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DuskyPredator
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Joined: 10 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:31 pm Reply with quote


18if (TV)

Genres: drama, psychological
Themes: dreams

Plot Summary: One day, Haruto wakes up on a round bed in a strange room, with the only familiar things around being his smartphone and headphones. After encountering a strange girl in white named Lily who claims to be his sister and a man who looks like a cat, Haruto learns that he is in a dream belonging to Yuko, a girl stricken with Sleeping Beauty Syndrome. Yuko is the Witch of Thunder, an all-powerful woman who makes the dream world bow before her to ensure she's known the strongest, the best, and the most fun person around. Haruto's sister tells him that he must wake Yuko up by killing her in the dream in order to break the “spell” she's under, but Haruto's got some other ideas about what might be keeping Yuko asleep.
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I was kind of talking about this show on the "What are you watching right now? Why?" thread in the general Anime section, and I kind of talked about it enough that I decided that I would make this thread if the series continued to be of interest. I think it has, so I will copy what I wrote in the general thread before writing about the newest episode.
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DuskyPredator
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:35 pm Reply with quote
DuskyPredator wrote:
One of the shows I have been watching that does not deserve its own discussion is 18if, and I am writing this after watching episode 5. The show has been lacklustre in a number of areas. If I had to guess the anime's point is to address a number of issues that young women experience, show it in an empathic way by the use of dream like aspects, but most of the time it does not feel like it knows what to do with its aesthetics, or even its message, that it ends up as a mess. This episode itself was BS I think in the meaning ended up being along the lines to wake up from your dreams, the dream here beingspoiler[ that a girl who had been forced into celebrity figure skating could have a normal life, so she could not fight destiny of the rink]. The main guy even kind of said it earlier that spoiler[normal life is boring and she should be happy she has a talent], he has supposed to be written as totally understanding, but this ran counter.

But this does not even overcome the really weird twist in the episode, wherespoiler[ apparently she woke up as an old woman]? What?! There was no foreshadowing to this, the dream world she finds herself in based on her mind is filled with modern aspects like laptops and modern karaoke, not something to hint she had been in a coma for 40 years. This dream world itself has reality concerning problems too, as how would she even know even know what a normal college life was like if she was forced into skating so much. And that is one of the confusing parts of this show, it is left very ambiguous if things are only surface level of what the dreamer would know, or if it is a fully functioning world. The aesthetics in this episode not helping where it would seem everyone but her and our main character were pretty much static images as if just a backdrop, which made him asking around with them just confusing.

And yet the episode tried to get around it in him saying that he is a college student so he should be able to show her around that type of life. But I thought that he had no memories of who is, that was established earlier and I have not seen it amended until he said something like this. And I think is part of an aspect that this show is pretty bad at keeping a narrative consistency. Like in one episode the mysterious girl who calls him big brother is seen on rare occasions and to the cat guy she treated as almost a rumour of being rare, and the next she is sleeping next to the main character like it is nothing and the cat guy questions her being there like it is normal maybe even spotting her when this should be the first time he has seen someone so important.

With episode 4 I could see that the answer to the problem of a spoiler[binge eating bulimic should be that she should learn a healthy way of living of generally eating what makes her happy, and be within reason, that some food will not balloon her and would be okay to eat some things occasionally]. But I don't even quite know what the message was, something about a spoiler[memory of eating curry as a kid], I am pretty sure it was not what it was supposed to be at actually confronting the problem. There was also a douchebag boyfriend that if anything she was lucky to get away from.

Or episode 3, which actually did have a rather interesting idea of playing around with perception with the story, but had some pretty big fails I think in properly telegraphing these changes in perception that it came across as kind of confusing. And I can really recall what the meaning of the story was, and that is one of the big problems, this show sucks at having some moral of the story to take away from these events.

Episode 2 might have been even worse in that it finished with the main character spoiler[becoming a murderer]. That episode was pretty gruesome, and it seemed to be kind of setting up a story with the main character that the heroine of the episode was twisting into something ugly in her search for vengeance. The main character specifically asking if he could watch had a feeling that it was being used to echo back the big psychopath of the episode, that she was being a bad guy, but in the end spoiler[she kills them and then seems to go onto a happy normal life like she is not a sociopath now]. In the narrative it was pretty clear that these guys were bad guys and perhaps was better to off them, but that is something the narrative set up, just to kind of meet this revenge fantasy plot and never face the kind of hypocrisy that was starting to leak through.

