Archive for October, 2010

SoraKake, a visual retrospective

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Looking for the one-screenshot representative for the failure announcement, I laughed a few times, so Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo is getting a retrospective for the first 11 episodes as a public service and a consolation prize. I used up a few good screencaps in the opening bracket post, but there were a few more left, not to worry.

This is Itsuki. She is my favourite. I really like the way the age-old stereotype of “man from mountains” was played here (and I never liked FMP). Plus, she’s just cool. And maybe a coodere too… A man can hope, right?

This is Akiha. She is the main character. She’s not bad… Also, look at her go. BTW, the weird shape of character faces is on a first-class display here. Why does Manabi get a bad rap for design, but Sorakake gets a pass? Look, I’m not saying Sorakake was unwatcheable because of it, or anything like that, but clearly a few critics have double standards.

This is Nami. She offered a tantalizing promise for 10 episodes that came to nothing.

Itsuki and Akiha: two worthy foils and great partners (Itsuki is in her schoolgirl guise).

Itsuki fanservice. Least you think I’m biased toward her, she gets basically a gravure photoshoot in ep.10 (with Hako being a cameragirl… I did not see anything like that since Haruka Amami flashed her boobs at Imber — who also recorded it).

Oh, and an accidentially naked Itsuki for good measure. Of course everything interesting was cut around.

One thing I appreciated in particular was how the mecha got integrated into the background, in the Vandread/Stellvia style. And it was ridiculously cool, too — despite being in the background (e.g. the setup opposide of Gundam).

The “fuuuuu” moment cracks me up.

The Team Rocket was adorable. Adorable! BTW, I cannot understand the rules according to which the QT marks appear and disappear at faces. Akiha’s apparently come through when she suits up. But Itsuki wears them while in civvies on a couple of occasions.

Seeing Team Rocket’s backsides made me realize that GONZO and AIC just cannot draw butts… Strike Witches was supposed to be all about camel toe and butts, and yet neither GONZO nor AIC managed to draw it well. Without seeing an alternative, viewers may not even realize the depths of GONZO’s incompetence, but then Sunrize comes along and completely demolishes SW — in passing.

I would not say this Emily was better than in SW2, but this one was in space. Or, rather, inside a space colony… The city lights in the sky are seen across the cylinder.

SoraKake fails

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

My interest in Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo was largely instigated by Moogy’s “spiritual successor” post. I do not like either HiME (since the early encouter) or Otome. In case of the latter, I only watched S.ifr 01 and read SDB’s blogging of Zwei, but it made me thinking that I would not mind something in the same vein. That was the hope for Sorakake: like the rest of the happy family in spirit, but perhaps less objectionable.

And it is. Unfortunately, it’s also not very interesting. Or, rather, it’s not very interesting after about ep.7. It starts very well, but then goes into unfolding of the central conflict, and loses itself there. I cleared ep.9 (the baseball filler), getting more and more bored, and pretty much watched to see what happens to Nami. Then in ep.11 they made her an agent of Nerval. What a waste, especially since OP promised more. And it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Blogs that died in July

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Actually, the time of death is unknown, we only know the time of the last post. And any one of them may yet stagger into life zombie-like.

July 2: CKS»anime (apparently it was called “Roving Thoughts” officially). Chances of resurrection: high, in case Chris watches something thought-inducing like OER or… Kampfer. {Update: Man, did I call it just now. Chris says it was “mostly a coincidence”.}

July 11: BasuGasuBakuhatsu. Nano is also maintained poorly, looks like Hung is moving on with life.

Also on July 11: Anime Chatter (by Omisyth).

July 16: The Epic Win. Ironically the last post announces its revival.

July 26: The Golden Waste. This one really is dead, deleted from WordPress after a rant with passes like:

Region 1, or North American, anime fandom has gone from being a pretty sophisticated, happy and content cluster of people to a stupid, immature and unreasonable group of twits. The times and people have changed for the worst, I’m afraid. Intelligent and reasonable DVD-buying Region 1 supporters are dying out. I don’t like where the North American anime industry has gone. Its consumer base has become selfish.

Off the deep end.

Also on July 26: Incredible Nothing.

July 28: Tenka Hametsu.

I may be forgetting someone here but yeah… August looks not as deadly, but wait for September. That’s going to be a big one.

Tired of shit anime

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Recently I got to thinking that I was tired of anime, but seeing Oh Edo Rocket demonstrated that I am only tired of shit anime. Unfortunately that would be almost everything made these days. I want to see something truly good, like Shingu. Even flawed but epic would work, like Gurren-Lagann (I hoped for Sorakake to turn out like that, but it didn’t). But I think the freshest well-made anime I watched was GA:GADC, and that was almost a year ago.

The past year’s stock lines up about so:

  • Seirei no Moribito: Seen all. This was actually pretty good, but not quite Sningu. Needs a fraction more power, maybe some plot twists.
  • Pretty Cure Max Heart: Seen all 49. V.slow to develop; slice-of-life dominates. Overall, is not all that good, IMHO.
  • Oh Edo Rocket: Seen all. God, this was a painful remainder how crappy the current anime is. Whimsical, offbeat. Great villains.
  • [Astro Fighter] Sunred: Seen all, a few times. Bad art (webcomic-like), repetitive, weak. But Kayoko is out of this world. Too bad it’s not her anime.
  • Kampfer: Seen 11. Pulpy to the utmost but great fun.
  • Sorakake: Seen 10. I cleared one episode after 9, because DiGiKerot said “this is where all of the Internet stopped watching”, but it’s such a drag, and it’s supposed to be fun.
  • true tears: Seen 5 (the deal-making with the biker basketballist), formally is still running. Supposed to be everything but I just cannot care.
  • Kimi ni Todoke: Seen 10. The very best of shoujo, but seems sagging in the second half.
  • Onegai Twins: Seen 1.5. Hideously stupid. {Update: Evirus twittered: “You didn’t even get to the bad parts.” Did I never.}
  • Gatakei: Seen 8 minutes. Maybe I don’t want to ruin the impression from blogging by actually watching it. It cannot be anywhere as good as everyone says.
  • Kobato: Seen 1. Kobato is dumb like a post, not simply naive.
  • (Futari wa) Pretty Cure: Seen 5. Basically watched it for illustrations on Hanahalu site (care, NSFW at site’s root).
  • Strike Witches 2: Seen 3. More of the same, exploitative.
  • Asobi ni Ikuyo: Seen 1. Aoi is a syco bitch. {Update: Steven rushes to defend with “that impression of a cold, merciless killer is entirely wrong. Deep down she wants to love and be loved.” Bet Hitler wanted it too. *eyeroll*}
  • Ookami-san: Seen 2. Bland; crime drama (narrator ok).
  • Idolmaster OVA: Seen the whole episode, and it made me ashamed to be a fan of it. So bad.
  • Mitsudomoe: Seen 13. Not as bad as expected, but still weak. Repetitive, one-sided.

Now, the hopefuls (e.g. entries in the queue that have a chance to be “good” in aforementioned way):

  • Full Moon wo Sagashite: I dread committing to 52 episodes, but Evirus said “best anime ever”.
  • Mizuiro Jidai: jpmeyer’s effective advocacy re. the youth. May be hard to find.
  • Kara no Kyokai (Garden of Sinners). I hate creepy stuff, but apparently it’s the final good thing that Ufotable made, so…
  • Bungaku Shoujo: Ryan’s fault. I’m not very optimistic.

And that would be it. Nothing else to watch.