Anime! Who's watching what?
Haven't watched any anime in what feels like ages, so I jumped on Horimiya, which caught my eye. Watched the first few episodes and it's really good so far. The writing and VO feels so natural, and it doesn't feel like it's trying too hard when it comes to the comedic parts, which is a problem I encounter every now and then with animes in general. Also, many of the scenes have layers of relatable details. It doesn't have the most original premise, but I'm just enjoying it so much rn, so I don't really care about that.
Gunsmith Cats (OVA) - Decided to re-watch again after not seeing it a while. Awesome ova, and one of ADV's better dubs. I find this adaption better than the manga. More so the sequel to the manga called GC: Burst. A lot of fans hate that one and like to pretend it does not exist. I cannot blame them. The 3 episode ova is about two bounty hunters in 1996 Chicago: Rally Vincent and "Minnie" May Hopkins. They are to gals that run a gun shop when not on the job. They get forced in to stopping a gun running operation, because an ATF agent got dirt on them for not having proper licenses for owning guns and explosives. They get involved, and shit unravels in to a bigger conspiracy. I won't spoil more than that. GC is one of the good action/comedy anime that made it Westward thankfully. I did not see it until online barely in college. I bought a copy of the DVD used on Amazon in mint condition in 2014. I just love the attention to detail in the environments and how the characters interact with them. The weapons especially get all the heavy details and accuracy. Konichi Sonada loves drawing guns just as much as he loves drawing women. It's good to have two bad ass babes be leads in anime; especially when done right. There is some minor fan service, but it is nowhere near as abrasive as it was in the original manga, thankfully. I am glad they heavily toned it down. The OVA's got an killer soundtrack from Peter Erskin (the guy who did jazz music for the weather channel). One of my favorite intros. Please watch this if you have not already.
Axel last edited by
@brawlman Loved those back in the day and rewatched them last year, still as good as ever, wish there was more!
New Cutey Honey (1996 OVA) - It's Sailor Moon before Sailor Moon ever existed. The franchise has been around since the early 70s. It's just a fun, entertaining, magical girl show with plenty of action and lots of nudity. I bought the Blu-ray box set on sale for $18.00 on Amazon. This version of the show was supposed to have 12 episodes, but was cut short and production stopped at 8. You can tell there were budget cuts, because the animation and line works looks rough in some areas for the final episode. Episode 9 is an audio drama that comes as a bonus on the blu-ray The English dub is amazing and still holds up as one of best dubs from ADV. May they rest in peace. So much, that they brought back all of the voice cast to do Cutey Honey Universe.
This is a show with fan-service, but it's fan-service done right. Fan-service can only work when done in small doses or the person with those tits, have a personality. And that personality better not be set to bitch, asshole, or the c-word. This means you Asuka Langley or Naru Sarugawa! Honey is the complete opposite of them. Kind, compassionate, protective, and considerate. Don't let that fool you, she can clever, crafty, quick on her feet, and has all of those detailed transformation sequences. For those interested in some fun 90s anime with awesome animation, I highly recommended this version of Cutey Honey.
Saw Castle in the Sky. I forgot how awesome this movie is. I liked the movie back when I saw it in middle school, but love it even more now! It's similar to an Indiana Jones adventure film, or serial shows. Yet with its own flair, and unique style. The animation, background art, and character design have a all aged like fine wine. The usual of a Miyazaki film. Looks even more beautiful on Blu Ray on the big screen. The score (2003 version) is amazing. From what I heard, even the original composer for the movie hates his own score from the 1986 version. I'll take his word for it. I have to say, Castle in the Sky and Princess Mononoke are my top favorites of Miyazaki films. Y'all have to see this if you have not yet. I don't care how you see it. Use Disney+ if you have to.
A quick ramble. Castle in the Sky feels like a proto-Uncharted in some ways. The male protagonist, Pazu, has some serious parkour he demonstrates through out the film. Especially when he is climbing. The lost civilization that destroyed itself, and the evil military that wants something from the ancient society. Then again, similar to Indiana Jones in some ways, so the influence always spreads around.
Though the Laputa civilization decided to abandon their civilization instead of growing proud and killing each other.
I finished the Dirty Pair OVA last night. That was fun, and man did I miss out these gals. I knew about them, but never really saw anything outside of official artwork. This is just a fun episodic series, with the right amount of action, comedy, and heart. Despite the fan-service, these lovely ladies are still characters. Kei and Yuri are the reason characters like Panty and Stocking exist. Exactly like how there would be no Sailor Moon without Cutey Honey. My favorite episodes are (I can't remember the titles right now) the one with the mafia wedding that Yuri goes undercover, the one with little girl cryogenically frozen for 20 years, the one with the elite soldiers, and the final episode with the space truckers. What I like about these episodes it shows the ladies more vulnerable and kind hearted moments. This series has humanity to it. It's that simple. They definitely don't make them like they used too. I'd say Kei is my favorite part of the dynamic duo, but Yuri is awesome as well.
