Archive for July, 2011

Idolm@ster TV 04

Friday, July 29th, 2011

So, a Chihaya’s episode this is. In it, Namco makes her to do a job that involves no singing (some TV game show). With a low key encouragement from P-san, she carries through with it. The End. Only they did not show us the most important thing: how this experience shapes her thinking for the future. Is she going to fight for her dream, and if yes, how? Helping to find performance opportunities where Namco staff obviously is slipping, perhaps? Or is she going to retreat into a world of regrets?

I expect A-1 to take an easy way out and just have her float along while the fortunes of Namco improve, so that she eventually sings with the crew.

BTW, Kuro pays inordinary respects to Takane. Indeed, she is written much stronger than her Live lines suggested. The fog of mystery helps her a lot in power rankings.

UPDATE: Bluemist excercises heavy projection with paragraph after paragraph of things like this:

I am not lonely, I need to stress on that. I just feel a melancholy on myself. A Chihaya, despite her serious appearance and seeming loneliness, is not lonely, and I’m willing to bet on that.

UPDATE MOAR: I think it is very apparent that the idol characterizations — which I find weak, shallow, and incomplete — work for other watchers. Even if we reject Bluemist’s tl;dr for being an excercise in insecurity through projection (and we probably should not), here’s Evirus’ tweet after 04:

Chihaya by a mile. Chihaya > Miki > Ritsuko > Azusa > Makoto > Takane > Kotori > Hibiki > Yayoi > Iori > Mami > Ami > Haruka > Yukiho.

I can see that he is not into “mamoritai” moe and/or crazies. But see above what I wrote about the way Chihaya was written in this anime. I still mean it. And that man is a cynic who’s seen everything. I may be missing something!

Nia

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

The most kick-ass damsel in distress since… I meant to say since Luthien, but IIRC she rescued Beren, so it was backwards, or she was not in distress, depending how you look at it. Therefore, the most kick-ass damsel in distress, ever.

I also meant to yak a bit about Nia’s manifest impossibilities, such as her ability to retain own body while back on Earth, but any words are just too small. Gurren-Lagann is something to be experienced.

UPDATE: Looks like G-L is back at Hulu. Surprising. Is monetary performance of Hulu enough to force re-instatements?

Idolm@ster TV 03

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

This was a Yukiho episode, in even greater degree than the previous one belonged to Iori. There was essentially nothing else.

Honestly, some of it was painful to watch. In the games, Yukiho passes for a nice girl with a harmless quirk. But here she is a real psychopath. Granted, it conveniently explains why she turned around after a simple pep talk by P-san: an unnaturally sharp change for a normal person is nothing to talk about for a crazy one. Honestly, I do not approve, because I liked the old Yukiho more. From a plain wish-fulfillment perspective she worked better, too. Your avatar could work with her to quench her fears, but here it’s impossible and producer’s success was simply random. He did not do enough to join the ranks of Taro Hanaukyo et al.

Oh and by the way. Now that we’re in girl-of-the-episode mode, it’s obvious that they do not have enough episodes to give one to everybody, especially since the introductory episode ate one slot. Who is going to get shafted? Hibiki and Takane sharing an episode? Twins, for being silly? Azusa, for being exposed before?

Some quick notes:

– In the beginning of broadcast, there was a ticker where Yukiho asked viewers to listen to “side story”. What is that and where can I get it?

– The dog was just evil (I have a screencap).

– Is ED slide show supposed to be canon? Because it seems to imply that Haruka, Makoto, and Yukiho were friends outside work, possibly for a while.

– IM@S2 is coming to PS3: there were ads after the episode. Not that I care, but just saying.

P.S. I only realized now that “ALRIGHT*” is the official spelling. Facepalm. BTW, it is a damn fine track, I have it on one of 765+871 CDs. Azumi Asakura did a fabulous job there, replacing Yurika Ochiai of course. It did not come out too well in the anime, I’m afraid.

UPDATE: DiGiKerot wrote me to remind that IM@S is a 2-cour series. For some reason I thought it was only scheduled for 12 episodes (not even 13). Blame ANN – they still show 12 today.

Otou on Mawaru Penguin Drum

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Nova prompted Otou (founder of SOS) to send me an e-mail, where — between attempts to reduce me to rubble and paragraphs of personal abuse — he described his view of MawaPengu thus:

Penguindrum’s buzz on the blogs is a result of two things:

  • Pedigree. this is Kunihiko Ikuhara we’re talking about. Revolutionary Girl Utena is a landmark in anime, never mind Sailor Moon, and the guy doing another original series after this long is tantamount to Jesus Christ returning for some folks. This is an elder statesman, not a fly by night trying to titillate with incest or (as is I’m sure at least partially the case with Madoka’s Gen Urobuchi) shock us with disturbing content.
  • Execution. With the exception of the brief incestuous moment which is, like I said, probably not what it seems in the least, the first episode was executed with extreme confidence, high values, and a unique style that is pretty hard to ignore. Bright colors, a good look, absolutely zero wasted time, and yeah, some seriously confusing – but intriguing – stuff.

