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Post ITT when you finish an anime, and write something about it. Can be anything from brief unrefined feelings to long formal reviews.

Last thread: >>32036

This thread can also be helpful for people looking for things to watch.


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I watched Prince of Stride: Alternative, which is an otome-game adaptation by Madhouse. Here are my thoughts:

For context, this show revolves around an imaginary sport that is kind of like a relay-race version of parkour but with a leader who coordinates everyone. It is very entertaining to watch, actually.

The animation quality is good, but much more importantly the visual direction is absolutely terrific. I really like the way colour and brightness effects are used in this. It's difficult to explain but this anime was so bright during some scenes I felt like I needed to wear sunglasses just watching it. It was sort of like they played with the exposure settings on a camera or something like that. It looked great. Art style too I really liked. I liked the character designs. The visuals for this anime are a major strong point. I enjoyed them enormously. Especially for a sports anime, having awesome visuals like this really was a pleasure. Cinematography was also well done and made the sporty scenes enjoyable to watch. There are also lots of really cool sound effects that enhance the running scenes a lot. The running scenes look, feel, and sound AWESOME. Overall the production quality is excellent. The OST is good as well and enhances the mood of a variety of scenes.

In terms of characters, there is a self-inserty team-leader succubus character and there are her male team members. You might anticipate that this would result in a typical reverse-harem situation, but actually shounen-ai between male team members is the only romantic subtext, and even that is mild. Apparently in the VN there is a lot more hetero romance involving the MC. The male characters are fairly likable, and each have unique personalities which mesh together for some good chemistry within the team. Takeru was my favourite character. Beyond the characters themselves, the drama is handled fairly well, which leads me to my next point.

This anime has great direction. They had to introduce an entirely new sport and do some world building, but I never felt like I was being forcefed information. Exposition was handled well. There's also a good balance between sporty scenes and slower, more dialogue-heavy scenes. There is some comedy, but it's sprinkled lightly and not used inappropriately. The anime actually has a consistently serious tone (and feels that way to the viewer). Maybe that was an artistic risk because someone might find the sport they're doing to be absurd, and it might be easier to just load up the comedy. I'm glad they didn't take that approach. The series feels competitive, dramatic and exciting. You could really feel the emotional highs and lows. I felt excited every time I queued up an episode to watch.

If I had to identify a weak point in Prince of Stride, I would say it's the plot. Although well executed, the story at its core is kind of mediocre. Sometimes it can be kind of 'melodramatic' as well, however this is hardly surprising for an otome-game adaptation.

Overall rating: 9/10
Shockingly underrated anime. Really well directed and exceptionally entertaining. I will definitely be rewatching this.

I really hope that someone makes a high-quality Blu-ray rip of this (I couldn't find one). It seems like this franchise got disproportionately less recognition in the West relative to its popularity in Japan. There is little evidence of any kind of western fanbase. I think the combination of sports and the otome aspect is a major reason for the anime's lukewarm reception. The average person watching it for the sport appeal was likely put off by the otome elements, and conversely the otome audience often didn't enjoy the sports focus. I think that the anime as a whole appealed to very few people — most people were probably only drawn in by specific aspects of the show, not the sum of its parts. This might explain the mixed feelings that so many people seem to have. I'm probably unusual in that I found most dimensions of the anime appealing. Hopefully the rumours about a second season are true.



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Drifters, man what a blast of a show.

Firstly I will say that the artstyle is great, really great, I tend to love deeply shaded anime and this is certainly under that umbrella. There are some gross cgi scenes, limited animation EG floating kicks, and some chibi style comedy scenes to save budget - but overall I was rather impressed by the amount of animation and general quality throughout. If there is one thing to note about this show is that it has style, and it doesn't hold back ever. No surprise to see Ueda as the producer of this at all, with all the Helsing influence so clearly etched into this anime. That same Hellsing vibe throughout almost cheekily admitting its influence with the large titted succubus surrounded by evil men and devilish eye glows.