And maybe this falls through that I cannot even build a consistent personality for our hero of the show, because it feels like it changes every episode in what he is like. One episode he is getting gifts from cat professor of food (somehow), the next he is being passive aggressive by cooking purposely bad food for him. One time he is ready to dive into the problems facing a girl, the next it was like he did not want to get bothered by all the dreams, and then the next he is jumping in again.

Is anyone else watching this, and are you having an easier time?


DuskyPredator wrote:
Gina Szanboti wrote:
I kinda stalled out after the 2nd episode (I keep forgetting what the show is about and so have little incentive to watch it when I have other stuff to do), and your post makes me think I should just drop it. It's one of those shows that's somewhat interesting while I'm watching it, but doesn't stick to the ribs once I'm finished with the episode.

The entire show feels like it is trying to take the witch labyrinths from Madoka and be about different issues. Which could be fine, that was a really creative part of that series and could be used as the basis of good stories. But it becomes a problem that it feels like the dream aspects are largely window dressing, it does not really know that much how to use it creatively like how Madoka pretty much makes it a spectacle of what is running through the subconscious of the witch, or other parties in general Shaft. And perhaps forgettable because despite there being a build up for some resolution, largely it just does not land it.

I want to find others that might have seen some, otherwise it feels like I am shouting at the void while I am watching something largely meant for the female demographic, like Scared Riders Xechs ( Mad ), pretty much acting like the Grinch.
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DuskyPredator
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:25 pm Reply with quote
Episode 6

And here is the surprise of my opinion, episode 6 was actually good. I already said that this show tends to focus on issues that young women can experience, and that was true about this episode, it was on bullying, which might sound a bit broad, but it was also relatable, and I actually could relate to the topic. I hope that this was not a sole reason for me liking this episode, but it may be.

In specifics, it had a high school girl harassed by some horrible classmates in a specific way girls might, and our heroine (sorry I am bad at remembering names) seems to be a bit of an otaku in her favourite series is sort of an escapism from the horrible stuff she has to deal with. It actually really confused me and I did not like it at first, but the episode started as if it was this hypothetical anime, which although weird, I think played well for a theme of the episode, and maybe as a whole in the episodic nature of this series. There is some nice use of colour that made her real world feel quite cold, and probably shadows in ways I do not understand. It cultivating in her spoiler[attempting suicide via cutting herself in the bathtub]. Now that can sound a little extreme, but in comparison to previous episodes of family murder and disgruntled professional ice skater, this felt like it hit a good balance.

From there it became her in a dream world of her favourite series, but although she fights monster as a sort of power fantasy for a girl who feels powerless, she finds that it is all she can do and is otherwise alone. This felt like a good use of kind of showing the somewhat positive nature of fiction acting as an escape, but also not a means to an end at still being lonely. I could totally feel her "why me" moment it felt relatable, and fed into the kind of revenge fantasy it was setting up, that we could even go to an extent when Haruto said that the girls were getting what they deserved when Kanzaki is trying to convince him to intervene. Although it kind of set up one of the confusing parts of this episode, as this series has been so inconsistent in how he can with intention go after someone, that somehow Kanzaki could lead Haruto.

But also, I think it was also getting expressed how the people were kind of unneeded to have the level of harassment put back onto them that they could get hurt. Yet also that the people who merely ignored the bullying were just as bad in cases as the bullies. And going to the end of the episode, I think it was sort of wrong with a bad taste that the episode finished with the bullies getting harassed by a lot of people like this was merely just deserts, when we were already informed by how damaging this is. It might have been better if the show did not feel so gleeful over these girls receiving I think even worse harassment.

But before finishing to talk about the episode, I think my favourite part was how when the heroine was spoiler[talked out of continuing her attacks, she said that she could not go back to normal because it was too late]. Which was then followed up by a quick spoiler[shift of the genre to sci-fi as she said the invasion already started], like this was some dream logic, and placed some importance on what the escapism of her "otaku" interests are. Great in that our main character here decided to go with the flow and join her in this mecha fare, that he would kind of accept this side of her and not have her feel ostracised. With just a touch of a clumsy landing I think in him saying she is a bit of an otaku like he is judging her, and that it simply took her being informed she is still alive to leave the dream, and him saying the outside world as harsh reality. That last bit feels like it should have been slightly changed if somewhat reversed, that she should have said it is harsh, and he provide some advice that there could be things she do to change it, to assure her that she does have power in her own life and not try and throw it away.

