Nothing much to say about me now. It's 2015, times are changing, as well as my tastes in art. Nothing wrong with that. People are different, one reason being, well, we have different experiences in life. No two people are exactly alike. Different forms of nurture, but also different roots of nature. Nothing like an amalgamation of a potluck of personality. In an odd sense, we are like living works of art, constantly changing ourselves. Nothing says it better than a quote from a sculptor/architect:
We are a landscape of all we have seen. -Isamu Naguchi, sculptor and architect (1904-1988)
(P.S. If this was tl;dr material for you, technology must have destroyed your attention span. Nothing to worry about. I think.)
Reading through my anime/manga list notes again, it seemed I had a lot more energy back then...
Thought: Would you rather listen to a story as told by the author, or would you rather hear the story as it is interpreted by somebody else? The answer relates towards adaptations and original material...of course, it depends...
[4/19/17] Samurai Jack S1 (2001) [13/13] (Completed) [04/24/17]
[4/25/17] Samurai Jack S2 (2002) [13/13] (Completed) [05/04/17]
[05/05/17] Samurai Jack S3 (2002) [13/13] (Completed) [05/22/17]
[05/24/17] Samurai Jack S4 (2003) [13/13] (Completed) [06/06/17]
[06/13/17] Samurai Jack S5 (2017) [10/10] (Completed) [06/18/17] - 1:22 AM
2018 is here already?
[Last Updated: 10/20/19]
2019, with 2020 around the corner...
- Rick and Morty Season 1 (JULY 2019)
- Rick and Morty Season 2 (AUGUST 2019)
- Rick and Morty Season 3 (SEPT 2019)
- Rick and Morty Season 4 (---- 2019/2020)
- The Boondocks Season 1 (AUGUST 2019)
- The Boondocks Season 2 (SEPT/OCT 2019)
- The Boondocks Season 3 (OCT/DEC 2019) [12/24/19] (10/10 series)
- The Boondocks Season 4 (...)
Starting to get back into the swing of things.... (10-20-19)
*Favorites lists are not necessarily in any sort of order of preference.
Anime completed will continue from here, from the Old Musings section.
This is just my way to briefly talk about anime I recently finished, without wholly relying on the Tags section on my list. (Hmm? Was there a comments section...? Haven't spent time on how my list looks... Maybe next year... Learn a few things...)
128th ->> [01/17/20] Tenki no Ko [01/17/20]
I'm hesitant to write a lot about this, mostly because I'm tired and hungry. Just started eating take out at 11:20p that I brought back. The other reason is the subjectivity of the matter. I want to keep it open-ended as I continue to think about what I watched. So for now, it would be represented with just a few words.
Looking for the silver-lining in the clouds of reality.
Understanding what truly matters. Don't let the means to an end become your end.
Anyhow, I might be in a minority position when despite the obvious predecessor being a big reason as to why one would be interested in this movie, I actually have not watched said predecessor yet. Well, two summers ago, there was an AMV about it, to which I had seen some of it, but opted to not watch it halfway. So, I have an idea of it but not quite. I will want to watch that, and other works of Shinkai-san. Perhaps collect them. Funnily enough, I want to watch Mamoru Hosoda's works now too... Wait a minute... Hosoda...
129th ->> [10/12/19] JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken Part 3: Stardust Crusaders [01/26/20]
Over-the-top atmosphere. Cool anime character designs. Sense of horror and dread.
Trying to stay true to the essence of the manga (i.e. those sound effects plastered on the screen at times), having that sense of horror along with the actual in-your-ear sound effects, and the use of color to denote tone at particular scenes. Also the humor, be the silly antics of the group or the Joseph's Engrish exclamations. It's an amazing trip to enjoy...and it will only continue...
130th ->> [01/27/20] JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken Part 3: Stardust Crusaders: Egypt Arc [02/08/20]
I enjoyed it. Nothing much to say. Really like the art direction and sound effects too.
Maybe it's due to the character designs but it definitely gave me a similar feeling from
when I was watching Hellsing Ultimate. Admittedly one is technically a shounen and the other one is a seinen but the dark tone (and perhaps just the "bloodsucking" fact of the matter) are very similar, at least in my opinion. I seem to enjoy the combination of
such imagery coupled with appropriate SFX. I also realize that I don't think I have had
nearly enough of this either. There's gotta be more like this...
