Archive for May, 2012

Schneider on AKB0048

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

The AKB0048 landed in my queue after Kuro shared the picture of goddamn assault mikesaber. But until now I found nothing rebloggable… Except Nova’s tryptich, perhaps:

What I watched: AKB0048. What I expected: Idolm@ster Space Edition. What I got: STALINGRAD.

The force with which it hit Nobar was rather remarkable, but what can you say about it? So, Schneider takes the lead with an article “AKB0048: Elegant Idols, For A More Civilized Age“.

A hallmark of a good world, for me, is the amount of interesting questions it forces you to ask.

Same place, he may be overstating the point about the succession, for the sake of rhethoric. Or maybe he doesn’t. I guess we’ll just have to find out.

The Other Meta

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

I was rewatching Sunred just now, and I thought that the voice of Miki, a colorful side character in ep.44, sounded familiar.

The show’s page at ANN was useless, but fortunately the titles are easy to read: it was Sakura Nogawa. For a moment I imagined it could be Akiko Hasegawa, which would be pretty funny, and even went to look her up. It wasn’t her, but here’s something else: did you know that before giving voice to Miki (Hoshii), she made key animation for Porco Rosso? How’s that for a career switch. Well, I mean, Naoko Yamazaki was a bit of a special case. So, what now? Tomocha?

P.S. Kurumi Mamiya was involved with Sunred before, and Makiko Nabei is the voice of Kayoko, of course (who does not appear in ep.44 otherwise). The wiki page for Mrs. Nogawa mentions a couple of other side characters that never grabbed my attention.

DD2 PV

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

A trailer for Dog Days 2 is made available (h/t John).

Becky (and Shinku’s sister) travel to Biscotti; Princess confronts Becky. They do not show who wins, but since Shinku has to return, your guess is just as valid as mine. But we may safely say that Eclair loses.

UPDATE: Steven alerted me to the fact that Nanami did not, in fact, travel to Biscotti. I suppose this error is understandable since I still call those island people “English”. If you want more spoilers, watch the trailer for yourself.

14 anime movies in Santa Fe

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Passing through the flight planning room in Santa Fe Jet center, I found the following poster:

Apparently, someone is running a series of presentations named “Castles in the Sky: Miyazaki, Takahata and the Masters of Studio Ghibli“.

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays weekly from mid-May through the summer [of 2012]. Check schedule for showtimes.

Santa Fe is one of the few cities to host this historic series, featuring 15 Studio Ghibli features in newly restored 35mm prints.

Oh yes, high (anime) culture, baby. In the past I had to come to Frisco for that.

No idea why someone thought that aircrew was an especially good target for this advertising but apparently they succeeded.

Upotte dropped

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Lower Mid-Table has has the factual spoilers. I’ll just add that it was even more gruesome than EmperorJ is making it sound.

Congratulations, Otou-san

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

As prompted by tweet, here’s my very liberal and amateur translation for The Rika End video – with heavy spoilers, naturally! – to be read in a separate window:

SFX: Door opens

RIKA: 「旦那さまーーーっ 愛しの理科が帰りましたよーーーっ!」 == Honeey! Your lovely Rika is hoome!

KODAKA (narrates): さて、かわいい奥さんのお帰りだ。 == Now, to welcome the cute wife.

KODAKA: 「おかえり、理科」 == Welcome back, Rika!

RIKA: 「はい、ただいまです、小鷹さん! == Thanks, I’m back, Kodaka!
さあ、お帰りのちゅーをお願いします!!」 == Now, the welcome kiss please!

KODAKA: 「はいはい」 == Yep

KODAKA (narrates): 理科の要望に応えて唇を合わせる。 == As Rika wanted, we touch lips.

SFX: Kissing

(continues) 理科は今、三人目の子どもを妊娠中だ。 == Curently, Rika is expecting our third.
けれど、いろんな会社や研究所 囲って忙しく働き続けている。 == However, she continues to stay very busy consulting various companies and research organizations.
それだけ、理科のことを必要としている人が多いのだ。 == That’s how much she is needed by many people.

KODAKA: 「今日はお腹の子、大丈夫だったか?」 == Tummy ok today?

RIKA: 安定期に入ってから大丈夫ですよ。 == Stable period of pregnacy has began, so it’s fine.
それに無理は絶対にしません。 == Anyway, I never do anything too tough.
子どもが一番大切ですから。」 == Children are most precious, you know.

