Archive for October, 2010

We raise in defiance

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

As if to counter the know-nothings, Miku constume was judged the winner at my club’s cosplay contest today.

Oh and BTW, Kasane Territory broke through one million views, with Teto not even being a vocaloid, strictly speaking.

UPDATE: A better picture of the winner is available at Flickr from cadha13 (who himself dressed nicely as Kyon but did not run in the contest).

Apropos the magical phalanx

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Seeing a picture in the previous top rotation on Chizumatic got me wondering if we ever see a crew-fired magical weapon. We saw a magical analog of just about every other arrangement, even carrier ops. Group tactics are not uncommon too, and this clearly is a magical formation. Now, Gurren-Lagann is a magical mecha piloted by two, but it’s not quite what I have in mind. So?

UPDATE: Steven comments with explanations of the screencap, and also adds examples:

There’s one in the last episode of Yumeria which involves pretty much the whole cast. And in the last episode of Card Captor Sakura there’s one involving two major characters, or perhaps four depending on how you count, all working together.

Weird, I saw the ending of CCS (it’s the only DVD I have), but I do not remember anything except the departure of the Chinese dude.

In comments, Mikeski reminds about the magic mecha of Simoun, that is crewed by two and runs on pure lesbian power. That comes even closer to the concept than Gurren-Lagann.

UPDATE 20101101: Mitch writes:

There’s plenty of “merger” magical-girl types floating around – Pretear’s whole schtick features the heroine body-merging with one of her seven magical boyfriends to pull off another transformation & theme-specific suite of magical effects – fire, ice, vegetative tentacles, that sort of thing.

Also, the later Sailor Moon series feature increasingly baroque multi-magical-girl magic attacks, specifically Chibi-Sailor Moon, that damned Pegasus, and Sailor Moon in a sort of chain variant on ye olde stocke-footage attack.

Oh god, my subconsciouseness blanked Pretear for safety reasons.

Ah my Robert

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Robert (The ‘R’ in RACS) is acting butthurt:

Production company IDA Entertainment (another brilliantly run Japanese managed Anime firm) has announced that they intend to release Cat Shit One – at least the single episode that has actually been produced – on DVD and BD here in the US in December.

The big downer? It will only be available from Amazon. IDA says because they wanted to handle international distribution for this video on their own:

that unfortunately means we are currently not interested in collaborating with other television, Internet distribution, DVD, or Blu-ray distribution related companies.

In other words, they’re not really interested in market penetration, just turning a fast buck on the small amount of series content they’ve already produced.

Well IDA, for that (just like AniPlex) YOU CAN SUCK IT!

Everyone loves when the middleman is cut out of the loop, except the middleman. It’s so transparent, it’s pathetic. I admit, at first I was going to threaten Robert that I’ll buy my Oh Edo Rocket elsewhere if he does not quit whining. But I quickly came back to my senses. Robert is the best in this obsolete and dying business of shipping media, which is why I buy from him. Everything else is immaterial. What is it for me that he likes to cry about the changing business (like in Bang-Zoom case), on his own blog? This is exactly what blogs are for, and it’s great that he’s carrying his biases on his sleeve. So, I’m definitely visiting his site on November 2, while it is not bankrupt yet.

BTW, thanks for the reminder. I’m getting a disc of CSO too, if purely for the novelty value.

UPDATE: Nova takes it further in the militant direction, including the choice quotes from vintage Robert. I guess I was not entirely correct: Robert’s attacks on his own customers do matter. Granted, Nova is not one of them, being in Finland, but between my knee-jerk reaction and his ranting as symptoms, there may be some ill-will out there. I’m not letting it affect my buying decisions, however. You bet Dark Lord Kirchener thinks exactly the same thing, he just doesn’t blog it. Hang out at #animedvd and you get the same nasty “industry” groupthink.

UPDATE 20101102: Omo takes a somewhat different view, mostly coming down to:

I just tl;dr’d on the fact that one possible motivation on the control on distribution is to have better monitoring and response against reverse importers. The only real question is, is this worth it?