131st ->> [02/11/20] JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken Part 4: Diamond wa Kudakenai [03/07/20]
There's a very noticeable shift in tone and atmosphere between Part 3 and Part 4. So drastic, that it rubbed me the wrong way, and I wondered if I would enjoy this part of Jojo. Design-wise, characters are toned down, but despite that, part 4 ends up feeling even more violent and more "seinen" than before. Part 4 has an interesting antagonist, perhaps fitting knowing the meaning of the number 4 in Japanese. Part 4 has really gained my favor, almost being my favorite Jojo so far (Part 2 is where it's at for me). Knowing how old the original manga is, it is like a reminder of how manga was back then, and how fortunate Jojo was able to get an anime adaptation way past its original publication. Even though I have not read the manga, I can only feel that up to this point, the anime has really done justice to the manga and the spirit of the manga was faithfully captured in anime form, from the scene transitions, color swaps at certain points to create a certain mood in atmosphere, the sound effects, the soundtrack, all the openings and endings... it is just an overall good time. The passion the people who have worked on this anime to adapt the manga continues to show through. Knowing that Jojo is up to Part 8, which as far as I know is in the Seinen magazine Ultra Jump and is the longest part to date, only makes me more excited to see how David Productions continues to provide a stellar representative adaptation of the manga. The Jojo series is something I have known about for a decade, before the anime adaptations were a thing, back when Weekly Shonen Jump still had those paperback magazines in English before they revamped and became digital only as a subscriber. To think even now, the presence of this series can be felt more strongly in my life in 2020, has made me realize that life can take a while for it move on. Don't give up. Your time to shine, to make a difference in your own and others' lives, will present itself.
132nd ->> [02/22/20] High Score Girl [03/22/20]
1980's-90's Arcades. Drama to spice it up. Using actual gameplay. A really appealing
adaptation, with great OP and ED. New favorite anime. It helps that apparently I like
this sort of thing: grounded with some wacky elements but not too out there. I was
a bit confused after watching because there is a continuation in the form of an OVA
before it continues to another short season. Looking at the manga, it's not particularly
long, but I am definitely interested in this series given that the manga was just licensed
133rd ->> [04/02/20] High Score Girl: Extra Stage [04/05/20]
Wholesome drama. Solid three episodes to end this season.
Excited for the 2nd season!
134th ->> [09/11/19] Boku no Hero Academia: 3rd Season [05/02/20]
Solid continuing adaptation. Makes me wonder what other "certain" shonen manga
would have been like had they been adapted into seasons instead of weekly...
135th ->> [04/13/20] High Score Girl II [05/15/20]
A unique story that will stay with me for a while if not forever. A masterpiece, even. It almost feels familiar...albeit this one had hope, the other...is nowhere to be found...
136th ->> [09/01/19] Kimetsu no Yaiba: Demon Slayer [06/20/20]
Initial noticeable changes (additions/modifications): the flashback for Rui's "elder sister". Unless I forgot, it seemed to be extended, which was not bad at all. The slash of the Butterfly Mansion girl barely missing Nezuko's head when Tanjiro pulled on
her coat was omitted. These were just changes I noticed subconsciously. It was not until towards the final episodes (last 2-3 episodes), where it became very noticeable that the anime added a lot of things but without making it feel like it was out of place.
Kanao's past, showing the success of Zenjitsu and Inosuke in learning Total Concentration: Constant, among many other small details and additions, did not feel out-of-place. In the original manga, a lot of these things were told but not shown. Unless I am just forgetful despite having read the associated pages from the manga just hours ago, I do not recall Kanao's past actually being shown in the manga, though the coin flipping moment with Tanjiro was definitely there. And the final episode. It's amazing how much artistic liberty was shown while keeping true to its original source.
Although I could have a side-by-side comparison with the manga at hand, I still want to watch the anime normally. It's fun to notice these things in that way as well as revisiting the same story but through a different medium. In Demon Slayer's case, the story of the manga has greatly benefitted from such an amazing adaptation, considering the story is fairly easy to follow. Nothing wrong with that. If you read a lot of shounen manga, you will be at home, especially if you read battle shounen or the like. I admit that I was not really interested in reading Demon Slayer until the anime praise and subsequent manga sales (in Japan) were hard not to ignore. I do not regret it. Tanjiro reminds me of Emma from The Promised Neverland. The purity and optimism are parallels that I find appealing which is interesting to me because years ago, the pessimism in a character like Nozomu Itoshiki (Zetsubou-Sensei) was something I found really appealing then.....
Weekly Shounen Jump has a lot of amazing manga currently that are set to have amazing recognition once they get adapted. If Demon Slayer is any indication, a great adaptation will skyrocket manga sales and the franchise as a whole. Art is wonderful if passion and emotions aren't tied down to deadlines. Seasonal anime for long running manga should generally be the norm.
