Archive for November, 2009

Hand Maid May, vaguely hated

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Back when I dropped Hand Maid May, I was so upset and unhappy about it, that I postponed posting about it… and by now I forgot completely what was so bad about it. Probably the annoying loli and the treatment of Sara by creators, but I cannot be sure. I know that Nanbara was surprisingly bearable, that much is recorded, but there are no other notes.

I think now that my HMM saga started with a fanservice ranking list at Chizumatic. My note about it says “above Popotan” (I’m getting very lazy with pencil recently). Then, there was direct advocacy that sprung a dialog at Twitter:

jpmeyer: @zaitcev, yeah, hand maid may might be the best harem show that i can think of. note that i don’t count to heart in this category
owen_s: @jpmeyer eh, what makes it “good” harem in your book?
jpmeyer: @owen_s @zaitcev every single thing SDB says about it

Well, shit. You bet I was demoralized by the mismatch between the peer pressure and what was shown on screen. When I ragequit, I read the TMW and it seemed like a different show entirely. Now that I’m calmer about it, I regret that I didn’t keep good notes.

Chilling Effect

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

<hikago> jeez, even miao and chizumatic did summer wars
<hikago> I was going to do a post too but looks like no point lol

Amazon and anime remixes

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

I visit Amazon from time to time and check if any interesting J-pop appeared in MP3 store there (so far nothing except Hikaru Utada who I do not like much). What’s notable though, there’s a large number of cheap knock-offs and remixes. I always assumed that they were made by agreement with original rights holders: someone bought rights for ancient favourites cheap, re-recorded them and sold as bargains. But perhaps not. For example, they have tracks from K-ON now. Somehow I doubt anyone would sell rights for that…

Strike Witches 2 lives

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Thomas, a fellow member of the club, e-mailed me that according to ANN, Strike Witches Season 2 is going to be moved from GONZO to AIC. So we’re going to see more antics of the adorable doujiko-meganekko Suwa after all.

Bloggers on Todoke 08

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Kurumi finally received some screen time, and naturally every mind is focused on her. However, some watch but do not see.


Later, Kurumi finds out that Kazehaya is on the committee, and her friends suggest that she also join the committee. Well, Kurumi says it’s not like that with her and Kazehaya but she’s not opposed to being on the committee, so they agree to nominate her.

This is not what actually happened! In reality, Kurumi brought the topic up, so one of her dupes naturally suggested her to be on the committee. Then, she directed the conversation by mentioning that she’s not against “volunteering”, and very directly prodded others into nominating her (“jaa, rikouha nante, dekinai mou…” + puppy eyes).


[Kurumi] seemed geniunely humble about him not having an interest in her when talking to her friends. The only scene put her true intentions in a somewhat questionable light was when she noticed Kazehaya watching Sawako practice kicking a rock instead of paying attention to her, but even then she didn’t give any signs of being conniving.

See above. Also, all is fair in love and war. Although, I have to admit, I was shocked when Kei deleted those 99 messages.


But like a young Anakin Skywalker in the Phantom Menace [], Kurumi is hard to read. Right now the story is positioning her character to be able to go both ways. Either she could genuinely be quite shy, sweet, and generally too self-conscious to ever confess to her good friend Kazehaya and just going along with her friends plans innocently, or she could actually be quite the schemer underneath. Honestly, it would make this a much better series, if she actually wasn’t much of a schemer and was actually truly sweet.

It’s sort of amazing that even Hung has doubts about this. Good anime can play up an enigma, for example Milch (von Striessman) in Nodame was never explained one way or the other. This story, however, is just not going there. Even Yano knows of Kurumi, for crying out loud (see her remark as early as 03 when Kurumi calls Shouta to the door and gives him something).


I guess that the biggest danger for this show is the love triangles. When you see love triangles in a series in which it’s pretty obvious that the creators have no intentions to break up the main couple, they’re just boring! This episode established that the blond girl is yet another one of those girls who has a crush on Kazehaya, so I really don’t hope that this is going to continue on throughout the series. It reminds me of Itazura na Kiss: the creators just kept throwing in love triangles to supposedly “test” the strength of the relationship between the lead couple. Unfortunately, all that did was make the entire series incredibly shallow.

