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Old 2008-07-30, 17:25   Link #2841
anselfir
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my ranking of chars upon first viewing

aaeru
limone
dominura
yun
nevril
mamiina

now it is probably

yun-aaeru
limone (omg so cute)
mamiina
etc

the more understated characters gained some more appreciation after repeated viewing
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Old 2008-08-11, 18:26   Link #2842
Simon
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The Journey Ends

AOD Mania.com have finished reviewing the show:

Quote:
In Summary:
After five volumes and twenty-six episodes, I have nothing truly negative to say about Simoun. It is stylish, intriguing, and just very well put together. While the low key nature and slow pacing may turn off some people, the story telling and the way each character came to their ultimate resolution was done just about as well as one could hope. Shows dealing with the human nature of war can be hard to get exactly right, but it cannot get much better than Simoun. Highly recommended.
Given that their V4 review ended with "I see it going one of two ways: either an excellent ending that wraps everything up perfectly, or one that cannot handle all of the different approaches the earlier episodes have set up and ultimately [ruins] what so far has been an excellent series", I'd wondered if ep26 might draw some complaints. After all, people posting here certainly had *cough* a range of opinions on how the show finished up (for the avoidance of doubt, I'm in the "absolutely loved it" camp).

Hopefully now that the R1s are complete more fans will give the show a try.
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Old 2008-10-01, 19:50   Link #2843
duncan
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thoughts, and Dominura's eventual fate

I guess this forum is pretty quiet these days, but I thought I'd stick my oar in anyway. First of, I really liked Simoun. It's certainly one of my favorite TV anime series. I thought I'd mention that, because I'm about to be critical of some aspects of it.

I thought that what Simoun did well it did very well. I also thought that it was quite flawed in some ways. I like it a lot because I appreciate what it did well, but I am not quite as quick to let it off the hook for its failings as some people (though I do think it is one of the best anime series I've seen even given those failings). It's fine to say that it's primarily about the characters, but it promises to be about other things as well, and it breaks some of its promises. The only conclusion I can come to is that they were pressed for time and/or money, and that there was poor communication between the writers about some things. I can't help feeling that they wrote the show as they produced the episodes, and that they changed their mind a few times. I'd also be surprised if there weren't some serious disagreements between the writers that never got resolved.

Spoiler:


EDIT: ANyway, after having criticized the series I should also praise it, as I really did like it a lot. My favorite part, by far, was the end of episode 8. I think that has to be on of my favorite sequences in all the anime I've seen. Not quite up there with the Mugen drowning scene in Champloo, but not far behind. That line of Neviriru's "tachinasai..." is just so great, and it's delivered so well. I care a lot about the voice performances and both Neviriru and Aeru were really well voiced, particularly in this scene.

On a kind of geeky note, that line of Neviriru's really reminded me of Ochoufujin (Ryuzaki Reika) in the live action "Ace wo Nerae". She's a very similar character in some respects, and her speech patterns are similar too. Though they will never do it, if they made a live action Simoun the actrees who played Ochoufujin (Matsumoto Rio) would not be a bad choice for Neviriru. She doesn't look much like her, but who does? Ueto Aya from the same series has the physical look for Aeru, but unfortunately I don't think she'd be able to carry Aeru off.

Last edited by duncan; 2008-10-01 at 21:08.
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Old 2008-10-01, 23:58   Link #2844
anselfir
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some of these metaphysical/plot questions are better left unanswered. a certain degree of mystery is necessary to create surrealist distance and highlight the important things over the mundane.
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Old 2008-10-02, 02:39   Link #2845
duncan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anselfir View Post
some of these metaphysical/plot questions are better left unanswered. a certain degree of mystery is necessary to create surrealist distance and highlight the important things over the mundane.
I'll agree that some are.

Spoiler:


You can't handwave enormous confusion about timelines away with the idea that it is all a matter of unexplainable metaphysics. Well, I guess you _can_, and Simoun proves that you can do so and still make a really engaging anime series. But I'm not willing to buy it, completely.

I guess I'd like to compare Simoun with Gene Wolfe's New Sun series. That's a series of books that on first reading makes you ask: "what?" They start off looking like a sort of simple, if floridly written, shounen fantasy (with a bit of refuge in audacity- the main character starts as an apprentice in the torturer's guild). By the end of the series you understand that there was another story beneath the one you were told, and that you failed to follow it. I actually read that series about 5 times back to back before I completely understood what had happened (this was before there was an internet to find spoilers on.) Then Wolfe published a fifth book that confirmed most of my suspicions.

