Archive for July, 2012

Blast from DVD Past

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Netflix sent me a DVD with v.1 of Yawara:

It may very well be my last rental DVD ever: Netflix brass hides no disdain for DVD subscribers ever since the failure of Quickster, when the unwashed masses made them to beat a hasty and expensive retreat. They did not forget, and they will do everything to get rid of us. Still, once set in its ways, the machine creaks on. This particular request sat in the account queue more than 3 years, and I am more than a little surprised that it was fulfilled.

Aside from that, how many of you heard about Anime Eigo? I heard it was a truly one-man company. Don’t like the garbage that FUNi licenses? Take action! Call Japanese studios and negotiate deals for masterpieces. Yawara ran together with Ranma 1/2 and had better ratings, BTW.

Haganai S2 announced

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Among the flurry of Otakon announcements, one was hiding that informed from the Area 11 mothership: apparently Haganai is getting a second season. I’m a little hostile to the idea, considering that manga hasn’t ended (to the best of my knowledge, anyway), but nobody asked me when they planned this. There is a danger that they owners are going to run the item into the ground, and it would be a pity. Unless, of course, the S2 sets a definitive end, in which case it would be awesome. But ask yourself, how likely is that?

UPDATE: Fencedude corrected me: the canonical source is a light novel, manga is a sister adaptation to the anime.

Supermarket Nipponism No.2

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

The series of Precure candy came to a close, but never fear: the American food industry is infiltrated by weaboos. While the candy was sold by a store that may be described as “ethnic” (e.g. selling Heinz beans), this specimen came from an honest supermarket:

What do you think it says? The “tamago” part makes it plain that the language is intended to be Japanese, but “地鶏” is not actually a word. If not for “tamago”, I would suspect that it’s in Chinese. As it is, the “earth-chicken” either meant “cage-free chicken” or “organic chicken”, and probably sounds like “chitori”.

UPDATE: Ana-sempai says that it’s pronounced “jitori” and means “freerange local traditional pedigree chicken; chicken meat from same”, with a reference to Denshi Jisho. The Green Goddess 6 in my Wordtank, however, knows of “jidori”, meaning “locally produced chicken”.

EveTaku’s AKB0048 favourtes poll

Friday, July 27th, 2012

They promise a TL page and also run a poll of viewer’s favourites. As usual, my choices are not entirely aligned with the crowd:

Chieri’s lead is not in any way surprising, even if Evirus tried to be flippant:

In fact, at the moment I can only remember the name of one girl: Cherry, whom I’ve designated as the the AKB0048 Best Girl mostly by default because she has the best hair.

She is the most powerful, so yeah. Everyone loves Chieri. But I find her a little too overblown, and in the same time somewhat unpleasant: brooding, scheming, etc. I do not buy the way her nice side is imagined unfolding.

If it were a select-1 poll, I’d have to pick Makoto, the little worry-wart. The ep.10 was all kinds of terrible for her character, but oh well. It’s anime. I actually noted “oh Makoto, why are you so wonderful” at the beginning of 10, and then the facepalm happened. Thank you, Suzuko, you asshole. And you aim for Tsubasa’s job? Makoto is real though. She’s ok to marry my son any time.

Nagisa is, of course, Chieri’s foil, the viewpoint, CV: Karen Iwata, etc. I had to give her a point.

As for Mimori, well, living with Kanata for 2 years should count for something. That, and pheromones.

Successors are not as exposed to judgement. Kojiharu is pretty, and also saved about the whole of the 77th when Nagisa next to mowed them down with a micsaber. Acchan is talked about as if Chieri with a soul, and a great one too. And I should’ve voted for Sae. You think 75th was cursed? Bet they weren’t boat-anchor peers like Sae’s. So yeah. But overall we just don’t know them much. It’s a random selection, almost.

Google knows way too much

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Interesting ads it is showing, I have to say:

What have I become — from Google’s point of view?

Tenso is a mail forwarding service that every weaboo must know and use. Otaku, too.

Twitter is down! Here’s meta.

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Anime blogging – Personality and relationship with your readers“.

No idea where he got the number of 257 active anime blogs.

