mahoganycow's Profile

Statistics

Anime Stats
Days: 62.3
Mean Score: 6.69
  • Total Entries513
  • Rewatched4
  • Episodes3,567
Anime History Last Anime Updates
Dagashi Kashi
Dagashi Kashi
Feb 1, 10:50 AM
Watching 4/- · Scored -
Death Note
Death Note
Feb 1, 10:45 AM
Completed 37/37 · Scored 7
Oniisama e...
Oniisama e...
Jan 31, 6:47 AM
Watching 20/39 · Scored -
Manga Stats
Days: 5.2
Mean Score: 6.49
  • Total Entries114
  • Reread0
  • Chapters908
  • Volumes103
Manga History Last Manga Updates
Not Simple
Not Simple
Jan 4, 4:12 PM
Completed 14/14 · Scored -
Yakumo Tatsu
Yakumo Tatsu
Jul 19, 2015 10:29 AM
Plan to Read · Scored -
Ojojojo
Ojojojo
Jul 18, 2015 12:43 PM
Plan to Read · Scored -

Favorites

All Comments (421) Comments

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JolieJoli Feb 2, 5:46 AM
Hey. Thanks for those kind words, yep I hope I'll be back to writing for fun sometime soon too :)

I'm not-so-secretly happy that you asked me about Zipang because I loved it and have been wanting to talk about it to someone :p Unfortunately as you said it seems to be surprisingly underwatched, I can't find many discussions about it anywhere on MAL or elsewhere for that matter. I'll try to keep my appraisal of it as short as possible though!

The good: The thought and passion that went into the writing of Zipang is nothing short of amazing, and is the main reason it won me over. It explores to what extent people abide by their own moral standards when in extreme situations - such as wartime - and whether it is even right to abide by those standards. It is also a very critical (and informative) look at Imperial Japan and an exploration of the many political undercurrents and ideologies of that time. Although it deals with this potentially volatile topic (we all know some of the horrors that Imperial Japan were responsible for in WW2), it does so with extreme tact and intelligence, which is a credit to the creator Kawaguchi. Born and brought up in post-war Hiroshima prefecture, Kawaguchi clearly has a lot of experience and thoughts about his country at this time, and his passion for the subject matter really shines through. It's a story by a writer that has something really important to say, and I have enormous respect for that. There is nothing gratuitous about Zipang - it is all thoughtfully created and thought-provoking content. There are also some fantastically detailed warships, weapons and uniforms - apparently there was an active naval serviceman involved in the production of the series to make sure that it was all realistic - which again is a sign of the care that went into the creation of it. Story-wise, it is quite fast-paced with plenty of political intrigue (the sci-fi aspect takes a back seat to realism) and characters driving the plot forward with their various actions.

The not-so-good: It is a bit of a rough gem, especially in the animation department. There are some really distracting CG water and explosions, plus the character design could be considered by some to be too cartoonish. I personally liked it but I'll admit that some of the faces that the characters make will make you laugh at inappropriate moments sometimes. I also have a few nitpicks with the protagonist, who is hard to get a real 'feel' for throughout almost all of the show. The 'kind-of-antagonist' and some of the side characters are well developed however, although that development is slow in most cases - I was able to forgive it for this bearing in mind it is only a part adaptation of a 43 volume manga. I kinda spoiled some of the manga ending for myself (couldn't resist) and I can say that all the characters do play pivotal roles in the final arcs of the series, influenced by the many events and thoughts they have throughout this entire epic saga. Unfortunately, we only see a glimpse of this development throughout the animated part of the manga, and it doesn't result in any kind of payoff where we can say 'oh so those seemingly insignifcant character moments were actually leading to THIS'.

I'll leave it there before this gets far too long :) I checked out many of the reviews here on MAL and I would say for the large part they are very accurate in highlighting the good and bad of the show, so they will give you a good idea of what to expect. If you are curious about the concept, I'd say it's definitely worth checking out :) Then you can tell me how crap you thought it was, because I can see our anime compatibility is now at -16%, haha.

I see you finished Death Note - I'd love to hear your critique of it actually if you have the time. Feel free to be brutally honest - it is one of my favourites but I'm not the type to get upset if someone dislikes the stuff I like. You've watched a ton of anime and are a writer yourself so it would be great to hear what you have to say about this (rightfully/wrongfully) well-loved anime.
Gotanon Feb 1, 8:13 PM
thanks Maho-chan! :p

JolieJoli Jan 4, 10:52 AM
Hey, no worries for the late reply, Happy New Year by the way! :)

Die Hard definitely made up part of my holiday viewing I'm happy to say, nothing like watching Bruce Willis in a wife beater face off against Alan Rickman with a 'German' accent to get you in the festive spirit.

