Forum - View topic
What are you watching right now? Why?


Goto page Previous    Next

Anime News Network Forum Index -> General -> Anime
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
nerriesantra



Joined: 14 Sep 2011
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 12:40 am Reply with quote
Can’t get enough of Kaichō wa Maid-sama!... if you really are looking for entertainment this was the perfect anime to watch.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
pokefreaks



Joined: 01 Sep 2006
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 6:50 am Reply with quote
Just watched Evangelion 2.22 for 5th time or something like that. I just wait for eye patch Kagedol Asuka Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Bento-Box



Joined: 08 Sep 2009
Posts: 1030
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 7:46 pm Reply with quote
I am revisiting Gundam Wing for the first time in 8 years.

I was really worried that its greatness was strictly attributed to nostalgia. But, after 4 episodes, I remember why I loved it so much. It's just a good mix of action, character development, comedy (stuff I probably shouldn't find funny, but do anyways), and some love themes here and there. I'd like to purchase it soon but, financially, it's just not a good time and I'd like to hold out for a Blu-Ray release.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address My Anime My Manga
errinundra
Enjoying the time of EVEEnjoying the time of EVE


Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 2678
Location: Melbourne, Oz

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 8:08 am Reply with quote
Hyouge Mono episodes 1-14

One of the ongoing anime frustrations for me over the last year has been the painfully slow fansubbing of this title. If ever there was a case of fansubbing being justified then surely this is it. There is absolutely no possibility of the series ever being released as a stream, let alone on DVD or BD. Only 14 episodes have been subbed so far (out of either 37 or 39) - at the rate of just over one a month.

A fanciful telling of the final years of the Warring States period, Hyouge Mono deserves to be seen by a wide audience, which is not necessarily the normal anime demographic. Although it takes considerable liberties with the historical record (each episodes bears the warning, “The following tale is a work of pure fiction”), all the characters are based on actual historical figures - even the lowly Governor, Sasuke Furuta, through whose eyes we see the tale unfold.



The main characters from left to right:

Furuta Sasuke (Shigenari): his pursuit of beautiful objects drives his ambitions as a loyal retainer of Oda Nobunaga.

Oda Nobunaga: The flamboyant warlord on the verge of unifying Japan and with dreams of conquering the Chinese Ming dynasty.

Senno Soeki: Oda Nobunaga’s inscrutable tea master, subtly fomenting revolt against his patron.

Hashiba (Toyotomi) Hideyoshi: Oda’s clownish and deceitful general who seeks power for himself to subjugate all of Japan.

Akechi Mitsuhide: Oda’s dignified general who, above all, seeks to pacify warring Japan.

Tokugawa Ieyasu: the down to earth, modest general, waiting in the wings for his opportunity, who in time will finally establish the Tokugawa Shogunate and unite Japan.

Two of the problems for a neophyte like myself are an ignorance of Japanese history and in following the complex scheming by the main characters. Matters aren’t helped by episodes becoming available on only an irregular basis. There is no doubt that re-watching the 14 episodes helped my appreciation enormously. Presumably the intended Japanese audience already has a basic knowledge of their own history. Knowing that history doesn’t spoil the story as each of the figures is treated as tragic in the Greek or Shakespearean sense (despite the copious humour). Knowing the outcome actually creates a palpable sense of dread. Wikipedia also helps. Each scene is identified by its location, more often than not a castle. Looking up the characters and the locations on Wikipedia always provided a useful context for the events taking place on the screen. This may seem a lot of work, but the anime rewards the effort.

The basic history is that Oda Nobunaga rose to be the pre-eminent daimyo in Japan through a series of military campaigns. General Akechi betrayed him at Honno Temple, forcing him to commit seppuku. Akechi then found himself in a weak military position that both Hashiba Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu sought to exploit. General Hashiba won the race to engage Akechi in battle and defeated him. This is the point the series reaches by episode 14. So far the series makes one radical departure from accepted history that I won’t spoil and presumably takes liberties with the personalities of the principal players.

