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#201 Edited by edgaras1103 (796 posts) -

@daveyo520: The movie is not good. Its worse than the show.

@peregrin38: Demo's humor is the best humor. His voice makes him sound like he has seen some shit.

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#202 Posted by Daveyo520 (7766 posts) -
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#203 Posted by Turambar (8251 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: I don't have the time like I use to to engage with anime analysis, but it's good to know his stuff is doing well still.

I remember many years back when he spent a summer getting his life together by spending a summer living in the Philippines with Ghostlightning whom he treated as an older brother. Good mentors are hard to come by.

(Ghosty is was the writer of the now defunct We Remember Love blog, home to some of the best pieces of written anime critique in the last decade.)

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#204 Posted by FrodoBaggins (1955 posts) -

Ok guys I need your help.

I need some good anime recommend for watching on UK Netflix.

I've watched and enjoy lots of Studio Ghibli, Grave of the Fireflys, Dragon Ball Z, Death Note, Girl Who Lept Through Time and others.

Must be English audio. Something my Mrs could enjoy, so probably nothing too silly or overly "anime". Thanks

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#205 Posted by Hamst3r (5479 posts) -

Ok guys I need your help.

I need some good anime recommend for watching on UK Netflix.

I've watched and enjoy lots of Studio Ghibli, Grave of the Fireflys, Dragon Ball Z, Death Note, Girl Who Lept Through Time and others.

Must be English audio. Something my Mrs could enjoy, so probably nothing too silly or overly "anime". Thanks

I'm going off what's listed here.

I'd say Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, but I know that Netflix is missing a bunch of episodes of that. There's also Attack on Titan, but Netflix doesn't have the English dub of that...

Uh...I guess there's all the Fate/Stay UBW stuff, but without Fate/Zero on the UK netflix I can't recommend that...

Oh, they've got the Psycho-Pass dub. Watch that. It also looks like they have Steins;Gate, that's worth watching, especially if it's dubbed.

Beyond that, I guess I'd say Knights of Sidonia is good, it's just done in kinda bad looking CG.

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#206 Edited by Daveyo520 (7766 posts) -

@frodobaggins: Let's see. Case Closed is a series I enjoyed/enjoy? very much. Aldonoah.Zero is worth seeing I think even if it is not the best. Ghost in the Shell is great, so is Psycho Pass. Attack on Titan is good. Death Note is really worth watching, at least the first half. Kill la Kill is one of my favorites and is also @zombiepie 's favorite anime of all time. Gurren Lagann IS my favorite and you need to see it. Stiens;Gate is amazing. People like Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood and I need to see it myself one of these days. Maybe Space Dandy.

If this list of what is on UK Netflix is correct you should watch those shows. Also they all have dubs (I don't know about Aldonah.Zero, it may not)

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#207 Posted by pyrodactyl (4221 posts) -

@frodobaggins: Steins;Gate has a great dub and it's totally the kind of show you can watch with a lady friend

Psycho Pass is also great but it might be a little to genre-y? I don't know

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#208 Posted by Daveyo520 (7766 posts) -

So I think Erased is shaping up to be a classic and could win AOTY in the first month. It would have to take a serious nose dive to stop it from at least making the top 10. It is just really really good.

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#209 Edited by azrailx (604 posts) -

@daveyo520: I've been a little cold on anime recently but this show has grabbed my full attention.

Even if Erased takes a dive in quality down the line it would still be a darn good show

@frodobaggins I'll second the Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood recommendation, even if you have to get the last batch of episodes using nefarious methods

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#210 Posted by BabyChooChoo (7089 posts) -

I started rewatching Mahouka because I'm a terrible person.

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#211 Posted by InstantRyan (527 posts) -

@babychoochoo: Why'd you have to remind me of that show? Now I have the sister's voice in my head

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#212 Posted by Akyho (2130 posts) -

Every so often I listen to Demo's "let's talk about anime" rap and I am reminded that I am not alone in this thinking...yet he still puts himself into watching terrible modern anime he even admits is terrible...shrug ha!

That and I follow Bennett the Sage as he is just as much of a cranky old anime fan as me known as "oldtaku". Bennett on one of my most fave anime ever. However....he and I still watch terrible old anime and admit it.....shrug!

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#213 Posted by peregrin38 (91 posts) -

@frodobaggins: Look for anything/everything by Satoshi Kon. Tokyo Godfathers in particular is a great one.

