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View Poll Results: Higurashi Kai Total Series Rating
Perfect 10 121 39.54%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 104 33.99%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 55 17.97%
7 out of 10 : Good 14 4.58%
6 out of 10 : Average 5 1.63%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 1 0.33%
4 out of 10 : Poor 2 0.65%
3 out of 10 : Bad 1 0.33%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 0 0%
1 out of 10 : Painful 3 0.98%
Voters: 306. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2008-01-01, 21:20   Link #21
angel.shade
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Join Date: Nov 2007
I realize what they were trying to do with Keiichi but he just rubs me the wrong way. I watched both seasons half expecting one of the female cast members to tell him to shut the hell up and be quiet. God so annoying.
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Old 2008-01-01, 21:42   Link #22
Archuka
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Animation - 7
The character designs were improved from S1 and we didn't have those bizarre faces, however, the actual animation was still mediocre at best. Often the characters' movements seemed unnatural or they didn't seem alive.

Voice Actors - 10
I think the seiyuu did a wonderful job here and though some voices weren't really my cup of tea, I figure it's a matter of taste rather than bad acting. Cute Rena, Dark Rika and GAR Keichi were probably the more annoying voices. The Mion/Shion duo along with Ooishi and Tomitake were probably my favourites.

Script - 10
What can I say, one of the best plots ever. Some details I would have done differently, but as a whole it is so amazing on so many levels I just can't give it anything less than a 10.

Editing - 7
I wasn't a fan of the comedy bits as they simply failed to be entertaining most of the time. I don't see many complaints about it so I guess it worked for many, but I enjoyed the dark and serious atmosphere a lot more. Both the "horror" of S1 and the despair of S2 worked for me.

Emotional Involvement - 9
Another high point here. I could sympathise with both the villain and the good guys. It had many very emotional moments that struck home.
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Old 2008-01-01, 22:21   Link #23
Malkuth
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Most of my opinion comes from my review of both seasons, feel free to check.

Visuals 4/5
Visually the series is characterized by the overwhelming amount of gore and its loli character designs, which are effective both comedically and grotesquely, depending on the scene's context. Also noteworthy is the background artwork, which is very well done and renders effectively the appropriate atmosphere. The director also uses it to a great effect shifting from dark and moody backgrounds to light and cheerful scenery and vice versa, depending on what the script demands. Occasionally, the characters are drawn with extremely disproportionate and deformed faces (this was dropped during the second season), which sometimes is really creepy, but other times becomes ridiculous. The animation in general is fluid, but simple, no 3D, no fast-paced action scenes.

Audio 5/5
The voice acting is just excellent, not only adapting the characters' mannerism from the game, but also many voice actresses had to switch from their cute high-pitched octaves, to deep and brooding, to demented and frantic, etc. Also amazing and fitting thematically is the opening titles' song of the second season and in general the background music is effective, blending nicely with sound effects, without being outstanding.

Story 5/5
Here I really expected the second season to fail, but it didn't. The anime original bridging arc was very well executed. Then Minagoroshi was perfectly paced by practically splitting the two stories. This though made Matsuribayashi seem to drag and also the fact that was 11 episodes long did not help. Despite that I really enjoyed it. My problem was that apart from two parts in Minagoroshi and the final episode of Matsuribayashi, I never felt breathless by what was going on; this was happening all the time in the first season, which was way more suspenseful.

Overall, from what was playing during the last two seasons, HiguKai was by far the best.
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Old 2008-01-02, 00:30   Link #24
SSJiffy
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Animation Quality: 8
I thought the animation was standard, I won't knock it (too much..) for sticking to what works, but I did want more out of season 2 as I felt season 1 was awesome.
Voice Actors: 10
Great job, I never felt the voices were detached from their characters and thought that emotional emphasis was always present when the scene dictated it.
Script: 8.5
Meh. The last arc is what makes me bring down the score. I just really wasn't digging the end (and not because I didn't want it to end). There were some scenes were it just became way too surrealistic, even for Higurashi terms.
Emotional Involvement: 9
The first arc with Satoko's battle to get the truth out, and the second to the last arc with the gang getting picked apart right as they united -- knots in my heart the entire time, and then came the last arc. Bleh! I wasn't into the last arc at all. With all the other arcs I was always on top as they came out, with the last one I kind of had to remind myself there was a new episode out.
Overall rating: 9
Not awesome like the first season, but the first half was great. The second half kind of fell through for me at the very end, overall I'd watch it again and I'd definitely recommend it to a friend.
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Last edited by SSJiffy; 2008-01-02 at 00:50. Reason: Added an analysis to my scores. :P
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Old 2008-01-02, 02:20   Link #25
Echoes
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I'll pretty much echo what's already been said about Kai. It's breathtaking, not as breathtaking as the first season, but not that far off either. The first half had some unforgettable episodes, I was especially spellbound by the episode when Ooishi rushed to the hospital just to find Satoko to have just passed on, simply excellent. The ending was good, though at this point I'm forced to mention the only problem I had with the second season. I hate to mention something negative when the impression on the whole is so overwhelmingly positive, but I too felt that some of the scenes in the final episodes were a bit weird. I thought they wrapped it up nicely in the very end, though.

