Archive for the 'bakemonogatari' Category

CKS on Bakemonogatari

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Seen today (short enough to quote essentially in full):

Here is something that I did not see and understand until the last (aired) episode of Bakemonogatari smacked me in the nose with it: Bakemonogatari is really a love story. A romance, like Toradora.

And like Toradora, I think that it is a good one. It does not have a love triangle, because that’s not the kind of story it is telling; it is more telling the story of how two peculiar people come to fit together and to more or less understand each other.

I don’t want to say that the supernatural elements of Bakemonogatari are just trappings, because they’re a lot more than that, but ultimately they’re the means to an end and not an end to themselves.

The analogy tells us more about Toradora than Bake really. In particular, lots and lots of bloggers were wilfully blind to what Toradora was showing them in ep.2, and then complained that the ending was “sudden”.

More to the point, any instance of romcom has its specific twist (and I’m going to go by reputation here). KimiNozo had angst, sex, guilt. Kimikiss had a confusing relationship graph. Nodame had rich content outside of the relationship, the struggle and achievement. And Toradora exemplifies the story of pre-destined development (although, Ami…). I am racking my brains for a better example and finding none.

Will the real Cuc please stand up?

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

I have a little “database” of anime series with capsule descriptions, which lets me scan lists quickly. I aim for capturing the essense of perception, e.g. Michiko and Hatchin is labeled “GTA: San Andreas” (which actually refers to the PA strip, not game). But most are referential: Potemayo is tagged as “jefflawson laughed (peeing… is this good?)”. They are not necesserily full of laconic meaning, for example Kemeko DX has “Kuro said “awesome” on IRC”.

Next to Bakemonogatari it says “Cuc’s advocacy.” The implication is, something that someone named “Cuc” wrote persuaded me to give it a try. But what was it? The database allows to save URLs, so I know that “Moogy’s advocacy” for Sorakake is about his “spiritual successor” post. But there’s no such for “Cuc”.

A google search for “Cuc Bakemonogatari” unearthes a comment at AoMM:

Since you are the only blogger who make it a point how Bakemonogatari’s setting is an urban sprawl, I’ll answer your question.

This is Shaft’s art style choice, and NOT in the novel. The novel keeps emphasizing that the place they live in to be an unremarkable small town.

Did you notice how the mountain in Episode 9 almost seems like Mushishi’s pre-industrial world? The mountain is in fact not very far from the town at all. That’s what Shaft has been doing in this series, as Every piece of background scenery has been hugely exaggerated like that: the urban area in all urban episodes, the school staircase in Ep 1, and the bicycles in this episode.

On the other hand, the “my seiyuu is excellent” joke is straight from the novel, and there’ll be more anime jokes in Nisemonogatari.

Curious, but not too strong. Also, I stopped reading AoMM comments back when it was AoMM (not even DbD). So, it cannot be what I meant. All we know, Cuc was indeed into Bake, but he left no backlink. *headdesk*

UPDATE: As it turned out, Cuc e-mailed me about the topic some time ago and that is what the entry was about. I am very sorry to admit that I forgot all about it. He has no blog, so there’s nothing to link. The message itself went (somewhat abridged):

I think Bakemonogatari when viewed as a harem anime, is a very important work. (Judging by its sales figure in Japan, the Japanese otaku are considering it as such.) It’s extremely self-aware and fourth-wall-breaking, but can be sincere when it needs to be, something that’s rarely been attempted in the usual harem anime.

I recall that you worried about there being too much violence. This really is not the case, the violence is quite limited.

I guess I just have to be more dilligent about throwing all comments into the the blog and let Google do the rest.

More IM@S loot, Hibiki and Takane

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Today’s shipment includes “Break 3” set, which I largely bought for the CD, because manga is too hard, and character CDs for Chihaya and Hibiki (actually a Hibiki/Chihaya combo).

Break 3 belatedly acquainted me with Hibiki and Takane. I was not on the scene when they were introduced, but now I get a feeling that they were sandwiched between the ridiculously popular fist wave of quirky personalities and… even more quirky personalities of the DS idols (hikky, trap, and Ai). I do not want call them “bland”, because they really aren’t, but my first listening impression was of a certain tint of genericity. Also, please pardon my amateur judgements, but Yumi Hara (Takane) and Manami Nakamura (Hibiki) just do not seem as well developed as singers as Akiko Hasegawa (Miki), what to say about the likes of KugiRie!