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#214 Posted by recroulette (5456 posts) -

Saw the first two episodes of Erased. Whoa. Very strong start to the season.

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#215 Edited by Zomgfruitbunnies (1275 posts) -

@instantryan said:

@babychoochoo: Why'd you have to remind me of that show? Now I have the sister's voice in my head

This totally reminded me Snow White with the White Hair is on again. That show is shoujo as fuck, and I absolutely love it. I'm normally not a huge fan of Hayami Saori's performances, but she really, really nails it as Shirayuki.

Starting to realize I'm watching more and more feelgood shows these days. Must be getting old.

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#216 Posted by metalsnakezero (2884 posts) -

Erased ep 3: Almost every episode is giving me a heart attack despite being minor things.Guess the whole time travel aspect of the show really impacts it a little more.

Active Raid ep 3: This show went from me hating it for being dumb to liking it being dumb.

Musaigen no Phantom World ep 3: This episode showed Kyo animation strong point, subtle interaction and character moments.

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#217 Posted by golguin (5469 posts) -

@zaphoduk: Have not seen SAO, but the general consensus is that there are a lot of other anime that do what it does, but better. If you don't really watch a lot of anime, it probably wouldn't be a problem for you. The same can be said for everyone's first or favorite anime, though. There's ALWAYS something that did it first or does it better.

I've seen A LOT of anime and SAO is probably one of the best shows I've seen. People simply like to hate on things that are popular and it's my understanding that SAO was VERY POPULAR the year it came out. You can tune those people out.

That being said I don't think that even the most die hard fans will say that the Fairy Arc was good. It was bad. Anyone that says it was good is wrong. Asuna was turned into a damsel in distress and that caused lots of people to give up on the show completely. Those that stuck with the show were rewarded in SAO 2 (2nd season of SAO) with Sinon and Yuuki (both strong female characters) in their respective story lines.

I guess I'm saying that you really need to watch SAO 2 since it sounds like you didn't see that. Here's the opening that hyped everyone up for the Gun Gale Online Arc.



Loading Video...
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#218 Posted by BabyChooChoo (7089 posts) -

@instantryan said:

@babychoochoo: Why'd you have to remind me of that show? Now I have the sister's voice in my head

This totally reminded me Snow White with the White Hair is on again. That show is shoujo as fuck, and I absolutely love it. I'm normally not a huge fan of Hayami Saori's performances, but she really, really nails it as Shirayuki.

Starting to realize I'm watching more and more feelgood shows these days. Must be getting old.

What? The second season is airing?!?! Why was I not informed? I love that series. Feelgood is the perfect way to describe it. it's sickeningly sweet.

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#219 Posted by golguin (5469 posts) -

ANNOUNCEMENT

I'm man enough to admit when I was wrong and my initial impressions of Erased were very wrong. I finished watching episode 3 and the series is shaping up to be a top tier anime.

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#220 Edited by InstantRyan (527 posts) -

@golguin: It's the best new show this season by a mile, which isn't hard compared to most of the stuff this season but it would be top tier in any season.

Edit: I keep on forgetting about Rakugo, which is the only other thing this season I'd recommend to everyone.

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#221 Edited by peregrin38 (91 posts) -

For those interested, I have appropriated a brief video for my review of Sword Art Online. The first 10 seconds represent the first 13-14 episodes, and the final 6 represent every other episode from the show, including the "let's-look-at-Sinon's-butt" arc and the "parents-just-don't-understand" arc.

With this, I look back upon the Sodom and Gomorrah of the current anime industry and make peace with its having transformed me into a pillar of salt, forced to gaze upon the ruin I could not bear to leave behind, slowly dissolving myself in my own tears...

But hey, I actually kinda like Konosuba more than I would have ever expected, I guess anime can stay.

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#222 Posted by Sergio (3625 posts) -

@daveyo520: Erased is my favorite new series, but it gets me sad and pissed off at the same time because of the child abuse.

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#223 Edited by zaphoduk (69 posts) -

Thanks for the replies re: SAO. I guess it's a marmite thing and it sounds like people were into it at first but it gets worse as it goes on.

I did get into anime many many years ago with Akira, Fist of North Star, Tank Police among others but dropped off and have only recently got back into it a year or so ago. I have picked up SAO 2nd vol1 which i'll watch soon. I'm currently going through Cowboy Bebop which i'm enjoying and find really good, but i can't really understand why it is so heavily revered.