Zakuro foreshadowing

Friday, October 15th, 2010

I don’t have much time for anime[blogging] these days, but here’s just one quick thought: looks like nobody blogging Zakuro is picking up on this:

Instead, we get blogging how Zakuro is a day-to-day romantic comedy yada yada. I may be wrong as usual, but I expect the opposing human-youkai team to appear and maybe some conspiracy to rule the world thrown in, which is what the 3 couplings of bumbling lovers are going to face. Heck, I’ll guess more: the dude in the mask is probably the adjutant guy who we saw in the beginning of the 1st episode.

UPDATE: CKS elaborates upon the same suspicions:

Sadly this is one of the weaknesses that I grumped at Zakuro for, because the good Lieutenant Hanadate sure feels like a cliche. My immediate reaction to him in the second episode (even before I realized that he was also the adjutant) was that he was so clearly too good to be true that he was probably going to turn out to be a villain, just like a whole string of similar characters before him in other shows.

I’m not done with ep.2 yet, but here’s Aroduc’s take:

I already hate Zakuro’s new love interest, the perfect boy Hanadate. If this weren’t a girly show, I’d already have him pegged for the final boss since he’s too damn perfect in every single way. Since this has more roses than characters though, he’ll probably just be the love rival that Zakuro always rushes off to whenever Kei tries to stick a candle in her.

He really came close to the obvious, but thought it was too obvious. And he did not attempt to link Hanadate to the ED.

Hikago on OreImo 02

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Late enough for the big round-up so that he saw 2 episodes, Hikago is… not very impressed (only somewhat impressed). “I guess bitchdere just isn’t the same as tsundere, eh?”

Kurogane, TWGOK, and poisoned by manga

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

He has both manga 117 and anime 02 posts in one day. Looks pretty cute. As for anime overtaking the manga, well, what is not based on a running manga this season?

Bloggers on Zakuro 01

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

This may be a little different because against my better judgement I have watched the ep.01 of Otome Youkai Zakuro already, so my perception of articles is going to carry a bigger slant. In fact, I was even going to give Zakuro a wider berth than usual because SDB dibbed it and recently we weren’t marching in lockstep. Oh well. As far as Steven’s impressions, there wasn’t anything lulzworthy, but compare this:

“I didn’t realize that this show was intended to be a comedy. I think I was expecting action adventure.”

.. with this:

正直な所、まったく期待してなかったんだけど普通に面白いなぁ。

Kitai shte nakatta she says. A common theme, actually.

Scamp says:

A particular grievance I had with this episode was the way the music would change to point out what you were supposed to be feeling during the current scene.

Isn’t it how it is supposed to be?

I mean, it’s not like it’s that bad or anything. The animation is of good quality. The beginnings of romance are all kind of sweet. I can’t see the actual plot going anywhere interesting outside of the romances though. Just lots of little skirmishes with yokai and the people of the village.

He clearly quit before watching the ED.

Aroduc was not excited (I omitted extra “though”):

The overall premise ended up being a hell of a lot more generic than I was expecting. [..] The lack of any decent hook is probably this show’s biggest issue []. The characters are decent, and it’s watchable, but there’s really nothing to get excited about here unless you have a fetish for bishie sparklies and roses.

No disagreement here. Although I expect the main conflict to be with the villain team of blue roses, I do not look forward to it all that much. After all, I am very happy that I dropped Xenoglossia after ep.8.

Production was pretty poor all around. They made lots of cute faces, but it certainly was not ambitious with the animation and absolutely nothing interesting going on with the art style at all.

SDB said: “The art and animation looks high budget. J.C. Staff isn’t skimping.” Eye of the beholder, I guess.

Smithy opens with: “it turned out to be surprisingly good.” (I think I’m getting the picture). Also, a middle ground:

Did notice right away the animation by JC Staff isn’t terrific in each and every scene, while some frames such as close-ups in key scenes are well cared for, other scenes alas showed animation flaws. While these were obvious, it didn’t especially bother me but most viewers will no doubt notice it.

Opinions are like international standards: select the one you like.

Mike, a rare guest in these parts, opines:

[The opener] was very different from what I imagined it would be, but with seemingly top-notch production values and lovable protagonists the series would be a very good way to waste one’s time. It probably won’t provide much food for thought, but its first episode was a delight to watch and the interactions between beast and human were just priceless.

