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Last week, had my occasional anime marathon with my friend. We watched three shows, two of which were new for me.

First show was Made in Abyss. At first I thought it was going to be full of furry bait and despair after being exposed to countless Nanachi fanart, but I'm glad to say that it exceeded expectations. I absolutely loved the adventurous feeling the show had going for it, embodied by the characters of Riko and Reg.

Spoiler

Episode 10 was heartbreaking to watch. As much as adventure is something everyone desires at some point in their lives, the danger that accompanies satisfying the urge is very much real. Riko's deadly encounter in the fourth layer of the Abyss was very hard to watch, but all the more inspiring with the strength she was displaying. Thank god for Nanachi being in the right place at the right time.

Nanachi's experiences with the Sovereign of the Dawn was hell as well though. Gotta ask every now and then what kind of monster makes these kids go through what they did, but you can't really expect monsters to answer in a humanly way. I'm looking forward to the impending encounter with the Sovereign, and the continuation of their journey down the Abyss.

God bless this show.

Second show was Violet Evergarden. I expected it to be a romantic show with how there was so much emphasis in the feeling of love from the start, but I am pleasantly surprised with how it turned out. Violet is such a precious person. I absolutely loved watching her develop into the kind of person she wanted to become. Cried every other episode. I'm a crybaby.

Spoiler

The show was a great testament to the power of feelings. Feelings transcending time and space, delivered through words. Not that feelings upfront are any less, but there are some things that people just can't begin to express through their actions. I always preferred a more aggressive approach in terms of expressing my feelings (not just romantic ones), but the show reminds me that there is also beauty in the space between the sender and the recipient of a letter.

The show had a feeling of loneliness permeating it throughout its run. But in the loneliness, I guess you begin to appreciate what was once there even more, and what will be there as time passes by. I absolutely loved Episode 7 and 10 because of this. I cried myself to bits beside a friend who was also crying to bits. Tears the heart.

I think I'll watch Kokoro Connect next. I have to at least try out @Roach's recommendations.


Edited by KosakiFag
Goddamnit I forgot about the spoiler button. Never using [spoiler][/spoiler] again. Took my whole 20 minutes.
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Watched both seasons of "I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying" today.  

Shirobako is one of the most awesome products to come out of the anime industry in the last 5 years. I highly, HIGHLY recommend :3

Last week, had my occasional anime marathon with my friend. We watched three shows, two of which were new for me. First show was Made in Abyss. At first I thought it was going to be full of furry

Done with Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches and I kind of loved this show, although I've seen from other people's reviews that it might not be "objectively" this great, but simply fits directly into my preferences. It has those light ecchi/harem elements, but immidiately establishes who the main heroine is and develops really satisfying, conclusive romance - Urara grows into a great character and the last few episodes with Yamada fighting to reconnect with her are genuinely touching. On the fun side, the body swapping gimmick comes with awesome performances by the voice actors, with main ones pretty much playing a few different characters on a regular basis.

Plot wise, it's not that original (it's kind of Monogatari-light, with the protagonist going around solving problems of the titular witches, basically saving them from themselves) and some of the subplots are rather forgettable, but it's still very fun and the main cast is great, Yamada himself combining being a bit of a dumbass and having a reputation of a delinquent with being genuinely good person – there's some great chemistry between him and all the other major characters. In the end, I give it an extremely biased 9/10 (I think it'll be an 8 or very solid 7 if you don't buy into its formula as much as I did). Will definitely try to give it a rewatch with my gf, I hope she don't hate it. :3

Now I guess I should get back to Ancient Magus' Bride, another one I stalled a while ago... 

Edited by Plk_Lesiak
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12 hours ago, Kosakyun said:

First show was Made in Abyss. At first I thought it was going to be full of furry bait and despair

Right, this. I wanted to ask, is this show just despair misery suffering or not quite? I got that impression from hearing people talk about it, which is why I haven't watched it despite really appreciating the art style, but a friend said otherwise the other day.

Is it one of those where every time things seem to be looking better it just goes DESPAIR!!1! ? I can't handle that. I've given up on Code Geass and Fullmetal Alchemist over that sort of thing. Please reply in a spoiler tag.

(Which is admittedly ironic considering I love Danganronpa but whatever. If it's funny despair it's ok.)

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1 hour ago, Mr Poltroon said:

Right, this. I wanted to ask, is this show just despair misery suffering or not quite? I got that impression from hearing people talk about it, which is why I haven't watched it despite really appreciating the art style, but a friend said otherwise the other day.

