Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Ghost in the Shell (Gōsuto in za sheru / Kōkaku kidōtai)

Reviewing the movie version of Ghost in the Shell is an incredibly tall order. First of all, there are a few different versions of the original movie. There's the original theatrical version and then there's the Ghost in the Shell 2.0 version that is changed up a bit in much the same way that George Lucas tinkered with his original Star Wars movies after the initial releases. 

However, I watched the 25th Anniversary blu-ray edition of the movie that essentially is the same as the original 1995 theatrical version so that's the one I'm going to review. Although just how the hell a movie that's younger than me could turn 25 before me is something I'm not sure I understand. I'm going to take a leap of faith and assume that the "25th Anniversary" tag is referring to the manga that started in 1989. That bit of dissemination aside let's plow ever onward. 

I could take a few weeks writing about Ghost in the Shell. It's the kind of movie that nerdy kids in college should write thesis papers about. It's a dense movie. I understand the basic plot, but some of the themes escape me. The pacing itself is a bit unusual. There's some iconic fighting and shootouts, but the larger portion of this movie is dominated by a more cerebral aspect. 

I've heard this movie described as being everything from "overhyped" to being "underrated," but I don't think I've ever heard being called "bad." However, I've almost always seen the movie being listed as one of those that you just either get or you don't since it's pretty hardcore on the cyberpunk stuff.

In this futuristic world most humans are cybernetically-enhanced, but other humans are entirely cybernetic with only their brains left human. Then there are those that are completely cybernetic. Using this cybernet a cyber criminal known as the Puppet Master successfully manages to "ghost-hack" people's minds and his naughty behavior has put him on Major Kusanagi Motoko and Public Security Section 9's radar.

But the true nature of the Puppet Master is something that can't be easily understood and being arrested would mean very little to the Puppet Master in a world where life depends almost solely on computers. Thanks to technology the Puppet Master is everywhere or could be even if his physical body isn't.

But the sexiest cybernetic Major of all time is one tough cookie and she seems up for the challenge.

Before The Matrix existed there was this film and I'm not sure if that movie could have existed in the same fashion without this one. Although not born into a program, many of these characters were born as a program. The Major herself was born (or "created") with this ability to uplink to the net via holes in the back of her neck. When uplinked she could communicate with her mind, become one with the uplinked device, or dig up information. This literally put the vast information on the internet inside of her. Or maybe it put her inside of the internet. It's tough to say. Maybe it was a little of both.

This movie is also pretty heavy on the philosophy. I thought it was odd how the Major was somewhat sexy even though the her character and the movie itself seemed devoid of a sexual identity. As a cybernetic organism, the Major strips nude to enter her stealth mode where she becomes invisible to the naked eye. Her Predator impersonation is really cool and seeing her tatas is also cool, but the purpose seems more important than the methods in this world. She does it so she can turn invisible, jump off a building, and then kill a motherfucker in the building while still mid-air. Her stripping off her clothes isn't sexualized even though the action itself should be sexy. In a way it still is sexy because men are pigs and boobies are boobies, but this is a really cold movie in a cold world. What she is doing should be the definition of sexy just because it's so badass, but it isn't. This world, from the start, is a bit colorless despite its advances. Or maybe because of those advances it's colorless.

The Major and all of the other characters might as well not have had a sexual identity at all since so much of their world is inorganic. In fact, I think the Puppet Master might've been the truest character of all as far as the sexual identity goes.

Yet there are a few key moments where these characters act human. But that seems to be because their programming allows them to. If the Major gets drunk she can do so while on duty because her programming can instantly fix her good as new and ready for combat.

At another time a character named Batou looks quickly away when he sees the Major nonchalantly taking off her clothes. Is he choosing to view the Major as someone retaining feminine sexuality or is it that he's just trying to act how a normal human male would act? Or maybe he's behaving that way involuntarily. Maybe it's just his cyberbrain acting up...

For a movie that is 20 years old this movie really seems like something close to being scary real. The idea that your thoughts could be hacked is scary. The idea that someone can screw around with your memories and change what you see in old photographs to further their agenda is scary. In this world people are data that can be exploited.

We are getting closer to that point.

See how I could write for weeks about this shit? I just might, too. There's the anime series and a few more movies to dive into. Should be fun talking more about lunatic computer conspiracies!

And of course this movie is highly recommended to anyone that's a fan of anime, cyberpunk themes, and/or just damn good movies It's a classic for a reason.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Full Metal Panic? - Fumoffu

To date, I have no idea how or why the Full Metal Panic franchise is familiar to me but not familiar to me. Perhaps I have literally come to the point where I've watched so much anime during my lifetime that I'm creating memories for anime that seem similar to other anime I've seen. I've been racking my brain trying to think of where I've seen this anime before, but I get zilch each time. Oh, well.

Full Metal Panic? - Fumoffu is the second entry in the Full Metal Panic franchise, but that doesn't mean it's second in stature. The humor that threw the pacing of the first series off a bit finds a welcome home in this series. Essentially, the humor IS this series and that's a good thing. Fumoffu's humor is actually pretty good and the creators involved had enough sense to not try and further the previous storyline at the same time. There's no real overarching plot. It's just twelve episodes of silliness.

And that works here.

The series makes fun of itself and just about every other anime trope around at the time. There's even the obligatory hot springs episode, but that gets turned on its head. This is a comedy that knows it is a comedy and that's an approach I always enjoy. And unlike a lot of other anime comedies, I feel like this one doesn't try to be too outrageous. Newer anime seem to lose me a bit on the humor front by being a bit too wacky. Sometimes not every character can be funny and the best humor acknowledges that makes the situations around that character funny.

Sagara Sousuke doesn't even smile during this entire series, but his uptight persona is perfect for comedy. In the first series his inability to fit in made him look incompetent in a bad way since the series was trying to be taken somewhat seriously. It wasn't really all that funny because it just made him look stupid. This time his dense attitude is actually hilarious since there is no seriousness involved. It's tough to take an idiot seriously when he is supposed to be a badass hero, but in comedy an idiot can be an idiot that thinks he's a badass hero and get it away with it because it's a comedy. Adam Sandler has made millions of dollars off that philosophy. 

The CGI that felt underwhelming is gone. So are the more questionable mecha fights. Instead we get the Mobile Suit Bonta-kun, the cutest Mobile Suit ever made. For the fun-filled penultimate episode we also get the Mobile Suit Bonta-kun Army.

