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Iaboo, Youaboo, Weallaboo for Anime!

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Yeah, episode three feels more like the show decided to become an anthology where the lead character gets kind of involved, but doesn't go out of her way to help people. In the first episode she's a plucky protagonist. Now she's aloof and just watching people get fucked. Non-literally.
 

Hilene

Loves "Friendly Girls"
(She/Her)
The first volume of the LN is basically her telling other peoples' stories. The ones where she becomes a participant are ones where the local people involved drag her into it. For example, the one with the girl looking to pass her test forces Elaina into her story through thievery. There's a couple of ones like this through the LN, but mostly it's about her just recording stories from around the world.

I feel like the LN sets itself up as an anthology series a lot cleaner. I still gotta read the second volume and see if that's what it plans (and also to see if the lesbian comes back; the first volume basically bookends with her, with the first story in the book being the one about Elaina teaching her, and the last story in the book having that scene from the end of the episode where Elaina is reading a newspaper and sees that the girl has passed the test).
 

Tegan

dirtbag lesbian
(She/Her)
I watched They Were 11, a 1986 anime film based on a Moto Hagio manga. It's a sci-fi drama about a group of eleven strangers tasked with a test to get into a prestigious academy: survive aboard a derelict spacecraft for 53 days. Upon arrival, they discover that a saboteur has infiltrated their original group of ten. Everyone aboard becomes more and more paranoid as problems pile up and the strangers begin to reveal their secrets.

The moments where it dips its toes into hard sci-fi are really neat; one crew member casually tosses out that his planet is on a 48-year orbit of their sun, so pretty much everybody lives through just a single cycle of the seasons. The ship also uses organic electrical wiring thanks to a creeper plant whose composition is mostly copper. There's some good spooky ambience since it's not initially clear what this ship is or why it's abandoned, and there are items onboard that nobody quite understands.

It's kinda heteronormative; there's an entire subplot about Frol, a crew member whose race begins life as intersex beings that are divided into men and women based on social status and, rarely, exceptional merit. Frol is taking the test to prove themself and be allowed to become a man, as women are less than second-class citizens in their heavily patriarchal society.. In the end they pass the test but become a woman anyway so that they can marry the male main character. It could be a lot worse, given the time, but it's not exactly ideal. It at least doesn't seem to judge the character for their identity.

I rate it a "Pretty Good" out of 10.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
I find it endlessly amusing that the big baddie in Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai has the same name as my ex-wife.

Lord of Darkness indeed.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
*Bites tongue in regards in naming developments down the line*

I've been finding this a pretty strong anime season. Man, Golden Kamuy is still super good. The most recent episode perfectly encapsulated why Tsurumi is one of my all time favourite villains AND has a callback to one of my all time favourite GK bits. This show is fucking great.

Meanwhile Talentless Nana and Akudama Drive take shows that could have easily been "edgy" and are just fun rip-roaring yarns (though the ED of the latter implies the weight of what's going on is probably going to hit near the end of the show's run).

I was a bit lukewarm on Moriarty the Patriot but while it doesn't quite hit the sweet spot with the detective stuff in episode two, it does look like it has more of an overt and not-at-all subtle mission statement and I'm sort of in it for it being like an inverse version of the first couple of Jojo episodes, with a brilliant orphan infiltrating a shitty rich family.

Reminder: Olympia Kyklos is still happening, is short and is worth your time.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I'm never good at these things but in the last year JBear's been noticing this guy's voice everywhere in the last year. "Oh, its that guy" he keeps saying.

In unrelated news, Netflix will be streaming the first four Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan specials in Spring, which makes me think that's likely when it will also have Diamond is unbreakable.

One thing I noticed on rewatching Jojo this time is the ridiculous analogies everyone makes, even from characters you don't think will make them. Like, you expect Josuke to say things like "Ah, its like putting on a pair of new underwear on New Year's Day." But I forgot some of DIO's gems...


EDIT: Way of the Househusband is getting a lot of attention but Netflix is also making a "Roman Bathhouse Comedy" from the creator of Olympia Kyklos so... I'm excited.
 
