Archive for October, 2011

Omo, King Author, and Google Reader

Monday, October 31st, 2011

There was a discussion of the imminent removal of Google Reader Shared Items from GR, due to migration to Plus, with GR remaining focused on its primary function of a feedreader. So far so good, but incredibly coincidentally, Omo posted an article about Fate/stay something, where he referred to F/SN’s King Arthur as “Author” no less than 3 times. Yes, really. And then he went in and changed all of them to “Arthur”. Meanwhile, but Lelangir’s GRSI retained the original:

Note that GR itself follows the updates on blogs; only GRSI snapshots. Dropping “social features” from GR removes that, but thus far I do not see anyone bringing it up in the discussion.

Also, is anyone curious if Omo’s lair contains a secret shrine to Author? I mean, 3 typos in a row, wow!

Angel Beats begins

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

My contact with Angel Beats occured through the same easy availability at Netflix streaming. As such it’s likely to be short-living, as tomorrow I have to retreat into my study, where I do not have a Windows computer or a TV. And I am not enamoured with the series enough to bother torrenting.

For all the idiocy in the way the afterlife was treated, the show rolls on quite nicely. Even though Jonathan Tappan’s spoiler notes were a big impetus to me even giving it a chance, it presents me with an intriguing mystery.

Something about the way all the nasty was piled up screams to me “VN”. It should actually scream “Jun Maeda”, but as far as I am concerned, those problem families are a staple of Clannads of this world. Speaking of Maeda, he is credited with lyrics and music for an insert song or OP. What a renaissance man. The directing is handled by Seiji Kishi, the director of Sunred. I cannot say that I recognize his style or anything like that, but he does well thus far. In fact, I stopped just after the mabu tofu, and that segment was downright well done.

One other thing, or other opinions, rather. I suspect SDB made a fundamental mistake in coming down hard on the lack of logic. It’s like raging at Winter for being cold. Although, certanly, a minimal consistency is essential, and I have not reached the end, so we’ll see. We’ll also see if Nova’s hate was lunatic or brilliant. That assumes that I’ll ever restart watching, of course.

Strike Witches 12 (end)

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Since my wife is away on business, I camped out at front of TV and raided whatever Netflix has to offer through the wonders of Wii and Internet. One of the things I checked out was the finale of Strike Witches, and that made me reconsider GONZO.

GONZO, by your ineptitude or malice, every good anime you produced was ruined with a garbage ending, even Vandread and Last Exile. Also, many were not good from the start. For these things, of old, utter boycott was the penalty. Now therefore I must pronounce your doom.

The old penalty was remitted for your last-gasp effort before the death. In so far as lies in me under higher authority, I declare your wares valid to purchase by any fan who wishes. This doom shall stand until one month after Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing finishes its broadcast run, and then cease, unless the council of fans confirms it worthy and make this doom lifelong.

Come forth and sin no more.

Idolm@ster TV 17

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Please pardon me, P-san, but WTF are you doing? A promise to Yukiho and now dating Makoto? And what about Miki? The desire not to rock the boat and go with the flow should not override the minimum common sense in a grown man in charge of juvenile idols. Of course this is anime, not reality, and it all is going to work out in the end, but jeez. Not the best way to build a healthy team chemistry.

I think that Chigusa Kisaragi must be Chihaya’s mother (note the similar spelling, too). The creators continue the same pattern of dropping big pieces in relation of Chinaya’s family difficulties. It is way overplayed and tedious, although perhaps this time it was segued into the episode better. Still, pretty inept writing.

Zyl has other details, if anyone is interested. {Update: He also thinks that Chigusa is Chihaya’s sister, which is quite possible, certainly.}

Coincidentially, Evirus crowned IM@S the best show of the Autumn, and anticipates “the inevitable scandal that threatens to destroy them when the evil rival talent agency blows the lid on Miki and her HONEY shacking up”. It was plausible just two episodes ago, but the way things are going now, the scanal is going to be P-san found in bed with Ami and Mami, just because he found no polite way to say “no”.

QUICK UPDATE: You know that we at Ani-nouto are fair and balanced like Fox News. In that spirit, we offer Schneider’s alternative take:

But you know what? The Producer was a total bro. It’s not utterly obvious, but he’s grown very well into his job since the start of the show. His treatment of Makoto in this episode was masterfully done, and I loved the prince part at the end.

Idolm@ster TV 16 by NovaJinx

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

It was so bad that I did not feel like blogging it at all, but Nova opined that “It still isn’t as bad as Guilty Crown, though.”

SDF Macross retrospective

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Owing to extreme inconvenience of grabbing screenies from Hulu, pickings are rather slim, and random. For example, check out a bridge bunny, who turned out to be a rather whiny little useless thing later. The quality is about as good as it gets for the series. By the way, spoilers.

SDF Macross is rife with errors. Some are rather strange, like filling up with a wrong color. Here are three frames of geometry mis-steps (surely it makes creators of Dai-Guard‘s floating chair feel better).

Still some parts are rather well done, like a reflection that looks generally right, unlike the one in Mahoraba.

Closer to the end I mostly paused to the epic stuff.

For example, Millia’s destiny and also the hilarious (first) date. Apropos which, I appreciated Max not being red-shirted. Remember Mac F and what happened there at the same juncture? Of course, we had Roy Fokker here, but oh well.

Also of course, no wedding can eclipse Nia and Simon’s, but then this one was pretty epic. And funny.

And speaking of weddings… Good times.

Another place where Mac F was a product of its time was the way Ranka’s singing was treated wrt. Varja. In SDF Macross, Minmei’s singing was fully weaponized (pictured). It’s unthinkable for it to be played so straight today. Making things ambiguous is considered sophistication nowadays.

