BoltProspects Community Forums  

Go Back   BoltProspects Community Forums > Miscellaneous > The Room

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #91  
Old 01-26-2020, 11:15 AM
Hoek's Avatar
Hoek Hoek is online now
Steven Stamkos' One Timer
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 17,172
Default

Some more quick thoughts on the KyoAni works I've seen over the past few months... Beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel as there's only a few more left to see!

Tsurune - This show is a sports drama about kyudo (Japanese archery) but it's a lot more low key than Free! That makes it a little slow at first but I found myself getting more and more drawn to the characters as it went on. The main character Minato is very relatable as he struggles with "target panic" that started during his middle school career. Along the way he meets a new coach who is probably one of my favorite teacher/father figures in all of anime. The finale of the show is just absolutely breathtaking and all sorts of emotions swelled up while watching it. Everything about the portrayal of the sport is just so accurate and makes it even more compelling. Sound direction in general was outstanding too and a key part of the show.

Nichijou - This is a pretty silly comedy sketch style show, and yet KyoAni spared no amount of resources animating it, which just makes it even more absurd. It really is a one of a kind experience, even if some of the humor is kind of niche or Japanese-centric. Still I couldn't stop laughing during some of the better parts while going WTF at others. I see why it is a cult classic now. Mai is one of the biggest troll characters I've ever seen.

Munto - Originally released as an OVA in 2003, but I went ahead and watched the 2009 TV version, which includes the original material plus some new stuff. The animation aged a lot better than I expected as there are a lot of visually appealing moments in the magical battles, but the story is a bit confusing and more conceptual than anything else. A huge war is waged in the heavens over a dwindling resource of magic, while a girl on Earth can restore the flow of it. Yoshiji Kigami, who was KyoAni's oldest animator and kind of one of their founding fathers, was responsible for this one and you can see a lot of his influence on their later works in it.

Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu - The first season of Full Metal Panic! is pretty good anime in its own right, but it was done by Gonzo, not KyoAni. FMP is a fun and interesting combination of slice of life and mecha, with Fumoffu being a side story focused on the slice of life part. Sousuke is a mercenary charged with protecting a high school girl who is an important asset, so of course he goes undercover and enrolls as a student. He has trouble not seeing any and everything as a threat to her, so hilarity ensues. This is Yasuhiro Takemoto's directorial debut and he does a great job of showing his comedic chops here, showing us a different side to all the characters you get to know in the original show. Anyway I laughed a lot during this one.

Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid - This is the real sequel to the first season of FMP, and it surpasses it in every regard. It makes me wish KyoAni did another mecha or sci-fi, because it's so well done. Not many shows can make you laugh one moment, cry the next, and then cheer on some incredible action scenes, but this one certainly did for me. Takemoto's versatility was in full display and it was a portent of things to come in the future, having later been the director of such varied works as Hyouka, Dragon Maid, and High Speed (and highlights what a huge loss he is as well, unfortunately).

Air - Early on in their run, KyoAni adapted several visual novels by a studio called Key. This is the first of them. I'm usually not crazy about VN adaptations as they tend to be a mess, and Air is no exception to that in a way, but it manages to hold it together better than most. If you're into magical realism and the like, it's a show for you. If not you'll probably find it really weird. Overall it's one of those outsider comes into town and delves into their mysteries and solves problems for them type stories. A couple of the arcs were particularly well executed and got me teared up, and it's a very sad/bittersweet story overall.

Next up for me is a smash-hit series: Haruhi, which I have already seen a great deal of but have forgotten somewhat, so I'm interested to see how I feel about it this time.

Last edited by Hoek; 01-26-2020 at 11:18 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #92  
Old 04-04-2020, 09:21 AM
Hoek's Avatar
Hoek Hoek is online now
Steven Stamkos' One Timer
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 17,172
Default

I really meant to get back to this sooner, but better late than never! I'm sure some of you are looking for stuff to watch as those Netflix backlogs dwindle. Here's some reviews of KyoAni stuff I've watched lately. Then I'll move on to reviewing this past Winter season that just wrapped up.

