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Iaboo, Youaboo, Weallaboo for Anime!

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
I'm assuming Big West is going to want to do new dubs/locs for most everything since only the OG Macross stuff, Plus, and Zero were officially localized by ADV back in the day?
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Maybe? I guess it depends whether they think they can sell something like Mac7 to new fans, or they just want to put out a fancy sub-only box for existing fans/collectors which they could presumably do with very little outlay.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Remastered cel animation looks just as good if not better than digital animation still, and it's not like the majority of anime hasn't descended into a hellpit of skeevitude at this point. There's probably a market for both classic fans and for people who want stuff besides endless teenage T&A and didn't/couldn't track down the old fansubs.
 
It's way too early to say, but if I had to guess, I would say probably not? It really depends on Big West's ambitions here. If they could convince SyFy or Toonami to put classic Macross stuff on TV, then yeah they'll probably fork over money to do dubs.

But I have the feeling that they'll be limited by economies of scale the way most Gundam stuff has been. Bandai has only made it a point to make dubs for very specific Gundam stuff they thought they had a chance at selling lots of or making it on TV like Unicorn or Iron-Blooded Orphans. The only reason shows like Build Fighters even got an ENG dub was because IIRC it was dubbed in the Philippines. (Gunpla is pretty popular in East/S.E. Asia) They'll also be limited by how they decide to bring it over as well. Are they going to publish it directly themselves? Or license it out to a partner? Only time will tell.

I think there's a not-zero chance the franchise can get a SyFy or Toonami or Netflix partnership. Macross Plus used to run pretty regularly on Sci-Fi and I think Cinemax back in the day (that's how I was first exposed to it). And young Gen-Xers/older Millenials are now increasingly the kinds of people in charge of programming at those kinds of places, so there might be a big nerd hidden somewhere who still remembers their Robotech boners. But I still wouldn't bet top dollar on it. Toonami tried really hard to bring the original Mobile Suit Gundam to broadcast back in the 2000s, and they had to cancel the show because none of its baby-audience wanted to watch shit that old. I think everything pre-Frontier will face similar hurdles with potential young fans who have low understanding and appreciation for classic analog anime.
 

R.R. Bigman

Coolest Guy
I’m bummed out that Megalo Box season 2 is only on Funimation’s streaming service. The first season was what pushed me into getting a Crunchyroll subscription, so I assumed the second season would be in there as well. The same happened with The Promised Neverland, but in that case it looks like Crunchy dodged a bullet based on everything I’ve heard.
 
Hey guys.

Make sure to watch To Your Eternity.

Just don't watch it before you go to bed. Y'all might need some time to decompress and raise your spirits a bit.

Edit: to the uninitiated, To Your Eternity is based on a manga, made by the same author who made A Silent Voice, so be ready for your emotions to get manipulated (in a good way).
 
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Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Man, I have a TON more of these to do. Better get started.

Don't Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro


Premise

A student at school is trying to study be by himself at the library when he’s soon approached by Nagataro, a girl a grade lower than her who is extremely forward. Almost immediately, she begins looking through his stuff, making comments and eventually toying with him until he cries. Turns out she’s very much into teasing him and seems to be her form of affection.

It Gud?

I… didn’t mind it too much, but I don’t have a desire to stick with it. I think the most likely comparison in terms of romantic comedy might be Kaguya-Sama but if the “war” was one way. Its clear by the end of the episode that the boy wants to be close to Nagatoro despite her teasing. And that to Nagatoro, this is her form of affection. There’s cringe comedy but I don’t think its intended to be mean-spirited. But its also about a girl bullying a boy until she cries as a form of affection and I suspect the show will likely not dive into Nagatoro maybe working through a method to the kink that involve boundaries (more likely, she might cross a boundary, which she will try to make up for) or come to the realization that whatever the intent, teasing a stranger until they cry is awful.

But while I question the way the first episode presents (and the fact that this is presented as romantic to teens, who might be dumb enough to emulate such bullying and think they can justify it through the lens of romance), I won’t lie that I’ve stuck with far more problematic shows. I didn’t actively dislike watching it, even if I didn’t like the message it was sending. I think the tipping point simply as a romantic comedy, I didn’t find it funny enough to keep going and I wasn’t interested in these characters or particularly routing for them to figure themselves out.

Tokyo Revengers



Premise

A man in his late 20s is watching the news and notices that his middle school girlfriend and her little brother are dead from gang violence. He goes back to his life but after a deadly experience, he seemingly flashes back to his middle school years as a would be delinquent. Assuming it’s a dying vision, he goes through it and remembers that he and his friends get beaten up by a tough gang and live under their thumb for the rest of middle school… and is too late to prevent the beating. Soon, he remembers the gang who beat him are the ones who are destined to kill his then-GF. He visits her and remembers how good of a person she was. After moping to himself, he saves her little brother from bullies and tells him about the future. He then wakes up, alive and in the present. There he meets the little brother, now very much alive and a police officer dedicated to saving his sister… only while he saved himself, he failed to save her. The little brother and the former delinquent now must figure out a way to send him back in time again.

It Gud?

Tokyo Revengers is sort of a mix of Erased and a delinquent manga, except much broader than the former. Frankly, it was going a lot of what I don’t like in a lot of isekai: loser character gets to make things right for himself in another world, armed with knowledge that no one else has. It didn’t have “Special powers that put him above everyone” but even though it is clear the end game is saving two lives, I was afraid the focus would be more self serving and setting things right for the life he wants. This is a motivation that’s less interesting. When the show reveals its final hand, I became a lot more invested. The emotional core is FINALLY set in place and it starts to work a lot better.

This helps because while I love the yankee archetype, I often don’t like yankee mangas. I always find it better when its about worlds or personalities crashing. Plus a lot of the yankee fights just boil down to a stamina contest of punch taking/giving. So this show had a bit of an uphill climb between that and the potential to focus on being a “better delinquent” for self-satisfaction. He’s shown having the same kind of sad life as so many isekai protagonists (though instead of office worker, its magazine/video shop worker) and that this is the exact point it went wrong FOR HIM. But being about saving this one person and that he must travel back and forth makes this a lot more interesting. I hope it lives up to it, at this point, I could see it breaking either way.

