Tag: berserk

Today’s Tub Manga: Berserk (volume 38)

**Spoilers Ahead!**

 

Listeners of the podcast know I’m an obsessive, incurable fan of Berserk. So when we finally got volume 38 after approximately a million years, I was really excited. I couldn’t wait to see Guts and see what he was up to now. I mean, it’d been so long I might’ve kind of forgotten what was even going on…

And for the vast majority of this volume, I was still wondering what Guts was up to and what was going on because it turns out this one is all about Rickert. Which isn’t a bad thing; I mean, I like Rickert. It was just unexpected and I started to have this weird feeling that Miura-sensei was trolling us readers and there wouldn’t be any Guts at all in this volume. (Turns out there was, at the very end. So I did get my Guts fix.)

Since I tend to lose track of what’s going on between volumes–I mean, there is a looooong time between–I checked out the opening recap and cast intro pages and was totally confused at Rickert’s because while I’d forgotten a lot, I knew that character bio was totally wrong. His name and picture was correct but the bio was of the goofy guy that’s engaged to Farnese.

Anyway, back to the actual story. It was great to see Rickert and Erica meet up with Luca and the girls. I got a kick out of the scene where they take Erica to the baths because, hey, baths are great. This volume is filled with some very intricate architecture and backgrounds and just panels full of insane detail. My brother always gets mad at me for glossing over those and not appreciating every little detail so this time, I tried to spend more time on those panels. Every time, I thought, “Hmm. This one probably took four months. Try to appreciate it.”

For me, the highlight of this volume was definitely Rickert’s meeting with Griffith. Considering Griffith’s creepy charismatic power over everyone, I was a bit worried at Rickert’s reaction to him and wondered if he’d be sucked into his spell. Instead, I smiled and was relieved and thought, “Bless you, Rickert.” I was really impressed with how that whole meeting was put together and the outcome was totally unexpected.

Then, at the end, we’ve finally arrived at Skellig Island. We get a strong dose of Puck being a total dork, which totally dilutes all the seriousness of the earlier 95% of the volume. But I did enjoy his, uh, backstory.

And then, of course, monsters appear and Guts is about to fight them because that’s what he does and…it ends. Quite abruptly. And in two more years or whenever the next volume comes out, I’m sure I will have forgotten that volume 38 ends with Guts about to fight a giant scarecrow monster.

Summer 2016 Wrap-Up

Summer 2016 Wrap-Up

I swear, these seasons are going by faster and faster all the time…

Berserk

img_0320These girls can’t figure out why they look drawn and poor Isidro is CG

If you’ve listened to the podcast at all, you know that my brother despises the animation and that I love Berserk no matter how much they try to screw it up. I will say that I was surprised by how far we…didn’t…make it in this season. When the voice cast and character designs were announced I assumed we’d see Schierke in some capacity other than a blip of a teaser at the end of the final episode. It may be futile but I’m looking forward to the return of the show this spring and hoping that maybe they cut back a bit on the CG and make Berserk beautiful again.

First Love Monster

This show was so incredibly stupid and that’s what made it great. The final episode exceeded my expectations by cranking the ridiculous up to 11 and just going for max absurdity. Don’t think too much, don’t care too much, just kick back and be entertained.

img_0319img_0318

Re:ZERO

I fell in and out of love with this show. The premise really drew me in but then Subaru’s repeated screaming turned me off. But I’d already put in the time and the old swordsman’s backstory kept me hanging on. All in all, I’m glad I stuck with it.

Taboo Tattoo

I can’t say the same for this series, however. I don’t know if the hype was too great or if the adaptation is to blame (I’m not familiar with the manga) or…what. I really wanted to love it and be blown away by it all; instead, I kept asking, “Why are you trying so hard to make me not care about anything that happens?”

Servamp

It was great to see this animated. I especially enjoyed the last few episodes and got sucked in (no vampire pun intended) for the final fight. If you’re reading the manga, you should love this. And if you’re not reading the manga, you can enjoy this anyway–in a time where there is a gross overabundance of vampire fiction, Servamp keeps it original and interesting.

D.Gray-man HALLOW

I didn’t realize this run of D.Gray-man would be so short but I guess it makes sense since we’re kind of running out of story to animate. HALLOW covered my favorite part of the manga so I really enjoyed it.