Is it one of those where every time things seem to be looking better it just goes DESPAIR!!1! ? I can't handle that. I've given up on Code Geass and Fullmetal Alchemist over that sort of thing. Please reply in a spoiler tag.

(Which is admittedly ironic considering I love Danganronpa but whatever. If it's funny despair it's ok.)

No, it is brutally hard to watch. If you could not watch fullmetal alchemist then I suggest you skip made in abyss. It's overall got a positive outlook but the crossroads along the way are disturbing on a grand scale. I cried by eyes out on it.

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6 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

Done with Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches and I kind of loved this show, although I've seen from other people's reviews that it might not be "objectively" this great, but simply fits directly into my preferences. It has those light ecchi/harem elements, but immidiately establishes who the main heroine is and develops really satisfying, conclusive romance - Urara grows into a great character and the last few episodes with Yamada fighting to reconnect with her are genuinely touching. On the fun side, the body swapping gimmick comes with awesome performances by the voice actors, with main ones pretty much playing a few different characters on a regular basis.

Plot wise, it's not that original (it's kind of Monogatari-light, with the protagonist going around solving problems of the titular witches, basically saving them from themselves) and some of the subplots are rather forgettable, but it's still very fun and the main cast is great, Yamada himself combining being a bit of a dumbass and having a reputation of a delinquent with being genuinely good person – there's some great chemistry between him and all the other major characters. In the end, I give it an extremely biased 9/10 (I think it'll be an 8 or very solid 7 if you don't buy into its formula as much as I did). Will definitely try to give it a rewatch with my gf, I hope she don't hate it. :3

I really enjoyed it and gave it an 8/10 myself. Very satisfying show, but there's no way I would watch it with my wife. Too ecchi and haremy if I recall correctly.

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21 minutes ago, ittaku said:

I really enjoyed it and gave it an 8/10 myself. Very satisfying show, but there's no way I would watch it with my wife. Too ecchi and haremy if I recall correctly.

Maybe it was just me, but I find this show tastefully sexy if anything. The fanservice is either super tongue-in-cheek or just kissing scenes (which are also constantly mixed with parodistic scenes where Yamada has to kiss guys etc.). The harem is super mild, with Urara wnd Yamada being into each other pretty much from the first episode and the romance between them steady developing, and other witches being clearly in the background.

We watched one episode so far, but she liked it. The most fancervice'y part I can remember is episode 2 or 3 ending, where everyone in the supernatural investigations club kiss each other switching bodies, but even that was rather funny and cute IMO. That's really a major factor why I was so stoked about this show, an ecchi series that never gets gross and offers actual romance is such a rare treat. :P

Edited by Plk_Lesiak
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3 hours ago, Mr Poltroon said:

Right, this. I wanted to ask, is this show just despair misery suffering or not quite? I got that impression from hearing people talk about it, which is why I haven't watched it despite really appreciating the art style, but a friend said otherwise the other day.

Is it one of those where every time things seem to be looking better it just goes DESPAIR!!1! ? I can't handle that. I've given up on Code Geass and Fullmetal Alchemist over that sort of thing. Please reply in a spoiler tag.

(Which is admittedly ironic considering I love Danganronpa but whatever. If it's funny despair it's ok.)

 

I'd like to think that its main driving force isn't the despair that accompanies this descent into the Abyss, but the grand adventure that waits for them in its depths. While I do say that, ittaku's comment is also spot-on. It doesn't cut corners in presenting the dangers that accompany their endeavor, and it quite honestly has one of the most painful scenes to watch that I've seen from recent shows. I cannot begin to try and draw a comparison between it and the shows you mentioned.

But, I stand my ground that it's not the grueling hardships that make Made in Abyss the show it is. It's the wonder the characters have for the unknown, and the different ways in which they try and satisfy this wonder. But then again, that's true for the two shows you mentioned as well (which are primarily driven by other, stronger elements) so you do you. I hope you're able to give them a try someday.

I find the OP an accurate representation of the overall atmosphere of the show. Give it a watch:

Edited by Kosakyun
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16 minutes ago, Kosakyun said:
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I'd like to think that its main driving force isn't the despair that accompanies this descent into the Abyss, but the grand adventure that waits for them in its depths. While I do say that, ittaku's comment is also spot-on. It doesn't cut corners in presenting the dangers that accompany their endeavor, and it quite honestly has one of the most painful scenes to watch that I've seen from recent shows. I cannot begin to try and draw a comparison between it and the shows you mentioned.

