Archive for July, 2012

Oh Steven, you trickster

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

I follow DD2 with a big delay; but a good anime cannot be spoiled, etc. etc., so I admit that I looked at Chizumatic’s account of ep.3. It ends thus:

Truly an awesome battle, and fun for everyone. Quite a success. And the final strip count for this episode was 6. All told, in this entire battle nearly every cute girl got stripped: ½Kuuberu, ½Becky, Nanami, ½Yukki, Rico, ½Eclair, Vert, Jaune, Noir, ½Millefiore. (And we add Shinku to the count, though he isn’t a cute girl.)

So far so good. But, I also looked at Moero Amazon’s piece, and boy, was there much more than just the above:

魅惑の入浴シーンが描かれなかったのは大いに不満。
それでも、湯上がりのベッキーの髪をシンクが結うのは良いなぁ。

Aira’s screencaps are so miniature, that I did not even realize it was Shinku fixing up Becky’s braids, until I read about it. But wait, there’s more! Becky apparently makes forceful moves, about which Steven neglected to inform us.

しかし、これまた急にこの関係がいつまで続くのかとか嫌なフラグっぽい言葉を。
可愛い女の子に囲まれてるシンクに、誰が本命なのかと問い詰めたり。

Accompaining screencap includes not just all the usual suspects of “可愛い女の子” who “囲まれてる” Shinku, but also Yukki and Countess d’Ambrien. Wow, really? Not that I don’t love Brioche-san myself, but come on. She could be Shinku’s grandmother!

ベッキーって、シンクと今以上の関係になりたいとは考えてないのか?
フロニャルド滞在の間に、その関係が大きく変わると良いんだけどなぁ。

Words:
関係 – kankei – relationship, in this case; more often used in “this is none of your business”/”anata ni kankei nai”. Different from “kizuna” this way.

QUICKIE: Perhaps spoke too soon. In comments, Steven mentions “Becky asking Shinku about girlfriends”. The little icons are probably what Becky’s inflamed imagination summoned… Could’ve included Genoise, too.

Oh Miao, you card

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Yes, it’s the thin slicing at now Blog Suki nee Anime On My Mind (poor Darry, discarded like a used sock), and it starts well. No opaque sports references, no mis-spelled Brett Favre, but I am smirking and snorting at all the cute hate down the scale.

Uta Koi:

TYO Productions (yet another studio I haven’t heard about) brings us a terrible, terrible romance anime in Uta Koi. […] Anyway, Uta Koi has pretty bad story (generically bad), animation (looks acceptable in 2008), pacing (worse than Jormungand), and dialogue. The dialogue is so sappy and so uninspired that it makes romance novels with Fabio on the cover seem like To Kill a Mockingbird, The Hobbit, and Leaves of Grass combined into one. If you’re looking for a romance anime to watch, skip this show.

Screencaps made me think that the main attraction was the depiction of naked men, but apparently they were even unable to draw and animate those.

Tanken Driland:

Anyway, Tanken Driland‘s a mobile OS game turned anime. Yes, that’s how dry the well is now. We have turned all manga, light novels, and eroges into anime, so we’re now working on mobile OS games. What next? Anime inspired from Amazon product reviews? Ikea instructions? Food truck menus? Where does it end?

I’m pretty sure that he’s hilariously wrong here twice. Remember that anime made from mecha-musume figurines? I know a guy who likes it a lot, and man, I cried manly tears when Yoshika ascended in the #2 elevator (dropped it pretty quickly thereafter, but it was the fault of the director, not the source material). And additionally, what’s up with the kiddie show put-down? Remember Binchou-tan? That thing was super rad, while aimed at 5-to-7-year-olds, not even 9-year-olds.

Unfortunately, what I read elsewhere about Tanken Driland confirms Jason’s opinion. They say it’s a soul-less, inept adventure, with an insufferable brat for a heroine, who is also dumb. Must be the royal inbreeding, expertly reproduced.

Koi Choco:

If you’re looking for a boring, generic harem anime based off a visual novel, Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate (恋と選挙とチョコレー, Love, Erection Election, and Chocolate) will be awaiting your eyeballs. This show is so generic, I ended up forgetting it until I realized, “Hey, I forgot to thin slice that show with the murder.” Yep, someone gets run over by a Prius in the introduction, and it’s never referenced again in the episode. At first, I thought that AIC Build just spliced two shows into one incorrectly, like attaching the intro of Darker Than Black in front of To Love Ru. Nope. It’s all Love, Erection, and Chocolate.

Heh.