As you can see, for some reason the 2nd wave are presented as more mature types… Especially Takane is dominating in her woman charms. It’s like Azusa without the creepy obsession with the destined one and the permanent bride stigma. Yet, Takane is only 17 (Azusa was 20 years old). But that’s nothing, Miki was 14 back when she worked for 765, and you just look at the line-up now. Bet the same kind of age gaming is happening on the real idol stage all the time.

UPDATE: Thomas e-mails:

Took a few seconds to register but noticed the second picture is imitating characters from Bakemonogatari. Nice.

Ah, yes. I was just thinking why Hibiki’s left arm is bandaged… The stupid hat is another clue. But most importantly, Takane is holding a stapler! Here’s a primer:

Left to right: Tsubasa (Miki), Nadeko (Iori), Suruga (Hibiki), Mayoi (Yayoi), Hitagi (Takane).

UPDATE: I completely forgot to mention that everything was instigated by Kuro who yarred Break 3 and mentioned listening to it at #animeblogger. I immediately downloaded it too (after the disaster of Master Box IV, I swore off buying untested), and the rest is history. Also, Hikago went to order the box the next day after me, and it was already out of stock. Japaaaaaan.

Bakemonogatari Finale… Wait, What?

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Divine posted a recap of ep.15 (heavy spoilers), which apparently was delayed by half a year. In it, he mentioned vampires. Ugh. I hate vampires.

Bake has some of a tortured history here. It excited bloggers when it aired, then there was Cuc’s recommendation, CKS’ blogging and finally the IM@S cross-over. And just as I kinda sorta resolved to bump it up the queue… vampires.

Also, Shaft. I do not have a strict no-Shaft policy in the same way as The Strict No-GONZO Policy, but after Arashi I think I started seeing common faults in what they do. Hidamari hurt them in my eyes too, especially because of side-by-side comparison with GA [1]. It’s not like their wares are bad; neither Arashi nor Hidamari are. But the competition demonstrates very obviously that they are not excellent [2], and with the very little time I have for anime these days, I cannot give Shaft the time of day.

UPDATE: More at Wakaranai. Sneaky Washi never used the v-word.

[1] Of course Hidamari went for 3 seasons, and GA did not. J.Greely has another great example of the same situation with the seasons.

[2] Of what I watched of Shaft, ef ~memo~ came closest to the excellent, and even so it had annoying flaws all over. I am not talking about the idiotic streetlight, but rather the story (I went even worse in the second season).

Bake at Crunchy

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

By the way of Brickmuppet comes the news that Crunchyroll started streaming Bakemonogatari. It was in my queue for a while. Cuc put in a good word for it, by e-mail. But it’s SHAFT, and you never know with SHAFT: ef was great, Arashi not so great. Eventually I rejected it for allegedly featuring vampires. Hate vampires. Hate, hate, hate. But you know, Ken prompted me to review Midori no Hibi (great success), and Nazo no Kanojo X (ongoing, umm…) in the past. If he manages to complete this, I may just unretire it.

It would be pretty cool if Bake worked out, because it would re-interest me in the iM@S collaboration.

Crunchyroll and friends

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

So, the streaming at large. We all know about Crunchy, I suppose. Ads do not work, etc. Before we move beyond it, I’d like to note that I tried its Android app at Kindle Fire HD.

And what do you know, ads work. On the other hand, they only have two apparently. The app is full of known bugs that they are not in any rush to fix (according to their reps at forums). Also, they block built-in screencapping, which is not good.

Meanwhile, little changed at Hulu. Paused video is still overlaid with junk. Attempts to show relevant ads continue, but are half-arsed as usual.

ANN was a positive surprise. They fixed up their worst trash of a player, which is semi-decent now. Pause overlay, yeah, but I remember what disaster it was before.

The model of showing 2-episode teasers is still there, but I don’t mind. In fact it’s quite a good match of what I do with anime these days: watch an episode or two, declare a reject, move on…

I didn’t look at ViZ and FUNi’s offerings. Note that FUNi upload to Youtube, where they get the advantage of a sensible platform (and youtube.dl).

UPDATE: Ugh. That’s Anime Network, not ANN.