#animeblogger on Trinity Seven

November 17th, 2015 by Author

There’s a link to #animeblogger on the sidebar, and it still works, in 2015. Anyhow, although the following was a while back, I wanted to preserve it.

<sage> hikago
<sage> why didn’t you tell me about trinity seven
<sage> it’s the show I’ve enjoyed the most this season
<sage> cute girls and great MC
<hikago> was too busy fapping to the gifs of it
<hikago> to type anything
<Casval> lol
<sage> That is an acceptable answer.
<zaitcev> WTF
<zaitcev> `The boy, Arata Kasuga, has had the world he knows by a mysterious "Collapse Phenomenon", and his cousin Hijiri disappears into another dimension. To understand the Collapse Phenomenon and win back his cousin, he comes to Biblia Academy.’
<sage> What’s wtf about it?
<zaitcev> " Yumi Hara as Lilith Asami " huh
<zaitcev> " Ayaka Fukuhara as Lugh " whaaaaat
<sage> zaitcev, please.
<sage> It’s NOT FOR YOU.
<zaitcev> But
<zaitcev> Fukuhara though
<sage> http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/24/the-adventures-of-twisp-and-catsby
<sage> Pshaw!
<sage> What has she even done other than Shiburin?
<zaitcev> I don’t know and I don’t care

Still haven’t watched Trinity Seven, even now. Fuurin, I’m so sorry.

SNAFU begins

November 8th, 2015 by Author

This is an exchange deal in which Hikago promises to watch Shirobako if I watch Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru, also known is “SNAFU” in English. To be sure, it has an official Japanese shorhand, Oregairu, but things happened. Anyhow, just how terrible is it?

Episode 01 was quite terrible indeed. The writing for the introductions was tortured, animation was low-rent (not unskilled though). But starting from 02, SNAFU picked steam. The highlight for me was the work of a male seiyuu, Nobuyuki Hiyama, who played a wannabe author chyuunibyou classmate (“If they make an anime out of my LN, I may be able to marry a seiyuu”). Mr. Hiyama is extremely accomplished, going as far back as Nakazato in Initial D. Recently he voiced Director Kinoshita in Shirobako.

To summarize, SNAFU not a high art, but it’s passable. The full-circle love triangle is a little concerning, but there’s no helping it.

Omo on Yurina Hase nee Yurika Ochiai

November 4th, 2015 by Author

For those not in the know, the recent passing of Miyu Matsuki prompted a bit of coming out when previously disappeared seyiuu opened up, with Omo summarizing it thus:

You can read ANN’s take on it (originals archived by Yaraon), but there’s more to that story than what was translated. For one, Yurishii was going through a rough patch during those years, bouncing between agencies and dealing with the death threats. I’m not really familiar with it beyond a cursory research, because back in ’08 I wasn’t super into Yurishii and kept up on what happened to the beleaguered idol seiyuu.

Just a couple of notes. First, I could never tell Yukihos apart. Azumin’s work was literally indistinguishable to me, and I have CDs of both. I thought it was a reason why she received the role. Second, I wasn’t much into Yurishii (or any seiyuu) before either and thus I didn’t follow all the details. I knew of death threats, certainly, but I didn’t know that her employer treated her poorly… supposedly.

What I do know is Yurishii has turned a corner in recent years, and she’s actively doing live events again. She’s talked more about IM@S and it’s definitely a very relevant way to market herself. For what it’s worth, YukihoPs largely still liked Yurishii’s Yukiho, and it is an unforgettable part of the franchise’s history, not mention the character’s.

I’m glad that she’s back. Just don’t know what she’s going to do now. The Cinderella Girls has a character like that, Touko, ironically. They could get her voice Touko (w).

One Punch Man begins

October 30th, 2015 by Author

Since Daisuki is not available in Japan, I had to watch OPM at hotel TV. It was an adventure all in itself: even had to set up an alarm clock. Screencapping was compromised. But regardless, it’s good and I think we can open its run safely.