I saw both movies too: Project Eden and Flight 005 Conspiracy. Eden is basically an awesome animated anime 80s music video. The animation is even better (had a theatrical release in wide-screen), and the action is at its best. The plot is an evil scientist is making aliens from some ancient space rocks and Kei, Yuri, and Carson B. Carson (A thief there for ulterior reasons) are trying to stop them. The last 30 minutes of the film turns in to Contra. Watch it. It also makes a good James Bond anime; especially with the intro, ending, and songs placed throughout the film.
Conspiracy is the last piece of Dirty Pair anime of the OVA and original continuity. Released in 1990, this film is darker and somber compared to most of the other works. It's about flight of space passengers that have died/missing in an "accident". 300 of them. The duo is sent to investigate. On the way as they get deeper in to the case, attacks and murder attempts try to prevent to investigate further. I don't wanna spoil the twist, as I think you should all see for yourselves. I noticed in this film, the animation got another bump, and the coloring has darker tones, as this was the beginning of 90s anime, and a trend that would sound follow for that decade. Which explains the darker tone >! Spoiler as the film ends on a downer-bittersweet ending. The gore is even anted up more. The series would get even darker and edgier with the in-name only reboot, Flash. They take out a lot of the comedy in that one. For those asking, no, I will not be watching Flash. Sad, as that was the last piece of Dirty Pair media ever animated or put on cells.
I watched the films with the ADV dubs, but the DVDs I have, contain the Streamline dubs too. Does anyone know how good the Streamline dubs are? I heard they good or decent, and Wendee Lee voices Yuri. The ADV dub is good, and the performance is even better in the films than the OVAs. Streamline did not dub the OVAs though; only the three films.
Caught up on Horimiya, the first season just ended a few days ago. I absolutely loved it, it's the kind of anime that I needed right now. It's just so wholesome, heartwarming and jolly. It's really cool to see the anime expand its focus as it goes, from the intimacy between Hori and Miyamura, to the wonderful interactions with the group of friends that Miyamura encounters. It's great to see how his life progressed throughout, it's a fun take on dealing with loneliness and misunderstandings. I also like how respectful this anime feels, it never feels like it was being too hands-on with what it is trying to convey. I was a bit worried during the episodes in the middle, where the pace and structure felt messy, and there's a few tropes that I didn't really care for, but those things turned out to sort themselves out later on. Excellent stuff. (9/10)
Tearju Engi last edited by Tearju Engi
I was so excited when I heard "Way of the Househusband" was getting an anime. Watched all 5 episodes and love the humor and some Judgment/Yakuza nod but man is the animation just horrible. the graphics themselves aren't bad but a lot is not animated at all most of the time and half of those are just moving a camera around a frame. Like I wasn't expecting something Nichijou level of animation but at least have things animated and not be like a frame jumps to another and missing all the frames in-between. [5/10] animation is straight -4
Watched Mashiro no Oto/Those Snow White Notes, which is only 3 episodes in so far. It's pretty good. The first episode did a great job of presenting a prologue story, which then deviates to more traditional territory. The shamisen performances are well presented and is also given a lot of reverence, but not overshadowing the performances itself. I also like that the visuals that accompanies the performances, sometimes it shows some impactful story flashbacks and it's pretty cool. Excited to see where this goes, it's probably nothing mindblowing but I'm sure it'll end up being a very solid show.
5 episodes in on Full Dive: The Ultimate Next-Gen Full Dive RPG Is Even Shittier than Real Life!. I feel like this is a fun concept that is kinda ruined by an absolutely annoying main character (and also many of the supporting cast), weirdly slow pacing, and aimless story. The vibe of the show just feels a bit too negative, even though there are comedic things happening. I can't help but keep watching it though. It's a fun trainwreck to watch, I guess.
andrew33 Banned last edited by andrew33
I began watching Kengan Ashura tonight and am currently on episode 2 of the series.
Now onto the real arc, Enies Lobby!
Holy shit, I said that almost 2 years ago haha. Well, anyway, I did it! The Enies Lobby arc of One Piece is officially over, and damn was it good. Outside of East Blue, it's probably my favorite arc of the show so far, and it really feels like the perfect synthesis of everything that makes One Piece good. It's the funniest One Piece has ever been, whilst also having an excellent story with ever-raising stakes, incredible fights that don't drag on too long (as One Piece fights have a habit of doing), and legitimately emotional moments that truly elevate the whole thing. For managing to be 46 episodes of sustained fighting and action, it never once got boring, as it had an impeccable structure and flow that always made things exciting.
