Rabujoy on Kuma Miko

May 23rd, 2016 by Author

At the end of the day, Kuma Miko’s biggest fault is a lack of warmth between the characters (or enough warmth to counter balance the abuse, akward personalities and mental illness) […]

I’m not sure I share his enthusiasm for Flying Witch, which seems to stutter every now and then, especially when the dude is acting. But aside from that, Kuma Miko was suspiciously popular in the circles that should have prompted an alarm long ago.


Yuuki Yuuna Yuusha begins

May 22nd, 2016 by Author

The only reason I’m watching Yuki Yuna Is A Hero is because it’s on Netflix. The screencap is taken with a camera. Pictured: not the eponymous character.

You think Bakuon was ripping from K-ON? Here they have an idiot savant for the main character, and in 03 a Serious and Capable Azusa-chan joins the main 4. Unlike K-ON they didn’t even bother to awkwardly graft her into OP. Must be a death flag.


Two spoiler notes for Shirobako

May 17th, 2016 by Author

These notes are insignificant and seemed obvious, but people asked me to blog them (imagine that).

First, it’s easy to notice that the Japanese stock expression for "being able to support oneself by being in occupation X" is literally "being able to eat by way of X". Miyamori says it from time to time in the beginning of the series, but Ema is seriously preoccupied by the concept, especially when she’s afraid that her career may tank before it began. She also uses it later when she calls their parents about their anniversary, but let’s go back to the moment in ep.7 when Ema talks the topic at length at the roof, receives donut, and goes down the stars. At this moment she fumbles the donut and Iguchi catches and eats it. Ema chokes on tears and runs away. Why? Because the donut represents her job, and her more capable and more seasoned colleague literally eats it. Get it? The allusion was rather straightforward.

Second, remember the grand climax when Nogame explains that he split his personality into his characters? He also mentions that it was his response to the negativity directed at him. This sort of thing is not unprecendented in anime: remember Mahoraba, where personality splinters were a response to Kozue losing her parents. But what was the negativity exactly? Why, Hiraoka explained it earlier: it was the backlash Nogame received after the botched adaptation of SU&F3. So, it was spelled out that The 3rd Squad‘s theme — as well as Hiraoka’s disillusionment and subsequent career spiral — was informed by the disaster. Their struggle is his struggle. The time limit is Nogame’s death. The pillars are actually threads at 2ch!


KimiUso ends

May 13th, 2016 by Author

I dropped Your Lie In April and Sora no Manimani previosly for the same reason: I hate the lead archetype too much. But, it was pretty, and there aren’t many series left unwatched that are suitable for my purposes, so I had to clench my teeth for 22 episodes. In the end, I can forgive the main bitch at least somewhat. Over the years, so many fine pieces of literature and motion pictures dealt primarily with people challenged to keep their humanity when facing death, that the final letter only qualifies for slight eye-rolling. And it’s funny how creators felt a need to whitewash what she’s done to Watari: they know it was wrong by the standards of the living. But was it really necessary to drag everything out this much? The pacing truly was the battle of Namek stuff. And then 22 episodes… Did they hope to stretch it to 26, and then just could not swing it? {Update: Evirus tweets "noitaminA shows frequently use an 11-episode block for whatever reason."}

Liked: No, although it was better than H&C
Rewatch: No way


Bakuon and K-ON

May 8th, 2016 by Author

Yesterday a friend mentioned how Bakuon ripped off from K-ON rather blatantly. Supposedly they used the exact same colors for the covers of manga volumes. Okay. But unfortunately, this is a case of history repeating itself twice, first time as a tragedy and second time as a farce. The comparison occured to me too, but if anything, Bakuon a pale imitator of the accidential masterpiece, and here’s how.

The writing for Hane is unbelievably stilted, and she makes me cringe. Hijiri is just as bad, especially when compared to Tsumugi. Her obsession with exploring the bad-girl persona is treated crudely. The way the rich heiress stereotype is played out gets progressively more irritating, too. Although it happens in manga only thus far, the aime follows manga slavishly, without any improvements. Onsa’s character flaws cause her to clash with Suzunoki for no other reason than to create artificial tension. In fact this whole frenemies thing is just as crude as Hijiri. Adults are no better. It is so bad that the only serviceable character is Raimu-sempai, and that is a character playing the official role of a silly gimmick!

K-ON received deserved criticism for lionizing the "retard moe". It succeeds in spite, and not because of Yui. Bakuon is 4 to 5 times worse, by laddling the retard moe thick upon everyone.

