Archive for the 'FSN' Category

Fate/stay Night begins

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

The excutive summary after 4 episodes down is: “what Shana should’ve been”. Depending how it ends, it may even be a buy-DVD rather than rent-DVD.

At least in the beginning, two main characters are Rin and Saber, and I cannot see who is more important, so I’m going to have two pictures in this leader post (it’s my blog, I make rules).



Saber gave me quite a start. For some reason, I thought that she was coming from some other show, perhaps Saber Marionette J or whatever. Rin was unexpected too, but in a different way. Everyone seems to think that Rin is a canonical tsundere, whereas in fact she’s nothing like it; she was extremely level headed, including her relationship with the [male] lead.

Both are drawn in amazing detail. Saber has a tint of mecha to her, and Rin is a shade more fanservicy.

As far as the story goes… it is quite artificial and probably even loses to Shana on that score. But on the balance it does not seem to have as much of a consistency problem. In theory I disapprove of Pokemon style setup (I probably should call it “Angelic Layer type”, but I haven’t seen it). This instance seems acceptable though. It’s fun and eye candy, and once characters are left out the artificial gates to interact and develop, they do well.

P.S. I thought that this was one of the rare moments when Jeff Lawson’s anti-spoiler policies might come handy, and went to check what he had. Hmm… All I understood, he did not like FSN too much, but the explanations were somewhat weak. Story too complex? Is that it? And evidently he carries too much baggage into the business. I’m going to remain optimistic for now.

P.P.S. Steven’s Future Series List does not list FSN. I can’t believe how useless his readers are. KNE is on there…

Rin is a tsundere

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Ana-sempai explained to me why Rin is a tsundere. It turns out that she’s the classic tsundere, the kind Shiraishi was talking about.

In other words, she does not go around hitting the guy with her harisen. Instead, she’s in denial about her feelings.

Technical Difficulties

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

My bragging about Linux jinxed my desktop. For the eating the own dogfood purposes, it runs the bleeding edge of Fedora Linux, and thus its components are constantly shifting, packages can be incompatible at times, etc.

This time I broke my VLC by forcing an update to libavformat. I saved the old library, but apparently it wasn’t enough. Now VLC cannot find a fourcc encoder for PNG, and so it cannot take screenshots.

I went around it by taking screenshots with GIMP, but it requires swithing from XVideo output in VLC to legacy X11 to work. Doing so changes the way VLC renders DVDs, and results in ugly artefacts. If you cannot notice them right away, look closer at Rin’s jawline while she’s saying “ha. ha. ha.” (these half-closed eyes just tickle me).

Fate/stay night shapes up quite nicely. I cannot explain. It does not strive for a materpiece status, but everything just works. It aims squarely to entertain, characters are likeable… by comparison with, say, Kana of Minami-ke, who sadly are the rule these days. Not everyone would agree, of course. Here’s what Evirus wrote:

Male leads with no redeeming values are a given in simple harem comedies — even outright despicable ones are tolerated under the proper conditions. But True Tears seems to have more going for it, so I have greater expectations for it. As such, I can’t abide worthless characters. In a way, it’s similar to the biggest flaw in the Fate/Stay Night anime: Emiya was such a waste of space he dragged a promising show down to his level.

Well, Emiya has issues, but so does Mr. Naruto Uzumaki. Also, harem is rather downplayed in FSN.

BTW, I noticed FSN originally because one of reasonably known blogs had a set of about 6 Rin poses in the banner. I cannot find it now, or I’d link. The banner had about the same dimensions as Nigorimasen uses, but CalAggie has the rotating image directory open, I looked through it, and it’s not there.

UPDATE: DiGiKerot wrote to tell that it was Minaide Hazukashii, and indeed it was. I visited J.P. when I searched, but the banner was too tall. Now I understand that the alpha-blended signage made it look deceiptive.

The repeating background makes it look like the images were captured from a ren-ai game, but there wasn’t one. CORRECTION: There was.

Fate/stay Night midway

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

I continue to find myself inexplicably enjoying Fate/stay Night, although it would be difficult to explain why. The anime itself is nothing special. It’s drawn well, the girls are spectacular, but Emiya’s eyes bludgeon every frame where they appear. Plot, artificial. Characters… Rin is engaging, Ilya is unpleasant, so it all balances out. I can go on, but the overall picture is that of a better than average anime, not a masterpiece.

Maybe my standards are slipping? I remember dropping Scrapped Princess for the raging mediocrity. Comfortably for my self-esteem, FSN is way and way ahead. There was not a single instance of animation in FSN as bad as Pacifica dipping in the monster lake. No, I still have some standards left.

On the other hand, while I cannot watch enough of FSN, Dennou Coil is rotting in the Suspended folder. And why? I suspect it’s the same kind effect Omo discussed in the context of SHAFT’s fare, only outside of SHAFT.

It bugs the hell out of me simply because I see what’s so good about those two shows [Dennou Coil and Seirei no Moribito — Author], yet neither manages to make me care about them very much; yet I can’t stop talking about crappy shows like these SHAFT offerings.