At least her understands what’s going on. Too bad he does not understand shoujo. Shallow, my posterior!

He’s right about one thing though: this is a show with the railroad plot, like Toradora. In the real life, Kurumi would’ve still had a chance to win, if she were decisive enough, by putting out first. However, judging by her careful moves in the previous episodes, she might not be the type. And in any case, we don’t even need to think about it in case of the anime.

Fortunately, I’m not invested in Kurumi’s case. I find her less sympathetic than Ami, who had a bigger life than just pants-chasing. So, whatever.


… Kazehaya eventually comes to the rescue as she looks to find a way to practice after school so as not to let the side down. Mind you, Sawako spends so much of this episode just starting at Kazehaya and spacing out, I’m not sure any such practice will actually be particularly helpful, but never mind.


Badass Raw Watchers are relentless

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

There’s not one torrent at Tokyo Toshokan yet, but Aroduc has posted heavy spoilers for Kampfer 09 already.

The intense suffering of dub watchers

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

I had an urge to rewatch Magical Play 3D and since Crunchy was dead, visited Youtube, where apparently remains of ADV made their last stand. The advertisements are not the worst part at all, but the horrible performance was a real pain. Spinning dots kept appearing even while the gauge and slider below showed sufficient buffering.

To be fair, Gurren Lagann at Hulu is not as bad. Except that capping for blogging is an issue as usual. Behold the power of incumbent! But then it’s Hulu, the transplant of the broadcast paradigm: poor selection, dubs, etc.

CKS on Bakemonogatari

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Seen today (short enough to quote essentially in full):

Here is something that I did not see and understand until the last (aired) episode of Bakemonogatari smacked me in the nose with it: Bakemonogatari is really a love story. A romance, like Toradora.

And like Toradora, I think that it is a good one. It does not have a love triangle, because that’s not the kind of story it is telling; it is more telling the story of how two peculiar people come to fit together and to more or less understand each other.

I don’t want to say that the supernatural elements of Bakemonogatari are just trappings, because they’re a lot more than that, but ultimately they’re the means to an end and not an end to themselves.

The analogy tells us more about Toradora than Bake really. In particular, lots and lots of bloggers were wilfully blind to what Toradora was showing them in ep.2, and then complained that the ending was “sudden”.

More to the point, any instance of romcom has its specific twist (and I’m going to go by reputation here). KimiNozo had angst, sex, guilt. Kimikiss had a confusing relationship graph. Nodame had rich content outside of the relationship, the struggle and achievement. And Toradora exemplifies the story of pre-destined development (although, Ami…). I am racking my brains for a better example and finding none.

Funimation licenses Sekirei

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

I received a tip from DiGikerot that Funimation acquired licenses to Sekirei and Birdy, as announced at their panel at AnimeUSA. There goes my “Funi only licenses shit” mantra. I realize that with the dominant position Funi enjoys, it was only a matter of time before they grabbed something decent in their bumbling. Now it’s “Funi mostly licenses shit”.

BTW, all normal news feeds were asleep at the wheel. There’s nothing at Gia’s Vice, John’s Nation, and even on the mighty ANN. I love reader’s tips. It’s too bad I don’t get much, and Mr. Kerot is more of an online friend than “reader”.

Kampfer 09 Preview

Friday, November 20th, 2009

I think that white Kampfers must be hench[wo]men of Moderators who do not fight as such, but beat up colored ones and make them fight like gladiators. Shizuku is going to have it tough.


When I watched how gears were furiously turning in Shizuku’s head, I remembered how Pixy said: “the way Sawako treats social interaction as an intellectual puzzle rather than an instinctive response is typical, perhaps even diagnostic of Asperger’s.” It’s amazing, but it’s very obvious that Prez had no clue what to do, how to approach solving the problem.