Eden’s Zero



Premise

A human boy lives alone amongst a society of robots in an abandoned amusement park. It seems he was found as a child and raised by robots, acting as their mechanic. Eventually, an influencer and her talking cat arrive to explore and befriend the lad, who wants to make friends. However, the amusement park robots seem to go berserk and rebel, revealing a shocking truth to him. They all escape and the boy realizes the “kingdom” was whole planet and that the girl and her pet are intergalactic tourists.

It Gud?

I’ve read all of Fairy Tail, the popular, long running show that was essentially “One Piece, but magic and by someone else and not quite as good”. It is a backhanded compliment but it’s a series, while I would go to bat in a big way for, I did enjoy well enough. It has all he shounen adventure battle series tropes. And this is both for good and for ill. One of the surprisingly good things shounen series do is the “sob story”. Sometimes it does it bad and makes motivations seem dumb but even some of the series that are weaker can surprisingly excel in this area. I think that’s part of the reason it was easy to read Fairy Tail. Its action-packed, mostly breezy but sometimes there’s a surprising emotional weight in a backstory. This is where an otherwise basic ass series that I might have easily skipped made me give it some more episodes… with two twists, the latter one almost making me tear up at an otherwise EXTREMELY STANDARD series. If the show keeps making me cry and giving some tears to its antics, its problems will be more forgivable.

One such problem is horniness. Thankfully, its far from on full display in the first episode but it also gives us big hints that the creator didn’t leave his horniness (particularly for the female co-lead) at the door with Fairy Tail, with her talking about her short skirt and the lead playing with her boobs because he never met a girl before. It will be nice if it at least stays at this level but if he treats her like he treated Lucy, then every fight with her is going to involve a tight shirt. I think the creator of Fairy Tail and Eden’s Zero uses a star system like Osamu Tezuka: not only the same characters (like Happy) but the female sidekick is basically just Lucy from that series, except now she’s a space hopping influencer. I think the reveal of “space” is also supposed to feel like a twist and that’s understandable because aside from the robots, tonally its in line with his quasi-shared universe of Fantasy series. And there’s talk of dragons and the amusement park is supposed to look like a fantasy land. But it felt pretty obvious space is going to be a thing, as the series starts with a guy talking about space. Anyway, I’d give this a marginal good notice for the first episode and hope that the show keeps that aspect up. That said, maybe wait for Netlfix. Its not a goo sign when the fansubber says “TL Note: I don’t know what this bitch is saying half the time.”



Shadows House



Premise

In a gigantic mansion live shadows. Pure black entities, their faces are impossible to see and their negative moods leave literally sooty stains. To this end, they have servants known as dolls. One such doll serves her master Kate but in their first interactions, Kate begins to grow closer to her doll, Emilico, while Emilico tries to serve her mistress… and make heads of tales of the papers posted on the walls of her room.

It Gud?

I enjoy what Shadows House is but I’m more interested in what it will become. If it stays what it is now, then it will be a pretty and weird slice of life show. Oh, I’ll definitely be giving it some side-eye for romanticizing indentured servitude, but I’ll still enjoy it. It may even STILL do that if it changes. But the mystery this show implies yet doesn’t much get to in the first episode, which is setting up a single relationship and a tone, is extremely interesting. What are the shadows. Are the dolls REALLY dolls or are they manipulated humans? Were the shadows always in charge? What is with the paper outside Emilico’s coffin-like bed? Is there a world beyond the house? Will the status quo remain by the show’s end? This looks like it could be a thriller but what kind? Political machinations of the shadow? Our heroes overthrowing a predatory system? There’s a lot of options for this show. And in all honesty, all of them are potentially interesting. There are a lot of shows where the potential kept me going past the failings of the first episode but this one didn’t fail in any way, it just told a quiet story with the promise of any number of different directions and if it stays the course of “shadow and friend become friends”, then I might even be content with that, too.

Backflip!!



Premise

After a kid’s team loses the baseball tournament with him on the bench, he wanders into a team rhythmic gymnastics competition and becomes enraptured. He’s also shocked that the team that enraptured him scored relatively poorly. That’s because they were a four man team in a six man team sport. When the kid gets to high school he’s instantly recruited to the new team along with another kid with much more advanced training.

It Gud?

I like sports anime and I especially like when sports anime try to explore sports I am not too familiar with. But this doesn’t always work. Sometimes its middling tales of potentially interesting sports like Burning Kabaddi and Hinamaru Sumo. Other times, its weird made up sports like Skate Leading Stars and Kamogawa Jet Girls (the one with the sport that’s a cross between jet skiing and taint-shooting). Unfortunately, this is in the middling camp. There’s nothing bad about it but like this season’s Kabaddi, its cast of characters are way too dull. I also feels the show has the mistake of adding a Rukawa where it doesn’t work.

Rukawa was a key character in the manga/anime Slam Dunk. I feel like the character is a precedent in sports manga. There were plenty of stoic rivals before but I feel like Rukawa’s whole deal is a big mold for characters thereafter: a cold, stoic character who is extremely passionate about his sport but tends to be ultra competitive, chafing against the protagonists very different personality and usually proving himself to be a surprisingly adorable idiot outside of their chosen sport. Like, they are aloof, but also socially awkward and maybe as stupid as the lead but smart enough to usually keep their mouth shut so they look handsome and solemn. This character is in here and he doesn’t work here. He barely gets to do anything but the problem isn’t him… its that he barely gets to act as an intimidating or oppositional force to the lead. He makes him feel a little self-conscious but he feels that way anyway. Also, the character is specifically needed by the camp so watching him go through the motions of “I’m not good enough for this team” doesn’t land well. There’s no interesting backstory or yearning for the lead except “this looks interesting.” And even that could work, but there’s no factor here that hooks you in terms of style or characters. There’s nothing wrong with Backflip!! But I don’t feel like it has an answer to “why should I watch this?”