Despite the small nit-picks, I do think that it still had this as the best episode yet, and actually enjoyable.
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horseradish



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:07 am Reply with quote
I also wrote about prior episodes 1-5 in the "What are you watching right now? Why?" thread and responded to several of DuskyPredator's thoughts. I'm not sure if it will break the current episode discussion flow if I copy my post, so here is a direct link.
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Episode 6

I liked episode 6. I thought the bullying leading to Natsuki (witch) attempting suicide was handled well. The girl bullies used blackmail rather than violence, and Natsuki did show some resistance during the school bathroom scene. The teacher and classmates were bystanders the whole time, even when the bullying was obvious. It was sad to see her attempt suicide in her own bathroom after watching the bullying in the school bathroom. Fighting the ayakashi alone in her dream world seemed to parallel how she had to deal with the bullies by herself.

It was hard to believe that the bully group was genuinely sorry about bullying Natsuki. When Kanzaki asks a member, Momoko, about the group nightmares, she has a defensive look on her face. She mentions to Kanzaki that Natsuki hasn't been to school and a few others believe that she died. When she learns that someone from the group is in the hospital, she runs right past Natsuki's hospital room. No one in her class bothered to visit Natsuki or check to see if she was ok. I don't think asking for forgiveness is the same thing as sincerely apologizing and atoning for their constant "Die! Die! Die!" texts along with everything else...They never seemed concerned about Natsuki's wellbeing and were probably more worried about themselves getting hurt. Even in the stinger, two bullies from the group were trying to pin responsibility on each other.

However I also thought that the stinger was harsh and reiterated some points already brought up in the witch confrontation. Her classmates were hypocritical and indeed at least as bad as the bully group by continuing the vicious bullying cycle present in the class. The stinger may be possibly trying to teach a lesson as well. When Natsuki deems people similar to the bully group worthless and detrimental to society in the confrontation, Haruto later asks the rhetorical question, "nobody gets to decide that they aren't worth anything, do they?" Considering how Natsuki's favorite show provided some escapism and how otaku are often viewed as people with escapist tendencies, I think the episode might be directing that same question to the audience, particularly the segment of the audience that would enjoy seeing the bullies hurt the same way as Natsuki was and would perhaps enjoy the resolution to episode two's revenge plot, for whatever their reasons may be.

The transition from Natsuki's favorite TV show to Natsuki's classroom in the beginning helped the later transition in Natsuki's dream world from supernatural horror elements to an abrupt mecha space battle feel smooth. I think the shift in her dream world also felt closest to how actual dreams tend to be. Haruto offered her some empathy and encouragement during their confrontation, saying "I know that you work hard--even too hard sometimes. It must have been tough. I bet it all turned out like this because you were so serious, and kind, and always tried your hardest" while Kanzaki told her that her mother was sobbing about how she was sorry that she didn't notice and that Momoko earnestly apologized (not really?). It seems no one reached out to her or showed concern for her for a long time, so hearing kind words from other people probably guided her towards waking up too. Haruto's comment about her being an otaku did feel a little like judging, but it also seemed like a playful tease from a friendly person who meant no harm. I do prefer your version of the ending though. Anime smile

The visuals in this episode were much better than the last episode's numerous still frames. I liked how the Mars-like planet slowly changed to Earth in the credits, perhaps to show how her seemingly barren world had the potential to be hospitable and full of life. Some of the backgrounds looked as if they were based on reference photos. Based on a Japanese Tweet I found, Musashi-Tama station is fictional and the Munile fashion shopping center in the stinger is based on a Lumine fashion shopping center in Tachikawa, Tokyo, Japan.

The MUNILE building in the stinger:


Edit: Whoops, Lumine is actually a fashion shopping center, not just department store. Added episode number at the top.
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DuskyPredator
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:28 am Reply with quote
Episode 7

Some creative animation, but sadly it was pretty ugly rather than being charming, especiailly Haruto which was an ugly/boring scarecrow that actually did nothing in the episode. I really could not get myself to care that much about the characters of the episode. How am I supposed to sympathise with the inhuman looking characters, jumping into traffic, and for the most part I don't think quite enough was conveyed. Like how they were drawn into this, but also into the reveal that apparently tinboy killed his friend, was he still a kid through it all and thus a kid was being put to death too. Was not really conveyed how he took a stance with his country other than filling in holes, like really vague. I nearly laughed when one of the characters was hit by a bus. There were a couple actually nice tonal shifts, like towards the end where the witch is angry, which perhaps used the art nicely, but a lot just looked silly.

