Kanon for iPad

April 21st, 2014 by Author

Back in 2005 or so, at Aniverse’s #anime, one of my buddies, Matt “Mashu” Kern was much into Kanon, then in Toei anime release. He made me to suffer through some 5 episodes. When the KyoAni remake came about, I gave it a try too, but it was no better.

The excuse to look into the original VN, thus, had most to do with it being original. I watched Joshiraku raw, so there’s little I cannot overcome, I thoght. I even imagined that it would be fun to pick a few new kanji along the way.

My mistake was that I forgot that it was a Key product. I chose Mai route because she seemed like the least damaged (about the same as the cousin, but this is not Louisiana). It rolled pretty smoothly until the end, when Mai confessed and immediately offed herself. Oops. It seemed making sense in the moment, but now I understand that I have no clue just what she was thinking, if anything. The epilogue was incomprehensible to me as the end of Evangelion. One key sequence (please pardon the pun) included a sick woman with her daughter… I thought it was future Sayuri.

The art in the game is period-appropriate, which is a polite way to say hideously ugly. The illustration is Mai being remembered, and it includes an eye covering a cheekbone. Anatomy of Kanon characters quickly resets the scale on arguments about deformed fingers in K-ON. If not for that, Mai’s gentle smile would’ve moved me to tears. Think Key staff did it on purpose or just could not draw worth a Pixiv artist off the street?

Still, kanji and art aside, it wasn’t a bad adventure. The best part of VN for me was that it had a solid story (in many branches), placed outside of what we now know as school romcom, where the backbone of the story is who gets whom, sprinkled by hijinks. I thought I burned out on that back before Toradora. It is funny to think that Kanon, made on the break of the century, is somehow “outside of the mold” for today, but if it didn’t exist, and someone made an anime now, it would be a very watcheable show despite being based on romance in the school setting. It’s like a great lost art. The only recipy still available to creators in 2014 is to dillute the romcom with mecha, and IS pretty much said everything in that area.

Now I am sort of wondering how many people came for the sex, and stayed for the story when the original game came out. The iPad version is neutered, but I could not put it down all the same.

Trigger discipline

April 16th, 2014 by Author

On topic of trigger discipline, this was at Cinderella Girls today:

Tsk, tsk.

Steven also explains why he didn’t actually watch Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka thus:

“Cute girls doing cute things” isn’t a genre I really get into. Strawberry Marshmallow and Yuru Yuri kind of overdosed me. I couldn’t finish either of them, so now I don’t try.

Generally I think of myself as a conneseur of CGDCT, but I dropped and/or rejected a number of the genre titles. That includes popular and acclaimed ones like Hidamari, where faces were too wide (it was also over-SHAFT-ed). Strawberry Marshmallow featured Anna Coppola, who was absolutely insufferable, IIRC — it was very long ago, before Ani-nouto. I did not watch Yuru Yuri, but I heard that the whole show is a walking thematic concern.

In other words, Steven selected two worst CGDCT shows to decide that all of them sucked. For fairness sake, he forgot to mention that he didn’t like the definitive series, Azumanga, either. Still, as written, his reasoning looks very strange!

Weaboo Adventures in American iTunes

April 15th, 2014 by Author

Something prompted me to search at iTunes by entering Japanese keywords, such as “アイドル”, and guess what? They have a few J titles leaking over. So far I grabbed a talking clock “MoeJiFukuZ”, terrible quasi-VN “Kuudere Kanojo”, and Kanon for iPad, which comes untranslated for some reason. It has all the glorious in its derpiness Key art:

The game is completely unvoiced. In other words, a sea of kanji as far as eye can see. Uguuuu~.

BTW, it has 50 save slots. Last time I played a game with this many, I needed basically all of them. I’d love to find a playthrough, but strangely enough they are not that easy to find. You’d think it were an immortal classic and all that, but Internet is so useless these days.

