Archive for November, 2008

Aria, remaining notes

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

I blogged most of the notes already, so I’m going skip “BGM is really getting annoying by now”, “Clearly this is SDB’s revenge for Azumanga”, etc. Let’s just dump the remainder and close the issue. BTW, these were captured digitally, without a pencil.

01 People of Aqua are not big on water safety. Nobody wears life jackets. : This undoubtedly happens because nobody, ever, falls into water (not even Athena did back when she was a Double!). Well, except the beach episode where they do fall into the water a lot. How weird!

02 Hate this predeterminism. Worse than Kyon’s. : Honestly I have no clue what I meant, and I cannot rewatch 02. Kyon’s defining features were his cowardiness and opportunism, but I don’t remember any characters like that in Aria.

03 Oh gosh, Marimitish life lessons (only nicer)

04 So, cat turned into a girl? She’s a reincarnation (see neck bell)? : This wasn’t touched upon in detail, despite the ep.12 with its time-bridging cats and the flashback.

CJ on Library Wars

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Apparently, she liked it enough to call it “the most lovable series I’ve seen in a long time”, despite “the shoujo-tastic ending”.

Vacation messaging

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Seen at a random place (via one of the freaking gazillion of Lelangir’s blogs — seriously man, you’re pushing it [but see below — Author]):

Why must people write these things? I’m not going to lie, those kinds of entries irk me to no end. They should irk you too, but maybe they don’t, and that’s part of the problem.

Authors should not be under pressure to explain their absence, yet they must feel it otherwise we wouldn’t be having this discussion. So why is this the case? They don’t trust their audience, that’s why. And just maybe, their audience doesn’t trust them either.

I cannot speak for others, but this is not what’s happening at Ani-nouto. I find these notices silly in the age of feed readers too. However, from time to time I run across real people complaining about blogs dropping off without an explanation. So, vacation notices are going to be published as long as there is an explicit demand for them. Please deal with it.

On the subject why not more people use feed readers, I blame the pitiful state of Windows software. It’s not like Linux where the bliss is one “yum install liferea” away. In case of Liferea in particular, all visitors of Ani-nouto using it run it on Linux — despite its primary developer, Lars Lindner, being a Windows user! But for most users, if it’s not made by Microsoft, it does not exist.

Perversely, this state of affairs pushes Windows users to web services, such as Google Reader. I am not happy about it, because that bitch essentially hotlinks. I even thought about blocking Google Reader altogether with .htaccess. This is something I’ll be working on, perhaps provide a separate feed to Google.

FRIDGE: I think I understand what Lelangiric is: it’s a reply-only blog. I have one of those too. If so, there’s no need to subscribe to it… It will backlink when something relevant gets posted.

UPDATE: BTW, you know what’s the second most popular feed reader at Ani-nouto after Liferea? It string is “Apple-PubSub”, and its users usually returns with Safari. I presume it’s some kind of reader service built into OSX desktop.

OMO SAYS at the very bottom that he has a Google Reader Share… I have one of those too, but I lost interest when it turned out that shared items have no permalinks of their own (apparently by design). So it’s basically a Mugshot, only worse (you must subscribe before sharing on Google). Honestly I expected more from all those Google PhDs.

MORE THOUGHTS on Google Borg from Lelangir: “if every single anime blogger used google reader to create selective rss folders (a “Japanese culture blogs” folder, “seiyuu blogs” folder, “episodic blogs” folder), the general public, through a google account, can then subscribe to these long, carefully tailored blog lists.” I am not sure about this. Sure, by rolling under the winner early some benefits are to be found, but isn’t it still too early to select our overlord? Sort of reminds me how Microsoft only wanted all of your money, but Google wants everything you have ever thought about.

Moogy mocks Funi

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

An amusing non-ex fansubber’s monologue:

So, my question is – who exactly did Funimation C&D over this show? It sure wasn’t the group that subbed it! Or even the people who distro’d it! Maybe they C&D’d AnimeOmake? They subbed episodes 1-6. Or those Spanish dudes who translated from our subs.

It aired during Summer 2007, so it’s not like it’s in high demand right now, anyway.

Seto also has no one to C&D, unless they emailed gg or Ayako or something retarded, considering the show aired in Spring 2007 and everyone except Your-Mom dropped it. Shinsen is still doing it but under an alias with no contact details. Perhaps they sent one to m33w? They subbed an episode recently.

Heh. But I know a guy who would find a dozen of good excuses for Funi to do what they do… no matter what they actually do.

Jonathan Tappan debunks SDS

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

While the animeblogging world is busy ignoring the two drama queens, a far more interesting discussion happens elsewhere:

“I wouldn’t say that writing is more important than art in animation…” says Ogiue Maniax.

Personally I WOULD say that. In fact, I’ll say it right now. Writing IS more important than art in animation. If the writing is good enough you can get away with artwork that’s pretty bad. (It will probably be hailed as edgy, unconventional artwork that defies conventional notions of beauty.) On the other hand, if the writing is bad, the most beautiful artwork in the world won’t save it.

