, (Reccoa from Zeta being one of the best, if not the best example of this) and there's occasionally some sexism. My only experience is with UC stuff mainly from the late 70s - late 90s though, and if IBO is anything to judge more recent installments in the franchise by, it seems like this problem is no longer nearly as present. Kudelia gets more character development than any other character in the first season, Atra admittedly doesn't do much, but her role does serve a purpose, Carta's a cool antagonist (she's crazy and I love her), and Naze Turbine's wives (seriously, he's got like 12 wives and has kids with at least five of them) are a surprisingly nice addition to the cast. Just after watching female characters get the short end of the stick in 0079, Zeta, ZZ, etc, I'm really happy with how they were portrayed in IBO.

To be honest, I'm not really sure how to talk about the negatives of this show. Most of the flaws I have with IBO are issues I have with Gundam in general, and some of the complaints are ones that might only be exclusive to me so... You can draw on your own conclusion on that front if you do decide to ever give IBO a go. Common complaints with the show tend to be about the lack of character development for Mika and Orga, the predictability of character deaths and battle outcomes, and plot armor though.

tl;dr though the deaths in the show are pretty predicatble, this was better than expected. If you're sick of whiny, pacifistic protags, Mika's quite the breath of fresh air, though he can be a bit bland at times. Am definitely looking forward to s2 and, as of right now, would recommend to people looking to get into Gundam. (hopefully season 2 won't make me regret saying that)

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On 31 March 2016 at 8:34 AM, machine said:

Just finished Sket Dance though! Initially, I started this anime back in the summer of 2011 and when I was still a newb to anime and knee deep in the weeaboo phase. I tried to watch it again over the summer of 2013 between SnK ep's, but I only got as far as I did in my first attempt; which was about 12 ep's. Considering the amount of references in this anime, I'm pretty glad I held off on it since being able to catch the references, especially the more subtle ones, can improve the overall experience.

In a sense, I'm a bit disappointed since it's not what I was expecting.The first cour is almost all introductions to recurring characters, and that left the impression that the rest of the show would be like that. Sket Dance's synopsis on MAL came across like it's sort of like an episodic show, wherein the characters help classmates with mostly petty/trivial/mundane, but occasionally meaningful/"deep" problems and that's it; rinse, repeat. The Sket-dan does help people, but some of the situations they get into are over the top, and while some of those times are pretty good, other times it just felt ridiculous. Like a lot of other anime, it felt like it lulled in the middle from like ep 20 - 45 (exlcuding Switch's and Himeko's short backstory arcs). Then again, those are some of the most comedy heavy episodes in the series, and, to be honest, the comedy just didn't click with me a lot of the time. Sket Dance's author worked as an assistant for Gintama, and the two have similar styles of humor. Gintama's humor never really appealed to me, so my complaint of those episodes being kinda boring is more of a personal complaint than actual issue with the series itself. 

To say some good things, the characters are great! The main three are immediately likable, the student council is given enough screentime for you to genuinely like them by the end, and the side characters are a pretty unique bunch. This is very much so a friendship anime and, especially for its length, there's not very much romance and fanservice. A lot of the romantic bits almost feel like they're there in part to tease the viewer. As previously said though, this anime puts a decent sized emphasis on friendship and platonic bonds, particularly Himeko's and Bossun's relationship. A good amount of focus is put on those two, and imo it's handled really well! Their relationship falls into a really interesting area that's not explored in a lot of other anime. Switch himself even describes the two as being in the "more than friends, but less than lovers" area. Being that they are best friends who are the opposite sex, and that this is an anime, it's pretty much inevitable that romantic feelings would be thrown in the mix. (Their relationship would probably be less believable if that wasn't added in to be honest) Judging by what I've read from others, and from the last two chapters of the manga I went ahead and read, no relationship becomes canon, though feelings the two have about each other are heavily implied if not outright stated at some point. Speaking of the manga though, of the last two chapters and few chapters from the school trip rhapsody arc I've read, it's definitely got a different atmosphere than the anime does. I don't know if I'm going to read the remaining 100 or so chapters. Aside from a few different parts, there's not really much that's only in the manga that I want to read. The fact that it does have a different feel to it is certainly intriguing though. 

