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EP. REVIEW: Katsugeki! Tōken Ranbu


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SonicFanA



Joined: 12 Jul 2017
Posts: 26
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:08 pm Reply with quote
I am going to have a lot of screencaps from this show. So far my favorite is Kunihiro. He may be a rookie but he seems like the most mature.
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Peebs



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 320
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:17 pm Reply with quote
I was so looking forward to this show and so far I am disappointed. I'm not entirely sure that I was expecting Hanamaru all over again, but there's something off that I can't quite put my finger on three episodes out. And because of this, I'm afraid I'll wish I'd dropped it when the credits for the last episode roll by. Yes, they're all pretty and the action scenes are something to write home about, but there's still something lacking.
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Dian Z



Joined: 27 Feb 2013
Posts: 193
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:59 pm Reply with quote
Peebs wrote:
I was so looking forward to this show and so far I am disappointed. I'm not entirely sure that I was expecting Hanamaru all over again, but there's something off that I can't quite put my finger on three episodes out. And because of this, I'm afraid I'll wish I'd dropped it when the credits for the last episode roll by. Yes, they're all pretty and the action scenes are something to write home about, but there's still something lacking.


I thought the same. Though I'd say the writing is especially weak, it's bland, so linear, with clear-cut heroes fighting easily defeated minor monsters, thus not really intriguing nor very smart, thus far. Borrowing Anne's words, it may be too 'newcomer-friendly' that as if it underestimates the audience's intelligence. This first arc felt like a cool kids-show while I expected something more.
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tsukkaomi



Joined: 16 Jul 2017
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:13 pm Reply with quote
Just a quick suggestion, I think addressing the characters with their "first" names would be better because as we get more characters introduced, it may get messy later on because there's at least another Kanesada and 2 more Kunihiro (1 of which has already been shown on the opening, though only the silhouette) in game. Also, for Izuminokami, it really is weird reading his name written only as Kane as the only who calls him Kane-san is Horikawa.
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CardamonPastel



Joined: 01 Oct 2016
Posts: 17
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:06 pm Reply with quote
tsukkaomi wrote:
Just a quick suggestion, I think addressing the characters with their "first" names would be better because as we get more characters introduced, it may get messy later on because there's at least another Kanesada and 2 more Kunihiro (1 of which has already been shown on the opening, though only the silhouette) in game. Also, for Izuminokami, it really is weird reading his name written only as Kane as the only who calls him Kane-san is Horikawa.


For right now, addressing the characters by their family name is fine. Kasen Kanesada has not been confirmed to be in this anime and its likely they won'teven mention him as it wouldn't be plot relevant to do so. As for the Kunihiro's, only Yamanbagiri Kunihiro has been confirmed to be in the Anime out of the last two Kunihiro's from the game and I think when he comes along, The reviewer will obviously refer to him by his full name rather than calling him Kunihiro like they've been doing with Horikawa. Horikawa is referred to as Kunihiro by Izuminokami so it makes sense the reviewer would call him Kunihiro as well,because that's what the audience knows him as now. However, I agree with you on the Kane thing and don't understand why they shortened his name down to that of all things. Kanesan or Kanesada would have worked if they didn't want to type out his full name Izuminokami as it is a lot. I think they just assumed Kane is his name though since he's called Kanesan by his partner.
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CardamonPastel



Joined: 01 Oct 2016
Posts: 17
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:21 pm Reply with quote
I enjoyed your comprehensive review of the first 3 episodes with you putting most of my feelings into words better than I could. Don't think Katsugeki is deserving of a b-minus in terms of its writing short comings, pacing, how quick they are to dive over the hump of character conflict instead of developing them further and etc. I'd say that based on the first 3 episodes , its deserving of a C grade ( in between good and bad ) with ufotables carry point being the animation and visuals ( most of the time ) that make up for everything that this show lacks so far.as a fan of the franchise, I hope ufotable ups their game and makes this anime live up to the production value that I think it, right now, is undeserving of. You can really tell that they're trying to make this the next big fate/tales of thing despite bring from a different franchiseand that can either end up being a good or bad thing. We'll see.

