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.

End of 2014 Autumn

January 11th, 2015 by Author

Quick dump of one completion and drop announcements for three bad series that I watched for the lack of other options.

Yama no Susume was the anime of season, although it started in Summer. Great iyashikei series, very nicely done. Not boring at all, far ahead of GochiUsa and Sketchbook. It’s not GA, however. The characters are too young. Liked: Yes, Rewatch: Possible.

Twintails is just dumb and embarrassing to watch. It’s supposed to be silly, fun, and not taking itself seriously. Bloggers gush how it “sends up tropes” and such. But in actual fact it’s nearly content-free and over-pandering (“nearly” thanks to 20 seconds of Owlguildy). Aika’s violence dealt upon Twirl is tiresome. Seen 10, dropped.

Amaburi starts strongly and 04 hits it out of the park, but then it sags with filler (in 1-cour series) and … whatever. Seen 6, dropped before the pirate episode.

Inou Battle is pretty, but that harem is at the level of Haganai. Seen 4.

BTW, started on the Librarian and Madan Ou and Tatsuo Sato Is Slipping, seen a few minutes of both, dropped before taking a screencap.

If not for Yama no Susume this season would’ve been a total loss. Haven’t had it so bad in years.

DiGiKerot on Cinderella Girls 01

January 10th, 2015 by Author

Somewhat unexpectedly, my (formerly) favourite blog came back to life with a post explaining just why it was… Everything needed to be blogged about Idolmaster Cinderella Girls 01 is there, expertly written. I have nothing to add on the substance.

But even some of the small callouts of Cinderella Girls content are pretty well-considered as well. You don’t need to know a damn thing about Suzuho to find her costumes hilariously odd, but the fact that jokes plays on the patent ridiculousness of some of Cinderella Girls greatest excesses in a remarkably subtle and naturalistic way is pretty great, and well directed, in itself.

Explanations follow on the background of Noriko Takao that prepared her for accomplishing all that, and more.

The real, and rather unexpected, star of the show has to be Producer, though. […] He’s blunt, persistent, and perhaps rather socially oblivious. […] the deadpan, overly-serious but weirdly sweet way he handles himself is quite dryly funny, and it’s quite possible that Producer-san will end the series as the uncontested most moe character in the show.

Artists latched on the presence of the new Mr.P immediately. Literally, it took them 6 hours to knock out this (I suspect cheating):

So, we have a Cute and Cool producers now, just need a Passion one to round the set.

As far as the actual heroines introduced in this episode go, I’m not sure I have much to say other than that I generally like them. Uzuki is the kind of cute and upbeat girl that you expect to be the emotional core in this kind of show, and Rin comes across as cool without falling into that stereotypical tsundere pigeonhole.

DiGi gave exact words to my feelings about that, but there was more, if we look back at iM@S TV. When I watched the first episode of the TV, the overwhelming sensation was that of comfort. I saw Haruka riding her bicycle, and I knew that everything is going to be allright. I think that anime started with a bit of more emotive and even artsy direction, although we didn’t see it behind the flurry of character introductions. The iM@S CG is different. It’s more of a classic anime feeling. It is supremely competent in that regard [1], but it retreats to the center of the envelope in the same way the K-ON 2 did.

[1] In particular the comedy is perfect, while comedy in iM@S TV 01 was forced at times, especially around the escape of Hamzou. See Chris Rock on how hard comedy is (h/t Omo).

Ps across houses

January 8th, 2015 by Author

Check this out: a Cinderella Girls P, who is also a fan of Love Live.

In other news, only one day remains until the anime of the season is broadcast.

Christmas haul

December 25th, 2014 by Author

It is the season of giving and receiving! Obviously, Merry Christmas, everyone, but focusing on the matters of animeblogging importance, here’s what we get in 2014: AKB48 hits from 2006, AKB48 Heart Ereki, Angela’s first CD, and Gurren-Lagann, The Movie (American version).