Pretty Boy Detective Club



Premise

The show has this covered.



I have no more questions.

It Gud?

Its… pretty. As the title implies, it is a pretty show. But lots of shows about pretty boys has some really ugly animation. This is a show that looks good all over. Pretty boys, pretty animation and pretty stylish. I just wish it added up to something more substantial than what it is. Tonally, it feels like Ouran Host Club with less personality and charm. That still means it has a lot more personality than most bishounen-centric series but its still just five boys who fit in specific personality slots. It does no to go broad and silly with them and that helps a lot but for a show with detective in the title, there’s far too much introduction and far less “mystery”. And I’m fine with the show’s low stakes mystery but style, as impressive as it is, is just not strong enough to make me give it a “more than one episode” watch.

Super Cub



Premise

A teen girl buys a moped scooter thing. I don’t know bike. Like a not powerful or loud motorcycle.

And that’s it.

It Gud?

Super Cub is an advertisement. Lets get that out of the way. It’s a TV length advertisement for the Honda Super Cub. The light novel series was written as a way to commemorate a certain amount of units sold of the bike. It also has a “poor” character (OK, but how poor? The show isn’t clear) completely lucking into a cheap version of a bike that probably costs as much as a bike. And she’s almost ridiculously naive about it. Turns out bikes need gas. Who knew?

But this is small stuff. Over all, the show is a fucking great ad because its not crass, it’s rural super chill, slow TV that feels like a relaxing brain bath after some of the crasser and louder stuff I watched this season. Often I want a chill show but too many are more “dull”. Here, the show is slow in a good way, really letting the series and the character breathe where we can appreciate and enjoy the quiet and sparseness. Its also surprisingly funny and moments. It also has a great little touch where the colours are a little muted until the lead character gets on the bike. It gives her and the audiences a sensation of euphoria that a lot of similarly toned shows fail to capture. This is the chill show I feel like I’ve been waiting for recently.

Dragon Goes House-Hunting



Premise

A puny dragon is kicked out of his home by his big dragon daddy and now must quest for a new home. Dodging “heroes” and less friendly monsters. He eventually runs across an architect and realtor elf and together the two look for a new home.

It Gud?

Dragon Goes House-Hunting is a cute enough show but in all honesty, as a comedy, it lacks the comedic punch that I enjoyed from the somewhat similar “Sleepy Princess”. The premise is fine but mostly my problem is most of the jokes don’t land. I never disliked watching it, but I don’t really have a drive to keep watching the show. I think a show that pokes fun at Dragon Quest tropes needs to do a little more now to keep my interest.

Blue Reflection Ray



Premise

There were gems and… magic?

It Gud?

No. No it was not. It is a show with serviceable animation but for some reason the character designers gave them blotchy skin.



It had too many characters that looked like each other and I wasn’t interested in any of their stories. It’s a sort of magical girl adventure show but I feel like in trying to build a mystery, it just makes things confusing. I was not interested it in and the show looks like its going to have a big fight scene that amounts to the villain running away after being lightly peppered with a small fireball. I know it is based on a popular game but as a show, give this one a pass.

Mazica Party



Premise

A kid is the chosen one because something about a card game that is also a scratch ticket.

It Gud?

I suspected this wasn’t going to be good. It was aimed at a much younger audience, the Bakugan/Beyblade set. But I remember liking Medabots. I thought “Maybe this will be fun like Medabots.” It was not. It was extremely obnoxious. It is an ad for a party-themed monster fighting collectable card game with the difference being it involves scratch tickets. So there’s a lot wrong here. I don’t like the idea of promoting scratchers to kids. I don’t mind them in like a bag of chips but “scatchers unlocks powers to save people” is a step beyond for me. But beyond that, its party theme is annoying, involving lots of repetitive party music from a talking pen (yep). It is exhausting to watch.

It also makes the weird choice of constantly hammering home that this card game is made by the “Mazica Corporation” because they will be important. But why are these kids so shocked that a corporation made a card game and are WAY too up on who owns it. It is some hilariously clunky table-setting that feels like it done more easily. WHY ARE THE KIDS SO INTO THE ORGANIZATION’S CEO?

One good thing: Good monster designs. I like the lead characters bestie, a balloon cat thing. But the best one is only scene briefly in the episode.


Sad French Fry Hedgehog. Better than the show deserves. Better than any of us deserve.

Jouran: The Princess of Snow and Blood



Premise

In an alternate history Japan where the Meiji era never ended and the government has gone totalitarian, an assassin is part of a team to hunt down mutants who have merged their DNA with animals.

It Gud?

This is… OK. I’m going to see this through. So far, it is a competent series about intrigue and assassination with some tragedy and an interesting cliffhanger. But over all, a lot of this I sort of forgot about. I remember it looking good. I think it could be good. But I think I need to see where it is really going before I can get invested in it. That said… is this a loose adaptation of Lady Snowblood? It feels like it might be that based on the title and premise but I never actually read the original.



Way of the Househusband



Premise

A legend even amongst the toughest of yakuza, the man once known the Immortal Dragon was the most feared criminal around. No one amongst them was stronger, wiser, more loyal, more respectful or as threatening as he. But one day, he disappeared. Where he went, no one knows. In fact, he simply got married. Getting out of the life, the Dragon now has dedicated his life to his new household as a househusband and nothing will stand in his way.

It Gud?