Morose Mononokean

mononokean.PNGThis describes exactly how this show made me feel.

I loved this one. It was one of my anticipated shows going into the season and I felt it consistently delivered every week. (And if you loved it too, remember you can continue on by reading the manga via crunchyroll!)

B-Project

bpro.PNGThe whole time I considered this show to be one of those guilty pleasures–stupid, simple, fanservice-y, but lovable regardless. The final episode, however, went places I didn’t expect and I almost choked from trying to eat and scream at the same time. One thing I enjoyed compared to most reverse-harem shows is that while Tsubasa is, of course, lovable and endearing to all who know her, I never got the impression that all the boys were in love with her. Heck, half the time I was pretty sure that most of the boys were in love with each other (which was fine with me!). I think B-Project did a good job of taking something very typical and trope-y and flipping things around a bit…while still keeping those fantastic end cards.

Cute Earth High Defense Club LOVE! LOVE!

I was a huge fan of the first season but this second season is incredible and perfect. It went above and beyond my expectations and the final episode…I just can’t even find the words. I wanted to just screenshot the entire episode for the blog but instead I picked the two shots I felt conveyed my feelings the best:

wombat.PNGTruer words were never spoken.

gora.PNGYes, please, just give it a try. Watch it now. PLEASE.

91 Days

empty shell.PNGMuch like this show itself.

Instead of going above and beyond my expectations, 91 Days was horribly disappointing. I admit the bar was high; I was soooo looking forward to this series and I thought it HAD to be amazing. I was wrong. It had the potential to be superb but instead of a tight, well-paced, complex and intriguing mafia show, it felt like a haphazard incoherent homage to mafia shows. It was like all your favorite scenes from mafia movies were cobbled together without any sort of regard to a sensible plot. It pains me to say this because I really wanted so badly to love it…but maybe that’s why I feel all the more let down by the fact it just didn’t deliver. I do think the final episode was the best episode. Watching it I couldn’t help but wonder if the story didn’t actually start with the final episode and episodes 1-11 weren’t just written as some sort of random vehicle to get to that final act.

duh.PNGGood fucking question. I’d been wondering that the whole series.

Cheer Boys!!

smile.jpgMission totally accomplished.

On a lighter, less-critical note…OMG Cheer Boys!!. I really loved this one. It wasn’t perfect or serious or a particular masterpiece but it gave me exactly what I wanted and even surprised me on occasion with some twists (no cheerleading pun intended) and insights. I laughed out loud more than I expected and the conflicts seemed realistic despite the situation itself being a bit ridiculous. Having just watched the final episode I feel the need to ask: isn’t the coach the real hero here? Am I the only one thinking, “That woman is amazing!”

Handa-kun

Soooo good. I might’ve even gotten used to the voice acting by the time it was all over. 😉 Seriously, if you’re a fan of Barakamon, watch this. If you’ve never even heard of Barakamon, watch this.

Bananya

Such a cute little show. Pure fun and sweetness.

Alderamin on the Sky

I almost dropped this one several times but kept it as a “something on in the background” or “something on while I’m going to bed” show. And now here we are at the end of it. I love all the tactics and strategy but I hate all the talk about tactics and strategy. Lots and lots of talking. It wasn’t a bad show; I just don’t know if it was ultimately worth watching.

Mob Psycho 100

Loved the visuals of the opening theme. I was really excited about this show but I have to admit I kind of phased in and out. However, the last episode was pretty brilliant.

I’m sure there’s something I’ve forgotten, especially considering how many shows I started for the summer. What were your favorites of the Summer 2016 season? What Fall 2016 shows are you looking forward to?

Summer 2016 Explosion!

Let’s get right to it. There are several shows I’ve been anxiously awaiting and the first of them is…

BERSERK!

Do I like the weird CG animation? No. Do I love Guts? YES. So, ultimately, it doesn’t matter how he’s animated, I love watching Guts and I love the whole story of Berserk. I never actually recommend the manga or anime to anyone because it’s so, uh, gross and intense and really only suited for the truly sick and twisted. That said, I’m beyond thrilled that Berserk is back. My mouth watered the whole episode.



