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What Anime are you watching now?

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32 minutes ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

So, I'm in the middle of watching the Kizumonogatari movies and... Well, I wonder if anyone would be willing to share their honest thoughts about those? I've started with them, as from what I've read they are the earliest pieces of the Monogatari series story-wise, despite being made only recently.

The issue is, while they are definitely different, I'm not sure I see the justification to all the hype? Am I missing something by watching them first? I have a feeling that I might get a migraine if I try to watch all three in one sitting, so I'm probably going to take a break for today after finishing the second one... :wafuu:

 

* I have a three-week break from my Japanese lessons and so far I'm staying faithful to my "no video games" resolution, so you might see me rambling about anime a lot in these coming days. Sorry for the inconvenience. :unsure:

 

Holy fuck, is this all obnoxious gibberish or am I seriously missing something??? :< :S :<

To clarify, you are watching these films as the introduction to the series?
A few years ago I tried Bakemonogatari, what I figured was the start of the series at the time; There was a lot of talking, which I'd usually appreciate, but I didn't really understand a bloody thing of what was going on, so I dropped it 4 episodes in. I'd write off the series entirely, but I actually quite liked Katanagatari (not the ending), which I think has no relation besides the name and author.

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2 hours ago, Mr Poltroon said:

To clarify, you are watching these films as the introduction to the series?
A few years ago I tried Bakemonogatari, what I figured was the start of the series at the time; There was a lot of talking, which I'd usually appreciate, but I didn't really understand a bloody thing of what was going on, so I dropped it 4 episodes in. I'd write off the series entirely, but I actually quite liked Katanagatari (not the ending), which I think has no relation besides the name and author.

Yup, this is the first thing from the whole series that I've seen. I don't really write it off, even if the third movie leaves me with as poor of an impression as the first two, as I imagine shows will have a very different structure and pacing - indeed, a lot of talking and cryptic shit happening would be very much preferable over this incoherent collection of avant-garde cuts, obnoxious characters and baffling plot developments. :notlikemiya:

I give the first movie a 7/10 and the second one a 6/10, because they weren't objectively awful, but I feel dead inside after watching them. :vinty:

EDIT: I sense a new wave of assassins coming my way real soon. :wahaha: 

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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@Plk_Lesiak Personally, I'd advise starting with Bakemonogatari and then returning to watch the Kizumonogatari movies. The LNs began with Bake, then Kizu. I feel you need Bake's context to care about Kizu's events. And to adjust to the rather unique style. Which may not be for everyone, but Bake eases you into it over the course of a series with slower pacing in neat 25 min packages.

Edit: my other piece of advice would be that yeah, there's a lot of fast talking and it's all quite incomprehensible and bizarre at first. But just... go with the flow and don't think too hard.

Edited by Sayaka

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58 minutes ago, Sayaka said:

@Plk_Lesiak Personally, I'd advise starting with Bakemonogatari and then returning to watch the Kizumonogatari movies. The LNs began with Bake, then Kizu. I feel you need Bake's context to care about Kizu's events. And to adjust to the rather unique style. Which may not be for everyone, but Bake eases you into it over the course of a series with slower pacing in neat 25 min packages.

Thanks, maybe I'll postpone watching the last movie till after I've seen it. Still, the first two... Were, in certain aspects at least, quite bad and I'm not sure any amount of context could make them genuinely good. The style can be something to get used to and I'm usually very open-minded when it goes to such stuff. However, the way it was used here, how poor the humour is, how awfully the characters are directed most of the time, the obnoxious fanservice. The fact these are meant to be among the highest-rated anime movies of all time makes me lose a bit of my faith in the medium. :vinty:

And sorry for publicly freaking out BTW, but watching these two movies was really a bad experience for me. And honestly, if I cared about the characters, it might've been even worse - that certain disembowelling scene in the second movie combined with the persistent use of panties as plot device is a bit too much for my stomach.

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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Watching Monogatari out of order is a huge mistake, IMO, and is definitely going to kill the experience. Now, you can argue that Kizumonogatari is the right starting place, but the anime airing order is probably better? That said, from personal experience, even if you start at Bakemonogatari, it's a little iffy at times and can feel slow and patchy, until you get used to the way the show works (which takes some time, because I don't know of anything else even remotely like it). But judging by what I've seen of Kizu, it's gonna be a rough intro to the show, where Bake is pretty gentle. It'll still feel like you don't know what's going on a lot of the time (or, it would, if you didn't watch Kizu), but I assume that's kind of the intent, and it's at least a great deal tamer.