This one is tricky to review objectively, having read the source material. Way of the Househusband, the manga, is one of the funniest manga around, mixed with a heartwarming tone mixed with occasional blood and also has extremely pretty art. The story telling style is classic gag manga but it also feels like there are a lot of pregnant pauses where there is a sense of breathing room. The anime uses a limited animation-style which actually could have worked for it if it really got to showcase the beautiful art but with the exception of a few notable shots, it often doesn’t capture the detailed style successfully. It also goes for a much faster and more racuous comedy pace than I envisioned for it. It works for stories that already more hectic, such as the clothes shopping scenes, but I wish they when for something a little more measured. It’s a tone more suited for Saiki K. than this series in some segments.

That said, I find most of the stories still hold up under this style. The core of the stories and why they enjoyable could have been done better, but they remain funny. The lead is still great and it doesn’t hurt they got a great voice actor who excels at tough guys. And there are times the pacing does work in its favour. It isn’t the optimal form of this series but on its own merits, animation woes aside, its still better than it isn’t.
 
Jouran: The Princess of Snow and Blood

Premise


In an alternate history Japan where the Meiji era never ended and the government has gone totalitarian, an assassin is part of a team to hunt down mutants who have merged their DNA with animals.
The setting for this show is an interesting one. It's not that the Meiji Era never ended, but that it actually never happened at all. In this alternate history, the Tokugawa Shogunate never fell and the Meiji Restoration was never accomplished. It hasn't gone into the specifics of things yet, but the implication so far is that the oligarchs that led the revolution, either failed and/or were conquered by Western imperial powers. Since Kyushu (Where the leaders of the Meiji Restoration came from) is described as being occupied by the UK and France. The Tokugawa Shogunate was always totalitarian, and now we're seeing them do their usual thing with the help of modern tech, weird supernatural stuff, and some kinda Code Geass Sakuradite style magic power resource.
That said… is this a loose adaptation of Lady Snowblood?
THAT's the name of the thing I thought this reminded me of. Yeah, it's definitely at least inspired by it.
 

gogglebob

The Goggles Do Nothing
(he/him)
I think that’s part of the reason it was easy to read Fairy Tail. Its action-packed, mostly breezy but sometimes there’s a surprising emotional weight in a backstory. This is where an otherwise basic ass series that I might have easily skipped made me give it some more episodes… with two twists, the latter one almost making me tear up at an otherwise EXTREMELY STANDARD series. If the show keeps making me cry and giving some tears to its antics, its problems will be more forgivable.

I would be very interested in hearing you elaborate on what got you to (nearly) cry in Fairy Tail. I watched all of Fairy Tail intermittently through the years, and it's a weird situation wherein I definitely enjoyed it, but it became a kind of... anime slurry. I watched it, I kept watching it, but I seriously don't think I can recall anything more than a few distinct moments. But I liked it! I think!
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
To Your Eternity



Premise

In a desolate winter wasteland, a young man re-unites with his last surviving friend, a wolf (or dog?). What he doesn’t know is that his actual dog died and was replaced with an entity that copied the dog perfectly. So perfectly, that its owner can’t tell the difference and its mentality is that of the old dog. The boy was left alone long ago while most of his people migrated and he was tasked with caring for the elderly who couldn’t make the journey. With no one left, he feels it is now time the boy and his good boy to make the journey and find his lost tribe in what he assumes his paradise.

It Gud?

I don’t want to give to much away about the trajectory of the first episode but I feel in watching it won’t be too hard to figure out. What will be interesting is what comes next. After all, how do you follow up such an emotional tale? I’m not entirely sure what the tone will be after: adventure? Human drama? Will it lean towards the more supernatural aspect of the first episode or touch on it lightly? Will it be an anthology-ish series like Mushishi or is there a long term serialized story.

Whatever it is, I’m in. This was such a great first episode. I feel like it’s a tale that’s been told before but a tale told well will always feel fresh. It’s a beautiful little tearjerker on its own and if this was the ONLY episode, it would still be a Hell of a satisfying thing that I can’t recommend highly enough. I’m just afraid even if the series stays good, it will still be downhill from here. I’ve definitely scene series that have such great first episodes that the following, while remaining good, just can’t maintain that level of quality. It will also be interesting to see how the lead develops as a character (though I don’t want to talk too much about that).
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I would be very interested in hearing you elaborate on what got you to (nearly) cry in Fairy Tail. I watched all of Fairy Tail intermittently through the years, and it's a weird situation wherein I definitely enjoyed it, but it became a kind of... anime slurry. I watched it, I kept watching it, but I seriously don't think I can recall anything more than a few distinct moments. But I liked it! I think!
Maybe cry is a bit much but I remember being invested, particularly in their interesting take on the time jump. I feel like its been long enough that I only forget the broad strokes. And now I'm wondering if I'm thinking of the better One Piece moments. But Eden's Zero's first ep definitely for reals moved me. But it was also the show where one of the last big villains tried to orgasm everyone to death. Not a joke.

Episodes 2 and 3 of Jouran are improvements on the first. I was afraid it was going to be about monster fights and they barely feel like a factor now, for the better. 2 and 3 were heavy on intrigue. However, I think episode 3 dropped TOO much intrigue in the last 5 minutes. Like, lots of interesting stuff kind of crashing together at once. A lot to take in.
 
I’m just afraid even if the series stays good, it will still be downhill from here.
I have almost zero exposure to the source material, but from what I gather the manga has almost universal acclaim, and things only get better from here.
a wolf (or dog?)
It's like a fantasy wolf-dog? No real canine has weirdo teeth like that. Those teeth actually kinda briefly took me out of the show because not only is there's zero evolutionary advantage to having teeth like that on a carnivore, but it would probably make a predator's job harder.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Word of warning, if you look up To Your Eternity, about every description/synopsis out there spoils what is presumably the twist at the end of the first episode that Johnny danced around above.
 
I would normally give a blanket recommendation for people to watch To Your Eternity because it's really that good and normally people ought to do a blind trust of the pedigree and the glowing recommendations and go into it as blind as possible. But hey, if you're in a bad place right now in life, and/or you don't need reminders of the mortality of you and others, take caution with this show. It's real good, but it can potentially hit close to home real hard. Especially with *waves hands* current events and all.

