Top 5 Tragic Protagonist in Anime

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve written anything about anime on this blog, and here I am again to share some thoughts. As you can read from the title, today’s blog will be talking about some of the most “tragic” protagonist in anime. Before I start, I really want to clarify the definition of tragic here, so that you don’t misunderstand the criteria.

1. Only applies to protagonist, the person with the most role in the story and drives the story, because it would be a super long (and with not as much impact) list otherwise.

2. Only applies to TV animated series.

3. The tragedy being talked about here is how much the protagonist have to suffer in the end, against whatever kind of consolation, salvation they may have received, in a dramatically sense. A character death doesn’t have to be tragic. To live but deprived of all things one love and having all one’s values denied is quite tragic!

4. Spoilers, obviously. Spoilers everywhere. If you haven’t seen the title, just skip to the next one.

#5 Simon, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Due to the peculiar nature of TTGL, mixed with crazy galactic battles and whatnot, the quite sad conclusion to the series is often not as talked about among fans. Still, if you think about it, the ending left our protagonist, Simon, at quite a deprived state. He lost his rank (as the leading figure of humanity), his reputation (his name is completed erased from history), most of his comrades, and most importantly, his love of life, Nia, and becomes just another homeless man. Fortunately, it seems that he haven’t lost his passion in life, and still try to inspire the next generation to walk his glorious path in life. This is why he only made number 5 in this list.

#4 Ouma Shu, Guilty Crown

Guilty Crown is what inspired me to write this post. More specifically, my recent play through for the visual novel Guilty Crown: Lost Christmas is what reminded me of the tragic conclusion in guilty crown, at least for Ouma Shu. I remember that in 2012, Ouma is a character who is often criticized by fans for his cowardness and unwillingness to act. I won’t be commenting on this here, but enough to say that at the conclusion of Guilty Crown, you don’t want to be this guy’s shoes. Seriously. Perhaps he was too gifted by fate and coincidences at the start, so that his fall is even more spectacular. He lost his king’s power (least of his concern), his whole family again (I think that mana is revived and killed again?), one arm and one eye, and most importantly (again), his erratic partner in battle and love, Inori Yuzuriha. His whole ordeal is quite similar to Simon’s, to be honest. His only salvation in the end is his connection with his friends in class, which doesn’t say much since he was never the outgoing person.

#3 Zwei, Phantom: Requiem of the Phantom

It’s harder to talk about this since the anime concludes in an open ending. However, it’s easy to see how fucked up this guy is by the end. This guy is forced to do many things that ultimately destroyed him. He rejected/abandoned a girl who loved him (and whom he has feelings for), killed his own student, who loved him (and whom he has feelings for), and finally, died together with his teacher and lover, not able to escape the curse of being an assassin. He didn’t rank any higher in the list because there is a sense that he himself submitted to his fate, and the two of them died on their own terms, sort of.

#2 Kiritsugu Emiya, Fate/Zero

Since F/Z is a very popular anime, I doubt I need to say much to convince you that this guy here indeed suffered a tragic life. Long story short, this guy believed in the principal of sacrificing the minority to achieve the greater good. He did exactly that in holy grail war, and betrayed many people for his selfless goal for the greater good. He was one step away from victory, but ended up losing everything. His lover/servant died, his wife died. Saber was returned to heroic realm with much remorse, and he failed to stop the holy grail war, instead bringing a calamity upon the world. Worst of all, he survived, by himself… and his enemies of course.

The only reason this guy didn’t make it to number one is that he was saved by his adopted son, Shirou Emiya, who is the only person he saved from the disaster. It’s ironic that the act of saving just one person was able to comfort his soul, and bring him salvation. However, it is clearly not enough to redeem himself of the regrets that will haunt him forever.

#1 Kyousuke Kousaka, Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai

Suprised? Well, this is certainly not a troll, if that’s what you are thinking. Calm down, and disregard the fact that this series is supposed to be a comedy harem for a second.

Good? Ok, let’s talk about this.

As a completely average person with no super power nor super rich family background, it is quite unlikely to get into a situation where multiple girls (not to mention “high in beauty points”) holds affection for you at the same time. Suppose this happens, what would you do? A typical anime harem lead would go for the harem route, while a normal person would try to get together with the girl who is most compatible with him (and in real life, the girl who has the most beauty points, lol). Of course, compatibility depends on the person. In this case, a family oriented person would go for Ayase, an otaku would go for Kuroneko, pedophiles would go for Kanako, a safe person would go for the childhood friend……

and if you are really a hopeless siscon, you would go for Kirino.