The problem with Simoun is that it promises to be that sort of work, if a lot simpler (it is unfair to compare _any_ anime with Wolfe's books, though I'd love to see "The Fifth Head of Cerberus" animated), and it fails to deliver on that promise. I don't demand simple answers, but I want a certain degree of consistency, and Simoun failed to deliver in that respect.

That doesn't keep me from loving the series. What it did well, it did very well. I'm a big fan of Simoun- I'd put it (3rd) in the top 3 series I've seen, and I certainly think it was the best series of 2006. I actually thought it was better than Haibane Renmei, for instance, which makes me a heretic . But I think it was flawed in some respects, and my love for it can't keep me from noticing the flaws.
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Old 2008-10-03, 03:54   Link #2846
anselfir
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well, in simoun time itself is a theme, perhaps to make a statement about religion/belief from a sociohistorical perspective. but really, the characters' situations are all clearly presented, and that's enough for a character portrait show. when the show is over, what you remember are the characters, and that's done well enough
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Old 2008-10-03, 08:40   Link #2847
gaguri
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There are many positive things to say about Simoun (as well as few criticisms) but the thing I got most out of it was its depiction of lesbian relationship. The most beautiful and sacred of all relationship to me felt like the one between two females and it's all due to its androgynous nature. Who is in control, who is aggressive and who is hesistant, who desires to embrace and who desires to be embraced, who is seme and who is uke...these positions within a relationship changes over time, where that fine line between a "man" and "woman" becomes blurred to the point where it no longer matters, for such thing is ambiguous and arguably irrelevant between two females who genuinely feel for each other. It's something I've never, ever had a pleasure of experiencing in anime. Such relationship is like a beautiful tango, of both pulling and being pulled, and within that tension lies the beauty that you can't capture in words. The final scene is beautiful in that it so perfectly captures that notion without words, just through a tango between Nevril and Aeru. Soundtrack for Simoun is also one of the best.

I wouldn't say Simoun is a masterpiece, or even a brilliant work for that matter, but it certainly is unique in its take on a theme that's been so cheapened and trivialised by the industry.
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Old 2008-10-03, 12:57   Link #2848
duncan
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Yep, I liked the relationships as well, and I'm not particularly a fan of yuri. Like I said, I thought that what Simoun did well it did very well. It has some flaws, but they didn't keep me from really enjoying the series. It probably wouldn't be my first recommendation for someone who wasn't already kind of into anime, just because it is kind of odd, but.. well it's the kind of thing that people who like that kind of thing will like a lot . I certainly liked it, and I have recommended it to some people.
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Old 2008-10-03, 13:51   Link #2849
Matrim
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Quote:
You can't handwave enormous confusion about timelines away with the idea that it is all a matter of unexplainable metaphysics. Well, I guess you _can_, and Simoun proves that you can do so and still make a really engaging anime series. But I'm not willing to buy it, completely.
I have to agree. The issue with Chor Dextra especially has left me with the impression that the concept was changed during the course of the series and in attempting to make this chor the focal point of so many mysteries they screwed up. I think many pages back in this thread someone did quote an interview with the director (or someone prominent in the crew at least) that they had indeed changed things in the spur of the moment due to time and money constraints. Or maybe that's just my bad memory, this thread is damned huge, so I can't be bothered to find this info.
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Old 2008-10-03, 18:50   Link #2850
duncan
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Originally Posted by Matrim View Post
I have to agree. The issue with Chor Dextra especially has left me with the impression that the concept was changed during the course of the series and in attempting to make this chor the focal point of so many mysteries they screwed up. I think many pages back in this thread someone did quote an interview with the director (or someone prominent in the crew at least) that they had indeed changed things in the spur of the moment due to time and money constraints. Or maybe that's just my bad memory, this thread is damned huge, so I can't be bothered to find this info.
Yep- that's the conclusion I came to, and it's the Chor Dextra stuff, along with the Dominura stuff that bothered me the most. They clearly switched horses in mid-stream. I don't know about the interview you're talking about, but I remember someone mentioning something about the director insisting that the two pretty guys we see in the end aren't actually Anubituf and Guragief. I didn't hear it in context, so I don't know if he was joking, but if he was serious it's clear that he wasn't in complete control by the end. I think maybe there was dissension in the ranks and so they just wound up throwing up their hands and not bothering to try to resolve the contradictions.

