Rate the last anime you watched out of 10

bangle

Completely Average High School Student
Well i'm new here so i'm spending most of my time trying to get up to speed on what's actually going on and what the abbreviations mean but i'm going to put my hand up and say I did read your review and was highly entertained. Probably much more so than I would be if I watched the show! I'm not really much of an authority on the subject though, my only foray into this area being brief and quite frankly tame ( Welcome to Pia Carrot II ). This is going back a few years and I was mostly shocked by the pixellation of certain parts. I mean, why would you even want a censored version?

Anyway, I was wondering the same thing, i'd like to see a bit of discussion now and then. I don't always go with the crowd, I actually enjoyed Fireworks which I watched the other day despite being very ready not to as I read it was awful. My OH insisted he really wanted to watch it though, so we bought it anyway (he just picks based on the cover art sometimes). I didn't like the flight of fantasy into idol singing part because it was just so out of place, but other than that I enjoyed it so i'd rate it a 6/10. I don't know if I read into it the same way as anyone else but I have this theory that Nazuna Oikawa knew what the firework shell actually did because she'd tried it herself but wasn't able to change anything. I think she hoped the boys would be able to do it for her and that's why they were all half in love with her and why she acted so strangely. I thought the explanation was in the shards shattered off the firework shell as they each saw a different version of 'ifs'. In the end though she accepted she couldn't change that she was going to move away so she made do with what she could. It could also explain Norimichi's friend's actions, though I genuinely think you do get people like that that that just aren't very nice. I also think it's supposed to imply that her father also failed to change his future and ultimately failed, which is the only reason I could think of for the water scene. Also did he woo her mother using the 'if' ball? either that or my imagination gets way ahead of me and that's why I enjoyed it so much.
 

Professor Irony

Cursed Image
Moderator
This is what I get for trying to entertain you people, silence?
I did think about asking if it was better or worse than La Blue Girl, but I felt it was a conversation I might later regret.

Did you ever get round to this Prof? The OVAs and movies are my favourite part of Slayers because I love how Naga and Lina play off each other. Hopefully you were/would be pleasantly surprised.
I haven't yet, but this is a good idea and I will make Slayers the next thing I start on; it's definitely better than a lot of the things I've been watching lately. On that note:

Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online

As someone generally indifferent to the SAO franchise, I don’t think I’d have paid much attention to this stand alone shoot-em-up spinoff, had someone not sold it to me on the grounds that the main character has a pink sub-machine gun that talks to her. As a lightweight action series, it’s watchable and at times genuinely exciting, particularly towards the end of the second virtual game, I just wish I didn’t hate the story that wraps around it quite so much.

With mainline SAO’s ‘die in the game and you die in real life’ gambit long gone, GGO’s stakes are considerably lower (at least for its first half) so the show instead tries to show a little bit of main character LLENN developing as a person through playing the game. When it tries to up the ante around the middle of the show however, I thought the whole thing was ready to collapse - the story feels painfully contrived and the obvious, leaden character developments in the real world are an absolute chore to get through. The strange thing though is that, as long as GGO remains in the virtual world, it kind of gets away with it. LLENN's plot armour would occasionally embarass a tank, but the whole thing clips along with such pace and nutty determination that it's all rather fun. I'd almost recommend stopping the show on a high after the penultimate episode, and avoiding the final round of character revelations (was that part supposed to be funny? I don't even know).

It doesn't help that GGO follows hard on the heels of Recovery of an MMO Junkie, which covered similar story material in a far more interesting and compelling way. Perhaps GGO was determined to follow a different path, but it really frustrated me that the show frequently seems to be on the cusp of saying something interesting about online FPS games and the people who play them, but never engages with any of that on more than the most superficial level. Some of this, I think is down to the adaptation which presumably prioritised the action, but there is a definite feeling of wasted potential.

Ultimately, I'd liken my experience with this one to the Girls Und Panzer film. The shooty bangs are quite good, just don't come looking for a good story to go with them.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
I was mostly shocked by the pixellation of certain parts. I mean, why would you even want a censored version?
As I understand it, censorship of any depiction of genitals is the (genuinely bizarre) law in Japan - Even real live porn has to be pixelated and hilarious tiny black bars drawn on pornographic manga, so I'm not sure how some anime manages to get away with not doing so - Perhaps the uncensored versions are only released in the west, or this law was rescinded recently? Certainly there's no such release for Taimanin Asagi, which for all of its debauchery remains genitally blurred.