Except that, it wouldn’t end pretty. In galgame term, it would be a BAD END.

It takes gut to abandon everything to make the person you love happy. It takes even more gut to reject your entire harem just for a moment of fleeting happiness in a marriage ceremony with your sister. Whether you sympathize with Kyousuke, he is undoubtedly deprived of everything at the conclusion of the story. He knew that he will never get another chance to have so many high-quality girls liking him, knowing that, he still chose his sister, spending a few days together before separating again, at the cost of losing most of his friends (admirers).

Whether you like or dislike the ending for Oreimo, it is painfully apparent that his choices ultimately led him to a BAD END with no chance of redemption.


WHITE ALBUM 2 ~closing chapter~

bunny1ov3r:

When WA2 gets translated in English, I hope everyone enjoy it as much as I did in the past week.

Originally posted on 行けよ... ヒーロー:


I’ll be with you…
Even if it means abandoning everything that matters to me.

WHITE ALBUM 2
~closing chapter~

A crappy guitarist, a talented vocalist, and a prodigious pianist: three melodies once distant came together and formed something harmonious. But as it swelled to a crescendo, it became too much for them. Something had to give, and none of their own melodies reached… Neither did their love.

Three years later, the harmony is no more. With Kazusa having long since left for Vienna, both Haruki and Setsuna are left to pick up the pieces of their fractured relationship. Held captive by their destructive memories and overtaken by a mutual guilt, it’s all Haruki can do to avoid Setsuna as he throws himself into work despite her evident hopefulness. As they’re being strangled by the string of fate it’s a wonder if he can continue avoiding her. Three distractions come in…

View original 7,229 more words


First experience with Visual Novel, an attempt at G-senjou no Maou review

It’s been quite a while since I last posted in this blog, a bit more than half a year in fact. It’s not like I was so busy that I couldn’t find time to write blogs about ACG related contents, but rather that I couldn’t think of anything of importance to write about, so I spent my time elsewhere on the site with respect to ACG (anime, comics, and games) related stuff, ie. myanimelist, etc.

I have invested a lot of time in ACG related stuff since advent of high school (and even before that), and have dabbled in manga, anime, and light novels extensively. Anime and manga are definitely the more common mediums, while light novels tend to be a niche interest among ACG lovers. What’s an even more niche interest in English-speaking community is visual novels, and most people probably don’t know much about it. NSFW, 18+, dating sims, or anything of that ilk come to mind when one thinks of visual novels, or galgame. I more or less held that opinion until a few days ago, when I tried my first visual novel because I realized that a lot of great VN with great stories are never adapted into anime, manga, or light novel.

(Nah, just joking)

So, what exactly is a visual novel, let me tell you about my experience so far.

The easiest way to imagine VN is try thinking of a hybrid between an anime and a novel. It is not an” anime in that the scenes aren’t animated. The narratives rely on prose to convey the plot to the readers. While facial expressions change from time to time, the art in VN is more like illustrations to a novel rather than an animated sequence. It does come with BGM and character voice, though. It is not exactly a novel either, in that 1) players have some power to influence what happens in the story (game-like”), and 2) there is way too much conversations for it to cut strictly as a novel.

I’ve heard that visual novel is extremely versatile in its mechanism. Contrary to my previous belief, each character route (heroines that you choose depending on your choices during the game) usually do not spoil other routes. Basically, you can finish routes in any order and still find something new each time without repeating or being spoiled from previous results (at least in this case). It’s kind of interesting because it allows for a story with many conclusions instead of just one, and players are more likely to find a satisfying ending among those.

Anyways, my first experience with VN is rather great. I holed up in my dorm (well I did go to classes) for a week and completed my first VN, without any regret in the end.

REVIEW of G-senjou no Maou (no spoilers)

Obligatory Warning: This game contains 18+ NSFW contents, though nothing offensive.

available for free download in English translation at http://fuwanovel.org/novels/g-senjou-no-maou (with programs like bitcomet or bittorrent ofc)

Obviously, this is my first VN review, so please bear with my lack of comparison to other works.

Strangely enough, G-senjou is in certain aspects eerily similar to Code Geass, beside the fact that the main antagonist’s voice actor is Furukawa Jun, the VC for Lelouch in Code Geass. How so? The whole story is a strange combination of school life, suspense, battles of wit, people trying to lie and cheat each other, and characters that can not be clearly defined as just “good” or “evil”. There is one clear distinction though. As a galgame, G-senjou places much more focus on the romance aspect, and by romance I don’t just mean the H-scenes. In fact, without spoiling the story, I’d claim that G-senjou is a pure love story more than anything else.