Finally, K-ON was not a show about Les Paul or Fender (or Korg). The marketing success for $2,500 guitars was entirely a side effect. But Bakuon is trying to whip up excitement and throw references to bikes on purpose. It is a part of its theme and identity, and it completely fails to work. And I know that because I watched Initial D, which does the same thing and succeeds briliantly at it. Who can forget the impassioned declaration by Ko-chan “I’ll drive GT-R until I die”? He makes the brand loyalty — ordinarily a very dumb idea — to look well-grounded and even a noble position. Here, Rin completely undermines this by the idiotic circumstances in which she received this loaylty.

Untl the yesterday’s meeting I dragged myself through 4 episodes or so, but the conversation completely pulled into focus just how bad Bakuon is. I don’t think I’m going to continue.


Humanity Has Declined

May 2nd, 2016 by Author

We picked the Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashta (“Jintai“) mostly as a change-of-pace anime, and it didn’t disappoint: it’s quite unusual. I knew that it wasn’t going to be a CGDCT, but the available spoilers were somewhat misleading. I expected social commentary, but it turned out more of an absurdist fantasy. It does load up on social satire somewhat heavily in the first arc, but lays off that in the later arcs, of which there are perhaps 5 or 7, depending how you count.

One other thing Jintai is not is comedy. To be sure, it can be funny in places. But it’s also somewhat dark. Of course, a “dark comedy” exists as a thing, but again it’s not quite what this is.

The main character plays a dominant role and she helped the enjoyment a lot. Once again, she’s not "my type", yet somewhat I find her easy to live with. Watashi may be cynical, but also surprisingly kind to us lesser life forms. It’s interesting that she’s excessively intelligent, but because the humanity is in the final stages of a terminal decline, finds a job as a civil servant. It would be a big waste in a less absurd series. For me, the main character was the key to the success. Nobar chose to pay attention to other elements:

For being adapted of a rather marginal audience LN Jintai packs pretty serious production values. The audiovisual execution is very good across the board, and the production crew has done a good job at building a light but somewhat sorrowful atmosphere befitting the theme of the humanity’s slow death. Now, I’ve been disappointed by Kishi Seiji’s directing a couple times in the recent past, but in the case of Jintai I must admit his style of standing on the thin red line between drama and comedy worked very well.

I have to say, the OP was quite catchy and I opened a few epiodes by not skipping it. Miyuki Sawashiro kills as Y (actual character name). She plays her more like Seo-sempai of Nozaki and less like Perrine of SW.

Liked: Yes
Rewatch: Possible


Loot

April 21st, 2016 by Author

Recently, I find myself watching less than in the past, spending a lot of time playing games and reading manga. Funny how that works.

Right to left: GA:GADC vol.7 (final, I think), Tomo-chan vol.2, Galko vol.1.


KonoSuba begins

April 10th, 2016 by Author

I didn’t mean to post the “begins” bracket after just 1 episode. Konosuba 01 is not great enough to be sure that it stays. However, I dimly remember some kind of discussion in comments at Chizumatic {lost URL}, where Aqua was compared to Belldandy, and I wish to comment on that. Although it is true that the structure of their entrapment is the same, the import on the story is very different. Belldandy did nothing to deserve it, and that soured me on AMG right off the bat. But in case of Aqua, her predicament is karmic, in terms of character dynamics. In addition the divine mandate is different: Aqua is only stuck with the dude for the duration of the quest. Anyhow, the installation episode worked and the story is off to a satisfactory start.


The Asterisk War suspended

April 10th, 2016 by Author

Although The Asterisk War rehashes the elements that made Infinite Stratos, Kampfer TV series, and the original Sekirei so enjoyable, it is also set in a Railgunesque dystopia. I don’t have the energy for this. But I did finish whole 10 episodes, which constitute the opening arc.

The pad-anime.txt says gives the referrer credit to Evirus, but on re-reading of his post I don’t quite see why: it’s not a ringing endorsement. CKS was more complimentary.


GATE begins

April 2nd, 2016 by Author

Some people were hinting that there was some kind of anti-Americanism in there, but I didn’t need to worry: it’s as pure as NIPPON STRONK as promised, and rolls very easily so far. It certainly has a potential to fall apart, but it haven’t happened yet. The characters are quite nice and I’m quite enjoying my time with them, even Pen’ya and Risa. This really is the key ingredient that makes this anime tick.

I noticed that a few bloggers tended to take GATE more seriously than they perhaps should have. Doing that is just wrong, and even has a potential make one self-identify as a blind ideologue.

UPDATE:

As to anti-Americanism, that peaks in episodes 9 and 10 of the first series.

Pfft. There wasn’t any, essentially. Not to the extent of Read Or Die.