Archive for August, 2011

Idolm@ster TV 08

Friday, August 26th, 2011

It was a robust comedy episode that did not tell us much of anything new about the characters, but it will do. Better the humorous filler than dull one.

Sorry for the massive spoilers, but it’s the only decent screencap that I took. There weren’t any notes either!

P.S. P-san is annoyingly useless — again.

UPDATE: Zyl adds a couple of thoughts, as usual. First, this analysis:

Asuza had scored some points with me earlier on by drinking heavily but those points have been seriously depleted by her utter blandness in this episode. Her character quirks of getting lost easily and wanting to get married soon for the sake of getting married soon were well integrated into the episode’s overall structure, setting/context and comedic elements but her lack of any sustained sense of urgency (except right at the end) had a negative knock-on effect on the pacing, leaving me irritated and frustrated.

I admit to being jealous, mostly watching with brain off. Also:

One big thing that’s been missing in this series so far (other than Producer getting his act together) has been the presence of 765Pro’s fans. We’ve heard before how Makoto’s fanbase is largely made up of girls and that Ryuuguu Komachi has gained fans due to the Runaway Bride Asuza shoot but I would really like to see some of these fans. Or at least one fan letter (even Sae from Hidamari Sketch got one), email, forum posting. It just seems improbable that 765Pro management hasn’t even discussed in more detail what the fan numbers, demographics and likes/dislikes have been like.

Since the fan letters were such an important instrument of Chihaya’s idol training in her character CD [1], one would expect them to pop up sooner or later. Perhaps we are just not there yet.

[1] “Dear Chihaya-san, your long hair is so wonderful, but you don’t seem to have any haircut (or shape to it), why is that?”

Dog Days begins

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

The pad entry for Dog Days fingers the final post at Chizumatic as the reason to watch, but on re-read it’s unclear what I found in it. Really what I expected is a relative of Otogi Juushi Akazukin – a magical transport into alternate world series. I should have known better. If we pile up the anime with the same basic premise, the Twelve Kingdoms is in there too… But what do they have in common?

Akazukin may be an outlier in how it is heavily disturbing. It is a bait and switch under a pretense of a cheerful kids’ anime with adventures. But Dog Days, apparently, is honest about it. So, it’s a pretty comfortable ride for now.

UPDATE: Actually, they are setting up Leon as the villainess who’s gone on the crazy side, but I’m pretty sure they won’t have the stones to follow through with it.

One other thing: furries. This show is overflowing with them, but they seem to be entirely harmless, since they hail from the catgirl tradition, rather than from the Yiff! Magazine.

Still, I don’t have a favourite. Eclair, the token tsundere, is the most likeable, but whatever. BTW, one of the enemy mooks called her “Daremimi-taichou”, or “Captain Droopy-ears”, that made me smirk remembering Mr. Reiji of Sunred. They have nothing in common other than the ears, so I’m just talking about the word. Another one I wish to see somewhere is “metsuki-no-warui”, or “bad-eye”.

Morita-san wa Mukuchi begins

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Remember when 6-minute episodes were too short and did not let Keitai Shoujo to showcase its characters properly? The Quiet Morita-san comes in 3-minute chunks! What’s more, they pack characterisations into that, and it comes out quite nicely indeed. Amazing, isn’t it?

Still, there’s not much of general content, just one and a half skit an episode, and that’s it. No wonder almost nobody blogs it.

P.S. Cheburashka Arere was in a 3-minute format too.

UPDATE: After the main characters were introduced in the first 4 episodes, the overall genre settled on that of a blatant although reserved pandering, complete with a creepy lesbian-sempai.

Nichijou 20

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

The idea that some animebloggers prefer the art and animation of A-1 in Idolm@ster to that of KyotoAni’s classics continues to bother me. I criticized Haruhi for animation lapses myself. But the KyotoAni consistently continued to produce expressive, moving animation with some const-cutting lapses, while A-1 were consistently poor in IM@S and only put a supreme effort into one Ryugu Komachi dance number. Konata’s feet, guys!

Exhinit A: Nichijou 20.

Pretty bad show, actually. But the art looks like skillful artists are having fun with it.

Idolm@ster TV 07

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

If Miki stole Iori’s episode, and Iori stole Yayoi’s episode, then whose episode is Yayoi going to steal? Obviously, nobody can steal Miki’s episode.

Also! I am unable to find the side story. This week’s story is Makoto, password is “KAZOKU”, expires on 8/25. The location clue is “TV->TBS->aidorimasutaa kara daunroodo”, but where is it? I poked around and, but so far nothing. HALP.

2DT on IM@S 01

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

This example of feminist-laced claptrap is so perfect that I’m going to give it Google juice:

Ritsuko refers to herself as a novice, but she’s been at Studio 765 longer than everyone except the chief, and she’s clearly doing all the heavy lifting. She makes the schedules and herds the girls around, all so Mr. Producer can feel free to do his easygoing personal growth routine. But Ritsuko doesn’t seem to mind being downgraded to a subordinate. On the contrary, like some heroine of a shoujo manga, she’s determined to work hard and prove her worth. She’s a true career woman, complete with glass ceiling.

