The last thing we watched, cartoon/animu edition

TheMysteriousGX

Elite Member
Legacy
Sep 16, 2014
8,379
6,895
118
Country
United States
Gundams show aren't exactly good, they're good by the woeful standard of mech show, but that's a very low bar to clear. I like seed more than most gundam simply because there's more of a reason for why the main character is hyper competent (rather than the usual space wizard newtype BS) and the story actually deal with that aspect, which also explain why the space colony can even keep up with earth in a war. But otherwise its another gundam show that has about 10-15 episodes too many and introduce pointless sideplot/character that it could do without. SEED destiny is absolutely awful though, one of the worst of the worst.
I think we get fundamentally different things out of the shows we watch, so I'd be interested to know what you think works well. Because I'm 40 episodes in and I think the only neat things so far is the subversion abound Kira's sibling and one potentially clever criticism of transhumanist eugenics. Which is marred by both factions being cartoonishly evil with zero redeeming qualities or ethos
 

Bob_McMillan

Elite Member
Aug 28, 2014
5,218
1,892
118
Country
Philippines
Yeh, season two best episodes explore the "good soldiers follow orders" adage from different angles, and it is some good stuff. Imo some of the best Disney has done with Star Wars, up there with the final episodes of Clone Wars season 7 and early Mandalorian, tho not Andor level.
I think anything to do with Crosshair in Season 2 is approaching Andor level. In fact, I'd say the last Crosshair episode is Andor level.

That's not to say there aren't great moments with the rest of the Batch. There were some surprisingly emotional scenes.

If there's one thing the show as a whole is lacking, it's exploring the Bad Batch's relationship with regs and the idea of being clones. That seemed like such an obvious slam dunk, but they seem to go out of their way to show that the Batch don't seem to care much.
 

Chimpzy

Simian Abomination
Legacy
Escapist +
Apr 3, 2020
12,371
8,657
118
I think anything to do with Crosshair in Season 2 is approaching Andor level. In fact, I'd say the last Crosshair episode is Andor level.
Yes, that's what I meant, tho it's kind of spoiler territory, so avoided specifically mentioning him.
If there's one thing the show as a whole is lacking, it's exploring the Bad Batch's relationship with regs and the idea of being clones. That seemed like such an obvious slam dunk, but they seem to go out of their way to show that the Batch don't seem to care much.
True, tho I do like the Empire phasing out the clones and replacing them with conscripts deal it has going, and the regular clones dealing with that. That's already resulted in some good drama, and that well is far from dry.
 

meiam

Elite Member
Dec 9, 2010
3,408
1,703
118
I think we get fundamentally different things out of the shows we watch, so I'd be interested to know what you think works well. Because I'm 40 episodes in and I think the only neat things so far is the subversion abound Kira's sibling and one potentially clever criticism of transhumanist eugenics. Which is marred by both factions being cartoonishly evil with zero redeeming qualities or ethos
I don't think I would say anything work well, its just not a dumbster fire like most gundam story.

I'd say I like that genetic mutation is portrayed as immensely good when most story have a very strong technology = evil. And I like that it impact the story, think of story like captain america where they develop super serum and that's it, it doesn't change society in the least. Here there's large scale consequence which inform the geopolitical situation in a way that's somewhat realistic. This is also reflected in the small scale, with Kira having a hard time getting along with some character because he has genetic mutation that make him clearly cut superior to others. Most gundam show also have this, like Amuro being a newtype, but its never really brought up and rarely cause any kind of friction. I also like that while he's far better than regular human at some things, he's also not particularly good at others and his naive idealism isn't really shown to be always correct (although that could just be my interpretation).

But most aspect I find don't really work, the Kira/Athrun thing never did anything for me and I think should have been cut altogether. Same for the pop singer chick. I would have liked if Orb (the sorta 3rd country) was more developed (some of the side story do develop it more, but its kinda ridiculous and doesn't really work so maybe its good they never did). I think Mu (or w/e his name was) is more interesting as a character and would have prefer the show focus on him or be more of an assemble cast. The action in the show can be pretty good, but they constantly re use the same few shoots, so I would have preferred less battle but better animation. The mech design are good for the most part, but the phase shift gimmick never really served a purpose and I suspect just exist to justify selling more kits.
 

