Archive for January, 2011

Anticlimactic

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

I will meet you on the other side of the veil.

Leite and engineers in anime

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

A chance comment at Chizumatic reminded me about one thing I wanted to post before I was through: as Sunred gave us the ideal woman, Gurren-Lagann gave us an ideal engineer. Actually there were two, but I am going to focus just on Leite to make the comparison more apparent.

I think traditionally (manga and) anime tended to exploit the “mad scientist” angle. Ikuyo of Hanaukyo Maid Tai would be about on center of this field. There was one example I thought was passable on such background, Parfait of Vandread. Even so, what always bugged me about her was her incompetence, such as in case of the snow machine. Also, creators felt necessary to link engineering and dorkiness, which is also a poor stereotype. Leite is a perfect example how all of this was entirely unnecessary. If she designs a machine, it works. She was also married at a time (pictured), with children. Absolutely reliable in all respects. That is how it should be.

Funimation lawsuit

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

The most important thing about the Funimation lawsuit is that the suit has characteristics of massive “John Doe” lawsuit, the likes of which were considered in the paper “Large Recording Companies v. The Defenseless: Some Common Sense Solutions to the Challenges of the RIAA Litigations”, by Ray Beckerman (published in The Judges’ Journal, Volume 47, Number 3, Summer 2008. © 2008 by the American Bar Association.).

I do not regret buying Funi’s release of Oh Edo Rocket, but I am not going to watch their streaming of Fractale any further. It’s not like I am enyoing their ugly watermark anyway. Why should I appease them? I know enough Japanese to buy the real media.

K-ON2 ends

Monday, January 24th, 2011

The sequel to the all-conquering K-ON is surprisingly different from the original. Certainly not Futakoi Alternative different, and not even Kanon different, but still very much different. The direction was squarely aimed at extracting maximum from the “cute girls doing cute things” angle and extremely deliberate. Remember how Azusa was retrofitted into the OP in the classic K-ON — very poor planning. Nothing like that was permitted this time.

Creators stepped outside the rigid mission rules only when the success was essentially assured, and so the direction became cinematic in the graduation episode. Note that crazy dream overlaps of ep.13 are not the same thing!

Technical quality was outstanding throughout. Obviously, no crooked fingers. KyotoAni’s trademark motion occured periodically (e.g. early on, there was a moment where Ritsu made “wah, surprise” movement). Detail was lavish. Ton-chan moving always, 3D blended in masterfuly, backgrounds, the works.

New characters did happen, although in a sneaky way: Nodoka, Jun and Ui were given bigger roles than before.

Liked: Not as much as the classic K-ON
Rewatch: Doubtful

true tears fails

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

I packed these DVDs away very long time ago: timestamps of screencaps end in March 2010. But there was an irrational hope still that I may pick it back up. Now I know that I won’t. I just stopped being as interested in teenage love, even masterfuly presented. Indeed, watching true tears is like reading vintage Tolstoy. And Tolstoy always bored me into sleep.

Also, I suspect what is going to happen to Aiko, and I hate that.

The anime caused quite a stir back in the day. The Chinese connection, and the fear that it heralded the takeover of Japan(ese animation), of course. Also, I remember how Evirus blogged “the people who acted kinda normally”. Ani-nouto quoted Sat-chan (remember him?), Coburn (what about him?), and Bateszi. But there was way more.

Ryan wrapped the following capsule: “Stunning production quality, concise romance, and one of the greatest characters of 2008, Noe.” (I am against the glorification of the crazy in principle.) He also wrote a real panegyric.

Kuro was a partisan of Hiromi, which is understandable. He also crowned TT as series of the year.

Stripey declared: “Truly a masterpiece” (mostly about the grand finale). What Zyl said, we’ll never know because he broke permalinks. [Update: Zyl recovered the blog access and it turned out to be Stripey’s article. — Author]

I think all of these people had a point. But… alas.

P.S. IKnight broke with the osanna by: “And yet I did not feel at all engaged by the story.”