Unfortunately on the writting side of things, I was left rather dry and wishing for much more. The historical gimmick was poorly implemented, rarely using it to any noticeable effect besides in the case of gunpowder, but made for a fun adventure while giving backstories to the cast. The story is incomprehensibly stupid, the characters moronic to say the least, and as for themes or any of that - this isn't that kind of show. Style over all else, to the point where there is only style and nothing else to bother with really. The plot functions its purpose of creating battle scenes, so it's not a total incomprehensible waste, its just not worth talking about at all.

My final rank is 6/10, the story is too poor, the gimmick too underutilized, the characters too lacklustre, and an absence of any depth overall makes me unable to rate this any higher. However I still enjoyed the art and animation immensely, if someone loves the old Wicked City/Ninja Scroll/Hellsing kind of anime then this is right up their ally.


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Finished Hai to Gensou no Grimgar today.

I have to say that the first episode of this almost made me drop it, the isekai opening had had me worried, then the homosexual crossdresser had me very worried, and finally the fan service started ramping up and I got ready to drop the show if it got any worse. Luckily it never did, in fact I was very surprised to see it vastly improve afterwards, even dropping the fan service entirely after the second or third episode. Its very rare to see series that start off poorly but improve afterwards, usually the exact opposite is the standard where a strong start leads to a poor finish.

Firstly lets talk about what it did well, and that is the background art. Now I am no expert of A1 studios, nor of the producer Nakamura Ryousuke; so I am unsure if the watercolor backgrounds has been used by them before, what I can say however is that I enjoyed them immensely. The closest style that I know of is Princess Kaguya from Gibli, which is also a spectacle for the eyes. If there was a single reason to watch this show it would be for the background work, honestly just great feeling from each scene. Now, not all backgrounds were given the same watercolor treatment, there is certainly a few more generic digital styling or cgi, and for some reason the studio decided to use awful photoshop after effects like sunglare on most of their watercolors. That being said it is no reason to complain about when it still looks so great.

Unfortunately the actual design of the world and characters is painfully generic overall, basically you could take any character or monster from this show and put it into any generic isekai/mmo/fantasy anime and you wouldn't be able to tell it wasn't suppose to be there, the reverse of this is also true. When you remember that this is the same studio responsible for Sword Art Online, you begin to realize that of course it would be a very safe series in general, not taking any risks in driving away customers. From weapons to armor, to towns and forests, its all your bog standard stuff here, nothing that would catch your attention even once.

The animation itself is nothing spectacular, nor was it ever painful. It did not rely on cgi much, using it sparsely and making it blend in as much as possible. For a tv series, its solid.

As for the story it is a typical MMO/Isekai kind of "cast is thrown into an unknown world, and need to loot/level up to gain powers and survive". There is not much to say in regards to that, it functions as it should and is not improperly implemented or anything. Unfortunately this 12 episode advertisement for the manga does not finish up the story entirely since the manga is still ongoing, but it does wrap up its key plot focuses revolving around the priest characters quite nicely so I can't complain. Which is also where I might dive into the characters, who are for the most part surprisingly well done. If you have ever watched "Shinsekai yori" then you might have the same feeling with this gang, with the story also making use of horrific events to show how younger age adolescence would handle it in different ways. The MC, his mentor the priest, the dark knight, and the second priest are the heavy favourites of screen time and thus the most well developed. Personally I thought the dark knight was handled somewhat poorly, the other three were handled in a fashion that most generic anime series never achieve. There is some forced melodrama, cringe dialog (see one of my pic related, they are speaking about holes in cloths and wounds, then drop the "some wounds can't be healed because they aren't physical", cringe galore), and spectacular coincidences - yet it really is rather good for the majority of the time ignoring those infrequent weak moments.

Overall my rating is 6-7/10. It is hard to say if it is a 6 or 7, due to it being simultaneously extremely generic, and yet executing itself rather well while having its own unique style of background art. It's worth a watch just for the art in my opinion.


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MADOKA, yes this very well known series is something I only just today watched. Its been a long time coming honestly, and I'm glad to have it off the "to watch" list, especially when it was this good!

What is there to say about Madoka? Perhaps better to say what isn't there to say? Its fantastic in every aspect, executing itself with masterful precision in all regards, so I can only make small nitpicks on things I noticed that would detract from my own enjoyment. This is series everyone should watch unless you have no respect for great animation, art, story, or deep characters.