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Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Moved over from the Netflix thread in reference to the House Husband news, then going off into other anime:

Nice. My schedule's different these days so I"ll probably just wait 'til it officially comes out on US Netflix. And yeah, the Tsuda casting is fantastic.

Meanwhile I'm just finally getting started on The Great Pretender. Since we've been watching stuff in the evenings when she's sleepy and doesn't have a lot of concentration, she prefers going with dubs, so I got to see how that plays out... turns out they just kept the JP track with multiple languages going on for the introductory scenes (no doubt confusing a lot of people as to whether they'd actually selected the dub version) before switching to the new English track at the point where the original goes full-Japanese. It works pretty well, and at two eps in the dub ain't bad so far.

In other news apparently everything is the 90s again because Tokyo Babylon 2021 is a thing that's happened. Out of left field, but okay. Seeing modern generic redesigns of classic CLAMP characters is just kinda weird though.
 
turns out they just kept the JP track with multiple languages going on for the introductory scenes (no doubt confusing a lot of people as to whether they'd actually selected the dub version) before switching to the new English track at the point where the original goes full-Japanese.
That's pretty novel and neat. But why do I get the sense that it was a poorly planned out decision? (Oh right, Netflix's incompetence.) The entire last arc of the show (9 episodes) takes place in Japan. Are they just not going to dub the whole final act to keep consistency? And despite how much I like the idea personally, that's not why people who watch dubs go to dubs. If I pick dubs because I don't want to read a bunch of text, why would you make me read a bunch of subtitles anyways? Why is Netflix so bad at their jobs? Why do they hate anime?
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
They only did that with the English dub, because it confused me and I switched to other dub languages to see if they worked, and they did. Then I watched about 2 more minutes and it became clear what they were doing.
 

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
(he/him/his)
That's pretty novel and neat. But why do I get the sense that it was a poorly planned out decision? (Oh right, Netflix's incompetence.) The entire last arc of the show (9 episodes) takes place in Japan. Are they just not going to dub the whole final act to keep consistency? And despite how much I like the idea personally, that's not why people who watch dubs go to dubs. If I pick dubs because I don't want to read a bunch of text, why would you make me read a bunch of subtitles anyways? Why is Netflix so bad at their jobs? Why do they hate anime?
It's not a constant thing; after 10 minutes or so, a card pops up reading something to the extent of "from now on the series will be presented entirely in English", and true to that, the rest of the episode and all subsequent ones are performed entirely by the dub cast. The multilingual opening is just done to establish the premise and setting, that this is an international cast of characters who speak different languages, and provide context for when characters can and can't understand each other. It's not far removed from how The Hunt for Red October opens with the Soviet characters speaking Russian before switching to English.
 
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Finally caught up with the end of Deca-Dence. It was a pretty aight show. Nothing it did individually was really all that original or interesting, but as a whole it came together into something entertaining and felt mildly fresh. I'm a lot more cool on the show versus other opinions I've read here, and I think a big part of that is just how the show handled its main characters. At the very beginning, it seemed like Natsume was the main character, since the first episode mostly focused in on her POV and fleshing her backstory/personality out. I really liked her as a character, and thought her being the focal point of an anime-original, late night, action show, was pretty daring, intriguing, and noteworthy. But I guess I really should have known better. Because anime gonna anime.

Soon after it became clear that at best, Natsume was going to be a co-main lead along with Kaburagi. Ok, that's a little disappointing, but in general good shows work better when characters have strong relationships and can bounce off of other well developed characters. But then she started looking more like a deuteragonist. By the time Kaburagi was in the poop-prison for several episodes on end, and the perspective of the show didn't shift back to Natsume a single time, it became abundantly clear to me that Natsume really only existed as an accessory to Kaburagi - to provide him motivation for his heroic arc. Which isn't the end of the world or anything, but the misalignment of expectations made it rather disappointing to have to experience.

