Archive for July, 2015

The JitsuWata manga

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

After watching an episode of Jitsu wa Watashi wa, I rushed to Batoto and loaded up on spoilers. Hoo, boy. The important fact we ought to know is that the manga is resolved, so the anime ought to be safe.

The character designs differ from the anime and the lead girl strongly reminds me of someone, but I cannot remember who. The mangaka doesn’t have anything else credited to him.

One other random observation is that apparently Japanese use a native word for a “vampire”: 吸血鬼 (kyuu-ketsu-ki). Russians use the borrowed “vampir”. Althoguh they had a native word for it (“upyr'”), it fell into disuse.

Knights of Sidonia begins

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

Thanks for effective (if deceptive) advocacy by Mauser, I picked Sidonia no Kishi for a watch on Netflix (dubbed, of course). I have to admit, grudgingly, that it’s not half bad. Grudgingly, because the qustion of Sidonia is the question of 3D: it’s 100% 3D, like the Hollywood flicks. Sadly, its 3D is not at level of Shrek. If I had to level it, I’d place it below Ice Age, although there is a considerable overlap in quality.

When Nova blogged the question, he focused his critique on the kinematics of the 3D models and the bear-mother:

Now, the elephant in the room is the full execution in 3DCG. There’s no sugar-coating the fact that all the people on the show looked uncanny and robotic, and there were some scenes where I really had to look away and not face the machine-generated horror unfold on screen. However, as it was the case with Arpeggio it’s relatively easy to get accustomed to the robo-people to a point that only the Bear caused any serious cringes. This is not how you render a furry thing.

I find that the characters weren’t strut-walking as much as those in Appleseed. After a few early episodes to settle the techniques, the motion is not “uncanny and robotic”. Still, characters do look decidedly low-rent… right until the moment of Izanna’s bath that Mauser used for effect. The jump in quality obviously begs the question just why they did it. Yes, I realize that the answer is “Izanna’s boobies”, but why did they think it was acceptable to demonstrate that they possessed all the necessary technology, just weren’t willing to do right for the viewers until the high-fidelity moment?

In addition to the 3D, the story is fairly dark. People get killed left and right (or worse). It also took me an effort to get used to all the goings-on, and I raged for a couple of episodes until the resignation took over. For example, one ani-nouto was “The shithole cockhead dude is not well realized (Ayaka was better in Stellvia)”. Oh well, at least CKS promised a “triumphant climax“.

BRR (Badass Raw Reader) Evolution

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

I had “大阪万博”, conventionally known as “Osaka World Fair”, for about three years, unread. Then, I picked it up a few days ago, and surprise! I can read it well enough to enjoy it {for the curious, it’s a compendum of tributes by famous manga artists, and they are all excellent}. I remember vividly that it was entirely impregnable before, or at least no fun at all. So, what happened?

I think it’s basically the technology or the way I exploited the technology, specifically two key pieces: IMI and Kanon. Both rely heavily on the modern tablet technology in general, and only became available recently.

Kanon is well known; it was around for a while, on desktop. But a tablet edition is portable, so it is available when I’m not sitting in front of a PC. It is unvoiced. Previously, I only played VNs that were fully voiced, because I could not read. Kanon makes you read. However, it is not forceful at that. It is a light enough reading if you don’t know anything, but it has a depth that is fun to exploit. So, at first I only looked up 1 kanji at a page, focusing on verbs. Then, 2 kanji per page. Then, every kanji on a page.

I tried out a few other VNs, but the vast majority are just not any good; the good ones are not available for an easy purchase or downloads. Most of the remainder are ported poorly from PC — they run on an unsufferable emulator. Controls are unusable, fonts are unreadable. Or they are too short like Hime-Hime Booking (which is also voiced). Or they are not amazing enough, like Airs (and light on good kanji). Kanon, in contrast, can be trawled for months, literally (post about it at Ani-nouto is more than a year old, yet I completed another route a month ago). And it’s rendered in the most beautiful fonts that are easy for my aging eyes to read. All these features make a world of difference together.

IMI seems not terribly groundbreaking either, at first. I used the traditional tools previously: The New Nelson dictionary and the Wordtank. However, they weren’t convenient enough to use on the go or in bed. The New Nelson is very nice and easy to use, but it’s absolutely massive. It’s great for a serious student, but I’m not dedicated enough to use it recreationally. Putting all that into the same tablet where Kanon lives makes it significantly easier. In addition, IMI adds its own polish. It’s not the first dictionary app that I picked, but it has few bugs, the UI is useable, and it allows the lookup by component. It was pioneered by the JDict, I believe, and allows for easy and efficient search. I’m all for traditions, radicals, and stroke order, but I’m also lazy.

The main lesson here is the balance of fun and challenge. If you digesting kana, you might want somethiing heavy on kana and okurigana first (like e.g. whatever material Steven is using). Motivation is a tricky thing: even a person of excellent willpower is unable to mobilize for long stretches. Fortunately, we have the technology.

Danna-san wo Nanka Wakaranai

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

As mentioned previously, I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying — on easy streaming at Crunchyroll — ended the only title that we followed in-season, despite the 3-minute format. It was surprisingly gentle despite the otaku humour – a delicate balance that Denki-gai didn’t quite attain.

Sorting belongings

Liked: Yes, but not enough to torrent a reserve copy
Rewatch: Maybe; it is very short

P.S. Did anyone notice that despite living in an appartment and working low-end jobs (web design freelancing and OL), the protagonist couple drive around in a Prius?

P.P.S. It really got me when it was revealed that Kaoru’s blonde hair is actually bleach and not an anime hair color. {Update: Woops, it’s right in the beginning of the first episode, too, but it wasn’t obviously significant.}

P.P.P.S. A comment by Crunchyroll user “ywdgly“:

Those 3 minutes overwhelmed me more than an entire season of One Piece, too much feels.