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Web Video / Mother's Basement

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Geoff Thew, self-proclaimed Anime Pope and professional shitbag. Profile picture from his second channel BasementEscape.

Mother's Basement is a YouTube channel led by Canadian vlogger Geoffrey "Geoff" Thew. Here he mostly talks about anime in the form of reviews and analysis. On occasion, he makes videos about other media than anime, such as movies, TV series, and games, although anime stays the most prominent topic. He's also a fan of video games.

His earliest videos on the main channel date back to 2015, starting with a series called "What's in an OP?" Here he breaks down the meaning and layers of anime openings. Later on, he would do a couple of reviews, although most of these were about certain movies, tv-series or games. In early 2016, he did the first Weebcast with Beatrice the Golden Witch (going by Digibro at the time), Best Guy Ever and Subsonic Sparkle, which was hosted by Beatrice. During fall 2016, he would start to feature the series on his main and later on his second channel. The Weebcast is a podcast consisting of multiple anime YouTubers talking about and discussing certain trends within the anime community, most often seasonal anime.


As of May 2020, he has gained over 1 million subscribers.

Mother's Basement contains examples of:

Tropes discussed on Mother's Basement:

  • Archive Binge:invoked Geoff admits that he once did this for One Piece, pointing out that he'd been at it for eighteen days and all he accomplished in that time was "inch dangerously closer to becoming a furry..." and he still had a hundred chapters to go.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Geoff declares that most Shōnen media are actually comedies, arguing that not only are some of Shonen Jump's greatest hits gag manga, but even monumental classics like Dragon Ball are actually comedies disguising themselves as epic tales of action. By being funny however, Geoff argues that the initial lighthearted tone of these kinds of stories is what makes the more dramatic moments hit harder, which is why once the managaka become confident about their readership's engagement they shift things into a more serious path. Geoff points out a Wham Episode in the aforementioned Dragon Ball where after a few hundred chapters/episodes of fun Jackie Chan-style, humorous fighting, the sudden murder of Krillin comes across as extremely shocking and impactful more than if Dragon Ball was a serious action piece from the beginning.
  • Colbert Bump: invoked
  • Doing It for the Art:invoked
    • Geoff summarizes the late Stan Lee's foray into anime and manga as So Okay, It's Average at best; nevertheless, he finds it remarkable that Lee was willing to experiment with media he was fascinated with when he really didn't need to.
    • In his roast of Maburaho, he contrasts its mediocre direction to the more impressive one of Girls Bravo, which happens to be the directorial debut of Ei Aoki (of Re:CREATORS, ID: Invaded, and Fate/Zero fame), praising him as a director who brings his best creative chops, however mediocre and/or botched the source material may be (such as Girls Bravo and Aldnoah.Zero).
  • Draco in Leather Pantsinvoked: In his roast of Rent-A-Girlfriend, Geoff finds himself unironically rooting for Mami Manami, nominally the Big Bad of the series, what with her fleshed-out characterization standing in stark contrast to his annoyance over the lack of Character Development (or backtracking from one) by protagonist Kazuya Kinoshita, as well as the comparatively shallow characterizations of Chizuru Mizuhara, Ruka Sarashina, and Sumi Sakurasawa.
    "All of [Manami's] villain behavior only counts as villain behavior if you believe Kazuya Kinoshida deserves to be happy, and I absolutely, categorically do not."
  • Expy: Combined with invokedOlder Than They Think. Geoff points out how Alice in SAO: Alicization appears to be just another Saber clone as a blonde, sword-wielding waifu. He then notes that the original Alicization web novels were written around the same time Fate/stay night had released, meaning Alice isn't a Saber clone, but one of the first Saber clones.
  • Fanservice: Geoff usually makes note of the sex jokes and objectification of women common in anime but has expressed a willingness to let it slide since he understands that none of it comes from an intentional desire to hurt anybody.
  • Flat Character: His primary criticism of Hand Shakers is that all the characters are nothing more than a single quirky character trait being given human form, comparing it to Edward Elric being stripped of almost all his personality traits except his Berserk Button about his height. It's to the point where he considers the best written character to be the one whose tendency to throw out a Hurricane of Aphorisms turns out to be forcing this trait on herself.
  • Gateway Series:invoked In his video where he points out the positives of Sword Art Online, he explains that, as divisive as the series can get, even its strongest detractors (such as himself) begrudgingly admit that the series (or at least its first season) is what got many people into anime in the first place.