I keep double guessing if I am being fair in review of this series, but what I can say that I did like the previous episode that felt very easy to empathise with, but this episode just felt like too much.
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horseradish



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:40 pm Reply with quote
Episode 7

The animation was stilted sometimes, but usually in scenes that made sense such as when Haruto was waking up and when Pot came out from the hospital room in crutches. I really liked the art. The first half of the episode looked like picture book illustrations. Soft edges, bright colors, texture resembling work from color pencils and crayons gave a childlike touch to the episode. I typically see similar styles in children's shows, so I can understand if some people are turned off. Some backgrounds were very detailed and other scenes had bold color schemes.


There was symbolism and allusions to various subjects crammed in 24 minutes, which reflected in the art. For example, in the beginning when Yoshitsune the tin man, Haruto the scarecrow, and Kanzaki the lion meet up, the town looked like a graveyard filled with tombstones.


I didn't care for Haruto's scarecrow design, but I prefer Kanzaki's fun lion costume over his regular cat professor appearance. His mane appeared to be fabric cuts or construction paper and they even added a zipper and lion head logo on the back.

The following events happen in the episode. Nene befriends Prince Pol and Pot, exchange students from Valanga. They adopt an abandoned cat that they name Kuro. They enjoy playing cat's cradle and build a small castle in the middle of a lake, where Prince Pol promises to "make my kingdom one as warm as the sun, where everyone can live happily." Then events plummet. Kuro dies. Pol and Pot return to Valanga. Pol becomes a tyrant who drenches the kingdom with the warm blood of countless subjects including Pot. Nene confronts Pol (aka Yoshitsune the tin man) in her dream world, which culminates with Pol's guillotine tower getting obliterated. Nene awakes and Pol is sentenced to death.

I'm puzzled about how Nene's dream (the sunny witch) reflects events leading to her coma. Even the ED theme had clues in the lyrics, so there was lots to process. I think Nene had at least one childhood friend, possibly a wealthy transfer student, that she strongly bonded with and cared about. They had fun playing games and created a fantasy world with each other where they could feel safe. The childhood friend promised to make the world a better place and Nene agreed to support their endeavors. However, something tragic beyond their control (innocent Kuro's death) occured. The friend became withdrawn (return to Valanga) and pushed through their pain (grief?) to strive toward achieving their dreams, where they could find more control and stability over their life (becoming king). They felt pressured to succeed in society (advisors' influence in Pot's fate) and were willing to use any means neccessary and ended up hurting many people including Nene (tyrant rule). The friendship became strained as the friend became increasingly self-absorbed and cruel ("Why did you forget your heart" ED) to the point that they became a different person (tin man, "you were someone else" from ED). They lost their decent, compassionate side (killing Pot???). When Nene confronted them, she realized that everything had changed between them and that nothing could be the same anymore despite the friend trying to desperately reconnect (cat's cradle). The friend valued their dreams and accomplishments over their friendship and wanted to protect themself in the end (Pol trying to stop Nene from destroying his kingdom). They made an empty promise. Nene then tries to destroy everything the friend worked so hard for, possibly hurting both (trying to blow up Valanga with both inside the bomb thingy)? The plan backfires (misfire) and the friend starts to feel regret (climbing out of crater and finding Pot's glasses), but it's too late (ED lyrics) because the friend dies (Pol's execution)??? Nene wakes up saying she wants to see someone but starts crying because the friend is already gone??? "And then there were none" because their special world is ruined and the friendship is destroyed? I think that's the gist of what really happened??? The last episode sure was easier to comprehend.

