What Anime and Animation are you currently watching?

Swank

and debonair
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I'm re-enjoying Ergo Proxy, a flawed gem.
Just rewatched this last month. It's full of anime-isms, but high brow.


Caught a few episodes of "Double Decker!" on the Crunchyroll channel the other night. A funny and well done satire of the anime police force thing.
 

alexvss

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Rainbow: Criminal Seven of Compound Two Cell Six. In 1950’s Japan, Seven teenage pariahs use their friendship to go through the harsh conditions of a prison and its deranged staff.

It’s been a while since I’ve been wanting to watch this. It’s a hidden gem that should get more recognition.

It’s definitely not for snowflakes. It shows how cruel life was for some groups after WW2 in Japan, and the author has no pity with his characters whatsoever. Even so, it’s very rewarding to see them finding hope in each other. The first episode illustrates this well with rain and darkness for the majority of its runtime, but with a sunny morning at the end.

I’m devouring it.
 

Jeffbert

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I much prefer lighthearted comedy in anime, since I usually wait until 10pm to watch, & want nothing hindering my sleep.
 

alexvss

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I much prefer lighthearted comedy in anime, since I usually wait until 10pm to watch, & want nothing hindering my sleep.
Have you tried Zom 100? It's about a guy that starts his bucket-list in a zombie outbreak. He keeps everything lighthearted, even amid all the chaos.
 

HareBrain

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As an end-of-year thing, I wondered to myself what lasting impressions I had of the anim[e]/[ation] shows I watched this year. The results surprised me a bit.

Shows that left a strong positive lasting impression:
Heavenly Delusion (strong character work and everything else)
Beastars (strong, deep character work with unusual relationships)

Somewhat positive impression:
Blue Eye Samurai (at the time I was really impressed, but this has faded, probably because it was mostly based on visuals)
She Ra and the Princesses of Power (some great character work but, with hindsight, way too much filler)

No real lasting impression:
Inuyasha
Demon Slayer
Konosuba
Onimusha


Negative lasting impression:
Pluto (the central story/mystery quite occupied me at the time, but now in my memory the whole thing just seems annoying)
Scott Pilgrim Takes Off (entertaining at the time but the overly childish character designs now really bug me for some reason; also, I thought the ending was disappointing)
Dragon Prince S5 (just ugh)

So for something to stick with me, I think it needs strong character writing (ideally involving unusual relationships) and a strong central idea. A mystery-led plot or great visuals aren't enough, even though these things might keep me entertained at the time. Does this matter? Who knows.
 

Jeffbert

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I just added it to my watchlist; thanks, alexvss!
I just watched E#1, and barely got through the 1st 2/3rds of this guy employment hell. Fortunately, the zombie apocalypse was the last 1/3, and quite funny.

But, this is a new series, and offers few episodes.

I recall something about a high school of the dead, several years ago. Also quite funny.
 

J Riff

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Assassination Classroom ... a goofy happyface alien shows up, destroys half the moon, announces intention to do same to the Earth in one years time...then, after the Govt. can't kill this character who has decided to to teach Junior Highschool, cos he can move at Mach 20... they issue special dart machine-guns to the students, and... that's maybe half the first Ep so it's a nice premise to work with from there.
 

Jeffbert

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Assassination Classroom ... a goofy happyface alien shows up, destroys half the moon, announces intention to do same to the Earth in one years time...then, after the Govt. can't kill this character who has decided to to teach Junior Highschool, cos he can move at Mach 20... they issue special dart machine-guns to the students, and... that's maybe half the first Ep so it's a nice premise to work with from there.
Oh, I remember that! Took me a while, though, as the title did not resonate. A rather fun series.
 

Swank

and debonair
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Just started watching Blue Eyed Samurai. Dear lord, that is one of the most impressive pieces of animation I have ever seen. The big swordfight in episode one is easily the best sword fight I have ever seen in any sort of media. I realize it is not hand drawn, but the program used yields expressive faces on drawn looking characters, a very high frame rate, no still sections to save animation cost and character movement that is way too dynamic to be motion capture but much more fluid and realistic than traditional action animation. And there is none of that forced 3D feel as the camera moves past building or objects common to many computer generated animation.

The show itself is so odd, having an almost Disney-esque feel to the design and story, yet much more visual detail; and then a thorough investment in all that is R rated - nudity, sex, gore, violence, prostitution, murder, smoking, drinking, etc. The effect can be confusing as you process something that feels like Mulan but is more like the most serious adult animes - yet retains a kinder depiction of the characters than very adult animes do.

Just the animation quality alone makes this watchable, but so far the basic revenge story is compelling enough in its details and presentation to have me daydreaming about it when I'm not near a TV. Highly, highly recommended.
 

