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2 hours ago, Plk_Lesiak said:

So, I'm done with the first season of SNAFU and its OVA and I... Don't really get it? I mean, the general idea sound fun – I've called it reverse Monogatari in my mind, because while that series is about Koyomi solving supernatural problems by being absurdly nice (and self-sacrificing), this is about the protagonist solving everyday problems by being a relentless asshole and misanthrope (and self-sacrificing). The main cast feels well thought out and there's definitely depth in there somewhere, but that first season... It was boring, even by my highly-tolerant standards. Also, I only vaguely care about any of the characters by this point, which is hardly acceptable for a slice-of-life series that definitely tries to be somewhat profound and emotionally engaging despite the generally comedic formula. Also, the supporting cast is very much a mixed bag – the fujoshi jokes weren't very funny in the first place, but stopped being even amusing pretty fast.

I'm often bad at picking up on subtleties of the characters' motivations and relationships in fiction, but even when I try to dig for meaning, I can't find anything particularly compelling about what I've seen. There's some social commentary for sure, but portayed in a rather bland way and with unconvincing solutions. Apart from that, everything is competent, but in no way striking or memorable. So, can't find a reason to give it anything above 7/10.

So, considering how insanely hyped up the light novels are, can anyone help me with understanding it? Is this a poor adaptation? Slow opening chapters? Am I missing something crucial?

Edit: What makes it even weirder is that Hachiman should feel relatable for me, as a cynical loner. Some of his neurotic reactions in the flashbacks definitely resonated with me, but I can't say the same about the core story. :P

The reason people like SNAFU is better conveyed by the second season... which has a completely different tone as a result. It is also why I don't like that second season.

Also, shame on you for not liking the first season. It is hilarious!

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1 hour ago, Mr Poltroon said:

The reason people like SNAFU is better conveyed by the second season... which has a completely different tone as a result. It is also why I don't like that second season.

Also, shame on you for not liking the first season. It is hilarious!

Yeah, I've since read that the second season is a lot stronger, but the way people describe it make me hesitate to watch it right now. It sounds like it'll make me miserable... Which probably will make me rate it much higher, as my main problem with the first one is exactly that it didn't make me feel enough, neither through humour nor through drama. Still, not necessarily an optimal choice for a time like this...

Maybe, in the end, it's the fact that I completely ignored the school social dynamics in my childhood that makes it not resonate with me much...? Now even clever descriptions of those feel pretty trivial/pointless to me and the first season seemed super-focused on that kind of stuff. I'm curious to what extent the second one will change my mind. I'd love to see the actual characters explored more than primary school clique dynamics. :P

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Eh, I've finished the first season a few days ago and I had the same reaction as you, Pik. It wasn't interesting enough to make me care for the plot (was there a plot?) nor the characters. My expectations were way too high and the end product didn't amuse me as it should. This, added to the fact that the spring season came with a lot of new good animes [for me, at least] made me postpone the second season indefinitely

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Still enjoying what I've watched so far of Darwin's Game as the main characters are all enjoyable in both personality and how they use their Sigils. I'm especially liking how in battle they're smart about fighting and get rewarded for that. I really hope this gets another season.

Also I'm getting some enjoyment out of Kemono Michi Rise Up; when it's funny it gets its share of laughs from me. Unfortunately it does have issues with balancing comedy with the occasional time it wants to get serious, in one episode it kills what was a pretty funny joke by telling it two more times in a row and while I know it's unfair to compare it to KonoSuba (same author) for some reason its fanservicey jokes don't land as well as the aforementioned.

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And so, I'm done with The Twelve Kingdoms. Well, that was definitely something. :leecher: Actually, I don't think I've seen many fantasy anime inspired by the East Asian rather than Western culture. I think, so far this anime and Yona of the Dawn are the only ones.

Well, the world where it takes place is really interesting. I mean, it's the first time when I see in fiction than children aren't born from a woman's womb, but grow on a tree. Overall, the world-building is rather vast, and the plot is interesting. While some of the characters, including the main protagonist, Youko, may seem a bit off-putting at first, all of them get a chance to develop. Sure, it's a bit overly dramatic, but it fits this type of setting quite well. There are four main arcs, and while there is an overarching story, each arc is more or less standalone. I only wish that they had replaced the fourth and the third arcs, since the ending of the third arc would be the ideal place to finish the anime. Ironically, my suggested order seems to be how it was in the original novel. I don't know why they decided to change the order, but it's seems like there were some plans to continue the anime, so maybe the reason is somehow related to that. Sadly, but it didn't happen.

