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EP. REVIEW: Joran: The Princess of Snow and Blood


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LoriasGS



Joined: 24 Jan 2015
Posts: 78
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:47 pm Reply with quote
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Joran could absolutely be described as a flashy exercise that is all style and no substance, though I would immediately counter that, for anime like this, style is substance.


This reminds me of a movie youtuber talking about Edgar Wright

"Edgar Wright has been described as a style over substance director and to that I say, what you got against style?"
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b-dragon



Joined: 21 Apr 2021
Posts: 26
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 1:36 pm Reply with quote
I'm continually just about to drop this one, and then it shows just enough potential to keep me interested for one more week. The characters are threadbare, but have potential to be developed into interesting individuals. The animation is fine...but the style carries it a long way. The plot was largely the least interesting part to me- but now they finished the revenge plot I presumed was the series' main throughline. Now I have no idea what happens next. So...I'm in, yet again, for one more week.
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ab2143



Joined: 09 Jan 2021
Posts: 287
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 1:41 pm Reply with quote
I just can’t seem to care about any of the characters. Will stick around as it’s hilariously bad and the parasol crossbow is cool
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Whitestrider



Joined: 12 Feb 2021
Posts: 197
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 3:30 pm Reply with quote
So far so good for me, I just hope there will many plot twists in the next episodes.
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 5033
Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 12:55 am Reply with quote
I love everything about this one! Ok, it’s a bit *too* melodramatic and could use more (intentional) humor to balance out it’s tone, but it’s *so* gorgeous.
And man, that melodramatic symbolism! Did y’all catch that in the OP sequence, the rain falling on Sawa is blood red, because *her* blood is blue? Or that Asahi’s parents kind of deserved to be taken out, because they were about to sell their baby girl into prostitution? Reba McIntyre’s country hit about a girl pushed into prostitution by her mom was running through my head that scene (“Here’s your one chance, Fancy, don’t let me down!” But at least Fancy was a teen, and her mom was dying. What’s Asahi’s parents excuse? Glad they kicked it!)

And, oh, episode 4 had Christian Renaissance art (with a focus on Jesus, of course) and the villain playing an organ. How extra can you get? Have the villain turn into *snakes*!

Theory time:
—I Do! NOT! Trust! Jin! He took in Sawa to groom her into a child soldier; fed her super suspicious government propaganda, and is all around sus.
—I don’t actually believe Janome killed Sawa’s clan. Sure, he was evil, but he was also a scientist and her clan was chock full of valuable research specimens. The most likely culprits behind Sawa’s Clan’s demise is the government, to keep them out of Janome’s lab. Probably Jin himself. That would be just the right thematic parallel to Sawa taking in Asahi, too
—Makoto Tsukishiro has been trash talking the government since episode 1 and went above and beyond to help Sawa meet her brother (RIP, Onichan) and take out Janome in episode 4. That’s more than Jin ever did for Sawa, and so I trust Makoto more than Jin
—...Although Makoto did run off with the Blue Blood samples at the end of episode 4. What is he planning?
—Elena tried to convince Jin to sleep with her in episode 3. At first, I wondered if she was genuinely attracted to him (as she claimed), but she’s a professional honey trap; sleeping with suspicious men to get them to reveal secrets is what she does, and she wants to know Jin’s secrets. Just more proof that he’s sus as Hell (but obviously too smart for that tactic)
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One-Eye



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 2193
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 2:41 am Reply with quote
I am digging this show. Yea, the writing is a little messy and melodramatic at times, but as the review recognized its enough to keep it moving while the style certainly elevates it. Its just fun so far. Hmmm...cheese and crackers.

I'm also with Agent355 in that I don't trust Jin. Suspicious and convenient that he had video footage of Sawa's village. And the whole scene was like indoctrination to his little murder cult. Makoto is a weirdo tho, his love is a little twisted imho. Hell, they are all a little twisted. Elena cruelly telling the treasurer that her child was dead, but then has the kid at her place. Sawa's plain old revenge seems normal in comparison. Laughing
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gumbaloom



Joined: 11 Sep 2017
Posts: 116
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:16 am Reply with quote
Lol Jorans overseas is ahead of Japan

Only ep 3 here 4 next wed
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a_Bear_in_Bearcave
Subscriber