The animation also felt like an improvement.

I'm not sure I'd call this anime at its best, but it's anime at it's funnest.

The characters are largely the same as they were in the first series so I imagine those familiar with Full Metal Panic will be the ones that find Fumoffu the most rewarding. However, this anime can be approached without any knowledge of the franchise.  So, while not a coherent story that will expand upon its mecha origins, Fumoffu seems like a more worthwhile endeavor. Mostly because of the Bonta-kun robot that can only say, "Fumoffu."

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ghost - Meliora (2015)

Ghost have been somewhat of a favorite band of mine for about four years now ever since I first heard their debut album Opus Eponymous. Their sound is an inventive mix of Blue Oyster Cult and Mercyful Fate and their imagery is unlike that of any rock band around today. Three albums into their career the members of Ghost are still only known as "Papa Emeritus III and a Group of Nameless Ghouls." The singer dresses like an "anti-pope" and the rest of the members wear horned masks. I don't know who they are and I'm okay with that. 

I don't want to know who they are. Their imagery is fantastic. It's worth buying a CD of theirs just to look at the artwork and watching them live must be really something. Their first album is an all-time favorite for me and I listen to it quite often. Their second effort didn't quite capture me as much. I think I only listened to Infestissumam once. I plan on revisiting it again, but right now I'm enraptured by Meliora

What I really love about this album is that all of the songs are singable. Papa Emeritus III's vocals are in exceptional form. He sings clearer than just about any other rock or metal singer around. It's easy to understand what he's singing. And what he is obviously singing about is Satan. 

Never has the praise of Satan ever sounded so melodic and beautiful. Just listen to He Is. I could swear that ELO and The Beatles had an influence on that song. It's so brilliantly layered. I've listened to the song three times today and each time I've heard something different. 

Mummy Dust, the song that follows He Is, could possibly be the heaviest song on the album. It's also as majestic as Zeppelin's Kashmir. The chorus could have been a bit better, though. Mummy Dust is ever so close to being my favorite song on the album, but that chorus doesn't really grab me.

Cirice has an incredibly strong introduction that's easily one of the most evil-sounding riffs of the year and the rest of the song builds on it. Cirice is probably my favorite song on here next to He IsDeus in Absentia is something almost Queen-like with the operatic background singers and the way the guitar strings bend during the solo, but the ending is especially haunting. 

It's tough to really compare Ghost, though. Especially on this album. While I still thought of BOC and Mercyful Fate on this album I really didn't hear it as much. I heard a different monster. At this point I don't think there is a single band Ghost sounds like other than Ghost. Meliora is much better than it's predecessor. This band has really grown since then into a mature group of Antichrist-loving Nameless Ghouls. 

If the world is on fire and the Antichrist has returned then there couldn't be a better soundtrack to it than Ghost's Meliora. Although their first album would work, too. This album, I'd say, is at least as good as their first. Maybe even better. I'm not sure yet.

You better pick it up soon before the world really does end. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Stanley Kubrick's Lolita

It might be a little known secret, but for anyone not in the know there is a popular trope of having "loli" characters in anime. Those that like these "loli" characters are often known as "lolicons." In anime it's often just a humorous bit of a fun. Same for brothers that have sister complexes and vice versa. They are well-known anime tropes and are almost expected to appear at some point and when they appear it is not an indication of anything darker. Right or wrong, it's just meant to be a bit of humor. 

But there's also the inevitable hentai (porn) doujinshi (fan made manga) on the subject that can be found with relative ease on the internet. I don't even feel like going into an analyzes on that right now. The depiction of underaged anime girls (and sometimes "shota" - or anime boys) engaging in graphic intercourse with an anime adult for masterbatory purposes of real life adults (who don't consider themselves engaging in pedophile-like behavior) is something that can't quite be analyzed in a couple of short sentences. 

However, lolicon characters are not all pedophiles for the most part. Nor are the real life people that have an appreciation for those loli characters or any other characters for that matter. That's not what is really being suggested. 

However, this trope doesn't make the jump outside of Japan very well. History does back this claim up. 

As an "anime blog," I do feel that it is worth mentioning while reviewing one of the originators of this trope. Of course, it started with the novel by Vladimir Nabokov, but the first instance of this future anime trope being manifested in a visual medium as far as I can tell is more than likely Stanley Kubrick's 1962 movie Lolita

I've never read the novel. I'm not sure I want to given the subject matter. As I understand the novel is a bit more graphic in certain areas. I very well might read it, though. It is almost certainly a unique read. 

Kubrick's movie is an uncomfortable and sometimes even hilarious masterpiece. It's tough to tell whether or not it was designed to be hilarious, but the comedy actually makes this movie more palatable. That and the fact that the movie's darker events are heavily subdued. As a purist this is a frustrating, but as someone who understands that Sue Lyons was 14 years old when she made this movie I understand that it really couldn't and shouldn't have been made any other way. Kubrick was intelligent enough to convey meanings through use of dialog and without graphic depictions and that actually works much better in a mainstream visual representation. This movie is actually pretty easy to watch, all things considered. 

But the darkness that is kept at bay somewhat for much of the film finds an outlet in Peter Sellers's character Clare Quilty. Even though James Mason's character Humbert should be despicable and hated just as much, it's tough to make the argument that Humbert isn't in some ways this movie's "hero." If this movie has such a thing. At times Humbert seems like the sanest character in the movie, especially in the early goings where we meet the swinging neighbors. 

Humbert is just your upright fish-out-of-water character trapped in the States. Only, he happens to have eyes on a 14 year old girl and dreams of killing the girl's mother (Shelley Winters) in order to have her. And he gradually becomes much more obsessive as the movie goes along, especially after he finally gets to spend the night with Lolita in a hotel.

Quilty, on the other hand, is the film's elusive villain. 

The opening scene where Humbert tracks Quilty down and kills him is actually the most sensible thing about this movie. Granted they are both pedophiles, but we don't exactly know that about Humbert's character just yet. When Humbert kills Quilty at the beginning of the movie and then the movie flashbacks to when everything started, there's a strong sense that justice was meted out by the time the movie ends... which is essentially at the beginning scene. Moving the ending of a story to the beginning is always a ballsy move, but it works here. 