The voiceactors did a splendid job, each character was distinct, consistent and just a pleasure to listen to, everything from Rena's well-known phrases to Keiichi's inspiring speeches sounded just right.

Higurashi's art is just lovely, as it was the first season, and some improvements in the animation didn't hurt either, though I don't put much emphasis on this considering the show gets by just fine without flashy stuff. The characters do look great, though, and that really helps.

The new was excellent, it didn't top the one from the first season in my opinion, but I didn't expect it to either, as the original opening is one of the absolute best (perhaps even the best) openings I've ever heard. The ending theme was fantastic, the eerie feeling at the end of each episode just transitioned perfectly into the calm, yet still a little eerie vocals.

Emotional involvement? Absolutely. Higurashi grabs a hold of me and won't let go.

On the whole, I think the second season is well worthy of a 9, (The first season is one of the few shows I've given 10) and I can't wait to see how they'll manage the third installment of the series. Though I realize it might be a while, it is well worth waiting for.

*Listens to the opening from the first season and falls into nostalgia*
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Last edited by Echoes; 2008-01-02 at 02:21. Reason: typo
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Old 2008-01-02, 14:52   Link #26
Matrim
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I voted 7, but it's more like 7,5/10. It would have been 9,5 if it wasn't for the last arc which I wish I hadn't watched as it did not seem consistent with the rest of the show at all.

The solutions to big mysteries are usually disappointing as people tend to either be pissed they got it wrong or think it was a too easy mystery, or that the writer cheated them by not giving enough clues. I for one was happy that I got the mastermind right but quite a few details bugged me. That said, generally the mystery element of the series was utterly enjoyable and is actually my favourite part of the show.

The character development was good, if undermined by not enough screentime for some of them, but was somewhat too melodramatic for my taste. The point about the importance of friendship was presented as subtly as a blow with a sledgehammer. Moe Rika and especially moe Hanyuu really, really got on my nerves. And the latter, very much unlike the former, is utterly unconvincing when she tries to be serious or scary.
Giving so much time to the development of the villain was a great thing, even though I was kind of disappointed by the personality of the said villain in the end.

Quote:
You can't be disturbed when a character gets tortured to death if you never liked the character to begin with
Very true, this exact thing happened to me quite a few times when watching Higurashi.

Voice acting: Brilliant, except when Hanyuu tries to be serious. Enough said.

Quote:
I honestly dislike happy endings. They feel way too contrived and forced. Escapism isn't about getting away from reality for me, it's more about immersion, the whole "what if this actually happened" deal.
Well, I lean towards this opinion myself but it's very much possible for happy endings to not feel contrived and forced. Unfortunately this is not the case with Higurashi Kai at all.
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Old 2008-01-02, 15:59   Link #27
kingsky123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angel.shade View Post
Fine. Studio DEEN misrepresented the series. I wish they hadn't, so I could just say, "This show sucks" instead of explaining why I like it and having you asshats blast me for it.

I never played the original games. Maybe that's why my perceptions are skewed. I hate this sappy friendship crap; from the moment I heard the OP theme, I was just hoping the show would completely destroy my mind and totally mess with my head, and it did.

But apparently that was an accident, a mistake on the animation studio's part. The story apparently should not have been scary, but sad and tragic.

You know what? That sucks. I would have never watched it if it had been that way. Is that so wrong? I don't get why I have to like the series the way the rest of you do. I don't get why every time I point out that Kai wasn't scary enough and I get blasted for it.

