Archive for the 'chihayafuru' Category

Omo on Chihayafuru

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Actually, I took notice after Bateszi twittered “Madhouse really are pulling out all the stops for Chihayafuru. Episode 5 was gorgeous from start to finish. Love this series.” But that’s Twitter… Now Omo explains a few things:

The coolest meta perspective is how the whole Chihayafuru-is-Japanese-heritage angle. By explaining those famous poems and their origins you get this whole-package history lesson. It transforms, in a very earnest sense, entertainment into education.

All I learned about classical music came from Nodame, right? And GA:GADC was excellent while talking about art supplies…

Anyway, Chihayafuru is a solid show. I didn’t really like the back story bit; partly because it’s a bit contrived, and partly because Chihaya is too one dimensional for someone getting most of the spotlight. The solid production carried me through, and partly with the promise of this muda-bijin returning to her post-puberty prettiness.

OK, duly noted. Not sure that I’m completely sold, but it’s on my radar now.

Chihayafuru begins, on probation

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

The video was only 5 minutes 14 seconds in when I thought: “This is going straight into the `disliked greats‘ folder”. The anime gave off that unmistakable masterpiece wiff. More than a wiff actually.

Reading various anime blogs, I slated Ano Natsu and Chihayafuru as best just-complete titles to try. Ano Natsu enjoyed a much higher profile in the ‘sphere. Everyone who’s anything blogged it: I saved links to Hung, Suguru, Mike, Omo, RP, Zyl, Peterburd, CKS, and a few others for the traditional “Bloggers on Foo” compendium. It was a popular, quality anime. For Chihayafuru, I only picked Diego, Tappan, and Omo again (he’s so pro). But when I polled people who’s seen both, they were unanimous in rating the later higher of the two, and it only took me a couple of minutes to see why.

So many good shows struggle with the introduction and exposition. Chihayafuru‘s slick writing and direction are absolutely effortless in tackling the problem. Art, design, animation, timing, afureko – everything is top notch, seamlessly. Masterpiece. The only incongruent piece for me was the comical hall monitor, and that’s it.

And yet, I’m not “feeling it”. Taichi is a bit of a jerk. I tell myself that it’s a show about real people, with real flaws, but it’s not working. The two other principals are ok, but… again. Not working. Maybe I’m just too prejudous against sports anime.

I’m going to give it an honest try. Anime this good does not come along often. But it’s quite likely that I’ll Tutu this.

Chihayafuru seasons

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

The Animenation John made the following remark in his reblog of 2nd season announcement:

The first anime series ended abruptly without any resolution or climax.

Now I’m mad. I hate when this happens, and nobody who recommended Chihayafuru bothered to mention it to me.

Although, in truth, I should not be mad this way, since I already dropped the series, ironically because it made me mad otherwise, so no harm done.

From what I can decipher from the notebook, the poison was Taichi:

  • 01 Wow. Taichi is a jerk over disloyality to girlfriend – in my view, but whatever. Well, Chihaya is his old friend, but still.
  • 04 Great, now I hate the story. It’s almost like Mamimami [not just got the title wrong, but even forgot to put a period at the end of the sentence — Author]
  • 05 Oh meh, stupid Taichi. Pity his gf though, she deserves better.
  • 05 And yet, Moribito was more honest, with Tanda. Or perhaps less subtle?

So, basically, the question is, should anime be like the life, or better than life? Same question about story and about characters.

Run-list for 2012 Summer

Monday, July 16th, 2012

I read the “in-progress” lists with a certain interest if the descriptions are short. Steven and Chris do it about right. At Ani-nouto, these things are uncommon, because I prefer to lag the season. For example, AKB0048 is the most fascinating series in the current run list. I want to marathon it badly, but I put brakes on it on purpose. Otherwise I would catch up quickly, and waiting is just no fun. Also, I’d be invested into a possible bad ending without a freedom to maneuver shows. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to batch. And then, I only run one or two shows at once. Following broadcast makes the watchlist swell.