Having Peter Sellers exercise his ability to use multiple voices was also a good choice. His Dr. Zempf impersonation was what undoubtedly lay the foundations for his portrayal of Dr. Strangelove, too. Also, Sellers was really good at embodying the mundane as well as the insane without being strictly comedic and this movie really needed that kind of actor to play the "villain." The movie may have felt comedic at times and Quilty may have been somewhat comedic with his voices, but Peter Sellers played a largely straight role and that made it all the more creepy and absurd and realistic. 

But I honestly think that James Mason stole this movie singlehandedly from Sellers. Sellers, even in shitty movies, was a scene-stealer, but Mason outdid him. It should be impossible to take a pedophile and make him more like the "every man in an absurd situation." Part of that was the censored script and another part was Kubrick's change of the tone from the book. However, the biggest part was undoubtedly James Mason's portrayal of Humbert.

Sellers played his role straight and so did Mason and that's why this movie works. The pursuit of Lolita is told matter of factly with little mention given to the whys and hows. It just is.

When Quilty references the Spartacus movie during his confrontation with Humbert, I think that actually set the tone for this movie, too. A bit of a wall is broken and hand is reached out to the audience and it's saying, "We know things will get weird and disturbing, but this is a movie and it will be a fun one, too. Just watch." This approach spares the audience much of the guilt they'd feel otherwise for enjoying a movie like this. 

Because everything is so matter of fact it becomes akin to an eclipse. It's just fascinating to look at. It's a tough movie to dislike and it's somewhat difficult to dislike all of the characters completely. Or, in some cases, we end up disliking the only characters in the film we probably should like since they aren't fucked in the head. Lolita's mother, for example.

Normally the visuals play a large part with Kubrick and they do here as well, but in this case it was the writing and acting that really pushed this movie even more so than the visuals. The way the dialog was manipulated to make up for the censorship was genius. 

All in all, I really have nothing but good things to say about this movie. It's not Kubrick's best, but it is Kubrick in a time period when he was at his best. And I think I might be correct in saying the movie he made is actually better than the movie he wished he could have made. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Tokyo Ghoul, Vol. 1 by Ishida Sui

You know, I knew that the anime series was really rushed, but I never really knew how rushed until I read this volume. This entire volume was squeezed into two episodes. The ghoul that looks like Jason isn't even mentioned in this volume at all. Neither is there any information about what Rize was up to before she set her eyes on the unfortunate Kaneki Ken. This manga volume alone seems sooo much better than the anime series and I'm really looking forward to this manga. 

But let's say none of that means jack to you. You've never seen the anime and you've never heard of this manga title. (I suppose that's my Jedi mind trick impression. Is it working?)

What is Tokyo Ghoul and why would it appeal to anyone outside of the normal otaku fandom? Well, for one, this is a fantastic piece of horror fiction and the artwork is really good. 

The volume really is all meat and no fat. The pacing is also on point. It's really tough to put down, but the story is able to breathe. It doesn't try to introduce us to a million things at once like the anime (specifically the second season, but the first season was guilty, too) tried to do.

Kaneki Ken is your average school kid with a crush on a cute girl, but his dream encounter with her goes horribly wrong when he discovers she is a ghoul. Ghouls are creatures that look human, but they have super powers and they eat people. Mr. Kaneki's luck in none too good... until a steel beam falls from the sky and crushes the ghoul. Kaneki is left injured and in need to an organ transplant.

The surgeon in charge decides to transplant the organ from the dead girl into Kaneki. Disregarding anything learned from the anime, it's tough to say whether or not the surgeon knew she was a ghoul or not at this point. Whether he knew or not, Kaneki now has a whole new problem. To make a paraphrase from Full Metal Jacket, he is in a world of shit.

He starts to get better, but his taste buds have changed. Human food tastes awful to him now. Not only that, but human food actually starts to make him sick...and one of Kaneki's eyes has a bad habit of turning red. 

Yup, the surgery seems to have turned him into a ghoul! Dun dun dunnnn!

Kaneki also learns that he's not the only ghoul going to school. His favorite coffee spot is also a den of ghouls. Ghouls here, ghouls there! Ghouls, ghouls everywhere! It's like something out of They Live. Now that he has his special powers a completely different world with its own politics and territories has been introduced to him.

But first he must learn how to control his hunger and his special powers in order to survive it. If he doesn't he might just end up eating his best friend or getting killed for trespassing on another ghoul's turf. Or both. 

Anyone that wants to know this story would be wise to start with the manga. The first season of the anime was adequate, but the second season things really went off the rails. The manga seems so much more promising. 

Also, does anyone else wonder why my favorite two mangas at this point, Attack on Titan and Tokyo Ghoul, seem to involve people getting eaten by horrific creatures? Obviously, my inner zombie fan refuses to die. This manga clearly satisfies a bizarre craving of my own. 

One thing I also like about this manga is that it is, in a certain sense, a Jekyll and Hyde story. On one side you have the human Kaneki and on the other you have the ghoul Kaneki. If he doesn't eat humans neither Kaneki personality will survive, but is there a way the ghoul Kaneki can eat so that the human Kaneki may live?

It's just a really interesting story. It's also insanely bloody at times. The simulcast of the anime was quite edited so it's nice to see the story in its true form. Heads getting sliced, bodies getting diced, and people getting eaten. Wholesome family entertainment for all involved.

If you want some bloody horror manga then this will hit the spot.

Viva Zapata!

With Donald Trump's recent visit to my town, I thought a positive movie focusing on some Mexicans that weren't "rapists or criminals" would be a good idea. I chose to dust off my copy of Viva Zapata! for this little project. The blu-ray in fact is quite new, but I just haven't had a chance to watch it. 

Elia Kazan is a director whose name I can never seem to remember even though he directed some absolute classics: A Face in the Crowd (a movie I will continue to sing the praises of until people get annoyed enough to watch it), A Streetcar Named Desire, East of Eden, and a certain film called On the Waterfront

He directed more during his lifetime, but I can't say that I've seen them. Unfortunately, there never seems to be enough time to really whittle down my ever-growing queue of stuff to watch. However, Viva Zapata! is a film I made time for as it is yet another of Elia's "Marlon Brando" era movies. Believe it or not, Mr. Kazan actually made three whole movies with the notoriously difficult Mr. Brando. That's almost like a marriage in the movie world.

Lord knows that Brando had his share of flops, but I still argue that Brando during his era when he was "on" is still superior than so many other actors. This movie was made when Brando's career was indeed on fire. Does that mean that this movie is a classic, too? Hmm. 

