Archive for September, 2007

Omni on Gurren-Lagann

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Did I write that Kuro posted spoilers? Well, “spoiler” is Omni’s second name. Anyone caring about spoilers should not read his final G-L post, but here’s the conclusion:

Final Thoughts: I originally approached this show with a great deal of skepticism, some of it due to the Sunday morning timeslot this was airing in. Looking back at it now, that sounds really naive since Gurren Lagann turned out to be my favorite series that started in this past spring season. The word “epic” gets tossed around a lot, but I really think that it’s applicable here. Not only was this show incredible from an animation quality point of view, the story just kept growing in scale until they were literally fighting for the fate of the entire universe. Add to that all the memorable characters and inspiring moments, and I have no problem calling this the must-see show of 2007.

Sunday morning slot, indeed.

By the way, his summary gives off major Naruto vibes. Lots of bloggers experienced similar turnarounds because they expected Naruto to be a yet another DBZ clone, and it went far beyond that… for the first 100 episodes. At least Gurren-Lagann has ended, which is a major plus.

Kurogane on Gurren-Lagann

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Kuro says (major spoilers! good thing I’m spoiler-proof), in effect, that with Gurren-Lagann, GAINAX buried the spectre of Gainax ending. I’m so watching that show on R1 DVD. It is licensed by ADV (an accident or a welcome turn-around from the age of “sniping”? time will tell). I went and added a gurren-lagann tag in anticipation.

UPDATE: Kurogane added one more post with this:

Also, Simon’s decision to not use the Spiral power to revive Nia and the rest of the Gurren Lagaan when suggested by Gimmy was a very nice touch by the production team, possibly as a way to subtly criticize other studios who might build up emotional impact by killing characters, but waste it all on a cop-out at the end. Simon rightly says that reviving the dead will eventually hinder the ones who follow after, and I can’t help getting flashes of a certain other mecha show that was popular recently.

I’m wondering what mecha show he has in mind, because there are so many. Apropos the revival, the world reset was the thing which displeased me most in RahXephon. If GL avoids it, it’s all to the best.

UPDATE: I asked Kurogane on IRC about it, and he said he meant Gundam Seed Destiny.

Fansubs: now it’s Funi

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

I was reading at Suguru’s about Funimation following the lead of much-hated Media Factory, and a thought occured to me: why is it that ADV, Funi, et al. do exactly jack about stores which sell bootlegs in the broad daylight? It’s clear that they decided to make fansubs a scapegoat for their poor business practices (such as atrocious selection of titles to license, which Ledford infamously calls “sniping”), but honest to goodness pirates get a pass.

To Heart ends

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

When this show started, I was more than a little concerned just how they would wrap it up after a long chain of “girl of the week” episodes. In the end, Shiho (CV: Chieko Higuchi) delivered an outstanding performance, which was a fitting crown for the series. So, there was really no contest for the One Screencap selection.

The rest is just details.

Sometimes when you watch an eroge adaptation, you cannot really tell (like in Yoakena/Crescent). To Heart is the opposide: it tells “eroge, eroge, eroge” every other scene. To start with, there’s a lot of women, and each of them is presented as a potential love interest. Sometimes it’s rather blatant, too (e.g. Rio, the second osananajimi). Their stories do not intertwine, so it’s not like a show with big cast, such as Naruto. Instead, each episode we get to know one haremette, and then move on to the next branch of the game.

Some of the stories raise questions. For example, what is Aoi’s (葵) pennance if she loses to Ms. Sakashita? There’s none! She did not even promise to return to her old dojo. Also, the point of Multi’s return is lost on me (it allows her to attend the final party in plot terms, but is this justified?)

The animation quality is rather good. It is cell based (with digital steam), and is often simplified, but the corners are cut in an inoffensive way. Only ep.12 is overloaded with still images enough to irritate.

Language is rather tough, surpisingly. Especially I flounder when characters lead me into the uncharted waters of casual conditionals: 私行っちゃいけないです (said by Kotone in ep.7). The insiduous use of casual and capping it with formal copula is something I am starting to handle, but the “cha” is still tough. Anyway, students are advised to watch Lucky Star.

Liked: Yes
Rewatch: Maybe for Shiho.

