Archive for May, 2012

Ano Natsu de Matteru ends

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Oh goodie, marathoned another one suddenly. Could not put it down!

Overall, I think the anime was expertly executed. I am struggling to identify a romantic comedy equally good. I can name a few outstanding, epic love stories with a greater impact (Simon and Nia for one), but they seem not to carry the full weight of the host anime, or otherwise do not fit. And in the romantic comedy class, I come up empty.

So, good deal. However, I feel ambiguous at the messaging: the anime insists on driving home the lesson of coming forth and following the confession procedure early for the best results. This may be less problematic for teens, who have no conflicting obligations, but adults have to tread lightly here.

Liked: Yes!
Rewatch: No way, too much emotional whiplash.

BTW, the comparison list:

  • Gurren-Lagann, F/SN, Nodame, Moribito, Shingu etc. etc. – focus elsewhere more or less. Nodame a strong contender though.
  • Mahoraba – mega cute, but is really a twist on the harem theme.
  • ef – not bad, but split stories were poorly integrated.
  • Toradora – good main storyline, but flawed production: overlong with a bunch of useless filler, the build-up to the ending was not communicated well.
  • Chobits – comes close in strength, but CLAMP wallows in their usual creepy too much in there.
  • Honey and Clover – just about as strong, but nasty shit really; and the bad parts are extraneous to boot.
  • true tears – started ambitiously, but automatically out of contention due to drop.
  • Sadly, I did not complete Hatsukoi and GataKei either.

P.S. Tatsuyuki Nagai apparently directed Railgun, AnoHana, Toradora (!), Honey and Clover II (!), and Xenoglossia (wait, what). Also, had a hand in Chobits. It’s like AnoNatsu was his coda. Perfect time to retire, as he cannot possibly exceed it.

Nova on Upotte

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Actually, it was a rant about poorly designed Finnish guns more than anything.

[Jatimatic] was essentially designed to be easy and “accurate” to shoot from the hip and/or single handed. You know, the way pretty much nobody actually shoots these days.

I touched upon it before, but it reminds me about shooting MAC-11. The gun was impossible to control unless I held it securely by the silencer. Fortunately, the silencer on it features a reciprocating baffle design, so it does not get hot. Still, Jatimatic cannot be worse.

UPDATE: MAC-10 is in the show (ep.3):

Accel World begins

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Unlike the case of Upotte, the ‘sphere basically got Accel World right: it’s a run of the mill shonen title. I could’ve blogged it right after the opener, the anime is very honest about itself. But since Evirus forewarned about “wall-to-wall exposition and unnecessarily long, tedious fight scenes” from ep.2, I waited to see that first. Afterwards, I think he overstated the case.

The introductory episodes are heavily dominated by the relationship of the protagonist, who I call “Mr. Porky” (Haruyuki), and “Ms. Kuro” (Kuroyukihime), a beautiful upperclassman who drags Mr. Porky in her wake towards the adventures. Since Mr. Porky is the viewpoint character, we get the unreliable narrator and the drop-in-the-pool exposition with a lot of things taken for granted or acknowledged and put aside for later. In the big picture, the purpose of Accelerated World is unknown, and in the small, Ms. Kuro intrigued everyone. Jonathan Tappan interptered her thus:

Let’s face it, the beautiful and popular Kuroyukihime is unlikely to be interested in Haruyuki for his fine manly body. All she really knows about him is that he has a talent for games, which she wants to make use of. She’s seductive and manipulative and she seems willing to go to great lengths to get what she wants.

I think there’s more to her than that, and, unlikely it may seem, she managed to fall for Mr. Porky. The reason for that is her past trauma (that manifested in a “hideous” avatar that we do not get to see) and Porky triggeding something in her head. Of course it does not preclude her from using him. I use my wife to pick me up in the airport, too. Peter S. posted some spoiler notes on the topic, based on ep.4.

