What this is and who I am

erio

So this blog is still in it’s early stage. To get some basic idea out there, it is just me talking about anime and anime related things. I try to be somewhat consequential when posting my thoughts here and try to get a post at least once a week in the future (and of course hopefully more). Right now I aim for one post per day, or one post per two days. I don’t want to be too strict on me since I just keep this as a hobby and outlet to share my ideas.

By the way, if you are not already coming from MAL or Hummingbird, I do have accounts there and you are free to contact me there, follow me or whatever you like. I have written reviews on both accounts (more on MAL, more recent on Hummingbird)  Here are the links:

http://myanimelist.net/profile/Orsonius

http://hummingbird.me/users/Orsonius

I also plan a Youtube channel in the future and maybe then make video reviews of shows I like or feel are worth talking about. But all in due time. For now I just focus on writing down my thoughts and sharing my ideas and taste with people who care.

I don’t really want to just post some personal information about myself, so just some basic ones. I am a guy, I watch anime and I am not a teenager anymore. Any additional info you can ask me directly.

I also have skype and sometimes hang out there with other people, talking about anime, but usually I am busy with work, playing video games or of course watching anime. I also have some other things I do but they don’t matter for this post. I do answer all kinds of questions and am willing to debate. For now of course I am not super confrontational to be arguing about anything, but don’t worry I have some strong opinions about the one or other show, or concept.

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My Rating System

For future references and just because I want to talk about it, I will now explain my rating system for anime. This rating system might not be the end all be all, but it has come a long way and I am pretty happy with it.

But first I’d like to explain why I personally think ratings are useful.

Ratings tell the reader or viewer without greater detail how good or bad you think an anime (or anything else) is. Rating systems are used in schools and universities to tell the students how well they did on a specific scale. We also ratings in other aspects of life, like when purchasing products we’d like to see how good it is.

However ratings alone are worthless, what you need is a system which is revealed to the people interpreting the ratings, and this is what I will do now for my anime ratings.

I use a scale from 0-10.

Why 0? Because I think an anime can be so bad it fails in every regard. It also makes 5 the base. And I use 5 as a base.

5

Starting with a 5 I can then add or retract points from a category.

Category you ask? Yes I have 5 categories which I scrutinize all anime I watch under.

Those are:

artandanimation

Under this category I evaluate the artwork and the quality of animation.
I divide this category in 5 subitems

Artstyle

What kind of style did the anime go for? How well did it work with the themes and presentation itself? Was it lazy and used something generic? Was it creative?
(colors, realism, detail in general artwork)

Based on the quality of this aspect I either remove a point (-1), leave it be (0) or add a point (+1).

Quality of Animation

Pretty straight forward, how well was the anime animated? Artwork can be crude but animation can be fantastic, but also the other way around. Shows that have not much action in them usually cannot pass well here as there is nothing to evaluate. Basically if a show is sloppy it I remove a point (-1), if it is working well but not outstanding I give no point (0) and if it is well animated I add a point (+1).

Backgrounds

How detailed or interesting are the backgrounds in the anime? A studio like PA Works usually have very detailed backgrounds, mostly based on real photographs. Some other shows just have generic schools as backgrounds and boring cities and trees etc. . You also can be weird and experimental to gain a point as an anime here.

Same rule for Backgrounds, (-1) for anything that looks boring or lazy, (0) for anything that works but doesn’t get my attention and (+1) for backgrounds that stand out.

Character Designs

Besides backgrounds the more important part are the character models. Here I rate how original or well drawn the characters are. This one is highly subjective usually because my taste in character designs is not equal with anyone else’s. Rule of thumb is, if your show is filled with the most stereotypical character designs you can think of, bet on getting a (-1). (0) again for anything that is not offensive to the eye and (+1) for anything I feel looks good, interesting or impressive in any other way.

Visual Effects

Visual effects become more and more a thing in anime. This categories cares about the use of CGI, lighting effects and any other alternative art method (like paper cuttings such as in some of the Shaft shows).
Shows that use horrible CG usually deserve a (-1), if a show has no visual effects or uses them okay (0) and (+1) for any anime that can either use CG well or has some other creative method of presenting the story.

After I evaluated I calculate the score for Art and Animation.
An example would look like this: Base 5 + {Art 0; Quality +1; Backgrounds 0; Character Designs -1; Visual Effects +1} = 6/10

musicandsound

Music and Sound cares about the used OST, ending and opening song, the sound effects and voice acting. If all goes well it can achieve 10/10 just as any other category.

Voice Acting

This is probably the category which is the hardest to fail but also the hardest to impress. Basically if a show features at least one decent voice actor which does a really good job it gets a (+1), while if one voice actor fails miserably I remove (-1). In any other case it stays neutral and receives a (0).

Opening and Ending

Another highly subjective field are opening and ending songs. However I think they are important. Anime do have them and they rely on them (remember Attack on Titan, Guilty Crown, Death Note?). I usually just care about the song itself, but also animation and directing of the opening and or ending itself can play a roll here.

Usually a show only gets a (+1) if both opening and ending are to my liking or either of them are superb. (-1) if it fails in both or has one really bad and one I don’t mind. (0) for either one really good and one really bad or no good or bad.

Soundtrack

The only category which has a (+2) or (-2). The BGM, OST is very important to me in an anime. If an anime is effective in using its soundtrack it can greatly enhance the viewing pleasure. Thus an outstanding soundtrack will receive (+2), while a horrible one will receive (-2) as they can make or break an anime.

