Archive for October, 2008

Matthew is back!

Friday, October 31st, 2008

I don’t know what made to re-visit the blog… but today I discovered that Matthew is alive and updated 10 days ago. Can Momotato be far behind (aside from the yearly post, obviously)?

In the post, Matthew talked about the the season, and this is what he wrote about Kannagi:

Yamakan FTW! After being fired from KyoAni, director Yutaka Yamamoto tries to prove that he’s at the level of director, and succeeds so far. Best animation quality this season. Easy to do since he took some KyoAni staff with him to form Ordet.

So, I’m not alone in noticing the animation. It’s nice to have an affirmation, and so unexpectedly.

Best search string ever

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Someone from WICHITA.EDU visited an old post searching for “apollo oms rocket”. No, seriously. Actually, the post is a compendum of openings in heat shields of various spacecraft, but apparenlty nobody is interested in that… Perhaps this has something with Google Lunar X-prize, which does not call for a heat shield, but calls for OMS rockets.

Mike on ToLove-ru

Friday, October 31st, 2008

anime|otaku:

Having established [the philosophical underpinnings of “good”], ToLoveRu is good. It is not good with regard to popular consensus; neither is it good with critical criteria. It is, however, good inasmuch as a fanservice anime can be good: it provides a plethora of compromising positions, a hesitant lead, and voluptuous vixens (note the ’s’) who would do anything just to be with the kindly but indecisive lead. It even has tentacles!

I know an old animeblogger who might like this, but I pass.

Nodame Paris 04

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

This was a difficult episode and I’m beginning to think that Zyl’s method was more appropriate than my pig-headed obsession. In particular, I did not understand what the Chinese dude’s intrusion was about at all.

The 3D continues to annoy me. Instruments in the original Nodame were ok, only hands were questionable. But when 3D Chiyaki directs in Paris, it’s just creepy. They cannot make it work right for some reason.

POST SCRIPTUM: The concept of male tsundere just does not work. All it accomplishes is to present Chiyaki as a wife-beater in training. It was most explicit when he stuffed Nodame’s mouth with a newspaper.

Sports anime

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

As I mentioned in the season update, One Outs is being talked about, if not as a top drawer show. Now the apologists of sports anime made their point in Jen’s comments (hat tip: saturnine). Impz summed it up thus:

I cannot agree more. The issue with such shows is that it will be terribly under-watched because most people

1. Hate sports anime
2. Hate series without moe
3. Cannot take baseball in general.

It is clearly a pity because the whole series aims to decipher the thought processes of humans, and try to manipulate it through the use of little small actions. Episode 4 is a brilliant case on this. It is hard to find, for the lack of a better word, a mindfuck anime that makes you go “wow, this is seriously manipulative.”

All true, but is it a bad thing? The current fad is to wrap the sports anime into the skin of something else. Here’s how SDB’s original expecations were for Strike Witches:

Ignoring all the mecha musume trappings, what you’ve really got here is a girl’s baseball team. And that is the story they’re going to tell. Miyafuji is the newest player to join the team. She’s inexperienced, but it looks like she’s got home-run power if only she can learn to use it. And she will, and that’s the series story-line. Ep 3 was right out of canon: the benchwarmers (Miyafuji and Bishop) got put into the game in a desperate situation and made a game-saving play together. Miyafuji is going to hit her first home run in ep 4, and it will proceed from there.

This sounds much better than the straight sports story.

Then we also have the inverse, a non-quite-sports story in a sports setting, like Bamboo Blade. The whole thing rested on Tamaki’s fierce cuteness [^1] and Kirino’s awesomeness.

In the same thread, TJ expresses expectations for Ani-nouto to have a wider range of coverage:

And I agree with Impz, even Author of Aninouto loves moe only, the fag.

Well, if it’s a good story, why not? Like I said just recently: hate classical music, love Nodame. My main problem with One Outs is the repulsive trappings of Kaiji, not the sports (ok, not primarily the sports: sports is a secondary problem that has to be overcome by the main merits, again see Nodame).

[^1] Remember, no M-word on this blog.

