Archive for May, 2014

Not a P

Friday, May 30th, 2014

A mega con report at our mega P’s blog caught my attention with this (among other things):

I tried to engage with as many other tables as I could and what I understood was that the table beside us became the DD table. DD stands for “daredemo daisuki” which essentially means “love anyone” and refers to otaku who love multiple idols or girls and with somewhat of an implication that they don’t truly love anyone. It’s more of a joke anyhow and it so happened that many of the Ps at that table both from both Japan and North America were kuso DDs turning it into quite a funny situation.

I’m so DD. When people ask me who’s my favourite iM@S idol, I can never answer for sure. Haruka, perhaps. She’s the only one with whom I would not mind to associate if she were real. Even so, everyone has charm points (although for Iori it’s mostly the money).

Truth to be told, I never thought of myself as a P, but more like a RL fan. Not even a fan like Little Bell Peppers, but an even less engaged one. And a DD.

Except that I’m watching you, Uzuki. Don’t screw it up.

Watamote ch.58

Friday, May 9th, 2014

I don’t want to announce a turnaround, since there were such false flashes before, but Watamote manga suddently took a turn to good in ch.58. It didn’t follow up in ch.59, but there’s a hope. It really depends on what signals the Japanese readers send.

Somewhat unsirprisingly, the catalyst was Komi-chan. She’s simply not as rotten as the main heroine.

The impossible task of 2014 Spring

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Looking at a picture table by “Zana at Neregate“, the season is impossible to sample. Even discarding what bloggers already vetoed (like M3), we still have fully 27 series left.

Author Omo-sensei
GochiUsa Mega CGDCT with Rize. Must Watch. [..] a big endorse [] and it probably doesn’t deserve it
Puchimas!! (S2) Will Watch in a batch later.
Isshuukan Friends I liked ef and Kanon, but this could be Too Soon.
Mangaka & Assistant comedy
Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou This obviously cannot be another Mahoraba, but the Kawai-Sou pun gives it a point.
Pretty Rhythm All Stars Selection Capture them young; Chinese?
Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii Studio Pierrot, some kinda hippie love tragedy? Gets good reviews from the nastybloggers.
Love Live S2 DiGi liked it, what else do you want? Thematic concerns though…
Broken Blade mecha redux mecha
Hitsugi no Chaika Hey, Zvezda wasn’t bad Scrapped Princess the anime remixed, right?
Lady Jewelpet toys for girls, let’s broaden horizons
Ping Pong Not rotoscoped; CKS head over heels for it. Best anime this season. Problem is Ping Pong doesn’t excite me.
Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara hoping for a decent harem
Escha & Logi Gaming anime, hoping for Campanella II.
Seikoku no Dragonar Dragon girl, LN based
Mahouka Bloggers say it’s heavy siscon, but they may be wrong.
Inugami & Nekoyama Heavy thematic concerns, but perhaps Yuyushiki II.
Date A Live II Supernatural Dystopia? Huh.
Mekkaku City Actors HikkiNEET; probably Will Not Watch, but surprise me.
Majin Bone Main attraction is the lead role by KENN (Druaga). Toei. Probably junk, but warrants a quick look.
Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin Better be better than Muromi-san. This is like Zvezda, a lot. Too uncanny.
Mahou Shoujo Taisen Some kind of 3D experiment by GAINAX
Sidonia no Kishi Controversial 3D
Gokukoku no Brynhildr magic with possibly aliens and tragic past I just know it’s really rewarding LOL.
Kenzen Robo Daimidaler seems junk, but Hi-ERo particles and Penguins
Fairy Tail New Series But the old series petered out so badly…
Blade and Soul Gonzo; Veto, Will Never Watch.

Most likely I’ll just watch GochiUsa, but man. This is too much.

UPDATE: Omo commented on the list. I shamelessly stole from him and added to the table. I also think we ought to enjoy GochiUsa shamelessly.

Also LOL nobody liles WIXLOSS. Accell World was 10 times better.