At least he did not use the word “surprised”.

Libera (a minion of RP) is, first of all, surprised:

I was half-expecting something like an already established group getting past their species difference to trust each other, with some mild adversary along the way. Not what looks like a matchmaking service, where the real problem between the characters is the unresolved sexual tension. In other words, I wasn’t expecting a full blown shoujo.

Also:

My one worry is that the girls are going to do all the fighting and make the guys look stupidly lame. If the guys aren’t going to do anything, then there’s no real point in them being there except for the matchmaking.

I was wondering about it. They may be powering girls up like in Sekirei… Obviously manga readers would know ahead.

Here’s a run-down of unquotables:

CKS found Twitter.

Aorii waxes phylosophically about lactose intolerance and the interaction of customs.

Minnie was “pleasantly surprised though”. Riiight…

Peter says: “Pretty good first episode.” Well, yeah…

Aroduc on the Internet (and OreImo 02)

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Writing about OreImo 02, Aroduc employs sarcasm (I think):

I also found it amusing how within seconds of visiting a message board, they found a nice and friendly group for her insted of a pack of deviants and rapists. To say nothing of getting a longwinded response seconds later before heading off to meet said group. Are we on the same internet here? Remember kids, you too can meet friends on the internet, and they won’t rape or murder you at all!

I dunno, nobody whom I met on the Internet raped or murdered me. Even if that is accounted by their concern that I would shoot them twice in the center of mass if they tried, Internet’s track record is positive here.

Seriously though, in Chobits such an encounter was made to make sense.

Bloggers on OreImo 01

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Out of about 210 anime blogs in my OPML list, thus far only 12 discussed My Sister Cannot Be This Cute (Ore no Imouto …). Of the 12, Miao said absolutely nothing interesting, and 53RG10 summarized with “A definite keeper“, based on his knowledge of the manga. The general consensus is of a somewhat surprisingly inoffensive, middle of the road affair, with good production values.

Of course Aroduc would have nothing with such a positive reaction:

This was surprisingly dull in almost every way. AIC clearly isn’t putting much, if any effort into it. Like Yakumo, it’s little more than a parade of talking heads frm start to finish.

The show is really trying to sell itself on nothing but Kirino looking ‘cute,’ which got old fast. I’m also immune to the eight pounds of makeup that gives her permanently flushed cheeks.

[The episode had] two kids sitting in a room talking. And absolutely nothing more than that.

I knew that Choux was our girl eroge expert (I mean, the blog is basically the second coming of Onii-chan no Ecchi) and it is curous how she takes a “balanced” view but for the reasons entirely different from Aroduc’s:

No, I’d say that it reminds me of Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, which is a show that I strongly disliked. I mean, the show feels fun. It’s nicely animated, nicely directed, and got a few chuckles out of me. I find Kyousuke to be easily relate-able and fun to watch. But there’s something about Kirino that I just can’t agree with. I mean, first of all, she’s ridiculous. There’s no way in hell you can play that many eroge while working, keeping up with school work in Asia, making sure that you parents don’t realize it, and still have friends like that. Second of all, her personality’s… At the beginning, she ignores Kyousuke and slaps him away when he was just trying to help her. That’s a nasty way to treat someone who, from the look of things, is just an average nice guy. I also have a problem with the way that Kirino treats her hobby. Well, more like how the author decided to treat her hobby. The way that she was portrayed felt like such a gimmick.

Kuro takes a personal perspective tack:

Please try to imagine reading the above from Kyousuke’s point of view. Because I can really empathize with him. In fact, it’s a bit uncanny how much Yuuichi Nakamura’s deadpan portrayal of Kyousuke is almost exactly the same thoughts and feelings I would had, had my younger sister decided to pop that surprise for me too.

I’m quite loving the show so far. In fact, I think this is probably the most level-headed version of the story so far. I think the manga overplayed the fanservice card a bit too much and I didn’t read the novel past chapter one, so the anime is probably going to be the definitive version of the story for me if it keeps this up.

The last paragraph comes to mind a lot when I read how the anime is an exact adaptation of the manga or the novel.

