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On 5/5/2021 at 11:13 AM, Julius said:

easily some of the best fight animations

All the animations are great :o
Granted, I've only seen the first three episodes, but if the anime can keep up the quality I'm in for a treat :D

I've also read the first 21 chapters and I love it.

So, you said Season 1 ends with chapter 52?
Is the movie canon, i.e. does it follow the anime series/the manga? If so, when should I watch it?

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, drahkon said:

All the animations are great :o
Granted, I've only seen the first three episodes, but if the anime can keep up the quality I'm in for a treat :D

I've also read the first 21 chapters and I love it.

So, you said Season 1 ends with chapter 52?
Is the movie canon, i.e. does it follow the anime series/the manga? If so, when should I watch it?

Oh man, you're in for a treat when you get to the latter half of the season, I'm getting chills now just thinking about it :bouncy:

And yes, the movie is canon, which I think is such a great move - hope we see other anime follow suit. It adapts the Mugen Train arc which starts at chapter 53, so where Season 1 ends leads straight into it :peace:

Edited by Julius
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3 minutes ago, Julius said:

Oh man, you're in for a treat when you get to the latter half of the season, I'm getting chills now just thinking about it :bouncy:

And yes, the movie is canon, which I think is such a great move - hope we see other anime follow suit. It adapts the Mugen Train arc which starts at chapter 53, so where Season 1 ends leads straight into it :peace:

Awesome, thanks :D

It's been a while since I've seen an anime. Demon Slayer seems like a great way to return :cool:

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Read all the way through Demon Slayer's chapter 52 today and I'm currently at episode 9.

Can't get enough :D It's too good.
Looking forward to seeing all the fights in glorious animation :peace:

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On 5/7/2021 at 7:29 PM, Julius said:

Oh man, you're in for a treat when you get to the latter half of the season, I'm getting chills now just thinking about it 

It was amazing :o Having read the manga I expected the anime to have less of an impact but I was wrong. So much fun, so much hype, SO GOOD :D

And Inosuke might be the funniest character I've ever seen in an anime :laughing:

Anyways, will read the next arc and hope I'll be done by the weekend so I can watch the movie :bouncy:

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On 09/05/2021 at 12:53 PM, Ike said:

New Dragon Ball Super movie has been announced. Releases in 2022 for Japan, so probably 2023 everywhere else.

toriyama-1024x538.png

Unexpected character? Did Toriyama remember about Launch? That would be surprising.

https://www.funimation.com/blog/2021/05/08/toei-animation-officially-announces-new-dragon-ball-super-movie-coming-2022/

Bring back Perfect Cell and have him assrape Golden Frieza into oblivion!

Need to get back into the Super and finish it. PS4 has been busy playing Dark Souls, and now I've got to a sticky point my interest in the game is starting to wane...

 

Started second season of Dr Stone yesterday. The concept of explaining the science behind things I really like. I keep trying to get the wife (a microbiologist) to confirm whether some of it is correct, but she's never paying attention. 

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Posted (edited)

Berserk mangaka Kentaro Miura passed away two weeks ago on May 6th due to aortic dissection :(

I watched the 1997 anime for the first time last week over a couple of days and was blown away. Sure, the animation was a bit clunky at times and I know quite a few things were cut from the manga, but the quality of his story writing, worldbuilding, and character arcs shone through. I actually ordered a few volumes of the manga which are still on the way, because it grabbed me that much.

Guts' speech in Episode 14, what we learn about him (like how he clearly cares about the people on his company), and the commentary on his purpose as well as theirs, struck deep with me, as I'm sure it did many others. 

That the 1997 anime is timeless is a great testament to how legendary his work is, and I found myself reading through what I could find about his career and life after watching the show. The guy was writing manga at 10 which was being published for his school, I mean, that's pretty insane!

I know many in this thread are fans from what I've read in this thread before, and I know that he's had a profound influence on a number of people in a number of industries, particularly in video games, manga and anime. I'm grateful that I'll get to experience his work for the first time, and that he has so much out there from his career, but that pales in comparison to the loss of a great artist, man, and most likely the completion of his life's work in Berserk. 

May he rest in peace. 

Berserk_-_Guts'_Theme_0-2_screenshot.png

Edited by Julius
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Read the Mugen Train arc of Demon Slayer and was a tad disappointed.
The first battle was pretty boring. What followed after that, however, was awesome :D 

Gonna be interesting whether I will enjoy the movie or not, given that I think this was the worst arc so far.

