Archive for March, 2009

DiGiKerot’s shoutout

Monday, March 30th, 2009

It is a delicious poster! And I see what you did here (detail, zoomed 3x):

Lots of other fun detail, for example Minorin carries a British infantry rifle (not even a Japanese one (memories of my first anime blog post)). I wonder what the little mechs are.

The colors are a bit strange, and not just on the emblem. Sumire’s eyes disagree with the model, although she’s in the foreground. But it’s unimportant.

Secondly, on the subject of Rocket-related anime, I do wonder if Author has seen Gainaxs Wings of Honneamise, a movie about a small countries much derided space force against the backdrop of a neighbouring country threatening to invade. Beautiful movie, though perhaps a little overwrought with religious banter for most, not to mention the leisurely pacing. I do love it, though.

It was on my list forever, but no, I haven’t.

Thirdly, could Taiga really pilot a Gundam, or any other giant robot for that matter? It strikes me that such a shortarse would have trouble reaching the controls, no matter how far it’s possible to move the seat forward.

It’s an issue, yes, especially if you recall that even Soyuz TMA (“A” means “Anthropometric”) has — updated from TM! — minimum crew height of 150 cm and minimum mass of 50 kg (sorry, Yukari Morita!). But then Doug Bader piloted a Spitfire with a wooden leg. Surely some accomodation may be found. It’s anime!

UPDATE: DiGiKerot e-mails regarding the British L85 above: “you didn’t say *which* island nation you were talking about”. Zing!

Meanwhile, one thought that occurred to me regarding the Taiga question. By the time Ami and Sumire are established enough to pack serious punch in the society, the second generation should be capable enough to pilot mechs. If Taiga’s kids are medium sized, they’ll be fine. Taiga herself? Well…

STEVEN TAKES a wider view on the topic of Taiga’s size, and observes that “courage comes in small packages”. I’m not taking anything away from Taiga’s courage. As ep.16 demonstrates she does not only beat up boys who are defenseless against a doll-like girl. But I think the deciding test is if we talk a Real Robot or Super Robot style of anime. Toradora itself has nothing supernatural, and in keeping with that GodS would — at most — feature a gundam. As DiGiKerot himself explained his mecha design, “if they are still working on space travel, their robots would be kind of ghetto anyway.” When mechs and spaceships are built on assembly line “like tanks and jeeps”, there’s no way for Taiga to receive a custom design, in particular in training.

CKS on anime endings

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Jacking up the mystery as an easy way to increase interest? Yes. But the classic problem is making anime on a continuing source, e.g. Fruits Basket. Not sure if he has already deducted that and only considers the remainder.

It’s more than 48 in this Spring

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Remember how Hashi-hime listed 48 new shows? Today Moero Amazon opens Cooking Idol Aoi! Mai! Main!. Cabbage! Cabbage! Raechel Ray, eat your heart out! The series appears not to be listed. Hashi, why do you hate Chisa Yokoyama? Also, how many more are there left below the radar?

UPDATE: Mattew blogs the episode in English.

Bateszi on Toradora

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Big guns really come out today for Toradora. Here’s Bateszi’s take:

Then we have Toradora. I watched the final four episodes this morning and not expecting much at all, I was surprised by the impact it wrought on me. I’ve been back and forth with my opinion of Toradora for a while now, but, undeniably, the finale was hugely involving. We had the soulful dreaming of characters like Ryuuji and Taiga, Minorin’s conflicted smile and Ami’s desperate loneliness, each of them contemplating the state of their lives, while searching for happiness in indirect and painful directions. I lost a lot of faith in the series when it descended into cheesy Christmas songs and illogical plot twists, but the finale won me back over. It may be a generic set-up, but, in the end, Toradora was an honest and heartfelt drama. I couldn’t ask for any more.

I was a bit concerned when anonymous wankers flooded BRW’s comments with “it was too sudden”, “we want Ami x Minori ending”, and so on. But it was just scum floating across the Internet. I should’ve known.

Stripey on Toradora

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

The first graf is this:

After marathoning Toradora over the weekend, I finally understood what the fuss/buzz was all about. It is indeed a superb series – one of the best anime romances I have seen. Melding great writing, intriguing characters and focused storytelling, Toradora has been a truly memorable.

Indeed. Also, it’s remarkable how Toradora does it all while remaining in a very limited space. It does not use any supernatural or magic, or other crutches that the likes of ef and true tears employ (not meaning any disrespect, of course — they are great series by themselves).

Toradora is one of the few series where the supporting cast grew as much as the leads. [] I thought Ami was central in bringing the growth matrix into the clear.

I am not sure if Ami qualifies as “supporting”, but ok, fine, she is what Academy gives “Best Supporing Actress” for. It only sounds demeaning. I only have to note that secondary characters received the right amount of attention: not too much, not too little. There was little in the way of “growth”, but then it’s only 26 episodes. If we look at Maaya and Hisamitsu, it was mostly maneuvering play. On the other hand, I was as shocked as everyone when Haruta found a girlfriend. And perhaps Yuri’s resolve to buy a condo counts as “growth”.


