Archive for May, 2016

Rabujoy on Kuma Miko

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

At the end of the day, Kuma Miko’s biggest fault is a lack of warmth between the characters (or enough warmth to counter balance the abuse, akward personalities and mental illness) […]

I’m not sure I share his enthusiasm for Flying Witch, which seems to stutter every now and then, especially when the dude is acting. But aside from that, Kuma Miko was suspiciously popular in the circles that should have prompted an alarm long ago.

Yuuki Yuuna Yuusha begins

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

The only reason I’m watching Yuki Yuna Is A Hero is because it’s on Netflix. The screencap is taken with a camera. Pictured: not the eponymous character.

You think Bakuon was ripping from K-ON? Here they have an idiot savant for the main character, and in 03 a Serious and Capable Azusa-chan joins the main 4. Unlike K-ON they didn’t even bother to awkwardly graft her into OP. Must be a death flag.

Two spoiler notes for Shirobako

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

These notes are insignificant and seemed obvious, but people asked me to blog them (imagine that).

First, it’s easy to notice that the Japanese stock expression for "being able to support oneself by being in occupation X" is literally "being able to eat by way of X". Miyamori says it from time to time in the beginning of the series, but Ema is seriously preoccupied by the concept, especially when she’s afraid that her career may tank before it began. She also uses it later when she calls their parents about their anniversary, but let’s go back to the moment in ep.7 when Ema talks the topic at length at the roof, receives donut, and goes down the stars. At this moment she fumbles the donut and Iguchi catches and eats it. Ema chokes on tears and runs away. Why? Because the donut represents her job, and her more capable and more seasoned colleague literally eats it. Get it? The allusion was rather straightforward.

Second, remember the grand climax when Nogame explains that he split his personality into his characters? He also mentions that it was his response to the negativity directed at him. This sort of thing is not unprecendented in anime: remember Mahoraba, where personality splinters were a response to Kozue losing her parents. But what was the negativity exactly? Why, Hiraoka explained it earlier: it was the backlash Nogame received after the botched adaptation of SU&F3. So, it was spelled out that The 3rd Squad‘s theme — as well as Hiraoka’s disillusionment and subsequent career spiral — was informed by the disaster. Their struggle is his struggle. The time limit is Nogame’s death. The pillars are actually threads at 2ch!

KimiUso ends

Friday, May 13th, 2016

I dropped Your Lie In April and Sora no Manimani previosly for the same reason: I hate the lead archetype too much. But, it was pretty, and there aren’t many series left unwatched that are suitable for my purposes, so I had to clench my teeth for 22 episodes. In the end, I can forgive the main bitch at least somewhat. Over the years, so many fine pieces of literature and motion pictures dealt primarily with people challenged to keep their humanity when facing death, that the final letter only qualifies for slight eye-rolling. And it’s funny how creators felt a need to whitewash what she’s done to Watari: they know it was wrong by the standards of the living. But was it really necessary to drag everything out this much? The pacing truly was the battle of Namek stuff. And then 22 episodes… Did they hope to stretch it to 26, and then just could not swing it? {Update: Evirus tweets "noitaminA shows frequently use an 11-episode block for whatever reason."}

Liked: No, although it was better than H&C
Rewatch: No way

Bakuon and K-ON

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

Yesterday a friend mentioned how Bakuon ripped off from K-ON rather blatantly. Supposedly they used the exact same colors for the covers of manga volumes. Okay. But unfortunately, this is a case of history repeating itself twice, first time as a tragedy and second time as a farce. The comparison occured to me too, but if anything, Bakuon a pale imitator of the accidential masterpiece, and here’s how.

The writing for Hane is unbelievably stilted, and she makes me cringe. Hijiri is just as bad, especially when compared to Tsumugi. Her obsession with exploring the bad-girl persona is treated crudely. The way the rich heiress stereotype is played out gets progressively more irritating, too. Although it happens in manga only thus far, the aime follows manga slavishly, without any improvements. Onsa’s character flaws cause her to clash with Suzunoki for no other reason than to create artificial tension. In fact this whole frenemies thing is just as crude as Hijiri. Adults are no better. It is so bad that the only serviceable character is Raimu-sempai, and that is a character playing the official role of a silly gimmick!

K-ON received deserved criticism for lionizing the "retard moe". It succeeds in spite, and not because of Yui. Bakuon is 4 to 5 times worse, by laddling the retard moe thick upon everyone.

Finally, K-ON was not a show about Les Paul or Fender (or Korg). The marketing success for $2,500 guitars was entirely a side effect. But Bakuon is trying to whip up excitement and throw references to bikes on purpose. It is a part of its theme and identity, and it completely fails to work. And I know that because I watched Initial D, which does the same thing and succeeds briliantly at it. Who can forget the impassioned declaration by Ko-chan “I’ll drive GT-R until I die”? He makes the brand loyalty — ordinarily a very dumb idea — to look well-grounded and even a noble position. Here, Rin completely undermines this by the idiotic circumstances in which she received this loaylty.

Untl the yesterday’s meeting I dragged myself through 4 episodes or so, but the conversation completely pulled into focus just how bad Bakuon is. I don’t think I’m going to continue.

Humanity Has Declined

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

We picked the Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashta (“Jintai“) mostly as a change-of-pace anime, and it didn’t disappoint: it’s quite unusual. I knew that it wasn’t going to be a CGDCT, but the available spoilers were somewhat misleading. I expected social commentary, but it turned out more of an absurdist fantasy. It does load up on social satire somewhat heavily in the first arc, but lays off that in the later arcs, of which there are perhaps 5 or 7, depending how you count.

One other thing Jintai is not is comedy. To be sure, it can be funny in places. But it’s also somewhat dark. Of course, a “dark comedy” exists as a thing, but again it’s not quite what this is.

The main character plays a dominant role and she helped the enjoyment a lot. Once again, she’s not "my type", yet somewhat I find her easy to live with. Watashi may be cynical, but also surprisingly kind to us lesser life forms. It’s interesting that she’s excessively intelligent, but because the humanity is in the final stages of a terminal decline, finds a job as a civil servant. It would be a big waste in a less absurd series. For me, the main character was the key to the success. Nobar chose to pay attention to other elements:

For being adapted of a rather marginal audience LN Jintai packs pretty serious production values. The audiovisual execution is very good across the board, and the production crew has done a good job at building a light but somewhat sorrowful atmosphere befitting the theme of the humanity’s slow death. Now, I’ve been disappointed by Kishi Seiji’s directing a couple times in the recent past, but in the case of Jintai I must admit his style of standing on the thin red line between drama and comedy worked very well.

I have to say, the OP was quite catchy and I opened a few epiodes by not skipping it. Miyuki Sawashiro kills as Y (actual character name). She plays her more like Seo-sempai of Nozaki and less like Perrine of SW.

Liked: Yes
Rewatch: Possible