Fansubs hit for the third episode of Godzilla S.P. and man, this show is so good. Now this one can get a blanket rec w/o any caveats. Something I learned is that the show's writer, beyond just being a Real Writer (and not just someone who makes shlock like anime and light novels for a living) started life getting their doctorate in physics/mathematics. So the show is imbued with a scientific literacy that just lends everything a weight of realism and legitimacy that most writers writing sci-fi lack since they usually come from the perspective of an enthusiast rather than someone literate in the sciences.

I realized a few days ago that I remembered next to nothing about Escaflowne, and decided to rewatch it for the first time in over a decade. I've got a lot of thoughts and feelings, but mostly I'm just surprised how much better it is than I remember it being. I'm already halfway through and so far it's basically the perfect show. It's like I'm watching Macross visiting Byston Well.
 
Fansubs hit for the third episode of Godzilla S.P. and man, this show is so good. Now this one can get a blanket rec w/o any caveats. Something I learned is that the show's writer, beyond just being a Real Writer (and not just someone who makes shlock like anime and light novels for a living) started life getting their doctorate in physics/mathematics. So the show is imbued with a scientific literacy that just lends everything a weight of realism and legitimacy that most writers writing sci-fi lack since they usually come from the perspective of an enthusiast rather than someone literate in the sciences.

I mentioned this in the Godzilla thread when one of the trailers came out, but EnJoe Toh is not just a legitimate sci-fi writer with an academic background, but he's also someone who has been successful and received awards both for genre fiction and also for experimental literary fiction, including some real conceptual meta-fiction. His work is really interesting. (I can't vouch for the translations, though, and some of his works are explicitly written to be difficult to translate... He uhhh extremely succeeds at this goal.)

I'm not going to watch it until all the episodes are released, but as a fan of his novels I had high hopes for this show and I'm glad to hear that it's working out.

edit: FYI he also wrote the episode of Space Dandy about the overdue library book and the one about people from 2- and 4-dimensional universes, etc.
 
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I don't have any experience with his literary works, but ya I've read lots of good things about 'em. The discussions I've read from translators of the show say the script is very technical and more challenging than normal, but all the subs I've read of the first three episodes so far have been pretty good and pretty clear in their intent and what they've done so it shouldn't be a challenging watch for most people. (Unless Netflix royally screws up the subs. Which given their track record is uh, actually a distressingly probable outcome!)

One thing that's going to be interesting is how they handle Rodan in the subs. Something I never knew, apparently Rodan's name is Radon in Japanese. And there's a LOT of Rodans in this show. And they get named very organically in the plot (These Rodans are emitting Radon gas, among other things, and the public just latches onto calling them Radons) but people over here only know of Radon as Rodan. So that's the kind of hurdle localizers have to overcome with scripts like this.
 
Escaflowne is still going strong and still near perfect in my eyes. A few shower thoughts while rewatching it so far:

- In my memories of this show, Hitomi was a lot more helpless and useless as a character. And so far, she's been very proactive about exercising her agency and has managed to almost single handedly save the lives of/rescue the other characters from mortal peril just about every other episode. Very happy with how she's been handled so far. If memory serves though, she stumbles a bit before crossing the finish line, being overwhelmed with indecision and personal doubt however.

- The show is more visually arresting than I remember it being. The BD remastering here is really top notch. There's so much clarity in the digitization that it makes me wonder if they filmed the whole show on 40mm film or something. And this clarity stands in stark opposition to the show's mid-90s, very early and very primitive use of CGI. Which is actually used to great effect and in ways that are sparing and yet add a lot to the production. It's almost exclusively used for certain visual effects that would have been impossible with conventional filming (namely the invisibility cloaks the enemies have) or at the very least very hard to pull off (it's used many times for complex scene composition where items are digitally translated or rotated or scaled in ways that would have been hard by hand). And since the CGI in those scenes were done long ago, it's pretty much impossible to remaster those handful of scenes, so the resolution on those scenes dip precipitously, but it's almost always for only very brief moments.

- I had completely forgotten that the Draconians were basically ancient aliens, this show is so Macross it hurts, I love it.
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
If memory serves though, she stumbles a bit before crossing the finish line, being overwhelmed with indecision and personal doubt however.

In fairness, she's the keystone to the strategies and manipulations of both the Evil Empire and all the rebel forces tenuously allied against it, she has her own personal wants and needs, and many people also make severe emotional demands of her while she's played around like a chess piece. Hher skills and influence, while powerful, don't make her an active combatant. Plus, she's 16, and shouldn't be thrust into the midst of a bloody war of conquest, let alone put through the emotional wringer she's in. That she only stumbles, while still displaying vast autonomy, is admirable for any kind of protagonist. Van certainly doesn't have half Hitomi's emotional fortitude.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Good News!

Jojos Bizarre Adventure is back on Canadian Netflix!

Still nothing past Stardust Crusaders, but after starving in the desert of No JoJo, Some JoJo is all that is required
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I mean, Rohan Kishibe is on there if you want. Its a spin-off of part 4 but the stories are only tangentially related to the title character usually.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Fairy Ranmaru

Sometimes comes a show where I can’t just give it a regular review. It needs to be unpacked as thoroughly as possible. One of these is Fairy Ranmaru. Me and JBear watched the trailer.


I watched it. I thought “Oh, its kind of neat that there’s a magical girl show with sexy men aimed at older women, but its probably a bit dull. I’ll give it a try, I guess.”

I was not prepared.

We start with what I feel like a I’ve been seeing lately in shows based on video games (this isn’t one) lately, starting at the climax before flashing back to the events that lead us there. In this case, a man with a sword walking away from purple energy monsters made of… negativity probably.



“What is love?” he asks (not mentioning whether or not he wants baby to hurt me). “WHAT EXACTLY IS LOVE?” Then he explodes.

Now THAT’S A COLD OPEN!

We then get a narrator as we get shots of our protagonists in civvie and magical boy forms.

