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Author Topic: Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves)  (Read 7364 times)

Offline Flash Sword Irene

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Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves)
« on: April 16, 2010, 11:56:06 PM »
Episode 1

An anime that recognizes the value of subtlety while putting it to work with a calm, steady hand is always a winner in my book.  A definite non-Madhouse title as a candidate for Best Anime of the Year for sure.  The good animation quality combined with the unique character designs is supported by competent voice acting with a clear definition of each role.  In turn, the viewer can see the individual personalities of the characters and making them identifiable in their own unique way.  (Not to mention, the cast is actually pretty likable as well).

Character interactions and growth seem to be one of the main keys to this series and this episode does it well enough thus far.  Of course, this can be attributed to the voice acting, although the dialogue does work for what it is worth.

I also love how the anime does not resort to droll speeches/shout matches ad nauseum for conflicting morals/principles.  Instead the anime shows us how to handle such things with the progression of the main character when he starts to open up a little more and discovers some realizations along the way to becoming a bit more understanding.  That was a treat to watch since most other animes just don't care to do it this well.

Overall, I like this anime thus far and I certainly hope it keeps up the good work.  Funny how the studio behind this is mostly noted for Samurai Champloo though.

Offline Shadowmage

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Re: Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves)
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2010, 09:08:18 AM »
Imagine my surprise when I found this while looking for episodes of House on Hulu.

The show is good.  The plot seems to be an amalgam of what we've seen before, but the presentation and characters are engaging enough to make this worth watching.  I don't think this will be particularly great, but it's better than most shows this season.

I recommend Mobile Suit, RX-0 and Unicorn from the Unicorn OST.

Offline Sorrow-kun

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Re: Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves)
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2010, 12:38:11 AM »
The worst thing about this show is that Funimation region blocks everywhere outside the U.S.  I want to support legal streaming, but geez, Funi, thanks for making it difficult.

Offline Shadowmage

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Re: Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves)
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2010, 06:54:42 AM »
The worst thing about this show is that Funimation region blocks everywhere outside the U.S.  I want to support legal streaming, but geez, Funi, thanks for making it difficult.

I can't imagine finding an American proxy is all that hard... but then again, I've never had to try.

I recommend Mobile Suit, RX-0 and Unicorn from the Unicorn OST.

Offline Sorrow-kun

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Re: Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves)
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2010, 05:05:43 PM »
There are other, less legitimate sites that stream it.  Still, it's annoying.  I realize that outside US isn't in Funimation's business interests, but if they want to stamp out fansubbing and piracy, can't they at least have some sort of compromise for people outside the US?  Like a week delay, or a membership set up you can buy into or something like that.  Is a worldwide license deal or a English speaking and Europe license so much more expensive than just NA?  Can't they try to do some sort of deal with the licensing companies in those countries?  Crunchyroll seems to manage... (even if the titles that they seem to be licensing recently are either old or shit).

Offline Shadowmage

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Re: Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves)
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2010, 06:05:51 PM »
There are other, less legitimate sites that stream it.  Still, it's annoying.  I realize that outside US isn't in Funimation's business interests, but if they want to stamp out fansubbing and piracy, can't they at least have some sort of compromise for people outside the US?  Like a week delay, or a membership set up you can buy into or something like that.  Is a worldwide license deal or a English speaking and Europe license so much more expensive than just NA?  Can't they try to do some sort of deal with the licensing companies in those countries?  Crunchyroll seems to manage... (even if the titles that they seem to be licensing recently are either old or shit).

Blame Madman.

No seriously, I honestly think that a worldwide license would be indeed a lot more expensive than just a single country.  Britain and Australia are not insignificant markets, and Funimation lacks the infrastructure and know-how to sell anime outside the US.  Funimation has managed to create a system that can beat fansubs, but nobody knows how to make money off of it. 

This also means that the Crunchyroll model is largely out. From what I've heard in ANNCast, the Japanese have tried hard to sell their goods on the English speaking market on their own (via Crunchyroll) and they have failed miserably.  They lack the marketing skills and understanding of the markets to really sell anything, and they also destroy the product's value to anyone who might be interested in licensing it.   