Sound Effects

Sound effects are less important than visual effects but they still add a lot. Realistic gun sounds, explosions or just cool sound effects of lasers or super powers can add a lot of weight to action. A comedy using funny sound effects for jokes also adds to the experience. Usually this category stays neutral (0) but some shows just do a really well job in creating awesome sound effects or failing miserably.

storyandcontent

Not every anime has a plot, if an anime has no plot I will not give it better than a 9/10 because an anime with plot beats any anime without one in my opinion. I will evaluate plot-less anime on their other merits such as genre execution, wittiness in writing, and how long it kept me interested. But down I will focus on anime with plot.

Premise

What is the whole thing about? Where does it play? About whom? These questions are what makes the premise a factor which many anime get right but fail in executing that premise. Some anime don’t even try and just make some random stuff at highschool happening. Those are the ones I give a (-1) or anything that just fails right at the start. (0) for anything that works but isn’t super amazing. And (+1) for interesting settings, world, starting points or concepts.

Pacing

Pacing is about the way the story progresses. Anime that have no plot also have no pacing thus are immune to this point. Instead I talk about the content. But again about pacing. A show which is too slow drags on, filler, or overly long events which lead to nothing, monster of the week etc. are all bad elements of pacing and deserve a (-1). Also rushing can remove a point, when an episode has too many things going on at the same time, or if an event is not dealt with long enough for it to matter, especially the end. (0) for anything that works, and (+1) for an anime that has the perfect pacing which is basically you watching the anime and not recognizing any form of rush or drag while doing so. A constant flow of progression and exploration.

Complexity

Complexity is about how complex, and deep the anime is. The world building, the conflict and the way the anime uses twists and turns. Any anime which has a shallow, or not well thought out world will receive (-1) unless the plot is the focus and excels the generic setting. If an anime relies too much on simplistic black and white concepts or the twists are shock factor it also gets a (-1).

The in between receives a (0) as usual and complex, deep world and or story deserves a (+1), those are usually anime which handle their setting/premise well, are less predictable and have meaningful conflicts.

Plausibility

An anime filled with plot holes or stupid occurrences gets a (-1)  as you might expect. This includes any high enough amount of “why didn’t he/she do that!?” without having an actual explanation. Deus ex machina, plot conveniences, or simply factual things that are wrong or make no sense gain nothing but a (-1).  On the flip site a show which has no such errors or very very small ones gets a (+1). Anything in between that isn’t too horrible earns its (0).

Conclusion

The ending of an anime can make or break the entire story. If whatever happened is negated by the ending then this means the ending is bad and thus gets a (-1). Also all unsatisfactory endings will not gain a point here. However anything which gives you this sense of accomplishment in the end gets a well deserved (+1).

 

characters

Besides story, characters are usually the one aspect people care the most about. Visuals become outdated and music is too subjective, but a good story and good characters can be told in any era.

Personality

This includes mostly the main cast but can also include supporting characters. Basically I kinda use the same method as ThatAnimeSnob uses, which is the one to four dimensional character types.

1D = (-1) because one dimensional characters which just are based on some stereotype don’t deserve a point.

2D = (0) because two dimensional characters which might be based on some stereotype are also no good enough

3D = (+1) because any character which is closer to an actual person than the stereotypes has a good defined personality.

Behavior and Chemistry

How do the characters interact with each other? And how do they react and interact with their surrounding? Given a characters pre established personality are they consistent? Do they act like you’d expect them to? Or do they do random things all the time which make no sense? Also how do they work together with other characters? Good chemistry makes for an enjoyable watch!

Rule of thumb:
inconsistent flip flopping and bitchy behavior (-1)
General stuff (0)
Anything that doesn’t break the characters, that makes them look smart or charming (+1)

Development and Progression

This is the territory of 4D. Whatever happens in the anime might or might not change the character. If the character does not change even though many things happen (aka the Ash Ketchum syndrome) guess what? Yeah (-1). Same applies to character change which doesn’t make sense, or regression where a character changes but then goes back to roots.

For minor things (0) and any good development like in most SoL anime they get a (+1) here.

Motivation and Backdrop

Besides the way a character changes you also need to know what the character used to be. Backdrop gives you perspective, it makes the story and the characters deeper because knowing what drives them makes the whole things more realistic and understandable. Motivations matter because people don’t just do things because, they need an initial impulse. Some cause, because without cause, no effect.

Any sketchy motivation, or lousy backdrop deserves nothing better than a (-1), any generic explanation (0) and anything which makes you really understand the characters (+1), which also isn’t some cliche or asspull, sad story that is convenient for the plot.

Likability

Likablity might sound more subjective than the other ones but is also important. What does it matter if your protagonist is a fleshed out, multi-faceted who goes through much change if you just cannot stand him or her? What if the rest of the cast is unbearably annoying? No matter how well written a character might be, if the characters aren’t likable, you will not enjoy this aspect ever. It’s crucial and thus unlikable characters will get a (-1), while likable ones will get a (+1) whether they are deep or not. Everyone else as usual (0).

 

valueandenjoyment

While many people think this aspect is too personal to count, these are my ratings so I include it. Also it shows you if a show which isn’t all that great can still be enjoyable.

Art and Animation

Despite all that I said about art and animation did I enjoy it?

No (-1), so-so (0), yes (+1) pretty simple aye?

Music and Sound

Despite all that I said about Music and Sound, did I enjoy it? etc.

Story and Content

Same here.

Characters

And again.

