Jump to content

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Knight Of Winter said:

Thanks, I've bookmarked El-Melloi Case Files to watch later :) 

Having also watched Kara no Kyoukai, I've very much liked them - definitely one of the best thriller anime I've seen. 5th movie was the best, IMO: intriguing plot, good mystery, great action and non-linear storytelling made for a awesome combination. And Yuki Kaijura of course, whose music elevates every anime she's ever worked on.

Glad if I can help (or prevent you from going further down that rabbit hole^^)!

Ah, so you've already seen Kara no Kyoukai? If the 5th one is the one about the killer apartment, then yes, it's my favorite as well (sorry, but it's too long that I've seen those and given the non-linear structure, I can barely assign numbers to plots).

If you liked Fate/Zero, maybe other works of the same author, Gen Urobuchi, might be interesting for you. From him I also watched Madoka Magica and Psycho-Pass, both of which have turned into instant favorites of mine. Psycho-Pass is essentially Minority Report in a Cyberpunk Tokyo with an idealistic police officer fighting the oppressive system from the inside while still doing her detective work against ax-crazy killers who want to defy the system in more violent ways. Madoka Magica is a deconstruction/reconstruction of the Magical Girl genre, of which I'm not a fan myself admittedly, but it offers a great character-driven tragedy much in the same tone as Fate/Zero. At times horrifically grim, but with a nice twist. Then again, it is so popular it essentially broke the Magical Girl genre, now that the only stuff being made tries to out-do it when it comes to torturing its characters, apparently that being the only take-away for some studio execs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, A True Kaniggit said:

Gen: Lock? It's also on Rooster Teeth's website. But lots of adverts there too.

Didn't realize they aired it on their own website. I Can't complain too much about ads for free content.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Toth said:

Glad if I can help (or prevent you from going further down that rabbit hole^^)!

Thanks again. From what I hear, Fate series is indeed a rabbit hole ;) As for Kara Kyoukai's fifth film - yes, I believe that's the one.

Madoka I've watched relatively recently, and I've liked it. Psycho-Pass one among the first anime series for me, and it's still one of my favourites. But since I see we have similar taste in anime, allow me to venture a recommendation or two of my own.

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - perhaps the best-known anime cyberpunk series. The concept is very similar to Psycho-Pass, indeed SAC was one of the main influences for PP's creators. Again we have a group of police officers (although they're more like special agents in SAC's case) who live and operate in technology-dominated, slightly dystopian world of the future. Themes are also recognizable: the relationship between humanity and technology in years to come, how will technology change our lives for better or worse; and how humanity itself will change, relationship between body and mind etc. Not to be confused with Hollywood's Ghost in the Shell movie with Scarlett Johansson - which is a remake of (also great) 1995 Japanese animated movie, but with significant drop in quality.

Shinsekai Yori (aka From the New World). A relatively little known anime, which is a pity, considering it's one of the most unique and interesting examples of the medium I've experienced. Set in a apparently utopian future, where people happily live in arcadian little villages, with everyone able to use magic and being genetically conditioned not to use violence against each other. However, soon a series a strange events occurs, and plot slowly starts to unravel. Primarily a social commentary, but also mystery, drama and coming-of-age story, I can't recommend it high enough.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Knight Of Winter said:

Thanks again. From what I hear, Fate series is indeed a rabbit hole ;) As for Kara Kyoukai's fifth film - yes, I believe that's the one.

Madoka I've watched relatively recently, and I've liked it. Psycho-Pass one among the first anime series for me, and it's still one of my favourites. But since I see we have similar taste in anime, allow me to venture a recommendation or two of my own. 

Aha! So I was basically running in open doors there. Glad you liked those! I guess it will be interesting times, what with a 3rd season of Psycho-Pass in the works and Magia Record Anime airing this year. I have seen some character concept of the latter recently and given that Kuro of all people got a character study, it seems they are trying to work the significantly more interesting side stories into the main plot.

But then again... Kuro? She only appeared once in a Valentine's event, where...

Spoiler

... she is a random mook of a villainous Magical Girl gang whom Homura befriends over the course of a day, but then becomes a witch and has to be mercy killed by a visibly shaken Homura who has to be consoled by Madoka afterwards. From a narrative POV, the scene was basically just there to remind the audience that this is still Madoka Magica, despite all the happy slice of life stuff. Well, and that Kuro was so loved by the players that the developers made her a playable character afterwards despite, well, being dead and stuff. So I don't really know how that fits in any way into the bigger main story...