And lastly, I just want to mention the openings. The endings are a bit of a different story, as well as the rest of the music used in the anime, but all 6 openings are great. They're catchy and fit the tone of the show well. The main reason I'm bringing attention to this though is because of the very beginning of opening 4. The beginning sequence shows Bossun and his younger sister, Rumi, in snapshots/short videos over the years and I love everything about it. Just the attention to detail in the background alone is worth mentioning. It's really cute too how you can see Rumi's attitude towards her brother change through the frames. I just think it's really neat when there's things like this that allow you to peak in and learn more about characters' lives offscreen. It's not something that's super common, so it's the sort of thing I really appreciate when it is shown. (Sorry the gif's in black and white. It's the only gif I can find of that part that's nicely sized and paced)

 

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tl;dr average overall, liked the characters a lot though

I watched Sket Dance but never got enough patience to finish it -.-" I find Gintama extremely hilarious, but rarely laugh while watching Sket Dance. But I agree with you that the characters are likeable (btw I dropped at ep 26 or sth)

Steins;Gate

This anime is pure awesomeness.

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Special A

I heard some girls talking about it in school so I watched the first few episodes and then ended up finishing the whole thing. It wasn't that bad, honestly. I don't have much to say about it, but I have to confess that my first thoughts were, "Why are their legs so long?!" 

P.S. Megumi and Yahiro were adorable

 

Say I Love You 

So Special A was actually the first anime I had watched in a while (thank you k-dramas) so after finishing it I was kind of in the mood for more and just browsed through my old "To Watch" list on MAL and started this one. I guess, despite this anime being so popular, it wasn't really my thing, so I quit after about 7 episodes (now that I think about it I should have just finished the whole thing). Plus, I didn't really like Megumi's (would you look at that, there's a Megumi in this anime, too. What a surprise.....) character that much. I guess if I finished the whole show I would have grown to like her, idk.

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Toradora!

I was in the mood for some mindless, tropey shoujo, and where better to look than the show with one of the most iconic loli tsundere? I was actually pretty pleasantly surprised by it in the first cour since I'd thought it be one of those "so there was premis--then they fell in love"-type shows, when in fact Toradora! spends a lot of time developing Ryuuji and Taiga's friendship. Not that their relationship made any sense, but hey, that's not something you see a whole too much in the genre.

Of course, that positive aspect was easily offset by 1) Taiga's irritating personality 2) Ryuuji's pushoverness 3) the fact they dragged on what could've been a one cour show into two cours 4) the ending and 5) the unnecessary drama. Considering that shoujo is basically defined by unnecessary drama, know that Toradora!'s unnecessary drama went above and beyond the usual. I just... the last few episodes tried so hard I was actually cringing for the characters.

 

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun

Still on my shoujo spree, I turned towards this show. I liked this far more than I did Toradora!.

Shizuku and Haru, the main couple, were "unique" people, so to speak, and they did weird, startling things as individuals. Together, however, you really didn't know exactly where they were headed (except for the general direction of "together"). There were a few times when I laughed out loud or just sat there, wordless, as the quirks of the show and its characters suddenly gets all "in your face." I also really respected the fact that Shizuku, thank god, wasn't one to constantly stutter or have disproportionate/unreasonable reactions to the things happening around her. If she wanted something or felt something, she said it outright and was firm about it. Including, or especially, with matters concerning Haru. Because let's face it: IRL, none of the things Haru did would be attractive and would most likely land him in jail. But in the anime, we can all just admire how well they animate his eyes and hair and the chicken, for some reason

 

Free - Iwatobi Swim Club

I don't know why I watched this. This is really just your typical moe-blob but with muscled guys, if that makes any sense. I fast-forwarded through most of it because it was 10% swimming, 40% Haru saying he only swims "free," 40% assorted mindless dialogue, and 500% fanservice. At first, the fanservice was limited to spontaneous stripping, skintight swimsuits, and muscles muscles muscles, but after the fourth episode mark, they began to really push it. No opportunity was overlooked in getting any of the guys into some "situation" (ex: I never knew mouth-to-mouth respiration--you know, the procedure that's supposed to be life-saving and all that--needed as much buildup as it had)

 

Ao Haru Ride

The anime was okay, but oh god the manga it was so good I was practically squealing when it finally got to the point where it finally hits you and you realize just how far the story and the characters has come and it's so GAHHH--

But since this is the anime thread, I'll stop there and just say that the anime is worth the watch, but it really becomes far more worth it if you finish the manga as well.

