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Joined: 08 Sep 2009
Posts: 1037
Location: Florida
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:45 am Reply with quote
Finished Dark Rabbit - Ugh. What a pain. Quite possibly the worst show I've ever watched and that's saying something. Nice to know that the ending spoiler[doesn't provide a lick of closure]. I seriously hope there isn't a second season. If there is, I'm definitely not on board. Terrible animation quality, terrible characters, just a terri-bad show.

C3 - This series seemed waaaaaaaaaay better when I was reading the description. Maybe I was watching a poorly subtitled version, but... it was never even mentioned in the first episode that Haruaki was immune to curses. There wasn't any fighting... unless you count 'Fear' destroying his home while attempting to clean. Such a cliche show filled with stereotypical characters, crappy animation, boring backgrounds, and one cookie-cutter scene after another. Both of the female characters are annoying by the middle of episode one. Not sure if I can stomach much more... I'll hang in there for as long as I can, but this is looking worse than Dark Rabbit.

Working Season 2 - Really looking forward to this. Episode 1 was nice. Nice to see we're back to the same type of humor. I think the animation looks a little worse than before? Oh well. I'm not in this for animation quality. I hope they progress the love story a little farther this time. Looking forward to more!
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Joined: 19 Jul 2010
Posts: 520
Location: Ohio
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 1:48 am Reply with quote
Only watched 2 shows from last season(Mawaru Peguindrum and Baka Test 2) so I decided to finally get around to checking out D.Gray-man. I just finished 84/103 and I'm digging it a lot.

Just got to the parts where spoiler[Kanda and Krory die. Couldn't care less about Kanda, he was a complete dick the entire series. Krory was a fun character though. Sad to see him go even after surviving the two Saw like deaths he went through.]

One of the most unexpected anime moments I've ever seen though was Road spoiler[kissing Allen] in the last episode. I had the same look of shock on my face as Lenalee, Lavi, and Chaoji Laughing

So far I'd rate this series as Very Good though, as with all anime, that's subject to change based on how much I like the ending. Also I will be judging them harshly if Lenalee's hair doesn't grow back and quickly. I'm not a fan of the short hair look on her.

My buddy and I were going to watch D.Gray-man about 3 or so years ago but I think I remember hearing that it wasn't finished. Something had happened to the writer and it still had like 8-9 eppies worth of material to get through but the manga hadn't finished yet. I remember the conversation we had but can't remember if D.Gray-man was the show we were talking about or not. I guess I'll find out once I finish the last 19 episodes.

Though I'll also add at how dismayed I am that Lenalee has become Generic Useless Female Sidekick A in the last 20 episodes. All she does now is regret not being able to help and cry. We have enough of those in anime thank you very much.
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 4471
Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:43 am Reply with quote
After marathoning Angel Beats! twice on the weekend I went out and bought it yesterday. I've since watched it again, this time with the American dub.

My biggest gripe with the American dub is the way everybody pronounces Kanade's name. Japanese does not provide many pronunciation difficulties for English speakers (the rules for placing stress are different but that isn't a major difficulty), so why do Japanese names get butchered so often in dubs?

Blake Shepherd doesn't quite work as Otonashi. His American accent is too pronounced while he too often sounds like he is reading from a script. In contrast, Britney Karbowski's voice is just right for Yuri. I was also impressed by how I couldn't understand Hilary Haag when Yui the genki girl hit excitement overload levels.

This time around I didn't find the transformation in Kanade's personality so convincing. I'm not sure if that's due to Emily Neves voice acting or whether, as my first impressions wear off, I'm realising that I overrated her character. It must be hard to do unemotional girls, in whatever language. Speaking in a monotone must be very limiting. Nevertheless, Kanade remains my favourite character in the series.

Tachibana Kanade closest to camera, Yuzuru Otonashi on right.

I've decide to upgrade the rating to excellent, simply because I still found it enormously entertaining, despite watching it three times in four days. The emotive elements do lose their power somewhat, however the black humour continues to amuse. I suppose I can best sum the show up by saying its The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya meets Haibane Renmei meets Clannad meets Gunslinger Girl with its own brand of black humour mixed in.
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Joined: 30 Nov 2008
Posts: 23
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:38 am Reply with quote
watching Welcome to the NHK and Goku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei-- I loved the first two seasons so i am expecting this to be equally hilarious.

By the way anyway anybody got some good shonen/seinen suggestions?
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The King of Harts

Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 6712
Location: Mount Crawford, Virginia
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:00 am Reply with quote
errinundra wrote:
My biggest gripe with the American dub is Stephen Foster

That's all you had to say and everyone would've known exactly what you're talking about. Completely unnecessary and uneven script changes, random swearing, mispronounced names (the actors can say those names, so Foster has to be making them say it wrong), little emotional impact, and all that stuff are signs of Foster dubs. He's fine when you give him the helm to a show you planned on completely changing the script from the beginning (ie Ghost Stories), but giving him something like Voices of a Distant Star, Angel Beats, Clannad, or any other show really, is a huge mistake. Hell, as much as I like HSOTD and it's dub, I can admit that it's full of errors and "Fosterisms" and I think it would've been better with a more consistent, less Foster-as-director script.