Otherwise, it was a fun show. It looked great, it obviously had a lot of heart and thought put into it, and it was a fun setting with an immensely likable cast. If it had been a little more upfront about who was the main character, I might have graded it better. But all things considered it's a solid 7.5/10. In a better world, the show would have been double the length, had several episodes dedicated to just better fleshing out the side characters and their society, more slice of life moments, and invested more priority and agency into Natsume versus Kaburagi. But what we ended up getting was still a largely good time.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
Saaaaame. And I hope that the new combined platform is based on CR's bones and not Funi's, because everything about their platform is a mess. (Or, ideally, a brand new platform where I can actually sort my queue again, as long as I'm making wishes.)
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
Well, I for one am hoping that they combine it with Funimation so that I don't have to subscribe to two separate services.

Cracklenimationroll

Saaaaame. And I hope that the new combined platform is based on CR's bones and not Funi's, because everything about their platform is a mess. (Or, ideally, a brand new platform where I can actually sort my queue again, as long as I'm making wishes.)

I don't have too large of a Funi queue, but I HATE Crunchy signing me out of all devices if I don't visit every day, and especially its atrocious mobile data buffering. I keep trying to watch on my phone while I'm on the treadmill at gym but I give up within five minutes because
it
stu
tt
ers
ev
ery
ten

se




conds

And I end up watching smooth, HD Netflix instead.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
? I sign into CR like, once a month? It might even be 90 days. And I only use it about twice a week. It's Funimation that I'm constantly having to login to. I hate pretty much everything about the Funimation user experience, but they've been getting better shows lately, so I put up with it.
 
Just about every anime streaming company out there right now has dogshit players/web interfaces. Some worse than others but all of them objectively bad. All of them are small-time companies that are probably just eking by on the razor's edge of profitability. Crunchyroll in particular, laid off all their backend staff several years ago and hasn't updated or maintained any of their website/app stuff in years. Getting a big company like Sony running things, they might stand a chance of having their shit revamped with corporate-daddy's wallet. But knowing how dogshit Sony websites like the PSN store is, who knows. But I'd be happy if CR and Funi merged officially and I can stop paying both separately.

Crunchyroll doesn't ask me to sign in unless I've signed in via other devices with the same account, in which case it asks me to re-sign in immediately. And since I watch on my computer, phone, and TV, it asks me to re-sign in a lot. I assume this is just a security thing/avoid account sharing measure.
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
The husband and I have been slowly making our way through Cowboy Bebop over the past couple months, finishing the series on Thursday and then watching the movie today. It was my husband's first time seeing it, and my first time watching it since high school, so I had forgotten most of it.

The show is very aimless, in a good way. You're dropped into a relatively short period in these characters' lives, a pocket of time where they just kind of drifted into one another, and then drifted apart. They're companions, but they're not really friends, and yet this tenuous half-measure of a group is the only real connection they have. There's a melancholy that hangs over all of them, and the show, though it's interrupted constantly by great action or humor.

That melancholy extends to the setting, which is incredible, and something I did not appreciate in my younger days. There's lots of really advanced technology available, but most people are just scraping by and too poor to afford any of it. Humankind has colonized planets and moons and yet the majority of folks live the same way they had for decades before. Quietly, sadly making they're way through life, not despairing about it or suffering, just... getting by. It's always jarring when they show up on Mars and suddenly you see the kind of affluence that's possible.

And the characters are great. My favorite detail is that Ein has human level intelligence, but they do next to nothing with it, because they all just assume he's a dog. Ed recognizes what Ein is capable of, but of course doesn't see anything out of the ordinary with a dog understanding Japanese perfectly, or hacking a computer, because Ed is Ed. She's definitely my favorite character, and the show uses her perfectly. In lesser hands she'd be insufferable, but here she's just a bundle of weirdness they use like a spice.

Guys, did you know one of the most beloved anime of the 90s is good? Because it is!
 
Guys, did you know one of the most beloved anime of the 90s is good? Because it is!
It'll never stop being weird to me to think of Cowboy Bebop as a 90s anime. Because it categorically is, as that was when it was made. But most of us didn't get to watch it until the 2000s. Same with a lot of classics from around that time like Trigun or Outlaw Star. And the production values and rather well done integration of CGI means it looks nothing like shows from earlier in the decade.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Man the first 5-episode arc of The Great Pretender really, uh, pretends that it's taking a turn for the super dark, before revealing that it was only kidding about 5 minutes later. That was a bit stressful. The second arc didn't end up having quite as many twists as I thought it might be telegraphing earlier, but it was still quite enjoyable.
 