Clearly he has not seen the ep.6, where Ritsuko is given her personal unit, leaving P-san in her wake (who then releases Ritsuko to her personal growth routine while he makes the schedules and herds the girls around — very poorly, too). But being counterfactual is not even the point here. After all we may be sure that the story of 765 success is going to lift all boats, including the one currently struggling. The point is the perception warped by the biases, and the feminist dogma is among the worst lens of all. When the turnaround happens and P-san wins on the same merits as Ritsuko did, some will see it as a continued message of meritocracy, and others will see a “glass ceiling”.

The cogs of animeblogging machine speak

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

I am unable to resist the mee-too temptation of the post at Sea Slugs. One can see that the life of episoders is generally similar across the board: you take screencaps, you write it up. Ani-nouto is no different, except for a few small things, and one major thing.

Firstly, I pretty much abandoned the infamous 0.7mm pencil for a direct-to-computer entry. And naturally, I keep the material in a text file. Secondly, I deal a lot with streaming, so I screencap using GIMP.

But the big structural difference is that Ani-nouto is backed by a collection of formatted text entries and all the images. In theory, with minimal amount of Python scripting I should be able to re-upload the material into any host (including a non-WP one, such as Meenuvia or LJ. The local storage is backed up by cloud (Duplicity + S3). As far as I know, this is not common. Most animebloggers just throw their product into the database where it exists until the next attack or hosting crash. I wag my finger at you, Sixten.

The pipeline goes from the local source into the deployment and not backwards. Not having comments comes in very handy.

Idolm@ster TV 06

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

It’s tough to be a loser and know it.

On the other hand Miki is apparently an idiot savant like Yui Hirasawa. Only she’s not an idiot.

Seriously though, the storyline of P-san descending into a funnel of being a loser, his desperation, and idols dealing with his increasingly erratic management style was reasonably well done. When I watched it, I felt that it did not go far enough, or the idols did not react strong enough. They could have staged a more effective intervention. Instead, everything was resolved by Miki alone, and that was somewhat unsatisfying (even Haruka’s candy seemingly have gone to waste). But by now I realize that I miss a whole lot of messaging due to the language barrier, so perhaps it’s all right.

UPDATE: For a contrarian take, check out what Divine writes:

It’s kind of hard to believe that I was going to let this series go unwatched let alone uncovered a month and a half ago. Good thing I took the plunge after A-1 Pictures’ visuals caught my eye, because IM@S is already busting out fully hand-drawn idol performances only six episodes in. Compare that to the second season of K-ON, where Kyoto Animation held out until the twentieth episode.

Yes, that dance was ok, but what about the rest of the episode? The worst came when girls applauded the TV. Remember how K-ON got bad rap for the deformed fingers? Well at least they moved properly!

I’m going to make some GIFs for the most eggregious cases next.

P.S. I’m just re-watching Nichijou 14 and there’s this little moment when Mio is holding the yakisaba and she shakes it a little side to side, because she’s so out of balance, mentally. Just how can anyone compare A-1’s IM@S to that? I watched 6 episodes, and by now the only moment when A-1 came a little step closer was when Chihaya glanced back to Haruka in ryokan’s lounge, and even that was sandwiched between two frames of mediocrity. The difference is enormous and can be seen by anyone with eyes!

UPDATE: Suguru joins the chorus:

think episode 6 of Idolmaster dropped my respect for Kyoani half a notch – I think Ryuuguu Komachi’s performance beat anything K-ON (either single or multiple exclamation point version) put together. I keep thinking about the Thelma and Louise wannabe music video from K-ON! and it’s not a flattering comparison. A-1 Pictures did, to be fair, cut to reaction shots and a brief conversation between Ritsuko and The Producer to save key frames, but still a pretty amazing effort.

Looks the world is out of step with me, is it not? He also carps about costumes with the best of them.

UPDATE: Zyl, however, straddles:

I still don’t understand how [Azusa’s haircut] makes the group more balanced and it feels weird to see her with long hair in the OP now; the insert song didn’t grab me aurally or visually and I still like the OP more much.

Zyl on IM@S 03

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

There was a change of guard at Sea Slugs and now we are going somewhere.

Meanwhile, I follow raws with a rewatch at Crunchy, because I miss a lot of basics on the first pass due to my poor Japanese. There wasn’t much that I would change in the bloggage, but I generally like it more on the second take.

Fractale links

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

I forgot about Fractale so well, that I had to refer to archives to refresh my memory. There I found that apparently I never blogged an opening bracket, let alone the cancellation. Notes are rather thin and the best is probably this: “the physics do not pass the smell test about Nessa interacting with the world… Kamichu was better.” There was no blogging material.

Here’s the database entry (with links to articles I intended to debate):

Fractale 1-4 W 2011, Yamakan's hopefuly last stand; hate Nessa -- liked it -- good non-spoiling preview