One thing I think is interesting is the difference in budget between Japanese animation and US series. The Japanese produce most anime on a much smaller budget than US shows get, and it seems like they are on tighter deadlines too. That might explain why a lot of anime starts off well and then crashes and burns. Luckily Simoun didn't crash and burn. The ending was quite nice in a lot of ways, and I agree with gaguri that the last scene was quite nice. But I was left feeling a bit let down as well- just too many gnawing and unresolvable questions.
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Old 2008-10-06, 04:38   Link #2851
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Why do I do this to myself?

I know that the melodrama and dumb story telling is going to continue (I've clicked through the future episodes a little and at the very least I know that the characters continue to get pissed over the wrong things), and I know that its going to make me rage, and I know that I'm not going to be able to look at the main characters again the same way after watching the final episode, since the mass majority of them turn into men.

Yet I feel like continuing since I hear that it gets somewhat better.

*watches episode 14*

-Waporiff only turned down Floe because he was scared of her status as a priestess? Waporiff, you pussy. You're going to do the same thing to Morinas now too. Then you'll just need to find a way to almost shack up with and then turn down Aeru and you'll have turned down all three of the best characters in the show. He should do the same with Yun just for the sake of turning down all of the best looking as well.

-Thank you, Yun. Paraietta is indeed a shitty leader that favors her friend's interests of over the group's and completely disregards the group's needs in the process. Now she just needs to tell her off for being a shitty friend. Sheltering Neviril only prolongs her problems.

I was irritated to see Paraietta as high as third place in that popularity poll, but I'm glad that her fandom doesn't seem as strong amongst the western Simoun fanbase.

-You could have made your advances somewhere a bit less risky than in the room where all of the other priestesses are sleeping.

-...Or maybe Waporiff's and Morinas's relationship will come to a mutual end.
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Old 2008-10-06, 06:53   Link #2852
Matrim
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I think you are in for quite a few surprises if you persevere with Simoun.

Quote:
Waporiff only turned down Floe because he was scared of her status as a priestess? Waporiff, you pussy.
Yes, he sure is a pussy for not wanting to get involved with a priestess. Never mind that he is living under a theocracy, the priestesses arguably do what can easily be classified as magic pretty much every day and it can be inferred that adults messing around with adolescents who have not gone through the Spring ceremony of a gender choice is something of a tabboo, let alone having an affair with a Sybilla. I wonder if you would call a male character in a medieval european setting a pussy too, just because he refuses to screw a nun. Not to mention Floe looks and behaves like a ten-year old and that you have a lot to see about Morinas and Wapourif's relationship.
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Old 2008-10-06, 09:56   Link #2853
Bloodseeker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matrim View Post
I think you are in for quite a few surprises if you persevere with Simoun.



Yes, he sure is a pussy for not wanting to get involved with a priestess. Never mind that he is living under a theocracy, the priestesses arguably do what can easily be classified as magic pretty much every day and it can be inferred that adults messing around with adolescents who have not gone through the Spring ceremony of a gender choice is something of a tabboo, let alone having an affair with a Sybilla. I wonder if you would call a male character in a medieval european setting a pussy too, just because he refuses to screw a nun. Not to mention Floe looks and behaves like a ten-year old and that you have a lot to see about Morinas and Wapourif's relationship.
Yeah, well... shit, I can't attack Aeru because Aeru's awesome and I'm too lazy to see who your other favorites are.

But stop bashing Floe. Floe is cute. And hot.

Also, sibyllea aren't really the same as nuns. As far as I can tell, all but a few of them move on from their occupation into completely different fields early in life. Its not a permanent lifestyle. (where as a nun is going to be a nun for a long, long time) Most of them don't really have the nun mentality or demeanor, either. Even their uniforms tend to be revealing, and they're certainly interested in each other. Its more "temporary noble status" bullshit.

And obviously they can get fairly close without the people that could raise hell about it taking enough notice to actually do so. Floe and Morinas would visit the spring eventually, and they'd be completely free at that point. There's no possible downsides to such a relationship as long as they don't get caught, either.