Value

This is an odd one. It basically is the only “objective” statement about my enjoyment. It basically talks about my impression on how significant the anime is on the overall community. It is about how popular it is, what it does for fans, either perfect entry or most overhyped etc. being the best of a studio and much more.

Basically any anime which is forgettable and will not be talked about it 6 month to 1 year will get a (-1), unless it is my personal treasure. Anything that keeps some uproar gets a (0) and anything which has some significant impact will receive a (+1). This is also true for any anime which I think did something no other anime did, or has become my favorite.


So this is it. When I have all the points I add them, divide them through 5 and voila I get the score which I might or might not round up or down.

If you like this system feel free to use it, expand on it or tell me what you think or what you’d do differently.

 

Thanks for reading :3

Nothing happened and I am busy, go and read Sekien no Inganock!

Seriously, nothing big in anime happened this last week and I’ve been busy. Reading Sekien no Inganock made me realize how much better it is than most anime airing and how it is totally under appreciated.
sekien-no-inganockwhat-a-beautiful-people

http://vndb.org/v417

Here is a link, if you are into Steampunk, Gothic-Horror then you might enjoy this. Also it is a visual novel which isn’t in a school setting, Yay!

I hope you know how to get it, it’s pretty long and I recommend using a walk-through for the puzzles as they are very hard and don’t matter as puzzles anyways, but if you fail them you get a game over.

My Anime Matrix

So over the past days during my weekend I was thinking about what I want to talk about, until I came up with (at least to me) interesting idea how to categorize anime in a way it doesn’t tell you simple black and white good and bad but a more nuanced way.

The Anime Matrix

animematrix

Based on a similar matrix called the political compass, I thought of a way to put anime into perspective.

Beginning with the Y axis you have a spectrum going from (top) a serious tone, to (bottom) a less serious or light tone. This refers to the intentions of the creator. A movie like Ghost in the Shell would be very high at the top of this spectrum while a lighthearted comedy like Nichijou would be closed to the bottom. This doesn’t tell you about the quality however which is why…

On the X axis you have a spectrum on how well the anime was executed. The more left the less well executed the anime was, the more right the better.

Which brings us to the 4 squares.  The red one says ‘Pretentious‘, meaning the show tried to be serious but failed because of something making it a poorly executed serious anime. An example could be Mars of Destruction which is one of the worst anime ever but tried to be serious.
The green square south west is called Trash and just generally refers to any anime which is just mindless but fails to be entertaining. I don’t have an example for now (but will add some candidates of mine here later) so just think of any show that didn’t try to be serious but also wasn’t good in being light hearted. (well maybe something like Vividred Operation could be considered here)

On the right side we have both Art and Fun. While fun is easy to pin point, it is basically just shows which are very entertaining but also well crafted at doing so. Example could be Baccano which is more on the light end of the spectrum but was also very well made.
Art is something that might not be easy to pin point at first but it is basically something that takes itself very seriously, has a consistent tone and also is well crafted. A good example would be Mushishi, which is not particularly fun to watch but is more a piece of art.

 

Now to some of my picks this season:

season

Wixoss clearly tries to be serious and also does it quite well. It is not perfect and also not super serious. Chaika also falls into the “art” category, while ‘art’ surely doesn’t suite all as a description it basically means well executed serious show. Chaika is less serious however than Wixoss but is pretty well executed. Unlike Mahouka which lies in the realm of pretentious. Not that ‘pretentious’ is the one and suite it all description but you get the idea.
Akuma no Riddle lies somewhere between absolute trash and absolute pretentious. While it tries to have this serious tone, it throws in all those stereotypical shit and ecchi and fan service and fetishes etc. It just does it all very badly.
Dragonar is a guilty pleasure. You know it is shit, but you still kinda like it. It is somewhat serious as it tries to have a plot but also throws all this fan service at your face. Similar is No Game No Life, which is better executed than a mediocre show like Dragonar however is also less serious as it does not only rely on ecchi fan service but otaku pandering, breaking the 4th wall and reference humor. On the furthest right is JoJo as is encompasses everything you have to do in order to create a “fun” show, a show which relies more on entertainment than on deep thought. It’s so over the top and campy but also extremely well made in its own right.

This all of course is debateable as this is merely a beta version of this Matrix. Feel free to use it yourself, expand it and put in your shows!

Spring Season 2014 Update

So now that spring season has reached it’s half I will update my impression list, change the ranking and will then, when the shows are finished, rank them one last time.

Also I only go over shows I still follow and will ignore the shows I have on hold or just dropped. Furthermore I will use Starts to indicated my overall impression in a sort of numerical fashion.
☆ = half a point, ★ = full point
★★★★★ = Best score

Warning this post contains at least one NSFW picture, you have been warned!

#11 Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin

Let's be all preachy and shit and forget about it in the next episode.

Let’s be all preachy and shit and forget about it in the next episode.

Still not too happy with the tonal handling in this anime. Mixing together too many genres, styles and tones is a really hard thing to accomplish and certainly Kanta Kamei isn’t up for the job. He did a good job in shows which have no serious tone, but the seriousness is just way too overblown especially contrasted with the lighthearted rest of the series. While I certainly cannot hate it and it does some things right, the hick ups are actually too bad for me.

Episode: 6
Ranking: ★★

 

#10 Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei

Seriously I this is all my face can express.

Seriously, this is all my face can express.

I already talked about Mahouka here. And this is why the show took a big hit from where it was before (#4). I got nothing more to say than what I haven’t already said in my last post about it, so now I just wait for the next arc to end or something stupid (or good) to happen to mention it here.