I did think about asking if it was better or worse than La Blue Girl, but I felt it was a conversation I might later regret.
For all its (in)fame, that's one series I have never actually seen, so you get to avoid the conversation altogether Prof.
 

Luna

Stand User
Night is Short Walk on Girl
Walked in eager to see the same stype of Tatami Galaxy again. (Same Author, same director, same character designer.) Was confronted with that instantly and what's more with Higuchi and Ryouko being characters in there it actually became a full fledged Tatami Galaxy Spin Off and not just a spiritual successor. It looked even more generally promising, because the girl is not as stern-icy as Akashi and Senpai did not seem as pathethic as Watashi (Until he lost his pants at least).
Until they started the singing...
Granted, it's not so weird, given that they started to drink their minds off before that, but all the jolly "fun" from being drunk completely escapes me, so I have my troubles to relate to that. And being in love is apparantely as bad as being drunk (not changing your underwear because of love for a year, seriously?) Furthermore confusing was Ozu, who joined in as a boy, which totally threw me off in term of situating that in any Tatamii timeline, but in the end that one was some book god?
Things got pretty weird after that and the plot appered to dowright derail itself, which might have been the point with all the drinking and it's drunk effects (?), but I found myself just waiting for Akashi and Watashi to make a came. They didn't make it in, but Watashi's signature phrases "rose colored campus life" and "When I realized it" did, and I even mistook Senpai for Watashi (who certainly looks very similiar to him) for a full minute. Talk about Senpai's presence as his own individual...

Not sure what exactly the core theme even was, except the get drunk and have fun idea. It says at some point, those of are alone have to be active themselves to the guy, but then the guy has done this in his roundabout way already all the time and he ends up with his girl because she reached out to him in the end.

6.5, will have to digest it a little more whether to upround or downround.
 

bangle

Completely Average High School Student
As I understand it, censorship of any depiction of genitals is the (genuinely bizarre) law in Japan - Even real live porn has to be pixelated and hilarious tiny black bars drawn on pornographic manga, so I'm not sure how some anime manages to get away with not doing so - Perhaps the uncensored versions are only released in the west, or this law was rescinded recently? Certainly there's no such release for Taimanin Asagi, which for all of its debauchery remains genitally blurred.


For all its (in)fame, that's one series I have never actually seen, so you get to avoid the conversation altogether Prof.
Ah that explains it, in that case i'm surprised they don't just avoid certain angles. It does seem a little ironic considering what i've heard of certain infamous types which always seem to get mentioned by the uninitiated. For some reason people who have no idea seem to presume you're either watching Pokemon or porn. It's a shame as i've found so many people I talk to just won't give anime the chance it deserves.
 

Professor Irony

Cursed Image
Moderator
Slayers: The Motion Picture (1995)

A prequel to the first Slayers series, this cinema outing, that sees Lina Inverse beckoned to a small island country by a mage who appears in her dreams, is a slight affair, but the usual formula actually fits the feature film format rather well. I always thought the shorter arcs were the most effective part of the tv version, so a one hour self-contained adventure suits me perfectly, and the film really makes the most of its additional budget. It no doubt helps that I was watching the most recent rescanned version, but it looks absolutely sumptuous, giving the film a real sense of occasion beyond its previous Pokemon-level production values.

The film is also much enlivened by the presence of Naga, Lina’s fellow travelling sorcerer, whose scantily clad design is probably one of the most iconic of the 1990s. Although I was initially surprised by her cleavage heavy presence (that first tv season had no fan service I can remember), she proves to be an excellent foil for Lina and the fun buddy-cop like dynamic between the two of them more than makes up for the usual squad being understandably absent. If I were given to numerical scoring, I’d also add a point for the amazing, Olympic level ojousama laugh that Maria Kawamura brings to the role on its own.

With the bulk of its very lean running time given over to Lina and Naga wandering the island and confronting various comedy goons, it’s perhaps not surprising that the real villain’s role feels a little undernourished, with little characterisation to him beyond ‘monster, bad’, but I feel this is a minor complaint in what was otherwise a very enjoyable experience. It certainly won’t change anyone’s opinion of the franchise (did you like the series? You’ll like this), but this is a handsomely mounted, knockabout adventure that makes a fine addition to it.