KODAKA (narrates): そう言って理科がまた唇を突き出してくるので、俺はもう一度キスしてやった。 == Saying that, Rika again kissed me.

SFX: Kissing

RIKA: 「ふふ。それで小鷹さん、あの子たちはもう寝ちゃいました?」 == ^_^ So, Kodaka, kids are asleep already?

KODAKA: 「ああ。今、寝かしつけてきたとこだよ」 == Yeah. I put them to bed just now.

RIKA: 「むー、そうですか。でしたら、また起こすのはかわいそうですね」 == I see.. It would be a pity to wake them up.

KODAKA: 「明日の朝、おはようとただいまを言ってやれよ」 == Tell them good-morning tomorrow.

RIKA: 「そうします。で、いっしょにハグとちゅーも大サービズしちゃいましょう」 == Will do, and add a special hug.

KODAKA: 「そうだな。飯は?」 == Right on. Supper?

RIKA: 「食べてきました。それよりですね、先輩。 == I ate. But that aside, sempai
子どもたちも寝ちゃってるわけですし・・・・・・」 == Since kids are asleep…

KODAKA (narrates): 理科が俺のことを「先輩」と呼ぶのは、まぁつまり・・・ == Rika calls me sempai when… well…

KODAKA: 「や、め、ん、か!」 == NO. WAY.

RIKA: 「あぁん」 == Ahh!

KODAKA (narrates): 俺は軽く理科の頭をたたく。 == I hit her lightly on the head.

KODAKA: 「まったく・・・安定期までまたちょっとあるだろ。 == Geez, pregnacy is just into the steady state.
お腹の子に障ることはできないっての」 == You’re going to damage the child.

RIKA: でもー、やっぱり理科としては、先輩の遺伝子に興味津々なんですよ」 == But, for me, sempai‘s DNA is so very interesting.
先輩の遺伝子と理科の遺伝子をかけ合わせるとどうなるのか・・・ == I keep wondering what is going to happen if we combine our DNA…
サンプルは多い方がいいですからね♥」 == I need lots of samples!

KODAKA:「おまっ・・・子どもをそういう目で見るなよ」 == Wha… Don’t think about children like that!

RIKA: 「ふふっ。冗談ですよ。でも、子どもは多い方がいいというのは本心です」 == Heh. I’m joking! But I really think we need lots of kids.
「だって理科は愛する先輩の子どもだったら。何人でも欲しいんですから!」 == They are kids of my beloved. Any number is good!

Raymond Herera on AsoIku

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

I was tempted to title this “Meanwhile Deep In The Mainstream”, because look at this:

This Tuesday, May 15th, FUNimation Entertainment will release the sci-fi comedy harem series “Cat Planet Cuties” and in anticipation of its release the publisher has given us the opportunity to check the series out a little early.

It is May 15th, 2012. I am having a nagging suspicion that Mr. Herera is not aware that Asobi Ni Ikuyo was streamed by Crunchy in the U.S. market, which presumably Examiner and FUNi serve.

Meat-wise, writing was uninspired, even for a retelling:

As in most other harem anime series Kio is dense and has no idea about the feelings of each of the girls, except for Eris thanks to her going into “heat”.

With the most scintillating opinion being perhaps this:

Anime fans won’t find anything really original in “Cat Planet Cuties” but it does offer plenty of comedy and girls with big breasts for fans of the genre.

I think the ‘sphere is safe, thus far.

UPDATE: An early draft included an insinuation that Mr. Herera is making Chris Beveridge to quack in his boots, but does he? Let’s have a look:

The series also includes an OVA in this release, something that we didn’t get during the simulcast run for obvious reasons, and it’s a good bit of fun here at the end that involves everyone simply playing a variety of games.

The above is the only time the existence of streaming is acknowledged and it looks like an accident. I don’t know what to make of it. Chris knows his audience, in fact he built his audience over the years. Perhaps he wants his article to be self-contained and make sense many years down the road, when someone looks up a label at a garage sale.

Sunred on R2 DVD

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

This Saturday morning, a mailman made me sign off a parcel from CDjapan.

It’s a long way from 2008, when I misjudged the series so badly. Despite ANBU having done a stellar job, Sunred is not very accessible even to high-level weaboos. You think you get it, but you don’t, not really. I should thank Momotato-sempai for putting a good word for it in his final post on 2009-1-1. He led me to discover Kayoko, and only then I began to understand what it was all about.

So totally going to Kawasaki City next time I’m in the area.