But, I stand my ground that it's not the grueling hardships that make Made in Abyss the show it is. It's the wonder the characters have for the unknown, and the different ways in which they try and satisfy this wonder. But then again, that's true for the two shows you mentioned as well (which are primarily driven by other, stronger elements) so you do you. I hope you're able to give them a try someday.

I find the OP an accurate representation of the overall atmosphere of the show. Give it a watch:

I also dropped Code Geass (but due to me not enjoying the characters as much as I have with other shows. Lelouch is awesome, yes, but I kind of did not get into it).

This one (Made in Abyss) is another one I skipped due to the "a little too cute design". After Madoka (which I genuinely enjoyed because Homura is a walking plot twist) I kind of turned my radar on for this kind.

Urobutcher is good, but my poor heart has a limit on the despair side.

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22 minutes ago, PrincessOfFinch said:

Hibike Euphonium, Highschool DxD, Kakegurui, Mirai Nikki, Welcome to the NHK, Nichijou, No Game No Life, Spice and Wolf, Gurren Lagann, Elfen Lied (rewatch), and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 1 (rewatch).

Gurren Lagann is very good. I don't like the ending that much, but I could hardly think of something not too cheesy.

Also, Elfen Lied's manga is quite beautiful indeed. The anime did great on the soundtracks, but it covered almost nothing of it.

When the shit would really hit the fan, it ended.

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Just now, AstralSword said:

Gurren Lagann is very good. I don't like the ending that much, but I could hardly think of something not too cheesy.

Also, Elfen Lied's manga is quite beautiful indeed. The anime did great on the soundtracks, but it covered almost nothing of it.

When the shit would really hit the fan, it ended.

I might like the ending, who knows!

I've never read the manga to Elfen Lied  but the show was my first 'adult' anime so I guess it's kinda special in that regard. I still think the show is cool but it's not the best.

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2 minutes ago, PrincessOfFinch said:

I might like the ending, who knows!

I've never read the manga to Elfen Lied  but the show was my first 'adult' anime so I guess it's kinda special in that regard. I still think the show is cool but it's not the best.

Regarding Gurren Lagann, I am a tear jerker for happy endings. Well...

Spoiler

The marriage scene almost made me cry. And I don't know how I feel about it.

I don't really enjoy bittersweet endings, but I can see the beauty in them.

The manga has not the most perfect story in the universe, but it is damn worth a read, at least once.

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Soo, I couldn't sleep much today, but on the bright side, I was able to binge the rest of Mahoutsukai no Yome and... Eh, it was kind of disappointing - in the end the series felt 40% brilliant and 60% pompous, overstylized mess. I was absolutely charmed by the prequel OVA, as they showed the best elements of the show: awesome production quality, climate-building and Chise herself, who's consistently an interesting and compelling protagonist. The main series however was very hit and miss, often feeling just weird and overindulgent. The further it went, the more inconsistent it got, leaving me with seriously mixed feelings. And that's a real shame, because I really for this series to be special and its main building blocks - the characters of Chise and Elias, their backstories and the peculiar relationship that grows between them - are quite excellent.

As a whole, this anime has its share of 10/10, deeply touching moments, but even more 6/10 or 5/10 ones - it all sums up to a fairly weak 8, although the prequel story and the first few episodes of the main show are still a solid 9. And well, I guess even a weak 8 sounds pretty good in the end, but it could've easily been much more than that...

Edited by Plk_Lesiak
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3 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

Soo, I couldn't sleep much today, but on the bright side, I was able to binge the rest of Mahoutsukai no Yome and... Eh, it was kind of disappointing - in the end the series felt 40% brilliant and 60% pompous, overstylized mess. I was absolutely charmed by the prequel OVA, as they showed the best elements of the show: awesome production quality, climate-building and Chise herself, who's consistently an interesting and compelling protagonist. The main series however was very hit and miss, often feeling just weird and overindulgent. The further it went, the more inconsistent it got, leaving me with seriously mixed feelings. And that's a real shame, because I really for this series to be special and its main building blocks - the characters of Chise and Elias, their backstories and the peculiar relationship that grows between them - are quite excellent.

As a whole, this anime has its share of 10/10, deeply touching moments, but even more 6/10 or 5/10 ones - it all sums up to a fairly weak 8, although the prequel story and the first few episodes of the main show are still a solid 9. And well, I guess even a weak 8 sounds pretty good in the end, but it could've easily been much more than that...

Okay. It's not just me that really wanted to like it but ended up stalling it midway through.

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Alright. I started Kokoro Connect 3 days ago, and I've finished 13 episodes of it.