Actually I saw someone say one time that it seems like they're just giving him the sub script and having him and the actors make it up and adjust on the fly so they can save time and money....and that sounds like a legit possibility when you listen them. I mean, they're already cutting corners by using Foster for 99% of the dubs (Matt Greenfield has done a few), and not taking the long, tedious time it takes to a decent dub script would save a lot of coin.

But hey, dub fans are lower than low, so according to S23 (and MB when they used Artinvel for a stint), all you have to do is haphazardly slap some English words together, call it a dub, increase the price, and you're done.

I will admit to loving the Canaan dub, though. Foster has it in him, and it's proven by the aforementioned Canaan and Le Chevalier D'Eon, but he apparently doesn't like doing it. And by "it" I mean making a normal script and taking time with his actors so they give their absolute best performance.
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 4471
Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:47 am Reply with quote
The King of Harts wrote:
...Completely unnecessary and uneven script changes, random swearing, mispronounced names (the actors can say those names, so Foster has to be making them say it wrong), little emotional impact, and all that stuff are signs of Foster dubs...

Thanks for the tip. I found the emotional impact was reduced but I had put that down to watching it so many times in quick succession. I'll know now to look out for him in future.

BTW, I agree that Canaan has a very good dub.
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The King of Harts

Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 6712
Location: Mount Crawford, Virginia
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:00 pm Reply with quote
And the thing is, I'm someone who is in favor of changes to a script if it's 1) necessary for the sake of English 2) funny or 3) legitimately makes the scene better. But Foster takes it to a new level of changing stuff because he feels like it, and, worse of all, he's uneven. If you're going to go Shin Chan or Ghost Stories on the script, go all the way, but don't try keep the feel of a show, but add in your own flavor which changes the flavor of the show. It takes a lot of ability to mix lots of changes and keeping with the show (Eric Johnson did an amazing job of doing this in Desert Punk), and Foster doesn't have it.

Unfortunately, he's the only person outside the occasional Greenfield sighting doing dubs for Sentai for who knows why. I haven't heard all of the Clannad dub, but what I have is horrible and I wish they would've brought back Kyle Jones to direct it since he did the amazing Kanon and very good Air dubs.
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Joined: 31 Aug 2009
Posts: 1863
Location: Chinese cartoons are srs biz
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:59 pm Reply with quote
Started watching Rideback tonight. Really enjoying it except for some of the generic character designs, and the cg takes a little getting used to. I'm interested in where they take the series in just twelve episodes, as the political backdrop seems like it could be explored more fully. Then again, I'm only 3 episodes in so it might change.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:39 pm Reply with quote

I have a great deal of affection for Rideback, despite its shortcomings, probably because, as an ex-motorcyclist, I enjoyed the superbly executed riding scenes, and also because the main character, Ogata Rin, is so appealing. You've noted its main faults - the political developments are rushed while the character designs are dull - and neither improve over the course of the series. It has a great emotional pay-off, though, beautifully choreographed to Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.

I'm interested to read your opinions when you finish.
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Joined: 04 Oct 2011
Posts: 225
Location: Aaaaargentina
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:59 am Reply with quote
Clannad (At episode 12 right now) - First time watching this show, after playing (more like reading) the v-novel like a year ago. It's a very nice show so far.

Fate / Zero Episode 1: Not quite the start I wanted, but it's just the first episode, we'll see how this will turn out.

And the fact that both shows come from or are related to visual novels I've played is the main reason why I have started watching them.

PS: Since this is just my second post ever, I must say english is my second language. That's what the rules say Laughing

Also, Hi there!

And yeah, I need an avatar ;P
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Joined: 30 Oct 2009
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Location: Where the rain is.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:23 pm Reply with quote
I just finished watching Perfect Blue for the first time. Wow is all I can say O_O. Honestly I wasn't expecting something that good because I normally don't like deeply psychological shows, so I've been avoiding watching it. This show really is famous for a reason though. About halfway through suddenly I thought I knew everything that was going to happen, but it got turned on its head. I really need to give Satoshi Kon more credit than that. What inspired me to watch this is that I've seen the Black Swan, and many people have been making comparisons between the two. I actually like Perfect Blue better because it ends on a note of catharsis, and Mima is spoiler[able to find herself and cement her own personal identity].