Story: 8/10

To be honest, looking at the story as a whole, while it is very entertaining, there are also a lot of places that could have done better. This game have 4 heroine routes in total, and these routes can be reached by choosing its corresponding choice in chapter 2, 3, and 4. In chapter 2, 3, and 4, you either go into an alternate heroine route, or progress through with the story toward the true end (chapter 5). Outcomes vary differently in true end and other heroines’ good end. Different things happen in different routes.

Beside from the fact that the game could be slightly boring in certain scenes, I found that there are two major weaknesses in terms of plot. One, the creators all but sacrificed all other routes for the dramatic showdown in the true conclusion. It’s not that the other routes weren’t emotional or dramatic (in fact, chapter 2’s good end had me crying), but rather that it has little to do with the central mystery of the story, in which the male lead rests in the center of the conflict, mainly because the true end could do without the stories of the three other heroines and still be brilliant. Two, the series of code geass-ish battle of wits in this game can bring players out of focus at certain points, simply because each incident is quite dragged out and certain developments may seem a bit forced. To be fair, though, everything is revealed in the end, providing a satisfactory resolution to loose threads or what previously seemed like bad writing.

Still, I can’t emphasize enough, the true ending is amazing; melodramatic, bitter-sweet, plenty of adrenaline, while still giving players one of the most epic endings ever.

Character: 9.5/10

The biggest accomplishment in the character department is how great they are portrayed. None is portrayed in black and white lens. All characters have bad and redeeming points to them, right down to the protagonist’s sidekick. Villains aren’t always villainous, and good people don’t necessarily always remain pure. The first and second route are great in terms of exploring the heroine’s characters and showing their realistic development. The same thing can’t be said for the third route, a route that may get you wondering why the heroine likes the protagonist in the first place. The fourth and true route is the best, as it is the “intended” story from prior development. Main characters in this route undergoes a metamorphosis, releasing all the previously pent up emotions and reaching into a beautiful catharsis.

Music, Visuals, Language: 8.5/10

I rather liked the art in this game, perhaps the style just click with me.

The most memorable song by far is “Close Your Eyes”, inserted toward the end of the game. It’s nothing short of glorious. BGM and sound effect throughout the VN seemed appropriate as well.

I read the fuwanovel’s English translation. For the most part it is very smooth and readable. Don’t expect any fancy language, though.

In conclusion, I think G-senjou is at least worth 8.5/10. I read played this game because it was strongly recommended in various best VN recommendation blogs. I have to say that I am not disappointed, and will definitely probably pick up more VN in the future immediately afterward.


Spring 2014 funny pics

These are just some of the screen shots I took while following some of the anime series in this season.

Black Bullet 8 Japanimation

[Black Bullet] The birth of a new term for anime: Japanimation

 

chess = tictactoe NGNL eps 3

[No Game No Life] Chess = Tic-tac-toe

 

Cross-dressing Shidou Date A Live II eps 5

[Date A Live II] Every successful harem mc has a cross-dressing fetish!

 

Date A Live II eps 9 Touka is #1 in my harem!

[Date A Live II] The moment you realize that Touka is indeed the #1 girl in the harem

 

Mahouka eps 10 big brother is badass

[Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei] As if Shiba is not already badass enough, the director actually feels the need to directly tell us that…

 

nisekoi ecchi

[Nisekoi] Are you sure this is not some hentai anime?

 

No Game No Life 8 pic 1 cat ear girl

No Game No Life 8 pic 2 cat ear girl

[No Game No Life] Be. Worried.

 

SHAFT Elevator Nisekoi 15

[Nisekoi] SHAFT made so much money now that it is making elevators!

 


On the topic of myanimelist (MAL)’s anime database

Hi everyone. It’s been a long while since my last post here. Today, instead of doing an usual review, I would be sharing some things about the nature of MAL (myanimelist.net)’s anime database.

I think most deeply-invested fans of anime medium would at least heard of MAL, which is basically an online site where you can update what you’ve watched on your account. While there are similar types of sites, like hummingbird and anilist, myanimelist remains as the the site with the biggest user number. To give but an example, the most popular anime on MAL, Death Note, have as many as 460,000 members! With such a big sample of users scores, we can do some basic calculations to know more about the parameters of the population of MAL scores.

