Archive for September, 2011

Idolm@ster TV 13

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

The big Live was big.

It is clearly visible that A-1 is trying their best. For example, the presents for each of the member of Ryuguu Komachi are distinct: Ami mostly got childish sweets, Iori received a few rabbits among the chocolates, and Azusa scored a few roses and flat parcels which may contain marriage proposals. And of course the dance number went on and on without end. Is the result satisfactory? For whom how, I suppose. I was astonished when the art style changed for a few seconds, as if J.C. Staff came to help. What was that about?!

When Miki fell into P-san arms, I remembered Evirus’ secret unlinkable message from a recent post. Back then I put him for kidding. Now it’s more like “HE KNEW”. Still, I just plainly cannot believe that A-1 would dare, even if it’s only the anime continuity etc. etc.

Live-action Ranma announced

Monday, September 26th, 2011

According to Tokyograph (via, re):

The classic manga “Ranma 1/2” is being turned into a live-action drama special this December, starring actress Aragaki Yui (23). The drama will be an original story with Tendo Akane as the main character.

Face, meet palm.

Jessie on Kurage-hime

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Oh the things you sometimes read while following Chizumatic’s blogroll:

The fact that Princess Jellyfish has been a surprising success as both a streaming series and, potentially, as physical media release should demonstrate that there’s an audience for anime series that have non-sexualized female characters in prominent roles.

Actually, they watched it for the trap co-star. That Tsukimi brought her anatomically correct and pretty boobies to the table only helped the proceedings.

Nichijou 24

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

If anyone wants heavily spoiling recount, there’s an entry at THAT, by apparently a new contributor, “Nana”. Otherwise, have a few notes that are merely slightly spoiling.

  • Nakamura climbing the fence was some amazing animation. Wondrous.
  • Nano vs. Sasahara (w/ Yukko peeking – hilarity ensues).
  • Teacher eating a whale “outside 200nm exclusive fishing zone” was a LOL.
  • Nakamura-sensei stalking Nano is so wrong, but just too damn cute.
  • OMG, a love triangle! In my Nichijou!! What is this!!!
  • It’s so overcast that even Sasahara is speechless.
  • Wow, is this asshole going to use Mio’s money?!
  • [I need a relationship diagram. Everyone is everyone’s sister.]

One persistent theme of Nichijou is to take something very wrong and then spin it in some amusing or cute way. The moment that the girl with the headband knot (of Igo-soccer club) went to the shooting arcade definitely took the cookie. I think they went overboard there by punishing her with the asshole propreitor. I almost thew up watching it. But it is far from the only case, even in one episode. To begin with we have Nakamura-sensei’s stalking. And then Kojirou literally steals Mio’s money, too. But he is so amusingly and cutely insane, that I guess we’re supposed to forgive him. I do not quite understand what they are trying to tell us by this. That Japan is an awfully brutal place under the thin veneer of civility?

UPDATE: Jonathan Tappan noticed something similar:

The material is as random at the end as it is in the beginning but it is often pretty funny. There is an underlying theme that is made explicit at the end. Life can be incredibly frustrating but it’s the incredibly frustrating things that are the best part. Because (at this point all experienced anime fans will chant in unison) you experience them with your friends!

Except that a few characters had to face the asshattery solo, as I outlined above.

SDF Macross begins

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

A friend of mine, a police officer, reminded me to watch the Super Dimension Fortress Macross, when he changed his Facebook avatar to that of iconic helmeted head of Hikaru in Valkirie. The man is not a closet anime fan: such is the popular appeal that the real Macross exerts into the mainstream. Although, if I get him to watch Macross Frontier, then…

Apropos which, the SDF Macross and Frontier are blantantly similar in the way they set up: the hero is enlisted under the ridiculous circumstances, and then there’s a girl, and another girl, the singing, and so on. Something makes them different, however. Different enough that I felt uninterested in the modern rendition, while the original seems like a fun romp nonstop, a DBZ in space. And it’s not like I have anything against Alto’s metrosexual ass or Shery’s moon boobs, like I did against the across-the-board unattractive cast of Macross Plus. My assessement was even formed before the bridge cougar Hayase kicked major butt 6 episodes down the road. Complete mystery, really.

