Zyl on One Punch Man and Sunred

January 28th, 2016 by Author

I know we’ve been remiss in blogging WanPanMan, but others took upon it. I have some small bones to pick with Zyl, like this:

However, while the relationships in Sunred remain essentially static over the course of the two seasons (with similar crises at the end of each), the relationships between Saitama and others heroes in OPM evolve considerably as Saitama enters the world of the Hero Association.

Sunred had seen significant changes, although not always for the better. The difference is that One Punch Man makes the realignments a part of the main story, whereas Sunred swipes them under the carpet of daily vignettes.

But overall, Zyl fills in admirably, picking in on the ranking system in Hero Association.


Euphonium

January 8th, 2016 by Author

The run of Hibike! Euphonium at Ani-nouto included a heretofore unblogged dorama, where I hated it so much that I ragequit it after 04 and didn’t know what to blog about it (except a rather oblique preview) [1]. Debacles like this are rare around these parts: can’t recall any beyond Nanoha and Railgun. And now I completed all three.

Before dropping, I expected to post a simple summary like “hated every minute of it”. It would not be so simple now. There were some good parts after all. I even found a favourite character: Natsuki (Nakagawa).

In addition, Euphonium is an amazing feast for the eyes.

Liked: No
Rewatch: Already did

P.S. Official problem of the record is "I’ve seen better scheming mentors before [InitialD, Nodame]". Thematic concerns were pretty heavy, too. Finally, why so much voiceover? Show, don’t tell!

[1] Actually, CKS made me resume it and drag through 07, at which point I noted "melo-melo-melo-dorama" and "nice hook in the end with Kumiko’s beginner friend getting interested in Kumiko’s osananajimi dude, but not enough to forestall 2nd suspension". But these are details.


Karen Iwata graduates from AKB48

January 6th, 2016 by Author

A short announcement puts an end to my flirtation with the 3D(-PD) scene, at least for now.

It was an interesting short career. A dramatic early success and meteoritic rise, induction to the A-team, the anime role. Then the earthuake and tsunami happened, and a string of failures to rank followed. Compare it with the oldest member of the 12th Generation, Tomu: first rank in the 4t Senbatsu at 49, then 45, 24, 16 (!). Karen made 56 preliminary once, but never cracked the final 80. I don’t feel too sorry for Karen here. She is only 17 years old, or about the age for normal people to enter college and think about starting a career, not ending it. In fact I suspect that Tomu’s advanced age was an asset for her. Karen wants to become an actress, and more power to her, but I don’t think I’ll follow her there, unless she comes back to voicing cartoons.

The 2D idols have a huge advantage here. As Matt Groening said, Bart does not have to graduate from the 4th grade, ever.


SNAFU ends

January 1st, 2016 by Author

SNAFU stepped up its efforts in the 2nd season. Animation improved significantly. I know someone who’s hot for Iroha, who was introduced very late, in apparent effort to enliven the show. Nonetheless, overall result was unpleasant, because of characters that were stupid, egocentric, inconsiderate, sadistic, or any number of other pathologies. In various degrees, yes. I could live with Yukipon and the redhead, grinding my teeth. Saika was groanworthy. The pseudo rich bitch was pitiful. But their token fujoshi was terrible, Iroha was insufferable. The worst of all, the big sister’s pigface was crying for a brick so badly. Now granted, the teacher was phenomenal. But her one scene can’t carry the whole thing.

Of course, characters only make up a slice of this pie. As far as its design goes, I find SNAFU superior to Toradora and possibly to H&C. Can’t quite scratch AnoNatsu, but it’s about there. The psychological subtlieties are laid out with exquisite delicacy, Tolstoy style. But the people, the people! It’s one thing to have characters that are flawed in a humane way, and another thing is this cast.

Same thing happens with the acting: the cast roster reads as Who Is Who of the voice talent. They borrowed a few from iM@S (e.g. Azumin for the lazy and incompetent social butterfly president). Ryouka Yuzuki and Saori Hayami were killing it too. Works great to whip up the hate for the characters. Marina Inoue for the sister! {Correction: Mai Nakahara; thanks, Mr. Sagematt}

Finally, the main story goes to the same place where Macross Frontier did, if you catch my drift. But that was merely a cherry to top everything off.

Liked: Not a fan of assholes
Rewatch: Nope


Omo on Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos

December 25th, 2015 by Author

I think the analogy of the rivalry between iM@S and LL as SpaceX versus BO is highly apt. I just wonder, how many anime fans are fans of space enough to feel its power.

And another thing: Look at the list of WUG, Aikatsu, etc.. I understand that Locodol had no chance, but K-ON missed it big. They should’ve done a game and made it a success.


Calaggie on Wakaba Girl

December 25th, 2015 by Author

“My rate of keeping up with newly-debuted anime series has fallen in the past few years.” Doesn’t it sound familiar? And so:

The bulk of my current anime watching involves series with episodes lasting less than 15 minutes. […] Those shorter runtimes mean smaller weekly time commitments for me as a viewer and also mean the shows featuring those shorter episodes sometimes have more focused writing and pacing compared to their full-length counterparts.

Tom went on to give a run-down of the shorties, although his impressions are rather different from mine, starting from his top-rated one, Wakaba:

My favorite 2015 show among the ones I’ve completed so far. It was fun to watch the rich and out-of-touch Wakaba striving to become a normal high school student with the help of her classmate friends.

The rich girl stereotype is one of my favourites. Look no further than Sena of Haganai and Tsumigi of K-ON. Unfortunately, he neglected to mention that Wakaba was not only rich, but also hideously dumb, enough to make her insufferable. I lasted 2 episodes.

Similarly, in Wooser I did not care for psychodelic, macambre, and surrealistic episodes. Its referrential and self-deprecating humour was the best, IMHO. But Tom lauds S3 for being “more ambitious in its episode subjects than past seasons”.

Overall, an excellent compendum of the form.


ETOTAMA

December 18th, 2015 by Author

ETOTAMA is a quirky and bouncy show that is let down by a very unfortunate ending. Although, on the second thought, perhaps the end was predetermined structurally. Throughout the whole series, the main character (Nya) makes a heavy use of the main character cheat: she cannot lose no matter what’s going on. As she disposes of her opponents one by one, the Big Bad grows stronger and more out of control. The last episode rolls in, and what now? They can’t even deploy The Nanoha Device, so Deux ex Machina is the only answer.

In ep.9, the notes run like:

Nya is going to win anyway, whatever
but not after a terrible training montage

I wish I could abstract from all the cowdump in the story and focus on the cheap thrills, but that task was too much for me.

Liked: No
Rewatch: No


Wakako-zake manga

November 25th, 2015 by Author

I was puzzled by a scene in Wakako-zake a while back, enough to ask my Japanese coworkers what it could mean. What was different about the stately old gentleman eating yakitori? Fortunately, manga provides answers. Fist, Wakako takes upon the yakitori after excercise and gobbles them. The gentleman savours them unhurriedly, in a dignified manner. The translation says “he orders them like in a sushi restaurant”. Second, he’s simply familiar with the ways of yakitori, whereas Wakako is not.


#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.