Ascaloth on Nodame 03

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

We hear a lot of complaints from manga readers about Nodame Paris being butchered badly, and I for one tend not to give them much credence. But this time, Ascaloth backs complaints with line items which are pretty damning. Although it was pretty obvious that Nodame Paris was badly chopped up, but now I know the details. On the question of just how Elise and Oliver lured Chiyaki into the hotel room, I have no idea. I saw that a part was missing, but accepted the outcome.

BTW, when I saw 03, it slipped my mind completely that Li Yunlong was Chinese. Presumably Son Rui is Korean. CJK invasion in Paris!

Kannagi cast interviews

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

J1m0ne went into trouble of transcribing and translating (partially) interviews with the cast and staff of Kannagi. So, the director is a sadist? I hope they include these interviews on the DVD.

Yomiuri on Kannagi

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

I saved a few articles to post after I start watching. A couple of weeks ago, Daily Yomiuri Online took the usual creator-oriented angle (link may go bad eventually, because of Yomiuri’s strange expiration policies):

Kannagi is drawing particular attention among the many anime shows that started broadcasting this month because of the people behind the work.

Director Yutaka Yamamoto is famous for his production of the final dance scene of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu, which greatly fascinated otaku. He also directed the early episodes of Lucky Star before setting up his own animation production company. Kannagi is the first anime he has directed since the launch of the company.

Scriptwriter and author Hideyuki Kurata is in charge of the structure of the series, which makes the framework of the anime. He is known for Kamichu!, an anime about a middle school girl who turns into a goddess, and the R.O.D animation series based on his own story.

Hopes are high for Kannagi as the two giant figures in the anime industry are working together for the first time. It is also becoming a topic of discussion that Toru Honda, who is famous for his book Denpa Otoko, is also working on Kannagi’s scriptwriting.

I was unable to find the Japanese version on the Yomiuri website. But the name of the writer (Makoto Fukuda) sounds suspiciously familiar.

Kannagi begins

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

It’s too early to tell where Kannagi is going, so it’s the fluid animation that left the biggest impression. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to capture without the help of an animated GIF, so I’m going to use words.

I glanced through reactions to Kannagi quickly, and it appears that nobody except Aroduc even paid attention, and even then the reaction was subdued:

Production was what you’d expect from A-1. Dodgy art in places, but much more elaborate and emotive animation than you normally see. It’s pretty much the same general animation style as Birdy, only with more arm flailing instead of leaping alien superwomen. Honestly though, it really does make me think of Wagaya, only with better art, animation, a more irritating male lead, and a girlier female lead, […] [Emphasis mine &mdash Author]

Since I have not seen Birdy and Wagaya, the style reminded me of Lucky Star, in particular the iconic moment when Konata claps here feet together while reading a manga. It’s a little surprising that nobody else saw fit to mention it (see Totali, Divine in his swan song at Omni’s, Kabitzin). Perhaps they all are jaded by the modern high quality shows?

Speaking of jaded, Jin’s perverted behaviours confuse me: I have no idea what reaction I am supposed to produce. Since I parsed my family’s clothes for the laundry just yesterday, I cannot relate to Jin staring into that basket. Regarding Jin going feel up sleeping Nagi, well… I stalked the girl I liked in high school, so I am not in a position to criticize much. The society I was brought up was sexually repressed as well, so it’s hard for me to say if Jin meets expectations.

UPDATE: Otou claims that he saw the same thing.

Slang for “groupies”

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

At about 2:58 into ep.10 of first Nodame, Mine yells what sounds like “mihadomo(ga)”. It is translated as “groupies”.

Sadly, I was unable to find it in any dictionary. It’s either mispronounced/misheard, a compound word, or a slang that hasn’t filtered down into dictionaries yet.

UPDATE: Ryan added in comments to his secondary feed at Google (unfortunately, there’s no permalink — Google, you suck!):

In light of the slang, I believe it has a sarcastic tint to it 見張共, literally it probably refers “watch-guards” but not quite on the level of stalkers… I can feel the meaning, but can’t find a better term in English. I guess

Interesting. According to dic.yahoo.co.jp, only “miha” is a word, but not the compound.