TheMysteriousGX

Elite Member
Legacy
Sep 16, 2014
8,379
6,895
118
Country
United States
Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury episode 18: Our Empty Selves. Lotta fun stuff in this episode: a new Gundam revealed, children being woefully out of their depth, chatgpt running a mega-corporation, AI Catholicism, the second ever instance of somebody attending class, good times.

IMG_2779.jpeg

In other Gundam related watches:
The ending to Gundam SEED elevated the show from merely bad to actively infuriating. Maybe someday I'll rant about it at length. Started ZZ Gundam, who's prologue episode is a clip show running through 0079 and Zeta Gundam, which my roommate and I had to pause every two minutes because it reminded us why we liked those shows and how SEED tried aping those shows as failed dramatically. Definitely sillier in its first few episodes, but it's a fun stupid. I like how Captain Bright keeps having New Kid pilot the Zeta Gundam because veteran pilot Fa has zero chill and would severely damage the colony they're in if she tried to fight. The consequences of having to go all out all the time in an actual war, then having the new suit be dramatically more powerful The actual reason is Because We Can't Have a Female MC, but let me cope. It's a fun dynamic. Fa also has a hard time because she never had to pilot anywhere with gravity, which is a neat consideration.

SD Gundam World Heroes is a fun kid's show.

In non-Gundam watches, finally got the Dragonball Super: Super Hero movie on Blu-ray. Is it just me or do movies have a different pacing the second time you see them? Still a fun romp, more time off-world than I remember, kinda want to show this movie to someone who hasn't watched any Dragonball and pick their brains.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BrawlMan

Drathnoxis

Became a mass murderer for your sake
Legacy
Sep 23, 2010
5,508
1,951
118
Just off-screen
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Finished the first season of Made in Abyss, and I have to say it's really good! The premise is really great, exploring an impossibly deep magical mystery hole filled with dangerous creatures and ancient treasure just can't not be good. The only problem is that the timescale since it's discovery (1900 years) strains my credulity. The monster design is excellent as well. The characters are also really good. They are all really endearing, especially Reg who, being a robot, acts with more naivete and emotion than anyone else. It's adorable seeing him get scared by being told a ghost story despite the fact that he has a disintegration cannon mounted on his arm. Nanachi, despite only being introduced in the last 4 episode has already received a huge amount of development and is quickly becoming my favorite character. Best of all, we haven't had any misunderstanding based character drama! Even when the characters conflict (like Nat and Riko near the start) it's handled in a believable way. And the characters being so likeable works fantastic for the show, because it means you really care when horrible stuff happens to them, which it does because that is what happens when a normal human child descends into a den of monsters. The scene where Reg desperately attempts to amputate Riko's arm, sobbing and making a horrible mess because he doesn't have any idea what he's doing was one of the hardest to watch scene's I've ever seen in an anime. And I'll admit, I cried during the season finale when Reg incinerated Mitty, It was an arc told in just a couple episodes, but it worked so well.

My main problem with the show is that it's just moving too fast. By the end of the 13 episodes of season 1 we've already crossed 4/7 layers of the Abyss. It's a real shame because the Abyss seems like a really interesting place, and it would have been great to explore it in a bit more detail. I get that Riko wants to reach the bottom as soon as possible, but I want to explore and see some treasure!
 

Piscian

Elite Member
Apr 28, 2020
1,730
1,785
118
Country
United States
Lately Im somewhat hooked on a romantic teen comedy called "kubo won't let me be invisible". These things really aren't my flavor. I can name maybe 3 in the last 30 years Ive enjoyed.