Beyond that, you really have to be into the fanservice to get into the show, because the show is never not horny. If you can't stomach fanservice, then you shouldn't force yourself to watch Monogatari, because you're not going to be able to enjoy it. I honestly don't know if it's actually important to the show (it might be? I'd have to refresh and think about it...), but it is definitely just, constantly there. If you're tentative about it, or maybe tentatively okay with fanservice in general but not so much with the specifics of how it was handled in what you watched, then maybe give the show a shot from the start, following the anime airing order—the characters will grow on you.

I didn't really warm up to the series until Nisemonogatari, but once I did, man... At this point, I think it's a phenomenal and utterly unique show, and I get engrossed in it every time I pick up another chunk to watch. Which reminds me that I really need to resume watching it, since I last left off after Hana...

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10 minutes ago, Fred the Barber said:

Beyond that, you really have to be into the fanservice to get into the show, because the show is never not horny. If you can't stomach fanservice, then you shouldn't force yourself to watch Monogatari, because you're not going to be able to enjoy it. I honestly don't know if it's actually important to the show (it might be? I'd have to refresh and think about it...), but it is definitely just, constantly there. If you're tentative about it, or maybe tentatively okay with fanservice in general but not so much with the specifics of how it was handled in what you watched, then maybe give the show a shot from the start, following the anime airing order—the characters will grow on you.

Ok, this is actually a very useful piece of information. I'm usually willing to look past fanservice, but here in Kizu it just feels so forced and out of place... If a series is willing to turn one of its core characters into a pair of boobs on a stick for free whole movies it immidiately loses much of my respect. I don't think the show would ever be this bad, as it would balance things out by giving her and other female character more meaningful roles and spreading the fanservice throughout the plot a bit more, but it still throws the whole series a few positions down my "to watch" list... 

What probably also contributed to my shock is that vampires, wacky visual design, messing with established tropes... Are all things I love. I should be loving something about these movies, even out of context. I should feel intrigued by them, as I can even live with being left in the dark about crucial pieces of the story, more than many other people. I'm somewhat devastated by how off-putting I've found it so far. Even with all the quirks attached, it felt like a very safe bet, but in the end left me feeling slightly ill...

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@Plk_Lesiak

I started reading the monogatari light novels just recently. From what I've heard, it's inadvisable to start with Kizu if you're part of the anime-only audience, but I was told that it's fine to start off with that if you're reading the source material. I started out by reading Kizu (I'm fairly close to the end of it, too), and I can't say I haven't enjoyed it at all. I have watched Bakemonogatari some time prior to this, but it was long enough that I don't remember it very well.

Not gonna lie, I was a bit weirded out with Bakemonogatari as an anime. I was drawn in by the visual style, the absurdities, and the dialogue, but it just didn't really feel like a proper anime to me. So instead of going forward with the series, I decided to just keep it on hold long enough for me to forget everything, and then I'd pick it back up again with the source material. And from what I've experienced so far, I have no regrets.

I really do love how Nisio writes. His work is so fresh and intriguing, and his style is unlike anything I've seen in any other piece of fiction. I was very impressed with his work in Medaka Box manga (especially when Kumagawa shows up), and Katanamonogatari was a blast too.

Oh, and there really isn't any need for the fanservice at all, but I do think it's hilarious how he'll devote three whole pages to one fanservice scene and make a 4th-wall-breaking joke about it afterwards, lmao.

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2 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

[the fanservice in Kizu] just feels so forced and out of place...

TBH, I feel like the fanservice kind of always feels that way, throughout the whole series. Probably not just a Kizu thing.

Attempt at an explanation: one of the best ways I can think of to describe Monogatari is "surreal", and the incessant, over-the-top horniness is another expression of its surreality.

Maybe? Maybe. Either way, doesn't really make it better or worse. It's just a fact of Monogatari life.

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Ok, the third Kizumonogatari movie is an 8/10, a major improvement over the previous two. There are some genuinely interesting reveals here, along with pieces of borderline-believable drama and conflict. The visual gimmicks are slightly more under control and the action a tiny bit more meaningful. I detract two points mostly for the obnoxious making-out scene and the fact Hanekawa is still a fanservice prop, consistently acting like no human ever would, but generally, it finally was more of a positive experience.