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya [Funimation] - This is the first series that really put Kyoto Animation on the map for most people, and it's easy to see why as it's a quirky, funny show with memeable moments and plenty points of discussion. What would happen if god turned out to be a moody and demanding high school girl who wishes aliens, time travelers, and espers were real, unwittingly creating and attracting them to her without realizing it? You get Haruhi Suzumiya, of course. Our unassuming main character, Kyon, gets unwittingly dragged into her madness by being the first one to really speak to this intimidating transfer student. Unlike most non-descript self-insert style MCs though, Kyon really carries the show with his amusing self-monologues and observations, basically speaking for all of us. He also develops nicely in the second season and the movie. Speaking of that second season, it's pretty controversial for its Endless Eight arc, a series where consecutive episodes repeat the same events with slight tweaks each time (I won't get into why). I can't imagine what it was like to tune in each week only to see basically the same thing again and again for 2 months, lol. Very artistically courageous move by KyoAni that still incites a lot of debate and rancor to this day. Coming back to it later and able to binge the whole thing over a couple days, I have to say it wasn't really THAT bad and really helped set the stage for what happens after, particularly in the follow up film, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, a fantastic work in its own right and one of the longest anime movies out there. Anyway, this series is probably not for the anime novices out there, but I highly recommend it as a must watch for any serious otaku.

Kanon [Funimation] - Another one of the visual novels by Key that KyoAni adapted (the 2006 one that is, it was adapted before by Toei in 2002). This one has a much better and more coherent story than Air, IMO. It definitely got me to cry a couple times! It's about a high school boy who returns to a small town in Northern Japan that he used to visit every summer when he was younger. However, he doesn't really remember much of what happened back then, only gradually regaining his memories again from the girls he meets and helps along the way. I really got attached to all the girls as they all have such touching backstories. It's not often a VN adaptation has the arcs flow together so smoothly, too. Despite all the sad revelations and crazy magical phenomenon going on, I found watching this show with its persistently snow-covered ambiance quite soothing to watch. It also had just the right amount of comedy to liven things up when needed!

Lucky Star [Funimation] - This one's pure comedy and episodic at that. A mix between Seinfeld-esque observations about society and personal behaviors and some humor you have to be fairly deep into the anime fandom and Japanese pop culture to get, like the episode centered around a trip to Comiket (think San Diego Comic Con but for anime, and also mostly centered on fan-created works), or the ending sequences which feature karaoke of old anime and folk songs. Anyway I found it really hilarious! Overall I think the humor is easier to grasp than Nichijou's at least. I also love all the references to previous KyoAni works sprinkled throughout the show, primarily Haruhi and Full Metal Panic. The show was also one of the first ones to inspire pilgrimages to the town were it's set, which gives you an idea of how popular it was at the time.

Violet Evergarden I: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll [Netflix] - I actually saw this movie in the theater a couple months ago, but it's on Netflix now! I highly recommend it. An absolutely gorgeous film visually, and a great continuation of the series (watch it first if you haven't) as far as being able to see Violet continue to develop as a person as she helps war orphans reconnect after their separation. Great directorial debut for Haruka Fujita, proving the future of the studio is in good hands.

Sound! Euphonium the Movie: Oath's Finale - This one isn't officially out in North America yet (though it showed in theaters here last summer), but I downloaded a fan translated version. This movie covers the main character Kumiko Oumae's second year of high school. I definitely enjoyed it a lot as a fan of the series and watching everyone grow up and take on more responsibility while bringing the new first year students up to speed was fulfilling, but 2 hours of run time just didn't feel like enough to cover everything and left things a bit rushed. The story also ends on a bittersweet note that just leaves you wanting more. Hopefully the project they announced for Kumiko's third and final year turns out to be a series or a longer film or two films so they can give it the full treatment it deserves next time.

All I have left in my KyoAni backlog now is Clannad, which is on Netflix. I've heard very good things about it, but also that it is really sad. I'm not sure now is the right time to watch it considering but I will give it a shot.