  • Ham and Cheese:invoked In Dragonball Evolution, Chow Yun-fat gives an extremely lively and physical performance as Master Roshi that makes him one of the more expressive characters in a cast full of Dull Surprise. However, Geoff deconstructs this a bit by pointing out that by juxtaposing such a Large Ham against bland performances, Roshi comes across more as an insane lunatic than a fun Eccentric Mentor. And Geoff is saying all this within the context that Chow Yun-fat is not necessarily a bad actor in the film.
  • Hard-to-Adapt Work:invoked Gibiate's art direction was based on concept art from renowned illustrator and character designer Yoshitaka Amano, whose art is so detailed and distinct that it is near impossible to translate to animation while keeping his style intact; as a result, the characters in Gibiate look like pale imitations of Amano's original designs, often looking stiff and awkward when animated or standing still. Geoff even cites Hiromu Arakawa's adaptation of The Heroic Legend of Arslan, the original of which Amano had provided the illustrations, as evidence of the necessity of streamlining when doing adaptations, as Arakawa significantly simplified Amano's designs for the manga and the anime adpatation.
  • Indecisive Parody: When discussing My Sister, My Writer, one of Geoff's biggest critiques is that the show often makes overtures towards being a parody of light novel cliches (e.g., hypercompetent Little Sister Heroine who's in love with her older brother, rampant Fanservice, references to Otaku culture, indulgent Wish-Fulfillment), but for the most part, those elements aren't any sillier than the sort of thing audiences would see in an actual light novel and still seems to be written with fans of those cliches in mind. For instance, its fanservice, though framed a little more comically than the norm, is still clearly intended to be sexy, and comedic fanservice is hardly atypical in the genre (being a joke doesn't stop people from being turned on by it).
  • Jerkass Dissonanceinvoked: Geoff theorized about the reasons Aqua, Megumin, and Darkness are generally well-liked despite their often unpleasant personalities. He eventually concludes that this is not only because of their comically exaggerated antics, but also because their personalities are genuine, which creates a sense of them being comfortable around the audience and the audience feeling familiar with them. That, and possibly because of their their attractive designs.
  • Late Export for You: He noted that Your Name took a year after its Japanese release to reach Canadian theaters, but Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale took only a month. Given Geoff's dislike of SAO, he was rather miffed about it.invoked
  • Let's See YOU Do Better!: The main motivation behind his Fix Fic of SAO. Geoff also goes ahead to pick this stock No, You response apart by pointing out how creating and criticizing art are two completely different beasts and, realistically, he cannot hope to possibly go through with the challenge completely since producing anime is an expensive and demanding workload.
  • Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: Invoked in the intro to "An Actual Cult Made THE CRAZIEST ANIME!!!", where Geoff shows an out-of-context clip of the ghost of Helen Keller introducing herself to one of the protagonists of one of said cult's anime films:
    Geoff: If you didn't catch the first of these videos, you might be feeling slightly confused right now, possibly even disoriented. I want to reassure you that, as little sense as that probably made to you, it made exactly as much sense to anyone who's already been briefed on stockbroker-turned-reborn super space Buddha Ryuho Okawa a.k.a. El Cantare and his kooky, anime-producing crossover fanfic religion.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Hand Shakers has an egregious case of Product Placement where a real life Japan-exclusive card game is significant to a character's powerset and a story arc involving him. Geoff goes further to discuss the hurdles and effort needed to be able to make this work (even playing the Yu-Gi-Oh! theme to make his point known) and points out how this in-story advertisement grinds the show to a complete halt that doesn't make any logical sense In-Universe.
  • Off-Model:
    • One of the many reasons Geoff detested the fight scenes in The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar was the poorly drawn anatomy of the characters even in Limited Animation shots.
    • He notes that one of My Sister, My Writer's many problems is how distressingly often the characters go off-model, to the point that it looks like what would happen if an anime studio had Pablo Picasso doing keyframes.
    • While describing Bermuda Triangle Colorful Pastrale as the fourth-worst anime of 2019, Geoff jokes that the characters' oftentimes poor facial modeling has him wondering if the series is set near Bikini Atoll, a coral reef in the Marshall Islands used by the United States for nuclear test, implying they are born with radiation-induced mutations.