The 3DPD bent is very apparent nowadays… It’s all part of the strict training regime that aims to make me distinguish 3D girls by sight. I think I could even recognize Sumire Uesaka in the steet now.

Angela’s CD is anison-linked, at least. The button in front says “Debut album of J-Pop sensation, angela, with hit songs from Stellvia“. Good grief. Remember times when these things were considered advancing a career in USDM? I don’t think anyone would debut with an anison in 2014. The CD is published by Geneon, too.

Bloggers on Shirobako

December 23rd, 2014 by Author

Ani-nouto was remiss in its core mission recently: observing what everyone else is blogging, especially about the anime Author himself is not watching. Perhaps we’re burning out. Still, it’s hard not to notice that Shirobako is gunning for the anime of the season, if critical acclaim is the yardstick. If nothing else, this anime should be noted (pardon the pun).

(Illustrated by the first image on Bing (h/t Quizoxy))

We already quoted Evirus, who basically wrote the definitive post on the topic, where he called Shirobako “fascinating”. Omo tagged it as dramedy, apparently independently from Mike with:

Shirobako [at 07] continues its march toward becoming the definitive workplace anime dramedy, by resolving Ema’s creative dilemma with believable and true advice that anyone should follow, and also highlighting the differences in the way family members act. It’s come a long way since its shaky start as an overstuffed quasi-documentary.

CKS coincidentially tweeted “Shirobako episode 7: Painfully real and without any easy answers. This show has very much grown on me as it has settled down.”

All in all, seems like a better show than was expected from the meta premise. Director Tsumoru Mizushima previously helmed Joshiraku and GaruPan, the former very well liked at Ani-nouto and the latter winning a mountain of praise (and helping JSDF to gain public support in a material way).

Denki-Gai, a visual retrospective

December 21st, 2014 by Author

Let’s just put it out of the way by stating that indeed, when the creators tried to ramp up the perversion factor, the anime got awful. There’s nothing wrong with poking fun at society’s rigid mores, but you cannot be clumsy and crude doing it if you want a good result.

Here’s a representative screencap from the infamous episode when they went full retard. This is Hio-tan. She is sitting in the middle of Akihabara’s main street. Fortunately, the vehiclar traffic was stopped as they do on Saturday.

Hio-tan and Fu-garu are cosplaying. All characters are known by their goofy handles in that anime. Kinda like Author, actually.

This is Sensei-chan. She is a mangaka and my favourite character (purely for being a bit more normal than the rest). I already spent several of her good screencaps, but there’s more whence that came.

Here Sensei-chan is readying for a pantsu battle (spoiler: she’s not actually trying to draw pantsu; her artistic abilities are good enough without the help of Master of Pantsu).

Sensei-chan is obsessed with her “joshiryoku”, commonly translated as “Girl Power”, but really meaning a measure of how ladylike one is. You can see the joshiryoku meter getting dangerously low in this screenshot.

You’d think that yukata would add +5 to joshiryoku, but actually no, if you don’t know how to tie up your obi, it doesn’t. Still, Sensei-chan is even cuter than usual when wearing it.

And finally, the best Sensei-chan screencap. What is happening here is that she noticed that the mugicha bottle is almost empty. So, since she’s finishing the bottle anyway, she chose to chug straight, even though she’s holding a cup that she prepared! This way she avoids washing the cup. At this point her joshiryoku is hitting negative values. This is how you develop a character, an excellent work by the creators.

Tsumorin’s joshiryoku is enormous, the highest in this anime by far. Unfortunately, she’s a drunkard. Stupid anime stereotypes!

Umio-kun and Kameko. Kameko is obviously a pun on “turtle”, and I really suspect that the hat she’s always wearing is her turtle shell. But this screencap shows her without the hat. It is the final episode, where she emerges from her shell. This is the other meaning of “charater development”, also present.

G-woman (actually “Ji-man” in the original, after the Hoover’s G-men, because she works for the government). She is the most visually appealing member of the cast, but alas… defective too.