Naga/10
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Very pleased you came to the correct conclusion Prof.
The film is also much enlivened by the presence of Naga, Lina’s fellow travelling sorcerer, whose scantily clad design is probably one of the most iconic of the 1990s. Although I was initially surprised by her cleavage heavy presence (that first tv season had no fan service I can remember), she proves to be an excellent foil for Lina and the fun buddy-cop like dynamic between the two of them more than makes up for the usual squad being understandably absent.
The film was my first exposure to Slayers, and I think it definitely coloured my subsequent judgement of the TV series. To my mind, Lina & Naga >>> Lina & the TV gang. They just work so well together - Lina's grating at someone who despite her protestations to the contrary is actually a lot like her in many ways, Naga's gleeful zero ****s given attitude* set against Lina's irritability and their sibling like friendship/rivalry are worth a thousand Gourrys.

I don't really know if I'd class Naga's appearance as fanservice or not, if anything I'd say it's more a parody - Her outfit (and boobs) are obviously intentionally over the top, but at the same time any look at her is not delivered with the usual nod and wink that makes me cringe at a lot of fanservice. You get the sense this is just who Naga is, she's not a modest character who we're getting a chance to see in some skimpy clothing at the beach or a glimpse up her skirt. She goes around dressed like this every single day and after a little while, I found I stopped even noticing the fact she's basically wearing a thong bikini at all times. It just becomes normal because that is her normal. Plus the fact she never particularly acts sexy and is subjected to a lot of quite unsexy physical comedy - I still can't make it through the scene in Slayers Gorgeous (potential comedy spoilers) where she goes over the waterfall as rigid as a cardboard cutout without cracking up. I still bought the artbooks I suppose, which to be fair are a lot more fanservicey (example now included at left) but I dunno. On screen the way she's portrayed feels very different to regular fanservice.

I tend to prefer the tone of the films and OVAs too - Where the TV series can get a bit jarringly serious at times, the Naga instalments (almost) always play drama up for laughs or use it as the set-up to getting a laugh. And a couple of them are just downright farcical even for Slayers (I'm looking at you, Great) but that just had the effect of making me crack up even more the first time I watched them because I wasn't expecting things to get quite this stupid.

the film really makes the most of its additional budget. It no doubt helps that I was watching the most recent rescanned version, but it looks absolutely sumptuous, giving the film a real sense of occasion beyond its previous Pokemon-level production values.
I think this fact had a similar effect of raising the bar of my expectations for the TV series too high. It really is a gorgeous (heh) example of hand drawn animation, we shall not see its like again, etc. I would totally import the Blu-ray box if I had a spare £200, especially since the DVDs are very shoddy picture quality wise.

All criticisms of Slayers aside, my feelings towards the franchise as a whole have improved a lot with time. I can forgive its shortcomings, as (along with a lot of media I find myself returning to) I simply enjoy spending time in the world, with the characters. Another thing that adds to my enjoyment of the Lina & Naga Slayers outings is the music - There's always a new Megumi Hayashibara song or two (indeed there was enough to fill a triple album by the end) and the film and OVA songs imho tend to be the cream of an admittedly all-round excellent crop.

I actually extracted the audio of (potential comedy spoiler again for Slayers Special episode 1) all the clones of Naga laughing and cut it down into a looping audio clip. I'm saving it for a special occasion when I want to be really, really condescending. Would probably have made for a good YTMND page back in the day. It probably was one.

*I tend to hugely enjoy characters who annoy the hell out of people both in universe and occasionally among the audience by having no filter or shame anyway - See also Takino, Tomo; Matsuoka, Miu
 
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ayase

State Alchemist
Well after reading all that I might have to locate and watch the film.
Just don't pay over the odds for the OOP ADV DVDs (that's a lot of acronyms... and it almost rhymes, or at least has a pleasing sound to it). The picture quality is pretty bad, and several were presented letterboxed widescreen in a 4:3 frame which leaves the image windowboxed in the centre of a 16:9 TV (if you watch it in the correct aspect ratio... Which is the wrong aspect ratio. But also the right aspect ratio... I'll come in again).
 

HWR

Symphogear
AUKN Staff
Just don't pay over the odds for the OOP ADV DVDs (that's a lot of acronyms... and it almost rhymes, or at least has a pleasing sound to it). The picture quality is pretty bad, and several were presented letterboxed widescreen in a 4:3 frame which leaves the image windowboxed in the centre of a 16:9 TV (if you watch it in the correct aspect ratio... Which is the wrong aspect ratio. But also the right aspect ratio... I'll come in again).
Aye the picture quality on the season DVD’s was pretty poor as well, if needs be I’ll don my eyepatch.
 