All this is seen through the eyes of Governor Furuta Sasuke, aesthete and connoisseur of the tea ceremony. (My appreciation of this tradition was helped enormously by observing a tea ceremony recently at a Japanese festival here in Melbourne. All the movements and the procedures were exactly as shown in the anime. The tea itself is foamy and was strange to my palate.) From what I can gather from translation sites on the web “hyouge” (ひょうげ) can mean “expressive, critical or joking” while “mono” in this instance probably means “man”. The title is clearly a reference to Furuta, whose exaggerated facial expressions highlight the many absurdities around him.


Tea ceremony - in Melbourne of all places.
All the implements on the tatami mat feature heavily in the series


Absurdity is the flip side of tragedy and Hyouge Mono revels in that contrast. The contrast is played out through the military and political ambitions of the generals and the aesthetics of the tea ceremony (particularly the visual appeal of the various implements used). This play creates a sense of fatalism, that the machinations of these men are ultimately pointless. All the characters are absurd, even the dignified Akechi who may not be funny but who naively believes that peace can be brought to the warring states of Japan through justice. History shows that peace was attained via the sword.

In Koichi Mashimo, Hyouge Mono has the perfect director to explore these elements. Po faced absurdity has long been one of his defining characteristics, something he hasn’t given full reign to since The Irresponsible Captain Tylor. It invariably seeps out into his other works – think of Kirika shooting 40 men on the steps of a Chinese temple in Noir – often to their detriment. It seems he simply can’t help himself sometimes. Here it is entirely appropriate and gives the story an ironic edge that it wouldn’t have were it a straight out historical drama. (I’m currently also watching Legend of the Galactic Heroes which has many similar themes but, lacking the comic edge, seems bland and simplistic in comparison, though it is a fine series on its own terms.) Having never read the original manga, I have no idea if the absurdity is faithful to the source, although the title suggests it is.

The death of Oda at Honno Temple is a perfect example of how the blending of the absurd and the tragic works so effectively. After receiving an appalling injury he proceeds to do the impossible. The overarching tone of rhetorical excess allows his actions to appear as a magnificent gesture of one man’s will. Despite the implausibility it’s a brilliant scene.


Amidst the ruins of Honno Temple Furuta contemplates a bleak future without a patron.

Mashimo also indulges his penchant for Christian themes – here personified by one of Furuta’s brothers-in-law, a military commander and convert who is trying to save Furuta’s soul. (That’s another confusing thing it took me a while to get my head around – there are two brothers-in-law, one the husband of his sister, the other the brother of his wife. Both create clan loyalty dilemmas for Furuta.) So far the Christian themes are a source of irony and I’m intrigued to see how they play out. I hope they don’t become as glib as their use in Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom.

Getting back to Furuta, his tragedy is that, for all his smarts, he hasn’t a clue what’s going on. He’s us, the everyman, and I’m reminded of the Bob Dylan line, “and something is happening here and you don’t know what it is, do you Mr Jones?” One of the most poignant scenes so far is Furuta’s realisation in the midst of the battle between Akechi and Hashiba that he has completely misread the two men. The irony, of course, is that his miscalculation has ensured his survival. Both Oda and Senno read him like a book, at one point even using his outrageous tastes in a calculated insult to Togukawa. It’s clear that Oda indulges Furuta because he is both reliable and amusing.

I also want to mention the incredible conversations between the tea master, Senno Soeki and several of the characters including Furuta and the generals Akechi and Hashiba. They take place during tea ceremonies and are heavy in hints, suggestions and double meanings without ever overtly mentioning betrayal or revolt. Nevertheless the underlying suggestiveness is apparent to each of the characters and to the viewer. They are marvellous examples of writing.

Should this anime live up to the promise of the first 14 episodes then I believe it will be Mashimo’s greatest series. It isn’t for everybody: there are no cute high school girls (in fact, so far, women only play a marginal role), no zombies, no vampires, not much action and lots of talking heads. The heavy irony will make the series opaque to some, the comically expressive faces and ridiculous clothes will annoy others, and the archaic speech will frustrate yet others.