Although the 80s were the best with the corny anime entertainment, things were far from perfect, and Hulu makes it worse. The video is upscaled VHS, animation is rife with errors. I saw a great mirror reflection of Minmay once, but otherwise it is DBZ in both good and bad. There is even a whole bunch of Toriamesque character designs. But it is a part of the experience, like a silent and monochrome film by Charlie Chaplin.

UPDATE: Evirus is trying to split the difference by questioning the VHS. True, Hulu streams at 480p, which is of course not VHS. Except that it may be digitized off one. Or, off a DVD, which comes from a Beta tape master, which is still NTSC. One way or the other, it looks authentically bad. It is, however, better than Toei’s Pretty Cure which is the authentic VHS, since those morons lost the master tapes.

More importantly, however, how can I tell if I am watching Robotech or Macross? Hulu listed the two separately, so I should be safe. But the video is dubbed on Hulu. Was there such a thing as a dubbed Macross?

IKnight on SDF Macross 02

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

I know now what he wrote about. And you know what, the loss of his retirement for animeblogging was as bad as when we lost Lawson. Except that he didn’t take the site down. 2DT is just not the same — for one thing, his interests are too heavily tilted towards pornography, which is great and all, but thus precludes him replacing Animanachronism despite the similarity in the approach to writing and presentation. Also, he’s lazy recently. It’s not even the entry size per se… IKnight knew how to employ two-line entry. It’s just… superficial application of his fine knowledge to produce a day’s work blog entry, if I may. It’s not the same. Although, perhaps we never will have the same. Was Random Curiosity the same under Divine after Omni quit? Format stayed the same, thoughts did not. I guess in every such case we ought to suck it up and move on.

Anyway, one curious thing about the link above is that so, so many animebloggers do the retelling in their entries. It’s mauvais ton to dump episodics without! And invariably the result is dull, dull, dull. Spoiling, too, but spoiling without a cause. But how about this spoiler (it even has screencaps!):

This moment isn’t just great in itself, it’s also capitalised on brilliantly. There is a brief exchange between Hikaru and Minmay which mostly consists of adrenaline-fuelled illogic. They are – like me when I first saw this – still reeling.

It gets better, though. [..]

What is the difference between the quote above and the usual? Become conscious of it and I’ll want to read your blog.

UPDATE: I am obviously unfair to doughty episoders, who have to squeeze something readable from themselves week in and week out. I am running that show with IM@S TV and that is quite difficult. Even so, retelling is a bad form, IMHO.

Idolm@ster TV 12

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

This was as bad as ep.3, and for the same reason. After a sober assessement, everyone in the story wins: Producer made a difference for a change, Miki got over her mood, everyone else moves on with the life as usual at Namco Pro, with important concert not screwed up… hopefuly (as per preview). Which is great for them, but what about us, the viewers? We were treated to 20 minutes of Miki’s juvenile rebellion. The only one who crawled from this cesspool smelling like roses was Chihaya, although with Haruka in tow.

UPDATE: Evirus disagrees:

I stand by my prediction that Miki is The Chosen One who will ultimately be Producer’s salvation, if not all of 765PRO’s. She’ll have to mature a bit to get there, but I feel optimistic we’ll see that progression during the remainder of the season. After all, Producer winning Miki over in episode 12 was much better done I would have expected. Typically these things seem to turn on a single bombastic speech about the Otaku Virtues coinciding with some unlikely Important Event. In the instant case, however, I really feel Producer and Miki got somewhere together, and both became better for it. [Emphasis mine — Author]

He is quite right about it and I was too lazy and circumspect with “everybody wins”. It was done better than the ep.3 in how it was more believable, and if one likes the talking-head show. I guess what I’m really objecting here is that I am an even worse manager than P-san: I would let Miki go, to the detriment of the outfit. I really did not like the musical insert. And I am hobbled by my lack of Japanese, so I cannot pick any redeeming subtleties from the dialogue, if they existed. And finally, I plainly do not like Miki. All this adds up against the episode’s strengths.