I'm also watching Freezing at the moment, whilst i'm enjoying the main story arc i'm finding the gratuitous nature and constant upstart shots a bit unnecessary. I think the story could have been handled a lot more tastefully.

Other anime's i picked up in various Christmas sales which i'll be getting round to are Gurren Lagaan, Space Dandy and Durara. Read good things about Space Dandy but not seen anything on the others.

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#224 Edited by violet_ (280 posts) -

Now I am not sure if this is relevant to the current discussion because I know not one thing about anime nor do I care for it other than the occasional curious watch.

Recently a friend of mine said I'd like Toradora and they said it under the guise that it is a "fun show". To humor him I began watching knowing that I wouldn't like it but I got hooked in and had a fun time... well until the half way point.

Anyway, my friend is a liar and I have real bad feels(and also good feels?) now. Goddamn that was Intense.

So yeah Idk if it means much but anime is alright I guess. If y'all have something to recommend based on that hit me up I guess?

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#225 Posted by edgaras1103 (796 posts) -
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#226 Posted by Daveyo520 (7766 posts) -

@sergio: Well that just means it is good because it is supposed to illicit those feelings.

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#227 Posted by InstantRyan (527 posts) -

@zaphoduk: I think the thing with Cowboy Bebop, at least for myself and people around my age, was that it tended to be one of the first anime people watched when it spread out from Japan or because it's recommended as a good intro to anime show. Besides Pokemon, my interest started with stuff that would play on Toonami/Adult Swim in those late 90's/early 2000's years. Things like a Cowboy Bebop, Wolf's Rain, Inuyasha, Yu Yu Hakusho, etc. etc. were my first real dive into anime. Cowboy Bebop was one of the best of the bunch and it wasn't full of "anime bullshit" so it was easier for a Western audience to get into. It's held up over the years and since most anime is real bad, it's held to a certain reverence.

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#228 Posted by Sergio (3625 posts) -

@daveyo520: I think it's good on its own regardless of those feelings, since I'd have the same feelings if that subject matter were in a bad show. The show just nails everything it's trying to do right now, and I hope it continues.

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#229 Posted by Daveyo520 (7766 posts) -

@sergio: I really hope it does too. I love the idea of watching a really really good show as it is airing instead of after the fact. Though it is annoying having to wait so long and not being able to bing it.

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#230 Posted by edgaras1103 (796 posts) -

I have a bit of a problem with White Album 2. The first 2 episodes was really freaking good. The main male character seemed very logical and level headed. Very chill dude who treats females in a surprisingly normal (for anime) way. I thought myself that this show could be really solid. But he's gone. When the 2 females were introduced he started acting like the usual wimpy cliche character. No confidence at all. Just a bit of a letdown.

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#231 Posted by pyrodactyl (4221 posts) -

@golguin said:
@jordanxjordan said:

@zaphoduk: Have not seen SAO, but the general consensus is that there are a lot of other anime that do what it does, but better. If you don't really watch a lot of anime, it probably wouldn't be a problem for you. The same can be said for everyone's first or favorite anime, though. There's ALWAYS something that did it first or does it better.

I've seen A LOT of anime and SAO is probably one of the best shows I've seen. People simply like to hate on things that are popular and it's my understanding that SAO was VERY POPULAR the year it came out. You can tune those people out.

I guess I'm saying that you really need to watch SAO 2 since it sounds like you didn't see that. Here's the opening that hyped everyone up for the Gun Gale Online Arc.

I think saying ''people hate it because it's popular'' is a lazy way to dismiss fair criticism. Also ''I've seen A LOT of anime and SAO is probably one of the best shows I've seen'' really? I know you can't say anyone's personal tastes and opinions are wrong but SAO, one of the best anime, REALLY?

Anyway, from what I gathered SAO 2 doesn't fix any of the problems people had with SAO. Sure, it's not the abortion that was the Fairy Arc but the characters are still terrible, the world doesn't have any kind of internal logic and the plot is bafflingly contrived.

It did not suddenly turn into a well made story. It's still a 14 year old wish fulfillment fantasy. It's all about how the plot and characters can bend and break their internal logic so the main character can look the coolest and grow his personal harem.

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#232 Edited by Hunter5024 (6706 posts) -

I watched Madoka Rebellion and now I'm upset. It's a good movie but I can't shake the feeling that I would've been better off not watching it at all.

