Shirobako begins

March 1st, 2015 by Author

Shirobako is basically a duty anime: no matter what you think of it, if you love anime, you must watch it. I knew it before I started, and haven’t changed my opinion after 3 episodes. That said, it’s pretty decent. The first episode was somewhat weak, in my opinion, but then the first episode of Manabi was weak too. Even the best of them need to find the groove. I noted “Shirobako is starting to pull me in” in 02, where Kinoshita, the director, had his turn to shine. He was shown to be an otaku, but with mature, professional fantasies, backed by the experience, and — critically — with a power to enact his fantasies (subject to the very real constraints of the real world, of course).

Another thing I picked upon in that sequence, is a contrast between the way Kinoshita sees anime and the way anime is seen at Anglophonic blogs generally, at least in my feedreader. We received a very good look because, as a director, Kinoshita had to translate his vision for his subordinates. On the blogs, anime tends to be reduced to sex. At the best, we get divisions between yuritards and normalfags. It’s who fucks whom and the rest is icing.[1] But Kinoshita’s and Aoi’s imaginations are far more sophisticated (they, by the plot, are on the same wavelength — but more about that later).

Overall, so far, the best parts are those demystifying the production process, because I don’t feel much for the main character or her friends. She’s a nice enough kid, but feels a bit too magical right away, and a bit too Miyazaki heroine. But the scenes from the trenches are priceless. The most stuck with me was the one in 03, where “Gothloli-sama” “checks” genga, while Ema observes. But there was much more, wall to wall almost. Somehow, the detail, the angle of the portrayal is satisfying where, for instance, Nozaki-kun and Denki-gai‘s wasn’t (both of those deal with manga production). About the only time we saw anything in Nozaki was when Sakura and Hori were trying to apply shiage with comedic effects. Not so here. Shirobako is more like GA in this, except that it does its utmost to blend all the education into the action. It’s exquisite. Too bad it has to be carried by a little cinderella princess, but hey… It’s the anime we love. I’m looking forward to more of the same and have no regrets picking the not yet complete series thus far.

UPDATE: Omo adds the “later” thus:

It should not be surprising to see Kinoshita talk about Arupin’s core. What should be surprising is seeing the passion behind it.

[1] Among the most respectable blogs, Evirus is a standard-bearer of this trend. He’s trying to do it ironically, as in “these two seem to be unable to keep their genitals off each other”, but the result is what it is. Omo seems to trail, just to give you the idea of the spectrum. He was like that even before the 3DPD binge. As for the great unwashed, it’s basically they want to be Evirus, but can’t, and the best we get is the Metafap feature (which is great and all, but obviously focused).

Steven, don’t fall for it!

February 26th, 2015 by Author

In a comment at Brickmuppet’s:

That GIF file is driving me nuts because I can’t remember the show it’s from. I remember when it ran a few years ago, but I didn’t watch it. It’s about a group of women who entertain their audience by telling stories, right?

The dancing chibis are only the ED! Not the anime itself!

Would you like to ingurgitate anything, Yumeno-sensei?

February 21st, 2015 by Author

It may come with being a native, but I can name — right off the top of my head — several Russian verbs that mean “to eat” (and nothing else): есть, кушать, жрать, лопать, трескать. I know only one English verb for it: “to eat”. In Japanese, I know two: 食う (kuu) and 食べる (taberu). Foreign students usually are taught the latter first, while the former is postponed until advanced classes. I never heard “kuu” in 5 years of classes and know about its existence from anime. Such treatment is typically associated with vernacular. And I heard kuu in casual speech exclusively, until now.

However, Nozaki’s new editor, Ken, employs the following construct in Nozaki-kun 11: “Yumeno-san, nanka kuimasu?”. He is trying to be extra casual, yet… in keigo. Caught me by surprise completely. Nozaki-kun is the most rewatched show around here nowadays, to the point that it plays in the background, like a CD drama.

SDB on Barakamon

February 21st, 2015 by Author

After marathoning it, the main problem appears to be one of classification:

It’s hard to describe. It comes close to being “day-in-the-life” except that it isn’t really. There’s something of a series-level plot but it isn’t very substantial, and yet it does tie everything together.

I think arguably it’s a coming-of-age story, though that’s really strange when the protagonist is 23 years old. Anyway, it really is good. I’m impressed.

Oto and Pon on LL 01

February 10th, 2015 by Author

Writing for their new home at WordPress, the Bros Before Shows open the Love Live:

Oto. I came into this show thinking it was gonna be terrible. Half joking and half because of what you told me about it. You’re wrong. I love this episode. The fuck is wrong with you? Do you hate joy? This episode made me feel so refreshed. It’s just nice to watch.

Pon. It’s different now that I can view it in the context of im@s. Now that I’m not daring this idol shit to win me over, testing how many of my defenses it can overcome.