I was really skeptical of the show due to how it starts out its conflict. I'm not a fan of being thrown into the fire without warning, so when the conflict just came out of nowhere in the first episode, I felt really iffy about the show. Thankfully, it was entertaining enough to keep me watching up to the point where I am now.

Spoiler

To be honest, nothing makes sense in this damn show in relation to the entity Heartseed. They just throw you random stuff that he wants to happen to them, and you watch these people deal with it, powerless against Heartseed's will. The fact that nothing makes sense really irks me, because it just leaves me with the feeling that I'm watching a sort of simulation being controlled by an outside entity for his own pleasure.

But I also thought that maybe that was the point of not knowing anything. Being part of the side that knows nothing makes sympathizing with the five's plight easier, because you yourself become frustrated at your inability to come up with anything. Kokoro Connect begins to feel like an experiment concerning different kinds of conflict, and what can come out of instilling these conflicts in characters. Perhaps we're actually the kin of Heartseed, playing with our characters for our own satisfaction. Kinda metafictional, haha.

What I do like about the show is how it handles its arcs via the EDs. I'm a fan of how SHAFT handles the arcs in the Monogatari Series and Nisekoi by characterizing either the OP or the ED based on which character the arc focuses on or what the arc itself is, so seeing the name of the arcs in the changing EDs in Kokoro Connect really pumps me up to watch it. That particular aspect of the show may be the reason why I continued to watch it despite my prior qualms about it.

Spoiler

Though I did bash its plot progression a little, the growth the characters go through amidst these trials become very convincing because of the stakes they're forced into by Heartseed. Really appropriate name for an entity that forces people to grow by planting 'seeds of conflict' in their hearts. If you turn off your brain for a while, Kokoro Connect actually becomes an enjoyable watch, if not inspirational in a way. Its impact is better amplified by the EDs that cater to each arc, imo. The second and third EDs are actually pretty damn lit.

In its heart, Kokoro Connect is a rather roundabout way of telling a story about growth. You really get to know people more when you go through dire straits together, and it becomes either a boon or a crack in the relationships they have with each other.

One last thing, that I absolutely cannot ignore.

Spoiler

The first arc felt like the show was making me, forgive me for a lack of a better word, wank to Taichi with how he was saving girls left and right. An overly selfless sense of justice, Taichi is literally the second coming of Emiya Shirou.

Nagase Iori best girl.

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Okay. I finished Kokoro Connect, and I can see why these guys pick Inaban over Iori.

Overall, a pretty good show. Would give positive remarks about it should anyone ask me if it's good. While the start was really, really weird due to what I've mentioned before, it manages to better establish itself as its characters grow.

Spoiler

I absolutely loved everyone by the end. I still stand by the idea that maybe we're Heartseed's kin in our own context in relation to the show, and that the phenomena that push them to grow are ones that are conveniently placed for our entertainment. If anything, Heartseed succeeded in making it interesting, turning what would be normal conflicts in HS life into an overblown drama spurred on by increased stakes from supernatural events.

Not that it being an overblown drama is anything bad. That kind of drama is exactly what makes HS life (or maybe life in an educational institute in general) so colorful and interesting. At the peak of our emotional insecurities and personal instabilities, what determines our growth or recession is the people that stay with us through the ebbing tides. God, I seem to lose the ability to speak normally when it comes to expressing things that I'm sensitive to these days.

It was also good seeing the irresponsible claims Taichi made in Hito Random coming back to bite him in later arcs. Sometimes, being overly kind really hurts people, and Taichi's way of saving Iori was a perfect example of that. I'm glad he eventually realized how wrong the things he did were though. Props to him for that.

Inaban was hella cute. I love this lovestruck Dereban. Though, I still end up liking Iori better. I find it inevitable to like someone better after you see their vulnerabilities and how they succeed in dealing with them. Although hella weak from all the things she's been going through, she eventually reclaims herself through the help of her friends. I thought that was really beautiful. I hope Iori can find happiness in the next arcs of the series which, to my own regret, are arcs I won't be experiencing any time soon. Best girl doesn't deserve that kind of suffering.

Season 2 when?

Wonder what I'll pick up next, hmmmm.

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16 hours ago, Kosakyun said:

Okay. I finished Kokoro Connect, and I can see why these guys pick Inaban over Iori.

Overall, a pretty good show. Would give positive remarks about it should anyone ask me if it's good. While the start was really, really weird due to what I've mentioned before, it manages to better establish itself as its characters grow.

