OP Sequence

OP: 「友よ」 (Tomo yo) by GaGaGa SP

「月島仁兵衛 いざ参る!!!」 (Tsukishima Jinbee Iza Mairu!!!)
“Here Comes Tsukishima Jinbei!!!”

If you’re at all interested in this show, take it from me – skip it and read the manga. Everything that’s good is in there, and very little of it made its way onto the screen.

An Unfaithful Adaptation

When I previewed this (hello, words-I-am-now-eating!), I talked about how surprised I was by the manga, and how it was so riveting I had trouble putting it down. Alas, you wouldn’t know that after watching this. This was the first episode, and they’re already rushing to cram content in – I think they covered 3 manga chapters in this first episode, including a double and triple-length one. And in doing so, they lost most of what made the manga so interesting. We didn’t see almost any of the awesome relationship between father and son, we didn’t get the humor when Matsunohara Kotori (Miyano Mamoru) traveled to their home to recruit Jinbei’s father (which didn’t happen in this adaptation), and most detrimentally, they shoveled back story into the middle of fights, disrupting the flow and making the cardinal sin of expecting us to car about characters before they’ve given us a reason to.

In truth, I could go on for a while – they kept subverting the horror by showing the creatures too soon (imagination is always worse than reality, Seven Arcs!), they showed off all the other spiders too soon and had the rest of the Mushibugyo show up before Jinbei had really done anything, and the whole “I’ve found my star” thing between protagonist Tsukishima Jinbee (Kenn) and Mugai (Terashima Takuma) came off as weird since it was all the other Mushibugyo members who did all the work up to that point. Oh, and they kept shoveling fanservice into creepy parts, which I did not appreciate.

In truth, this was a storytelling nightmare, but I want to repeat something – these problems do not exist in the manga. I enjoyed the hell out of that, so if you’re at all interested in this show, stop. Stop watching it. I usually try to be kinder than this, but I saw great strength in the manga, and none of that here. Don’t ruin this story for yourself! Pick up the manga, that’s my advice. As for this? Dropped. The only good thing in this adaptation is Oharu’s (Akesaka Satomi) breasts, but those are in the manga too, and I felt like they treated her a lot more respectfully there anyway.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – I’m not usually one to blast shows, but dropped. Just so dropped. The manga is good though, I swear! #mushibugyo

Full-length images: 04, 08.


ED Sequence

ED: 「イチズ」 (Ichizu) by i☆Ris



    1. Hardly. I only read the manga so I could preview this for RandomC, after all. But let me put it this way – if I wasn’t planning on reading more of the manga, I would just drop this and forget about it.

      1. And you still think “fag” is a cool insult in 2013? Why else hide behind “Anonymous”~~? If you’re a bigot, at least be out and proud, so that the rest of us can take a good look at the rare specimen, LOL! You’re no better than this “Scardigne”, sir/madam!

  1. Stilts, I would just like to point out that there are two versions of the manga.

    Mushibugyou – original manga
    Joujuu Senjin!! Mushibugyou – retelling of Mushibugyou with slower pacing

    Both are written by the same author Fukuda, Hiroshi.

    I think Joujuu Senjin!! Mushibugyou is the one you read. The anime seems to be more closely following the plotline of the original Mushibugyou, since the first episode was very similar in pacing to the first chapter of Mushibugyou.

    1. Perhaps, but this was stated to be based off of the retelling, since I do believe the original got cancelled. If they’re adapting the cancelled version instead of the far more popular and ongoing one…well, I can’t even begin to say how unwise that is.

      1. Perhaps. Likely, in fact. Which brings me back to one of my old gripes…if you’re not going to adapt something properly, why bother adapting it at all? >_< Though they still have time to recover, I suppose.

      2. @Stilts: Which brings me back to one of my old gripes…if you’re not going to adapt something properly, why bother adapting it at all?

        Could not agree more – that’s a pet peeve of mine as well. If the source material is good, why change it? A director/producer is at an advantage vs. an anime original since the story is already written. Just pick a good ending point which allows for proper pacing and focus on the adaptation rather than trying to “make it better.” >_< It's really not a puzzle – just look at well Shingeki no Kyojin's first episode was received.

        The anime wasn't the worst thing I've seen, but IMO it definitely has some work to do. I generally follow the "three episode rule" so I'll give it another week. If that disappoints, I might have to change to the "two episode rule." It has potential so I'll try to remain optimistic.