Joined: 14 Jan 2019
Posts: 177
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 6:36 pm Reply with quote
One-Eye wrote:
Elena cruelly telling the treasurer that her child was dead, but then has the kid at her place. Sawa's plain old revenge seems normal in comparison. Laughing

I wonder if she told her that at the moment because Sawa refused to leave Treasurer alone as was in the original plan, and Elena decided it's safer to have Sawa mad at child murder in front of Jin, to better protect the boy.
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Charou



Joined: 01 May 2018
Posts: 98
Location: Sydney, Australia
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2021 2:19 am Reply with quote
"Style is substance." Congratulations, James. You just captured a lot of the best of this quirky season in three words. Mars Red, Pretty Tantei, Super Cub, Joran, Shadows House, and Reflection Ray all rely heavily on their style over what we consider substance. In a medium like anime though, where "sakuga" is a legimitate reason to watch some pretty vapid stuff (emphasis on pretty) I am glad we don't feel the need to differentiate them too vigorously.

Agreed re: how to watch and process this one. It reminds me deeply of some of the OVAs we used to get in the 90s without knowing they were OVAs. Stylish but incomplete shows that we took as one-offs because we didn't have access to the full material. There are far worse throwbacks of which to be reminded. I feel Joran does a lot with a little. In this it reminds me of Lidenfilm's minimalist take on Blade of the Immortal, which like Joran wore its chanbara bursts of violence and moments of beautiful stillness on its bloody sleeve.
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ab2143



Joined: 09 Jan 2021
Posts: 287
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 7:15 am Reply with quote
I don't think Elena and Makoto are dead. I very doubt Sawa will die too.

Anyways, what annoyed me the most in the episode was this:
Little girl: telling Sawa to die and feeds her poison
Also little girl: ONEEEEE-CHAN

What did she expect to happen after she fed Sawa poison????
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9738
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 4:08 am Reply with quote
Given the Shakespeare quotes, and the "Death is just an endless sleep" line to open the episode, I suspect Sawa got the "Romeo and Juliet" treatment. I think Makoto shot first and is fine. I think Elena and not-baby-daddy are off on a ship somewhere to new lands if Elena didn't trust Jin. Or they're at least in this reality's witness protection program, if Jin kept his word. Moriarty already showed us how it's done.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9738
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 5:01 pm Reply with quote
Surprise, I called 2 out of 3 and I haven't get given up on Elena yet, given that we were specifically reminded about the kid in her care with no resolution to that either.

Quote:
What's Makoto's deal when he's losing it in the forest, by the by?

He took a bunch of the pain pills the doctor gave him for his arm, which he was warned were hallucinogenic if he took too many.
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ab2143



Joined: 09 Jan 2021
Posts: 287
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 6:08 pm Reply with quote
I'm surprised the guards didn't catch Makoto when he was hallucinating
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One-Eye



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 2193
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 6:21 pm Reply with quote
I'm still enjoying the show, but this might have been the weakest episode so far for me. I don't quite care that Sawa has turned into a brain dead idiot that needs to be lead around by a little girl. I get that she's feeling a little lost after her revenge, but maybe this is a little too much? Then again maybe she annoyed Elena regularly because she is a simpleton?

I'm wondering if Jin was really fooled by the whole dying act. I mean wouldn't he normally want to drain Sawa's blood before the corpse got too cold for further experimentation? Does he feel some kind of remorse or attachment towards Sawa? Or maybe he did get fooled, I guess we'll see.

Anyways:
Quote:
What's Makoto's deal when he's losing it in the forest, by the by? Did he take the blue blood formula, and is now beginning to turn? It feels like we missed a scene, though I could just be completely forgetting something obvious.
As Gina Szanboti already pointed out but I will second it, Makoto is hallucinating because of the pain pills he took that were given to him by the doctor. He was also warned that they were potentially hallucigenic.
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 918
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 1:35 am Reply with quote
If this show reminds me of anything at all, it'd be one of those 00's action anime with a kind-of interesting setting that nobody remembers. For all the talk about style I keep seeing, it just barely manages to look decent. But...
b-dragon wrote:
I'm continually just about to drop this one, and then it shows just enough potential to keep me interested for one more week.

Pretty accurate, even now. It is smart enough to keep things moving along by dropping things in a bit earlier than you'd expect, and that has kept me on board. Remains to be seen if I'll remember it exists in three months, though.
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