 

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12 hours ago, drahkon said:

Gonna be interesting whether I will enjoy the movie or not, given that I think this was the worst arc so far.

Loved it :bouncy:
The arc is so much better when animated. What a stunning movie.

And Inosuke's antics will never get old :laughing:

demon-slayer-kimetsu-no-yaiba-inosuke-anime-1185811-1280x0.jpeg

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Posted (edited)

The outpouring for Miura since Thursday was great to see. The Final Fantasy XIV tributes in particular really hit me hard when the lines just kept going, and going, and...

A lot of tributes from the gaming and manga world too, one particular highlight was Saito Kenji from Platinum saying that he wanted to push harder for a Berserk game to be greenlit over there:

It remains to be seen what will happen next. Many think the series should end where it got to, as it won't live up to its previous heights without Miura, though others are optimistic that his team of assistants at Studio Gaga can take on the challenge if Miura left plans for the story's direction and wanted them to carry on with it.

Miura supposedly only worked on storyboards for Duranki, with his team responsible for the art, and I think it's actually very close. Now, whether or not they have the chops to continue with the story in line with his vision and voice seems an impossible task, but I do think the art is more or less there:

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My copies of the Berserk manga that I ordered last week got split into two separate deliveries, and the second one still hasn't dispatched from what I can tell, so I've only got volumes 6, 12, and 14 on my shelf. I think my order might have been delayed initially, but stock is probably going to be the bigger issue now, seeing as Berserk is taking up most of the top 10 spots in the manga section on Amazon and other places, but I don't mind waiting! 

Instead, to get my Berserk fix in the meantime, today I watched the first movie in the trilogy adaptation of the Golden Age arc, Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I - The Egg of the King. I went in knowing it would be something of an abridged version considering just how much they'd need to condense it down, and even though I knew this, it still felt very poorly paced, to the point that if I hadn't seen the 1997 anime a couple of weeks ago, I would be well and truly lost when it came to a few scenes. In fact, I know one or two of the things the 1997 anime cut out from the manga, and seeing as they haven't turned up here either, I'm starting to wonder if it's a movie retelling of the 1997 anime adaptation? Which would be weird, so perhaps I just haven't got to that point yet. 

The use of 3D CG animation in a number of scenes is impossible to go without noticing throughout, often swapping back and forth between that and a more traditional 2D look for certain characters multiple times per scene, and filling the background with these lifeless dolls. It's a shame, because the 2D stuff actually looks really nice, so while I know that they went with CG for budget reasons, I think they should have just taken the time to bring it all to life in 2D, as the CG is jarring 90% of the time.

The other 10% of the time, in key scenes where they've clearly taken extra time to adjust the lighting of the scene (such as with Nosferatu) or the pacing of the scene so that you aren't focused on it for too long (the events that transpire the night of the first ball), it actually works quite well! 

The music has definitely been the highlight so far, which isn't much of a surprise considering the involvement of Susumu Hirasawa. The opening for this is much more suitable in tone than the English opening for the 1997 anime (though that was clearly in line with the times!):

My favourite scene in the film was the one on the night of the first ball, and boy did it deliver musically with Blood and Guts. That scene in particular is probably the only one in the film that I think was handled potentially better than it was in the 1997 anime so far, strengthened tremendously by the music in this instance, every bit as haunting and tragic as the scene called for.

Naturally, I've had it on a loop pretty much since then :p

Edited by Julius

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So almost every volume that I order of Berserk except for for the first few volumes has turned up, it got dispatched in the middle of the week so I imagine it ended up getting delayed due to the Bank Holiday weekend. No big deal, but I do hope it arrives soon, as I'm itching to dig into the manga at this point. 

In lieu of those turning up, over the weekend I instead got around to watching Berserk: The Golden Age Arc II - The Battle for Doldrey and Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III - The Advent. A lot of the same issues as the first film for me, mainly poor pacing as it blitzes through several volumes with each film and some poor examples of how to use CG (though I think III ends up with the least CG and generally uses it much better than the two films which preceded it), yet the source material still pierces through all of that. I don't think the second film does much to step up from the first, but I think the third film genuinely does the best it can with how much it needs to adapt - which is one hell of an achievement if you consider that all three of these films released within a year! - and I don't think its any coincidence that each of these films ended up longer than the last; I think they knew that they needed to pace it out better and stretch it a bit more. 

