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Just now, Bartimaeus said:

Can you explain what you mean by "interrupted by character backgrounds"?

As spoiler free as can be, the first four episodes were pretty much an introduction to the world and characters, then starting with 5 they go into a massive battle against sexless nude people, and an episode or two after is taken up mostly by a flashback to flesh out a character we'd been seeing for the entire show but who didn't talk much. If you've ever watched Penny Dreadful, it was like the seasonal exposition dump for Vanessa Ives but without Eva Green's acting to support it.

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"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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Curious, everyone else who I know watched Attack on Titan pretty much raved about it. I guess that puts it in a bit of a backburner now. Not that I wouldn't have enough else to watch.

Speaking of watching something else.

On a whim I started Violet Evergarden, and ended up binging the 13 episodes. There's a special and one of two movies on Netflix too, which I plan on watching soon. Netflix recommended that when it came out, I just kind of avoided it. For... reasons (for those who have followed this thread for a while, that should become clear when I talk about it, for everyone else... well, sucks to be you :p). I'd link the trailer, but it is terrible. It's on Netflix anyway for everyone who wants to watch it. The English dub also seems to be a bit on the bad side, but that might just be my first impression. :p

wBz1JKi.png

Say hello to the titular character, Violet:

5s1xd5vckys41.jpg

I'm a shot from the closing credits, which were never - not ever, not ONCE - skipped by this viewer. This is a first, he does add.  :yes:

Well... Violet is a low functioning autist incapable of expressing, dealing with or understanding any sort of emotion. One of these things is a joke that obviously refers to @Bartimaeus' reaction to Puella Magi Madoka Magica, the others are pretty much what the show is about.

The anime is set in a world with the technological development level of our late 19th to early 20th century, with the primary exception being Violet's anachronistic mechanical replacement limbs*, having lost both her arms in the final battle of a conflict similar to WW1. They're a metaphor more than a plot point, or rather, when they do become a plot point they're directly related to Violet's development as a character and human. As such, it's okay to accept that she has fully working replacement limbs for some reason while others limp about or need crutches to deal with their injuries.

Found as an almost feral orphan, with a penchant for violence, Violet was raised and trained as a child solider by the army and assigned to Major Gilbert Bougainvillea, the first person to treat her as human, not a weapon to be unleashed on the enemy. Years later, both being severely wounded in the battle that ended the war, Major Bougainvillea tells her to live and be free, that she's more than a tool for him, and that he loves her. Words that are completely meaningless for Violet, who not only doesn't understand what love is, but also has known nothing but following the orders of others.

Violet wakes up in a hospital. The war is over, and Major Bougainvillea reported as missing in action. Lt. Colonel Hodgins arrives and offers her a job at his newly founded postal company in an effort to help with his friend's final wish for Violet. He does not tell her about the Major being missing in action. Being both physically and emotionally marred by years of war, she now struggles with being integrated into society. Honest to the point of being hurtfully blunt, incapable of reading or expressing emotions and lacking any subtlety, she eventually takes up a job as Auto Memory Doll (which in the Japanese original is called Automatic Note Doll, which sounds slightly less ridiculous, the German translation is AKORA, which translates as autonomous correspondence assistant, which is the best of the bunch, in my opinion), a sort of ghost- or copywriter people most often, but not exclusively, commission to write letters, either because they are illiterate or lack the eloquence to truly express what they feel.

Little by little, Violet, through having to express emotions of and for others in letters, learns to reconnect with her lost humanity and come to terms with the horrors of war and the scars they have left. For the most part, even though Violet is the main character, what makes this unique is that her story is told mostly through the lens of her clients, their reactions to her, their observations and interactions and the way she's trying to fulfill their wishes. More often than not, people truly liken her to the doll in her job description. In her most hapless of moments, Violet sometimes pulls on her cheecks to simulate a smile that she otherwise can't do.