And TBH, I'm glad I've approached the series "out of order", as I think this both warned me about everything I won't like in the shows (so I won't be immediately put off by it later on), and probably let me be slightly less confused when watching Bakemonogatari. Also, I'm now quite sure that my issues with the movies are very much about personal preference, rather than not having enough context. The way this handles comedy, fanservice and tone shifts between that and the drama... There's no amount of backstory or love for the characters that would make it stop being obnoxious in my eyes. :vinty:

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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For those interested in old arse shows, I finally finished watching Touch, which ended in 1986. This is from the same writer who created Cross Game. Both are baseball romantic comedy dramas. I met an older Japanese person recently who recounted when this show aired in Japan and how people were openly weeping about the events in it. Well I've got to say it was decent, but nowhere near the masterpiece that Cross Game is. The parallels are intense, and you can see that the writer mastered all the ideas they used in Touch, fine tuned the story, compacted it, made the baseball immensely exciting, and the execution was a masterpiece in manga and anime. Touch is a show that's dated quite a bit, like Maison Ikkoku has (from the same era) but had much better animation, visuals, and clearly budget to execute its long arse story of 101 episodes. It's a decent watch, and has plenty of scenery with lots of backgrounds and trains going by, but unlike Maison Ikkoku, they rarely reused anything for these scenes; they were all originally animated for each episode. The fanservice was very rare and weirdly out of place when it occurred. Oddly enough the baseball itself didn't really hold much excitement, and only became a big part of it much later in the story rather than an integral part of it. It did suffer from the pacing problem that old anime suffers, and I had to watch it at +10% speed to not get bored. The baseball was okay, the story was unpredictable enough (except for the obvious march to the finale), the drama was kinda odd tone, the romance was hit and miss, the comedy rarely very funny by today's standards. Harada takes the cake for stealing the show whenever he shows up as the straight but incredibly observant side character yet he's reliably funny. The ending was satisfying, but nothing like the reference happy ending we got in Maison Ikkoku. Again, this would have been a masterpiece 30 years ago, but it has dated so I only give it a 7/10. Compared with Cross Game which I recently rewatched - again - which I still rate as a masterpiece 10/10. Our sensibilities, and what we've come to expect from anime, has changed so much in that time... Everyone should watch Cross Game at some stage, no matter how much they care about sport anime or baseball.

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I've watched the Asagao to Kase-san OVA (and the PV) and... Well, it's a solid 7/10, but definitely nowhere close to being the best yuri anime out there (this title might stay with Bloom Into You for all eternity, considering how few really good shows in this formula we're getting). It's obviously limited by its length (less than an hour), but I think you can still show a bit more depth and character development in that kind of runtime. They really should've focused on the couple being together instead of forcing in three different "arcs" - especially considering how cheesy the "graduating and going separate ways" drama was in the final 20 mins. Paradoxically, using that time for more well-directed, romantic fluff could've told us a lot more about the characters and their bond.

On the other hand, the portrayal of the relationship felt very genuine. It wasn't overly dramatic, or exaggerated too much in a comedic fashion - it's simply two awkward teenagers experiencing their first love and being cute together in a way I could definitely picture happening in real life. Plus it's wholesome as ****, and there's never too much wholesome yuri out there.

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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On 01/02/2019 at 3:00 AM, adamstan said:

I dropped Kimagure Orange Road for now (couldn't stand the protagonist :() , and started  Chuunibyou demo koi ga shitai. First episode was pretty good, and protag doesn't annoy me. OTOH the whole show is shorter than the KOR episode number I dropped it at ;)    

Make sure to watch the movie at the end of the two series for a definitive conclusion.

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26 minutes ago, ittaku said:

Make sure to watch the movie at the end of the two series for a definitive conclusion.

Thanks, that's good to know. Do you mean "Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! -Take on Me-" movie from last year?

I've heard some bad things about second season not living up to the expectations people had after first, but well, it won't hurt to give it a try ;) (I mean, one of the reviewers rated first season at 8/10, while "Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai Ren" got lowly 2/10 from them... :o )

Edited by adamstan

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Just now, adamstan said:

Thanks, that's good to know. Do you mean "Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! -Take on Me-" movie from last year?

I've heard some bad things about second season not living up to the expectations people had after first, but well, it won't hurt to give it a try ;) (I mean, one of the reviewers rated first season at 8/10, while second one got lowly 2/10 from them... :o )

Yes I do mean that. Forget the reviews, if they rated the second season down it's just because it still didn't finish conclusively. I didn't find the second season any different to the first. I did that to oreimo on a grander scale BTW; I really enjoyed the first season and really enjoyed the second season... until the last few episodes (of OVAs) and then having never been as angry with an ending in my entire life, I rated it a 1/10, which doesn't really reflect how much I enjoyed the bulk of the season. There's no appalling ending in season 2 of chuuni but it just keeps meandering the way the first season did.

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4 minutes ago, ittaku said:

There's no appalling ending in season 2 of chuuni but it just keeps meandering the way the first season did.