UPDATE:

The number of blogs still active is created daily by a personal software I wrote and is shown in the sidebar of this blog under the title “Blogs Heartbeat”.

Blogs alive : 257 (35.60%)
Blogs dead : 384 (53.19%)
Blogs unreachable : 81 (11.22%)

My software, parses Animenano’s database and then scan each blog to check their last post date. If its older than 1 month it mark them as dead. If the server doesn’t answer it marks them as unreachable.

Did anyone even update AnimeNano after Maestro handed AB over to Akai? If not, 257 “veteran” blogs still alive is quite impressive.

SDS on Madoka

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Ogiue Maniax:

While I think it’s quite a good show, even excellent in a number of respects, my opinion is that unlike so many others Madoka Magica did not open the world to me. It is not the greatest magical girl anime I’ve ever seen, let alone the greatest anime, and rather than showing me that it’s possible for such a genre to be full of rich depth and interesting ideas it just reinforced my already existing beliefs in that regard. So, yes, an excellent show and a fascinating twist, but something I always knew was possible (in a good way).

Interesting.

I rejected Madoka for the nasty sight unseen, but I dipped my toes into, for instance, Uta~Kata, so I’m sympathetic to his argument. Also note Otou’s challenge in comments, about not enjoying “the dark perversions of the previously pure things you enjoyed” (Mary Gentle’s excrement on the topic of LOTR was the only book ever that I intentionally destroyed to make the world a better place).

AKB0048 01-08 Q and WMG

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

I tried to blog the titular notes back when Ani-nouto started, but it wasn’t very successful, IMHO: the material was too transient. Two years down the road nobody is going to care about small plot twists in an anime; at most they’ll like to know if it were any good, and why, in a capsule summary. But reading Fencedude predicting the outcome of Peace Ceremony was fun enough that I’m going to dump a few of them now. Enjoy! Snicker if you know how wrong I was (13 was shown less than 24 hours ago).

Good anime cannot be spoiled, but beware of hard spoilers, yada yada.

Mayuyu. She is either a cyborg, or a robot (android). If she’s a ‘droid, we now have robots that can emit aura. Otherwise Kirara would not react to her. I did not pay attention to her concert performance, so I am not sure if she emits the aura, but apparently one cannot succeed without Succession Kirara giving a nod. From spoilers that I have, this may be problematic: why bother with idols if you can make robots? Unless, of course, the secret of Mayuyu’s technology is hidden well and cannot be independently discovered. But we seem to be getting too deep. It is easier to presume that she’s a cyborg, in which case she has a soul and aura is not an issue. But the creators saw fit to give her cool, robot-like demeanor and strange behaviors, patterned after an emotionless robot girl model. Why? What did they mean by that?

The robotic behavior could be patterned after the original Mayu. I’m wondering if she is (was) (in)famous in AKB48 for such quirk. What did fans think of her?

Speaking of real AKB48 members: they never voice their own successors. In theory, this can change, but even so the openings are very narrow. According to ANN (I know I should do better but… OTZ), we only have two theoretical cases:

  • Mayuyu Watanabe, voices Chieri (!)
  • Sayaka Nakaya, voices Orine

There is no Karen among members. Although some names are kept in reserve, like Sachiko and Paruru, I do not recall her mentioned. Therefore I find it unlikely that Nagusa will succeed Karen Iwata. As for Chieri succeeding Mayuyu, that’s out of the question! Although they are cold enough for match outside, it’s the inside that matters. Also, I’m sure Chieri is destined for a greater succession than Mayuyu. Well, unless it turns out that she was majorly augmented all this time, thanks to dad.

Orine can still succeed Sayaka, but that is the only case among the whole set. Why is that? Why don’t they want to exploit it? Worse, a large possibility exists when members have to voice successors of other members in the future seasons.

Mysterious redhead of 4 years ago. Who was she? She looked like Kanata, who, as we know is angling to succeed TakaMina (but is not going to live long enough). Kanata is 75th, so it’s absolutely out of question for her to participate. Not to mention that she launched in combat for the 1st time in 08.