Edit: Also on the recent subject of KyoAni Haruhi is great and people should watch it.

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#233 Edited by jordanxjordan (58 posts) -
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#234 Posted by jiggajoe14 (1817 posts) -

My family got me eden of the East for Christmas. I'm watching it right now. It's quite good.

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#235 Posted by golguin (5469 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: the 14 year old wish fulfillment criticism that you are laying down doesn't make any sense to me. There are characters in sao2 that deal with life situations that I can't see ever as someone's "wish." The bad characters comment I can't even address since Sinon is one of my favorite characters. I think Batman is one of the worst characters ever created and I can explain why I feel that way but I know I would be in the minority in regards to my specific issues. Maybe Sinon is a similar thing where she's the best and most people think she's the best, but you may not like her.

Maybe you can explain how the worlds internal logic falls apart as I don't even have a sense of what you may be referring to.

On phone so maybe that made sense.

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#236 Edited by pyrodactyl (4221 posts) -

@golguin: I'll just defer to this:

Loading Video...

You can ignore the more nitpicky points made for comedic effect. Hell, you might think all the criticism in there is nitpicking. If you can stomach that many plot contrivances and illogical bullshit more power to you.

For the rest of us it seems like the creator of SOA put so little thought into the world building, characters or story that the whole thing falls appart the moment you think about it for 5 seconds.

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#237 Posted by golguin (5469 posts) -

@golguin: I'll just defer to this:

Loading Video...

You can ignore the more nitpicky points made for comedic effect. Hell, you might think all the criticism in there is nitpicking. If you can stomach that many plot contrivances and illogical bullshit more power to you.

For the rest of us it seems like the creator of SOA put so little thought into the world building, characters or story that the whole thing falls appart the moment you think about it for 5 seconds.

13:32 is how far I got into the video before I checked out, but it was more than enough. You would think that major plot points would be the kind of stuff that you wouldn't get wrong in a video like this, but apparently not. I'll spoiler this part since it delves into some nitty gritty stuff of the plot.

Yui: What is Yui? I don't know what her current existence is, but she was a super Mental Health AI in SAO before she was cut from the system and changed into a portable version of herself. Her data is saved inside of Kirito's nerve gear. When he went into fairly land he was able to access her data through his item menu and reformed her body since fairy land is basically sword art online with some new paint slapped on. I don't have any lore book handy, but since Yui's data is saved on Kirito's nerve gear (she explains at the end of the fairy arc that she doesn't need a game to exist since she's in his nerve gear) I don't see why Kirito couldn't set up a portable device to stream her AI. Maybe something like the phone that she's inhabited while she's out and about in the real world? That's clearly the answer yet the dude in the video didn't seem to know that.

The most baffling part of his Yui rant is that he couldn't understand how Yui was able to turn on a TV to a specific stream channel. The video rant came out in 2015, but surely tablets already existed that can turn your TV on and off and change the channel via wifi or bluetooth. How is it inconceivable to think that the hospital has smart TVs? Why wouldn't Yui be able to turn on the TV and change the channel? Truly baffling stuff.


Deathgun: I'm not sure what anime the dude was watching, but unless I missed something "Deathgun" was never in Sinon's room while she was in the game. Kirito suggested that "Deathgun" might be waiting in Sinon's room and she imagined that situation in her mind, but when she woke up she checked her area and found that there was no one in her apartment. "Deathgun" didn't enter her apartment until she willingly let Kyouji in. A point was made about Kyouji getting his hands on the drug and how it was somehow impossible for him to do. All of this while completely hand waving the fact that his family is in charge of the hospital, Japan isn't the US, and while this is my added point I will say that US media (TV and movies in particular) always make it a point to show X person getting their hands on X drug without much difficulty.


Sinon: The video completely mischaracterized her arc and even COMPLETELY SKIPPED her resolution with the 3 girls. Let's laugh and make fun of the fact that she started to have a PTSD episode while she had that pellet gun pointed at her, but was able to power through and take control of the situation. Let's focus on the can's location and completely cut out the part where she nearly collapsed after having walked away from the girls. Clearly her PTSD was NOT MAGICALLY FIXED, but she was able to take her first real step towards recovery.


There were other things that I can point out, but those 3 were MAJOR issues that I didn't think a video of that kind would get wrong and/or completely overlook.