I think that af-ter the flood of money in the 00s, the anime industry going to have to go back to their franchise and indies roots.  We're going to get stuff that are made solely for the Japanese palette and any real experimentation will be far more scarce. 

I recommend Mobile Suit, RX-0 and Unicorn from the Unicorn OST.

Offline Sorrow-kun

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Re: Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves)
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2010, 08:53:35 PM »
Ep 3

It's the moral ambiguity that makes this show so interesting.  Unknown or not, the Five Leaves were complicit in a murder plot (which obviously didn't eventuate).  It's a fine line.  It's not far to stretch to get from the relative fun and games (and profit) of kidnapping for ransom money to what almost happened here, ie, killing a young boy because of petty jealousy.

Offline Flash Sword Irene

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Re: Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves)
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2010, 10:07:31 PM »
Episode 4

Pretty interesting episode revolving around some of the mysteries of Yaichi and expanding a bit upon the moral ambiguity of the series.  The few revelations worked quite well and I didn't mind the tiny history lesson in looking up "Edo Disease."  All in all, a great transitional episode from the previous one where there seemed to be even a tease of the last kidnapping.  If the character interactions were not as well done and meaningful, then this might not have worked.

I also appreciate how this did not de-evolve into a horrific joke/fanservice fest after Masanosuke was recruited into the whore house.  That would have been a disgusting disaster had this been like any other anime episode revolving around such a thing or hot springs.  (For a more recent example, I absolutely abhored that one episode of Gurren Lagann that did this and it was the worst episode in the entire series).

Offline DrIdiot

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Re: Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves)
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2010, 08:31:44 AM »
People in this series are too ugly to be turned into fanservice.  Not that that's a bad thing.

Offline Flash Sword Irene

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Re: Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves)
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2010, 04:32:24 PM »
It is the halfway point and things are getting interesting since episode 5 's focus on Ume with the direction of the show looking good.  The characters are still the driving point of the show and I like the consistency as things are also fallling into place. There will probably more action until the end with Masanosuke showing more of what he can do.  Unless things get completely messed up, I still maintain that this is one of the best shows of the year.

It also makes me wonder how this might end and if a second season possibly pops up?  Not that it would be surprising if there is no second season of this.  But, I probably wouldn't mind at this point to hear of one.  Notably, one thing that is refreshing is how Masanosuke didn't suddenly get on a high horse and start spouting nonsense about what is right and wrong just because ala other types of animes (especially shonen fare).  Today's episode was like one of the setups for that to happen with a very unpretty result.  I do wish that they maintain this aspect of Masanosuke towards the end since it is one of the excellent things about the character.

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Re: Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves)
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2010, 11:39:26 PM »
People still watching this?  (Episode 10) Like FSI said, it's still about the characters.  They're fairly realistic and have fairly complex motivations.  It's been pretty consistent throughout; I don't think it's gotten better but certainly hasn't gotten worse.  And yeah, I still think it's the second best show so far this year (though, I ended up dropping everything this winter due to schoolwork and what I saw as a whole lot of mediocrity).

There's potential for a second season, because I don't think this season nearly covered the entire manga, which is still ongoing anyway.  Though, as far as I can tell, noitaminA really tanked in ratings this season, so I think a second season probably won't happen.  Which is a shame.

Offline Flash Sword Irene

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Re: Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves)
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2010, 10:30:59 PM »
The consistency and how intriguing things are being tied to Yaichi is pretty much why I don't have much to say since episode 5.  I mean, you just need to watch how things unravel and the anime speaks for itself really.  Although, considering the target demographic of noitanimA I was surprised to even think this kind of excellent work would appear there.  Not that it is a surprise that a show of actual substance is completely snubbed due to being in the wrong place.

One thing I will say is that I am surprised how they transitioned Masanosuke's sister in and out of the series seamlessly enough.  Sure, she did seem like a random throw in (and still feels that way).  But, I am just glad she didn't come off as completely obnoxious as most female characters are portrayed in that role.