It ends up being what this thread was called for the longest of whiles, an emotional roller coster. Her first commission is a disaster where she completely misunderstands what her client wants from her (a client who wants a loveletter written in which she's playing hard to get, and Violent ends up writing "I have no true feelings for you, and you're not sincere enough in your efforts." to him - a very literal interpretation of what the client told Violet to write).

The absolute highlight of the anime is an episode where Violet visits a family where she's been booked for a week to write several letters for...

Spoiler

 

...a terminally ill mother to her 8-year-old daughter named Ann that are supposed to be delivered to her on her birthdays. Ann is angry that her mother makes time for a guest and not for her, even though she is ill and keeps telling her that everything will be all right. She ends up spending time with Violet while her mother rests, and eventually reveals that she knows that her mother isn't going to get better. Violet insists that she can't talk about what they're doing, but that it's worthwhile.

The episode ends with Ann reading a few of the letters of her mother over the years. She falls in love, marries, and has a child of her own. Violet returns home and to her job, where her colleagues congratulate her on a job well done. Violet breaks down in font of them, telling them how incredibly hard it was to deal with the emotional stress of the situation, and holding back her tears while doing her job.

It's at this point where the show turns from Violet dealing with her emotions to Violet rejecting violence when she stumbles into a situtation where a small group of extremists want to sabotage the ongoing peace talks. When Major Bougainvillea's brother gives her one last order, she replies: "I don't need orders any more."

The show ends with Violet visiting another client, with a smile on her face.

 

Her mechanical arms mirror her character growth. They're cumbersome and need ajustment at first. They're a visual metaphor for the wounds she sustained, and eventually culminate in being used to well and truly put the war behind her (and, by extension, the nations involved).

The soundtrack is fantastic, especially the song of the closing credits. I guess the copyright holders are going hard after clips from the show, because the closing credits aren't available on YouTube to show them. This is the song:

The animation is really good for the most part. There are some parts that look a bit, well, uncanny, especially when the camera pans over landscapes, and some of the movements feel wrong. There's a bit of what I mean in the opening credits:

Still, for anime made in 2018, this is positively gorgeous.

What else can I say? It very quickly earned the distinction of getting a thumbs up on Netflix too. Well done (for the record, Madoka did not get one - really)!

Also, don't expect much action or fast pacing. There is some action, of course, particularily in the flashbacks to the war and the show's finale, but most of the time the pacing is on the slower side. It gives itself and the watcher enough time to breathe in and process what's happening.

*Contrary to what you might think from the trailer, or other people might think, Violet is not a robot. She's a human with mechanical limbs, even if her character arc is really similar to robots or androids learning what emotions are.

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Give me the eyes, so I see
Give me ears, so I hear
Give me love, so I know what love is
Give me freedom to think, to believe
In something
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I decided to watch one last anime before Legend of Galactic Heroes. I'm really enjoying it. Basically Overlord is about a guy who is trapped inside a mmorpg when it is about to shut down. He becomes his character and is transported to a new world with a legion of evil npcs that are loyal to him and have become self-aware.

Small spoilers below:

Spoiler

He is just a normal guy who is now seem as a god by the npcs in his dungeon, so there are several hilarious situations as he doesn't really know how to rule and doesn't want to risk losing their loyalty if he doesn't act as they expect him. Not to mention the Succubus he programmed to love him, that really wants to have sex but can't understand he is a skeleton and doesn't have genitals. lol

 

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19 minutes ago, majestic said:

Curious, everyone else who I know watched Attack on Titan pretty much raved about it. I guess that puts it in a bit of a backburner now. Not that I wouldn't have enough else to watch.

Speaking of watching something else.

On a whim I started Violet Evergarden, and ended up binging the 13 episodes. There's a special and one of two movies on Netflix too, which I plan on watching soon. Netflix recommended that when it came out, I just kind of avoided it. For... reasons (for those who have followed this thread for a while, that should become clear when I talk about it, for everyone else... well, sucks to be you :p). I'd link the trailer, but it is terrible. It's on Netflix anyway for everyone who wants to watch it. The English dub also seems to be a bit on the bad side, but that might just be my first impression. :p

wBz1JKi.png

Say hello to the titular character, Violet:

5s1xd5vckys41.jpg

I'm a shot from the closing credits, which were never - not ever, not ONCE - skipped by this viewer. This is a first, he does add.  :yes:

Well... Violet is a low functioning autist incapable of expressing, dealing with or understanding any sort of emotion. One of these things is a joke that obviously refers to @Bartimaeus' reaction to Puella Magi Madoka Magica, the others are pretty much what the show is about.