Episode: 7
Ranking: ★★

 

#9 Seikoku no Dragonar

[FFF] Seikoku no Dragonar - 06 [49F9399E].mkv_snapshot_12.29_[2014.05.22_22.21.26]

No magical light beams or fog for once +★

Remember me talking about how censorship helps plot? Yeah but if the plot is bad you can at least fap you know? I was pleasently surprised when they showed these amazing nipples in the TV version not just the BD version. I was expecting everyone to have no nipple tits in this show, however I was proven wrong and I appreciate that. On the other hand the show is still just below average.

Episode: 7
Ranking: 
★★

#8 Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara

He will create an army of one dimensional female characters and take over the world.

He will create an army of one dimensional female characters and take over the world.

To be honest I don’t even have anything to say about this. The formula is easy. Each episode you introduce one to two new girls, make them fall in love with Souta-Kun and splash some plot in here and there. It is overall still very innocent and lacks ecchi which I like because it plays on the cute factor more than on the sexual factor. This way it isn’t just like Dragonar, however it’s no where near anything amazing. I think I also am being pretty nice to it giving it 2 and a half stars.

Episode: 7
Ranking: ★
★☆

#7 JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Stardust Crusaders

[HorribleSubs] JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - Stardust Crusaders - 05 [720p].mkv_snapshot_10.38_[2014.05.22_22.36.07]

Maybe I just don’t like fabulous?

JoJo is almost on my on hold list. For some reason it just doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe it’s because of the long stupid explanations duing battle or the almost nonexistent animation during an episode. I mean really everything is still frames most of the time with some Kana thrown in there say menacing!. I don’t know maybe I drop JoJo and just give up on it.

Episode: 5
Ranking: ★
★☆

#6 Captain Earth

Delicious Loli-Belly-Button.

Delicious Loli-Belly-Button.

The anime I was most lazy with is Captain Earth. I mean I don’t like Mecha that much, and so far this show was pretty generic. It’s not bad it actually has a lot of cool things in it, but is just not great eiher. It clearly is Bones high budget show this season even though, as you will see later, I think it doesn’t deserve it. Cute red head girls however always give bonus points.

Episode: 4
Ranking: ★
★★

#5 Black Bullet

Cower before me, for I am a generic SAO-esque villain!

Cower before me, for I am a generic SAO-esque villain!

Last Episode really disappointed me in Black Bullet. While everyone was calling it a train wreck right from the start I was giving it the benefit of the doubt. However with rushed pacing, quality in every episode now, and simplistic predictable story elements Black Bullet has also me on the ‘fuck man I really don’t know how I can defend this’ fence. At least Guilty Crown had the budget, but Kinema Citrus has proven themselves to be actually one of the shit studios…

Episode: 7
Ranking: ★
★★?

#4 No Game No Life

News Flash: Loli-Incest Kiss saves anime industry!

News Flash: Loli-Incest Kiss saves anime industry!

Yeah I must say I am not overall pleased with this show and I could probably complain about it without end, but I also am entertained by it, so I just leave it at that. NGNL is the most hyped show of the season, and while I see why people hype it, I don’t think it deserves it. It’s just not that great, just a typical escapism story about over-powered protagonists. It’s basic wish fulfillment with ecchi, but it is well done so I give credit for that.

Episode: 7
Ranking: ★
★★

#3 Gokukoku no Brynhildr

Well I actually think she is kinda cute.

Well I actually think she is kinda cute.

I read the manga (well I mostly skimmed over it) and it is not good. But yet here I am enjoying the show. I don’t know why, maybe the hinted romance, the harem, the ecchi, the conspiracy or the genuine curiosity how they get out of this (and I couldn’t even tell from skimming through the manga). The show has all sorts for problems but maybe this is my Elfen Lied, since I never wanted to watch the original one and I hate it based on what I saw and know. So yeah this will pretty much stick to this place till the end, unless they make some really stupid anime only ending…

Episode: 7
Ranking: ★
★★

#2 Hitsugi no Chaika

Chaikas are a miracle of the universe.

Chaikas are a miracle of the universe.

Every episode so far has been good. Seriously this show is Bones latest decent anime, and I cannot even say when the last decent was they were creating. Maybe FMAB, maybe something else. However if anything is an issue with Chaika it is the animation quality. I guess animating 3 anime at the same time (Chaika, Captain Earth and Soul Eater please NOT!) has lead to the overall shitty quality of Chaika. I wish the money spend on Soul Eater ROT(inhell) would have been used to pay the animators for Chaika more so they could either work better or longer to ensure this show looks awesome. However if it wasn’t for my number one this would be my number one.

Episode: 4
Ranking: ★
★★☆

#1 Selector Infected WIXOSS

battorumeguka

Meguca infested Weaksauce!

Yes it defends its throne. I just finished watching episode 8 an hour or so ago, and damn did it impress me. The twists are mind crushing and the tone is consistent. The characters all(most) have more than just one trait and go through all sorts of phases. The side characters mean something to the plot and it goes at a decent pacing. Really this show is what I would like from a good psychological show. It is everything Madoka should have been to be honest. Or at least this show does everything well Madoka couldn’t get right.

Episode: 8
Ranking: ★
★★★

 

The Worst Studio?

This is my reaction to this thread on Hummingbird regarding the worst anime studios.

However I think this idea is flawed to begin with, which ties in with something I wanted to talk about anyways, which is Studios don’t matter, people do.