The stars seemed to have aligned for everyone involved. John Steinbeck penned the script, the aforementioned Elia Kazan directed, and the likes of Anthony Quinn, Joseph Wiseman, and Jean Peters rounded out the supporting cast. Even Alan Reed, the voice of Fred Flintstone, was tapped for a role. 

This movie had the makings of a hit and became one on it's release, but is it now? Well, this film was made in 1952 and its subject matter in America is a bit obscure. It's tough to understand the politics of a film that takes place in Mexico during the early 1900's and features characters that aren't common knowledge outside of Mexico. I'm even curious as to whether or not Emiliano Zapata was obscure to Americans back in 1952. 

However obscure it's history may be or even it's historical accuracy may be, there's no doubt that the film made history in a certain aspect. Anthony Quinn became the first Mexican-American actor to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Emiliano Zapata's partying and womanizing brother. 

Brando did a fine job as the leader of a Mexican rebellion. There are some ever so subtle movements he makes in certain scenes that I think are really top notch. The scene where he tries to impress the family of Josefa (Jean Peters) as they exchange proverbs in an almost sensual manner is a neat one. Somewhat pointless for the story as a whole, but neat. But that's more of an editing issue. 

The movie itself seemed like it could have been more focused. Maybe even trimmed. Steinbeck's flair for words and the meandering pace make it difficult to classify this movie as a suspenseful war movie. It's more of a character piece with a lot of dialogue accompanied by scenes of war. Although it is good dialog for the most part and there are some great lines. Marlon Brando even gives a great speech near the end.

There is always the age old issue of the "white guy in a non-white role" to consider, but this movie is in black and white and Brando had chameleon-like abilities even in technicolor. Not everyone in this movie fared as well (Jean Peters and Alan Reed were rather bland in their roles), but at the very least Brando was the focus and he did not disappoint. As for another white guy that managed a fairly convincing portrayal of a Mexican, Joseph Wiseman gave what could probably be the most fascinating role in the entire film.

The trio of Brando, Quinn, and Wiseman really make this movie a treat.

More Mexican-Americans should have been used in the film, but this was 1952 and we should thank our lucky stars that the talented Anthony Quinn got a role at all. And I'd say he deserved his Oscar.

Would I recommend this? Well, sure. This is a really good movie even if it does feel a bit overlong and so many of the Mexicans aren't even Mexican. It's somewhat like expecting homemade Mexican cooking and ending up with food from a Taco Bell at times. Although it does feel authentic in many other parts such as the setting and clothing.

Viva Zapata! is not iconic quite like On the Waterfront and it shouldn't be considered as such, but that doesn't mean it should be relegated to the forgotten movie bin, either. It's a worthy add to the movie collection and a classic in its own right. Only it's a slightly flawed classic.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Name 100 Anime Other Than Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, and Dragonball

This is a test. A true test for the true Otaku. Without the use of the internet or consulting any sort of reference guide can you name 100 anime that aren't Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, or Dragonball? Or their respective sequels, for that matter. Can you do it? It's got to be off the top of your head. Don't look at your blu-rays or your streaming channels. If you have to, go to a room that has no anime references of any kind. Close your search browser if you have to or reach for a pen and paper if sitting in front of a computer is too much temptation to Google.

My room is almost covered in posters and I have quite a few blu-rays. Hell, my own blog is devoted to this stuff. Still, 100 anime titles is a tall order. And I've become so reliant on my blog to keep everything straight for me. 

I'm not too sure I can name 100 off the top of my head. I'm going to avoid movies since that would be too easy and I'm only limiting this list to one entry per franchise. So no padding out the list with different Gundam titles. 

But I shall try... Wish me luck. I think I can do it. I know I've seen enough to fill up this list, but can I remember enough?

  1. H20: Footprints in the Sand
  2. The Big O
  3. Outlaw Star
  4. Gunslinger Girl
  5. Noir
  6. Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom
  7. Mobile Suit Gundam
  8. Boogiepop Phantom
  9. Attack on Titan
  10. Sword Art Online
  11. Cowboy Bebop
  12. Trigun
  13. Code Geass
  14. School Days
  15. Nisekoi
  16. Ultimate Otaku Teacher
  17. Eureka Seven
  18. FLCL
  19. Yu-Gi-Oh!
  20. Gurren Lagann
  21. Digimon
  22. Pokemon
  23. Ergo Proxy
  24. Black Lagoon
  25. Knights of Sidonia
  26. Neon Genesis Evangelion
  27. Psycho Pass
  28. Full Metal Panic
  29. Fullmetal Alchemist
  30. Hellsing
  31. Space Battleship Yamato
  32. Lupin the 3rd
  33. Basilisk
  34. Suzuka
  35. Rumbling Hearts
  36. Yu-Sibu
  37. Oreimo
  38. WataMote
  39. Noucome
  40. Dog and Scissors
  41. The Severing Crime Edge
  42. Flowers of Evil
  43. Elfen Lied
  44. Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
  45. Valvrave the Liberator
  46. Majestic Prince
  47. Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet
  48. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
  49. Hetalia
  50. Fairy Tale
  51. Magi
  52. Eyeshield 21
  53. Yu Yu Hakusho
  54. Bakemonogatari
  55. When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace
  56. I Can't Understand What My Husband is Saying
  57. Terra Formars
  58. Black Bullet
  59. Tokyo Ghoul
  60. Samurai Champloo
  61. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
  62. Silver Spoon
  63. Black Butler
  64. Shimoneta
  65. Higurashi
  66. Case Closed
  67. The Files of Young Kindaichi
  68. Mysterious Girlfriend X
  69. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU
  70. Kids on the Slope
  71. Ninja Slayer
  72. Girls Bravo
  73. Log Horizon
  74. Legend of the Legendary Heroes
  75. Reborn
  76. Hunter X Hunter
  77. Another
  78. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
  79. Boys Over Flowers
  80. Rurouni Kenshin
  81. White Album
  82. Sankarea
  83. Saekano
  84. Photo Kano
  85. Kill La Kill
  86. Mekakucity Actors
  87. .hack/SIGN 
  88. Dr. Slump
  89. Problem Children Are Coming From Another World
  90. Anohana
  91. Clannad
  92. Air
  93. Kanon
  94. Sound! Euphonium
  95. Monster
  96. My Little Monster
  97. Toradora
  98. Durarara
  99. Baccano
  100. Fist of the North Star
You know what? This was actually pretty challenging for me. There are tons of obvious ones like InuYasha and Gungrave that I missed. I didn't name anything from the Tenchi series, either. Memory really is a funny thing. Some of these anime I have never even watched. I just thought of these names out of the blue. There are plenty I have on blu-ray that I couldn't even think of while I was making this list. Honestly, it took me about a half hour of concentration to grasp for names and some of them were a little too obscure for their own good. I know I've seen more than a hundred titles. I'm pretty sure I've seen close to two hundred titles. More, if sequels and such are included. But every time I rattled off about fifteen or twenty titles I'd get stuck and fight an urge to look at my blog. It was frustrating. Then a random name would pop in my head and I'd type a few more titles. The final five were the hardest, but once I thought of the first one the others followed quickly and my list was finished.