ReLIFE

When I started the manga, I loved the premise. It was a little uncomfortable in a Welcome to the NHK hitting-too-close-to-home kind of way but I felt like that’s what made it so great. Maybe it’s because I knew what was coming but the anime didn’t grab my attention the way the manga did. I thought it would really benefit from the animation and actually being in color but the first episode bored me a bit. I’m not actually looking forward to watching more of it but apparently there was an episode dump so I’ll go ahead and plow through a few more episodes and hope I re-warm to it. Please don’t let this put you off if you’re considering watching it–I’ve recommended the manga to friends because I thought the premise was so interesting. Give ReLIFE a try!

**Update: Since I first started this post, I ended up watching all of ReLIFE over the holiday weekend and ended up soooo happy I kept with it. I could’ve just edited the above paragraph entirely but I wanted to share the ups & downs of the ReLIFE viewing process…hehe**

DAYS

So you all know I LOVE sports anime. I love manly rivalry and bromance and struggles and the power of friendship. So even though I don’t know anything about soccer and have no desire to, I was stoked for DAYS. And by the end of the opening theme, all I could think was, “Sports anime is love. Sports anime is life.” Let me tell you, the first episode did not disappoint. Our predictably shy, awkward, mostly-inept kid gets invited to an after-school game by the super cool kid and he totally sucks but puts in a ton of effort and impresses everyone. He has that barely-older-friend-that’s-like-a-sister character (reminded me of Eyeshield 21, which never hurts). He’s so excited that he thinks he made a friend and now wants to try out for the school team but gets his butt kicked. Yet, when it’s all said and done…late at night, he’s still at the field, finishing running, winning over not only me BUT more importantly our super cool blond athletic friend as well. What is not to like about this?! This is sports anime at its finest and it’s only the first episode.


All of this in just the first episode?! I LOVE SPORTS ANIME. Cannot wait for episode two.

B-Project

Possibly the only thing that compares to my love of sports anime is my love of stupid shows loaded with popular voice actors about boys singing and/or dancing. So you can bet B Project was on my list. I think I was smiling within about the first two seconds and ended up grinning through the entire opening theme. Is it stupid? Absolutely! Do I still love it? Absolutely! The fact that Showtaro Morikubo’s character looks like his characters Bartolomeo and Reiji Kotobuki had a baby is just an added bonus.  As expected, the female protagonist is similar to all otome game protagonists and she’s pretty innocent and dumb, but hey, we’re not here for her, are we? We’re here for singing, dancing, voice actors, idols, tropish characters, really dumb plots, and of course, my favorite: Daisuke Ono singing out sparkles.

First Love Monster

Speaking of stupid…this show is about as dumb as it gets. Which is why when I heard the premise I picked up the manga and laughed at how incredibly ridiculous the whole thing is. Now, I do sometimes worry that I’m going to be put on a list somewhere for reading a manga/watching an anime about a girl who dates an unrealistically mature-looking fifth grader but the hilarity might be worth the risk. The story definitely benefits from animation…or rather, from the voice acting since the three mutant fifth graders are voiced by stellar actors. I guess Sugita-san’s voice just belongs to guys named Gin. Anyway, the premise is what makes the show funny yet the premise is also what makes it kind of…”ehhhhh?”

The Heroic Legend of Arslan

I’ve been anxiously awaiting the return of The Heroic Legend of Daryun’s Arms Arslan. The first episode gave us a nice little refresher and lots of beautiful muscles. No complaints here.

The Morose Mononokean

I’ve been reading the manga via the Crunchyroll Manga app and loved it from the get-go so of course I was really excited for the anime. And I’m still excited! I loved the first episode, I love the white fluffy thing, I love the clothes and the colors and the plot. If you enjoy yokai-related anime, you should really try this.

The Highschool Life of a Fudanshi

fudanshiclerk.jpgIs this my new favorite show? Probably, yes. Now I just wish the episodes were longer…I need MORE IMMEDIATELY!!!fudanshi.jpg

Sweetness & Lightning

I started reading this manga on the Crunchyroll Manga app but it was just too cute so I ended up giving it up. So I’m not really sure why I thought, “Oh, cool, that’s getting an anime!” but…I liked it. Maybe it’s from being in the restaurant business or having a mom who expresses affection through food but the first episode struck a chord with me in a way the manga didn’t.