A Studio is just a company, and as any company it is made up of its employees. Some studios have very famous permanent people working for them such as Shaft (Shinbo) or Gainax (Hideaki AnnoHiroyuki Imaishi both however not there anymore). While others buy in people like Production IG  (Gen Urobuchi for Psycho Pass and Gargantia) or they just make shows only for one person like Madhouse (Satoshi Kon).

headtilt

Shinbo does Anatomy

 

Yet a Studio is a sum of its parts which is majorly divided into Directors, (Key) Animators and Writers. Not only that but the Studio usually just adapt pre-existing material such as Manga, Games, Visual Novels, Light Novels and real Novels. They rarely write their own plots and characters and just simply take what is already there. And even if they have an original anime coming out, that also is mostly created by one person who doesn’t even need to be part of the Studio.
Gen Urobuchi has written a couple of stories and also worked on them with Studios, but he worked with Ufotable (Fate Zero), Shaft (Madoka),  Producion IG (Psycho Pass) and now with A1 Pictures (Aldnoah.Zero). So one studio isn’t really responsible for the actions of one man, but many studios decided to adapt his works.

8FDE2zb

But how could you potentially rate a studio? Based on their animation? Based on the shows they animate? Based on the direction?
Well why not many things at once?

You’d have to take into consideration a lot of things, like :

  1. What is being adapted?
  2. How good is what is being adapted?
  3. If nothing is adapted how is the orginal source material?
  4. How well was it executed both technically and aesthetically?
  5. How did the studio handle marketing and distribution (like Blue Ray improvements)
  6. How much impact did the studio have on the anime scene in general?
  7. How many good titles has the Studio created?
  8. How many bad titles were they responsible for?
  9. Who were the people responsible for the good ones and are they part of the team?
  10. Who were the people responsible for the bad ones and are they part of the team?
  11. Does the studio ever try to go out of their comfort zone and do a lot of different things or just take the easy route?

If you take all this into consideration you can maybe derive the good studios and the bad ones. For example I think Madhouse is a fantastic studio because they made not only a lot of varied shows (and I mean also a LOT) they also have been around very long and have decent production values for most of their shows. However Madhouse isn’t really famous for one person working with them. I mean they did animate all the Satoshi Kon movies and also the Mamoru Hosoda ones. But neither are relevant now for the shows they create.

madhouse

When I go over the list and think a bit I come up with Studio Zexcs which hasn’t really been responsible for master pieces. They have shitty production values and aren’t really important at all in the anime landscape. But they did do Aku no Hana which was at least not the “easy route” like Kyouto Animation likes to take.

Zexcs

Maybe in the end we should just leave Studios be, while some have a bad track record like Studio Deen or Arms or Gonzo, they all hit or miss sometimes. A studio which creates shows I usually enjoy is JC Staff and I know more people who hate JC Staff than like it…

The ‘mannikin’ at magic high school

Tatsuya Shiba has proven himself to be the blandest character of recent anime history with an equally bland and uneventful anime to go with him.

Shiba Sameface

Shiba Sameface

Tatsuya Shiba is the overpowered (gary stu) protagonist of ‘Mahouka’ animated by studio Madhouse in the current spring season.
At first I didn’t mind his stoic personality but ever since last episode it really annoyed me. Not only that but also the tensionless events which go on in this extremely generic Light Novel adaptation. No amount of blood and cool animated fighting scenes can make this show good.

Despite his non existent personality or varied facial expressions, Tatsuya apparently can do anything and is unbeatable (at least so far) which steals any amount of tension from any encounter with his enemies. I mean the enemies are also completely incompetent. A terrorist organisation easily gets destroyed by a handful of teenagers who apparently all have immense fighting experience and strategical thinking skills which allow them to take down an entire terrorist hideout without any trouble.

Weapons how do they work?

Weapons how do they work?

Maybe I am just spoiled by shows like Hunter x Hunter which relies heavily on strategies and planning out before taking on tough enemies, but seriously this is neither cool nor exciting. What is with these over powered Main Characters in bullshit Light Novels anyways? I mean this guy is worse than Kirito, because at least Kirito had some charisma. Tatsuya just ‘samefaces’ the entire time and talks in this extremely pretentious fashion like he is some super euphoric gentleman. He only needs a fedora and he is president of the teenage gentleman club.

atheisttatsuya

 

I mean I usually like the calm, collected and smart characters but this one has just no soul, no passion, he simply does things and is so predictable, always keeps the same demeanor, no fuck ups, no glitches, too perfect and boring.

His voice actor also acted for a similar character which I liked a lot on the other hand…

Oreki_houtarou_class_lazy

Shiba stole my face

Oreki from Hyouka actually had charm. He was smart but blunt and had no social skills. While Tatsuya both is smart, charming and the girls like him. It’s just too many good qualities at once, while Oreki was actually a flawed person.

Overall last episode (episode 7) actually damaged the entire image of the series for me. The second something happens it is over so quick even the anime itself notices it…

lame
Hopefully with the introduction of Suzaku…erm I mean Crimson Prince the show gains some tension and we see characters actually struggle to gain what they want. I mean what is the point of a story if everything is a piece of cake and there is no struggle at all? You could also show people eating a slice of bread instead and it would have the same effect (I bet Shiba would look the same eating a slice of bread as when he fights evil terrorists).

Misconceptions about objectivity, criticism, taste and personal preference.