Last edited by Hoek; 04-04-2020 at 10:13 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #93  
Old 04-05-2020, 10:10 AM
Hoek's Avatar
Hoek Hoek is online now
Steven Stamkos' One Timer
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 17,172
Default

What I watched in Winter 2020

Continuing shows: My Hero Academia, Isekai Quartet

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! [Crunchyroll] - This one is my Anime of the Season! A trio of high school kids get together and start a club to create anime (but they dub it a film club, or "eizouken" to get around school restrictions as an anime club already exists). It's right up there with Shirobako as far as meta anime, or anime about making anime, goes. While Shirobako focused more on the reality of the modern anime studio, Eizouken is more about the joy of the creative process. The one exception to that is my personal favorite club member, Kanamori, who focuses more on the money and promotion end of their efforts, doing a great job of showing how important those things are as well. Done by the same studio as Devilman Crybaby and Night is Short, Walk on Girl, the animation is phenomenal and lively as well. I learned a fair bit while being entertained. My only qualm about it is I felt the show lost some steam near the end as it kind of rehashes what they already did but with a bigger project.

Somali and the Forest Spirit [Crunchyroll] - Another fantastic show. What if The Mandalorian was an anime and fantasy instead of sci-fi? Well you get this. The world building is really well done, the backgrounds are gorgeous, and Somali can't help but make you smile even if she's a bit of brat at times. It does a good job of getting to the heart of what it means to be a parent.

BOFURI: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense [Funimation] - I was surprised by how much I ended up loving this anime. Yeah it's your typical RPG world anime (though not actually isekai), but the whole thing is so charming. Most of the fun comes from watching the main character, Maple, stumble her way into unlocking all sorts of overpowered powered abilities just by virtue of not playing the game like most people would. The animation is seriously good, particularly during the boss battles, and all the characters have great designs and personalities. Nothing deep but watching week to week never disappointed!

Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It [Crunchyroll] - Funniest show of the season for me. Two data scientists fall in love with each other, but aren't sure or don't want to admit it so they resolve to trying to prove it scientifically in various ways like measuring heart rate, quantifying mood, etc. Some shades of Big Bang Theory in this one, but they actually take time to explain scientific concepts in amusing ways so you'll learn a bit, too! As a former science major I could relate to it a lot. The story also ends on a pretty touching note considering the genre. Credits song is catchy as hell and got stuck in my head a lot after watching.

Asteroid in Love [Crunchyroll] - Another typical slice of life show, focused on an Earth Sciences (Astronomy and Geology) club. I actually learned a fair bit of science from this. Very relaxing to watch and relationships between all the characters are wonderful. Reminds me a lot of Yuru Camp, which got a series of 3 minute shorts this season called Heya Camp, so brief it's not really worth mentioning beyond this, lol.

Toilet-bound Hanako-kun [Funimation] - Not as gross as it sounds. The title is a reference to one of the "Seven School Wonders" of the high school it takes place in. I'm not sure how prevalent these rumors/haunted stories really are in actual Japanese high schools, but they come up often enough in anime to be considered a cultural phenomenon I guess. This anime turns these apparitions into actual protagonists in an interesting manner, and the main character gets drawn into their conflict when she attempts to summon one of them for better luck in her love life. I love the art style of this one as it's so bold while keeping it cute. The way the story unfolds leads to more questions than answers though and most of the fights seem to resolve the same way, that's my only complaint about it.

22/7 [Funimation] - An idol anime. Not much else to say. I picked it up mostly because one the character designers for this also worked on K-On! and Tamako Market for Kyoto Animation so I found them very appealing. That said, one thing I really appreciated in this show was the background stories of each of the idols. Some of them really tugged on the heartstrings and gave it more of a mature take on the genre (that is if you ignore the weird aspect of a mysterious wall giving them orders instead of an actual producer). Oh yeah the music was pretty good, too.

Seton Academy: Join the Pack! [Crunchyroll] - If you enjoyed Zootopia for the humor (specifically stuff like the sloth scene in the DMV), this anime might be for you. It's a high school comedy that got a lot of laughs out of me for portraying the quirks of various animal species in anthropomorphic form.

Nekopara [Funimation] - A show about catgirls. I like catgirls. What can I say? Surprisingly tame show given it's based on a pervy game, but still has its points of fan service. Pretty funny at times as well!

Last edited by Hoek; 04-05-2020 at 11:40 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:36 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2005-2008, BoltProspects.com. All Rights Reserved.