Excited for Jujutsu Kaisen, Act-Age, Chainsawman, and Mashle. Spy x Family is also
one that in the future I hope gets an anime adaptation. For a bi-weekly manga that
began in the digital first Shounen Jump+ publication, it's amazing how well it has done
for itself in the manga industry. Again, seasonal. Lots to look forward to.
137th ->> [06/22/20] Cike Wu Liuqi [06/22/20]
Watched all ten episodes in one sitting. This was a cartoon that I had been interested in for a long time, but I could get in the mood to watch it until now. The episodes are relatively short, and thus I watched it all as if watching a movie. Honestly, I expected to enjoy this simply on the art style + animation that I had seen, and I definitely did. I watched it in its original language (Mandarin) to appreciate it even more. Although I am not familiar with the language, it was interesting to get a feel for how the language flows through the action and the comedy bits. The music is quite awesome. From beginning to end, this cartoon at times reminded me of the likes of Bobobo-bo bo-bobo, FLCL, One Piece, old-school SpongeBob, and just cartoons and comics in general, while at the same time being it's own thing. I rather enjoyed this such that I want to let it simmer in my mind for a while before I decide to watch the ONA's (Original Net Animation) and the Second Season. If I really had to criticize it, there were some parts that I felt could have had a "bit" more polish to them, especially when certain plot points were revealed. Of course, this is just based on feeling and not me actually analyzing each episode, since part of the appeal is the grittiness of it all. Regardless, I do look forward to watching more in the future, when my mind is ready.
(Ahaha. That's just how it is when I decide to watch/read any media, really...)
138th ->> [06/21/20] Boku no Hero Academia: 4th Season [06/30/20]
Dang, four seasons already. Imagine more Shonen manga with four seasons?
This particular season, however, had my highest expectation because the Overhaul
arc followed by the School Festival Arc was one of my favorites in the manga so far.
I felt the animation could have been better during the Overhaul Arc, though perhaps
my expectations were a bit too high. Admittedly, Horikoshi's manga art is solid enough
that sometimes it seems it is just too difficult to fully express a certain emotional manga moment. Or rather, the manga has the advantage wherein it can focus its attention on the most important panels, leaving the in-between action up to the animators for the adaptation. I think there was still some room that the animators could have added more to some scenes. I'm talking 2nd Season Todoroki vs. Bakugou room. Reading that part in the manga, I was blown away when I watched the adaptation. In 4th Season's case, the expectation simply was not met. It felt like the anime could have done more. Instead, it was more on the safe side than the liberally expressive side. Regardless, still really enjoyable. It could also just be by the time I finished this season, I had already watched Kimetsu no Yaiba's adaptation. If you have watched that while also have read the manga prior, then you know just how liberally expressive that adaptation was! Seasonal, seasonal. The bar has been set. I just wonder if they will do a One Piece Kai? Most likely after it ends, whenever it ends...
139th ->> [12/12/19] Cardfight!! Vanguard: Shinemon-hen [07/01/20]
Vanguard is just one of those shows where I like it despite its flaws or lack of what makes the other shows that I enjoy truly stand out. Admittedly, the franchise is based
on the real-life card game of the same name or rather the manga written by co-creator Akira Itou, as opposed to being an adaptation of a Shounen Jump manga. Interestingly, Akira used to work with Kazuki Takahashi, mangaka of Yu-Gi-Oh! which was a Shounen Jump manga, which had spawned the ever popular card game. I mention this because the similarities are there, but Vanguard is generally more grounded. In this particular arc, the characters feel real, even more so in the reboot, at the cost of less full card battles where every move was shown like in the original Vanguard. For me, this arc made Shin the most likable protagonist in Vanguard compared to Aichi or Kai. Even Chrono, who I was initially skeptical when I started watching G, seems more understandable here when we see what sort of situation he is put in as a child. Honestly, I really liked this arc. Even though it made me miss the full card battles, the trade-off made this more watchable as an anime. I remember before, years ago when the original Vanguard came out, it was just hard to watch because there was not much going for it aside from the full detail card battles and initial groundedness. I think during that time I was watching anime like Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, where the animation style + the content was very appealing. The OG Vanguard animation was consistent and safe by comparison. I could go on about what I liked about the reboot vs. the OG. For now, I think if there was a way to continue this character-based focus while also somehow having thrilling full card battles, it would also require a lot of resources (budget). I am just happy that Vanguard just seems to continue to improve with its most enjoyable series yet. (Side note: the music is definitely the one thing that has always been excellent and above par in the entire Vanguard series, even more so for the reboot.)