Really weird how the memory is. Anyway, this is my list. Let's see if you can make your own the same way I did. Maybe you can do it in less time. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Full Metal Panic!

Wow, I don't even remember this one. I thought I did, but I don't. It's just one of those anime I could have sworn to have watched way back in 2004, but I just watched it again and I couldn't even get a crack into that door to Nostalgia Land. It seemed all I could remember about the series was the name and that there were some robots and school kids involved. And that could describe a LOT of anime. 

So what is Full Metal Panic exactly? Well, it starts out like an animated version of The Delta Force featuring high school kids with robots and music that is at times similar to The A Team

FMP is an odd show because it doesn't seem all that futuristic. In fact, it feels even older than it actually is. As if the whole thing were inspired by cheesy 80's American terrorist attack movies. The animation is a bit clunky and the CGI is downright deplorable, too. The majority of the robots look completely underwhelming with the exception of the few that can power up to Dragonball Z levels and throw energy beams at each other.

Every single thing about this anime is ridiculously cheesy and groan-inducing. There is no logic. Absolutely none. On paper it all sounds kind of awesome, but the anime just doesn't quite cross that bridge. Thankfully, FMP does have some nice comedy to level out the playing field, but when things do get serious the payoff isn't quite as rewarding as it should be since the pacing and the clarity of the story are somewhat stunted. 

The captain of a secret military group is a klutzy 16 year old girl. The main character is a guy that is somehow an expert soldier, but he is somehow completely incapable of blending into a crowd of students. The main character is actually as old as his klutzy 16 year old captain, too.  

After watching enough anime one develops a mental file called an "anime file." Using this file, it's pretty easy to give a lot of things a slide by tossing those things into the file and saying, "It's anime, what do you expect?" My mental anime file is a rather large one and I can often forgive a lot of weird things, but this anime just about broke my anime file at the seams. 

Again, good thing there was some comedy to help this baby go down smooth. 

The story is simple enough on the surface, but a bit of a mess once you try to do some real analyzing. Which is a shame because it tries to add a little depth by going for a multi-dimensional story. The idea that the Whispered children can communicate telepathically and harness the power of "Black Technology" is fine and dandy, but almost nothing is done with this story idea for the bulk of the anime. Sometimes the phrase "Black Technology" is thrown around every now and then just to remind us that the phrase is supposed to mean something, but with the high school shenanigans and mecha fights going on it becomes less like foreshadowing and more like a line of dialog created on the spur of the moment to sound cool and menacing. 

Somewhat ironically the comedy also takes away from the story even though the comedy was my favorite part. This anime wants to be real serious at times, but then it wants to be silly, too. However, the serious part of the story isn't as quite elaborated on as it should be, but there are plenty of jokes to pad the time out. A few less jokes here and there and a bit more time spent on the plot could have done wonders. Sure, it would have made things more dramatic and realistic, but that is far from a bad thing.

I know this review doesn't exactly sound like a glowing one, but there are a few good things about this series.

The relationship between Chidori Kaname, Teletha Testarossa, and Sagara Sousuke is a neat one. The three have fairly good chemistry and it makes for one of the more believable love triangles in animedom. In fact, all of the characters are fairly interesting with the exception of Kurz Weber. I just found Kurz completely uninteresting as far as the "best friend of hero" role is concerned. The villain Gauron was interesting and pretty nasty, but he had a backstory that should have been fleshed out a bit more.

The mechas that don't look like overgrown turtles look pretty badass. I think there are only three or four mechs in this series that really look cool, but they are there nonetheless and worth noting.

Unfortunately, it's these same cool mechas that are capable of insane "power-ups" and energy blasts that kind make this series a bit more bizarre. Not only do we have telepathic people known the Whispered and the mysterious Black Technology, but we also robots that respond to feelings. Shit, I wish I could pilot a bigass robot using only my feelings to create energy. I'd kick everyone's ass. And yes, other mecha anime have been guilty of the same thing, but they've done the concept better while also having a better story. For instance: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and Mobile Fighter G Gundam.

All of this seems to contradict the realistic atmosphere this series tries to give off when it tries to be serious. I mean, we've got giant robots that respond to feelings, but people are still using DVD roms in this futuristic world? Is this story supposed to take place in 1996 or what? Of course, this anime shouldn't be held at fault for the time period it was made in, but it wasn't actually made all that long ago. This anime is only 13 years old. And as far as the psychological struggling The Whispered undergo, Neon Genesis Evangelion easily has this one beat and that series actually came out in 1995.

The political landscape of this world is also a bit murky. It's tough to really understand what's going on because it is not all explained. This anime's original release was postponed because of the 9/11 attacks in 2001. With terrorism and espionage in a war torn world being the primary subjects of this anime it seems absurd that it doesn't really try to be much more than an average mecha/ high school comedy/ romance anime. There's some backstory about a few characters being guerillas in the Middle East, but that is largely unexplored territory. There's no sense of immediacy for me. It's not a post-9/11 work in terms of it's theme or presentation and that feels like a missed opportunity. Of course, it was more than likely made before 9/11 which again makes it a bit of an oddity. By the time it was released the game had changed and what seemed like a cool if a bit muddled story about fighting terrorism with robots seemed infinitely dated to another age.