The most important reference seems to be The Wizard of Oz, since her dream world was influenced by the radio broadcast and the book was lying near the radio. The beginning and end include readings from the book about Nick Chopper, the tin man. From what I skimmed from the Wikipedia article, Nick Chopper loved a lady who was a servant to an old woman. The old woman didn't want her servant to leave her, so she bribed the Wicked Witch of the East to curse Nick's axe. When Nick chopped down trees to make his living, he would accidentally chop his limbs off and eventually chopped his body in half. The tinmakers were kind enough to replace his human flesh with tin. There's also something about how he later finds the lady and the lady is with a man contructed from Nick Chopper's discarded body parts??? Nick Chopper lacked a heart, but he was the most compassionate in the Wizard of Oz group. Maybe Pol and Pot are two halves of the same person? Haruto and Kanzaki's roles didn't seem important, since they were mainly helpless observers. Yoshitsune said that they were needed for the journey. Haruto was the brainless scarecrow who asked simple questions such as "What?" but offered no straightforward answers, which is fitting to his role in 18if so far. But how is Kanzaki a coward or actually brave all along? When Nene wakes up and Haruto askes if what happened was ok, Kanzaki replies that the important thing is that the witch woke up. Is Kanzaki a coward because he is scared to lose his sister and is willing let others get hurt in his search for a Sleeping Beauty Syndrome cure? If the friend did die prior to Nene's awakening, perhaps she needed someone to listen to her and understand what she went through like therapy? Why was Lily a blue fairy?

The newspaper bunny who is later revealed to be a boy at the same hospital, throw different newspapers. The bunny in Nene's dream threw papers named after itself (脱兎新聞, "Datto Shinbun") with a rabbit logo on the lower lefthand corner. Whereas the hospital boy threw papers with Nene's dream doll form as a logo on the lower righthand corner. Since Nene can neither see nor hear images in a coma, I think she possibly infiltrated the hospital boy's dreams and used him to communicate with the outside world. She is telling people what already happened to her in the past, so that's why I think Pol is already dead. With everything else going on in the episode, I don't think it's as straightforward as Pol is a literal prince who will get a public execution via gullotine.



Prince Pol called Pot his best friend, but their relationship was lopsided. When Pot saves Kuro from traffic, he abruptly gets hit by a truck. He scrambles to get the cat, so that Prince Pol would avoid harm. There are guards standing on the other side of the street while Pol stands behind with a yellow traffic flag. When Kuro gets completely flattened, Prince Pol rushes out to retrieve Kuro and almost gets hit by a truck. However, the guards rush in and push back vehicles. They protect the prince, but let the prince's "best friend" get hit by a truck? Wouldn't Pol be sad if Pot died? When Pot is imprisoned for treason, Pol hesitates but ultimately abandons Pot. Pol was unaware that Pot was jailed and failed to visit him before the execution like a coward. Pot was meek and said little, but he looked after Pol. He rescued Kuro, tucked Pol in bed, ran to Pol when he tripped in the lake, and played games with Pol and Nene. If Pol and Pot are two halves of the same person, I think their relationship served to contrast two distinct personality types and how one type is favored over the other in society.

Lily appears to have a sadist streak. I noticed when Nene was threatening to destroy Valanga, she was merrily rocking back and forth on Haruto's head. Considering how episode 5 showed that she may be possibly manipulating the witches, Haruto, and Kanzaki to a lesser extent, there might be more development in Haruto's backstory later on.

As a side note, perhaps pm Tony K. or post in the Series Discussion sticky so that this discussion thread gets added to the index. I hope eventually more people will contribute to the 18if discussion, because hearing more thoughts and interpretations regarding this weird show is always interesting and helpful!

Edit: Added link to larger version for thumbnails.
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DuskyPredator
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:16 am Reply with quote
In regards to last week, I found the lion perfectly fine, but the scarecrow was just the worst, and I think kind of ruined the episode for me.

Episode 8

This episode though, it was another good one, well to a point. At first I will say that what might relate it to among the better episodes especially is that it is probably reasonably relatable. Not that I think a good majority of the viewers will personally relate to the witch specifically, the topic being deaf, but it is common enough that we could kind of put ourselves into her situation.

I will before go into what I think was the worst part of this episode, and I think might kind of be related to how it said she was "preachy", this felt a little preachy, but I think it was more of that it had a little bit of trouble properly conveying itself. It was too on the nose with placing the doctor in a bar of likely where the woman goes to, and spends way too much time talking and explaining things without I think putting trust in its visuals.

Not that its visual story telling was all bad, how it started the episode I think was actually pretty fantastic with what its central theme was, only it kind of went too far to explain it. First was that "band" deaf girl seems to almost be assaulting him with some sort of power coming out of her mouth, these mostly miss him before one seems to land inside like a wound, he takes it in and then sends his own back. And seems to go past and hits "soft" deaf girl, hitting her, where upon she sends bubbles back to him, but he puts his headphones on and avoids them, making her cry, what this all means is I think good story telling.

