Archive for May, 2008

GAINAX at Fanime

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

While I rub tresholds of government offices, Giapet visits Gainax panel only 50 km to the south-south-east.

BTW, this is what I heard of it a few weeks ago:

<Fireye> as duckroll explained earlier, some gainax guys always come to fanime
<Fireye> they’re really coming over as a company writeoff :D
<bayoab> the head guy always comes
<bayoab> infact he was the one who last year said to go ahead and fansub TTGL
<Draneor> Ah sorry. I must have missed that while I was at work.
<KithKanan> Yamaga
<KithKanan> Gainax president
<KithKanan> been coming to Fanime for… well, this’ll be his 11th straight year if he does

Too bad I wasn’t there. We’ll be having a little animeblogging get-together on Sunday, but that’s about it for this Fanime for me.

UPDATE: Came across the Fanime 07 report that references the Yamaga’s comment on fansubs (via).

BEI to absorb BV

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

While I was away from the computer, dozens of bloggers reported the joyous news: Bandai Visial USA is gone, Bandai Entertainment endures (and so do my definite must-get releases of Lucky Star, Rocket Girls, and Gurren-Lagann). I’ve read about if at Astro, who linked to ANN. But I think this is important enough to warrant repeating. Some were saying that Japanese are set in their crusty rut, and cannot change or adapt, and so on. But I see them acting according to realities here. Guess production company execs are not as dumb as they look, are they?

BTW, it’s quite possible that Shigofumi will be released by BEI now, in which case Astro only wins from the change. BEI is scheduled to have a panel at Fanime this weekend, I may be able to attend.

Hidamari’s faces

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Sasa looks forward to summer (and this time it’s her) and Hidamari reimplementation “x365”:

The main achievement of Hidamari Sketch is, in my opinion, the most endearing facial expressions that anime has ever brough. Of course only die-hard fans like me would appreciate it, so Hidamari Sketch will hopefully fill the gap that Aria and Chii will leave when it’s over for them.

The “only die-hard fans” part comes from the bi-modal animation in the original Hidamari. The normal mode is like this:

and this:

Note the photographic vegetables.

The other one is the money-saving animation mode, like this:

Unfortunately, characters spend a lot of time saving money for SHAFT. If the balance was tilted differently, it would be a different account. As it is, fans have to die hard.

Truth to be told, I am looking forward to x365. Problems with the original are nothing the application of sacks of money won’t fix.

Rocket Girls rework for DVD

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

According to a post @AoD forums, Rocket Girls will receive a significant rework for the DVD (unfortunately, I was unable to find a more direct source).

The contrast looks pretty drastic. I heard about reworks before, but never saw anything of this magnitude.

There is no word on the horrors of the ep.1. I suspect they won’t make the helicopter to fly normally, because tilted helicopters are the norm in anime (e.g. the original Ghost in The Shell features a pretty screwed-up example too. On the other hand, if they reworked the taxi…

Aziz on Escaflowne series

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

For some reason, this struck me as hilarious:

My only beef so far is the weird noses. It’s way worse than in the film. Is Garry Trudeau one of the lead animators or something? And I just don’t understand the hairshine thing either. I was, however, pleased to see Hitomi sporting two antennae.

And people say that Manami Amamiya’s head was too big.

Kanokon off free streaming

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

As reported by Canned Dogs:

Online streaming site Gyao has announced that they’ll no longer have online streaming for Kanokon from ep 7 onwards because it’s getting too extreme. Another streaming site Biglobe has also announced that they will no longer be offering free streaming of Kanokon and will start charging for it.


Shiro on… Utena?

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Talk about unexpected. But the initial impression is quite positive.

Utena was sitting in my queue for quite a while, hampered by the poor availability. The database entry says, verbatim: “Apparently not game? jpmeyer’s 10; V.long (10 disc 1ser)”. Yes, the length is a problem. If Netflix had it for rent, it would not be so bad, but…

Evirus on Sky Girls

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Since the Wonderducks’s hilarious “Dear Dad…” account is lost forever [*], I suppose the post at Karmaburn is my new canonical description from now on. Evirus is quite tame in it though:

Sky Girls TV is mostly harmless. It takes no risks and offers little to offend or titillate. The series plays it safe, so viewers are treated to a show that’s neither especially good nor especially bad. Perhaps its reception would have been better had Sky Girls been a Gonzo travesty or a controversial, avant garde Gainax vehicle.

Nice, but we need more capsule comments… How about SHAFT visual confusion? Child of KyotoAni megahype?