The anime is set in a world with the technological development level of our late 19th to early 20th century, with the primary exception being Violet's anachronistic mechanical replacement limbs*, having lost both her arms in the final battle of a conflict similar to WW1. They're a metaphor more than a plot point, or rather, when they do become a plot point they're directly related to Violet's development as a character and human. As such, it's okay to accept that she has fully working replacement limbs for some reason while others limp about or need crutches to deal with their injuries.

Found as an almost feral orphan, with a penchant for violence, Violet was raised and trained as a child solider by the army and assigned to Major Gilbert Bougainvillea, the first person to treat her as human, not a weapon to be unleashed on the enemy. Years later, both being severely wounded in the battle that ended the war, Major Bougainvillea tells her to live and be free, that she's more than a tool for him, and that he loves her. Words that are completely meaningless for Violet, who not only doesn't understand what love is, but also has known nothing but following the orders of others.

Violet wakes up in a hospital. The war is over, and Major Bougainvillea reported as missing in action. Lt. Colonel Hodgins arrives and offers her a job at his newly founded postal company in an effort to help with his friend's final wish for Violet. He does not tell her about the Major being missing in action. Being both physically and emotionally marred by years of war, she now struggles with being integrated into society. Honest to the point of being hurtfully blunt, incapable of reading or expressing emotions and lacking any subtlety, she eventually takes up a job as Auto Memory Doll (which in the Japanese original is called Automatic Note Doll, which sounds slightly less ridiculous, the German translation is AKORA, which translates as autonomous correspondence assistant, which is the best of the bunch, in my opinion), a sort of ghost- or copywriter people most often, but not exclusively, commission to write letters, either because they are illiterate or lack the eloquence to truly express what they feel.

Little by little, Violet, through having to express emotions of and for others in letters, learns to reconnect with her lost humanity and come to terms with the horrors of war and the scars they have left. For the most part, even though Violet is the main character, what makes this unique is that her story is told mostly through the lens of her clients, their reactions to her, their observations and interactions and the way she's trying to fulfill their wishes. More often than not, people truly liken her to the doll in her job description. In her most hapless of moments, Violet sometimes pulls on her cheecks to simulate a smile that she otherwise can't do.

It ends up being what this thread was called for the longest of whiles, an emotional roller coster. Her first commission is a disaster where she completely misunderstands what her client wants from her (a client who wants a loveletter written in which she's playing hard to get, and Violent ends up writing "I have no true feelings for you, and you're not sincere enough in your efforts." to him - a very literal interpretation of what the client told Violet to write).

The absolute highlight of the anime is an episode where Violet visits a family where she's been booked for a week to write several letters for...

  Hide contents

 

...a terminally ill mother to her 8-year-old daughter named Ann that are supposed to be delivered to her on her birthdays. Ann is angry that her mother makes time for a guest and not for her, even though she is ill and keeps telling her that everything will be all right. She ends up spending time with Violet while her mother rests, and eventually reveals that she knows that her mother isn't going to get better. Violet insists that she can't talk about what they're doing, but that it's worthwhile.

The episode ends with Ann reading a few of the letters of her mother over the years. She falls in love, marries, and has a child of her own. Violet returns home and to her job, where her colleagues congratulate her on a job well done. Violet breaks down in font of them, telling them how incredibly hard it was to deal with the emotional stress of the situation, and holding back her tears while doing her job.

It's at this point where the show turns from Violet dealing with her emotions to Violet rejecting violence when she stumbles into a situtation where a small group of extremists want to sabotage the ongoing peace talks. When Major Bougainvillea's brother gives her one last order, she replies: "I don't need orders any more."