P.S. I just noticed that the screencap above fails to illustrate my plight: the kanji in it are trivial: Nayuki says, “Mom, I can’t find my uniform”. Trust me, it gets worse all the time, and a bunch of those aren’t even in jojo list.

SAO vs Log Horizon

April 11th, 2014 by Author

At a meeting of my fabulous anime club, I had a chance to watch SAO and Log Horizon back to back, and frankly Log Hor wins hands down. SAO has better production values, it looks like an anime asking for HD experience. But its characters are not anyone I would like to care about. It’s odd… Kirito and Asuna seem like upstanding individuals, in the game anyway. Most bloggers zoomed in on the lead being a Marty Stu, e.g. too disgustingly perfect. Not sure if that is the main problem. The lead in Log Horizon is too good too, but his exploits seem more interesting somehow.

Mind, I came to the above conclusion before seeing how the focus of Log Horizon becomes more about improving the world, a significanly larger scope than SAO‘s.

DiGiKerot on Streaming Catalog

April 11th, 2014 by Author


Animax pretty much work on the opposite business model to Crunchyroll, in so much as new episodes of “simulcast” shows are available for around two weeks to everyone, and what the subscribing user is paying for access to is catalogue content. I do have to give them props for at least having some catalogue content beyond things which they have previously streamed – they have a couple of historic “heavy hitters” like Code Geass and Death Note in their back catalogue.

Actually, Crunchy has subscriber-only titles too, so they are not as opposite as they look. Most aggravatinly, the original pre-Shippuuden Naruto was like that. Currently, Hadigirl is a subscriber-only catalog title. I was mildly intrigued by it, just not enough to break my boycott of Crunchyroll subscription due to them dropping DTO-no-DRM.

Gundam Build Fighters ends

April 9th, 2014 by Author

GBF is one of those anime that wear their soul on their slieve. Its robust, open, fun nature makes it a great entertainment for the weary. Remember how the “chemo for pseudo-intelligenzia shows”? That wasn’t one, but this sure is.

It certainly is not without its flaws. The premise of magical particles is somewhat weakly founded, in my opinion. There’s a lot of other age-appropriate writing, too. Recall the mafia guy, for one. Or any other villain, come to think of it. All of that reminds me very much about Mouretsu Pirates, except it works here. The only thing that really grated was the character and demeanor of Chairman Matsushita. Poor, poor Baker-chan.

Liked: YES
Rewatch: Definitely possible if opportunity comes along

P.S. What is the place of GBF in the Gundam family? I feel that I cannot tell properly, not being a well-immersed fan of the franchize. Certainly it succeeds as an anime, but does it succeed as a Gundam series? We need to ask someone who knows whom Baker was cosplaying in the flashback of her meeting with Matsushita.

P.P.S. I wanted to post the popular “A > B > C”, but on second thought, it seems wrong. Everyone is so great, I love them all, even bossy and self-centered Caroline. Kirara (Mihoshi) is probably the best, with her never-give-up nature. I just hope Fellini measures up. Aira atoned for Aina (possibly by design), Ranko is too noble for the obvious 4-letter acronym. And gosh, that Ral. I’ve not seen such epitome of Gundam manliness since Norris.

UPDATE: Twitter killed animeblogging:

Thanks guys!

Also! I asked our local expert:

<zaitcev> Just wanted to ask what “The Blue Giant” refers.
<Guncannon> Ramba Ral
<Guncannon> 0079 Zeon ace

So that’s why he’s “absurdly strong”. And this:

Apparently it refers to Sayla Mass in the original Mobile Suit Gundam.

Avatar on Zvezda

April 6th, 2014 by Author

Andy sent a comment:

Honestly, the real problem for me is that they never really built the world they were busy trying to conquer. Warring prefectures? Governor of Tokyo has legions of minions borrowed from Jin-Roh? Is it Udo that put the Udo in Udogawa? Who the heck knows.