[*] I’m asking Pixy to repair it, we’ll see if it works.

UPDATE: I forgot to link Stripey shilling for Sky Girls. His reaction was not as funny as Wonderduck’s, but interesting nonetheless.

UPDATE: Steven suggests the correct link to Wonderduck. There was also a continuation for the TV series, IIRC.

UPDATE: Official word from Wonderduck.

Lucky Star in R1

Monday, May 19th, 2008

First impression of the DVD is the quality dub. I remember how Azumanga’s quality varied, with Nancy Novotny doing a stellar job as Yomi and Tiffany Grant rather unexpectedly deciding to screech for Kaorin. So far Wendy Lee, Karen Strassman et. al. gave a good account of themselves.

A.F.K. fansub

Bandai Ent. R1 DVD

The video on the DVD looks sharper than AFK’s video, and AFK definitely used the best raw. Guerrand was just horrible!

Subtitles are too big and too bold, IMHO. Andy mentioned to me how he sometimes had to place them into unusual locations on the screen, in order not to obscure the action, yet right on the DVD 1 they sometimes do just that, while most of the screen is empty (perhaps he meant that he learned from v.1 and started moving them…). Also, I liked the fonts of Dai-Guard and RahXephon better, they were more readable. Most of the time it was not an issue, but in Dai-Guard once there was a scene when three characters talked at once (when they made excuses, like “what was I supposed to do when a girl took my clothes off”). With Lucky Star fonts it would be noticeably difficult to read.



Lucky Star

The readability decline may be a function of the computer scren. Notice how Lucky Star fonts look prettier, especially when the picture is scaled down. I don’t know why I read them slower.

In any case, we all know that watching raw is the only way, right? Plus, with a dub so good, there’s no need for subtitles really. Watch the dub once, switch on the raw for the second pass.

UPDATE: I and Andy touched bases on IRC, and he added some points. First, the font used in RahXephon was proprietary, and not available to him for the Bandai’s effort. Second, he thinks that Lucky Star fonts are not too bad. And third, he does not like moving subtitles around. When they jump around the screen, searching for them adds reaction time and so slows reading down. Lucky Star is unusual in that a lot of action occurs in the bottom of the screen, so he had to start moving subtitles when he saw the problem, but it’s not ideal.

Dai-Guard again

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

For no good reason, I am ignoring the unwatched pile and rewatching Dai-Guard. It’s a 2000 vintage character show, with a grotescue mecha playing the role of unifying thematic element. This would be the 6th or 7th pass, if I counted, and I begin to appreciate Ooyama quite a bit more now.

Noriko Ooyama

The “now” means that initially I quickly became a fan of Chiaki and Rika, and even contributed their descriptions to Rob Kelk’s fetish site. Chiaki is a modern reimagining of Yamato Nadesico, and I was always weak for the type. Rika is a real engineer where Parfeit of Vandread was a weak parody (Rika is also a prodigy, scientist, and an insensitive jerk).

Dai-Guard is commonly brought up when the discussion of the Japanese nuclear problem in anime comes up. A major story element in it is how “OE weapon”, which for all intents and purposes was a nuke, was used to destroy heterodine (the monster), with the attendant collaterial destruction. So, Japan cannot have nukes, but OE weapon is fine, at least legally — the show makes a big deal of how evil it is. Certainly, the big robot is much better in that scheme of things.

So, aside from being a sympathetic young lady, Ooyama is given the job of hammering on the point by being born in Hiroshima, and then joining the company because she wanted to help along with the alternative to the OE weapon. Thus, the creators establish the complete parallel between nuclear and OE weapons. Oh well, at least she’s not generally angsty. That role is given to Ibuki.

Of course, being a second echelon character, Ooyama is not given as much attention as Ibuki, who would’ve been the female lead if any love were involved. But at least we get to see her at home. Tanigawa is not even given that much. Damn shame, if you ask me. Just look at the picture!

Fuuka Tanigawa

But no, it either the office, or group outings. Speaking of the office…

PR Section 2

When I went on vacation, I visited the Tokyo office of our company. And it’s looks exactly like the stereotypical Japanese office of Dai-Guard, with one sad exception: women are not made to wear smart uniforms. BTW, check out the Irie’s skirt with a side cut.

On a completely unrelated topic, look at the menu behind Akagi:

Is this the way to eat?

I can make out ayako don, katsudon, and tempura don. Go me. Well, the forth kind of donburi reminds a mystery… Judging by the price, it must be vegetarian.

UPDATE: J. Greely informed me by e-mail that the last donbury is chuukadon, a kind of seafood.