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REVIEW: Beast Player Erin Episodes 26-50 Streaming


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Razzuel



Joined: 27 Dec 2009
Posts: 164
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:39 am Reply with quote
Great review, albeit I think you rated it too low, and I don't agree with your sentiment that the show is too dark for children. I agree that Erin can work for both adults and children, but I don't agree that the show's dark and mature sides are bad with regard to young viewers. Yes, some of the scenes would be scary to children, but they should be, since those scenes are meant to induce those types of feelings. I just don't feel like it's a bad thing, and if it is too dark for some children, then they shouldn't watch it; don't label it as a part of the show's weaknesses.

Anyway, I also don't agree with your dislike of Nuk and Mok. At the beginning of the show, they seemed a little off, but as the show progressed, I grew to love them. They are quite funny, and they provide some good comic relief during some scenes. Yeah, I agree that there's a lot of flashbacks and reiterations of previous scenes, but instead of feeling like filler, it felt like reminiscing, and they helped — most of the time — reinforce the current events; though, I can understand how that could be off-putting to some viewers. Oh, and that Ohju mating scene was beautiful; I don't know what you are talking about in saying that it was cheesy or "off" as you put it — it actually brought tears to me eyes. It was a magical scene.

I pretty much agree with everything else you wrote. Erin has masterful storytelling, and it tells a magnificent story. This show is one of my favorite anime, and I don't think that's hard to understand if you've seen the show as well. Erin herself is an amazing character — in fact, she is one of my favorite characters out of any media; she is a strong and caring woman in an oppressive and realistic world. Also, the art in this show is wonderful. I love the folk-art, painterly style of the backgrounds, and I love how those backgrounds provide contrast with the clean look of the characters, and the music is phenomenal.

So, yeah, Erin, The Beast Player is one of my favorite anime, and I absolutely recommend that everyone check it out; though, if you are reading the thread for the review of the second half of the show, then I would hope that you've at least seen the first half. You can't go spoiling stuff for yourself.

I really, really hope someone licenses this show sometime this year. I must own this show. I need to own this show. Dammit, please, for God's sake, license this damn show already. Oh, and if it's not too much to ask, I would love for someone to localize the novels that this show was based on.
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Mad_Scientist
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:43 am Reply with quote
I have a question for you Carl: do you understand Japanese? I've gotten the impression that you understand a fair amount at least. If so, did you perhaps watch the show without using the official subs from Crunchyroll?

I ask because the official subs are by far the worst subtitles I've ever seen. They were almost if not more of a detriment to the show than Nuk and Muk. Actually, they might have been worse. I find it odd that you didn't mention anything about them. (Actually, you never mentioned them in your review of the earlier episodes either.)
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Razzuel



Joined: 27 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:19 am Reply with quote
Mad_Scientist wrote:
I have a question for you Carl: do you understand Japanese? I've gotten the impression that you understand a fair amount at least. If so, did you perhaps watch the show without using the official subs from Crunchyroll?

I ask because the official subs are by far the worst subtitles I've ever seen. They were almost if not more of a detriment to the show than Nuk and Muk. Actually, they might have been worse. I find it odd that you didn't mention anything about them. (Actually, you never mentioned them in your review of the earlier episodes either.)


I agree, the subtitles are quite terrible. You could even tell that two different people were working on the subtitles, and they switched off every episode, since each person spelled some things differently. It was very annoying, but Erin, The Beast Player is such a phenomenal show that it transcends these horrible subtitles.

Also, I would imagine that the subtitles weren't mentioned, since they are not intrinsically linked to the show; they are an outside force that the show itself have no control over. Though, that explanation doesn't hold because Sentai's subtitles are usually discussed when they have a handful of errors.

I must be the only person who liked Nuk and Mok, huh?

Atrocious subtitles, eh? More reasons to license this show! I'm going to be quite depressed if no one picks this show up. I'm hoping that Funimation picks it up, since I would love to experience Erin, The Beast Player in English.
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Mad_Scientist
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:27 am Reply with quote
Razzuel wrote:


Also, I would imagine that the subtitles weren't mentioned, since they are not intrinsically linked to the show; they are an outside force that the show itself have no control over. Though, that explanation doesn't hold because Sentai's subtitles are usually discussed when they have a handful of errors.

I must be the only person who liked Nuk and Mok, huh?


Yah, and it's not just Sentai's release, other reviews have mentioned issues with subtitles. Since most people cannot understand Japanese, the quality of the subtitles is very important: as important as the quality of a dub's translation, for example.