And finally…

Coincidentially, Kuro was screwing with me recently. Yeah.

Meanwhile, at the club

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Today‘s centerpiece was the dancing maids, led through number after number by our resident soul of cosplay Brianna Berry. What’s interesting, I enjoyed the “3D Pig Disgusting” rendition of classic MMD numbers. Sadly, Brianna has not caught the Idolm@ster bug. Nothing against Miku, of course, just… think of the possibilities.

BTW, Brianna did a few solo numbers too, and was beat afterwards. I saw something like that just recently…. Please hydrate!

Before anime, we watched “Maid in Akihabara”, a live action so bad that it’s good. Can’t really tell much about it… The lead looked cute in street clothes. And yeah, 3D strikes again.

Wagnaria: At least it’s not “a cast of repulsive jerkfaces” as in PPD, but rather crazy people with the heart of gold, played for laughs skillfully. The androphobic redhead was executed way better than Yukiho, I’m sorry to report. Unfortunately, they are quite crazy, including the nominally straight man of the group. A-1 did better on the animation there than in many parts of IM@S. I would not say I “liked” what I saw, but the show had a certain quality of a trainwreck from which one cannot look away.

Touhou Gensou Mangekyou ~The Memories of Phantasm~. That’s right, Touhou. I thought ZUN was strictly against anime? Nicely done, but it was pure fanservice for toe-hoe. For example, the magical battles were specifically made to resemble games quite closely. Animation was outstanding.

And now, serious business. During the after-club dinner, I found that my interlocutor never heard of Haibane Renmei. Out of curiosity, I sketched the CFF symbol at an advertisement for Denny’s and passed it around. Out of 18 people (!), only one knew what it was (David Aragon, you are a man of taste in anime), and another thought it was familiar. Aziz is not going to like this result. Honestly, I do not like it myself. What is this? Bet all of the 18 know Evangelion, which was mediocre by comparison.

UPDATE: David posted a Flickr set for the event.

UPDATE: Thomas “Yamagata002” Billings twittered: “And what makes it even sadder is we showed [HR/CFF] in club four weeks ago. Only two people watched, @Cadha13 and myself.”

SDF Macross ends

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

Just one thought: the full scale of failure of Macross Frontier have only became apparent to me in the final scene of SDF Macross. Report to follow. Maybe.

Liked: It transcends my opinion.
Rewatch: Hopefuly my grandchildren will.

UPDATE in the morning, with other silly and/or short thoughts:

  • SDF Macross was too good for the health of the franchize. MS Gundam was not very good, which helped its follow-ons. It was much easier to build upon the latter. With Gundam we may argue which one was the best expression (I vote for MS 08th Team), but with Macross no follow-on work was able to measure up.
  • SDF Macross provides a tantalizing hint of what Shingu might have been in 36-episodes. Both have a 2cour+1cour structure. I had serious doubts that even Tatsuo Sato could pull it off, but Nobuhiro Ishiguro succeeded, so now I know that it was possible.
  • Come to think of it, may a modern director be indulged with a 3-cour (2+1 or otherwise)? Gurren-Lagann and Oh Edo Rocket were right-sized for 2-cour with no tail. Nothing else so amazing comes to mind. Zettai Kallen Children ran for a full year, but I’m not sure what its qualities were.

Idolm@ster TV 15

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Filler episodes are not necessarily all bad. They work when used as an excuse to play with the characters, and succeed at that. In a sense it’s like one of those little OVAs that used to be packed in with DVDs (To Heart, KimiNozo had them), or made-for-youtube Toradora SOS, only inside the show.

And it may be fun in many ways. You just look at this Xbox 360 in the cockpit with the twins.

I’m not going to list the numbers, but just qualify that most were pretty good. In particular, Takane got a good enough spot to make Evirus tweet “I want to eat ramen with Takane.” However, Miki openly flirts with P-san, which, I thought, while nicely playful for now, may lead to trouble. And finally, the Makoto side is just getting worse and worse as what started as tongue-in-cheek performance descends into actual pandering. They even ship her with Yukiho rather shamelessly. Not that it would make me drop the anime, but I use the FF and Skip in good conscience.

UPDATE: When Evirus writes “this is starting to turn into a regular occurrence”, he does not mean that the Xbox travels with the twins whereever they go, but that blogs keep pointing things out.

Schneider’s idol rankings

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Unlike Evirus’ wholly voluntary rankings, Schneider attempted to establish a rigorous system. There was just one problem: I did not see an explanation, if any even existed, until now. But here’s how it works. At every episode Schneider establishes the rostrum with 3 winners. The top idol gets 3 points, second gets 2 points, and the third gets 1 point. Points count towards the idol championship, same way as it happens in motor racing, for example. What this buys us is a fairer system that favours consistency. The top idols are largely uncontroversial at any given episode. Note, however, that Miki is still in the lead in Schneider’s roster with 14 points, as she would in any other system. Chihaiya is second with 12 points. The surprise only happens with Iori, who boasts 11 points.

I am a bit inclined towards these rankings, I admit. For example, I run an invisible anime blog rankings system with my feedreader. For every “good” post which was worth reading, a blog moves up a rung, displacing someone else. Unfortunately, the result was rather poor. Good blogs take too much time to float up. For example, Peterburd is still #55 after his return from China. Also, two or three blogs can easily form a clump when they exchange blows and not make overall progress up. I keep thinking about some kind of timeslot based system for blogs, but it does not gel.

In contrast, Schneider’s idol ranking is rather successful. It produces a predictable result (albeit favouring steady over epic), which generally agreed with informal weighted and voted ranks. It does make sense. What he needs is a dashboard and a FAQ on the front page of the blog.