The third film has that scene, which I genuinely think I'll never grow tired of seeing play out, even if I find it horrifying every single time that I do see it. I also found it interesting that it introduced elements here not in the anime that I knew to expect from the manga, such as Skull Knight, genuinely one of the most badass characters in these films (and that's saying something). It was also great seeing what happened after that scene which I you don't get in the 1997 anime, and considering that they didn't introduce a certain someone in that, I guess they did kind of put themselves in corner there. My favourite part though...

Spoiler

RICKERT LIVES! HELL YES! 

Obviously going off of the 1997 anime I thought that the kid died at the hands of that demon/monster (think it says something that I'm not even sure how to refer to them yet!) as he's not seen after the camp is attacked due to where the show ends and everyone gets killed after that fairy turns up, so I'm curious to see how the manga handles it, as the film and 1997 anime seem to play out differently, but I'm wondering if both are present and true in the manga, and if Rickert somehow escapes the attack from the 1997 anime? 

Also my favourite version of Blood and Guts is in the credits, genuinely think it's up there with Guts' Theme and Behelit as one of the best in the Berserk library of music.  

So yeah, now it's just waiting for the early volumes of the manga to turn up so that I can make my way through the Golden Age arc one final time before seeing the rest of this series, and I seriously can't wait to. 

And no, in case you're wondering: I won't be watching the 2016 anime :p 

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Finished reading Demon Slayer.

Overall a great manga that I enjoyed a lot.

The final battles, however, suffered from what I call One-Piece-Syndrome: One or two pages of the fight and BAM, 1 1/2 chapters flashback. What it did better than One Piece, though: After the flashback the fight continued with almost no interruption.
(just take One Piece's current arc...the fights are so boring 'cause there really are no fights...a million different locations and characters are involved in something but nothing gets enough attention).

Wish we gotten to know a little more details about the main villain. There was plenty of time between each arc to flesh him out. He's quite the interesting character.

Still: Enjoyed reading it and can't wait for the anime adaptation. If they can keep the production value up, the battles will look amazing :D

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Posted (edited)

Berserk volumes have finally arrived :bouncy:

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Edited by Julius

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I wonder how this will affect potential cinema / festival releases, because I'm definitely not watching this on Amazon. While I don't think the previous films got a regular release over here, i've seen all of them in a cinema at a festival. I'm worried a big company like Amazon is going to put a stop to that, but we'll see.

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Posted (edited)

So, Odd Taxi was an anime I came across when it was announced earlier this year, and I added it to my watchlist on Crunchyroll a few months later. Something about the thought of a walrus taxi driver in a pretty soft art style just gave off a vibe I wanted to check out, and this is from someone who is incredibly selective when it comes to watching anime. 

However, it wasn't until I saw videos go up last weekend that I gathered that it had finally reached its conclusion, and after confirming that fact - and with it only being 13 episodes long - I dove right in. 

I think a concern I had going into this was that the second season of Beastars is coming next week, and while I'd steered clear of much of Odd Taxi's promotion and fan discussion, there was always the potential for overlap in themes and content, kind of like how Beastars feels like a more mature - and anime - take on things we saw tackled in Disney's Zootopia.

After watching the show, I can safely say that both my initial instinct that it would be a relaxing show about a walrus driving passengers around and that it would tackle issues around society, our places in it, and societal constructs like Beastars did were completely unfounded. This isn't a show about society; this is a show about individuals. 

It's really tough to talk about Odd Taxi without giving much away, and even that feels like it might be saying too much. Jumping in like I did, virtually blind and with very little context, is absolutely the way to do it. And trust me when I say that you should check it out before you hear much more. 

To put it very simply: GO WATCH IT NOW

It is initially a slow burn, with individual narrative threads across a diverse cast of characters slowly drawing you in to the intimacies of their interactions -- there is a mystery aspect here, and some questions you'll probably find yourself asking, but there's nothing really front and centre. Early on, especially in setting things up, it really gave me Yakuza vibes, which I obviously loved. As the show goes on, the layers of the mystery get peeled back, raising more and more questions as thread after thread, character after character, crash into each other. 