He’s talking about Kannagi here, isn’t he?

Jokes aside, I think SDS all but agrees, since his main example was how greatly poor writing impacts the result… I haven’t seen [Gundam] Seed Destiny, but I’ve seen Futakoi. That was so bad that it had to be rewritten!

FRIDGE UPDATE: Considering Jonathan’s examples of The Simpsons and South Park, I hated Shin-chan. Maybe I’m just weird.

UPDATE: SDS decided to answer via a comment. I have no quarrel with his argument, but… a comment? *headdesk*

That sneaky SDS

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Thanks to BigN, I have just discovered that SDS runs Ogiue Maniax. The blog itself displays no identity, so how could I know? People did, however. Tooltip in the Heisei‘s blogroll says “SDS’s blogging enterprise par excellence, with deep ruminations on anime and Ogiue”.

The significance of this discovery is only that SDS wrote the note at Shiro’s place about the decades of giant robot animation mapped onto Gurren-Lagann. I even have it saved at del.icio.us.

P.S. Yes, I’m on vacation, just one last post and that’s it.

Otou on Clannad, bis

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

I appreciate the second take on the topic (which supersedes the rather hasty (and trollish) original attempt), because I did not give Clannad a big enough chance when I dropped it. I have not even made it official, all I have is a short summary. Of course, he’s tryng to make the reader to pass upon Clannad, instead of agitating for the show. But sometimes it works in reverse. The immportal “Clannad, condensed” nearly made me continue watching for the comedy value.

Sixten’s banner for Kairu

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Yes, I’m still on a little break. Meanwhile, check out the precious little ditty Sixten has done as a commenter’s prize (link). The work took 30 hours. If he took as much as a California auto mechanic, about $80 per hour, that would be $2,400. I’m afraid Ani-nouto’s management won’t be commissioning any nice banners any time soon.

UPDATE: Sixten responds with more numbers, most of them downright disheartening. For example he was talking about a $30K job. When I moved to California on H-1B visa, my first salary was $55K, and that was back in 1997. Even that was barely enough to sustain a family of three (well, we didn’t live in a trailer, but still).

I’m especially concerned because I suspect that my daughter may have designs to become a pro (the above is her work from 2004).

Toradora 08

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

The 08 is the “battle”, with Ryuuji going to Ami’s villa if she wins… Was there ever any doubt in the outcome? Honestly! And then Taiga invited herself to the villa, of course.

I think I’m going to drop Toradora. However, it’s not because the plot is too predictable. My problem is that I latched onto a wrong character and that ruined everything. So this decision does not reflect on Toradora, it may still be the best show of the Autumn (N.B. we are yet to see the ending).

Dropping Toradora leaves me without anything current to follow. Which may be not a bad thing, I’m thinking about taking a little break.

OOPS, UPDATE. I was so distraught that I forgot to mention that Taiga has all but confessed in this episode… yet she continues to get flustered whenever Kitamura talks to her. The first love never dies! Thanks Omisyth for the reminder.

UPDATE: Zyl enjoys Ami for all she’s worth, and I applaud that. The problem is, she’s doomed.

Animation quality, then and now

Friday, November 21st, 2008

The Omisyth’s post on the topic reminded me how I went through the line-counting phase myself. It started about when I saw the awful quality of Mai-HiME, and it took about a year to pass. What weaned me off this particular obsession was a review of Azumanga. That show represents one of the pinnacles of economic and expressive style that retains anime traits, aided by a flawless execution. So, it’s perfect example that demonstrates the silliness of the assumptions going into the dichotomy.

The notion of the ancient anime’s superiority mostly arises when people look at hair in close-ups. To Heart is actually a middle-of-the-road example (illustrations aren’t going to be blogsized least they cease to illustrate):

Akari has about a dozen of strands on each side. True, nobody does it anymore. But even leaving aside the question if such detail adds quality, in the old shows the detail level was always downgraded quickly with a zoom-out. So we have a lot targeted selection whenever examples are brought up. In the Otaking’s chart that Omisyth referred, all heads on the left are full-frames. But normally, it wasn’t anything like in old beloved classics. Check out this Kasumi, for instance:

Aside from being tiring and having a uniform level of detail per square centimeter instead of per object, the hand-painting often produced an interrupted and uneven line on the cell. It’s a good thing they don’t do it anymore. Look at the confining lines around Ayeka’s forearms:

This is something that Otaking’s chart coyly omits. BTW, the chart also puts Naruto into the right column, while the early Naruto was in fact a classic hand-painted show. Check out this Lee:

Too funny really.

In the end, it’s a pointless discussion. The revolution has happened, we have the results now. Some like it old, some like it new. Both before and after we have pretty shows and ugly shows. I think it’s way more important and topical to rail against the invasion of the ugly 3D, such as seen in Nodame (with Paris-hen having more and worse scenes with 3D figures of performers).