Anyway, that's my review. I did get enjoyment from the series, though. Just not as much as I would have liked.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Dragon Ball Vol. 7: General Blue and the Pirate Treasure by Toriyama Akira

It's been a super busy week for me and my Otaku House. Hell, the entire month has been busy. Not only have I been stocking up on some badass anime collections and some cool merch, but I've also been to the movies to watch the kickass Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' three times in the last week and a half. It really is a movie for the fans. Of course, it's not a perfect movie, but it's a great movie-going experience and well worth the three trips to the theater for me. I highly recommend going if you can before it stops playing. Funimation is giving an encore run until August 17 so check your local theaters.

Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z fans really are some of the best fans in the world and each time I went my fellow fans made me proud by turning out in some respectable numbers and in their favorite shirts. Way to represent.

Of course, this entry is a review of where it all started: the manga. Goku had a long, long way to go before achieving the anime greatness of Super Saiyan God.

In this volume Goku and his gang have their hands full with the mighty Red Ribbon Army. General Blue is hellbent on getting his hands on the dragon balls and so he chases Goku, Kuririn, and Bulma into an underwater cave that is said to lead to a fantastical pirate treasure.

What follows is a section that seems straight out of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Goku and company go down corridors lined with booby traps in an effort to escape their pursuers. Of course, the comparison kind of goes away once the giant robotic pirate thingy attacks. Just who the hell were these pirates?

While a serviceable bit of story, I once again felt that the Red Ribbon Army just isn't that terrifying of a foe. Sure, Goku is a bit naive and falls for some cheap tricks, but General Blue really isn't much of a threat for Goku. It's odd that Blue actually survives this entire volume. I never really thought of him as a major villain, but he's had over a volume dedicated to him at this point and with some more to come. Then again Toriyama really is just an off the cuff kind of guy and he makes stuff up as he goes, it seems. Blue may be the top villain for now, but he won't stay there for long.

After the pirate treasure chase, Goku ends up chasing General Blue into Penguin Village where the characters from Dr. Slump greet them. Of course, this series was started after the end of Dr. Slump so I imagine this cameo was definitely neat for fans of that series. There really is nothing like reuniting with old friends. However, if you aren't familiar with Dr. Slump then the cameo falls really flat. I knew about it because I read a read an Amazon review and then picked up the first two volumes of the Dr. Slump manga beforehand. Dr. Slump frequently breaks the fourth wall as part of its humor. The main character (other than Arale) Norimaki Senbei says how excited he is because it had been so long since he appeared in a comic as he knowingly winks at the audience. I imagine, he'd be even more thrilled to appear in one today since this volume debuted in 1987. This style is a bit different than Dragon Ball since Dragon Ball tries with each successful volume to be a bit more serious.

The cameo is certainly cool, but not really necessary for the enjoyment of either series. It's really only a moment for fans of both and I imagine it will be lost on many Western fans that have no idea what Dr. Slump is.

The volume ends up with Goku's journey to Karin's Sanctuary where he hopes to find another dragon ball after General Blue has decided to make a temporary and wise retreat.

The Red Ribbon Army hasn't given up, though. Commander Red has decided to send the illustrious Taopaipai after Goku. Will Goku survive that battle? Well, duh, but I'll pretend I don't already know the outcome and eagerly start the next volume.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Knights of Sidonia (Season Two)

I should completely dismantle this season of Knights of Sidonia. I really, really should. And it would be soooo easy to do. As I was watching this I felt a bit disappointed with myself over how much I was enjoying myself. This anime went from Attack on Titan in space to Oreimo (well, without the sister complex) in space without batting an eye. I think I actually have whiplash from the change in tone. 

Damn it, I should be way more pissed off at this turn of events. But I'm not. Compared to other second seasons I've seen recently, this is still one of the better ones. I don't know how much that says, but there you go. 

In fact, I'm reminded of Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu right now. If you've never seen Full Metal Panic than allow me to explain my analogy. Full Metal Panic was a mecha anime that had three total seasons, but it's second season was a parody and didn't really follow the series. As a parody it can be viewed by itself without even needing to watch the series. So it wasn't really a second season at all since it had no storyline or tonal ties to the previous or following season. 

Season two of Knights of Sidonia is similar to Fumoffu in that it doesn't feel like a true sequel, but the second season of Knights of Sidonia isn't a complete departure. There are still some major storyline moments that occur that make the second season required viewing. There is also continuity from both a thematic and visual standpoint. But these moments are stifled in favor of the harem story surrounding Izana, Tsumugi, Yuhata, and our beleaguered male lead Tanikaze Nagate. The bulk of these episodes concern how Izana is trying to advance her relationship with Nagate while Yahata and Tsumugi scheme to stop them. Of course, Tsumugi's presence alone is a frustrating and almost wasted plotpoint since she's reduced to this.

Tsumugi is a gauna-human hybrid created by one of the more arrogant characters of this series. The hows and whys are confusing to state in a few short sentences, but I'll try to make things brief as I can.

She was created by a scientist named Ochiai for the purposes of destroying gauna, but she has the personality of a high school girl and the voice of Nagate's dead girlfriend Hoshijiro.

Nagate naturally forms a bond with her (since he even managed to do so with the creepy ena that looked like Hoshijiro in the first season this does seem like a logical progression), but the entire time I was thinking that Tsumugi was a deception. Somehow she was going to turn evil. She was created by a guy that forcibly possessed people's minds and actually pulled off a coup d'etat that left every single member of the Immortal Council dead. Not too mention Tsumugi was part freaking gauna and strong enough to wipe out entire gauna clusters by herself.

At some point, Ochiai and Kobayashi were going to pull out all the stops and say, "Surprise, we own this country now and we have a giant half-gauna that will kill all of you if you don't agree to our wishes." I knew it would happen. I knew it would happen. There was just no way a character like Tsumugi could just be an odd but cutesy member of Nagate's harem. Right? She had to be a HUGE plot twist in the making that would bring destruction on Sidonia...

But nope, someone just said "fuck all that" and made her a member of a harem. Her entire presence in this anime is just agonizing considering her potential to actually advance this plot. Dear God. And who would've thought that a gauna's tentacles sound like a squeaking dog toy when those tentacles get patted together? Or was this a trait special to only Tsumugi?

Many of this season's shocking revelations were overthrown in favor of harem shenanigans that involved a space monster the size of a tall building. Huh?

The coup d'etat? It happened in the third episode and wasn't even mentioned again. Wouldn't someone actually discover that their government had been destroyed at some point before episode twelve? Are people in the far future really this dense? Hell, the only person in the entire series that suspects anything is a talking bear, but she just stands around nervously making the protagonist food.