Professor Irony

Cursed Image
Moderator
To my mind, Lina & Naga >>> Lina & the TV gang.
It was on the tip of my tongue to say that too (can written words even be on your tongue?), but on the strength of having seen only one season of the series, I thought I'd give it the benefit of the doubt.

Would also agree about Naga's design not really being played for titilation. My 'ooh, matron!' reaction was just an initial impression - the film really isn't interested in ogling her, even on the 'we're being clever about this, but also doing the thing we're being clever about' level I've seen in a few more recent series.
 

Luna

Stand User
Cross Ange - Rondo of Angels and Dragons
What was expected beforehand: Code Geass stripped of its Lulu-Fabulousness and Spinzaku-ness, filled with a bunch of high-fantasy elements (there is angels and dragons in the titel and dragons on the key promotion images) instead and havings its trash stats ramped up through the roof. And a very good soundtrack, by Hitomi Kuraishi.
What it ended up being: Hitomi Kuraishi turned out not to be the composer but Akiko Shikata, but they somehow it felt still on the same waveline. The Code Geass vibes and esthetics were definitely present there and in fact more or less exactly what I assumed it would be, just even more through the roof trashy than expected. That and that much of high fantasy elements were less mythical thanactually more Science Fiction than Code Geass. In top of it it wasn't just being a rip off of Code Geass with its own name, it's more also a cynical perversion of several other Sunrise shows (Gundam Seed, Mai Hime, Mai Otome, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, Zegapain,... ) while it was almost a blatantly copycatting Symphogear/Nanoha/(Macross?) on top.
It's baffling how many of it's elements and tropes of other shows I saw before it has cramped inside (some scenes were even reminscent of Attack on Titan and Gurren Lagan.) And its main plotline even starts with what almost feels like a rip off of Shinsekai Yori and Please Save My Earth (of all things), though a lot of that exploitation-focused pandering or all the yuri threesomes surely makes it a good deal remote from it.
This sure is one strange show that manages this weird tightrope of taking itself very serious while totally not. And it's one of those shows that manages to incoperate whatever and it doesn't blatantly break its world building (it seriously had a "Mu la Flaga Hotel" in there), while going totally overboard with just about everything it takes on.
It was kind of entertaining to see all the parts I didn't like about Gundam Seed, Mai Otome and Code Geass being played for "serious comedy" like that. Even the obligatory sunrising happens (of course), though, surprisingly, it wasn't even played that much. Not sure how it would be like without getting all the jabs. Sylvie's only reason for existance is to be a troll on Nunally and I also can't help but think that Momoka's head decoration kind of looks like she's wearing panties on her head with a giant ribbon.
But buttom line, some of that exploitation does turn out to not just be some questionable fanservice pandeing, but turned out to have purpose in plot and characterization, but it's still not too nice to watch.

6/10


Armed Girl's Machiavellism
This on the other hand... It having a CE release suggests it probably was somewhat popular, but the reasons why it would quite escape me. It's generic from beginning to end, it's completely absurd, but not absurd enough to be funnily absurd (Ben-tou definitely had a nicer absurd reason as an excuse for fighting) and just about nothing memorable about it. It doesn't haven have the blatant frankenstein-generic tropes-textbook-checklist-ticking generic-ness of the Asterisk War.

4/10
 

Professor Irony

Cursed Image
Moderator
Ai City (1986)

Tagged as 'cyberpunk' by ANN, this tale of a young psychic trying to keep his daughter from the clutches of nefarious government types in not-New York actually skews much closer to the pulp sf psychedelia of the 1970s. By which I mean the plot hoves in and out of coherence, as the film bombards the viewer with strange imagery and weird visual devices from beginning to end.

Although adapted from a manga, I think you'd also be forgiven for thinking they were making the story up as they went along. For the most part, it functions perfectly well as a simple chase story, save for a few character beats that come out of nowhere, but when things change significantly towards the end, it's a real struggle to match this new part of the puzzle against the ones already on the table.