Arcana Famiglia:

Arcana Famiglia (アルカナ・ファミリア) blends a lot of ingredients I don’t find appealing. It’s a reverse harem, action, mafia, action, tarot card smoothie. I feel like it’s one of those, “Hey, let’s just fling shit at the wall and see what sticks” shows; probably won’t surprise you that JC Staff and Chiaki Kon (director of Higurashi, Umineko, Junjou Romantica, and Nodame Paris) is behind this show and that it’s already licensed by Sentai (let’s start the pool for when Sentai goes bankrupt).

Oh, brother, I’m so with you. The only mafia show I ever watched (dropped after 8 episodes) was the one with the talking dog sidekick. Even passed upon Seto, because principles. Also! The secret of Paris-ben‘s deep suckage is unveiled.

Kokoro Connect:

[Jason used a screencap from Tari Tari instead, I was unable to read any further due to a laughter spasm — Author]

Hagure Yuusha:

(The animation is terrible. The backgrounds are horrendous with some consisting of maybe ten strokes. Some side and minor characters received maybe 20% of the detail that the undressing haremettes have.)

The animation complaints is something to be taken under advisement. I remember hot arguments with my readers about the animation in Idolm@ster series, where both sides rolled equally heavy-hitting screencaps and clips. Was it terrible, or was it brilliant? Nobody knows even now.

Oda Nobuna:

Sheesh. When can we finally get genderswapped George Washington and Abraham Lincoln?

Okay, I had to read deep into paragraph to find it.

Tari tari:

So he swapped screencaps on purpose. Meh. I think we’re done here. Not going to argue his idiotic opinions about comparative merits of the animation in Anngel Beats even, because see above. As we climb the pole, shows are getting better, and he’s finding it harder and harder to lay decent hate on them, but he’s unable to blog them without.

Oh Japanese xenophobes, you cards

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Rebecca Silverman reporting for ANN:

There was a rude surprise after Dengeki Daisy bested Skip Beat! and Princess Jellyfish for Best Shoujo Manga when Kaze’s president announced that Americans are idiots. He had previously worked at Viz, Kaze’s American counterpart, and said that Americans did not appreciate manga and that he was pleased no longer to be working with “baka” Americans. Presumably he was unaware of journalists from ANN, Destructoid, and Japanator sitting front and center in the audience.

Laugh of the day!

Calaggie gives away EVA swag

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Apparently, all you need to do is to leave a comment on this blog, and you can win an Evangelion-themed fan, a shirt, and possibly a bag (or maybe not: the captions do not match pictures exactly). However, you must be able to accept the parcel at a U.S. address. It’s like when Yahoo Auction traders refuse to ship outside of Japan, only this time the shoe is on the other foot.

Internet ruined Oka for me

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Look:

TV anime never was so good. Sure, Porco Rosso, yes, that was this good. But it was shorter, it was more expensive, and we knew it for being exceptional. Now, every other series has animated visuals like that.

Still, when I see Oka doing it, I cannot pass on snickering.

Oh god, why (there’s a rage face for that, too).

Steelbound on drool in Nazo no Kanojo X

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

The Null Set:

To me, the drool angle was a very important component, not merely superfluous, because it was used to let the viewer feel the approximate same uncomfortable feelings both the main characters felt throughout the series as they stumble and learn how to build a relationship between each other.

There’s something to it, no doubt. Note how the ick gets de-emphasized accordingly: first it’s a big deal, shown unfolding in gross detail… But the sequence is gradually cut in length, extra messaging is removed, and we’re only left with a qick sign suck on a finger. But it all comes back for Oka! Because she’s new to the ritual obviously. Then she brings two bottles when Urabe trains for the relay.

The real Biscotti

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Someone had to compile the list of foods of Dog Days eventually. I am sure they did it before, actually. This one links characteristics of foods and characters:

Genoise is a type of sponge cake that is often layered with butter cream or mixed with flavored syrups or liqueurs to create various other types of cakes. But on its own, it tends to be both dry and supple in texture. Unlike other sponge cakes, the genoise is a whole-egg cake, opting to keep both the egg and yolk; this is where it gets most of its protein, though there are variations that also add in butter. I can definitely see how Gau’s Genoise trio live up to their name, as they are a fascinating blend of ditzy personalities and battle-ready warriors.

Interestingly, a pastila is a Russian for a sweet that is somewhat soft, somewhat spongy, and traditionally comes in small, elongated bricks. It never occured to me that pastische is actually a type of sugar.