I remember that back in the day, good old Aroduc was bringing up the quality of fights as a standalone measure of anime (in e.g. J2). I thought gaming made his brain to malfunction. Ditto Evirus and his focus on “mahou shoujo beatdowns” in Precure. But in One Punch Man the fights are amazing enough to matter. The way they vary the animation is quite nice too (although I’m sure not everyone can understand).

Even without that, I’d watch it for OP and ED.

Finally, the characters ought to be quite decent. The anime follows the reboted manga closely.

P.S. A few people found the comedy to stand out. I agree, it’s pretty good, but perhaps “solid” is a better assessement.

I’ve got nothing 2

October 20th, 2015 by Author

Anyway, pictures. As it happens, all of them come from series of which I only rewatch a couple of specific episodes.

Stellvia 12. Giant robots, school love, and classical education. What more could one want? Directed by Tatsuo Sato, too.

AKB0048 17. That man cracks me up every time.

Ai yori Aoshi 02. For all the amazeballs Yamato Nadesiko stuff Aoi is supposed to represent, I suspect she’d get on my nerves pretty quickly if I were in Kaoru’s shoes.

One Punch Man 01

October 5th, 2015 by Author

The moment when Saitama gears up to fight the King of Subterrans was highly reminiscent of the showdown of Sunred and General Vamp in Sunred 26. So good. Both end abrubtly for the same reason :-) .

The Goodness of Shirobako

September 14th, 2015 by Author

A number of my Japanese colleagues either watch anime regularly, or know that I do, so whenever we meet the conversation turns to what was good recently. Of course, last time it happened, I had to trot out Shirobako and then compress its essense into a conversation bite. I went for ep.12 as an example, and on reflection, there’s no better.

You see, I never had a high regard for Anno. While everyone falls over backward in reverence, I thought that Eva was perhaps half-baked and a bit on the psycho side. It became milked like Star Wars, too. Given that, Shirobako 12 succeeded in portraying Anno in a positive light admirably. At least I think I know now what about him is worthy of respect. It was a revelation, frankly.

To know the details of the revelation, one perhaps should watch the whole thing. But one example part that stuck with me in particular is how the meeting of Aoi and (K)Anno opened. In the course of the series, we visited a few homes, such as those of Aoi’s girl friends. All of them live in small, cheap apartments (except Rii), yet each place has a special personal touch. Some cook more than others and thus their kitchenette areas are more elaborate. Aoi, obviously, has her 2 toys placed prominently, and so on. This way to support a character study is nothing new, although it’s clear that someone among Shirobako’s creators spent an effort on it. One way or the other, the rooms look lived-in.

So, when Aoi enters (K)Anno’s meeting room, it comes as a shock that it’s completely empty. It has basic furniture, certainly, but otherwise it’s devoid of any small private artefacts… Except that positioned prominently is a giant model of a submarine in 1:48 scale, under a glass box upon a pedestal. The direction of that scene is astonishing. And of course, there’s more where that came from.

P.S. Another fantastic moment is that (K)Anno does not miss an opportunity to preach, such as mentioning that contemporary animators ought to pay attention the basics more. It sounds so amazingly him. But while his interviews serve to magnify this annoying trait, Shirobako manages to admit it, yet demonstrate convincingly that it’s not only natural and excusable, it’s small compared to his big vision for the anime, big thinking scope, big wisdom.

UPDATE: Chris e-mailed with additional details how the interior design of the room pays homage to EVA. While a great example of how good references are made, it’s not the thing upon which I want to focus. Otherwise, I’d ramble at length about possible link between the Surcouf and EVA and anime in general.

Hataraku Maou-sama

September 6th, 2015 by Author

Instead of being productive, I spent Saturday watching Devil is a Part-timer on Netflix. There’s not going to be “Anime begins” nor “Anime ends” — I marathoned the whole thing before I had a chance to blog it.

Until now, I rested under a mistaken impression that Maou was an anime of funny hijinks that occur in the Devil’s workplace at McDonald’s. Although hijinks occured, the series had a dynamic plot at its core. Now, I’m sure the plot was full of holes, but who cares. It was fun and very well executed.