(^I'm really bad at writing about stuff I like alright))

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Sorry for the double post :3

Free: Eternal Summer

This was... not as bad as I thought it'd be. Hikaru no Go is probably closer to a sports anime than Free is, but the animation is nice and I've had a few laughs. Aaaannnnd they toned down on the fanservice! (or up, depending on how much you want to weight Australia)

Although I'd still label most characters as one-dimensional, just enough hover above the line to be enjoyable to watch. The epilogue was really nice, too—just enough sweetness and excitement to leave me with a goofy grin.

My favorite part of Eternal Summer, however, is uncontestably the ED.

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(^Yeah ok this is my favorite shot I don't know why either)

 

 

 

 

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Monster

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"After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box." It's not a quote from the anime, but it came to mind as I was watching it.

 

Monster is an interesting anime. A lot of emphasis is placed on equality of human life, which can be a touchy subject, but Monster does an outstanding job allowing the audience to formulate their own opinions through the perspectives of the characters. Is every person inherently equal? Should we value the life of one person over another? When there's no surefire indication of the potential each person holds, is it fair to value someone with immense power over a commoner? These are a few of the questions Monster addresses, some of which eventually become the crux of the anime. It spends no time sugarcoating the horrific psychological scars many characters acquire as they ruminate over questions of similar caliber. 

What made this anime fascinating wasn't the plot but its nonlinear narrative and characters. A sense of foreboding is developed immediately, and pieces of the storyline come together as backstories are dropped left and right. While the purpose of certain characters seem clear at some point, their motives become increasingly blurred as the anime progresses and more is revealed about their past. This is undoubtedly one of its strong suits and why Monster is so captivating. The intricacies of each character truly makes for a brilliant story.

Another thing I want to point out is how open-ended the anime is. A lot of what happens is up to interpretation and speculation, which may or may not be to everyone's liking.

A solid anime overall, but it isn't without flaws.

For starters, it can get pretty predictable. This isn't necessarily the fault of the plot in itself but how it's conveyed. There are certain instances when the anime attempts to create tension but ends up falling flat. It's easy to see through quite a few of these "twists" though it's not a glaring issue.

The main protagonist is also far too glorified in the anime. On a similar note, it's understandable that the purpose of the filler was to solidify Tenma's reputation, but it came off as repetitive, and adding so many throwaway characters for the sake of this is overkill.

Because Monster is labeled as a psychological thriller, you'd think that the audience would get front row seats to how these massive scandals and manipulations occurred. Nope, the audience is left to grasp at straws wondering how any of this took place. It's a shame, really. With so many holes to be filled, the anime isn't nearly as realistic as it could've been. As a result, much of what happens behind the scenes (or even what the anime blatantly shows you) just comes off as hard to believe and leaves a lot to be desired.

And revolving the story around a wild goose chase can get rather stale as well.

Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed Monster, and it honestly blows my mind how all of these events were woven together so intricately. However, that aspect is a double edged sword because it can be somewhat difficult to follow this labyrinthine of a timeline if you're not giving it your utmost attention. That being said, I appreciate what Monster tries to do, but its flaws impeded my enjoyment a bit too much for me to just brush off.

 

** would recommend Monster to anyone who wants to question their morals, or anyone remotely interested in the history of eugenics

Tenma also reminds me of Kiritsugu.

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31 minutes ago, Kid the Phantom Thief said:

Toradora! and Baccano!

... All I do is rewatch, rewatch, rewatch. s: I really want to watch something new, but at the same time I don't want to be disappointed, haha..

Toradora! is as sweet as ever, though.

To find something new that matches your old animes is really a thing of do you want to move on or stay where you are

I was the same

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