Here are some spoiler thoughts:
I think the setting was brilliant, and gave me a sense of the structure of the environment in ways that none of the other arcs had. Since it essentially takes place in a single fortress, I was able to discern where everybody was without the show having to tell me because it did such a good job of differentiating the different parts of the island. This is especially important when the arc is based around them pursuing a single, ever-moving target, so they did a really good job with it.
I'm a little mixed on the villains. Spandam sucked, and not in like a fun 'love to hate' kind of way. He is easily the most vile, deplorable, evil character so far on the show, going too far to the point where I got a little annoyed every time he was on screen because of how sickening he was. Certainly a case of 'too much of a bad thing.' Lucci was also a little underwhelming, though his fight with Luffy was outstanding. He's just kind of bland. The concept of a character who just loves killing works well for this kind of show, and has the makings of a good villain, but I never really got a sense of menace from him. He kinda just felt like a guy. A strong guy, but a guy none-the-less. He didn't have that mythical quality that made Crocodile, and to a lesser extent Eneru, threatening. However, he probably had the best fight of the show so far, as I have never felt more emotional when Luffy beat a villain than when he beat Lucci, so they did an excellent job making him feel powerful from a fighting standpoint.
Speaking of emotional, this arc got me teary multiple times, which is incredible when you consider how willfully outlandish it is. Robin's backstory is heartbreaking, and truly makes her fear and anguish understandable. She finally got the development she needed. The Usopp/Luffy thing was also very emotional, and him yelling at Luffy to get up and fight got me a little choked up for sure. Nothing, however, compares to the death of the Going Merry. I bawled. Seriously not exaggerating when I say that I cried as hard as any media has ever made me cry when they watch her burn. Such an incredibly beautiful moment, and that episode may stand as the best episode of the entire show for me. Keep in mind that this happened in the same arc as the yoyoi guy.
I just feel like Enies Lobby is quintessential One Piece, and truly gets to the core of what it's about. There are the classic themes of friendship and perseverance that are done beautifully, but also on a political level I think the show really makes a statement. Lucci is a murderer on a government payroll. Spandam doesn't care about any human suffering he may cause if it advances his career. The navy captains don't care about killing leagues of their own men if it means getting the Straw Hats, the evidence of their failure and ineptitude. Some really good stuff there.
All in all, it was an excellent arc. Can't wait to see where the show goes next.
@capnbobamous One Piece on this forum?! Hell yes!!
I just feel like Enies Lobby is quintessential One Piece, and truly gets to the core of what it's about.
A lot of fans share this same sentiment and many still regard it as the best in the series.
Can't wait to see where the show goes next.
I've always seen adoration for the next arc, but recently reading some thoughts suggesting otherwise. So it's a bit divisive. Still great fun nonetheless.
May I ask why you decided to go with the anime instead of the manga?
@demonpirate I originally did read the manga, though I did so in a less... legal way, which I never liked but short of buying each volume physically I couldn't find out how else to read it. I made it up until about halfway through Skypiea before I just got burned out. I didn't care for the arc, and it was long, so I just grew tired of it.
Flash forward to a couple years later and I was missing it, and the anime was available on streaming so I just decided to hop in from the beginning. I wouldn't say it's a better experience, but I also wouldn't call it lesser than the manga. The anime has pacing issues for sure, but all of the voice actors are incredible (sub) and the music is great so I think it's a fair trade-off. Plus I'm so far behind that the fear of being behind the manga isn't there for me.
And just like that the Thriller Bark arc of One Piece is over, and in only 18 days, a far cry from how long it took me to finish Enies Lobby. It was fun! Not the best One Piece has ever been, but it's still a solid arc. For most of it I would have put it in a solid B-tier as far as arcs go, but the ending is so phenomenal that it elevates it up to A-tier easily. Like, the last 7 or so episodes of this 45 episode arc bring so much intensity and emotion that they completely make up for how little there was up until this point. Here are some spoiler-filled thoughts:
I think Moria is a fun villain. There's something sinister to him that was missing from Lucci. That's not to imply that I think he's a better villain than Lucci, because I think he does have some weaknesses that hold him back a bit. For one, though this was the whole point of him, the fact that he let everybody else do all of the work for him made the final fight (with Oars) a little anti-climactic. Aside from the brief instance in which Moria was all shadowed up, the final fight was basically with a goofy henchman. A strong goofy henchman, but a goofy henchman nonetheless, and I think it lacked the climactic feel of other final fights because of this. I will say though that the moment when Oars was defeated, with all of the Straw Hats working together to make it happen, was really cool. I think Moria ultimately suffers when Kuma is introduced as well, because Kuma is so rad and so much of a better villain that his presence just serves to make Moria look bad. And again I know that's kind of the point, but when a 45 episode arc is about stopping this dude, I need just a little bit more from him. He was fun, he served his purpose, but he's not the best villain One Piece has had.