HareBrain

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Just started watching Blue Eyed Samurai. Dear lord, that is one of the most impressive pieces of animation I have ever seen. The big swordfight in episode one is easily the best sword fight I have ever seen in any sort of media. I realize it is not hand drawn, but the program used yields expressive faces on drawn looking characters, a very high frame rate, no still sections to save animation cost and character movement that is way too dynamic to be motion capture but much more fluid and realistic than traditional action animation. And there is none of that forced 3D feel as the camera moves past building or objects common to many computer generated animation.

The show itself is so odd, having an almost Disney-esque feel to the design and story, yet much more visual detail; and then a thorough investment in all that is R rated - nudity, sex, gore, violence, prostitution, murder, smoking, drinking, etc. The effect can be confusing as you process something that feels like Mulan but is more like the most serious adult animes - yet retains a kinder depiction of the characters than very adult animes do.

Just the animation quality alone makes this watchable, but so far the basic revenge story is compelling enough in its details and presentation to have me daydreaming about it when I'm not near a TV. Highly, highly recommended.
Good summary. The visual echo of Mulan was a bit uncanny even when I've never seen that film (only clips).

Looking forward to hearing your views on the whole season.
 

alexvss

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Psycho-Pass Movie: Providence (2023). Amid the debate to cancel all laws in Japan and let the Sybill system decide everything, a militia goes after a professor who wrote a paper that exposes the Japanese Economy.

Great entry in the Psycho-Pass franchise. In a series that I consider to be very derivative, they managed to provide a debate I’ve never thought about. The militia, however, uses a lot of judeo-christian symbolism that I don’t think serves the narrative. The main villain, the leader of the militia, is also quite boring.

Akane returns as the protagonist. Although I liked to see her make a comeback, I’d like to see the others shining as well. The other members of the team don’t do much, with the exception of Kogami.

The fights are well-choreographed. It’s almost as if they captured the moves from a Iko Uwais fight scene and animated it.

The ending is a hell of a plot twist. Akane does something unexpected to prove her point. Also, there’s a hint of a sequel. Let’s hope they make it a new series.

Good to see the franchise alive and well.
 

alexvss

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Scavengers Reign. In the far-future, a group of workers gets lost on an alien planet.

This is technically science-fiction, but it’s so imaginative that you think you’re watching a Fantasy in the same level as a Ghibli movie. Or maybe it’s a Fantasy story disguised as science-fiction. The landscape and the “animals” really are a sight to see. Worldbuilders out there should watch it and study it.

The characters are not well-explored though. With the exception of one, we don’t get to know much about them. And we start the story in media res: the crew is already lost in that planet, has been for days, so they already know how to take care of themselves in that environment. That means we don’t get to see how they learned to survive over there (or if they already knew how). It would be great if we knew at least what their professions were. In The Martian (2015), for instance, the guy’s a botanist.

However, a video review gave me something to think about: the main character is actually the alien planet and the symbiotic relations between it and the humans. True, the humans use the flora and fauna in a number of ways, often by combining it with their own bodies (e.g. they use an animal that looks like a small manta ray as oxygen masks).

Oh, and I caught an Akira reference in the first episode.

Strongly Recommended.
 

Jeffbert

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I just finished SACRIFICIAL PRINCESS, I think that was the title of it. O.k., but I much prefer comedy.

It seems that SPY FAMILY's current season ends with a mid-December episode. Anya has the cutest facial expressions! She is one of three, count 'em, 3 anime characters who prefer their own names rather than personal pronouns. All are female:
  • Pinoko
  • Juvia
  • Anya
Poor Juvia, unrequited love is so cruel.
 

alexvss

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I just finished SACRIFICIAL PRINCESS, I think that was the title of it. O.k., but I much prefer comedy.

It seems that SPY FAMILY's current season ends with a mid-December episode. Anya has the cutest facial expressions! She is one of three, count 'em, 3 anime characters who prefer their own names rather than personal pronouns. All are female:
  • Pinoko
  • Juvia
  • Anya
Poor Juvia, unrequited love is so cruel.
Japanese has a huge array of ways to refer to oneself. This is one of the nuances of the language. The usage of pronouns depend on the sex, age, social status, mood, and other circumstances. Korean has that too, but with much less importance. To use your name as a personal pronoun is a way of sounding extremely cute. Many anime characters use it, mostly girls, babies and pets.
 

alexvss

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Solo Leveling. The world’s weakest monster hunter gets the power to level up as if he were playing a game.

Finally, the adaptation of the most hyped Korean light novel and webtoon. I thought they would be changing the location to Japan, but it still takes place in Korea.

Many people online have been saying that the first episode was weak, but I disagree. I liked the animation and how bloody it was.