        FWIW, I read Joujuu Senjin!! Mushibugyo manga and IMO it's not bad – though I probably don't have quite the same level of enthusiasm as you do. One thing I did like about the anime was the way the bugs were more realistically (IMO) illustrated. However, that doesn't make up for cutting significant and meaningful portions of the manga to the point of rushing the story.

        OT: Stilts, have you read Sengoku Strays? Pretty good light-hearted/comedy Sengoku based manga IMO.

      3. @daikama

        Admittedly, part of my enthusiasm for the manga might be from being so pleasantly surprised at a strong manga where I didn’t expect one. It’s certainly enjoyable however you slice it, though.

      4. Which brings me back to one of my old gripes…if you’re not going to adapt something properly, why bother adapting it at all?

        Easy answer to your question. What is defined as a “proper” adaptation by a fan of the original material is not the same as what a producer/director defines as “proper.” So as a producer you have this manga that’s marginally popular enough to justify making an anime- judging by its following, you’ll probably make a profit on Blu-ray sales, but the margin remains unimpressive. So given that you know from statistical analysis that a manga with fanbase size “X” will nigh always sell at least “Y’ amount of Blu-rays, you cut your losses by hiring the cheapest production team available (Probably borderline incompetents) and you tweak things here and there to widen the appeal of the show (e.g. sprinkling in some unnecessary fan-service, etc.) in an effort to bring new fans in.

        “Proper” to a fan of the source material is staying true to the original in form and quality. But to an anime producer, especially when not dealing with some hot-shot writer/director or uber-popular/acclaimed source material that virtually guarantees a windfall, “proper” tends to be maximizing profit and nothing else matters…

      5. @Stilts: Just to be clear, I think the manga’s pretty good (read all released chaps after all), but perhaps I overestimated your true opinion (i.e. you thing it’s good/enjoyable rather than “awesome/outstanding”.)

        @Zen: What is defined as a “proper” adaptation by a fan of the original material is not the same as what a producer/director defines as “proper.”

        JMO, but I don’t think the word “proper” can be defined solely based on personal preferences/objectives. IMO a “proper” adaptation is no different than a “proper” translation. “Proper” implies “accuracy” which is actually a synonym along with “correct”, “precise”, and “exact” (source). Cutting corners goes against the meaning of the phrase to do a “proper job”. Linguistics aside, perhaps the more important issue is whether such “improvements” are actually is beneficial to the goal of maximizing profits.

        I agree with your comments about maximizing profit and methods directors/producers might use when attempting to do so. My contention is with the idea that such methods are highly likely to be effective (which you may not be suggesting). IMO, by attempting to widen appeal by making such “improvements” and substantially deviate from the source material, such actions carry a high risk of alienating a significant part of the core audience with the unintended result of lowering BD/DVD sales. Hard core fans do not want significant changes to the very thing they hold in high regard. They like the story the way it is.

        Furthermore, there is absolutely no guarantee that such changes will result in widening appeal for the adaptation. JMO, but I think there is a significant possibility that such changes actually turn off “new” viewers who might have otherwise become fans of the work. The source material must do something right for it to be popular/well acclaimed in the first place. As the saying goes, “don’t mess with success”.

        IMO Stilts raises a good question when posting “…if you’re not going to adapt something properly, why bother adapting it at all?” If he source is of sufficient quality (i.e. has an established fan base or once given greater exposure is likely to draw one), per the above I fail to see why a director/producer would take the risk associated of making “improvements”. If the source material isn’t of sufficient quality, then I question why it was chosen for adaptation in the first place. There are certainly a lot of LN/manga (or even VN) out there to choose from.

      6. Naw, Zen is totally right. I was more lamenting than anything else…though I understand the business side of the equation, the artist within me cannot help but object. Do they not have an artist’s pride? But of course, they probably do as well…they’re doing the best they can with the skills and tools they have available to tell a good story and make a profit. The problem is that, for them, the profit by necessity must come first, whereas I would prefer they put the story first.

        It’s understandable, but sad. Such is life!

    1. Ahaha, I don’t actually subscribe to that. I do it sometimes, but I follow so many shows a season that sometimes I just judge one and axe it quickly. Not fair, perhaps, but making assumptions / leaping to conclusions is part of being human, and I think it has saved me more time than its made an ass of me, heh

      1. Not to say that being around at RC, you would eventually come to know if a show you didn’t pick is actually any good, in which case you can watch it later. That’s one thing the community is good at 🙂 There’s not always a need to watch three episodes, I for one do that only if the first episode didn’t convince me but still showed some potential, and leave the rest to your comments guys.

