Archive for June, 2009

Natsu no Arashi season 2

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Via John come the news of Arashi 2. I’m going to go on a limb and declare that I’m not watching any more of Jin Kobayashi’s artistic bankrupcy and Akayuki Shinbo’s attempts to paper it over.

Bluemist on Hatsukoi

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

We knew that with Hatsukoi Limited J.C.Staff basically produced a better Kimikiss (which itself received all sorts of accolades back in the day), but there’s more:

[J.C.Staff] have modified an otherwise normal manga into a highly coherent piece, mixing up multiple storylines to make it less confusing, and even changing some events slightly. I feel rather bad about the original manga actually, because with that complex relationship chart, the series is clearly gunning for a long serialization. But the series was unfortunately cut short due to some reason, and so the ending feels kinda rushed. The anime ended more or less the same way, but the modifications made it completely tolerable. In fact, they made it superior to the original source itself [emphasis mine — Author]. It’s rare that an anime can go beyond its source material, but somehow with Kimikiss (with its typical bishoujo game roots) and now Hatsukoi Limited, they pulled it off. J.C. Staff is having hit after hit in this genre for quite a while, I should enjoy more of their works.

Maybe when they’re done with the lesbian stuff.

Arashi ends

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Thanks to the wonders of broadcast order, today’s episode (13) was actually the first episode. But in reality it was a pale imitation of the first broadcast episode (01), which it ostensibly precedes. The distance from great to mediocore is only one wrong step.

In my judgement, despite all the trickery, Shinbo failed to break the curse of Jin Kobayashi and the running manga. The official ending (12) was ok, and attempted a minimal closure, but did not reach further than Fruits Basket. So, the leader episode was the best part, and the rest wasn’t worth watching (mind, plenty of people disagree, but the war horror didn’t impress me).

Liked: it wasn’t bad
Rewatch: not likely

QUICKIE: To see a drastically different tack on Arashi 13, check how Moero Amazon summarizes it as: “Jun is cute indeed. But we weren’t able to see Jun in swimsuit, and it’s a pity…” (all screencaps are that of Jun as well). For each his own, I guess.

Another thing, I know now that I should’ve watched K-ON instead. I have Crunchyroll and easy availability to blame for that. Ironically, I was interested enough in the beginning to switch from Crunchyroll to raws on Youtube in order to gain a week.

Album covers in Arashi

Friday, June 26th, 2009

It wasn’t only the movies, or anime, far from it. Today Astronerdboy posted a reference chart for the album covers.

As we can see, not all covers are known, and the chart is sure to expand soon. Next time, please refer the 2ch.net thread, thanks.

P.S. All of Jun’s covers are really cute.

Avatar(xADV) on Gurren-Lagann

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Andy’s take is positive and agreeable, albeit short and thus unable to look at the whole picture in detail Gurren Lagann deserves, but that’s blogging for you.

But the most interesting character in that respect is Rossiu. He’s there to comment that, no, you can’t run a society off of balls and recklessness alone; at some point you need an accountant, someone with the patience and attention to detail to do the paperwork. But at the same time, the show uses him to illustrate the limitations of that kind of thinking. Rossiu is fundamentally risk-averse, and so that limits his thinking; he’ll settle for a sure tragedy over a possible victory, every time. What’s worse, though, is that he keeps trying to take charge; by his lights he’s obligated to, because the idiots who keep winning battles keep almost losing them.

It’s also typical for Gurren-Lagann to place Rossiu into a network for inter-related stories (e.g. Kinon’s). It’s viewer choice to focus at anything specific, for example if Kamina is a “blowhard”, or how awesome Yomako-sensei is. That’s how “surprising depth” is to be used for greater enjoyment.

Aroduc on Fight Ippatsu 01

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Why bother torrenting when you can read everything about Fight Ippatsu! Juuden-chan 01 and Sea Story 01 at Tenka Seiha? I even suspect that it may be more fun to read Aroduc than to watch actual episodes.

Also, observe the editorial position:

Outside from that though, there really wasn’t any more fanservice than you’d expect in your run of the mill bad fanservice show, but certainly paling in comparison to Queen’s Blade, Kanokon and their ilk. It’s also helped by the fact that while Sento’s a fan of the skintight suit, his first reaction to Plug flashing her panties in his face was to club her with a baseball bat. That’s the kind of male reaction to bad fanservice that I can get behind.

See, this is exactly the feature of the early broadcast Sekirei that made me nodding with approval and what their DVD releases destroyed (apparently (NSFW)).

Gokusen begins

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

My rampage through Netflix is winding down as my family is slated to return next week, and it looks like finishing with a bang.