And you probably are the only person who liked those two, though on occasion they didn't bother me too much,
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Razzuel



Joined: 27 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:38 am Reply with quote
Mad_Scientist wrote:

Yah, and it's not just Sentai's release, other reviews have mentioned issues with subtitles. Since most people cannot understand Japanese, the quality of the subtitles is very important: as important as the quality of a dub's translation, for example.

And you probably are the only person who liked those two, though on occasion they didn't bother me too much,


Hmm, then I have no idea why the subtitles weren't mentioned. Maybe ANN has certain review guidelines when it comes to streaming shows? I guess we need Carl's input on this one to know for sure.

There's an episode completely dedicated to Nuk and Mok. I loved it, but I get the feeling that other people loathed that episode. I don't know; I just really liked how they added comic relief to the show, and this must be some kind of Japanese idiosyncrasy, but Mok always ended his sentences with "da mon" or something like that, which I thought was funny.
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samuelp
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:40 am Reply with quote
Razzuel wrote:
Mad_Scientist wrote:

Yah, and it's not just Sentai's release, other reviews have mentioned issues with subtitles. Since most people cannot understand Japanese, the quality of the subtitles is very important: as important as the quality of a dub's translation, for example.

And you probably are the only person who liked those two, though on occasion they didn't bother me too much,


Hmm, then I have no idea why the subtitles weren't mentioned. Maybe ANN has certain review guidelines when it comes to streaming shows? I guess we need Carl's input on this one to know for sure.


Perhaps they felt it would damage their relationship with Crunchyroll that allows them to embed Crunchyroll's streams of many shows on their site.

Or perhaps they have a policy that for official streams, no comments about the production quality, only on the show itself.
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wandering-dreamer



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:00 am Reply with quote
Well, whatever the reason is, those subs were quite bad, any non-Japanese speaker could tell (really, they keep referring to Lillian as a guy AFTER she has a baby!).
But I really loved the show itself. Yes it could've been shortened a bit (although I didn't notice that until late on in the show) but it gave this feeling of an epic. I thought it was very different and lovely, a shame that it's one of the least watched shows on CR, probably the length is what puts people off.
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Mad_Scientist
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:34 pm Reply with quote
samuelp wrote:


Perhaps they felt it would damage their relationship with Crunchyroll that allows them to embed Crunchyroll's streams of many shows on their site.

Or perhaps they have a policy that for official streams, no comments about the production quality, only on the show itself.


I would certainly hope it's not the first reason. That would be very disappointing if true, to put it mildly, and would seriously effect the credibility of the entire site. I doubt it's that reason, though.

The second reason seems odd too, though I suppose there might be some logic behind such a policy that I'm not aware of. But as I said before, for any non-Japanese speaker, the quality of the subtitles IS a part of the quality of the show itself, especially in a case like this where there isn't even a dubbed option available.

Putting aside the subtitle issue for a moment, I rather enjoyed the show, and mostly agree with Carl's review. It was his review of the first 25 episodes that caused me to check out the show in the first place, and I'm glad I did.
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albanian



Joined: 18 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:57 pm Reply with quote
I, too, have followed this anime from the outset, and have enjoyed it immensely. I can fully understand that - given that it is essentially a children's anime after all - a reasonable amount of gentle reiteration might not have been a bad thing. I certainly felt that the story kept a good deal of tension going through the last episodes, despite a slowish pace: it didn't disturb the plot in any way, and drama racked up slowly and inevitably can often be more effective than the breathless pace of many modern presentations.

As to Nuk and Muk, they didn't bother me any more than, say, C3PO and R2D2 in Star Wars (nor their immediate progenitors, the two peasants in The Hidden Fortress) - not forgetting my favourite comic interlopers (sorry, this is for the true film buffs) Charters and Caldecott in The Lady Vanishes.

I can only echo with great feeling the hope that this will appear in the west at some point in the not-too-distant future. Sadly, I am not holding my breath in that regard.
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skchai1



Joined: 12 Oct 2009
Posts: 33
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:50 pm Reply with quote
I think that having 4 cours was good - it gave the creators time to preserve the richness of the narrative in what was potentially a very difficult adaptation. The flashbacks may have served their usual purpose of giving the animators more time to work, but they also helped viewers who were tuning in once a week (as opposed to marathoning) a way of not losing track of the many-threaded plot.

