Archive for June, 2014

Kanon at Google

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Apparently, an official port exists, but Google refuses to sell it in America.

What really makes this eggregious is that Visual Arts do not appear to have a zero-tolerance xenophobic stance like Minori. I bought Kanon from U.S. iTunes, so there’s no veto problem or rights problem. It’s just purely Google being evil assholes. Now please excuse me while I clutch my $10 and shake in impotent rage.

One-week Friends begins

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

This series sets a record at Ani-nouto by beginning and suspending in 1 minute 30 seconds. The story is simple. Isshyuukan Friends anime is by far the blogging leader this season. I even thought about putting together a zero-ep “bloggers on series” post. But the bloggage is so insanely spoilerish that I had to give up (even did my best to scan Tappan diagonally). The only alternative was to watch and then blog. However… It was just too soon, after Kanon. My body was not lady for this.

Still, based on the blogging, I keep good hopes for the series. I loved the ef ~memo~, after all.

GochiUsa begins

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Belive it or not, Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? came very close to being dropped after ep.3. It was much too overdone and saccharine.

However, the series gradually righted itself. Sure, things continued to be somewhat simplified, such as when Cocoa was playing with a wire puzze: the outcome was seen from a kilometer away. But then Aoyama helped, as in where a serendipitous Host Cafe happened (06).

UPDATE:

For those not in the know, Red Hat shipped their flagship product RHEL 7 on the date of this post.

UPDATE: Sasuga SDB [TL: “sasuga” means “as expected no less from”].

I am afraid Madoka is inevitable

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

I am currently away from home for a business meeting, and one of the attendees is a Japanese gentleman, whom we shall call Mr. Tz., for privacy’s sake. A group of us went for a dinner today, and the following exchange took place:

AUTHOR: “So… What are your hobbies?”

MR. TZ.: “Well… I watch animation.”

AUTHOR: “Oh, and what was the most interesting recently?”

MR. TZ.: “It’s difficult to choose. Perhaps Evangelion.”

AUTHOR: “EVA is pretty old, but I meant what you found remarkable recently.”

MR. TZ.: “If recently, then iDOLM@STER.”

Imagine my surprise. He also plays Cinderella Girls. When I heard that, I whipped out my iPad and luckily the WiFi decided to work for a few minutes, just long enough for me to load my studio. Mr.Tz. showed his studio page on his cellphone (of course his Mobage account is verified, so he sports a line-up of all S-rare-plus cards).

Aside from iM@S, the only recent anime Mr. Tz. mentioned as noteworthy was Madoka. At this point I am afraid I have no choice but to watch it.

Anime for Rip van Vinkle, Jr.

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Someone asked Evirus if he missed anything noteworthy in several years away from anime. The answer was:

I wish I could point to some amazing bit of anime that you missed over the past few years, but nothing really stands out. Oh, there is a lot of material that’s very good and plenty of stuff that’s “important” from an “I can’t believe you never watched that!” perspective, but the hoary joke about television being a medium because nothing on it is rare or well done sort of applies here.

Let’s see if he’s getting jaded, shall we?

To put a bracket on the “recent years” first, consider that 2007 was a banner year for anime, when it reached a zenith of sorts. The following series were broadcast in just that one year:

  • Nodame: This hardly needs introduction.
  • Gurren-Lagann: The series that buried the ghost of GAINAX ending.
  • Oh Edo Rocket: A genuine masterpiece, and an undeappreciated series.
  • Dennou Coil: This is what happens when a competent director [who is not Yamakan] is given a ton of money and told to manufacture a masterpiece.
  • Moribito: I am not sure about the genesis of Moribito, but I think it was similar to DC, except I liked it more.
  • Ani*Kuri 15: Anime was so successful in 2007 that NHK bankrolled a pure artistic expression.
  • ef: One of the few Shinbo and SHAFT shows that are watcheable (and bloggable).
  • Manabi: A titan in sheep’s clothing.
  • Xenoglossia: Just because, a historic curiosity that has its fans even today. And who knew just what phenomenon Haruka’s intense cuteness foreshadowed. The only anime on this list that we dropped.
  • Rocket Girls: Zenith of Shuttle era, coincidentially with the zenith of anime. And the HP calculator.

The 2007 also seen the changeover of classic Naruto to Shippuuden.

So, how did anime do after 2007? I think a few shows merited a mention.

In category “Cute Girls Doing Cute Things”:

GA:GADC or Geijutsuka Art Design Class (2009) in our judgement was miles ahead of its much more famous and successful competitor that dragged for 4 seasons.

K-ON (2009): Although receding in memory somewhat, the first K-ON series was a success that perhaps was not expected by its own creators. It is a historic anime for sure.

In category “Warming Hearts of Weaboos Everywhere”:

Sunred (2008): I have R2 DVDs and I have no regrets.

Joshiraku (2012): I watched it raw and I have no regrets.

In category “Masterpieces”:

Katanagatari (2010): The [true] masterpiece of the period in question. [What about the tanuki show? And adding the nasty into magical girls? — Ed]

In category “New Horizons in Contemporary Animation”:

Yuyushiki (2013)

In category “The Burning Passion Not To Be Categorized”:

Gundam Build Fighters (2013): The Gundamest of all Gundams. Of course it’s like the joke where someone asked Mao Tze-dung what he thought about The French Revolution, and Chairman Mao replied: “Too early to tell”. But the signs are good and I have not seen anything this Gundam since MS 08th Team.

And finally, in category “Once in a Generation Revolution in Anime”:

Idolm@ster (2011) literally defined a whole new genre and AKB0048 (2012) re-defined it. Just as we thought that Japanimation had nothing new to offer anymore except increasingly grotesque boobage, this happened. Of course now we have to get one of those every season, and I heard Love Live is not half-bad. Even Yamakan jumped on the bandwagon in 2014. But these two were seminal and overall perhaps the biggest accomplishment of the anime industry, love it or hate it.

UPDATE: Steven proposes GaruPan and Mouretsu Pirates for the list. Clearly he is under influence of what he watched recently, because both are far too small for the scope of the topic. If we consider the category of “Any Ludicrous Concept Is Better With Girls (In Bikinis)”, then Strike Witches dwarf GaruPan. And Mouretsu Pirates wasn’t even all that good: too plain, too simplified, too age-appropriate. I could forgive him pushing AsoIku here, even if personally I wasn’t a fan, but Mouretsu? Don’t think it merits.