The Tourney That Psgels Won

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

With the 2nd round, better-known and plainly better blogs started to roll in, and they lose big time, with the exception of SOS and Metanorn that utterly steamrolled their opponents (Metanorn won with 242 to 25, possibly a record, against a crazy homophobic racist). The Queen Of Pr0n, Choux, lost to a complete unknown with 94 to 126. Today, it’s time for Evirus, Nova, and Calaggie to taste a bitter defeat:

I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be PSgels this year, but equally it’s not going to be a big name.

P.S. While this post was being written, Nobar staged a modest comeback, but his advantage is miniscule as of this update. Evirus continus to lose and is very unlikely to claw it back. I’ll be glad to be wrong, but unless he can mobilize #raspberryheaven and its parent webboard, it’s over.

P.P.S. I looked it up and apparently Ani-nouto is up tomorrow against A&V. Oh boy. My timing is impeccable as usual. Also! If I win, it just confirms the biases per the above. If Team Vuc win, there’s no shame in that, they’ve got a better editorial content. Just As Keikaku (TL: “keikaku” means “plan”).

UPDATE: Just saw a comment about Karmaburn:

Have you ever wondered why newspapers have multiple columns of text? Limited width => readability. With a maximized browser window, post text spans 1355px. Set CSS max-width plz.

I am afraid I must lose his vote tomorrow. Ani-nouto is similarly unreadable on maximized browsers. Through the efforts of MellowBunny, in theory we have a proper theme available… since 2008. I never found a day to deploy it; I am not going to rush it into production overnight for a lost cause.

Besides, everyone read through a feedreader anyway. They do not even see the theme.

{Update: Could not resist trying: see bug, fix bug. Well… The “max-width” works in Firefox and Opera, but not in Chrome. Twarted by Google! {Update: Omo told me that up-to-date Chrome worked}}

UPDATE on Thursday: It’s on. Early loss is 17 to 26.

UPDATE on Friday: A tie at 125 to 125?! Also, thanks to Steven for the plug.

UPDATE on Saturday: It’s a very small and narrowing lead 175 to 162. Evirus deigned to notice his loss and he, too, tinkered with CSS. Since we’re at it, ads are part of the deal of hosting at Animeblogger, and they were intended to be “inobtrusive”. Last I asked, back when Maestro ran things, Ani-nouto pulled about $30 per month, or slightly below its own hosting costs.

UPDATE on Monday: There was an announcement that Round 3 is going to be postponed, and Nova wasted no time in making hay out of it. Undoubtedly cheating is an issue. For example, my wife and daughter voted in the poll that was won by 3 votes, and later I caught the girl attempting to use a Kindle (it was twarted before I had a chance to act by the Kindle being the launch hardware, firmware of which did not support the required JavaScript). I heard SaiMoe is being beset by proxy voting problems every year, too.

In any case, A&L are now in my feedlist, and if they continue posting good stuff, they’ll end on the blogroll, which is what the Tourney was supposed to accomplish, wasn’t it? Except that I knew about them back in 2011, but imagining that I didn’t, they would join now.

Bloggers on Ano Natsu

Monday, May 7th, 2012

There is a lot written and even though I only read pre-selected posts, I had to cut mercilessly [trying to say “RTWT” — Ed.]. For starters, I skipped all reminiscences, everything about 1990s. I have no common ground with Suguru and Omo on that, really cannot evaluate anything. All midseries things had to be cut too, except one: blasted Hung never posted a closer for some reason.

What he did post, however, was quite bold. He made a bunch of predictions:

  • the main dude and alien will have a series of misunderstandings, — Hit, duh
  • childhood friend might gain some traction but then lose out, — Hit
  • alien girl will arbitrarily be taken away from main dude for an episode or two, and when they’re reunited, they will end up together. — Not bad
  • All the while, “fu fu fu” senpai will manipulate the rest of the cast for maximum enjoyment. — Hit
  • Childhood friend will either hook up with blue haired dude, — Miss

{Update: Evirus e-mailed that Hung literally used details from original Onegai Sensei for predictions.}

Also:

In a way, Ano Natsu De Matteru is a throwback to a time when anime plots were simpler. The cast represents a precisely honed set of love triangles and leaves things to sort themselves out. While it’s extremely predictable [], it’s also super enjoyable. This is like the comfort food of anime for me.

How could you leave us hanging, man?

An unknown for RP:

As for the plot, it was unbelievably real, especially to me. In some events, this was remarkably similar to something I had previously experienced, albeit she was not a crash-landed alien.