I think this pretty much sums up the conventional wisdom on the matter.

Nova on Mawaru Penguin Drum

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Unlike myself, who rejects e.g. Madoka without watching, Nova gave penguins a try:

Where a shitty shoujo show pretends to be a humorous, thoughtful and dramatic noitaminA show. The bipolar on-off-drama is complemented with the incestuous dynamic duo of a girl with a dick and the Shoujo Male Crush Archetype A-563. Also features Rez, though I liked the game more when it wasn’t about two boys plotting to put the meat to their half-dead sister.

The widespread adoration of these shows clearly shows a predilection towards the disturbing among a sizeable chunk of anime watchers. They may even command the BD market.

Favourite Gurren-Lagann quote

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

LORD GENOME: I know that I have no right to act as your father, but you’ve done well.

NIA: Thank you, father.

This angle made Campanella a lot more watcheable.

In the original Japanese:

ロージェノム「ニア、今更父親面できるとも思わぬが、よく頑張った」

ニア「ありがとう、お父様」

Suguru on early IM@S

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

First this:

I miss Yui Horie as Yukiho.

I would be facepalming if I cared much about Seiyuu… He misses Yui Horie, but not Yurika Ochiai? How does that even work?

That aside though, here’s a serious issue:

Still, I know A-1 can do better, I’ve seen Kannagi and Sora no Woto – show us why Iori wants to be an idol so badly, aside from some clips in the ED that show her alone a lot in a big mansion. Why does anyone want to be an idol? Do they want to feel loved? To make an impression and rise above the billions condemned to anonymity? Because Mommy forced them to? This stuff just writes itself if they try.

Indeed.

Also, a question:

Haruka bumping into that guy in the hall isn’t something you’d bother animating just to show she’s clumsy, unless he factors into some kind of dramatic plot later on, right?

Of course. The jerk is a member of Project Jupiter, a boy band, the rumored antagonists in the anime. With Takane and Hibiki being in emploi of Namco-pro, Kuroi-pro obviously does not exist in anime continuity… Unless Mr. Kuroi now runs Jupiter. I do not know how dramatic this is going to be. Hopefuly not with too many sitcom moves, someone among the girls falling for one of the boys, etc.

Crunchyroll drops SW2

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

Yesterday, July 16, the series was there. Today, it is not. No announcement of any kind, the page just reverted to a placeholder.

UPDATE: Thomas tweeted that it was announced, I just did not find it.

Another funny thing: once CR drops the show, it disappears from the watchlist. Go, go social media, right?

Evirus’ anime auto-biography

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

A post went up at Karmaburn that addresses the evergreen topic: how did you get into anime? The point he is making, in my biased view, is that there was no gateway drug. I don’t know who came up with this idea, but really. It just does not work that way. I don’t wish to piggy-back on Evirus with my own life story, but I was known to write sometimes that my first anme was a 1966 feature “Flying Ghost Ship“. But while true, I was not watching anime for anime for 30 years after that, even if I watched a few. Anime was a part of the environment — just like for everyone else. Evirus’ Princess Mononoke made him conscious that something qualitatively different existed out there, but it wasn’t “gateway drug”.

Idolm@ster TV 02

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Stuffed dress sequence was a bit painful; poor Aroduc. And frankly, the storyline of finding one’s natural side was far too simplistic. I ended watching it for pure fanservice (pictured).

On second thought, there was probably no other reason to watch this anime to begin with. I am happy for Iori’s self-discovery and all, but on the other hand, if you are schooled in the basics of your trade by Miki, the resident airhead, you need to rethink your life. By the way, it was revealed in ep.1 that Iori was accepted into her job by nepotism. All this paints a rather bleak picture, which even KugiRie is powerless to brighten.

Now I’m getting a little concerned that we’re going to see the back side of every cast member, episode after episode, and god knows each has internal demons to wrestle. That is going to make for a rather pale series.

It does not take a lot of Japanese knowledge to read “such-and-such Summer Festival Mini-Live” in the preview (on the whiteboard that Ritsuko slaps in her enthusiasm). Pray for an insert, everyone.

UPDATE: Kuro writes:

I liked the episode for the “showing our individuality via photo shoots” part. It did give us a lot of nice eyecandy of everyone, but the focus on Iori’s efforts to highlight her individuality ironically painfully shows how unsuitable she is for this line of business.

Indeed. If I may refer again to 2DT+Yi double feature:

Idols in Japan are tautologies of fame. Sure, sometimes they sing and dance, or do seiyuu work []. But in the end, we mustn’t forget that they’re famous because they’re famous. They’re propelled mostly by personality, and by the dreams that those personalities sell.

It may be time for Iori to embrace the dream of marrying into money. Although…

UPDATE: Zyl comments:

On Author’s observation that Iori was accepted on the basis of nepotism, my guess is that Iori’s previous failures to get signed on as an idol-trainee was not due to any lack of the minimum amount of talent or personality (the bar seems to be set too low for that) but simply due to corporate ladder self-preservation and risk minimization – it’s much easier to turn her away than to have to constantly worry about keeping the boss’s daughter sweet or at least not seriously pissing her off.