The Week That Was #20

One of the BEST SHOWS EVER!!

Before the next season, and subsequently, the next plethora of anime comes in, I’ll be covering the remaining anime I have just finished for Fall 2014 starting with…

Hands down, Fate Unlimited Blade Works is probably the best that Fall 2014 offered. Ufotable really outdid themselves for this franchise. The animation quality was superb, they revitalized characters of the series, especially the extras, and put up a cohesive story, tying the plot of Fate Zero to UBW. And while they did an anime-original scene during the Rin x Shiro date by adding Saber to the mix and changing the setting of where Caster’s ambush took place, Ufotable managed to retain the essence of it.

And while this approach in remaking original/source events to anime-original scenarios isn’t that uncommon in most adaptations, one of the reasons why I like Ufotable’s approach was it showed how much the events that took place made sense. For instance, Caster can easily evade Saber’s attacks since she can fly away on an open space. And it emphasized Caster having the high ground especially when Shiro approached her and began his bargain with caster. Also, the skeleton pawns that kept respawing as long as there’s water emphasized how fucked up they really are; Falling into enemy trap with Archer blocked outside of the Bounded Field.

FUCKING BRILLIANT!

Caster’s ambush originally happened at the Emiya household but after seeing this glorious animation, fuck it!

It also emphasized how cunning Caster is and how powerful she has become. Rather than wait for the enemy and ambush them on their home, she made the enemy dance on the palm of their hand. That’s quality antagonist right there!

So yeah, season 2 will be on April. Quite a long stretch but it makes sense considering the budget they have for this. Will Ufotable set the bar even higher by then?

Denki-gai was good. This was one of the comedic series that really made my sides hurt yet can easily make me shed a tear for some of the characters (TSUMORIIIIIN). I’m not looking forward to another season but it certainly was worthwhile. And Minami Tsuda certainly caught my attention for this series. Her voice range seems limited considering I could familiarize myself with her voice as Sensei and Salama (AmaBuri) but her acting for such characters really fits the bill. I hope she lands on another main role on an anime i’ll be watching next season.

KyoAni might’ve been able to salvage its ass but not that much. Two good things of note for this series would be Sento’s thighs and Elementario ending song (release a textless version already!). That aside, I did enjoy hearing Ai Kakuma and Yukiyo Fujii with both of them having quite an exceptional voice range. I could hardly notice their voices in their Log Horizon roles: Mikakage (Kakuma) and Tetra (Fujii), especially Fujii and how she did Tetra’s voicework.

Trinity Seven was underrated but I really enjoyed that series. I think having a protagonist that’s not a total scumbag and balances his harem powers is a nice change of pace. If anything, Arata, voiced by Matsuoka, really carried this show.

Another underrated series for this season. Madan no Ou to Vanadis is another series that maintained its story-telling. Sure there were harem moments such as the boob grabs and skimpy costumes but the series was quite consistent with how it narrated Tigre’s plight and his quest to save his territory. Surprisingly, I accepted the event cutscenes that are done with narration. I guess playing Dynasty Warriors 8 helped me understand how much content they could squeeze in and why these narrative cuts are important.

And that probably wraps it up for Fall 2014. I haven’t checked what’s in-store for Winter 2015 yet but I’ll be most likely posting it here as I go along the next batch of anime.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. x
    Dec 30, 2014 @ 11:43:13

    UBW: Gah, your screenshots of this one are making me want to marathon this right here right now😄. I’ll probably get around to watching this before season two starts :p.

    Denki-gai: Yeah, this is fun comedy. I wasn’t too impressed with the first couple of episodes (my expectations were simply too high I guess :p), but it won me over after that.

    AmaBuri: This seem to be the best KyoAni can offer nowadays. I get the impression that much of the problems seem to be due to them trying to stuff too much into too few episodes (almost as if they wrote it for 20 episodes then cut corners to fit into 12 or something). Makes me wonder why they don’t do split cour, given that this was almost guaranteed to sell at least decently. Then again, I don’t know what their business model is nowadays (not that I understood what their business model used to be either XD).

    Trinity Seven: Agreed. This ended up being better than I expected, though there were a few episodes in the middle that felt a bit disappointing :p. I’m surprised that they didn’t tease more about what’s to come after (in the last episode), maybe they simply ran out of time :p.

    Vanadis: Meh. I was quite bored with the way this was presented to be honest. The battle scenes were disappointing for me (I guess I had too high an expectation XD), and the character art didn’t help either :p. I do understand why the narrative ended up this way (thirteen episodes simply isn’t enough to animate the first arc of this story in full), but I still think the execution could have been better (I dreaded every time the “narrator” started speaking :p). Some scenes were so badly done that I felt they should have just cut them out entirely to leave more time and effort for other scenes. Specially all the scenes involving Valentina (the one with the scythe), since they never get to her part of the story any ways :p. This just felt as if they were doing it on a shoestring budget (with too many corners cut). Did you notice that one character that’s featured somewhat prominently in the OP didn’t even get a single appearance in the anime itself? Not even a voiceless cameo I think. Having said all that, we had far worst adaptations (that disappointed me a lot more) this year😄, and this can be considered fantastic in comparison to some of those :p.

    Reply

  2. baka~
    Dec 30, 2014 @ 12:51:36

    @X

    Now’s probably the best time for you to marathon Fate UBW. Unlimited budget works well with Ufotable😀

    Most of the 2-cour shows that KyoAni made felt like they were more well-received (Lucky Star, Clannad, Hyouka) than the 1-cour ones. I wonder if KyoAni would be able to produce something like that in the next season.

    Agree with the character that didn’t even appear in the series. While Vanadis certainly had its faults, I find myself forgiving it (for some odd reason). Maybe I just like Tigre’s character so much that it carried the show for me. It’s old-school fantasy mixed with war and strategy elements. Focusing myself on that, I probably ignored the weird character designs, the random characters (dunno what Ganelon and Valentina is working on), and even the hasty plot development. Though I guess if they made this into a 2-cour show, this may end up like Densetsu no Yusha no Densetsu which was another series that I liked that felt similar with Vanadis.

    Reply

  3. x
    Dec 31, 2014 @ 00:24:55

    For me, I guess it didn’t help that I read the novel😄. I already had certain expectations of what it could be like and whatnots, even if I did try to keep them very very low. Yeah, Tigre is a likeable character, and the story is a nice mix of old school fantasy and war/strategy elements. At least this first arc and the next part of the story that focus (at least in part) on the character from the OP that never made an appearance. Beyond that, I’m not so sure if I would describe it as such. The later parts felt like too much supernatural fairy tale style melodrama :p. For where they ended in this anime, the story is as you described. Densetsu no Yusha no Densetsu was also very interesting to me, if only the story wasn’t so long that I can’t be bothered to even try reading it😄.

    Reply

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