But as a most people who watched it seem to feel, the last episode kind of sucked. The anime creators had to construct an "original" ending because the light novels hadn't concluded, but even so they could have done better than the hackneyed Hollywood ending that came out. A surprising misstep in what is otherwise a exemplar for how to adapt complex narratives into visual media.
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vanfanel



Joined: 26 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:17 am Reply with quote
[quote="skchai1"]But as a most people who watched it seem to feel, the last episode kind of sucked. The anime creators had to construct an "original" ending because the light novels hadn't concluded...quote]

The last two novels (not light novels, btw) did come out before the TV show finished airing, but they're a whole other story from what I understand. At the time Ms. Uehashi finished the first two, she thought that the story was finished. In her afterword to the paperback edition, she commented that it was actually while the anime was in production (and she was getting peppered with lots of questions by the animators) that ideas started to take root for what became a 2-volume sequel.

I haven't seen the anime ending, but the first two books end pretty solidly. I agree with posters who hope the books come out in English, because having read the first two, I think they're a lot better than the anime. Those sidekicks everyone keeps mentioning are nowhere to be seen, at least, and even when the story goes off on a beekeeping dissertation, it doesn't feel like it's meandering.
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sigkircheis



Joined: 07 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:38 am Reply with quote
It's modestly inconvenient that ANN's reviews of "streaming" shows don't seem to acknowledge the streaming site. After clicking through from the front page tease ("Beast Player Erin Episodes 26-50 Streaming") to the review (title reduced to simply "Beast Player Erin"), the review doesn't mention where it's streaming, i.e. Crunchyroll. Unlike ANN's reviews of anime DVDs, which usually mention the publisher (e.g., Funimation) and comment on the dub and sub as well as DVD extras, the streaming review is silent on these points. (Perhaps the reviewer didn't actually stream the show, but watched it via some other source, and so created a review of the show separated from any publication; that would explain the review's actual title, which doesn't say "streaming," and simply make the front page link inaccurate.)

ANN's streaming review of "Erin" also lacks the "release information" usually present at the bottom of ANN's DVD reviews. Clicking through to the Encyclopedia doesn't help, because that entry doesn't acknowledge a license by any company other than the Japanese producer. I wonder why Crunchyroll is not considered a licensor in either the Review or the Encyclopedia? If streaming is the future, then perhaps it shouldn't be ignored as some second-class publisher.

Including streaming site(s) as a "release" would be helpful to readers like me in finding a show and save a lot of searching about. Unlike a DVD, which can probably be found on Amazon, tRS or RACS regardless of publisher, finding the legit streaming source isn't so simple.
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Zac
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:54 pm Reply with quote
sigkircheis wrote:

Including streaming site(s) as a "release" would be helpful to readers like me in finding a show and save a lot of searching about. Unlike a DVD, which can probably be found on Amazon, tRS or RACS regardless of publisher, finding the legit streaming source isn't so simple.


There's a reason for this: these reviews stay on this site forever and will still be read by people years from now. Streaming rights are finite and do not last, and are particularly volatile. If a bunch of information in the review is basically invalid within a year of release, then in a year I'm going to get people complaining that the review is incorrect and then questions about where to find the show streaming.

People are generally smart enough to find where things are streaming at since there are really only 2-3 places online that do it (legitimately, anyway). It's a decision based on the long-term.
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hissatsu01



Joined: 08 May 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:45 pm Reply with quote
I'm a bit late commenting because I was in the process of finishing up watching Erin these past few days. I pretty much agree entirely with the review. While Erin is by no means a perfect show, in the end I rated it Excellent. I wish there wasn't such a dearth of strongly plot-driven anime these days, and watching Erin grow and mature was a joy (not that they made her life easy).

What I find amusing is that overall, this "children's" anime displayed more maturity in its approach to its characters and the situations they're placed in than most of the "mature/adult" anime these days.
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skchai1



Joined: 12 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:59 am Reply with quote
I stand corrected on the ending of the second (not light) novel. I should know better than to jump to conclusions without having read the books. But that makes it even more puzzling why the ending had to seem as contrived as it did given the strength of the story up until then. The Seirei no Moribito adaptation had a much better ending despite having only two cours to develop.

Another pleasant outcome was the fine work of Hoshii Nanase as Erin. Unlike most cases where current or ex-idols without previous experience as seiyuu (even if they have experience in live acting) take up lead roles, there doesn't seem to be a great outcry regarding the quality of her voice acting. Partly I'm sure this is because it's an NHK show aimed at children, not as likely to catch the attention of seiyuu otaku. However, it is hard to think of anyone who could have captured the dignity of the Erin character better than she did.
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