Archive for September, 2010

Mitsudomoe 13

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

We know already that Mitsudomoe was green-lit to continue, but nonetheless the ep.13 bears marks of a season finale. It also stays true to itself to the very end… very, very end — so that the punchline for the last joke is in the broadcast sponsor screen, which is going to be cut from media releases.

In some seasons I dropped every show half-way and had to grope around for replacements. Mitsudomoe struggled to the finish line, somehow. Now I wish it didn’t, since its accomplishment puts next ranked contenders, Campanella and K-ON2, on back burner.

Seeing ep.10 (with chijo), Kurogane twittered “Mitsudomoe just keeps getting funnier and funnier by the episode. I’m glad it’s getting a second season now.” I don’t know if I agree with the assessement (that gets funnier) and the conclusion (about the 2nd season). It seems to me the creators never transcended the source, and result was hit and miss. While they got better at processing the 4koma into anime with practice, the art quality took a slide from astonishing to mediocre. And since the show went nowhere, I got tired of it. The way its category dried up is an good indicator of perspectives of the 2nd season.

UPDATE: Moero Amazon says “来年早々の2期が今から待ち遠しいですよ”, e.g. is looking forward to S2. Well, I’m glad someone does. She also has a stitch of bishojo Hitoha (low-res, naturally).

Also… I may sound a bit grumpy in this entry, Mitsudomoe stood where AsoIku and Ookami-san failed.

UPDATE: Aroduc says:

[] I’d consider Mitsudomoe a very disappointing show overall after an excellent first episode and a strong first half. Once we hit about episode 7 though, almost everything from then on turned sour. I think back to all the things that made me enjoy that episode, the visual style and parodies, the energy, the rapidfire and varied jokes, and all of that completely evaporated. Heck, they just completely dropped Hitoha being a pervert and always reading porn about three episodes into the series to totally rewrite her character for an endless parade of the exact same Gachi Ranger misunderstanding joke over and over again.

That ended up being my biggest problem with this series. Every now and then, a little variety and energy did seep back into the show, but nothing came even close to matching up to the first episode. All that creativity slowly withered away and was replaced by a calvacade of “person overhears part of a conversation, assumes that they’re talking about particularly nasty sadomasocistic sex.” It stretches far past suspension of disbelief allows and undermines the joke by being utterly unbelievable. It really feels like they completely ran out of ideas for episodes 7-12 and simply picked on joke per segment to run into the ground.

Indeed the lack of creativity was noticeable. For example, in the final episode, Nipples switched his allegiance again. Haven’t we been there before?

Still, I’m inclined to blame the formula of aimless parade of self-contained jokes with no development or story. It’s like taking all the wrong lessons from Azumanga, and stepping on the same rake that Hidamari and GA fought so valiantly. The running out of material is simply inevitable here. If creators even watched Lucky Star, expect a major influx of new characters for the next season, or utter death and premature cancellation.

Animeblogger Arms Race

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

I decided that need a dakimakura in order to upstage that pantsy SDB who’s crowing about his punimune. Too bad they never licensed official dakimakura for Idolm@ster (except one Haruka for Xenoglossia canon). If Itsuki weren’t out of print, I’d get it. I guess I’ll have to settle for a nice Feena. The classic one out of print too, but apparently they printed some new ones recently, just need to find a place to buy one.

Cruzader on Reichswehr imagery

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

I’m very much in agreement. BTW, here’s a couple of illustrations from Kokoro Toshokan:


Man, what garbage I watched just ten years back. BTW, taking these screenshots required breaking out my box of old CD-Rs with fansubs, hence the delay. I really do not think it was worth the trouble.

2DT on wind turbines

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Although, as 2DT says, wind turbines are common in anime, they are not common enough for us to deduce common themes. I would say for now they simply work on case-by-case basis. In Shangri-la, they are definitely a part of the enviro kitsch. In Haibane Renmei, maybe not so much.

Note that Haibane Renmei was filmed before the turbines dotted the contryside.

For the image of the turbines to work, they have to tap into a stereotype. At the levels they are used in America, wind turbines add to CO2 production, not detract (it’s because due to variability in wind power, and the absolute requirement to balance the grid, backup power plants must be kept on standby, mostly coal-fired). It may or may not be the case in Japan. However, using Dr. Goebbels’ first principle[1], the mega-machine of media created an image of “eco” for the wind turbines. Naturally most anime would want to tap into it.

Not necessarily all though. I do not have a turbine example, but the way J2 mocked Global Warming (before the Climategate!) was very illustrative. Creators with conscience feel intuitively when they are being brainwashed, and some are compelled to speak out — if not against the cause, but against the instrument.

P.S. Forgot one funny tidbit: I drove by Altamont many times and once I saw a turbine starting a decent grass fire. Apparently it seized suddenly and the momentum of the rotor was enough to rip out the fasteners of the generator. When the hot generator fell to the ground, it started the fire.