I have extracted all MAL data from this site http://test.animeadvice.me/, which is a program that someone else built.

 

Distribution of All Anime on MAL database

By all anime, I meant anime that is on MAL’s database and with more than 50 user scores. There are 6922 anime in total at my time of data extraction.

Having copy and pasted all those data entries into excel, I can easily calculate the average and standard error of *MAL score of the entire anime database.

Average = 6.87

Median = 6.87

Standard Error = 0.76

 

mal score frequency

Frequency Graph Divided in range of the standard error

So basically, the distribution of MAL’s anime database scores is a normal distribution, with a slight negative skew.

 

*MAL score is calculated in Bayesian average.
Weighted Rank (WR) = (v / (v + m)) * S + (m / (v + m)) * C
where S = average score of anime; C = average score of entire anime database; v = number of votes for the anime; m = minimum votes (50 votes)

 

Average Year Aired of the Most Popular Anime

Are people only into new anime, or are people still immersed in the nostalgia of past glories? I also find it worthwhile to investigate into the average year aired for some of the most popular anime (on MAL).

I have computed the average year and standard deviation of the top50, top100, top250, and top500 most popular anime on MAL.

Year Table

The current time would be formatted as 2014.5 (2014 June). This means that the average airing time of top50 – top 500 are 7 to 8 years in the past. Whether this means that MAL users are obsessed with new anime, or are they overly fond of the old anime, it is entirely up to your discretion.


International Saimoe League

This is the International Saimoe League’s 2014 regular season promotion video.

 

http://internationalsaimoe.com/

 

For those who don’t know, International Saimoe League is site where anime fans can vote for the cutest girls in various rounds throughout the year. It holds numerous voting rounds annually, and follow a sophisticated procedure.

*Fans don’t need to register to vote.


Fate/Zero

Today, I present Fate/Zero from the highly acclaimed studio ufotable, produced during 2011-12. Fate/Zero is the prequel of Fate/Stay Night.

noFla

Fate/Zero takes place 10 years prior to the events of Fate/stay night, detailing the events of the 4th Holy Grail War in Fuyuki City. The War of the Holy Grail is a contest in which seven magi summon seven Heroic Spirits to compete in a deadly game with the aim of obtaining the power of the “Holy Grail,” which grants a miracle. After three inconclusive wars for the elusive Holy Grail, the Fourth War commences.[Wikipedia]

Fate/Zero, alongside with Sword Art Online, is among the most hyped anime to watch during 2012. There are a lot of things to like about f/z, since it is notably different from the trend of anime today consisting of teenagers saving the world or managing their harems. Instead, fate/zero offers a cast of older men, most of whom are willing to abandon their morals in order to achieve victory in this deadly tournament. Each person wants to win for a different reason. Even though all of the motives are arguably well-intended, but good fortune rarely accompany good will in fate/zero.

The most enjoyable part about watching fate/zero for me is seeing the clash of ideals among participants of the holy grail war. By participants, I meant both the magi and the servants. The 14 characters experienced different things in life, due to the particularities of their era and social surroundings. Ufotable has done a great job in giving a big part of story-telling to dialogues between characters. These exchanges are intelligent, philosophical, and allow us to peek into the characters’ past, without becoming overly pretentious and hard to follow.

fatezero2

In terms of production quality, Fate/Zero is top notch. Ironically (or not so), LiSA, Aoi Eir, Luna Haruna also performed in OP ED music for Fate/zero, same as Sword Art Online. However, the addition of Kalafina makes f/z slightly superior than SAO in terms of music.The animation … well, let’s just say that ufotable is amazing in this aspect.

However, fate/zero is not without flaws. This occurs in two levels, in terms of enjoyment and story. Allow me to explain a bit more. Storywise, f/z is amazing up to the ending. While the whole thing did not fall apart, the ending did not lived up to the epicness shown throughout the story. I suppose this is inevitable, since the story has to end in a particular way as the prequel to Fate/Stay Night. As for entertainment, for most people, f/z may present a world that is too dark for people to handle. As soon as you become attached to a character, bad things happen to him/her.

All in all, Fate/Zero deserve its hype during 2012, and presents a complex retelling of the 4th holy grail war. I award fate/zero with a 9.3/10.

RECOMMENDATION

For all viewers looking for a mature story.

For people unsure of whether to watch this, try the first episode and then decide.

For ultimate recommendation try Kara no Kyoukai movie series also produced by ufotable. Also, don’t miss Fate/Stay Night 2014 remake by ufotable that will be aired soon!

 

 


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