In fact [Toradora] was so affecting, I lay in bed for the last couple of nights recalling/sharing with my wife, the sweet/’evil’/silly things that I did/happened to me in the name of love back in high school.

Stripey may be taking things too far. I cut this shit right when I see my wife faking her interest (or even anticipate it) and let her sleep in peace. That, and she’s seen my diary.

Zyl on Ami

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

He says:

In conclusion, we need an Ami spinoff OVA or [TV] series. Because she is that awesome.

In final reckoning, Ami did not dominate Toradora for me in the same way Tsukiumi did of Sekirei. She’s my favourite, yes, because Sumire’s people skills are not very engaging, speaking diplomatically. But then, Ami works as a fashion model. That’s a step ahead of Shiho on the road to hell.

So, I think Ami-centered spin-off would not be something for me to watch. I can see how Rinna Kazamatsuri could drive a sci-fi, nanohistic mahou shoujo spin-off. But Ami needs help from other heroes.

How about a Toradora GodS where Ami, a PM of a dying island nation wrestling with demographic implosion, teams up with Sumire, a technocrat who proposes to rekindle the people’s spirit through the settlement of space? A Stalin + Korolev setup, if you will [*]. Cue in two threatening Communist superpowers… MacF level of epic, which Ami, Kitamura, and Sumire deserve.

Ryuji and Taiga level characters can also pilot a few gundams or whatever. Fans will love it. Let’s pitch this modest proposal to Sunrise, J.C.Staff, and Kyoto.

UPDATE: Oh. My. God.

[*] Spookily similar characters, too. I don’t know if JFK and von Braun fit well enough to build the analogy.

Toradora 01-02 rewatch (spoiling)

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

The club was Toradora 01-02 yesterday, a rewatch for me (Toradora narrowly edged out Maria+Holic in runoff poll). And, I made a discovery.

It’s not unusual for me to be very wrong about something I see in anime. This time, I thought that the leads in Toradora are thrown together by the pact, then gradually find a way to each other through mutual support, and finally recognize their bond. But surprisingly, I saw in rewatch that it’s not what happened… The pair is heavily asymmetric! Taiga was head over heels for Ryuji in ep.2, and Kitamura recognized it (although it probably wasn’t the main reason why he rejected her, because, as we discover later, he already had his sights set elsewhere by that time).

People who complained that events of the finale were sudden missed the 20+ episodes of build-up. But I cannot look down at them too much. I wasn’t that blind, but still did not pay enough attention.

There’s a silver lining though… Since I obviously missed half of the show, the rewatch is rewarding. I may even get the DVDs.

BTW, I haven’t rewatched ef systematically, only bits and pieces. Ditto Manabi. Ironic.

UPDATE: David Mankins e-mails:

You say the pair was asymmetric, but you can tell that Ryuji is in love with Taiga, too. You can tell from the way he reacts to news that Taiga is going to confess, and how he relaxes when he eavesdrops on Kitamura rejecting her.

I observed it too, but it looks more open to interpretation in Ryuji’s case. The excitement of eavesdropping played a part, for one thing.

UPDATE 4/1: Now that I’ve seen the obvious, it’s greatly amusing how Josh writes: “Taiga and Ryuji’s transformations from liking Kitamura and Minori to liking each other is sudden and largely without any obvious foretelling”, and “I didn’t see anything to suggest that Taiga and Ryuji actually had romantic feelings for each other”. LOL, srsly.

What members like

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

My local anime club ran a poll for the new program cycle (saved in archive). I think only registered members were allowed to vote. Rideback is a clear winner, with Paris-hen second. The bold in the results is what I voted for.

It’s just another reminder that my tastes are not congruent with the average fan, with the import on the commentary on this blog.

That said, I am especially surprised that the second Nodame polls so high. It was so much worse than the first series, and I could only stick for 6 episodes. I cannot say anything about Rideback, maybe it’s awesome. Paris-hen though… I’ve read what enthusiasts had to say, but I just don’t get it.

P.S. Funny how Hyakko got zero votes. What a disaster. And I even created a category for it!

Toradoodle #52

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

<mgalgoci> looks like a house cat pooping an aligator

The Sakuracon business

Friday, March 27th, 2009

OK, I understand: Sakuracon is run by bad, abusive people. I verified the facts of the case and Omo’s narrative checks out completely: Sakuracon management took down a parody of their awful commercial.

Inevitably, I asked myself, would I cancel my plans to attend over something like this? And surprisingly… I think I would. Their mistake is to let the scandal to explode so far from the con date. I don’t even have air tickets yet, what to say about the hotel. But if this happened in July, I would still come … this year, and not return for the next year. Yes, I’m this vindictive. Not sure how common it is among fans though. Probably not very. Usually it takes way more than general assholery in the management to sour people on a convention.

UPDATE: A commenter at JP/Hinano’s post posited an obvious discourse: that it all was the cunning viral marketing campaign, because it produced the desired buzz. It puts Sakuracon on people’s radar. Those who never even heard about it begin thinking: “hey, they seem like marketing geniuses, bet these organizers are good at organizing and will treat attendees with dignity and respect — we totally should come”.