Archive for December, 2008

Moribito begins

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

There’s not much to say about Seirei no Moribito really: it does not evoke any strong feelings, nor prompts any speculation. Undoubtedly a very strong production, pleasant to watch and all that, but something is not quite there. No idea what.

Balsa is sympathetic. Chagnum surprises with stoicism. I expected a different stereotype, the one of a prince thrown into commons: someone more whiny and snobbish, who may get reformed by hardships. But Moribito is a different kind of story.

Almost forgot: Aroduc once evangelized fights in J2 to me. Moribito definitely has the same feel, with the movements truly animated. Maybe even better than J2. Contrast this with FS/N, which looks cool but actually fakes most of it. I don’t care all that much, but a point worth noting for Aroduc’s disciples out there.

DS and Meta Violence

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

DS missed an obvious memetic opportunity.

What he posted:

What he should have posted:

UPDATE: Scott lost his cool in comments:

But now that I’ve been killed off, does that mean that I can stop concerning myself over this shitty comic?

Weak.

Moments2008.chigaimasu.05 Ren-Ai Blogger

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Chigaimasu is not actually a part of CCY’s “moments” and uses a forward count scheme (conversion formula is: Cf = 13 – Cb).

Like many, I forgot that Hinano distributed Ren-Ai Blogger from the old site until I saw the reminder at Anime Academy. But it’s gone now.

UPDATE: J.P. e-mailed me to say that the game is going to be re-uploaded somewhere soon (in the next couple of days).

CHRISTMAS UPDATE: Hinano threw it to file-sharing sites and posted links. No Linux version this time.

The Abridged Yu-Gi-Oh on Nico

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

I missed it when it was first reported back in July, but apparently a fansub of Abridged Yu-Gi-Oh exists (search for “4分でわかる遊戯王アニメ”).

Dame-dame on Waiting For Haruhi

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Suguru laments the long gap between releases:

I remember someone at Kyoani mentioning at one point that they wanted Haruhi to be like the Gundam franchise for them–someone needs to go to Kyoto and tell them you don’t built a franchise by just sitting on a one-cour series for years and throwing out the occasional teaser. I can’t say they’ve killed my interest in the series, because I’m sure I’ll be counting the days until the next season airs regardless of if it’s in 2009 or 2039, but I’m starting to wish J.C. Staff or some other studio would do the second season just to get things moving already.

Personally, I’m not enthusiastic with attempts by studios to find “another Gundam”. This may have to do with the distaste for sequels (after all, I rejected the ef ~melo~ after the success of ef ~memo~: highest post count on Ani-nouto), but generally I’m open to the idea. I may yet like 0083 after 08th MS Team. The difference between Haruhi and Gundam is that the former franchise, if ever occurs, would be based on direct sequels.

Given the above, the gap between releases makes no difference to me. I’m going to evaluate the new Haruhi on the basis of its merits. In this, too, Suguru’s reaction is antagonistic to mine. I wonder who’s in the majority?

The delay in the light novels is just baffling — the 10th light novel, “The Surprise of Suzumiya Haruhi”, was scheduled to come out in summer ’07, but the publisher announced it would be delayed, and a year and a half later we’re still waiting with no release date in sight. Given the ninth novel had a pretty ambitious plot, with two parallel universes/stories of sorts going on, I’m a little worried the author just got in over his head and has no idea how to continue the story. Or worse, the author’s at some kind of impasse with his editors, where he wants to do something drastic like kill off Mikuru but the editors are petrified that’ll piss off the fans.

Heh. I wonder if they have any plans to resurrect Ryoko? That might increase chances that I’d watch the thing. Although, if they corrupt her character in the same way their colleagues from other studio dealt with Kuroki in Paris-hen, I may swear undying hatred.

Animevice on Anime Midstream

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

It boggles the mind that someone would want to start a new R1 anime company, but I guess there’s no accounting for love. What’s especially strange is that the website of Anime Midsream recruits voice talent, which on the surface of it means dub, while the rest of the industry moves towards sub-only releases on the lower end.

For some reason this reminds me of Anime Eigo’s license of Yawara (it ran on TV together with Ranma and had better ratings). I do realize that Anime Eigo is old, but it’s equally tiny and unknown to most American fans. So, there were doubts about the viability of the release, although eventually it happened (Anyone wants to pay $139 for 40 episodes sight-unseen [1]? Not available on Netflix. Sub only, BTW).

Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam (Furthermore it is my opinion that Mahoraba must be licensed).

UPDATE: Hikago mentioned on #animeblogger that it was news for him that Mahoraba is not licensed (also, apparently my old post is #1 on Google for “mahoraba licensed“). I’m glad to make a difference, althogh when paraphrasing Cato I meant to make a difference in a broader sense.

[1] A free preview DVD can be ordered from the AnimeEigo website.

Funi’s upcoming licenses

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

Running out the door, cannot miss the hint-decoding post at Astronerdboy (via). Funi’s hints are incomparably better than the useless hints that The Dark Lord used to post. Unfortunately, the only title I personally look forward to in the set is Oh Edo Rocket. At the very minimum it’s a rent-DVD. I would like to see Vandread in 16:9 too, but it’s not that critical IMHO.

Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam (Furthermore it is my opinion that Mahoraba must be licensed).

Vacation Notice

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

(tag: vac) I’m off to Santa Fe for a couple of days. Taking Moribito with me, but may not have an opportunity to watch it.