I also think the structure of the arc was a little weird. It kind of felt like it was at a climactic pace for most of it, with major villains getting beat before the arc was halfway through. It's just hard to keep this momentum going for so long, and while Enies Lobby was able to do so seamlessly, Thriller Bark felt a little tired by the time it ended.
Those last episodes though, my god they were excellent. From the defeat of Oars onward the arc was a solid 10. The defeat of Moria felt satisfying, and the fight (?) with Kuma was incredible. Such a great way to set up a villain for later. Zoro also has his best moment so far with him "taking Luffy's pain." It's not only a cool moment for him, but it also gets to the heart of his relationship with Luffy and the rest of the Straw Hats. It's an oddly heartwarming moment, and so suspenseful that had I not known he lived I may have feared for him. Just an excellent moment, one of those ones you don't forget. Then we get the full story of Brooks and Laboon, which is so heartbreaking it brought me to tears. I thought Robin's backstory was sad, but the last song of the Rumbar Pirates rocked me nearly as bad as the death of the Merry did. It's remarkable to me how much heart and soul this show has.
Well another arc down and a billion to go. Can't wait to see where the show goes next!
DemonPirate last edited by DemonPirate
@capnbobamous I legitimately cannot listen to Binks' Sake without choking up.
Congrats on finishing Thriller Bark! What are your thoughts on Brook so far?
I cannot wait for your write-up when you conclude the next arc :)
What are your thoughts on Brook so far?
I love him! One Piece does such a great job of endearing you to new crew-mates before they actually become crew-mates. I feel like I know him so well and he's already interacted with the Straw Hats so much that now he feels like a natural inclusion. He's funny and has a lot of heart (except he doesn't have a heart), but there's also a quiet sadness to him. I can't wait to see the perspective he brings. Seems perhaps a bit odd to have another swordsman, but we've already seen he's not as strong as Zoro and he has the added ability to use his light body to his advantage, so I'm sure his style is gonna feel a lot different.
Seems perhaps a bit odd to have another swordsman
I guess his technical role is the "musician" of the crew lol
@Capnbobamous May I ask how your One Piece journey is going? :)
@demonpirate I'm still not very far at all after Thrillerbark. I tend to take breaks after major arcs just because I don't want to get burned out, and get back in when the desire is strong again. I don't imagine the break will be too long though, definitely not as long as my last one was.
It's been a long time coming, but about a week ago I decided my One Piece sabbatical was over and I then powered through the Sabaody Archipelago Arc. I knew this was a short one so I figured I would wait to make an update until after I watch the subsequent arc, but fuck it Sabaody Archipelago was incredible and I want to talk about it.
Gonna get this out of the way: Holy fuck, that ending. Legitimately one of the most tragic moments in the show. Obviously the Straw Hats are going to be okay, but seeing them all fall one-by-one, while Luffy is forced to watch helplessly is pretty heartbreaking. Luffy's genuine anguish is immensely powerful, and then the little montage they do afterward which shows every Straw Hat joining the crew just drives the point home even more. Did not expect this at all, super shocking and well done.
Love, love, love everything they do with the new pirates. It is such a fun concept, to introduce these other rookies who started at around the same time as Luffy and followed different paths. The idea that Kid, Law, Drake, etc. are the protagonists of their own story is really cool, and not something you often see in a Shonen anime I think. It kind of takes the focus away from Luffy, which is great but Dragon Ball could never. Kid and Law are obvious stand outs here, and knowing that Law is such a beloved character I was very excited to finally see him in action. Can't wait to see more of them.
The villains were excellent too. One thing that One Piece has always done remarkably well is power scaling. We know from the get-go that the Straw Hats are not even close to the level of Kizaru or Kuma, and so the arc ending with them trying desperately to escape is very interesting. Kizaru is sick as hell too. He's just so nonchalant about everything, never threatened in the slightest by the pirates. Eager to see more of him as well, and given the state of the One Piece world right now, I don't think I'll have to wait very long.
The main thing I'm left with after this arc is just how large the world of One Piece is. So much is going on behind the scenes that the Straw Hats aren't even privy to. Ace is set to be executed and the Whitebeard Pirates and the Warlords are about to go to war. This is happening with or without Luffy, and that's so crazy compared to other big anime like this. The world of One Piece does not require the input of the protagonist, it genuinely feels like they're part of something much larger, and that's super exciting.
Alright that's it. I'm gonna go right into the next arc, and I don't really know what to expect other than it's another short one, so I'll probably wait to make another update until I finish the arc after it. Viva la One Piece.