The premise is that a girl has formed a massive crush on a guy at school and does everything in her power to get close to him. The guy on the other hand has a bit of cursed luck in that hes just one of those forgettable people who doesn't stand out, to the point that he jokes automatically doors don't even notice him sometimes.

What I like about this show is that neither character is a meme, a trope, gross, or shitty like rent-a-girlfriend, tomo-chan or the like.

The show doesn't go over the top or silly. Instead the dialog is surprisingly empathetic and well written. This "feels" like someone wrote about a teen romance they had and seems aimed at a mature audience. I found myself on a occasion thinking "Yeah I know this person feels. totally been there."

Highly recommend if youre looking for something more quiet and contemplative, lacking all the noise typical of these highschool comedies.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BrawlMan

meiam

Elite Member
Dec 9, 2010
3,408
1,703
118
Lately Im somewhat hooked on a romantic teen comedy called "kubo won't let me be invisible". These things really aren't my flavor. I can name maybe 3 in the last 30 years Ive enjoyed.

The premise is that a girl has formed a massive crush on a guy at school and does everything in her power to get close to him. The guy on the other hand has a bit of cursed luck in that hes just one of those forgettable people who doesn't stand out, to the point that he jokes automatically doors don't even notice him sometimes.

What I like about this show is that neither character is a meme, a trope, gross, or shitty like rent-a-girlfriend, tomo-chan or the like.

The show doesn't go over the top or silly. Instead the dialog is surprisingly empathetic and well written. This "feels" like someone wrote about a teen romance they had and seems aimed at a mature audience. I found myself on a occasion thinking "Yeah I know this person feels. totally been there."

Highly recommend if youre looking for something more quiet and contemplative, lacking all the noise typical of these highschool comedies.
There's been a lot of anime with more or less this premise lately, its a new sub genre of the manic pixie girl with a stronger focus on the girl teasing the forgettable protagonist, if you want more there's Teasing Master Takagi-san, Don't Toy with Me Miss Nagatoro, The Dangers in My Heart and so on.

Finished the first season of Made in Abyss, and I have to say it's really good! The premise is really great, exploring an impossibly deep magical mystery hole filled with dangerous creatures and ancient treasure just can't not be good. The only problem is that the timescale since it's discovery (1900 years) strains my credulity. The monster design is excellent as well. The characters are also really good. They are all really endearing, especially Reg who, being a robot, acts with more naivete and emotion than anyone else. It's adorable seeing him get scared by being told a ghost story despite the fact that he has a disintegration cannon mounted on his arm. Nanachi, despite only being introduced in the last 4 episode has already received a huge amount of development and is quickly becoming my favorite character. Best of all, we haven't had any misunderstanding based character drama! Even when the characters conflict (like Nat and Riko near the start) it's handled in a believable way. And the characters being so likeable works fantastic for the show, because it means you really care when horrible stuff happens to them, which it does because that is what happens when a normal human child descends into a den of monsters. The scene where Reg desperately attempts to amputate Riko's arm, sobbing and making a horrible mess because he doesn't have any idea what he's doing was one of the hardest to watch scene's I've ever seen in an anime. And I'll admit, I cried during the season finale when Reg incinerated Mitty, It was an arc told in just a couple episodes, but it worked so well.

My main problem with the show is that it's just moving too fast. By the end of the 13 episodes of season 1 we've already crossed 4/7 layers of the Abyss. It's a real shame because the Abyss seems like a really interesting place, and it would have been great to explore it in a bit more detail. I get that Riko wants to reach the bottom as soon as possible, but I want to explore and see some treasure!
The pacing is weird but from what I understand that's from the source, apparently one of the layer (third I think) was almost entirely anime original. From what I understand things slow down considerably with teh movie and S2, but there's far less of a focus on exploring.
 

Piscian

Elite Member
Apr 28, 2020
1,730
1,785
118
Country
United States
There's been a lot of anime with more or less this premise lately, its a new sub genre of the manic pixie girl with a stronger focus on the girl teasing the forgettable protagonist, if you want more there's Teasing Master Takagi-san, Don't Toy with Me Miss Nagatoro, The Dangers in My Heart and so on.
I'm aware of them. I think my problem with those shows is that they heavily rely on a single gag or a hook that's basically the composition of the shows.

