Archive for February, 2016

Girls und Panzer ends

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Yet another previously dropped series is restarted and completed. Scrapping the bottom of the barrel? We got it! And Garupan is not all that bad too. Just not all that good either.

One good thing about Garupan is the artificially crazy setting that is designed to disclaim any presence of realism. This way, the creators can run the World Of Tanks With Schoolgirls thing with impunity. And what they’ve done with it is much better than, say, Starship Operators, where outright implausible and magical combat had to be excused. The convenient rule of “flag tank” is equally made up in our world by creators and in the world of Garupan by tournament officials, and it does not share the thoroughly pre-shattered disbelief.

Unfortunately, the characters remained fairly cardboard to the end, albeit quite sympathetic. Well, the main five, anyway. The crew of generals was way too batty, and that was a pity. I cannot even name a favourite.

Liked: Not much
Rewatch: Nope

Omo on Chika*Chika Idol

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Omo draws the attention to a kickstarter for a true anime, although a 3D one:

I call it an “anime” project in full honesty despite it being produced in the 3DCG style, like Arpeggio or Sidonia, because unlike the other, garden variety, animation projects on Kickstarter, this one is run by some anime industry folks and will be produced in Japan, with Japanese creators.

If you passionately hate the encrouchment of RWBY, here’s your chance to fight back and better the world.

(pictured art is not representative of the anime, but is included into promotional materials)

Personally I wish them a greater success than one attained by Danny Choo. Haven’t decided if I want to back the kickstarter yet, and for how much.

I will miss Twitter

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

The exodus from Twitter, which was in the air for a while and precipitated by l’affair de #FreeStacy, reminded us that Twitter had its own quality of free-spinning, ephimeral memetry, which is not replicated by other SNS.

In memoriam:

(Poster title: Bernie or Hillary? Be informed. Compare them on the issues that matter.)

TITLE: Cinderella Girls

BERNIE: The songs are superb, the girls have great designs and personalities, and they really show how ordinary girls can become stars and achieve their dreams. #DOYA

HILLARY: There’s too many girls Jesus I can’t keep track Did you know that LoveLive only has 9 idols?

There is so much right about it. Firstly, of course, Cinderella Girls is an issue that matters. But also, the portrayals of the candidates are so in line with their official faces presented by the media. Hillary is crude and boorish, ignorant or talking upon bullet points in a memo. Her life of career government criminal is on display and she’s like a character in Akira who said that his job was not to think, but to act or not to act. Bernie is presented as someone who thinks before he speaks, but also disconnected from the reality and living in his dream world – either of idols or socialism. Not saying that either of these portrayals is necessarily truthful or comlete, but this meme is hilarious. And of course, both of them will be forgotten in less than a year, which is why this is on Twitter and not on an anime blog.

Dagashi Kashi begins

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

I read the manga, and I cannot believe they went this far, this strong, on the material that they had. It’s one thing to make anime from essentially no material, when you have a free hand, like they had in Strike Witches. But it’s another thing to pick something already well-developed and make it interesting and, well, anime.

Not only skits are lively, Hotaru is realized wonderfuly. She could be annoying so easily, with her single-minded obsession with the snacks. But they did it so well.

And surprisingly, I don’t see all that much dumb sexual innuendo. Sure, there are jokes. But the execution is smooth and tactful.

Dennou Coil

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

Unlike the previous forced completion, Dennou Coil did not envoke any strong emotions. It was okay. The disappointment originated in its original manifestation of intent: they promised a lot and fell short.

Animation quality was oddly poor in many places. It almost feels like they did it on purpose, aiming for a minimalist expressiveness, but failed. If we look at, say, Windy Tales, the art is even sketchier in there, yet it’s miles ahead in the artistry department.

The plot and the final explanation made sense, except I would prefer it unrolled more gradually instead of an Agata Christie style infodump in the last chapter. Still, better than Lain.

Liked: Yawn
Rewatch: No

P.S. I liked the epilogue with its changed color key.

P.P.S. Bloggers were absolutely gushing about this. Aziz, Don, Bateszi. “The usual complaints don’t apply to Dennou Coil”, my posterior!

P.P.P.S. I still think that the filler is inexcusable in a show like this.

Meta and Shingu

Monday, February 15th, 2016

Oh, dear. Steven’s anime advocacy#c2 influenced the Sum Type in Go guy, who’s a top Google result in an entirely unrelated field. Remember how one of the complaints about Chobits was that its Tokyo “seems to be a rather small place” where “everyone knows everyone”? How’s that unrealistic now?

Okay, I have never met Jeff Lawson IRL. But.

Shingu certainly has a staying power. Yes, it’s dated as all heck, and the smartphone culture was not foreseen in it. But that detracts nothing. It’s still one of the few anime, populated with the characters whose company I could tolerate. Most of them are kids though, which reminds me about something as yet unblogged: the massive chuunibyou of Shingu. It is very much centered at the school and pupils there. They even have an absurdly powerful school council… But by a certain magic, it makes complete sense and does not isolate the characters from the world of adults. The same people can watch it in school and have their fantasies projected, then re-watch it 20 years down the road and appreciate it anew in all its subtlety. I cannot get into most anime series nowadays that are focused on stupid teens and their insignificant problems anymore (which is in part why Shirobako is so great), but Shingu just does it so right that it can’t be denied.

Miao WMG on Dagashi’s Hotaru

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

Remember how SDB posited that the well crow in Haibane Renmei was Rakka’s dog? It was a while since anime induced such flights of fancy in animebloggers, and today it came from an unexpected direction:

[I] wondered what the fuck is going on with Hotaru? I am asking valid questions. Where is she living? She really uprooted her life for weeks just to bug a candy salesman in the middle of nowhere to work for her dad? Is this really the best use of her time? What about school or college? Doesn’t she need to go to those? […]

And coup de grace:

Later on the the same episode, she saved her last caramel for Coconut. What kind of person does that? What kind of person selflessly saves the last piece of premium candy knowing that someone else will want it later? A mom. A motherfucking mom.

Jason fully realizes how the world works, too:

[] having Shidare Hotaru be Coconut’s mom would be an incredibly satisfying twist to the story. It would change the dynamics of the show from being a dagashi knowledge dump into something more thoughtful. The questions would then change from why is Hotaru doing this? Is she skipping school? Where is she living? To questions more like what didn’t Hotaru accomplish that she is still hanging around the family candy store? What regrets did she have in her life? Does Coconut’s remember his mom? There are different questions to ask.

And knowng what we know about the operation of Japanese creators, Occam’s razor suggests that Kotoyama did not think that deep, so Jason’s theory is pure wishful thinking. ABe is an exception, however. Crow could very well be Rakka’s dog.

UPDATE: The original source crushes this WMG in ep.10 by revealing Hotaru’s house.

PeterBurd on Dagashi Kashi

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

Just a few months ago I knew nothing about the title, so when it was announced, I thought it meant “daga, shikashi”. Although perhaps it was an intentional pun by the creator. But one way or the other, the original source is a manga about dagashi, or junk snack of mind-boggling variety. But here lies the chief concern: manga has settled solidly into a rut of snack-of-the-week. Inevitably, anime has to follow the suit. So, five episodes down:

Once again, the show manages to entertain me with only one situation thanks to the voice actors’ talents and the education I’m getting, that and the erotic overtones.

Could be worse.