Now this was produced by Shaft which is a studio I am more familiar with due to watching Monogatari, so naturally I see many similar approaches to things, especially the way they utilize cgi. They do not attempt to blend in cgi, but rather just seem to accept that it will stick out and attempt to make it look good standing out. As for the actual "drawn" animation, it is pretty standard for the 12 episode series, but in the movies the animation is just fantastic. It doesn't quite match the absolute best of the best such as Steamboy, Akira, Gits, or the rest - but it is very nice.

Artsyle wise Madoka is simply amazing, coming to life in the witch labyrinth sections it absolutely blew me away in both the tv series and movies. It is odd, unique, surprising, and a host of other terms of endearment. The strange paper cutouts, the mosaic backgrounds, the colour choices, its just FANTASTIC, truly I cannot give enough praise to this. The courage it took to actually go ahead and use these methods, its astonishing that this ever came to see the light of day in a full series, when this is something you expect to see in some small 5 minute pet project lost to time. The only thing I might say is that I almost wish it wasn't limited to being "anime", the characters look too simple for the liberty given to the rest of the project, let me see another Belladonna dammit!

As for the story I have to say I got massive NGE vibes and can see why people lump the two together so much. A genre deconstruction that takes the traditionally childish tone and asks the views what would really happen if we took it serious. Add a bit of alien lore spliced with transcendental godhood figures and you have NGE, sorry, I mean Madoka! This is a bit harsh and there are certainly things Madoka does better, mainly the way it handles its plot. Madoka is far more straightforwards, even its somewhat confusing rebellion movie does not hit the same strangeness of NGE episodes 25/26. Which can certainly be a good thing, and I have to say I'm happy to not need outside information in order to understand what happened in the story, compared to NGE which has information stored away in spin offs and video games of all things. That being said, for what Madoka gains in clarity and cohesion in plot, it loses in the depth of thought that its competitors such as SEL or NGE put forth. Its not to say that Madoka lacks themes or message, it just doesn't focus on them in the same way, in other words it does not sacrifice the story for the sake of taking you down its producers own journey with depression. Its very content just being a fantastic story start to finish, and I can't fault it for that.

To nitpick a bit with an otherwise perfect story (warning mega spoilers), the first thing I can think of is that Madoka herself would have used her wish to save Mami if she was feeling that guilt and previously could not even decide on any wish at all. It is only because Madoka's character was well written that I can say that, I think it is a gaping issue ignored in favor of the story taking another direction, but still the issue exists in my eyes. Secondly and far more concerning was the way the reveal of what the soul gems were was handled. Why would their soul being placed into a gem really matter at all? It might be shocking as first, sure - but was it really enough to cause almost suicidal depression in Sakaya? Official speaking they couldn't even tell any difference until it was shown to them, would just the knowledge alone be enough to cause such general panic in the entire cast? It seemed absurd to me honestly.

The characters themselves were all great, being fleshed out and acting as they should according to the characteristic given to them. (Spoilers again )Homura perhaps being the weakest and strongest of them all, weakest due to her entire character being based on some platonic obsession with the MC, yet the strongest for playing that part to perfection and how well thought out her endless suffering really was. It was like they took Yuki from The Melancholy of Haruhi, and made her into an actual human being with a properly thought out story. She is so vital to the story that despite the name suggesting otherwise I might just give her the spot of MC, and she plays that role perfectly.

Overall my rating: 9/10. The main reason for not giving this a 10/10 is the lack of introspective themes and the few hiccups in the story, I also tend to think of 10/10 just being a subjective rating since no show is really "perfect" unless you mean to say "perfect for myself" which Madoka was just short of.


Anyone recommend GREAT PRETENDER? Besides Lupin III, there aren't many anime based on the heist.

「GREAT PRETENDER」(グレートプリテンダー)エンディング "The Great Pretender" Performed by Freddie Mercuryノンクレジット映像



Madoka is a far better anime than NGE the only thing NGE has going for it is Asuka and Misato being hot in my opinion.
Madoka is fun and cute.

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