Archive for December, 2011

CKS on EDs of Hanamaru

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

I must’ve missed it back when it was posted:

(One interesting note is that according to ANN Mizushima also directed Hanamaru Kindergarten, which had a startlingly interesting set of ending animations that are well worth tracking down on their own; each one did its own little mini-story in various genres, complete in a minute and thirty seconds or so. I didn’t watch HK itself, but I quite enjoyed the ending segments. I believe you can find them on Youtube.)

I’ll be damned. I watched the whole series without seeing any of those. I ran to check and indeed they exist. Pictured is Sakura finding that she’s pregnant with Anzu, apparently:

The EDs are basically the same as Gurren-Lagann Parallel Works. Oh, GAINAX, why are you so… unpredictable.

Steelbound on Figure 17

Friday, December 30th, 2011

The quite long a spoiler-heavy review at The Null Set frankly needs to be read, but here’s a couple of random bits:

The overall 90’s look to the anime was not that difficult to get into and did not slow my enjoyment of the series but I found the character designs of the kids to be downright ugly from certain angles. The worse was the side angle which made the kids look like bullfrogs getting ready to ribbitt.

He should see The Mikofrog. BTW, I didn’t find the character designs in any way weird in Figure 17, even though I did in Manabi.

Another thing he really needs to see is Shingu. KugiRie’s Futaba was truly great in it, and the sci-fi not bad either.

Final Series Score: 11.5/12 Near Perfect

He’s right about this. It’s one of those unknown gems like Dai-Guard, only better made.

Animanachronism on original Precure

Friday, December 30th, 2011

In short:

So, as something approaching a limit case, Pretty Cure reminded me that sometimes unshakeable courage and the occasional handy rebar are more important than narrative.

There is also a WP tag “animation is necessary storytelling is contingent”, and a word “exegesis”.

Infinite Stratos retrospective bis

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Chris made me to review my screencap stash, and so! Possibly more spoilers.

I have an affinity for anime food in general ever since Azumanga, and used it in both reporting brackets of IS. But there’s more where that came from.

Is IS “forgettable”? I completely forgot what was the deal with Laura’s left eye. I think it was explained, but I forgot.

Cool Houki recalls her IS. SDB managed to snap the frame just beyond this one, when the glow starts to envelop her, but I just missed, as was too caught up in the moment to step back.

Houki again. This one I grabbed mostly for the subtitle: a perk unavailable to raw watchers.

Another subtitle, and a good one.

Oh what the heck, another one. Do you think they are unhappy about the animation quality?

This subtitle moment is interesting because it’s notable how Ichika got his suspicions about the promise. He may be a fortress of dense, but not an entirely impregnable one. But of course, by the law of comedy, Rin’s pride made her to mishandle the situation and lose the benefit of the promise just when it could be realized.

In-video subtitle that’s available to BRWs and also The Episode Where Fujoshi Were Cruelly Entrapped.

CKS on IS, retake

Friday, December 30th, 2011

In today’s post, Chris goes out of his way to underscore Ani-nouto’s influence, which I work so hard to disclaim, because responsibility is too heavy. Fortunately, he’s staying impervious to the charms of Idolm@ster, so we’re good here. There’s also a judgement on the topic:

However, within its genre I think that IS is average. What brings it down to average is most of the characters, who are decidedly ordinary and even stereotypical (some of them almost painfully literally so, such as the pushy childhood friend). The best shows of the genre have always had quirky, interesting characters injected into their relatively stock situation (who could forget Tenchi Muyo’s Ryoko and Ayeka, for example). IS has, well, Charlotte and an honorable mention in Laura.

I would say that Ichika is far from stereotypical in the way harem leads usually are not. If they are not doormats, they are assholes, and there’s nothing else. I noticed that right away because I usually watch harems by sizing them for myself and in IS threre was painfully little that I could improve, even now, and what I remember of myself being Ichika’s age was not even at his level. Most of the time I feel rather superior, but not in this case.

It is also curious how our psychopath haremette gets points from Chris. My tastes lay, or actually run at full speed, in the opposite direction.

UPDATE: [more].

