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Other: Horror, Mystery, Supernatural, ...

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Hanover Fist:

Other, Mystery, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Psychological, Thriller
MAL - Download

A research organization is developing a form of psychotherapy through one's dreams. The film opens with an unsanctioned dream therapist named Paprika. We learn she is an avatar of Chiba Atsuko, one of the researchers on the project. Prototypes of the device are stolen. Researchers from the facility along with a policeman (who is a patient of Paprika's) follow a reality-twisting trail. They must catch up with the thieves before their project (and their minds) are destroyed.

I like this film because it gives a strong science fictional base to Kon's reality twists. Also his directing is at the peak of his abilities, combined with beautiful (if mind-warping) visuals.

Sadly, with Paprika we are near - if not at - the end of Satoshi Kon's career. After his death, production at Madhouse has continued on his last film - The Dreaming Machine. However news has the film currently stalled for financial reasons. :(


(click to show/hide)

Finally, if you haven't seen the film, this AMV will be quite spoilertastic.
If you have seen Paprika, you may enjoy this.
(click to show/hide)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QP2Qr2W_Yuo

Hanover Fist:

Mystery, Horror, Drama, Psychological, Thriller
MAL - Download
XDCC: [A-Kraze]Monsters on A-Kraze|Konata in #NEWS

A Japanese neurosurgeon practicing in Germany learns of administrative politicking for scheduling which patient to treat: Beset by moral crisis, he refuses orders and operates on a ten year old gunshot victim - saving his life - rather than the town's mayor, who dies.

Tenma is stripped of privilege, loses his career path, his beautiful fiancee leaves him and he is suspected of killings in the hospital. Years later, witness to a similar murder, he tracks a serial killer who he fears was once the boy he saved, a monster he created.

This one is 74 episodes of carefully built plot, adding to the drama and complexity with each episode. Over in romance I said that Karin is nice light and fluffy anime to use as a break from a heavy one ... well, Monster is the heavy one. ;)

While this has a few overtones of Death Note, you actually care about the characters here. It's neat to see how much Dr. Tenma touches the hearts of assorted people across Germany. The mystery is strong while setbacks and surprises are rife through the series. It's a very wild ride and I strongly recommend it.

Kojima Masayuki directed this like he did Master Keaton. The setting and animation style are similar, while this is a much darker story.

Special thanks to Feathered Angel for the screenshots!

(click to show/hide)

Hanover Fist:

Horror, Mystery, Supernatural
MAL - Torrents: 1080p BD, 720p BD[10bit], 720p BD[8bit]

It's a hot summer in Sotoba village. Gossip starts when a new family moves into a long empty mansion in the dead of night. A slave to fashion named Megumi has always dreamed of escaping small town life to the big city. She goes missing after stating her intent to visit this new family (in the hopes of finding like-minded socialites). The village turns out in search of her only to find her in the forest - pale, listless and nearly comatose. The local doctor is mystified by Megumi's case - and her later demise. A series of anemia-related deaths sweeps the village and the doctor racks his brain to determine their cause.

As you might guess, it's about vampires. However, there is no sparkling in the sunlight here. This show goes back to the gritty roots of the vampire mythos to put real monsters in the spotlight: They're vulnerable to stakes and sunlight, have hypnotic powers and need to be invited to come inside. And they need blood - lots of it - to supply their rapidly growing population.

The plot develops slowly but well - there are many subtle and intelligent touches. The characters also show that humans are supremely adaptable whether becoming those "forsaken by God" or battling them. The large cast is well defined and the 22 episodes (and 2 specials) even have time to show the development in many of them.

There are some great funny moments, but it's a horror show first and foremost. There isn't much fan service (although Megumi is pretty hot - dead or alive). The gore gets heavier in later episodes, but it complements the plot as it heats up.

All in all it's a great ride!