Nevertheless, its earnestly weird aesthetic is consistently impressive in both animation and sheer spectacle. The faintly camp, early 1980s trappings of the film will likely put some folk off (art design is very clearly the work of Chuuichi Iguchi, previously of Urashiman), but there's clearly been a signficant budget behind the film and it's never boring to look at. The scene where the main characters are attacked by Zardoz style flying heads emerging from the ground being a particular highlight.

Ai City is frequently dumb, a bit self-indulgently horny and lacks much of an ending, but it's so utterly barking mad that I found it all rather charming.
 
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Professor Irony

Cursed Image
Moderator
Planet With

A solid enough mecha/alien invasion series, but ultimately, I was a little disappointed in it. The first half was strong and the relative moral complexity seemed to give the show a distinct identity, as it felt like none of the different groups involved in the conflict were actually evil - everyone believed they had a moral justification for what they were doing. The plot had mostly resolved itself by the ninth episode, however, and, as the story reverted more to type, I wasn't sufficiently invested in the characters to feel excited for the eventual conclusion.

While I appreciated the series brevity, part of me wonders if I'd have liked it more as a two-cour show with more time given over to fleshing out the side characters. It felt like there was mileage to be had there, but many of them never really rose above the level of broad archetypes.

Still, it has Norio Wakamoto playing an alien general who is also a big white labrador, and I am okay with that.
 

KurataTrigger

Brigade Leader
Daphne in the Brilliant Blue Episodes 1-12 8/10
Pretty fun series that has likeable characters and good visuals.
Golden Time Re-watch Episodes 1-12 9/10.
One of the better romances I seen in a long while
Love Hina First Half Episodes 1-12 3/10.
How to not make a rom-com series.
 

Luna

Stand User
Robotic;Notes (Rewatch)
I really didn't like it, when it aired; the one character that singlehandedly destroyed it for me was Akiho. She kind of made me want to punch her a lot. She was just so obnoxious to the me back then. Made me rate it with just a 5/10. Nevertheless everything else was really interesting, so it stuck in my mind forever to give it another chance. I even bought the Funi release for that, but it just stayed shrinkwrapped for years there. Fast forward to 2018 and there was Steins;Gate 0 and 0kabe was on a whole diffrent level of deverving punches. When I (re)watched Steins;Gate and Steins;Gate 0 it was just about the time the trailers of Robotic;Notes DaSH emerged. And I totally forgot who that white haired guy was, so just about the right High time to put the long planned rewatch into action. Akiho isn't half as obnoxious anymore and the show as a whole certainly aged well even after 7 years. Now, let's see when it'll be that I work myself through those japanese R;N Dash let's play videos...

Former 5/10 uprated to 7/10.

Afro Samurai + Resurrection
Was a 10 of some MAL person participating in the High Score challenge I reenetered after a long while. The challenge is there for watching stuff you otherwise probably wouldn't have, and that was definitely the case for this one. But that sure wasn't a hidden gem at all. It didn't have much more substance beyond trying to enforce rule of cool, which it completely failed me...

4/10

Tsuki ga Kirei
I had watched the reacap episode back when it was airing and I remember kind of almost falling asleep. For whatever reason I still bought the Funi release of it. And first thing to see was this absolutely ugly CGI pedestriancs moping around. I really don't get the choice for doing that - This show is so slow and focused on the introspective, a few cuts of stills images would have done the job just as well and not plaster so many alien elements in there. The show is also still as slow as I remembered, but the script definitely feels quite real and organic, even if really slow. (It realistic enough for two shy introverts, but I still had to accelerate playback.) Also one of the few shows out there which are about romance after coming together and not about the coming together.
It just wasn't really my pace.

6/10

Occultic;Nine
See that Chaos;Child? See that? You can still rush over way too much exposition and dialogue content, but without testing people's attention span by presenting them just still images with flapping mouth and some cheap shaky cam effects at best.