Also, there appears to be an exception to the food naming:

Although he is more often called by his given name, Bernard, General Sabrage not only leads the Knights of Galette, but also commentates the battles when not on duty along with Framboise and Percy. As befits his name, sabrage is a technique for opening a bottle of champagne with a sword, most commonly a sabre. By sliding along the seam of the bottle, you can strike where it connects to the lip with the blunt edge of the sword and knock off the end along with its cork.

So, Bernard is not a food? How many other non-Earth characters are not? I think that some of the announcers are not. Maids, too.

Steven reminded me about the obvious: women get names referring to sweets, while men do not. However, some of them are somewhat cryptic and/or frenchefied, like “Jaune”. Also, what about Mr. Framboise?

UPDATE: Steven told me later that Jaune is a member of Genoise, and her last name is Clafoutis. This is what you get for relying on ANN.

But as to the girls, their names are

Jaune Clafoutis
Vert far Breton
Noir Vinocacao

jaune means yellow; vert means green, and noir means black, which are the color themes for their respective clothing.

clafoutis is a baked desert pie based on black cherries.
far breton is a kind of custard desert in Brittany
Vinocacao is the brand name of a French choclatier

Run-list for 2012 Summer

Monday, July 16th, 2012

I read the “in-progress” lists with a certain interest if the descriptions are short. Steven and Chris do it about right. At Ani-nouto, these things are uncommon, because I prefer to lag the season. For example, AKB0048 is the most fascinating series in the current run list. I want to marathon it badly, but I put brakes on it on purpose. Otherwise I would catch up quickly, and waiting is just no fun. Also, I’d be invested into a possible bad ending without a freedom to maneuver shows. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to batch. And then, I only run one or two shows at once. Following broadcast makes the watchlist swell.

Running (not had that many in months!):

  • AKB0048: Seen 5. It’s great, everyone is great. Chieri is not overpowering or nasty, Nagisa is not whiny or clumsy. It’s like Miki Hoshii and Haruka Amami, remember those? Only instead of P-san, they fight for the love of the ghost octopus. The shadow of the real AKB48 is not as opressing as I expected. Omo threw off a comment about Oba Nobuna: “It doesn’t matter if you’ve taken an interest in the gender-flipping historical-re-enactment genre or not, good show is good.” It applies here fully as well.
  • Mysterious Girlfriend X / Nazo no Kanojo X: Seen 6. This is starting to get good when it was demonstrated that all-knowing Urabe is only human. I know that it ends in a no-ending, but I’m gobbing it up. It’s a wonderful love story for teenagers of all ages.
  • Tari Tari: Seen 1, on “free” legal streaming. PA Works batted it out of the park (is this what they say? hope the spirit of Evirus forgives me). It remains to be seen how well they follow up, but so far the only concern is that one of the characters, Sawa, may come dominate the proceedings. She is that much better than the rest of the 2+3 group, and she’s not the notional leader even.
  • Joshiraku: Seen 2. Basically the same as Kill Me Baby, only funnier and vastly more educational.
  • Oba Nobuna: Seen 0. Supposedly it’s one of “strong servant protagonist” versions, and we’re not to be served the whiny passive-aggresstive of Saito of ZnT. But we’ll see.

Recent postponements:

  • Sankarea: Seen 0. Supposed to be a cute undead; Aroduc says that “Rea’s father sucks”, whatever that means. This is probably a sight-unseen cancellation in fact.
  • Accel World: Seen 3. For a shounen, it’s quite good. But for my anime, the pace is uneven, characters are oddly constructed and their backgrounds appear poorly thought out. Actually, it’s possible that more thought was given to those than to backgrounds of AKB0048 understudies, but the emphasis on their motivations is too great for their depths. Porky is no Naruto, truly. I think I should drag it along for 3 more episodes for the arc to complete, then drop.
  • Chihayafuru: Seen 5. It was not Nodame, alas. Masterpiece of a sports anime, maybe. Animation is astonishing. But the story background is so stilted, I could not stand it. Also, everyone in the show is a bit unpleasant, even our muda-bijin Chihaya. Suspending, because it looks too masterpiec-y to drop outright and did not peeve me enough like Denno Coil.
  • Mouretsu Uchuu Kaizoku: Seen 6.5. Marika’s bad day in the office did me in. I thought it would be a fun series to see with other bloggers, like the original Dog Days, but actually it’s a torture of uncomfortable and uninteresting. Also, Tatsuo Sato is losing it. He was not afraid of romance in Shingu, was he? This is a de-facto cancellation. Really did not want to cancel, so maybe one day… I know that ending was okay.
  • Dog Days Dash (as DiGi reminds us, there’s a serviceable pronounceation): Seen 1. Well, what can I say… Just not feeling it. It’s like K-ON2. That was a great anime on the merits, too, but it was only too obvious that it was a derivative. Saving for a rainy day.