Thanks for your recommendations anyway! Ghost in the Shell was recommended several times to me already, actually, but I must admit, I don't really like Cyberpunk at all. So I'm always more than a bit skittish about giving it a try. I guess some of the settings don't really sit well with me. Same thing with Cowboy Bebop that I had started, but abandoned after a few episodes because it just wasn't clicking with my taste.

The other thing sounds quite interesting. I was recently recommended "Brave New World" and comparing the premises, this seems awfully close. I'll keep it on my mind, though I can't promise anything as to now. Have to use my time carefully.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Sorry for the double-post, but now having seen the third El-Melloi Case Files episode I have to shout out my musings to nobody in particular. I know nobody cares anyway. XD

I also just noticed I haven't linked a trailer yet (but don't click if you haven't seen Fate/Zero. Seriously. Massive spoilers ahead!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWc4ugCCo5I

 

You notice the Yuki Kaijura soundtrack? Apparently she found a band that is willing to pretend to be Kalafina. Yay, I guess!^^ I was especially floored by the opening and I must admit, the show has become noticeably prettier. I noted at the first episode how odd it looked when it recreated scenes from Fate/Zero with a noticeable lower budget, but now they ramped up the animation quality and managed to catch up to ufotable. Of course, I don't really want to think about the crunch hours that likely happened to allow for this level of quality.

So after two prologue chapters we have now reached the first proper episode of Waver acting as Sherlock Holmes to Gray's Watson in magical murder cases. Of course this isn't Agatha Christie and the mysteries aren't exactly supposed to be solved by the audience. There is foreshadowing about the solution, but with the mechanics of the magic system being made up as the show goes along, you can't really approach it rationally. Case in point, the first case involves a mage being dismembered in his own home, with his body parts messily scattered across the entire mansion. The solution is...

Spoiler

... suicide. Kinda. Apparently he wanted to haunt his own house and the ritual failed. There were hints that he was obsessed with immortality, but other than that it is never explained how the fuck he managed to dismember himself without any assistance.

I mean, wow, that really came out of the left field! XD

Of course, this level of cheating when it comes to the mysteries forces the story to focus on the characters instead. They keep doing a good job with Waver, but has to be seen whether the other characters can catch up or whether the show keeps leaning heavily on the build-up of Fate/Zero as a crutch. Waver's musings about people changing at the end of this episode leave me hopeful, though I am a bit confused about why he was doing that:

Spoiler

Was he disappointed in Mary for letting her father die? The narrative made it clear that he was an abusive piece of shit who experimented upon everyone in the mansion, so why did he look so troubled after her explanation? Especially since before he was smiling and shrugging off the idea that he would try to expose her. It's just... odd... though maybe he was just irritated about his teachings being used to justify inaction.

In any case, I am just hoping that we are going to see some character development of the rest of the cast. So far Reines and Gray are the most interesting characters and I sure hope they don't remain static. Especially Gray, where I fear that her crippling self-worth issues are only played up as cute and not as an opportunity to overcome her past.

Also two more minor nit-picks: Why is everyone in Great Britain acting so stupidly Japanese? All that bowing and focus on politeness makes it look more stiff than the stuff taking place in Japan. And then of course there is the gibberish English in both the title and the incantations being used. Why the hell is it so difficult for a millions of dollars franchise to look more than 5 seconds into a random dictionary when using foreign languages? Gray's spell when activating her Mystic Code was utter cringe despite being supposed to be English...

Edited by Toth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

So now episode 3 the El-Melloi Case Files has aired. I must admit, I was actually surprised at how episodic this show is. I thought by now they would start setting up a grand mystery that will guide the whole story, but instead they gave us another single-episode problem that was used as an excuse to flesh out Waver's class and expand the cast. Now we've got the cool glasses dude who was the Master of Frankenstein's Monster in Fate/Apocrypha and we got Luvia (of which I am curious to see how she is handled without that idiot Shirou nearby... maybe a chance to give her an actual goddamn personality). Also a weird girl with a pink dress and an eyepatch was for some reason foregrounded in reaction shots to the antics in the classroom. Not sure what to make of that one. I guess it fits to Flat's little speech about their class being full of weirdos and deviants.