O;N certainly has some pretty good direction. I heard about the OP/ED being a thing for Shinsekai Yori lovers, but I kind of didn't expect the show to be as much visually engaging. (I watched the trailer back then and it not leaving any impression except Ryokas ample bosom being... too ample.) At first it felt a bit all over the place (as if somebody took Bakemonogatari, Durarara and Shinsekai Yori and dumped them together with the gruesome graphic murders of Chaos;Head/Child, which was such a weird mix), and many shots felt like it was more showcasing the ability to create visual distractions than to really blend them in with the content of the scene. (Still wondering about the shot of two bottles, one kicked over when Ririka and Morisaki are talking and they are talking on pretty equal grounds.) Some things are also downright misleading. (I was sooo thinking those drinks in the Café must have had some meaning in the gradn scheme given the amount of imagery exposure.) Another handful of early shots also felt quite unorganic, as they completely stood out in tone and were pretty clear spoilers, because nothing else seemed to warrant their existence otherwise. (The executive villain did not live up to all that lampshading though.) But many shots completely nailed the scene and did an excellent job of show don't/before you tell. The one that left the most impression is probably the bird eyes view on the heads of all the characters in the last episode. They just stayed in one spot of perhaps one cubic meter and dialogue-wise it was a pretty long an otherwise dry exposition dump, which just seem to try to jump to the conclusion as fast as possible. (Like really, nobody even stopped to question the veracity of Moritsuka's information.) The scene was neither all that full of drawn details nor was it highly animated, but it did wonders in showcasing how the characters were fretting around while getting around this topic that's way above their heads.
It's probably good, that I am three years late to it. After seeing how every girl in Steins;Gate 0 must have had some plastic surgery, Ryoka's bosom wasn't able to draw as many eyebrows anymore. (Halfway across I really hoped the'd add a scene explaining she was just padding it out to please Yuuta and the one biggest absurdity of the series would have disappeared...)

Kind of wished Chaos:Child and Occultic;Nine could have trade episode numbers. O;N was definitely a lot more engaging and could also have done well with a bit more space for wrapping up some content. (I still wonder who Moritsuka was phoning in the first few episodes.)
 

Luna

Stand User
Punch Line

and the rather random biggest plot question: Why did the panties of yours truly not end the world?
I mean,
Yuuta turns out to be a guy in the body of a girl and it's even shown that he wears panties himself. Ok, the world end only happens when the ghost sees the panties, because seeing them then would kill the main body which leads to the end of the world, but he still ubernizes inside of the body and ubernizing too much is established as something that's going to kill you. How did he and the world survive year long changes of clothing?)

I remember putting this onto my ptw back in the day because of being an early MAPPA and and original Anime show. But then almost nobody was really watching it, which implies "out of the norm", which is either hit or miss. Not sure what, probably heard about the panties and judged it more on the miss side. It kind of lingered though, because Pied Piper was promoting the artist's patreon who did the ED at the Skip Beat Kickstarter. Nevertheless stayed very much in the back of my mind though that stray bargain in April last year brought to attention that there actually was a UK release of it. (Missed that very bargain though before it jumped higher by 3GBP.) Well, Luna buying stuff doesn't say anything about the watching date with these insane pile amounts a have by now, but late last year, when that ; started and came upon the videos of the Steins;Gate Phenogram VN. Its Kyouma route has been written by the same guy who wrote Punch Line. The Kyouma route is easily the one with the most creative idea in Phenogram and handily I had also just watched Occultic;Nine (which in the span of less a week got another hike from that 7/10 to 8.5/10 if not 9/10) and was looking for more stuff of it's kind. Well, its entry in the MAL recommendations has one for Punch Line, so why not. (Trivia, both included (kinda) TimeTravel, which came by unexpected. After Fireworks, where I hadn't expected it either, that's 3 within a month. Actually 4, if I were to include the spoiler video for a certain theater troupe show which I almost would have just started instead.)

What followed was an unexpected perhaps-murder case. Either my Punch Line Disc 1 was a Zombie from the beginning or my drive killed it or it killed my drive. Either way, episode 1 refused to play properly and then I noticed a big fat huge scratch on the disc. Episode 2 and 9 also turned out be quite the struggle. By now I'm not sure it it killed a chunk of my enjoyment of it or not, but it certainly made for some memorable not quite so wanted event (and heavens if it had it happen, it was good it happend on the easy to replace Punch Line and not O;N, I would have been royally upset if it had hit my AoA O;N part 1 set) and I'll very likely be rechecking the series somewhen in the future to find out.
At any rate, it didn't quite prove to hold the candle up to O;N in any category and reading the Kyouma route before also prevented the show from having any big aha moments, as they are structurally following an almost identical pattern, but by the end it did grew onto me enough that I intend to revisit it sometime in a scratch-untarnished way.
But before a repeat, I may go also though the VN playthoughs, seems like it has an alternate ending. (Or is that even a proper sequel?)