This is stupid. So I blame Studio DEEN for lying to me and wasting my time. It seems like every story genre I'm fond of is dying out, in both movies, anime and games. Everyone wants happy-cute-funny, nobody wants dark and twisted, and it's making me ill.

I think I'll go watch Jacob's Ladder to make myself feel better. ><
QFT.

i agree with you dude, studio DEEN killed the damn plot.

to me , i find that if to really enjoy higurashi you have to come to this forum, and read the wall of text they posted ( TIPS and answers ) , with that added then it can get a 10 :P

Animation - 7


Voice Actors - 10 (damn their really good)


Script - 11 ( the reason this show even existed was due to the script, i mean in the visual novel the drawing was terrible, and there wasnt even voice acting untill later, what kept it going was this )


Editing - 0 ( dont really get the meaning of it?? like how DEEN screwed it up?)


Emotional Involvement - 8 ( coupled with the plot and voice acting, i think its impossible not to sympathize with them in some of their moments, although the animation was terrible, and i really hated the broken record with the friendship and fate thing)


PS: for those of you who hated matsuribayarashi's ending, you are prolly dead in some other parallel dimension :P.
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Old 2008-01-02, 16:28   Link #28
Proto
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Wow... I always had this idea that every person out there would find the 1st season mildly good, albeit pretentious, while finding the second season to be the place where studio DEEN addressed all the problems the 1st season had, becoming a much better series. I guess I've been reading too much gamers threads

And yes, I liked Matsuribayashi-hen. And yes, despite of that I'm still looking forward to what the 3rd season has in store for us, even if it is an alternate ending.

Last edited by Proto; 2008-01-02 at 16:48.
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Old 2008-01-02, 19:39   Link #29
Sorrow-K
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Review to come. Watch this space.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai review

It's the script that I think deserves a lot of acclaim. The way they tied up the loose ends and put answers to the questions were, in many cases, masterfully done, and this is one of the few mystery anime that has a set of solutions that do justice to the initial mystery. As far as a script in a mystery anime is concerned, the only one that I can think of that betters Higurashi (and I mean the overall franchise) is Monster.

To summarize my opinion:

The good:
  • The script. The way they brought the mystery full circle was superb.
  • The antagonist. One of the best character analyses of an antagonist I've seen in a long, long time.
  • The confrontations. As far as drama was concerned, it was far and away most intense during the confrontations. Shion and K1 in Minagoroshi-hen, Oryo and K1 in the same arc, the Yamainu and Rika in the scene where Shion was a hostage in Matsuribayashi-hen, etc, etc.
  • Seiyuu. All-star seiyuu cast with many of them in absolute top flight. One of the best group performances I've heard.

The bad: (most of these relate to execution)
  • Animation. Better than the first series... still really subpar.
  • Music. Half-decent soundtrack by Kawai... certainly not anywhere near his best work, and on a few occassions the choice of music didn't fit the scene.
  • Atmosphere. No where near as well executed as the first series. Strangely inconsistent at times, which is odd since it was so dense and completely absorbing in the first series.
  • Horror. The really creepy moments that we knew and loved in the first series almost completely disappeared. I'd say this series was a lot more mystery/drama compared with the first series which was a lot more mystery/horror.

Personally, I think this series was slightly better than the first, but that's because I have huge respect and admiration for the way the script answered all the questions. That was one of the few thing that frustrated me in the first series: that it ended with so many unanswered questions (I was almost certain there would never be a sequel after I saw the first series), but this series really fixed that nicely and deserves all the credit for the answers. But, with the lack of creepy Higurashi moments that defined the first series, I can totally understand where people who preferred the original are coming from.

In conclusion: Higurashi Kai: A+ script, questionable execution.

8/10: Very Good.

Last edited by Sorrow-K; 2008-01-05 at 07:41.
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Old 2008-01-02, 22:26   Link #30
angel.shade
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Quote:
The solutions to big mysteries are usually disappointing as people tend to either be pissed they got it wrong or think it was a too easy mystery, or that the writer cheated them by not giving enough clues. I for one was happy that I got the mastermind right but quite a few details bugged me.
I actually guessed Takano was a little fishy from the first time she spoke. Studio DEEN gave her the Teen Queen voice type, the kind you usually hear in shoujo romance anime coming from the lips of the villain-girl. Takano's voice just drips with such disdain and condescension that it's almost impossible to not realize she's up to no good. =p

Edit: I was actually very satisfied with the plotline of Higurashi. Reality-twisting stories really are some of my favorites. I just thought the story would have played out better considering the core plot if it had been darker, more violent and visceral throughout.
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Old 2008-01-03, 05:49   Link #31
gaguri
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The second season has become far more tamed than the first.