conchobhar

What's Shenmue?
(he/him/his)
And the production values and rather well done integration of CGI means it looks nothing like shows from earlier in the decade.
I would disagree there. Bebop is a cut above other 90s shows, sure, but it still looks distinctly of its era to me. That's partly due to quirks of the art style (such as the pointy chins) but mostly due to its traditional production and the effects thereof: the palette, the colouring itself, the film grain. Digital productions have an entirely different look to them, and the rapid digitization of the industry meant that your typical anime had an entirely different look even just a few years later. (Particularly as it took a while to really work out how to do digital colouring well… but I digress.)
 
That's partly due to quirks of the art style (such as the pointy chins)
??? I don't really get this. What do you mean by pointy chins? By my money, the character designs in Cowboy Bebop don't really particularly date it. If you look at the past work of the character designer (Toshihiro Kawamoto) his style remains pretty consistent. From older stuff like Gundam 0083, through mid-00s works like Wolf's Rain, up through recent shows like Kekkai Sensen.

but mostly due to its traditional production and the effects thereof: the palette, the colouring itself, the film grain. Digital productions have an entirely different look to them, and the rapid digitization of the industry meant that your typical anime had an entirely different look even just a few years later. (Particularly as it took a while to really work out how to do digital colouring well… but I digress.)
That's the thing though. You pass over the fact I brought up, which is that Cowboy Bebop has a bunch of primitive CGI integrated into its otherwise traditional artwork. And that makes it look more like early 00s shows like FMA, GitS, or Inuyasha that did the same with regards to overlaying CGI on top of an otherwise traditional production. It wasn't until the late 00s that studios began earnestly switching en masse to all-digital productions. So it feels weird to lump Bebop into a decade full of stuff that doesn't really look like it from that regard; there's no CGI in early 90s shows like Ranma or DBZ, or even in most prestige OVAs of the time like Gundam 0083 or Golden Boy.

Also, film grain isn't something that anyone would have noticed or valued during the time those old shows aired. Since you didn't have the fidelity to even see it on an SD, interlaced, broadcast TV signal. It's an anachronism that we project onto the past through our modern lenses because of what those shows now look like due to modern digital remastering. Kinda like how we project pixel art to look a certain way in video games now that everything is using digital signals on digital TVs versus how a CRT using analog methodologies would have made those sprites look like.
 

Bulgakov

Yes, that Russian author.
(He/Him)
I am so glad that my wife and I decided to pick up Tonikawa: Fly Me to the Moon. Initially it was a salve for my wife's distress that Fruits Basket was over for the season, but Tonikawa has proven itself to be way more nuanced and entertaining that the high-level gloss might suggest.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
That's surprising to me. I skipped it because it was from the creator of Hayate the Combat Butler, a show I watched and found wholly unremarkable as far as comedy series go. I was expecting more of the same and the premise was involved "unexpected teen marriage", which I've seen far too many times to strike me as unique but it seems like people like it.
 

Bulgakov

Yes, that Russian author.
(He/Him)
I was expecting more of the same and the premise was involved "unexpected teen marriage", which I've seen far too many times to strike me as unique but it seems like people like it.

I will admit that this is my first "unexpected teen marriage" show, so perhaps I don't know the tropes well, but the characterizations are definitely there enough for me to want to watch each episode, as opposed to begrudgingly watching so my wife will watch more Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju with me. Now she likes the show and I get her to watch rakugo anyway!
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I need to get around to that show. It sounds very up my alley.

Also, I've been re-reading Monster (I got the whole collection because A) I love it and B) I thought my parents would probably like it since mom like mystery and medical drama and dad likes conspiracy thrillers) and I was like "Man, I kind of want to watch the show again. Where is it streaming." Apparently nowhere. Which kind of sucks.
 

aturtledoesbite

earthquake ace
(any/all)
Hi!

My friend and I just finished watching Yuru Camp.

Does anyone have suggestions for something similarly cozy we can watch next?
 

aturtledoesbite

earthquake ace
(any/all)
Oooh, I didn't know about that. Thanks!

Though since it's short, might as well keep the suggestions coming for afterward.
 
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