The show ends with Violet visiting another client, with a smile on her face.

 

Her mechanical arms mirror her character growth. They're cumbersome and need ajustment at first. They're a visual metaphor for the wounds she sustained, and eventually culminate in being used to well and truly put the war behind her (and, by extension, the nations involved).

The soundtrack is fantastic, especially the song of the closing credits. I guess the copyright holders are going hard after clips from the show, because the closing credits aren't available on YouTube to show them. This is the song:

The animation is really good for the most part. There are some parts that look a bit, well, uncanny, especially when the camera pans over landscapes, and some of the movements feel wrong. There's a bit of what I mean in the opening credits:

Still, for anime made in 2018, this is positively gorgeous.

What else can I say? It very quickly earned the distinction of getting a thumbs up on Netflix too. Well done (for the record, Madoka did not get one - really)!

Also, don't expect much action or fast pacing. There is some action, of course, particularily in the flashbacks to the war and the show's finale, but most of the time the pacing is on the slower side. It gives itself and the watcher enough time to breathe in and process what's happening.

*Contrary to what you might think from the trailer, or other people might think, Violet is not a robot. She's a human with mechanical limbs, even if her character arc is really similar to robots or androids learning what emotions are.

I didn't read everything because you sold it to me in the first paragraphs. I'll try to watch it while I go through Legend of Galactic Heroes.

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6 minutes ago, InsaneCommander said:

I didn't read everything because you sold it to me in the first paragraphs. I'll try to watch it while I go through Legend of Galactic Heroes.

I just hope you read the part about this being slow paced and with very little action. The war is just the backdrop. It's mostly her writing and interacting with clients and experiencing the vagaries of life. Joy, sadness and loss. :)

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Give me the eyes, so I see
Give me ears, so I hear
Give me love, so I know what love is
Give me freedom to think, to believe
In something
                        -- Tony Kakko

 

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1 hour ago, majestic said:

snip

In contrast to InsaneCommander, I'm glad you wrote all of that out because now it means I don't have to watch it...which is just as well, since I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have been for me anyways, :p. Do *you* think I'd like it, @majestic? :shifty:

Paranoia Agent, episode 1: Very strange, a little (intentionally) uncomfortable at parts, good. Not really sure where it's going, but presumably there will be ideas and themes that will emerge more strongly. Satoshi Kon makes weird stuff, more news at 11.

Spoiler

Not sure if the protagonist lady of the first episode will be the protagonist over the entire show or what - I'm kind of hoping not, because she's one of those incredibly weak "can barely form sentences to be able to talk to anybody because I'm so sensitive to everyone and everything"-types - even though she is one of those types, she also hasn't annoyed me thanks to the direction of the show. We'll see how it shakes out.

 

Edited by Bartimaeus
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Put fascists and sociopaths on your ignore list.

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Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

 

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2 hours ago, majestic said:

Curious, everyone else who I know watched Attack on Titan pretty much raved about it. I guess that puts it in a bit of a backburner now. Not that I wouldn't have enough else to watch.

There are some major pacing issues with the first part, and characters tend to pick random times to break down and go mega drama. It's also not particularly notable in terms of animation, it never gets bad like SMC, but it doesn't really stand out.

I binged a lot of episodes though so something about it is engaging enough or I'm just bored.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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1 hour ago, Bartimaeus said:

In contrast to InsaneCommander, I'm glad you wrote all of that out because now it means I don't have to watch it...which is just as well, since I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have been for me anyways, :p.

The storytelling device employed I found fairly interesting, regardless of every other (modern) anime trapping this has. I'm not sure I can come up with many other series or even books where you learn about the main character's development mostly through second person viewpoints. Outside of the flashbacks, and even there at times, the point of view is from someone else. The girl she goes to Auto Memory Doll school and has to pair up with, the writer who hired her to get out of his writer's block, writing correspondence for an arranged political marriage, and so on, and so forth. There are a few recurring, secondary characters, but unless they're the focus of an episode, like Iris (one of Violet's colleagues), they also only remotely observe her change(s). Not affect or cause it.