140th ->> [09/05/20] Cike Wu Liuqi Fanwai [09/05/20] Just a prequel.
141st ->> [01/09/21] Violet Evergarden [01/17/21]
There isn't much I want to say. Even for a series, this goes above what I expected,
and my expectations were already high. It's one of those series I knew I was going
to watch, but for whatever reason, have not been able to until now. (Perhaps because
a certain someone had...? Perhaps...)
Perhaps fate has a way to give time for things that will be done, that should be done.
I took my time watching this, if one can say watching 2 or 4 episodes a day is taking my time. I do not think this is a series you necessarily want to binge all in one sitting. You'll get dehydrated if you don't have a water source. In more seriousness, it would
allow the experience and the emotions to sink in a bit. At least for me, since I generally
watched this anime in the evening to even past midnight. Up to the moment I
finished, it seemed really that this year was the year I had to watch it. Nothing to
distract me. Silence, just me and this story, an amazingly rare occurrence nowadays.
I did say I did not have much to say. Well, perhaps just as pictures are a thousand
words, this series embodied its words through its art, music, sound, animation, VA,
direction. (It tempts me to watch it again in the English dub another time.)
If only I could write more succintly. I suppose I could hire someone to write me a
P.S. As for the ending... yes, I believe it is.
142nd ->> [01/16/21] JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken Part 5: Ougon no Kaze [01/21/21]
143rd ->> [01/22/21] Boku dake ga Inai Machi [01/23/21]
Also there was a quote about something about how we look for something that can fill what we are missing is the very essence of what life is.
“The essence of good deeds and evil is the same. They’re both no more than a person’s actions to make up for a defect in themselves.”
A very gray take. Can even be dangerous.
144th ->> [01/24/21] Kimi no Na wa. [01/24/21]
Perhaps Shinkai's signature film. Admittedly I watched this not in the best of moods
as well as sort of knowing what kind of goes on because of an AMV during a con (which I put head down in the middle of it because I knew I was gonna watch it eventually and didn't want to spoil any more than I have already watching the AMV).
High budget gloriousness. I might have overhyped this or I really was not in the mood...
145th ->> [01/24/21] Violet Evergarden: Kitto "Ai" wo Shiru Hi ga Kuru no Darou [01/24/21]
This special keeps everything that makes the series stand out. Something in my eye...
147th ->> [02/13/21] Nakitai Watashi wa Neko wo Kaburu [02/13/21]
148th ->> [02/13/21] Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso [02/21/21]
149th ->> [02/27/21] Kishibe Rohan wa Ugokanai [03/03/21]
150th ->> [02/23/21] Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai. [03/06/21]
To think that this is the anime that becomes my 150th completed. A lot of anime while at the same time, so much more to watch. Perhaps this becoming the one I complete at this time as the 150th means something. I feel had I watched it as it aired the experience would be a lot different. To note though, I always end up having to rewind the anime a bit sometimes since I tend to wander off into my own thoughts and feel like I missed something when I turn my attention back to it. Maybe that's a good thing, that this anime is making my mind move and not remain paralyzed by indecision, doubt, and negativity...
151st ->> [03/07/21] Kotonoha no Niwa [03/07/21]
The Garden of Words. Despite the relatively shorter length of time, this seems to make the movie more poignant in its themes. It takes me quite a bit to digest what those themes are, but the most obvious seems to be about communication. It is a two-way street. One-sidedness, be it through lies or omission, will only lead to trouble and pain. This is rather apparent with the two lead characters, but thinking back, this was even a theme with the parental figures of the main character, how the mother wrote in a letter that she'd gone off somewhere (and the father's nonchalant reaction to it), both of them with a similar reason that had affected their now fractured marriage. Less direct and keeping things from each other and when the truth comes out, the hurt comes with it. The title itself, The Garden of Words, seems to support my thoughts. Communication is important. Perhaps in learning how to walk, we must use both feet, put one foot in front of the other. To reach out and connect, requires both sides to extend a hand, a foot, a voice, a thought, or a word.
"An uninteresting person is uninteresting. As mocha will always be mocha."
Just a thought: good is not bad.
Another thought: no such thing as bad characters. Only bad writers.
If you are only going to spend your time on something so you can deliberately hate it, perhaps because you just want to hate anything enjoyed by the masses, then perhaps you should not spend your time at all. Perhaps you need to learn what enjoyment really means to you.
(Entry 1) 7/29/13
I'm not really sure what exactly (makes)(motivates)(urges)(somehow becomes decided) for me to read or to watch something. I don't know why things happen as they do.