Tokidoki Precure Ramune

Friday, May 9th, 2014

The Precure candy may be no more after Fresh, Heartcatch, and Suite, but I was able to score a Tokidoki bottle.

While I do not believe that anyone can ever rival Cure White and Cure Black, I consider once in a while if I should try any other series. From the merch, I like the designs of Suite the most: the characters seem most mature. Perhaps they go into the Cure office and change in their work outfits over a fun banter in their locker room, then go into the field to kick ass, then return to their families before the evening meal. Something like Cure Dai-Guard. That would be the best.

Omo and Lawson on Kanon

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Watching a classic many years later in a batch mode offers obvious convenience advantages, but it makes one miss on all the fun discussions. And there sure were some. My kinda blog-friend from SDB’s halo, Wonderduck, apparently was a big fan, for one (the leader of geriatric animebloggers himself boycotts KyoAni). I completely forgot that I commented on one of his entries, but perhaps he nudged me to start with Mai’s branch in the game, who knows?

Naturally, heavyweights like Lawson and Omo did not neglect the high profile series either. But the two split: while Lawson was “enamoured with Kanon” and “enchanted with the story and attached to the characters”, Omo proclaimed that “Kanon 2006 FAILS”. I really cannot fathom why. Perhaps he secretly was in Nayuki camp too deep (j/k). His official explanation went to pay the due first, before turning to excessively cryptic, codewordy blows:

I want to talk about more good stuff about Kanon just so you don’t get the wrong idea. Kanon 2006 is very heartful in that it delivered the things that made the game great.

But [..] what really did Kanon in [was] pandering to the more intangible, emotional story aspect of Kanon. Invariably so, the 2002 Kanon rendition recognized this so they did their best to keep the drama tense and break it open at the end. In 2006 Kanon broke open 3 times before episode 18… but what does that leave the viewer and fans of Nayuki and Ayu? A wonderful epilogue?

[…] Pacing sucked for the last third of the series, and while the message and meaning of the last 6 episodes are especially touching, I wonder how many people even gotten it []

I’m here to tell you that the pacing was excellent. The real key to his disappointment, I think, is ultimately in the game poisoning, like so:

But how are we suppose to understand Mai without that wonderful flashback? Or Nayuki (at all?) and Ayu?

Here’s where my difficulties with Japanese possibly helped: I do not remember anything all that dramatic about Mai’s flashbacks. I am pretty sure iPad version is exact classic storyline for toned-down versions. Maybe they were too hard to read.

Speaking of Mai, she prompted Lawson to unfold a little more than usual:

I’ve been known to say, “I don’t care much for Mai’s story.” Repeatedly. The fact that Mai is so popular among Kanon fans has always baffled me, to be honest.

Until now, that is.

After watching the conclusion of Mai’s arc in the most recent episode of Kanon, it suddenly dawned on me: I do like Mai’s story. I think it’s incredibly moving. […]

So, what gives? It’s not like Kyoto Animation made changes to Mai’s story. They followed the game fairly closely. And even though the Toei version of Kanon kicked a lot of the details of Mai’s story to the curb, all of the core elements survived intact. Is Ishihara Tatsuya just that good of a director? I suppose he is, and it clearly shows in the conclusion of Mai’s arc, but that’s really not it. Once again, what gives?

I don’t like Mai, that’s what.

Mai’s a tough nut to crack, that’s for sure. How can a parade of moe stereotypes like Kanon have an ice queen character like Mai? Yes, I know “ice queen” no doubt pegs someone’s moe meter somewhere (what doesn’t?), but if you lined all of the Kanon heroines up and played a game of, “one of these kids is not like the other ones,” the game wouldn’t be much of a challenge. Ain’t nothing moe about Mai.

Or is there?

Well, before someone shouts, “Are you some kind of fucking idiot? Of course Mai is moe!”, let me say this: yes, she is. It’s just that I didn’t quite realize it until now. Was Mai moe in the game? Sure. But to what extent? It was there, of course, but Mai’s moeness is so subtle that it doesn’t come across particularly well – especially when every other girl in Kanon is “moe-ing” with the brightness of a thousand suns. And the first anime series? As I said before, a lot of the details of Mai’s story were lost in the first anime series, and amongst those details was her personality. Or, to be more specific, the moe aspects of her personality.