Running (not had that many in months!):

  • AKB0048: Seen 5. It’s great, everyone is great. Chieri is not overpowering or nasty, Nagisa is not whiny or clumsy. It’s like Miki Hoshii and Haruka Amami, remember those? Only instead of P-san, they fight for the love of the ghost octopus. The shadow of the real AKB48 is not as opressing as I expected. Omo threw off a comment about Oba Nobuna: “It doesn’t matter if you’ve taken an interest in the gender-flipping historical-re-enactment genre or not, good show is good.” It applies here fully as well.
  • Mysterious Girlfriend X / Nazo no Kanojo X: Seen 6. This is starting to get good when it was demonstrated that all-knowing Urabe is only human. I know that it ends in a no-ending, but I’m gobbing it up. It’s a wonderful love story for teenagers of all ages.
  • Tari Tari: Seen 1, on “free” legal streaming. PA Works batted it out of the park (is this what they say? hope the spirit of Evirus forgives me). It remains to be seen how well they follow up, but so far the only concern is that one of the characters, Sawa, may come dominate the proceedings. She is that much better than the rest of the 2+3 group, and she’s not the notional leader even.
  • Joshiraku: Seen 2. Basically the same as Kill Me Baby, only funnier and vastly more educational.
  • Oba Nobuna: Seen 0. Supposedly it’s one of “strong servant protagonist” versions, and we’re not to be served the whiny passive-aggresstive of Saito of ZnT. But we’ll see.

Recent postponements:

  • Sankarea: Seen 0. Supposed to be a cute undead; Aroduc says that “Rea’s father sucks”, whatever that means. This is probably a sight-unseen cancellation in fact.
  • Accel World: Seen 3. For a shounen, it’s quite good. But for my anime, the pace is uneven, characters are oddly constructed and their backgrounds appear poorly thought out. Actually, it’s possible that more thought was given to those than to backgrounds of AKB0048 understudies, but the emphasis on their motivations is too great for their depths. Porky is no Naruto, truly. I think I should drag it along for 3 more episodes for the arc to complete, then drop.
  • Chihayafuru: Seen 5. It was not Nodame, alas. Masterpiece of a sports anime, maybe. Animation is astonishing. But the story background is so stilted, I could not stand it. Also, everyone in the show is a bit unpleasant, even our muda-bijin Chihaya. Suspending, because it looks too masterpiec-y to drop outright and did not peeve me enough like Denno Coil.
  • Mouretsu Uchuu Kaizoku: Seen 6.5. Marika’s bad day in the office did me in. I thought it would be a fun series to see with other bloggers, like the original Dog Days, but actually it’s a torture of uncomfortable and uninteresting. Also, Tatsuo Sato is losing it. He was not afraid of romance in Shingu, was he? This is a de-facto cancellation. Really did not want to cancel, so maybe one day… I know that ending was okay.
  • Dog Days Dash (as DiGi reminds us, there’s a serviceable pronounceation): Seen 1. Well, what can I say… Just not feeling it. It’s like K-ON2. That was a great anime on the merits, too, but it was only too obvious that it was a derivative. Saving for a rainy day.

Recent cancellations:

  • Shining Hearts: Seen 6. Everything about it is awful, the story is most of all. The art is supposed to be beautiful, but it’s not, absolutely not. People just have no taste, I guess. Steven tried to entice me with Rouna’s chest. Seriously! Do I look like a furry?

UPDATE: Omo on Summer 2012.

UPDATE: Zyl, too. Note the injection of interest into the pirate show:

Mouretsu Pirates was an odd kind of series for me because there wasn’t that much pirating. Or bodaciousness either. Until I read somewhere (likely via Ani-Nouto but I can’t remember) that the director wanted this series to be about how someone decides to be a leader. Marika has talent, luck, support etc. But what fascinates me most about her is her overwhelming need to be free, to be herself. The two flashes of her closely guarded inner self – the only time she calls Ririka “Mom” after the first Yacht Club cruise and allowing herself a small smile when Chiaki says she believes in her – accentuate her indomitable, independent streak.

Emphasis mine.