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General Anime Discussion
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This episode of Dies Irae was pretty dang awesome, though I had no idea what was going on most of the time. Apparently the Reinhard/Ren fight where Reinhard summons Gladsheimr and Ren transforms into some kind of gross-looking guillotine monster wasn't part of the original VN? I can see that, as it was pretty jarringly at odds with the rest of the episode (even if it was awesome seeing Ren take out an entire German army division by himself).

Also, as badass as Shiro was this week I'm a little disturbed with how he crashed that truck into Wilhelm. With how violent the crash was, he almost certainly killed whoever poor shmuck was driving it. You can't excuse it as collateral damage like the rest of their fight, since Shiro deliberately targeted the truck and made it crash, even planning to do so ahead of time. Shiro is obviously intended as a "badass edgy anti-hero" who we're supposed to like and sympathize with, so I presume the show is never going to address how he just cold-bloodedly killed some poor bastard who was only guilty of driving a truck in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I dunno'. I'm aware it's kind of a silly criticism for a show like this, and I'm probably supposed to just turn off my brain and enjoy the explosive fun, but something about that scene just rubbed me the wrong way.

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
I wonder how the fact that two episodes have gone by with nobody dying will affect the order of deaths in Zodiac Wars.

At this point Monkey, Sheep and Horse would have to die all at the same episode for the reverse Zodiac order to still be followed. Also I'm confused how Ox was said to already have three Zodiac jewels. I can't remember him killing anyone other then
so far, and while at first I assumed he'd killed Horse off-screen and taken his jewel, Horse was then revealed to have escaped alive. So... what gives?

Update: Actually, never mind, I get it now.
and took his jewel, so when Ox killed her he took both
's jewel and her own, adding up to three in total. Now it makes sense.

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
For a battle royale show Zodiac Wars sure loves its anti-climaxes. First Monkey
gets shanked without even getting to use her fancy elemental transmutation powers
, then Sheep
gets taken out in one hit by Tiger
before revealing his special ability (which we never even found out, supposedly it had to do with quantum tunnelling?) and Horse literally
dies in a hole
with his only fight being mostly off-screen.

Out of all the characters who died this week (presuming
actually did die and isn't going to explode out of the wreckage next ep) I'm most disappointed with
. She has an incredibly powerful ability (seriously, think how powerful the ability to change the states of matter could be. She could've turned the ground beneath Rabbit's feet into liquid, or solidified the air around his head to suffocate him) yet never uses it in the entire war. The entire Sheep versus Tiger "fight" was also idiotic. The "underestimating your enemy" trope makes no sense when everyone here is supposed to be trained warriors, yet Sheep who's supposedly one of the smartest fighters does it and gets moronically
for his trouble.

This show seemed promising back in the early episodes, but with the plethora of unlikeable characters (
was the only character who I really sympathized with and she died this ep) and lack of any really satisfying battle sequences I'm seriously considering dropping it at this point. Surprised a show about a bunch of Zodiac-themed furries fighting to the death can be this damned boring.

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
This episode of Dies Irae was really disappointing. A lot of really good scenes (Marie's trying on clothes, Rusalka's dance at the nightclub, not to mention the big fight at the end) that the mediocre animation and bland character art just couldn't do justice to.

In fact, at first I critiqued the animation quality but the more I watch the more I come to think the art itself is actually a bigger issue with this adaptation. Dies Irae manages to have some of the blandest, most unappealing artwork of any anime in recent memory. The characters all look like a bunch of cardboard cutouts, and scenes that are supposed to look cool/cute/sexy et cetera just come off as flat and lifeless (only saved from feeling completely lifeless by the stellar music and voice-acting). Heck, even a trash-tier show like King's Game has better looking characters then this, so you know something's gone seriously wrong.

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
Did anybody find it odd how Marie was standing on tip-toes while talking with Ren on the roof (on bare feet, no less) in this episode of Dies Irae? I guess it was some attempt to show how cute and quirky she is, but it just made me wonder if the artist had temporarily forgotten how to draw women who don't stand like they're wearing ridiculously high heels.

That aside, the animation seems to be getting worse and worse. The scene with Kei slicing through Ren's guillotine arm made it look like her sword literally just passed through it instead of cutting, which I can't say wasn't intentional (she was talking about how fire was intangible and therefore impossible to cut, after all) but at the very least looked really awkward visually.

There were still some interesting ideas this week, but with the incredibly lackluster art and animation my motivation to watch is steadily dwindling...

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
I'm at episode 8 of Fate/Apocrypha now and the scene where Shirou explains his reasons for fighting on the front-lines was downright chilling. Even before much of his motives are revealed, that moment works really well at showing just what kind of person Shirou is. I also find it kind of funny that we again get a scenario of a Caster (Avicebron) stealing and forcibly re-contracting another Servant (Spartacus) to their side, just like with Medea and Saber back in original Fate.

We should just be glad we didn't get a scene of Spartacus dressed up in a frilly wedding dress, I guess...#tb{:p}

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
So it seems King's Game changed how Nobuaki's first game ended from the manga. In the manga
he and Chiemi manage to beat the King's hypnotic suggestion by believing really hard they were going to survive
, but
Chiemi dies anyway due to the leg wound she'd suffered earlier
. Here
Chiemi outright sacrifices herself so Nobu can survive and the two never figure out any way of thwarting the game
. I hope the change was because they're saving up the big reveal for the second game when Nobuaki can defeat the King once and for all, and it does fix the plot-hole of why Nobuaki wouldn't tell any of his classmates if he knew a way of cheating the game.

While the show has somewhat improved since the whole "race" plot began, there were still plenty of things that made no sense this week. First,
Chiemi killing herself
somehow counts as Nobuaki obeying his order (apparently the show thinks someone killing themselves while you try to stop them is the same as literally killing them?). Second, Nobuaki's characterization is completely inconsistent. If he wants to sacrifice himself for his classmates so much, then why did he choose to
drag them into a new king's game rather then just accepting his punishment
? Granted, the class probably would've been screwed anyway since Natsuko already chose to continue the game, but he had no way of knowing that...

Honestly, I'm not sure why I'm even watching the show at this point. As cheesy and bad as the plot and characters are, the premise is morbidly compelling... It's basically the anime version of B-movie shlock.

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
I'm really confused about Valeria's motives in this episode of Dies Irae. If he's supposed to be Reinhard's right-hand man, why is he working against him all of a sudden? Also, it's pretty hard to believe that normal people don't realize what's going on with the giant freaking skull-mecha rampaging around. Any semblance of a masquerade should've blown away along with that city block Eleonore vaporized.

Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!
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