Rating so far: somewhere around excellent to masterpiece. There's a long way still to go, of course. At this rate it could be two years or more.


Last edited by errinundra on Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail My Anime My Manga
Bento-Box



Joined: 08 Sep 2009
Posts: 1030
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 11:03 am Reply with quote
errinundra wrote:

Should this anime live up to the promise of the first 14 episodes then I believe it will be Mashimo’s greatest series. It isn’t for everybody: there are no cute high school girls (in fact, so far, women only play a marginal role), no zombies, no vampires, not much action and lots of talking heads. The heavy irony will make the series opaque to some, the comically expressive faces and ridiculous clothes will annoy others, and the archaic speech will frustrate yet others.


Thanks for posting this. I read most of it, short of character descriptions and such. This is definitely something I would be interested in watching. Maybe I'll pick it up after you give your final review when it's all over. Smile

Did you say Melbourne? Like as in, Florida? I live in Florida and would love to see something like that.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address My Anime My Manga
errinundra
Enjoying the time of EVEEnjoying the time of EVE


Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 2678
Location: Melbourne, Oz

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 11:07 am Reply with quote
Bento-Box wrote:
Did you say Melbourne? Like as in, Florida? I live in Florida and would love to see something like that.


No, no. Melbourne as in Australia. The place in Florida was named after the one in Oz.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail My Anime My Manga
Bento-Box



Joined: 08 Sep 2009
Posts: 1030
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 11:46 am Reply with quote
errinundra wrote:
Bento-Box wrote:
Did you say Melbourne? Like as in, Florida? I live in Florida and would love to see something like that.


No, no. Melbourne as in Australia. The place in Florida was named after the one in Oz.


Ah. That's actually some interesting trivia. Smile Well, darn. No offense, I'm not going to Australia to watch a tea ceremony. Laughing If I were going that far, I'd just go to Japan. Anime smile Thanks! Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address My Anime My Manga
supercreep



Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 513
Location: Long Island, New York

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:11 am Reply with quote
Just re-watched Stand Alone Complex. I wasn't too thrilled by it the first time I saw it, but this time around it's definitely worthy of an excellent. While going through it, however, I was reminded just how much the pacing annoys me. The stand alone episodes are good, but the laughing man case is so absorbing that being separated from it for sometimes three episodes at a time is frustrating. This isn't helped by the fact that there is a glut of complex episodes at the end, hammering home the feeling that the stand alone ones were just a waste of time.

It's a testament to how good the show is that it can sabotage itself in this way; the stand alone episodes are good diversions, but they often pale in comparison to the laughing man.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime
Tris8



Joined: 30 Oct 2009
Posts: 2113
Location: Where the rain is.

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 9:57 pm Reply with quote
I really love the tournaments on this forum, in large part because they get me to watch shows that otherwise would spend eternity in my 'to watch' list. I finished His and Her Circumstances and really loved most of it, but there were some things that kept it from becoming a favorite.

The most minor of these is that I watched it dubbed. It's not what you'd expect, the dubbed voices were actually really good. It's just that there is a lot of text that pops up on the screen that wasn't translated Evil or Very Mad. I have noticed this problem with many old dubs, but usually it's not that important. For His and Her Circumstances, much of the text is crucial to fully understanding/appreciating what's going on. In the last episode there was so much untranslated text that after 8 minutes I had to switch to the subbed version. Sad Not that I have anything against subs, I just don't like switching voices part way through a first watch through. I guess this series needs to be watched subbed; it's not like there is mecha action that you'll miss because of reading in this show.