The biggest problem I had with the second was its lack of tension. And I'm not talking just about tension from mystery or thriller moments, but the dramatic tension that develops within and between characters. In the first season, there are two powers that are at work inside each character; one is trying to manipulate fear and turn it into a raging demon, and the other is trying to believe in their friends no matter how suspicious they are, or how hopeless the outcome may be. Season 1 masterfully executed this, jumping from seemingly innocent mood to the frightening horror that lurks under it...until the evil finally overwhelms the good. Look at Shion's arc. She is constantly in a great torment, because she wants to protect Satoko for Satoshi's sake, and she wants to believe in her sister, and she wants to spare Keichi because she likes him in many ways. But she is constantly confronted by visions, hallucinations, and at the end defeated by the syndrome, because she lacked the strength and belief in her friends. I think that's what made her defeat more terrifying and sad at the same time.

In season 2, there is no conflict in this sense (well, majority of the second half anyway) because the characters have already won. As Rika said before, it doesn't matter if they reached a BAD END when they all died, because they all united together and believed in each other. They have already won. There were tension developed throughout here and there, like the friends trying to win Satoko's trust (the phone call scene) or Keichi calming Shion's murderous rage down. But other than that, most of the drama came from 'will they succeed or will they not' rather than 'will the character finally open up and believe in each other, or will he go crazy and kill everyone'.

So that's how I saw them as two different type of dramas. And you're right, maybe it's just that I'm liking the first type better than the second, and neither is necessarily superior to each other.

I also think the directing in season 1 is superior. The way they built up suspense when Shion was leading Rika to the kitchen before the bloody battle, or the way Rena (and Shion/Mion) slipped in and out of innocent and murderous mood...I'd have say they were top notch. And the fact that season one shouldn't really be blamed for lack of explanations, since they were all explained in the second season. Story of season 1 and 2 essentially need each other to stand solid and talking about one without linking to another should be avoided.

I still think this season is a very good one though, for reasons already stated before.
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Old 2008-01-04, 01:08   Link #32
angel.shade
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I agree with the above post which put forth my issues with Kai more eloquently than I have been able to.

It was never about KILLER LOLIS or pointless gore. It was about mood, atmosphere and tension. It was that anxious feeling when you KNEW someone was about to go Oyashiro-sama on a mofo.

Kai's worlds just felt way too damn easy after the difficulty of the previous worlds, and there weren't a whole lot of moments that really disturbed me in Kai, except perhaps for the early life of Miyoko, and that was more sad than truly disturbing on a level akin to the outcome of Meakashi-hen.

After all the characters have been put through, they may deserve a happy ending, but I still think it should have been more difficult than that. Also the Yamainu are the worst special-forces unit ever formed.
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Old 2008-01-04, 11:04   Link #33
Liddo-kun
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Animation Quality: 8
Voice Actors: 10
Script: 7
Editing: 7
Emotional Involvement: 8

Total = 8

Have been following Higurashi since last year, and I would have to say it was quite a ride. From the horror and darkness of season 1 to the hope and light of season 2. It all patched up into one good ending - and I mean good!

For the animation I don't have complaints, I've seen far worse animation in other animes.

Spoiler for My only major dissapointment on the second season:

Last edited by Liddo-kun; 2008-01-04 at 11:31.
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Old 2008-01-04, 12:25   Link #34
shuin0120
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I just finished the season 2 (marathon in 1 day >_< ) my impression of this anime in overall was excellent the story, animation, voice actors and directors are really good and it was satisfying ending (overall there are no dead and everyone cooperate each others including Hanyuu).

This anime is one of promising story so it is ok to have a season 3 I will look forward to it.
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Old 2008-01-04, 14:39   Link #35
angel.shade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -boiledliddo- View Post
Spoiler for My only major dissapointment on the second season:
That was by far the worst part of the ending to me. It felt like a sick mockery after everything the characters have been through, not to have a serious and epic ending, but instead that comedic abortion.
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Old 2008-01-04, 15:05   Link #36
MarthX
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Actually, Satoko does nearly all of the work and it's been said all series that's she good at making traps. She said if she got serious she could take down an entire army... well she wasn't kidding. You shouldn't think of Satoko as a mere child because her trap making skills are beyond that. I'm also tired of people tossing around the word "special force." The Yamainu are just a counter-intelligence group. You make it sound like they're trained for this kind of thing, which is not the case. In all previous worlds, the Yamainu did everything at their own pace with the element of surprise. In Matsuribayashi, Operation 48 hours forced them to act off their pace and without the element of surprise. They lured them into a mountain full of traps that Satoko created throughout the years. They didn't stand a chance.

