The Reflection: Drop or Watch Summer 2017 #2

refrectionimage505px I just watched the first episode of Stan Lee’s The Reflection, and boy was it ever interesting. This series is Stan Lee’s ninth time stepping into the world of anime production, and the second time he’s making a series not adapted from a Marvel comic. Lee co-created the series with DMC (Detroit Metal City) director Hiroshi Nagahama, who also did the character designs. The show is produced by Studio Deen (KonoSuba, Sakura Trick).

Well, I suppose first I shall talk about the art and animation. The art in this series is my favourite so far this season. I love the dark shadows and flat colouring on all the characters. The art really reminds me of David Aja’s pencils and Matt Hollingsworth’s colours on the 2012 Hawkeye comic book series, which had a fantastic minimalistic style. As much as I love the art, I must say the designs don’t animate great. The only time we get incredibly fluid animation within the first episode is when the characters are in silhouette. As well as this, there are a lot of frame skips in the series, which when used as a stylistic statement (the Baccano OP) I think looks great, but in this series, it appears to be more of a cost cutting measure.

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The first episode follows 3 different characters, Eleanor Evans, Exon, and Ian Izzet (although I have heard that later episodes have another main character). Elenor is a reporter (?) with the ability to teleport short distances. Exon is a guy in a Marvel Now Cyclopse costume who has the ability to copy other’s powers, and Ian Izzet is Ironman. None of the characters has any characterization in this episode as it mostly focused on fights. Here’s hoping the characters will stop being nonentities in the next episode.

The premise of the series is that after an event called The Reflection some of the population begin to gain superpowers. Then these people either become heroes or villains. The first episode had no story whatsoever and worked as more of a setup to the world episode. Really it just consisted of a bunch of hardly interconnected fight scenes between two different heroes and multiple different villains taking place in different places.

So after watching the first episode, I must say that I am greatly intrigued with this series. While the plot and characters weren’t great the animation and art are interesting enough for me to continue watching the show for at least one more episode. So to answer the question of which this series is a namesake, this is a watch (for now).

 

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Made In Abyss – Drop Or Watch Summer 2017 #1

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I wasn’t planning on finishing continuing this series after last season, but I just finished watching the first 4 episodes of Made in Abyss and I have a lot (relatively) to say. First, a preface: Made in Abyss is a Summer 2017 anime based on a monthly web manga created by Akihito Tsukushi. The series is being made by Kinema Citrus who made the amazing Is The Order A Rabbit?? and the equally spectacular Barakamon. The show is directed by Masayuki Kojima (Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai, Black Bullet).

So now that that preface is over with I suppose I shall begin my first impressions proper. The animation in this series is amazing. The art style really lends itself to fluid and dynamic motion. The art and animation for the monsters are different and rougher,  even to the point that they look like they’re out of a different series entirely. Which gives them a very unsettling feeling.

Made in Abyss has two main characters. Those being, Regu (the robot boy) and Riku (a normal human). From what we’ve seen so far, the characters appear to be pretty interesting Although I will admit at the beginning of the series I was slightly worried about the character of Regu as when he was introduced he had amnesia, which lead me to believe he was quite a blank slate. Luckily the series used an absolutely fantastic montage scene and when we come back down from this montage Regu has a personality and is a fully formed character, which I thought was absolutely genius. Riku is very much so a driven-shounen protagonist, except she’s a girl. That’s the only difference. But that’s fine as I enjoy the character archetype.Plot:

The series has a pretty simple premise. The two main characters live in a world where there is an island where a city of adventurers popped up because on an abyss there, which is filled with expensive artefacts which they sell to the outside world. Regu and Riku are both apprentices in abyss diving at an orphanage. After Riku’s mom’s possessions are found at the bottom of a letter Regu decides to help Riku get to the bottom of the abyss and find her mother. This idea of an abyss makes me incredibly intrigued and I’m just dying to know more about what secrets it holds.

In the end, after watching these four amazing episodes I have decided that no, I will not be dropping this series, I’ll watch it all the way through and hopefully have a great time doing it.

 

 

My Favourite Anime OP- Anime Questions

So remember when I was doing the 30-day anime challenge then quit? Well, I’m doing it again. But not properly. You see, in this new series “Anime Questions” I will answer questions no one asked about me as an anime fan. This series will be written en-masse then released weekly (so I actually have content coming out).

If you’ve read my last post you probably already know that K-ON!! is my favorite anime of all time. But, not only is K-ON!! my favorite anime it also gave me what I consider to be the greatest anime opening of all time. The opening in question is the first OP of the second season, “GO! GO! MANIAC!” by the band Ho-Kago Tea Time. GO! GO! MANIAC! is quite strange for a Ho-Kago Tea Time song as they normally have more of a pop-punk edge whereas this song has more of a J-pop influence.