All in all a pretty fun episode, though the ending was quite a gut-punch out of the left field. I wonder whether this is caused by the freedom it takes with its source material:

Spoiler

At the beginning of the episode we are being told (by Reines) that Waver is nervous about the nearing 5th Grail War in Fuyuki and desperately wants to participate in order to meet Iskandar again. This isn't shown at all during the episode which is about Waver's frustration at not being able to finish a not further specified academic paper because his favourite coffee shop is closed thanks to its cellar being haunted by magical bull-sized rodents. After solving the case and bullshitting the responsible mage into submission, everyone is celebrating at the coffee shop (with Waver noting his intention to finish his paper no less!) and then Luvia breaks the news that the two Mage's Association Masters have already being chosen and it ends with Waver being utterly perplexed by that.

I find this just weird from a pacing POV. This is a big thing. Waver's chances to meet Iskandar again have dropped to basically zero, which is especially poignant given how the previous episodes have beaten us over the head with flashbacks to drive the point home of how important these memories are. So it would have been significantly better if something very urgent and very time-consuming (like an arc going over several episodes) keeps Waver so busy that he misses the Grail War. Not just his favourite coffee shop being closed, for god's sake!

Also another minor issue: Doesn't anyone else find it extremely jarring how Add was laughing when Gray and Flat were shocked about finding corpses in the sewer? He is supposed have the personality of a prankster, but not a sociopath. Come on, we are talking about...

Spoiler

Artoria's goddamn brother here.

It just seemed way out of character, I think.

 

Edited by Toth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/14/2019 at 7:15 PM, Toth said:

Why the hell is it so difficult for a millions of dollars franchise to look more than 5 seconds into a random dictionary when using foreign languages? 

Haven't been following this thread, but I think the reason for this is pretty simple. There is a tendency for them to do direct literal translations without understanding the nuance on both sides. There are some pretty weird use of English by the Japanese where it means something entirely different because of dual meanings and imperfect translations.

Anyway does the El-Melloi Case Files require prior Fate knowledge? I was considering watching it because of the cast but I'm not that keen on wasting my time just for that if I can't follow the story.

By the way, Kajiura Yuki is also doing the soundtrack for Kimetsu no Yaiba. I don't normally watch anime and avoid adaptations but I started watching it because of the cast. Their VA lineup is quite something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Proudfeet said:

Haven't been following this thread, but I think the reason for this is pretty simple. There is a tendency for them to do direct literal translations without understanding the nuance on both sides. There are some pretty weird use of English by the Japanese where it means something entirely different because of dual meanings and imperfect translations.

Still just confirms that writers don't know any English whatsoever, because it's just insane. The Fate franchise is a double offender given how many of the spells used are supposed to be German and are just pure cringe.

57 minutes ago, Proudfeet said:

Anyway does the El-Melloi Case Files require prior Fate knowledge? I was considering watching it because of the cast but I'm not that keen on wasting my time just for that if I can't follow the story.

What do you mean you consider it because of the cast? Because of the voice actors?

In any case, I wouldn't recommend watching it without having watched Fate/Zero. It's a spin-off to that show and indulges in constant references to it. Though you are in luck in that case because Fate/Zero is pretty much the only Fate show worth watching anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Toth said:

Still just confirms that writers don't know any English whatsoever, because it's just insane. The Fate franchise is a double offender given how many of the spells used are supposed to be German and are just pure cringe.

Yeah. I don't know how it happened, but it feels like machine translation gone wrong except that actual people are behind the translations. There are a lot of literal translations going on. 

I can't really think of many examples right now but there are many instances where you have to keep in mind that their English lingo is rather different from the English we are used to and that they mean something different and also that they have very different vocabulary than we do (or maybe its just me). It leads to situations where I've seen several usages of words like serendipity from the "not proficient in English" Japanese sources and probably zero from native English sources.

20 minutes ago, Toth said:

What do you mean you consider it because of the cast? Because of the voice actors?

In any case, I wouldn't recommend watching it without having watched Fate/Zero. It's a spin-off to that show and indulges in constant references to it. Though you are in luck in that case because Fate/Zero is pretty much the only Fate show worth watching anyway.

Yes, the voice actors.

I see. I'll have to find time for Fate/Zero first then. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if it's already been mentioned ,but i found a neat little historical anime titled Vinland Saga. Apparently it's based on a historical manga of the same name.