Mind you, it would’ve been hard to discover that True Tears would be quite tightly wrapped up in Shinichiro’s romantic progress before watching it, at least without badly spoiling myself. And it was a matter of tightness, of claustrophobia, of that moment in an asthma attack when you properly wake up and realise that your inhaler is in another room. KimiKiss (which I liked) and Kanon (which I didn’t like, but could engage with) felt more expansive: there were more characters and situations for me to occupy myself with when the going was tough. True Tears was shorter and smaller, so there was nowhere to run.

UPDATE: Otou-san promises a review one day (if I understood it right). Also, it occured to me independently that “TT” was a great acronym for this anime.

Macademi fails

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

I think this was a valliant effort at uniqueness through pointlessness in slapstick humour. But it didn’t connect, although I gave it an episode beyond Falce’s arrival, in case the end of harem formation brought out something interesting.

Actually, the oft-repeated claim of uniqueness is a bit overdone, I think. As far as unhinged humour goes, Macademi is close kin of Muteki Kanban Musume, for example. And the harem is just what we’d expect. The whole thing is creatively presented, and moves along nicely — no 4koma borders here. The direction competency is on full display, and leaves a great impression.

Sadly, characters are not attractive at all. Takuto does well for a mediocre male lead, but that’s about it. The only person who is minimally sophisticated is Miyabi, who plays in the 3rd string. Falce was supposed to carry the show, but she is stupid (of course not as stupid as Tanarotte, who cannot even see when Takuto is magically controlled, but then Tanarotte is the manifestation of pure stupid, no contest).

To sum it up, Macademi may be a nice way to switch off for an episode, if the jokes grab you. If they don’t, well… too bad. People who hated Mitsudomoe receive the other end of the same stick. Or the same end, turned their way.

FRIDGE: I just remembered another terrible “humour” anime in the same vein: Potemayo. I lasted 1 episode of that, didn’t even blog it. {Update: Getting on the bad side of the Lord of Meenuvia was probably imprudent. But I cannot help it.}

UPDATE: Steven resigns to my poor taste. I know I am a disappointment. But what would he say if he learned that I gobbed up on Macademi because I am cleaning the plate for Raigun.

IKnight on Madoka

Friday, January 21st, 2011

I do not wish to spoil the original post completely, but it is very short (very hard-hitting, too). So, basically:

Nastier takes on familiar genres are all well and good. I liked Uta Kata, for example. But claiming that the nastier take is somehow more real, or naturally better, [..]

Oh god. I knew it.

UPDATE: DM comments at Animanachronism with this:

Of course whether more real is better depends on the viewer. In this case, I think it is better because it appears to address my only reservation when it comes to mahou shoujo.

Say what?! The henshin deck and the cute are the main things that make the mahou shoujo what it is. If you want real, go watch Figure 17.

Kurogane on Fractale cancellation

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

I agree with Kuro: nobody cares about FUNimation and their cancelled “simulcast”. Not giving ready scripts to cracksubbers is actually a positive. Ani-nouto, for instance, is not racing to post after every episode airs. That is Aroduc’s job and he’s a BRW (Badass Raw Watcher) anyway. So we don’t care. Chizumatic? Not affected (thank you, Robert — by your prayer only). Beveridge might care a little, but it’s not like he really needs to see Fractale simulcast — his plate is full anyhow. All we are going to see is the chattering classes chatter at Mania and Animesuki forums, but it’s hardly relevant.

Ep.1 is still up at Hulu if anyone wants what now amounts to BD teaser.

UPDATE 2011/01/23: Apparently Hulu promises a new episode on Monday, as if nothing happened (via animenews.biz). One has to wonder if the whole cancellation was a publicity stunt.

Idolm@ster at LCAD this weekend

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

The Las Cruces Anime Day is going to have an Idolm@ster panel this year again. Unfortunately, I cannot go.

Omo crunches data on Light Novels

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

We love worksheets, right? I expected it to be collated differently, but it’s a start.