You make a good point. One of my best mates refers to ANN as 'the Kotaku of Anime'. Which is probably accurate.
Normally I just brush aside whatever they say in reviews. But this one went way too far. Only reason I wanted to discuss it with others.
And you make a good point - it seems like ANN are fixated on the males in FSN. Like I said to Triple_R, they don't seem to get Shirou isn't meant to be likeable or have his ideals respected. Or that people are watching this more for Rin and Saber than Shirou. *shrug* They certainly do seem to under-appreciate Rin, as you stated.
But enough about them. Asatte no Houkou - I own that one on DVD as well actually. Decided to get that a couple of years ago before it was likely to disappear/be hard to find. It's noteworthy on multiple fronts for me:
- Aired in 2006, which was my favourite year for anime. Damn that year is loaded. And as you said to Pocari, 2005-2008 was a good stretch indeed. I'm with you on that one, friend.
- I consider this to be a point where J.C. Staff gradually moved away from something more in-depth/mature. Around this time, they also did Honey & Clover (both seasons) and all three seasons of Nodame Cantabile. After the finale of that and Aoi Hana, they certainly shifted away from that style.
- Age-swapping is certainly something rather rare.
- It took a very complicated scenario in terms of the history/relationships between the characters and handled it rather well.
- Had a rather unique soundtrack. Love the music in that title.
It's definitely not for everyone. I showed one episode during a restrospective on the 2000s. The more red-blooded/action and ecchi oriented people certainly got annoyed by it. The pleasing thing was a bunch of more seasoned attendees came up to me after it and said 'Thank you so much for showing this one. You played it for us. We really appreciate it.' And it was for them. If I'd watched Asatte no Houkou when I was a lot younger, I don't think I'd have appreciated this one. I think going through certain life experiences and being able to appreciate how much the whole scenario sucks for Shouko in particular helps get into this title.
Hope you enjoy the rest of it. I'd actually been rewatching it myself recently. Laughed myself silly watching Shouko and Karada go shopping in Episode 3.
As for that live-action show, I'll ask my friends. We... have rather....limited access to stuff in Australia, in terms of TV. Unless you pay through the nose.
I did already say it's the standout of the group. It's going to take a while to finish though, it's not like she's over here to work on costumes every day and we're alternating shows every episode.
Re: UBW 20
Not really in the mood to read an ANN review right now but I'll give some quick thoughts since it's not exactly hard to discern some of what was said from you and Triple's conversation.
Spoiler for UBW to episode 20:
First off, I'm actually going to acknowledge that I don't think there's some valid points buried deep in ANN's position. They're evaluating the UBW anime, not the VN, and this is fast becoming the definitive adaptation of FSN for the time being - the one most newcomers are going to be recommended. And I'm really hoping that the remaining episodes make better use of the Rin/Saber pairing since that's a freaking awesome master/servant combo, right up there with my personal favourite of Irisviel/Saber (I don't care if Irisviel is a decoy master.).
With that being said, I feel like any fair assessment does need to provide some context that yeah, some versions of this story give Rin and Saber far more active roles, so yeah, I'm not that sympathetic to ANN here.
Second, and this is the point I really want to get out there, not all cases of "damselling" are created equal. I absolutely love the Rin/Kotomine/Shinji/Lancer scene, in part because I regard Rin as being as awesome in it as other anime characters are in all but the very best action scenes. It really highlights the fine balance her character strikes between fiesty and composed when she's at her best. As far as I'm concerned, it would take a lot of work to develop an action scene for Rin that could outdo the way she deals with Shinji and Kotomine as a crowing moment of awesome.
(Saber's sidelining, admittedly, is not so interesting though it did of course make perfect sense, Saber just isn't going to intervene in such a personal duel.)
-I'm also going to say that I consider Gil blinding and then killing Ilya as being a shining example of how such moments of violence should be used: sparingly and to great effect. I got to see that scene during the US premiere of episode 13 to 15 and it completely changed the mood of the screening.
It sounds to me like ANN is really under-appreciating Rin in particular.
As a side note since I think it might be of interest to you, have you ever heard of a BBC America/Space (Canadian sci-fi speciality channel) collaboration called Orphan Black? It's about a woman who discovers she's a clone, and the first season in particular is pretty freaking awesome. The show being about cloning, the lead actress plays like 5+ difference characters with wildly different personalities and actually pulls it off.
Grats on getting through the year with good marks. I'm in a really tense spot (doing well but constantly swamped with assignments) and will be for about 32 days more. AVCon prep has really heated up and I've finally been cleared to make last rounds of submissions. My game relief has been Hearthstone, League of Legends and replaying L.A. Noire. Will play Transistor once I finally get a long stretch without assignments, housework or AVCon getting in the way.
I'm adding Kindaichi R to titles I'm keeping this season, so that makes 6. I'd marked about 10 as interested in before seeing them, so having six to keep has been a pleasant surprise. Guess we'll see how this keeps up since right about now, the 2nd eps of a lot of shows will be airing since a lot of shows started on the 6th.
Admittedly, I'm also doing exams at present. They've kind of had the reverse effect on me. Break time from revision has been precious for me. Pulled of my first 12 win run in Arena mode in Hearthstone today, so the focus/tension is doing me good it seems.
Mushishi S2 and One Week Friends are the kind of chill mode I like. The World Is Still Beautiful has a cool, feisty female lead in a fun, shoujo setting and has good art, so ticks most boxes for me. Brynhildr did enough for me to remain interested. Wrestler Matsutaro is from the old school and intentionally having a real prick of a protagonist but in a very funny way. I find it absurd most people don't want to allow such a thing, yet when a complete cast is full of douchebags/detestable people like, say...White Album, it's perfectly fine according to those same people.
Either way, season is fun. My last exam is tomorrow. Accounting 2 was a real trial today and I was one of the few to avoid being scarred by Legal Decisions. Payroll is the last stanza for this term. Then I can chill. Good luck with your exams.
I think One Week Friends suffered a bit from launching when I'm in exams mode... I'm normally quite tolerant of slow paced shows, but around exams I tend to be a little less focused when watching than usual - even though I tend to only watch during meal breaks.
And an episode of info-dumping with that weak not-battle at the end was pretty meh.
Interesting... this was actually my biggest complaint about the Mahouka opener. I'm not going to claim the competition - I'm thinking here of other action shows with at least one prominent cute girl in them like Black Bullet or Hitsugi no Chaika - are brilliant shows, but they had far more engaging openers.