    1. Well still, RC’s posts are usually much more informative than this! This one basically tells us one thing: read the manga and skip the anime because it’s written incredibly poorly. WOW this must be bad!

      1. My apologies for that. Aside from some of the art direction (which I probably should have mentioned), I had little good to say, so I thought it best to keep it short. I prefer to damn with faint praise, but if I’m going to outright damn, I’d prefer to keep it short so I don’t start to belabor the point!

  2. Good job I say on this piece. Too many writers here don’t let out the emotion of just how bad something can be. Objectivity is good, but not if prevents any positive, or in this case, negative aspects of it. RC fairly often gives the benefit of the doubt, or de-saturates obvious problems (they didn’t do a good job with…), vs true critical criticism (They fucked it up so hard! And here is why.)

    I don’t care if people disagree or downrate your opinions (if they could). It’s our personal perspective and values, not theirs. But for some reason, people can’t hate something(some show or genre) on their own, without ironically being hated on themselves. Thank you for warning me about this, its nice to save time from our fellow people. 🙂

  3. Woah, an RC writer actually not saying something nice about a show? April Fools was a week ago!

    Look, I know you guys really hate to criticize anime, but I’d love to see more of this kind of post. If a show is bad, just say it instead of “Well [x] may have a horrendous plot, terrible animation and non-existent OST, I’ll list minor non-important things that this show did well!” It’s annoying that most anime blogs are either extremely negative and criticize for the sake of criticizing (Tenka Seiha, among others) and then we have RC which rarely ever criticizes anything, even horrible trainwrecks like Guilty Crown.

    1. A dubious honor, but thanks, lol

      Personally, it’s not that I hate to criticize necessarily, it’s that criticism isn’t what I feel like my job is here. As I’ve said before, I prefer to play the kind jester to the harsh critic, and enjoy the good things a show has to offer to blasting a show. Partially that’s because it’s more enjoyable to both write and watch that way – optimism is my preferred point of view now-a-days, because it makes for a happier life. Also, I generally like most anime (especially since I rarely read the source), so I can find things nice to say because there are things I honestly enjoyed.

      That said, disappointment is disappointment, and though jester I may be, not calling out the show on that disappointment would be abdicating my duty–so there it is!

    2. I don’t know….somehow I and maybe others(even if they wouldn’t admit it)prefer it this way.The fact they always try to look for the good in shows is something that made me(and I’m sure I’m not the only one)expand my anime horizons beyond my few,initially prefer genres.If I’d want to find harsh criticism,I’d just look somewhere else.It’s easier to point out the flaws in somethings rather than the good parts and that’s one of the reasons why I think RC is unique.Most of us come here to have a fun time reading the reviews,comments & taking part in them ourselves and a positive view on things helps with that.Just my humble and prolly’ not-so-well written out opinion.

      That said,criticism is to be given where it’s due even here but doing it wouldn’t feel like RC if they’d be constantly nitpicking.Note that I’m not talking about this episode as I haven’t watched it nor am I even interested in the show.(How did I get on this page again?…oh well,the universe is full of mysteries indeed.)

    1. I agree. From purely an anime standpoint it wasn’t too bad. I’ve seen much worse first episodes of other animes.

      Disappointment in regards to the pacing compared to the manga is understandable. Also, while the action was a bit lacking this episode, I felt they adapted the artistic direction of the manga well.

  4. *sees excellently designed cartoon styled animation*


    *reads post*

    ……. – _ – Thanks a lot. I had enough of an emotional roller-coaster today already.

  5. I’m going to take your word on this Stilts. I’ll check out the manga, since the anime left me disappointed. It seemed interesting and promising when you previewed it earlier, as the anime really doesn’t seem that appealing any more, the mange still seems worth a read.

    1. @ gawrshness & ginobi666

      By all means, give it a shot if you have the time. It’s entirely possible I was overly harsh by knowing how much potential it had, and if you have only the time for the anime then you might still enjoy it. That’s the thing though – if you have time. If you are already watching too much or simply don’t have the time to give everything a fair shake (I know I don’t, but it’s admirable if you do), that’s when I wouldn’t bother.

  6. Thanks for the advice, but unlike people who takes another people’s words I would rather judge for my self. Liked the episode, will read the manga too but not dropping the anime.
    Also I understand anyone who is bashing your post. It was pretty much all comparison to the source material, I would rather know what you though of it if you never read the manga.