(click to show/hide)

Hanover Fist:
Mawaru Penguindrum

Comedy, Drama, Mystery, Psychological
MAL - Torrents: 1080p BD, 720p BD, 576p BD

Brothers Kanba and Shouma live with their little sister Himari. Their parents are gone - explained only much later. Himari is in and out of the hospital with a terminal illness. One day she is feeling well and they all celebrate "Himari Day" with a visit to the aquarium. She is entranced by the penguins and Shouma buys her a cute penguin hat. She then collapses ... and dies. A magical miracle occurs - Himari comes back to life - but she is sometimes possessed by the hat. The twins are tasked to find the mysterious Penguindrum if they want to keep their sister alive. The show then continues on its strange journey.

This is a very weird show, but also compelling - an original 24 ep. series by Brain's Base. It starts with a light and silly magical story line that swirls into something deeper and darker episode by episode. New characters are added to the mix in a smooth and even pace, intensifying the plotlines and the mystery. This is a heartwarming, touching and creepy-as-hell mix of love, fate and revenge. It's a love-it or hate-it show that won't fit everyone, but it's worth checking out to see if it suits your tastes. If it does, you're in for a wild ride!

'Caps again courtesy of Random Curiosity.
(click to show/hide)Shouma, Himari and Kanba at home.

The brothers learn about Himari's terminal illness.

Himari finds a cute hat at the aquarium gift shop.

She later collapses ...

... and dies.

Himari - possessed by the hat - returns to life.

Once home, the brothers learn more about their task to keep Himari alive.

Each sibling now has a penguin helper only they can see.

Ringo, the possessor of the Penguindrum (?) is pretty strange.

She's also a stalker ...

... with a very important diary ...

... and a rival.

The boys continue their surveillance of Ringo ...

... only to discover ...

... that Ringo has somehow become friends with Himari.

Hanover Fist:

Mystery, Slice of Life
MyAnimeList overview - Torrents: [Coalgirls] 720p BD, [Mazui] 480p
XDCC: Search for "hyouka" here for Ginpachi-Sensei packs ([Mazui] 720p).

Review shamelessly swiped from Krozam's What Did You Just Finish post and condensed slightly:

This is an excellent anime. At first I was somewhat underwhelmed by the slice of life element's domination and the 'insignificant' nature of the mysteries. On the other hand, I was quite impressed they made those 'insignificant' mysteries so interesting. I also liked the characters and the calm atmosphere, and the fact that they didn't rush the story, adapting it into 22 episodes, instead of the too common 12-13.

Regarding characters, I find the protagonist Houtarou quite easy to identify with: I'm also lazy and somewhat unsocial, lol. I also like the smart type over all useless idiots and most action heroes. I don't find Eru quite as adorable as everyone else seems to, but she's cute enough and amusing. I actually prefer Mayaka. Her personality is darker and more complex, but still not a downer and I like her character design more. Satoshi is an unusually good 'sidekick' character with a deep and complex personality. It was a delight to see the story peel off layer after layer of his carefree exterior.

Later on there are some really intriguing mysteries, though they never stray far from the minor everyday problems concept. Throughout the series there is a pleasant, calm but powerful atmosphere that kept me hooked. The dialogue is good, enough to carry this action-less show through with flying colours. There's a calculated amount of humour to lighten up the mood. As a spice, there is some romantic tension between the two pairs, though the romances don't really develop in any significant way. The romantic pairs are another thing I like - no annoying triangles - and the pairings are clear from the start.

Overall, a pleasant slice of life mystery show with deep and multidimensional characters. 4/5 stars.

Screencaps courtesy of RandomC as usual.
(click to show/hide)Houtarou wants to live a quiet, relaxing high school life. His motto:
"If I don't have to do something, I won't, but if I have to, I'll do it quickly."

Which is why his friend Satoshi is shocked to see a club registration form.

Chitanda Eru, also in the Classic Literature club, is curious about many things.

Her curiosity is like another world to Hotarou.

Which is troubling, since he has a knack for solving mysteries,

and gets dragged along by Chitanda to solve them.

Chitanda has a good nose for mysteries.

Even Mayaka can be impressed by Houtarou's deductive skills,

but she doesn't usually think much of him.


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