And what about the people that left Sidonia earlier in the series? Nothing?

Nope, it's harem time, by God.

Instead of journeying to harem land it seemed like so much of this twelve episode runtime should have been put toward actually resolving these important plot points.

That doesn't mean this season was bad, though. In fact, what it did right it did damn right. Tsumugi is a fascinating character and adorable. Yes, she is a wasted plotpoint, but she was also a great character. The fact that she could be adorable and show a wide range of emotions despite being a monstrosity is a large catalyst for this season. Especially since so much of it is about her. She doesn't advance the story one damn bit, but she's so awesome to watch that it is impossible to not watch.

That's why, and I'm really cursing myself for this, I can't call this season a failure. I'd actually call it a success. The animation was great (even though I still prefer my anime hand drawn), the fights were great, and the usual harem and dating bits were pretty hilarious. This all came at a sacrifice to the realism and intensity of the first season, though. So, despite season two still being pretty good, it has a different tone and storytelling style that will probably throw off fans of the first season and understandably so.

The only real big drawback of season two were the introductions of HUGE plot twists that seemed to go nowhere. Tsumugi being an underutilized character, I could accept that since she was cute and done so well. Ochiai's resurrection and the death of the Immortal Council not even being touched upon more, I cannot accept. I imagine a third season will come rolling along sometime soon to elaborate everything left untouched in the second season, but it makes me wonder why those elements were introduced at all at that specific time if so much of this season was going to be devoted to dating humor. Thankfully, I like dating and harem humor. So... I guess I'll call this one a winner even though it probably shouldn't be.

Man, I hate myself now.

Dr. Slump, Vol. 2 by Toriyama Akira

I admit I feel completely silly giving this series a review. There just isn't a lot to go on in terms of story so far. That isn't a bad thing since this series is really a bunch of comedic shorts, but the problem is giving an adequate review of each entry that says anything other than a copy and paste of my review of the first volume.

But I shall try.

The biggest shakeup in this entry as far as story goes is that Norimaki Senbei got his hair cut too short. Shocking development for so early in the series. His look just isn't the same. 

Of course, there is a multi-chapter story about Bubibinman, the defender of justice and peace from space. Bubibinman comes to earth in hopes of impressing the earthlings, but he's shocked to discover a certain young robot girl that is far stranger than him. And no, I'm not talking Android 18.

And then there's the epic story arc that features the bankrobber that has the misfortune of running into Arale at every turn. When he takes her hostage not once but twice he's the one that ends up running to the police for help both times. 

And that is as much as I can glean from this volume. Any more and this whole volume is spoiled. 

This series is incredibly silly and that's a great thing. It's almost as if Monty Python were a manga and as with Python you either get it or you don't. Those that get it are richly rewarded with laughs and those that don't... Well, I'll just have to put down their names in my Death Note. 

If there is a "flaw" with this entry (or the previous one) it would be that of the pacing. There really isn't any pacing at all. Each skit just kind of flows along, but there's no real continuation or suspense or anything like that. It's all just a bunch of brilliantly drawn poop and boob jokes that would be just as funny out of order as in. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Dragon Ball Z - Resurrection 'F': Movie 15 (Uncut, English Dubbed Version)

Be warned that this review is spoilery...

This was the theatrical release I had been waiting on all summer. I knew it was going to epic. The follow-up to 2013's Battle of Gods, Resurrection 'F' features one of the classic Dragon Ball Z villains and shows us him in a brand new light. 

Obviously, I'm talking about Freeza. Freeza was the last truly organic villain to terrorize the Z fighters. After the Freeza saga, all we had to deal with in terms of villains were androids and mystically created beings. Freeza was very much a mortal creature that dealt in things like planet-selling, slavery, and mass genocide. To me, Freeza was the last truly evil villain because he wasn't created to be evil. Freeza merely chose to be evil. Majin Buu and Cell were more powerful, but Dragon Ball Z was at its high point with Freeza even if the original anime fight with Freeza was insanely drawn out to last four hours in running time. 

Although, there were definitely questions I had concerning his new movie appearance. How the hell could Freeza compete with a Super Saiyan God Goku? Mecha Freeza was easily laid to waste by Future Trunks (admittedly before Mecha Freeza could really power up) and he had only been brought out of retirement in the main series afterwards for filler episodes. As well as forgettable appearances in Dragon Ball GT and the Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn movie. What could bringing Freeza back one more time accomplish? Freeza has been defeated and embarrassed just about more than any other villain in the series. What good was a movie about Freeza going to do anyone after everything else we had witnessed? 

Well, obviously this movie was going to end in his defeat, but this movie did surprise me. His Golden Freeza form was pretty badass. So badass he could go toe toe with Goku's Super Saiyan God SS form. He even could have won. In fact, there were times he should have won easily and not just against Goku. 

But is it really that plausible that Freeza could compete with a Super Saiyan God SS Goku in only four months because he decided to actually train for once? Hmm... I don't know. It sounds plausible, I guess. Although, even Golden Freeza and Super Saiyan God SS Goku still can't touch Beerus and Whis, who were comfortable eating dessert and chatting about strawberries while watching Goku and Freeza create city-sized craters in the earth. 

And once again Gohan is relegated to the "useless supporting character that can only watch" role. Apparently, he's the new Yamcha. And Yamcha and Chiaotzu weren't even in this movie. Not that they could have done anything to stop Golden Freeza, but if Tien, Kuririn, and even Kame-sen'nin can put up a fight than I would have thought that... And what about Majin Buu, Goten, and Trunks? They were conveniently absent the entire movie. 

But a scene with Android 18 and Kuririn early on set things straight for the rest of the movie. 18 questioned the logic of Kuririn going to fight Freeza when 18 was way stronger than Kuririn, but Kuririn went anyway because it was the cool thing to do. 

So there. 

Hell, overanalyzing this is going to get me nowhere. Thankfully, there's plenty of comedy and action to keep things moving, but the best moment of this movie is when Vegeta joins the battle. Cheers everywhere. For a second it looked like Goku really was going to hog all of the battle, but then Vegeta enters the fray and actually does something. In every single movie appearance Vegeta always makes a badass appearance only to get absolutely wasted five seconds later, but this time he actually comes so close to defeating that first major villain on his DBZ career... until the world literally ends. Yes, the world ends when Vegeta finally get a chance to kill a major villain. Damn it. But at least he became a Super Saiyan God SS in one hell of a cool plot twist. Take that, Goku! 