‘“It’s kill or be killed!” “There’s no such thing as Heaven!” “Once fallen there is no hope!” There are people who struggle because of these beliefs.’

I mean, once of those things is true not only for atheism but many other religion. Its not even saying afterlife. Its Heaven. I don’t think the Vikings “ struggled with this.

Meanwhile, look at the boyz.



Our first is a kid in thigh high boots, shorts and a sword, while his regular identity is like “Who me?” Yes, you are the person who wants people to notice the space between your crotch and your thighs. You aren’t alone. For example…



Next we have a guy who fights with a… gymnastics ribbon, I guess?



Which for anime isn’t that odd.

This one is more midriff than man, now.



And finally, the one with the most pronounced bulge.



These are our heroes.



And here are our heroes in Jojo poses.



“Hey! You there! Are you pretending you don’t see it?” Says the narrator. Its… hard not to.

But they mean society’s problem. The narration is on behalf of the fair folk whose job is to fix our negative attitude for us. Also, I feel like it was intended that the narration would be shared amongst the cast since it is there point of view but apparently, the editors and voice director couldn’t be bothered.

The protagonists want us visit to Bar F, the bar for sexy fairies.



Ooooooh, that’s unfortunate. I feel like someone should have talked to them about this. Like, a brownie marketing consultant. Instead.



Oh, man, that’s not even an unfortunate translation. Anyway, we see a magic… QR Code and then we see the bar where they promise to take your heart. Then the OP.


Its not a bad OP. It has slick stuff plus promise of a sloth.

Also it implies that one of these guys wants to take pictures of the other one while he tries to make it with someone.

The episode begins with a ornately and luxuriously dressed girl has the five boys brought before her.

First…



A guy who is super into letting you know that 1) his thing is fire and b) he’s the tsundere one of the group. OK, he’s the “hothead” but lets face it, this show is about the sexy boys, so…

“I don’t have all the time in the world.” He says, presumably missing doing fairy stuff like sprinkling dust and turning people into donkey headed monstrosities.

Then we get…



And his deal is he’s proper and presumably to bicker with the fire guy.

Then…



I think he’s supposed to be the smol cinnamon bun of the group, though really, after watching Pretty Boy Detective Club, he is lacking. Still, he’s ironically playing it less “childishly puckish” and more lacking confidence and just glad to be on the team.

Next…



At this point, this guy makes the impression he makes is “the one who wants money”. But based on his super hero form, he's the "one who fucks".



The last member makes a big impression on all the other characters, as he is from the legendary “Lux” clan.



Apparently this is a big deal but we don’t dig into that yet. Instead, they are given their mission as a sloth in sunglasses eats a mint-chocolate chip ice cream, which are two of my favourite things.


Its like “not everyone is into man candy. How can we get the viewership of Johnny Unusual.” This is a good gambit but unless you are offering it to me, try another avenue, show.

Their mission? “Save as many people as you can.” Good mission but I feel like it needs… focus. Some specifics, perhaps.

The other half is “collecting attachments” and I have no idea what that means. Get a lot of phone numbers, maybe? Create a big poly family? Whatever it is, it isn’t elaborated on yet.

The naked boys are all gung ho.

Then we get to see BarF, where they eat curry for breakfast. But before they eat, they need to recite the Ten Laws. Frankly, I hate saying grace but I can usually get through it quick when I need to.

OK, then laws. Lets drop some world-building knowledge.

“One Romance: Never fall in love with someone of the opposite sex.”

This… seems to have a pretty big loophole already.

“Two wrath: never hold feelings of anger or hatred.”

Feels like then you shouldn’t have the “hothead of the group” in your group. Like, this isn’t a virtue that’s suggested. “Law” implies this is to be taken very seriously rather than aspirationally.

“Three Envy: Never desire that which another possesses.”

OK.

“Four Apathy: Never fail to aid a person in need.”

Good.

“Five Lust: Never engage in a physical relationship with a person of the opposite sex.”

I feel like you elbowing me in the rib, show. Gay stuff is A OK.

“Six violence: never harm another”

Your intro implies that you will not keep that oath.

“Seven hedonism: never consume alcohol, cigarettes or drugs.”

So injection is fine? Also, if you are consuming cigarettes, you are doing it wrong.

“Eight degeneracy: never behaved in an undisciplined manner.”

Kay.

“Nine pride: never grow vain about your own power.”

Mmhmm.

“Ten liberation: never reveal your true identity.”

That’s… not what liberation means. At all.

Good, that was a bit much if I WASN’T hungry. Anyway, they finally get to eat their curry breakfast with whatever the hell this is.



Anyway, they are told that while the won’t be arrested or anything if they break the laws, they might get demoted to “human” and demonstrates by showing us a picture of CEO Tingle.



I know it says that’s supposed to be a picture of the man at a party but I wish it was just that he dressed like that because he misses his fairy days.

We are told that the now humans hide the fact that they used to be fairies… and provide evidence to the contrary.



I fucking love everything about this article. That she loves pot but maybe not the specific drug, despite also loudly liking drugs. The finger and “I used to be a fairy.” ‘“I knew it” says many’. Why isn’t the show about her?



This guy looks like a Gintama character. Next:



In the end, a character reminds the characters and the audience to “not take it too seriously and have a good time” even though it is very hard not to want to spend hours unpacking the “no heterosexuality” rule and if it assumes some sort of heteronormative expectations or if its “yay gay” or both maybe? Like, I could read it positively but then again it seems you could read it as “gay doesn’t count in romance”, which is less cool. I might not take it “seriously” but I definitely want to dig into this show’s mentality in terms of these rules with a very conspicuous omission.

They are then given business cards for barf and told to go out there and get those attachments, which I feel like is the magical equivalent of a pixie Alec Baldwin telling us that second place is a set of steak knives. Still have no idea what one is, though. I’m assuming based on magical girl logic its probably an energy crystal made of love or some crap. Even the other characters seem unsure what this entails as they are transferred to a fancy looking private school, presumably where help in society is most badly needed.