Thankfully, Kyoto Animation brought the moe back… and proceeded to jam it down our throats. To be honest, I was a bit weirded out at first. “Is this really Mai? What’s going on?” But, as time went on, I grew to like the “new” Mai. And even though Mai’s arc was the one I was least looking forward to this time around, I’m now sad to see it come to end.

Once again… bravo, KyoAni?

Not that I agree with the whole of Lawson’s analysis. On the factual side, I think, her personality was faithfuly reproduced (again, as much as my limited nihongo permits to tell). So, the final graf seems like a rhethorical flourish and a fictionalized account of Lawson’s feelings. The rest is pretty great, however.

Since we’re on topic, for me personally a lot of Mai’s attaraction is in the challenge of managing her. She is very much like iM@S’ Yukiho that way. Yuuichi is somewhat crude at meeting her challenge at first: remember the scene where he thinks, “I feel like I win when I make her talk”. This attraction is not as subtle as Lawson implies above, and not a lot was lost in the adaptation. The ultimate price you pay for losing management vigilance was sure in!

UPDATE: Omo tweets: “you are right, my main objection is basically Nayuki disappointment.” I feel for you, bro.

Kanon spoiler question

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

It’s major spoiler, so try not to read any further if it’s a problem.

No kidding.

And it’s not answered in Tappan’s Spoiler Notes.

Without further ado:

We know that Makoto is around enough to manifest, and even positively affect the goings-on in the real world. Tappan’s interpretation is that she became a kami. I am not exactly sure what kami’s status is, but we know that deities of the kind may have a significant presence. In Dog Days, for example, Yuki(kaze) is an active character. Then we have Kamichu, Wagaya no Onari-sama playing with the concept. Unlike Mr. Christ’s mode then, it does not take a major miracle for a kami like Makoto to be an active part of human affairs, in anime anyhow.

With that in mind, are Yuuichi and Makoto still married?

See, if she were a Western character like Obi-wan Kenobi, it would not be a legal problem. Dead is dead and that’s that. Here though, I’m not sure.

Anyhow, does it matter?

I suppose if she’s kind-hearted enough, it does not. However, it could be a problem otherwise. Remember that anime about the ceiling ghost husband watching you have sex? If Makoto gets even a bit jealous, there’s no telling what she may do. She’s a kami after all. Dream haunting could be just a small time mischief.

Kanon ends

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Against my better judgement, I marathoned the last 8 or 10 episodes, and I have no regrets. The ending was somewhat fragmented, but made sense.

One of most notable things for me was seeing the vintage KyoAni at work. Haruhi was poorly animated in many places, but it demonstrated what was attainable elsewhere. For Kanon, they tightened QA considerably. So, instead of geometry and model lapses, I complain that Shiori’s hands were too big in one of the shots.

Story-wise, the 2006 M.Y. Kanon was put together extremely well. I had grave concerns about an adaptation of a game with mutualy exclusive storylines, but Fumihiko Shimo made an exceptional job letting the story to focus on each heroine in turn without having them artificially suspended.

One objection that I raised often recently was how all school romance was stupid and played out in anime. Kanon demolishies it with its raw power.

Another thing I had to consider was if Kanon violates The SDB’s No Dead Girls Rule. The answer is no. Certainly, in a story dealing with death, someone has to die. But as I interpret the spirit of the rule, Kanon is not death porn (I do not watch what is commonly known to fail, like Claymore or Elfen Lied; but from recently-seen anime Attack on Titan is in a gross violation, just to give an example). So we’re good.

Liked: Very
Rewatch: Possible

P.S. Now I wonder just how Toei managed to screw up the material this good. I gave up on 2002 M.Y. Kanon in exasperation after some 5 episodes. No wonder someone managed to get the remake green lit. Only had to show scenes from the game to studio execs, I bet.