Coupled with some genuinely superb writing - the dialogue in particular feels just beyond being steeped in realism, but is wacky enough that it doesn't feel like it's playing it straight, and it also has one of my favourite characters when it comes to their dialogue structure too - and what turns out to be a very well constructed mystery, the show just builds upon itself episode after episode, and by the time it ends, it feels like it's really hit it's stride and delivered a truly meaningful and surprisingly mature narrative - and ending - that I won't forget anytime soon. One of very few shows where I felt so satisfied by it all that I really do hope they aren't considering a second season. 

They also did some really cool stuff to promote/tie in with the show, such as the fact that a Twitter account in the show actually exists on Twitter, or how there's a radio show they've released weekly (I checked out the English text translations after and it adds an entire other layer to the show). 

I really enjoyed Odd Taxi, and hope it doesn't get lost in the shuffle of what is shaping up to be a massive year for anime; it seems like it might be one you find in hidden gem lists at the end of the year, and in a way, I really do think it is a hidden gem. It's only the second anime series I've checked out this year (the other being Berserk), but it's set the bar incredibly high for everything else that I watch after. 

I implore you to go watch it! 

Edited by Julius

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Posted (edited)

Just finished the first season of Vinland Saga after starting it on Friday, and holy cow, think the second season might now be my most anticipated anime series at the moment (sorry Attack on Titan). I'm just praying that it's WIT handling the second season after the phenomenal job they did with this first one, rather than shipping it out to some place like MAPPA; it's nothing against them, but they already seem to be in the thick of it with other productions at the moment as it is.

I mean just look (and listen to) the OP's for the first season, that second one in particular is hype-inducing:

Definitely surprised by how much of Vinland Saga felt a bit familiar to Berserk (some scenes spring to mind in particular), it's definitely on the dark side of things...but it didn't get as dark as Berserk (let's be honest, that takes some doing!). It follows Thorfinn on his quest for vengeance during the turn of the last millennium, but there's just so much depth and complexity to the writing and politics, especially at the scale of it all; it's the sort of thing you love to watch, and it's rarely ever predictable. The thing is, it has a fantastic first season, and yet it feels like it's got so much more to give -- I really do hope that turns out to be the case. 

It has one or two things I'd highlight as being a bit weird, such as two characters in close proximity for much of the second half of the season not ever having their relationship to Thorfinn become known to each other, which felt like an inevitable conflict, but it never came to be. Their differences in ideologies and how they would view each other's actions in relation to Thorfinn in particular is what I was hoping to see figured out, so it's a bit of a shame. Admittedly, haven't read the manga, so maybe there was something there, but I doubt it, considering how important an interaction you'd think it would be. 

Not that the rest of the season hadn't been special, but the moment when I knew I was in for something truly special with this came towards the end of the season, when...

Spoiler

...I went to switch to the final episode on Prime Video and saw that it was titled 'END OF THE PROLOGUE'. Just reading that title gave me chills. 

I mean, just think of all of the prologues you've ever read or watched or played. They often end up being somewhat disconnected from the main story and purpose, not in a bad way, but either through time or theme, it's a place to set up the rest of the story, perhaps even hint at a thing or two to come. 

And I have no idea where this is going to go, and I am all about it. 

Seems like I jumped in at a perfect point to, what with the second season just being announced the other day: 

So, I guess this has now become my annual summer anime phase. Between this and Odd Taxi, I've been having a fantastic time :D will probably take a break the next few evenings to either crack on with other things or watch some films, because on Thursday it's time for the second season of Beastars! 

Edited by Julius

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Posted (edited)
On 12/07/2021 at 10:28 PM, Julius said:

will probably take a break the next few evenings to either crack on with other things or watch some films, because on Thursday it's time for the second season of Beastars! 

How naive I was. 

Watched one episode of Erased while eating my lunch, watched the second episode while waiting for my dinner to finish cooking...and I've flown through the rest of it non-stop since then. So yeah, that's a freaking fantastic anime which has been on my list to watch forever, and my only regret is that I didn't get to it sooner. Murder mysteries are my jam, but you throw time travel elements and the awkwardness of school life in? Best way to describe it in the context of other anime is Steins;Gate x Your Name x Anohana, so I'm not surprised that I loved it. 

Great characters, definitely some character elements and background that I could relate to (a little too much, unfortunately, but made it a more powerful watch for sure), excellent pacing, and such brilliant, brilliant ways of misdirecting you from the get-go. I caught onto the culprit almost immediately (as soon as you're introduced to them), and yet the show still had me wavering throughout, it does such a fascinating job of meandering truths and mysteries into one thread. 