Your Komi can't communicate (She doesn't talk period and omg what wild antics ensue) Nagataro (OMG is she just mean or loves him? WHAT WILD ANTICS ENSUE), Tomo-chan is a girl (He doesn't see her as a girl OMG WHAAAAATTT WIIIILD ANTICS ENSUE). It wouldn't bother me, but it's one theme and its over and over and over. the charm wears off pretty quick.

Aside from the empathetic writing what I find different here is that the only real "trope" is that the guy in this just doesn't stand out. Not in an extreme way, it doesn't reflect his character, no WILD ANTICS ENSUE. In a way it's very relatable. He's not mad about or sad about it. It's reflect those experiences in adolescence of feeling isolated. I really appreciate that he just "deals with it". Similarly the female protagonist isn't "special" nor is she a complete mess, she's very normal. I think that's why I feel like this is more geared towards a mature audience. It's not "cartoonish". I can really see a couple girls I dated in highschool like Kubo.

Actually one trope is both characters have a single parent, one is being raised by her sister the other his mom. What is it with anime lately where everybody's parents are dead? Cheer up japan, jesus.

(I wonder if it's more of a metaphor for latchkey kids in japan which is super common.)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: meiam

Drathnoxis

Became a mass murderer for your sake
Legacy
Sep 23, 2010
5,508
1,951
118
Just off-screen
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
The pacing is weird but from what I understand that's from the source, apparently one of the layer (third I think) was almost entirely anime original. From what I understand things slow down considerably with teh movie and S2, but there's far less of a focus on exploring.
I've started reading the manga to delay continuing on in the story. I'm just starting to feel like I really don't want anything else bad to happen to the characters yet, especially Nanachi. If something horrible happens to Nanachi or she comes to a bad end I swear will never forgive Akihito Tsukushi. Like, here's a girl that spent her whole life alone eating garbage, just the most pathetic existence you can think of, except for one brief period where she and Mitty became friends. Seeing her eat Riko's cooking for the first time may have supposed to been a joke, but it was actually really touching. It's too soon to take that or her burgeoning friendship with Riko and Reg away from her.

Anyway, I can confirm that, yeah, episode 9 was almost completely anime only. And I'm glad because now I can believe that Riko is not that freaking stupid. In the manga she comes up with the plan to kill the splitjaw right away and basically the entire episode doesn't happen because neither her nor Reg act like morons. I don't know why anime filler writers are so uniformly bad, surely it must be possible to expand on something without making characters act dumb, but it seems to happen so rarely.

I mean, things really have to slow down at this point considering that season 1 was 3/11 volumes of the manga and they are already moving into the 5th layer.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: meiam

Absent

And twice is the only way to live.
Jan 25, 2023
1,594
1,552
118
Country
Switzerland
Gender
The boring one
Watched the Trigun animated movie. I have sympathy for that universe. These series are always hypocritical in their glorification of violence as a spectacle and their moralising stances against it ("aww I don't want to fight violence doesn't solve anything I hope it will be brutal enough to keep my public hooked though"). Trigun pushes it to some amusing extreme, with its oversensitive pacifist badass protagonist, and it does actually deconstruct it a bit, by embracing attitudes at the opposite of traditional (manly, gritty) heroic behaviour. It doesn't always work, sometimes it's more enjoyable on the intent level (ooh I see what they went for, nice) than the actual delivery (the shifts between childish and serious feel more artificial than they had to), but the direction alone is refreshing. And it evokes lucky luke physics or terence hill's semi-false candor in a way that makes me appreciate them all the more in hindsight.

Plus, it's rimworld-like universe was fun. The plot was quite forgettable though, easy and feelgood to a doctor who degree. That's fine. I feel the message, the what-we-get-out-of-it, is more in the tone and attitudes than in any story.