The review I mentioned above complained the most about virtually resetting any character progress that might have happenned during first series. I don't know myself, because I'm just after the second episode of first series ;) However I'm definitely going to watch both and a movie.

4 minutes ago, ittaku said:

I didn't find the second season any different to the first.

That's good to hear :)

 

Edited by adamstan

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I've watched through One Punch Man and... It's good? I don't think it's THAT fantastic, as it's practically recycling one joke over and over again through the whole season. It effectively puts all the shounen conventions on their head and is masterfully produced, but it didn't really captivate me. A strong 8/10, but I'd still consider it overhyped. Well, maybe overhyped to the point where it couldn't possibly match the expectations, but even if we're talking about this particular author's work, I think Mob Psycho 100 is a way better series - it uses some similar themes, like the absurdly OP and unassuming protagonist, but does much more interesting things with them.

On the other hand, I'm now more than half-way through A Place Further Than the Universe and it might be my first 10/10 rating. I mean, can you really do better with kind of slice-of-life/adventure anime? With how likeable and believable the characters are, how good and usually subtle the humour is, how genuine the drama feels... I definitely won't try to claim that it's the best anime ever, but in its own category it feels like pure excellence. At least, if it can keep up the quality until the end. I'll probably finish it around the weekend, as I have some more-urgent things in the next few days and this series deserves taking your time and paying proper attention to it.

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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On 12/02/2019 at 8:10 AM, Plk_Lesiak said:

On the other hand, I'm now more than half-way through A Place Further Than the Universe and it might be my first 10/10 rating. I mean, can you really do better with kind of slice-of-life/adventure anime? With how likeable and believable the characters are, how good and usually subtle the humour is, how genuine the drama feels... I definitely won't try to claim that it's the best anime ever, but in its own category it feels like pure excellence. At least, if it can keep up the quality until the end. I'll probably finish it around the weekend, as I have some more-urgent things in the next few days and this series deserves taking your time and paying proper attention to it.

It's a brilliant series, but save a box of tissues for later on...

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On 2/11/2019 at 4:10 PM, Plk_Lesiak said:

I don't think it's THAT fantastic, as it's practically recycling one joke over and over again through the whole season.

A big part of what made the series so engaging to me was its interesting take on the removal of conflict, and how Saitama reacts to it. In OPM, our protagonist doesn't get any kind satisfaction from his hobby, and that's because he's too damn good at it. Not to mention, the contrast between the protagonist's lackluster motivation and everyone else's does make for an interesting parody setup. The anime spends more time developing the side characters than it does Saitama, and to me that just makes for a much more interesting story when all their hard work and motivation is trumped by the mundane (especially with their ridiculous reactions, lol).

I do see where you're coming from on the repetition, though. I don't particularly mind it myself since it does serve to reinforce a point that is used later on to magnify the final battle. But the thing about OPM that probably doesn't suit all audiences is its frequent depletion of of catharsis through a conveniently-placed super hero. It seems that every time OPM is about to hit a climax scene--one with a lot of potential for high emotional payoff--Saitama shows up and completely ruins the mood. This can be especially off-putting if you find yourself growing attached to and sympathizing with the characters this story spends time developing. There is a reason why Deus Ex Machinas are such a dreadful concept for most entertainment consumers, and most authors are forced to either avoid it like the plague or bury it in distracting/emotional details as much as possible (the SAO LN comes to mind). But OPM fully embraces this storytelling convention in the most blatant manor, and that's something I actually really like about it.

But what interests me especially is the portrayal of a character whose life is completely devoid of conflict. It highlights the importance of conflict and its relationship with happiness. In the anime, Saitama isn't just a horrendously overpowered character that spoils the moment; he's a horrendously overpowered character who is on the brink of insanity. The one recurring theme we see throughout the series is how bad it is to have it easy. Every time Saitama finishes a battle, he always comes out of it completely disappointed because there is no room for growth through conflict. Human beings cannot be happy if they aren't growing, so for him to have reached his threshold of performance must have been a serious blow to his motivation.

 

So yeah, I get this isn't an anime for everyone. Though I do appreciate the anime's abuse of conflict spoilers, I can understand that it's really just part of my preference. Or maybe the hype just lead to heightened expectations? I wouldn't disagree with that either; hype really can be a bother. But due to my less-than-ideal experience with FMAB, I've learned to take fan hype with a grain of salt and go in with regular expectations. One strategy I've adopted to counteract the affects of hype is to wait for my own excitement to dissipate before I watch or read anything.

