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Old 2008-10-08, 05:14   Link #301
Sorrow-K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimichi View Post
Great they pulled the Death Card...between that and the misunderstanding which started last episode and continued into this one I feel like I'm suddenly watching a bad soap opera...Maybe its the photo like backgrounds fault too.

Either way for something that was supposed to carry some emotional heft it pretty much completely lacked resonance...Not so much a punch as a light tap I guess...

Maybe after already crying all my tears for Natsume this season I have none left and I've reverted to being a monster, but I can honestly say I just got plain bored near the end and mostly glossed over the last half in my mind... *shrug*
Yeah, that's pretty much what I thought. Having seen up to ep 10, it kinda feels like the most recent dramatic twists have been contrived and even then they're still too understated to have an impact.

I think this show is just way too understated and it's almost disconnecting itself from the audience. I mean, anime tends to be so overwhelming with how it presents dramatic plot points, and we saw that at close to its most extreme with the recently finished Code Geass. But this almost like the complete other extreme at the other end of the spectrum, and because of that things just feel like they're merely there, but not terribly engaging.
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Old 2008-10-08, 13:07   Link #302
Kaoru Chujo
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Well, to each his own, but I still find this show outstanding from start to finish -- and especially finish. "Too understated" for some is "beautifully understated" for me.

I understand what people are saying: that there was a sudden, unnatural plot shift. Sure it was sudden, but that's what helps make it so effective, if you can suspend disbelief enough to take the ride. It's a short series with a big heart. It takes risks, rather than being boringly normal.

Then again, I like doramas and find most shounen anime uninteresting partly because of the absence of deep emotion.
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Old 2008-10-08, 16:03   Link #303
WanderingKnight
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Something tells me Sorrow-K is going to hate the ending

Either way, for my opinions, I can't really say. My reactions are far too mixed on the last episode. I'd probably need to rewatch it in order to organize my feelings towards it better.
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Old 2008-10-09, 10:45   Link #304
Raven2827
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Ending

Well personally, i liked the ending, although i must admit, another episode focusing more on the characters, besides a few extra minutes each would have been nice. Maybe in addition to 5 years, do like 20 years or something.

Also, what is the name of the song, and artist for the ending theme on the last episode, it was fantastic.
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Old 2008-10-09, 11:44   Link #305
evilr00t
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raven2827 View Post
Also, what is the name of the song, and artist for the ending theme on the last episode, it was fantastic.
I think it's the OP.
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Old 2008-10-09, 12:48   Link #306
The Chaos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raven2827 View Post
Also, what is the name of the song, and artist for the ending theme on the last episode, it was fantastic.
The ED:
"Kawaita Hana (乾いた花)" by micc

The OP
"fly away" by THYME
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Old 2008-10-11, 06:17   Link #307
Sorrow-K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
Something tells me Sorrow-K is going to hate the ending

Either way, for my opinions, I can't really say. My reactions are far too mixed on the last episode. I'd probably need to rewatch it in order to organize my feelings towards it better.
I'm sitting here, trying to understand exactly what the intended meaning of the ending is. Good stories have meaning. This almost goes without saying.
Spoiler:
The show has always been understated, but because of that it never felt dramatic or gripping. It was like it was trying to move a boulder with a trickle, and it just doesn't work in 12 episodes. Which is kinda why something like ef is far more effective in communicating drama than something like this. Even ARIA, by the same animation company, is far more successful at building up to dramatic and powerful moments than this. They're not the same type of series, obviously, but I think this could have learnt something from ARIA.

As far as the animation itself is concerned, I think I started off as indifferent, but now I'm a critic. It's a bit like the rest of the show, it's understated, but that also leaves it simplistic, basic, hell I'd almost go so far as crude. I really don't think it complements the atmosphere in a way the show intended. The show intended to have a fairly mature set of themes, but the animation at times looked childish, which created an unintended, jarring juxtaposition.

I wrote a fairly lengthy post a couple of days ago about some random thoughts about this show's take on characterization, but it got eaten when my browser crashed before hitting the "Submit Reply" button (FFFFFUUU---). To give the gist, I thought it ended up feeling like the characters are incomplete. Lead characters like Gota and Sora have a fairly standard personality-type, one or two major dilemmas to give their characters some colour and individuality, and a set of small nuances which are shown to us over the course of the series. So basically there's two layers, the big stuff, and the little stuff... but what about the stuff in between. How do they think, how do they interact with people, what motivates them, how do they live, what do they want to make of their lives and arguably most importantly, what was in their past. Gota got some of this stuff, Sora got a lot less, while most of the side characters basically got none. We know nothing of Hara's past, for example, and the only stuff we know about his relationships are these tiny little glimpses we got that told us very little. So I ended up being rather critical of how this show did character development. At best it made characters that were two-layered, at worst it made characters that weren't layered at all.
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Old 2008-10-11, 14:50   Link #308
Kaoru Chujo
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Sorrow-K, to my way of thinking this show may have a simple surface, but it is not simplistic at all. Quite the opposite. You are expecting a normal 19th century novel type of story. This story works by feeling and implication. Its complexity depends on the audience filling -- or really "feeling" -- in the blanks. The surface of this show is spare, the depth is full.

I found it far more intense emotionally than something that is conventionally "dramatic" or "gripping". In this show, it is the very de-emphasis of the dramatic moments that gives it its power. Instead of herding us into certain emotions, it gives us space to actually fall into them ourselves.

And to me, the way they did not give us a whole bunch of "stuff in between" helped concentrate my attention on the heart of the show, and also gave me a deeper feeling about the characters than I get about characters in stories with a busier surface. The absence of some of the details drew me much closer to the characters, in the effort to understand them, whereas getting a lot of facts objectifies characters, keeps them at a distance.