Another valuable resource is the episodic blog of the translator for UTW at “8th Sin Fansubs”. Here’s about Haru making an inexplicable gesture of pretend horns:

Silver Crow could be a parody of Space Runaway Ideon, an ancient anime also produced by Sunrise. It’s not silver in color, but the glistering face/eye for special move is Ideon’s distinctive feature, and Ideon does have horn antennas too.

I saw someone twittering hate for Mr. Porky being cowardly and weak. It is understandable, but it’s a sentiment I do not share. I have a feeling that it only gives him a room to grow.

The biggest problem for me is how Accel World is going to be endless. It’s based on light novels, and people familar with the source claim that there’s no convenient endpoint anywhere near.

Upotte begins

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Upotte was supposed to be this filthy innuendo vehicle for dirty perverts… but it really is not. It turned out to be a comedy, and honestly I liked its comedic payload more than that of Naruto SD. Funco dealing with puberty gave the haters the excuse to lash out, but it’s entirely up to the viewer whre to focus. For me, Strike Witches (both seasons) were significantly more offensive, if we want to compare this angle. I can see myself following this show in-season, as long as the balance is on the side of the cute and silly. Thanks, Mr. Duck.

Can’t wait for a Russian girl who never washes.

UPDATE: Thomas twittered that “in the extras for vol. 2 of the manga you catch a glimpse of AK74”.

UPDATE: CKS explains things:

I even quite enjoyed a highschool comedy that went much further than Upotte!’s relatively tame innuendo. What I think got to me is the presence of the male teacher and the focus of Funco’s thoughts on him; this gave the jokes and especially Funco’s daydreaming involving him an uncomfortable edge, especially since Funco is in middle school.

The moral panic about pedofilia, whipped up by the unholy trinity of bureaucrats, church, and media, is a terrible thing. Fortunately, Upotte didn’t go into the direction of Kodomo no Jikan, or I too would have to drop it.

Spoiling a little, Funco realizes that having a sudden hot flash with strange fantasies is unexpected, and that something is up. Mind, she does not know enough to identify those as sexual fantasies. So, her first thought was to consult her best friend Ichiroku. You probably can guess how that went. But thereafter, Funco was intelligent enough (and perhaps brave enough) to go to the school nurse. That did not proceed too well either, since we’re in a comedy anime, but still – well done.

Carnival Phantasm ends

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Instead of going to bed last night, I stayed and marathoned the rest of Carnival Phantasm, EX and Prototype. To the end, it was a robust comedy anime that striked just the right balance between the in- and out-jokes — in my biased opinion, of course; not being a Type-Moon fan.

I only wish they let characters to interact more between families. The only good cross-over was when Phantasmoon met a magical girl from another dimension. Come on guys, learn from Flintstones meet Jetsons (N.B.: it actually exists).

OP and ED were great.

h/t: SDB

Liked: Not Bad
Rewatch: A bit, parts

DiGiKerot on iM@S

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Leaving the horse armour aside, this caught my attention:

[…] it wouldn’t be that difficult to design an iM@S-beating idol game that played on the same compulsions (both gameplay and content-wise) as iM@S, but it’d likely be, if not incredibly difficult, certainly extraordinarily expensive to line up all the necessary non-gameplay elements. Beyond accusations of mimicry, the biggest one is the voice-talent, which is where iM@S really struck it lucky. Most of the voice actresses for the games main characters – even the ones brought on recently – were hardly prolific at the time they signed onto the series, and many of them continue to be otherwise relatively small names. In the case of Rie Kugimiya, they were clearly extremely fortunate to sign her just before her popularity absolutely exploded. Yet they all worked out. To try and take mindshare from iM@S at this point, you’d probably have to build yourself a pretty stellar voice-cast to build your marketing around […]

The facts weren’t new for us. Asami Imai’s performance was amazing in the anime, we know that. She grew together with iM@S as DiGi narrated. But one of “brought on recently” was incomparable Haruka Tomatsu, who since very much proved that she offered more than a cute package. I suspect that her promise must have been obvious to whoever audited her in 2008. So… It is not just luck, but clearly someone at Namco has a keen eye and knows how to negotiate (it may even be the same person — a real-life Producer).