As for Miki loafing around in the middle of the day — I think that may actually be fine, as high school is not mandatory in Japan. Twins have no choice, but Haruka did. I am not quite sure what 15-year-olds are supposed to do instead, though, as I am clueless at the specific rules and their ability to enter the workforce. Russia has a similar gap between 15 and 16, when drop-outs cannot legally be hired. I suppose you intern like the twins do and your parents receive your wages.

The idea of Ritsuko’s cameo coming up later is probably right, too. It is a different Live because the members of Ryuguu Komachi are included.

Idolm@ster TV 11

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

What an episode, and they ended it in a cliffhanger, too. But before we get to that, it seems pretty clear that ANN was correct expecting 12 episodes, and everyone who claimed 2 cours were wrong. {Actually, no, we’re safe, see below.}

Producer continues to underwhelm to the very end, and honestly I am getting fed up with him. I never promised stuff to my kids just to shut them up, on principle. Also, Haruka admits to being drawn to the big stage, which is a big minus in my book (I even dinged Shiho for it!). Her candy, which was a great gesture in ep.7, made a comeback as a farce.

Apropos Haruka’s raise and fall, JTfish, a professional animecoblogger currently with Jinx, asked me who is my favourite. Heck if I know now. I was inclined to like Yukiho in the games, and on CDs, but she was portrayed in a very unattractive way in the anime. Haruka made a good try for it, but now this. Miki is a sex bomb and all kinds of amazing, but it’s not quite what I am looking for. I guess, I have to fall back to Chihaya, then. She always was steady in her cool, even if her episode was somewhat compromised and open-ended.

By the way, I have to give props to A-1 animators for a small detail that is a pet peeve of mine: the airplane contrail. For some reason everyone else — and I literally mean everyone — draw the contrail and the airplane on the same overlay and then drag it across the sky background. The result is hideous. But A-1 actually animated it.

So, the next episode is Live. Will we see Ritsuko to show the upstarts how it’s done? Without much practicing, too? Stranger things happened in anime!

As far as the brouhaha with Miki, I predict that nothing will come out of it. I suppose it may make for a great hook for the next season if she were to quit and join a competitor… But in the anime continuity Hibiki and Takane are part of 765 Pro. This is just not going to work. They will make Miki to suck it up somehow, so that everyone have their Live together (although perhaps she is the type to hold a grudge and then we get the hook, in the last 15 seconds).

UPDATE: After a twit from Kuro, I went to check the sources. The magazine thing is not here nor there, but the TBS thing is more interesting. Their October schedule lists an episode a week from now, on October 29, in the usual 25:25 slot, although without a number. It may be ep.13, or it may be something else. The syoboi goes further than the TBS website.

UPDATE: A commenter at Chizumatic pointed out that the official website links to a preview for ep.13.

Peter S. on Idolm@ster 09

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Someone is back from China, evidently:

The iDOLM@ASTER 9 features the annoying twins in an episode that doesn’t really try too hard to make the mystery of the missing puddings interesting, which is just as well. It’s more of a character study of the two girls and how much they depend on each other, which would have been more touching if the two weren’t, as I said, so annoying.


Ana and SDB on Dog Days (massive spoilers)

Friday, September 9th, 2011

So, here’s a question:

The only point I still don’t understand is from episode 10-ish. Millhi is wearing both her country’s Holy Swords when she goes to face Leo, but then Shinku is still able to use Palladion when he’s chasing after the demon. I’m pretty sure that’s Palladion, since it has the same flame-like dispersal effect and turns into the same surfboard as always. The only explanation is that wearing the rings doesn’t necessarily mean you’re weilding the weapon… but it would have been nice to see some clarification.

I dismissed it as a rule of awesome — you know how the Spiral Power rubbed off on Viral in Gurren-Lagann? But Steven gave it more thought:

I’m noticing things the director did that were very well considered. One thing in particular: when it gets serious in ep 10, and Shinku is going after Millhiore, he doesn’t have the magic ring. All the stuff he does, including all the magic he uses, it’s all him. No outside help.

That wasn’t accidental. It’s when Shinku is at his most heroic, and the director wanted to make sure there wasn’t any doubt that it was Shinku himself doing it. And the reason why he didn’t have the ring at that moment made perfect sense in character and plot terms.