Archive for January, 2008

Bandai’s prices

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Don writes:

Thank you Bandai, for simplifying my winter viewing. As a matter of policy, I don’t download series once they’re licensed. I don’t need to worry any more about Shigofumi or true tears. In fact, I probably will never see them at all, unless Bandai changes its insane pricing.

It’s fashionable to bemoan Bandai for the insane prices, but the reality was different so far. When I bought my Haruhi, it was about $22 for a 3-episode voluime. Not the cheapest price, but not “insane” either. And it was not a thinpack, but an honest first-time release.

I understand that fans must stay ever vigilant against attempts to impose the R2 price model upon the R1 (and thus collapse the whole market by making it even more niche than it is now), but so far their insane rhethoric has not translated into insane prices.

UPDATE: DiGiKerot e-mailed to remind that Bandai stands for two companies: Bandai Entertainment (the old and sane one, they released Haruhi), and Bandai Visual (the crazy one). The true tears is licensed by the crazy one.

If you want to see really crazy prices, you should go look at some of Bandai Visuals US Blu-Ray releases, some of which come with completely redundant DVD copies of exactly the same feature!

Mercifully, most of Bandai Visuals TV series licenses have been awful
thus far.

I knew about the two, but it completely slipped my mind when I wrote the above. And BD is going to be fun.

BTW, if I should’ve read the the announcement before blogging about it, because it leaves no doubt about the prices:

The first volume will ship with one episode on May 27 for US$29.99, and the next six volumes will ship with two episodes each for US$39.99.”

UPDATE: Avatar comments with puzzlement.

SDB on Tea Society …

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

I and Steven for some odd reason often march in lockstep like goosestepping nazis (e.g. watching Shingu)… OK, it was a bad analogy, because we’re not in complete sync this time. While I’m struggling with Hourglass, he’s sampling another Hirameki title, Tea Society of a Witch.

The biggest disappointment is that there’s very little animation. I thought I’d get the kind of stuff I got from anime. What I actually got was lots of static frames where almost the only thing that ever changed was the facial expression of the girl on the screen, plus changing subtitles.

What can I say? It’s only too true, even though excuses were offered. That said, I have to note that the length packed onto a single DVD is amazing, and lack of video may have something to do with it.

I think if Steven is at all interested in this art, he should check out PC games instead of DVDs. I limit myself to DVDs because they are cross-platform, but he is a Windows user, he can get the best.

ADV’s shenagians

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

By now everyone has read about ADV disappearing Gurren-Lagann, which was the only title worth watching in their list of upcoming anime. They better not screw the pooch on that one (via DbD, Chizumatic).

UPDATE: Ubu added a copy of ICV2 article.

Robert of RACS posted his take.

UPDATE 20080130: Now ANN reports that ICv2 article was an example of laphamization.

UPDATE 20080226: They re-listed everything except Gurren-Lagann.

RahXephon fan service

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Motivated by a dumb comment I made elsewhere, I looked into my stash of RahXephon screencaps, started laughing and could not stop.

Meg: high comedy. Ayato was doing his part too.

And the fanservice was great. Although, honestly? I’m a fan of Kim.

But as I moved along, I remembered how everyone had to die, sometimes in rather unpleasant way (e.g. Asahina).

No, RahXephon is a very poor fanservice vehicle.

Unless we just watch the extras.

SDB on MKM/RFM

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

The title of this post is a self-parody, as a reminder not to take anything I write too seriously. That said, SDB writes:

I didn’t finish watching the first DVD when that was all I had, though I got most of the way. Part of the reason why is that it has a lot of extreme comedic violence — and Miki is often the victim of it. She’s drawn as a really cute girl — most of the time, anyway — and it made me cringe to see her getting thrown into a wall or clonked on the head by her mom. Coyotes, yes. Pretty girls, well, that’s not the same. (At least they didn’t show us any blood.)

On the other hand, I really did enjoy a lot of it. I think the problem was just that I was in the wrong frame of mind. I need to keep telling myself, “Tex Avery. OK? Tex Avery. This is anime as if it was done by Tex Avery. They’re just cartoon characters. She isn’t really a pretty girl. She doesn’t feel any pain. Tex Avery. Tex Avery.”

One quick note, speaking of the really cute girl:

It’s a win hands down over Miki (and I am not alone to think that).

