Saga of Tanya begins

May 23rd, 2017 by Author

She may be evil or whatever, but she is absolutely out of this world hilarious. I did not laugh this much since… I dunno… Muteki Kanban Musume maybe? Why did nobody tell me sooner! Well, Mauser tried, but even so, this was completely unexpected. I thought it was going to be something like Grave of the Fireflies or Figure 17, but nope, we left the stolid, old-school drama way behind us. God be praised for the shining world of LNs that is upon us! And it’s not only watching the syziphean struggles of the hapless MC that is hilarious. Everyone contributes to Youjo Senki, from the military brass to the crazy inventor guy. And dat Serebryakoff, she’s gunning for the Best Girl of comedy, fo real. Too bad we’re not likely to see more of her, poor thing!

Oh, and those SIG Mondragons look as if they jumped off a Forgotten Weapons video.

P.S. This may be spoiling a little, but I just can’t help noting a couple of things about Serebryakoff. Hopefully this does not ruin someone’s enjoyment!

First, the creators started off strongly with her by planting a massive flag. It immediately reminded me about a talk I heard on Japan-a-Radio 10 years ago, when they discussed Elfen Lied. One of the podcasters said, in effect, that it opens with showing us a character of a secretary, and spends a short time on building her character. She is clumsy, but doing her job, etc. You can’t help feeling a little sympathy for her. Then, *wham*, they blow her head off. I was sure that Serebryakoff auditioned for similar role in ep.1. Just look at the droopy eyes of her character design. But they double-crossed me, cunning bastiges!

Second, Serebryakoff is a supremely stereotypical tryhard idiot, yet a quality one. I already mentioned her design. Moreover, you’d think that if you face someone who might be looking for an excuse to massacre you, it’s better to keep your lips zipped. Nope, she blurts it all out! When the climax of the confrontation is over, too! What really gets me is the hidden subtlety of it all. In a mediocre comedy show, she would be an inept sidekick that ruins the best plans, by interpreting instructins too literally or whatnot. But not here.


SukaSuka begins

May 21st, 2017 by Author

I would probably not pick this up without Evurus’ tepid approval. But it was okay so far.

Unfortunately, I cannot enjoy it without reservations either. The massive yiff is cringeworthy. Presumably, the furry factor is there to masquerade or balance the shapeless blobs, which otherwise would stand out too much, but are necessary for some plot twist. The dude has ridiculously convenient superpowers. The world creation is so dumb, that, for example, it features floating islands. They may be organic in a romp like Dog Days, but not in a story with heavyweight pretensions. In general, although I don’t have a good evidence, the environment feels artificially manufactured to support a certain idea, that is to say the living weapons, and then railroad everything to a emotional impact. Watching SukaSuka, characters appear manipulated (to feel something), and then the viewer is too. Maybe emotional manhandling was less obnoxious in the original LN.

On the upside, the story itself is not that bad, heartful, just suffers from unnecessary veneer.

UPDATE: Omo considers that “the setting is really the shining part of the show”. Clearly he is not irritated by all the artificially convenient circumstances, or furries. But then again, many people enjoy the Superman franchize, where the dude is even more overpowered.

By the way, YuuYuuYuu had a similar core idea, but, alas, there wasn’t any romance there, except in the heads of yuritards. The author of SukaSuka LN deserves props for taking it head-on.


Elf Yamada in Eromanga-sensei manga and anime, ter

May 14th, 2017 by Author

Sorry, I lied. But the gag was irresistible.

Two things though.

Does anyone notice that Eromanga-sensei is taking upon shounen themes? It’s a competition after competition, and the Sorting Algorithm of Evil. I can’t tell if I watch Yowamushi Pedal or Nodame here. Masamune also befriends his defeated enemies like Nanoha.

And what’s up with the animation? First they blew the budget so much. Next, they had to substitute a pan shot. Consistency, please. Someone in the production team should watch Shirobako!