Vegeta has always been a favorite character so it's great to actually see him ascend beyond Super Saiyan 2. So I say it's well worth having the world end in order to witness to Prince's new found greatness. 

Don't worry about the world ending, though. This is Dragon Ball Z so the world ending is almost an everyday occurrence and thanks to an insanely convenient Whis ability Goku manages to steal all of Vegeta's glory and save the world. 

This movie was definitely satisfactory and I liked it better overall than Battle of Gods. I also believe that at long last I have come across the best of the Dragon Ball Z movies. Sorry, Broly, but Freeza has you beat. This one is the best. The sleeper has awakened. Resurrection 'F', you are the prince of Dragon Ball Z movies. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Tokyo Ghoul √A

You ever go to a theater to see a really hyped up movie and then leave feeling slightly underwhelmed? It happens to all of us. But let's say it's a year after you saw that movie and then you hear about that movie getting a sequel. Surely, you'd expect that movie to be as underwhelming as the original, but you hear this faint voice in your head telling you that it might be that diamond in the rough sequel that far supasses the original. So you say screw it to your own hesitations and go see the sequel with your expectations held reasonably low but your hopes high. And then the movie is over and you wonder how you possibly could have deluded yourself into thinking that movie could have been good in the first place.

Such was my experience with the 12 episode clusterfuck that was Tokyo Ghoul √A. The first season wasn't great, but it was at least enjoyable enough: it made me want to read the manga and perhaps even more importantly the anime held up well enough on a second viewing. 

Tokyo Ghoul A was a bit enjoyable, but it was also a directionless mess. Its convoluted storyline was ruined further by a lack of character development and a nonexistent protagonist. Kaneki Ken is literally in each episode for just a few minutes where he is relegated into the "brooding hero doing mysterious stuff" role. He's a cardboard cutout of what could have and should have been an interesting character. His transformation in the first season may have been rushed, but at least it was "reasonably rushed" and somewhat understandable.

In this anime Kaneki Ken was reduced to a Naruto Shippuden Sasuke knockoff. Considering that Studio Pierrot is actually responsible for both anime, I can't say that I'm surprised. The lack of ideas they displayed in the endless and most recent six month long Naruto Shippuden filler arc clearly blended into this anime.

Touka's character is reduced to a Sakura role. She used to be a badass, but now she's relegated to just wanting to be a schoolgirl now that Kaneki abandoned her and the Anteiku group. To me, that's wasted potential.

And for our Naruto? Well, there isn't really a Naruto type of character in this anime so score one point for Pierrot. See? I'm fair.

As to why Kaneki abandoned Anteiku in favor of the Aogiri Tree I do not know. The only reason given is that he "wanted to be stronger," but I recall him killing and eating the S-ranked Jason in the finale of the previous season. I recall him having the powers of the binge-eater Rize as well.

Soooo that leads me to believe he is already quite damn powerful. Why betray Anteiku then? Answer: He just does because he's the "brooding hero doing mysterious stuff." Maybe the manga explains things better. Hell, I sure hope so. In fact, I hope most of this season was just made up on the spot by hack writers and that the manga is completely different.

Whatever Kaneki and Aogiri is doing isn't explained. The presence of the two twin human girls that somehow became ghouls is also not explained. There's a clown character and a guy named Anima, but who are they? No fucking clue. It ain't explained.

"Nothing is explained" should be a subtitle for this anime.

However, this anime does spend time getting to know some lesser characters and breathing life into them. Those are nice moments, though ultimately unrewarding since they do not further the plot in any way. But still, it's nice to know at least some of the characters. Amon Kōtarō probably benefited the most from this season in terms of getting to know him although his fight with Kaneki at the end was ridiculously underwhelming.

The conclusion as a whole was ridiculously underwhelming. It did nothing for me. All the ending was were some lame fights, Touka running in the snow, flashbacks, and Kaneki walking in a melancholic state. Just... ugh.

There was one thing in particular that annoyed me about the ending... even more so than just about everything else that annoyed me. Touka is supposed to be a badass. She's powerful and known as the rabbit because of how quick she is. So why the hell does she trip and fall in the snow and seem to struggle to keep running when it comes to chasing after Kaneki? I mean, she's a freaking ghoul. I know the writers want to play the emotion card and make it seem like Touka is always chasing after him and she'll never catch up to him, but the concept makes no sense because she is a freaking ghoul that excels at speed.

All of the characters get moments where it seems like they'll die and they give these fond farewells, but it's tough for me to think of a single ghoul that died in this series aside from Rize and Jason and Hinami's parents... which all happened in season one. Ghouls never die. Like never. No matter how much damage seems to be done to them ghouls seem to get up and be relatively fine. But why do some ghouls die and others not? Well, because plot. That's something that was wrong with the first season, but I never really bothered with it. Rize's death was stupid in the first episode of the first season. Who the hell gets killed by falling beams? I mean, once you can see just how tough some of these ghouls are you begin to realize that getting killed by some steel beams is just stupid. Ghouls get freaking eviscerated and beheaded and shot and stabbed and then appear a few episodes later like nothing happened. But a few steel beams fall down and suddenly one of the strongest ghouls is down for the count? Granted that's a season one flaw and not a season two flaw, but the very concept applies to all of the absurd death speeches each ghoul gives. Ghouls don't die unless poor writing decides they should.

Trying to paint these ghouls as sympathetic but cursed heroes just doesn't wash, either. All ghouls eat people. All of them. So why do they consider eating people a sin? "I'm dying to repent for my sins..." Blah, blah, blah, you're a freaking ghoul. Act like it. You'll be just fine after you eat some dead homeless guy. My heart bleeds. You won't die, but I will from boredom if you won't start actually doing something other than whining about how you think you're dying before you get conveniently rescued by the main character.

I appreciate the concept of a ghoul that doesn't want to kill in order to live. It's no different than a vampire that doesn't want to do the same. But I don't want to be beaten over the head with it. Of course, eating people is bad. No shit. Now go eat some people or something. Make this anime interesting instead of a bunch of emo hogwash.

Someone needs to remake this from scratch. Season one was passable, but what was wrong about that season is even more wrong in this one.

I still want to read the manga, but I hope it is so much better than this.