  Hide contents

I absolutely loved everyone by the end. I still stand by the idea that maybe we're Heartseed's kin in our own context in relation to the show, and that the phenomena that push them to grow are ones that are conveniently placed for our entertainment. If anything, Heartseed succeeded in making it interesting, turning what would be normal conflicts in HS life into an overblown drama spurred on by increased stakes from supernatural events.

Not that it being an overblown drama is anything bad. That kind of drama is exactly what makes HS life (or maybe life in an educational institute in general) so colorful and interesting. At the peak of our emotional insecurities and personal instabilities, what determines our growth or recession is the people that stay with us through the ebbing tides. God, I seem to lose the ability to speak normally when it comes to expressing things that I'm sensitive to these days.

It was also good seeing the irresponsible claims Taichi made in Hito Random coming back to bite him in later arcs. Sometimes, being overly kind really hurts people, and Taichi's way of saving Iori was a perfect example of that. I'm glad he eventually realized how wrong the things he did were though. Props to him for that.

Inaban was hella cute. I love this lovestruck Dereban. Though, I still end up liking Iori better. I find it inevitable to like someone better after you see their vulnerabilities and how they succeed in dealing with them. Although hella weak from all the things she's been going through, she eventually reclaims herself through the help of her friends. I thought that was really beautiful. I hope Iori can find happiness in the next arcs of the series which, to my own regret, are arcs I won't be experiencing any time soon. Best girl doesn't deserve that kind of suffering.

Season 2 when?

Wonder what I'll pick up next, hmmmm.

Did you watch the kokoro connect OVAs? There is no need for a season 2 because they complete the series. You should have watched 17 episodes in total.

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Yeah, that S2 is almost definitely not happening. Not after that whole fiasco with Mitsuhiro Ichiki...
https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-09-04/kokoro-connect-staff-issues-statements-on-performer-treatment

A real shame, too. Apparently this was the result of a harmless joke gone viral, and everyone losing their shit for no reason.

This is why we can never have nice things.

Edited by Kenshin_sama
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16 hours ago, Fred the Barber said:

Season 2 never, I'm sure, but the LN series is being officially localized, and the translator is a friend and is doing good work with it, so there's always that option: https://www.amazon.com/Kokoro-Connect-1-Hito-Random-ebook/dp/B07FNMCNGR/

Yea I was hoping the LNs were getting localized. Thanks for confirming it for me. It was last year, huh?

I'll try ordering it through my local bookstore. I was looking for another series to collect after catching up with the current releases of Monogatari and Dragon Maid, so I'll consider this if I'm able to order it. Either this, New Game, or something else that I'm forgetting. I know I wanted that 'something else', but I can't remember what it was. Oh well. I still need to find a goddamn job. Wonder if I can land a translation job? Also how dare you ignore my special pun.

14 hours ago, Kenshin_sama said:

Yeah, that S2 is almost definitely not happening. Not after that whole fiasco with Mitsuhiro Ichiki...
https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-09-04/kokoro-connect-staff-issues-statements-on-performer-treatment

A real shame, too. Apparently this was the result of a harmless joke gone viral, and everyone losing their shit for no reason.

This is why we can never have nice things.

Damn, that sucks. Backlash really does land unwarranted impacts on different projects. rip Iori dreams

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I guess it's a sign that I'm slightly depressed when I start binging terrible shows just to laugh at them? Whatever might be the case, yesterday I burned my afternoon watching Jashin-chan Dropkick and it was kind of OK, surprisingly enough? It's basically gore comedy and Gabriel DropOUT mixed together, with Jashin, a lamia demon, being an absolute scumbag with near-unlimited regeneration powers and constantly being punished for her behaviour in appropriately brutal ways. It does not even bother with worldbuilding or giving more context than a 2-minute, bare-bones introduction and just jumps straight into the gags and I kind of respect that. It's a trash show, but one that knows exactly what it's doing and never pretending to be something more than a chain of dumb slapstick gags. It does get strangely wholesome by the end and there's actually a lot less violence in it than I've expected, but generally, it served it's purpose well and with no pretence of dignity. 7 bloody chainsaws that just disembowelled a scumbag demon out of 10.

But hey, you can't just live on casual trash, so I decided to step up my game and watched the first episode of Happy Sugar Life today. This show is absolutely hysterical with the kind of messed-up edginess it tries to generate, it makes School Days' final episodes feel tame and reasonable in comparison. Also, having the psychotic high school girl in love with an elementary schooler being voiced by Kana Hanazawa... I cannot even start to imagine how this became a thing but I thank the otaku gods for making it a reality. It's going to be a treat. :wahaha:

Edited by Plk_Lesiak
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