Someone needs to examine this phenomena. The health of the industry is at stake, considering the Dennou Coil’s budget. (On second thought, FSN is not a low-budget production itself, so it’s a poor specimen.)

P.S. I did not understand what the Caster’s wish was. I guess that she wanted to protect someone (e.g. her motivations turned in the process, same as Emiya’s). Mostly I think so because such construct would be appropriately tragic, as she departed without recognizing her failure. But I really do not know.

Fate/stay Night ends

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

I’m going to break my rule not to blog before the shock from the series wears off, and report on Fate/stay Night as finished just now.

The love story was great. I waited for a misstep, and it never happened. Lots of cheesy plot moves, but I don’t care. The core was good.

Liked: Yes.
Rewatch: Probably not.

Below, I’m going to spoil.

I’m not getting it… Bedivere is a woman too? Also, what has happened to the sheath?

Comedy was simple, but well done, and helped to carry the show quite a bit. The screenshot above is of Saber cooking. For some reason, it reminded me of Mahoro using her combat skills in the kitchen, despite opposite results.

I’m displeased a little that Rin faded by the end, but I suppose that’s just the way it is.

Avatar told me that Rin guessed wrong: Archer wasn’t a knight under Saber alias Arthur. Rin, however, observed correctly that Archer knew Saber. It’s not explained in the anime, but according to a game he is actually… Emiya. Apparently, a Servant can be summoned from the future as well as from the past. Watching how the boy has grown by the end of the series, I can believe it.

Fate/stay Night round-up

Friday, February 29th, 2008

It’s needless to say, but the text below may spoil.

Hop Step Jump is evaluative:

The show definitely gets things right in the production department. The animation is extremely detailed, and the character designs are easy on the eyes. On the other hand, the action sequences (which are no small part of the show) aren’t particularly flashy. […]

Kenji Kawai’s score is really something, though, and perhaps my favorite element of the show thus far. I especially enjoy his take on the OP, which gets the old school fan within me crying tears of joy. And, thankfully, the voice acting thus far is superb. […]

As for the story? Well, it’s Type-Moon. In other words, it’s ten times more complicated than it needs to be. And, unfortunately, the pacing is clunky to match. It’s nowhere near as dull as Tsukihime, that’s for sure, but it’s still a chore to watch in spots. I’m not expecting wall-to-wall action, mind you (that would probably be worse, actually), but when the story is so dense that the first few episodes are half exposition, you’ve got a problem. […]

Still, it’s all good. Rin is hot, after all.

I saw the pacing complaints all over blogs, but for some reason it was a smooth sailing for me. I only thought the setup artificial, as often happens when creators aim for a kind of long-term struggle with elimination.

Karmaburn:

First, the real star of the show so far, Rin, is an absolute triumph in character design, much as Arcueid was in Tsukihime.

You know, I should probably be more disappointed with the pacing in Fate/Stay Night, but I just don’t care. The lead characters could just sit around all day talking and I would probably be satisfied, just so long as Saber got to ask for another bowl of rice every once in a while in between bitching Emiya out.

Overall, not a bad series, but not especially good. It didn’t keep my attention, anyway. It needed more Rin/Stay Night, to tell you the truth.

I don’t know how one can say “Foo didn’t keep my attention” while actually finishing the series, but he’s right. I was sad to see Rin fading by the end. Her character struggled valiantly against the power inflation and the grand finale looming, but it was no use.

Kurogane has some choice words, I have to quote:

The past few episodes built up nicely to allow Fate/Stay Night to have it’s glorious ending (not really all to glorious actually, but meh) and the ending is a very nice closure to the anime, even with it’s flaws. But I am still troubled over the Bedivere character (voiced by Noto Mamiko!), who seems to look like the spoofs in 4chan. That is some ugly character design. Thank god it only appeared in the last 5 mins.

Oh come on. The ending was totally glorious, with appropriate sacriface to vanquish the evil. I’d make a comparison to Nia, only I haven’t seen Gurren-Lagann, so I don’t know if that’s appropriate.

Sea Slugs deliver the laugh:

I was reading through some of my older FSN posts as well as the spoilerific Wikipedia entry for Emiya Shirou, and I became intrigued about Shirou’s eventual mastery of his Tracing ability. So I thought I’d consult the readers: Shouldn’t Future-GAR-Shirou be able to Trace out multiple copies of Rin and Saber?

I mean, he’s seen them both, amirite? I am the bone of my sword, baby.

Personally I suspect that Trace does not work on living things by its nature. It is imprecise, so at best you can obtain a Rin with birth defects, if she lives at all. But a funny thought.

Avatar on Visual Novels

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Seen at Avatar’s:

More Fate in the future, to be followed by the newly-translated Unlimited Blade Works (Rin route, basically.) And to hear tell, the third path, Heaven’s Feel (Sakura route, dark x e^100) should be finished soon too. I tried to convince Author to try it out, but it seems he won’t run it if it won’t run under Linux. Definitely a mistake, I think – if you like the concept of visual novels as a format, you owe it to yourself to at least look at the best examples thereof.