That said, I do think the anime is a bit overhyped (and this is coming from someone who has the anime in his top 5%). I do happen to think it's a fantastic anime with a refreshing and unique experience, but the reactions to it do seem a bit absurd. It might have something to do with the massive confirmation bias fans get from big-name anitubers praising the anime (especially Super Eyepatch Wolf).

On 2/11/2019 at 4:10 PM, Plk_Lesiak said:

I think Mob Psycho 100 is a way better series - it uses some similar themes, like the absurdly OP and unassuming protagonist, but does much more interesting things with them.

Oh, that's really interesting. I've heard about Mob Psycho on several occasions, but never actually knew what actually made up the series (I like to go into things with minimal investigation). Thanks for the rec!

Edited by Kenshin_sama

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OPM bored me stupid and I gave up without finishing the series. Again the author hates his protagonist so that even though he's more powerful than anyone and will never lose any battles, he gets treated like dirt continuously. That part of the joke really grates for me, and it's the major premise for its comedy.

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1 hour ago, Kenshin_sama said:

So yeah, I get this isn't an anime for everyone. Though I do appreciate the anime's abuse of conflict spoilers, I can understand that it's really just part of my preference. Or maybe the hype just lead to heightened expectations? I wouldn't disagree with that either; hype really can be a bother. But due to my less-than-ideal experience with FMAB, I've learned to take fan hype with a grain of salt and go in with regular expectations. One strategy I've adopted to counteract the affects of hype is to wait for my own excitement to dissipate before I watch or read anything.

Yeah, I wouldn't disagree with any of the points you made, that is why I still rate it highly. I guess I just hoped for it to genuinely surprise me in some ways and after it established its formula, there wasn't anything truly new or different happening with it. It's all well-crafted and fun, but I feel it'd need a lot more to be a serious contender for a 10/10 rating, which so many people give to it.

------

And switching to an exclusively positive topic, A Place Further Than the Universe was extremely solid till the very end and is, in my opinion, a genuine 10/10 SoL anime. Really touching, but not overly sappy or melodramatic, funny but not through forced/dumb gags, with flawed characters that simply feel human and relatable. Excellently paced and wonderfully produced. I was seriously searching for anything negative to say about it and I couldn't. There were definitely shows I've enjoyed more in particular moments/episodes, but this one still left me super-impressed with just how wholesome and consistent it was. We need more of that in anime. :3

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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1 hour ago, ittaku said:

OPM bored me stupid and I gave up without finishing the series. Again the author hates his protagonist so that even though he's more powerful than anyone and will never lose any battles, he gets treated like dirt continuously. That part of the joke really grates for me, and it's the major premise for its comedy.

Huh, that's a peculiar viewpoint. I feel that the author wrote the story like that to keep Saitama's character humble and relatable despite his absurd level of power. Because, seriously, while I don't particularly dislike Goku in DBZ, I do feel a bit detached from him because of how frequently celebrated he is by just about everyone. Plus, it further drives home the point that society is mostly superficial. I don't think the author hates him as much as you might think he does.

57 minutes ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

I guess I just hoped for it to genuinely surprise me in some ways and after it established its formula, there wasn't anything truly new or different happening with it.

Oh, I see what you're getting at here. Yeah, you're right. I don't particularly dislike that about OPM mostly because I value presentability, depth, and intent above everything else. But yeah, it doesn't really add much in the way of novelty in the later episodes.

Edited by Kenshin_sama

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3 hours ago, Kenshin_sama said:

Huh, that's a peculiar viewpoint. I feel that the author wrote the story like that to keep Saitama's character humble and relatable despite his absurd level of power. Because, seriously, while I don't particularly dislike Goku in DBZ, I do feel a bit detached from him because of how frequently celebrated he is by just about everyone. Plus, it further drives home the point that society is mostly superficial. I don't think the author hates him as much as you might think he does.

Saitama's core theme is literally about finding meaning and happiness in a life devoid of it. There's a current of thinking (and I believe some Japanese philosopher actually wrote on it) which argues that a lack of challenges and difficulties will rob mankind of its ability to find joy in life. Saitama's character is someone who's been robbed of any challenge at all, and consequently finds himself in complete apathy.

I don't know to which degree ONE tries to explore this idea, but considering the general subversive themes of the show as a parody, I'm inclines to believe he's put some thought there. I do feel like ittaku has misinterpreted the author here. Saitama only gets treated like crap by the "public", kind of as a denouncement of the superhero culture and society. Again, OPM really isn't some super deep woke show, but it certainly has a bunch of interesting messages and ideas (and Saitama gets treated very nicely by those around him).

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