I still take that over any dbz, st seiya, north star and whatnot. Its premise is oddly a better western deconstruction than most western deconstructions (I'd have loved a waaagh-killing-is-so-fucked-up-actually Trinita).
 
  • Like
Reactions: BrawlMan

bluegate

Elite Member
Legacy
Dec 28, 2010
2,348
950
118
Watched the Trigun animated movie. I have sympathy for that universe. These series are always hypocritical in their glorification of violence as a spectacle and their moralising stances against it ("aww I don't want to fight violence doesn't solve anything I hope it will be brutal enough to keep my public hooked though"). Trigun pushes it to some amusing extreme, with its oversensitive pacifist badass protagonist, and it does actually deconstruct it a bit, by embracing attitudes at the opposite of traditional (manly, gritty) heroic behaviour. It doesn't always work, sometimes it's more enjoyable on the intent level (ooh I see what they went for, nice) than the actual delivery (the shifts between childish and serious feel more artificial than they had to), but the direction alone is refreshing. And it evokes lucky luke physics or terence hill's semi-false candor in a way that makes me appreciate them all the more in hindsight.

Plus, it's rimworld-like universe was fun. The plot was quite forgettable though, easy and feelgood to a doctor who degree. That's fine. I feel the message, the what-we-get-out-of-it, is more in the tone and attitudes than in any story.

I still take that over any dbz, st seiya, north star and whatnot. Its premise is oddly a better western deconstruction than most western deconstructions (I'd have loved a waaagh-killing-is-so-fucked-up-actually Trinita).
Trigun Badlands Rumble?

Man was it great to see "the gang" again when it released.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BrawlMan

TheMysteriousGX

Elite Member
Legacy
Sep 16, 2014
8,379
6,895
118
Country
United States

Looks interesting. Hopefully it can avoid the My Senpai is Annoying problem of a slow slide into just being a cover for lolicon. MSiS stated off great and just...never developed anything with the MCs. Some of the secondary characters were great, others started teasing high school kids, so...

Anyway, I'm hopeful. I'm tentatively invested in any show about adults
 

Bob_McMillan

Elite Member
Aug 28, 2014
5,218
1,892
118
Country
Philippines
I finished the latest season of Bleach. Man the animation for the Head Captain's was fucking sweet.

But honestly, I watched most of the season at 1.5x speed. For all it's fancy new animation and soundtrack, it really can't shake off the fact that it is Bleach. And Bleach is kinda shit. A non-sensical power system, terrible world building, and cliche to the extreme. How many times are you going to tell me that Ichigo is the coolest most powerful biggest dickest guy in the whole universe? Or reveal that some character actually has this extremely cool backstory or ability that would have come in handy hundreds of episodes ago. You could tell the animators didn't really know what to do with the clunky ass dialogue from the manga. There are a ton of scenes where characters are just droning on and on while shots from earlier seasons are played. I also despise how useless the Gotei 13 are. Besides the captains and a handful of lieutenants, they're all just fodder.

But perhaps the biggest reason why I had to force myself through this was the subtitles from Netflix were awwwwful. Usually they're just poorly adapted in a misbegotten effort to Westernize things, but these subs were just straight up grammatically wrong. There were a few lines that I just couldn't understand.

The show is still the king of style over substance though. Excellent character designs about (except ironically Ichigo, dude keeps looking shittier).
 
  • Like
Reactions: BrawlMan

thebobmaster

Elite Member
Legacy
Apr 5, 2020
2,148
2,114
118
Country
United States
Halfway through Season 2 of The Bad Batch. Honestly, I'm not really feeling this show. There have been a couple of decent episodes this season, but funnily enough, the more the titular squad is involved in an episode, the more I feel the episode is forgettable. I think part of the problem is feeling like most of the squad has gotten all the development they are going to, and in the case of Hunter, that character is "the guy who objects to a mission, then goes along reluctantly because Omega thinks it's a good idea for some reason", which is just not a fun character type. I'm basically tuning in for Tech and, on the occasions he shows up, Crosshair.
 