The first bit is I think it needs to be made clear is that both deaf girls were the same person, but her own admission I might almost call the "band" one as "bitching", that she explained she becomes that to kind of vent about her problems, the other one might be some amount of "caring". What actually seemed the case was that he came to her because of course he is going to those who want help, takes her hard words before it seems one actually hits or hurts him, so he fires back his own. Rather than hit her bitching side he instead gets her caring part, who then tries to help him with kind words, but refuses to listen to them. In essence, the episode kind of turned this around by saying that the deaf girl who feels the need to just vent is mentally healthier than he is, that Haruto is maybe flawed In ways because he is deciding to help others because he does not want to help himself. Kind of feels a bit Monogatari there.

There are other noteworthy parts, like I had to mention the art, which was especially great for the world of the bitching side of deaf girl. Mostly black and white in a way I think was meant to show that it is the part of her that wants to talk in blacks and white terms to complain about them (in her own mental health), because venting can be good, and I think might have supposed to be more artistic for the beauty. But it took me a little bit to see what was especially great when they kept swapping was to show that this is the same person, who is maybe more of a whole than we might think. I generally thought it was fascinating seeing the parts of her life. Maybe confusing for a moment when it looked like missed an evacuation before aliens attacked, but was instead symbolic of the anxiety she has about her disability, and makes what seems to be her getting a hearing dog that can help her be heartening.

But what I think generally was the best part of this episode was turning away from simply making her a damsel of her disability that needed to be saved by Haruto because of her disability. To her instead actually being quite functional in living her life, with just having some help in places where she might need it, including someone to hear her vent. Being a person with a disability, that is actually something good, sort of reminding me of Interviews With Monster Girls. The other positive I think was giving us a glimpse of Haruto's history, something I think should be done after he claimed amnesia and other episodes slipping in him saying things as if he does remember, where something like this should have been done first. It seems he was affected by people thinking him a drag, annoying, and disappointed in him, which I am going to guess made him very angsty.
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Chrono1000



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:17 pm Reply with quote
I would say that the biggest problem with 18if is that it is basically an anthology show so you never know what kind of episode you are going to get. Episodes 2, 3, 6, and 8 were good but the other episodes were average.

Episode 1 was an average episode to start the show on and I have no idea why they went with this as the first episode. Episode 2 was a gritty Judge Dredd approved episode and it really should have been the first episode of this show. The episode was fantastic and the ending was unexpected. Episode 3 was a tragic romance story and while those aren't my favorite it was a very well made episode. Episodes 4 and 5 were average. Episode 6 was a sad story about bullying but it had an optimistic heart. Episode 7 was average. Episode 8 was good and did some clever tricks with how it visually portrayed sounds.
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chaccide



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:30 pm Reply with quote
This episode was just basically saying that we need to learn to listen in other ways so we can more fully appreciate all the colors around us.

I still can't believe so few people are watching the show. I know the episodes are uneven but the good episodes are so good it makes it worthwhile. I mean Space Dandy seriously had its ups and downs too and people loved that one, so why the overall feeling of disdain for this one?
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Chrono1000



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:34 pm Reply with quote
chaccide wrote:
I still can't believe so few people are watching the show. I know the episodes are uneven but the good episodes are so good it makes it worthwhile. I mean Space Dandy seriously had its ups and downs too and people loved that one, so why the overall feeling of disdain for this one?
I stopped watching 18if after the first episode and only started watching it again when I heard people talk about the second episode. They really put their worst foot forward with that first episode. Also so far there isn't anything connecting the different episodes together so it really does depend on the quality of the episode and whether you enjoy that genre.
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DuskyPredator
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:44 pm Reply with quote
Chrono1000 and chaccide

I have kind of felt like I have been rather critical of the series, but I am going to admit that I think episode 6 (otaku witch) and episode 8 (deaf witch) were episodes that were actually rather good. Now that we have a couple more people, I would kind of like your opinions on some of the other episodes, starting with the two Chrono1000 also liked, episode 2 (revenge witch) and episode 3 (first love witch)?

I admit that both of these had facets that could be good. Episode 3 a little more for me in how it used a different perspective while being pretty sweet, but as I said I thought it was a little confusing in how it telegraphed these changes in perspective, and really I can't quite remember what the lesson it was.