I can't speak to the veracity of the depicted process of combat veterans readjusting to civilian life (or actively having one for a change, as is the case with Violet), but reviews and opinions by actual veterans seem to agree that it's exaggerated but otherwise accurate. To give an example, there's the brother of the girl she goes to school with in episode three, who is a also combat veteran. His sister is unable to talk or reconnect to him, but Violet manages to transport the feelings of her in a way he understands.

Hamlet called that the purpose of playing, i.e. the purpose of art, I guess:

For anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure.

I can, however, make a fairly accurate assessment about some parts of it, and indeed, this did speak to me in a way that other shows did not. Hence the thumbs up. I'd thumbs of Sailor Moon or Steven Universe in heartbeat if I could. Well, I did. For season 4. Which still is the only season on Netflix, however that makes sense.

1 hour ago, Bartimaeus said:

Do *you* think I'd like it, @majestic? :shifty:

I find myself agreeing with you thinking that it's probably not for you. On a technical side in terms of presentation and storytelling, the nature of it has others explaining their life and wishes to her a lot. Even if you wouldn't hate (or at best not care about) Violet, you'd probably intensely dislike that. It makes sense in the context of her line of work, but it is what it is. :yes:

The show very much relies on turning an otherwise - let's be honest here - unlikeable and unrelateble (for regular viewers, that is) character into someone relatable by having her react to the life stories of others. I meant what I wrote above, the observational viewpoint is really different for this. However, and herein lies the crux, given your reaction to all of the characters in Madoka (and some other things), I'd probably put that into the no pile. Plus, given that fiasco, I'd rather err on the side of caution.

35 minutes ago, KP the meanie zucchini said:

There are some major pacing issues with the first part, and characters tend to pick random times to break down and go mega drama. It's also not particularly notable in terms of animation, it never gets bad like SMC, but it doesn't really stand out.

I binged a lot of episodes though so something about it is engaging enough or I'm just bored.

Damning with faint praise, ey? :p

Oh, by the way, @KP the meanie zucchini specific spoiler:

Spoiler

STANDOOOOOOOOOO POWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAH!

 

Edited by majestic
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Give me the eyes, so I see
Give me ears, so I hear
Give me love, so I know what love is
Give me freedom to think, to believe
In something
                        -- Tony Kakko

 

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Have you started Stardust Crusaders then?

ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA

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"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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1 minute ago, KP the meanie zucchini said:

Have you started Stardust Crusaders then?

 

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ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA

 

Watched the first episode, yes. Then Violet Evergarden happened. Tomorrow I'll be visiting my mother in Parkinson's rehab, so probably no more JoJo's until Monday or Tuesday. :)

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Give me the eyes, so I see
Give me ears, so I hear
Give me love, so I know what love is
Give me freedom to think, to believe
In something
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Well you're in for a ride. Stands are a lot weirder than Hamon. At least you won't have to break a camera to watch every episode.

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"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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1 minute ago, KP the meanie zucchini said:

Well you're in for a ride. Stands are a lot weirder than Hamon. At least you won't have to break a camera to watch every episode.

Not sure whe he complained about that. 30000 Yen should not be an issue for JoJo. Unless he got disowned by everyone. :p

Give me the eyes, so I see
Give me ears, so I hear
Give me love, so I know what love is
Give me freedom to think, to believe
In something
                        -- Tony Kakko

 

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4 minutes ago, majestic said:

Not sure whe he complained about that. 30000 Yen should not be an issue for JoJo. Unless he got disowned by everyone. :p

$300 for one pic is a lot for anyone, even if it is DIO's (near) nudes. Hermit Purple gonna Hermit Purple.

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"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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Watched Violet Evergarden: Surely, Someday You Will Understand "Love"

@InsaneCommander this is the first special, in the timeline between episode 4 and 5.