I got into a discussion about my last post on how I criticize MAL ratings on shows and how they do not apply any critical thinking when rating (of course not all of them) thus deeming their opinion as invalid or less worthy.

objective

When I say something is shit, I mean that in a personal way. While I can still use arguments to persuade you, in the end there is no objective evidence I can show you, because statements like “it’s shit(bad)” are based on values.

So we first have to share these values in order to come to the same conclusion.

There are no objective values however, so again I have to persuade you to accept my values.
We do that all the time, our values are usually inter-subjective meaning that many people share the same subjective values and thus together we have some sort of “objective” consensus.
We can even use facts to back up our values, but in the end no one has to accept them.
When you have a set of inter-subjective values you can derive “context objective” qualities about something.

 

When applied to anime lets say – Realism is a positive value (aka good). Therefor if a show has realism in it, it is objectively good in that department.

However if you don’t accept the statement “Realism is a positive value” then this does not logically follow.

Now of course people who hold this value can point out all sorts of facts like “unrealistic portrayals lead to misguidance and can’t teach the viewer important information, it makes them delusional and ultimately harms them in the long run unless they apply critical thinking to these kinds of escapism shows”. But however well you articulate your argument, even if you could show empirical evidence to how escapism anime (or anything) leads to long term unhappiness no on has to accept those values and apply them to their life.

This might all sound very futile to reviewers and the likes, since whatever they do, you cannot change the minds of those who aren’t willing or able. However, reviewers have no obligation to persuade all people. All reviewers have to do is review. This means apply a critical eye to a show, analyze it and evaluate it. The reader/viewer then takes the parts that persuaded him or her and might object to the rest.

So what are my core points here? 

  1. First reviews aren’t objective.  They are context objective in the sense that the reviewer has certain values which he or she should be communicating to their audience  and then based on these values can judge the quality of a show.
  2. Secondly critical thinking is the ability to scrutinize something based on your knowledge and position it in the larger text, question it and don’t accept it right away without evaluating it first.
  3. And lastly, I can trash talk what I like, if you disagree I am willing to engage in a debate but don’t say I can’t point out my opinion just because it isn’t “objective”. See the framework I am talking in and take what you want out of it :>

I will make a post in the future about how I rate anime and what I look for in them. But not today.

MAL and Bad Taste

maltaste

On Hummingbird someone posted the recent ratings for all airing Spring shows based on MAL uservotes. Here is a link.

And here is the list, I also took the time and ordered them from lowest to highest score.

#32 Kenzen Robo Daimidaler Score 5.93
#31 Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers Score 6.11
#30 Kamigami no Asobi Score 6.81
#29 Blade & Soul Score 6.84
#28 M3 ~Sono Kuroki Hagane~ Score 6.87
#27 Selector Infected WIXOSS Score 6.93
#26 Kiniro no Corda: Blue♪Sky Score 6.94
#25 Seikoku no Dragonar Score 6.98
============================================
#24 Captain Earth Score 7.13
#23 Soul Eater Not! Score 7.18
#22 Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu Ka? Is the Order a rabbit? Score 7.29
#21 Hitsugi no Chaika Score 7.37
#20 Akuma no Riddle Score 7.40
#19 Baby Steps Score 7.47
#18 Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii Score 7.55
#17 Sidonia no Kishi Score 7.56
#16 Gokukoku no Brynhildr Score 7.56
#15 Break Blade (TV) Score 7.58,
#16 Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin Score 7.59
#13 Mekakucity Actors Score 7.69
#12 Ping Pong the Animation Score 7.73
#11 Date A Live II Score 7.75
#10 Black Bullet Score 7.79
#9 Love Live! School Idol Project 2nd Season Score 7.81
#8 Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou Score 7.83
#7 Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Score 7.92
============================================
#6 Isshuukan Friends Score 8.03
#5 Haikyuu!! Score 8.27
#4 No Game No Life Score 8.53
#3 Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders Score 8.59
#2 Fairy Tail (2014) Score 8.75
#1 Mushishi Zoku Shou Score 8.90

Okay first the obvious. Second season shows always get good/better scores (unless they really suck) because all the fans are continue watching it while the people who hated the first season don’t and thus don’t vote bad scores. So no wonder Mushishi2 has a higher score than the first one. Same is true for Fairy Tail, Love Live and DAL.

Secondly. Marvel Disk Wars is fucking shit, no wonder it has #31.

However now to the parts that piss me off.

Akuma no Riddle is #20 and scores better than: Wixoss, Captain Earth and Chaika.

Okay neither Captain Earth nor Chaika are outstanding anime. (Though both are also waaaaay better than Soul Eater Not!)

But Akuma no Riddle is the fucking worst shit of the season.

I mean look at this shit. Scissors fall from the sky (closed!) and cut throw 4cm thick ropes. That is fucking impossible! Not that it is the only retarded thing about the show, but seriously – Alone for that it deserves not more than a 2/10.

Next thing that pisses me off. Wixoss is fucking low? It’s #27? What the fuck? I mean I can see why people might not like it, but it is fucking better than most of this seasons shit. It is certainly better than DAL and DAL is #11 (granted it is second season).

Also No Game No Life #4? Are you kidding me? I mean I like the show kinda, but it is fucking bad! The show makes no sense. They don’t even bother with rules they just make shit up and rely on comedy instead of actual strategies or realistic people. It’s fucking 5/10 at best. Same for Mahouka which is far more serious but also far more generic (5/10).