I'd say, it is a good 9/10. I guess, I should give more older fantasy anime a try, there may be some other gems among them. And maybe I should finally watch Shiki since it's by the same original author.

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On 29/03/2020 at 1:38 AM, Plk_Lesiak said:

Oh, and Beatless was a disappointment. I stalled after episode 8 and I'm not sure I'll ever come back – sadly, it proved to be less comically bad and more straight-up obnoxious. Possible the worst, most hamfisted "do androids have souls?" kind of plot I've seen to date, and there's plenty of bad ones...

Don't go back. It's just plain shit. The show should have been called soulless since it has absolutely no soul whatsoever in its delivery of whether androids have souls or not.

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On 09/04/2020 at 4:16 AM, Plk_Lesiak said:

So, I'm done with the first season of SNAFU and its OVA and I... Don't really get it? I mean, the general idea sound fun – I've called it reverse Monogatari in my mind, because while that series is about Koyomi solving supernatural problems by being absurdly nice (and self-sacrificing), this is about the protagonist solving everyday problems by being a relentless asshole and misanthrope (and self-sacrificing). The main cast feels well thought out and there's definitely depth in there somewhere, but that first season... It was boring, even by my highly-tolerant standards. Also, I only vaguely care about any of the characters by this point, which is hardly acceptable for a slice-of-life series that definitely tries to be somewhat profound and emotionally engaging despite the generally comedic formula. Also, the supporting cast is very much a mixed bag – the fujoshi jokes weren't very funny in the first place, but stopped being even amusing pretty fast.

I'm often bad at picking up on subtleties of the characters' motivations and relationships in fiction, but even when I try to dig for meaning, I can't find anything particularly compelling about what I've seen. There's some social commentary for sure, but portayed in a rather bland way and with unconvincing solutions. Apart from that, everything is competent, but in no way striking or memorable. So, can't find a reason to give it anything above 7/10.

So, considering how insanely hyped up the light novels are, can anyone help me with understanding it? Is this a poor adaptation? Slow opening chapters? Am I missing something crucial?

Edit: What makes it even weirder is that Hachiman should feel relatable for me, as a cynical loner. Some of his neurotic reactions in the flashbacks definitely resonated with me, but I can't say the same about the core story. :P

You just don't like its delivery, stories, characters, nor character development. It's time to move on. Me, on the other hand, I absolutely love it and can't get enough of it. There's no poor adaptation, it's just not clicking for you; I've read most of the LNs and the anime is a very good adaptation of them. Not everything works for everyone and unfortunately that's the case here for you. There's something very Gen X about its story and characters, so perhaps that's why it resonates with me more.

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On 4/16/2020 at 6:32 AM, ittaku said:

You just don't like its delivery, stories, characters, nor character development. It's time to move on. Me, on the other hand, I absolutely love it and can't get enough of it. There's no poor adaptation, it's just not clicking for you; I've read most of the LNs and the anime is a very good adaptation of them. Not everything works for everyone and unfortunately that's the case here for you. There's something very Gen X about its story and characters, so perhaps that's why it resonates with me more.

Nah, it's more that I liked it, but nothing in it grasped me that much... It was thoroughly "ok", which only surprised me due to how highly rated the source material is. :P I'm still interested in how the second season is going to shake things up... When I feel like I'm ready for some extra stress.

Anyway, I think I could do another summary of the stuff I've seen recently. I've been pretty busy with work, so my pace definitely slowed down, but I've continued the Initial D watching with my gf and finished the whole series a week ago. Fourth Stage was quite a treat, more focused on racing than drama and offering less character development for Takumi, but really satisfying when it goes to the challenges. It also expanded decently on the Takahashi brothers and while some people didn't like it, I actually enjoyed the focus sometimes shifting to Keisuke and his growth. Of course, the time between the production of the first seasons and this one made tons of difference when it goes to CGI – it's hard to even compare the visual quality of racing sections. I'll only give it an 8/10 because some arcs were definitely weaker/too contrived.

Fifth Stage and Final Stage though (they're basically one extended season, so I'll count them together)... What a shitshow. A series that was all about the technique and science of racing suddenly started introducing layers upon layers of esoteric bullshit ("Fujiwara zone", WTF?), claiming how Takumi's or other racer's performance was "impossible to explain", including a literal ghost in Ryousuke's story... Also, cars suddenly started teleporting, ruining even the visual spectacle of the racing (which was never super-consistent, but at least pretended to have some rules)... There were still some cool parts to the overall story and intense moments, but overall, it was so obvious that the series run out of fuel by this point and started going against its established principles to force a continuation. How so few people rioted over this is beyond me... But maybe I just care too much about consistency? :P Anyway, these two earn a 6/10, and barely.