    • Similarly to KonoSuba, Geoff notes that while he feels the writing and voice acting more than makes up for it, the first season of The Quintessential Quintuplets has less than impressive production value and he expresses understanding but concern that viewers who can't look past it will have their viewing experience ruined by it.
  • Opinion Myopia: invoked Played for Laughs in Waifu Wars - Public Service Announcement where the narrator tells you how you can figure out who's the enemy: anybody who doesn't agree with his (read:the narrator's) opinions.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: In general, one of Geoff's biggest gripes with some anime are their tendency to use sexual assault as an opportunity for fanservice moments.
    • One of his biggest points of contention against Sword Art Online is what he feels to be its rather tactless usage of sexual assault as cheap Kick the Dog moments as opposed to actual plot/character advancement. One of the few positive points he gives to the Alicization arc is its usage of sexual assault to actually drive the plot forward, but even that he considers mitigated by the fact that not only is it presented in a somewhat comedic manner (intentional or not is unknown) initially, but it creates a giant Plot Hole in its Worldbuilding as a result.
    • Also discussed in his video on the infamous rape scene in Goblin Slayer. Among his criticisms is the fact that the scene seems to only exist just to establish that goblins are evil and that the anime sexualizes what should be a horrific moment. He feels that the scene does little but scare off people from what, in his opinion, is a fun dark fantasy.
    • While discussing his fascination for "big dumb battle royale anime," he notes the distressing frequency of such series' Action Girls having sexual assault as part of their backstory.
    • Likewise, neither is Geoff a fan of Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male, and is visibly uncomfortable with scenes from Maburaho where Kuriko tries to assault Kazuki.
  • Relationship Writing Fumbleinvoked: An inverted take on this trope is brought up in his video about Dragon's Dogma, where he notes that he can't tell if Yang and Leni, the two characters of the week in "Sloth", are supposed to be lovers, friends or even siblings. He eventually concludes that Yang is "in a very vague sense, some form of Leni's man".
  • The Scrappyinvoked: Discussed in his "What's in a Scene? — How SAO Became the Worst Anime Ever" video. Geoff heavily dislikes Yui because in his opinion, she was responsible for setting up the downfall of the show for him, since the scene of her "death" caused such massive amounts of Fridge Logic and an Ass Pullinvoked from Kirito to save her that the series ultimately went downhill and never recovered from. In a way, Yui, at least for Geoff, ended up being something of a Franchise Killer in terms of his ability to enjoy it, and for said reason, he heavily dislikes her character.
  • Second Season Downfallinvoked:
    • Discussed in "How DARLING in the FRANXX Wrecked its Worldbuilding", and the follow up video; "DARLING in the FRANXX — What the HFIL Happened!?". The second season of the series went so drastically into a different genre for several of its run-time, then shifted to explaining as much about the setting as possible, before becoming a copy of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Any good will people had towards the series effectively died after the second half of the series started, and the ending basically trampled any hope for a good conclusion.
    • Geoff is also disappointed with the second season of The Rising of the Shield Hero, with its cavalier approach to the Spirit Tortoise arc and omitting Rishia's training arc which would otherwise help acquaint the audience to this latest member of Naofumi's party.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunnyinvoked: In "The Roast of Maburaho", Geoff notes that while Maburaho may have been a relatively fresh take on the Harem Genre when it first came out in the early 2000s, it now pales in comparison to later anime that were able to improve on what it did in the years since then.
  • Show, Don't Tell:
    • A point of high praise Geoff had for DARLING in the FRANXX... a point which he angrily took back as the show decayed and it ruins its Worldbuilding mystique by having an Info Dump episode.
    • A consistent criticism towards SAO is its tendency to have boring and long Info Dumps mostly with characters sitting in a cafe and talking.
  • Slow Life Fantasy: In his "Types of Isekai Anime" video, two of the possible categories he proposed ("Hangout Isekai" and "Karoshisekai") are specifically centered on this genre.note 
  • Strictly Formula: In "The Roast of Maburaho", Geoff notes how said series doesn't have a plot so much as a rigid formula around a harem comedy setup, with several plot and character points being repeated with superficial variances across different episodes. While he acknowledges that many classic Western cartoons (such as Looney Tunes) similarly stick to formulas, those cartoons at least know how to change things up just enough to stay interesting. Maburaho, on the other hand, isn't creative enough with its formula to make it stand out from other harem comedies.