Episode 2 though, I thought it really muddied its message by making Haruto pretty much a murderer. It had an interesting theme where he might have been used to point out the hypocrisy of the witch in him showing the echoing of events (can I watch?). But in the end it felt like he was just used to empower a revenge fantasy, his character does not always feel consistent.
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Chrono1000



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:36 pm Reply with quote
DuskyPredator wrote:
I admit that both of these had facets that could be good. Episode 3 a little more for me in how it used a different perspective while being pretty sweet, but as I said I thought it was a little confusing in how it telegraphed these changes in perspective, and really I can't quite remember what the lesson it was.
The lesson for episode 3 was tragic romance. I prefer happy endings so I don't care much for the tragic romance genre but that episode did it very well. That it was made by a first time director is quite an accomplishment.

DuskyPredator wrote:
Episode 2 though, I thought it really muddied its message by making Haruto pretty much a murderer. It had an interesting theme where he might have been used to point out the hypocrisy of the witch in him showing the echoing of events (can I watch?). But in the end it felt like he was just used to empower a revenge fantasy, his character does not always feel consistent.
The three murderers were completely unrepentant about the murder of her family which they did for fun. As such I think the witch was justified in wanting them dead and the only issue was how she was going about it. Granted I believe some people are evil and when given the chance will go out of their way to commit evil which is why I like movies such as Dirty Harry, Judge Dredd, and Robocop.

As for Haruto his actions do vary a bit though he does seem to have strong moral convictions. Haruto always takes the side of the witch when he thinks she has been wronged though he does have compassion for the perpetrators when they have shown remorse for their actions. This show is definitely an anthology though and even the narrative style will change from episode to episode.
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DuskyPredator
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 10 Mar 2009
Posts: 12039
Location: Brisbane, Australia
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:33 pm Reply with quote
Episode 9

This episode was pretty... sexual. Is it surprising to have an episode with a lot of boobs? It was an idol, by which it is set inside the dream of a disgruntled idol who has worked hard, and is getting targeted by people that think she is being loose to get favours, or other impure aspects. Things like boobs, dicks, crotch fires, and the like, were kind of I think more used to set up this feeling of being uncomfortable in response to the weird expectations put on idols.

My response I think is kind of different, in that maybe it is part of a different culture. I kind of hate Japan's totally fake purity idol thing that it has. I don't know if is what is supposed to be taken away, but I think it just gets in the way of other artistic escapades. The general journey through the episode was in the witch showing the pain she goes through, before being faced with the same type of bullying she had a problem with in the first place., before she made a decision to start a solo career. So was the lesson that her staying with the pure idol thing was keeping her back? Because the conversation she had with Haruto seemed to turn into validating the things she went through as not being for her fans, but for herself in doing what she wanted to do. But I feel like that is having some weird assumptions, that she should have to deal with those sorts of things, like the harassment she got from producers.

I did not hate the episode, but really I kind of feel like this is the case that I cannot be a good a judge of it, whether the episode was exploitive or not. We do see quite a bit of pitched tents, which makes me wonder if this was being a bit on the other side, having a guy sporting a hard on while being tortured, and hanging out with his cat friend at the end.
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Chrono1000



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
Posts: 284
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:21 pm Reply with quote
DuskyPredator wrote:
Things like boobs, dicks, crotch fires, and the like, were kind of I think more used to set up this feeling of being uncomfortable in response to the weird expectations put on idols.
I think that episode 9 was trying to be uncomfortable at times to reflect the problems in the idol industry. Idols are expected have an image of purity but at the same time are often taken advantage of by people in that industry. Of course any entertainment industry including Hollywood tends to have those problems. The only way you can get rid of those problems is to have impartial committees handle the hiring process with a combination of zero tolerance policies and easy reporting methods. Of course directors tend to dislike that but nothing will change in the entertainment industry unless the hiring process changes.
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horseradish



Joined: 27 Oct 2015
Posts: 101
Location: California, USA
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:43 pm Reply with quote
Wasn't in the mood to watch anime lately, but I managed to catch up with episode 8 and 9 last night.