P.S. Reading the above I see that I should note, Shiho is not my “favourite”. I cannot stand girls with show business inclinations. It’s a nasty, dog eat dog environment. Which one then? All girls are sympathetic in To Heart, but if I had to select which branch to play first based on the anime, I would probably explore Kotone. But hopefuly the game makes it difficult, you know?

UPDATE: Linkage: Suguru — likes the animation, ignores all the stills and pans.

To Heart Omake 6

Friday, September 28th, 2007

The last DVD of R1 To Heart includes an omake which outperforms just about everything I’ve seen of the kind. The Azumanga VSM holds an edge because its production values are significantly upgraded respectively the animation of the main show. However, when both Omake 6 and VSM set out to retell the show with a twist, Omake 6 covers more ground. The VSM cannot really capture the deeply moving spirit of Azumanga due to its short length, so it has to concentrate on the comedy and thus it falls behind.

The retelling is done in a shape of a stage play, with the audience sitting in for the TV viewers, so they get to support their favourites (e.g. girls squeal when Masaishi makes his entrance).

Girls get to execute a personality recap, some of them helped me to understand them better. In other words, it wasn’t at all clear to me that Remmi was a fanservice vehicle (perhaps in the game it was more explicit). These caricatures were very life-like and spot on, with the exception of Kotone, whose personality was far more outgoing than in the main show.

Like other To Heart omakes, Omake 6’s characters are chibified, and I mean really chibified, not just a little bit like characters of Manabi. This probably is meant to indicate the humorous nature of the episode.

I think that on the whole the creators came very dangerously to the zone of “you only need to see Omake 6 to know everything you need to know about To Heart”.

Odex lifting from AFK

Friday, September 28th, 2007

NovaJinx just drew my attention to the news how Odex borrowed AFK translations hitting ANN. Not that it wasn’t any less legitimate before, but hey… ANN does not provide any evidence themselves, only links to some webboards. If anyone wants to see the screencaps for themselves, Deshou-deshou has them. Pretty damning, I would say.

Name order

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

At a press-conference for Formula 1 Grand Prix of Japan, while speaking in English, Takuma Sato produced an illustration to the name-order debate (emphasis mine):

Q: A quick one for Takuma to follow up that previous question: how long did it take you to get up to Mt Fuji?

Takuma Sato: I think that, depending on where you start it, you can almost climb half by car. If you start the climb from the bottom, it takes six hours or something. I think that Ukyo Katayama, my favourite Japanese driver, he’s almost jogging up to the top of the mountain before having breakfast — he goes up and down in three hours. I’m not quite as quick as Ukyo-san, but I did normal climbing, and I think I was average. I was quite small too — I was just a little boy.

As you can see, if honorifics are used, it’s impossible to stick to the normalized order, but otherwise it’s the desired way to speak.

Knitting

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

I think the creators might be sending a welcome message here; any girls watching the show should be paying attention.

To Heart: Akari

Shingu: Nayuta

Jokes aside, To Heart and Shingu leave the same sort of warm impression although their genesis, plot, and other attributes are drastically different. In one case it’s all about shagging your classmates, and in the other case it’s about the fate of the world, and yet…

Extras

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

I opened my Hanaukyo Maid Tai today, and it turned out to contain several pencil boards. Unfortunately, the plastic seems noticeably thinner than usual and they probably won’t last as long as normal ones. Also, no Konoe, but Yashima is there. V.odd.

On DVD 3 of To Heart, I accidentially found a couple of omakes with real animation (in contrast to ADV’s outtakes in Abenobashi, which were just goofy soundtracks over clips from the show — I could do those myself).

Now I regret that I missed the first two of them, and DVDs are gone home to Netflix now.

AoMM on Gurren-Lagann

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Actually, in Jason’s post, just as interesting as Gurren-Lagann itself was the Gainax crash narrative as etched in fan’s memories.

I dropped Gurren-Lagann after the ep.3, but the show’s potential was very clear. By dropping early I was just saving on my fansubber’s duty, and continued to live vicariously off the bloggage. So I knew about the death of Kamina, Nia, etc. Since it’s an ADV release, I feel morally justified holding off for a thinpack. Ledford is talking about the feeling of entitlement anyway, might as well take advantage of it.