It's a slightly longer episode, clocking in at 35 minutes. It was written by the one writer that consistently made the episodes of the original run that I enjoyed the least (except for the great episode three), which doesn't mean that the episodes were bad, because the average episode quality is nothing short of... amazing.

Anyway, Violet gets a tough job in this one, and there's a certain irony in her helping someone move on from the loss of a loved one who did not come back from war. This episode, if you want to call it one, has some really memorable scenes in it, and some very nice interactions, but it doesn't fit together as well as it maybe could. It's a case where the parts of the sum are curiously greater than the whole, not the usual other way around.

Spoiler

 

It begins with Violet watching an opera performance - the singer (called Irma) is her client. When the opera is over, the visitors are suitably impressed by her singing and give standing ovations. Violet is confused, and begins to emulate everyone's behaviour, first getting up, then giving applause, clearly without knowing why. There's one other super uncomfortable scene where Violet just opts to stand in a corner, being frustrated by her job and unable to finish it.

Spoiler

I can relate to her more than I would like to, and yes, I'm talking about both things she does. *sigh*

The conductor (Ardo) briefly thinks about how this was the first time he encountered Violet, and how he doubted that she would be able to handle the assignment.

Irma is super cryptic about what she wants: A love letter to a person currently gone to war. Violet tries her best, but nothing meets with Irma's approval. Frustrated, she contemplates giving up after the conductor tells her that Irma isn't looking for a love letter as much as lyrics for the final aria of a modern opera, one she's been writing with him. Her job is to write letters, not lyrics. Together with the others, she tries to come up with something suitable, but all of the proposals are rejected by the conductor before she even presents them to Irma.

The conductor tells Violet that he lost his son - Irma's lover (and/or husband, this isn't mentioned) - to the war. Violet follows Irma around for a bit, they talk and bond a little over their shared fate (losing someone important). Together, they visit a candlelight vigil and silently watch returning soldiers reunite with their loved ones. Irma tells Violet that she knows he's not coming back, but that she can't let go. Violet at this point doesn't know that Gilbert is missing and presumed killed in action during the bombardement in the final battle of the war, but she suspects something is amiss, and wile Irma and Ardo, her conductor and (potential) father in law are writing an opera to deal with their feelings, Violet is going to struggle with this to the very end.

Violet meets Roland the postman, and he shows her a warehouse where undeliverable letters are kept. Letters where both senders and receivers died before they could be deliverded, or returned. It's the first time - actually, the only time, more or less - where the scope of the conflict becomes clear. The warehouse is full of letters. Violet, whose job for this episode was to write a modern love letter to someone gone off to war, reads a few and uses them as inspiration to deliver to Irma and Ardo what they need. A final aria for their opera, and a way to move on.

 

edit:

I think it's worth wedging in between 4 and 5 even on a first watch. Mostly because it bridges a little time gap between eposodes 4 and 5 that makes the transition easier to understand. It's not required or necessary to enjoy the original run, but it does leave you wondering if an episode like that was actually planned and just not realized.

edit 2:

To post a spoiler free picture of the special, if nothing else, someone really knows how to compose shots.

cpxQabB.png

Sometimes pictures really do replace a thousand words of exposition, don't they?

Edited by majestic
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Give me the eyes, so I see
Give me ears, so I hear
Give me love, so I know what love is
Give me freedom to think, to believe
In something
                        -- Tony Kakko

 

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...Not gonna lie, the composition of that shot is really good. Seeing just a little artistry in the animation like that makes me that much more inclined to give it a shot...but probably not any time soon, given that I must finish at least one of Paranoia Agent and Sakura first.

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S1 of AoT. It was 25 episodes but felt like it could have been 12. There's a lot of stuff that feels way too stretched out but something about it kept me going. I don't think @Bartimaeus would like it, but @majestic may enjoy it. Though none of the Titans can compare to STANDO POWAH!

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"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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5 hours ago, KP the meanie zucchini said:

S1 of AoT. It was 25 episodes but felt like it could have been 12. There's a lot of stuff that feels way too stretched out but something about it kept me going. I don't think @Bartimaeus would like it, but @majestic may enjoy it. Though none of the Titans can compare to STANDO POWAH!