It is just frustrating to see how people have no taste and vote for stuff that is obvious fanservice, pandering and wish fulfillment. I colored the ones that I feel are way too high in the list red and the ones I thought are too low green. I of course will also give you an actual list and actual scores when I am finished with the shows.

Oh and the list is missing Kanojo ga Flag. So I add it here:

#25.5 Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara Score 7.01

Summer Season 2014 Expectations

Weekend passed and I didn’t post anything, which was mostly due to me playing Dark Souls 2 like an addict the entire time. I also didn’t watch any anime to be honest. So then yesterday on Mothers Day I caught up with some shows and not really anything worth mentioning happened in the ones I watched, though I think I will give an update soon about the shows airing right now and how I stand.

So instead I thought I take a look at Summer Season and what will be airing and rate stuff that looks or sounds interesting and give my idea on how good I think it could be.

I use AniChart for this and just go over shows which look at least somewhat interesting, not all of them.

Aldnoah.Zero

The first noteworthy show is by A1 Picture. It’s a mecha and it was created by Gen Urobuchi. So I haven’t mentioned it here on the blog, but I hate Urobuchi shows, they are fucking horrible. And after Gargantia I promised myself to never watch a show by him again. So this is a big no no for me and I avoid it at any cost. Sad so many people will hype it to death..

Rating: ☆

Ao Haru Ride

A shoujo romance by IG? Hmm not interested. I am not a big shoujo fan, especially not romances. While I genuinely like romance anime, the shoujo variants of it aren’t my cup of tea. If for some reason people call this the next best thing ever I might check it out, however I am not excited for it. IG is also mostly disappointing when it comes to making good anime.

Rating: ★

Bakumatsu Rock

There is so much that I already don’t like about this. 1) Rock. I like hard music. I listen to a lot of really heavy hardcore crust stuff but generic rock is pretty lame so this does not appeal to me at all. 2) Deen. Deen is one of my least liked Studios. Not only do their shows look bad, but they also pick pretty bad shows mostly and lack to talented staff to make a show really good. 3) Music Anime. In general music anime never appealed to me. As a former musician myself the way they portrait a band is always so far from reality that it frustrates me. I might however check out at least the first episode.

Rating: ★

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal

Finally, the things all we older people have been waiting for years. A Sailor Moon remake. While I wasn’t hyped until recently now I am. I grew up with Sailor Moon it was my first genuine Anime when I was 6 or 7 years old. I was head over heels in love with Usagi (basically my first 2D romance) and loved the show. In 2010 I re watched everything till 4th season and now I am really looking forward to this. I hope they make it to 4th season because that was my favorite one.

Rating: ★★★★★

DRAMAtical Murder

NAZ is a studio that seems super new. Not only have I not watched one show made by them but they also haven’t made many to begin with. Apparently the only show I heard about was Hamatora which I wasn’t interested in. From the tags alone it sounds interesting. Sci Fi, Psychological, Action – could be good. However the director seems to be some no name and the compositionist is a woman who hasn’t really made master pieces so my expectations are low.

Rating: ★★

Glasslip

PA Works makes another slow SoL. Not sure if I will like this one. I don’t expect it to be a second Nagi no Asukara, however maybe it is decent. I will definetly check it out and drop it if needed. The director Junji Nishimura hasn’t really done anything I consider good so again expectations are low.

Rating: ★★☆

Himegoto

Looks bad. I will watch it. I mean it has ecchi in it. There is no way it can be good. However it can still be quite enjoyable. It’s just otaku pandering that is it. The studio who makes this is also low tier and hasn’t made any decent anime as far as I can tell. So yeah expectations are low but still wanna check this out.

Rating: ★

Kantai Collection

What!? Kantai Collections gets an anime? Wow this must be the most pandering bullshit ever. I will definitely check this out. I only heard elitists hate on it and otakus praise it so I am in the middle to decide what I take from it. I don’t expect ANYTHING good however. I might even drop it, but I will check it out!

Rating: ★★

Majimoji Rurumo

Magic Comedy? Well sounds lame but looks cute. I haven’t found out much about it. Apparently the original creator also did the bicicle anime from IG last season. So yeah no expectations just check it out.

Rating: ★

Persona 4 The Golden Animation

I really love Persona, but I find they milk it too much. Just make Persona 5 already! But yeah I’ll check it out, however I have not played Golden so I am not familiar with it. In the end it might just be fanservice and I have no idea what is really going on. But anyways I loved the games, loved the anime so why not?

Rating: ★

Sanzoku no Musume Ronja

Old school story done by Miyazakis son? Sure I will watch this! I am not a big ghibli fan, however this is probably better than most of what will be airing in Summer. So color me exited.

Rating: ★★★

Sword Art Online II

What else but ‘Fuck yeah’ is there to say? Fuck yeah trainwreck incoming! I am actually excited for this. I was never on the hater fence. I was more on the “I’m gonna watch this shit and have a good time” fence. I mean the show is bad to average, so I don’t hype it as some glorious amazing anime. However, the hate is amusing so I want to be part of the shitstorm when it is coming.

Rating: ★★★★

Tokyo Kushu

This looks actually interesting. Studio Pierrot does this? Weird, I only know them from stuff like Naruto so I never thought much of them. However a horror anime can be hit or miss, so I hope this is decent at least. I really want good horror in anime please! The artstyle looks pretty cool but the pv made it look way to edgy. Horror has to be subtle not in your face to be effective, so maybe this will just end up as a horrible anime instead of a horror anime…

Rating: ★★★

 

Well nothing else caught my eye. If you know something or are hyped for something let me know!