Now Im really, really glad I watched this during the day so by the time the sun goes down most of the creepiness will have worn off Anime hyper.
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Joined: 18 Jul 2010
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Location: UK
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 4:12 pm Reply with quote
This current season does not seem to be offering much... I am still waiting for Un-Go.. In the meantime, I am caching up on the previous one. Hanasaku Iroha was my first choice- and a good one it turns out. A lovely, heart-warming story was exactly what I needed at the moment. I really enjoy the characters and the plot, although generally slice of life is not really my thing.
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Blood-'s not like I post for you or anything!'s not like I post for you or anything!

Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 19137
Location: Toronto, Canada
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:07 am Reply with quote
Another viewing milestone for me thanks to Fairy Tail: just finished watching episode 100 which is the first time I have seen three digits worth of episodes of a single show. Technically, I guess I could have claimed that after watching eppie 98 since I've also seen the two FT OVAs, but this makes it all "official" like. Loving the current S-class Wizard exam arc which makes two strong arcs in a row. Nice.
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Joined: 13 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:00 pm Reply with quote
So I'm watching Planetes and I'm watching it dubbed. I just thought that I'd watch something with dubs for change and I'm not disappointed, actually I'm very impressed. The anime itself has been very good. I've seen 17 episodes and though it's episodic it has been interesting. I don't think the last episodes can change my opinion much anymore unless the ending is terrible. So I think I'm pretty surely going to rate this very good.

Also I'm still watching Katekyo Hitman Reborn! (obviously it's long) and I've seen 67 episodes so far. The Xanxus arc was interesting, a lot better than the Mukuro Rokudo arc. The fillers are sometimes painful to watch, but some episodes are actually funny. If I rated this now, I'd probably give it good.
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Surrender Artist

Joined: 01 May 2011
Posts: 3250
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:45 pm Reply with quote
Just yesterday I finished watching Avenger, which is the first Bee Train show and second work directed by Kōichi Mashimo that I’ve seen beyond the ‘girls-with-guns’ trilogy. I was disappointed, although not as badly as I was warned I would be. Avenger feels incomplete; its story does not properly end, very much remains unexplained and we have barely any better sense of the characters than we began with. I wasn’t furious that I had watched it, in a way I’m almost glad that I did, but I wasn’t satisfied by the series. The scenario of it is appealingly bleak and has some interesting concepts, which is much of the disappointment. This has some excellent possibilities in it that aren’t made good upon. I almost wish that I could remake this, because I think that the bones and vital organs of it are good enough to be saved.

The girls-with-guns trilogy all had some engaging characters. Both Noir and El Cazador de la Bruja had excellent lead duos that I really liked. Madlax had some interesting ones, although it suffered some of the same problems as Avenger in characterization, but still stitched some interesting relationships together. Avenger doesn’t really have any of that. Layla is too taciturn to ever become interesting. There are hints of deep feelings and something that could have been at least touchingly sincere and genuine between she and Nei, but it never really breaks out. There are many affectionate scenes between the two that seem like they should be meaningful and touching, but they lack emotional context. Speedy is a swell guy, but seems a very stock character. There is nothing really interesting or distinctive about his motivations or personality. Nei is a sweet kid, but mostly a plot prop and even duller than speedy. Volk and Vesta never seem to have much of a relationship. They don’t have conversations as much as parallel monologues. As with all else, there are hints of interest in them, but they are really just bafflingly tedious. Some of it seems like exposition that fails to explain itself. Volk’s droning suggests some sort of interesting madness, but it isn’t really examined enough.

The opening and closing are really excellent. Both are lively and sung in an cool, clipped style. "Lunar Eclipse Grand Guignol" has an interesting feel that reminded me of the music that I hear at the festivals held by a local Greek Orthodox church and that I danced to in my crib as a very young boy in Upper Darby. The rest of the music is not so successful. It’s all by ALI Project, who were also responsible for my beloved “Coppelia’s Casket” from Noir, but it seems that they should keep largely to opening and ending themes. Most of the music feels repetitive and uninteresting. It reminded me of music from a video game and is played too much. One of my favorite moments in any show is when I notice that the music has gone silent and the scene thus become more poignant. In Avenger I often had the opposite experience of noticing that the music was still playing, thus draining the feeling or significance out of a scene.

The backgrounds were surprisingly underwhelming. Bee Train has made some excellent backgrounds in the past, especially the lush illustrations of Noir’s Paris and the light-blasted grit of Gazth-Sonika’s capital in Madlax, but Avenger’s Mars isn’t nearly as distinctive or striking as either of those or as it should have been. The desolate landscapes of a doomed mars under a looming red moon, worn-out and withering cities and ruins in the wastes all have great potential to be memorable, impressive sights, but just aren’t. The images mostly somehow lack richness and style. That we see them through chintzy-looking digital pans probably doesn’t help.