Oto. Now I just feel bad. You don’t hate joy. You just don’t want to admit you actually like joy.

Pon. There are these areas in which I feel like im@s dropped the ball. Now it seems like maybe Love Live came along behind it and picked up the ball.

And so on and so forth. Now I can’t wait to see what they think about Idol Stalingrad.

Pon. I dunno. But I do know one thing. Nico still sucks.

He’s obviously going from spoilers; Nico wasn’t in the LL 01. Still, Nico, Nico, Nico is always popping up. Remember how she was the Hikago’s main question “i actually want to hear your reaction to nico”. People don’t ask me such questions for nothing. When Omo wanted my reaction for Initial D, he asked what I thought of Iketani’s love story.

Since I never answered Hikago properly, and in view of Pon’s focus above, what about Nico?

My views of Nico sustained a big change (mind, I did not watch LL S2). In the beginning, I wasn’t a fan. At the introduction she was too much of clown (the only positive thing I noted was how Nico sat in a protagonist’s seat in the class (Eli was in “Haruhi” seat)). But as soon as things settled down and poor Nico became an agreed-upon figurehead, I became displeased how she was a definite ballast. Even her otaku sense was not used productively. It was painful, really. She only came into her own at the very end, when her dogged determination and unyielding love of idols remained after Honoka’s idiocy exploded. Too bad that she did not have Honoka’s charisma and could not carry the group. Still, she is better than plain “sucks” (as in, you know who actually sucks? Aina Sakhalin).

Oto always wins over Pon’s insecurities, preconceptions, and rush to judgement, and Nico isn’t going to be different, even if he continues to cling to the hate of Haruka officially.

(she didn’t add “and obeyed”, like Takamina)

Helghast on Yuri Kuma Arashi

February 5th, 2015 by Author

Writing for Sea Slugs:

While the rest of the blogging community is rambling on about the deeper meaning behind the obscene amount of symbolism in the show, I’m left wondering why this isn’t titled “Symbolism: The Show”. The agonizing repetition of its themes and recycled scenes makes keeping up with this show each week a drag.

The Katanagatari catastrophy

January 24th, 2015 by Author

I made a mistake of trying to show Katanagatari to someone who’s not that much into anime in general, and it didn’t go down too well. The problem is that you have to be a big weaboo to love Togame’s speechifying. While the dialog ebbs and flows marvelously, the lack of action can be unbearable for someone who is trying to keep up with subs instead of relishing relishing Togame’s intricate, yet natural phrasing… for 10 minutes. Things fall apart even before the freak clown ninja takes over.

AB&B on 2015 Winter

January 23rd, 2015 by Author

I’m too busy to watch anything except iM@S CG, but some people watch and even blog. The summary at Anime B&B is probably most sensible among those I came across thus far, although it’s incomplete (misses Kancolle). Nobar continues to demonstrate a good taste too. Looks like a very fat season, unfortunately. I’d give a good look to Rolling Girls, Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata, Absolute Duo, Dog Days dash-dash. Already poked at Shirobako. Junketsu no Maria had beautiful character designs, but what Marina transmitted of the peacenik message shot it down. Koufuku Graffiti turned out to be a SHAFT thing. Yatterman is a maybe. Oh, and although Marina reminded me about it, Evirus liked enough of Akatsuki no Yona to make it notable.

What in the world happened in CG 02?

January 16th, 2015 by Author

Certainly it’s very funny to read Peter posting this about the 01:

The iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls, starts differently in that the new production company hasn’t even been formed yet. We meet Uzuki, a girl who failed her first Cinderella audition but is still determined, idiotically say “yes,” to a creepy guy who wants to be her producer. [Emphasis mine — Author]

Hahaha. Oh, wait…. And come 02, I, too, don’t understand what is going on.

Firstly, why did Mio end on the 22nd floor? Either she is just that dumb, or there was some unspecified activity for her there, after which she was released to join the crew.

More importantly, just what the heck happened with the sudden promotion to the stage? It looked like Mika saw something in the newcomer trio (during the photo shoot) and pulled strings to get them fast-tracked. What was it? The “smile”? The episode director made an effort to underscore the disappointment of the older crew of the Cinderella Project. Poor, poor fatso and Chieri.

Nico-nico is half-step ahead

January 13th, 2015 by Author

Here’s something you cannot stream on Daisuki: the next-episode preview. Cinderella Girls 01 ended with a preview of Mio’s audition, but Nico-nico has an official 02PV that is loaded with exciting spoilers.

Indeed, the anti-aging is very important for a 28-year-old idol. Those comments are funny and even witty, and yes 究極美少女 (kyuukyoku bishoujo) vibe was coming through… What a wonderful anime this turns out to be.