So this is what “UBW” is, good to know.

About the “best examples”, I’m not quite sure it works that way. Since I do not like manga, and VN is nothing but colored manga which I cannot read at my own pace or away from a PC… I don’t think the “best examples” of the medium are going to do anything. I’m not disparaging VN, but, like Hollywood movies, it’s just not something I like on the whole. I can take this comparison even further and say that the same movies have “best examples”, such as Jackson’s LoTR.

P.S. Blogging about Fate, it’s impossible not to notice that the fandom is heavily game influenced. The coverage at Beta-Waffle is typical: 90% game, 5% anime. And you know, I am just not into it. I come from the outside, appreciate the anime, ignore the game. If you’re not interested, read DiGiKerot.

P.P.S. Rin is hot, Evirus is right. But you know, Saber is hot too, in her tragic way. I still cannot decide who is better.

UPDATE: DiGiKerot writes to correct the record:

Regarding your comment that Fate coverage on blogs is 90% game, 5% anime, I’m not sure that’s quite right – it’s more 90% figures (largely being format-neutral), 3% game and 1% anime. Seriously, it’s one of the most heavily merchandised shows outside of Evangelion., and the number of figure releases is pretty incredible.

For the record, I actually rather liked anime version of F/SN – I thought it was all pretty well handled all round – it’s just that by the time I watched it I didn’t really have anything to say about it that hadn’t been said many, many times before elsewhere (I guess that’s what happens when you wait for the DVD release, but given that Geneon USA actually co-produced the show I figured I’d just wait for it). In any case, it faired better than the adaption of Type-Moons Tsukihime, which I enjoyed but had gaping plot-holes for anyone who hadn’t played the original VN.

Didn’t have anything to say? That’s humble. And I’m sure my impression of FSN was unoriginal. But when I started searching what people wrote about it, pickings were slim, unlike, for instance, ef (which owes to a game, so makes a fair comparison). It was all the game all the time for FSN.

Animanachronism on traps

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Seen at Animanachronism:

Quite what the negative consequences of being ‘caught’ are is somewhat unclear, but a hint can probably be found in the phrase ‘One is GAR for men and gay for traps’. Being caught supposedly induces some kind of anxiety about one’s sexual orientation.

I think Daniel can let go of the innuendo safely. The repulsiveness of traps has more to do with plain old indignity of being deceived, and there’s no need to dig further.

In the Japanese History section of Natural Science museum in Ueno Park there’s an exhibit where an empty glass cubicle and an inviting ramp entrap visitors. After looping on the other side, they see that the empty cubicle terminates the progression of Japanese people from the stone age to our times, and the trapees are used to demonstrate a sample of modern species. When they discover the way prank operates, they feel the same indignation as they would after uncovering an anime trap.

More can be said about various configurations, especially with regards to viewers being fully apprized (Mako?) or not (Bart/B.C.); the former can actually be comical with schadenfreude, unless they associate with the entrapped character. But those are details.

UPDATE: Daniel clarifies:

I think I was aiming at the humiliation people outwardly express on imageboards (’Does this make me gay?’), which is presumably mostly pose. Doubtless the ‘indignity of being deceived’ is what is inwardly felt.

I see.

Speaking of FS/N and the corpus, I guess it was too easy to write the strangeness of the concept off as “LOL Japan”, since I’m not British and so I only have a vaguest idea who Arthur was. And the main story was pretty powerful by itself, so I didn’t dwell on it. Since Saber didn’t gender-swap during the summons, her psyche was not in any way damaged by this specific issue.

Nendroid… Saber… Lion?!

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Following the Gia’s link to Nendroid Youko, someone else found something really weird… a nendroid Saber Lion. This must be from a game. But seriously, what the heck?

UPDATE: I figured it out by myself. I completely forgot that a lion was Saber’s mascot, because she was compared to one.

Sorry, link to the lion was bad before.

Why is that all cool nendroids come in the 100mm class? Now that I have a 50mm Miyuki, I feel like an boy with a 9mm railroad when all his friends have H0 sets.

UPDATE: DiGiKerot says that Saber Lion is from a game.

Sekirei vs F/SN

Friday, September 12th, 2008

With small exceptions (e.g. most or all Masters only have one Servant), analogy between Sekirei and Servants is complete. The relationship with their masters is temporary in both cases, and they form deep bonds that must be broken (or maybe not! the temptation of the evil trade!). Both protagonists wish to put an end to the bloody game as well, and as I mentioned before, they both have to get a grip or else.

The treatment of the subject is different, of course. After all, Sekirei is supposed to be a fanservice machine first and Pokemon second. I have not seen anyone being killed in Sekirei, while F/SN is quite violent.

Since F/SN is more pretentious (or more story-oriented), Saber is a tragic figure with a rich background. I don’t see anyone being built into her mold in Sekirei. Sure, Yume has some dark past, but she’s not Minato’s pokegirl, and so only peripheral to the story.