Heh. I can relate.

surprised [by] Tetsuro’s feelings for Kanna

You know, I was too. However, I think I wasn’t paying attention. There were probably some hints, like in Toradora where everything was telegraphed in ep.2 and then most blissfully missed it.

Mike:

it was a great series simply because it did everything in its ability exceptionally well. It was great with its handling of its characters; it was great with evocation and although the plot was barebones the rest were enough to carry the series beautifully.

And yes, it was better than Ano Hana.

What an elistist, even in the trolling. Everyone else tries to contrast with Toradora.

Suguru (spoils heavily):

Ano Natsu de Matteru ends – almost exactly how I guessed it would, which means the writers were probably a little predictable, but it was executed really, really well, so I can’t complain.

He rated the ending as “perfect finish in my book”.

lostty is not terribly coherent, so I am not sure if he/she even means what s/he writes:

it was for the most part fairly unique, didn’t take the fanservice route, and was very tasteful.

Very true, actually. But then:

This series tried too hard to be the next tear jerking melodrama

Goes beyond opinionating, just objectively false. Probably was on bad meds while blogging. Great hi-res screencaps at least.

Omo:

I think it’s safe to say that ultimately NatsuMachi is the distilled essence of the contribution to Toradora from the team that brought you both.

the original two series had it slightly better

I’ll confess yet again that I am no fan of Toradora; I think it’s a great show but it was nowhere near as enjoyable as the hype was. […] I think for the handful of people who truly enjoy anime like this, are so starved that we don’t really let the little details bother us. For the rest of us, those of us who are less committed to this sub-category of romantic comedies, well, the mileage will vary on how much you like watching the distilled essence of Toradora.

And “still well short of excellent” in the end.

BTW, there’s an unknown at Metanorn, who was rather explicit comparing against Onegai Sensei. Even knew woh Ichigo was. {Update: CKS suggests that Remon literally is Ichigo, which is why she says “I am forever 17”.}

Zyl:

inushinde’s right though – this is a summer dalliance and no classic like ToraDora.

Harsh, man.

Overall, it seems that the only guy who thought before writing was Nova:

One of the strongest points of the show was that it cleverly avoided many of the teenage melodrama land mines that shows such as BRS charged head-on into, and so the entire love polygon the show kept spinning around didn’t manage to ruin the whole thing with overblown angst.

Ano Nuts always seemed to keep a bit of a distance from the teenager love problems instead of the usual failing practice of displaying them as world-crushing once-in-a-lifetime-issues, using the kind of moderation that’s pretty much vital for this type of dramatic setting.

One might argue that in the real world there’s no way everyone could have stayed friends after all that happened, but y’know, sometimes I watch anime to see a world better than ours, and as such Ano Nuts has my forgiveness.

There was much more where that come from, but I cannot quote the whole thing. He explains very convincingly why the ending was perfect, something Suguru didn’t do. Although mind, I do not necessarily agree. In particular, he concluded that the anime “wasn’t the next ToraDora”. Author and Omo versus Nobar-Zyl alliance, it seems.

Nova also had amusing comments:

Sage> No mention of Mio? I’m going to schedule your stoning for this week…

Nova> I was going to post a pic of her instead of Kanna, but most of the stuff I found was nasty :/

UPDATE: CKS joins Nova & Co with a paradox:

However, it’s no Toradora; ultimately it will probably be forgettable but fondly remembered.

Forgettable to be remembered, is it like a romantic comedy that is not a comedy? Seriously though, not being a native speaker, I just assumed that “comedy” was a signifier, brought forward by the lack of a category. Conversely, Russian did not have a category for “fantasy” and lumped it under “sci-fi” for quite a while.

UPDATE: Hung responded with a review, and he liked the ending like Suguru and Nobar did.

It’s basically a re-make of Onegai Sensei, with the same character types (but different characters). The thing that made Ano Natsu enjoyable was that it was executed damn near perfectly. The pacing, animation, humor, etc were all great. I think the one thing it lacked was a bit of originality.

But as he points out, it was a good trade-off. His previous comparison with Infinite Stratos is not too far-fetched, IMHO.

UPDATE in June: Pixy admits to medium goodness, and:

The ending doesn’t try to resolve everything, but it does provide closure; I found it satisfying.

Pixy also tripped SDB, who hated the angst. Mind, his perceptions were strangely warped:

Tetsurou’s older sister, who is separated from her husband, is a cougar and seems to be chasing Kaito.

He admits that it was the “languid gay teacher” effect: only watching fragments.