Also, as I've mentioned earlier, I continued my adventure with Strike the Blood and while the second season frustrated me a bit with its repetitiveness and much of the harem still pointlessly being in the dark about what was happening, the ending finally resolved that and season 3 could shake things up a little... Not very much though. It's kind of amazing how by-the-numbers this show manages to be... If it stands through anything by this point, is the amount of nudity – like seriously, in III bathing seems to be half of the things the female characters ever do. But hey, amusing trash is still somewhat amusing... 6,5/10

Still, I'm not sure how much the enjoyment factor is going to be maintained in IV – the new arc feels pretty dumb and the new heroine is just another tsundere with no actual personality, and even fewer reasons to fall for the protagonist...

Oh, and I've just finished Dance in the Vampire Bund... Holy crap, what an utter failure. It's a series produced by Shaft, so occasionally you can feel traced of Monogatari in it, but if it takes anything from that franchise it's all the gross and obnoxious part – the uncomfortable fanservice with child and child-like characters and grotesque violence. To this it adds weird villains with absurd motivations, vampire lore that neither ominous nor satisfying, a protagonist with no personality... It was an interesting trainwreck due to its messy story and gory visuals, but still, 5.5/10.

And with my gf, after being done with Initial D and taking a short break, we went on a very strange nostalgia trip – watching General Daimos, a mecha anime from the late 70s, exactly the same was it was broadcasted in Poland in the 90s. That is, with Polish narrator reading a really bad translation of already questionable Italian dubbing. It's kind of incredible watching it after all those years and realizing all the layers of weirdness this double-layered game of Chinese whispers created – and even comparing it to the English dubbing is astonishing. Although, even in its best form, it's a great showcase of just how far writing in anime (and probably cartoons in general) have progressed from that era. The show is very mature in some of its themes, as there are people dying all over the place and a literal genocide perpetrated on Earth by alien invaders, but at the same time there's so much dumb shit and contrivance happening in every episode... It's definitely not a show for little children, so I guess its creators had very little faith in the intelligence of teens... :s Still, my gf enjoys it through sheer nostalgia and I enjoy poking fun at it, so we'll probably finish the whole series (we're at ep 20 of 44 now).

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I'm watching Air for the first time, years after playing the visual novel. It's pretty good so far, although only two heroines are getting a good development, while the third [Tohno] is almost a side character. The art is on point and very similar to the original's, and for an anime from 2005, it's very well animated. My only grip with it is that everything happens too fast and there is no time to breath between the scenes. Maybe if it were a 24-episode series it would be even better.

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Just recent finished watching Cross Game and it was probably one of the best sports anime I’ve seen. Its about baseball, which is a sport I was never interested in and knew nothing about. And while I’m not some baseball fanatic now, I definitely have more appreciation for the sport. The games are interesting, and keep you on the edge rather than being predictable. I dislike when you expect that they’ll win every match. It’s not trapped inside some bubble, there’s a lot of real world stuff that happens (I know, very descriptive but no spoilers) which you find out early on and then as the story progresses. It’s not just about the struggle to become a better athlete but also growing as a person. I gave it a 7/10.

Now I’m watching Last Exile for a change of pace. I enjoy the characters, their diversity in personalities and the fleshed our realistic traits they’ve given to some of the characters (much more so for the female lead than the male lead). The setting isn’t really explained well so far, ie you know about all the various factions that exist but nothing about the world itself. The animation is not great it’s from the earlier days of CG so it hasn’t aged well visually. Yeah, mostly in it for the characters 

 

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I just recently finished watching Tokyo Raven. Such a pretty entertaining underappreciated gem of an anime without the constant fanservice garbage.  It's all about onmyouji and all that wonderful Japanese occult folklore!

I was kinda sadden after watching the last episode since I realize that this anime is never going to have a second season. The last episode was a cliffhanger and the plot didn't properly concluded...

How am I supposed to know what happened to Natsume if she really is dead or been resurrected since the light novels weren't officially translated!?

Hope there's a fan translation of the light novel somewhere? 

Wonder what happened to Kon/Hishamaru? She seemed to be in love with harutora 

Her only active role was on the last episode, she really lacks screen-time...