UPDATE: Zane at Rabujoi:

Yamada, who is surprisingly not the most irritating girl in the show, and has grown quite a bit as a character in her last few episodes […]

“Surprisingly”?


Don on New York Times writing about anime

May 12th, 2017 by Author

Poor Don, having to read NYT:

Writer Glenn Kenny […] name-checks the movies Akira and Ghost in the Shell, thereby gaining negligible credibility as an otaku. He plainly knows nothing about anime series, which comprise the vast majority of Crunchyroll’s offerings, and he can’t be bothered to do minimal research. Of all the series, excellent and lousy, that Crunchyroll streams, the only one he mentions is Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor, one I had dropped in less than five minutes. I would guess he picked that one because it is in the top row of the “simulcasts” directory and features a character named “Glenn.”

I thought everyone knew these days that New York Times equals Fake News. But I guess not:

I never thought I’d be nostalgic for the irresponsible and wrongheaded Charles Solomon, but at least he knew something about Japanese animation.

Hey, let’s not get too hasty here.


Musaigen no Phantom World cancelled

May 5th, 2017 by Author

Think of me as turning into a Aroduc-like hater if you will, but I just cannot stomach Phantom World. It seems… dull. Production values are rather good, but absolutely nothing of interest is going on. And yes, I know that there’s some kind of plot thing happening by the end, but it was 10 episodes and nothing of any interest happened, not even in a slice-of-life sense. The monster of the week went downhill: each dumber than the previous one. Most never made any sense to begin with, pure convenience to showcase cast’s magic abilities. I didn’t see a debacle like that since Tamako Market. On second thought, a glance at the staff lists for the two series explains a lot.

UPDATE: Looks like I’m not the only animeblogger with a similar reaction. Steelbound:

Kyoto Animation was never failed so badly and so thoroughly as they did with Myriad Colors Phantom World.

That said, he faults “horrible, terrible characters” and the animation of fighting scenes. I’m not sure that either is a problem. Looked fine to me!


Elf Yamada in Eromanga-sensei manga and anime, bis

April 23rd, 2017 by Author

Just one more thing from ep.3 — did you see the sequence of Elf shooting? A screencap cannot give it justice, but still:

It reminded me about Evirus’ comparo from K-ON, "Mio as she appears in the show versus Mio as fans see her". Only this one is in-show. Also, it probably is how Elf sees herself. She also missed her target just a bit, don’t you think?


Elf Yamada in Eromanga-sensei manga and anime

April 18th, 2017 by Author

As Elf arrives on the scene in ep.2, Zane is not impressed:

The third girl Masamune encounters is perhaps the worst, Yamada Elf, a thoroughly unpleasant, petulant, arrogant young author who couldn’t be more different from Masamune (or Sagiri for that matter). She lets her “#1 on Oricon” standing go straight to her head, believing she isn’t just the Savior of LNs, she IS light novel. Yikes!

As it happens, manga (which is derivative from LN, of course, but FWIF) gives Elf an in-source review in Chapter 31. Here it is, as translated by scanlators:

Chris: By the way though. This may sound a little biased, but I think my sister would be an excellent choice to consider.
Masamune: Eh..? Yeah, I guess.
Chris: You think so too, huh?
Masamune: Yes.
Chris: In addition to her good income, she’s cute, she loves tidying up, her cooking tastes great, and she’s fun to be around. I think she’ll be an excellent wife. I’m glad you agree with me.
Masamune: (distracted by a creak)
Chris: Although she may not look like the type, I think she’s someone who will devote herself to the person she likes. She’s been praised as a very gifted girl, with talents from playing musical instruments to speaking foreign languages. I can even go so far as to say she’s mastered almost all the skills it takes to be a good wife. All that was taught to her as part of our family’s upbringing.
Chris (continues): Which leads me to ask you. What about my sister you aren’t satisfied with?
Masamune: Umm… If I have to say it, it’s everything else about her that you purposely didn’t bring up in our conversation.
Chris (laughs): You sure know her well. Good answer. My sister’s many strengths are all put to waste by her weaknesses. She never meets her deadlines. She’s arrogant. She throws money about. She’s afflicted with the incurable disease of chyuuninbyou, which is part and parcel of her talents, not to mention she’s stupid.
Masamune: Yeah, she’s stupid. But, I feel that both her strengths and weaknesses are two sides of the same coin. That stupid side of her kinda makes her cute, and her cringeworthy chuunibyou comments do make her look cool at times. We’ve had disagreements about attitudes towards work, but I did feel she had a point {about inspiration-based writing — Author}.
Masamune (continues): Elf is such an amazing person, it makes up for all of her weaknesses. She’s an attractive girl. She’s a dependable sempai. That’s why I think I’m where I am now thanks to her. If I didn’t already have someone I liked, then I probably would have fallen for her five times over.