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#238 Edited by pyrodactyl (4221 posts) -

@golguin: I fucked up and put up the Final instead of part 3 first. You actually quoted the video I posted a few minutes later in my edit. That video makes a better point about the whole logic of the show being broken.

Anyway, regarding a few of your points:

It's actually established Deathgun is planning to kill every player in the tournement for real. Meaning there is actually an acomplice above every tournement participant with a seringe at the ready. Don't you think that's insane? This might be the stupidest, least practical assassination technique I've ever seen.

Everyone saw a guy get killed for real on stream. Did anyone call the police? Did they contact the company that runs the japanese servers to ban deathgun's account?

Finally, it's cool you enjoyed Sinon's character arc. You might've missed the part in the video just after you stopped watching where we see her arc conclude in a scene where Kirito inducts her into his personal harem. Digibro might downplay Sinon's arc in his video series but I totally understand since the whole PTSD thing kinda loses its impact after you reallize the show is much more interested in zooming shots of her ass and her place in Kirito's ever expanding harem.

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#239 Edited by peregrin38 (91 posts) -

I don't even think you need to nitpick SAO. Sinon's role as a supposed "strong female character" is consistently supplanted by the lecherous cinematography, her character growth is completely supplanted by Kirito's Gary Stu-ness (same issue with Asuna and just about every other character in that show - remember how he ultimately saved her from all this shit? Remember that? That's not really what we call "strong" in this sense. Strong would have been saving the *protagonist* from that scenario by overcoming her PTSD or something, I mean *come on*), and the entire "MMO game" setting is poorly utilized and serves only as an excuse to shift between fantastical settings for the sake of... I dunno, hiding the fact that nothing else about the show is inherently novel?

There are worse shows, sure, but there are PLENTY of other shows that do a better job of these sorts of themes. Like Fullmetal Alchemist. Remember Fullmetal Alchemist? People had to cope with PTSD stuff in that show, but that show was great! No gross cinematography, characters were allowed to have arcs that felt natural and interesting, the protagonist was DEFINED by his mistakes instead of effectively never making them, good times, good times...

I guess my ultimate gripe here is that there's nothing about SAO past season 1 that would make me want to recommend it to a newcomer more than everything that people have been recommending to newcomers for YEARS (see: the OP). But hey, maybe you like Gary Stus in your anime. That's fine. I like them sometimes, too! That's why I watch JoJo *winks at camera*

#SeriousBusiness

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#240 Posted by JesusHammer (912 posts) -

Pictures, videos, and gifs of Sinon's ass are probably the only things I enjoy about SAO, so I'd rather they have those then not while still being a bad show.

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#241 Posted by BabyChooChoo (7089 posts) -

*shows up to talk about DagashiKashi, but then slowly backs away*

episode 3 was pretty good

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#242 Posted by golguin (5469 posts) -

@golguin: I fucked up and put up the Final instead of part 3 first. You actually quoted the video I posted a few minutes later in my edit. That video makes a better point about the whole logic of the show being broken.

Anyway, regarding a few of your points:

It's actually established Deathgun is planning to kill every player in the tournement for real. Meaning there is actually an acomplice above every tournement participant with a seringe at the ready. Don't you think that's insane? This might be the stupidest, least practical assassination technique I've ever seen.

Everyone saw a guy get killed for real on stream. Did anyone call the police? Did they contact the company that runs the japanese servers to ban deathgun's account?

Finally, it's cool you enjoyed Sinon's character arc. You might've missed the part in the video just after you stopped watching where we see her arc conclude in a scene where Kirito inducts her into his personal harem. Digibro might downplay Sinon's arc in his video series but I totally understand since the whole PTSD thing kinda loses its impact after you reallize the show is much more interested in zooming shots of her ass and her place in Kirito's ever expanding harem.

There was no accomplice above Sinon with a syringe at the ready. The dude in the video made a whole point out of the fact that he didn't rape her while he had the chance. That he was somehow hovering above her just itching to rape her. That didn't happen. He was outside and came in when Sinon let him in. He wasn't hovering above her body. Why would you complain about a scenario that didn't happen? Did I somehow miss the part where Kyouji was in her apartment? No, I didn't, but the video guy somehow imagined it.

That may have been the plan, but plans changed when Kyouji wanted to be there in person for Sinon.

