6 CommentsMonthly Roundups / By Scamp /

September 2014 Roundup

[HorribleSubs] Barakamon - 09 [480p].mkv_snapshot_03.55_[2014.09.10_00.01.52]It’s finally over. A fantastic long-running anime series that started quite a while ago has ended. Two of us wrote about that show in our what’s hot section this week, with one of them of course being Shinmaru. How couldn’t we? It has been such an important part of our lives since it started. Oh yeah and Inushinde wrote about some Hunter X Hunter thing nobody really cares about =P

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20 CommentsAnime Analysis / By Inushinde /

Zankyou no Terror Episode 11: Resonance in Ball-Passing

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In stark alignment with everything preceding it, the finale to Zankyou no Terror is something of a mess. Character motivations remain vague to nonexistent, Five’s entire subplot has been in service of absolutely fuck all but pinning more of the already unwieldy story on American involvement, and the second half refuses to clarify what should be important details. It serves as the perfect capstone to a muddled, toothless pseudo-incendiary piece that offers no definitive statement, and little in the way of the perspective that it aimed to. It attempts to make terrorists sympathetic with the least amount of effort, and it really shows.

On the other hand, it ends in the most fitting way possible: With an inexplicable ball-passing session between Lisa, Nine, and Twelve, followed by a hasty conclusion to the Oedipus cliff’s notes, followed by pissed off Americans. It’s a striking metaphor for Zankyou no Terror’s god-awful writing process of one writer passing a tenuous plot thread to another writer, who then passes his tenuous plot thread to another writer, who then uses it to hit Lisa in the face. Read More »

38 CommentsAnime Analysis / By Scamp /

Mahouka is terrible on every level – a final review

[HorribleSubs] Mahouka - 08 [480p].mkv_snapshot_20.27_[2014.05.25_14.31.13]I watched all 26 episodes of Mahouka. I’m not entirely sure why. At some point it was a scholarly interest in why this was the latest hottest thing in light novels. It might have been because people said it gets better in the novels later and I wondered at what stage that would be. At another point it was purely to see if I could finish it as a personal challenge. If I could keep watching I might be able to find something good about this anime. Something that at the end of the day I could say “sure it was mostly bad, but there was this one thing about the show that was enjoyable”.

I never found that thing. I can find nothing to recommend about Mahouka. It is bad on pretty much every level.

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18 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Terra Formars episode 1 – All good anime start with a bear cage fight

[HorribleSubs] Terra Formars - 01 [480p].mkv_snapshot_04.29_[2014.09.26_20.41.27]There are some pretty great eye-catching ways to open your anime. Elfen Lied is one that immediately springs to mind. Sure the anime may have been bad, but that opening 5 mins of a naked girl in a helmet ripping the hearts out of people with blood spraying over the walls was certainly an incredible way to grab your attention and let you know exactly what you have just gotten yourself into. FLCL waits a minute or two before a crazy pink haired women knocks over the main character with her Vespa, kisses him then smashes his head with a wind-up guitar. If anyone else has any good suggestions then I’d like to hear them in the comments. However they’re going to have to be pretty special if they’re going to bear Terra Formars man wrestles man-eating bear in a cage fight.

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61 CommentsFantasy Anime League / By Scamp /

Fantasy Anime League Fall 2014 edition: The redemptive arc begins here

A graphical representation of my last FAL campaign

A graphical representation of my last FAL campaign

It’s back! The bi-annual game of predicting just how awful the collective anime fanbase’s tastes in cartoons will be for another season. If you’ve ever played fantasy football, this is sort of like that except for that part where if you completely forget about your team in week three, you won’t instantly be completely annihilated two weeks later and in fact may still be able to win the thing. It’s time for some of us to continue improving on our increasingly impressive performances, some of us to stop fannying about and actually do well this time, and for one of us in particular to continue his race to the very bottom. It’s Fantasy Anime League!

As we’ve done for the past few FAL seasons, each member of The Cart Driver will be taking part, posting our team and doing a few updates throughout the course of the season to see how our team is doing. If you would like to take part too you can enter at the club on MAL (you have to create a MAL account to do so but that’s relatively easy), then leave a comment on this post with your MAL username and we’ll have a Cart Driver Commenters League. The winner of that league will get bragging rights and absolutely nothing else because last time we gave you awards it resulted in me watching Nisekoi for 10 episodes and I don’t want that to happen again.

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37 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 148 – Enjoy the Little Detours

hunter-x-hunter-gon-ging-goodbye

Ging made his son climb the tallest tree in this world to have the privilege of talking to him, but I guess he rewarded Gon sufficiently with some good stories and good life advice. I’d climb a tree for that! (Note: I would not make it to the top of the tree because I’m a big, weak baby.)

It’s over. Hunter x Hunter is over. The finale did what I hoped it would do: bring everything to a close, but also inspire hope for more adventures to come. The manga is ongoing; however, who knows how long it will take for that to accumulate enough material to venture onward with more anime? But that almost doesn’t matter now. Of course, I WANT more Hunter x Hunter. I want to spend more time with characters I’ve seen grow through so much adversity and whom have forged such strong relationships with each other. But it feels fitting to end here. Like Gon, we’ll do our own thing for a while. One day we’ll cross paths again — and we’ll have a whole new set of stories to share.

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11 CommentsAnime Analysis / By Inushinde /

Tokyo Ghoul Episode 12: The Taming of the Ghoul

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When it comes to finales, I always think it’s best to examine them on their individual merits, and what they add to their shows in general. After all, this is how shows choose to end themselves. They can be excellent individual episodes while being shit for the overall narrative, or conclude everything else while otherwise being complete ass.

Tokyo Ghoul takes finds a sort of balance, presenting a sort of finality even with the promise of a sequel looming over the horizon. So while several plot threads are left unresolved, it closes a chapter on Kaneki’s idealized life, where he can drink coffee, feast on an apparently never-ending stream of people who hate traffic safety, and generally live as a bookish barista who happens to eat human flesh. It’s a moment where he learns his ghoulish nature is his key to survival, and it makes for a hell of a memorable ending. Read More »

21 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 147 – I AM IN DENIAL THAT THIS SHOW IS ENDING NEXT WEEK

hunter-x-hunter-koala-confession

Hello, we interrupt your family drama and political thriller for a koala giving a metaphysical confession. Enjoy.

I’m probably not well-equipped enough to totally unpack what Koala was getting at and place it into some cool, interesting context (I am an uncultured brute, you see), but the basic point is not that tough to grasp: Koala was a shitbag in his previous life, but he was so consumed the repetition of his violent existence that he never questioned it. In fact, this cycle of violence led Koala to believe that life is ultimately meaningless. We’re born, we live, and then we die. There’s nothing else to us. Then he dies, is reborn in the Chimera Ant body and gets hitched onto the same violent cycle once more, except this time Koala is like, “Wait a minute … what the hell?!”

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