Oh yeah, almost certainly not. Based on what I know of it and a few clips that I've seen as well as what you've said, it seems like a classic case of "intriguing concept that I'd totally be down with...if it weren't for that pesky 'execution' bit being so drastically off from what I would want in a show like this".

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2 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

Oh yeah, almost certainly not. Based on what I know of it and a few clips that I've seen as well as what you've said, it seems like a classic case of "intriguing concept that I'd totally be down with...if it weren't for that pesky 'execution' bit being so drastically off from what I would want in a show like this".

Yeah, if it was edited to be more concise I'd recommend it but you do have to sit through too much anime seriousness to get to the appealing stuff.

I'd just stick with Paranoia Agent because that's really good. After that you might want to check out Devilman Crybaby, which is really bizarre and sexual but works due to being well paced and just different. 

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"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlsnot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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22 hours ago, Bartimaeus said:

...Not gonna lie, the composition of that shot is really good. Seeing just a little artistry in the animation like that makes me that much more inclined to give it a shot...but probably not any time soon, given that I must finish at least one of Paranoia Agent and Sakura first.

The animation is really... actually it's really good, the few instances where elements look CGI'ed (and probably were) aside, the water in the show being the biggest "offender" there. There's an episode where an astronomy reserach institute hires 80 auto memory dolls to copy rapidly deteriorating books and scrolls that were just recovered. In the shot where you can see them, they're really different character models with different outfits.

Meanwhile any of the war flashbacks has the soldiers all look the same, a deliberate contrast (both as a war metaphor, i.e. dehumanization, and a demonstration of Violet's point of view - people going from not mattering to her at all to being separate entities with hopes, dreams and feelings). 

While it looks really good, it's easily my least favorite episode (so much is made prior to this about how auto memory dolls aren't just typist, and now they're there copying books - important work, to be sure, but not what they're usually hired for). 

qgiJnam.png

Like modern animation or not... 

zIHtOnv.png

...but that took some effort. 

arH4qCn.pngzhiwuMc.png

Pretty backgrounds. 

However...

It does have a super important blink and you'll miss it moment for Violet. 

Spoiler

 

u1LvQsv.png

I know I'm supposed to smile, is it like this?

2fZjkGQ.png

Yes, Violet, that is much more like it. Look at her smile for the first time. :) 

 

 

What you really need to know about it going in I already posted, I think. Violet is damaged, emotionally and physically, and that's what the anime is about. It is more of a series of short stories with a connecting cast of recurring characters. Violet is obviously in each one. The source material is like this too. The short story nature means that Violet's character arc, and what the show is about, is more observed then directly experienced, except for a few scenes where she is alone. It also means that the more short story type episodes spend a lot of time developing characters you'll never see again. 

It also means there's - out of necessity and for the plot device, ghostwriting, to work - a lot of dialogue that contains expositional stuff. Not like in Madoka where the storyline is told through (indeed) too many exposition dumps. It's there, and it is justified - how else would Violet know what to write for her clients, if they wouldn't tell her why and what they need.

Violet's behaviour and mannerisms are exaggerated, but not unrealistic, and for me, in some instances, that was hard to watch, e.g.:
 

Spoiler

 

She almost never eats with the others. When asked about this, she says that life in the war taught her that eating is an activity she needs to do in a way to minimize exposure to potential attacks. She sits on the sidelines and observers everything closely. I totally get what she's doing.

It's something I often did. I might not have been in combat, but hey, I have spent much of my life looking for ways to not draw the attention of others. From picking the right seats at a restaurant, to the right seats on a train, through never exposing myself to the company of strangers when alone. It's gotten better, but there was a time in my life when the mere thought of getting a coffee alone caused a panic attack. 

I often waited for my wife in the car when she was off to something I had to drive her to. Like doctor's appointments. She'd always say: "This will take a while, why don't you go and get a coffee, there's a nice café near here." 