Amazon Prime. 4 episodes so far - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TVV16BV

 

Vinland Saga is the vikings-themed anime you didn’t know you needed
https://www.polygon.com/2019/7/12/20688878/vinland-saga-review-amazon-prime-video-history-vikings

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Edit: Lol, I just read that you can watch the first episode of the Fate/Grand Order Babylonia Anime within Fate/Grand Order. As in: In the Mobile Game. On your phone. Yeah, that sure sounds very comfortable...

Okay, just chiming in this morning to give my two cents on the last two El-Melloi Case Files episodes, which in any other format might be called a two-parter about Waver and Gray investigating a crazy mansion where a magical thunderstorm keeps sniping people. All in all still pretty good stuff. Luvia is gone, I'm afraid, and it looks like she will not appear anymore (which made her one-episode cameo pretty pointless). Instead the necromancer dude who was Mordred's Master in Fate/Apocrypha plays a supporting role here. This show is really used to tie all Fate shows together, is it? Especially since I got myself a minor spoiler about Olga Animusphere from Fate/Grand Order appearing next. Though that makes me confused, given that she is a young adult in Grand Order, here she should be a toddler.

Anyway, back to the case. There were many nice character moments. I liked Waver's relationship with Reines here, especially when they had to share a room for the night. Every word Reins says may oozing malice, but their bickering and that Waver felt comfortable enough to throw a pillow at her when she teased him so much very neatly showed how well they get along with each other.

Then of course there was the penultimate fight scene against hordes of fairy monsters. I must admit, I was quite disappointed that Reines couldn't join the battle because of her Mystic Eyes crippling her and instead I was more than a little stumped that we see Waver himself fight. In a previous episode he claimed to have fended off one of the electric rodent creatures himself off-screen when Gray and Flat found him battered up in the sewers and I found it hard to believe that he did. And now suddenly we see him use gun-shot-like offensive magic alongside the necromancer dude. Sure, the show made a point of not showing whether he actually managed to kill anything while all the other characters showed off their skills (with Willis somehow invoking Kara no Kyoukai vibes as he was knifing enemies with glowing eyes for some reason), but it is still surprising given that Waver so far had been shown entirely reliant on other mages to the heroics, with him failing at simple healing magic. How does combat magic suddenly fit into his skill-set outside of Fate/Grand Order?

Of course there were also a few things I wasn't so happy about, mainly that towards the end of each episode things suddenly turned extremely rushed:

Spoiler

The first episode announcing that the one investigator girl got killed as some kind of cliffhanger was a bit jarring, given how there was no set-up for it whatsoever and the last scene we saw of her was in a sauna of all things, musing about the case. It just left me confused about why it was necessary to just toast her off-screen, make her disappear from the narrative and barely mention it afterwards. I guess it was supposed to serve that ending that reminded me quite a lot of the first Star Trek movie, what with Captain Decker merging with V'ger to reconnect with his love interest that was killed and absorbed by it. At least Willis mentioned something along these lines, though it was a bit skewered by his obsession with the fake fairy and his dislike for his dead childhood friend.

For that matter, this entire ending scene after the battle against the Wild Hunt was completely messed up in terms of physics. Characters randomly beamed to different positions. Reines and the inspector were inside the mansion when Gray unleashed her spear, when the glow subsided they were outside with the others. The same with Waver who stood with the necromancer dude and in the next scene hugged Gray. Then the randomly changing distances to the fairy gate. Willis casually walked up to it in 2 seconds flat while Waver immediately started running after him and did so for minutes despite both of them starting out pretty much next to each other. And then suddenly a shot from above showed the gate in quite some distance from Waver. It was all so jarringly wonky that I couldn't help but think that they cut quite a lot down when they noticed that they had only few minutes of screentime left, or worse, just rushed this without heed for how it would be physically possible.

 

Edited by Toth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finished Fate/Zero. It was decent I guess? Not impressed though. Can't muster up much interest as it was basically spoiled from the start from knowing basic Stay Night plot details.

Started El-Melloi, it seems okay so far. Voice acting is kind of standard and generic. A little disappointed with Gray. Plot is episodic so not much to say on that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Proudfeet said:

Finished Fate/Zero. It was decent I guess? Not impressed though. Can't muster up much interest as it was basically spoiled from the start from knowing basic Stay Night plot details.

Started El-Melloi, it seems okay so far. Voice acting is kind of standard and generic. A little disappointed with Gray. Plot is episodic so not much to say on that.