  • Stylistic Suck: Geoff thinks the Off-Model animation of several parts of KonoSuba are actually one of its strongest points because they help enhance its comedic tone. He also believes such animation is deliberate on the part of director Takaomi Kanasaki, given that in his other major work, Princess Connect! Re:Dive, the characters are drawn more consistently so as to emphasize cuteness.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plotinvoked:
    • One of the reasons Geoff hates the Fairy Dance arc of Sword Art Online was that the story never even remotely addressed Nobuyuki Sugou's plan to create mind-control technology using 300 kidnapped SAO survivors (including Asuna). In Geoff's eyes, it was simply used as a way to raise the stakes, but never actually mattered since the plot point itself had no usage at all. Another important plot point he discusses being wasted was how Kirito himself points out that Asuna is as strong as he is, if not potentially more, and argues that the story really seems to suggest a fight between the two will happen, but never actually does. In his "Fixing Alfheim: the WORST part of SAO" Fix Fic, he addresses these by combining both plot points by having a mind-controlled Asuna fight Kirito.
    • He notes that the gothic horror setting of Assassin's Pride, where it's Always Night and people constantly live in fear of Tim Burton-esque monsters, has the potential for some interesting stories. Unfortunately, the story itself tends to focus more on harem antics in a Wizarding School instead.
    • Much of his disdain for High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even in Another World amounts to disappointment over the series' failure to exploit the potential of its premise of seven Japanese teenage prodigies reforming a fascist kingdom in a fantasy world. He points out that their idea of a democratic government being copied from that of modern Japan is both unimaginative and carrying a rather ugly implication that said system is perfect. There's also the fact that despite having an ensemble cast, functionally the only characters with the most agency are Tsukasa Mikogami and Masato Sanada (who are, of course, two of the only three boys of the group), reducing the group's four girls into resembling a typical agency-free battle harem, as well as heaping particular dislike on stage magician Prince Akatsuki (the other boy of the group), both for his obnoxiousness and the series' failure to give a rational explanation for his feats in a world where magic is commomplace, making him functionally no different from a standard fantasy mage.
  • Troubled Productioninvoked:
  • Uncertain Audienceinvoked: In regards to Sword Art Online, Geoff argues that while it is, in tone and substance, essentially a Saturday morning cartoon, it doesn't seem fully aware of that, and tries to delve into darker subject matter for no other reason than edginess, singling out a trend in the story to incorporate sexual assault whenever it needs something dark to happen and it is never handled well.
  • Unfortunate Implicationsinvoked: In his criticism of Platinum End, he talks about writer Tsugumi Ohba's history of Stay in the Kitchen overtones to his writing of female characters. While he passingly mentions that Bakuman also had a weird scene where Ohba's Author Avatar talks about women who are really successful in life are those that "know their place", in Platinum End, he specifically points out how, out of the god candidates, male characters that survived get to be self-actualized and accomplished, while the female characters that survived simply get to be married to them.
  • Unintentionally Unsympatheticinvoked: Geoff's biggest problem with Peter Grill and the Philosopher's Time is that he doesn't feel bad for Peter's plight—being hounded by an Unwanted Harem of Cute Monster Girls who want him to give them strong children — because he frequently ends up having sex with them despite already being engaged to his childhood sweetheart Luvelia. While the writing aims to make the audience feel sorry for Peter and not all of the mishaps he gets into are his fault, the fact that he constantly cheats on Luvelia anyway still greatly lessens Geoff's enjoyment of the series.
  • A Wizard Did It: Geoff has a fascination for phantom thieves and stage magic, so it frustrates him when a bad anime extensively featuring such characters and premises never explain how said characters pull off the tricks they do, leading to implications (or just outright shows) that it's literally just magic rather than cool smoke and mirrors. For this reason he dislikes Prince Akatsuki, the resident stage magician in High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even in Another World (already his absolute worst anime of 2019), apart from his obnoxious behavior, as well as citing Hatena Illusion as the second-worst anime of 2020.
  • YouTuber Apology Parody: In this video, Geoff tearfully apologies for leaving Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun out of his best anime of 2019 video.

I'm Geoff Thew, professional shitbag, signing out from my mother's basement.