Recent cancellations:

  • Shining Hearts: Seen 6. Everything about it is awful, the story is most of all. The art is supposed to be beautiful, but it’s not, absolutely not. People just have no taste, I guess. Steven tried to entice me with Rouna’s chest. Seriously! Do I look like a furry?

UPDATE: Omo on Summer 2012.

UPDATE: Zyl, too. Note the injection of interest into the pirate show:

Mouretsu Pirates was an odd kind of series for me because there wasn’t that much pirating. Or bodaciousness either. Until I read somewhere (likely via Ani-Nouto but I can’t remember) that the director wanted this series to be about how someone decides to be a leader. Marika has talent, luck, support etc. But what fascinates me most about her is her overwhelming need to be free, to be herself. The two flashes of her closely guarded inner self – the only time she calls Ririka “Mom” after the first Yacht Club cruise and allowing herself a small smile when Chiaki says she believes in her – accentuate her indomitable, independent streak.

Emphasis mine.

DM00 on Oba Nobuna, The Ambition Of

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Writing for BigN, he approves, in particular thus:

One thing this show has going for it is the way it leavens its silliness with seriousness: it plays off real events in history; the protagonist is not just some schlub, but progresses the plot through his (game-mediated, admittedly) knowledge of his past; it’s taking its politics with some seriousness (for a cartoon about cute girls). In episode two the main character is actually courageous and steadfast. […]

I am looking forward to how the series plays off the protagonist’s knowledge of the past, and how he and Nobuna work to change that past (having Nobuna rebel against his knowledge of her future, as she does at the end of episode two, is a nice touch).

I think I could do without the lolitas, but so far, they’re harmless.

I never watched any of those [other] “gender-bent historical series” either. I only know about their existence thanks to Chizumatic. SDB followed one at some point, with flying samurai girls cutting up B-29 and stuff; that seemed horrifyingly bad. Then, there was another with hideous CG sheen on character armor. One of the “generals” was amazingly cute despie the repulsive CG; I almost started looking for it. Oba Nobuna is getting enough good press now that I’m interested.

Oba Nobuna is being simulcast. Due to my “boycott” of Crunchyroll’s membership, I watch it with a significant delay. Haven’t started even, the first episode was going to go open later today.

UPDATE: Steven was kind enough to e-mail me the answers: the first one was Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls and the other one is Sengoku Otome – Momoiro Paradox.

Joshiraku begins

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

That’s right, the “begins” bracket after just one episode. It does not owe to Joshiraku being all that brilliant, but rather earnest and straightforward, with little chance of pulling a deceptive 1st episode on us (I look at you, Natsu no Arashi).

In watching exhuberance I tagged Joshiraku as series of the season. This needs an explanation (perhaps a longer one than “too weaboo”). It is not an outstanding anime, and we’re not experiencing a story. If anything, it’s a cross of education content of Sunred and cuteness of GA:GADC. The first episode includes a black-screen warning “the dialog was intentionally kept plain in order not to obstruct your appreciation of how cute these girls are”.

Without even visiting Seiha, I imagine Aroduc laying hate on how the comedic timing is off, the innovation not there, lazy writing, or whatnot. All true, but it’s completely not the point here. The point is that I knew half or more of whatever the TL post listed. Or even more than they listed. For example, remember how the 1970-vintage Momoe Sanemori yells “baka yarou!” at the sea? I thought the scene implied a specific issue with the sea, like its impervious nature. But it turned out to be a stock phrase like “Tamayaaaaa!”. And when I see kids riding a Type 61 tank, I think of Bokura no Nanokan Sensou. Note that anime creators selected Type 61, and not Type 74, or Type 90, which is far more modern.

P.S. Ana-sempai’s junior thesis was Rakugo. Maybe I should unearth that.

P.P.S. Has dancing chibis.

P.P.P.S. J.C. Staff redeem themselves after Kill Me Baby, which was equally unfunny, but on a useless material.

UPDATE: Drats, he outsmated me:

Kudos to the director there for keeping things flowing at a good pace for humor. […] I laughed more than a few times at least, so that puts it above most of the rest of the shows today. A lot of the better jokes were pretty lingual though, so I’m not sure how well it’ll carry over for the subtitle crowd.