[1] Joseph Goebbels formulated and applied two bedrock principles of mass-media propaganda: 1) people will believe any lie if repeated incessantly, 2) lie must be so incredible that people would not believe into a possibility of such lie and accept it as truth.

Hanners on K-ON2

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Hanners:

While this second season of K-ON has almost transcended its simple slice of life comedy roots towards something deeper and more emotionally attached to its viewers, it was actually really nice to see that it hadn’t entirely forgotten its comic roots, slipping in a few funny moments before getting in to all the sentimental stuff.

This “almost” needs to go.

Mitsudomoe 11 and 12

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

I watched Mitsu 11 with some delay but was too busy to blog. I did not keep good notes either. So all I remember is Mrs. Sugisaki. Now I regret I did not officially play “guess the parent”, with them all paraded in the OP.

In Mitsudomoe 12 the creators suddenly decided to demonstrate what Mitsudomoe would look like if the “pervert” knob were dialed down from 11 to about 2. Suddenly, it turned into K-ON!

Miyashita is great. I’m glad she received the screentime.

BTW, ep.12 introduced continuity big way. When Hitoha was described as a fan of Gachi Rangers, it was a part of introduction. When Hitoha exited the closet… it was the in-story change. It looks pretty significant to me, although naturally the creators may choose to make nothing of it.

Tonkatsu in Sushi Moto

Friday, September 17th, 2010

As Steven noted, I was on vacation, in the course of which I tasted the best tonkatsu I have ever eaten in America (the second best would be in Osaka at Filmore of San Francisco). The dish was served by a place called Sushi Moto, located in the middle of the desolation of northern Nevada, in a township called Fernley.

The battering was just like they serve in Tonkatsu Tonki, and the pork was proper. It reminded me of that experience, honestly. Plating was beyond reproach, too. Souce on the side, two little gyoza for bonus.

Here’s a shocker though: the place is a chain, like McDonald’s.

Miku Hatsune makes a live appearance in San Francisco… what, what?

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

ANN says so (the website of New People World says nothing). I’m wondering what videos they are going to show.

UPDATE: Steven reminds about cool tricks that can be done, like projecting to frosted glass. Come to think of it though, it would imply a canonic appearance of Miku, but is there one?

Mitsudomoe 10

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Usually the jokes in Mitsudomoe do not need precise and/or complete translation, but the problem of “chijo” really made me wish I knew Japanese slang better. I suspected from the context it’s either “prostitute” or “slut”, but the fansub that Kurogane watched says it’s “[super] nympho”. I suppose I can wait a week or two and ask what the fine professionals at Crunchyroll think. At least “ji” was easy to find in the dictionary.

Kuro also twittered: “Mitsudomoe just keeps getting funnier and funnier by the episode. I’m glad it’s getting a second season now.” I am not sure I agree. The execution of the jokes is getting better, and Kuro’s analysis of Yabecci receding is agreeable [1]. Also, as I mentioned before, it’s all right that Sugisaki is another Mitsuba [2]. But the anime seem to have a rather limited repertoire, and it is starting to bore me.

UPDATE: J. Greely explains:

From Wikipedia and elsewhere, the original intended meaning of ちじょ (痴女) was “female chikan”, something that may or may not exist outside of adult videos and the sex trade. I’m inclined to say that, when used in an adult video or services ad, it means nymphomaniac, and when used as general slang, it means slut, but search results tend to be dominated by AV references…

In the Japanese spam email I get, it is always used to refer to an actress featured in a gang-bang video. Spam that’s offering to hook you up with women never uses it; “lonely wives” seems to be the most common pitch right now.

In other words, the pro was not concerned with the context and just translated it in the most likely way, which is probably wrong. The word was bounced around a lot, but at one point the little admirers stated: “you are so beautiful, you must be chijo“. Surely “nympho” does not fit, even if they had misconceptions about what it exactly meant.

FOLLOW-UP: I think that the medicine that helped Mitsuba was not hemorroid medicine after all. More likely, stocks of both were running low, and a clerical error occured. That is because 39.1C is a high fever, with loss of consciouseness at about 40.5 and death at 42.

[1] “Glad they’ve moved from the unsettling “kids using sexual innuendos on the adults” setting to the “kids doing stupid things to each other, usually with some sexual innuendo thrown in”. Makes a world of difference for me.”

[2] I am polemizing Aroduc here, who keeps harping on the point. Oh, and like you never used suppositories on your children. There is no danger of choking and you don’t have to fight them to get it swallowed. Also, some are more efficient since they do not get cracked by acidic juice in the stomach. A win all around.

Ryan and Twitter

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Apparently Ryan coded an app that unravels twitter conversations like this:

Of course one can start at the last message and walk the chain by hand, but it’s ewww.

And BTW, this “best ever” is a tall claim. I watched a few things that would be difficult to displace. So please pardon me being just a bit sceptical.