Also, I hope to see Mikazuki Munechika's group soon. As much as I like the characters within the second unit, I'd hate to have to stick with them for a majority of the series with only a smidgen of time being focused on the first unit, which in the game is the MAIN unit despite what Katsugeki putting so much time on the second unit would have you believe. Its an okay anime so far but with some of the other shows airing that are better in terms of writing ,keeping the watcher invested and etc- Katsugeki is really nothing special - to me, it just feels like another ufotable anime and not an adaptation of the game.I hope that'll change in the future.
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Clover_Zero



Joined: 04 Jul 2017
Posts: 7
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:40 am Reply with quote
Dian Z wrote:
Peebs wrote:
I was so looking forward to this show and so far I am disappointed. I'm not entirely sure that I was expecting Hanamaru all over again, but there's something off that I can't quite put my finger on three episodes out. And because of this, I'm afraid I'll wish I'd dropped it when the credits for the last episode roll by. Yes, they're all pretty and the action scenes are something to write home about, but there's still something lacking.


I thought the same. Though I'd say the writing is especially weak, it's bland, so linear, with clear-cut heroes fighting easily defeated minor monsters, thus not really intriguing nor very smart, thus far. Borrowing Anne's words, it may be too 'newcomer-friendly' that as if it underestimates the audience's intelligence. This first arc felt like a cool kids-show while I expected something more.


I wholeheartedly agree and with the last points of the review. Other than that, for the game fans like me, some characters have weird personalities. Personally speaking, as shared by some of my friends' thoughts, Yoshiyuki's personality is far too bland and flat. He is much better than that, even in Hanamaru. Horikawa acts weird at first, like he isn't himself, but by episode 3 he seems to be getting better. Izuminokami...I'm okay by how reliable he is, but honestly, it is too unnatural that he doesn't get much emotional turmoil like Yoshiyuki. I can't see him as "Izuminokami Kanesada", to be very honest.

Other than that, despite the detailed art and beautiful colors, I don't actually like the visuals very much. This is my opinion to all of Ufotable's animes, honestly. The characters are far more charming, the battle scenes are pretty cool, but I feel something is lacking because of that HD-ness. The only plus is the Saniwa's and Konnosuke's existence for me (and Yoshiyuki's "eat and sleep").

This might sound rude, but I really hope the first unit comes soon. I want my dearest Yamanbagiri to lift my spirits up to keep watching an adaptation of the game I love.

Also, I found it funny how Izuminokami is called Kane here. At least call him Kanesada...
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Desa



Joined: 07 Mar 2015
Posts: 253
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:42 pm Reply with quote
I gave Touken Ranbu a shot because Ufotable does decent work, but I'm not connecting with this show at all. I can pin my lack of engagement on a number of things. First off, I have no exposure to anything related to this series aside from these first 3 episodes. Right away I hear some time travel jargon and other things related to the setting. Sure, simple enough. Then I learn the big enemy they're fighting is this Retrograde Army and that they do bad things. Okay, good guys, bad guys, got it. And then they start fighting these shadowy demon guys and it was around this point that I started drifting away. I almost couldn't believe I was falling asleep with such high production values flashing across my screen but it was definitely happening.

There was some hype that Touken Ranbu would be a good action series but sadly this was not the case based on what I've seen so far. Up to this point it's just a bunch of mindless cannon fodder getting ghosted with one hit. There's basically zero tension. I heard this was based on a game, but if all you're doing is sweeping newbs you'd fall asleep too. There's also a distinct lack of good pacing and focus. A lot of things are moving on screen very quickly and eventually you give up trying to keep track of everything. One of the biggest issues with a lot of these actions scenes is that they happen in a very dim environment, but the swords being used reflect an incredible amount of light, resulting in high contrast ratios bombarding your eyes causing them to refocus constantly and this results in strain and fatigue. Normally this kind of effect is used sparingly but Touken Ranbu has decided that more is better and they're using it every chance they get.

To me, the pinnacle of sword fight animation is still Samurai Champloo. The fact that a 2017 anime about swords cannot muster a sword fight as engaging as one from a 12-year-old anime is very disappointing to say the least. Actually, now is as good a time as any to re-watch Samurai Champloo. It will definitely be a more enjoyable experience than continuing Touken Ranbu.
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zrnzle500



Joined: 04 Oct 2014
Posts: 2605
PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:47 am Reply with quote
Quote:
The Second Unit's first mission after coming together as a team takes them to Edo in the spring of 1968, straight into the Meiji Restoration. Five years have passed in history, but it's probably just been a few days for them.