Well, and the next curious thing that occured just yesterday was this:

Figured with the scratch I'd need the show anyway and the UK being sub-only I could also look into the German one which is a 4 volume release (4 of the 6 japanese release covers) with an Artbox (that has the two cover illustrations of the UK set) and then I read in some ebay listing "The tissues are still unused."

Tissues.
Paper tissues.
As a merch extra to an Anime.
That on top of all doesn't even have anything to do with that.
 

Professor Irony

Cursed Image
Moderator
Continued from the viewing thread, the things we actually finished. Not to be confused with my dissertation, despite the length of this post.

Elf 17 (1987)

Had this sitting around unwatched for quite a while, as I’d expected fan service nonsense, but it’s really rather wholesome: on a far-flung alien world, a cute, but tremendously strong elf girl barges her way into a martial arts tournament, hell bent on claiming the prize of a trip across the galaxy, only to find it wasn’t quite what she expected. It’s a nice looking OVA that sets up an appealing, jolly adventure, but like so many productions of the time, it feels like the first episode of an unrealised tv series, or a 30 minute advert for the manga. It remains a pleasant diversion, nonetheless - worth it for the cheeky appearance of the Star Wars AT-AT walkers as the villains’ mode of transport.

Assemble Insert (1989)

A light-hearted action comedy in the vein of live-action super-Sentai shows, this sees an unloved special branch of the police recruit Maron, their very own super-powered idol, to help fight the (comically non-threatening) mecha-riding baddies, and boost their image while she does it. There's not a lot to it really, but it's consistently entertaining and even a little satirical, as Maron becomes an unexpected sensation for her clumsy on-stage antics, while the coppers become more interested in managing her career than trying to fight crime. Good fun all round.

Burn Up! (1991)

My only previous experience with the Burn Up! franchise was a few episodes of the later Excess series, so I was quite surprised at how different this first version actually is. Excess was a knockabout comedy with ecchi overtones, whereas the original is a bit more... intense? It does become more lightweight as it goes on, but there's little pause for thought after heroine Maki bloodily shoots a kidnapper in the head during the opening minutes, and the villains' business in abducting young women to be slaves has decidedly dark overtones, even if it never goes into explicit detail. Given the time it was released, I'd hazard a guess that they were going for something akin to the black comedy of Robocop, but didn't quite pull it off.

Saying that, I did enjoy this one quite a lot - there was clearly a great deal of money spent on realising its very Bubblegum Crisis-esque aesthetic, and the heroes' visit to a weird futuristic nightclub is a particular visual highlight. It's just a shame, that once again, it feels like the creators signed off in expectation of a second episode that would never arrive (the sequel series is a kind of soft reboot), leaving more than a few unresolved plot points up in the air. An interesting curio anyway.

Lupin III: Alcatraz Connection (2001)

Another barmy outing for the Lupin gang, that sees them competing with the mob for a secret something hidden in the depths of San Fransisco Bay, this isn't quite up there with the best Lupin adventures, but it is very entertaining. The story makes good use of the US setting, manages the familiar cast well and has a few interesting quirks in its animation (look out for Hiroyuki Imaishi's hand at work on key animation during the opening chase), but the film's meagre tv-level budget is clearly stretched to breaking point.

It seems very much as if the producers were struggling to hit their requisite 90-minute runtime, with scenes often noticeably going on that little bit longer than necessary in order to pad things out, despite the story becoming quite convoluted in its third act, as they hurriedly try to wrap things up. It's also quite apparent that this was an early digipaint production, with that familiarly flat, overly bright look about the colours.

Look past that though and it's still a solid entry into the series; very much possessing of the ambition and heart that was so lacking during the later 2000s.
 

WMD

Great Teacher
Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad

With the obsessively slow pacing of shows like Ergo Proxy or Texhnolyze it instead of sci fi world building we have a slice of life drama about teenagers forming a band. In principle this is t necessarily a bad thing but the show decides to focus on easily the worst character in it. Honestly the half of the series could be a bit of a chore at times mad bearable by the supporting cast who were all much more likeable than the cowardly, indecisive protagonist. Also the music can be great. Theres one song with a Nu metal/Rage Against the Machine vibe which was a real highlight.

Episodes 17-24 we're a real joy however as everything finally fell into place and the pacing picked up.

Overall 6/10 (glad I stuck with it but doubt I'll ever revisit it)
 
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