It turns out that’s true for one character, a girl being sent cruel text messages who is so despondent she walks in front of a car before being rescued by Ranmaru. He hands her a barf card and she runs away in embarrassment. His friends ask “What happened?” and he says “Attachment” and the scene ends.

Cut to the private school, Et Fran de Muse which translates as… And Fran the Muse. Which sounds less impressive and somewhat confusing. Was there another person the school was dedicated to who got scrubbed out? The school is ridiculously fancy in the way only anime schools can be and we see the characters already making themselves at home, including the water fairy pouring tea for far longer than it would take to fill up that cup. I swear it was going to overflow while he stared into our souls with the same expression.

Ranmaru enters the class in the classic “here’s the transfer student” scene and some woman is all like “I think I like this guy.” I mean, he barely had a chance to make an impression but I guess like EVERYONE else in the show, he hawt, so I gets it. The other girls think he looks plain but I guess that it what happens when you are inundated with total babes. Meanwhile, the one girl looks at the text victim while the text victim keeps being a victim, sadly.

We see Homura briefly getting in a fight because I guess every anime school needs fights over nothing. Then we get a talking sheep.



No wait, the forest fairy is talking while the sheep is eating but it makes for a hilarious visual.

Turns out no one even told him what “attachment” is. Uruu (the water guy) reveals it is the “power created when the heart is greatly moved”. So, yeah, classic magical girl macguffin. Also, he gives the cheesiest line that it is not his art that is beautiful… IT’S THE WORLD THAT HE CAPTURES IN HIS PAINTING. Wood Fairy literally squees over this.

Meanwhile, the Metal Fairy is making it with an unseen someone in his car while the mascot sleeps in the back.

Back in school, a bland boy asks out the texted-at girl and she’s too distraught to take him up on his invitation to date. The other girl turns out to be the boy’s ex and isn’t taking the break up well. As in she’s filled with white hot rage. Ranmaru looks on in a “uh… I’ll just go down the other hall” moment.

Anyway, the boyz are hanging out in their “top of the building” warm pool that all the bars have, I assume, and complaining that if they don’t find attachment soon, they’ll be “in the red”. Is that literal? Are fairies making money off of our feels? So many questions. Well, two questions.

Meanwhile, as you may have guess, the text victim’s harassment originates from…



OK, it was pretty obvious it would be her but I assumed she would have an army of mean girls. I did not expect SUPER EVIL MULTITASKING. I mean, its impressive, but put one device down and pick up another.

And she seems to be under the purple aura influence of some mysterious villain.



Ranmaru senses trouble and magic runs to save the girl from suicide, talking her down. BTW, I’m terrible at names but I’m PRETTY sure none of the girls have been named so far.

Ranmaru says he can help but he needs permission to “take your heart.” People, this is going to get grisly. After some purple magic flies across the street, which either means it grants her with innate understanding of the truth of Ranmaru’s words or she just got brainwashed. Anyway, she agrees.

He kisses her and then she dissolves and he has a transformation that is long even for this kind of series (presumably this will get shorter in later episodes but at least it eases the animation budget if it doesn’t). “Taboo rescinded!” he exclaims. OK.

We then get over a minute of running and flying animation while Ranmaru’s theme song plays. Again, this show is looking to not having to worry about its budget down the line. FINALLY he arrives in… a world kind of like the Salvador Dali dream sequence from Spellbound.

It’s a world of phone screens, camera lenses, eyes and an evil twitter bird. After Ranmaru battles a giant leg, he starts looking for… something and then it turns out this battle has an extra level of kink added.




I knew the show was horny but I guess I wasn’t expecting “people in need now voyeurs to the battle for their souls”.

Soon, the bad force or whatever had Ranmaru where they want him. In a purple hand made of mans.



Adding to the horniness, the unnamed villains plans to “stream his disgrace across the world.”



And the evil girl is looking at this through a key hole, too. A lot to unpack here.


The other fairies decide not to step in, since they’ve heard that Ranmaru should be the most powerful of them, they figured he’s got this. Turns out they’re right because it turns out.





Ranmaru seems to be beaten and consumed by an evil twitter bird. “That’s what happens to people who cross me.” Says the villain. Which is a weird ass thing to happen to people.

But then something strange happens… THE TWEETSPHERE TURNS ON THE VILLAIN!



Ranmaru then smashes his way out of an eyeball, dives into the Earth and locates the keyhole, stabbing it and the villainess with a big keysword. “GO TO HEAVEN,” he exclaims. Some force is then released from the villainesses heart, presumably purging her of an evil influence.

“Thank you, Ranmaru.” Says the text victim, who also presumably has no idea what is happening.

The next day, the good girl has no recollection and is now going out with that one also unnamed boy.

Meanwhile, I’m guessing now freed by Ranmaru, the villainess is now ready to turn over a new lea—




Oof.. Like, that’s not the fate I was expecting. That’s… a fucking bummer. Also, will this also end in a suicide attempt? Oh, shit, is BarF doing this on purpose to get more clients? Also, has she always been getting these texts? Did Ranmaru do this? Because this is kind of an ugly justice. Look, maybe she’s just all around awful without evil influence but this kind of make the HEROES look bad, even if she deserved… cruel and constant harassment.

Jeezus.

Our heroes glance at this, then turn their attention to the bland new couple.

Then.



No shit.

We then get a very horny ED with a soundtrack that sounds like 1980s karaoke and images of our boyz trussed up in rope.


And that’s the first episode of Fairy Ranmaru. It’s a lot of unpack. Its quite gay but the fact that the first episode centers heavily on a bland hetero love triangle makes me wonder if this is basically more targeted toward straight women who are into yaoi-type stuff. It makes me think its gay content might actually be limited to innuendo or titillation. Nothing wrong with that, I guess, but that also mean this incredibly silly/horny magical boy series isn’t going to be interested in seeing its protags actually helping out gay people, and more the affluent straights at the school, which is less interesting stakes to me.