The problem with the anime was how silly they portrayed Satoko's traps. They're supposed to be serious and life threatening. These aren't just any child's traps. And because of how silly the traps look, it makes it hard to grasp Satoko's skill. Everybody still thinks of her as a child.
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Old 2008-01-04, 18:03   Link #37
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She is a child, though. While children that young can occasionally be extraordinarily talented, what strikes me as ridiculous is that the Yamainu were numerous, and they had guns. It doesn't really matter if they were just spies (which they were) and not a hardcore killer military unit. A person with a gun has a massive advantage over someone without a gun.

I can buy the Yamainu getting creeped out by the Oyashiro-sama deal, especially after living in Hinamizawa for so long and being exposed to the superstitions and legends, but what I don't get is why all their guns are either paperweights or mysteriously absent.

And yeah I agree that they downplayed the lethal nature of Satoko's traps. Considering the history of the series I find this strange too. They had no problem showing people messily murdered and tortured to death, but they display her traps as something from a Wile E. Coyote cartoon, when her traps were much more deadly, akin to the traps used in the first Rambo movie.

I think it would have been much less harmful to the whole suspension of disbelief that is so important to fiction if the Banken had done the dirty work of removing their errant comrades rather than the kids. In past worlds, the Yamainu were efficient and even managed to kill trained law enforcement personnel. It just really kind of breaks the immersion when you see a reasonably skilled group of armed adults taken out by a bunch of kids, scary voices on a radio and some holes in the ground.
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Old 2008-01-04, 18:09   Link #38
MarthX
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Quote:
A person with a gun has a massive advantage over someone without a gun.
Having a gun is irrelevant if they're unable to locate their targets on the mountain. What are you going to do, shoot blindly into the trees and hope you hit something? Everybody was being sneaky. If you recall, in Minagoroshi everything was going fine while they were being sneaky. It's only when they attacked head-on that Keiichi got shot and everything fell apart.
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Old 2008-01-04, 18:54   Link #39
gaguri
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I'm sorry but that scene just looked way out there for my taste too. Omg it's ghost waaa. Comon. Do you know why Home Alone 3 (the film) was funny? Because a bunch of professional thieves were obliviated by a bunch of traps set by a little kid. Except it doesn't work here because the mood is supposed to be tense and dramatic, it really was one trash scene. Like I said before, it was less of a psychological battle and more of action between the forces of good and evil. Although Takano still manages to keep it interesting to the end.
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Old 2008-01-04, 19:12   Link #40
Klashikari
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Just some food for thought: I'm surprised that "deadly traps" are still watered down just because they were made by some children...
The fact the anime executed these scenes ridiculously or not isn't the problem here, but rather how the word "child" is so sticky.
Would you actually make fun of these children stuck in guerilla? They are using same weapons than some adults, but the threat of a kalashnikov is lessened a lot just because of the age of the user?

What is actually dangerous is the weapon itself. The user merely determine how well it can be used that's all.
If we happen to give 10 years more to Satoko, it would be quite funny that much less people would actually rant about "traps owning some military forces" (and you know that would happen).
On a more serious note, children aren't stuck in this image of "game, carefreeness, etc.".

Using this argument to bash this scene is irrelevant. I won't question how badly done it was shown (as MarthX and other people already repeated a lot of times that DEEN screwed a lot the traps looks and some setup), but it is quite going in circle with the same flaw argument as "child are joke, so traps like this can never do that".

[/end of rant + off topic]


I believe this looping discussion should end once for all as it is going in circle over and over, and people obviously won't have a common agreement on wherever "X" was good or right.
Buf if you still insist, please go back in episode 23 thread instead. This thread doesn't have the purpose to discuss "how traps in episode 23 were bad", but overview of the second season. If the second season is summaried by this peculiar scene, I think something is very wrong then.

Last edited by Klashikari; 2008-01-04 at 19:22.
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