Before, perhaps a decade ago, I would have considered it very hard to read manga (or even comic books), especially since manga was mostly in black and white, and I was sure that good literature can only be found in novels and the like. Anime, (or any form of animation for that matter), would be what I usually watch because of the possibility that good literature can coexist with amazing art.
Now, it seems, the situation is reversed.
I tend to only read manga (or read anything in general) and I haven't watched as much as I used to. I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe it's because I can take my time with reading as opposed to watching what someone else (the director) wants you to. Maybe it's because most of the manga I read are Jump manga, and I always try to look at original material first before adaptations (which is usually manga for Jump anyway). Or maybe it's something else.
Hmm. I'm not sure why I decided to write this (or is it type this?) all out. Sometimes I don't know what's happening. Or why. Sometimes I just don't know.
(Brief 1) 1/7/14
- I know I haven't read much manga, but just a rather random thought hit me.
= that, Shingeki no Kyojin, or Attack on Titan, is perhaps the first manga where I happen to like every single character in it (if mainly the main and supporting cast; but even some extras too.) Of course, I still have a favorite, if only by a tad bit more....
(Brief 2) 1/23/14
- When I choose to watch anime, I find that I tend to watch original anime, meaning, anime that started off as anime first, as opposed to say, an adaptation.
- When I choose to read manga, I find that I tend to read manga that were originally manga; moreover, most of them were serialized in Shonen Jump.
= Well, I guess it's just that I try to honor the original material, if possible. (Though it is tougher for me to read light novels or visual novels and such, if only because they are harder to find...)
= Also, I'm not sure why I decided to write (type?) this all down. Sometimes, I really don't know why I think the way I do. Hmm. Fascinating.....
(Entry 2) 3/8/14
The scores that I put for each anime and manga that I enjoy are relative to me. Something may be liked a lot by many people, but it may not necessarily connect with me initially. I may like it over time. I may always hate it. I feel the works that you enjoy are a window to your Self. They reveal the kind of person you are. Sometimes you happen to like everything "equally". Perhaps this means you do not know who you are. Or maybe you are open-minded.
Same goes with the ones you favorite, with the people you like and with the characters you adore. They have something that you connect with...or want to connect with.
The scores could also resemble a "logical" way of what's good. Aestheticism is perhaps relative to different people; but, I do believe there is a universal standard that designates a good story. Whatever that would be.
Anyway, personally, my scores should be treated as a window to my Self. To my soul. My enjoyment of each, not at the time, but over time. I may dislike a work after seeing something "better". The ones I truly like withstand the test of time. People change. Personalities change. How long will I be this Self? Is all this enjoyment a relative sham? Should I reconsider how open or closed my mind should be? Maybe it does not matter.
A window to the Self. Perhaps I should at least clean it every once in a while.
(Random Stats) 7/7/14 (Updated: 12/25/16)
Anime (Highlights) Completed Timeline
1st - Unknown [Full Metal Alchemist] Note: not necessarily first seen. Complete DVDs.
25th - Unknown [Inuyasha] Next known to have fully completed. 3 times. [adult swim]
??? - [Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann] The big instigator to me being a full-fledged anime watcher.
50th - Unknown [Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei] Around time I was fully into anime.
75th - Neon Genesis Evangelion [7/16/14]
[80th - End of Evangelion]
[85th - Assassination Classroom] [7/10/15]
[88th - Mononoke] [8/28/15]
90th - >> Gintama (first Season)
95th - Texhnolyze, Mawaru Penguindrum, Planetes, respectively
--- I was a major manga reader by this time, and watched anime a lot less, if at all (Shounen Jump; original material mainly)
[98th - Boku no Hero Academia] - Watching the adaptation of a favorite manga of mine, is perhaps the 2nd revitalization of my interest in anime once more, almost at the turn of the year, 2017. [12/31/2016]
[99th - Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage] (1/23/17) - (4/20/17) @12:34am
100th - Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail (05/03/17) - (07/08/17) @ 5:00pm
106th - Hellsing Ultimate (7/29/18) Seems I don't watch a lot of anime, huh?
125th - >> ? <<
150th - >> Limit<< [Break it]
Getting Back To It [10/20/19]
You know, I hardly watch any anime nowadays. Why should I look at some arbitrary goal that just so happens to be divisible by a quarter of a hundred? Perhaps it is better to "celebrate" each one that you have journeyed through and think about its impact to you. Make every last one of them from now on, count. Count by 1. Ready...?