    Your post:
    Manga to Anime Adaptation? BAD, Manga was better.
    Anime as a stand alone? Didn’t say.

    1. I approve! If you have the time and aren’t the type who will throw out both if one is bad, go ahead and see yourself – this could of course recover by next episode, proving me wrong once again, so if you’re interested then by all means! That’s one of the reasons I prefer to not blast things, lest it lessen someone’s own enjoyment.

      That said, I absolutely did speak to the anime alone. Which is to say, the anime was a mess. I had a frame of reference to know exactly how much of a mess, but as a stand alone work it lacked power and they constantly undermined themselves from allowing the story to rise to something great.

      Besides, as a rule I don’t need to read the source to spot a failed adaptation – I called out Maoyuu on that despite not having read the source, after all.

  7. I’ll be still watching, but I will admit that I’m disappointed. The fighting isn’t as epic as the manga. I was expecting it to be more colorful and dynamic. Unfortunately, I knew that this would happen. Another problem is the story placement. Placing the background story in the middle was a terrible idea, it just makes the audience confused. Another problem, the change of the story. I has the title of the ongoing series, yet appears to be following the first series, yet uses a completely different start that was in neither of the two series. Did they ever consult the author about this? Follow the fucking manga, damn it. You’re allowed to make a few liberties, but this is going too far. The action is fucking mediocre. The manga appeared far more dynamic and when the black and white manga appears far more colorful than the anime, then you’ve got a problem. Lastly, Jinbei’s voice actor. I was expecting something a bit more enthusiastic, loud and bombastic. It lacks the heart and soul of the character.

    I was honestly expecting this to be like Katanagatari, fast and colorful. But no, the action is slow and dull, the colors are actually bland and they’ve butchered the pacing. If the manga didn’t update so slowly and already showed a majority of what to expect, I probably would have dropped this like Medaka Box. However, since that is not the case, I will probably keep watching to stretch out the plot and expect better when the next chapters come out. I will agree with the review. It’s best to stick with the manga. Even that few second commercial that advertised the manga was much better than this.

  8. For me I liked it and here are my reasons.

    1. The opening was cool and gave a “strong” feeling, it was definitely different from most openings; the art also has a unique flair.

    2. The music when he just entered the city was nice.

    3. The flute music when the Insect Magistrate showed up was great!

    4. Hibachi and Oharu are hot.

    5. The kaleidoscope effect was great!

    6. I don’t read manga so I just go into all anime with a stand alone approach.

  9. Mumble jumble mess. Don’t see the point of swapping the order of scenes around. Why the heck did they make Mugai glitter like a freaking fairy? Can barely see anything and totally ruins his badass image. Why do they have to zoom into Oharu’s boobs with every chance they get? Fanservice is great, but when you do it this excessively it just looks fucking stupid.

    Boy, just thinking about this episode again get’s me all riled up.

    1. It’s when fanservice intrudes where it’s not appropriate and clashes with the mood that I get pissed. You can toss fanservice throughout a Senran Kagura because it’s shameless about enjoying it, and that’s fine! It’s when it peeks its head into a serious scene (as it did here, though I’ll be quick to mention – this is not an uncommon problem) that I get annoyed.

  10. Judging from the first ep, it seems to be following the original manga “Mushibugyo”. Seeing how that one got canceled, i assumed they were going to adept the reboot “Joujuu Senjin!! Mushibugyo”. Kind of disappointed with that decision. At least the art style remained loyal to the manga.

  11. OBJECTION!!!

    I understand all too well how it feels if there is something missing from the manga, but I searched all over the world wide web and there only happen to be 18 chapters translated out of a 9 volume (current amount) ongoing series.

    I wouldn’t tell people to go read the manga first because it isn’t like Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, etc that gets translated everytime a new chapter comes out.

    If it was like Magi where chapters got translated asap, then I’d be skipping this too, but it’s not.

    I’ll give this anime the same chance I gave Magi’s anime before I dropped it.

    Besides all of that, there’s nothing wrong with reading the manga and watching the anime too.

    I would’ve done that with Magi if they didn’t do unforgivable things with the anime.I only read the original Mushibugyo to “completion” so I’ll be reading Joujuu Senjii and watch the anime to compare.

    The animation is fantastic btw :3

  12. I haven’t watched this (though I checked out the manga), but at least it you didn’t get get led on at the beginning only to be disappointed in the end.

    ::cough::yumekui merry::cough::


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