I'm guessing you meant 1868, right?
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JacobC
ANN Assistant Editor


Joined: 15 Jan 2008
Posts: 3469
Location: SoCal
PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:12 am Reply with quote
zrnzle500 wrote:
Quote:
The Second Unit's first mission after coming together as a team takes them to Edo in the spring of 1968, straight into the Meiji Restoration. Five years have passed in history, but it's probably just been a few days for them.


I'm guessing you meant 1868, right?


Fix'd. A small yet century-sized typo! Laughing
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zztop



Joined: 28 Aug 2014
Posts: 305
PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:29 am Reply with quote
Quote:
it remains to be seen if the show will find enough to do with them to tell a story beyond these pretty but only partly connected events.


Does the source game have any overarching, multi-part story to it, like Granblue Fantasy? I'm only aware of the game mechanics and its popularity with women.
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mglittlerobin



Joined: 28 Aug 2008
Posts: 969
PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:32 pm Reply with quote
Peebs wrote:
I was so looking forward to this show and so far I am disappointed. I'm not entirely sure that I was expecting Hanamaru all over again, but there's something off that I can't quite put my finger on three episodes out. And because of this, I'm afraid I'll wish I'd dropped it when the credits for the last episode roll by. Yes, they're all pretty and the action scenes are something to write home about, but there's still something lacking.

People always kiss up to Ufotable because of Fate/Stay Night, but Ufotable is only as good as their source material, and if you're not feeling the source material then you wont' like the anime.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 6540
PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:44 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
...the show is getting lazier at exposition, with sentences like "Let's recap our current mission," or "Like I mentioned on our way to Edo, our mission is..." (spoken within seconds of one another, no less)

I don't know about lazier - almost the first lines spoken in the series are "We've got to stop the Retrograde Army!" "No need to tell me!" ("But I had to tell the viewers what we're doing!") Smile

As for the Man Who Wasn't (originally) There, we don't really know that he cooked up the idea himself without a TRA agent whispering in his ear. In the previous episode, that tactic was kind of half the plot, wasn't it?

I guess my biggest stumbling block this episode (I'm giving the series a lot of leeway because pretty wardrobe Wink) was the swords musing over Hijikata's death without them noticing that he's still alive at the moment (and will be for another year). Even Hanamaru kind of addressed the existential angst of a sword's being at the scene of its former master's death, but even though he wasn't in Edo at the time, it still seems like they'd talk about his death as something to come, rather than already done. I suppose time travel makes tenses and perspective tricky though.
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CardamonPastel



Joined: 01 Oct 2016
Posts: 17
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:44 am Reply with quote
I'm glad they're moving onto another team ( like I said in a previous post, I was watching for Mikazuki Munechikas team to begin with ) especially now that I know theyre going to the Eiroku era to the exact year Mikazuki's former master Ashikaga Yoshiteru was assassinated making for a potentially angsty story but the way they handled wrapping up the first arc ( if you can call it that ) was strange. The second unit ultimately failed, Tonbokiri is in a shitty state and Izuminokami is in pretty bad shape as well and Tsurumaru got beamed back up to Honmaru before he could even really do anything - all he really did was kill a few HR, do a few cool moves and talk to the other guys saying he's joining the second unit which is pretty useless now because he's a bit fricking late now that we're moving onto another team.

What I'm failing to understand is why did ufotable write him in so late after acting like he would be an important main character? Why didn't saniwa beam him down with the other Touken Danshi in episode 1 instead of waiting until episode 5- right at the end of their mission? It was a bit dumb. Bad writing mostly. Weird writing exceedingly and I feel like Tsurumaru got the short end of the stick being the last one to come on the team and not do much to further the plot. I know he'll probably be in the next episode unless they skip right over to Unit 1's mission ( Doubt it because of the episodes title ) which I wouldn't entirely be not okay with. But still- this episode was weird and ufotables writing for this show felt weird like the first 3 episodes were pointless and waste time and animation. I can understand why some people can't get into this show. Even as a fan of the franchise, this show has its flaws and most of them are glaring. I guess this is what happens when you let ufotable do what they want.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 6540
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:15 am Reply with quote
Did he call him Munekata at the end of that? oO

Yeah, that didn't feel like we're quite done with that arc yet. I'll be surprised if they don't have some "aftermath" next week. But I still enjoyed the episode.

I dunno, seems like the whole concept is on shaky ground unless they write some limits into the physics. If one side fails in their goal, what's to keep them from just jumping back again and trying something different?
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