Naota. The only fan recognized by an idol, member of WOTA. You know, if groupies in our world would literally protect and save lives of stars (and vice-versa), it would probably change some of the dynamics. Anyway, so far I have no idea how special Naota’s relationship with Sae is, but we weren’t shown much. It could be routine. The question is, do we have a death flag?

What has happened to the DES battleship after TakaMina went out of commission?

Bloggers on middle AKB0048

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

I was not particularly attentive to efforts of episoders back when AKB0048 was in its middle. Now I am reaping the problem by not having a whole lot of interesting stuff to reblog. It’s made worse by high-brow bloggers tending to show their worst or at least overthink it. The Paper made me roll my eyes so hard for seeing everything through the prism of gender. I bet she eats her gendered cereal with a gendered spoon. Schneider made me roll my eyes a little over painstaking picking-over of Sae vs. Megumi and coloring with his intrinsic nasty.

AJ The 4th used the Shoji Kawamori link with a decent success. The question of the same songs repeated also bears pondering. I mean, how often do you hear the 60-year-old Irving Berlin’s “I’m Dreaming Of A White Christmas” nowadays… Jokes aside, the impact of alien entertainment under the ban is certainly different. Just can’t imagine ban planets supplying AKB0048 much revenue. So, who knows, maybe it’s considered something akin to Olympics: challenges are the same, competitors change. The little fan of Orine promised to buy Orine’s card, not a moldy AKB48 record!

In the end, Fencedude was most reliable, and the retellings were easy to skip (Why do they even bother transcrabing episode events in the first place? Every episoder does it: Omni did, too.). Here’s his Sae vs. Megumi:

Sae is Youko, a member of the 76th Generation, and it seems she was very close to Megumi. Megu clearly does not see Youko as Sae, and probably never has, even at the end, when she called her “Sae-san”, she was just trying to bury the pain she’s feeling.

That’s the kind of reflection I wish was more popular. There was some personal touch to it, as well. And in 07, I had certain misgivings about the Peace Mission, too.

P.S. Did anyone notice that Sae has a personal relationship with a hardcore fan of hers?

Theology of Haruka Amami

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

After listening to the same iDOLM@STER tracks for years, I began to parse some of the text; usually it comes as a sudden understanding while driving along. The full message often remains mysterious. For example, it appears that Agent deals with prostitution (canonically performed by Makoto, Ami and Mami to boot [the song is performed, not prostitution — Ed]).

There’s also a number of amusing dialog inserts. Some are whimsical:

Ritsuko:
kokuhaku-tte dou saretai? meeru? denwa? yappari atte?
告白ってどうされたい? メール? 電話? やっぱり会って?
How would you want to get a confession? Text? Phone? Or in person?
Azusa:
sukina hito nara, nandemo ii kamo
好きな人なら何でもいいかも…
If it’s my beloved, anything works
Chorus: Meeto! (?!)
Azusa:
tsukiaetara, dou suru no? Asobu? Hanasu? Soretomo..?
つきあえたらどうするの? 遊ぶ? 話す? それとも~?
When dating, what to do? Play? Talk? Or…?
Ritsuko:
Tada, isshyoni iru dake de ii kamo!
ただ一緒にいるだけでもいいかも…
Simply being together is good
Chorus: Internet! (?!)

(from “Sha-la-la”)

Other times, it’s like this:

Makoto:
ne, ne… kami-sama-tte hontou ni iru no kana?
ね、ねぇ、神様って本当にいるのかなぁ?
Listen, do you think God really exists?
Haruka:
un, atashi wa iru to omou yo
うん、わたしは居ると思うよ!
Sure, I think he does!
Makoto:
e? nande?
えっ?なんで??
You do? Why?
Haruka:
uum, nani ka wo omotte, dare ka wo shinjirareru nara, atashi wa sou shitai nah
うーん・・・何かを思って、誰かを信じられるなら、わたしはそうしたいなっ!
Oh.. I thought about it and if I can believe in someone, I want to believe that!
Makoto:
~ sou da ne. jaa, yukou ka?
・・・そうだね、じゃあ行こうか!
Right on. Well, let’s go!

(from “YES”)

I think an American would probably say “if I were granted a capacity to believe, then…” there, and perhaps she meant just that, but it’s hard to be sure.