Gia is murdering me

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

I can hardly believe that she wrote this:

I really wish he’d open up comments; there’s so much potential for *dialogue* on these.

What do Scott’s comments have with anything? Watch me making a comment right here: Scott Von Schilling’s pretensions to single-handedly turn around Japanese attitudes on online distributions are laughable. There! Now we have a dialog, without him opening comments.

Moreover, Scott cannot censor my part in the dialogue as expressed above. Miracle of miracles! Could it be… that comments are detrimental to the open dialogue?

The maddening thing about Gia is that she’s not a blogging novice, in fact she has started a new site just a few days ago. So she undoubtedly knows that comments are orthogonal to dialogue and yet she choses to promulgate the above-quoted nonsense.

By the way, Gia’s testimonial regarding her interview with the representatives of Crunchyroll and them contradicting, even denying Scott’s statements about TV Tokyo reminds me about something. In January 1995 I went to Helsinki where I met with Linus Torvalds. I informed him, as much as confidentiality allowed, about the works on binary translation led by Boris Babayan and David Ditzel, in which I was engaged at the time. And what do you know, in a year Mr. Ditzel founded Transmeta, which commercialized on-the-fly binary translation, and… employed Linus. Think I made him consider the binary translation as something other than a joke project that crazy Russians work on? Fortunately, I never gave in to Scott-like fantasies about my pivotal role in the destiny of Transmeta and/or Linux, and, as it turned out, with a good reason: when I bumped into Linus around 2001, he had no recollection of our 1995 meeting…

UPDATE: Naturally Mellow is interested in Scott and not in the good of the blogosphere. As far as I’m concerned, Scott’s delusions of grandeur are inconsequential, at leat at this junction. But who knows, he may yet become the pillar of anime journalism if he keeps at it. Chris Beveridge has to retire one day, and then… Still, getting back on topic, I’m having a dialogue with Mellow here, with no comments involved.

UPDATE 2: JOSH persists with the two-pronged fork. One prong links to Scott’s twitt, and the other is this:

Now, being a member of several blogging communities – the largest of which being the quite large political blog Daily Kos – I think I can say with somewhat good authority that yes, commenting can indeed result in open dialogue. However, much of that is dependent on how the moderator of the blog or website chooses on running the show.

How in the world can Daily Kos be a proof that an open dialogue is possible? The “dialog” at Kos is only “open” in a sense that comments are out in the open, but it’s not open to different opinions. Daily Kos is the pinnacle of oppression of speech, and “groupthink” is its second name.

Of course a comment thread “can result in open dialogue”. The question is only how likely that is, by comparison with normal blogging!

The problem with completly relying on someone posting their thoughts on their own blog include the fact that a) not everyone has their own blog and b) I could write this big long thing which is now well over 1,000 words and you know what? Everyone in the world can ignore it and no one who read the original posts that I’m responding to might even know this is here.

(a) wordpress.com, mee.nu, etc.

(b) Posting comments shifts the power to ignore towards the moderator. Posting a blog article shifts it towards the reader.

There are a reason why many of the more successful political blogs – and I’m guessing many of the successful anime blogs as well – allow for comments, and thats because it creates open dialogue.

Wrong. The real reason why more successful animebloggers allow comments is for the feeling of gratification and e-pen0r measurement. In extreme cases, such as Jason Miao, the blog exists only to generate more and more comments. Nobody “successful” gives shit about the open dialog (I think the last big blogger tolerating and fostering open dialog was Lawson, before Winter Garden).

UPDATE 3: In addition to a longish comment, Chris Siebenmann e-mailed me with:

My somewhat reflexive reaction is that power only shifts towards the reader in a real way if the reader can find the article. Otherwise I think that power moves in more complicated ways. My first thought is ‘towards highly read bloggers’, but I’m not sure that’s right, especially since readerships may not entirely overlap; even if you’re well read you’ll reach a different group with your own entry than with a comment on someone else’s entry.

Well, if you put it this way, it’s hard to disagree. I just don’t believe into the magic of Web 2.0.

BTW, Chris’ earlier post makes this observation:

It is my guess that you will not necessarily get a better class of comments by making commenting harder; you may even get a worse one overall. The problem is that you’re not selecting for people who have something good to say, you’re selecting for people who care enough, including people who have a pet cause that they will only be too happy to tell you about.

Sort of obvious in hindsight, similarly to the fact that a search time in a bitmap (a FAT) does not depend on its size, but only on its population density (how full your disk). So, the average quality of feedback is not a reason to close comments.

NEXT DAY, OMO weighs in, in particular with the “e-mail is dead” argument. I could pick some bones with the way Omo presented it, but indeed e-mail retrenches at work recently. It’s silly to deny that the trend exists. So I don’t require anyone to e-mail their comments.

Moments2008.IcyStorm.10

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Regarding the little discussion re. raws, I think Owen had the last word after all. I do find it raws very difficult, and I only persist because I’m pig-headed about it. As for the Lelangir’s comic, I did not link it when it appeared because I did not like it. I don’t have a problem with the portrayal of myself in it: perhaps I am received as talking down to other bloggers, and I may need to address that [1]. Still, two things: 1. the strip was in a very bad taste, 2. jokes were too inbred. If a general reader cannot relate, it’s a PHAIL.

[1] The Russian proverb about it is: “Сказка — ложь, да в ней намек: добрым молодцам урок” (A.S.Pushkin, 1834). How do they say it in Japanese?