Bloggers on Idolm@ster finale

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Shin put away his trademark nasty for once:

I simply did not come in expecting anything quite this amazing [..] magnificent portrayal and interpretation of character relationships

He’s also lionizing P-san as “guardian angel” and catches hints of continuations. Now I’m hoping he’s right.

Suguru wishes for more dorama:

I think if they’d gone the Miki-Haruka smackdown for the Producer route and made better use of the drama from Producer-san’s accident, it’d be at an even higher level – but as is it was still fun to watch and I’m sure I’ll be rewatching Chihaya and Haruka’s arcs, at least, pretty soon.

IMHO they went much further than was generally expected. DiGi in particular was outspoken in that no hint of romance would be allowed or else, if I remember right.

Peter S. admits to certain qualities:

And so, hats off to the creators of iDOLM@STER. It’s hardly a compliment to say this show wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been, but when you consider that the very concept of an iDOLM@STER anime series would make money, it would have been tempting to just mail it in and watch the bank account grow. But the creators obviously cared about this show. The girls were mostly clichés but they were almost always used to good effect, and they wound up showing more depth than I expected. Their character designs were expressive and fun to look at. And there were so many of them that you’d never get bored of one.

I generally didn’t even want to watch the series, just thought compelled as a fan in general.

UPDATE: Bluemist arrives from a perspective of experienced fan:

But for a long-standing fan of the iDOLM@STER games, anime, music, or any other fan-related aspect of it, this anime is legendary. It caters to fans in a very special way, sometimes too much. The producers are well-aware of the fandom outside of the games, and they incorporate some of those references back to the anime. I’m not too keen on those stuff, but I know of various Haruka memes and jokes about Chihaya.

Legendary already? I don’t think that world means what he implies. Exhilarating or precious, perhaps. But yes.

UPDATE 2012/01/06: Evirus minces no words:

Leading the way by a large margin in autumn 2011 is The IDOLM@STER TV. I am solidly in the camp that believes Idolmaster exceeded all expectations. It doesn’t quite win the coveted No Bad Episodes award (thanks for dragging down the curve, Hibiki), and some of the early summer 2011 episodes stumbled in parts, but taken as a whole Idolm@ster performed very well. As much as I enjoyed Hanasaku Iroha in the spring and summer, iM@S is easily my choice for show of the year. Some may argue Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica deserves Show of the Year, but I believe its baggage will prevent it from being as fondly remembered in the long run.

I sooo hope he’s right about that.

IRC on AsoIku

Friday, December 30th, 2011

[Originally saved in mid-2011 — Author]

<sagematt> If Kyuubey shows up in front of me right now.
<sagematt> For becoming a magical girl, I'm wishing to rid Oreimo's existence from the universe, past, present and future, by my own hand.
<[RoXaS]> haha
<sagematt> Cry manly tears for me, guys.
<sagematt> There will be more bad shows, yes.
<hikago> fish liked watching it
<sagematt> But at least you'll remember that I vanished it from existence.
<zaitcev> Bah. Better disappear Asobi ni Ikuyo or something.
<hikago> @sage: you will be remembered
<sagematt> Asoiku was just boring.
<sagematt> Nobody cared about it anyway.
<zaitcev> Except... you know whom.
<sagematt> No.
<sagematt> I don't know who.
<sagematt> But I guess.
<sagematt> You are going to say.
<sagematt> SDB
<sagematt> Because you are gay for that guy.
<hikago> i thoguht the tomboyish gun girl's acting was okay
<hikago> err good*
<hikago> but the series was vapid
<hikago> what was the point?
<zaitcev> Eris' radiant ass.

UPDATE: Steven (“SDB”) focuses on the wrong thing, apparently. Indeed, Internet is a horrible place these days, and sagematt is a finest example of its dwellers. The radiant ass, however, actually existed in ep.1, as an innovative censoring trick.

LCAD 2012 lists no IM@S panel

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

The official programming is out and it includes no IM@S panel that was the hallmark of the con for years — at least while I went there, and once when I did not. I find it quite ironic that they failed the tradition in the year when the The Idolmaster TV anime came out, not to mention its success. I am on the fence about jumping into the Arrow, fly down to Las Cruces International, borrow a crew car at Frank Borman’s FBO, and hold an impromptu panel in the hallway.