Oh, hard to please! Curious how "almost everybody is doomed" can spoil a story that is set up to be a prequel story where the character building is the most enjoyable aspect. At least I really enjoyed the character interactions. Waver and Iskandar, Irisviel, Kiritsugu and Saber, Kariya's horrifical arc. Sure, the whole Tohsaka arc only works because both Tokiomi and Aoi are ridiculously dumb (Tokiomi with his atrocious judge of character and Aoi with having no spine whatsoever), but otherwise I can't complain about much. The tragedy was thematically very on-point.

In regard to the Case Files... well, I did say that it feels very episodic. A bit like a fantasy Detective Conan that makes new rules up as it goes along. I'm enjoying it mostly for seeing Waver again and the faint hope to see the other Fate characters fleshed out a bit. So far only Waver and Reines' relationship is in enjoyable in that context.

For that matter, recently left episode 6 running while working. So how exactly can you make an episode about three girls trapped in an empty shopping mall and still fail the Bechdel test? While I was initially happy about Reines and Gray getting more interactions, I must say that I groaned about this inclusion of the Fate franchise's worst aspect: Make everything about the guy. So... by now we have 5 or six characters falling for Waver, I assume Luvia is an exception because Shirou's inexplicable pull is even stronger, but damn it's annoying that you can't watch Fate without this harem nonsense everywhere.

Edited by Toth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, from the start, you know that Saber loses, Kiritsugu lives and adopts Shirou, Gilgamesh and Kirei are a pair and Gilgamesh gets to stay in the real world. That means that Gilgamesh is established as the strongest servant and that the hype of Kiritsugu possibly being killed by Kirei won't come to pass. Sakura stays with the Matou so Kariya will fail. There just isn't much suspense towards the end outside of Berserker's identity. I don't know, I might care more if I was unaware and curious or more aware of Stay Night and invested, but it just didn't catch me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mmh... fair enough, but I would still claim that the quality of the story is made up of more than not knowing who kills whom. Wasn't there any character resonating with you, any character arc that you thought satisfying?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean it wasn't bad or anything, I thought it was pretty well done, but it wasn't great. 

Of the servants, I thought that Lancer had the best character arc followed by Rider. For the masters it was Kiritsugu and Kirei. I really didn't care about Kariya and Tokiomi.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mmh... So the El-Melloi Case Files entered the main story, an Orient Express like murder mystery. Though I put my bets on it that the first murder...

Spoiler

... is just done to prepare for a second crime, given that the victim had premonition magic.

My initial disappointment about all the cameo characters disappearing was surprisingly averted. There is a sub-plot for Luvia and Shisigou that, as far as I can gather from the fan reaction, was added for the Anime only. And Caules joined the Orient express! Unfortunately also that other silly eyepatch girl with the inexplicable crush on Waver. And the detective from the last episode. And one of the suspects of the first episodes... So yes, this story loves bringing together all its cast members. XD

Also Olga-Marie Animusphere has arrived. And... I'm still quite suspicious, because the way she looks and acts makes little sense. The wiki claims she is eleven years old in this story, but looks like 16 and acts even more mature than she ever did in FGO where she was in her mid-twenties. I can't really shrug off the thought that she's just shoehorned into this for the sake of this show's obsession with crossovers and the writers didn't really know how to actually use her.

Edited by Toth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been a bit occupied recently and haven't quite caught up to the recent episodes, but I caught another program where some of the voice actors were discussing the anime and the voice actor of Waver remarked that Waver was 19 in Zero and 29 now, so its a mystery why his voice deepened so much. :lol: 

They also mentioned that episode 6 was not an adaptation but an anime original for whatever thats worth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Proudfeet said:

I have been a bit occupied recently and haven't quite caught up to the recent episodes, but I caught another program where some of the voice actors were discussing the anime and the voice actor of Waver remarked that Waver was 19 in Zero and 29 now, so its a mystery why his voice deepened so much. :lol:  

Till what episode have you watched? By now it should be clear that he's mostly consciously deepening his voice/smoking cigars to give a more imposing impression. His voice still occasionally slips into his normal one when he is agitated, for example in the prologue when he tripped a counter-curse for badmouthing his colleagues or later amidst the fight scene against the fairy beasts when Shishigou asked him where to send his mercenary bill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I got to where they had lightning murdering people. 

I just assumed he was 14 or something previously so I didn't think too much of it before. He does seem taller now as well although that might just be a side effect of being around regular sized human beings. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×