Death March kara

June 5th, 2018 by Author

In the past year or so, my intake of anime was trending down steadily, being displaced mostly by the isekai manga. I literally went to a pirate scanlation site and searched all manga with “isekai” in the name, as well as “dorei”, “tensei”, collected the results, and been busy reading ever since.

The Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku was caught in the big sweep, too, obviously. And it was okay. Not one of my favourites, but it had some good features. The harem with a (wobbly) sacred cow was relatively well designed, in two layers: 3 possible interests: Zena (sacred cow), Arisa (foil), and Lulu (for the outside), surrounded by the backup dancers: beast children, Liza, Nana, etc.. It had some balance problems: the main foil, Arisa Tachibana, was much too overpowering (I thought she was a redux of Elf Yamada), whereas Lulu was so worthless that author even had to manufacture a couple of chapters to make her do something artificially. So, an okay manga. Not stellar, but okay.

Imagine my surprise, when someone selected Death March to lead the invasion of the isekai into anime. When the idols burst into the scene, it was a real flagship, The Idolm@ster. This, though… Well, it’s not like there weren’t any kinda-isekai shows before: Dog Days, Campanella, SAO. Log Horizon came very, very close. But they were different. Maybe I was wrong expecting a similar establishment of a new genre and its attributes. Just like a Magical Girl anime offers specific things like secret identity, animal companion, transformation sequence, talisman, and so on, I thought a proper isekai anime had to arrive at last, bearing level system, cheat abilities, adventure guild, and above all — the slave harem.

Well, it looks like there’s not going to be a breakthrough. The Log Horizon made it 70% through, and now we’re going to receive middling series that chip at the niche. So, Death March is just a footnote in this journey. It was quite bad, honestly.

About the only good thing to be said about Death March is that it follows the manga rather closely. But it does so with such poor writing and direction, low production values, that I cannot see many people enjoying it. I only finished it because I wanted a representative isekai.

I think the only good moment was when the dude wanted to give a name to the homunculus No.7, and he named her "Nana". Arisa is the only other person who speaks Japanese in the other world, and so she’s appropriately horrified (pictured). The only decent moment was when the dude visited a brothel, and Arisa was steaming with "why did you have to do that when you have us?!" I’m surprised they didn’t cut it away from the broadcast.

Liked: No
Rewatch: No

And so. But yesterday, Faust tweeted that no less than 4 isekai shows are scheduled to run in the Summer season. The journey continues, even picks up the pace!


Uma Musume 01

May 28th, 2018 by Author

Remember how bloggers said that we had cute Producer and cool Producer, and we needed a passion Producer? We have one now, albeit in a wrong show and called "Trainer".

When Trainer was checking Special Week’s thigh muscles, he should’ve also checked her heart and lungs. A missed opportunity!

Silence Suzuka is the only good part of this horseshit. I would brush her mane like Tycho did Felicia Day.

P.S. I suppose I had expecations set incorrectly by sources such as Whomp and online whiners, some of which even promised slavery. Instead, it’s merely a world creation that wasn’t thought through, a bland sports story and unnecessary idols thrown in. Just to add insult to the injury, production values are high.


Renai 3D Debut manga

March 23rd, 2018 by Author

For whatever reason I often re-read the silly thing (well, the 6 chapters currently available on scanlations). It’s just so nice, and everything about it is adorable: the arrow stuck in her head, how she turns into a lion and roars, and even the normie interlocutor (despide being a fujoshi, as we find out). Yes, it’s autobiographical. But then Shirobako was meta too, so this excuse does not work anymore.


ReLIFE OVA

March 22nd, 2018 by Author

Thanks to a passing notice at Smug, I was made aware of the 4-episode OVA that came out for ReLIFE. It includes the rest of the story, and by necessity it is quite terse: it covers more manga than the original 13. For example, the disappearing money part was cut ruthlessly. Still, it’s a nice way to round out the story.


Tsurezure Children

March 7th, 2018 by Author

There wasn’t much to blog about this, but most importantly — it was good: a very nice and proper adaptation of the outstanding manga. The art was just as good as the original. They cut out some of my favourite couples for the lack of space, but I can understand that. The most missing were the pokerface couple (Toda/Sunagawa) and the teacher/student couple (Chiba/Kirihara). I know Kaji’s boobs were everyone’s favourite, even though the scenes with her mother were published after the anime and didn’t make it.