Still, the show does beg the question.

 
Its quite gay but the fact that the first episode centers heavily on a bland hetero love triangle makes me wonder if this is basically more targeted toward straight women who are into yaoi-type stuff.
This is literally a good 90% of gay media in anime/manga. Stuff created by straight people, with straight people as the intended audience. I don’t have the toolset to discuss this phenomena properly, but it’s a weird thing nonetheless.

Also it’s a shame such a wonderful effort post is hidden behind a spoiler tag.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
I you hadn't already said it wasn't, I would've totally assumed this is based on a fujoshi porn game, yeah.
 
So I am supposed to take Fairy Ranmaru seriously! Since Crunchyroll was being a dick with OddTaxi last night, I watched the first episode of it. I could not tell if this was supposed to be comedy due to how exaggerated everything was or not.
 
In fairness
No, I get all of that and it's worked very well into the show. Like a lot of the better shows about big punchy robots that pontificate on the nature of conflict and war, pathos is very important to Escaflowne. And it serves as the emotional core of the show up until the very end.

Just finished watching the last episode. I had legitimately forgotten so much of what happened in this show that despite feeling a ghostly aura of familiarity at every turn, just about everything hit like it was brand new. I've got a lot of feelings and thoughts about this, but I think I'll come back to it later to write about it once the swelling in my eyes have gone down, lol.

Edit: so good
 
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Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
The last two shows I decided to give a try this season!

Osamake: Romcom Where The Childhood Friend Won't Lose



Premise

A kid at school has a crush on a girl and though they correspond for a while, it turns out she isn’t as serious about it as he is as she apparently has started going out with someone else. The main character is pissed but he does have someone in his corner… his childhood friend, who has a not at all hidden crush on him. Together, they start concocting a revenge plan that allows the two to pretend to date, which the childhood friend sees as a win-win. Meanwhile, his romantic rival, a professional actor, reveals himself and the main character’s secret, he was considered a genius child actor.

It Gud?

This is a show that has three major strikes against it. The first is that I’m not quite sure how to sum it up. There’s a lot going on and rather feeling like its simply trying a lot of different stuff (Odd Taxi is a show with a lot of stuff going on that’s not easy to boil down), it feels a bit unfocused. I assumed there was going to be a reveal at the end but I assumed that this would be the childhood best friend was trying to manipulate everyone like pawns or it was a romantic comedy version of Talentless Nana or that it actually was going to be a Hitchcockian-style thriller masquerading as a romantic comedy. Instead its about how the lead is an actor, a reveal, based on the way the show is developing is a shrug of a twist.

And sometimes it takes a bit for a show to coalesce. Sometimes the hand of a show isn’t revealed in the first episode, trusting that audience interest will keep them going. So lets get to strikes two and three; as a romcom, it is not funny and I don’t like these characters. The main’s desire for revenge comes from his anger that the woman he loves ended up with someone else… which kind of makes him suck. I get being UPSET but you aren’t owed that person. But the woman he love sucks just because she’s kind of mean to everyone. Someone wants to copy her notes and asks to and instead of saying “no”, she fucking tears up her own homework and throws shade at the person. She completely sucks. The best friend is the last chance to give us a likeable lead but while I think she’s being set up as a revenge master, she’s mostly just getting aggressive on the main character and not bringing anything apart from being all about him. Maybe by episode two it would become something more clear but the lack of my interest in other areas means I’ll never find that out firsthand.



Cestvs: The Roman Fighter



Premise

In Ancient Rome, a young slave is taught to be a fighter in order to survive. If he wins 100 fights, he is free. If he loses even once, he dies.

It Gud?

As you can see, the premise is bone simple but that’s not a bad thing. The very idea that by winning, the main character may be responsible for 100 deaths but he has very little options. That is inherently dramatic. But the problem with Cestvs is that while it lays that on heavy, its just not all that interesting. Most of these series try to give us some emotional grounding to the lead but aside from being a specific type of character, regretful and gentle, there’s nothing to really make me invested in this character’s blood filled journey. In theory, this feels like it should be for me. As a guilty pleasure that I can only partially defend, I do enjoy the stupid, hyper-masculine series like Baki or Kengan Ashura. But those shows, while grotesque, are engaging. Cestvs feels like it is supposed to be of a piece with those series and for people who might want to check Cestvs out but don’t like those series, I will say Cestvs is far less explicit and is in fact, less bloody than your average shounen actioner.

But it is also amateurly animated. Seeing there was CG animation I was worried but it actually doesn’t look AWFUL. The actual 2D animation, which there is actually more of, looks pretty stilted and doesn’t do a particularly good job of selling the big fights that drive the series. It also pretty generically broad all over in terms of characters and writing. Sometimes I can find this a bit charming if it is, say, an adaptation of an older series. I really like Dragon Quest and it is one of the more by the numbers series out there. But I really have very little to hold on to here. This isn’t a disaster or a mess. Its just kind of there, not doing anything with its interesting setting or premise.
 
Hey guys.

Make sure to watch To Your Eternity.

Just don't watch it before you go to bed. Y'all might need some time to decompress and raise your spirits a bit.

Edit: to the uninitiated, To Your Eternity is based on a manga, made by the same author who made A Silent Voice, so be ready for your emotions to get manipulated (in a good way).
yep, i didn't really know anything about it going in, but my partner and I figured we'd take a look. There's no real spoilers in saying it's an emotional adventure considering the concept and like the first five minutes even are nothing if not austere. it's really beautiful, and I'm looking forward to seeing it roll on.

It's also a mixed bag to watch with someone else, but I'm pretty happy to have someone to bounce off of when watching because it certainly is draining.
 

q 3

Posts: 4,731,901
(they/them)
Can confirm, Oddtaxi is very good. Nice and noirish mystery but with a quirky sense of humor.
 
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