BrawlMan

Lover of beat'em ups.
Legacy
Mar 10, 2016
27,389
11,473
118
Detroit, Michigan
Country
United States of America
Gender
Male
I also despise how useless the Gotei 13 are. Besides the captains and a handful of lieutenants, they're all just fodder.
Exactly one of the reason why I stopped watching Bleach in 2008. The only characters I really like from the Souls Society are Yourichi and her boss with the hat and sandals. Even then, they count more so as ex-members any way. The rest I'm either indifferent towards, or do not like.

The show is still the king of style over substance though. Excellent character designs about (except ironically Ichigo, dude keeps looking shittier).
The problem with Bleach is that it has always been a worse version of Yu Yu Hakusho. I will give the creator of Bleach credit for drawing non-Japanese, dark-skinned or black characters as actual people and characters, and not racist stereotypes nor caricatures. Chad being Mexican, the black swordsman who betrays the Soul Society, a good amount of the Espada group, and Yourichi for example. Though there was less of racial stereotyping, it was a still a problem with anime/manga in the mid to late 2000s. It really wasn't until the early 2010s that more and more anime started making black or non-Japanese dark-skinned characters look like actual people, because most manga/anime creators know they have an international audience, so they can't afford to do that shit much anymore. Even the creator of Shaman King went ahead and redesigned Choco to look like a normal person, and not just a "funny" stereotype with big lips.

Across the Spider-Verse - Best Movie of The Year! Everything aligned perfectly and nothing was wasted! The blending of a 1000 animation styles, the soundtrack, the even better scoped and expanded action, and character interactions and development! Everyone keeps nailing it! The in-jokes are even better and not distracting and actually add little touches to the movie.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bob_McMillan

Kyrian007

Nemo saltat sobrius
Legacy
Mar 9, 2010
2,577
657
118
Kansas
Country
U.S.A.
Gender
Male
Just got 4 or so episodes into Charlotte. And it is interesting. It is a great premise, teenagers getting temporary superpowers. And those superpowers are for the most part fairly lame. It makes it interesting, what if you had a relatively lousy superpower? So it could be a show I like... except I don't, because none of the characters are likeable. And not in the good Always Sunny in Philadelphia (or Friends for that matter) sense where you can watch bad things happen to the characters because they are terrible people. In Charlotte, they are kind of terrible people, but mostly just unlikeable. Maybe it will pick up at some point but right now it just seems to be a show with a promising premise, that failed to populate it with characters an audience would care about one way or the other.
 

Bob_McMillan

Elite Member
Aug 28, 2014
5,218
1,892
118
Country
Philippines
I'm still waiting for Demon Slayer Season 4 to step up its game. I assumed the finale will be insane, but everything we've seen so far doesn't feel like a proper escalation from the previous season. Supposedly stronger enemies seem weaker than the primary antagonists of several seasons ago. Hopefully they still stick the landing.

Witch from Mercury, Jesus. Leave these poor kids alone.
 

Bob_McMillan

Elite Member
Aug 28, 2014
5,218
1,892
118
Country
Philippines
Halfway through Season 2 of The Bad Batch. Honestly, I'm not really feeling this show. There have been a couple of decent episodes this season, but funnily enough, the more the titular squad is involved in an episode, the more I feel the episode is forgettable. I think part of the problem is feeling like most of the squad has gotten all the development they are going to, and in the case of Hunter, that character is "the guy who objects to a mission, then goes along reluctantly because Omega thinks it's a good idea for some reason", which is just not a fun character type. I'm basically tuning in for Tech and, on the occasions he shows up, Crosshair.
I dropped the show halfway too. But it is HEAVILY backloaded. The best is yet to come.

But I do have to agree. It's not good when I get excited for episodes that don't have the titular characters in them. I just don't get Hunter's deal, he never seems to think for himself or show any other emotion besides mild annoyance.