Speaking of the text, I really liked how they often put characters' thoughts into text on the screen. It gave the words a sincerity and pensive feeling that went perfectly with the 'discovering yourself' tone of the series. I also loved the imagery they used, and how every now and then they had live action shots in the show. One image that really got me was in ep 8 when Arima was thinking back to how he fell in love with Yukino. He can't get her out of his mind, and when he finally realizes that it's because he loves her, they show a flower petal land on and tip a scale. If I was just rating this series based on the first 8 episodes, I probably would have given it a masterpiece rating. It goes a very different direction than most romcoms, and depicts their romance so endearingly!
One of the best things it does is that it shows Yukino's and Arima's romance from both perspectives, his and hers. It does this often by showing the same conversation and/or date twice, with the same images, only one is narrated by Yukino and the other by Arima. Very rarely do I get this kind of insight in any medium. This double perspective is often hilarious, but also allows the viewer to really get to know our two leads, and what they think of each other. I especially appreciate seeing a guy's realistic perspective on their romance. Girls aren't the only ones who get nervous and self-conscious on dates. Yukino's and Arima's relationship is a perfect example of first love. Initially blundering and unsure of what direction to take, it is a true treat to watch their love unfold.

But.... in ep 12 spoiler[Arima leaves for the summer and doesn't come back until ep 17. What I love about this show is Yukino's and Arima's interactions, and with that gone these episodes lose a lot of their charm. Seeing Tsubasa's issues wasn't boring, it just wasn't nearly as magnetic of a story as our protagonists falling in love. I awaited Arima's return even more impatiently than Yukino did Anime hyper.]

Another small thing is the recaps. Before almost every episode, it gives a long recap of everything that has happened. I don't really mind full recap episodes (of which there was 1, and 2 episodes that were half recap), but long intro recaps bug me. I'm looking at you Kenichi (but at least you were an action series). One of the biggest things was the animation. From the start it wasn't great, but that didn't bother me at first. In fact, they turned it around and made it a strength in many situations. Shortcuts, like scenery shots and still frames, became part of the charm of the show and actually fit very well the way they used them. But in the last 4th of the show they crossed a line. What, color is too much work now? There was one episode in particular (think it was 21 but can't remember the exact one) which was absolutely terrible animation-wise to the point that the story was suffering because of it. It was like someone had very roughly sketched what was supposed to happen and was showing them like a slide show. I know that shots of the manga were shown in FLCL and can be considered artistic, but if you are going to do that at least draw an actual background or details. Ep 25 also had problems, but it was that the character designs seemed to be slightly off for Yukino's sisters and parents, and the story was confusing and had nothing to do with the rest of the series. Not a very good 2nd-to-last episode.

I have mixed feelings about the ending. I loved it when spoiler[it said "and so the 'his and her' stories continue...".] That gave me a different perspective on the show. It made me realize that all spoiler[the stories (except ep 25) were 'his and her' stories! Probably obvious, but that didn't click with me before. The story of Tsubasa and her dad, of Sakura and Tonami, and of course Yukino and Arima.] Also loved how they touched upon spoiler[Arima's growing contradicting feelings; loving Yukino's carefree attitude yet wanting to keep her for himself. It really drives home his development and presents a very real dilemma. To try to continue forward, even though he may continue to become an "ugly" person, or to go back to his facade and be safe.] My only complaint is that the series ends right after that element is introduced, and so it is never resolved.

Overall, really great romance with some really great comedy. Dang, did I write this much, and about a romance show? My tastes have really changed....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
bluetoile



Joined: 15 Apr 2012
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:10 pm Reply with quote
Naruto - I decided to not to drop Naruto and finish the show since I'm near the end anyways. The fillers are so painfully boring that I can only stand to watch one episode a week. I can't wait to watch Naruto Shippuden.

Fairy Tail - I'm on episode 128 and I'm nervous about how the filler arc is going to turn out. If it's anything like the shonen filler arcs I've watched so far, I'm not looking forward to next couple of weeks/months.

Bleach - I never finished Bleach so I decided to start watching it again. It started out really well, but the anime has gone downhill. Sad

Kids on the Slope - This show is a work of art. The music is amazing. I really dislike jazz music, but with the combination of learning about jazz in music class and watching Kids on the Slope, those feelings have been decreasing.