Yes, a major character is a dog.

When I watch Gokusen, I have to set aside my principles. I do not abide by romantization of crime. It’s destructive. In Russia, it wiped out whole layers of culture, not to mention the societal damage. My sister wanted to marry a gangster, who was his gang’s treasurer (fortunately he was killed in turf wars before they went to church). One of my nephew’s life ambition was to become a racketeer (I think he works in retail now). Granted, Japanese attempt to wrap the whole disgusting concept into trappings of nobility, responsibility, and so on — Gokusen serves it in spades — but at a sober look it’s the same thing.

Once we ignore the message and lock youngins out of the room, the show itself is an excellent work for the money. It’s one of the rare Media Blasters releases that was dubbed, and it deserved the treatment. Fun ride. Let’s hope it stays that way to the end.

Asagiri no Miko ends

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

For some, it’s an anime about miko magic, but for me it will be about the two little deities. Their substory was that moving.

Liked: Yes
Rewatch: No

Notes:

There are not two, but three tracks from Megumi Hayashibara’s center color in the anime, including the insert in the ep.26.

Ayatachi should’ve recruited boys. In manga, it’s possible (e.g. Hiro’s father). Then we’d have the real showdown.

Chika and classics: can you imagine a high school student, who’s not a complete delinquient, having trouble reading? Only in Japan. It’s rather common too, although Kagura was somewhat better at it in Azumanga.

So, why have Hilda stopped? Well, the obvious answer is that her life was freed from monsters and so her interests changed, but would not she be at least a tiny bit attached to Yamoribito?

The Call of Heart thing was done better in Shingu. But then almost everything is done better in Shingu, so…

Koma received the shortest stick in the end. Officially, we were given an detailed exposition on her adaptation to the change of generations and such, but still, the arrangement kinda sucks. In Shingu, her closest equivalent is Setsuna, although with the correction that everything is grander in Shingu.

I would be remiss not to point at the manga as quoted by Sixten. The inbreeding is absolutely insane: three generations out of four.

Bloggers on K-ON 12

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

I proclaimed previously that I will watch K-ON if the ending does not suck. After all, it’s the only anime to make an appearance at Lawson’s winter garden, so that counts for something, right? Do bloggers help me to decide? Let’s go down the feedlist.

Omo: So many words, so little help. The piece is well written, but focuses elsewhere.

Crusader (de-facto chief of THAT with Impz gone to the real life): Does not tell me what I really need, but good spoilers. Seems vaguely interesting, at least.

Damien:

Mind you, I’m well aware that given Tsumugi’s inclinations, it would be highly disingenuous of me to ever consider her Mai Waifu material.

Lesbians in my anime? Do not want. Although, it may be just yuri-colored goggles. Neutral result, not helping with the ending.

Tsuiteru (of Metahorn): Screencaps only, but actually the three final ones were helpful to get a sense of the ending.

Ascaloth (of RIUVA): Pretty much the same as the above. I think I get the idea that there was no story to complete in the first place.

And finally, Animewriter:

Well, I felt this episode ended? K-On! in a most enjoyable manner. While Mio might have been every ones moe moe princess this series was really about Yui (the heart and soul of the K-On! club) and her personal growth and how she affected the other girls.

Now we’re talking.

Also, poor Mugi, they gave her personality almost no depth other than she’s a rich girl who like sweet things, and likes to watch girly bonding stuff.

I guess that kills Damien’s innuendo, thanks.

Very well. I’ll do it.

P.S. Detractors need not apply. I think nobody explained problems with K-ON better than Evirus and it wasn’t enough to dissuade me.

Manabi Straight, a visual retrospective

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

I finally rewatched Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight, years down the road. A small concern appeared recently that Manabi‘s magic was not there anymore, but it turned out to be unfounded.

“POWERFUL x HAPPY”, “JUST AN SCHOOL GIRLS WITH HAPPY DAYS COME UP SMILING IN EVERYDAY LIFE”: damn straight. MASSUGU, GO!

Verily, Ufotable staff knew what they were making.

Group shot.

The Ufotable’s trademark ED claymotion. Very nice.

There are no fairies.

A few people asked me “why the tomboy [as a titan]”? The reason is purely technical: Mucchi is in the foreground, so I was able to erase around her with a paint tool… OTZ.

Large parts of the animation were amazing. I was a bit critical of it on the occasion of the special but overall it’s excellent after all.

Manabi is about to rock out.

The mother of all flashbacks.

The Principal is a somewhat strange figure; in an anime where everyone shines so brightly, she is painfully weak and ordinary. So, what is the message here? Why, Ufotable, why?

Shocking, I know.

The end? No, the new beginning.