When it comes to this OP I don’t just love the song, I also love the animation. This entire OP is animated incredibly well, which is to be expected since the series is created by Kyoto Ani. The CGI in the op is done quite well and blends great with the 2d backgrounds. Getting back to the song, the vocals provided by Yui (the character from the show, not the singer) are absolutely spectacular, and all of the instrumentals are done incredibly well. I just realized that I have absolutely nothing else to say about this OP (I’m no Mother’s Basement) so I’ll be signing off here. See you in the next one.

K-On! And Preconceptions.

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K-on is one of my favourite anime series of all time. It features my favourite characters, favourite music, and favourite setting in an anime. But my opinions after watching the series aren’t what I want to talk about on this day. What I shall be discussing today is how K-On beat the preconceptions of many who watched it. At least, those who watched it the whole way through.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from K-ON and really as far as I can tell, neither was the rest of the anime community at the time. To me, it just felt like Kyoto Animation wasting their time instead of making Haruhi season 2. Then it was released. And the first episode was actually kind of mediocre. It wasn’t great, yet at the same time, it wasn’t bad. It just kind of felt like another entry in the slew of mediocrity that was (and still is) most of the moe genre.

But then episodes two came around and, something happened. I saw a character who started out with absolutely not motivation in the first episode, gain the want for something, a guitar. She wants this guitar so she can be more to the Light Music Club than just someone who sits around and wastes time while they practice (and also do their fair share of sitting around wasting time). In fact, she goes so far as to get her first part-time job, just to get this guitar. This blew me away when I first saw it, “Character development? In a moe show? This is incredible!” is what I’m sure I was thinking at the time.

from then on in my perception of this series as merely a fanservice, only for males shows was cracked. But it truly shattered when I discovered something amazing. The majority of the people who watched K-ON in Japan were females. Highschool aged females. As soon as I heard this I began to question it. There was no way this could be true> But the farther down the rabbit hole I went, the more pictures I saw of girls with K-ON key chains and the like, the ticket sales for the movie, as well as other anime directors opinions on the series made me realize: there really is something more to K-ON.

These thoughts on the series were expanded so much more when I finally saw season 2 and the movie. Season 2 is where most of the development of the series takes place, and it has a much clearer season arc (although S1 did have an arc) which was: enjoy the last year of us as Hokago Tea Time (the name of their band). Characters backgrounds, relationships and demeanour were expanded on so much, as well as what their home lives were like. Thes series did everything it could to be the best anime it could be. Not just the best moe it could be and that is what truly shattered my preconceptions of K-ON.

How Censorship Irreversibley Changed Lupin III.

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You’ve probably heard of Lupin III, it’s a giant anime franchise that is popular in many countries around the world (most notably outside of Japan, Italy). The series has been touched by masters of animation such as Hayao Miyazaki, has six different main series manga and, has around 49 different anime adaptations. But did you know that the Lupin we know today is not the Lupin from the original manga?

Back in 1967 the first chapter of the underground manga series Lupin Sansei was released. It featured incredibly risque, scummy characters and an incredibly, let us say, rapey version of Arsene Lupin III. Throughout this series, Lupin forced himself constantly onto different women (weirdly all named Fujiko). Goemon was a rough and tumble depressed man, Zenigata was a man who had not morals and enjoyed seeing Lupin experience extreme pain,  and Goemon was just a total dick.

Once the series had gained enough steam it gained a 23 episode anime adaptation in 1971. In first few episodes and the pilot film, the characters were very much so as they were in the manga. But the production company (Tokyo Movie Shinsha) had problems with the fact that the characters were such awful people. Because of this, they asked the original director (Isao Takahata) to make severe alterations to the characters in the series, making them more family friendly. After Isao Takahata refused he left the series, causing Hayao Miyazaki and Masaaki Oosumi to take over as head directors.

After this change, Hayao made the change he wanted to, making the character of Lupin into more of a heroic, gentleman thief. Instead of a sleazy rapist/thief combo. This change didn’t just encompass Arsene Lupin III though, it also included Jigen and really every other character in the show. Jigen became downright happy, Goemon became a friend of Lupin and Zenigata gained morality. Hopefully this gave you a bit more knowledge and incite into my favourite anime franchise of all time. I’ll see you in the next one.

The Anime Chronicles Part 2: Tetsuwan Atom (Astro Boy)

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Prologue:

In the beginning of anime, there were four studios, Toei Animation (1948), Tatsunoko Pro (1962) and Mushi Productions (1961), and Otogi Pro (1955). This prologue will cover the era of anime up until we arrive at our main topic, today Astro Boy. When it comes to Toei many people believe that their first work was Hakujaden, but it was, in fact, a black and white 13-minute animation called Koneko no Rakugaki over the next seven years before Astro boy Toei Animation released ten animated films, including Saiyuuki (based on the book Journey to the West which eventually inspired the first arc of Dragonball), Arabian Knights: Sinbad no Bouken, and Wanpaku Ouji no Orochi Taiji.

