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October 2nd, 2016
Anime Relations: Mousou Dairinin

Paranoia Agent is Satoshi Kon's, who is otherwise better known for his critically acclaimed movies; Perfect Blue, Millenium Actress, Paprika and Tokyo Godfathers, excursion into the serial territory. The series however in no way falls short, when compared to other works in Kon's filmography. Paranoia Agent could be described as a social panorama, with the many characters and subplots it covers, that however all have one thing in common; the need for an escape. Kon makess his ideas come to life, by literally taking physical form in his story. This could alienate some viewers, but felt to me like something, that actually made the series more worthwhile and a feast for the eyes. Ultimately a lot of it blows up into ridiculous proportions to the point where it is funny, which I however don't consider a flaw due to quite a number of hints sparkled throughout the series, that give a feeling of self-awareness and because it is, as already mentioned pretty entertaining.
Posted by robiu013 | Oct 2, 2016 5:05 AM | 0 comments
September 29th, 2016
Anime Relations: Shingeki no Kyojin

A series, that is so strong in presentation, that it almost makes you forget how mediocre the series actually is. Initially I was also fooled by its dramatic presentation, beautiful art and animation and brilliant musical score, but at the end of the day the story telling doesn't really have much to offer. I will give credit, when it's due though; the first couple of episodes were great and were a great representation on how the circumstances influenced the world and the desperation people feel in this bleak setting, that for some reason strongly resembles a zombie apocalypse movie. However they soon start drifting towards a pretty shounen-esque territory and don't really do much with their characters, who are for the most part pretty one-dimensionals. I guess it was a blast the first time around, but rewatching it made a lot of the flaws more appearent.
Posted by robiu013 | Sep 29, 2016 1:08 PM | 0 comments
September 28th, 2016

Evangelion is one of these animes, that I initially didn't quite get. The characters seemed unlikeable and there is this abstractness to both its existing endings. It took me sometime, but I eventually decided to revisit the story and to my surprise it was written with quite a lot of complexity and it wasn't as abstract as I initially thought. The story is about Shinji Ikari, who after years gets reunited with his father, so he can force him to pilot a giant robot for him and deal with the "Angels" (gigantic alien entities), who are a threat to mankind. It does start like a pretty standard mecha series, but eventually evolves into a war drama about a world, which is on the brink of apocalypse, with well-characterized leads, who clearly don't have the proper mentality to fight in wars of such a scope. Like I said the characters are not the most pleasant, but they're personalities and their psychological struggles at times fit in eerily well with the setting, that gets presented.
Now to deal with the controversy; the last two episodes of the series are a clear result of something going wrong with the animation process in the studio and I personally don't like them. Luckily they remade them in the 1997 End of Evangelion movie, which offered a more satisfying conclusion, that didn't try to pass the entire series off as a metaphor for depression or a coming of age situation and exploded in one of the most memorable animated spectacles I've seen.
Posted by robiu013 | Sep 28, 2016 4:31 PM | 0 comments

I guess an anime like Digimon may give people the association, that it's all just a marketing vehicle for a toy line and to be fair, that's technically exactly what it is. Luckily the writers didn't treat it that way, for I would dare calling Digimon one of the better kid-oriented anime series. Lots of series like this tend to be an escapist adventure, where the stakes aren't too high and the drama of real life is far away and irrelevant (like (for example) in Pokemon, which Digimon often (unfairly if I may add) gets accused of ripping off). The leading cast in Digimon is relatively down to earth. They're all somewhat realistic, relatable and dealing with their own personal struggles, that go beyond being trapped in a strange land with gigantic bugs and dinosaurs (which actually is a problem in Digimon and the characters don't react to it with joy). It's true however that the plot is kind of simple, plot turns and twist aren't particularly clever and the digivolution is a pretty silly concept to sell toys, but it's still a pretty fun series, that I enjoy revisiting every couple of years.
I guess it's also worth addressing that Digimon spans multiple seasons and movies. Currently the 8th season is in the making, but only the second one (Digimon 02) and the still on going Digimon Tri. movie series are direct sequels to the story of the original, so I guess I can add a sentence or two for those as well (Other spin off series will get their own entries). Digimon 02 replaced most of the original cast with new characters, which could be a good idea, but backfired, because the new cast is in fact closer to the generic escapist kid-oriented adventure series, who embark on their adventures with a happy-go-lucky attitude. The series somewhat makes up for that by adding some pretty interesting antagonists, but once again blows it with worse plot turns and twists. There is also the "Digimon Movie" from 2000, which is an anthology of additional side stories tying in with the first two seasons, which is okay, but nothing great. Then there's Digimon Tri., which currently spans 3 movies (more aree to come). These unfortunately don't move very quickly and I only really enjoyed the latest of them, otherwise they're heavy on forced emotional moments, that just drag on too long and feel contrived, but appearently still appeal to the emotion-addicts in the anime community.

Digimon 02; 5/10
Digimon the Movie; 6/10
Digimon Tri. Part 1: Reunion; 4/10
Digimon Tri. Part 2: Determination; 4/10
Digimon Tri. Part 3: Confession; 6/10
Posted by robiu013 | Sep 28, 2016 7:02 AM | 0 comments
September 27th, 2016
Anime Relations: Mob Psycho 100

Mob Psycho 100 is ONE's second effort to get an anime adaptation. If One Punch Man is a deconstruction of the fighting shounen genre, then Mob Psycho represents ONE's reversal, because despite the first couple of episodes still being in a similair style as One Punch Man, the series turns out to be just another fighting shounen. The story revolves around Shigeo Kageyama, who has incredible psychic powers and works as a sidekick for Arataka Reigen, who contrary to the actual esper Shigeo, is just an exorcist con artist. Out of that premise follows a high school plot about being popular and special, which ultimately culminates in a bunch of espers brawling it out Shounen Jump-style. The story is nothing all that amazing and the comedy is in ONE's typical juvenile fashion simple and somewhat hit or miss. What however makes this series worthwhile is its art and animation, which plays with the scribbly style of the manga quite a lot and offers some really impressive scenes.
Posted by robiu013 | Sep 27, 2016 4:59 AM | 0 comments
September 26th, 2016
Anime Relations: Orange

Orange was probably the sappiest anime I have seen till now. It literally pulls most of the cheapest tricks to cause an emotion within the viewer; science fiction elements, that don't make sense and are never fully explained, dramatic music, characters going on guilt trip all the times and an entire episode, where the narrator switches, just so we can see his thoughts and how he's not that bad of a guy, so we can feel bad for the situation even more. It's a shame actually, because the subject matter at hand is interesting and if it was done justice , it could have been a really good show. But the anime is preoccupied with the emotional side of things, rather than to give the seriousness of the matter the priority.
Posted by robiu013 | Sep 26, 2016 2:43 AM | 0 comments