Nope, my dear. I'm good waiting in the car. :yes: 

 

Well that wraps up this particular post.

Edited by majestic
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Give me ears, so I hear
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Overlord S2:

Omg, they certainly didn't hold themselves back here.😓 Some characters in this anime can be really cruel. Luckily they didn't show one of their worst acts, limiting it to be mentioned in a conversation.

Impressive how a series with overpowered characters can still be so interesting, even when it comes to battles. Part of it is the satisfaction of seeing some truly bad guys punished. But don't expect many people in the good side of alignments. Even knowing that I was still surprised on some occasions.

The characters are unique and very different from each other. And the protagonist makes sense, considering his situation. To explain better I need to give some spoilers (not about the story though):

Spoiler

He acts as being in a video game (despite this being much more realistic than the ones he played before) and he doesn't feel the same emotions as a human anymore, so he is a villain and it makes sense he mostly doesn't really care about human lives. At the same time, he sees the npcs as the creations (children?) of his best friends, so he does care about them.

The funniest thing is seeing him

Spoiler

pretending he knows what his minions' plans are. What will they do if they find out he is not a god and is definitely not the greatest genius ever that they adore? Maybe nothing will change, but who wants to risk losing the loyalty of a legion of evil and cruel monsters?

And now just a big meme, but no spoilers:

Spoiler

d492528a59e30c3cc472c69e22111c6c.jpg

 

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27 minutes ago, InsaneCommander said:

 

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d492528a59e30c3cc472c69e22111c6c.jpg

 

What the hell. xD

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Give me the eyes, so I see
Give me ears, so I hear
Give me love, so I know what love is
Give me freedom to think, to believe
In something
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Thinking of rewatching some old shows to see if I still like them.

On my liked list I have Samurai Champloo, Ergo Proxy, and Darker than Black even though I never saw the second season. Maybe I'll start with the last one since it has a season I haven't seen.

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Watched the first five or so minutes of Violet Evergarden – Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll, which is a feature film length OVA that sets the final movie up - a movie that's been released in Japan but delayed almost everywhere else, due to, well, theatres not being open.

Anyway, I obviously can't comment on the OVA yet. The first few scenes were visually impressive, and it has has a somewhat sad meta component to it. This was what Kyoto Animation was working on during the arson that killed 36 people, many of which were involved in this project, they apparently get a dedication in the credits too. This is going to be depressing even without the film potentially being depressing. Which... is what most of the original anime was, so why would this be any different.

Anyway, I'm expecting great things, this sits at a 100% user score on rotten tomatoes. Quite a feat with 70 ratings (no critical scores, anyway).

@ShadySands would you like to watch Sailor Moon? Obligatory question for showing up in this thread. :p

edit:

Curious, I haven't mentioned yet that former Lt. Col. Claudia Hodgins is voiced by none other than DIO. Looks a lot less like a gym god however, and more like Ryoji from NGE.

Edited by majestic
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Give me the eyes, so I see
Give me ears, so I hear
Give me love, so I know what love is
Give me freedom to think, to believe
In something
                        -- Tony Kakko

 

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21 hours ago, ShadySands said:

Thinking of rewatching some old shows to see if I still like them.

On my liked list I have Samurai Champloo, Ergo Proxy, and Darker than Black even though I never saw the second season. Maybe I'll start with the last one since it has a season I haven't seen.

I've glanced at both Samurai Champloo and Ergo Proxy before. Could you please magically divine whether I'd like them or not? :yes:

@all: The Sailor Moon Says channel is being taken down. They're going to erase the sane Sailor Moon (YouTube) fans, ;(. All those brilliant comments about Pegasus and Chibi-Usa, everyone going "WTF" over Usagi's retarded S3/S4 voice, Minako accusing of Artemis of cheating on her, Mimette and the security guard doing the meme gesture, all the other utterly bizarre and/or hilarious dialogue...all gone. RIP.

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Put fascists and sociopaths on your ignore list.

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Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

 

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