Taboo Tattoo

I picked this up due to all the hype, fully expecting to be disappointed. Instead, I kinda liked it! I really appreciated how things got right to the point. This episode hit the ground running and felt very shonen-y, which I liked. I don’t really know why but it kind of reminded me of Ushio & Tora.

Cheer Boys!!

cheer boys showerI was so glad to see someone made a show just for me. “Haven’t we always been together?” YES, THAT IS WHAT I WANT TO HEAR! Manly friendship! And the premise is genius–cheerleading! It’s like my love of sports and love of boys dancing formed a super powered robot of anime perfection. Okay, I know you’re asking, “But is Sugita-san’s character the best?” The answer is, of course, “Yes.” It’s only the first episode and I’m 99% sure he’s the best character. Go! Fight! Win! Boys!

D. Gray Man HALLOW

I have very little memory of the previous anime but I read what was available of the manga to get prepared for this one. Fortunately for me, it picked up right where I’d wanted to see because I didn’t pay attention enough when I read it. Other than that…1) Cross Marian is just too cool; 2) Guys that look like Hitler are bad news.

Servamp

As a fan of the manga I was really looking forward to the anime. I don’t have a lot to say about the first episode; it didn’t blow me away but I didn’t expect it to. This is one that’ll get better the longer it goes.

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!

earthdefense

I loved the first season of this show and with a start like this…well, I love the second season too!

And OMG this new villain is ADORABLE. Also, I really want a Wombat plush.

Thunderbolt Fantasy

It’s pretty ridiculous but I think I like it.

Alderamin on the Sky

I judged a book by its cover on this one and picked it up solely on looks. But after my recent foray into The Twelve Kingdoms, I’ve been a bit more forgiving of slow pacing in the interest of world-building. I was getting a bit distracted but I did love the little Care Bear elf thingies and by the end of the episode I wanted more.

91 Days

I kept putting this one off because I was SUPER EXCITED and it was my reward for getting through some of the other shows. After seeing the character designs and the casting and reading about the plot, this was one of my most-anticipated shows of the season. And holy crap, I loved it. I am sooo looking forward to where this story goes.

Tsukiuta

I was a bit disappointed during the character introductions because when I watch idol shows, I want to pick a favorite. I guess that’s my project in future episodes..? Anyway, the use of the younger brother in this episode was refreshing even if the CG dancing was not. I’ll tolerate weird CG Guts simply because I’ll take whatever Berserk I can get but I really dislike CG dancing. 😦

Scar-red Rider XechS

When we began with a moody boy and a guitar, my first thought was, “Well, they know their target demographic.” But then we had that great weird underground military scene with that lady straight up shooting that guy and I had to reconsider my first impression. Then the rest of the show happened and I kind of think my first impression was the correct one. I had actually been looking forward to this show but for now I’m getting that “well, it’s okay” feeling.

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

This is one of those shows where I was 99% sure I’d love it before I ever even saw it. A safe bet. And in case you were wondering–yes, I love it.

Handa-kun

Speaking of shows I was 99% sure I’d love…I could watch this for hours. The beginning of episode one was absolute perfection. I think I just smiled the whole episode. I loved Barakamon and I love the Handa-kun manga and I can’t shut up about how much I love this! My only complaint ? (which I now feel awkward making after the first part of the episode being yelled at about how difficult anime is to make, heh) is that Handa’s voice is Daisuke Ono to me and having it be not him…took some getting used to. Kawafuji having a different voice will be jarring as well.

hitorinoshita – The Outcast

I really liked the look of this and thought it would be interesting. I don’t know if it’s really not that interesting or if I’m just suffering First Episode Burnout at this point.

Whew! If you read this far, let me know what you think! What shows are you excited about? What shows have you already dropped? Is there a series not on this list that I absolutely must see?

Spring 2016 Wrap-Up

I don’t usually drop a lot of shows but due to travels and life and all that, I ended up finishing far fewer shows than I started. So what the heck did I watch?

My Top 3
In no particular order, I felt the best shows of the Spring 2016 Season were…drumroll, please:

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (Diamond Is Unbreakable)JotaroI’d never be disappointed in you, Jotaro

I feel the same as Josuke’s mom on this one; I loved loved loved loved loved this show. (Or love love love love love, I guess, since it’s ongoing, not ended.) My criteria for the Top 3 Category was simply, “What shows do I look forward to every week? Which new episodes am I excited to watch?” I’ve absolutely loved every episode of Diamond Is Unbreakable so far and can’t wait for more…in fact, at the time of this post, I just finished episode 14 and in the famous words of Joseph Joestar: “OH MY GOD!”

Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamotosakamotodesuga.jpgIt was. It always is.

Seriously, haven’t you heard? This show is hilarious! I picked up the manga a while back and so was super excited when the anime was announced. It did not disappoint! The show reminds me a lot of the endearing absurdity of Cromartie High School. While JoJo’s is sometimes hard to recommend to people because it’s, well, BIZARRE…I feel like even though it’s outrageous, Sakamoto is more readily appealing. Though if listening to guys talk for minutes while nothing is really happening on screen (a la Gintama) isn’t something you can handle then maybe you’re not funny enough for this show.

My Hero Academiaaizawa.jpgI know, I know, we’re all saying the same thing: My Hero Academia was too good.

 Again, this was one where I picked up the manga first and…was way excited about the anime. Guess what–I’m still WAY EXCITED ABOUT THE ANIME. The manga is fantastic and of course I recommend reading it but I felt the anime did a fantastic job of bringing it all to life. This happens to be my brother’s #1 pick of the season and he won’t shut up about how the story took a very overused concept and made it totally fresh and exciting. Plus Ultra!

Okay, so not everyone can be a winner. Aside from my Top 3, here are my other shows that I enjoyed…

Joker Gamejokergame.jpgQuite possibly my favorite line of the whole series.

I set the bar pretty high for this one. I loved the premise and the way it looked and the assortment of characters so I couldn’t wait to watch it. The first two episodes were great. I think I was just perpetually conflicted because I wanted to “get to know” the characters…but by the very nature of the show and the fact they’re spies and don’t even know each other, we can’t expect to get to know them. Their personalities are fluid and backgrounds contrived. I think that’s why I enjoyed the final episode so much and felt like that’s the episode I’d been after the whole time–because we finally got to see “inside” the character. But I also think that’s why it was chosen as the final episode. Despite my “desire for more while simultaneously realizing that would compromise the whole premise of the show itself”…I did enjoy it, would watch more of it, and would recommend it.

Tanaka-kun is Always Listlesstanakakun.jpgOf course it is.

I knew nothing going into this show aside from the pretty self-explanatory title. Yeah, I enjoyed the first episode but it is pretty sleepy, so I figured it’d be one of those “put on while trying to fall asleep” shows.  The problem with that was I didn’t fall asleep at all–I stayed awake just to watch it! It was such a goofy, simple, drowsy show but I ended up loving it. The pacing and dare I say boring? premise might not be for everyone but it really clicked with me. Okay, sure, the adorable bromance between Ohta and Tanaka didn’t hurt. I could probably watch another twelve episodes of Ohta taking care of Tanaka and packing him around.

Bungo Stray Dogsstraydogs.jpg

Like Joker Game, I was really excited about this one. I realized almost immediately that it was way goofier than I’d anticipated (I know we all associate Osamu Dazai with hilarity, right? …Right?) Kunikida immediately became my favorite simply by being one of my favorite voices (ahem, Ohta, above) but sometimes I had a hard time paying attention. I’m not sure I would’ve stuck with it except for I WANTED TO LIKE IT. I did enjoy the series, especially in the last couple episodes, and I think the next season with even more characters will be something to look forward to.

Assassination Classroom

It’s been a long haul for the octopus teacher assassin and those of us watching. It was nice to see a series that actually has a conclusion. And yes, I cried the last episode.

Super Lovers

I went from thinking this was incredibly stupid to can’t stand waiting for more all within the first episode. However, since I couldn’t wait for more, I ended up reading the manga and after that the anime wasn’t as interesting. I wanted to love it but I just didn’t care as much since I spoiled it for myself. But hey, it’s BL; I’ll take it.

I also finished The Lost Village because I kept expecting some bombshell or some deep revelation that would make the show worth watching. Didn’t happen. I want my time and brain cells back.

So that’s my spring! I have a ton of “wanna watch” shows on my list so my Summer 2016 post could be HUGE. Or I might have to whittle things down from the start…

What shows did you love? Which ones wasted your time? Are you excited about anything coming this summer? (ahem, BERSERK, ahem)