The only thing stopping him is some stupid taboo that's not going to apply forever. Passing an awesome girl that you want up over something like makes you a pussy.

Last edited by Bloodseeker; 2008-10-06 at 10:09.
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Old 2008-10-06, 10:10   Link #2854
Matrim
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Quote:
Also, sibyllea aren't really the same as nuns. As far as I can tell, all but a few of them move on from their occupation into completely different fields early in life. Its not a permanent lifestyle. (where as a nun is going to be a nun for a long, long time) Most of them don't really have the nun mentality or demeanor, either. Even their uniforms tend to be revealing, and they're certainly interested in each other. Its more "temporary noble status" bullshit.
Most of them were nobles to begin with, if we are to trust Mamiina's story, which probably adds to their untouchable status. And just because it's a temporary status, doesn't make it any less sacred.
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Old 2008-10-18, 21:08   Link #2855
duncan
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I actually think that the Wapourif/Morinas thing is a fairly strong part of Simoun, despite the fact that I wasn't crazy about either character. It ties into some other thematic elements quite nicely.

I don't think it's ever really implied that Wapourif would suffer serious consequences from the state if he had something to do with one of the sibyllae (and the fact that Floe makes him claim to have been her lover tends to argue against that), but I don't think that's the point. The title of ep 14 could be translated into English as "That Which Must Not Be Defiled", or "That Which Must Not Be Profaned", and it has a dual meaning here, in line with a theme that Simoun rather dextrously (pun only half-intended) weaves into a couple storylines.

Are the Simouns the chariots of the gods, or are they just machines? Are the sibyllae young girls, or are they sacred beings, or are they killers? In this sense the questions about defiling them or profaning them run through the whole series, and a lot of Simoun only makes sense once you see it in that light, IMHO. Wapourif's confusion over the issue is just the piccolos picking that theme up. By itself it wouldn't make much sense, but as a restatement in a different voice of a theme that is present through the whole series, I think it works quite well, though of course YMMV.

Also, I don't want to spoil, but Morinas makes this question fairly explicit soon after this episode.

I will say that if you're not liking Simoun by ep 14 you are probably not going to like it much better if you watch the whole thing. I'd actually say that if you weren't digging it by ep 8 (the strongest episode, IMHO), it might not be for you.
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Old 2008-12-03, 01:34   Link #2856
Generic Asian Guy
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Definitely a unique piece of anime with a plot that has "depth" to it.

I love the songs, especially Aaeru's music box theme and Youen Naru Kizuna no Hibiki (the accordion melody) =] ("Oozora no Auriga" gives me goosebumps)

It's rare to hear songs with an accordion in them, so that's what make Simoun unique to me.
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Old 2008-12-03, 06:12   Link #2857
WanderingKnight
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Quote:
It's rare to hear songs with an accordion in them, so that's what make Simoun unique to me.
It's actually a bandoneˇn, an instrument similar to an accordion in sound and looks, but very different when it comes to playing it. It's typically used in tango.
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Old 2008-12-03, 20:53   Link #2858
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Thanks for the information =D Very interesting!
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Old 2008-12-05, 15:51   Link #2859
Kaoru Chujo
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I'm still saying Simoun is a masterpiece. At least it is my favorite anime of all time. But even masterpieces can have flaws, or at least inconsistencies. In fact, a story that is perfect can be mechanical and emotionally dead.

The mysteries of past and future, even if insoluble -- or perhaps especially if insoluble -- give this show a mystical resonance that would otherwise be hard to achieve. Pinning them down might be like chloroforming a butterfly and pinning it to a board.
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Old 2008-12-07, 10:27   Link #2860
Iromaru
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I finished watching Simoun yesterday and I must say it's definitely one of the best shows ever made.

From the countless animes I have watched only Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop and Elfen Lied reached similar level. Seriousely many years have passed since I cried watching a movie or series yet Simoun made me cry like a kid so many times... Final two episodes are pure art and imo one of the two best anime endings ever (second being Cowboy Bebop).

I really don't know how will I get over this series, it'll most likely haunt me every day for many weeks forcing endless re-watching just like Elfen Lied did.

It really pains me that Simoun wasn't a comercial success and we'll most likely never see a manga or anime sequel, but true art is often underrated at first. Hopefully Simoun will gain fans in time, especially since most reviews from critics are very positive.
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