Offline Flash Sword Irene

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Re: Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves)
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2010, 09:11:57 PM »
Episode 11 and nearing the finale of the series.  So sad...T_T


Things have gotten pretty interesting and the way this show teases action makes me wonder if the next episode will actually have a feasible amount of it?  It would not be surprising if action took a backseat once more, but the anime has done enough to compensate really.  Admittedly, it would be cool to see Masanosuke wield his sword with confidence for a few minutes even if it were the scene to end the show with.

Still, it feels like there might be some loose ends here and there that would be resolved with a second season.  Then again, that is probably very unlikely.

Offline bluecheez

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Re: Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves)
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2010, 10:47:41 PM »
House of Five Leaves is over. Comments, anyone?

While I appreciate the art style, the window into japanese culture, and the realism behind the characters, something about this show just didn't do it for me. It was interesting and watchable, but it is very hardly memorable.

Now, this is a character-based show, so essentially there will be less focus on plot and cliffhangers and more on character development. I'm not going to argue that "nothing happened" or that it's boring because "the show is all talking." I appreciate character-based shows as much as anyone else.

 And while there is definitely some interesting interactions between characters, it seemed very dry. The main character, Masa, is shy. Ultimately, nothing changes and he continues to be shy. Yaichi is the only character that somewhat changes, and I find him to be incredibly confusing. Maybe I just don't get something. What was Yaichi's motivation for kidnapping people? I feel like the show was trying to say that he wanted to see someone else in the same situation that he was in (being rejected and left to die). But... why? You see Yaichi show random acts of kindness throughout the show. They imply that he has good character. Why does he want to hurt a random stranger in the worst way he can imagine? Not only that but Yaichi spends most of his time near the end mulling around. Suddenly Yaichi's character completely changes and he's depressed, different, and almost evil. Why? Why did he change? What triggered this? To me it seemed so arbitrary that he started acting so emotional. Also, we found out that Yaichi had no idea that his friend/mentor/whatever didn't betray him. That means that two things happened. First off, Yaichi was completely and disgustingly obedient to the gang leader(clearly seen in the decapitation scene). Secondly, Yaichi apparently sold out his gang and they all were murdered or imprisoned. Did they explain why he decided to sell all his friends out? I mean maybe when I think about it, it could be something along the lines of: they wanted to show that he doesn't love anyone and is willing to betray anyone, just like how his mentor supposedly betrayed him. But if that's the case, why on earth does he not betray the members of the five leaves?? And why would the show insist on building up his secretive, yet good character?

Its entirely possible that something about this show went over my head. If that's the case, please tell me. Because as much as I'd like to like this show, it's difficult when there are so many apparent inconsistencies.

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Re: Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves)
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2010, 12:27:44 AM »
Masa's character changes.  He becomes noticeably more assertive.  In the beginning, he's too scared to ask Yaichi anything about his past.  I think in the last episode, he says something and pisses him off?  I actually sort of forget.

Yaichi, on the other hand, I think his character doesn't change so much as they reveal more about him as a character.

Though, I agree that there are some things that were a bit unsatisfying.  Like you said, they don't say why he sold out his gang.  To sell out a group that spared your life and pretty much supported you for most of your life... that's sort of dick.  I think a lot of these problems might arise from the fact that the anime is limited to 12 episodes.  From what I understand, the manga is longer and probably goes into these things.  Unfortunately, this series will absolutely not be getting a sequel, so they'll probably never resolve that stuff in an anime.

Another issue I had with the show is that it never seemed to go anywhere.  It spends a lot of time developing these characters, and then they don't really do that much.  That, and I think we all saw everything in the last episode coming.

All that having been said, I think this is still a decent series.  I know "decent" is sort of a meaningless semantic, but I guess it means I probably wouldn't watch it again, but it was worth the time I invested into it.  Unlike, say, FMA:Brotherhood, which was a complete waste of my f**king time.
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