Some highly anticipated scenes could carry more impact. In the manga, the confession of the ugly otaku dude (Yamane/Kurihara) was timed pefectly. The two got into their heads so much that they forgot that they were in the middle of a Comiket, and came to their senses to the sound of applause from the surrounding crowd. Somehow, it went by somewhat muted. Also, I loved how Gouda and Kamine decided to make out and triggered a chain reaction, which naturally stopped at Toda and Sunagawa — obviously too much of bother for them. But in the anime they had to cut it rather badly. But at least Kana/Chiaki delivered (pictured above).

Liked: Yes
Rewatch: Maybe

P.S. The voice talent was high caliber, but in the heat of the moment I forgot to pay attention.


Looking for a successor for IMI

January 31st, 2018 by Author

An Android application called “IMI” was my Japanese tool for many years. It is better than anything else that I sampled both on Android and OSX. The most important feature is that it remembers much more of its state when applications are switched. So, if I cannot quite remember the whole kanji I’m looking up, I can switch back and forth. Most other applications will reset the component or radical lookup if you go through a home screen (or even carousel). Also, it supports component lookup, like the web-based Jisho.org. Many other apps only look up by a radical, like you would do in The New Nelson. Finally, IMI permitted to look up by English too. And, of course, it was 100% contained in the device with no need for Internet.

IMI was often confused with “Imiwa”, another popular app, which even used a similar logo, or at least a similar color scheme.

Unfortunately, the author of IMI decided to stop supporting it, so Google removed it from their store. I can find APKs floating around, but… And now I cracked the screen on my Nexus 7, creating a sizeable dead area. So, that’s the end of the road for IMI. I am looking for suggestions for replacements.


The Thin Slicing is back!

January 30th, 2018 by Author

After several lackluster slicings, Jason kicked it out of he park:

Pop Team Epic is the Millennial divide anime. Seems like the more Millennial you are, the more you’ll like this show while the more Gen X you are, the more you’ll scoff as this being a homeless man’s Excel Saga.

And that’s just the beginning.


Ishii’s Airplane

January 29th, 2018 by Author

I’m watching Girls Last Tour 06 and one thing bothers me about Ishii’s airplane: it’s far too large for the mission. She wanted to have a range of 2,000 km, or about 1,080 nautical miles (nm). But that is a range well within reach of a relatively basic single-engine airplane as we know them today. For example, Cessna 182 has a range of 915 nm, with 522 lbs of standard fuel. However, it can carry more, being a 4-seater. If one were to install a ferry tank, even staying within the design’s certified gross weight, and allowing for 300 lbs for pilot and luggage (survival gear), 323 lbs would be available, extending the range well over 1,400 nm. I’m sure that it would actually be greater, because the Breguet Equation is not linear.

So, why didn’t Ishii build a Cessna 182 instead of the monster we’re shown? I think she didn’t tell everything to Chito and Yuuri. What she really was after was not just the range, but altitude. While you can cross 1,400 nm in a 182, it borders on suicide without a meteorological support. But if you could go 35,000 ft up, you can get over just about any weather, and hopefully find a spot to descend on Ishii’s mission.

P.S. This airplane, ANT-25, is about the same size as Ishii’s, and it flew from Russia to U.S. over the North Pole:

Note that the wing tapers quite sharply on it. That permits most of the weight to be carried inboard, yet capture the benefits of high aspect ratio. The root thickness is also much greater than in Ishii’s design. It’s as if A.N.Tupolev knew something about spars breaking.


Draggle on Hakumei to Mikocchi 01

January 15th, 2018 by Author

Remember the much-anticipated adaptation that Ani-nouto called? It is out and someone is disappointed:

I found this extraordinarily boring. I was hoping for something like Strange Dawn, but nope. It’s a barely animated kids show about little people getting along well with each other. Zzzzzz…

At this point it’s one of the two: either Draggle is a complete idiot and blind like a mole, or the director made a colossal blunder in the tone of the anime adaptation.

P.S. I reserve the judgement until I see our slum-dwelling diva making an appearance.

P.P.S. Yes, I dropped the manga because it became aimless and thus boring. But I lasted for 30 chapters, all the way through the explosions at the ropeway.


Evirus on Koi wa Ameagari no You ni anime

January 15th, 2018 by Author

Well, doesn’t he nail it on the head:

Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (Love Is Like After the Rain) is about a teenage girl who falls in love with her 45-year-old manager at the family restaurant where she works part-time. […] That is, you don’t necessarily need to dodge the show if the premise makes you uncomfortable. (Likewise, if you find the premise titillating, expect to be disappointed.)

Precisely why I dropped the manga some 20 or 30 chapters in.