Clannad - Unexpectedly, Clannad has been very enjoyable to watch. When the time comes, I don't know what to rate it. It's pretty good overall, although it has moments that are very touching or hit home.

Death Note - Finishing what I started. I've been wondering whatever became of Light for years now. Death Note is still just as good as I remembered it, if not better.

Kuroko no Basuke - I can't believe that I almost didn't watch this because it's a sports anime. It would've been a mistake that's for sure. After the end of each episode, I'm left wanting more.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gewürtztraminer
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 880
Location: Texas - Its like whole other country.

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:18 pm Reply with quote
I have sat upon Shigofumi Letters from the Departed for almost 2 years.
I was stoked for the Bandai release, and glad for the Sentai rescue, but put off by thematic similarities to Hell Girl .
I like episode of the week stuff after I have watched it, but I have hard time starting it.

I finally started Shigofumi and I hate myself for waiting so long.
This is good, not episodic.
Faith in Anime restored, best serious thing I have seen in awhile, most other serious animes tend to get a bit full of theselves.

If you have been sitting on the fence regarding Shigofumi, let me add my voice to others in saying: take the plunge. You will not regret it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
The King of Harts



Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 6710
Location: Mount Crawford, Virginia

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:29 am Reply with quote
Tris8 wrote:
The most minor of these is that I watched it dubbed. It's not what you'd expect, the dubbed voices were actually really good. It's just that there is a lot of text that pops up on the screen that wasn't translated . I have noticed this problem with many old dubs, but usually it's not that important. For His and Her Circumstances, much of the text is crucial to fully understanding/appreciating what's going on.

Then you didn't have the correct subtitle track on, because TRSI translated every. single. thing. They even brag about how complicated it was making the disc.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
Tris8



Joined: 30 Oct 2009
Posts: 2113
Location: Where the rain is.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:03 am Reply with quote
The King of Harts wrote:
Then you didn't have the correct subtitle track on, because TRSI translated every. single. thing.
Curse my own incompetence! Anime hyper Thanks for the tip.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime My Manga
4750G



Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Posts: 546

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:27 am Reply with quote
bluetoile wrote:
Fairy Tail - I'm on episode 128 and I'm nervous about how the filler arc is going to turn out. If it's anything like the shonen filler arcs I've watched so far, I'm not looking forward to next couple of weeks/months.

Based on the few filler arcs I've watched in Fairy Tail, I'm expecting this one to be just as good. Fairy Tail filler arcs in general are at the very least decent. Nothing beats One Piece fillers for me, though.

bluetoile wrote:
Bleach - I never finished Bleach so I decided to start watching it again. It started out really well, but the anime has gone downhill.

At what point in the anime are you, exactly? I totally understand your sentiment if you're watching post Arrancar arc already but otherwise I'd like to hear your opinion. Smile

Besides the carry-overs from previous seasons and the current season's anime, I'm still following really closely Detective Conan. I think I've mentioned this before, but I've managed to catch up to the latest episode already. Not exactly, as I'm behind two episodes, but that's really, really near already compared to my previous standing.

I'm planning to watch Kuroshitsuji II real soon. I've watched a bit of the first episode and I did not like Alois Trancy (is my name right?) one bit. I'm actually having second thoughts...


Last edited by 4750G on Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:18 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gewürtztraminer
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 880
Location: Texas - Its like whole other country.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 10:04 am Reply with quote
Texhnolyze: Just finished via netflix. Pretty interesting story. I have to say the best part of it is there is so little dialog, that this series is easily watchable at 2x speed.
With only 22 episodes, at 2x, it goes by pretty quickly.
Some interesting ideas, but overall I got a weirdness for weirdness's sake vibe from it. Maybe you will get more out of it than me. No interest in watching again.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> General -> Anime All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous    Next
Page 698 of 826

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group