Archive for November, 2010

The late Sunred

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Instigated in part by WAH’s twittering, I looked at the Sunred 35 ~ 46 (basically from the place I dropped the S2 to about where ANBU is now). The picture is a bit bleak.

Animation went back to the bad old times of ep.1. Kayoko goes off model especially often (and I am not talking about the new haircut she received in ep.40). Her character is slipping, too, I think. Maybe the life with Red is getting to her, but she gets more and more sardonic over time. The process is very gradual, but due to some circumstanes I started with ep.46, and the difference is very apparent. Not good.

I am not fond of the new OP/ED, although perhaps ED soundtrack is not bad. Also, OP has changing one-frame shots of Red in front of various landmarks, which is good for my map: more identification quests.

Zyl on Miku

Friday, November 26th, 2010

He’s got all the rest beat: while DM, Omo, et.al. talk about Miku because everyone else is a fan, Zyl is a fan himself. And a real one too, a step or two above my “I buy Miku and Luca tracks at Amazon MP3” level.

Running into a creator cashier was cool too.

In the album list, I spot 401 (あなたはどのミクに恋をしますか, How Do You Love Miku) and 412 (The anthology by Turn A Studio).

Lelangir on Miku

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Here’s another angle:

I was wondering, why haven’t we ever seen Miku as part of a band? There’s tons of fanart with Miku and other vocaloids holding instruments, singing, etc; but never is Miku presented as being part of a band. I mean, she’s never presented as a musician, that is, a performer whose music is deeply a part of them, unlike an idol who merely performs this music which external to any whacky definition of “self” you want to muster up.

I suppose the thing about the band is that there is no official Vocaloid anime by Crypton, where such thing could happen, and no Musicoids outside of it. You are welcome to write the software though, make it interoperate with UTAU.

As for idols who merely perform, I am going to go ahead and be very injured on behalf of… say, Yukiho Hagiwara, because she’s the one who would cry if she heard such discourses (and if she were real, of course). Why do you think they printed “image” songs? Of course we’re getting back into the whole “manufactured” angle, but look, if Namco goes to such lengths to give idols a personality, and fans observe how Makoto matures and becomes more and more femininie in every game (all the while remaining within her official age… like Bart Simpson who never needs to graduate the 10th grade, to quote Matt Groening), then there is a certain meaning to it, or at least an expectation, that is rooted in the way things work in reality.

Omo on Miku

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Shredding the flow of his article to pieces, I’d like to comment on these:

Miku is not the first virtual idol. But she’s by far the most successful one. DM suspect it is because of that memetic aspect of Miku, and I agree, but that’s the just start. I think Miku, specifically, is like a brand and an enabler, giving lone composer-producer types the power to generate commonly-acceptable vocals that taps into an existing fan base.

Even so it’s notable how pros rule the roost. I tasted or sampled close to 100 Miku tracks, and it’s clear to me that Sososo and Biri are simply better than generic amateurs at making Miku sound well.

Idols cannot do their idol things by themselves. She or he is just a gear in the idol biz cog. It’s probably most telling when the creator of AKB48 is looking to license his franchise. In other words, it’s a business method. It takes a lot of people to run an idol business. It takes Producer-san to make IdolM@ster tick, right?

He means “make an idol of IM@S tick”, I suspect, but yes. Anime is the pinnacle of this achievement really. Without a gigantic enterprise it would not exist as we know it today.

If we talk about “the thing fans fawn over” I think DarkMirage has got some good points. I just find it a little disingenuous partly because of my own previous experience of talking about this–most people who give me that virtual idol vibe as described above tend to be a little bit, shall we say, outside of the demographics of idol fans. In other words, they are rarely actual idol fanatics, if at all ever. In fact I’ve yet to find one who is actually the kind of people who would pay big bucks for a handshake session with a real idol, or listen to trashy pop music all the time (which is 98% of what most idol pumps out this day and age). So when these sort of people criticize Miku for being “not like a real idol” or if there’s a gap and that Miku is “not quite there yet,” I wonder if that is actually a good thing?

Omo himself permits of traditional idol fans hitching to Miku’s cart, and I think that people who attended the “Live” were just that. But I would not go near it. The interesting question is who is in control, who votes stronger with their wallets?

Avatar on (Miki) Noda

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Avatar comes out with a curious note:

I wasn’t originally thinking about Tomokane, though. Noda’s the one with the jerk character. Even that’s not really fair – it’s more accurate to say that she’s creative to the point of froth, and she goes with her ideas. But she goes with them with total disregard of the people around her. The other characters will occasionally have an out-there idea and think about it for a bit, then put it aside. Noda thinks of that idea and goes straight to implementation.