Tatsunoko Productions Uchuu Ace in the same year as Astro Boy. Although they are cited as having been founded 1962 (a full year before Astro Boy). Mushi Productions produced exactly two animated films before Astro Boy, these being Osu and Aru Machi Kado Monogatari. Otogi Pro, on the other hand, is credited for multiple long running projects before the release of Astro Boy. These include the first ever Japanese animated television series (Instant History) which ran for over 1274 episodes.

Chapter One: Astro Boy:

In 1963 Japan released what is considered to be the first popular and recognizable piece of animated television to come out of the country. This series was Tetsuwan Atom or Astro Boy. This series defined a generation of aspiring animators such as the film genius Hayao Miyazaki and Dragonball creator Akira Toriyama. Astro boy also influenced the current style of anime in japan (it popularized the large-eyed aesthetic seen in most current anime).

The series was based on a manga created by Osamu Tezuka (other manga include Black Jack and Princess Knight) who also directed the anime. This series was the beginning for Mushi Productions on television, although previously they had created two films (see Prologue). This was a production studio helmed by the aforementioned Osamu Tezuka. This studio and Toei had a very public rivalry as Osamu Tezuka was once employed by that very studio.

Unlike many American animations such as Snow White, and the Micky Mouse theatrical shorts Astro Boy was not animated on ones. It was animated on threes, which was a cost cutting measure, allowing Mushi Pro to create more episodes, at a faster rate for less money. This decision is something that in later years would frustrate the owner of the Mushi Pro/ Topcraft off-shoot Studio Ghibli, Hayo Miyazaki (who wanted anime to go the course of Disney when it comes to flow). This was the beginning of the anime industry. See you in part 3

END CHAPTER 1

Boku no Hero Academia Season 2 Episode 14 (First Reaction)

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Last year in the spring season an incredible show was released. This was one of the few new shounen series to really focus on the characters and their journey, not subverting shounen tropes (I.e. One Punch Man). This series was entitled Boku no Hero Academia, or as it’s known by most people, My Hero Academia. This season just under one year later the first episode of the second season was released.

I was HYPED for this new season of one of my favorite shows of last year. But oh boy, was this first episode a disappointment. the first ten minutes of this episode was expositional recap. But they were so incredibly lazy with it that they didn’t even make new animation cuts for this exposition. No, it was a One Piece style recap, way too long, and REALLY BORING. Although this section did have an important reveal. What appears to be the real name of All-Might (I don’t remember it right now).

The second half of the episode consisted of weird, fast-paced jokes and was almost consistently was set in one classroom. Eventually, they left and All Might told Izuku about a FUCKING SPORTS TOURNAMENT! Now back when I thought it was a battle tournament I was excited about that but know that I know what it really is, I’m not that excited anymore. Of course, I’m hoping that the writing still shines but I don’t know. Now that I’m guessing it’ll be more focused on the fights and the powers, not the characters.

Overall, the art is still just as spectacular and the writing is… fine. Even if most of it was summarizing the past season. I’m not going to be dropping yet it but if it stays at this quality consistently I’m going to be jumping ship. Well if you enjoyed this post please check out some of my other posts and if you have any comments or criticism leave it in the comments. I’ll see you in the next one.

The Anime Chronicles: Part 1 An Introduction

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Hello, I’m Zainou. Welcome to a brand new series here on The Some Guy Doesn’t Care Blog. In this series, I will be chronicling the entire history of the anime industry and community. All the while recommending shows from every year along the way.

This series will be set up by year starting in 1963 and earlier in the first post, followed by every 5 years in every subsequent post. Although there will be spin off posts going into more depth about whatever topics I believe need a longer and more precise analysis.

Now don’t worry this series (for the immediate future) WILL NOT interrupt the average work flow for my blog (which is like once a month). Well I can’t think of anything else to include in this intro to my new series so, I hope you’ll stick around and see this journey to completion.

Hidamari Sketch Review

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Hidamari Sketch is, for lack of a better word, stylish. This show is just seeping with style from its core.But being a Shaft show, of course, that would be the case. But don’t let that intro trick you, Hidamari Sketch not only is full of style but also full of substance! The premise of this series centers around four girls living in the Hidamari Apartment building while attending an Art School just across the street. I know it’s a pretty simple premise but a lot of fun comes out of it.