No one saw anyone get killed for real on stream. All the people saw was someone logout. No one even knows that Deathgun is a real thing. People think it's a hoax at best even though dudes haven't logged in. The whole point of the arc is to find out if Deathgun is a real thing and if he's real the method he uses to kill victims in their apartment without leaving any apparent traces.

I'd also like to add @peregrin38 that Sinon did save Kirito. He was getting his ass kicked until Sinon knocked the dude out.

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#243 Posted by peregrin38 (91 posts) -

I like how @pyrodactyl and I are not even bothering to spoilertag anything about SAO because we clearly don't think it's worth the effort. I'm probably goin' to anime hell for this. Nah, who am I kidding, I've been there for years, ever since I decided to actually watch all of Kampfer in 2008 *shudders*

Speaking of, I really liked Hozuki no Reitetsu, is that ever getting a season 2?

Oh, and Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū is still the best show of the season, thanks for asking~ Overall, I'll say that I'm surprisingly into more shows this season than I expected from the listings alone. There's a lot of RPG-inspired stuff, though. Like, abnormally so... I'd usually expect one or two per season, but we're on something like 4 now and it's just... are we vidya? Is anime now just vidya?

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#244 Edited by Mirado (2557 posts) -

Let's take a break from SAO! Step into a mental time machine and take yourself back to 1995 (or 2000 for us Americans) for the first installment of Kill Your Nostalgia!*

It's a small series (at least I plan on doing more than one, but resolutions are made to be broken) in which I'll review a show that's at least 10 years removed from when I last viewed it. That's a fairly small pool, mind you, but it does include some very popular titles (as it probably has to, since only the real money makers would cross the sea and wind up on television here) that you may remember fondly.

*You may not actually have any nostaglic feelings for any of these shows. Sorry. D:

First on the chopping block:

New Mobile Report Gundam Wing

Loading Video...

(Yeah, that intro still does it for me.)

  • Release Date: April 7th 1995 - March 29th, 1996 (Japan), March 6th - May 11th, 2000 (US)
  • No. of Episodes - 49
  • Last Seen: Original US release, 2000 ( TV: Toonami, dubbed)
  • Rewatch Format: Subbed, to give it the best chance as the dub is "90s bad."

After seeing some Wing-related banter in the previous thread, I couldn't get this series out of my thoughts. It's a curious beast; I'd imagine it's probably the first proper mecha series I completed, but I remember very little of it outside of a few characters and some vague robot designs. In fact, the clearest memory I have revolves around how foggy the plot seemed at the time; words like Peacecraft or White Fang float around whenever I concentrate on Gundam Wing, but not in a way that leads to an identifiable group, or person, or motivation, or...anything. It's a big soup of terms and scenes; before I cracked open the first episode, I started to wonder if the complexity of this show was beyond what my younger self could handle, or if it really is a confusing, incomprehensible mess.

This guy knows!
This guy knows!

Gundam Wing revolves around five young pilots and their titular war machines, who land on Earth in an attempt to destroy OZ, a military organization with designs on subjugating the space colonies for the Romefeller Foundation, a secret organization of ultra rich people who pull the strings of various world governments. There's also the United Earth Sphere Alliance, and the Sanc Kingdom, and the World Nation, and a bunch of other random factions, reactionary movements, clans, and guerrilla operations, but nothing winds up mattering as main characters switch sides (and motivations) often enough that there's little point in keeping track of them all.

Eventually, even the show loses the will to keep things straight and stops bothering to explain why people are aligning with whatever flavor-of-the-month group they've chosen altogether. Let me give you an example of how dumb this all gets:

  • After attacking the Alliance and showing their true allegiance to Romefeller, OZ splinters into two groups when Treize (the OZ leader) is removed from power by Duke Dermail, the head of Romefeller.
  • This "Treize Faction" is eventually forced from the Earth into space, where they come into conflict with the remnants of the Alliance and the members of OZ who are slowly taking control of the colonies.
  • With no indication at all, the Treize Faction and some remaining Alliance members join up with White Fang, a pro-colony group, despite the fact that they were just blowing each other up and never showed one iota of affiliation with the colonies. (Keep in mind, the whole show happens in the course of one year, so these battles are still very fresh.)
  • Treize returns to power as the head of OZ/The World Nation/whatever the mishmash of forces from Earth now decide to call themselves, but instead of rejoicing and joining him, the members of White Fang originally from the Treize Faction decide to fight him to the death.