The author’s intent is fairly clear, I think. But it remains to be seen if anime is able to follow through on it.


Eromanga-sensei begins

April 14th, 2017 by Author

The opening episode was everything I wanted, and more. The production values are amazing. The character design is an excellent riff on the manga, animation beats Lucky*Star, attention to detail is everywheere. No obnoxious 3D! Remember the terrible fingers of iM@S? Much improved and pushed to the off-focus areas. Good job, A-1.

The production is helmed by Ryohei Tekeshita, who is not a suprstar director, but has distinguished himself well, helping with New Game and Nozaki-kun. He decided to add some foreshadowing, so we get glances at Elf Yamada (my favourite in the manga, if not LN) and Muramasa Senjuu. Elf might be just a tad too bouncy and impertinent in the anime, which is worrying. Just recall what they’ve done to Yukiho in Idolmaster TV. Senjuu didn’t distinguish herself in her 1 second of screen time, there was no omnious aura. But with her being there, I expect the anime run through the competition arc. We may even get a proper ending.

P.S. The Japanese in this show is easy to understand, so far.

UPDATE: Draggle:

Despite the terrible subject matter, this was a pretty strong first episode. It did a good job setting things up, establishing both siblings’ characters, and kept my interest.

So, yeah, I’m surprised, but I actually liked this. Somewhat looking forward to the rest.

Peter S.:

But the show itself goes light on the ero stuff and focuses instead on Izumi and Sagiri’s relationship, siblings not by blood, living under the same roof, having a shared interest, but Sagiri is too shy and traumatized by her past to truly open up. … If they continue with this path, with a little eromanga silliness mixed in, this could be a nice little series.

Zane for Rabujoy:

… I really admired the way Sagiri’s condition is portrayed. She’s not slob; her room is neat and tidy, and there’s no denying she’s an immensely gifted artist, especially considering her age. She just … can’t leave her room … We all process grief in different ways, she did so by shutting herself off from the world that took her mom away.

UPDATE:

Omo caught up, with the seiyuu-centered twist:

The light-hearted take on this is that, when Ibuchan was a wee little girl, did she (or her guardians, perhaps more importantly) imagine that she would be voicing a precocious light novel character (the type she’s been quite adept at playing) and saying “girls like dicks” on TV, in a distant day in the future? I mean, the bigger question that some of us have already made peace with is, why do eroge seiyuu exist?

When I saw the anime rendition of Megumi, I thought that she really needed a good punch in the face. Bad memories of Iroha from SNAFU. But observe that professionals playing these characters play them regardless.


H.Faust on Kuzu no Honkai

April 13th, 2017 by Author

At Dullahan Club:

Being gritty and edgy and bringing twists to conventional love stories is not enough to create an interesting story.


Demi-chan ends

April 4th, 2017 by Author

Nice harem, but dullahans are a dumb concept, there’s no good way around it. Sakie-chan is the BEST GIRL. She needs her own anime. A shoujo, maybe!

Here’s the famous painting they were referencing:

As you can see, it’s not even a dullahan.

Liked: Okay
Rewatch: Not likely