Hidamari Sketch has some of the most likable characters of any anime I have ever seen. The four main girls in the series are probably the best characters (other than the principle). These four girls being Sae, Miyako, Yuno, and Hiro. I’ll start with Sae because she’s my favorite. She is a 16-year-old upper classman to Yuno and Miyako, as well as an established author. She is a workaholic, who is always up to the wire on finishing the chapters of her novel, through this she has a lot of really funny moments and her relationship with Hiro is amazing to watch. Hiro is 16-year-old and is Sae’s best friend and (possibly), girlfriend.She is obsessed with her weight and is on a different diet in every episode of the show. She is a constant supporter of Sae and is the one who helps her through her writing problems.

Miyako is a 15-year-old classmate to Yuno (the main character). She is an incredibly poor student who came from a family where they couldn’t afford much (hence why she lives in a completely run-down apartment). She has a really eccentric personality and is very silly always making a fool of herself. She is great at impressions as we see when she try to impersonate the principle. Yuno (or Yunocchi) is the main character of Hidamari Sketch. She is a 15-year-old playful girl who loves to have fun. She wishes to one day be a great artist and loves to be around her friends. She considers herself to be a painter and sculptor more than anything else.

The shows animation is really spectacular and is incredibly experimental. They will randomly use clipart in the place of food and have one of the most unique  Super Deformed styles (when they use it). They use harsh shading and incredibly sudden palette swaps to give it a very eerie feel, that I’m a big fan of. This (as far as I know) is because of the directorial work of Akiyuki Shinbou. Shinbou is a director who has an incredibly unique visual style, he once said that he dos what he does so the audience will have a good time visually, and holy hell does this deliver. The backgrounds are very isometric, and the character designs are so unique and absolutely spectacular.

I was incredibly surprised that I wasn’t bored during this show because I hardly ever complete these 4-girls shows. The comedy is frantic and incredibly funny, and the writing is never less than interesting. I love this show and the reason why I love this show is because you get to experience the conversations of friends. Conversations between friends are one of the most amazing things to witness, with all the weird places they can go, and Hidamari Sketch exemplifies it.

Final Rating 10/10

 

 

Lupin III (2015) Review.

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I’m a huge Lupin III fan having consumed most of the franchise (other than part III) and am one of the few people to have gone through the trouble of tracking down the Tokyo Pop volumes of the manga. As such when I heard that there would be a new Lupin anime I was absolutely ecstatic… and I didn’t watch it until two years later.

Like always Lupin has a new jacket color, this time he is donning the color blue. Up until watching this series I never really though that any of the jackets worked well other than green. The red looked kind of weird and the pink was an absolute monstrosity, but the blue really fits.

All of your favorite Lupin characters have returned for this series. Like always Zenigata is absolutely hilarious, but we also get a taste of the rarely seen serious Zenigata, which is always amazing (although it was only in one episode). Lupin is just as great as ever, chasing Fujiko and stealing treasure. But this time Lupin also takes up more of a hero role than he has in the previous series with him taking down an “evil” team rocket esque organization and a clone of Leonardo Davinci.

Goemon is in this series a little less than normal which is kind of unfortunate, but whenever he appears is an absolute joy. Fujiko is here again and like always is being a total dick to Lupin. Jiggen takes a bigger role in the series as a whole yet he is unfortunately overshadowed by a brand new character. This character is Rebecca, Lupin’s wife. yes you heard me right Lupin has a wife now, well kind of, she never handed in the documentation to the judge.She takes a front seat in the series, having multiple arcs and episodes devoted to her, but she feels like a rehash of Fujiko, as she is also a rival thief. It seems like she’s going to become a part of the normal cast so I hope she gets expanded on in the future.

This is by far the best looking, and the best-animated thing in the Lupin III franchise, other than the film “Castle of Cagliostro”. Like most Lupin III series most of the animation is focused on subtle character movements with small spurts of sakuga that look ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, such as the Nix fight in the second half. There are a few episodes where the animation suffers, but the show overall flows beautifully.

Lupin III (2015) is beautiful to look at. It has a rough sketchy style which makes the sakuga moments look even better. The back round looks hand painted (I’m not sure if it is) and that makes it look absolutely amazing. The series is completely seeping with that classic Lupin III style and combines it with the sketchiness of The Woman Called Fujiko Mine making it look so distinct and stand out.

The story in Lupin III (2015) is incredibly basic, or at least the story throughout most of the series is. The show has two major two episode arcs, those being the DaVinci arc and the MI6 arc. The MI6 arc is by far the better of the two, with it making a bit more sense than the DaVinci arc but it’s still pretty weird. The best episodes of the show are by far the one-offs, which luckily take up most of it. these episodes follow the normal Lupin formula but that formula and the characters are the reason why people love Lupin III.

Overall Score= 9.74/10