Archive for November, 2014

Denki-Gai no Honya-san 06

Friday, November 14th, 2014

I was running out of things to watch tonight, so I went to poke at queued series Vanadis and Daitoshokan (both at Hulu). Both were disappointing enough in the first few seconds that I gave up. Tatsuo Sato seems to be losing his touch… But what to do? I dusted off Denki-Gai, which was in suspension after 05, albeit unannounced. And god, what an episode this was. Absolutely tremendous. In one fell swoop, creators of Denki-Gai atoned for all the awfulness of the previous (and I’m sure following) episodes that landed the series in suspension.

The episode was dedicated to Sensei-chan, who is the most normal among the cast (well, Hio-tan is sane too, but she’s the “retard moe” archetype, plus her lack of self-awareness is unpleasant). To say any more would be spoiling, but it should be mentioned that after the atmospheric first part, they topped the episode with a comedy part, which was none worse. It’s a rare feat.

(unfortunately, there’s no picture because Maestro revoked my uploading privileges for the period of server migration; I threw a few at Meenuvia.)

Hyouka ends

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

The common theme for reviews of Hyouka is to laud its animation while sounding disappointed about the story. But I found it delivering on both counts.

The animation of motion is frankly astonishing in Hyouka, and it’s pervasive. It looked to me at least a half step above of what Studio Ghibli accomplished for its movie-budget productions such as Porco Rosso, and it’s a TV series. I saw a couple of instances of a typical anime frozen frame, where only character moves. But they only stand out because everything else was made to the highest standard.

The story was primarily centered on the growth of main characters. I don’t know just how Tappan managed to be blind enough to write “almost a year has passed and nothing much has changed”, when so much has.

If I had to compare, the closest thing to Hyouka, story-wise and character-wise, is probably Shingu. Of course, Shingu has the story of interstellar war intruding onto the characters, and the motif of the primacy of the school. But setting that aside, the ways the main duo interacted and grew into their relationship were remarkably similar in both series, if we correct for the scale of the deeds into which they had to partake. Also, overall cast of both series did not consist of broken people, and it was really pleasant.

Liked: Yes
Rewatch: Sure

P.S. Moogy pointed out that KyotoAni jumbled up the storyline by adapting 3 out of 4 novels. I suspect that is the reason why Kaho, for example, appeared as she did. She was set up to take upon a bigger part, but it never happened. But then Shingu was the same, w.r.t. Subaru’s origins. It’s not a big detriment.

Twintails 04

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Everyone else have seen 05, but being a slave of FUNi’s legal not-quite-simulcast I haven’t. Anyhow, here’s one small thought, since it’s becoming clear that different attributes exist, with Twintails being the most powerful. Did anyone notice that Twirl surrendered her old primary attribute… but she still has one remaining. It may not be as good as Twintails, but surely it’s workable. Could it come into play later?

Kylaran on AmaBuri

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

This is too good not to share. Buried in a slicer post at The Behind, the first impressions of Amagi Brilliant Park:

Look, I understand the need to differentiate your story from other light novels. I certainly understand that originality is more valued over writing finesse in this area of Japanese literature, and that these books are often popular with high schoolers to college students. But there is a limit to how absurd the basic premise of a story can become, because I’ll be honest: Amagi Brilliant Park isn’t very fun. The basic story of 1) crazy girl threatens guy to go to an amusement park, 2) they meet with the owner of the park, 3) she decides to make the guy (a high schooler) command to manage the entire theme park is just ridiculous. Of course, he’s some entertainment production prodigy and has the management skills to deal with crazy staff members.

Even if you like light, fluffy comedy, there’s a limit to how crazy shows can get.

Talk about missing the point. For added zest, the above is written after seeing 4 episodes, so ostensiblty he watched the already famous compare-and-contrast episode too. And yet!

BTW, I think AmaBuri is on a thin ice, although for a more substantial reason. Someone told me that KyotoAni is trying to stretch a single book to 12 episodes. So, the ep.5 is a portend of bad things to come. Expect more filler until the final arc.

Hyouka begins

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Most bloggers were lukewarm to Hyouka, with (the sadly retired) IKnight tweeting: “Finished Hyouka. Eh. I guess I’m glad I watched it.”. So, I’m not quite sure what brought this on. I suppose I wanted something soft and a little out there, but not too much.

In that sense Hyouka seems like a success.

And yes, it’s as pretty as everyone promised. Its animation is fully modern, computer based, but it’s not overtly 3D or shaftist. It does not break any new ground in 2D like Yuyushiki did, but it fills the envelope entirely. It’s like Spirited Away in that it’s hard to see how it can be improved without a paradigm shift. It was also made for HD from the start.