It’s not like the formula hasn’t been tried before, but Excel Saga wasn’t ever meant to be taken seriously, so to a degree none of it mattered. And I can live with Zvezda itself being a bundle of “who cares if it makes sense, Rule of Cool is in effect”. But that only works if it’s an exception, the world around it either has to make sense on its own, or be playing by the same Rule-of-Cool rules. And for a lot of the story, it just didn’t do either.

Personally, I’m ready to forgive the incomplete world to them. After all, Glie is similarly incomplete, with the difference being in Zvezda pretending that it’s our world, only slightly adjusted.

That said, I still enjoyed it plenty. I want to put on a trenchcoat and skull mask and dual-wield Panzerfausts as melee weapons!

Talk about the art of manliness. However, I’m not ready to forgive the good General his criminal past.

iM@S Cinderella Girls anime announced

April 5th, 2014 by Author

Remember the “preview of nothing”? It was actually a preview of new anime series, as revealed today. Which means Rin and Anya are in.

When I came back from putting 6 hours on Hobbs and checked how my pokegirl cards are doing, and the announcement came up, I reacted with a disbelief. But on second thought, consider all the content they were publishing. For example, they made a mini-game availabe for one day only (since I play every day, I got to enjoy it):

Someone was paid to make it happen: design the game (it sits on an unrelated engine from normal Cinderella Girls), draw the art, program the servers, test with supported clients, run the ops — for a day. This means the game makes money to support this sort of extravagance, even beyond the cute in-game comics and all the CD-making machinery. Perhaps it’s a little wonder that there was something in that pot of gold to finance a whole anime series. I guess I was only surprised because despite being a de-facto enthusiast, I kept thinking about Cinderella Girls as a small trinklet for casual players who are too weak for the flagship games. But we are legion.

Nova on Zvezda

April 3rd, 2014 by Author

To be entirely honest, I felt somewhat unfulfilled by Zvezda‘s ending. The finale seemed fake and empty, but if someone else challenged my impression, I would not be able to back it up (except perhaps that the creators betrayed the build-up for the main duo). Nova, however, pulls no punches in an explanation why Zvezda’s problems started way earlier:

Substance, substance, substance! Zvezda has everything from colorful characters to slick animation, and yet it’s emptier than my ballsacks after the Comiket loot day. It’s shallow, vapid, forgettable, with characters who aside from Robin never muster any sort of lasting appeal and a story that’s more pointless than tits on a nun. Zvezda starts out confusing and only keeps getting more so, as the plot hops and skips from mildly amusing comedy to embarrassingly stupid dramatics and back without even trying to keep the whole thing together. It’s not funny enough to be a comedy, not dramatic enough to be a drama, and it doesn’t have the characters for a slice of life. It throws a flurry of punches, but has no impact behind them. Overall a worse waste of time than Space Dandy.

And I agree with a lot in this line of complaint. I suppose Plamya was pretty awesome, but what her existence was about? Ditto Natasha. There was nothing to both of them save being henchwomen of Kate.

Still, Zvezda was pretty fun to watch without caring about it. It’s how I approach e.g. FLCL. And Space Dandy was much worse, IMHO. They even manged to pull thematic concerns into it. From what I watched, the only episode that offered quality was the Laika one. But in Zvezda, every episode was a treat (with a possible exception of the treasure hunt), and sometimes quality makes its own substance.

Zvezda ends

March 31st, 2014 by Author

The ending would be very confusing if I were still trying to figure out what the heck was even happeing, but fortunately I gave up. Unfortunately though, this leaves me with little material for reflection. So… things happened… there was some fighting and conquesting… but nobody [of consequence] died… while our lovebirds [big spoilers redacted — Ed.]. The End.

Around ep.8, I got so interested in seeking the resolution to our Romeo and Juliet setup, that I started watching at Daisuki, which shows ad-supporting streaming without a week’s delay. And it was resolved, by complete de-cerebusing, in penultimate episode. Okay, I’ll buy that.

At least it was a pretty anime.

Liked: okay
Rewatch: Nope