So, the plot is all over the place, motivations are vague or flexible enough to be considered a joke, people are knocked out of power only to have nearly identical organizations and characters fill the gap, and the show provides zero justification for slapping kids into the most advanced killing machines ever made. In fact, the show treats the Gundam pilots as adults in every conceivable way (down to their muted emotions and assumption of command), outside of the obligatory and oft-repeated shock when a random soldier discovers who they've been fighting.

It's enough to give you a split personality!
It's enough to give you a split personality!

The vast majority of the villains all suffer from anterograde amnesia, which manifests so frequently that I have to wonder if the writers intended to model the effects of traumatic brain injury after years of high G mobile suit maneuvers. Plans that fail are not only repeated mere episodes later, but with declarative statements that make most characters sound insane:

  • "Send the mobile dolls, they're invincible!"
  • *all the mobile dolls are destroyed*
  • Next episode, same character: "Send the mobile dolls, they've never been beaten!"

Not a single person ever points out the absurdity of these statements or plans, but given the gleeful abandon in which most commanders throw their soldiers' lives/equipment away, I guess they're just happy to be out of the line of fire.

Now, asking a Gudam series to have a stellar plot is like asking a buffet to deliver a Michelin Star-winning level of cuisine; that'd be fantastic, but as long as you are full when you walk out, it did its job. So, let's get right to the main course; how's the robo fighin'?

I'm so cool and so underutilized!
I'm so cool and so underutilized!

When I think of giant robots, I think of these giant robots. Far more than any other show, the designs of these particular mecha perfectly encapsulate anime as a whole: stylish, unique, iconic, and utterly impractical. You need to keep in mind what the "shows with big fighting robots in them" landscape looked like for me back in the late 90s; I watched Power Rangers around 95-97, and compared to those lumbering, blocky slowpokes, these things looked like jet powered ballerinas with whole arms replaced by Gatling guns or beam canons that could blow up a moon. I remember feeling enraptured by the combat; things crumpled and disintegrated with such zeal and with such speed that I could scarcely keep up. I loved how diverse the designs were, how each had a different way of dealing with enemies, and it really was an eye opener; everything that came before felt like kids stuff, but this, this was for adults!

Well, time can act like a veil or it can act like a lens, and here it worked to focus on the shortcomings of a show from this era of animation. The designs remain varied and interesting, but that only helps to emphasize how often they were forced to reuse shots and sequences; designing unique and varied animations for six or seven main robots blowing up the same generic enemies was probably too much of a strain on both the budget and the deadlines, whereas a story based around a single protagonist could probably keep things from getting too repetitive over the course of a season.

The reliance on mobile dolls in the later half of the show's runtime was a great way to avoid animating any more
The reliance on mobile dolls in the later half of the show's runtime was a great way to avoid animating any more "just about to blow up" pilot reactions.
We're just so pretty, it's depressing.
We're just so pretty, it's depressing.

Continuing with the "overuse" theme, the designs of the characters themselves are all pretty similar, with an emphasis on "pretty." I had to do some digging as I haven't seen many other mainline Gundams, but this one seems to be the first to go all bishōnen with it's character designs, and boy does it ever. The adults are mostly spared, but the Gundam pilots in particular are more or less interchangeably beautiful pretty boys, to the point that you really can't tell them apart, and it doesn't help that they're mostly emotionally mute, with the occasional breakdown as the only sign that they feel very much of anything. In a way, it makes sense; you'd have to be a fairly messed up kid to hop into one of these meat tenderizers and just start gunning down anything that moves, but despite having ample time to do so, the writes don't really bother to flesh out the backstories of the pilots or explain just how they became so outstanding at killing trained soldiers. There's hints of a mentor-student relationship with the Gundam designers, but, again, the show is frustratingly light on giving anyone more than surface level characterization.

And yet, it's not all doom and gloom for Gundam Wing. In fact, the one big complaint I've heard in the years since I first watched the show turned out not to bother me in the slightest; Heero Yuy really isn't all that bad. Oh sure, he can get a bit mopey and he's very one note (a low, resonating blast from a tuba), but compared to some of the real annoyances (looking at you, Lady Une), he's very inoffensive. In fact, watching this show made me realize how many whiny, "oh I'm not sure I can do this" Shinji Ikari clones are out there, and how I vastly prefer Heero's mute fatalism over even an ounce of the coming of age bullshit most of these shows try to shove down your throat.