My top 4 Anime of 2013

First up, why 4? Well easy, because a year has 4 seasons and I will pick my favorite anime of each season, which I obviously also recommend you to watch.

Winter 2013

Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru


oreshura

Let me get one thing out of the way first. Yes this is a generic Harem, but […] excuses. No but really, I don’t mind harems if they accomplish to entertain me, and OreShura did so. It was basically Chuunibyou as an actual ecchi harem and not the lukewarm shit KyuAni feeds us. It’s the same premise, we have a regular high school boy who used to be an awkward chuu2 back in middle school and meets a girl (who is basically Senjougahara from Monogatari) who turns his life around. The main focus of the show is comedy and you shouldn’t want anything more from it but comedy and light ecchi. I personally had a blast watching this and there wasn’t really any competition to be honest, so it is an easy favorite anime of the season for me.

Runner ups: Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
(for being a decent Arms show, but the ending was too rushed to be actually good) 
Greatest disappointment: Kotoura-san or Sasami-san@Ganbaranai
(for both not leading anywhere. Kotoura-san even baited you with boo-hoo sad backdrop and then did nothing with it…)
Worst of the season: Amnesia
(for being terrible fujoshi shit with ludicrous character outfit designs)

 

Spring 2013

Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S


10_0616railgun0001
While everyone was hyping Attack on Titan, JC Staff for some reason thought it was a good time to make a fucking good anime for once and delivered us 17 amazingly good episodes of the second season of Railgun. If you are not familiar withe the Index franchise, it is basically your typical LN beta male with super powers saves a bunch of girls shit you’ve probably seen at some point in your life. However, Railgun is the manga spin off written by someone who isn’t mentally a teenager anymore and actually knows how to write in the first place. Railgun S actually just shows you an arc again which was already covered in the first season of Index, but not only do we see the whole spectacle from the point of view of Misaka, but this time it is actually fucking incredible! The way they captured the drama, the action even the strategies in battle was just so mind-blowing that I couldn’t believe that JC Staff was responsible for this. I mean usually they just focus on fan service and crappy LN or Manga adaptations, sometimes you even get a decent RomCom like ToraDora, but with Railgun S they really created 17 amazing episodes with good animation, soundtrack, voice acting, plot and characters. Sadly the show did end with a bunch of “filler” in the end, which if you’ve seen the first season of Railgun was probably more what everyone was expecting it to be like.

Runner ups: Attack on TitanHentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko, Aku no Hana
(well I actually like Attack on Titan. HenNeko was simply adorable and Aku no hana was special in its own right.) 
Greatest disappointment: OreImo 2Suisei no GargantiaYahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru
(OreImo went for incest and was trying to be serious which didn’t work. Gargantia was boring as hell and then went stupid plot twist nosedive, OreSeishun was boring and besides the MC had nothing to offer)
Worst of the season: Kakumeiki Valvrave
(for simply being really fucking bad)

 

Summer 2013

Monogatari Series: Second Season

monogatari-series-second-season-wallpaper-hanekawa-hitagi
Yes I like the Monogatari Series. While I thought that Nisemonogatari wasn’t all that good and Nekomonogatari pretty lame I didn’t expect the second season of Bakemonogatari to be so good. But I was mistaken. Going with no high expectations really helped me appreciate the show more. Not only did the first arc accomplish to make the two characters I liked the least to be pretty good (Senjougahara and Hanekawa), it also was surprisingly well written in all parts. It was like it was deconstructing itself – its characters (the meat of the show). The drama was actually really good, no arc was bad and the last arc was probably the best in all of Monogatari history period. Being such a great show was not the only fact it is my favorite of the summer season, there was literally NO competition.

Runner ups: Servant x Service
(I like Working! and Servant x Service is basically Working! minus the annoying characters) 
Greatest disappointment: Kamisama no Inai NichiyoubiiGen`ei o Kakeru Taiyou
(High hopes for both, yet both failed along the way. I finished Genei Taiyou however and thought it was just horribly executed but not horrible in itself)
Worst of the season: Free! 
(Fujoshi shit)

 

Fall 2013

Nagi no Asukara

91kuiebhi7l-_aa_
One: I am a Buriki fan (the character designer). Two: I love coming of age and romance shows. Three: Lolis. Those are the three major reasons why I love Nagi no Asukara and why it is my favorite anime of last year (even though it ended 2014). It has good characters, lots of development, an interesting setting, romance, drama, great soundtrack, good visuals (even though I hate PA Works character design adaptations) and was overall a very enjoyable show. If you like slow SoL/Drama/Romance I highly recommend it to you. I was laughing, crying, cheering and raging. This show has all the feels and became one of my favorite anime of all time.

Runner ups: Golden TimeLog Horizon
(Golden Time was decent but nothing too amazing. Good watch. Log Horizon was better than expected but needs way better budget in the second season!) 
Greatest disappointment: Kyokai no KanataCOPPELION
(KyoAni fucks up as usualy. I mean they just have to drop the fucking Moe in shows where it doesn’t belong, please! Coppelion done by Go Hands no wonder it sucks.)
Worst of the season: Kill la Kill
(Not that I bothered much with it, but I just hate random stupid shows like KLK and anything Imaishi does.)

 

So this covers the entire year. Overall I think 2013 wasn’t half bad. I got enough good shows out of it and a couple of more decent ones. Sure it had some really shitty shows but which year doesn’t.

So far 2014 doesn’t look half as good as 2013, even though Spring is filled with watchables.