Episode 8
I liked the episode's theme about communication along with the message about how people could be more receptive and understanding toward themselves and others. That the world would be a better place if everyone was considerate and no one was left isolated. The conversation between the threshold witch and Haruto toward the end evoked depression to me. People tend to recall bad memories more readily than good memories. When bad memories become overwhelming or incessant, the thoughts also become internalized over time and the caring, reassuring voice in their head fades away or is ignored. Sometimes people forget how to help themselves feel better. Nice people like to help others, so they may seek those who are also suffering. Helping others distracts them from their own pain, maybe even feeling vicarious catharsis from easing others' pain. The dark witch's world was in black and white outline and vaguely resembled an underwater coral reef. There were dark blue colors used for shadow. The witch in real life performed a song about someone else's tears streaming across the sky which left a trail of rainbow colors and her wanting to be colored with those tears of the future. Along with some Haruto flashbacks to hurtful people, I think depression was another underlying theme.

Kanzaki said Haruto needed to find some other way to communicate with the positive witch, but ended up expressing himself through words to the audience anyway. Perhaps replacing heavy-handed dialogue with expressive visuals in her dream world would've led to a stronger overall episode. I agree with DuskyPredator's interpretation for the opening scene and thought it was well-executed. That would be harder to accomplish throughout the whole episode though since the visuals would require nuance and clear intent.

It was interesting to feature a deaf character. Closed captioning seems less common in Japan than the U.S. She bought an expensive blu-ray set and couldn't even enjoy the dialogue since there were no captions or subtitles!

Episode 9
The episode was definitely about how grueling and exploitative the idol industry can be. It also did a good job showing how sleazy Misaki's (witch) work conditions were with lewd jokes and shots. Not sure if there was a proactive message. People should be treated with respect? Considering how problematic her fans (stalker) and upper management were (ugh the slurp), I doubt she could do anything to really change the industry on her own. Possibly that there's more than one way to achieve a dream and that you can always change your life and career trajectory? Her dream wasn't necessarily to be an idol, but rather to make people happy with her singing and dancing. She certainly wasn't happy being an idol. I think Misaki died at the end though. Her attacker somehow stabbed her like a hot knife through butter several times while she severely bled out and everyone else was presumably still overcoming shock. Stabbing people is hard work! Haruto and Kanzaki saw her last idol performance on dream world TV, not in real life. She would've been recovering from injuries and Haruto was still naked with her bandana, so it was impossible for her to return to work so soon.

Lily returned to make a slightly menacing appearance. I thought she was going to drag Haruto away from the witch's world and some serious overarching plot would be revealed, but it turned out to be a joke. Given that episode 10 has alpha in its name, maybe more details.

Chrono1000 wrote:
As for Haruto his actions do vary a bit though he does seem to have strong moral convictions. Haruto always takes the side of the witch when he thinks she has been wronged though he does have compassion for the perpetrators when they have shown remorse for their actions. This show is definitely an anthology though and even the narrative style will change from episode to episode.

I think that seems to be quite true. Haruto also seems easily influenced by the witches and their worlds. He takes on the role that the witches want from someone in their lives. The witch in episode 9 mentions how Haruto appears to be a prince-like figure for them. I still don't know if it's just inconsistent characterization lol.

I really like anthologies and episodic series if they introduce something different or fresh in each segment. Like anthologies in general, 18if has been a very mixed bag, so maybe people are indeed discouraged with the highly volatile quality for each episode. I sure was before episode 6. Yeah, unfortunately the first episode was a weaker one for first impressions and the tonal whiplash between episode one and two was big. The first episode had seemingly arbitrary visuals, so maybe some people thought the whole show would be superficially random.

chaccide wrote:
[...]
I still can't believe so few people are watching the show. I know the episodes are uneven but the good episodes are so good it makes it worthwhile. I mean Space Dandy seriously had its ups and downs too and people loved that one, so why the overall feeling of disdain for this one?

I haven't been paying close attention to the credits, but the directors for each episode are industry veterans or people who have worked many years as animators. I initially assumed they would be young newcomers. I don't think anybody super impressive or popular has worked on the show besides Koji Morimoto who sadly didn't direct any episodes. Morimoto has a cult following, so people would eagerly watch his nonexistent [EDIT: Hooray! He directed episode 10! Anime hyper] episode. Space Dandy had Shinichiro Watanabe, Sayo Yamamoto, Hiroshi Shimizu and other popular or well-respected people, so the audience had high expectations. I like Space Dandy more than 18if so far. 18if's been a bumpy ride.


Last edited by horseradish on Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:39 am; edited 2 times in total
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