I can't even say I have a problem with the contents of the ending, though maybe it was a bit rushed. I haven't looked up other reactions to it yet, but I feel like some might have hoped for things to go certain ways based on how certain characters interacted in the past, and while I can't blame them, I think the story does such a great job of making one thing crystal clear: even being the "good guy" has to come at a cost. 

Practically flawless. I couldn't turn the TV off. 

Edited by Julius

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Demon Slayer Season 2 hype:

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I never got to catch the film in the cinema, as I was (and still am) being cautious around the rising numbers, maybe even more so now that restrictions over here are about to be thrown out of the window. Still no news on it coming to Funimation or its home release, but hopefully it'll come sooner rather than later so I'll get to watch it before the second season hits later this year (probably October?). 

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Posted (edited)

Finished Beastars S2 earlier today, and...I'm a bit conflicted.

While I thought it was still good, I think it failed to deliver on the promise of the first season. I guess maybe some of my frustrations with it could probably be aired at the source material in the manga, but basically, the three main characters the first season revolved around are isolated from one another most of the time this season, and so there are very few interactions between them, so you end up with a lot of daydreaming and thinking scenes. One of them ends up tossed to the side this time around, and I'm pretty sure we hear and see them more in these reflective scenes from other characters than we see them. Extremely bizarre. 

And considering how much suspense there was in the first season around a certain event, I was taken aback by how they just threw the answers out there with little build-up. I think it became obvious who it was when someone we barely heard from in the first season got more screen time. The whole season is more of a clash of ideologies, but considering what happens in the final episode, it all kind of falls flat. Pretty sure I rolled my eyes, which is never a good sign. 

I think what I miss most from the first season are the secondary and tertiary characters, people in the drama club or Legosi's roommates, and just seeing how they interact. It did a great job of subtly informing you on the dynamics in this society, whereas the second season kind of just plainly states it. 

Music was solid at least. Every variation of the main theme is still fantastic, definitely pulling a sad smile, and I've posted it before, but this season's OP is catchy as hell: 

I'll watch Season 3 if and when it arrives, but while I think this season was good, I seriously hope next season gets back to us seeing how these characters interact with each other and the society they're in. Didn't quite deliver on the promise of the first season, but worth checking out if you watched the first season and wanted some answers. 

Edited by Julius

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The VIZ Sig 21st Century Boys arrived yesterday. Really nice spine art but that circle at the end is annoying me. They should have finished it! >_<

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Posted (edited)

I haven't been keeping up with the Olympics due to the awkward as hell times that the events are often at for us, but this gave me a good chuckle :D

Give me more of this! 
Edited by Julius

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Posted (edited)

So I finished Great Pretender the other day, and I've kind of been sitting on my thoughts with it. 

great-pretender-NETFLIX-800x444.jpg

I think the first two thirds of this show, the first three cases, are pretty electric. It's high energy, doesn't take itself too seriously, has excellent animation (it's Wit with Netflix's backing, so no surprise there), an awesome jazzy musical backdrop to the heist hijinks, and a ridiculously colourful artstyle, which it balances with some fun and interesting - if archetypal - characters. Also does one of my favourite things in globetrotting adventures WHERE PEOPLE ACTUALLY SPEAK THEIR NATIVE TONGUE IN THEIR COUNTRY and subtitles are thrown in, even for the English dub (which was actually really good). Imagine Lupin III meets Baccano, that's probably the most relatable way to convey its energy and vibe. 

Unfortunately, the final case - the final third of the show - just kind of threw it all out of the window. It was over-the-top in the worst ways, character development kind of got kicked to the curb, and it just felt like it spent too long hanging up on some moments and going out of its way to explain things. The last episode was genuinely infuriating in very predictable ways. It was almost as if they realised at the start of the last case that maybe there could be a second season, and so all consequence they'd been building up to with the final case just didn't come to pass.

Such a shame. It started off for a large part being nearly flawless, but as the last case dragged on there was a chink in that armour, and then all of a sudden in the final episode it slipped further yet. On the whole I think it's a great show, but that speaks to the strength of the first three cases and not the poor pacing and annoyingly predictable final case. They just didn't stick the landing, which sucks, because this really could have been something special. 

One of only a few ED's I would consider unskippable, though. Seriously, who the heck is going to skip Freddie Mercury's voice covering a Platters song used for an anime ED? It's almost cheating! 

Edited by Julius

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