Recommended.
 

alexvss

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Mashle S2 (or is it S1 Part Two?). Mashle, who joined a magic academy without being able to use magic, has his secret revealed, and now he’s stuck between facing the death penalty and being kidnapped by the world’s most dangerous crime syndicate.

As funny as ever. I let out some good laughs in this first episode. I hope it doesn’t jump the shark, as I’ll keep watching.
 

alexvss

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Dungeon Meshi or Delicious in Dungeon. After running out of money, a group of adventures have to explore a dungeon using the monsters in it as food.

Japan has a fixation with Western-style RPGs and Fantasy, and this anime is a product of that. Focusing on food is not a terrible idea though. It’s one of the things most people don’t think about when reading/writing a story. Food can be an important part of worldbuilding. For this reason, it strangely reminded me of Ishuzoku Reviewers.

I think the director couldn’t find the right tone for it, and that’s the main reason I’m dropping it. The sister of the protagonist gets in danger, but he doesn’t seem to care. The show is for 16+ years old because of violence, but I didn’t find it that violent. It’s mostly comedy, but I didn’t laugh. It didn’t land for me.
 

alexvss

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Metallic Rouge. On Mars, an android pairs up with a human to search and destroy nine artificial humans who are hostile to the government.

This is an original anime, made by Studio Bones (FMA:Brotherhood, 2009) to celebrate its 25th anniversary. I was kinda hyped up because I like both the studio (FMA:B is the best anime ever made) and the themes (I’m a sucker for cyberpunk), but I must say I’m a little disappointed.

There’s too much info-dumping in a short period of time, thus not going in-depth in any aspect. You see many characters and many aspects of worldbuilding, but you don’t see how all this works for the plot. Take nectar, for instance. It’s a substance that androids are kinda addicted to, and if they don’t inject it, they die. Maybe this will make sense later, but it doesn’t right now.

The fights are kinda good. The androids transform into armored beings with special abilities. It reminded me of the Witchblade anime (without the ecchi part).

For the sake of Studio Bones, I’ll give it another chance, but if it weren’t for that, I would’ve dropped it already.


The Witch and the Beast. A girl goes on a journey to find the witch who cursed her and try to lift the curse.

This is one of the most-awaited anime of the winter season, and it delivers. It starts with a bang and it ends with a bang. Not even two minutes in and you have a huge fight. It really displays how magic is a great deal in that world. Also, there’s a plot twist by the end.

I’m just concerned that the magic system is very soft. The only explanation to it is “a witch did it”. They don’t chant incantations; they don’t use wands or any other object; and they don’t seem to have some kind of energy to draw from, like mana.

I totally dig the story, and I’m going to keep watching it.



Rainbow: the seven of compound cell six.

Just finished watching the 26 episodes of this masterpiece.

It’s a story about six low-lives who end up in a cell with a guy that basically teaches them how to live. They start at the bottom, with nothing to lose, so the only way is up. And it all works out at the end. I hate shows where people just suffer for the sake of it, like in European movies. But Rainbow is nothing like this. The suffering has a purpose, and seeing them fight through it gave me hope.

Rainbow is a story about friendship and pursuit of happiness like no other.

Can’t recommend it enough.


Blue Exorcist: Shimane Illuminati Saga. Third season of Ao no Exorcist.

The first season aired back in 2011, and I watched it around that time. Man, it’s been a while! I remember that it starts with a punch; its first episode is one of the best ever. And it has some good fights throughout. I ended up dropping it by the time he joined exorcist school though. I’ve found that part to be too boring.

I decided to watch the first episode of the current season, and I soon jumped to some conclusions. It’s your usual shonen battle anime: stupid protagonist, a talking creature companion, friends that keep yelling at each other… Also, it doesn’t seem that MC has developed much, not for two entire seasons. There’s nothing particularly good about Blue Exorcist, and that’s why I don’t think it’s worth my time.


The Fire Hunter S2.

The sequel of one of the most underrated anime of recent years. It’s top-notch fantasy, with the scripts written by the great Mamoru Oshii, the director of Ghost in the Shell.

I’ll summarize the plot and worldbuilding. A biological weapon made all humans “allergic” to fire: if they touch it, they get into spontaneous human combustion. Also, creatures that absorbed fire roam the forests and outskirts of towns. These creatures are hunted by the Fire Hunters, who have a way of containing their fire and using it for energy later. One of these fire hunters gives his life to save a girl from one of those monsters, leaving behind his weapon and his hunting dog. The girl sets out in a journey to return the fire hunter’s belongings.

Strongly recommended.
 

Jeffbert

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I just resumed watching ONE PIECE, with #1080! When will this end?

It is not as though I am tired of it, but just wondering.
 

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