111th ->> [JAN 2019] Dragon Ball Super: Broly
Totally forgot to add this movie to my list (add +1 to below, up to 115th)
Well, life changing stuff man the following month...
111th ->> [07/28/18] Boku no Hero Academia 2nd Season [9/11/19] Almost like another revitilization. 3rd time's the charm...?
112th ->> [09/08/19] Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Part 1 / Part 2 [10/12/19]
113th ->> [07/05/14] Kill la Kill [10/20/19] Been a long time coming, but I have finally watched it.
114th ->> [10/26/19] One Piece (Movie 14): Stampede (DubSub(AMC...lol wut) + Dub(Cinemark))... At least I got to watch the movie in Sub + Dub, but dang, AMC is bad...
115th ->> -------------------- Add one for Broly, so One Piece is technically 115th
Why not just change the numbers? Not sure, maybe number significance...
116th ->> [08/28/13] Cardfight!! Vanguard: Link Joker-hen [11/01/19]
6 years and 3 months to finish watching after dropping it midway at Ep. 36 long ago. I lot more enjoyable than the previous two seasons, especially the 2nd half. It helps that I recently regained interest in the game again (and hearing there's a reboot?!)
I have been studying a bit more Japanese than usual, perhaps this makes it more tolerable to watch Vanguard, since I try to actively hear what is being said and correlate it with the subtitles; moreover, perhaps the lighter tone of the anime (more card battle shonen than the usual shonen for example) is a welcome change. Or perhaps, it is just that I got back to being interested in the actual card game again. Especially now that I have some spending power...
117th ->> [11/01/19] Cardfight!! Vanguard: Legion Mate-hen [11/04/19]
The supernatural part was initially kind of 'eh', but suspension of disbelief aside, this 4th season, at least for me, puts a satisfying end to OG Vanguard. I am actually surprised, considering years ago (6+) I did not think I would feel as such. Perhaps I have grown open-minded, in more ways than one...
118th ->> [11/04/19] Cardfight!! Vanguard: G [11/08/19] Although I do rate this higher than the OG Vanguard, it's because of two things: animation and story improvement in terms of being grounded (i.e. less supernatural than OG, esp. 3rd/4th seasons). It was clear that there were plans with how G was to progress in the future, and it shows despite the seemingly episodic nature of the first half. In a way, it sets the tone going forward, something that OG Vanguard, at least from what I can remember, could have improved. G also prioritizes entertaining the audience through its higher budget (Stride Generation scenes, which are kinda hype, made it feel like a video game RPG or something when you do a special move...) at the sacrifice of showing full card battles. Showing full card battles only for certain (important?) fights made it sure that G does not forget to entertain as an anime and not just as a merchandise advertisement for the actual card game. Despite saying this, I still like the OG Vanguard cast a lot more, but the G cast is fine too. If only there was a perfect balance between grounded story + full card battles, dressed with solid animation and directing.
119th ->> [11/08/19] Cardfight!! Vanguard: GIRS Crisis-hen [11/10/19] 2nd Season, Part 1
Characters have already been established, so less slice of life stuff going on here, but more card battles, and a lot less Stride Generation animations. I initially did not like it because it felt weird to see the certain OG cast lose at times but it can't be helped due to how the plot was moving, and the implication of the G Quest (Beat all branches, become Generation Master...story-wise, they wouldn't mention this unless it was a surety that it would actually happen by the end of this season; i.e. predictable end result; but it's all about the means, right...?). I still found it enjoyable toward the 2nd half as it became more evident how TRY3 would affect the Vanguard world. It helps that I'm still trying to improve my Japanese while listening, get a few words here and there... Ultimately, I just wanted to see how the new Vanguard G mechanics come in play too, so when I get back into the actual IRL game, it would be more fun with the understanding of them as well as getting to know which characters use which unit and how. I guess you could say, have a better appreciation for Cardfight!! Vanguard.
(P.S. Funny how there have been some actual fisticuffs in the G series so far, when before, at least as far as I rememeber, most things were settled with Cardfights...hmm, beat you up or Cardfight...?)
120th ->> [11/10/19] Cardfight!! Vanguard: Stride Gate-hen [11/13/19]
Nothing much to say here, other than I enjoyed it. I guess watching this anime at this time in my present moment was something I needed right now, even if I did not suspect it.