The yaminabe incident is illustrative of this. Noda comes up with a screwball idea, everyone goes along with it, chaos(-nabe) ensues, Noda tries to sneak out of the consequences.

You know, he’s right. I am wondering now what made me eat all of it. I suppose, the princess was adorable, and was eased in gently. The suggested sleep part was pure brilliance.

It was also great that Noda was made to deal with the consequences of the nabe incident. But of course it’s not going to leave a lasting impression. It’s just the kind of person the princess is. Fortunately, I am not going to marry her.

DM on Miku

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

DM weighs in with many paragraphs that basically demand higher video fidelity. This is representative:

Her screen-projected concerts are not so much endearing as amusing; It’s something fresh and flashy, but after the first time it offers no obvious value over watching this YouTube video [Ievan Polkka] twenty times. That’s because seeing Hatsune Miku as an idol requires a suspension of disbelief far greater in magnitude than that required for a typical mass-produced humanoid idol. This is why virtual idols (and I suppose this does include anime characters in general) will remain a tiny niche for as long as display and rendering technology fail to convincingly fool our brains into giving willing fans an easier time to live in our selfish fantasies.

While true as far as it goes, in my case all of it is immaterial, because the tracks that I buy at Amazon do not include video. DM looks into the Muku’s multiplicity and universality, but very tentatively, and mostly from the “prosumer” angle. But it’s not like I make Miku tracks.

A comparison with IM@S may be instructive, since it’s a similarly synthetic idol system, but one that does not permit a creative fan participation to the degree Miku does. There aren’t even pressures to expand it. I mean, where is IM@S’s UTAU? Last time I checked there was no ODORU, not even for Linux.

Speaking of Miku Live

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

There’s a video on Youtube://DTXO7KGHtjI (via (via)). She looks huge, about 5m tall.

Campanella begins

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Right away it must be (dis)claimed that Shukufuku no Campanella begins very conditionally at Ani-nouto, owing to how cretinous it is. My notepad says “Evirus was a fan”, although the only mention at Karmaburn is not entirely complimentary. He must’ve twittered something vaguely positive. IIRC, it was “the best-dressed cast of the season”. People like Eternal and Kellis agreed: “The artstyle is clean and bright and cute, and the characters are easy on the eyes.”

Unfortunately, the overall result is only somewhat better than Tales of Symphonia. I am afraid that my love of eye candy is not strong enough to overcome the articifial setting and what passes for the story. It is a little difficult for me to operationalize, because Druaga was also set in a fantasy world, but what ruined it was GONZO, not fantasy. It’s just something that is repulsively dumb.

Characters are ok. Sadly Chelsea is no Ahmey, but we can’t have everything. At least she’s voiced by Asami Imai, who I know as voice of Chihaya in Idolm@ster. I heard a lot of her thanks to “talk” tracks. Weirdly enough, I found at least 4 IM@S grads working on Campanella, including my new favourite Hiromi Hirata.

Parts of fanservice are odd. I mean the Minette’s robopedophillic eyecatch: what was that about? In the show we have a little innocent robot girl, who calls the male lead “papa”. Leaving aside the important question of her even having a vagina, what was the message here?

Streaming is provided by FUNi at Yotube, and they set up a “show” page. It’s pretty nifty. Also curious are view counts by episode: 01 – 7483, 02 – 3425, 03 – 2906, 04 – 1997. Not gigantic numbers (once again, if Kasane can top a million, Funi has a room for improvement).

2DT, Azrael, power levels

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

With the 2DT’s record of JET life reaching an inevitable plank, it may be a good time to remind about the classic of the genre, Moeko Owl.

Azrael is atrocious about keeping his stuff in order and archives keep being shuffled around. Currently original Moeko is searchable at Outpost Nine and has no picture of the owl; the follow-up features a broken link. I foresaw this and saved both back then, with the picture. No, I’m not posting them. But they are available for the time Azrael makes a real mess and loses the whole thing.

2DT seems tidier so far, or at least until the moment his wordpress.com account goes belly up. Maybe I should think about saving that too.

The inbred comic I never drew

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

It might be funny to make a play on bloggers’ imaginary girlfriends, in the sense Lolikit’s CCY-sempai 17-sai was funny — as an inside joke. The initial cast goes like this:

DiGiKerot – Alice
Orion – Guff
Author – Koyomi (Matsuyama)
Stripey – Tanuki
WAH – Tina (has 1 antenna)
DS – Dango
Danny Choo – Mirai (Suenaga, obv.)