UPDATE: They posted on Facebook: “We’re still working on the final listing of all Panels & Workshops but perhaps we can get an IM@S fan panel, that’d be great! ;)”

J.P. Meyer on Madoka

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

My confirmation bias compels me to note this:

Madoka needed a few tweaks and it could’ve been what it had the potential to be. #1, rely less on torture porn; #2, actually animate things (there was one scene where they used exactly 3 shots for something like 10 minutes); #3, seriously cut down on the tl;dr.

Idolm@ster TV 19-23

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

A few things were going on, mostly at work, and in general our lovely idols did not keep my attention lately. I even thought about declaring a drop. But I was able to catch up while flying from Ireland. Takane’s episode came and went without leaving much of an impression (except on Lady Taka’s fanboys). The rest of this story arc was hogged by Chihaya and Haruka, comrades in misery.

So much could be said, and was in fact said about it. I do not remember if it was Evirus or J.P.Meyer, but one of them twittered that “in the final account, Full Moon o Sagashite remains the best throat cancer anime”. And it’s true enough, of course, since the IM@S was supposed to be harmless fluff. A lot of watchers were caught by surprise and the commentary reflected how they came to grips with the unfolding events. I do not have a consistent or all-encompassing impression, just a few notes.

At some point I received flak from readers for not giving A-1 enough credit. Some even e-mailed with commentary, which really happens rarely these days. Their ire arose because I saw a half-full glass with concert numbers being ok, but lots of failings that dragged the anime down, and the average unsatisfactory. I do not remember if I blogged this, and my argumenting post for ep.6 didn’t have it, but my theory is that Atsushi Nishigori is trying to implement a vision for a live action, not anime. One result is that he consistently sets down a guidance to which A-1 and its subcontractors cannot live up. It is the primary reason for odd camera angles for which animators are not trained, for example. It’s a comprehensive failure, except for where it meets one thing, or one person actually: Asami Imai, CV of Chihaya. She can step it up when necessary. Plus, A-1 pulled out all stops for her ep.21 performance. Sure, the Ryuguu Komachi dance number had great body mechanics, but I am talking about emotive animation here, which, IMHO, was present. And selecting Nemuri-hime was a great touch, and Mr. Nishigori’s call, I’m sure. That song was the best canvas for Miss. Imai for express Chihaya. Note that it was re-recorded for anime, while A-1’s audio contractor simply mixed most of the other tracks, sometimes from CDs that I had for years.

Turning to Haruka, I find it very gratifying how the orignal candy made a comeback. I knew that it was a special candy, even blogged it. Score! That said, it was clear that Haruka was too shy to act upon her feelings, especially in a challenging environment, unless she could pull it off discreetly — like the candy. Her failure is, thus far, quite endearing. On the average of all areas, she is the greatest prize in the cast, and anime creators eventually found a way to demonstrate it. Some bloggers were already grousing how Haruka was mediocre in every respect, etc. But while it’s a great deal of a problem for an idol, it may be quite advantageous for a woman. We should hope that someone would eventually find it out and make her flourish, by the time her more successful peers are well worn by the casting coach and start eyeing Christmas cakes like soldier regards lice. NTR away, Miki, we’ll see who has the last laugh.

Oh, and apropos that! Again I cannot find it now, but I seem to recall that a blogger tried to build an analogy between Miki’s rendition of Relations and her own NTR. But if you actually listen to the song, it’s pretty clear that the main character refuses to undertake anything to steal the man. The story is anti-NTR! Miki is sufficiently ruthless to act NTR, although strictly speaking, in our case she does not, thanks to Haruka not actually laying down the claim either, let alone having it reciprocated. Which is fine, but is the opposite of “Relations”. Perils of relying on fansubbers, perhaps. Watching raw, I cannot tell if this resulted from a mistranslated or misread karaoke ticker, but I think it likely. BTW, just for extra irony, there’s a better version of “Relations” with Asami Imai’s singing. Apparently it came from the game, and I happen to have both for an instant comparison. The feeling she transmits is just horrifying.