121st ->> [11/13/19] Cardfight!! Vanguard: G NEXT [11/20/19]
I liked the previous director/direction. Is it because of poor sales? I was not an active
Vanguard player during the entire G era, so I definitely did not help... But, it seems to
have taken an effect on the art direction and animation here. Very noticeable
inconsistencies and mistakes. Watching anime and appreciating the animation is of
course a big part of enjoying it in the first place, and noticing the difference between
NEXT and the previous G seasons was hard to miss. It's a shame, and doesn't help
that the OP's and ED's were nicely animated, but I am not really a fan of the music, at
least compared to G's previous seasons. Perhaps the idea of changing directors was
because we have the main characters a bit more grown up now, so the atmosphere would be different. Ah well, I digress...
122nd ->> [11/20/19] Cardfight!! Vanguard: G Z [11/22/19]
Not much that needs to be said. Same director as NEXT. I do not like the direction. But maybe there were budget problems. I assume/feel that G era didn't do so well right? Well, personally, I had quit Vanguard, the anime and the actual card game, halfway through Link Joker. Six years had passed since then...maybe Vanguard now fills a void, hence why I had the urge to finish it and catch up? Yes, I am getting back into the game. Well money is a factor too. Huh, it seems money is always a factor... Well, G Z, despite its weird direction and inconsistent art, it does end perfectly, or at least on a very high note. The positive message is always welcome. Maybe that's why, despite the flaws, I still watch Vanguard, as it draws me to it. Well, I am excited for the reboot. Nostalgia will definitely play a factor, and I am excited for the game. Here's to the future of Vanguard.
Not much to be said, huh? Hahahuu~, I enjoyed it anyway.
(P.S. the G era OST overall is awesome. )
So I realized the producer/studio is a big part of why the animation changed so noticeably. TMS Entertainment was the studio for G, GIRS Crisis, Stride Gate; which was also the studio for anime like D. Grayman, Megalo Box, and Dr. Stone. Whereas with G NEXT, and G Z, the studio was OLM, which did kid shows like Pokemon (with some outliers like old Berserk). But my guess is, OLM is cheaper...? Ah well. Seems the reboot is by OLM as well...
123rd ->> [11/22/19] CARDFIGHT!! VANGUARD (2018) [12/06/19] (V era)
I really like this reboot. Granted I did not read the manga, this anime feels more like an anime compared to the OG which felt like a long advertisement at times (at least from what I remember). Of course, it's not without fault. Interestingly, the reboot and the OG anime are like complete opposites of each other.
OG had very consistent character models, albeit plain animation; whereas, reboot a.k.a V era had inconsistent character models, especially towards the end, but much better animation overall. I wish the studio and/or director that did G would have have done the reboot, because G was actually pretty consistent right before NEXT and Z, where those two were animated by the same studio that did V (studio name: OLM). Back to OG vs V., OG is relatively long compared to V, though this is because OG had full, multi-episode card battles, whereas V shortened them, ever since G.
The card battles are indeed the bread and butter, but varying degrees of pros/cons. Full card battles are especially interesting if you play the card game, but you can also follow along the game pretty easily even if you don't play the game; however, this is what made OG feel like an advertisement. It forgot how to present full card battles while also being entertaining at the same time. V solved that problem by shortening the battles and intuitively implying that certain things were happening in the game by animating an actual fight sequence (as if from imagination), but sometimes this backfires when some games are mostly skipped to the end result, which overall can be disappointing if a character, say Doctor O, is using a clan that you wanted to see but isn't given much screen time in V as compared to OG, and any fights he had were shortened. (At least from what I remember upon finishing V). The balance seems to be hard to get, but it seems something as simple as just better animation, can solve this problem. Herein lies what I believe is the real problem: budget. Vanguard just doesn't have the budget to realize its potential. Full card battles with just stupidly high budget animation is an improbable wishful thought. It seems you can't have both, which is a shame. Of course, admittedly, story-wise there could be some improvements, such as better set-up for the PSYqualia zombies, or just good ole world building detail of the Vanguard world in general.
Regardless, something about this particular reboot of the Vanguard franchise makes me like it quite a bit. Music and heart.
*I just realized soon after writing all this down that the OG Vanguard was actually
animated by TMS entertainment, the ones who animated the G series right before NEXT and Z. So it appears, the better studio was being used before! My mind is boggled because for some reason I remember OG Vanguard had subpar animation...?
So perhaps the director + budget is the main cause. I loved G's director, before NEXT and Z, and that director was perhaps riding on a budget to Vanguard's prior success.
Wow. So it might just be the times. But, if only G's director and TMS entertainment
had animated the reboot... maybe everything would have been...?
Well, budget would still be an issue. Unfortunately the Vanguard craze seems to have
calmed down a bit through G for various reasons. (Mine was a lack of money to
continue playing the actual card game and no initial interest for the new cast of
If only money nowadays was used for creating such things as animated series instead
of for war... I wonder what a world like that would be like...