But the observation about the frame of mind is quite astute. The only reason why I gave MKM a chance was the bloggage at then AoMM, with the best definition to date: “By no means a series carried by plot, fanservice, h-game pedigree, tsunderes, big name cast, or giant mecha, Muteki Kanban Musume relies purely on its brand of over-the-top humor.” Without the right mindset, MKM is boring, stupid, and even repetitive later on; ending is a big disappointment.

Nonetheless, I dropped PlaneteS because it was “too goofy“, yet I finished MKM (which is the definition of goofy). The frame of mind will do that.

Thin Slicing

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

I don’t need to title this post “DbD on Winter 2008”, we all know where the thin slicing happens. Anyhow, the king of procrastinators finally delivers.

On H2O:

The problem is that H2O tries to portray itself as some higher class, gentle, sweet series with the cutesy artwork and the smiles of the haremettes, but don’t be fooled. The fanservice elements are crude. The uninspired loser male lead is blind, but being blind is just an excuse to have the writers put in as many groping “gags” as possible. There’s also very strong misogyny, even for a harem anime. The teaser in the first episode has guys beating up on a defenseless girl and continues to torment and physically abuse her throughout the episode. I haven’t seen this much domestic violence in anime since Rizelmine. But I’d expect nothing less from the Da Capo and Sister Princess production team.

That’s what I call “giving them both barrels”. Definitely goes to my “never to watch a single frame” list.

On True Tears:

What separates something like True Tears from something like H2O? Characters in True Tears behave kinda normally. They don’t act forced, and there’s a real flow to what they’re doing. It may not be exciting, but it’s not exactly like I’m saving the galaxy from [t]he anti-spirals day in and day out either in my real life. Secondly, True Tears doesn’t try to reinvent the genre, they just try to execute well. I like that. They’re also trying to make the most out sub-par material, and I like that as well. Also, True Tears is vastly superior in animation quality. The shot composition, the details, and the amount of animation is just incredible.

Told ya. And he skips talking about the all-Chinese production, no chauvinism here.

TAF miscellanea

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Firstly, January is running out, but tickets are not yet available. Why is it that tickets to AX available, although AX is 4 months later? I don’t know if I should become concerned…

TAF own blog:

We went to “New York Anime Festival 2007”.
This festival was held in month of December 7,8, and 9th at NY.
This anime festival is the first time to be held in NY.
This festival mainly focuses on Japanese animation
Therefore a lot of Japanese-anime costume players visited to the festival.
Most of the exhibitors sell animation goods and then many teenagers bought those things.
But, some exhibitors sell not only animation goods but also Japanese traditional things (Kimono, Katana, etc.) for extending Japanese culture.
Moreover, there are many screenings and panels to show and explain Japanese animation.

We are as alien to them as they are to us (although it’s not a symmetric relationship otherwise, because they make anime and we don’t).

Industry Babble:

My current plan is to go to Japan a week before TAF, do our license meeting run on Monday through Wednesday (although I think there’s a national holiday on Monday), go to TAF on Thursday and maybe half-day on Friday, hop on a plane on Friday, arrive in Seattle and spend Friday afternoon through Sunday at Sakura Con, then fly back to Los Angeles on Monday.

Mere mortals like ourselves are only allowed to TAF on Saturday. I, too, noticed that Sakura clashes with TAF, but I reckoned that organizers could not imagine how anyone could want to visit both.

P.S. Dear bloggers: Please provide site feeds. Thanks in advance, your faithful readers.

Owen and True Tears

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Owen lobbies True Tears:

The resulting combination is amazing. Since I know a lot of you have trouble reading between the lines, I need to add here that this is easily one of the best anime of the season, if not year. It’s hard to describe how well the soundtrack complements true tears, and even more difficult to illustrate how intricately and pretty the animation is, but all I can offer in my defence is that a mere close-up of Hiromi makes even Yuumi of kimikiss look plain in comparison, if you’re into that sort of thing. Recommended if you like anime.

He does not need to work so hard, I know that True Tears is the only anime worth watching this season (Florence Ambrose is the only furry I tolerate. Sorry, Haro.). However, declaring it the anime of the year sounds a bit over the top to me. We haven’t even seen the ending yet.

Princess Tutu

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Everything about Tutu is great, but it’s not for me.

Thank heavens for Netflix.

UPDATE: Evirus polemizes, although nobody is arguing.

I have your reruns, Ubu

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Ubu:

It occurred to me that the Japanese might not have re-runs on TV. I’ve never heard or seen any reference to an animé episode being repeated;

Now I’m hurt, Ubu, real hurt. Who am writing this blog for?