What’s amazing though, they managed to wrap up an ending of a continuing story that did not suck. Even more amazing: remember the primal rage that Kawamori prompted in viewers with unresolved Ranka and Sheryl? It’s basically the same thing here, but… it’s completely fine! How about that?

Overall, it feels like Dog Days Season 1, before the pathetic extensions.

Since we broke out the comparisons, remember Shingu? One of concepts in it was a bridge person. Everyone else is “in”, an alien or a magic user, but the group includes a normal human. This is rather common, look no further than Haruhi for another example. In Maou, however, this line is clearly under-developed. If one goes by the the spoileriffic OP with Chi-chan running to the center, it seems like she had to have a bigger role. ED has some of her moments, too, which made no sense.

There’s a bunch of other hints that the original source, perhaps, offered the bigger field. Especially in the ep.13. Nonetheless, it detracted very little.

Liked: Yes
Rewatch: Sure.

P.S. If things progress naturally, without the author twising the characters into pretzels, Emilia is going to win. But there is no way to know, of course.

P.P.S. Suzuko (Bel) is the best girl. Okay, I know about her past, but whatever, she still is. {Update: Evirus agrees.}

P.P.P.S. Steven has no taste:

I watched the first two episodes of Hataraku Maou-sama, and, well, it wasn’t shit. But it wasn’t good.

I said “this must be the best anime ever” a few times when I watched it, but I toned it down to “anime of the year” for Twitter.

UPDATE: Now you’ve said it:

[…] but my memory is that the only thing in that show that was of even slight interest was the human female coworker with the ridiculous jugs. // It wasn’t terrible; it’s just that I didn’t find any of it interesting, except the coworker and her jugs. That wasn’t enough to keep me watching, […]

Sasuga Steven. Still, he liked Divergence Eve for the story. One would think the plot and characters of Maou counted for something.


September 4th, 2015 by Author

The Wakako-Zake is another great 2-minuter, focused entirely on the subject. There’s no amazing plot tension of PuPiPo or heart-shaking feels of Danna o Wakaranai. Instead, we get a back-to-basics food anime. And no crazy lesbian tension nor over-the-top fights.

Personally, I find the lack of human interaction somewhat disappointing in Wakako. They mix some in once in a while, and when they do, it adds a certain edge that I appreciate. Done right, it does not have to detract from the food of the episode. The best, I think, was the 05 where Wakako notices a guy who knows his yakitori.

For that reason, the series does not deliver the impact of e.g. Danna, but nonetheless, very nice.

I’ve got nothing

August 31st, 2015 by Author

This season is pits.

Cinderella Girls is almost unbearable. Omo seems to think that I need an idol to latch on (if I understood him right). Not true, I already have Miku and Rin. Sorry, I meant “RIN RIN RIN RIN RIN”. Anyway, it’s somewhat of a nightmare, although a very well put together. By now the overall plan have become clear: Noriko Takao aims to give a gazillion idols their cameos, while using their appearances to drive various facets of the story. Omo highlighted perhaps the greatest success of this strategy: Mika Jougasaki’s episode 17, where she uses tactics of resistance to deal with the company management railroading their idol employees. In a way, her approach was more mature than Kaede’s, and she’s only 17! Generally though, I’m not pleased. Keep promising to drop it, but then every time they show me Sae or pull some other trick.

JitsuWata is simply poorly made, especially in the art department. But it’s less horrible than its in-season competitor Monster Musume, just enough to stick with it. Nagisa is the best, BTW.

Wakako-zake is great, but it’s a 2-minuter.

Anyway, here are a few pictures.

Wooser was already blogged. Miss Monochrome is playing Liberty in this prudish re-enactment.

Wakaba*Girl shares the main problem with Watamote: the lead chearacter is an idiot. Granted, she’s a friendly and kind idiot, not a sociopatic jerk. It should make a bigger difference than it does in practice.

The DannaWakaranai thing is better than it has any right to be and I rewatch it a lot (been blogged, too — should’ve created a category from the start, but who knew).