Thanks, I'll check out Crunchyroll for manga, I'm not really bothered where I read it, I always end up paying back into the industry anyway by buying my favourites. And I will be sure to check out Madoka Magica too, I'm intrigued to see what Wixoss took from it...

Really enjoyed KnK 2, you're right when you say the characterization was excellent, I also thought the story flowed a lot better than the first film. Just my opinion, but that was the principal reason I thought it was more successful and easier to get to grips with. I do scare easily, and the scene with Shiki hunting Mikiya had me hiding behind a pillow. If a bunch of pictures on a screen can make me do that, it's clearly a good anime :D

That's great that you still enjoy writing as a hobby, maybe I'll see some of your short stories or poetry published one day, although it probably won't be under the name 'mahoganycow' :D I currently work as a writer (nothing fancy, just copy & content writing), and I can tell you from experience that having to write for a living feels kind of like selling out - someone's money or agenda is always influencing what you write, whether what you're writing is 'true' or aligns with your beliefs or not. I suppose that's just my particular line of work though... and maybe my cynicism... In any case, I'm hoping to change careers soon so I can spend my time writing creatively rather than for paychecks.

Sent you a friend request, accept if you want :)
JolieJoli Dec 10, 2015 5:47 AM
Good to know you don't mind the odd impromtu chat on here :) And also great to hear you're a fellow Die Hard fan, John McClane is the man :D

My experience with anime is perhaps similar to yours in some ways, although I was exposed to it a lot later in life, from around 18 onwards. In the UK we didn't really have anime on TV when I was a kid/teenager - except some Pokemon, Digimon and Yu-Gi-Oh! - and I have a set of quite old-fashioned parents who wouldn't let me and my brother watch a ton of TV, so I grew up reading a lot instead. I also used to listen to a lot of metal as an angsty teenager, so my risky teenage endeavour was staying up late to secretly listen to BBC 1's rock show after midnight. After I got to university a few of my closest friends and even an ex-boyfriend loved anime/manga such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Inuyasha, DBZ, Slam Dunk, Miyazaki films etc, but again I was more into music at the time so I guess I just thought of it as "weird cartoons to watch" like you, quite enjoyable but nothing special. I actually stumbled upon anime again this year by chance after hearing a few pretty cool anime theme songs on YouTube and then seeing a Selector Infected Wixoss trailer. There was nothing good to watch on TV so I thought I'd try it for laughs as it was a "dark take on magical girls anime". Long story short, I loved it, and I was amazed at the depth of characterisation and the dark themes that were touched upon. I guess until then I'd just thought of the medium as superficial fun, but that series managed to completely change my perceptions, and after that I just had to see more. Anyway, that's the end of my life story, I hope that answered your question :D

The manga you mentioned does sound interesting, and I'm willing to give any genre a go, it's really just a matter of something being well-written and well-excuted enough for what it is. The only issue with manga is that it seems more of a financial investment than anime, perhaps there is somewhere to read it online for a small subscription fee?

On a side note, you said you enjoy writing, what kind of stuff do you write outside of reviews? I enjoy writing too, my laptop is a graveyard where unfinished short stories and novels go to die ;) Sounds cheesy, but the sheer creativity of some anime has really inspired me to start writing again though.

I really enjoyed the first KnK movie! As you said, it created an incredible atmosphere and had "jaw-dropping visuals/music". I was entranced for the entire thing, it was beautiful. The "horror" moments also freaked me out, my fault for watching late at night, but also a testament to how powerful the film was with art, sound and minimal dialogue. It also managed to develop its set of intriguing main characters well, again not an easy feat seen as there wasn't a lot of talking (bar Touko); Shiki is also a badass. It was a very strong start to what appears to be a deep, dark and thrilling series of films. My only issues were with a) the fact Touko "explained" stuff and spoke in cryptic riddles a lot of the time, and b) some elements of the Kirie plot still escape me. Maybe I'm incredibly dense, but I still don't fully understand how/why she went on a killing spree. Also, I was seriously distracted by that Volvic and Haagen-Dazs product placement! But as a first film in a series it did most things excellently - I'm genuinely intrigued by the cool characters, the story and the dark and all-enveloping universe that the artists/writers have created, and I want to continue watching :)
JolieJoli Dec 4, 2015 3:14 AM
No worries, it's really nice to hear what people have to say about the anime/films/novels that have made an impression on them :) I too have my favourites that, although I feel are objectively good to a certain extent, just have something special that resonates with me personally and makes them unforgettable. I was actually reading through a forum thread here the other day and there was someone going around enthusiastically recommending the Kara no Kyoukai series, as a result I'm just really curious now so have added the first 3 movies to my plan to watch list :P I tend to prefer dark, character-driven fiction too (a very strong preference really), and although I do like things on the fast-paced side, if there are genuinely compelling characters I can stick with a plot that is barely crawling along or is just plain ludicrous.