124th ->> [12/07/19] CARDFIGHT!! VANGUARD: Zoku Koukousei-hen [12/12/19] (V era)
Unfortunately, the inconsistency of the art and animation continues here and is especially noticeable during the Vanguard Koshien, which is a shame, because it feels
like there could have been some way better build up to it. Considering the Vanguard
Koshien was mentioned in one of the earlier episodes of the reboot, it feels rather deflated because most of the fights are "skipped" unlike in OG where at least from
what I remember, all the fights were played out such that they would last multiple
episodes, whereas, here in V era sequel, they end in less than half an episode. Of
course I do understand why it was done this way. Unlike before, they don't have the
time or money (considering the popularity of Vanguard has waned since the first OG
season, by how much I do not know exactly). Saving for the big fights is fine, but even
then, the fights were executed/animated/directed in such a way that tension or the
supposed excitement that was there was hardly holding up. It's an irony comparing
both the OG and V series: one series does better what the other does worse and vice
versa. There does not seem to be a balance. But... I really believe the director should
take most of the blame, but whoever did the screenwriting, scene transition, animation
and whatnot... Ugh, I don't even know what I am saying anymore. Just, I can imagine
in my head what I expected the scene to look like while watching. I don't have a
problem with the actual results, just how it was executed. Vanguard does not need
super flashy animation all the time, just consistency, and some slight sakuga on the
more intense moments. The G series up to Stride Gate was very consistent in my
opinion, it just wasn't as popular, to which I attribute it to missing the main OG
characters who I myself was more attached to, having had 4 seasons with them prior.
Now arguing about the better of those 4 OG seasons is another story, and already I
realize I am writing a ton of stuff... maybe I am just a bit passionate about Vanguard?
Well, also, it has been 6+ years since I watched the OG, so what I liked (or didn't like)
about it then might have changed now. I think I just feel Vanguard could still reach
that pinnacle of its potential, if only it had better... everything. The first few episodes,
especially the tutorial fight between Kai and Aichi, in the 2018 reboot were downright
amazing. Had the overall quality of that persisted throughout the entire series going
forward, Vanguard may just be worth watching even if you did not play the game. My
reason for watching initially was because I wanted to get back into the game after my
6+ hiatus. The anime just helps to hype it up even more, and the reboot was perfect.
If only it can remain consistent, with occasional bursts of grandeur and lavishness.
I know I went off on a slight tangent... but the last episode was fine. Throughout
the Vanguard Koshien, it was very mixed for me. Then again, I still suspect Vanguard
needs the right people to make it transcend and go beyond its current state, at least
with its anime.
Is it money, money, or money...? No... well, partly? But, I also believe
the right director, screenwriter, animators, ..., eh, I'll be quiet now. I don't think I am
in the position to really say anything. I don't know what really goes on behind the
scenes. Though I do know, anime can really help boost a franchise up, be it an original
or a manga adaptation. Even then, the anime has to be spectacular otherwise, it may
actually backfire and popularity will plateau or even wane into obscurity.
Anime can remain for years after its creation. Think old anime like Cowboy Bebop that
still get talked about among fellow anime enthusiasts. Anime is an investment to the
franchise's future. It will make it or break it.
I am still excited for the next Shinemon-arc though. I only wish good things for Vanguard's future.
125th ->> [12/14/19] Vinland Saga [12/31/19]
Well, thought we were gonna finish my 125th anime with another Vanguard anime, huh?
But, at the end of the year, this is much more fitting.
There's not much to say. Having read the manga, it was a long time coming before
Vinland Saga got its anime adaptation. Honestly, the wait was definitely worth it.
I can't wait for Wit Studio to adapt the next volumes. If going by the Kodansha double
volumes, 4 volumes have been adapted. There are currently eleven (11) volumes out
right now with the eleventh (11th) volume coming out just a couple weeks ago. Lots
of material, but I would not mind waiting. Anime should be a labor of love first.
Again, I would not mind waiting. Like how it took four (4) years for AoT 2nd season.
Well... as long as the quality is the same or better as this first season.
Vinland Saga. The story is just getting started. As is a new year.
Welcome, and Happy New Year 2020!
(P.S. For anime past 125th, I will just create a new section, as this "Old Musings" section has gotten pretty full.)
"There are way too many things to enjoy for well-off people to ever mutter the words "boredom". Too few hours in a day. Too few years in the average human life span. Not even a millennium can save our lack of time in this age of technology, this age of networking, this age of leisure.....your depression is such a waste. Such. A waste. Of time."