(I'd go back and do one of these for Evangelion but I don't even have a scrap of nostalga for it, so it doesn't qualify.)

And when the show gets going, it still can grab your attention. The fights between main characters are well edited, and the animations can be fairly intricate when it isn't dealing with the umpteenth unit of cannon fodder. Space (the great matte painting money saver) can be a bit dull, but the combat on Earth benefits from various locations and environments, with urban spaceports, featureless deserts, lush jungles, and Antarctic research bases all making an appearance at one point or another.

Unfortunately, the best part of this show can only be heard and not seen.
Unfortunately, the best part of this show can only be heard and not seen.

The sound design is easily the best part of the show. I'd go so far as to say that Gundam is to anime sound design as Star Wars was to sci fi movie sound design, with the caveat that if a series did it before Gundam, I'm not aware of it. Everything is iconic, from the classic warning beep to something as simple as pulling a lever, and it all holds up far better than the animation or the nonsensical plot. I now understand why I never noticed how dumb this show can be: I was too busy emulating all of the cool noises coming out of my television to care.

So, does Gundam Wing stand the test of time? Well, no, but it doesn't suffer the kind of stock slide that I expected it to. Yes, the fights are far more underwhelming now that I notice just how much footage is recycled, and yes, the plot makes just as little sense as it did back then. But the high points that I remember (cool sounds, and the clashes between the important characters) are still fun, and the low points that I expected to hate (mainly Heero) didn't bother me nearly as much as I had assumed.

So, Gundam Wing's nostalgia is dead, but not my love of its opening themes:

Loading Video...

Never change, Two-Mix.

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#245 Posted by edgaras1103 (796 posts) -

@jordanxjordan: I agree. The chemistry between main characters is second to none and I love Kansai dialect. It was music to my ears.

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#246 Posted by DocHaus (2757 posts) -

@mirado: You misspelled "nostalgia" but otherwise this was a Good Post. Gundam Wing was the first-ever Gundam series I watched, and I remember loving the designs of the main Gundams, but looking back yeah it was not that good of a show or even a Gundam show compared to others, when the Mobile Dolls came into play the fight scenes started losing their cool. Then again, I was a dumb kid so I loved the show, and even bought a couple of the snap-on models of the Wing Zero and Deathscythe to put together (they were about 90% finished before I got impatient and tossed them).

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#247 Edited by InstantRyan (527 posts) -

Dammit, Divine Gate. Why do you have to be so mediocre? You got a great styyyyyle going for you but basically nothing else.

@mirado: Oh man, that first OP is still so good. It surprised me how much I remember of it in my head. As a young kid, it was easy to ignore any issues with the show since I came to it for the action sequences when I first started watching. What's a story and good characters when all I needed were flashy explosions and cool looking mechs, with Epyon easily being in my Top 5 Gundam designs. I even enjoyed SEED's first season when it first came over because I was still young enough to where the fighting was all that mattered, even though I think it's worse than Wing. Like most things, it always seem to be a time and place

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#248 Edited by awesomeusername (4631 posts) -

Holy crap, the fifth megathread. :(

Anyways, I've been trying to binge through all the long animes in my list.

Hunter x Hunter 2011 - Up to episode 59. I hear the ant king arc is the best and I know I'm close but man. Besides the main characters, the show hasn't been all it's hyped up to be. I thought it was going to be straight up fighting but it isn't. I was lied to! Not to say it's a bad show but definitely not what I expected. Anyway, less then 100 episodes left. I'll finish it soon.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventures Stardust Crusaders S2 - 10/10. YES!

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. - Another show I expected to be lots of fighting but no. Still really good though. Finished season 1.

Assassination Classroom S2 - YES! First 2 episodes had me laughing. Already off to a great start.

In other news, I recommended JoJo's, One Punch Man, and Prison School to a friend and she loved all 3. She just finished Josephs arc and she loves him. I didn't expect her to like any of these anime but she did. Woo!

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#249 Edited by metalsnakezero (2884 posts) -

Dagashi Kashi ep3: Who would have thought that eating candy with the wrapper on would be so intense.

Assassination Classroom S2 ep3: Not into jamming all the small stories together but at least they get the major plot points down.

While I wait for this damn snow storm I'm watching all of the Kill la Kill dub, they get down the performance just right.

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#250 Posted by Daveyo520 (7766 posts) -

I started Nichijou, it is insane.