Anyways, hope I can find some anime decent enough to fill the void which Tokyo Raven left....

 

 

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I’ve Just Finished Watched Oregairu Season 3. One of the finest anime series I had the pleasure of watching for quite a long time. The anime’s title My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected is very deceiving. I remember a long time ago I watched the anime’s first season somewhere around in 2014 expecting it’s a generic high school comedy romance. Instead I got something else… Social Commentary about life in general, youth, ideals, expectations of society, superficiality, codependent, social suicide, and many more. Perhaps words are not even enough to describe what this anime is all about. I could really much relate to the main protagonist of the series, “Hachiman Hikigaya” since I’m also a loner or an outcast of sorts. Despite being just a slice of life high school anime. It’s filled with subtext to the brim that I have to rewatch a particular episode just to understand it. You won’t get the full picture if you just passively watch it like normal animes. Then at long last, the series ended on its third season. The conclusion was very beautiful and very satisfactory! I couldn’t ask for a more fitting ending… Hachiman Hikigaya and Yukino Yukinoshita finally become a couple! I’m happy for them, still it’s kind of sad to see Yui Yuigahama heartbroken due to this turn of events. Well it was quite a blast! A pity like all good things must to an end…

Hope they’ll localized the VNs of the anime so we can play them in English and in PC since its only available in consoles!

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I watched "The Rising of The Shield Hero" anime and while the portrail of the suffering Martyr gets overly abused sometimes, the anime ends when this aspect of the saga is about to come to an end as well.

Sadly, that IS the impression most people get from the first season.

I ended up gobbling down every content I could find and read all 17 light novel volumes available in english.

I have to say the series has its ups and downs, but overall it has much more than the whole "false rape accusations are horrible" and "modern day slavery is fine if you treat your slaves well enough" that brought all the hate and love the series got.

Fortunately, the second season supposedly will cover at least the Spirit Tortoise Arc, which covers quite a bit of character development and introduces a lot more regarding how the world works.

It should settle for new and old fans alike, while solving the problems the first season had.

Edited by AstralSword
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2 hours ago, AstralSword said:

I watched "The Rising of The Shield Hero" anime and while the portrail of the suffering Martyr gets overly abused sometimes, the anime ends when this aspect of the saga is about to come to an end as well.

Sadly, that IS the impression most people get from the first season.

The second half is not as entertaining as first one. 

2 hours ago, AstralSword said:

Fortunately, the second season supposedly will cover at least the Spirit Tortoise Arc, which covers quite a bit of character development and introduces a lot more regarding how the world works.

It should settle for new and old fans alike, while solving the problems the first season had.

Is that so ? Look promising.

 

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Just now, droganpc said:

The second half is not as entertaining as first one. 

Is that so ? Look promising.

 

Yes indeed. The first half goes pretty much until the first wave ends and we have the duel between Naofumi and Motoyasu. This is covered in the very first volume of the light novel alone.

The Spirit Tortoise Arc validates the Shield Hero as the only one (up to that point) the whole world can count on, in full contrast with the "suffering Martyr" thingey.

Otherworldly threats come to light in full force, even crashing the boundaries set for the world the MC was summoned to.

I'll say no more. It's best if we just wait for it to air and hope the adaptation will do the source material justice 🤞

Edited by AstralSword
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So yeah, this might be something of a hot take, but I don't think Demon Slayer was good at all. I don't mind it going for a simple plot, and there were some things I found interesting, but it's a major flaw when 80% of the anime's storytelling comes from internal monologues. Not only is it lazy since it requires little to no planning, but it fails to fully utilize its assets as an anime. I wouldn't mind it as much if it was kept to a minimum, but they packed so much into every episode that it severely impacted my enjoyment of the series.

There is so much information that anime is able to convey compared to something like a book, so it makes no sense for Demon Slayer to restrict itself to the degree it has been. Anime can benefit from a variety of techniques such as facial expressions, meaningful dialogue, camera zooms, sound direction, atmosphere, and various other aspects that are unique to the medium. But no, Demon Slayer decided to hamfist almost everything with monologues and poorly timed flashbacks.

It's a shame too; I really wanted to like this anime. The animation is stunning, but no matter how much you dress up garbage, it's still garbage. I probably would've enjoyed this more as a picture book than I did as an anime. Other than the animation, I have absolutely no respect for what this anime does. Hell, even that one awesome fight scene on episode 19 was bogged down by this.

4/10

Edited by Kenshin_sama
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