I give Avenger credit for having dolls be both boys and girls. The ‘action dolls’, whatever they were called, are suspiciously all girls, but I concede that, whether it is a good thing or not, that makes them slightly creepier. The degradation of Martian colony into a sort of ersatz ancient Greece inhabited by a fading remnant of humanity lost and alone in the universe is an alluringly bleak, potentially fertile setting. I also liked some of the storytelling. The stories have a narrative purity or simplicity of form and sparseness of events that I really liked. I would often be surprised by how quickly an act or whole episode would pass. The action scenes are an interesting mixed success. Layla has an impressive style the relies much upon evasion and careful strikes; this is more interesting than relentless striking and there’s an acrobatic quality to it that’s sometimes entertaining and, in what might be a nice touch of attention to detail, reflect the lower gravity of mars.

They do have a slight stiffness to them, however, and the final fight, between the willowy lead and the goddamned armored man mountain of an antagonist is pretty absurd.

Nevertheless, it isn’t a successful series. Too little is resolved or explained, whether clearly or ambiguously, so the whole things just feels moot. I think that for once I am seeing Kōichi Mashimo’s work as others see it. My mind is not changed about the girls with guns trilogy, but in Avenger most every pan seemed tedious and interminable. In Noir et al, the slow burn of the series felt like it was thickening the mood, but in Avenger they felt more like the director was just killing time. I found myself playing Joel Robinson over some of the lingering shots and stiffer dialogue.

I often see Avenger be described as an ‘experimental’ anime, but I don’t know what it’s an experiment in or the origin of the description. It’s a pity that the Bandai set includes no real extra features since this, oddly, is one work that I’d really like to ask the director to explain.

I also watched Puni Puni Poemi earlier last week and I confess that I enjoyed it. I don’t know why Excel Saga and this are so enjoyable for me, they aren’t at all within my normal range for comedy, which tends to run more between the dry and absurd. For an example of the dry, one of my favorite exchanges of all time is the below conversation from The Ruling Class:

Sir Charles: What about Jack?
Dr. Herder: Remember he's suffering from delusions of grandeur. In reality he's an earl, an English aristocrat, a member of the ruling class. Naturally, he's come to believe there's only one person grander than that: the Lord God Almighty Himself.
Sir Charles: Are you English?
Dr. Herder: No.
Sir Charles: [slowly] Ah.

For the absurd, consider this clip from The Critic and its callback. To this day I sometimes utter, “they’re even better when you’re dead!” to cheer myself up or just to laugh. It works every time.

Puni Puni Poemi is Excel Saga on speed and given that Excel Saga was often described as anime on crack, I’m pretty sure that my DVD player couldn’t get hired at Target just from having played it. If you thought that Excel Saga’s problems were that it was too sedate, restrained and tasteful, then Puni Puni Poemi solves all of that. The titular character speaks every bit as rapidly as Excel did and the story is a barely, or even not-really, coherent barrage of scenes fired out of a chaingun. This is not a show for those who like to breathe regularly.

Maybe that’s the fun of it. It takes the Abrams and Zucker, or early Family Guy, technique of having so many jokes delivered in such rapid succession that even if a few bomb, there’s bound to be one that makes you laugh coming, then raises the rate of fire so high that it becomes an irresistible withering hail of fire that doesn’t as much make you laugh as wear away your ability not to. It isn’t comic genius, but I just found enjoying it irresistible.

Not that there aren’t things that are funny besides its cheerful assault. The way that Poemi transforms by skinning a dead fish amused me and Nabeshin, as a character, is reliably amusing. This is helped by the fittingly excellent English dub, which sees Cynthia Martinez happily murder her vocal cords for the lead and brings Bret Weaver back to give the man with an Afro and a Lupin III jacket that he probably bought at a Goodwill store a perfect English performance. I particularly prefer comedy in English, which is as successful as the source material allows, but I also recommend at least watching it with the subtitles on simply because it’s all so quick that you’ll be lost without the text.

Puni Puni Poemy is surprisingly rich with fanservice, but it never feels as exploitative as it probably should. There's no frontal nudity, but plenty of bath scenes, the absurdy buxom Aasu sister who others looks like Hyatt, revealing clothing and, of course, Poemy's racy transformation sequence. Most unexpected was the quickly appearing and overt yuri from Futaba's lusty crush on Poemi, which puts them in the same sleeping bag not long into the first episode and yields one enthusiastic fantasy from Futaba. That the characters often point it out and the ridiculous context for it steals some of its leering thunder. It's another one of the show's broad, loud parodies. Besides that, it all comes so fast that it amounts to more bullets in Puni Puni Poemy's relentless fusillade; there isn't really enough time to stare emptily at the exploitation. I don't think that really justifies it, but it makes it feel less bad.

And damn it, I’ll admit it, the line, said in the English version, “save my Aasu’s,” made me laugh.

Last edited by Surrender Artist on Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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