Here’s another personal perspective by RP, only more conventional:

One more serious aspect that I think the show pulled off well was the “outsider” view on otakus. The parents reaction to otakus based on what they heard on TV felt pretty realistic to me, at least based on what I know about the Japanese view of otakus. So the consequences of not keeping Kirino’s secret feels much more realistic to me than say in like Nogizaka Himitsu, which was just so over the top that I couldn’t take it seriously.

Aorii adds one curious tidbit:

Post­note: Been reading some light novel synopsis from Seanver’s blog and, the one thing I can say is, all this focus on “Otaku issues” will continue for quite some time to come. I can’t completely rule out ‘fears of eventual sibcon’, but at least it either stays side­lined & out of sight, or played as if a parody joke — I can deal with that from a meta-moe show.

Zyl‘s enthusasm makes him leak words… and it’s all right:

I also enjoyed how she conveyed the rapture of an otaku obsessively discussing, with sublime delight, the joys of her forbidden hobby – that’s the sound of someone who knows and is compelled by the power of moe. I really got the feel from Kirino that she is “one of us” – that mix of a flag (for a genre, a character, a series etc.) triggered without realizing it and then struggling and yet reveling in the grip of an obsession that grows and grows, fed by online fan activity and fanned by the marketing machinations of the production companies.

BTW did anyone else think that it was really strange that Daisuke and Yoshino sleep next to each other but in separate single beds?

That is actually a rather convenient arrangement, because your spouse’s twists do not shake the whole bed. The things you learn when you were married for 20+ years…

WAH was entusiastic too, with the appropriate amount surprise:

This one’s a shocker — I was expecting not to like it, but not because I have some vendetta against moe anime (Hah!) but because I assumed I’d be completely unenthusiastic about the main character, thinking she’d just be sharp-tongued tsun for all the super-M guys out there. And while there is some of that, it’s all very down to the earth, realistic, and pulled off with class. The show also boasts a nice laid back color scheme, very aesthetically pleasing designs, great animation, and a rather note-worthy soundtrack. (also proclaims his liking of Nogizaka).

Finally, a couple of examples from the 3rd string writers of team blogs, or what I managed to salvage after taking one for the team and reading one mind-numbing retelling after another.

Hato of Metanorn:

Kyousuke’s dad scares me so much. Just his presence in the room, well, frame scares the living daylights outta me. He kinda looks like my dad as well, just less Maori.

While the art, I’ll admit, is nothing special, something about it just seems cleaner and more pristine. The lines are sharper and the colors are a lot more vibrant. I’m sick of watching anime where everything is dark and faded and gloomy and blargh. Kind of like games.

He’s right, game reviewers were railing against the poo color key for a few years now.

Splitter on Choco Syrupy Waffles:

The episode ends with Kirino explaining why she loves imouto characters in what I can only decode as a mixture of sibling placement jealousy and penis envy. I know everyone said Freud was wrong, but he’d make Kirino his poster child for penis envy if she was real. After getting everything off her chest, she gives the best moment of the series where she chastises her brother for thinking the things she enjoys in 2D is something she wants to experience in 3D. This works on so many levels.

Clicheblogging on so many levels.

P.S. I forgot Lolikit by accident:

DUDE THAT WAS AWESOME
===
No, seriously. Great soundtrack, fantastic visuals, interesting characterization, compelling narrative, good jokes. Characters blink; facial expressions change realistically. And the pacing is great. I can’t wait for more.
===
Best anime of the season? y/n

ACTUALLY: I missed a few more, mostly for not being quoteworthy… Nova completely gone negligent on us. Peter S found a similarity with Kyon, and I could swear someone above did too, forgot who. PSgels is just frustrating, I completely stopped caring about him even before he won ABT. He also built a Kyon analogy.

UPDATE NEXT DAY: 2DT is late and somewhat tangential but deserves a mention.

Anime Yume turns 4

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Ani-nouto does not mark own anniversaries, but [Mainichi] Anime Yume is older by a few months. It’s a blog we link regularly (only this year it happened on occasion KnT and Hanamaru). So, many happy returns, Yumeka.