But I never felt I had insufficient information about any of them. The subtle hints were enough to give a fairly complete feeling of their personalities. This is like a brush painting by Sesshu compared to something like a dramatic oil painting by Delacroix. Delacroix gives you all the details and tells you what to feel. This show sketches in only part of the picture, but enough that you are then drawn in to complete it yourself, in your heart.

The difference between the simplified animation and the mature themes was not "unintended" at all, but completely intended. It was a symbol of the entire method that Kobayashi was using. A method that amazed and moved me. It is analogous to the way scriptwriting books tell you to give your characters contradictory aspects. It brings them to life. Same thing for the contrast between the simplified animation and the realistic backgrounds.
Spoiler for ending:
...a masterpiece, in my opinion. Originality that actually means something.
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characters/seiyuus: Sailor Moon Crystal | Akatsuki no Yona | Amagi Brilliant Park | Coffin-Princess Chaika | Cross Ange | Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai | Danna ga Nani ga Itteru | Denkigai no Honya-san | Donten ni Warau | Fate/Stay Night UBW | Le Fruit de la Grisaia | Gugure! Kokkuri-san | Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de | Madan no Ou to Vanadis | Orenchi no Furo Jijou | Seven Deadly Sins | Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso | Shirobako | Sora no Method | Tribe Cool Crew | Trinity Seven | Ushinawareta Mirai o Motomete | Wixoss

Last edited by Kaoru Chujo; 2008-10-11 at 15:13.
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Old 2008-10-11, 21:01   Link #309
Sorrow-K
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I can see what you're saying, in that too often drama, both in anime and other media, will be pretty blatant in wanting you to feel a certain way in a given scene, which does make things come off as forced. But I think this went to the other extreme, in that it's attempt to give the audience freedom to feel as they will left it underwhelming and unattached. I kinda agree with what I imagine is your philosophy towards drama that, if you're going to err, err on the side of "understated". All too often drama is over-the-top with characters angsting and having to win wars all by themselves and people going into comas and then other characters dramatically dying only to come back to life the next episode, etc, etc. That's why I tend to by highly critical of anime that resemble daytime soap operas. Not that I don't mind a bit of melodrama in reasonable sized doses. Hence why I'm such a big fan of ef and Marimite.

But, what I'm trying to say is that there's slightly understated, which tends to make for good drama, and then there's extremely understated, which is what Natsu no Sora was. There's a couple of pretty big things in the story that I wasn't left satisfied by. The first was characters. Gota got a good amount of character development, Kuroda got a reasonable amount of character development for a side character, Sora got a little bit of character development, but not enough for a lead character, Hara got almost no character development, and he was one of the more intriguing characters in the cast, and the rest of the cast got almost nothing. And the other thing I'm struggling with is the intended meaning of the events, particularly the finale. I'm still here, something like a day after seeing the final episode, and I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out exactly what they meant by all of this.

I dig this show's ambition, but I think this is one of those shows that's ambitious, but doesn't have the poise to pull it off.
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Old 2008-10-29, 02:40   Link #310
Elyson
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I just finished watching this, and I have to say, I absolutely loved it! definitely one of my all-time favourites.
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Old 2008-11-07, 14:33   Link #311
fict_ticious
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Well, I've been sitting on this anime for about a month and I finally decided I wanted to wrap it up. I rewatched the first bit with my brother, and he commented that the 'animation' was lazy. I'd have to agree with him :V

That little detail aside, I was pretty content with how it turned out.

First, the little "twist"...
Spoiler:


As for the conclusion...
Spoiler:


I really felt that they could have took their time and made this thing a few more episodes longer. Heck, all they needed was to buy a couple more rolls of film for that camera :V I felt that for most of it, Sora took on a supporting role for the others. I don't know if this was to emphasize that she fit perfectly with the charge given to her as a mage or something, but a little more "alone time" with Sora and the viewer was needed.
Overall, this would have to be up there with my favorite anime of last season. It was refreshing and very earnest in it's storytelling.
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Old 2009-11-10, 22:04   Link #312
Proto
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I actually just finished watching this series after putting it off for so long. I personally loved the first season of "Things important for a mage" (I will never understand why did they named it someday dreamers for the English version), so I cam with big expectations to this series, . (uh oh, that's always a bad start ), specially since I had just came from watching the two seasons from Natsume Yuujinchou.

Spoiler:


Overall, it is not a show without faults, but still, it is a show pertaining to my favorite genre, so it's difficult that this type of show can go wrong with me, and this is not an exception. I would have preferred for them to continue with the storytelling style they had had for the first episodes, or at least to have given us a smoother transition. I guess I can give this show 7.5/10. A show that I liked, and that I may even rewatch and recommend to people who like SoL, but unfortunately not to other people. Meaning, if you are reading this and you are deciding whether to see this show, and you liked things like Figure 17, PlanetES, Mushishi, or the like, then this might be sleeper hitter for you.

People should also go and see the first season for those who haven't!!
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Old 2009-12-27, 12:33   Link #313
zrdb
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Thumbs up

Having seen the originial series a few times (I own it) this was a pleasent surprise-it was similar in quite a few ways. The photorealistic backgrounds were good-the character design was a little simplistic but effective enough given the nature of the series. I'm big into the "slice of life" genre. Not the best series I've ever seen but very engaging and memorable.
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Old 2011-05-29, 19:10   Link #314
Guardian Enzo
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Thanks to those who recommended this on my "Suggestions" thread - and thanks to Totoum for warning me about the ending!

Spoiler for Well....Everything:

Last edited by Guardian Enzo; 2011-05-29 at 19:35.
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