I liked what you said about manga, it seems to be a medium where much of the enjoyment comes from taking the time to appreciate the art as much as the story, compared to anime where far more different elements come into play. Much like when you read a well-crafted novel that is the work of just one creative mind, compared to the film adaption of said novel which is the work of many people, including directors, actors, composers etc. What I'm trying to say (in a really ineloquent way) is that I can understand what you mean when you say you can feel the care and effort that goes into creating a manga.

How did you get into anime/manga? I keep asking you a lot of questions, sorry, just genuinely curious :)
JolieJoli Nov 29, 2015 4:15 AM
Thanks for commenting me back, sorry for the late reply, life got busy :) Yep, it definitely seems like there is always something new and interesting to watch with anime. I'm a huge fan of visual media because of all that excellent direction/acting etc can add to a story, but animation just brings another level of creavity to the experience. Watching Kaiba at the moment (don't know if you've watched it?) and its so refreshing to see original stories and animation like this. I'm honestly so glad I gave the medium a chance. Another thing I like about anime is that many series tend to consist of stories that have clearly defined beginnings, middles and ends, and that they do not go on past their sell by dates. Obviously this is not true of ALL anime series - in fact the opposite can be true - but the ones I've really enjoyed were not overdone, which is hard to find with U.S. live action shows for example.

I see you're a manga fan as well, do you prefer one medium over the other at all? You mentioned Kara no Kyoukai: The Garden of Sinners, so now I'm curious :) You said you don't recommend it really, but what do you particularly like about this series of movies?
JolieJoli Nov 19, 2015 4:06 PM
Oooh so many awesome recommendations ( ⋂‿⋂’) thank you, it is greatly appreciated!! Although my "to watch" list is starting to get dangerously long now... so much anime so little time...

I agree absolutely with your comment. There is nothing that puts me off a series more than a lot of gratuitous anything, whether it is violence, sex or whatever else. In large doses it makes something a "hollow affair", like you said.

Anyway, you're welcome for the feedback, it is always nice to read an intelligent and well thought out review of something (negative or positive) and yours definitely fell into that category IMO. I will read through some more of your reviews too :)

P.S. Can I ask what your profile pic is from?
JolieJoli Nov 10, 2015 11:07 AM
Just stopping by to say I really enjoyed your Shigurui review. I quite like a bit of brutal violence and gore if it serves a purpose, so it was really helpful that you called this out as simply being gratuitous and without any real substance. Needless to say you managed to steer me away from something that was about to find its way onto my Plan to Watch list... thank you xD
RMVTerrell Nov 2, 2015 7:21 PM
Read your review on mushishi, loved it. I dislike how the usual method of review that people go about is sectioning off their text with "story" or "characters" or "animation".

I love how in your review an aspect rarely seen in others, you just simply talk, you just try to describe the experience that is the anime as detailed as you possibly can.

Simply put, you write your reviews in such a way that it feels as if i am reliving the anime again just reading your text, i truly appreciate this, thank you. Will go searching for more of your reviews if there are any.
Len-K Nov 1, 2015 4:57 AM
If it wasn't for that chemistry, the story wouldn't work for 26 eps, that's for sure.
Haha, it looks like we have similar impressions about other shows as well - I was surprised to find someone who shares an opinion about Paprika, Shinsekai yori and Mirai Nikki. I couldn't even pull myself to watch the latter. I'll keep an eye on your list, you've got nice tags too :)
Len-K Oct 22, 2015 5:57 AM
Hey there. Nice review of Infinite Ryvius, I feel the same about most parts of the show, but the characters. I don't think they get the development they deserve, but couldn't agree more about the music and the general handling of the story. Cheers
Kirik0h Oct 16, 2015 3:58 PM
Have you watched the second season? I think it builds on very well from the first and indeed the manga goes even further.
LethalEliminator Oct 13, 2015 9:25 PM
Yay.

I won't let it, don't worry.
Kirik0h Sep 27, 2015 3:52 AM
I see you recently watched Chihayafuru! How did you find it? Personally, even though it has very romanticist perspectives, I think it's such a strong character-driven show.
AlpineSuperstar Sep 24, 2015 5:03 PM
DUDE

Way late on the reply, sry. The amount of anime I watch has decreased drastically in the past couple of months, but I really appreciate you giving your detailed thoughts on those series, and if I ever get around to watching them when I watch them I'll def let you know what I think.

btw I did end up finishing HxH. The show had one redeeming quality, but it really wasn't worth the 148 eps imo! Makes me a bit apprehensive about checking out YYH, but if I ever get in a shounen mood, YYH is one of my most likely choices in the genre.